April 4, 2013
Gwendolyn R. Gray
The book, A Newcomer’s Guide to the Bible: Themes and Timelines, by Michael Armour, helped me learn an extensive amount about the Bible’s basic timeline of Biblical events. It gave great insight on how to identify the books of the Bible and the major developments that go with each of the 14 periods of history. Being able to identify these books and the major developments that go with each gives me a better understanding of the Bible.
I found this book to be very insightful and well put together. It gave different insights and aspects to issues that I would’ve otherwise never thought about. At the very beginning of the book, it talked about the Bible declaring that God created human beings in His own image and how God resembles us physically. He does not have a body, but is a spirit-being Himself. This statement alone boggles my mind because I never thought about God as ONLY being a spirit and not having human physical features like we all do. In the sense that we were created in His own image is believable, but the more I think about Him being a spirit only the more confused I get.
Moreover, I’ve come to the realization that the same principles and ideals in the Bible set forth by God are as relevant today as they were then. But, I can’t help but to think that if the Bible wasn’t put together all the way, then how did anyone during Biblical times know what all was in it? I know that we all struggle with the same moral and spiritual issues today that they did in biblical times, but I do also know that they lived in a world completely different from what we live in now. So, I can’t help but to think of how meaningful His teachings were to them and how meaningful they should be to us today.
I always wondered why two or more books may have the same name. This text gave me insight into this and explained three reasons why. First, I learned that there are three books in the Old Testament that are so long that they have been split into two volumes apiece. The resulting six books are 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. Secondly, I learned that some books of the New Testament are named for their author. If the same writer gave us two or three books, they may all bear his name, as with 1 Peter and 2 Peter. And thirdly, New Testament books that were originally written as letters commonly take the name of the people to whom they were addressed. Where the same individual or Christian community received two different letters, we can end up with a duplication of names. For instance, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians are both letters to Christians in the city of Corinth. These insights on why books have the same name have been very beneficial in my learning and understanding of the Bible.
When reflecting on the two possible reasons for the existence of the world whether it was self-created or created by some other power outside the universe, I can’t help but think that it was created by some other power outside the universe. I don’t think that it is humanly possible for someone to create the world and not have special unique powers as God has. I truly believe that He created the world and everything in it.
The chapter about Abraham and his family showed how God’s grace in his treatment with Abraham was phenomenal, and how Abraham knew God would be faithful to him and keep His promises. Abraham’s faith in God was proven to be true, and I wonder if we all looked at our own lives, would we see the many ways that God has been faithful to us? I see the favor, grace, and mercy every single day that God bestows on me, and I realize and recognize all the many blessings that he blesses me with. And