THE SCRIPTURES

Many people think the Bible is too difficult to understand and is too boring. If you’re one of them and still got here, let us help you start at the right place. Follow lesson #01, The Scriptures.

WHY DO PEOPLE READ THE BIBLE?

As millions are reading the Bible, there must be something about it, right? As a matter of fact, the Bible is the best-selling and most-read book in the world.

So, why do they read it?

To be inspired! That’s what many readers say. Far from boring…

Some find answers to life’s existential questions. Others want a clearer vision and better solutions to face some of the daily challenges.

For sure the Bible has dramatically changed people’s lives through its influence. Society at large has been positively impacted by it, as some of its fundamental principles and values like love, equity, freedom are shared even by non-believers.

From a historical perspective, prophecies of Scriptures came true in past centuries and some are even fulfilling in our days. You will see that later, in another lesson of this series.

Handled as scrolls, manuscripts, codices… (the Greek term biblia means “the books"), in our 21st century the Scriptures are available in various formats (printed, audio, electronic) and in almost any language under the sun.

To end this “Why" section with a very important aspect let’s highlight that for  many people the Bible is God’s Word.

Mahatma Ghandi
Indian Activist
“You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilisation to pieces, turn the world upside down and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of literature.”

WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES?

What is it.
The Holy Scriptures, also known as Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God addressed to all humanity.

How it came to us.
We believe the Bible was given by divine inspiration – God spoke to men directly or influenced them. In turn, the inspired authors like Moses, Jeremiah, John or Paul, preached and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Why was it given.
In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. As Paul wrote to young Timothy, “you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

How to use it.
For Christians, the Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and the infallible revelation of God’s will.

Paul, the Apostle
Christian Pioneer
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."

In other words, the Scriptures are

a. the standard of character (how to behave),

b. the test of experience (how to evaluate), 

c. the definitive revealer of doctrines (what to believe), and

d. the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history (how does He impact our life).

During the following lessons of Essentials series, addressing different topics, you will discover the Bible’s functionality and relevance to us, its authority and inspiration for so many dimensions of life.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT ITSELF?

Maybe it’s the right time now to have a pause, get a hold of your Bible and read some texts. Yes, to let it speak for itself, and to see for yourself.

We recommend to highlight these verses in your Bible, or write on the margins of their respective pages. It might be good idea to get a well kept journal where to jot down some thoughts found there and then add your reflection over them.

Psalms 119:105
Proverbs 30:5-6
Isaiah 8:20
John 17:17
1 Thessalonians 2:13
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Hebrews 4:12
2 Peter 1:20-21

90 SECONDS VIDEO

FAST FACTS (ESSENTIALS)

40 Authors
in total wrote the books of the Bible. Coming from different backgrounds, Solomon was king, Peter was fisherman, Luke was doctor while Daniel was prime-minister.
1600 Years
aprox. went by from the time of Moses, who wrote the first books of the Bible, to John the apostle, who wrote the Gospel, several epistles and Revelation.
3 Biblical Languages
were used to convey the message of Scriptures. From the Hebrew language we have "Messiah", from the Greek we have "Jesus Christ", while from the Aramaic we have "Maranatha".
66 Books
comprise the Bible ("The Books"). The first section, Old Testament, has 39 books (Law, Prophets and Writings), while the New Testament has 27 books (Gospels, Acts+Epistles, Revelation).
3 Continents
witnessed the life of Bible's characters. The patriarchs lived in Asia (Near East), Moses and people of Israel came out of Egypt (Africa) to the Middle East, while the apostles traveled in Europe and Asia (Greece, Italy, Asia Minor/Turkey).
1 History
of God's people is described from Creation to Revelation, covering a period of 6,000 years, connecting to past eons, before Creation and projecting to future ones in the everlasting.
2000 languages
and dialects is the number of tongues in which the Bible or portions of it has been translated and circulating. In terms of language availability, the Bible is within the reach of virtually all people.
6 billion
(yes, it's with a B) printed copies of the Bible have been distributed. Not to mention the electronic formats, apps versions and audio files. It is best-seller and most-read.
We're done.

HOMEWORK

For this Bible Study Class (BSC) you will be required to read from the Bible. It’s our handbook! Of course, it’s up to you when you do it, how you do it, what version of the Bible will you use.

Remember how we started this lesson?

Many people think the Bible is too difficult to understand and is too boring. If you’re one of them and still got here, let us help you start at the right place."

We invite you to read for Essentials #01 – The Scriptures two Bible books. Short ones, easy to understand and definitely engaging. The pictures are linked to BibleHub where you can start your reading in a favourite version.

From the Old Testament you are to read Ecclesiastes. Written by king Solomon, the wisest man on earth, it will surely let you discover some precious gems of wisdom. By the way, do you think you know everything?

From the New Testament you are to read the Gospel according to Mark. You will get a quick look at Jesus’ life in a fast paced Gospel. Indeed, you’ll notice how many times the author mentions the word “immediately".

Ellen G. White
Christian Writer
"There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible."
Take the Quiz!

RECOMMENDED HELPS & TOOLS

We will recommend different helps and tools, resources in various formats, to facilitate your experience with the topic you’re focusing into. Some of the study resources will be free, some are paid – all are valuable. Of course, they are optional.

Note: all questions in the coming quiz have their answers in the lesson itself and in the two Bible books required for reading (not in the helps, tools and resources).

We Believe
We Believe is presented as a handy study guide format–a thorough, in-depth study of Bible lessons, using questions and answers, true-or-false questionnaires, and simple illustrations and stories to help every member understand the main points of our faith. Whatever the stage of your spiritual journey, no matter your level of maturity, you are bound to appreciate our beliefs more after reading this richly informative book.
What We Believe (for teens)
Using stories and ancedotes that will appeal to early teens, Seth Pierce helps teens realize that our Adventist beliefs are actually amazing insights into a loving God who knows us better than we know ourselves. This fourth book in the Seventh-day Adventists Believe series is a comprehensive treatment of all twenty-eight fundamental beliefs of our church.
Best Bible App
Tens of millions of people are using the Bible App™ to make God's Word a part of their daily lives. Download the free app and access your bookmarks, notes, and reading plans from anywhere. Enjoy hundreds of versions, including audio, all on your mobile device.
The Word of Promise
The Word of Promise is an audio Bible, dramatized by an all-star cast of actors, including Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Richard Dreyfus as Moses, and over 600 actors contributing to this timeless work. This audio Bible is produced with state of the art audio technology, including sound effects and an original musical score. This is a new experience in audio Bibles like none before. Take a listen today!

RESOURCES FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS

Here are some resources for advanced students. That doesn’t mean for… theologians. Only for those who have asked themselves questions like “Are there mistakes in the Bible?" or “How to choose a Bible translation", or “Is the Bible historically reliable?".

OK. Then, it might be for you!

Resources (articles, audio, video)