So, to help us understand the 'way' that God has so freely given to us, even though we didn't deserve it.   I am afraid there are still a couple of basic concepts we need to look at first. Like, what does the Bible mean when it says, "...rightly dividing the word of truth" ( 2 Timothy 2:15 )?   So let's look at some of the divisions in the Bible.

1.   Probably, the most noticeable division is, "the Bible is separated into two parts.   The 'Old Testament' and the 'New Testament'."   And just as quick as you notice that the Bible is made up of two parts, you notice that one part is called 'old' while the other part is called 'new'.   So how did this come to be?   In Hebrews 8:6-13 , God tells us, that in order to establish a 'new' covenant (testament), He had to do away with the 'old'.

Now some people at this point might tell you that God messed up on the 'old' covenant so He had to do it all over again, with a 'new' covenant.   Well, let me tell you right here, God did NOT mess up! So why in Hebrews 8:7 , does it say, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second."? The 'fault' was not in the old covenant, as 'God messed up', but rather the very next verse tells us that the fault lays in man (them) " finding fault with THEM" ( Hebrews 8:8 ).   In the fact that man continues to sin. So God made a 'new' covenant that was based on a better sacrifice than the sacrifices in the 'old' covenant.   A sacrifice able to forgive sin not just put sin aside for a year and then having to offer another sacrifice, but forgive, see Hebrews Chapter 10 especially verses 1-4.

Let me stop right here and ask another question, "Which covenant are we to follow today, the 'old', the 'new', or 'both'?".   Well, the Bible just got through telling us that the 'old' was done away with so that the 'new' could be established (see also Colossians 2:14 ).   Therefore since the commandments in the 'old' have been done away with, we no longer follow those commandments then the answer has to be 'NEW'.   Other wise we would still be offering animal sacrifices just like they did in the days of Moses.

You see, God knew exactly what He was doing from the very beginning.

Well, if the 'old' has been done away with, then why is the 'Old Testament' still a part of the Bible?

It is also as the Bible says in Hebrews 8:4-5 where the 'law' (law of Moses) serves as a shadow of heavenly things.   We were given the 'old' to prepare us for the 'new'. Just like what John the baptizer did for Jesus ( Mark 1:1-4 ).   To prepare the way.   The 'old' was given to us for an example ( Romans 15:4 & 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 ).   Showing us how God is not to be mocked ( Galatians 6:7 ), but rather to be taken seriously, very seriously! ( Matthew 10:28 ).   Actually, that is what the whole book of Hebrews is about.   It was written to the Hebrews (Jews) to show them how much better the 'new' was than the 'old'.   So, today we follow the commandments of New Testament, while continuing to study the Old Testament and using it as an example to help us understand the New.

2.   That brings us to the second most noticeable division of the scriptures.   'Books'.   The Bible is made up of 66 different 'books', 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.   Some of these came about by having different 'writers' not 'authors' (God is the author = 2 Timothy 3:16 ).   Matthew, Mark, Luke are some examples of these. And some came about by 'subject matter'.   Exodus, Job, Acts are some examples of these.

3.   This brings us to the third most noticeable division.   'Chapters and Verses'.     This is one of the most confusing and misunderstood divisions that we have to be careful about.   Why?   Because these divisions are man made.   They were placed here by the translators to allow ease in finding the location of information in the scriptures.   Which I am very glad this division exist.   But, in studying the scripture, we need to try to keep in mind the context that the passage is in, by also at least reading the surrounding verses, even if they happen to be in a different chapter.   Remember 'chapters and verses' were placed there by the translators and not by God.

4.   This brings us to a lot more subtle division that a lot of people are not even aware exsist which was also placed there by the translators.   This too, can be very helpful in understanding God's word, but it must be remembered that man placed it there, not God.   What is this division you ask.   Well get your Bible out and open it up to any page and look very closely at the typing.   You will probably notice that through out the page there are words written in italic (slightly slanted characters).   What is this?   you might ask.   Well, somewhere in the front of your Bible, the publisher should tell you.   That these are words that were 'ADDED' by the translators.   And they are typed in italic to let the reader know that they are not part of the original text, but were inserted to help us to better understand the scripture.   But sometimes the scripture can be better understood by skipping these 'man added' words when you read a passage.   Then why did they do it?   Well, many times when something is translated from one language (Hebrew or Greek) into another language (English), a 'word for word' translation does not convey the thought that is being expressed, so the translators add a few 'helpful' words here and there to help express what they (the translators) think a scripture is saying.   And then they mark it in some way (italic in this case) to make the reader aware of the addition.   So, we need to keep in mind that these are 'man added' words.

5.   This brings us to another division (or grouping) found in the Bible.   One that Jesus himself recognized ( Matthew 12:5 , Luke 2:23 , and Luke 24:44 for example).   That is certain books of the Bible are grouped together (that is part of the reason why the books of the Bible are placed in the order that they come in and not in some other order like alphabetical).


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'*'  = Still under construction


The Torah ( The Law) = 5 Books:

Genesis = Gen.
Exodus = Ex.
Leviticus = Lev.
Numbers = Num.
Deuteronomy = Deut.

The History = 12 Books

Joshua = Josh.
Judges = Jud.
Ruth = Ru.
1 Samuel = 1Sa.
2 Samuel = 2Sa.
1 Kings = 1Ki.
2 Kings = 2Ki.
1 Chronicles = 1Chr.
2 Chronicles = 2Chr.
Ezra = Ezra
Nehemiah = Ne.
Esther = Est.

Poetry = 5 Books:

Job = Job
Psalms = Psa.
Proverbs = Prov.
Ecclesiastes = Ecc.
Song of Solomon = SoS.

Major Prophets = 5 Books:

Isaiah = Isa.
Jeremiah = Jer.
Lamentations = Lam.
Ezekiel = Eze.
Daniel = Dan.

Minor Prophets = 12 Books:

Hosea, = Hos.
Joel = Joel
Amos = Amos
Obadiah = Oba.
Jonah = Jon.
Micah = Mic.
Nahum = Na.
Habakkuk = Hab.
Zephaniah = Zep.
Haggai = Hag.
Zechariah = Zek.
Malachi = Mal.


The Gospels = 4 Books:

Gospel According to Matthew = Mt
Gospel According to Mark = Mk
Gospel According to Luke = Lk
Gospel According to John = Jn

History = 1 Book:

Acts of the Apostles = Acts

Pauline Epistles (letters) = 13 Books:

Romans = Rom.
1 Corinthians = 1Cor.
2 Corinthians = 2Cor.
Galatians = Gal.
Ephesians = Eph.
Philippians = Phip
Colossians = Col
1 Thessalonians = 1Th
2 Thessalonians = 2Th
1 Timothy = 1Ti
2 Timothy = 2Ti
Titus = Tit.
Philemon = Phil.

General Epistles (letters) = 8 Books:
Hebrews = Heb.
James = Jam.
1 Peter, 1Pe
2 Peter = 2Pe
1 John = 1Jn
2 John = 2Jn
3 John = 3Jn
Jude = Jude

Prophecy = 1 Book:

Revelation = Rev.

Some divide the different sections of the Old Testament and New Testament a little different see the Wikipedia web site. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible )

What do you think about this lesson ???
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