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1. Introduction to the Bible (Handout)
---creation story(ies)
- First 5 books --- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
 first 5 books called the Law (for Christians and Jews), Torah (means the new
beginning), Pentateuch
 73 books in Catholic  66 books in Christian
 last book of the Bible is Revelation

1st story is Creation 2nd story about Adam and Eve
 NRSV – New Revised Standard Version
God  Prophets  Us … Sent Jesus when we didn’t listen to the prophets (Isaiah, John the Baptist,
Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah)

2. The Bible
Reading A Timeline
• B.C.  Before Christ
• A.D.  Anno Domini (In the Year of Our Lord)
• BCE  Before Common Era
• CE Common Era
- means ‘the books’
- different authors over 100’s of years
- book of Deuteronomy believed to be the inspired word of God (Jesus used this
in His teachings)
- Old Testament – God’s love for us (Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Proverbs)
 books written before Jesus the Old Testament/Hebrew scriptures
 46 books
 covenant God made with Hebrew people
 Contains 4 types of books:
o Torah (first 5 books of the bible, referred to as Pentateuch of the Law)
o History Books
o Books of Prophecy
o Wisdom Books
 Stories tell about God’s relationship with the Hebrew people which are to prepare
the people for the coming of the Messiah
 Dead Sea Scrolls, believed to have been written between 200 B.C. and A.D.,
were discovered in 1947; these scrolls verify the Old Testament.
Old Testament: covenant God made with Hebrew people (Israelites) beginning with Abraham and Moses and all the
New Testament: the fulfillment of the old covenant in the person of Jesus Christ: Jesus makes new covenant between
God and humans
Testament – covenant on a solemn agreement between God and His people
”Canon of Scripture”: is the list of writings defined as inspired by God which developed gradually over centuries
- New Testament – Jesus’ love for us

first four books called THE GOSPEL  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
covenant Jesus made with God and people

27 books

Christian Scripture

Tells the story of the coming Lord – Jesus, His birth, teachings, miracles, and His

death and resurrection
 Contains 4 types of books:
a. Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
b. Acts of the Apostles
c. Epistles (21 Letters) most letters written by Paul
d. Book of Revelation

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• Old Testament is written in Hebrew (with a few passages in Aramaic)
• Old Testament translated into Greek in Alexandria from 300 BC
e.g. YHWH = Yahweh or Hehovah

Literalist- people who read and interpret the bible word for word
Contextualist- people who read between the lines and look for the meaning behind the word

3. History/Traditions
1. Oral History: stories told, songs sung, history recounted and memorized.
Approx. 1300 B.C. to 600 B.C.
2. Written History: written stories, history recorded instructions, guides.
Approx. 900 B.C. – 600 B.C.
3. Edited History: selected the best of what was written and told.
• sometimes 2-5 versions of the same story was chosen.
• once Church was formed and allowed to operate scholars began to look closely
at the various versions.
• Bible was a collection of scrolls/ stacks of volumes until 363 A.D. when an official
list or “CANON” was established.
• Divided into chapters and verses in 16th century, long after the first printing.
Approx. 500 B.C.

4. Scriptural References
Genesis 1:31
1. The name of the book comes first.
2. The chapter number appears next.
Ex. 1 means Chapter 1
3. The last number is separated from the chapter by a colon, indicates the verse.
Ex. Verse 31
4. Genesis 1:31 means the book of Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 31

a) Gen. 1:1-8  The book of Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 1 through 8
b) Ex. 1:3,6,9  The book of Exodus, Chapter 1, Verses 3, 6, and 9
c) Gen. 2:8-10, 18-25  The book of Genesis, Chapter 2, Verses 8 through 10, and 18 through 25
d) Ex. 1-3  The book of Exodus, Chapter 1 through 3

5. Kinds of Truths
Religious- God tries to communicate with people through their lives
Moral- “Thou shall not kill.”
- relating to the principle of right or wrong; standard behaviour
Symbolic- “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”
- something that stands for another; represents or suggests another
Proverbial- “The early bird catches the worm.”
- a popular saying
Historical- Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived his young life in Nazareth.
- a branch of knowledge that is recovered; explains past events
Scientific- 2+2=4
- a classification of facts especially with observations and verifications of information
6. Literary Forms
a) Myth- a traditional story focusing on the deeds of gods or heroes, often in explanation of some
natural phenomenon.
b) List- an itemized series of names, words, etc., usually recorded in a set order.
c) Prophecy- a prediction made under divine influence and direction.
d) Law- a rule of conduct, moral principle, etc., derived from a generally recognized concept of
universal justice.
e) Sermon- a speech of a serious or solemn kind of pronouncement.

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f) History- a record or account usually written in chronological order of past events, especially those
concerning a particular nation or people.
g) Letter- a written or printed message, usually of a personal nature or concerning a specific subject.
h) Proverbs- prose (writing style/text) or poetic statements or maxims for instruction.
i) Parables- short allegorical stories told to bring out a moral or religious truth.
j) Psalm- a sacred song or poem.

7. History
King Saul
• was chosen as 1st king
• united the tribes and lead them to success in battle
• drove back the Philistine army but did not defeat them
King David
• 2nd king
• set up Israel as a kingdom
• created a court and a government in the city of Jerusalem
• recaptured the Ark from the Philistines and brought it back to Jerusalem
• military genius
• the size of Israel’s territory grew dramatically
King Solomon
• 3rd king
• was not a fighter like David and lost land to neighbours
• gained wealth from taxes and built the temple in Jerusalem
• divided Israel to 12 districts, each to look after the city, 1 month of the year
• Solomon the Wise (2 pregnant women and a baby)
• after his death the empire divided into 2 states – Israel in the north and Judah in the south (prone to
be attacked by others)

8. Vocabulary/Terms to Know
Literalist- people who read and interpret the bible word for word
Contextualist- people who read between the lines and look for the meaning behind the word
Patriarch- one of founders of the ancient Hebrew families in the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
Covenant- a binding and solemn agreement made by 2 or more individuals; promises made by God to
Testament- an agreement or last will. It is also an affirmation of beliefs or convictions.
Gospel – means “good news”. The Good News of what God has done in and through Jesus and the cross
(→fulfillment of the Old Testament expectations).
Christ – Denied from Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one”
Resurrection – the rising of Jesus from the dead after His death on Good Friday and His burial. His
manifestation was a different form.
Apostle – means “one sent out” or “one who is to complete the task or acts in the place of the sender.
Jesus chose them – 12.
Disciple – (means “student”) any student or follower of a particular teacher.
Divine- heavenly/Godly/from GOD
Testament – covenant on a solemn agreement between God and His people

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