A Ralph Johnson




A.      Introduction

  1. The word, “Bible” comes from the Greek word, “biblos,” meaning “books” (John 20:30; Rev. 20:12)
  2. Think of the Bible as a library of books, divided into subjects.
  3. The Bible in its early form--

a.        Was usually written on a series of Scrolls of leather or paper.

b.       No divisions into chapters (1238 A.D.) and verses (1551 A.D.).

c.        The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament in Greek.

  1. The books of the Bible were written by about 40 men. Old Testament. New Testament.
  2. The word “Testament” means a “will” or “covenant.” (Heb. 9:15-17)
  3. Jesus lived under the Old Testament, but was recorded in the New.  The life of Jesus was a preparation or introduction to the New, just as the book of Genesis is an introduction to the Old and looks back to events leading up to it.
  4. Shortest chapter of the Bible is Psalms 117
  5. Center chapter of the Bible is Psalms 118
  6. Longest chapter in the Bible is Psalms 119
  7. Shortest verse is John 11:35 Jesus Wept.”


B.     Divisions of the Bible

Number of books in each and the name of the first book in each.


                      OLD TESTAMENT

    (66 books)



                                39 books

                                27 books




Poetry (Devotion)

      Prophecy Major  |  Minor

Biog .



Paul      | General

























C.      Books of the Old Testament Library (picture)

The Old Testament is primarily concerned with the Hebrews (or Israelites—descendents of Jacob/Israel). It was given to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24)


LAW (“Torah”)

Another name for the books of Law is “Pentateuch,” meaning, “The five books.”

These books were written by Moses after leaving Egypt during the 40 years in the wilderness.

Genesis gives the history that leads up to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.

The actual books that gave the Law are Exodus through Deuteronomy.

These books were written about 1,500 BC ("BC” is indicates the period before Christ.)


GENESIS     "Generations" or “Beginnings" --History of the earth, man, Israel, etc.

Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

        EXODUS      “Exit” from Egypt --Moses

        LEVITICUS  Laws given to the Levites, --the priest tribe

NUMBERS    “Census” Numbering at beginning and end of 40 years wanderings and history of travels.

        DEUTERONOMY “2nd giving of the Law” Review and warnings at end of the journey.

HISTORY  (Time-line) (Decline, Exile, Return) (Kings of Judah)





JOSHUA c. 1400 BC

   Conquest of Canaan


   Saul king

                                     I CHRONICLES

EZRA  c. 530 BC

   Rebuilding temple


   God rules as King


   David king c. 1,000 BC

Temple “records

<(Covers II Samuel)


   Rebuilding Jerusalem

RUTH Moabite girl

    became Israelite

   ancestor of Jesus


   Solomon king

   Divided kingdom



Temple “records


   Jewish Queen of Persia

   saved her people c.500



    Decline of kingdoms

    Captivity of kingdoms

<(Covers I & II Kings)



POETRY (or Devotion)

JOB Ancient drama. Oldest book. Faithful in suffering. “Comforted” by 3 friends.                       

PSALMS  Hebrew songbook mostly by David. Five parts.  “Psalms” – pluck strings (Ps. 57:8).

PROVERBS Wisdom” Solomon to his son. “Fear of God is beginning of knowledge.” 

ECCLESIASTES  “Preacher” by Solomon.  Vanity of things “under the sun.” Conclusion: “Fear God

                SONG OF SOLOMON ("Canticles") Love song –musical drama.  Shulamite dreams of her shepherd love.



       ISAIAHMessianic Prophet” Assyrians carrying away ten northern tribes of Israel (c. 721 BC)

        JEREMIAH “Weeping Prophet” To Jews in Canaan. Conquest by Babylonian  (c. 600 BC)

        LAMENTATIONS Poetic dirge by Jeremiah mourning Jerusalem’s destruction  (c. 600 BC)

       EZEKIEL Prophesied to Jews in Babylon.  Theme: “They Shall Know I am Jehovah.” (c. 600 BC)

        DANIEL Prophet to the nations, Babylon during 70 years captivity and later to Persian royalty. (c. 600)



HOSEA c. 721 BC

   Israel unfaithful wife


   Edom doomed


   Why the wicked triumph

HAGGAI c. 520 BC

   Rebuild temple

JOEL c. 800 BC

  Judah—Locust plague

JONAH c. 800 BC

   Nineveh repents


   The terrible day of God


   Messianic visions

AMOS  c 760 BC

   Israel’s idolatrous luxury

MICAH c. 721 BC

   Israel & Judah warned



   Elijah to come


NAHUM c. 720 BC

   Nineveh doomed






Apocryphal Books

D.      Books of the New Testament Library (picture) (arrangement)


        BIOGRAPHY (Life of Christ) (Map)  (Harmony of the Gospels Color Coded)


MATTHEW  (Synoptic) Jesus the Messiah  --Jewish view

MARK           (Synoptic) Jesus the power of God --Roman view

LUKE            (Synoptic) Jesus the wisdom of God --Greek view

JOHN            “Jesus the son of God”  --Emphasizes Christ's Divinity, the love of God and to know God.



                ACTS OF APOSTLES.  Primarily Peter’s apostleship to the Jews and Paul’s apostleship to Gentiles.


PAUL’S LETTERS   (Pauline Epistles) (order)

                ROMANS                       Salvation through faith by imputed righteousness of Christ.

                1 CORINTHIANS         A divided church

                2 CORINTHIANS         Paul’s right as an apostle to speak to them


                GALATIANS                 A fickle church.  The problem of influence of Jews teaching the Law.

                EPHESIANS                  The glorious church (much like Colossians).

                PHILIPPIANS              “Rejoice.”  Paul’s thanks for their help.

                COLOSSIANS               Supremacy of Christ (Much like Ephesians).


                1 THESSALONIANS    Jesus is coming again.

                2 THESSALONIANS    Jesus not coming right away.  Great apostasy must come first.

                1 TIMOTHY                  (Pastoral Epistle) How to lead the church at Ephesus. (life)

                2 TIMOTHY                  (Pastoral Epistle) Paul’s Final letter. Be faithful.


                TITUS                             (Pastoral Epistle) How to lead the churches on the Island of Crete.

                PHILEMON                   Personal letter concerning Onesimus, a runaway slave being returned.

                HEBREWS                 _  Better things in Christ.  To Christian Jews of Palestine. (May not be by Paul)



                JAMES     “Not by faith only” -- Justification by a living faith--doing the word.

                1 PETER  Suffer as a Christian.”

                2 PETER  Make your election sure. Warning of enemies.  Earth to be burned up.

                1 JOHN    Hereby we know.”  Gnostics -- “anti-Christ.”

                2 JOHN    "To the elect lady.”  Do not receive those who deny Jesus came in flesh.

                3 JOHN    "Diotrephes loves to have the preeminence.”

                JUDE        “Contend earnestly for the faith.” Warning of enemies. (like 2 Peter, chapter 2)



                REVELATION Jesus tells John to write to seven churches and reveal things to come.(c. AD 95)

Abbreviations for the books of the Bible.  (test)

Gen., Ex., Lev., Num., Deut.. Josh., Jg., Ru., 1Sam., 2Sam.. 1K., 2K., 1Ch., 2Ch., Ezr., Neh., Est., Job, Ps, Pr, Ec., S.S. (or Ca. “Canticles”), Isa., Jer., Lam., Eze., Dan., Hos., Joe., Am., Ob., Jon., Mic., Nah., Hab., Zep., Hag., Zec., Mal.


Mt. (or Matt.), Mk. (or Mr), Lk. (or Lu.), Jn. (or Joh.), Ac., Rom., 1Co., 2Co., Gal., Eph., Ph’p., Col., 1Th., 2Th., 1Tim., 2Tim., Tit., Ph’m., Heb., Jas., 1Pe., 2Pe., 1Jn., 2Jn., 3Jn. (or I Jo., II Jo., III Jo.), Jd., Rev. (or Apoc. “Apocalypse”)


E.       Writers of the New Testament

     1. Matthew

     2. Mark

     3. Luke

     4. John

     5. Paul

     6. James

     7. Peter

     8. Jude

F.       Twelve apostles (song)

     1. Peter

     2. Andrew

     3. James and

     4. John,

         Fishermen of Capernaum

     5. Thomas and

     6. St. Matthew too

     7. Philip and

     8. Bartholomew

     9. James the less

   10. Jude the brave

   11. Simon the Zealot

   12. Judas the knave

     Twelve disciples here in all

     Answering the Master’s call


G.      Tabernacle  ("tent"--portable temple) – (Model)

        Show features, dimensions and what was foreshadowed.  (See special Tabernacle notes)


H.      Old Testament Sacred Occasions.

        Tell what they commemorated and what they foreshadowed.  (See special sacred Occasions sheet.)


I.         Quick Memory Rough Timeline

2000 B.C. Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob

1500 B.C. Egypt and Canaan: Moses, Joshua

1000 B.C. United Kingdom: Saul, David, Solomon

  900 B.C. Divided Kingdom: Elijah, Elisha

  800 B.C. Decline of Israel and Judah: Joel, Jonah

  700 B.C. Israel carried away by Assyria: Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Nahum

  600 B.C. Judah carried away by Babylon: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah

  500 B.C. Return from captivity in Babylon by Persians: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah

  400 B.C. Last book of Old Testament: Malachi

  300 B.C. Greece conquered Persia (map)

  200 B.C. Syria –Antiochus Epiphanes defiled the temple in Jerusalem

  100 B.C. Rise of the Roman Empire



Three Ages, or Dispensations of the Bible




Rule of the Fathers

(God spoke to the Patriarchs)

Rule of Moses

(Under the Law of Moses)

Rule of Christ

(Under law to Christ)


←   Creation







    End of World → 






                              Acts 2




    1. Innocence (Eden)

    2. Ante-deluvian period

        (before the flood)

    3. Post-deluvian period

        (after the flood)

    4. Period of the Patriarchs

(2000 B.C.) (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph)

    5. Period of bondage


    6. Deliverance (1500 B.C.)

        (Moses led Israel out of Egypt)



    1. Wilderness Wanderings

        (40 years under Moses)

    2. Conquest of Canaan

        (under Joshua)

    3. Period of Judges (1400 B.C.)

        (God ruled through Judges)

    4. United Kingdom (1000 B.C.)

        (Saul, David, Solomon)

    5. Divided Kingdom

        (Ten northern tribes rebeled)

     6. Northern Exile (700 B.C.)

         (Assyria carried Israel away)

    7. Southern Exile (600 B.C.)

        (Babylon carried Judah away)

    8. Post-Exile (500 B.C.)

        (Persians allowed Jews return)

    9. Inter-testament (400 B.C.)

        (400 years prophetic silence)

(Greece –300 B.C.)

(Syria, Antiochus –200 B.C.)

(Rome – 100 B.C.)

   10. Life of Christ

         (preparation for the church) 


    1. Apostolic Jews Evangelism

(Pentecost in Jerusalem)

    2. Apostolic Gentile Evangelism (Cornelius by Peter)

3. Post-apostolic Period

(100 AD to 325 AD)

(“falling away” began)

4. Great Apostasy 325 A.D.

   -Rome's Domination of the church to the Reformation.      

   -Rise of the Papacy and Holy  Roman Empire 

5. Reformation 1517 by Luther

-Holy Roman Empire end

-Restoration Movement 1800

 (Alexander Campbell)

-Israel returned as a nation                 (1946)

6.  Unknown Future events

-Israel conversion? (Rom. 11)

-War of Armageddon (Rev 19)

(“Beast” & “False Prophet”)

-“Dragon" bound 1000 years

-“Little Season” (Rev 20:3)

(Attack on the saints)

7. Final things (Rev. 20:11-15)

-Return of Christ (Rev 1:7)

-End of earth, (2Pet. 3)

-Resurrection, (1Cor. 15:51-54; 1Thes 4:14-17)

-Judgment, (Rom. 14:10)

-Wicked cast into Hell (Rev. 20:15; Matt. 25:31-46)

-New heaven and earth (Rev 21)




Twenty-one Key Old Testament Characters (See special notes)

Adam –First man

Noah –Built the Ark for the Great Flood

Abraham –Father of the faithful

Jacob –Father of the twelve tribes of Israel

Joseph –Sold into Egypt

Moses –Great lawgiver.  Led Israelites out of Egypt

Joshua –Conquered the Promised Land

Gideon –Great general -defeated the Midianites

Samuel –Last Judge and first prophet

Saul –First King

David –Man after God's own heart

Solomon –Wisest man

Elijah –Taken to heaven in fiery chariot

Isaiah –Messianic Prophet

Jeremiah –Weeping prophet of Judah

Ezekiel –People's Prophet in Babylon

Daniel  -Prophets during the Southern Exile

Ezra –Rebuilt the Temple

Nehemiah –Rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem

Ester  -Jewish queen of Persia, saved her people

Malachi –Last Old Testament prophet



Through the Holy Spirit God guided (“inspired”) holy men to write the Bible, confirming their authority to do so by special miraculous signs (2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 2:3-4; Mark 16:20).  Later, inspired writers helped authenticate which books should be regarded as inspired and bring them together.  From century to century they were copied with the utmost care, and often translated into other languages.  We now have it in most of the languages of the earth.


Versions of the Bible:


        These fall under two general classifications:


        1. Word-for-word translations


These attempt, as nearly as possible, to use English words which correspond exactly with those found in the original Greek or Hebrew.  However, due to differences in language structure, thought concepts, and many other factors, it is extremely difficult to do this briefly and simply.  A single Greek word may have several different uses which requires various English words to translate.  Sometimes no single English word gives the full idea, and in some instances there is no English word that conveys the meaning at all.  Also, several English words may provide similar meanings or there may be several ways of saying the same thing, thus providing a choice of words resulting in different combinations in different versions. Beyond this, we must recognize that our language is constantly changing and in time words become obsolete or may leave the reader with incorrect ideas. The King James Version (AV --Authorized Version) is an example of this problem.  Consequently, new translations are produced to try to make the Bible understandable.  However, the danger in any translation is that the translator may inject his own prejudices.  Fortunately, the Bible is so written that the truth tends to come through in spite of the weaknesses of men.


        2. “Free” translations.


These make little attempt to stick close to the original wording.  Rather, they paraphrase and simplify ideas.  While this can be very helpful, the danger is that either important concepts may be omitted or false ideas injected.  “Good News for Modern Man” (T.E.V.--Today’s English Version) and the LIVING Bible, are examples.


CONCLUSION: In actual practice there is usually a great deal of blending between both types of translation.  Some word-for-word translations are extremely biased (such as the “Jehovah’s Witness’s” NEW WORLD TRANSLATION.  On the other hand, some free translations have been most helpful, especially when used by those with limited comprehension or reading skills, or to serve as a simple statement of the text in connection with commentaries. Remember that all translations are made by men and the man who reads them is only human.  The original Greek or Hebrew can only be the final authority.



Events of the seven days of Creation (Gen. 1)

      1st      God made light and divided it from darkness = night and day.

        2nd     Atmosphere divided the water above from the seas below.

        3rd      Land separated from the seas. Vegetable life began.

        4th      Sun, moon and stars made to rule over day and night.

       5th       Sea life and birds.

       6th       Land animals and humans.

       7th       God rested from His work of creation


Twelve Tribes, or families, of Israel (Jacob)


(Laban's oldest daughter)

         1. Reuben

         2. Simeon

         3. Levi (Priesthood)

         4. Judah (Royal line)

         9. Issachar

       10. Zebulun

     (also, Dinah, a daughter)


(Rachel’s servant)

   5. Dan

   6. Napthali


(Leah’s servant)

   7. Gad

   8. Asher


(Laban's youngest)

    11. Joseph

    12. Benjamin


Ten Plagues                        

     1. Waters to Blood (Ex. 7:17-21)

     2. Frogs (Ex. 8:2-14)

     3. Lice (Ex. 8:16-18)

     4. Flies (Ex. 8:20-24)

    5. Murrain (sores) on cattle (Ex. 9:1-6)

    6. Boils on people (Ex. 9:8-11)

    7. Hail (Ex. 9:18-34)

    8. Locusts (Ex. 10:3-15)

    9. Darkness (Ex. 10:21-23)

  10. Death of first-born –Passover (Ex. chap. 11—12)



Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21)

      (The Decalogue)

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods

2. Thou shalt make no graven images to bow down to and serve

3. Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain (disrespectful use)

4. Remember the Sabbath day to it keep holy (Rest on Saturday, the seventh day)

5. Honor your father and your mother  (Care and respect)

6. Thou shalt not kill (Do not murder)

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery (Don’t make love to anyone other than your wife)

8. Thou shalt not steal  (Do not take what does not belong to you)

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness (Do not lie)

10. Thou shalt not covet (Do not feed a desire for that which you cannot properly have.)




The 23 Psalm

1  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


The “Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9-13)

After this manner therefore pray ye:

  9 Our Father which art in heaven,

      Hallowed be thy name.

 10 Thy kingdom come.

      Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

 11 Give us this day our daily bread.

 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 13 And lead us not into temptation,

      but deliver us from evil:

      For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


The Great Commission.  (Matt. 28:18-20)

18 And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. 9 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.


The “Golden Rule”  (Matt. 7:12)

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets


Two great commandments

 Matt. 22:38 (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5)

38 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.



1. Draw a map of the Mediterranean Sea.

a. Identify areas: Spain, Italy, Greece/Macedonia, Asia Minor (Turkey), Canaan (Palestine), Egypt.

b. Identify mountains: Pyrenees (between Spain and France), Alps (north of Italy), Ararat, Hermon

c.  Identify islands: Sicily, Crete, Cyprus

d. Identify cities: Rome, Corinth, Thessalonica, Athens, Ephesus, Antioch, Jerusalem.

2.  Draw a map of the Fertile Crescent and Egypt

a. Identify areas: Egypt, Canaan, Syria, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Persia, Arabia.

b. Identify bodies of water and rivers: Nile, Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Dead Sea, Euphrates, Tigress, Persian Gulf, Black Sea.

c. Identify cities: Jerusalem, Damascus, Haran, Nineveh, Babylon.