Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The One Year Bible

We are 11 days into the New Year and I hope you have kept up with the reading so far. If you are a bit behind don’t worry. Just read two lessons a day until you catch up. Don’t try to read it all in one day. Also, remember that we have a lot of reading to do this year so don’t get bogged down with all the details. If something really strikes you spend some time and investigate it but don’t get too off track. Keep those questions coming in. I don’t know if I will be able to answer them all but I will do my best. I will also give you some websites to check out so you can find some answers on your own. Pastor Kritzer will be chiming in on the blog as he reads through with us. Feel free to comment on his posts as well.

Where we have been:

The Old Testament:
Genesis marks the beginning of the story of God’s chosen people. We have read about Adam and Eve and the fall into sin, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Sarah and now we are getting into Isaac and Jacob. One big thing to notice is the repetition of the promise that was given to Abraham. One of my seminary profs calls this the PLR promise. God promises to make them into a great people, to give them land, and to have a relationship with them. This PLR promise is repeated in various forms. Make a note of it in your Bible each time it comes up. We will soon start seeing a pattern develop in the Old Testament of rebellion and redemption. This theme continues and still continues today. The redemption is finally won with the death of the promised Messiah.

The New Testament:

We see at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel some very intentional actions. Calling out of Egypt, the Baptism of Jesus and the Temptation in the desert. I mentioned this in my last post that these three events would strike a chord with the Jews. They would see the similarity of the story of Jesus with that of the Exodus. Matthew then goes on and has Jesus restating the law. This was very important for the Jews. Jesus drives the point home that no one can live up to the law. He says that we are to be perfect!! Since no one can do this he also helps us to realize that we are in need of a Savior.

Psalms & Proverbs:

I said in the last post that I would give you some information about Psalms and Proverbs this week. We will highlight some key themes in later weeks.

Purpose of the book of Psalms: To provide poetry for the expression of praise, worship, and confession to God.

Authors: David wrote 73 psalms, Asaph wrote 12, the sons of Korah wrote nine, Solomon wrote two, Etan and Moses each wrote one, and 51 are anonymous.

Date written: Between the time of Moses (around 1440 BC) and the Babylonian Captivity (586 BC)

Setting: For the most part, the psalms were not intended to be narrations of historical events. However, they often parallel events in history such as David’s flight from Saul and his sin with Bathsheba.

Key Verse: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” (150:6)

Key person: David

Key place: God’s holy temple

Purpose of the book of Proverbs: To teach people how to attain wisdom and discipline and a prudent life, and how to do what is right and just and fair; to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction.

Author: Solomon wrote or at least compiled most of the book with Lemuel and Agur contributing later sections.

Date written: Early in Solomon’s reign as king.

Setting: This is a book of wise sayings, a textbook for teaching people how to live godly lives through the repetition of wise thoughts.

Key verse: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (1:7)

Special Features: The book uses varied literary forms: poetry, brief parables, pointed questions, and couplets. Other literary devices used in the book include, antithesis, comparison, and personification.

Where we are going:

The Old Testament:
We will soon get into the quite long story of Jacob and his 12 sons. The story will focus on Joseph and what happens to him. See if you can see any similarities between the story of Joseph and the story of Jesus. This also sets the stage for the most important story in Jewish history, The Exodus.

The New Testament:
Matthew continues to tell of Jesus and how he is the Messiah. All of these accounts give witness to who Jesus is. We will see how Jesus performs miracles, how he teaches using parables, and how he love us all. Look things you never noticed before in the life of Jesus. What would it have been like to realize that this man was the promised Messiah? How would you have felt?

Key Verses that should be memorized:

If you have a new version of The One Year Bible, most of these key verses are in bold print. Some that I have listed are not. Take some time and highlight these verses in your Bible or write them down on a piece of paper and start memorizing them. You may want to put them on the bathroom mirror and look at them before you go to bed and when you are getting ready in the morning.

Genesis 1:27
Genesis 3:15b (The first promise of a savior)
Matthew 3:1-2
Psalm 3:3
Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:43-45
Matthew 5:48
Matthew 6:9-13
Matthew 6:33
Matthew 8:11
Proverbs 3:5-6
Genesis 26:4-5

Some things to help you out:

Here are a few websites that I have run across that help me when I am studying the Scriptures: - You can search on words or phrases as well as finding texts here. - A great site to help you understand some confusing texts. - Very similar to -Forgot The One Year Bible at home or even left it at the office? This site will give you the readings for the day. A great help when you don’t have your Bible with you. - Want get some in-depth information for the readings of the day? This is the place. It gives you the readings, some artwork and some commentary specifically on the readings for the day. This is a great site. I almost didn’t want to tell you about it because I get some of my info here.


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