WORDS OF FAITH
“… nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine …”
1 Tim. 4:6
Central Church of Christ
January 15, 2012
A Valuable Basic Outline Of The Bible Part 1
Numerous are the passages which emphasize our obligation
(and privilege) to be diligent students of the word of God (2 Tim.
2:15; Mat. 7:7; John 7:17; Acts 17:11; Psa. 1).
One of the most powerful tools you can possibly have in effective
study is a good overall picture of the entire Bible. It is essential
that you have in mind – as a vital part of your mental equipment
– this outline of the Bible.
I. THE BIBLE IS ONE BOOK
It is made up of many books: 39 books in the Old Testament;
27 books in the New Testament; thus, 66 books total. Hence,
a situation to which the Latin phrase e pluribus unum is definitely
It is one in purpose – as God, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit
are one; and as husband and wife are one. The Bible is not a textbook
in history, science, geography, ethnology, psychology,
physiology, sociology, etc. It is the textbook in religion. Its theme
is redemption; its purpose is the glory of God and the salvation of
men, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
II. WHICH HAS TWO MAJOR DIVISIONS
These are: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The
Old Testament is made up of the books of Genesis through Malachi.
It was written for our learning, our exhortation, our warning
(Rom. 15:4). It was (is) type, shadow, copy, and figure.
The New Testament is made up of the books of Matthew through the Revelation. It is clearly distinguished from the Old
Testament (as is emphasized in such passages as Matthew 26:28;
Hebrews 9:16-17; 8:8-13. It is anti-type, substance, original, and real.
III. AND THREE DISPENSATIONS
The Bible sets before us three different and distinct systems
of religion. In discussing these, we generally use the term dispensations.
These dispensations are: Patriarchy—embracing all the
events and all the persons from Adam to the giving of the Law of
Moses (and, as I firmly believe, continuing on for the Gentile all
the way to the conversion of Cornelius); Judaism – embracing all
the events and all the persons from the giving of the law (at Sinai)
to Pentecost of Acts 2 (it ended legally at the Cross, but its benefits
would continue, for those under it, to Pentecost); and Christianity
– embracing all the events and persons from Pentecost to the Judgment
to come. We live in the time of this third system, and there
will not be a number four system.
IV. WITH FOUR SUB-DIVISIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
There are the 5 books of law (Genesis through Deuteronomy);
the 12 books of history (Joshua thorough Nehemiah, understanding
that Esther needs to be studied at the end of Ezra 6); 5
books of poetry (Job through the Song of Solomon); and prophecy.
The prophecy books are divided into: the 5 books of the major
prophets (Isaiah through Daniel), and the 12 books of the minor
prophets (Hosea through Malachi).
– Roy Deaver, “How Effective Proper Bible Study Promotes
And Prevents Change” in Changes In The Church Of Christ,
Bellview Church of Christ, 1994, pg. 54-56.