Concise Bible History

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Many of the New Testament books were originally written as letters rather than as Scripture.

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Some Bible writings include the authors' own research and recollection of historical events Luke 1: There was no "official" list of accepted books of Jewish scripture until around A. This revision accounts for the fact that Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians use slightly different versions of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, was born a Jew and practiced Judaism all His earthly life.

Christianity began as a sect of Judaism and only emerged as a separate religion after large numbers of Gentiles had been converted. The Jewish Scripture had predicted the coming of a savior, the Messiah, and Jesus fulfilled that role. So it is natural that Christians would retain the Jewish Scripture as part of their Bible.

What is the difference between Protestant and Catholic Bibles? In addition to the Ten Commandments, the Old Testament lists many other laws about circumcision, dietary restrictions, blood sacrifices, Sabbath observance, tithing, social welfare, crimes, social behavior, armies, qualifications of leaders, etc.

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These laws regulated almost every aspect of Hebrew life. God intended for the Israelites to live according to His commandments and to show the truth of God to all the world Genesis However, time and again, the Israelites lost sight of their mission and lapsed into idolatry, sin or narrow-minded nationalism. On these occasions, God called prophets, such as Elijah, Samuel, Jonah, Isaiah and many others, to lead them back to the right path. The Old Testament writings make no attempt to hide the fact that the Israelites and their leaders had many failings and flaws.

Yet, through these flawed people, God was able to accomplish His purposes in the world. The later Hebrew prophets foresaw the coming of a Messiah meaning "anointed one" , a king who would usher in a golden era of peace and prosperity. More than any other nation, the Israelites looked to the future, to the coming of the Messiah, and to the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham to make of his descendants a great nation.

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The Ten Commandments , Abraham. The collection of books we know as the New Testament emerged in the late second century, A. The church leaders accepted books they believed were based on eyewitness accounts of the events narrated, while rejecting many other early Christian writings. Eventually, the 27 books which form the present New Testament, along with the Old Testament books, became the Christian Bible as we know it today. Jesus traveled from town to town, healing the sick and preaching about the coming kingdom of God. He taught that God's kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that is now growing among the faithful, and it will find its fulfillment in the eventual sovereign rule of God and defeat of all evil.

Jesus said He will come again someday to bring God's kingdom to fulfillment.

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He promised a wonderful eternal life after death for those who put their trust in God and obey His commandments. Many of the Jews had expected the Messiah to be a great political and military leader who would defeat Israel's enemies, but Jesus saw His kingdom as spiritual rather than worldly. He taught the way to victory is not through force and violence, but through love, humility, and service to mankind.

Jesus was not the type of "Messiah" the Jews had expected, and many of them rejected Jesus and His teachings. The religious establishment of Israel saw Jesus as a threat. His claims of divine authority and His refusal to follow some of their religious rules were usurping their authority over the people.

This conflict ultimately led to Jesus' execution by crucifixion only three years after He had begun His ministry. Three days after His death, Jesus' body was discovered missing from the tomb, and over the next 40 days Many people saw Him alive again, and He talked with His disciples.

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At the end of 40 days, He ascended to heaven, returning to God, His Father. Jesus' miraculous resurrection convinced many people that He truly was the Christ and their personal savior as well. Christianity was born, and Jesus' former disciples became its leaders. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as the Son of God, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, and as the means of our personal salvation from the power of sin and death.

Jesus taught that love of God and love of other people are the two "Greatest Commandments" that should totally guide our lives. He taught obedience to God and love for all people, both Jews and Gentiles, and even for enemies! Jesus did not abolish the moral and ethical laws that had been in effect from the time of Moses.

Summary and History of the Bible

He affirmed and expanded upon those principles, but He said obedience must be from the heart attitudes and intentions rather than just technical observance of the letter of the law. Jesus and His apostles gave us a radically new understanding of the true intent of the Old Testament Law; they brought a new era of the rule of love for all people and spiritual truth instead of rule by law. The young Christian communities suffered much persecution from the Jewish religious establishment and from the Roman Empire.

Saul, a member of the Jewish religious establishment, was one of the fiercest persecutors of Christians. One day, while on the road to Damascus, Saul saw a blinding light and Jesus spoke to him saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?

Now known as Paul, he became a zealous Christian missionary and extended Christianity outside Judaism, founding many Christian communities in the Gentile world. Paul wrote many letters to the people of the churches he had founded. Johnson was formerly Head of Biblical Studies at Redcliffe College, Gloucester, and is an honorary fellow of the college.

He currently works as a secondhand theology bookseller and as a freelance writer. Log In to sync your basket across devices. About Meet the Author. Paul Lawrence Paul Lawrence Ph. Richard I Johnson Richard I. In this handy-sized reference, you get both. Here is a superb introduction to the Bible's history, geography and archaeology, packed with absorbing information that offers a hundred maps a variety of panoramic reconstructions multiple site plans dozens of color photographs clear chronological charts an index and gazetteer This atlas traces the unfolding of the major events in the Old and New Testaments and draws on the latest findings of historians and archaeologists.

Starting from the dawn of time, it breaks down thousands of years into easy-to-digest segments.

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