Understanding The Bible

Understanding The Bible

Chapter 1: The Goal of the Bible

The writer laments that people normally ask varying questions and employ diverse strategies to read the Bible. Others, he asserts, quit Bible reading altogether or by no means start reading because they can not see the relevance of accounts of people within the distant part for them today. Nevertheless, Christians consider that although the Bible has a wide number of human authors, there's a single unifying theme for a divine Author. It's perhaps most succinctly offered by Paul to Timothy in I Tim. three:15-17. The apostle brings together the origin and object of Scripture. The writer investigates the character of the Bible's usefulness and analysis three words used Paul - salvation, Christ and faith.

Stott presents the central concept that the supreme function of the Bible is to instruct its readers for salvation, implying that Scripture has a practical goal which is ethical than intellectual. Since this is neither scientific nor literary, the Bible could be rightly seen as a book neither of literature nor of philosophy, however of salvation. He notes that salvation, in addition to forgiveness of sins, contains the whole sweep of God's objective to redeem and restore mankind and indeed all creation. The principle thrust is God's love for the rebels who deserve nothing however judgment.

God's plan, originating in His grace, Stott emphasizes, took shape before time began. He made a covenant of grace with Abraham, promising by means of his prosperity to bless all of the families of the earth. The remainder of the Old Testament tabulates His gracious dealings with Abraham's posterity, the Israelites. Though they rejected His Word, He by no means casts them out. Within the New Testament, the apostles emphasize that forgiveness is possible only through Christ's sin-bearing demise, and a new beginning leading to a new life only by means of the Spirit of Christ. The New Testament authors insist that though folks have already in one sense been saved, in one other sense their salvation still lies within the future. Conceived in a previous eternity, achieved at a point in time and historically worked in human experience, it will reach its consummation in the eternity of the future.

Stott's hypothetical argument is that if salvation is available by Christ and if Scripture considerations salvation, then scripture is filled with Christ. Christ's assertion was that in each of the three divisions of the Old Testament, the Law (the Pentateuch/First five books of the Bible), the prophets [history books or former prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and latter prophets (main-Isaiah to Daniel- and minor prophets- Hosea to Malachi)] and the Psalms (writings), there have been things concerning Him and all these things should be fulfilled. Discovering Christ within the New Testament isn't strange. The gospels, acts, epistles and revelation vividly painting Him. In the latter as an example, He appears as a glorified man, a lamb, majestic rider on a white horse and a Heavenly Bridegroom. The survey of the 2 testaments demonstrates that we must turn to the Bible if we want to know about Christ and His salvation. The writer places faith in its right perspective after lamenting its misuse.

Chapter 2: The Land of the Bible

Stott observes that some knowledge of the historical and geographical setting of God's folks is totally vital to place the study in perspective. The reason for the recording of God's dealing with Israel basically and people in particular is to show us (Rom. 15:four; I Cor. 10:eleven). Scripture refuses to conceal the faults of great characters in the Old and New Testaments.

The writer dismisses the claim that Jerusalem was the centre of the earth as a sheer geographical nonsense even though Christians would defend it theologically. However, Christians believe within the providence of God whose alternative of Palestine can't be an accident. An obvious function is that it acts as a kind of bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Strategically, therefore, God set Jerusalem in the centre of the nations (Ez.5:5).

When God told Moses that He'd convey the Israelites out of Egypt into Canaan, He described it as good and spacious. Joshua and Caleb, unlike the other spies, confirm that the land was exceedingly good. A number of widespread expressions have been used to check with the whole country from north to south. The commonest simply is from Dan to Beersheba. Stott means that maybe a simpler way to recollect Palestine is to visualize 4 strips of the country between the ocean and the desert - the coastland, the central highlands, the Jordan valley and the jap tableland.

Stott affirms that God's revelation because the 'Shepherd of Israel' was natural because of the intimate relationship which grew over the years between the Palestinian shepherds and the sheep because the latter had been kept more for wool than for mutton. Jesus further developed the metaphor, calling himself the Good Shepherd. Though many Israelite farmers kept livestock, even more cultivated the soil. The three principal products of Palestine (grain, new wine and oil) are usually grouped collectively in lots of biblical passages (Deut. 7:13; Joel 2:19). The writer notes the tremendous significance of the early (autumn) rain and the latter (spring) rain to harvest. Without them the corn would remain thin and desiccated. God Himself linked the rain and the harvest together and promised them to His obedient people. Three annual festivals had an agricultural as well as a non secular significance. In them they worshiped the God of nature and the God of grace because the one God, Lord of the earth and of Israel. They are the Feast of the Passover, the Feast of the First fruits/Harvest and the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles/Ingathering. The observance of these was obligatory. They commemorated the signal mercies of the covenant God of Israel who first redeemed His people from their Egyptian bondage and gave them the Law at Sinai and then provided for them during their wanderings in the wilderness. From one other standpoint, they are all harvest festivals marking respectively the beginning of the barley harvest, the tip of the grain harvest and the top of the fruit harvest. Stott's use of three maps showing the Fertile Crescent, the historical and natural regions of Palestine clearly places the study in perspective.

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