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The Bible - its History, Overview and Application

On the coronation of a Queen or King in England, the Monarch is presented with a Bible with these words,

“We present you with this book, the most valuable thing this world affords. Here is wisdom, this is the royal law; these are the lively oracles of God”.

The Bible is the world’s best selling book. In 1445, it became the first book ever to be printed in the world! It is made up of sixty-six individual books that beautifully complement each other. It is separated into the Old and New Testaments.

Insides its covers you will find true stories of great adventures, love and faith. It is full of accurate history, poetry and wisdom. It deals with the issues that face us today; sex, romance, fear and failure, our purpose and destiny. It also foretells the future of the world as we see its prophecies fulfilled on our TV screens today!

  • A Tested Book
  • English Translation
  • William Tyndale
  • Henry VIII
  • Translations of the Bible
  • Inspired by God
  • Freedom

  • Living and Powerful
  • A Lamp to My Feet
  • Learn from the Word
  • Daily Readings
  • The Blessing of God’s Word
  • Open Our Eyes Lord!
  • God’s Word and Success

  • God’s Word –prophecy fulfilled in our days
  • Jerusalem
  • A Brief Overview of Every Book in the Bible

  • A Tested Book

    “Man's hatred of the Bible has been one of the most persistent, determined, relentless and bitter character traits.

    It has led to eighteen centuries of repeated attempts to undermine faith in the Bible, and to consign the Bible itself to oblivion...Every engine of destruction that human philosophy, human science, human reason, human art, human cunning, human force and human brutality could bring to bear to bear against this book has been brought to bear against this book, and yet the Bible stands absolutely unshaken today. At times almost all the wise and great of the earth have been pitted against the Bible, and only an obscure few for it. Yet is has stood”. - Dr R. A. Torrey.


    English Translation

    Not until the 14th century did England have a complete Bible in her own language. This was inspired by John Wycliffe and carried out by Lollards, (followers of John Wycliffe). It was translated on the continent of Europe and later was banned in 1408 by the Roman Catholic Church.

    It was translated from the Latin, each Bible was copied by hand and cost a priest a year's wage, and a labourer thirteen years' wages! They were smuggled into Britain by sympathetic merchants. Many people were martyred for translating portions of the Bible into English. Those who taught the Bible in English were severely persecuted and martyred. Most of them were burnt at the stake.


    William Tyndale

    William Tyndale started translating the Old Testament (Genesis- Deuteronomy) from the original Hebrew; but he was caught and burnt at the stake for heresy in 1536, in Belgium.

    The Roman Catholic Church had turned away from the teachings of the Bible and itself was hindering the work of God. They persecuted many true believers.

    Miles Coverdale, used Tyndale’s work and then translated the remaining portions of Scripture from Latin and German. It was not suppressed even though it had no royal license.

    The Bible was divided into chapters in the year 1525 and verses were added in 1551.


    Henry VIII

    Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and founded the Church of England; he did this so he could divorce his wife and marry another. He too felt the same as the Pope about the Bible being translated into English, but in 1537 the Matthew's Bibles was granted a license by Henry VIII by the persuasion of Cromwell.

    In doing so he changed the laws allowing the Scriptures to come in circulation legally. Before these dates, the Bible was read to the people in the Latin language. Only the Priests were considered worthy of reading it, some of whom did not understand it anyway. The common people did not understand Latin. Sadly most priests interpreted the scriptures to suit their own ends.

    Cromwell then commissioned Coverdale to produce a revision of Matthew’s Bible and the printing of this "Great Bible" began in Paris. The French authorities were harassed and responded to the inquisition by stopping the printing. The press, paper and compositors had to be rushed to England. The Bible appeared in 1539 and Henry commanded it to placed in every church for all to read.

    When Queen Mary reigned, the Protestants were persecuted and many fled to Geneva, but she died five years later; her half sister Elizabeth ascended the throne. These refugees revised the Bible in 1560 and it was known as the Geneva Bible. It was the first Bible printed in Roman type with verse divisions.

    In 1568 the Bishops Bible was completed under the orders of the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was translated by bishops and biblical scholars. In 1604 King James 1st commissioned fifty translators to retranslate, correcting any errors that the Bishop’s Bible may have had. It was published in 1611 and is known as the King James Version. In 1885 the revised version was printed due to new discoveries in the field of Bible scholarship.


    Translations of the Bible

    A Casquael Indian once remarked to a missionary, "If God is so great why can't He speak my language?”

    Today there are 371 complete Bibles in different languages, plus 960 New Testaments; there are also 902 portions of Scripture translated. This is only the beginning. There are 2000+ established needs where languages have been identified without as yet a translation of the Bible, and approximately 2500 needs still to be established.

    Jesus commissioned us nearly 2000 years ago "to go into all the world and preach the gospel". Wycliffe Bible translators are on the front line of translating the Scriptures.

    Wycliffe Website   
    Go There


    Inspired by God

    2 Timothy 3:16 ‘All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’

    God gave the scriptures to man, who wrote it down as they were guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit ( 2 Peter 1:20,21). The Bible can be trusted. Mark 13:31 "Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will by no means pass away".



    Someone once asked Queen Victoria, "What made the British Empire great" she replied, "The Bible".

    Where the Bible is free, history teaches us that the people are free. Those who have the Scriptures have a godly duty and privilege of making the scriptures known and available to those who do not have them.

    Only eternity will tell how great your contribution to the world was… through knowing, sharing and passing along the word of God to others.


    Living and Powerful

    Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the divisions of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart".

    The word of God can hit you where it hurts, where people cannot see, right inside of your heart. 'The word is like a fire and a hammer which smashes the rocks to pieces'. Jeremiah 23:29. Who can stand before a fire? No man can as a fire burns up all that is within its path. Allow the word of God to burn up the chaff in you and to refine you as silver or gold. The Bible is also compared to a seed, a lamp and a sword. Matthew 13; 18-23, Psalm 119:105 and Ephesians 6:17.

    An arrow shot by a competent person will hit the mark. We as Christians should try to memorise some scriptures. Psalm 119:11 "Your word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against you".


    A Lamp to My Feet

    Do not just go through the Bible but allow the Bible to go through you. 'The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth'.

    Psalm 119:105,130,114. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". "The entrance of Your word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple". "I hope in Your word".

    The Bible is not just a book about rules and regulation, but it does give us amazing guidelines for living. 'Choose life or death' (Deuteronomy Chapters 27-28). The Bible gives us a point of reference, for us to know if we are in God’s plan and purpose for our life.


    Learn from the Word

    Romans 15:4 "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and the comfort of the scripture might have hope".

    If we do not know what the Bible says then we are not equipped. We can learn from other people's mistakes and also follow in the footsteps of those who 'followed God with a loyal, undivided heart'. We have the teaching of Jesus and the apostles to follow. Jesus was the ultimate example to follow. John 14:15 "If you love me obey what I command".

    Everyone needs to be trained before they can do a job properly. It is the same in the things of God; you need to study to know you are doing the right things. If you need a regular meal to feed your body, don’t you need to regularly read your Bible to feed your Spirit?

    Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge" 6:3 "Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord."

    Job 23:12 "I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food."

    Psalm 19:7-11 "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right; rejoicing the heart. The commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired than gold...In keeping them there is great reward".

    If we obey what is written in the Bible then we cannot go wrong. If we add to or take away from the Bible, then we are in big trouble (Revelation 22:19).


    Daily Readings

    We should read a portion(s) of the Bible every day. Ask yourself, “How much time do I spend reading other books, magazines, papers, or watching the TV, or playing on the computer?” Then compare the time spent doing those things, with the time spent reading the Bible.

    Please remember that there are people in this world who do not have a Bible or are persecuted for having one; many are put in prison, others are tortured and some are killed. In many countries the Bible is a banned book. In some counties a Bible costs a month’s wage, which is equal to about £2000 in Britain! Think about that.


    The Blessing of God’s Word

    Psalm 1:1-3 enlightens us to the truth that God’s people are blessed when they study the Word of God. The results of reading and applying His word are that we will bear fruit. We will progress by reading the Word; this will bring us to productivity and prosperity in Him.

    2 Corinthians 6:10 "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things".

    Psalm 119: 9, 11, 42, 104-105 and 165 encourages us to receive the blessings of reading and applying God’s word, these include: A clean life, victory, peace, answers for the critics, a deeper understanding of life; and we will have a light to guide us.

    If we spend time with God in His word and listening to His still small voice we shall hear, 'this is the way walk in it; do not turn from the left or the right' (Isaiah 30:21).


    Open Our Eyes Lord!

    Psalm 119:18 "Open my eyes so that I may see wondrous things from your law."

    Before reading God’s word, ask Him to open your eyes to the truth within. As you read a chapter, try to find out what is the subject of this passage about. Think about these questions…

    Who is speaking, and to whom, and about what? What encouragement can I take from this passage? Does this passage show me any sin I have to confess and forsake? What can I learn from this passage? How, if at all, can I apply this to my life for today? Is there any promise for me to claim? Are there any instructions I have to follow and obey?

    Another good practice is to read your Bible out loud when you can. Romans 11:17 "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".

    We should also be like the Berean's who "Searched the scriptures daily" Acts 17:11.
    Have a set time to read your Bible on a daily basis; it’s a good habit to start. Try and find a quiet place away from distractions.

    2 Timothy 3:16,17 ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’.

    Romans 15:4 ‘For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and the comfort of the scripture might have hope’.


    God’s Word and Success

    Many claim they can give you happiness, success and peace. Sometimes they do for a season, but when the season is finished, you'll find yourself in a deep pit needing more help than ever before.

    The Word of God, the Bible, is the only place where you can truly learn how to achieve success in life. If you read and apply God’s word, His blessing will come upon you.

    ‘Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path’ Psalms 119:105.

    ‘Be sure that the book of the law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night and make sure you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful’ Joshua 1:8.

    ’Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away’, Mark 13:31.


    God’s Word –prophecy fulfilled in our days

    Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There shall not be one stone left on another that shall not be thrown down”. Mark 13:2.

    Around forty years after Jesus said these words, they were fulfilled. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were scattered and lost their homeland.

    For over 1800 years the Jewish people were scattered around the world. They were wickedly persecuted, with no hope of ever regaining their homeland. But God had another word for the descendants of Abraham.

    ‘For I will take you from among the nations and gather you out of all lands, and will gather you into your own land’. Ezekiel 36:24. Also see, Isaiah 66:7-8.

    God had promised that the impossible would happen. The Jewish people would once again gain their homeland – Israel.

    The British had promised to give the Jews a homeland after the First World War, but they failed to deliver. But the idea was in the world’s arena and after the British Mandate; the Brits gave administration of Palestine to the UN.

    The rebirth of the State of Israel was a unique event without any historical parallel. On one day, the 15th of May, 1948, Israel emerged as a complete nation. No over Nation ever had such a similar rebirth. This was God at work fulfilling His Word!


    Throughout the 19th century, Jerusalem was of little significance. What would become Israel in 1948, was mostly wasteland, just bogs! But the Bible predicted that one day the whole world would be continually focused on Jerusalem, until they gather against it. Many believed this to be a mistake, how could the entire world focus on this wasteland?

    ‘And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples. All who lift it shall be slashed, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.’ Zechariah 12:3.

    In 1967, in fulfilment of prophecy, Israel regained control of the whole of Jerusalem.

    For the last few years there has been barely a week without Jerusalem being mentioned in the news! The President of the USA and the British Prime Minister continually have one word on their lips – Jerusalem. The world is focused on the tiny strip of real estate in the Middle East.
    The impossible has happened in our day. The Bible has been proved true once again.


    A Brief Overview of Every Book in the Bible

  • Genesis – The beginning of God's plan of redemption
  • Exodus – God’s people freed from slavery.
  • Leviticus – Laws and worship principles.
  • Numbers – The wilderness years.
  • Deuteronomy – Reviewing the previous years; emphasis on obeying God.
  • Joshua – Possessing the promised land.
  • Judges – The nation in disobedience and God helping His people.
  • Ruth – A faithful girl, introduced to the covenant with the Jews.
  • 1 Samuel – The beginning of the Israeli kingdom.
  • 2 Samuel – The kingdom becomes greater.
  • 1 Kings – The temple and mistakes.
  • 2 Kings – Dividing the kingdom.
  • 1 Chronicles – God’s faithfulness.
  • 2 Chronicles – The fall of Israel as a nation.
  • Ezra – Return from exile.
  • Nehemiah – Jerusalem rebuilt.
  • Esther – Jewish queen saves the Jews.
  • Job – Why do the righteous suffer?
  • Psalms – Honest worship; trials, victories and praise.
  • Proverbs – Wisdom for life.
  • Ecclesiastes – Philosophy of life and God.
  • Song of Solomon – A love story; also a picture of Jesus and the church.
  • Isaiah – The small bible, a prophet of hope.
  • Jeremiah – A weeping prophet.
  • Lamentations – The fall of Jerusalem reviewed.
  • Ezekiel – Dramatic prophecies by the prophet of future glory.
  • Daniel – Promotion of Daniel, miracles, intercession, and prophecy.
  • Hosea – The love of God showed by Hosea loving an unlovely prostitute.
  • Joel – The day of the Lord and the great revival prophecy.
  • Amos – Farmer's boy becomes a prophet of Justice.
  • Obadiah – Doom.
  • Jonah – The fish, Nineveh and revival.
  • Micah – Restitution.
  • Nahum – Retribution; judgement for Nineveh.
  • Habakkuk – The prophet of doubt and faith.
  • Zephaniah – The prophet of Judgement.
  • Haggai – Dedication to God, and of Him to His people.
  • Zechariah – Restoration.
  • Malachi – Expectation of a Messiah.
  • The Gospels – Birth, life, miracles and ministry, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
  • Acts – Acts of the Holy Spirit through the early church.
  • Romans – God's righteousness upheld and applied. The great doctrines of our faith.
  • 1 Corinthians – A church's problems and corrections.
  • 2 Corinthians – The ministry of the church.
  • Galatians – Leaving the law; walking in the Spirit.
  • Ephesians – Christ and the church.
  • Philippians – Love and loyalty of a church.
  • Colossians – Jesus in His exalted position.
  • 1 Thessalonians – Encouragement for the new believer.
  • 2 Thessalonians – The second coming of Christ.
  • 1 Timothy – A letter to a young pastor explaining the life of a church.
  • 2 Timothy – Encouragement for Timothy.
  • Titus – The believer's self-control.
  • Philemon – The story of a runaway slave and his owner's need to accept him as a brother in Christ.
  • Hebrews – Christ is greater than everything else.
  • James – Faith without practical works is dead.
  • 1 Peter – Why the church suffers.
  • 2 Peter – Future perils of the church through end times.
  • 1 John – Divine fellowship and love.
  • 2 John – Living out the truth in love.
  • 3 John – The truth practised.
  • Jude – Apostasy in the church condemned.
  • Revelation – The triumph of God over evil, the end of the world and perfection of the saints. New heaven and earth revealed.


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