Lord, inspire me to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. I beg you to give me real understanding of what I need, that I in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet, I know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So I ask that the words of Scripture may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into my heart. Amen. -Origin, 184-253 AD
God’s plan to redeem the world started with one family and slowly grew. The story of Old Testament scripture is the story of God’s protection over the Jewish people in a world of sin and people who worshipped other Gods. This is why in Scripture you hear them calling him the “God of Israel,” because other people worshipped idols or false gods.
Series of Covenants Marriage – Adam and Eve Family – Noah Tribe – Abraham Nation – Moses Kingdom - David
After Adam and Eve sinned, God created a plan to redeem humanity. He made a series of COVENANTS (promises) with his people to bring about salvation to the world. By growing a family of faith over a long period of time, he was preparing humanity to receive the Word of God in the flesh – Christ. Because of the relationship he was building with his people, humanity would be able to recognize the Savior and believe in him.
He began by making a covenant (promise) with Adam and Eve(a marriage) that he would redeem humanity (Eve’s son – Christ – would crush the head of the serpent – Satan).
Then he made a promise with a family – Noah and his family. He promises that he would save him and his family from the flood.
Later he promised Abraham and his tribe that he would be blessed with many descendants. These people became known as the Jews, or the Israelites.
After many hardships, including becoming slaves in Egypt, this people became a nation led by Moses.
God chose kings to rule this nation, making them a holy kingdom. God then made a covenant with David the king that he would shepherd the people into salvation.
He helped the Israelites win battles against their enemies, and when the Israelites sinned and started falling away from him, he brought up leaders who would proclaim God’s word to the people to remind them about the one true God. These leaders were called “prophets”. They had a special connection with God. He would speak to them and they would tell the Israelites what God said. The prophets prophesied about the coming of a savior who would be the son of God who would save all of humanity from sin.
Scripture and Tradition are the two “fonts” from which the Church draws its life and teachings
This is why we have the word of God in writing and the word of God in the flesh at mass. Our living tradition (sacraments) plus the written word.
Protestants believe in “sola scriptura”, or “scripture alone” Nowhere in Scripture does it say to believe in scripture alone as the source of our faith The Church existed for a long time before the scriptures were written down and collected, the gospel was only spread by oral tradition Before the printing press, only churches had Bibles because they were too expensive. Only place to hear the word of God was through the tradition of the Mass
46 Old Testament books 27 New Testament books Protestants have only 39 Old Testament books. They do not have the “Deutero-Canonical books, which include – 1 &2 Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Wisdom, Baruch, and Ecclesiasticus These books were part of the church canon from the beginning. Martin Luther (protestant reformer) removed them in 1517
We believe that there are co-authors of Scripture. The books are written by human people, in their own language and manner of speaking, but those men are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Because God is the principle author, we can trust that every word is TRUE, INFALLIBLE, and INERRANT. Meaning it is perfect and without fault.
Old Testament - 46 books written before the coming of Christ. They tell the story of God’s relationship with his people, preparing them for the coming of a Savior. The OT has many different authors. New Testament – 27 books written after the coming of Christ. They tell the story of Christ’s life, the history of the beginning of the Church, and they offer spiritual guidance for a believer.
The Law (aka Torah, Pentateuch, or Books of Moses) – Probably written by Moses. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy The Prophets - Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi The Writings – Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1&2 Chronicles The Deutero-Canonical Books – Tobit, Judith, 1&2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch
The Four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. These books tell of the life of Christ from four different perspectives. Acts of the Apostles – This book tells about the founding of the Early Church by the Apostles after Christ died. The Pauline Letters – Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians. These books are letters written by Paul, a convert to the faith, to the first churches in those communities.
The Pastoral Letters – 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews. These books are letters written by Paul for pastoral instruction to specific men. The Catholic Letters – James, 1&2 Peter, 1,2&3 John, Jude. These letters are called “Catholic” because they were written for the universal Church, rather than a particular community. The Revelation to John – The apocalyptic book written by John about the end of the age.
E – expectation M – messiah P – passover T – teaching Y – yet to come C – creation A – abraham S – sinai K – kings E – exile T – temple
The picture for CREATION is two trees The picture of two trees represents the period of CREATION. God commands Adam not to eat from one of the trees, but Adam disobeys God, resulting in banishment from God's presence and death (Gen. 2-3). Since these two trees are at the very center of life in the garden, and since eating from one of them marks the entrance of sin into the world (Rom. 5), this picture is a reminder of these important events that take place in the period of CREATION.
The picture for ABRAHAM is a gift The picture of a gift represents the period of ABRAHAM. In spite of Abraham's old age and Sarah's barrenness, Abraham believes that God is able to give him a son, as he has promised. God justifies Abraham, an ungodly person, on account of his faith (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4). The picture of a gift underscores that justification is a gift of God by his grace.
The picture for SINAI is the Ten Commandments The picture of the two stone tablets represents the period of SINAI. The Ten Commandments are the "stipulations" of the Mosaic covenant (Exod. 20; Deut. 5–6). God's people were required to keep these commandments; failure to keep them constituted "breaking" the covenant. The Ten Commandments serve as a reminder that the Law is given in this period and that it is central to God's covenant with Israel.
The picture for KINGS is a blue crown The picture of a blue crown represents the period of KINGS. Human beings are created in God's image to be his royal representatives (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 8). God's promise of kings to Abraham through Judah represents the continuation of the royal line, which will be realized through David's son whom God will raise up (Gen. 49:10; 1 Sam. 16; 2 Sam. 7).
The picture for EXILE is a bird of prey oThe picture of a bird of prey represents the curses of the Mosaic covenant and the period of EXILE. God makes a covenant with Israel, promising to bless them if they obey his laws, but curse them if they disobey them (Lev. 26; Deut. 27—28). In 586 BC God's curses are poured out on Judah because they have disobeyed his laws (Jer. 7—11).
The picture for TEMPLE is a temple The picture of a temple represents the last period of the Old Testament known as TEMPLE. The picture recalls both the tabernacle (Exod. 25—40) and the temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem (1 Kgs. 6—8). The temple is destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians, but rebuilt after the exile in this final period, being completed in 516 BC (Ezra 6).
The picture for EXPECTATIONS is a vision of God's coming King The picture of a blue crown inside a visionary cloud represents the period of EXPECTATIONS. God does not abandon His saving purposes, but builds expectations for a coming King in fulfillment of His promises to David (2 Sam. 7:12-17; Jer. 23:5-6). Israel eagerly awaits God's coming kingdom and the promised Messiah, who will bring forgiveness, restoration, and blessing to the nations (Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 9:9; 14:9).
The picture for MESSIAH is a blue crown The picture of a blue crown represents the period of MESSIAH. God sends His beloved Son, Jesus, into the world. He is Israel's Messiah who had been promised many years earlier. Jesus proclaims the good news that God's kingdom has arrived (Dan. 2:44; Mark 1:14-15) and demonstrates the reality of the kingdom with signs, healings, and casting out demons (Isa. 35; Matt. 11; 12:28). Jesus calls people to repent, and believe in the gospel.
The picture for PENTECOST is a fiery cloud The picture of a fiery cloud represents the period of PENTECOST. After the death, resurrection and exaltation of the Messiah, God pours out His Spirit upon the church at Pentecost in fulfillment of His promises of old (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2). Believers from all nations are filled with the Holy Spirit and are sanctified to walk in holiness and righteousness. Jesus extends His kingdom through the suffering and witness of the early church to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth (Ps. 2:6-8; Acts 1:8).
The picture for TEACHING is a scroll The picture of a scroll represents the period of TEACHING. The teaching ministry of the church continues as letters are sent to early Christian communities in an ever-expanding sphere of witness to the truth which is in Jesus (Eph. 4:21; John 14:6). Central teachings of New Testament include: Jesus is the Messiah; justification is by faith; the Holy Spirit indwells believers; Jew and Gentile are one in Christ; obedience comes through faith; believers are living sacrifices holy to the LORD; and Christ will return as Judge of the whole earth.
The picture for YET-TO-COME is an open gate to the New Jerusalem The picture of an open gate to the New Jerusalem represents the period of YET-TO-COME. The redemptive story that God began in the Garden of Eden ends with a city, which is inhabited by an innumerable multitude of people from every nation (Rev. 7). The glorious New Jerusalem comes down like a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21). Inside the gate, the water of life flows from God's throne and the tree of life is now accessible (Ezek. 47; Rev. 22). Evil is rightly condemned and the blessing of God's presence that had been lost in Eden is fully restored for all eternity (Gen. 2-3; Rev. 22).