The Bible

The Bible is a collection of writings that have been written over many centuries by different authors at different times. The Bible is often described as a book, which is what the word Bible means. Actually, the Bible is more accurately described as a library and contains a huge amount of different types of literature, such as poetry, genealogy, history, wisdom and songs to name a few. The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament are the writings that take us from Genesis (which means beginning), through to Malachi. The story begins with the innocents of human beings who become estranged from God and go their own way. Story of the Bible then unfolds from this point and in the pages God tells His story and reveals not only who He is, even what His name is, but also what He is going to do through the people of Israel. The writing of the Old Testament period is thought to fall between a 1000BC - 300BC. The New Testament however, is written over a much shorter period of time than the Old, our earliest writings being that of Paul’s letter to the Galatians (or some scholars think 1 Thessalonians) which was written about 49 A.D. The last piece of writing comes the end the Bible the book of Revelation written around 90- 100 A.D. The New Testament contain four gospels, or perhaps a more accurate description would be 4 accounts of the one gospel (gospel means good news) that is Jesus himself. The message of the New Testament is that the 'good news' of God has finally come in Jesus, the Messiah. God has fulfilled his plan to rescue human beings from sin and death. St Paul, sums up the faith in his letter to the Romans, 5:22-23; But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The four accounts of the gospel are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It has been widely promoted that there are more accounts of Jesus life than just 4, which is true, only if you include all the accounts going up to sixteenth century. The reason that the church only has 4, is because at the end of the first century, (which is what they called the eye-witness period) only 4 existed. Therefore, the later accounts have little or no historical credibility. There are also letters in the New Testament, largely written by Paul, but also Peter, James and John. The New Testament ends with the book of Revelation which is a book of encouragement to the then persecuted churches of Asia-minor (modern day Turkey). If you would like to read the Bible online, please visit: www.biblegateway.com

 

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