Basic Bible Doctrines
Lesson One
"The Bible"


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3: 16, 17).


The word "Bible" is derived from the Greek biblos which means a "book."  Since the Bible is a revelation to man from God, it is the single most important "Book" you will ever pick up.


God used about forty Two people in writing the Bible. The Holy Spirit guided these men so there would be no mistakes (1 Cor. 14: 37, Acts 1: 1-4). A number of books which are purported to be inspired actually make no such claim. The first writer of the Bible was Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and the last John (Revelation). It took about 1500 years to write the Bible and it contains 66 books. These books have the internal and external vestiges of authenticity and they have been subjected to every imaginable test to determine their worthiness to be called "Scripture", and have endured.


"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Cor. 2: 13).


"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14: 37).

There are two major divisions or components in the Bible: the Hebrew scriptures (Genesis through Malachi, 39 books) and the New Testament (Matthew through Revelation, 27 books).


The New Testament was written mostly in Koine Greek. Three dispensations are generally recognized in the Bible: Patriarchal (Adam till Moses), the Jewish (Exodus 20 till Acts 2), and the gospel age (Acts 2 until end). We are living in the gospel age or New Testament period.

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness" (2 Tim. 2: 15, 16).


The Hebrew (Old Testament) scriptures are arranged into four sections or divisions: the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy, 5 books), History (Joshua through Ester, 12 books), Poetry (Job through Song of Solomon, 5 books), and Prophecy (Isaiah through Malachi, 17 books).


The New Testament is generally divided into five divisions: The Gospels (Matthew through John, 4 books), History (Acts), the Epistles of Paul (Romans through Hebrews, 14 books), General Epistles (James through Jude, 7 books), and Prophecy (Revelation).


"And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24: 44).


Men assigned the names to the sixty-six books of the Bible. Most of the assigned names help in the study of the Bible. For instance, "Genesis" is from the Greek word genesis which means origin or beginning. The first book is so named because it contains the record of a number of origins, beginning with the world and man. "Exodus" means departure and it contains the account of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt. "Colossians" (New Testament book) is so named because it was originally written to people called Colossians who lived in the city of Colosse. The twenty-seven books of the New Testament were written by eight men, four of whom were apostles.

The Bible was divided into chapters by Hugo in 1240. The Hebrew scriptures were divided into verses in 1445 and the New Testament in 1551 by Robert Steven.

The Bible is the most mis-understood writing in the World. It is not because the Bible is hard to understand, in fact it is quite easy when approached correctly. The problem is that many come to the Bible looking for verses to support what they already think or believe. Instead, they should be coming to God's Word expecting it to teach them what to believe. The old saying, "The Bible is suppose to change us, not us changing it", is correct.


When studying God's Word, pray first for God to give you wisdom. Always accept it as speaking literal unless the context clearly says otherwise. Compare Scripture with Scripture. Never take one verse and try to make a doctrine out of it. You must build all your beliefs on what is taught throughout the Bible, not just in one verse.


And lastly, stay clear of most modern versions of the Bible. If you are English speaking get yourself a King James Version and stick with it. All new versions use ancient manuscripts that were not accepted by the early Jewish Scribes. The newer versions use manuscripts that were rejected by them, and most of them are translated very loosely with the person who is doing the translating inserting their own thoughts and beliefs into the translation instead of just writing what God said.

Answer the questions below.  If you miss a question, go back and study that portion of the class and then retake the test.  Once you have received a 100% you may proceed to the next class.  You DO NOT have to submit this test for grading.  Only the final test will be submitted.