The Bible Answers Practical Questions

May 30, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Bible, Thoughts

bible-studyPeople sometimes ask, “Does the Bible speak to issues that make a practical difference in my life? So what if it deals with the big questions, such as, ‘Does God exist?’ or ‘Is there life after death?’ What about daily living kinds of questions? Does the Bible have anything at all to say about those? A fair question. How about these issues?

What is the key to personal happiness and fulfillment? See Ecclesiastes 3:9-14, Philippians 4:11-13, etc.

What is real success and how can I achieve it? See 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Ecclesiastes 5:18-19, Romans 5:1-2, etc.

How should I regard money and possessions? Matthew 6:19-21, 1 Timothy 6:6-10, etc.

How can I make lasting relationships? Proverbs 17:17, 27:17, John 13:34, etc.

What can I do to build a strong marriage and family? Colossians 3:18-21, Proverbs 22:6, Exodus 20:12, etc.

How can God be fair if sometimes people suffer deeply? Romans 5:3-5, Psalm 145:17, the book of Job, etc.

Is there really only one true way to know God? John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, etc.

These and scores of other questions have their answers in the Bible. But don’t take my word for it: I challenge you to seek out the answers for yourself. Don’t just accept the word of anyone. You must be satisfied yourself. And remember: the Bible does you no good unless you read it!

Michael Bogart

A Brief Beginners Guide to the Bible

April 17, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Bible, New

brown-bible1Much could be said about the Bible as the Word of God and how it is to be read, studied and applied to daily life.  These issues will be dealt with in other articles.  For now, let me simply confine myself to some basic facts.

The Bible contains a total of 66 books in two major sections:

The Old Testament is made up of 39 books, which outline God’s redemptive work in the world before the time of Christ, and focus specifically on the nation of Israel.

The New Testament has 27 books, which describe God’s more complete redemptive work since the time of Jesus’ birth, and focus on the new, multi-ethnic people of God, the Church.

These books were written by around 40 different authors over a span of approximately 1500 years (1400 B.C. to 100 A.D.).

The 66 books of the Bible were written in three original languages.  The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic; the New Testament in Koine Greek.

There are several very good English Bible translations, which enable us to read and understand the sense of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts.

The various books were written using various writing styles, including poetry, history, logical argument, stories, prophecy, wisdom literature, etc.

Though each of the books of the Bible has its unique purpose and setting, a common theme joins each of the books into a whole, showing us God’s holy character, his plans for human redemption and his great love for us, demonstrated in Christ.

Here are some suggestions for getting a grasp on the overall message of the Bible:

Read Genesis for an understanding of early human history and the background of the nation of Israel.

Read Exodus to see how God’s covenant with Israel set the stage for his dealings with the Jewish people and his later work with the entire world by outlining standards of right and wrong, good and evil.

Read Psalms and Proverbs to find comfort, wisdom and help in the issues of life and in worshipping God.

Read Mark and John for a basic grasp of the life and identity of Jesus Christ.

Read Romans to get a panorama of God’s entire plan of redemption.

Read Acts and Ephesians to see how God has implemented a new covenant through the Church to include people from all nations.

Read Revelation to be assured that God’s plan will be fulfilled and his people ultimately given eternal joy.

If you are a beginner to the Bible, you may encounter parts of it which may seem puzzling, boring or hard to understand. The main thing in such cases is not to give up. You may want to temporarily skip over those parts in your reading, making a note to come back to them later when you have gained more knowledge or experience in this amazing book.

Remember: the Bible is not written in code. Both the human authors and God who inspired them, intended for us to understand the basic message. Part of the task is to learn some basic things about Bible times and culture as well as how to separate presuppositions from what is actually in the text. The other part of understanding the Bible is simply asking God to give you insight as you read and study.

Michael Bogart