Bible Study Guide

The Bible Narrative

General Aims

Throughout the last 2000 years the Bible has been one of the most studied books. As of 2005 the Summer Institute of Linguistics a partner of the Wycliffe Bible Translators stated that at least 1 book of the Bible had been translated into 2400 different languages.
The Bible is available in whole or in part to 98% of the world’s population in a language in which they are fluent.
The King James Version (KJV) now over 400 years old, was extensively used as an English literacy teaching aid, leading to a wide basic knowledge of the Bible contents amongst the general population.
Since the mid-20th century however, this approach to Bible studies has significantly declined, leading to general ignorance of its contents.

We will be posting notes that are intended to provide a general outline of the Bible narrative, with the aim of assisting individuals seeking to enhance their knowledge of this book’s content.

This is not in any way intended as a replacement to personal reading and study of the Bible, but rather setting a basic framework to assist in getting individuals started.


God as Author

The 66 Books of the Bible (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament) were written by more than 30 men, however, the internal Bible claim is one of Divine authorship, as declared for example by the Apostles:-

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God

2 Peter 1:20-21 no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Statements are made not only on the actions, but also thoughts and intentions of individuals which led to the given actions. To be so definitive on intent is outside of the scope of human ability.

Similarly the prophets regularly make statements such as:- Jeremiah 30:4 …these are the words that the LORD spake.

Ancient Texts

The Old Testament was originally in ancient Hebrew, with some portions notably in Daniel and Ezra in Aramaic.
In 132BC the Septuagint translation into Greek was made. From the 9th to 15th centuries Jewish scholars known today as Masoretes compared the text of all known biblical manuscripts to compile a unified standard text.
The Masoretic text forms the basis of major accepted translations of the Old Testament such as the KJV today.
The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Dead Sea scrolls are additional available sources, verifying the overall consistency of the text.

The Dead Sea scrolls date back to approximately 150-70BC, and were found in 11 caves close to the ancient settlement of Qumran where a community of Essenes, a Jewish sect, resided.

The original New Testament was in Greek, with versions available dating back to 3rd to 4th century AD.
Unless otherwise stated, the King James Version (KJV) is quoted throughout these study notes.

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