This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I Timothy 1:15

Bible Study Guide

Old Testament

1. The Books of Moses (Pentateuch)

a. Genesis ("Origins" or "In the Beginning") Both the Old Testament and New Testament ascribe the writing of Genesis to Moses and was written between 1450 B.C. and 1410 B.C. Genesis 1-11 reveals the creation, man's disobedience in the Garden of Eden, the time of Noah, the tower of Babel and God's judgment. Genesis chapters12-50 give the history of God's covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons until the time of Joseph in Egypt.

b. Exodus ("Exiting" or "departure") Moses is identified as the author in Exodus 24:4 and was written between 1450 B.C. and 1425 B.C. Exodus documents Israel's time in Egypt; their oppression; Moses' birth and training; God's deliverance; the crossing of the Red Sea and Egypt's defeat; the Ten Commandments; the construction of the Tabernacle.

c. Leviticus ("Matters of the Levites) These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel (Leviticus 27:4) Written between 1450 B.C. and 1410 B.C. Leviticus contains God's instructions to Moses concerning the Tabernacle, offerings, sacrifices and laws for the priests and people of Israel.

d. Numbers ("In the Wilderness") Written by Moses between 1450 B.C. and 1410 B.C. This book chronicles Israel's departure from Egypt and their wanderings for 39 years from Sinai to the plains of Moab; their murmurings against God and Moses; their refusal to possess Canaan; God's judgment; Joshua is appointed to replace Moses to lead Israel into the Land.

e. Deuteronomy ("Second law giving') Written by Moses in 1410 B.C. excluding the account of Moses death. Moses reviews Israel's wanderings; the Law; the ratification of Israel's covenant; and Moses' final blessing and death.


2. Early Hebrew History

a. Joshua The book, written, primarily by Joshua between 1400 B.C. and 1370 B.C., describes the conquest and division of the land of Canaan while showing the faithfulness of God to give Israel the land; the importance of the written law of God: and the holiness of God in judging the sins of the Canaanites.

b. Judges The book was written between 1050 B.C. and 1000 B.C. by an unknown author. The events of the book cover Israel's history from about 1380 B.C. to 1050 B.C. that deal from the conquest of Palestine to the beginnings of the monarchy. There are many examples of the principle that obedience to God's law brings peace and disobedience means oppression and death.

c. Ruth Written about 1000 B.C. by an unknown author, the book provides an account of the lives of ordinary, though godly people during the time of the judges. Boaz, as the kinsman- redeemer of Ruth serves as a type of Christ. The partial lineage of David, and thus Jesus, show that Gentile blood was in the line of the Savior for all mankind.

d. I Samuel Written by Samuel and other authors from 930 B.C. and later. The book covers Samuel from his birth until after the inauguration of Saul, the first king of Israel, and the anointing of David to replace Saul. The wars of Israel with Philistines; Saul's attempts to kill David and God's protection; and the deaths of Saul and Jonathan are told in great detail.

e. II Samuel Attributed to Samuel and other authors, from 930 B.C. and later. The history of King David's reign; the making of Jerusalem the political and religious center of the nation; his military victories; his shameful sin with Bath-sheba; and his mistake in numbering the people are all covered.

3. Later Hebrew History

a. I Kings Written by Jeremiah about 550 B.C. The history of the kings of Israel and Judah from Solomon to the Babylonian captivity is covered. It includes a description of Solomon's wisdom; the dedication of the Temple; a visit by the Queen of Sheba; and the ministry of Elijah. The success or failure of a king or nation is shown to be dependent upon the measure of allegiance to God's law.

b. II Kings The authors and time of writing are the same as I King. II Kings traces the decline of Israel following a succession of wicked kings and their captivity by the Assyrians. Judah's brief history is told, culminating in their captivity by Babylon. The book also records the miracles of Elisha and the revivals under Hezekiah and Josiah.

c. I Chronicles ( "The words of the days") Written by Ezra from 450 B.C. to 425 B.C. tracingOld Testament history with a genealogy from Adam to David . The author compiled this book to emphasize the importance of racial and religious purity, the Temple, the priesthood and the Law.

d. II Chronicles ("The words of the days") Written by Ezra from 450 B.C. to 425 B.C. The history of the reign of King Solomon (971-931 B.C.) and all the kings of Judah from Rehoboam through Zedekiah. Disobedience to the Mosaic Law was the reason for the Babylonian captivity. Reference to the decree of Cyrus in 539 B.C. which allowed the rebuilding of the Temple

e. Ezra This book written by Ezra about 444 B.C. records the fulfillment of God's promise to restore Israel to her land after 70 years of captivity in Babylon with the help of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes as well as Jewish leaders Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai, Zechariah and Ezra. Chapters 1-6 describe these events and chapters 7-10 describe Ezra's return to Jerusalem to help bring spiritual revival to the people.

f. Nehemiah This book was written between 445 B.C. and 425 B.C. by Nehemiah, cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. It is a record of Nehemiah's journey to Jerusalem and his leadership and organizational skills in getting the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt in 52 days. As governor of Judah he exhibited humility, unselfishness, energy, patriotism and integrity.

g. Esther The author is unknown but evidently was Jewish and it was written about 465 B.C. during the reign of King Xerxes. The main characters are Esther, Mordecai, Haman and King Xerxes. The message concerns the danger to God's people, the decision of God's servant and the deliverance of God's people.

4. The Wisdom Books

a. Job The date and authorship of Job is uncertain. Suggestions include Job himself, Elihu, Moses and Solomon . The book wrestles with the age-old question: Why do the righteous suffer, if God is a God of love and mercy? The book chronicles Job's difficult circumstances, his dialogue with his friends,and his deliverance, blessing and refusal to curse God.

b. Psalms ("The Book of Praises") The majority of the Psalms were written during the reigns of David and Solomon during the 10th Century B.C. David is listed as the author of (73), with others written by Solomon (2), the sons of Korah (12), Asaph (12), Heman (1), Ethan (1) and Moses (1). Psalms fall into the following categories: (1) lament or petition (2 ) thanksgiving or praise (3) trust in God (4) concerning Jerusalem (5) wisdom.

c. Proverbs (A comparison) Written by Solomon and other between 950 B.C. and 700 B.C. The theme of the book is wisdom for godly living and includes instructions for almost all aspects of human responses concerning people, habits, attitudes, the family, life and death.

d. Ecclesiastes (Preacher) Solomon is considered to be the author of this book written about 935 B.C. The message can be stated in the form of three propositions: (1) life's seemingly aimless cycles (2) life is to be enjoyed as a gift from God (3) the wise man will live his life in obedience to God

e. Song of Solomon Written by Solomon about 965 B.C. This lyric poem describes Solomon's love, courtship and marriage to a Shulamite girl.

5. The Major Prophets

a. Isaiah The authorship of this book is credited to Isaiah between 740 B.C and 680 B.C. The message of Isaiah deals with the denunciation of Judah, Israel and the nations for their sins; the coming of Messiah; the judgments of God on Judah, Israel and the nations; the greatness of God, salvation; God's program for peace; and the restoration of Israel.

b. Jeremiah Jeremiah wrote this book between 627 B.C. and 585 B.C. Often called the "weeping prophet", Jeremiah's message warned the people of Judah, Judah's kings and false prophets of God's judgment because of their sins and disobedience. He also warned the surrounding nations of God's coming judgment on them.

c. Lamentations ("To cry loud") Jewish tradition attributes the writing of Lamentations in about 586 B.C., during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem to Jeremiah. It consists of five poems that show (1) the desolation of Jerusalem (2) the destruction of Jerusalem (3) the distraught prophet (4) the defeated people of Jerusalem (5) the prayer for the people

d. Ezekiel Ezekiel is credited with writing this book between 592 B.C. and 570 B.C. during his ministry to the exiles in Babylon. His prophesies included judgment against Judah, Jerusalem and the foreign nations; Israel's restoration; and Israel in the Millennial Kingdom

e. Daniel This book was written by Daniel in 537 B.C. This book records the faithfulness of Daniel and his friends to God during their captivity in Babylon. Also contained are important prophecies concerning the Gentile nations and their empires; the 70 weeks of years; and the Antichrist.

6. The Minor Prophets

a. Hosea Hosea authored this book in 710 B.C. while experiencing marriage to an unfaithful wife. God instructed Hosea to warn Israel about her unfaithfulness because of the sins of the people; the certain judgment; and God's loyal love that offered restoration following their repentance.

b. Joel This prophecy was written by Joel in 835 B.C. because of the effects of a severe drought and an invasion of locusts which Joel saw as a punishment for the sins of the people. Joel compared it to The Day of the Lord, which is the major theme of this prophecy and involves God's special intervention in the affairs of human history.

c. Amos Amos wrote this book in 755 B.C. warning Israel and the heathen nations of God's judgment because of their pagan worship and social evils. He used sermons and visions to show how God would judge them.

d. Obadiah The date of this vision of Obadiah is 841 B.C. or 586 B.C. depending upon with which battle of Jerusalem the Edomites were associated. The prophet Obadiah announced the doom of Edom, the denunciation of Edom and the destruction of Edom because of their treatment of Israel.

e. Jonah This book written by Jonah about 760 B.C. is an account of God's call for Jonah to preach to Nineveh, his disobedience, his punishment, his deliverance, his obedience, his message and the response of Nineveh. There are a number of miracles recorded in this book.

f. Micah Micah's message to Judah written about 700 B.C. warned the people of God's judgment on their leaders, the false prophets and Jerusalem. He also prophesied concerning the Coming King and His deliverance of Israel.

g. Nahum This prophecy written by Nahum between 663 B.C. and 612 B.C. told of God's attributes, His anger and His judgment on Nineveh because they had turned their backs on God following the ministry of Jonah and had reverted to their cruel and heathen practices.

h. Habakkuk Habakkuk prophesied just before Nebuchadnezzar first invaded Judah. He questioned why God allowed wicked practices continue in Judah and why God will use wicked people to punish Judah. He praised God for who He is, for His power and His purpose, because he had faith in God.

i. Zephaniah Zephaniah's prophecy took place about 625 B.C. as foretold the judgment of Judah, called Judah to repentance, pronounced God's judgment on the Gentile nations and future blessings for Jews and Gentiles during the Millennium.

j. Haggai Haggai was the first prophet to be heard after the Babylonian Exile. In 520 B.C. He had a four fold call: (1) To complete the Temple (2) To take courage in the Lord (3) To live a clean life (4) To have confidence in the future.

k. Zechariah This prophecy written by Zechariah between 520-518 B.C. is a book of consolation and hope. There is a call to repentance; Zechariah's prophetic visions of the Messiah's coming, His rejection, and the return and and reign of Christ.

l. Malachi Between 450 B.C. and 400 B.C. Malachi used a series of questions and answers to show the people God's love for Israel, their backslidden condition and the nature of God's judgment. He called the people to repentance and true worship of God.

 New Testament

1. The Gospels

a. Matthew Written by Matthew, a tax collector, also known as Levi between 50 A.D. and 69 A.D. to answer questions the Jews had about Jesus of Nazareth who claimed to be their Messiah. This book contains Jesus' genealogy, His birth, ministry, miracles, sermons, presentation of Himself as the Son of God, His death, burial, resurrection and commissioning of His disciples. The theme of this gospel is Christ the King.

b. Mark Written by John Mark, for Gentile readers in general and Roman readers in particular. The theme of this gospel is "Christ the Servant" and His service, sacrifice and success from the time of John the Baptist until His ascension to heaven following His resurrection. Written between 50 A.D. and 69 A.D.

c. Luke The author is Luke, the physician, close friend and companion of Paul. He was not an eyewitness of the life of Jesus but consulted with the eyewitnesses and arranged the information under the guidance of the Holy Spirit about 60 A.D. Luke's theme is "Christ the Son of Man" and narrates many of the events from the announcement of His birth through His Ascension.

d. John The writer of this gospel is identified as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and is more than likely John the son of Zebedee. The theme of this gospel is "Christ the Son of God" and is seen in the titles give Him: The Word was God; the Lamb of God; the Messiah; the Son of God; the King of Israel; the Savior of the world: Lord and...God Written 85-90 A.D.

2. The Acts of the Apostles This account written by Luke about 61 A.D. gives a record of the spread of Christianity from the giving of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost until Paul's arrival in Rome to preach the gospel, a period of about 30 years. Chapters 1-12 concern the ministry of Peter, Stephen, Philip, Barnabas, and James. Chapters 12-28 present Paul's conversion, call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles and his missionary journeys.

 3. The Pauline Epistles

a. Romans Paul wrote this letter about 57-58 A.D. to the church in Rome to help prepare the way for his ministry there. The main theme of the letter is doctrine of justification by faith. Other Christian doctrines are discussed: natural revelation, universality of sin, spiritual gifts and respect for government.

b. I Corinthians Written by Paul to the church in Corinth about 55 A.D. toconfront problems faced by the people. He gave instructions on how to deal with divisions in the church, immorality, and questions concerning marriage, worship, food, the resurrection, love, spiritual gifts, the Lord's supper and the Holy Spirit.

c. II Corinthians Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth was written about 56 A.D. following his visit to Corinth to help resolve the problems addressed in I Corinthians. The purpose of this letter was to express Paul's joy for their response to his ministry, remind them of their commitment to the offering for the Christians in Judea and to defend his apostolic authority.

d. Galatians Paul wrote this epistle in either 49 A.D. or 55 A.D. to the churches in Galatia. Justification by faith is defended, explained and applied in this portion of Scripture. Paul also recounts his three years in Arabia, his correction of Peter, the law as a tutor and the fruit of the Spirit.

e. Ephesians Paul wrote this epistle, while in prison, to the church in Ephesus in 61 A.D. to strengthen the faith of the Christians concerning God's eternal purpose: to establish and complete His body, the Church. The importance of using the whole armor of God to stand against the attacks of Satan is emphasized.

f. Philippians In this letter written in 61 A.D. from prison, Paul warns the believers in Philippi against rivalries and personal ambition, the teaching of the Judaizers, perfectionism, and enemies of the cross of Christ. Paul also emphasizes the importance of prayer in the life of the believer.

g. Colossians Paul wrote this epistle to the church at Colossae in 61 A.D. to rebuke those involved with false teaching fusing of Jewish legalism, Greek philosophy, and Oriental mysticism with salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

h. I Thessalonians Paul wrote this letter in 51 A.D. to the church at Thessalonica to express his thankfulness, to defend himself against slander of his ministry. He encouraged new converts to stand against persecution, answered questions about what happens to Christians who die before Christ's return and discussed problems in the life of the church.

i. II Thessalonians Paul wrote this epistle in 51 A.D. shortly after I Thessalonians to correct a misunderstanding of his teaching concerning the coming of the Day of the Lord.

j. I Timothy Paul wrote this epistle to Timothy sometime between 63 and 66 A.D. with instructions concerning doctrine, worship, leaders, dangers and various duties involved with his ministry.

k. II Timothy Paul's second letter to Timothy in 67 A.D. encouraged Timothy to Endure hardship as a "good soldier of Christ'. He spoke of the Call, Character, Caution, Charge and Comfort of the Soldier of Christ.

l. Titus Paul wrote this epistle to Titus between 63 and 66 A.D. when Titus was in Crete supervising the churches in that area. Topics discussed include qualifications for elders, instructions to various age groups, and the relation of regeneration to human works and to the Holy Spirit.

m. Philemon Paul wrote this letter to Philemon to help restore his relationship to his servant Onesimus, who had stolen from his master, run away to Rome, and been converted to Christ under Paul's ministry. The letter also gave instructions to other Christian masters in the relationships to their slave-brothers.

4. The General Epistles

a. Hebrews The author of this epistle, written between 64 and 68 A.D. is uncertain. The epistle was an exhortation to Jewish Christians not to abandon their faith in Christ and return to Judaism as they considered the superiority of the Person, Priesthood and Power of Christ in their lives.

b. James More than likely this epistle was written by James, the half- brother of Jesus, between 45 and 50 A.D. to believers everywhere. The book is concerned with the practical aspects of Christian conduct regarding faith and works, the use of the tongue and prayer for the sick.

c. I Peter Written in 63-64 A.D. by Peter to Christians scattered throughout the. world. The theme of the book is "the true grace of God" and is demonstrated in the security, sobriety, submission, suffering and service of the followers of Christ.

d. II Peter Peter wrote this epistle in 66 A.D. most likely from Rome to remind of believers of the truth of Christianity as opposed to the heresies of false teachers. Important passages cover the Transfiguration, the inspiration of Scripture, and the certainty of the second coming of Christ.

e. I John Written in 90 A.D. by the apostle John to show his concern for the spiritual welfare of his "little children" and the necessity of fellowship and its conditions, conduct, characteristics, cautions and consequences.

f. II John John wrote this letter to the "elect lady", either an individual Christian and her family or a particular church, to encourage walking in the truth, loving one another and opposing false teachers.

g. III John John wrote this personal letter to Gaius in 90 A.D. to commend him for his hospitality and address the problem regarding the treatment of traveling teachers and the refusal of some persons in the church to receive them.

h. Jude This epistle was written between 70 and 80 A.D. by Jude, the half- brother of Jesus to defend the apostolic faith against false teachings that were arising in the churches. Jude exhorts his readers to "earnestly contend for the faith."

5. The Book of Revelation

Revelation Written by John 90 A.D and later. John tells of his vision and the message for the seven churches and prophecies concerning the Tribulation period, the judgments, wars, the Antichrist, the false prophet, the second coming of Christ, the advent of Christ, Armageddon, the binding of Satan, the Millennial reign of Christ, sinners rebellion and judgment, and the New Jerusalem.

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