The primary purpose of this Bible Overview is to encourage you to read the Bible. Be like the Bereans who "...examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11). Many "experts" (professional theologians) disagree as to how to interpret various passages in the Bible, so read the Bible yourself--or better yet, listen while someone else reads the Bible. It is a good idea to read or listen to the entire Bible at least once (and preferably 2, 3, to 6 or more times) before spending a lot of time examining specific passages. Often the next verse, next chapter or next book in the Bible does a better job of explaining a particular passage than all of the "experts" and Bible commentators put together. Just listen and let God speak to you through the words of the Bible.
You can get the entire Bible on CD or DVD and listen while: commuting to & from work; exercising; relaxing; recuperating; and anytime you would be listening to the radio or music CD's now. Most of these CD's and DVD's cover the entire Bible in about 80 hours. If you listen about an hour per day, you can go through the entire Bible at least 3 times in a year. If you can dedicate the time, you can listen to the entire Bible in a week! At an average of 11 to 12 hours per day.
|The first words in the Bible are "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) Near the end of the Bible we read "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth..." (Revelation 21:1)|
Sometimes the Bible can be very confusing. We believe the words in the Bible were inspired by God, but were written by several different people. Each author had a writing style that was somewhat different; and each book has a perspective, objective or audience in mind that is somewhat different. Many of the books in the Bible, and sometimes passages within the books, are not in chronological order. Several events and passages are repeated over and over again. As a result, the Bible reads a little bit like the proceedings of a conference that includes papers written by several different authors presenting their findings related to specific related issues.
So one of the goals of this Bible Overview is to provide a frame work to help you put things in perspective as you go through the Bible. We will begin with just reading the Bible and listening to the stories. Then we will go into a little more detail, on various topics.
Addendum September, 2008: Many long reports begin with a summary of the report to give an overview of the basic elements in the report. Consider an executive overview of the Bible consisting of: the first three chapters of Genesis (Creation, Harmonious Life, Disobedience); the first chapter of John; the eleventh chapter of Hebrews; and, the last two chapters of Revelation (All is made new & The New Jerusalem). Also see What's Next for a short overview of the Bible. (Hyperlinks added July, 2010.)