Bible Overview

Home: bible reading: Bible Overview

Have you ever wondered what is the Bible and how do we understand it?

This post will help.

Think for a moment about the remarkable volume that we call " The Bible". The Bible - often referred to as one book - is comprised of 66 books. Revered by many, disregarded by some, the Holy Bible remains one of the most popular books of all time. Three major religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam- declare the Bible or portions of the Bible as Holy. For us Christians, we know it to be the true account of History and the written Word of God.

To many, the Bible seems both confusing and challenging. But I love it, and soon you will love it too.

What is the Bible?

The word "Bible" comes from the Latin term 'book,' and is a collection of books written by several authors under the inspiration of God. It not only documents history but present and future events. Imagine, even now, things are unraveling exactly how God intended it to be. 

It has the power to not only save but transform the lives of any reader that chooses to believe, study, and apply its teachings.

Bible overview chart

The Old Testament includes 39 books: 5 books centered around the Ceremonial, Civil and Moral Laws; 12 books of History; 5 books of Wisdom; 17 book of the Prophets. The New Testament includes 27 books: 5 books of the Gospel and Acts of the Apostles; 21 Letters to Church and selected individuals; and 1 book of Revelation.

Simple One Page Bible Overview And Timeline Diagram

bible overview timeline

Below is a simple one page bible overview:

Many believe that what we see is what we get. But we can only see our bodies, which is far from the magnitude of who we really are. The truth is that our natural eyes cannot see the real you: your personality, will, and emotions. When Adam fell, three parts were affected. His Spirit; His Soul; and his body felt the effects. Get the full picture, here ...

The union that was there between Adam and God had been severed. God was no longer able to flow through him in total oneness of mind. He was no longer able to hear and understand spiritual things. Instead, he walked by earthly desires, emotions, and passions.

As time progressed, God kept visiting man, and along came several well-known characters such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David, who - through their life - revealed that it was still possible for us to have a relationship with our creator. 

But that was not enough for God. He wanted us to regain what we had lost, and He whispered into the ears of His prophets, his master plan. So, by one man's actions ( Adam), sin washed upon the whole human race. Then, by one man's actions ( Jesus) our Spirit was reawakened. Get the Full Picture, here ... 

So Jesus exhibited a mighty sacrificial love. His life was not taken but was given freely because of Love. And as he spoke those 3 powerful words on Cross "it is finished," likewise, I say to you - It is finished. The way is made. Come, sit at the master's table. A place has been set for you.

4 Things A Bible Traveler Must Remember:

For many, reading the Bible is like visiting a foreign land with strange customs. But with proper maps, little historical research, a list of useful phrases, and some currency, the chances of getting lost are fewer.

To understand, interpret and glean from the Bible, when reading & studying biblical text there are 4 things we must remember:

1) The Difference in Language

bible language overview

It is often best for the seasoned studier to go back to the root words for an accurate interpretation of scripture. The first step in doing this, is knowing what the original language of the text was.

The original manuscripts of the Old Testament bible books were written in Hebrew; New Testament was written in Greek with a few areas in Aramaic.  Drawing and symbols were used which had complete meanings. Through the constant study of the scripture, I realized that lots were lost in translation even when the closest English term is used.

Here are some helpful bible overview resources:

2) The Difference in Culture

For many years I've read the bible upside down, not realizing it!

Here's why:

For years I've read the Bible from a western individualistic mindset, however, the Bible was written with an eastern point of view.

Eastern cultures and western cultures are different. Western cultures are individualistic, where personal needs and independence are primarily important. Eastern cultures a collectivist, so the "greater good" of the "whole"  is more important than that of one individual. Although independence is valued, the sense of self is defined more by who they are with other people and maintaining social harmony.

With this recent revelation, I have begun to study the eastern culture and gain greater clarity when reading the Word.

And I've only scratched the surface of cultural differences.

To understand the text, we have to take a walk in the shoes and see it through the people who lived it. Only then can we truly grasp the full meaning of the words in the passage.

Here's some helpful resources:

3) The Difference in Measurements

These are measurements you will probably see while reading the Bible. This helpful overview of bible measurements will aid you in doing conversions with ease.

4) Difference in Feasts

The Old Testament, and the New Testament is centered around seven Jewish Feasts: The Feast of Passover, Unleaven Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. The start of the Jewish year begins at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles which in our calendar is in September. Also, a Biblical year comprises of 360 days instead of 365. Understanding these Jewish Feasts will give great clarity when reading and help you better interpret and align scripture while studying.

You will see from this bible overview chart below that everything worked in unison. Even the rainfall, and crops that were harvested.

Overview of Feast, Rain, Crops

bible festivals rain crops

To us - books such as Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy can be puzzling because we live so far away from the people of the Bible, both in distance and time. But these elements were neither puzzling nor confusing to the writers of the Bible, earlier readers or those that lived it.

Bible Selections

Here's some guideline for selecting the best bible:

  • Readable: Make sure you can read and understand the text
  • Portable: Ensure its not too heavy to lift and carry around
  • Clear: Read one or two of the notes in the footer, introduction and column to ensure it is clear.
  • Buy-a-ble: Ensure the binding is strong and does not easily fall apart after a few uses

Here's a few helpful resources:

  1. Tips for Selecting a Bible?
  2. Best First Time Bible Options?
  3. Before buying a bible, read this guide on bible design and "quality"
  4. The Most Accurate bible translation
  5. How to pick the best translation for you
  6. My selection for study bibles

Thanks for reading this bible overview. Do you have a revelation or a tip that you can share for new bible travelers? Leave it below. Or simply share your comments.

home: bible overview

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.