The first link A walk through the Bible in MS Word: is a downloadable file in Microsoft Word, the second link is in PDF format. You can click on either link to open it or download the file to save and read at your leisure.
INTRODUCTION TO A WALK THROUGH THE BIBLE
(Beginning Bible 101)
NOTES COMPILED BY: DR. STEVE DUCETT
Before studying the Bible, we should first ask ourselves “Why should we invest the time and energy in studying this book?” After all, don’t many skeptics consider the Bible to be just a book of myths written by Jews and is of little value to us today? Why do we read the Bible rather than the sacred literature of other religions, such as the Koran or the Book of Mormon? How do we know that it is divinely inspired, as it claims to be? How do we know that what we have today is an accurate translation from the original? Is the Bible complete or have there been some books that have been lost? We should be able to answer these questions. Peter tells us that we should be ready ALWAYS to give an answer to anyone who asks for the REASON for our hope (2 Peter ). This area of theology is called apologetics, the giving of a reasoned defense of what we believe. For more information on this subject, I recommend Dr. Norman Geisler’s book, When Skeptics Ask.
Why do we believe that the Bible is inspired by God, is accurate, and complete?
1. The Bible claims that these writings are not from men, but are from God, as the writers were “carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter -21). Paul wrote that “ALL scripture (not just some) is inspired by God (not partially inspired or some portions more inspired than others) and is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly (not partially) equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). Paul tells us that the Bible is enough to THOROUGHLY equip us for every good work.
If we believe the Bible, then why do some preachers and teachers avoid certain parts of the Bible? When was the last time you heard a sermon or lesson from the Book of Obadiah? Speaking of Obadiah, you might enjoy my article in the Question and Answer tab: "How did you like my book?" Many of us profess great respect for the Bible but we often treat it or parts of it as if it was junk mail-unopened and unread.
2. One indication that the Bible is inspired by God is fulfilled prophecy. Deut 18:21-22 says that the way we can know a message is from God is through fulfilled prophecy. We find the following prophecies have already been fulfilled which gives us confidence that other prophecies will also be fulfilled.
Isa. 44:28 says that Cyrus, King of Persia, would release the Jews so they could return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. This took place in 537 B.C.
Ezek 26:3b-5a The city of Tyre would be destroyed. This happened in 332 B.C. when Alexander the Great destroyed the city, and it remains today as a place for fishermen to dry their nets, just as prophesied.
Deut.28:15 Moses told the Jews that if they disobeyed God, they would be scattered among the nations and later, Ezekiel foretold that they return (Ezek. 36:19). This happened.
There are numerous prophecies concerning the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. He was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); anointed by the Holy Sprit (Isa. 11:2); would perform miracles (Isa. 35:5-6); would cleanse the temple (Mal. 3:1); be rejected by the Jews (Ps 118:22); die a humiliating death (Ps 22) by being mocked, pierced, his clothing divided by lot; be crucified with thieves (Isa 53:12); would pray for his persecutors (Isa. 53:12), be pierced (Zech. 12:10); buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isa 53:9), and would rise from the dead (Ps 16:10).
3. Jesus accepted the Bible (the Old Testament), as His ultimate source of authority, accepted its central divisions (Luke ), its individual books (Matt ) and even its letters and parts of letters (Matt ) as having divine authority. He called the Scriptures the Word of God (John ).
While he was tempted by Satan, He considered the Scripture to be the FINAL authority (Matt. 4:4ff). Jesus not only accepted the Old Testament, but he predicted writing of the New Testament (John -26; ).
4. The fact that we have over 5,300 manuscripts with part or all of Scripture shows that the Word of God has been accurately transmitted over the centuries.
5. Archeology supports the accuracy of the Bible in its history, geography and science. Critics in the past have claimed that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch because writing hadn’t been invented yet, and that the cities of Ur, Jericho, Petra and Ninevah never existed. Archeological discoveries have proven the critics wrong.
6. We have reason to believe that the Bible is also complete (Jude 3) and that we are not to add to or take away from it (Deut 12:2 and Rev 22:18-19) or seal up any portion of the Bible (Rev 20:10). If your pastor or Bible teacher ignores some books of the Bible (Revelation and the Prophets perhaps) are they not "sealing up the books?"
The study of the Bible is not just for theologians, pastors and Bible teachers. Some Christians feel intimidated by the Bible. They think that they can't study it and so they leave it to professional clergy. But Scripture tells us otherwise.
Deut 6:6-7 tells us that we are to teach it to our children.
Ps 19:7 tells us that even the simple can understand it, though Peter tells us that there are portions, such as some of Paul’s writings, that are more difficult (2 Peter 3:15-16). The Bible is for the young, the old, the intelligent and not so intelligent.
The bottom line is this: It is reasonable to believe that the Bible, written by about forty people, in three different languages, over a period of 1,500 years, is divinely inspired and complete. We can have confidence that the Bible is inerrant (without error). We can believe not only what it says about theology, but also science (John).
All of us can read and study the Bible for ourselves. This is why I put together these notes and recommend a good study Bible (see "How to Choose a Bible" in the Question and Answer section). With these tools, you should feel comfortable in reading the Bible for yourself.
Now just because we claim that the Bible is divinely inspired, accurate and complete, does not mean that our understanding of it is always accurate and complete. I have been studying the Bible for about forty years and I still have questions and have changed my views on many issues.
Let's look at how the Bible is arranged starting with The Old Testament;
Books of Law: the first five books (also called The Pentateuch) are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Books of Poetry: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel.
Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
Before getting into the first book, Genesis, I suggest that you have a readable study Bible. I use the NIV Study Bible because it is in modern English with good study notes to help me understand some of the passages. Also, at my age, I have to have the LARGE PRINT version.