The word Bible comes from a Latin word meaning “books” and a Greek word meaning “book.” It is actually ONE BOOK consisting of 66 books. It was written by 40 different authors, in 3 different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years. The Bible makes the BOLD CLAIM that its 40 authors were “inspired by God.” 2nd Timothy 3:16 declares, “All Scripture is given by INSPIRATION OF GOD…” and in 2nd Peter 1:21 we read, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (NKJV). This means that the Bible is a “revelation from God” and that every word that men wrote down was given to them by the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul put it this way, “Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in THOSE TAUGHT BY THE SPIRIT, COMBINING SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS WITH SPIRITUAL WORDS” (NASB). This means that the Bible really has one Author: God! Men were used of Him to write it, but the words came from the Heart and Mind of God Himself.

There are TWO DIVISIONS in the Bible: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament describes God’s work in Creation, the Fall of Man, and God’s choice of the nation of Israel through whom the savior of the world would be born. That “savior” is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the central theme of all the Old Testament scriptures. Jesus Himself referred to this truth when talking to the religious leaders of His day, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). After Jesus rose from the dead He said this to two of His disciples, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27). Jesus Christ is the KEY to understanding the Old Testament.

He is also focus of the New Testament. In the Four Gospels we have the HISTORY of Jesus Christ; His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. All the Old Testament prophecies concerning these things were perfectly fulfilled and written down in the Gospels so man could come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the book of Acts we have God’s salvation through Jesus Christ being proclaimed and those who are saved become part of a heavenly company of people called the CHURCH. Acts 2:47 speaks about this, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” From Romans through the book of Jude, we have the letters written to churches and individuals to teach them all they need to know about the Lord Jesus Christ so they can live an abundant life to the honor and glory of their blessed Savior. And finally, the book of Revelation completes the Bible by giving us prophecies concerning God’s judgment upon this world that has rejected Christ (Revelation chapters 6-18), followed by Christ’s Second Coming when He returns to earth as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” to establish His Millennial kingdom here on earth (Revelation 19:11-20:6). After the kingdom ends, God reveals to us the eternal blessings for believers in the New Heavens and the New Earth, and the eternal judgment for unbelievers in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-22:21).

So much more could be said about the Bible; in fact, God’s Word is inexhaustible and the world could not contain the books that could be written about it (see John 21:25). We trust that our BRIEF OUTLINE will serve to “whet the appetite” of our readers to “search the scriptures daily” (see Acts 17:11). If you are not saved, it is our prayer that your study of the scriptures will lead you to put your faith in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). If you are already a believer, we pray that your reading of the scriptures will cause you to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2nd Peter 3:18). (286.3) (DO)