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This inexpensive New Testament Bible is great for outreach and evangelism, featuring text from the world’s most popular modern-English Bible translation, the New International Version. It also includes specially written articles that give an overview of fourteen key tenets of the Christian faith, including: • Why Read the Bible? • Who Is God? • Why Does Sin Separate Us from God? • Who Is Jesus Christ? • Who Is the Holy Spirit? • How Can I Turn My Life Around? • Why Go to Church? • What Is God’s Plan for Me? • How Can I Use My Gifts? • What Is Prayer? • What Is Faith? • Are We Going to be Judged? • What Is God’s Plan for Salvation? • How Can I Share My Faith with Others?

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of the

Christian Faith

The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by Permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

NIV Essentials of the Christian Faith

Published by Zondervan Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA

New International Version and NIV are registered trademarks of Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission.

eISBN: 9780310443193

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Table of Contents

Cover Page

Articles and Resources




Matthew by Chapters

Mark by Chapters

Luke by Chapters

John by Chapters

Acts by Chapters

Romans by Chapters

1 Corinthians by Chapters

2 Corinthians by Chapters

Galatians by Chapters

Ephesians by Chapters

Philippians by Chapters

Colossians by Chapters

1 Thessalonians by Chapters

2 Thessalonians by Chapters

1 Timothy by Chapters

2 Timothy by Chapters

Titus by Chapters


Hebrews by Chapters

James by Chapters

1 Peter by Chapters

2 Peter by Chapters

1 John by Chapters

2 John

3 John


Revelation by Chapters

Articles and Resources

How to Use the NIV Essentials of the Christian Faith, Digital eBook Edition


Alphabetical Order of the Books of the Bible

Topics Discussed

Table of Weights and Measures

Index to Color Maps


How to Use the NIV Essentials of the Christian Faith, eBook Edition

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The goal of the New International Version (NIV) is to enable English-speaking people from around the world to read and hear God’s eternal Word in their own language. Our work as translators is motivated by our conviction that the Bible is God’s Word in written form. We believe that the Bible contains the divine answer to the deepest needs of humanity, sheds unique light on our path in a dark world and sets forth the way to our eternal well-being. Out of these deep convictions, we have sought to recreate as far as possible the experience of the original audience—blending transparency to the original text with accessibility for the millions of English speakers around the world. We have prioritized accuracy, clarity and literary quality with the goal of creating a translation suitable for public and private reading, evangelism, teaching, preaching, memorizing and liturgical use. We have also sought to preserve a measure of continuity with the long tradition of translating the Scriptures into English.

The complete NIV Bible was first published in 1978. It was a completely new translation made by over a hundred scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. The translators came from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, giving the translation an international scope. They were from many denominations and churches—including Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Evangelical Covenant, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Wesleyan and others. This breadth of denominational and theological perspective helped to safeguard the translation from sectarian bias. For these reasons, and by the grace of God, the NIV has gained a wide readership in all parts of the English-speaking world.

The work of translating the Bible is never finished. As good as they are, English translations must be regularly updated so that they will continue to communicate accurately the meaning of God’s Word. Updates are needed in order to reflect the latest developments in our understanding of the biblical world and its languages and to keep pace with changes in English usage. Recognizing, then, that the NIV would retain its ability to communicate God’s Word accurately only if it were regularly updated, the original translators established The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT). The committee is a self-perpetuating group of biblical scholars charged with keeping abreast of advances in biblical scholarship and changes in English and issuing periodic updates to the NIV. CBT is an independent, self-governing body and has sole responsibility for the NIV text. The committee mirrors the original group of translators in its diverse international and denominational makeup and in its unifying commitment to the Bible as God’s inspired Word.

In obedience to its mandate, the committee has issued periodic updates to the NIV. An initial revision was released in 1984. A more thorough revision process was completed in 2005, resulting in the separately published Today’s New International Version (TNIV). The updated NIV you now have in your hands builds on both the original NIV and the TNIV and represents the latest effort of the committee to articulate God’s unchanging Word in the way the original authors might have said it had they been speaking in English to the global English-speaking audience today.

The first concern of the translators has continued to be the accuracy of the translation and its faithfulness to the intended meaning of the biblical writers. This has moved the translators to go beyond a formal word-for-word rendering of the original texts. Because thought patterns and syntax differ from language to language, accurate communication of the meaning of the biblical authors demands constant regard for varied contextual uses of words and idioms and for frequent modifications in sentence structures.

As an aid to the reader, sectional headings have been inserted. They are not to be regarded as part of the biblical text and are not intended for oral reading. It is the committee’s hope that these headings may prove more helpful to the reader than the traditional chapter divisions, which were introduced long after the Bible was written.

For the Old Testament the standard Hebrew text, the Masoretic Text as published in the latest edition of Biblia Hebraica, has been used throughout. The Masoretic Text tradition contains marginal notations that offer variant readings. These have sometimes been followed instead of the text itself. Because such instances involve variants within the Masoretic tradition, they have not been indicated in the textual notes. In a few cases, words in the basic consonantal text have been divided differently than in the Masoretic Text. Such cases are usually indicated in the textual footnotes. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain biblical texts that represent an earlier stage of the transmission of the Hebrew text. They have been consulted, as have been the Samaritan Pentateuch and the ancient scribal traditions concerning deliberate textual changes. The translators also consulted the more important early versions—the Greek Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Targums and, for the Psalms, the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome. Readings from these versions, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the scribal traditions were occasionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed doubtful and where accepted principles of textual criticism showed that one or more of these textual witnesses appeared to provide the correct reading. In rare cases, the committee has emended the Hebrew text where it appears to have become corrupted at an even earlier stage of its transmission. These departures from the Masoretic Text are also indicated in the textual footnotes. Sometimes the vowel indicators (which are later additions to the basic consonantal text) found in the Masoretic Text did not, in the judgment of the committee, represent the correct vowels for the original text. Accordingly, some words have been read with a different set of vowels. These instances are usually not indicated in the footnotes.

The Greek text used in translating the New Testament is an eclectic one, based on the latest editions of the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament. The committee has made its choices among the variant readings in accordance with widely accepted principles of New Testament textual criticism. Footnotes call attention to places where uncertainty remains.

The New Testament authors, writing in Greek, often quote the Old Testament from its ancient Greek version, the Septuagint. This is one reason why some of the Old Testament quotations in the NIV New Testament are not identical to the corresponding passages in the NIV Old Testament. Such quotations in the New Testament are indicated with the footnote (see Septuagint).

Other footnotes in this version are of several kinds, most of which need no explanation. Those giving alternative translations begin with Or and generally introduce the alternative with the last word preceding it in the text, except when it is a single-word alternative. When poetry is quoted in a footnote, a slash mark indicates a line division.

It should be noted that references to diseases, minerals, flora and fauna, architectural details, clothing, jewelry, musical instruments and other articles cannot always be identified with precision. Also, linear measurements and measures of capacity can only be approximated (see the Table of Weights and Measures). Although Selah, used mainly in the Psalms, is probably a musical term, its meaning is uncertain. Since it may interrupt reading and distract the reader, this word has not been kept in the English text, but every occurrence has been signaled by a footnote.

One of the main reasons the task of Bible translation is never finished is the change in our own language, English. Although a basic core of the language remains relatively stable, many diverse and complex linguistic factors continue to bring about subtle shifts in the meanings and/or connotations of even old, well-established words and phrases. One of the shifts that creates particular challenges to writers and translators alike is the manner in which gender is presented. The original NIV (1978) was published in a time when a man would naturally be understood, in many contexts, to be referring to a person, whether male or female. But most English speakers today tend to hear a distinctly male connotation in this word. In recognition of this change in English, this edition of the NIV, along with almost all other recent English translations, substitutes other expressions when the original text intends to refer generically to men and women equally. Thus, for instance, the NIV (1984) rendering of 1 Corinthians 8:3, But the man who loves God is known by God becomes in this edition But whoever loves God is known by God. On the other hand, man and mankind, as ways of denoting the human race, are still widely used. This edition of the NIV therefore continues to use these words, along with other expressions, in this way.

A related shift in English creates a greater challenge for modern translations: the move away from using the third-person masculine singular pronouns—he/him/his—to refer to men and women equally. This usage does persist at a low level in some forms of English, and this revision therefore occasionally uses these pronouns in a generic sense. But the tendency, recognized in day-to-day usage and confirmed by extensive research, is away from the generic use of he, him and his. In recognition of this shift in language and in an effort to translate into the common English that people are actually using, this revision of the NIV generally uses other constructions when the biblical text is plainly addressed to men and women equally. The reader will frequently encounter a they, them or their to express a generic singular idea. Thus, for instance, Mark 8:36 reads: What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? This generic use of the indefinite or singular they/them/their has a venerable place in English idiom and has quickly become established as standard English, spoken and written, all over the world. Where an individual emphasis is deemed to be present, anyone or everyone or some other equivalent is generally used as the antecedent of such pronouns.

Sometimes the chapter and/or verse numbering in English translations of the Old Testament differs from that found in published Hebrew texts. This is particularly the case in the Psalms, where the traditional titles are often included in the Hebrew verse numbering. Such differences are indicated in the footnotes at the bottom of the page. In the New Testament, verse numbers that marked off portions of the traditional English text not supported by the best Greek manuscripts now appear in brackets, with a footnote indicating the text that has been omitted (see, for example, Matthew 17:[21]).

Mark 16:9–20 and John 7:53–8:11, although long accorded virtually equal status with the rest of the Gospels in which they stand, have a very questionable—and confused—standing in the textual history of the New Testament, as noted in the bracketed annotations with which they are set off. A different typeface has been chosen for these passages to indicate even more clearly their uncertain status.

Basic formatting of the text, such as lining the poetry, paragraphing (both prose and poetry), setting up of (administrative-like) lists, indenting letters and lengthy prayers within narratives and the insertion of sectional headings, has been the work of the committee. However, the choice between single-column and double-column formats has been left to the publishers. Also the issuing of red-letter editions is a publisher’s choice—one the committee does not endorse.

The committee has again been reminded that every human effort is flawed—including this revision of the NIV. We trust, however, that many will find in it an improved representation of the Word of God, through which they hear his call to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and to service in his kingdom. We offer this version of the Bible to him in whose name and for whose glory it has been made.

The Committee on Bible Translation

September 2010

Alphabetical Order of the Books of the Bible

The books of the New Testament are indicated by italics.

Topics Discussed

1. Why Read the Bible?

2. Who Is God?

3. How Does Sin Separate Us From God?

4. Who Is Jesus Christ?

5. Who Is the Holy Spirit?

6. How Can I Turn My Life Around?

7. Why Go to Church?

8. What Is God’s Plan for Me?

9. How Can I Use My Gifts?

10. What Is Prayer?

11. What Is Faith?

12. Are We Going to Be Judged?

13. What Is God’s Plan for Salvation?

14. How Can I Share My Faith With Others?

Why Read the Bible?

We turn to the Bible for different reasons. Some of us turn to it for inspiration, some for encouragement, some to gain historical facts, some for the poetry and some for the philosophy. While the Bible can provide all these things, its primary purpose is to deliver a message—God’s message. It’s a book that offers us hope we can hold on to as we navigate through our hectic lives.

The Bible is the bestselling book of all time and continues to sell millions of copies every year. This book was written over the course of 1,500 years by more than 40 different writers. Yet it is a miraculous book because despite its varied background, it reveals a loving God and his message for us.

The central theme of his message is that we can know God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who was born as a human and took the penalty for our sins on the cross. Christ’s life and ministry were prophesied in the opening chapters of Genesis and culminate with great promise and hope for us in the last chapter of the book of Revelation.

There are three additional truths about the Bible you should know. Study them further below:

The Bible stands alone. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The Bible changes lives. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The Bible delivers God’s truth. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Who Is God?

One of the most difficult questions someone can ask is about the nature of God. There may be as many ideas about who God is as there are people on this planet. God is infinite and in many senses unknowable, which defies our flawed human comprehension; he is bigger and greater than anything we thought possible.

Yet the Bible tells us many things about God that can help us understand him better. We know that he is our Creator (see Genesis 1–2); he has created all things on earth. We know that he is all-powerful; there is nothing that the Lord cannot do (see Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17). We also know that he is omniscient; he knows not only all our deeds but also all our thoughts (see Psalm 94:11). This all-powerful and all-knowing being is completely holy and absolutely sinless (see Psalm 99:3–5). But the Bible also tells us that God loves the world and his human creations (see John 3:16), and he often acts in human history on their behalf (see Deuteronomy 20:4). His greatness is accompanied by love and mercy.

Life as a Christian includes seeking to improve our understanding of God. The Bible tells us about God and the way he works in history.

There are five additional points about God you should know. Study them further below:

God the Creator and King. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

God the Father. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The holiness of God. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The love and grace of God. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The Trinity. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

How Does Sin Separate Us From God?

Everybody has probably heard about sin at some point or another—but few people actually understand what the term means. Some may associate sin with failing to follow a set of laws such as the Ten Commandments (found in Exodus 20). Others may dismiss sin as a set of failures to meet specific religious obligations.

But sin cannot be easily reduced this way. We cannot think about sin the same way we think about breaking human laws. In human legal systems, there is a set relationship between a given crime and a given punishment. But sin is about so much more than keeping a law or breaking a law. Sin is not only about what we do but also about who we are in relationship to God. When we sin, our connection with God is shattered in a way that cannot be repaired by paying a fine or fulfilling community service. God, who is sinless, cannot have association with anything that is sinful any more than two opposite ends of a magnet can peacefully exist together.

Our problem is that we give way to sin on a daily basis. Sin can occur when we selfishly sleep in rather than help a friend, cut in front of a line at the bus or love human praise more than praise from God (John 12:43). Sin can also exist when we treat people as objects and see them as a means of gratifying our own desires (for sex, money, power or even self-confidence) rather than as individuals in their own right. The terrible news of sin is that we’re all guilty. The good news, though, is that the story does not end with our sin. God found a way, through Christ, to overcome our sin, which we’ll read about in future studies.

There are four additional points about Sin you should know. Study them further below:

The fallen state of the world. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The fallen state of people. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The relationship between people and God. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The urgent need for repentance. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Who Is Jesus Christ?

We know Jesus Christ as our Redeemer, our Lord and Savior, our Messiah and the Son of God (see Mark 14:61–62). Yet many non-Christians only have a general idea about who Jesus Christ really is. While those of other faiths (like Judaism and Islam) revere Jesus Christ only as a great prophet, Christians believe he is much more. Jesus Christ’s words and teachings are vitally important as the words of eternal life and salvation. Moreover, Jesus Christ was far more than a mere human being. We believe he was, in fact, God incarnate, who came down to earth in order to redeem humanity by his sacrifice.

Christ’s death on the cross and his later resurrection not only prove his divinity, but they also radically changed the course of history: Christ’s love is what allows us to enter into a true and meaningful relationship with God the Father. Because of Christ’s dying for our sins, we enter into a world of redemption, hope and opportunity. Just as Christ was returned from death, so too can we be born again into eternal life.

There are five additional points about Jesus you should know. Study them further below:

Fully human, yet sinless. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Fully divine. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Messiah. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

His death and resurrection. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The last Adam. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is often called the third person of the Trinity and works today in the world, in our minds and in our hearts. We know from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is our guide and the one who turns our minds to God and makes us aware of his love (see John 16:13). Like the other persons of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit has his own mind and his own will (see 1 Corinthians 2:11). He has his own emotions—including the ability to feel love (see Romans 15:30). The Holy Spirit’s will acts in perfect accordance with the will of the Father and the Son, because all three wills are the single will of the living God, who is one (see Mark 12:29).

One of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to connect you—mortal and human—with God the Father (see Titus 3:4–6). While the words and ideas in the Bible may help you understand God better on an intellectual level, it is the working of the Holy Spirit on your heart that moves you closer to God.

There are four additional points about the Holy Spirit you should know. Study them further below:

The deity of the Holy Spirit. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The role of the Holy Spirit. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The help the Spirit gives. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The fruit of the Spirit. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

How Can I Turn My Life Around?

We all fall short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23). But admitting our sins to ourselves is only the first step. We must learn how to take our guilt, our anger and our pain and transform it into love and compassion. We must learn how our sins can be washed clean so that we can once more become clean in the eyes of God. We must, as Jesus told Nicodemus in the Gospel of John, be born again (John 3:7). This new birth is about casting off our old, mortal life and entering into a new kind of life: the eternal life! By putting our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, by accepting the beauty of the truth that he has died for our sins, we can start the process of Christlike growth (maturity).

Confession of sin is critical to the Christian life and the process of new birth. If we refuse to admit that we are sinful, we refuse to acknowledge our need of a Savior, and as a result we cannot be cleansed from the sin in our lives. The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, but when we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, he freely gives it to us by his love and his grace (see Ephesians 2:3–5).

We know that our lives are the most precious things we have—the whole world is not enough to make up for the stain of sin on our lives (see Mark 8:36). In order to keep our souls clean for God, we must pray, as the sinner in Jesus’ parable prayed, God, have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13). This prayer—and the humility that accompanies it—is the first step toward a redeemed life.

There are four additional points about Turning Your Life Around you should know. Study them further below:

Finding grace through rebirth. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

More than conquerors. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Loving God. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Loving others. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Why Go to Church?

We live in an era in which being an individual is the in thing. Everything from news programs to clothing styles show individual expressions and have appeal to many different people. Those are not bad things. After all, God intentionally created each of us as an original. The problem lies in that with this celebration of individuality, people have come to believe that organized religion is an outdated, old-fashioned concept that doesn’t work for today’s individual.

Since God knows our hearts, sometimes people begin asking questions like, Why should I bother attending church? or Why can’t I simply read my Bible on my own? We can look all around us and see more people choosing private spirituality and personal relationships with God above the corporate worship experience with the local church. While those Christians may enjoy a genuine faith, they are missing out on the fellowship Christ established.

While Jesus was on earth, he established a community of believers—the 12 apostles. This group was fully committed to spreading the good news of Christ’s resurrection through working as a united team. They constantly encouraged and served each other. They taught each other about love, grace and forgiveness. Together they experienced hope during struggles and joy despite pain. The church can fill the same role today.

Can you be a Christian and not attend church? Yes. But the writer of Hebrews knew the value of community when he wrote that Christians should carefully think about not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:25). Finding the right local church is a commitment that can take lots of energy and time. But don’t give up. Getting involved will join you with a community that Jesus Christ himself established. Begin by looking for a church that is centered around Jesus Christ and that preaches and teaches the Bible.

There are three additional points about the Church you should know. Study them further below:

The church is the bride of Christ. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The church is the body of Christ. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The church is a place to grow. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

What Is God’s Plan for Me?

Why are we on earth? What’s our purpose? What is the meaning of life? How do we know if this is where we’re supposed to be? Though the Bible urges us to follow God’s plan for our lives (see Joshua 22:5), discovering God’s plan can seem insurmountable. At times we wish we had a detailed road map to follow that would outline every major decision of our lives. But such a map, if it existed, would stand in the way of faith and daily dependency on God.

So what is God’s plan for you? The Bible outlines several things that reveal his plan for all his children: God desires that you love him (see Deuteronomy 6:5), obey him (see Deuteronomy 6:24), grow in faith (see 1 Thessalonians 4:3), develop gifts to serve the church (see 1 Corinthians 12:4–7), do good works for others (see Ephesians 2:10), remain sexually pure (see 1 Thessalonians 4:3), remain free from the love of money (see Hebrews 13:5) and share the good news of Jesus with others (see Matthew 28:18–20). Though you may be seeking guidance on where the next step on your life journey should lead, you can be certain that God’s Word will never lead you away from these things.

You can discern more about God’s plan through the reading of the Bible, through the wise counsel of others and through stewardship and development of your God-given gifts. Above all else, be faithful in prayer as you present your questions to God and depend on him to direct you. He’s promised to lead you in the right direction: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ (Isaiah 30:21).

There are three additional points about God’s Plan you should know. Study them further below:

Enjoy your identity. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Born to serve. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The value of people. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

How Can I Use My Gifts?

Scripture tells us that we are called to serve God in various ways. But how can we know how best to serve him? In the life of the church community, it is too easy to divide Christians into two camps—the participants (pastors, priests, board members, etc.) and spectators. But Christians were called not to watch but to participate in the life of ministry. The church forms one unified body (see Ephesians 4:16); and like a body, it requires all its parts to function together. Imagine what your own body would be like without even the smallest of bones or ligaments: incomplete. That is what your community looks like without you being actively involved in it.

This doesn’t mean that you have to get up and lead the congregation every Sunday. It does mean, however, that you use your skills and talents to the best of your ability to serve your local church. If you are good with words, you might help write the weekly newsletter. If you are a gifted cook, you might bring in brownies for a bake sale. These practical gifts underlie a spiritual purpose. But your spiritual gifts may not be so practical. Someone might have the gift of quiet faith; someone else might be a gifted teacher. Only by working together can all these gifted people form a community.

There are three additional points about Gifts you should know. Study them further below:

Using your gifts. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Staying healthy. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Pleasing God. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

What Is Prayer?

Praying is one way we draw closer to God. While worshiping in church and sharing our love with other people within our community can be spiritually fulfilling, it is vitally important to develop the personal and individual relationship with God that only private and corporate prayer can bring. Prayer helps us to better listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us, allowing us to enter into a meaningful and powerful relationship with God.

Whether you need guidance on a specific issue or you simply need relief from pain or despair, prayer can often serve as a deep and fulfilling remedy. Through prayer, you can reflect and meditate on your own actions, offering yourself up to God and allowing him to guide you to the right decision, the right place in your life. No matter how alone you may feel, prayer is a living reminder that even in your darkest hour, you are far from alone: God is there with you, enveloping you in his love.

There are four additional points about Prayer you should know. Study them further below:

Prayer defined. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

How should you pray? (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Hindrances to prayer. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

How does God answer prayer? (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

What Is Faith?

Faith is one of the most central parts of our relationship with God. No matter who we are, no matter what our walk in life, there will be trying times for us. These difficult moments test our faith and trust in God. Our faith is tested daily—by terrible news stories that remind us of death and cruelty, by personal troubles, by the human failings of our family and friends. And yet the more we live in faith, the better we are able to make our way in the world, to trust in God and his ultimate plan for the human race.

Faith makes us stronger, braver, better. Faith helps us through times of trouble and allows us to help others going through their own sets of trials. What exactly is faith? It is the trust that God exists, and by following him, we look forward to a world beyond this one—the kingdom of God, where we will live in peace with him forever.

There are two additional points about Faith you should know. Study them further below:

Faith defined. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Faith in difficult circumstances. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Are We Going to Be Judged?

The coming judgments that the Bible speaks of are unpopular in today’s world. We live in a world in which children receive trophies and we carefully choose our words so we don’t seem to prefer one coworker over another. Since judging winners or losers can make people feel bad, it’s usually not politically correct to do. It’s no wonder the Bible’s passages on the coming judgments don’t make the list of most popular Bible verses.

Though this is true, the Bible offers important truths about the reality of judgment. Those who have trusted in Christ for their salvation will find that their sins are forgiven and their heavenly position is secure, as their names are written in the book of life (Revelation 20:15). Those who refuse to follow Christ, whose names are not listed in the book of life, will find themselves destined to an eternity in hell (see Revelation 20:11–15).

Another judgment the Bible refers to is not one of heaven or hell but of reward for those who have followed Christ, persevered through trial and made the difficult choices that honor him. For a Christian, neither judgment is scary. Yes, God knows all that we have done and all that we have left undone, but we remain his children and our eternal position with him is assured.

There are five additional points about the Judgment you should know. Study them further below:

Second coming of Christ. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The awaiting judgments. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The awaiting rewards. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

The crown of life. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Life in eternity. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

What Is God’s Plan for Salvation?

When Adam and Eve, our first parents, disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3), the world changed. In a single, sinful action, everything about the world broke apart. Humanity’s relationship with God was severed. Our relationship with each other became strained. And even our relationship with the world was damaged. Before the fall, people could walk and talk with God without the barriers of sin and shame. Before the fall, there were no arguments or broken relationships. And before the fall, there were no weeds and no sickness to complicate life. While Adam and Eve once knew paradise, their sin shattered everything.

Though Adam introduced sin to God’s creation, Jesus came to reconcile and restore (see Colossians 1:19–20). He conquered the power of sin so that people could be reborn, approach God and have a relationship with him. The love he gives us inspires us to overlook the faults of others and love them with the same love that he has shown us. And he promises that he will one day restore the peace and order our physical world once knew (see Revelation 21–22).

In many ways, salvation is embracing God’s reconciliation. Through faith we embrace the sacrifice of Jesus that conquered sin. We are born again into a new relationship with God and with each other, and that gives us hope in a perfect world awaiting his children (see John 1:12–13; 3:16; 5:24).

There are four additional points about Salvation you should know. Study them further below:

All have sinned. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Salvation is God’s gift. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

God gives life. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Believe and be saved. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

How Can I Share My Faith With Others?

Entering into a personal, powerful relationship with God is but the Christians first step toward leading a Christian life. A next step is sharing the faith and the joy that it has brought you with others, celebrating the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection and the power of his love with those around you. This doesn’t necessarily mean slamming people with the Bible at every turn. St. Francis modeled a different way when he said, Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary use words." Much of sharing your faith with others comes not only through your words but also through your moral example (see Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12).

If you show others the way that faith in Christ has changed your life—by kind words, deeds and moral choices—they will more likely wonder what about you has inspired this goodness; they will see the fruits of Christianity firsthand. Furthermore, by sharing Christianity with others, you give them the joyful experience of joining with God and entering into a true and meaningful relationship with his Son.

Beliefs cannot be forced on others. Instead, you should respect and treat gently all those with whom you seek to share your faith as well as defend that faith (see 1 Peter 3:15). When people ask you about your faith—or your motivation for doing good deeds—answer simply and honestly, using Scripture as well as your personal experience as your guide.

There are four additional points about Sharing Your Faith you should know. Study them further below:

You were called to witness. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Be faithful to sow. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Ways to share. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Be not ashamed. (To learn more on this topic, click here.)

Table of Weights and Measures

The figures of the table are calculated on the basis of a shekel equaling 11.5 grams, a cubit equaling 18 inches and an ephah equaling 22 liters. The quart referred to is either a dry quart (slightly larger than a liter) or a liquid quart (slightly smaller than a liter), whichever is applicable. The ton referred to in the footnotes is the American ton of 2,000 pounds.

This table is based upon the best available information, but it is not intended to be mathematically precise; like the measurement equivalents in the footnotes, it merely gives approximate amounts and distances. Weights and measures differed somewhat at various times and places in the ancient world. There is uncertainty particularly about the ephah and the bath; further discoveries may shed more light on these units of capacity.

Index to Color Maps

The Index to Color Maps will lead you to place-names found on the color maps in the back of this Bible. References are to the map number and the margin markings.

Abana River 6 C/D1/2; 7 C/D1/2; 9 C/D1/2

Abarim Mts. 2 D4

Abel Meholah 7 B/C3

Abel Shittim 3 D2/3

Abila 9 C3

Abilene 9 D1; 13 D8

Acco See Akko

Achaia 13 C4/5; 14 C/D3

Adora 9 B5

Adriatic Sea 13 A/B3; 14 C2

Aegean Sea 1 A1; 13 C5; 14 C2

Africa 13 D1/2; 14 B/C3

Ai 1 C3; 3 C/D2/3

Aijalon 6 B3/4

Akko 2 D2; 4 B2; 5 B3/4; 6 B2; 9 B2/3

Aleppo 1 D2; 5 C1; 8a B1/2; 8b B4/5; 12 D1; 13 D8

Alexandria 14 D3/4

Alexandrium 9 B4

Altar 10 C3

Amathus 9 B/C4

Amman 2 D/E3

Ammon 3 D2/3; 4 D4; 5 B/C4/5; 6 D3; 7 C4

Amphipolis 13 B5

Anathoth 7 B4

Antinoe 14 D/E4

Antioch 12 C1/2; 13 D8; 14 E3

Antipatris 9 A/B4

Antonia Fortress 10 B2

Aphek 4 B3/4; 6 B3; 7 B3

Apollonia 13 B5

Arabah 2 D5

Arabia 1 D3; 13 E/F7/8

Arabians 8a B/C2/3

Arad 7 B4; 9 B5

Aram 4 D1/2; 5 C3; 6 C/D2; 7 C/D2

Aramean Desert 5 D3

Ararat See Urartu

Ararat, Mt. 1 E1; 8a C1

Araxes River 1 F1; 8a D1

Arbela 8b C4/5

Armenia 14 F2/3

Arnon River 2 D4; 3 D3; 4 C5; 6 C4; 7 C4; 9 C5

Aroer 4 C5

Arrapkha 8a C2; 8b C5

Arubu 8a B/C2/3

Arvad 5 B2; 8a B2; 8b B5

Ashdod 4 A/B4; 5 A/B4/5; 6 B3/4; 9 A4

Asher 4 B/C2

Ashkelon 4 A4; 6 A/B4; 9 A4

Ashtaroth 4 C/D2/3; 5 B/C3/4; 6 C2/3

Asia 13 C6

Asshur 1 E2; 8a C2; 8b C4/5

Assos 13 C5/6

Athens 13 C5; 14 D3

Atlantic Ocean 14 A1

Attalia 13 C/D6/7

Auranitis 9 D3

Azekah 3 C3

Azotus 12 B5/6

Babylon 1 E3; 8a C2; 8b C5

Babylonians 1 E/F3

Bashan 3 D1/2

Batanea 9 C3

Beautiful, Gate 10 C/D3

Beersheba 1 C3; 2 C/D4; 3 C3; 4 B5; 5 B5; 6 B4; 7 B4; 9 A/B5

Beersheba, Desert of 7 A/B4/5

Behistun 8b D5

Beirut 6 B/C1

Benjamin 4 B/C4

Berea 13 B/C4/5

Berothai 5 B/C2/3

Besor Brook 2 C4; 3 C3; 6 A/B4; 7 A/B4; 9 A5

Beth Horon 3 C2/3

Beth Shan 4 C3; 5 B4; 6 C3

Beth Shemesh 4 B4

Bethany 9 B4; 11 B5

Bethany beyond Jordan 9 B/C3; 11 C3, C5

Bethel 1 C/D3; 3 C/D2/3; 4 B4; 6 B3/4; 7 B3/4

Bethesda Pool 10 C2

Bethlehem 2 D3/4; 4 B4; 6 B4; 9 B4; 11 B5

Bethsaida 9 B/C2/3; 11 C2

Bethsura 12 B5/6

Betogabris 12 B5/6

Bezer 4 C4

Bithynia & Pontus 13 B7; 14 D/E2/3

Black Sea 1 B1; 8a A/B1; 13 A/B7; 14 E2

Bozrah 6 C5

Britain 14 A/B1

Byblos 1 C/D2/3; 5 B2/3; 8a B2; 8b B5; 12 B/C3/4

Byzantium 14 D2/3

Cabul See Kabul

Caesarea 9 A/B3; 11 A3; 12 B5; 13 E7/8

Caesarea Philippi 9 B/C2; 11 C1; 12 C4

Calah 8a C1/2

Cana 9 B3; 11 B2/3

Canaan 3 C/D2/3

Capernaum 9 B2/3; 11 B/C2; 12 B/C4/5

Caphtor 1 A2/3

Cappadocia 13 C8; 14 E2/3

Carchemish 1 D2; 8a B1/2; 8b B4/5

Carmel, Mt. 2 C/D2/3; 6 B2/3; 7 B2/3; 9 A/B3

Carthage 14 B/C3

Caspian Sea 1 F1; 8a D1; 8b D4; 14 F2

Caucasus Mts. 14 F2

Cenchrea 13 C/D5

Chorazin See Korazin

Cilicia 12 B1; 13 C/D7/8; 14 E3

Cnidus 13 C/D6

Cologna 14 B1

Colosse 13 C6

Commagene 13 C8

Corinth 13 C4/5; 14 C/D3

Corsica 13 A/B1/2; 14 B/C2

Cos 13 C/D6

Crete 1 A2/3; 13 D5; 14 D3

Cyprus (island) 1 C2/3; 5 A2; 12 A2/3; 13 D7; 14 D3

Cyprus (town) 9 B4

Cyrenaica 13 E/F4/5

Cyrene (region) 14 C/D4

Cyrene (town) 14 C/D3/4

Cyrus River 14 F2/3

Dacia 13 A5; 14 D2

Dalmatia 13 A3/4

Damascus 1 C/D3; 2 E1/2; 4 D1; 5 B/C3; 6 C/D2; 7 C/D2; 8a B2; 8b B5; 9 C/D2; 12 C4; 13 D/E8; 14 E3

Dan (town) 2 D2; 4 C1/2; 5 B3; 6 C2

Dan (tribe) 4 B4

Danube River 14 C1

Dead Sea 2 D4

Debir 3 C/D3

Decapolis 9 C/D3/4; 11 C/D3/4

Delphi 13 C4/5

Derbe 13 C7; 14 E3

Dibon 3 D3; 4 C4/5; 6 C4

Dion 9 C3

Dnieper River 14 D/E1

Dophkah 3 B/C4/5

Dor 4 B2/3; 9 A/B3

Dothan 1 C3; 7 B3

Dur Sharrukin 8a C1/2; 8b C4/5

Dura-Europos 14 E/F3

Eastern Desert 2 E/F4/5; 5 C/D4/5

Ebal, Mt. 2 D3; 4 B/C3; 6 B3; 9 B3/4

Ebla 1 C/D2

Ecbatana 8a D2; 8b D5

Edessa 14 E3

Edom 3 C/D3/4; 4 C6; 5 B5; 6 C5/6; 7 C5/6

Edom, Desert of 2 D/E5

Edrei 3 D2; 4 C/D3; 5 B/C4; 6 C3

Eglon 3 C3; 4 A/B4/5

Egypt 3 A3; 13 E/F6/7; 14 D4

Egyptians 1 C4

Egypt, Wadi of 2 B/C4; 5 A5

Ekron 4 B4

Elim 3 B4

Emmaus 9 B4; 11 A5; 12 B5

En Gedi 2 D4; 4 B/C5

Ephesus 13 C6; 14 D3

Ephraim 4 B4

Epirus 13 C4

Erech/Uruk 1 E/F3

Esbus See Heshbon

Essene Gate 10 A5

Essene Quarter 10 A/B5

Euphrates River 1 D2; 5 D1; 8a C2; 8b C5; 13 C8; 14 E3

Ezion Geber 2 C/D6; 3 C4; 5 B6

Fair Haven 13 D5

First Wall 10 B3/4

Fish Gate 10 A/B2

Foothills 2 C/D4

Forum of Appius 13 B2/3

Gad 4 C3/4

Gadara 9 B/C3; 11 C3

Galatia 13 C7; 14 D/E3

Galilean Mts. 2 D2

Galilee 7 B/C2; 9 B/C2/3; 11 B2; 12 B4/5

Galilee, Sea of 2 D2; 11 C2; 12 B/C4/5

Gallia 13 A1

Garden Tomb 10 B1

Gate Beautiful 10 C/D3

Gath 4 B4; 5 A/B4/5; 6 B4

Gath Hepher 7 B2/3

Gaul 14 B1/2

Gaulanitis 9 C2

Gaza 2 C4; 4 A4/5; 5 A4/5; 6 A/B4; 9 A5; 12 B6

Gebal 5 B2/3

Gennath Gate 10 A/B3/4

Gennesaret 9 B2/3

Gentiles, Court of the 10 C3

Gerar 1 C3; 4 A5; 6 A/B4

Gerasa 9 C3/4

Gergesa/Kursi 9 B/C3; 11 C2/3

Gerizim, Mt. 2 D3; 4 B/C3/4; 6 B3; 9 B4; 11 B4; 12 B5

Germania 13 A4

Germany 14 C1

Gethsemane 10 D2

Gezer 4 B4; 5 B4; 6 B3/4

Gibeah 5 B4

Gibeon 3 C2/3; 4 B4

Gihon Spring 10 D4/5

Gilboa, Mt. 2 D3; 3 C/D2; 5 B4; 6 B/C3

Gilead 7 C3/4

Gilgal 3 C/D2/3; 4 C4; 7 B/C3/4

Golan 4 C/D2/3

Golden Gate 10 D3

Golgotha 10 A/B3

Goshen 3 A/B3/4

Gozan 8a C1/2; 8b C4/5

Great Bitter Lake 2 A5; 3 A/B3/4

Great Sea, The 1 B3; 2 B2; 3 B2; 4 A2; 5 A3; 6 A2; 7 A2; 8a A2; 8b A5; 9 A2; 11 A2; 12 A3/4; 13 D3

Gulf of Aqaba 5 B6

Habor River 8a B/C1/2; 8b B/C4/5

Halak, Mt. 2 D4

Hamath (region) 5 C/D1/2

Hamath (town) 5 C2; 8a B2; 8b B5; 12 C/D2/3

Haran 1 D2; 8a B/C1/2; 8b B/C4/5

Hattusha 1 C1

Hazeroth 3 C4/5

Hazor 1 C/D3; 3 C/D2; 4 C2; 5 B3/4; 6 B/C2

Hebron 1 C3; 2 D4; 3 C/D3; 4 B4/5; 5 B4/5; 6 B4; 9 B5

Heliopolis 1 B/C3/4; 3 A4

Hermon, Mt. 2 D2; 4 C1/2; 5 B3; 6 C2; 9 C2; 11 C1

Herod Antipas’s Palace 10 B4

Herod’s Palace 10 A4

Herodium 9 B4/5

Heshbon 3 D2/3; 4 C4; 6 C3/4; 9 C4

Hezekiah’s Tunnel 10 C/D5

High Priest’s House 10 A/B5

Hinnom Valley 10 A/B6

Hippicus, Tower of 10 A3/4

Hippos 9 B/C3

Hittites 1 C1/2

Horeb, Mt. See Sinai, Mt.

Hormah 4 B5

Hula, Lake 9 B/C2

Huldah Gates 10 C/D4

Hyrcania 9 B4/5

Ibleam 6 B/C3

Iconium 13 C7

Idumea 9 A/B5

Ijon 4 C1/2

Illyricum 14 C1/2

Inner Court 10 C3

Ionian Sea 13 C4

Israel 6 B/C3/4

Israel, Court of 10 C3

Israel Pool 10 C/D2

Issachar 4 B/C3

Issus 13 C/D8

Italy 13 A/B2/3; 14 C2

Iturea 9 C1/2

Iye Abarim 3 D3

Jabbok River 2 D/E3; 4 C3/4; 6 C3; 7 C3; 9 C3/4; 11 C4

Jabesh Gilead 4 C3; 6 C3

Jahaz 3 D3

Jarmuk, Mt. 6 B/C2; 9 B2/3

Jamnia 9 A4

Jarmuth 3 C2/3

Jazer 4 C4

Jericho 2 D3; 3 C/D2/3; 4 C4; 6 B/C3/4; 7 B/C3/4; 9 B4; 11 B/C5

Jerusalem 2 D3/4; 3 C/D2/3; 4 B4; 5 B4/5; 6 B3/4; 7 B4; 8a B2/3; 8b B5/6; 9 B4; 11 B5; 12 B5/6; 13 E8; 14 E3/4

Jezreel 4 B/C3; 7 B3

Joppa 2 C/D3; 4 A/B3/4; 5 A/B4; 6 B3/4; 7 B3/4; 9 A/B4; 12 B5

Jordan River 2 D3; 3 C/D2; 4 C3; 5 B4; 6 C3; 7 B/C3; 8a B2/3; 8b B5/6; 9 B/C3/4; 11 B/C5; 12 B/C5; 13 E8

Judah 4 B4/5; 6 B4/5; 7 B4

Judea 9 B4/5; 11 B5; 12 B6; 13 E8; 14 E3

Judean Mts. 2 C/D4

Kabul 4 B/C2

Kadesh See Kedesh

Kadesh Barnea 1 C3/4; 3 C3/4; 5 A/B5/6; 6 A/B5

Kedesh 3 C/D1/2; 4 C2; 5 C2; 6 B/C2

Kerith Ravine 7 C3

Khersa See Gergesa/Kursi

Kidron Valley 10 D4/5

Kinnereth, Sea of 2 D2/3; 3 D2; 4 C2; 5 B3/4; 6 B/C2/3; 7 B/C2/3; 9 B/C2/3

Kios 13 C5/6

Kir Hareseth 5 B5; 6 C4/5; 7 C4/5

Kiriath Jearim 4 B4

Kishon River 2 D2/3; 4 B2/3; 6 B2/3; 7 B2/3; 9 B3

Kittim 1 C2/3; 5 A2

Knossos 1 A2

Korazin 9 B/C2/3; 11 B/C2

Lachish 3 C3; 4 B4/5

Laodicea 13 C6

Lasea 13 D5

Leontes River 9 B2

Libnah 3 C3

Litani River 2 D2; 4 C1; 5 B3; 6 C1/2; 12 C4

Little Bitter Lake 2 A/B5

Loire River 14 B1/2

London 14 B1

Lower City 10 B/C5

Lycaonia 13 C7

Lycia 13 C/D6/7

Lydda 12 B5

Lydia 13 C5/6

Lyon 14 B1/2

Lystra 13 C/D7

Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of 13 B4/5; 14 D2

Machaerus 9 B/C4/5; 11 C5/6

Magdala 9 B3; 11 B/C2

Mahanaim 4 C3/4; 5 B4

Mainz 14 B/C1

Makkedah 3 C3

Malatha 9 B5

Malta 13 D2/3

Manasseh 4 B3

Manasseh, East 4 C/D2

Marah 3 B4

Mareshah 6 B4

Mari 1 D/E2/3

Mariamne, Tower of 10 A4

Masada 9 B5

Mauretania 14 A/B3

Medeba 5 B4/5; 6 C4

Media 8a D2; 8b D4/5

Mediterranean Sea 2 B/2; 14 C3

Megiddo 1 C3; 4 B/C3; 5 B4; 6 B3; 9 B3

Me Jarkon River See Yarkon River

Memphis 1 B/C4; 3 A4; 8a A3; 8b A6; 14 D/E4

Men, Court of See Israel, Court of

Menzaleh, Lake 3 A/B3

Merom 3 C/D2; 4 C2

Mesopotamia 14 E/F3

Midian 3 C5

Miletus 13 C/D6

Mitylene 13 C5/6

Mizpah 4 B/C4; 7 B3/4; 8b B5/6

Moab 3 D3; 4 C5; 5 B5; 6 C4; 7 B/C4/5

Moesia 13 A6; 14 D2

Moreh, Mt. 2 D2/3; 4 B/C2/3; 6 B/C2/3

Moresheth Gath 7 B4

Mycenae 1 A2

Myra 13 D6/7

Mysia 13 B/C6; 14 D2/3

Nabatea 9 C5; 14 E3/4

Nain 9 B3; 11 B3

Naphtali 4 C2

Nazareth 2 D2/3; 9 B3; 11 B3

Neapolis 13 B5

Nebo, Mt. 2 D3/4; 3 D2/3; 4 C4; 6 C3/4

Negev 2 C/D4

Nile River 1 B/C4; 3 A4/5; 13 F7; 14 D/E4

Nineveh 1 E2; 8a C1/2; 8b C4/5

Nippur 1 E3; 8a C/D2/3; 8b C/D5

Noph See Memphis

Numidia 13 C/D1

Nuzi 1 E2

Oboth 3 C/D3/4

Olives, Mt. of 2 D3/4; 10 D3; 11 B5

Olympus, Mt. 13 B/C4/5