I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 30

Read Psalm 23

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Song / Poetry

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

This is one of the most well known psalms.

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 29

Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Narrative

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

 

Who is Samuel?

Samuel was a prophet. He had anointed Israel’s new king, Saul. However, King Saul disobeyed God. Because of this, God told Samuel to anoint a new king.

Who is David?

David was Israel’s king after Saul died. David’s son, Solomon, build the first temple in Jerusalem. It was prophesied that the Jewish Messiah would come from the line of David.

What is important about this passage?

David is one of the most famous people mentioned in the Bible. He is credited with writing many of the psalms.

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 28

Read Exodus 20:1-21

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Narrative

You shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:3 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

These are the Ten Commandments. God gave these commandments (along with other instructions) to the Israelite people just after they were freed from slavery in Egypt. This is one of the most well known passages of scripture.

 

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 27

Read Exodus 3

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Narrative

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

Exodus 3:2 (ESV)

Who is Moses?

Moses was born to Hebrew (Israelite) parents while they were slaves in Egypt. He was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. After he grew up, he witnessed a Hebrew man being beaten by an Egyptian. He killed the Egyptian and fled.

What is important about this passage?

“Moses and the burning bush” is one of the most well known scenes from the Bible. God chooses Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity.

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 26

Read Genesis 15

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

And he brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’

Genesis 15:5 (ESV)

Who is Abram?

The Bible says Abram (Abraham) is the ancestor of all the Jewish people. God promised Abram that all people would be blessed through him and that his descendants would become a great nation (Genesis 12). His grandson was Jacob, who was also called Israel.

What is important about this passage?

This is God’s covenant with Abram. God’s promise to Abram is central to the rest of the Old Testament. God promises that Abram’s descendants will populate the “promised land”. He also tells Abram that his descendants will be slaves for 400 years before this happens. This passage is important to Christians because Jesus was a descendant of Abram. In this way, God fulfilled his promise that all people would be blessed through Abram.

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 25

Read Genesis 3

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

This is one of the most well-know passages of the Bible. A great deal of theology centers around “the Fall”. Like the creation account, there are different opinions about this passage. Some Christians believe these events happened exactly the way they’re described in this passage. Other Christians believe this passage isn’t literally true, but that it does convey a truth —  at some point humanity made a choice and sin entered into the world. There are other views (and more nuance than what is presented here), but these are the two most popular views. Either way, the story tells us that the world God created was corrupted and he would have to take action to set it right again.

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 24

Read Genesis 1-2:3

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Poetry (this section of Genesis).

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

This is one of the most well-know passages of the Bible. It is the first of the two creation accounts in Genesis. It’s also one of the most debated passages in the Bible. Some Christians read this passage as historically and scientifically true. Other Christians believe it uses figurative language to make the point “God created” and he did it on purpose (as opposed to other ancient Near Eastern creation myths).

 

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 23

Read 1 Corinthians 13

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Epistle (Letter). This was a letter Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

This is one of the most well-known passages from Paul’s letters. He explains what love looks like (it is kind, patient…) It’s a reminder to Christians that even if we do good things, they are meaningless if we don’t do them out of love.

 

Read Revelation 21:1-8

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Apocalypse. An apocalypse is something that was “revealed” to the author, usually through dreams or visions.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

This is a vision of the afterlife. This is something that is often misunderstood. The Bible doesn’t say that Christians will float around in heaven for eternity. Instead, there will be a new Earth where they will live. This passage goes on to describe what the next world will be like.

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 21

Read Romans 5:1-11

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Epistle (Letter). This was a letter Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

Paul touches on some important points in this short passage. First, he says Christians have been “justified through faith”. In other words, we aren’t saved by anything we’ve done because, as Paul later says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He also mentions suffering, which the early Christians would have been very familiar with. A follower of Christ during that time could assume they would suffer persecution. Paul then hits on the most important point–through Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God.

 

Read James 2:14-26

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Epistle (Letter). This is a letter James the apostle wrote to the early Christians.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:26 (ESV)

Who are Abraham and Isaac?

Abraham was the father of all the Jewish people. God made a promise to him that his descendants would be God’s chosen people. Isaac was Abraham’s son. Isaac was a “miracle baby” as his mother was infertile and past her child-bearing years when she had him. To test Abraham’s faith, God told him to sacrifice Isaac. However, God stopped Abraham before he was able to obey.

Who is Rahab?

Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. The Israelites (Jewish people) were in the process of taking over the Promised Land and sent spies into the city. She helped them.

What is important about this passage?

Some Christians disagree about how to interpret this and the previous passage (Romans 5:1). You might hear them talk about faith vs. works.

James says that belief alone isn’t enough. After all, it’s possible to believe Jesus is who he claimed to be and still choose to not be a Christian. James goes on to give examples of people from the Bible who put their faith into action. If a person has faith, they will be obedient.

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I’ve Got a Bible…Now What? Day 20

Read Colossians 3:1-17

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Epistle (Letter). This was a letter Paul wrote to the Christians in Colossae.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…

Colossians 3:12 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

Paul says that Christians should let go of “earthly things”. He points out that being a follower of Christ transcends our earthly labels, even “slave or free”. He goes on to give examples that illustrate what a Christian should focus on.

 

Read Galatians 5:13-26

NIV Translation

ESV Translation

Genre: Epistle (Letter). This is a letter Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

What is important about this passage?

Although Christians aren’t obligated to follow the Jewish law, Paul warns that they shouldn’t use that as an excuse to do whatever they want. Instead of fulfilling selfish desires (which he gives examples of), he urges them to be “led by the Spirit”. He gives examples of the “fruit of the Spirit” to help Christians know whether or not they are giving into “the flesh” or “walking by the Spirit”.

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