Phones and Tablets

Introduction to the Bible for Young Christian Ministers

Purpose of the Introduction

  1. To understand what “Bible” means.
  2. To understand the origin of the Bible.
  3. To help one know the two major divisions and other sections of the Bible.
  4. To know other names of the Bible.
  5. To reveal the purposes of the Bible.

Reference: 2 Timothy 3:15 -17; Psalm 19:7-11

 As a church minister, the most powerful, effective, and useful tool you need to serve God is the Holy Bible. You must be well-acquainted with it. You should know it from cover to cover, book to book, and testament to testament. You cannot do God’s work without God’s tool—the Bible. You should also strive to understand it thoroughly.

The Bible is the greatest textbook for preachers and church workers. You may lack other things but never lack this one—the Bible. That is the reason for the topic, “Introduction to the Bible.”

As a minister of God, whatever you study, read, or learn that contradicts the Bible is not worth your attention.          

“Bible”? What is it?

The word “Bible” is not found in the Bible itself! The word comes from the Greek word “Biblia,” which means “books.” Therefore, the Bible is a collection of many books. It was written by over 40 writers from different backgrounds, times, and occupations over a span of approximately 1500 years.

In total, the Bible contains 1,189 chapters, 31,173 verses, approximately 789,000 words, and over 3.1 million letters.                             

Origin of the Bible

The origin of the Bible can be traced back to the time of Moses, who authored the first book of the Bible, Genesis. At that time, the Bible was not in the form we have today. It was in ancient manuscript forms, written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. These separate writings were later compiled, translated, and converted into the different versions of the Bible we have today.

For example, there is The Message Bible (MSG), The New International Version (NIV), The New Living Translation (NLT), The Revised Standard Version (RSV), and The King James Version (KJV), which is often considered the best of them all, having been translated from the original languages.

The Holy Bible, as we have it today, has been translated into over 700 languages worldwide. Initially, the Bible did not have chapters and verses until Cardinal Hugo and Stephen Langton became instrumental in dividing it into chapters in 1236 AD, during the 13th century. Later, Robert Stephen divided the chapters into verses. Praise the Lord! The King James Version we are using today was prepared in 1611 under the influence of King James I.

The Bible is divided into two major sections:

1. The Old Testament

2. The New Testament

The Old Testament

The Old Testament is the old agreement between God and man, specifically the nation of Israel. It is also called the “Hebrew Bible” because it was primarily written in Hebrew, except for the books of Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, which were written in Aramaic.

The Old Testament books are further divided into different sections:

a. The History Books: This comprises 17 books, from Genesis to Esther.

b. The Prophetic Books: This comprises 17 books, from Isaiah to Malachi. Under this section, there are two subsections:

   – The Major Prophets: These are the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

   – The Minor Prophets: These are the twelve books of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

c. The Poetic Books: These comprise the books from Job to Song of Solomon.

The following are books of the Old Testament as arranged in the Holy Bible:

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy
  6. Joshua
  7. Judges
  8. Ruth
  9. 1 Samuel
  10. 2 Samuel
  11. 1 Kings
  12. 2 Kings
  13. 1 Chronicles
  14. 2 Chronicles
  15. Ezra
  16. Nehemiah
  17. Esther
  18. Job
  19. Psalms
  20. Proverbs
  21. Ecclesiastes
  22. Song of Solomon
  23. Isaiah
  24. Jeremiah
  25. Lamentation
  26. Ezekial
  27. Daniel
  28. Hosea
  29. Joel
  30. Amos
  31. Obadiah
  32. Jonah
  33. Micah
  34. Nahum
  35. Habakkuk
  36. Zephaniah
  37. Haggai
  38. Zechariah
  39. Malachi

The New Testament

The New Testament is the second major division of the Holy Bible. It was written in Greek. The New Testament contains the story of the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It also includes His teachings and the supernatural works He performed while among men. The practices and precepts of the Early Church are found in this section of the Bible.

The New Testament is made up of 27 books, which are further divided into four sub-sections:

a. The Gospel Books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books contain accounts of the life, teachings, and sufferings of Jesus. They are also called the Evangelists.

b. Acts of the Apostles: This book contains the story of the Early Church, including their community life, missionary journeys, and the miracles, signs, and wonders performed by the Holy Spirit through them. It is also called Acts of the Holy Ghost.

c. The Epistles: These are letters written by the apostles to the early Christians and the churches they established. They include the books from Romans to Jude.

d. The Revelation: This book details the divine revelation that John the Beloved had about heaven, earth, and future events.

Below are the books of the New Testament as arranged in the Bible:

  1. Matthew
  2. Mark
  3. Luke
  4. Acts of the Apostles
  5. Romans
  6. 1 Corinthians
  7. 2 Corinthians
  8.  Galatians
  9. Ephesians
  10. Philippians
  11. Colossians
  12. 1 Thessalonians
  13. 2 Thessalonians
  14. 1 Timothy
  15. 2 Timothy
  16. Titus
  17. Philemon
  18. Hebrews
  19. James
  20. 1 Peter
  21. 2 Peter
  22. 1 John
  23. 2 John
  24. 3 John
  25. Jude
  26. Revelation of John

Other Names of the Bible

The Bible has other names that were used by saints of old to refer to what we now call the Bible. The list is not exhaustive, but we will look at a few of them. They include the scripture, the scriptures, the Holy Scriptures, the word of God, the sword of the Spirit, the Book of the law, the word of life, the word of truth, etc. (Mark 15:28; Luke 24:27; Mark 7:13; Ephesians 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:15).

Why We Have the Bible

What is the purpose of the Bible? Why did God give us the Bible? Why has it persisted through so many years and centuries? There is a divine purpose!

Understanding the real purpose of the Bible will foster a positive attitude towards it and cultivate reverence and respect. The Bible is the Book of the Almighty God. It reveals God’s mind concerning every aspect of life, matters pertaining to life and godliness, both in time and eternity.

Here are the major purposes of the Bible:

1. It exists to reveal God to man (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 40:28).

2. The Bible shows us our need for God and the Savior (Isaiah 59:8; Matthew 1:21).

3. The Bible guides us in the way to God and teaches us how to live to please Him (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

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