Not all of us are called to go to Bible School or seminary. Even people who have degrees in Theology can't begin to understand all of the intricacies and wisdom contained in the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Here are some things that may increase your knowledge of God’s indescribably unique and wonderful Word;
1. The Bible is the world's best-selling and most widely distributed book. Up to 5 billion copies of The Bible have been printed and distributed over time. It was first printed by Johannes Gutenberg, in Mainz, in present-day Germany, in the 1450s.
2. Jesus is the most-referred to and mentioned person in the Bible. Beside Jesus, David is the most mentioned person in the Bible, followed by Moses and Jacob.
Israel is mentioned over 2,500 in Scripture, including over 70 times in the New Testament.
Jeremiah 29:11 is the currently the most popular verse in the Old Testament.
3. There are 188 named women in the Bible. Despite the restricted roles that women held in Bible times, women are honored in Scripture. Many more women are unnamed and are referred to by their story, for example, “the Samaritan woman at the well.” (see John 4)
4. Jeremiah 29:11 and John 3:16 are the most popular Old and New Testament verses. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life," remains the most popular New Testament verse (based on a survey of popular online Bible sites).
5. The Bible is composed of 66 books by 40 different writers over 1,500 years. Moses wrote the largest part of the Bible, writing 5 books (over 125,000 words). Paul wrote 12 books (over 32,000 words). The name Bible is never used in The Bible. Over 100 different translations exist.
6. The Pentateuch is the first 5 books of the Bible. It is written by God through His prophet, Moses. Jesus calls this section of the Old Testament the “Law of Moses.” (see Luke 24:44) Information of Moses’ death was added to the original text. The word Pentateuch is Greek and comes from the combined words penta, which means “five” and teuchos, which can be translated “scroll.”
The Pentateuch is the first 5 books of the Bible.
The first 3 Gospels are called they Synoptic Gospels because they are written from a similar point of view. The book of John does not include a lot of the material that frequently overlaps in the other Gospels. John is more of a supplement to the other books. Whether John had read them or not is unknown.
Matthew was a tax collector, Mark was a teenager whose mother followed and hosted Jesus, Luke was a doctor who left his job to follow Jesus after His death, and John, like Matthew, was one of the original 12 apostles. He was a fisherman. Their individual vocations led to differing perspectives and emphasis on different events in Jesus' life.
8. The name “Paul” begins each of the 13 Pauline Epistles. Epistle means letter, and these New Testament books are all written by Paul to the various churches. These teachings form the foundation of much Christian theology.
Epistle means letter.
10. Scripture is full of symbols, imagery and types. There are at least 1,670 items having meaning beyond their literal interpretation in both testaments. A type is “a person or thing symbolizing or exemplifying the ideal or defining characteristics of something.”
Some symbols have opposite meanings in different verses.
Hebrews 4:12 teaches, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Scripture remains one of the greatest gifts ever given to mankind. While the Bible is banned in dozens of countries and is seen as a threat to other religions and theologies, it is readily available to us today. May we treasure it and hold it dear.