The Bible From Start to Finish
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These studies by Freda Hawkes pick out important parts of the bible, from the first book, Genesis, to the last book, Revelation. Each study has notes helping you understand the context and the unusual words. You can study individually, or as a small group. By the end you’ll have a good idea of what the bible is all about. Then go back and read more of the parts that interest you! More
The Bible from Start to Finish is designed to help you begin to read and understand the bible. “Bible” comes from a Greek word “biblios” meaning “the books”. The bible is a series of 66 books, like a library. The many books together tell one major story. God, the creator, made human beings to have a relationship with him. Humans rebelled against God, but he made a plan to save the world – to send us Jesus Christ. This is good news for us today.
The books of the bible cover a period of recorded history from before 2000 BC to about 95 AD. The story of Jesus divides our history into BC and AD. In the same way the bible is divided into the Old Testament (before Jesus lived on earth) and the New Testament. The bible is set in what we now call the Middle East. The Old Testament was mostly written in classical Hebrew, related to the Jewish language now spoken in Israel, with some sections in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek, the common language of the Roman Empire. The names of people and places, the geography and the historical context are all strange to us.
It is not easy to start reading the bible for the first time, as you can soon get lost in unfamiliar details, but it is important to work through the bible to see the main story developing. To use these studies, you need to read the bible, either a printed copy or online. For 400 years the bible has been available in English. The English translation now often used is the New International Version (NIV). The questions in the studies are based on the NIV. These studies pick out important parts of the bible, from the first book, Genesis, to the last book, Revelation. Each study has notes helping you understand the context and the unusual words. You can study individually, or as a small group. Each study could take you about an hour. There are 20 studies from start to finish, and you might prefer to do one study a week. The introduction to each study includes helpful background information and a summary of the story so far. If you study in a group and new people join in, they should be able to follow what you are doing. By the end you will have a good idea of what the bible is all about. Then go back and read more of the parts that interest you.