The Bible

I'm going back to essentials, a chair & a lamp, & the Book that YOU wrote to me. You see, I'm looking for the YOU that used to speak so clear, I'm looking for the me that had a heart to hear, & I'm looking for the passion that held me here, on the edge. Find me, find me, I'll wait for YOU!” –Margaret Becker, “Find Me”

Return my brethren, to your earliest Bible readings…Ah, this Book, as I turn it over, wakes up many a memory; its pages glow with a light which I cannot describe, for they are set with stars which in my many hours of gloom have been the light of my soul. I did not then read this divine volume to find a text, but to hear my Lord speak to my own heart. I was not then as Martha, cumbered with much serving, but as Lazarus, who sat at the table with Jesus.” –C.H. Spurgeon

“The Scriptures are the embodiment of all revelation, the supreme source of theology, and constitute a progressive revelation as taught by the Holy Spirit. We must fall in love with the Bible by falling in love with the Author! There is a need for the Scriptures. Such a revelation is to be desired, for man needs to know his purpose, and this awareness is not to be found in worldly wisdom. Such a revelation is to be expected, for a natural father would not conceal himself from his son; he would desire to have communication with him. Such a revelation would be written, for book form is the only form of preservation for transmission.” –Dr. Kelley Varner

Concerning the importance of the Scriptures, the student is encouraged to examine the following verses: II Chron. 15:3; Job 22:22, 23:12; Ps. 1:1-3, 19:7-11; 119:1, 18, 89, 105, 130-131; Dan. 12:4, 9; Matt. 13:1-30; 24:35; Lk. 1:37; 8:11-15; Acts 17:11; 20:32; Rom. 10:17; II Tim. 1:13; 2:15; 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; II Pet. 1:4; 19-21, Rev. 12:11, 19: 11-13.

  1. An Introduction to the Scriptures:
      1. The books of the OLD TESTAMENT (39 books):
        1. The LAW (17 books of HISTORY):
          1. The PENTATEUCH (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).
          2. The HISTORICAL BOOKS:
            1. PRE-EXILE History (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles).
            2. POST-EXILE History (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther).
          3. The PSALMS (5 books of POETRY) (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).
          4. The PROPHETS (17 books of PROPHECY):
            1. The MAJOR Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel).
            2. The MINOR Prophets:
              1. PRE-EXILE Prophecy (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah).
              2. POST-Exile Prophecy (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).
          5. The books of the NEW TESTAMENT (27 books):
            1. The New Testament HISTORY (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts).
            2. The DOCTRINAL EPISTLES (22 books):
              1. Christian Church Epistles (Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians).
              2. Pastoral and Personal Epistles (I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon).
              3. Hebrew Christian Epistles (Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude, Revelation).
      1. The BIBLE (“book”) – Mk. 12:26; Lk. 3:4; 4:17-18; 20:42: Acts 1:20; 7:42; Gal. 3:10; Heb. 9:19; 10:7; Rev. 1:11; 5:1-10; 22:7-10.
      2. The WORD OF GOD – Mk. 7:13; Jn. 1:1-3; 10:35; Acts 8:25; 13:48; Rom. 10:8; Eph. 1:13; Phil. 2:16; Col. 3:16; Heb. 4:12; Jas. 1:21-23; I Pet. 1:33.
      3. The SCRIPTURES (“writings”) – Dan. 10:21; Jn. 7:38; Rom. 1:2; 4:3; 16:26; II Tim. 3:15-16; II Pet. 3:16.
      4. The ORACLES OF GOD (“the speaking place”) – Ps. 28:1; Rom. 3:2, Heb. 5:10-12; 6:1-2; I Pet 4:11.
      5. The OLD and NEW TESTAMENTS (“covenants”) – Matt. 5:17-18; 11:13; 26:26-28; Mk. 14:24; Lk. 22:20; Rom. 3:21; I Cor. 11:25; II Cor. 3:6, 14; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13; 9:15; 10:15-17; 12:24.
      1. FIRE (Jer. 23:29) – It burns, cleanses, and purges all that is contrary.
      2. HAMMER (Jer. 23:29) – It smashes and demolishes; it is used to build.
      3. LAMP (Ps. 119:105) – It is an instrument of light in the darkness
      4. MIRROR (Jas. 1:23) – It reveals what we are and what we can be in GOD.
      5. MILK (I Pet. 2:2) – It nourishes the young in the Lord.
      6. ROD (Rev. 11:1-2) – It is a measuring instrument and standard in all matters of faith and practice. It is the authority of God’s rule.
      7. SEED (I Pet. 1:23; Lk. 8:11; Jas, 1:18) – It is a germinating, life-producing Word having God’s life in it.
      8. SWORD (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:14) – It is living, sharp, and two-edged in its operations as it separates flesh and spirit.
      9. WATER (Ps. 119:5, 9; Jn. 15:3; 17:17; Eph. 5:26) – It is life-giving, refreshing, and cleansing.
      10. GOLD (Ps. 19:7-10; Job 28:1; Pr. 25:2) – It is priceless and an inexhaustible mine for treasure to be dug out.
      11. HONEY (Ps. 19:10; Rev. 10:10) – It is sweet to the taste.
      12. OX-GOAD (Eccl. 12:11) – It prods the servant into fulfilling his duties.
      13. NAIL (Eccl. 12:11) – It is fastened in a sure place, and we can safely hang things on it.
      14. BREAD (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3; Ps. 119:103; Is. 55:10; Ex. 16) – It is the staff of life, ever fresh, and meant for our daily consumption.
      15. PEARL (Matt. 7:6) – It is a priceless gem; though formed in darkness, it has the colors of the rainbow when brought to the light.
      16. ANCHOR (Heb. 6:18-19) – It holds the believer in safety through every storm.
      17. STAR (Matt. 2:1-11; II Pet. 1:19; Rev. 2:28) – It guides the believer.
      18. MEAT (Heb. 5:11-14) – It is strength-giving food for the mature.

      NOTE: Jesus Christ is the LIVING WORD, the Word made FLESH. Each of these symbols speaks of Him and His Church which is the ongoing incarnation of His Person.

  2. The Pathway to Scripture
    1. Eight ways to relate to God’s Word:
      1. Hear it – Romans 10:17
      2. Read it – Revelation 1:3
      3. Pray it --
      4. Study it – Acts 17:11; II Timothy 2:15
      5. Memorize it – Psalm 119:9,11
      6. Meditate upon it – Psalm 1:2;3; I Timothy 4:14-15
      7. Love it – Psalm 119:97;113,167
      8. Just do it – James 1:25
    2. Tools for Bible Study:
      1. A good translation (NKJV, NIV, NAS, etc.)
      2. Strong’s Concordance
      3. A Bible Dictionary
      4. Vine’s Expository Dictionary
      5. Mathew Henry’s Commentary
      6. Bible Software
      7. A good Study Bible
      8. Commentaries by great Christian’s in history
      9. Books on the Bible, or for study from my reading lists!

The Bible is not an amulet, a charm, a fetish, or a book that will work wonders by its very presence. It is a book that will work wonders in every life, here and hereafter, if acted upon and obeyed in faith and sincerity.

It is God’s inspired revelation of the origin and destiny of all things, written in the most simple human language possible, so that the most unlearned can understand and obey its teachings. It is self-interpreting and covers every subject of human knowledge and need, now and forever.

As a literary composition, the Bible is the most remarkable book ever made. It is the world’s best known, most available, most translated, most distributed, and most quoted book, and is history’s all time #1 best seller! It is a divine library of 66 books, some of considerable size, and others no larger than a tract. These books include various forms of literature –history, biography, poetry, proverbial sayings, hymns, letters, directions for elaborate ritualistic worship, laws, parables, riddles, allegories, prophecy, drama, and others. They embrace all manner of literary styles in human expression.

“It is the book that reveals the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts binding, its histories true, and its decisions immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. The Bible contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here heaven is opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your feet in righteousness and true holiness. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully, meditatively, searchingly, devotionally, and study it constantly, perseveringly, and industriously. Read it through and through until it becomes part of your being and generates faith that will move mountains. The Bible is a mine of wealth, the source of health, and a world of pleasure. It is given to you in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and will stand forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the least to the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

Its writers are numerous. Its author is G O D.”

-from notes in Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible on:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” - 2 Timothy 3:16.