CHAPTER 1 LESSON 1
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The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit and was written for us in two main divisions. The first contains thirty-nine books and is called the Old Testament. The second has twenty-seven books and is known as the New Testament. The term testament means covenant or agreement. The death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ brought the old covenant to an end and began the new agreement. He is the focal point of all history. Hebrews 1:1-2 states that God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son.
Studying this chapter, you will learn about the events between the Old Testament and the New Testament. You will see how the way was prepared for the coming of the Messiah and the spreading of the good news of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. A look at the political and religious situation will set the scene for the events that are shared in the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. After you examine the inter-Testamental period, you will learn how the four Gospels were written. You will see how they relate to one another and to the rest of the New Testament. You will also realize that Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation are really rooted in the facts which the Gospels record.
As you study the sequence of events in the New Testament, you will understand that the Bible is a living organism. Every part is vitally connected with every other part. The Holy Spirit, Who is the Author, made sure of this. The central subject of the whole Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ. Learning the names of the books of the New Testament, and how they fit into the time sequence, will give you a better grasp of the events of the first century. Studying about the authors will help you to appreciate the fact that God used ordinary men to pen the greatest Book the World has ever known. You will become aware that the Lord made sure that we would have a reliable written record so that we could believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and find abundant life in Him.
The last book of the Old Testament is Malachi. Between Malachi and the first book of the New Testament, Matthew, 400 years of history elapsed. The period between Malachi and Matthew has been called the inter-Testamental period, and also The Silent Years. The term silent is used because no words from any prophets of God were recorded as Scripture during this period. In Malachi 4:4-6 the prophet had warned the people that the next main event from God would be a ministry similar to that of Elijah. This prophecy was fulfilled at the beginning of the New Testament period in the person of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:7-15; 17:9-13).
The various empires that came into power during the inter-Testamental period had a great
effect on the
Jews. Each new empire gained or fought for control of
Study these words to enhance your learning success in this section.
Containing or pertaining
To surrender or give up
To condemn strongly as evil.
To profane or treat as not sacred.
1. The last book of the Old Testament is _________, and ______________is the first book of the New Testament.
2. Between the books of Malachi and Matthew, _______________ years of history elapsed, ___________ period.
3. The period of the "Silent Years" is also called the ___________ period.
4. John the Baptist had a ministry similar to that of __________ .
5. Each major empire and power fought for control of the land of a ___________, where the b. ___________
6. The three main empires in the silent period were the: a. ___________, b. ___________, and c. _______.
7. Other periods in between included the a. ________________ , b ________________, and c. ___________________.
8. The three main religious groups in Jesus' day were the: a. _______, b. _______, and c. _______.
VARIOUS EMPIRES AND PERIODS
Egypt- 323-204 B.C.,
Maccabeans- 165-63 B.C. (Jewish independence)
approximately 539 to 334
B.C. The Jewish people had just come out of the Babylonian captivity under
which they had been taken captive to the
Grecian Empire followed the
When Alexander approached
priests and in full dress, he begged for mercy on behalf of
The priests told Alexander about Old Testament prophecies concerning him (Daniel 8:5, 21). Afterwards, Alexander showed the Jews favor. He used them in his army and granted them equal rights with Greeks as first citizens in his cities. The influence of Alexander upon many of the Jews caused them to become Grecian or Hellenistic in attitude. This attitude met with opposition from the conservative nationalistic Jews.