1. Introducing the Bible
2. Why the Bible is important
JESUS ON THE OLD TESTAMENT
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4
Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? Mark 12:24
Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Mark 14:49
THE OLD TESTAMENT POINTS TO JESUS
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39-40
JESUS ON THE APOSTLES’ TEACHING
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
THE EARLY CHURCH ON THE APOSTLES’ TEACHING
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
THE NEW TESTAMENT ON THE OLD TESTAMENT
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
PAUL TO A YOUNGER CHRISTIAN
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-16
The Bible is God speaking to us today.
3. The Story of the Bible
Some of the great themes:
Promise and Fulfilment – King (Messiah), Priest, Servant, Son of Man
Fall and Restoration (Genesis 3; Galatians 3:10-14)
Law (ritual, civil and moral) and Gospel (Romans 7)
The Kingdom of David and the Kingdom of Jesus
Creation and new creation (Genesis 1; Revelation 21:1)
Exodus and new exodus (Exodus; Luke 10:30-31)
Adam and second Adam (Romans 5.12-21)
Sacrifices and the Sacrifice (Genesis 22; John 1:36)
4. How do I read the Bible?
Read prayerfully and attentively, asking God to speak to you.
Some people find it helpful to look for:
something that shines, that impacts or draws your attention
something you don’t understand in the passage, or a question you would like to ask the writer or Jesus
something that you need to apply to your life
something that you would like to share with another person
Turn what you have read into a prayer – saying thank you, sorry or please. It is also helpful to memorize a verse and repeat it as a prayer during the day.
5. What should I read?
- Read the passage again that you heard last Sunday
- Read a bible book in the same way you would read a book. If you are a beginner, start with one of the gospels, like Mark or Luke.
A great place to find help if you don’t understand is the Bible Project videos.
- Use the daily readings set by the church: They can be found at
churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-in-daily-prayer or on the ‘Daily Prayer’ app or ‘Time to pray’ app.
- Use a bible reading scheme. You can find one at www.wordlive.org
There are also many schemes you can choose from, on different themes, at www.bible.com or at www.biblegateway.com
- Read the bible with a friend. Ask the chaplain if you would like someone to read the bible with you.
- Join a bible study group and read it together with other people.