What is the Christian Bible?

Part 2 - The structure of the books of the Bible

Youth Program Bible
Some say the Bible is too difficult to understand. But with a solid overview of how the books are connected, readers can be inspired to read it, rather than avoid it. When approaching a book or section of Scripture that is obscure, the key is to keep reading through the mental block, and pray that God will open the eyes of understanding. Over time, God can pull together the necessary connections in the Scriptures to help them come alive.

The Bible can be divided into seven distinct sections, with each section building on the truths and developments of the previous. While some theologians may have differing opinions regarding names of the divisions, the following are general categories:

  • The Books of Law

  • This section consists of the first five books of the Bible, from Genesis through Deuteronomy. From the creation of man to the giving of the Law and the death of Moses, these books are also called the Pentateuch. While this section is not the most interesting to read, it does help develop a solid foundation for Biblical theology.

  • The Books of History

  • These books, from Joshua to Esther, lay out the entire historical record of the tribes of Israel, both the good and the bad. Beginning with the invasion of the Promised Land and ending with the return of the Judean exiles to Jerusalem, the books of History offer amazing insights into the common patterns of human nature, and the incredible patience of God.

  • The Book of Psalms

  • This book stands by itself as a praise and worship manual. David, who wrote most of the songs, knew what worship to God really was. Whether running from his enemies, or lamenting over the injustices of the world, or simply offering thanksgiving to the Lord, David always praised God and gave Him glory.

  • The Books of Poetry

  • This collection of books, which includes Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, offers profound thoughts, emotions and philosophies of men. Yet despite the human influence, these books still point to God as the source and sustainer of life, love, fulfillment and wisdom.

  • The Books of Prophecy

  • These books, from Isaiah through Malachi, and the book of Revelation, together present the heart of God toward His people. His message is clear: obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings trouble. But God, in His mercy, gives His people multiple occasions to heed the warnings spoken through his prophets. God does not want anyone to perish, so He gives opportunity for people to turn from destructive behaviors.

  • The Books of the Gospel

  • This section, from Matthew through Acts, provides a clear picture of the life and ministry of Jesus, and the church that emerged after his ascension to heaven. The beauty of these books, placed at the beginning of the New Testament, offer just that: a new spiritual beginning for mankind. After 400 years of silence since the prophecies of Malachi, God finally speaks, only this time through the manifestation of His Son, the long-awaited Messiah.

  • The Books of the Epistles

  • These books, comprised of letters written by apostles to various churches surrounding Judea, are spiritual road maps for both Christians individually, and the Church as a whole. They are priceless guidelines for life, salvation, and living a peaceful, fruitful and effective Christian life. Many passages of scripture in these books are among the most heartfelt, edifying verses for believers today.

    This series, which will include a general summary of each individual book of the Bible, will encourage the newly born-again believers to dive into reading their Bible, and the seasoned believer to see the Scripture through new eyes. Whether a simple seeker of truth or a devoted student, there is something for everyone in the collection of incredible books called the Bible.

Written by: Amy Miller