H O W T O U N D E R S T A N D T H E B I B L E A S A W H O L E

wtsbooks.com

H O W T O U N D E R S T A N D T H E B I B L E A S A W H O L E

TheBible

Overview

H O W T O U N D E R S T A N D T H E B I B L E A S A W H O L E


TheBible

Overview

H O W T O U N D E R S T A N D

T H E B I B L E A S A W H O L E

Written by Matthew Brain, Matthew A. Malcolm,

Matthew R. Malcolm and Greg Clarke


The Bible Overview

© M. Brain, M. A. Malcolm, M. R. Malcolm, Matthias Media, 200ı.

Original artwork by Immki Quek and Ollie Lindsell.

Matthias Media

(St Matthias Press Ltd ACN 067 558 365)

PO Box 225

Kingsford NSW 2032

Australia

Telephone: (02) 9663 ı478; international: +6ı-2-9663-ı478

Facsimile: (02) 9663 3265; international: +6ı-2-9663-3265

Email: info@matthiasmedia.com.au

Internet: www.matthiasmedia.com.au

Matthias Media (USA)

Telephone: 330 953 1702; international: +1-330-953-1702

Facsimile: 330 953 1712; international: +1-330-953-1712

Email: sales@matthiasmedia.com

Internet: www.matthiasmedia.com

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL

VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. All rights

reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

ISBN 978 1 876326 34 0

All rights reserved. Except as may be permitted by the Copyright Act, no

part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means

without prior permission from the publisher.

Cover design and typesetting by Lankshear Design.


Welcome to

The Bible Overview

Have you ever tried putting together a jigsaw puzzle without

a picture of what it is meant to look like when it is all

assembled

It is almost impossible to fit the pieces together properly unless

you know what you are aiming for.

This short course is designed to give you an understanding of the

Bible as a whole. Like the jigsaw, it is much harder to understand

any one part of the Bible if you don’t have some grasp of the whole

book. Once you have this overview of the book, some of the smaller

parts don’t seem so confusing or difficult to understand.

This is a course for everyone, from children to grandparents, from

students of the Bible to those who are reading it for the first time.

It is designed to work like a guided tour. We provide a map, explain

the route, and point out landmarks and signposts along the way. It is

our hope that this will mean that you can come back to the Bible on

your own, confident that you know the terrain.

May God reward you on your travels.

M. Brain, M. A. Malcolm, M. R. Malcolm, G. Clarke

W E L C O M E | T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W 3


C O N T E N T S

Inside the pages of this booklet, you will find the 15 stages of

the unfolding story of the Bible as they will be explained during

The Bible Overview presentations. To explain each stage, we have

included:

• a verse or two from the Bible which introduces or

summarizes the stage

• a picture and summary word to make it easy to remember the

details of each stage

• a short explanation of what the stage is about, so that you can

remind yourself of it after the course is finished

• a few extra Bible verses for use in the Old Testament and New

Testament presentations.

After these 15 stages, there is a chart showing how these stages are

connected with each other. During the course of The Bible Overview

presentations, your course leader will construct this diagram on

a screen, or a display board or wall, using pictures which match the

ones in your book. The last few pages of the booklet provide a oneparagraph

summary of the story of the Bible and a quick-reference

chart for using the COMA method of understanding a Bible passage.

C O N T E N T S | T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W 5


S T A G E 1

C R E A T I O N

G E N E S I S 1 : 3 1 - 2 : 1

31

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

And there was evening, and there was morning—the

sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were

completed in all their vast array.

God made the world and everything

in it, and he made humans in his own

image. The first humans were Adam

and Eve. As Creator of the world, God

is the ruler (or king) of it. However, God

blessed Adam and Eve and appointed

them to be rulers over his creation.

6

T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W |

C R E A T I O N


Who God is

G E N E S I S 1 : 1

1

In the beginning God created the

heavens and the earth.

J O H N 1 : 1 - 4

1

In the beginning was the Word, and

the Word was with God, and the Word

was God. 2 He was with God in the

beginning. 3 Through him all things

were made; without him nothing was

made that has been made. 4 In him was

life, and that life was the light of men.

What God does

G E N E S I S 1 : 2 7 - 3 1

27

So God created man in his own

image, in the image of God he created

him; male and female he created them.

28

God blessed them and said to them,

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill

the earth and subdue it. Rule over the

fish of the sea and the birds of the air

and over every living creature that

moves on the ground.” 29 Then God

said, “I give you every seed-bearing

plant on the face of the whole earth and

every tree that has fruit with seed in it.

They will be yours for food. 30 And to all

the beasts of the earth and all the birds

of the air and all the creatures that

move on the ground—everything that

has the breath of life in it—I give every

green plant for food.” And it was so.

31

God saw all that he had made,

and it was very good. And there was

evening, and there was morning—the

sixth day.

How God works

P S A L M 3 3 : 9

9

For he spoke, and it came to be; he

commanded, and it stood firm.

H E B R E W S 1 1 : 3

3

By faith we understand that the

universe was formed at God’s

command, so that what is seen was not

made out of what was visible.

C R E A T I O N | T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W 7


S T A G E 2

T H E F A L L

G E N E S I S 1 1 : 4

4

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city,

with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we

may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered

over the face of the whole earth”.

Adam and Eve chose to reject God their

ruler (or king). The effects of rejecting

God were devastating. As a result,

humans no longer relate rightly to God,

to each other, or to the creation in

which we’ve been placed.

The people tried to build a tower

so huge that they could make a

“name” for themselves apart from

God. People followed in Adam and

Eve’s footsteps, crying out to God,

“We know better—we’ll do things our

way!” God’s response to humanity’s

actions at Babel was to confuse their

language, so that they could not

complete the tower, and to scatter

them over the whole earth.

8

T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W |

T H E F A L L


Who God is

G E N E S I S 6 : 5 - 6

5

The Lord saw how great man’s

wickedness on the earth had become,

and that every inclination of the

thoughts of his heart was only evil all

the time. 6 The Lord was grieved that

he had made man on the earth, and his

heart was filled with pain.

R O M A N S 1 : 1 8 - 2 0

18

The wrath of God is being revealed

from heaven against all the godlessness

and wickedness of men who suppress

the truth by their wickedness, 19 since

what may be known about God is plain

to them, because God has made it plain

to them. 20 For since the creation of the

world God’s invisible qualities—his

eternal power and divine nature—have

been clearly seen, being understood from

what has been made, so that men are

without excuse.

What God does

G E N E S I S 3 : 1 4 - 1 9

14

So the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, “Cursed are

you above all the livestock and all the wild

animals! You will crawl on your belly and

you will eat dust all the days of your life.

15

And I will put enmity between you

and the woman, and between your

offspring and hers; he will crush your

head, and you will strike his heel.”

16

To the woman he said, “I will greatly

increase your pains in childbearing; with

pain you will give birth to children. Your

desire will be for your husband, and he

will rule over you.”

17

To Adam he said, “Because you

listened to your wife and ate from the

tree about which I commanded you, ‘You

must not eat of it’, “cursed is the ground

because of you; through painful toil you

will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It

will produce thorns and thistles for you,

and you will eat the plants of the field.

19

By the sweat of your brow you will eat

your food until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken; for dust

you are and to dust you will return.”

R O M A N S 5 : 1 2

12

Therefore, just as sin entered the

world through one man, and death

through sin, and in this way death came

to all men, because all sinned…

How God works

G E N E S I S 1 1 : 8 - 9

8

So the Lord scattered them from there

over all the earth, and they stopped

building the city. 9 That is why it was

called Babel—because there the Lord

confused the language of the whole

world. From there the Lord scattered

them over the face of the whole earth.

T H E F A L L | T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W 9


S T A G E 3

T H E P L E D G E

G E N E S I S 1 2 : 1 - 3

1

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country,

your people and your father’s household and go to the

land I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great

nation and I will bless you; I will make your name

great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those

who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

God chose one man, Abraham, and made

a special pledge to him (also called a

‘covenant’ or ‘promise’). Whereas at

Babel, the people had sought to make

a name for themselves, God promised

to make a “name” for Abraham, and

pledged to him a special relationship.

God would make a great nation from

Abraham’s descendants, and give them

a land of their own. He did this so that

in the end, the whole world would be

blessed, and humanity’s rejection of God

would not go on forever.

10

T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W |

T H E P L E D G E


Who God is

G E N E S I S 1 2 : 1 - 3 (see opposite page)

G A L A T I A N S 3 : 6 - 9

6

Consider Abraham: “He believed God,

and it was credited to him as

righteousness”. 7 Understand, then,

that those who believe are children of

Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that

God would justify the Gentiles by faith,

and announced the gospel in advance to

Abraham: “All nations will be blessed

through you”. 9 So those who have faith

are blessed along with Abraham, the

man of faith.

What God does

G E N E S I S 1 7 : 7

7

I will establish my covenant as an

everlasting covenant between me and

you and your descendants after you for

the generations to come, to be your

God and the God of your descendants

after you.

H E B R E W S 6 : 1 3 - 2 0

13

When God made his promise to

Abraham, since there was no one greater

for him to swear by, he swore by himself,

14

saying, “I will surely bless you and give

you many descendants”. 15 And so after

waiting patiently, Abraham received what

was promised.

16

Men swear by someone greater

than themselves, and the oath confirms

what is said and puts an end to all

argument. 17 Because God wanted to

make the unchanging nature of his

purpose very clear to the heirs of what

was promised, he confirmed it with an

oath. 18 God did this so that, by two

unchangeable things in which it is

impossible for God to lie, we who have

fled to take hold of the hope offered to

us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We

have this hope as an anchor for the soul,

firm and secure. It enters the inner

sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where

Jesus, who went before us, has entered

on our behalf. He has become a high

priest forever, in the order of

Melchizedek.

How God works

G E N E S I S 1 5 : 5 - 6

5 He took him outside and said, “Look

up at the heavens and count the stars—

if indeed you can count them”. Then he

said to him, “So shall your offspring be”.

6 Abram believed the Lord, and he

credited it to him as righteousness.

G A L A T I A N S 3 : 6 - 7

6

Consider Abraham: “He believed God,

and it was credited to him as

righteousness”. 7 Understand, then,

that those who believe are children of

Abraham.

T H E P L E D G E | T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W 11


S T A G E 4

E X O D U S F R O M S L A V E R Y

E X O D U S 2 : 2 3 - 2 4

23

During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The

Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and

their cry for help because of their slavery went up to

God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered

his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.

E X O D U S 1 4 : 2 9 - 3 0

29

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground,

with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

30

That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the

Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on

the shore.

Abraham’s descendants became

known as “Israel”. They went to

Egypt, and there they were made

slaves for about 400 years. But God

had not forgotten his pledge to

Abraham. God saved his people Israel

from slavery in Egypt, by bringing

them through the sea.

12

T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W |

E X O D U S F R O M S L A V E R Y


Who God is

E X O D U S 6 : 2 - 8

2

God also said to Moses, “I am the

Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac

and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my

name the Lord I did not make myself

known to them. 4 I also established my

covenant with them to give them the

land of Canaan, where they lived as

aliens. 5 Moreover, I have heard the

groaning of the Israelites, whom the

Egyptians are enslaving, and I have

remembered my covenant.

6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites:

‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you

out from under the yoke of the

Egyptians. I will free you from being

slaves to them, and I will redeem you

with an outstretched arm and with

mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take

you as my own people, and I will be

your God. Then you will know that I

am the Lord your God, who brought

you out from under the yoke of the

Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the

land I swore with uplifted hand to give

to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I

will give it to you as a possession. I am

the Lord.’”

What God does

E X O D U S 2 0 : 1 - 2

1

And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am

the Lord your God, who brought you

out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

How God works

E X O D U S 1 5 : 7 - 1 0

7 “In the greatness of your majesty you

threw down those who opposed you.

You unleashed your burning anger; it

consumed them like stubble. 8 By the

blast of your nostrils the waters piled up.

The surging waters stood firm like a

wall; the deep waters congealed in the

heart of the sea. 9 The enemy boasted,

‘I will pursue, I will overtake them.

I will divide the spoils; I will gorge

myself on them. I will draw my sword

and my hand will destroy them.’ 10 But

you blew with your breath, and the sea

covered them. They sank like lead in the

mighty waters.”

1 P E T E R 2 : 9 - 1 0

9

But you are a chosen people, a royal

priesthood, a holy nation, a people

belonging to God, that you may declare

the praises of him who called you out

of darkness into his wonderful light.

10 Once you were not a people, but now

you are the people of God; once you

had not received mercy, but now you

have received mercy.

E X O D U S F R O M S L A V E R Y | T H E B I B L E O V E R V I E W 13

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines