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Bible Books Summary

Session 2: Section 1

Overview of the Books of the Bible (part 1)


The "Overview of the books of the Bible" sections will look at the books of the Bible in chronological order, based on the historical events outlined in the Bible, rather than using the order they appear in the Bible. This "Overview of the Bible" will be split up as follows:
  1. Background and Genesis
  2. Abraham to David - 2000 to 1000 B.C.
  3. Solomon and the Exile of the Northern Kingdom - 1000 to 700 B.C.
  4. Hezekiah to Christ - 700 B.C. to CHRIST
  5. New Testament


This is a very important book to understand!

A solid grasp of it is important for understanding what comes after. It is the beginning or foundation of the Bible, on which everything is built. Everything revealed in the other books of the Bible has its beginning in the book of Genesis.

The Book of Genesis can be summarised as follows:

1. World History up to the start of the Jewish nation, including:

The Creation - 
chapters 1 & 2
The Preparation of the earth for life, followed by the creation of life, including the human race. Our first parents were given the choice whether to obey God or not.
The rebellion of Adam and Eve
Chapter 3
Our first parents decided not to obey God. Godís plan started to remedy the results of the rebellion.
The Flood -
Chapters 6 to 9
The wickedness of the human race reached the point where God decided to destroy most of the human race with a flood. Noahís family were the sole survivors.
The Introduction of different Languages
Chapter 11

Following the flood, the family of Noah repopulated the earth. A plan was devised to build an enormous tower as a central focus to keep all the population concentrated in one area. The Tower of Babel, as it was later called, was a rebellion against Godís command to populate the whole earth. God intervened and stopped the plan by introducing different languages, preventing further co-operation on building the tower.

2. The early history of the Jewish nation, which concerns four outstanding individuals:

Chapters 12 to 24 
Abraham was a man who had outstanding faith in God. So God chose him to be the father of the nation at the centre of Godís plan - the nation of Israel. God made promises to Abraham that can have far - reaching consequences for us all. We will start to look at these promises at the end of this section.
Isaac -
Chapters 25 to 27
Isaac was Abrahamís son, who also showed great faith.
Jacob -
Chapters 27 to 35
Isaacís son. Jacobís twelve sons formed the basis for the nation of Israel. God gave Jacob a repeat of the promises He had made to Abraham, and changed his name to Israel. These promises started to be fulfilled in Jacobís twelve sons.
Joseph -
Chapters 37 to 50
One of Jacobís twelve sons. Joseph was disliked by his brothers, so they sold him as a slave.
Joseph ended up in Egypt where he eventually became the kingís right - hand man. As a result of Josephís influence, Egypt escaped the worst effects of a seven - year famine. Jacob and his other eleven sons went to Egypt to escape the famine.

Points to Consider from Genesis

1. Some scientists believe that the earth is far older than the Bible would suggest.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references
Look at  Genesis 1 v 1 and 2

Verse 1 need not necessarily be part of the rest of the creation account.

In verse 2 , "was" could be translated "became". This may imply that the world became a barren wasteland at the end of a previous creation.

The present creation could then have been built on this wasteland.

Science and creation need not be at odds at all. The creation record in the Bible may not include the creation of the physical earth. The Bible makes no statement about the age of the physical earth. It does not tell us how God created the earth, it tells us why.

2. Genesis is relevant to everyone.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references
Look at Genesis 12 v 1 to 3,
                22 v 17 and 18,
                26 v 4,
                28 v 13 and 14

These verses are promises from God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They are promising that their descendants (in the Authorised Version "seed") will become a nation and have a land. Notice at the end of all these promises a blessing is included for "all the families of the earth". So these promises are not restricted to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but all of us can be included. The rest of the Bible is all about the outworking of these promises. This makes understanding all of the Bible exciting and relevant to us all.

Open Bible – please click here to view the references As a start to understanding what these
promises are all about, make a list of all the
things that God promised to Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob in these verses :
Genesis 12 v 1 to 3, 13 v 14 to 17, 15 v 18,
17 v 2 to 8, 22 v 17 and 18, 26 v 2 to 4, 28
v 13 to 15

Optional Assignment 1

New Testament references to the promises
  • Luke 1 v 46 to 55

  • Mary speaks of the future work of the Lord Jesus and says that this is connected with what God "spoke to our fathers" (v 55).
  • Luke 1 v 67 to 79

  • Zacharias, speaking after the birth of John the Baptist, recognises that God is working out this plan as promised to Abraham.
  • Galatians 3 v 13, 14, 16 and 26 to 29

  • This chapter tells how we can be involved in the "promises".

Look at these passages and write in your own words what you think they are telling us about the promises to Abraham.

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