The Master's Instructions about the Bible. (Matthew 7:24-27).
The parable Jesus told in Matthew 7:24-27 shows that the foundation for any Christian’s life lies in the words of Jesus. God’s word will make him or her firm in his convictions and faithful in his conduct. God’s word will not fail him.
God’s word in a human life is dynamite!
It is able to overcome temptation (Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:3-4).
It is able to quicken the conscience (James 1:22-25).
It is able to condemn sin (Galatians 3:21-25).
It is able to feed the soul (Psalm 1:1-3; 1 Peter 2:2-3).
It is able to break opposition (Ephesians 6:17).
The Bible is a miracle of God.
The original Scriptures involved many human authors inspired by God the
Holy Spirit. They included Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon and others.
The Jewish priests made heavy work of copying them out, letter by
letter, onto clay and papyrus parchments. The ink used could have been a
mixture of soot, lamp-black and gum. The original languages included
Babylonian, Syrian, Aramaic and some Arabic, but mainly Hebrew in the
Old Testament, and Greek in the New Testament.
The Bible as we have it now was brought together and generally accepted
during the fourth century. It was not until 1380-82 that the whole Bible
was available in English. As a reward for his hard work, incidentally, John
Wycliffe was banished from England, the reading of his Bible was banned,
and further his very bones were exhumed and burned in 1428! William
Tyndale’s was the first translation into English from the original Hebrew
and Greek. He printed the New Testament in 1525. Tyndale also
suffered great opposition and hardship. He was shipwrecked. He lost
many manuscripts. He was pursued by secret agents, betrayed by his
friends, and eventually other people copied, published, and financially
profited from his work before he did!
In 1607-11 King James’ Authorised version was published. It took at
least fifty years to be widely accepted, which means that popularity of
some modern versions has a fair way to go yet. There are still many
languages of the world which have no complete Bible, in spite of valiant
efforts by translators.
The wonder of God’s word! He designed and purposed it. He provided it.
He has protected it. The seed he has planted still continues to grow.
(For an overview of how the Bible came to Sudan, see my
'Christian Theology in a Sudanese Context').
Never forget that
a Christian lives spiritually by the word of God (Matthew 4:4).
A Christian learns about God and His will from His word (Acts 17:10-11).
A Christian genuinely loves God’s word (Psalm 119:127).
In chapter 38, (the Value of God’s word, Psalm 119), there are
outlines of Bible books suggesting how they are broken down into a
chronological order of events, and what sort of literature they are. To
get a little more from your Bible reading it is helpful to have some
background information on each book. Various commentaries and
dictionaries are available to help you, but never let them take the place of
the Bible. As one of our Bible College lecturers in Old Testament
Synthesis used to say at the end of every lesson: ‘Do read the Bible, won’t
Discussion guide for ‘The authority of God’s word’
Read the parable in Matthew 7:24-29, and answer the first five questions
using just one word:
1. What should we do with the words of Jesus?
2. What will they become in our lives?
3. What did outsiders recognise in Jesus’ words?
4. What were the disciples told to do with the words of Jesus, in
5. Who was going to help them, John 14:26?
Look at what the Bible’s words can do for you (second paragraph
above). Using the references in the paragraph, along with your own
experiences, describe and explain how you think this works:
1. How does the Bible help to stop you sinning?
2. How does the Bible quicken your conscience?
3. How does the Bible condemn sin and point you to Christ?
4. How does the Bible feed your soul?
5. How is the Bible able to break your opposition?
6. Explain your understanding of “Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”,
Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3.
7. How can a Believer ensure he or she uses “every word” from God?
8. What are the dangers in only using your own favourite parts of the
Types of literature found in the Bible:
Old Testament History OT Poetical books OT Prophecy
Genesis – law Job Isaiah
Exodus – law Psalms Jeremiah
Leviticus – law Proverbs Lamentations
Numbers – law Ecclesiastes Ezekiel
Deuteronomy – law Song of Solomon Daniel
1 & 2 Samuel Obadiah
1 & 2 Kings Jonah
1 & 2 Chronicles Micah
New Testament History NT Letters NT Prophecy
Matthew Romans Revelation
Mark 1 & 2 Corinthians
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
1 & 2 Peter
1, 2 & 3 John
A suggested chronological order:
Old Testament (read down column 1, then 2, then 3)
Genesis 1 Kings 5-22 Habakkuk
Job 2 Kings 1-14:20 2 Kings 22-25
Exodus Joel Obadiah
Leviticus 2 Kings 14:21-25 Jeremiah
Numbers Jonah Lamentations
Deuteronomy 2 Kings 14:26-29 1 & 2 Chronicles
Joshua Amos Ezekiel
Judges 2 Kings 15-17 Daniel
Ruth Hosea Esther
1 & 2 Samuel 2 Kings 18-19 Ezra 1-4
Psalms Isaiah Haggai
1 Kings 1-4 Micah Zechariah
Proverbs Nahum Ezra 5-10
Ecclesiastes 2 Kings 20-21 Nehemiah
Song of Songs Zephaniah Malachi
New Testament (read down column 1, then 2)
Mark Acts 20:3-28
Acts 1-14 Colossians
Acts 15-18:11 1 & 2 Peter
1 & 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy
Acts 18:12-19:10 Titus
1 Corinthians 2 Timothy
Acts 19:11-20:1 1, 2 & 3 John
2 Corinthians Jude
Acts 20:2 Revelation