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The Bible Story Line:

  • The Bible Is God-inspired. This means men wrote it, but the Holy Spirit guided their direction on what to write. There are 66 books in the Bible. It is divided into 2 significant sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  • In the Old Testament God creates the world and all that is within it. Adam and Eve were living in perfect union with God, but through the influence of the devil (serpent) and free will, they chose to disobey God's direct command. Through this act, sin enters into the world and creates separation between God and man. Throughout, we see the struggle and brokenness of man, but within it, we see a merciful God who, in his love, sets forth a plan that starts with a promise to Abraham to restore all mankind through his descendants, the Israelites. The O.T. is the prediction and preparation for the coming savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

  • The New Testament contains Jesus’ miraculous birth, life, ministry, death, & resurrection. After the ascension of Jesus (Jesus returns to heaven), the promise of the Holy Spirit came upon those who believed in Jesus (both Jew & Gentile - means not Jewish). The Holy Spirit is the seal (or assurance) of salvation and the power through which Jesus’s followers live out their lives for God. The New Testament is also a guide for how the church and believers are to live. It is preparation for Jesus’s second coming, in which a new Heaven and new Earth will be established (this is yet to come).

Why are there two testaments (Old & New) and what are the differences?

The word testament means something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality. Throughout scripture, there are pivotal verses that shape major points and themes of scripture. I want to help point out 2 verses that help identify the differences between the Old and New Testaments. As we look at the two differences, please note that what separates the Old and New Testaments is Jesus. The Old Testament happened before Jesus's birth; the New Testament represents Jesus's birth, ministry, death, and ascension. It also describes the earlier church and predicts the return of Christ. We find these two clear distinctions in the following places.
  1. Jeremiah 31:31-33 predicts the coming of Jesus known, as the “Messiah,” meaning he has not arrived yet.
  2. Luke 22:20 points towards this idea of a new covenant, that Jesus declares.
This helps us see a clear distinction between the “Old” and “New” Testaments within the context of scripture itself.
Old Testament -
  • Total Book Count: 39 Books
  • Language:  Hebrew & Aramaic
New Testament -
  • Total Book Count: 27 Books
  • Language: Greek

How was the Bible formed, and can I trust it?

Can I trust it... Absolutely! 
One of the biggest questions I get from any new believer is whether they can trust the Bible. I like to help them to understand how it was formed to shed light on how we can trust it. Below we go through just a very quick snapshot of that, but here are a few resources below for you to dig deeper into these topics that I think will be very helpful as you grow in your faith and understanding of the formation of the Bible.

Old Testament:
Our historical roots derive from a Jewish background and culture, so when we look at the Old Testament specifically we will have the same books that you would find in the Hebrew Bible (known to Judaism as the Tanak) dating back thousands of years. The only difference that we will find when we compare Christian Old Testament to Hebrew scriptures is how they categorize these books. The Old Testament books are believed to have been written over roughly a thousand-year span dating to the mid-second to the mid-first millennium BC. The Old Testament was fully established before Jesus and we even see Jesus reference the Old Testament during his earthly ministry.

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New Testament:
The New Testament was written roughly around 45-90AD. These writings were immediately embraced by early Christians as scripture based on their understanding that these were eyewitness accounts of those who saw Jesus and observed his ministry. Author Timothy Paul Jones states the following, “the four Gospels, Acts, the writings of Paul, and at least the first epistle from John—was well-established in the churches no later than the second century. It took some other writings longer to become well-known, and Christians did debate the authenticity of a few texts. And yet, in time, Christians concluded together that a total of twenty-seven books—the texts that we know today as “the New Testament”—could be traced back to apostolic testimony from the first century AD. Christians kept the texts they kept because these texts could be traced back to eyewitnesses from the apostolic era.” Not only does this scholar make this point, but so many others do as well.

Figure: 4