Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What Time Is It???

What Time is it????

One thing that confuses people about The Bible is that it isn’t always in chronological order, I know that was one issue I had for a long time.  Here are some things that I figured out and I hope this helps make studying The Bible easier and more enjoyable for you. 

The first six books are pretty straightforward chronologically.  The next eleven or so books are sort of chronological, after that it gets a little more jumbled. 

The books of Genesis through Joshua tell the story of the Israelite people from the beginning petty much in order from the beginning of time, through The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), through their captivity in Egypt, their Exodus from Egypt led by Moses, receiving The Ten Commandments and other laws, 40 years in the desert, and finally moving into The Promised Land.

The first part of The Book of Judges is generally chronological but then it begins to cover several different events that were occurring at about the same time, but in different locations.  The Book of Ruth is a completely “modular”; by this I mean that can basically stand on its own without any direct relationship to the rest of The Bible, It’s just the story of a family dealing with issues that families sometimes have to deal with and the narrative of The Israelites is essentially just a historical backdrop.

First and Second Samuel tell the story of the first few kings of Israel, King Saul and then King David.   First and Second Kings and First and Second Chronicles overlap Samuel some but cover several hundred years of the history of the Israelites.  First and Second Kings tell the history primarily from the viewpoint of the Northern Kingdom beginning with the death of King David,  while First and Second Chronicles tell the story essentially from the perspective of the priests from the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Chronologically speaking, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther fit best near the end of The Old Testament.  All three of these books take place after the Israelites began to return to Israel following the Babylonian captivity.

Like The Book of Ruth, The Book of Job is a “modular” story; it isn’t dependent on the rest of the Biblical narrative.  It stands up well without much additional Biblical context as Job wrestles with some very difficult questions about pain and suffering and God.  

Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes change gears as they don’t tell stories at all.  Psalms is basically a collection of songs and prayers, The Book of Proverbs is just what it says it is, a collection of proverbs and wise advice, and The Book of Ecclesiastes has King Solomon looking back on his life and a list of ways that he unsuccessfully tried to find fulfillment in his life without God.

Isaiah ushers in the books of prophesy.  Rather than looking at these books as telling a story, I find it makes more sense to look at them each as a Part of the story that is going on around them.  For me it was most helpful to figure out where each of these books fits intothe larger story so that I could understand what role each prophet played in the overall narrative.  When you know wherethey were writing from (northern or southern kingdom), who they were writing to (northern or southern kingdom) and roughly when they were writing, then their prophesies make a little more sense.   The good news is that I put together a very simple chart to help understand the chronology and geography of the major and Minor Prophets that helped me and might just help you too.

This is The Book of Exodus on YouTube

Friday, August 23, 2019

Genesis Means Beginning

Genesis means Beginning

Actually the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Genesis as “the origin or coming into being of something”

Genesis is not only the beginning of The Bible, but it is also the origin for The Minute Bible.  Growing up in the church I heard all the great Bible stories, David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den, Paul’s escape from prison and of course all the miracles that Jesus performed.  The thing I lacked most was how they all fit together, the BIG picture.  It was as if I had all these beautiful Christmas ornaments laying around with no place to hang them.  Then one day while preparing to teach the youth group a series of lessons on the book of Genesis I suddenly realized how it all fits together, well at least I started to realize.  The first eleven chapters of Genesis are the roots, the background, the anchor.  The stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah’s flood, and the tower of Bebel all set the stage for the introduction of Abraham.  In chapter twelve we meet Abram (later Abraham) who will become the father of the entire Jewish nation and the trunk in this Christmas tree analogy.  Abraham is followed by his son Isaac and Isaac’s two sons Jacob and Esau.  Jacob then has twelve sons which begin the branches that spread out, through the rest of The Bible, to hang all of these lovely Christmas ornaments on.  That was the picture that came to my mind, I hope that helps you see a little more clearly how the pieces of The Bible fit together.

Here is The Book of Genesis in exactly one minute...


Greetings and welcome the The Minute Bible blog.  The Minute Bible is a short, sweet and to the point summary of each book in The Bible.  This blog is intended to be short sweet and to the point as well.

I look forward to reading your comments; short sweet and to the point is appreciated, I'll be honest, if you write a dissertation, I'm probably NOT gonna read it.  I'm also not interested in starting or continuing arguments or debates, there are plenty of other place you can go to fulfill that need in your life.  I think it goes without saying that you should keep your comments "clean".  I would love to know what you think as long as you can keep it within those parameters.

With that out of the way, my mission is to teach you how to love to learn The Bible.
I grew up in the church; I always had a thirst for God and for what The Bible had to say.  I studied The Bible and even taught Sunday School, but I had trouble seeing the big picture of how everything fit together.  My desire to see the big picture is what lead me on this journey to learn and now to share an overview of The Bible through this blog and through The Minute Bible audio series.  There are plenty of blogs and online Bible studies out there that look at Bible verses or Bible stories; some look at The Bible with a magnifying glass and some look at The Bible with a microscope.  The Minute Bible gives you the big picture, the broad strokes, the wide angle lens look at The Bible.  I hope to show you how all the pieces fit together; how the Bible stories and Bible studies you may be familiar with fit together to create one big mosaic that shows God’s plan and His glory and His love for the Jews, for the gentiles, for you and for me.  I hope you will join me in this journey. 

The Minute Bible Guy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

First Post

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