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Bible Study-Studying and Understanding the Old Testament

Updated on November 15, 2017
LoisRyan13903 profile image

Lois is a Christian. She has over 10 years of experience from the military and has worked over 25 years in manufacturing.


Bible Study

Bible Study is where people get together to study and understand scripture. In one sense the house is a church where the leaders use the Bible to illustrate what we may in today's society. However, the house is not always the church. People have Bible Study groups in their homes. When there is a married couple with children, the entire family forms a house to study scripture together.

Acts 17:11:"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (KJV).

We must study the Bible daily so we understand what God is telling us. If not we lose what we learn. While a majority of Christians go to church once a week, we cannot study the Bible that little; it must be an everyday thing.

While Christians mostly concentrate on the New Testament, they must not ignore the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, we must be familiar with each book of the Bible; there are lessons to be learned from each.

The Old Testament covers four periods of time. The first is the Age of Innocence. This is the time of creation this world and life. This is when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden.

The second time period is the Age of Consciousness. Even though some men such as Noah followed God's will, most of the other men did what they thought was right. They did not follow God or call upon him for guidance.

The third time period is the Age of the Patriarchs. This period covered many famous biblical men such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. The Hebrew nation began and grew with these men.

The final time period is the Age of the prophets. Starting with Moses, many individuals talked about the coming savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spanning duration of 4,000 years, the Old Testament was written by thirty-two different writers and took many years to write. However, none of these writers are authors of the books. God is the true author.

There are thirty nine books in the Old Testament. They are divided into law, Jewish history, poetry and prophecy.

A. Law

1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy

B. Jewish History

1. Joshua
2. Judges
3. Ruth
4. First Samuel
5. Second Samuel
6. First Kings
7. Second Kings
8. First Chronicles
9. Second Chronicles
10. Ezra
11. Nehemiah
12. Ester

C. Poetic

1. Job
2. Psalms
3. Proverbs
4. Ecclesiastes
5. Song of Solomon

D. Major Prophets

1. Isaiah
2. Jeremiah
3. Lamentations
4. Ezekiel
5. Daniel

E. Minor Prophets

1. Hosea
2. Joel
3. Amos
4. Obadiah
5. Jonah
6. Micah
7. Nahum
8. Habakkuk
9. Zephaniah
10. Haggai
11. Zechariah
12. Malachi

Woman Praying
Woman Praying | Source

The Book of Genesis

Genesis is the book of beginnings-creation, man, marriage, sin, and civilizations. This is the beginning of God’s Word.

The first eleven chapters cover four major events: creation, the fall of man, the flood and the creation of the nations through the confusion of the languages at the Tower of Babel. The remainder of the book centers around four major characters: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and Joseph.

Read Genesis 3:1-15; Romans 5:12; 3:10-12; and Isaiah 53:6 and answer the following questions: What did you learn about these verses about sin? What would you say sin is? List other verses that define sin.

Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will crush you head and you will strike his heel” (KJV).

From the above sin is doing whatever God tells you not to do. God gave Adam and Eve a direct order not to eat the fruit. However, the serpent convinced Eve that it would be all right. Even though she was tricked, she sinned. Adam sinned because he knew God’s order. However, he listened to Eve. Even though she was innocent and not trying to trick Adam, she sinned.

Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law” (KJV).

God intended that man would live forever, but then Adam sinned. God made laws-the ten commandments, Laws of Moses, the Bible-so people would know what is wrong and obey them.

Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (KJV).

We are not perfect or sinless, God understands but we have to understand also. We can not get into Heaven by thinking we are like God.

Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (KJV).

Without God, we are nothing. We get busy in our lives, we tend to forget about God and why we are in this world in the first place.

What did you learn from Genesis and the other verses about the consequences of sin?

If a person sins, even if nobody else sees the sin, God sees it. A person can not sin and get away without paying consequences. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden for sinning. The serpent was cursed for causing Adam and Eve to sin. Cain was cursed for killing Abel. Some examples in today’s society are a person taking drugs and getting addicted to them, a woman who has an abortion and has to live with a memory of a child she killed, a person making a wrong choice in life and wondering what life would be if he made a different choice.

If the root of sin is “turning your own way” what would the fruit of such a lifestyle be?

We must rely on God for the decisions we make in our day-to-day life. If we become successful because of Shady dealings, it will catch up to us. Some shady examples may be like drug dealing, tax invasion or gambling. Some people may get rich these way-and may never get caught such as drug dealing and tax invasion. But where will that person be if he does not come to the Lord to be saved.

Who or what would you say governs your life? How do you know? Why?

This is difficult. Some days I get so caught up with work, family and school that I put God on the back burner. When he is on the back burner, sin can govern my life. I get tied up in the web of sin. However, on the days I have God with me, God is protecting me and it is easier to recognize sin. I realize that God is always with me, that I turn my back on him.

How do the truths of Genesis 1-5 compare with things you have been taught by others? Who are you going to believe?

I will believe the Bible. I learned some about evolution in school. However, I was not a good student-I really did not pay attention in class. How I graduated is a mystery to me. Maybe it was a good thing I did not pay attention in school.

Have you recognized that you are a sinner and that there is only One who can grant you forgiveness of sins and set you free from slavery to sin? It is the Lord Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman who bruised the serpent’s head.


The Holy Bible: King James Version.

Mother and Son Reading the Bible
Mother and Son Reading the Bible | Source

© 2013 Lois Ryan


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    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 4 months ago from Norfolk, England

      We covered the minor prophets at Church over the course of a few weeks not so long back. I found that really interesting, as they're not books in the Bible I tend to read that often. Thanks for the article, I found it really useful. =)