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Books of the Bible

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Sean Purcell

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of Books of the Bible

The Major Prophets

The Minor Prophets
This book begins by describing a devastation sworn by locusts which cause national disaster to the agriculture of Israel. Joel calls the nation of Judah to a day of repentance due to the divine judgement. The message is that if Judah repents, God will richly bless them and forgive them. Joel 2:28, "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions."
This book was written in a time of prosperity in the kingdom of Israel. Amos, was called by god to pronounce judgement by denouncing Israel’s luxurious living, idolatry and moral depravity. He urges the people to repent the judgements of God come upon him them. “Seek God and live” was Amos’ plea to the nation.
Obadiah’s name means “Servant of Yahweh” “Yahweh” is the Hebrew name for God. He was a prophet who pronounced judgement upon the nation of Edom for its antagonism against Israel. Edom was to be punished from the violence against Israel they committed against the land. Obadiah verse 4, "Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD."

This book is about the commission of Jonah to warn the city of Nineveh to repent and obey Gods commandments so that they might avoid destruction. He is reluctant to preach this message and is swallowed by a big fish, remaining there for three days. Upon his release, he preaches the message to the people of Nineveh, who believe his message, repent of their sins and are spared by God. Jonah 3:10, "When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."

Micah was a critic of the rich and powerful who exploited the poor. Micah’s leading ideas are the regeneration of Israel’s remnant through judgement, the establishment of the kingdom of God in the line of David and the convention of the nations through that kingdom. Micah 1:2, "Hear, O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all who are in it, that the Sovereign LORD may witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple."
The Minor Prophets
Nahum warns of a message of doom upon Nineveh, the capital of Assyria often they had turned from their repentance attitude and had taken the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity. They, who were once used as God’s tool against the people of Israel and Jerusalem, will now be destroyed because of their great wickedness. Nahum 1:14 “The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: ‘You will have no descendants to bear your name".
Zephaniah pronounces inescapable judgements against Jerusalem for their sins, and exhorts national repentance. He further speaks of the “Day of the lord”, when God will intervene to judge sin. Zephaniah is attempting to encourage repentance and warn of the coming judgement. He also brought a message of hope, when the nation would be restored.
Zephaniah 2:3, "Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the lord".
In this book Haggai speaks to the few Jews who have returned to Judah from the captivity in Babylon. He exhorts them to “Consider their ways” and to complete the temple as its foundation had been laid eighteen years before. The temple was completed in 516 BC. Haggai further pronounces that pagan empires will be overthrown by God, and Judah will be elevated during the time of the messiah.
Zechariah was a younger contemporary of Haggai. Like Daniel, this book contains visions symbolising future events. It contains detailed references to the coming messiah. The book concludes with the descriptions of the enemies of Jerusalem being judged and of the future glory of God’s kingdom. Zechariah 7:13, "'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty."

Malachi’s message comes to the people in a time of great spiritual decline. The promises of the coming Messiah have not yet happened, Eighty years after the rebuilding of the temple. Malachi states the people’s sacrifices were unacceptable to god, husbands were unfaithful, and the priests had neglected God’s covenants.
The Gospels
Matthew’s gospel is aimed at a Jewish audience. Matthew wrote to prove that Jesus really did fulfil the prophecies from the Old Testament and is the promised saviour. Matthew emphasises the words of the Lord regarding the kingdom of heaven. This was done to counterbalance the popular Jewish belief of the day that the Messiah would be militant leader who would overthrow the current roman occupation and to re-establish the thrown of David.
Thought to be aimed at a non-Jewish audience as it describes in detail Jewish customs. There is great detail of Jesus’ miracles and crucifixion. Mark is thought to be the first written of the gospels (Between 65 and 70AD), Mark shows Jesus as a man of action, a man with authority. As it is thought to be written for the romans, there are very few references to the Old Testament scriptures.
The book gives the most complete book at the life of Jesus. Luke uses eyewitnesses and names them, as sources from his writings. He stresses Jesus’ compassion and humanity as well as the power of the Holy Spirit and of prayer. It was written particularly for the Greeks, Who delighted in wisdom, beauty and system. He attempts to write it in a chronological manner.
John emphasises that Jesus is the god of the Old Testament. John is the only one of the four gospels that does not cite any parables, instead John emphasises Jesus in the manifestation of God. This gospel was written for believers; His message is that Jesus is God’s word in Human form. It focuses more on the spiritual aspects rather than historical aspects of Jesus’ life.
The Poetical Books
This letter challenges the false teachers the Colossians were turning to. These teachers urged people to worship angels and cosmic powers, pushing Jesus to the side. Paul reminds the Colossians that Jesus is true power, ranking “higher than everything that has been made”(Colossians 1: 12).


This letter was wrote when Paul was imprisoned. The letter tells us about the blessings that Christians have in Jesus, the new life we have in Jesus. He urges us to 'put on the full armor of God so that' we 'can fight against the devil's evil tricks' (Ephesians 6:11).

In this letter Paul expresses his gratitude for the Philippian's love and material assistance. We learn in Philippians that even though Paul had been put on trial, run out of town, stoned, beaten and thrown into jail he is extremely upbeat and joyful. He says the only 'important thing about living is Christ' (Philippians1:21). This teaches everybody that we should always try to have the peace that Jesus left us with no matter what our circumstances, something which is extremely hard to do.
The Books of The Bible
The Epistles of Paul

This is a private letter from Paul to Philemon, one of his converts and a good friend. Onesimus, one of Philemon's slaves stole money from him and ran away. Under Roman law, a runaway slave could be punished with crucifixion. However, while away, Onesimus became a Christian through Paul's influence. So Paul wrote this letter to peruade Philemon to forgive his slave and welcome him back as a Christian friend.
The origin of Hebrews is a mystery, however, many people attribute it to Paul. The book argues that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and worthy of our faith. Also, it talks about the old and new covenant with God. He tells us that Christ's blood had to be shed for the new agreement to begin as, 'a will means nothing while the person is alive , it can be used only after the person dies' (Hebrews 9:17). The writer defines faith as 'being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it' (Hebrews 11:1).
General Epistles
1 Peter
This letter was wrote to the Christians of Asia Minor. These Christians were laughed at, beaten and killed because of their faith. Peter tried to encourage these Christans to not give up on their faith and to rest in the peace of knowing that God was always in control and that he cared for them all deeply. Peter says, "When people insult you because you follow Christ, you are blessed because the glorious spirit, the Spirit of God, is with you" (1Peter 1:14).
1,2,3 John
1 John reasssures Christians that God loves them and is always listening to them, 'if we ask God for anything that agrees with what he wants, he hears us. If we know he hears us every time we ask him, we know we have what we ask from him' (1 John 5:14-15). He also tells us that what our bodies do does affect our spirit and states that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.

2 Peter
Peter wrote this letter at a time when false teachers were coming into churches claiming they knew the real truth. He assures Christians that their faith is true and tells them all about false teachers so they know what to watch out for.
Jude urges churches to get rid of the false teachers in the church before the whole church rotted.
This book can be viewed as the following:
an image of the first century situation, with all it's events having occured already.
a long chain of events, concluding with Christ's Second Coming
the final days before the end of the world.
symbolic language to teach religious truth about God's victory over evil
Acts tells the story of how Jesus went up into heaven and sent his Holy Spirit fifty days later. The book also conveys how the Good News of Jesus Christ spread rapidly throughout the world. The book tells us a lot about Paul.
Genesis is the story of how the world began. The name Genesis itself means origin or beginning. In Genesis we see the story of how God promises to Abraham were passed on to the generations after him.

The name Exodus means going out or departure. Many significant events happened in this book such as the oppression of the chosen people in Egypt, the flight and call of Moses and God's covenant with the nation Israel.. The ten commandments is given through Moses to the people..
This book is known as the handbook of the priests. Many basic precepts are foreshadowed in this book such as the seriousness of sin God's eyes and the holiness of God.
In the events in this book we see the guiding hand of God, sustaining, delivering, keeping covenant with his people as he prepares for entrance into the promise land which took 38 years.
Deuteronomy means the second law. It involves Moses farewell addresses to a new generation in which he summons them to hear the law of God. He repeats the 10 commandments.
This is a book about victory and defeat. Joshua, having over as leader from Moses, must lead God's people to invade Canaan. At Jericho and Ai, Israel learns the importance of obedience. It took 10 years to invade the land of Canaan which was then divided among Israels 12 tribes.
this book covers a period of time from the death of Joshua to the birth of Samuel, an era often referred to as the dark ages. A story of disobedience and disaster, on the divine side, of direction and deliverance.

there is a striking contrast between ruth and the book of judges. national sin and corruption portray a dark picture. in this book we are presented with a picture of the nobler side of hebrew life in the days of the judges.
this was originally a single book which was divided when translated into greek. the books of samuel cover a period of time in Israels history from the birth of Samuel to the close of the reign of david.
I and II Samuel
These books are the sequel to I and II Samuel and should be read as a continuation of the history of the hebrew nation contained in the former work. this book relates to the history of israel from the last days of david to the destruction of the northern kingdom in 721 b.c.
I and II kings
In the hebrew canon these books formed a single volume called "things of the days". the book chronicles is a summary of hebrew history that duplicates much of samuel and kings.
I and II Chronicles
also written originally as one book, these two books describe the return of the jewish exiles after more than half a century of bondage in babylon, and the subsequent restoration of jerusalem, its temple and its walls.
Ezra and Nehemiah
the book of esther, in the form of a short story similar to the book of ruth, has its setting in the palace of Shushan or susa, one of the three capitals of the persian empire. the story gives us a vivid picture of the jews in exile, of the hostility of their non jewish enemies in Persia, and how Esther became the queen of Ahasuerus.
This book of job deals with an ageless question, one that is puzzling to every generation - the problem of human suffering, and in particular the affliction of the righteous. the books principle aim is to refute the popular view that all suffering is the result of sin in the life of the sufferer.
A collection of 150 psalms, whos hebrew name is the book of praise. the variety and unity of psalms have given this book a unique place in the devotional life of the individual and the church. almost every aspect of the mans relation to god is depicted in these poems: simple trust, the sense of sin, appeals to a higher power in time of trouble, and the conviction that the world is in the hands of a loving god.
This book is a book of proverb collections. Although solomon inspired the developement of the book, its entire content did not derive from him. a proverb is a short saying with practical implications. the proverbs included in this book include subjects such as chastity, control of the tongue, laziness, knowledge, relations with others and justice.
In english, the title means preacher. traditionally held to have been written by solomon., this book is now almost universally recognized as about him rather than by him. the authors purpose in this book is to prove the vanity in everything under the sun. finally the author shows that the fullness of life is found only in the recognition of things above the sun, things spiritual as well as material.
this book, the only one in the bible that has love for its sole theme, is a collection or cycle of marraige songs. once again the composition is about solomon and not by him. the song has traditionally been interpreted as showing gods love for his choosen people and christs love for his bride, the church.
The song of solomon
This book, as is true of all the prophetical books, derives its name from the prophet whose messages it records. The unity of Isaiah, a problem related to authorship and contents, has been the subject of much debate. The message of the book is twofold: judgment upon Judah for her sins (1-39), and comfort and hope for an exiled people (40-66). In these messages of encouragement are found some of the most graphic portrayals of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

The book of Jeremiah combines history, biography, and prophecy. It portrays a nation in crises and introduces the reader to an extraordinary leader upon whom the Lord placed the heavy burden of the prophetic office. There is a strong conflict between Jeremiah’s natural inclinations and his deep sense of vocation to deliver Gods message to the people. Jeremiahs most important prophecy concerning the future is evident in Jeremiah 31:31-34 ““The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah".
Lamentation means “to express suffering”. It is a book of five poems. They are called “dirges” because they express Jeremiahs sorrow regarding the fall of Jerusalem. It emphasises that this is the result of divine judgment from the sins of the people. The book also reflects the love and sorrow of god from the very people he is chastening.`Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Ezekiel was taken captive and taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He saw God as a fire, about to destroy Jerusalem. God would show his holiness in this terrible judgement. Years after the city was destroyed, Ezekiel preached again. God would now show his love and bring the Jews home to build a new temple. Ezekiel 18:4, "For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

Daniel was of the line of Jewish kings, and like Ezekiel, has been taken as a young man captive to Babylon. The book of Daniel predicts of the destiny of two opposing powers. The kingdom of god, stressing that “The most high rules in the kingdom of men”. The book of Daniel contains prophecies that span the time from Daniels day until the coming kingdom age. Daniel 2:47 The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”
The book of Hosea describes the patient long suffering of god towards the rebellious and unfaithful northern kingdom of Israel. It is made clear to the Israelites that punishment will engulf anyone who remains wilfully rebellious. A key theme is Hosea’s marriage to the unfaithful Gomer, which is symbolic of the relationship between God and Isreal.
The story revolves around a faithful and wealthy Israelite who lives amongst his fellow exiles in Nineveh—Tobit. His fortune is soon reversed as he suffers several setbacks in his life which reach their climax when he loses his sight. He becomes disheartened and eventually prays for death. Before his God mercifully takes him, however, he prepares his son, Tobias, by giving him advice about life and telling him about some money he has put away with a relative.
“Through all your days, my son, keep the Lord in
mind, and suppress every desire to sin or to break
his commandments…” (Chapter4:5)
The book of Judith is a vivid story relating how, in a grave crisis, God delivered the Jewish people through the instrumentality of a woman. The author of the book is unknown. The book of Judith is a tract for difficult times; the reader, it was hoped, would take to heart the lesson that God was still the Master of history, who could save Israel from her enemies. " Praise God, praise him! Prasie God, who has not withdrawn his mercy from the house of Israe, but has shattered our enemies by my hand this very night" (Chapter 13:14)

I Maccabees
The First Book of Maccabees describes the struggle of the Jews for religious, cultural, and political independence against the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his successors, who were Greeks and sympathized with the hellenization or 'spreading of Greek culture' of Judah. The author of the book is unknown however we do know he was a devout and patriotic jew who lived and wrote in Palestine.
II Maccabees
Although the book, like the preceeding one, receives its title from its protagonist, Judas Maccabee, it is not a sequel to 1 Maccabees. Its purpose, is to give a theological interpretation to the history of the period. There are theological importance to the author's teachings such as his teachings on the resurrection of the just on the last day.
This book is concerned with Habakkuk complaining with his lack of understanding as to why God was failing to judge the morally deprived nation of Babylon. The wicked appear to prosper while the righteous are chastened. However, this prosperity is only temporary. Habakkuk 1:5, “Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if I told you.”
Paul was first an enemy of Christians who used to threaten anyone who followed Christ that he would kill them. However, he was miraculously converted on the road to Damascus and became a devout Christian and wonderful church leader. His story shows us that God will forgive anybody of their sins and that he can choose any of us to do his great work.
The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to the disciples. When they were filled with the Holy Spirit they started preaching about the great things God has done and amazingly, everyone ther heard them in their own language. Peter spoke to the to crowd alone also about Jesus.
The Holy Spirit
Romans is a letter that Paul wrote to the Roman church. The letter explains how all people have sinned and how God sent Jesus to pay for those sins and make people right with God.
Paul gives a message of hope in this letter when he says, "The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us" (Romans 8:18).

Paul sent this letter to the Corinthian church. In the letter he answered major questions that had started arguments in the church – marriage, being single, food offered to idols and what life should be like in the church. He states that it is better to stay single if you already are as 'a man who is married is busy with things of the world, trying to please his wife' while 'a man who is not married is busy with the Lord's work' (1 Corinthians 7: 32-33).
He also challenged the people of the church to follow God in everything.
1 Corinthians
This letter was wrote because Paul had heard that the church were heading towards trouble again. In the letter he demanded that the people should stop following false teachers and turn back to Jesus again. The letter shows how hard it can be to be a Christian leader as we see that the Corinthians started to think he was a liar.
2 Corinthians
Paul wrote this to the churches in Galatia to address their arguments about the law. He says, 'We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law' (Galatians 5:1). He explains that we cannot do anything to earn God’s but only have faith in Jesus, 'the kind of faith that works through love' (Galatians 5:6).
The Armor of God
1 Thessalonians was a letter made for new Christians. The Thessalonians were visited by the apostle Paul, and after listening to him preach, they became Christians. However, Paul was forced to leave the town suddenly and the new Christians were left alone. In this letter Paul encourages them to grow in their new faith despite their situation.
1 Thessalonians
The Thessalonian Christians were told that Christ's Second Coming had already happened and some of them believed it. Many of these people became lazy in their faith feeling they had nothing to do but wait for Jesus to take them to heaven. In this letter Paul tells them the Lord's Second coming had not yet happened and challenged them to work hard to keep growing spiritually. He also reminds them that we have a purpose on Earth, being called to do God's work
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy is almost like a manual for church leaders on how to run a church.
In 2 Timothy Paul gives the responsibility of his ministry to Timothy to carry on
1 and 2 Timothy
This was a letter of encouragement to Titus, a young minister who was doing his work in Crete. Paul gave Titus some tips about how he could help the Christians there overcome their past way of living and start a brand new life following Jesus.
James gives 50 commands in this book, focusing on how Christians should behave. He gave these commands because some early Christians felt they could do anything they liked, believing God would just forgive them anyway. But James warns them, "if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing" James 2:14).
2 John warned churches to be on their
guard against false teachers and also, like 3 John, encouraged them to keep being generous, loving and welcoming to others.
This book gives lessons of all virtues, talks about fearing God, and about wisdom. Sirach states that 'all wisdom comes from the Lord' and that 'the Lord himself created Wisdom' (Sirach 1:1, Sirach 1:9). In it he gives a message of hope when he asks us to think back on the ancient generations and how God never let any of them down when they prayed to him and held him in constant reverence (Sirach 2)
The Teen Study Bible, New International Version: Zondervan, 1998
The New American Bible, Thomas Nelson Inc., 1987
A summary of the books of the bible available at : http://www.thechristadelphians.org/btcd/BTCD/htm/books_summary/gen.htm (October 1st 2013)
A summary of Jeremiah available at : www.biblestudytools.com (October 19th 2013)
The Youth Bible, New Century Version, Thomas Newman Publishing, Inc:Nashville, 2000
Handbook to the Bible, Lion Publishing, Littlemore, 1989
http://www.holybible.com/resources/KJV_DFND/summary.htm (October 3rd 2013
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