|The Testaments of the Bible
The Bible is divided into
two sections; each of which is a collection of books. The Old and
New Testaments contain a total of 66 books writen by 40 various authors.
The word 'testament' literally means "something that serves as proof,"
so both serve as a witness to what God has done since the beginning of
The focal point of the Bible
is the Incarnation of Jesus with the Old Testament being a history of the
Jewish nation in preparation of the Messiah from 1400 to 400 B.C.
Conversely, the New Testament
is the witness of Jesus having come, lived amongst us, His teachings, and
the work He did in regard to securing our salvation. It also includes
the history of the early first century church, the writings of the apostles,
and those prophesies referring to the end times. This testament was
written between 50 A.D. and sometime in the second second century, thus
completing the full and complete revelation of God's Word (see chart below).
The Writers of the Bible
The true "Writer" of the
Bible was the Holy Spirit of God. It was He who inspired (2nd Timothy
3:16) the 40 human "writers" as well as those who determined which of the
books should be included in the Bible. God chose those whom He would
have to write His Word as the Holy Spirit "breathed" (inspiration) into
them the words they were to write.
What now composes the Bible
is referred to as the canon of Scriptures. This is a Greek term which
means a rule or line of measurement. Therefore, those books which
agreed with each other, contained no errors, and could be validated historically
were included in this canon. Those writings that were not are referred
to as the Apocrypha, which is a collection of those books which were not
able to measure up to the rest of the canon of God's Word. As a result,
they have no authority.
The Covenants of the Bible
The testaments are also referred
to as covenants. In regard to Scripture, a covenant is a promise
made by God to man.
In the Old Testament, God's
prophets announced His will to the people. In the absence of a prophet,
the writings of Moses (first five books of the Bible) and those written
books that were recognized as being Scripture provided spiritual guidence
to His people.
However, the New Testament
begins with the coming of Jesus and culminates in His death, burial, and
resurrection from the dead. Immediately after this, God chose to
indwell every truly born-again believer through the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, a national prophet is no longer needed. Believers are
now able to be led individually by God's Spirit as they study the Scriptures
so that we might learn those principles which bring us to a closer relationship
and walk with Him.