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Unit 1-C: 
Luther's Small Catechism

 "As the head of the family should teach them
in a simple way to his household.h"
                                    Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

 


God Speaks In The Holy Bible

Have you ever wanted God to speak to you?
Ultimately, all of us do!

God knows that we desire to have Him talk with us. He could have chosen to spoke to us through dreams and visions. In fact, that is how much of the Holy Bible was originally written (Hebrews 1:1).

Since giving us all we need to know to be saved in His 66 books, God no longer speaks to individuals with dreams, voices or visions.

Instead, the only place we get God's Word is in the Holy Bible (see II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:21).

The Bible: God's Library

The Bible can be described as a library of sixty-six books written by approximately forty people over sixteen hundred years. These sixty-six books make up what is called the canon, a listing of Bible books approved by the church.

In order to be canonical (that is, considered part of the Bible), Biblical books had to meet very strict criteria:

  • they clearly proclaimed God's truth,
  • their writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit,
  • their teachings were consistent with other portions of the Bible,
  • they had been written by the prophets or apostles,and
  • they contained no false or untrue teachings.

Books which met all these criteria were considered "Canonical" and were accepted as authoritative by all parts of the Christian Church.

Books that were not widely accepted by Christian Churches are called the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical Books.  Roman Catholic add some of these books to their Bible. Because of their errors and false teachings,  most Christians--including Lutherans--do not consider the Apocrypha and Deuterocanonical Books to be God's Word.

The Bible: The Old Testament

The Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament begins with the book of Genesis and ends with the Book of Malachi. It contains sixty-six books, all of which were written between 1500 BC and 400 BC. Since all the Books of the Old Testament were written before Jesus' birth, it's main message is "The Savior Will Come."

Among the thirty-nine (39) Old Testament books are books of History (Genesis-Esther), Poetry (Job-Song of Songs), and Prophecy (Isaiah-Malachi). Among the authors of these books are kings such as David and Solomon, an Egyptian prince named Moses, a fig-tree grower named Amos, prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and others, as well as other "unlikely" common--and uncommon--people whom God had chosen to bear His inspired Word.

Categories Of Old Testament Books

The Old Testament Five Books of Moses Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Twelve Books of History Joshua
Judges
Ruth;
I Samuel
II Samuel
I Kings
II Kings
I Chronicles
II Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Five Books of Poetry Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Solomon
Five Major (Longer) Prophets Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Twelve Minor (Shorter) Prophets Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi.

The Bible: The New Testament

The New Testament begins with the Gospel of Matthew and ends with the Book of Prophecy, Revelation. The first book of the New Testament was written approximately 45 AD. The final book written was the Book of Revelation. Since the New Testament describes Jesus' life and teachings, it's main message is "The Savior Has Come."

Among the twenty-seven (27) New Testament books are the Gospels (Matthew-John) which describe Jesus' life, death and resurrection, a book of history (Acts), many letters to churches and individuals from Apostles (including James, Peter and Paul), and a book of prophecy, the Book of Revelation.

Together both the Old and New Testaments have one teaching: how God saves us by grace through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Categories Of New Testament Books

 

The New Testament Four Gospels Three Synoptic
("same-eye")
Gospels
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
One Book of History The Acts
of the Apostles
Twenty-One
Epistles (or Letters)
Thirteen
Letters from Paul
(Written To Specific Churches Or People)
Romans
I Corinthians
II Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
I Thessalonians
II Thessalonians
I Timothy
II Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Eight General
Epistles (Written To All Churches)
Hebrews
James
I Peter
II Peter
I John
II John
III John
Jude
One Book of Prophecy The Book
of Revelation

The Bible: In Chapters And Verses

The Bible is divided into chapters and verses. Chapter and verse divisions in the Bible happened long after the Bible was written. Stephen Langton  (d.1228), a professor at the University of Paris and later the Archbishop of Canterbury, England, divided the Bible into chapters. Verse designations as we know them were first published in 1509. 

It is important to remember that these chapter and verse divisions are merely for convenience. Often, however, chapter and verse divisions do not reflect the actual breaks intended by the author. Read more about the history of these subdivisions here.

Learning the Order of the Books

A good way to learn the order of the Old Testament books and the kind of contents that they have is to sing them to the tune of the song "Did You Ever See a Lassie."

The Books of the Old Testament

[Listen to the music.]

Let us sing the books of Moses, of Moses, of Moses,
Let us sing the books of Moses, for he wrote the law.
First, Genesis; second, Exodus; third, Leviticus; fourth, Numbers;
And the fifth is Deuteronomy, the last of them all.

Let us sing the books of history, of history, of history, 
Let us sing the books of history, which tell of the Jews.
There's Joshua; and Judges; and the story of Ruth;
Then First and Second Samuel; and First and Second Kings;

Then First and Second Chronicles, which give us the records;
Then Ezra; Nehemiah; and Esther, the Queen.

Let us sing the books of poetry, of poetry, of poetry,
Let us sing the books of poetry, The songs the Jews sang.
Job the patient, Psalms of David, and the Proverbs of a wise one;
And then Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.

Let us sing the Major Prophets, Major Prophets, Major Prophets,
Let us sing the Major Prophets, there are five of them all.
Isaiah; Jeremiah, who wrote Lamentations;
Then Ezekiel; and Daniel, the last of them all.

Let us sing the Minor Prophets, Minor Prophets, Minor Prophets,
Let us sing the Minor Prophets, there are twelve of them all.
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

[View or print the sheet music. This is an Adobe Acrobat pdf document.]

This is an Adobe Acrobat pdf document. These files can be downloaded in printable Adobe Acrobat format. This file requires the free Acrobat Reader. For best results, right-click the link (or click and hold for Macintosh), select "save target as" and save the document to your desktop for viewing and printing.

 

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