Making sense of the Bible 2 (notes are intended for the many migrants I have taught Australian English)
The divisions of the Bible are important. The obvious division is Old Testament/New Testament. Testament means 'covenant, agreement'. It is evident in the narrative of the Bible, that the unchanging God connects with different people in different ways at different times. (Hebrews 1)
The two covenants are summarized in John Chapter 1:
"The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ".
Looking at the Old, the first five books (Genesis to Deuteronomy) are called Torah. These were given to the Hebrews by Moses (Israelites later called Jews).
The second section is a candid record of the Israelite nation in the land of Canaan. It is not a very impressive story, but details the good and the bad.
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of songs are prose, poetry, praise, wisdom and romance books.
Isaiah through to Malachi are the messages of the prophets who warned Israel and the nations to turn to the Lord. They often spoke into the future of both judgement and restoration. Included are many prophecies about the anticipated Messiah – Jesus.
I encourage you to look among the Psalms – they can cheer your day like nothing else.
Next time – New Testament