Published on February 21, 2014
Divisions: OLD & NEW Testaments Organization of the internetmonk.com Bible Part 2 Image:
KEY POINTS THE Have confidence in the authority of the biblical canon as God’s inspired message You better can understand THE BIG STORY by knowing the old and new testament divisions. When you have familiarity with Scripture’s divisions, you become more comfortable reading, studying and applying it.
Let’s talk about the canon & divisions
The biblical canon is God’s
Biblical Canon Primary Features
1 Inspired by God 2 Divine Authority 3 Accepted as Scripture
“It is a mistake to say that the church determines, forms, or judges the canon. Rather, God determines the canon” (Bernard, 2005. p. 23).
The 39 Old & 27 New Testament books form the biblical canon. Inspired Authoritative Accepted
THE BIG STORY “The Bible tells one Big Story. The Old Testament introduces the Hero ─ Yahweh. The New Testament tells how Yahweh became a man. Not two stories. One; God is the Hero in both Testaments”(Norris, 2010, p. 8).
Learning about the Bible’s groups (or divisions)
Groups (Or Divisions) Within each testament
The New Testament has 27 books The Old Testament has 39 books. The OT divides into 4 groups. The New Testament divides into 4 groups, too. The 4 OT groups are Law (5 books), History (12), Poetry (5) & Prophecy (17). The 4 NT groups are Gospels (4 books), History (1) Letters (21) & Prophecy (1).
OLD TESTAMENT (4): Books of HISTORY LAW PROPHECY POETRY
Did you know? The New Testament did not exist at the formation of the early church, rather the Apostles relied on their knowledge of the Old Testament and first-hand, eye witness accounts of Jesus’ teaching as they taught and preached under the anointing of His Spirit.
LAW (Also, the Torah or Pentateuch) God reveals Himself as the Creator, a loving and patient Father, Provider and just Judge Who wants to bless His creation (Root, 1998, p. 20) Contains categories of corporate blessings for covenant faithfulness and curses for disobedience (Fee & Stuart, 2003, p. 187) Provides the setting in which God gave the Hebrews His redemptive plan and divine law (Coogan, 2009; Halley, 2000; Root, 1998)
L A W Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy
HISTORY Relates a connected history of Israel from Moses’ death to its restoration after Babylonian captivity Tells the effects of following God’s law and disobeying it Deals primarily with the Hebrews, from whom the Christ would come; and records preparation for the coming Messiah (Root, 1998)
H I S T O R Y Joshua Judges 1 & 2 Samuel 1 & 2 Kings 1 & 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther
POETRY (Also, Wisdom) The writing spanned from Abraham through the Old Testament’s end Highlights godly choices—Fee & Stuart say that within the inspired biblical wisdom, good choices are godly choices (2003, p. 288). Was a medium prophets used to give their message because of its appeal. One can read, for example, of the coming Messiah in the royal psalms (Johnson, 2005; Root, 1998)
P O E T R Y Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon
PROPHECY Prophets were covenant enforcement mediators who delivered God's word. Their inspired message would be an example for generations. Prophecy exists as two elements: Forthtelling and foretelling. Forthtelling: Prophets addressed the issues, people and nations of their day. Foretelling: Prophets delivered God's will for the future regarding Israel, nations and the 1st & 2nd comings of the Messiah.
P R O P H E C Y MAJOR Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel MINOR Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
What do you think?
NEW TESTAMENT (4): Books of GOSPEL HISTORY PROPHECY LETTERS
Did you know? Marcion, in AD 140, dismissed the Old Testament and books that favored Jewish readers like Matthew, Mark, Acts and Hebrews. “This nudged the church into thinking about forming a New Testament” (Shelley, 2008, p. 64) for an authoritative list of inspired writings (churchhistory101.com).
GOSPELS Gives the good news of salvation through the teachings of Jesus and stories about Him (Fee & Stuart, 2003, p. 127) Provides the “testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (God manifested in flesh) from four perspectives: Matthew (Jesus, the King of Israel), Mark (Jesus, the Servant), Luke (Jesus, the Man) and John (Jesus, the Almighty God)” (Cox, 2013)
G O S P E L S Matthew Mark Luke John
HISTORY Containing the Book of Acts, it records the early church’s history, tells how people become Christians, chronicles the early missionary movement from Jerusalem to Rome and the way the Church grew upon the outpouring of the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant Bridges the gospels with the letters in the New Testament canon (Shelley, 2008; Tenney, 2005; Root, 1998)
H I S T O R Y Acts
LETTERS (Also, the Epistles) Gives Paul’s and other writers’ correspondence to churches and/or individuals for teaching and counsel Provides clarity and encouragement for application of the Gospel message (Tenney, 2009; Root, 1998)
L E T T E R S Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1,2 & 3 John, Jude
PROPHECY Contains both prophetic and apocalyptic message Records the revelation of Jesus Christ. Shows conflict between good and evil, as well as the final victory of Christ and His people (Coogan, 2009; Root, 1998)
P R O P H E C Y Revelation
What do you think?
The biblical canon is inspired, authoritative and accepted SUM UP! The group (or division) from each testament gives you a road map around the Bible All groups within each testament fill in the roads that lead to understanding the fullness of Scripture
“The scriptures are not merely catalogues of beliefs, although they certainly include such lists, propositions, and assertions. Rather, the scriptures are inspired by God─with inspiration usually connected to the Holy Spirit─for specific purposes related to Christian practices, life, and, ultimately, salvation” (Amos Yong, 2008, p. 40).
References • Bernard, D. (2000). God’s infallible Word. Florissant, MO: Word Aflame Press. • Bernard, D. (2005). Understanding God’s Word. Florissant, MO: Word Aflame Press. • Coogan, M. (2009). A brief introduction to the Old Testament. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. • Cox, D. (2013). The gospels. Cited on February 21, 2014, from http://www.slideshare.net/drjparon/the-gospels-anli • Duvall, J. S. & Hays, J. D. (2005). Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. • Eichenberger, J. (2011). Training for service: A Basic Overview for every Christian. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing. • Fee, G. & Stuart, D. (2003). How to read the Bible for all its worth. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
References (Cont’d) • Green, J. (2007). Seized by truth: Reading the Bible as Scripture. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press. • Halley, H. (2000). Halley’s Bible handbook. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Norris, D. (2010). Big ideas. Florissant, MO: Apostolic Teaching Resources • Root, O. (1998). Survey of the Bible: Training for service student book. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing. • Pfeiffer, C. F., Vos, H. & Rea, J. (Eds.). (2005). Wycliffe Bible dictionary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing. • Shelley, B. (2008). Church history in plain language (3rd ed). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. • Williams, D.H. (2014). How the New Testament canon was formed. Cited on February 22, 2014, from http://www.churchhistory101.com/newtestament-canon.php • Yong, A. (2008).) Hospitality & the other. Mary Knoll, NY: Orbis Books.
Walking Through the Word Online Supplemental Resources All Nations Leadership Institute 4501 W. 127th St. Alsip, IL 60803 HISTORY LETTERS LAW GOSPELS HISTORY www.allnationsleadershipinstitute.org POETRY Image: Mardel.com MAJOR PROPHETS MINOR PROPHETS LETTERS LETTERS PROPHECY