Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Journey Begins Here

I know I am posting a bit early for the first week of the year, but I will be out of town on the 3rd and wanted to make sure I posted before that date.

Are you ready? Did you buy your "One Year Bible" yet? It's not too late. I will post the first couple of weeks readings for you until you get your new Bible. Let me know if you need help locating one. I would be glad to help.

We start at the very beginning... a very good place to start. The reading for January begin at Genesis for the Old Testament, Matthew for the New Testament and we will start at the beginning of Psalms and Proverbs.

Week 1: Genesis 1:1-18:15, Matthew 1:1-6:24, Psalm 1- Psalm 7, Proverbs 1:1-2:5

The Old Testament starts off in Genesis. Here are the vital stats for the book:

Purpose: To record God's creation of the world and his desire to have a people set apart to worship him.

Author: Moses

To Whom Written: The People Of Israel

Setting: The region presently known as the Middle East

Key People: Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Joseph

The New Testament begins with Matthews account of the life of Jesus. Here are the vital stats on the book:

Purpose: To prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal King

Author: Matthew (also called Levi)

To Whom Written: Matthew wrote especially to the Jews

Setting: Matthew was a Jewish tax collector who became one of Jesus' disciples. This Gospel forms the connecting link between Old and New Testaments because of its emphasis on the fulfillment of prophecy.

Key People: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, the disciples, the religious leaders, Caiaphas, Pliate, Mary Magdalene

Key Places: Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Capernaum, Galilee, Judea

Special Features: Matthew is filled with Messianic language ("Son of David" is used throughout) and Old Testament references (53 quotes and 76 other references). This Gospel was not written as a chronological account; its purpose was to present the clear evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior.

Tips for comprehension this week:
-Find a Bible map and located the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, find the city of Ur. Compare this map to a modern day map. What countries are located in this region now?
-Make a list for each day of creation and describe what was created on that day?
-Each time you see the word LORD (all capitals) the Hebrew word here is usually God's personal name, Yahweh.
-Why do you think Matthew starts with a genealogy of Jesus?
-Since Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience he lays out a specific plan at the beginning. All of his readers would know about the escape from Egypt the crossing of the Red Sea and the wandering in the desert for 40 years by the Israelites so Matthew's Gospel takes a similar beginning. Jesus and his family come up out of Egypt. The next time we see Jesus he is being baptized in the waters of the Jordan and then he goes out to the Desert for 40 days and is tempted by the Devil. Is this just a coincidence or is Matthew (being led by the spirit) telling more than just a story? I think he uses this to point to the divinity of Jesus and his fulfillment of being the Messiah.

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to use the comment section of this blog to share your thoughts, concerns, prayer requests or anything at all. I will give an introduction for Psalms and Proverbs next week. May God Bless you as your read His word.


At January 08, 2006 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Week 1 of One Year Bible Study
RE: Matthew 5:32
"...anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."
Comment: How shall God judge all the good men who have married divorced women? Is this issue addressed, elsewhere, in the New Testament?

Week 1 of One Year Bible Study
RE: Genesis 16:11-15
Comment: Hagar bears a son to Abram (Abraham). His name is Ishmael. Are the present day Muslim people the descendants of Ishmael?

Week 1 of One Year Bible Study
RE: Genesis 17:5 and 17:15
Comment: The Lord changes Abram's name to Abraham, and He changes Sarai's name to Sarah. The significance is not clear. However, the names are changed prior to the birth of their first born, Isaac.

Week 1 of One Year Bible Study
RE: Genesis 18:11-15
Comment: It is interesting that Sarah laughed at the Lord when told she will become pregnant, at the age of 90, with Isaac. Does this show lack of faith in God?

At January 11, 2006 7:21 PM, Blogger Pastor Seth said...

I will try to answer some of your questions in a few days. I am a bit swamped right now. I am not avoiding you. Thanks


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