Monday, November 7, 2011

Geisler on Bible basics

I'm currently reading through A General Introduction to the Bible by Geisler and Nix, these are my thoughts on the organization of the Bible inspired by that book.
Part 1 - Moses 
God Spoke to Prophets
Moses (the lawgiver)
The Prophets
The Pentateuch (Torah)
The Prophets (Nebhiim)
The Writings (Kethubhim)
Genesis
Joshua
Psalms
Exodus
Judges
Proverbs
Leviticus
Samuel
Job
Numbers
Kings
Song of Songs
Deuteronomy
Isaiah
Ruth

Jeremiah
Lamentations

Ezekiel
Esther

The twelve
Ecclesiastes

Divided into the early and later
Daniel


Ezra-Nehemiah


Chronicles
                                                                                                                Poetry / Five rolls / History

The Jews understood that Scripture is a revelation from God, faithfully passed on by men called prophets who communicated Gods commands Amos 3:8, 1 Kings 22:14, or written words Ex 34:27, Jer 36:28, Isa 8:1, 30:8, Hab 2:2. These men were chosen by God 1 Kings 12:22 to serve Him 1 Kings 14:18 by beholding, seeing, or hearing a message from Him Is 42:19, 30:9-10. They predicted the future as proof of their claim Is 41:23, and were never wrong Deut 18:20.
To the Jews then, the whole of the writings were together called Scripture, Matt22:29, 26:54, Luke 24:32, 44, John 2:22, 5:39, 10:35, Acts 17:2, 11, 18:28, 2 Peter 1:20-21 (that’s enough to make the point), and understood to be God's oracles Rom 3:2.
The Jewish ordering of these books are testified to when Jesus spoke of the guilt of the blood of prophets, from Abel to Zechariah, and you can see that this list begins in Gen 4:8 and ends 2 Chron 24:20-22. Our expression “from Genesis to Revelation” would be equivalent.
Under this banner of infallible prophetic writing there was a two-fold division: Moses and the prophets. 

Moses, being the first prophet Deut 18:18, 34:10 was far and away the greatest, for he gave the law as received from God face to face Ex 33:11, Num 12:8, and the first five books.  In fact, as the chart above shows, the Scriptures were understood by the Jews to be divided into two parts: Moses the great Law Giver and everybody else not Moses, Matt 5:17, 7:12, 22:40 Luke 16:31, 24:27, John 1:45, Acts 24:14, 26:22, 28:23, Rom 3:21.
It’s hard to understate this.  Moses stood unequaled among the other Bible figures Acts 15:21, warranting a whole division of sacred Scripture to himself. It’s not a wonder that people were so up in arms to defend him Acts 6:11. This is also why the writer of the Hebrews ascends from showing Jesus is greater than the angels to showing us He is greater than even Moses.
We may be tempted to read Deuteronomy 18:18 as one verse among many that point to the person and work of Christ, but this is a rather serious mistake, we should not think of Moses as a mere prophet, we should think of him as a person so pivotal and revolutionary that He warrants a whole new division in Scripture. Therefore, when this man came as Moses had prophesied Acts 3:22-23 He reshaped the fundamental way we understand God’s revelation.
And He did. Matt 11:13, Luke 16:16, John 1:17.

Within this two-fold division there was another twofold division: the Nebhiim and the Kethubhim, or things God said, and the things God did.  So there is in the larger picture a threefold division of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms Luke 24:44.

But that's for next post.

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