Introduction: Do you know how the Bible you use for this study came
into existence? Some think that the King James Version is the
original. In fact, there were several English translations before the
KJV. And, of course, English was not the language in which the Bible
was originally written. The Bible was not delivered intact by an
angel. Rather, it is the assembled writings of many authors, all
inspired by the Holy Spirit. No originals of the Bible (or even
fragments) have been found so far. The earliest fragment, which was
recently discovered, dates back to about 90 years after we believe
the book of Revelation was written by John. Although we have no
originals, the New Testament of the Bible is the best attested book
in the world! What do I mean by “attested?” We have more copies of
the New Testament than any other ancient writing. For ancient
literature we have on average about twenty copies. In contrast, we
have about 24,000 ancient copies of all or part of the Bible today.
This new series of lessons is not about how we received the Bible we
use today, but rather how should we interpret our Bible? Let’s plunge
into this new series on the Bible!

  1. Moses’ View

    1. Read Deuteronomy 32:48-50. Would you like to know exactly
      when and how you will die?

      1. What would be the most important reason to know in
        advance? (So you can put your affairs in order.)

    2. Read Deuteronomy 32:45. What is Moses doing here (and in
      the preceding verses)? (Giving his final words of advice
      because he knows he is about to die.)

    3. Read Deuteronomy 32:46-47. What are the “words of the law”
      that Moses commends? (Moses is widely understood to have
      written the first five books of the Bible. Here he is
      talking about the laws that he gave (through God) to God’s

      1. What is our first priority with regard to the Bible?
        (To take it “to heart,” to take it seriously.)

      2. What is the reason for making this our first
        priority? (So that we will teach our children to obey
        its directions.)

      3. What is the reason why we should take the Bible
        seriously? (They are our “life.”)

        1. What does this mean? Why are the directions of
          the Bible our life? (This unmistakably ties our
          obedience to a life of blessings.)

        2. What do you want for your children? A blessed life?

      4. Read Deuteronomy 6:6-7. How do you impress the
        importance of the Bible on your children? (My wife
        was the principal Bible teacher for our children
        because she home-schooled them for their early years.
        One of the important things I did was to have a time
        in the evening when we would read the Bible together.
        I would choose a Bible translation that they could
        read and understand and have them read it. We then
        discussed what we had read.)

    4. Read Revelation 12:17. How does Satan feel about those who
      proclaim Jesus and keep God’s commands?

      1. Why?

  2. Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible

    1. Read John 1:14. Why is Jesus called “the Word?” (We have
      the Bible to help us understand God’s will for our life.
      Jesus is the illustration of God’s word. He helps us
      understand God’s will.)

    2. Read John 14:6. How important is Jesus to understanding
      God’s truth for us? (He is the only way for us to approach

    3. Read 2 Peter 1:21. How important is the Holy Spirit to the
      words of the Bible? (The Holy Spirit “carried along” the

      1. What do you think it means that the Holy Spirit
        “carried along” the prophets? What work is being
        described here? (The Holy Spirit is the impulse, the
        means for humans to state God’s will. One commentary
        said that the Greek word is the same used for
        powering a sailboat. The wind drives the boat just as
        the Holy Spirit drives the prophet.)

    4. Read John 3:34. What is the Holy Spirit doing here in
      relation to the words of God? (The sense, once again, is
      that the Holy Spirit is the means by which humans publish
      God’s word.)

    5. Read John 16:13-14. We know that the Holy Spirit is part
      of the Trinity, but He is also individual. What is His
      role here with regard to the words of God? (This tells us
      two things. First, that Jesus speaks to the Holy Spirit
      who makes those words known to us. Second, the Holy Spirit
      will guide our minds to understand the truth of God. He is
      both the messenger and the interpreter.)

    6. Read 1 Corinthians 2:9-11. This is a remarkable passage.
      It says that the Holy Spirit alone understands the
      thoughts of God. Who should we turn to for help in
      properly understanding the Bible?

    7. Read 2 Corinthians 3:6. What results from knowing the law
      without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? (Death. This
      teaches us that studying the Bible without the aid of the
      Holy Spirit to guide our understanding is dangerous.)

  3. Bible Origins

    1. Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17. Although we have all sorts of men
      from various stations in life who have authored part of
      the Bible, what is its true origin? (It is “God-breathed.”)

      1. What is one purpose of the Bible? (To lead us to
        salvation. To make us wise (informed) on that topic.
        To inspire faith in Jesus)

    2. Read Acts 28:25. Who is the active agent in “breathing”
      the Bible through the men who wrote it? (The Holy Spirit.
      Notice that this text says that the Holy Spirit “spoke”
      “through Isaiah the prophet.” This affirms the earlier
      texts we read which state the centrality of the Holy
      Spirit to the existence of the Bible.)

    3. Read 2 Peter 1:16-17. What other Bible sources do we find
      here? (Eyewitness testimony. Peter tells us that he told
      us what he had personally seen and heard.)

  4. Prophecy

    1. Read 2 Peter 1:19-21. How do we separate the human from
      the divine in prophecy? (Human will and human
      interpretation are not the source. Rather men wrote what
      originated with God through the inspiration of the Holy
      Spirit.(We previously looked at verse 21.)

    2. We just got through studying the book of Daniel. It is
      filled with prophecy. What is the “big message” that we
      learned from these Bible prophecies? (That God is in
      control. We even learned the exact time Jesus’ ministry
      was predicted.)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-5. Is it only Daniel that
      predicted the coming of Jesus? (Paul affirms that other
      specific aspects of Jesus’ life were predicted in the

  5. Transformation

    1. Read Hebrews 4:1-2. Can we have a faith that does not
      result in obedience to God? If so, does that faith do us
      any good? (Faith without obedience is “of no value.”)

    2. Read Hebrews 4:6, and Hebrews 4:9-11. How do you reconcile
      this with righteousness by faith alone? (True faith
      results in a relationship with God. This in turn leads to

    3. Read Hebrews 4:12-13. How does the Bible aid us in this
      right relationship? (Studying the Bible brings conviction
      about how God would like us to live and how we have
      departed from His will. This is important because God
      clearly sees us as we are. We can fool ourselves and
      others, but we cannot fool God.)

    4. Friend, are you convinced that the Bible reflects the will
      of God for your life? The Holy Spirit is essential to a
      right understanding of the Bible. Studying the Bible is
      essential to a faith that brings obedience. Will you
      commit to regularly studying the Bible? Will you ask the
      Holy Spirit to help you understand? Why not make that
      commitment right now?

  6. Next week: The Origin and Nature of the Bible.