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Lesson No. 1—The Bible.

LESSON THEME:—THE BIBLE

2 Timothy 3:16, Psalm 119:105, Revelation 22:18-19.

The scriptures are not printed, as one of the purposes of this course is to encourage everybody to bring his own Bible. Students please bring your Bibles each week.

Teachers, encourage the use of the Bible by having the scripture references read in class. Give out the references before you start teaching.

  • KEY WORD—”SALVATION.”

  • KEY VERSEJohn 3:16.

  • KEY PHRASE—”HOW A LOST WORLD MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.”

Read the following passages at home the week preceding the lesson:

NAME—The word “Bible” from the Greek word “Biblos” means “Book.” Christians reverently call it “Holy Bible.” Our Lord called it “The Scriptures,” Matthew 22:29. Paul called it the “Holy Scriptures,” Romans 1:2, also “The Word of God,” 2 Corinthians 4:2.

The word “Testament” means “Covenant,” so we have the Old Testament which contains the Covenant and its outworkings, which God gave to Israel, and the New Testament which contains the Covenant of Grace which came through Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, and the New Testament wholly in Greek.

WRITERS—At least 40 (from the time of Moses 1500 B. C. to John the Apostle 97 A. D.) and the authorship is wonderful. It was written by kings and emperors, princes and poets, sages and philosophers, fishermen and statesmen. By men learned in the wisdom of Egypt, educated in the schools of Babylon, trained at the feet of rabbis in Jerusalem. It was written by men in exile, in the desert, and in shepherds’ tents, amid green pastures and beside still waters. The man who wrote one book had no communication with the men who wrote the other books. How did these men, writing independently, produce such a book. 2 Peter 1:21. Other books get out of date in fifty years. Why does this book live on through the ages and keep abreast of mightiest thought?Mark 13:31.

PURPOSE OF THE BIBLE: To record the divine religion which God gave to man. Particularly to reveal the sinfulness of man, the holiness and love of God and the supreme revelation of that love in Jesus Christ. Also to reveal the eternal doom that awaits the wicked and the everlasting state of glory that awaits the redeemed.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Books.

  2. Inspiration.

  3. Plan all through the Bible.

Great Fact I. The Books of the Bible.

There are 39 books in the O. T. and 27 in the N. T., 66 in all.

These books are not arranged in chronological order in the Bible, but the very order in which they appear has been divinely overruled.

The O. T. has the following divisions:

  1. The Pentateuch, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy—5 books.

  2. Historical—Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings,
    1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther—12 books.

  3. Poetical—Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes,
    Songs of Solomon (known as Song throughout)—5 books.

  4. Major prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel—5 books.

  5. Minor prophets—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,
    Nahum, Habakkuk, Zechariah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi—12 books.

The N. T. has the following divisions:

  1. Biographical, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John—4 books.

  2. Historical, Acts—1 book.

  3. Paul’s Epistles, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians,
    Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon—13 books.

  4. General Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 & 2 & 3 John, Jude—8 books.

  5. Prophetical, Revelation—1 book

There are fourteen books, called the Apocrypha, which are sometimes bound in the covers of the Bible. Some of them contain excellent Jewish history, but they have never had a place in the Canon, or inspired and sacred list of the books of the Bible. “The Scriptures have by their own weight crushed all rivals out of existence.”

Great Fact II. The Inspiration of the Bible.

The Bible was not actually written by the hand of God, but Jesus and Paul taught that the scriptures were in the fullest sense inspired. Matthew 22:29; 2 Timothy 3:16. The spirit of the inspiration breathes in every page and illuminates every word. “Behind and beneath the Bible, above and beyond the Bible is the God of the Bible.”

The Spirit of God so influenced the minds of the writers that they recorded without error a progressive revelation from God to man.

That the Bible is fully inspired, and therefore divine, is seen from the following facts:

  1. Hundreds of tablets and ancient records unearthed in Bible lands testify to the accuracy of Bible history.

  2. No other sacred writings give such a satisfying scheme of redemption, and such a scientific account of creation. In the words “God hangeth the world upon nothing,” Job 26:7; scripture teaches that this earth is a planet, floating in space, whereas in the writings of the Hindus they claim that the earth rests upon the backs of four huge elephants, and they upon the backs of four huge turtles, and they upon the backs of four huge snakes, so it is when either of these shake themselves that we get earthquakes! Many similar illustrations could be given!

  3. Scripture is a testimony to itself. Isaiah 8:20. That the very words of the original Greek or Hebrew were inspired, is asserted again and again. 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 5:18. Also there are no less than 333 prophecies in the O. T. concerning the earthly life of Christ. These were written centuries before they were fulfilled. What a ridiculous display of human ignorance they would have revealed if they had not been inspired! As a contrast, take the many predictions as to the end of the age, made in recent years.

  4. The testimony of Christ. He spent the whole of his ministry expounding the O. T. scriptures. That He believed them to be inspired and without error is seen from Matthew 5:18; John 10:35. Furthermore, it is generally admitted that no set of men could have written such a wonderful life in the Gospels of an imaginary Christ. He must have lived and been all that the Bible pictures Him to be. But if He did live, then the Bible is true for Christ and the Bible stand or fall together!

Great Fact III. The Plan all through the Bible.

(Following Collett.)

  1. The Bible begins, as we would expect it to, with God, Genesis 1:1, but it ends with man, the last of God’s creations. Revelation 22:21. But in the middle verse of the Bible, Psalm 118:8, God and man separated by sin so far apart, are brought together. This indicates that the purpose of the written Word, is the same as that of the Living Word (Christ), to bring God and man together.

  2. The Old Testament begins with God, Genesis 1:1. The New Testament begins with Christ, Matthew 1:1.

  3. In the Old Testament we have chiefly a revelation of God the Father. In the Gospels, of God the Son; in the Acts, of God the Holy Spirit; and in the Epistles, of the full Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  4. The History of the Bible takes us back into what would otherwise be the unknown past. The prophecies take us forward into what would otherwise be the unknown future. The spiritual teaching of the Bible leads us into what would otherwise be an unknown salvation and character.

  5. From Adam to Abraham we have the history of the human race, from Abraham to Christ, the history of the chosen race; but from Christ on, we have the history of neither the human race, nor the chosen race, but of the churches of the living God.

  6. In Eden we had one law given to man,—but it was broken. At Sinai the whole law was given to man-but was broken. However, the God-man came to earth and perfectly kept the law for man, so that at the judgement it should not be a witness against him.

  7. The Old Testament deals chiefly with the law, yet it nevertheless contains much of grace Isaiah 53. The New Testament deals chiefly with grace, yet it establishes the Law. Romans 3:31.

  8. The law came by Moses, but grace came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17. In keeping with this first miracle of Moses was the turning of the water into blood, a type of death. Exodus 7:19. While the first miracle of Christ was the turning of the water into wine. John 2:1-11, a type of life and strength.

  9. There is a distinct plan in the individual books of the Bible, for example:—In Genesis we have the sacrifice for the individual—Abel. In Exodus, for the household—the Passover. In Leviticus, for the nation. In John, for the world.

  10. There is progress also in the teachings of the gospels, for Matthew closes with the Resurrection, Mark with the Ascension, Luke with the promise of the Spirit, and John speaks of His Second Coming.

  11. There is a divine order in the epistles, for James is the epistle of WORKS. Paul’s of FAITH, Peter’s of HOPE, and John’s of LOVE!

  12. Comparing the beginning of the Bible with the end, we have:—

—In the beginning:—

  • God created the heavens and the earth.

  • End—New heavens and new earth.


  • Beginning—Satan enters to deceive.

  • End—Satan cast out that he may deceive the nations no more.


  • Beginning—Sin, pain, sorrow, death.

  • End—no more death, neither sorrow nor crying.


  • Beginning—Tree of life, and man driven away from it.

  • End—Tree of life, and the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations.


  • Beginning—Woman taken from man’s side.

  • End—Church taken from Christ’s side.


  • Beginning—Earth purged by water.

  • End—Earth purged by fire.


  • Beginning—Paradise lost.

  • End—Paradise regained.

LESSON—The wonderful inspiration and plan, running through all the 66 books and 1600 years Of the Bible should so impress us with its divine origin, that we should receive it with personal faith, appropriate its messages to ourselves, and put our own names in every promise. Only, as we read it, believe it, and practice it, shall we be wise, safe and holy!

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. What does the word Bible mean, and what does Christ and Paul call it?

  2. What is the meaning of the word Testament, and how many in the Bible?

  3. Over what period was it written?

  4. How many writers has the Bible?

  5. From what walks of life did the writers come?

  6. What was the purpose?

  7. Give the key word and key verse.

  8. Name the Great Facts.

  9. Have you read the Home Readings?

  10. How many books in each Testament and in both?

  11. Name the five divisions of the O. T.

  12. Name the five divisions of the N. T.

  13. What is the Canon of Scripture?

  14. Should the Apocrypha have a place in the Canon?

  15. With whom does the Bible begin and end, and who are brought together in the middle verse?

  16. What help is the Bible as to the past, to the future, and to our salvation?

  17. Name the three histories contained in the Bible.

  18. Compare the beginning with the end.

  19. If the Bible is divine, how should we receive it?

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