Demystifying The Bible

“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”—Mark Twain

"You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."—Deuteronomy 11:19

It's Intimidating
Are you intimidated by the Bible with its couple of thousand text-dense pages? If so, you're not alone. Too many Bibles sit on end tables and nightstands, bindings uncracked. Why is it so hard to get into God's Word?

We've already touched on part of the answer – the Bible is a big book! But many of us also struggle with a fear of the unknown. We may have grown up hearing lots of "Bible stories," but we don't know too much about the book itself. So let's learn a few Bible basics – let's demystify the Scriptures with a brief overview so that we can start enjoying the riches it contains.

The Key Parts

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Part One | The Old Testament
Maybe it'll help to think of the Bible not as one big book, but rather as a collection of books gathered in one volume. The first 39 books make up what we call the Old Testament – all the stuff that happened before Jesus came along. Talk about adventure and suspense, comedy and drama, history and romance, mystery and intrigue, heroes and villains – the Bible has it all. We find ourselves engrossed in the story of creation, the patriarchs of the faith, the Exodus from Egypt, the conquest of Israel, the time of the judges, the succession of kings, the war within Israel, and the period of rebuilding. And threaded through it all is a three-faceted theme: the problem of evil, the redemption of man, and the need for faith in God.

Part Two | The New Testament
The New Testament comprises 27 books and personal letters that relate the good news of God's grace and mercy, and the salvation He makes possible through His Son Jesus Christ. The first four books – the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – chronicle Jesus' birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection, setting the stage for the building of His church. What follows are the often heart-wrenching writings of His disciples as they established the church, corresponded with local bodies of believers and their leaders, and carried Jesus' message to the rest of the known world.

Part Three | The "Meta-Narrative"
The meta-narrative, the focus of the entire Bible, is, of course, Jesus Christ Himself. He is what ties it all together – every theme, story, and promise from the Old Testament points to Him and is fulfilled in Him. We discover in the New Testament that Jesus becomes the new:

  • ADAM – perfect as a man
  • KING – appointed by God
  • KINGDOM – establishing one out of all nations
  • TEMPLE – constructed in the heart of a man by the Holy Spirit
  • PRIEST – who offers a propitiation for sins
  • ATONEMENT – who atones for all sin in all time
  • SACRIFICE – giving his life on the cross for us
  • JUDGE – who is just in all dealings
  • CREATION – dying to create a new life
  • LAW – one governed by grace through faith

We call the Bible "God's Word" because He inspired it. He reveals Himself in its pages, and to read it, ponder it, study it, and even commit it to memory, is to know Him better and better. So let's stop cheating ourselves of the wisdom, instruction, inspiration, and joy to be found between its opening words "In the beginning…" and its final "Amen" – and get up close and personal with our Father, the Creator and King of the universe.

Vince Miller Speaking All In

Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is 20 Lessons That Build A Leader.

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