The Bible has two lips that speak with one voice.
It is in two parts.
The first part was written by the former prophets. It contains the history of the world from Creation to Christ.
The second part was written by the Apostles of Christ. It contains the story of Christ from His first coming to His second coming!
The Bible is therefore a library, written over a period of 1400 years, by over 40 different writers. The Bible tells us how they wrote:
No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
The men spoke, and the men wrote, but they were lifted above their natural ignorance of God by the Holy Spirit. The end result is something that contained no errors. The prophet David wrote this:
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)
These words display the respect that all Christians have for the Bible. They believe it is complete, perfect, understandable and sufficient to lead them through life in their walk with God.
A third passage from the Bible will show what Christians believe the Bible can accomplish through the inward work of God.
You have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
This statement was made by the Apostle Paul to a younger man. He says that the Scriptures Timothy then had were sufficient to lead him to salvation through trusting himself to Jesus Christ. He says that the Scriptures, the sacred writings, were given from the very mouth of God. He adds they they are all that the younger man, or anyone else, needs for teaching, rebuke, correction and instruction in godly living. This is why Christians see the Holy Bible as a book that is complete.
Let us look at what the Bible contains:
The Old Testament
The Old Testament contains 39 books, and makes up three quarters of the Bible. It has three sections: the Torah, the Psalms and the Writings of the Prophets. It recounts the words and works of God through the history of mankind from the creation of the earth and our first parents Adam and Eve until around 450 BC. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with a few portions in Aramaic.
The New Testament
The New Testament is composed of 27 books. The 4 Gospels are the story of the life, the teaching of Jesus. The narrative continues with the “Acts of the Apostles” or the history of the nascent Church. There follow several epistles or edifying letters. The New Testament was written in Greek, constituting the last quarter of the Bible.
1- What are the books of the Old Testament?
Written notably by prophets such as Moses (Musa), David (Dawud) and Isaiah (Ichi ‘ia), the 39 books are grouped as follows:
- The books of the Torah or Law also called Pentateuch, include the 5 books written by Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The story of the creation of the world, the life of the patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the life of Moses in Egypt and Sinai, his extraordinary acts accomplished by the power of God, Has given to his people on his part.
- The historical books, numbering 12: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. They tell the story of the Jewish people as viewed by God, whether they obeyed, disobeyed, were blessed or punished. In these books we discover the lives of great and godly men like David, but the Bible tells the story of their great strengths, their weaknesses, and their repentance.
- The 5 poetic books: Job, Psalms (Zabur), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. They contain the prayers that believers have addressed to God in all circumstances of their lives, happy or dramatic. There are words of wisdom to help in the conduct of his life, as well as a poem of love that reflects the love of God for man and the love of man for God. Ecclesiastes displays the completely futility of living life without God.
- The prophetic books (17 in number):
The “Major Prophets”: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel;
The “Minor Prophets”: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Zachary and Malachi. They are called “minor”, not because they are less significant, but only because they are smaller books than the 5 “major” books.
These men were called by God to address the people in very difficult times of debauchery, war and oppression. These prophets record the warnings of God, his loving calls for he people return to him, his promises for the present or the future.
All three sections of the Old Testament contain many predictions about the promised Messiah. They describe many facts by which we can identify Him, including where He would be born, who His mother would be, how He would be betrayed, and also how He would die. These prophecies allow us to identify Jesus alone as the promised Messiah. Lists of these clear and unmistakable prophecies are easily discovered.
2- What are the books of the New Testament?
The 27 books were written by men who knew Christ or who received the testimony of those who directly related him. These books are:
- The 4 Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Reading through them we find the accounts of the birth of Jesus, His childhood, and His teaching to the people. They describe the miracles he performed, the words He spoke to individuals or crowds, the opposition He met with from the religious leaders, His condemnation, His cruel and unjust death on the cross, His glorious resurrection and ascension to heaven.
- The Acts of the Apostles: Written by Luke, a serious historian and a medical doctor, this book relates the conversion of the first Christians and the birth of the Church, which is the living community of men and women who believed and received forgiveness and forgiveness. eternal life.
- The Epistles (or letters) of the Apostle Paul are 13: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon. They are therefore addressed to local communities, or local churches or disciples of Jesus.
- Other Epistles called “general”, they number eight: Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2 and 3 John and Jude.
All these Epistles explain Christian doctrine and instruct believers in the conduct they should have in their personal, family, work and community life, including their behaviour in their own local church. The Epistles also contain serious warnings of the danger of a corruption of the Gospel by false teachers who twist their meaning or wish to introduce new teachings.
- The Apocalypse or “Revelation”: this fascinating narrative was written by the apostle John, the author of the Gospel and the Epistles that bear his name. In a vision John saw the glory of Jesus in heaven, received warnings and encouragement addressed to Christian communities, witnessed heavenly and earthly scenes on the dramatic events of the end of the world, the return of Jesus Christ, the judgment of men and Eternal Life in Paradise. Part of this book is unique in that Jesus Christ dictates seven letters for seven churches.
3- What is the message of the Bible?
The message of the Bible is simple.
There is a God
First, there is a God. God is real. He exists. He is infinite, eternal, unchangeable. He is almighty, all-knowing and everywhere. There is only one God. This God is holy, righteous, wise and loving. He is absolutely sovereign and has a plan for the whole universe which also includes each person.
There is a problem
Because God is holy and I am sinful, I have a serious problem. I am responsible for my actions. We are all the same. There are no exceptions, no excuses and no escape routes. There is a heaven to be gained and a hell to be shunned and avoided. How can I go to Paradise when I have committed so much sin? My life is also very short. I may live for 70 or 80 years, but life is flying by. It is appointed to men to die only once, and after that, the judgment.
There is a remedy
Many people think that if we do something evil, we can make amends by doing something good. Interestingly, when Adam sinned, God did not give him a good thing to do to allow him to balance out the evil he had committed. Instead, God made a promise. He said that He would send the Messiah. He then sent Adam out of the Garden of Eden.
The Old Testament shows that the Messiah was coming to deal with sin. Instead of us doing things to earn our way to Paradise, God sent the Messiah to pay for our sins.
Even our best works are still stained by many unworthy attitudes. Even wanting to be good to avoid hell is not a good motive.
The remedy is found in Jesus Christ. When we understand why He came, lived a righteous life, died as a substitute for others, rose again and ascended into heaven, we understand the reason why Christians see Jesus as the complete remedy for their sin problem.
During the life of Jesus he was criticised for meeting with people who were considered unworthy and evil. This is how Jesus responded:
And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:30-32)
There is a God, there is a problem, there is a remedy. Some people think they can cure their own problem of sin. The two lips of God in the Old and New Testaments, speaking with one voice through the Holy Scriptures tell us that God doesn’t send us away with a set of rules to cure our own problems. Jesus is the Great Physician. He is the doctor we need. He writes a ‘prescription’. He provides a remedy. He is the Saviour. He can remove our guilt and change our sinful hearts.