|Lesson 1 - What is Basic Bible 101?
What is the Bible?
The Bible is the compilation of writings from various authors over the course of 3500 years. The Bible is the inspired word of God transmitted through people. It is divided into the Old Testament (or agreement) and the New Testament.
Who wrote it?
Moses - Tablets of Stone
Kings & their scribes - Papyrus & Scrolls
Judges & Prophets - Scrolls
Apostles - Letters
How did the Bible get into this form?
The Bible was passed down from one generation to another, first through story, song and memorized passages, then on tablets of stone or Papyrus reeds flattened to form a type of paper. Each book was recorded separately onto scrolls, and compiled by Jewish priests and Bible scholars. Eventually the Bible was translated from it's original language, Hebrew, into Greek, then Latin. For years it was kept from the common man because only priests could read Latin. Finally John Wycliff produced the first English version, then William Tyndale wrote a layman's version and was killed for it. Martin Luther believed everyone should have access to the Bible, so he wrote a version in German and in doing so was excommunicated from the Catholic church. This act was how the Protestant church began. King James I ordered the first official version of the Bible in England, known as the "King James Bible."
Why are there so many versions?
There's not a lot of difference in the various versions, with the exception of the Catholic Bible which includes a dozen or so extra books that were not generally accepted by the early church leaders. Each translation interprets the original Hebrew or Greek language a little differently, however you will find many versions of the same translation in the book store. Examples of "translations" are: New International Version, American Standard Version, New Revised Standard, New English Version and so forth. Some variations of the same translation contain extra study materials, definitions, targeted devotionals, maps and so forth, for example: The Women's Devotional Bible, The Student Bible, The Life Application Study Bible and the NIV Quest Bible are all NIV translations. The difference between an actual translation and a paraphrase, for example The Living Bible or The Message, is that a paraphrase is someone’s interpretation of the Bible written in everyday language.
Why is every sentence numbered?
For the purpose of study, the books were divided into chapters, and the sentences numbered so that people could refer to specific passages.
How can I be sure it’s accurate?
Much debate has centered around this question. I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, true and inerrant. It has certainly stood the test of time. The internet is filled with debate on both sides. You should study the Bible to make your own determination.
What’s the best way to study the Bible?
Ideally you should study the Bible in a group setting because the discussion leader and other members of your group can help you understand difficult passages. You should have a good study Bible to read, which includes definitions, references to other related scriptures and side notes. If you stay with this course, keep up with the weekly reading, and do the homework you will soon find you are making great progress in understanding the Bible.
Additional reference material can be found:
History of the Bible: How The Bible Came To Us
By Wesley Ringer
How the Bible Came to Be: Exploring the Narrative and Message
by John W. Miller
How the Bible Came to Be
by John Barton
Lesson 2 Homework
1. What was the earth before God began creating it?
The earth was just a vapor, a mist.
2. Have you ever experienced the grandeur of God in nature?
Describe your experience:
My husband and I love to SCUBA dive so I have been blessed to experienced the wonders of the deep, the vastness of the ocean and the amazing creatures that God created to live beneath the sea. I've stood on top of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii and marvelled at the shadow of the earth and the nearness of the stars. I've hiked through the Northwest wilderness, gawking at the mountain peaks along the North Cascade Highway in Washington State. But I have to say the most profound life-changing experience has been the birth of my own two children. Of course God reveals himself in all of nature. Who else could create a world so filled with creativity, order and beauty? Every intricate detail works together so perfectly. All this can't be just chance.
3. List what God created on each day according to Genesis 1:
Day 1 - Light
Day 2 - Sky and Land, Plants & Trees
Day 3 - Sun, Moon & Stars
Day 4 - Fish & Birds
Day 5 - Animals & Reptiles
Day 6 - Man
4. What did God do on the 7th day? Why?
He rested -- to reflect on all that he created.
5. What surprises you the most about this account of creation?
For me, the purposeful order in which everything was prepared for man before he came into existence. God not only knew what he was doing, he did it with excellence.
6. Knowing that God created everything just the way he wanted it, does it change your opinion of how he created you?
Lesson 2 Notes
What was the light described in verse 3?
The light of God
How does God describe everything he creates?
He says repeatedly, "it was good".
What did God intend for people to eat?
Plants, not animals
Why is it important to rest one day a week?
So that we can appreciate who God is and all he has done for us.
Additional reference material can be found:
Science and the Bible
Clarifying Christianity website.
Lesson 3 Homework
1. With what did Satan tempt Eve? Why did this work?
He tempted her with fruit, with the promise of becoming like God and knowing everything, with pleasure.
2. What is your greatest temptation?
For me it's food. I love to eat, especially sweet things!
3. How did Adam respond to God’s call? Why?
Adam hid in the bushes because he knew he was naked. He was afraid of God because of his sin.
4. What were the consequences of Adam & Eve’s sin?
Man would eventually die, he would be forced out of the garden and would work the soil to provide food for his family, he would be separated from a relationship with God. Animals would now have to be sacrificed for man's sin, the woman would experience great pain in childbirth, she would be subject to her husband, the serpent would have to crawl on the ground in the dust.
5. What did God do to cover Adam and Eve’s sin?
He killed an animal and gave the skin to Adam and Eve for covering. He shed blood to cover their sin.
6. What consequences do we live with today because of their original sin?
and the list goes on.
Lesson 3 Notes
What qualities do you see in a good marriage from Gen. 2:24-25
Separating from mother and father, the two become one. That "oneness" is God's idea of the perfect marriage. The two were naked, totally honest with nothing hidden, and they were unashamed to be that way with one another.
According to James 1:13-17, what are the consequences of giving in to temptation?
First we are enticed (we toy with the idea of having it)
Next we decide we must have it (we want it)
Then we rationalize our wrong decision (we had to have it)
The result is death.<
How did Adam and Eve know they were naked?
The fruit opened their eyes to their nakedness (helplessness?).
Why were Adam and Eve banished from the Garden of Eden?
Because if they had not been banished they might have eaten from the other tree, the tree of life, and would then live forever in their sinful state. God protected them from themselves.
How can we be free of our sin?
We are set free of sin because of the death of Jesus on the cross. He paid the price that covered our sin once and for all. We need only acknowledge this sacrifice and accept the salvation that Jesus' death bought for us.