Ouxano: How To Study the Bible, Part 1: Biblical Format

What is the Bible and how did it get put together?

The Bible has over 40 authors, over 66 different books, on three different continents: North Africa, Europe and the Middle East Asia. It was written between the years 1500 B.C. – 70 A.D.

The Old Testament – Written from around 1500 BC to 400 BC.

The Old Testament has four primary types of literature:
History – Covers the history of the Jewish people.
Law/Teaching – Covers the law God gave them.
Wisdom/Poetry – Speaks truth about life in general and our relationship with God.
Prophetic Writings – Calls God’s people to live faithfully to what God has given them in the Law.

The New Testament contains three types of literature:
History – Gospels and Acts
Letters – Epistles from the Apostles
Prophecy – Revelation

How was it put together?
First, the Law was stored in the Ark of the Covenant. Most likely, Moses’ writing was stored with the other laws by the Levites and was kept wherever they kept the tabernacle. Later, the center of scriptural copying was placed in Jerusalem.

Ancient Israeli scribes – the job of copying scripture.
Ezra – party of the scribes

The Septuagint (LXX), Alexandria – 250 -100 BC
By the time of Jesus, the Septuagint already had a wide effect. The New Testament authors quote out of the Old Testament both in its Hebrew form and the Greek Septuagint.

The New Testament – The apostles were the divinely ordained witnesses to the events of Jesus and his commission to the church.

Acts 1:21-22. The Apostles teachings and writings had a profound influence and authority in the life of the church. Just one example is found in II Peter 3:15-16. Their authority carried such weight that the early church believed that their writings should also be placed alongside the Old Testament as a New Testament of what God had done.

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