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It always amazes me how many Christians I meet who don’t know what the Bible teaches. The Bible is the manual for the Christian life and is the revelation of God Himself, who we must love more than anything in order to be saved in the end. Matthew 10:37 Do we read the instructions for a new electronic device, which will wear out in three years or less and need replaced? How much more crucial it is to read and understand the information that will determine our eternal salvation or damnation and that of those we love.

It is dangerous to simply believe everything you hear from another person, even a preacher. We are all imperfect humans and make mistakes. God tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Philippians 2:12 We alone are accountable to God for what we believe and how we live. We need to know what He has told us, so we can obey Him and will know when we are hearing lies.

Many people think the Bible is difficult to understand, so they don't try. Actually, it was written on a 6th grade level. Sure there are topics that are open to differing opinions, but the majority is easily understood, especially when you ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as you study. The Rabbis of old said that scripture has 70 layers of meanings, so after we learn the obvious meaning of a passage, there is still a wealth of knowledge to be gained from further study, with His help.

I am going to "demystify" how to study the Bible in a few short, easy lessons in the hopes of encouraging you to explore the riches it holds for you. Look in the label cloud under "Christianity 101" for lessons you have missed and God bless your efforts! I'm always available to you in e-mail and I pray for everyone who visits here.

CHRISTIANITY 101 - Using Your Bible Lesson 4

Old Testament Book Categories, Dates & Main Topics

The Old Testament is a collection of 39 books by different authors covering from around 1500 B.C. to 100 A.D. (about 1,000 years) and was written mostly in Hebrew, with a few scattered parts in Aramaic. It lays the foundation for the coming of the Messiah Savior anticipating Him as Prophet, Priest, and King and as the suffering Savior who must die for man’s sin before He reigns. The Old Testament is what the Jewish faith uses. They do not use the New Testament as they do not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God.

The Old Testament books fall into four categories:

Law – The first five books of the Bible are sometimes called the Torah or Pentateuch which means “five books”. They are also known as the books of the law because they contain the laws and instruction given by the Lord through Moses to the people of Israel. These books were written by Moses, except for the last portion of Deuteronomy because it tells about the death of Moses. These five books lay the foundation for the coming of Christ in that here God chooses and brings into being the nation of Israel. As God’s chosen people, Israel became the custodians of the Old Testament, the recipients of the covenants of promise, and the channel of Messiah (Rom. 3:2; 9:1-5).

History – With Joshua through Esther, we come to the second group of twelve books that deals with the history of the nation of Israel. These books cover the life of the nation from their possession of the land down to the two deportations and loss of the land because of unbelief and disobedience. Covering about 800 years of Israel’s history, these twelve books tell about the conquering and possession of Canaan, the reigns of the judges, the establishment of kings, the division of Israel into the northern and Southern Kingdoms, the fall of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria, the exile of the Southern Kingdom into Babylon, and the return to Jerusalem under the leadership of men like Nehemiah and Ezra.

Poetry – Five books—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

Prophecy – Seventeen books including the Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel), and the twelve Minor Prophets (Lamentations through Malachi).

(This lesson includes some material from

Today's freebie is the snowflake itself. Yesterday I gave you a gorgeous 12x12 frame made of these lovely crystal beauties. As I said, get it now because it's a large file and I won't be able to leave it here forever as my 4shared space is filling up. They had to be psd files to preserve the transparency and beveling details which are stunning, in my opinion. That's why they are large. I have grouped and linked the layers, so if you don't mess with them, but drag the group onto your image, your results will be like what you see above. If you want to use it opaque, simply "merge visible" before you drag to your project. I thought the hand holding it was fun, but you can remove it easily if you wish. I'd love to see what you make with my gifts - please send me some!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
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