Let us have a look over the complete Bible. God wrote the Bible so that we can read it today.
What is the Bible? It is made up of 66 smaller books.
The Bible was written over many years. It was started 6,000 years ago, and finished about 1,900 years ago. Genesis is the first book in the Bible. It tells us how God made the world in six days. On the sixth day, God made the first people – a man called Adam, and a woman called Eve. From them came all the people that are on the earth today.
You can read about this in Genesis chapter 1 and 2. Read Genesis 1:27. What does this verse say? It means that human beings look like God. But there is more than that. It means that we can think about God. We can think about things. We can reason things. This is how we are different from all the animals God has made. Human beings can think. They can make decisions. They can be responsible.
History from Adam to Abraham
Adam and Eve had many children, but soon the men and women forgot about God. People were cruel and violent. God told Noah and his family to build a large ship (called an ark) because God was going to destroy all the wicked people with a great flood. You can read about this in Genesis 6 to 9. Look at what God said about the people in Genesis 6:5-8.
After Noah, there were more people, and they started to move through the world. Up till this time, all the people lived in the place we know today as the Middle East.
Then about 4,000 years ago, God spoke to a man called Abraham. God made great promises to Abraham. There is a lot we could say about the promises – but one promise was that Abraham’s children would be a special group of people – the people known as Jews, or Israelites, or Israelis. People who are children of Abraham are still in the world today.
Can you find out where the name “Israel” came from? It was a man’s name. Look at Genesis 32:28 for the answer.
The name “Jew” came from the man “Judah”, one of the sons of Jacob.
History from Abraham to the captivity of Israel
The rest of the Old Testament of the Bible is about the Jews, and how God cared for them, punished them, and promised that in the end, He would make all the world a happy place for all who would obey God, whether they were Jews or not.
Abraham had a son called Isaac. Isaac had a son called Jacob. Jacob has twelve sons. These three men lived in the land of Israel. But just before he died, Jacob and his family moved to Egypt. There, more and more children were born. After 400 years, many thousands of Jews left Egypt to go to the land of Israel. The man who was the leader of the Jews at that time was Moses. Moses wrote the first 5 books in the Bible. Turn to the contents page in your bible to see the first five books in the Old Testament. Moses wrote these.
And so the Jews went to live in the land of Israel. Sometimes they obeyed God, and He looked after them. At other times, they did not obey God. They worshipped other gods, and so He punished them.
After many years, the Jews wanted to have a king over their country. There were good kings and bad kings. The most important king was good King David. David lived about 3000 years ago.
Look at 1 Chronicles 17:10-14. This was an important promise that God made to King David about a king who would come one day. But this king would live forever. He would be a king forever – for all time. He would never die! Can you think who this king would be? Have you heard of a king who shall live forever? We shall find the answer soon.
There were good kings and bad kings of Israel. Soon the people became so bad that God sent the Jews out of their land. They were conquered by the kingdom of Babylon. Many died in the wars, and for many years the Jews were away from their land. But God was still kind to them, and so some Jews later returned to the land of Israel. But there were no more kings.
The time of Jesus
And so, about 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born, and we read about him in the New Testament. Jesus is the most important person in the Bible. Everything that is written in the Bible points to Jesus in some way. Jesus was the Son of God.
Look at Luke 1:29-33
So now we find out who the king was that King David was promised. It was Jesus!
Jesus lived in Israel about 2000 years ago. He was a poor man, yet he was to be the king. First he showed everyone how God loved all people. Jesus told how we should obey Him. Jesus told us what we should do to make God happy. Jesus promised that if we obey God, then we can be part of his Kingdom. That Kingdom has not come yet. The followers of Jesus are still waiting…..
The rest of the New Testament is about what Jesus did:- how he was killed by wicked men, and how God made him alive again. Jesus is now in heaven, waiting for the time when God tells him to return to the earth and set up the Kingdom. Look at Acts 1:11
What happened after Jesus
The book of Acts tells us how the followers of Jesus told everyone about the message of Jesus. We read about some of the followers of Jesus: Peter, James, John, and Paul.
The rest of the New Testament contains letters from the followers of Jesus to each other and to the people who followed Jesus, and they give us more detail of the work of Jesus. Many were written by Paul.
About 100 years after Jesus was born, God stopped adding to the Bible. No more of the Bible has been written.
What is written in the Bible is there for us to read. It is there to help us learn about God and about His Son, Jesus. If we read the Bible we can learn more about God. We can learn how He loves us and cares for us.