Not only am I getting a college education, I'm getting a degree in Theology from a seminary. I haven't finished this or spell checked it but I thought I'd share my latest paper. It's called, The Word is Alilve
The word "Bible" conjures a plethera of connotations depending on who is using that noun. For definition this paper is expounding on the two testament document made up of 66 books that complete what is known as the Bible Cannon. This book took some 1400 years to complete. It was penned by 40 men but inspired by God. The 66 books that make up "The Bible" is, by far, the most fascinating piece of literature of all time. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that "the word of God is living". There is no other book that holds as much power that it would be called 'living'. Reading one passage can alter someone's life forever. Yet if you've read it thousands of times you will still learn something new each time. The more you read it, the more you learn. It's never a rerun of old information. That's why, I believe, Paul called it 'living'.
There are eight sections or divisions of scripture. In order they exist as:
There are many who would argue that the Bible contradicts itself, or is incomplete. Only a lack of knowledge could enable one to come to that bogus conculsion. When you completely understand each of these eight divisions of scripture you have to acknowledge the undeniable harmony that permiates the book. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 there is a solid story line and a dominate theme. If one verse was omited or added the balance of numerical precision or prophecy fulfillment would not harmonize.
What is the Bible? Simply, God's special revelation of Himself
What is the dominate theme? Jesus Christ
It is interesting to note that most skim through the Old Testament to get to the Gospel, or Good News that Jesus spoke. We all know Jesus didn't come into the Bible until the first four books of the New Testament so many disregard it as irrelevant. There are dozens of prophecies in the first 39 books of the Bible that point the way to Jesus. These prophecies give us a clear guideline to show that Jesus Christ was in fact the promised Messiah. That alone makes the Old Testament valuable as it gives solid evidence to show 'anyone who demands a reason of the hope in us.' If Jesus is your topic of choice, you wouldn't want to skip over, or miss the intrecate details of how woven into the books of Genesis - Malachi He is.
Messianic prophecy is not the only time we find Jesus in the Old Testament. God is made of three, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. How do we know that in all the times the penetuch mentions the Lord or God, that they aren't speaking of Jesus? There are dozens of scriptures in Leviticus that begin with the words, "The Lord Spoke." Could that not have just as easily been God the Son (Jesus) as God the Father?
We tend to leave Jesus out until we get to Matthew but since He is the dominate theme wouldn't it make sense that he is included from beginning to end? If we believe John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word", why would we not think that Jesus is not part of the OT? If he was "In the beginning", he would be present in the beginning of the Bible. A matter of personal idea here, since Jesus is The Word, could it be He that was handing down the Law to Moses at Mt. Sinai? That is the first written word, document of words, law full of words, that God gave his people.
To understand how perfectly Jesus fufilled 'The Law', we first have to know what 'The Law' was. To understand how God deals with the modern-day church we first have to understand how He dealt with the Nation of Isreal. If we were going to hit just the main topics of the Old Testament we would come up with a 15 point outline. In chronological order they are:
To read the Bible like a novel, the aforementioned, would be at least great entertainment. There are heros, villans, plots, murders, conspiracies, love stories, wars, kings, armies, governments, slavery, redemption, supernatural events, and the list could go on. God, I feel, wrote the Bible in dementions. Whereas solid food belongs to mature Christians, milk to new newer Christians or the unconverted, the Bible has levels of understanding. God made one book for all people and every person, no matter their maturity level, never stops learning from it. Example: Read an account, any account and you will see first the obvious, then perhaps, a historical fulfillment, then maybe a modern-day fulfillment. Still reading the same account you go back and study again deeper, this time you realize it could be a prophecy for the coming future, or it has a literal and symbolic meaning or fulfillment. What once looked like a tangled mess you start to see as straight, strong, links in a perfect chain. The Psalmist recorded at Psalms 119:130"The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple."
Moving to the New Testiment we start with the geneology of Jesus Christ, his birth, life, ministry, sacrifice and ressurection. "From Glory to Glory." Apostolic times, the early church, and finally the Bible concludes with a fascinating prophecy of comming events. The final 27 books make so much reference to the first 39 that it is pretty much impossible to do without them. I reemphasize the importance of the Old Testiment because it is widely overlooked as nothing more than a history of what happened to a bunch of Jews thousands of years ago. In fact it is the history of each one of us. My desire now is to gain all the knowlege I can about my human history and make a deeper connection with my savior through a part of His word to me that I often took for granted.