Most people are surprised to learn that the Bible is the world’s #1 bestselling book of all time. Despite the Bible’s tremendous popularity and the ageless wisdom it contains, many who pick it up for the first time soon become frustrated with it, primarily because it is not like most other books they read. In addition to narrative, the Bible also contains poetry, genealogies, laws, and more—and while important, these varying genres can be a source of confusion for many first-time readers.
The overarching story of the Bible is told through the records of hundreds of colorful characters—real people with real life-sized problems, trials, and victories. The message of the Bible unfolds through its many dramatic stories and truly epic tales. There is most definitely a divine purpose portrayed through its pages, and it’s of vital importance for all mankind.
The purpose of this short book is to help you avoid frustration and confusion, and to connect you to the theme of the Bible so that you can “learn to enjoy the Bible.” Then hopefully you, like millions of others, will be able to gain inspiration, enlightenment, and a deeper spiritual relationship with its Author.
Chapter One: Why read the Bible?
Why read the Bible?
Chapter Two: Understanding the Background of the Bible
The Bible—The world’s “Best Seller”
The Bible can be intimidating and frustrating
Why is the Bible called “The Bible?”
The Bible’s role in the history of writing
The Bible’s diverse background
The uniqueness of the Bible
Chapter Three: The Bible as a Work of Literature
Legal and Genealogical Records
Chapter Four: Why is the Bible Considered a Holy Book?
Why is the Bible considered to be a holy book?
How did we get the Bible?
Inspired by God—Men wrote as God directed
Who is the Bible intended for?
What is the purpose of the Bible?
The words of God are pure
What evidence is there that God inspired the words in the Bible?
- Archeological Evidence
- Textual Consistency
- Literary Consistency
- Prophetic Proof
Why so many Bible translations?
Part Two – What Does It Mean?
Chapter Five: Developing a Proper Understanding
Uncovering the author’s intent
Correctly handling the Word of God
Understanding who God is talking to
Jews, Gentiles, and the followers of Christ
Understanding the language of the Bible—literal, figurative and symbolic
Culture and Customs
- Greeting another with a kiss
- Taking off your footwear
- Washing your guests’ feet
Misunderstanding and misapplying the Bible
- “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
- “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- “The LORD watch between you and me when we are absent from each other.”
Chapter Six: The Pieces of the Puzzle
The fundamental themes
The Sovereign Ruler
Good and Evil
Chapter Seven: Piecing the Puzzle Together
A Topical Approach: The Simple Gospel
The Historical Perspective
- The Fall of Man
- Call of Abraham
- Birth of Isaac
- Twelve Sons
- The Exodus
- The Law
- Conquering the Land
- The United Kingdom and Three Kings: Saul, David & Solomon
- The Kingdom Splits (Israel and Judah)
- The Assyrian Dispersion
- The Babylonian Captivity Returning to the Land
- The Messiah Comes
- The Coming of Holy Spirit
- Christ Returns
- The Final End
Chapter Eight: Covenants and Dispensations
- The Covenant in Eden
- The Covenant with Adam The Covenant with Noah
- The Covenant with Abraham
- The Covenant through Moses
- The Covenant with David
- The New Covenant
Understanding Administrations in the Bible
- Age of Innocence (or “Original Paradise”)
- Age of Conscience
- The Age of Civil Government
- The Age of The Law
- The Age of Grace
- The Age of Wrath
- The Millennial Kingdom
- The Eternal Kingdom
Chapter Nine: Enjoying the Bible
Reading for encouragement and inspiration
Reading to gain insight and wisdom
Reading for learning
Reading for spiritual insight
Appendix A: A Quick Reference to the Books of the Bible
The Old Testament
- The Torah
- Historical Books
- Prophetic Books
- Major Prophets
- Minor Prophets
- Books of Wisdom and Poetry
- Letters of Paul
- Paul’s Pastoral Letters
- Other letters