In part 2 of the illustrated explanation of Genesis, we will get an overview of the key people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. God promises to bless Abraham’s family line, so the rest of Genesis explores the events of Abraham’s family. Genesis doesn’t gloss over things, either. It portrays flawed, sinful people, but it also depicts how God works in and among them, even at their worst.
This ought to be a great comfort to us because we know ourselves to be flawed, sinful people. There is hope for us, too, because just as God worked through Abraham’s family, He will work through us despite our weaknesses.
Download a Free Digital Copy of the Poster from the Video
These illustrated charts are so helpful, I encourage you to download a copy for personal study. It’s free! Courtesy of The Bible Project.
You’re probably familiar with at least some of the contents of the Book of Genesis, but do you know how each of the parts relate to the overall scheme of what God is doing in the world? Most of us have a difficult time seeing the big picture of things happening in the Bible.
Fortunately, the guys at The Bible Project have put together a great explanation of Genesis. And it includes an illustrated chart!
Download a Free Digital Copy of the Poster from the Video
These illustrated charts are so helpful, I encourage you to download a copy for personal study. It’s free! Courtesy of The Bible Project.
Jesus told a parable or story of an unmerciful servant. This servant refused to forgive, even after being forgiven much. It’s a good reminder to all of us. After all Jesus has forgiven us, we can surely forgive the offenses of others.
Read this parable and then watch the fun video below.
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”22 Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. 24 When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ 27 The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29 “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ 30 He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ 34 His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”
In the first half of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus announced the arrival of God’s Kingdom and He began to bring the Kingdom into people’s lives as He interacted with individuals.
The second half of the Gospel of Matthew shows the opposing expectations about what the Messiah would be and the conflict escalates into a clash of kingdoms leading to the death of Jesus. His followers had their hopes dashed, because they believed the Messiah had been killed or He wasn’t the Messiah after all.
Like all good stories, this one has a surprise ending. Jesus was raised from the dead, appeared to numerous people, and gave one last message of hope to His followers: I will always be with you.
Follow along with this marvelous video from The Bible Project as it explains the second half of Matthew in greater detail.
To download a free copy of the illustrated diagram used in the video, visit The Bible Project:
The Gospel according to Matthew. In the first video we saw how Matthew introduced
Jesus as the Messiah from the line of David, and as a new authoritative teacher
like Moses, and also as Emmanuel which in Hebrew means “God with us.” After Jesus
announced and taught about the arrival of God’s kingdom and after he brought the
kingdom into day-to-day life among the people of Israel, we saw that Jesus was
accepted by many but rejected by others, especially Israel’s religious leaders,
the Pharisees. And so the big question is, “How is this conflict between Jesus and
Israel’s leaders going to play itself out?” The next large section, chapters 14
through 20, explore all the different expectations people have about the
Messiah. Jesus keeps healing sick people and twice he even miraculously provides
food for these huge crowds in the desert, one made up of Jewish people and the
other is a non-jewish crowd. And this sign is very similar to what Moses did
for Israel in the wilderness. And so are these people are excited about Jesus,
they think he’s the great prophet and the Messiah, but not the religious leaders.
Their view of the Messiah is built on passages like Psalm 2 or Daniel chapter 2,
about a victorious Messiah who is going to deliver Israel and defeat the pagan
oppressors. And from their point of view, Jesus is a false teacher. He’s making
blasphemous claims about himself and so there are stories here about them
increasing their opposition, hatching a plan to kill him. And so in response,
Jesus, he withdraws. And he begins teaching his closest disciples what it means for
him to be Israel’s Messiah because it is not what anybody expects. So Jesus asked
his disciples– chapter 16– he says, “Who do you all say that I am?” And Peter comes up
with the right answer, it seems. He says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
But then it becomes clear that Peter’s thinking about a king who’s going to
reign victoriously through military power. And Jesus challenges Peter, saying that
“Yes, I am going to become king, but through a different way.” And so Jesus
starts to teach on themes from the prophet Isaiah who said that the
Messianic King would suffer and die for the sins of his own people. And so Jesus,
he was positioning himself as a Messianic king who reigns by becoming a
servant and who would lay down his life for Israel and the nations. Peter and
the disciples, they mostly just don’t get it. And so Jesus enters into the fourth
block of teaching followed by a series of teachings after that. And these are
all about the upside down nature of Jesus’ Messianic Kingdom–which turns
upside down all of our value systems. So in the community of the servant king you
gain honor by serving others and instead of getting revenge, you forgive and do
good to your enemies. And in Jesus’ kingdom you gain true wealth by giving
your wealth away to the poor. To follow the servant Messiah, you must become a
servant yourself. In the next section we watched the two kingdoms clash–Jesus’
kingdom and that of Israel’s leader. Jesus comes to Jerusalem for Passover
riding in on a donkey and the crowds are hailing him as the Messiah. Jesus
immediately marches into the courtyard of the temple and he creates this huge
disruption that brings the daily sacrifices to a halt. His actions speak
louder than words here. As Israel’s King, Jesus was asserting his royal authority
over the temple, the place where God and Israel met together. And in Jesus’ view, the
temple was compromised by the hypocrisy of Israel’s leaders and so here he’s
challenging their authority and naturally they’re deeply offended. And so
they try to trap Jesus and shame him in public debate and they fail. So they end
up just determining to have him killed. In response, Jesus delivers his final
block of teaching. He first offers this passionate critique of the Pharisees
and their hypocrisy. And then he weeps over Jerusalem and its rejection of God
and His Kingdom. Then Jesus withdraws with the disciples and he starts telling
them what’s going to happen. He’s going to be executed by these leaders, but in
doing so they’re going to create their own demise because instead of accepting
Jesus’ way of the Peaceful Kingdom they’re going to take the road of revolt
Rome and so Jerusalem and its temple are going to be destroyed. But Jesus says
that is not the end of the story.
He’s going to be vindicated after his death by his resurrection and one day
he’ll return and set up his kingdom over all nations. And so in the meanwhile, the
disciples need to stay alert and stay committed to just announcing Jesus and
His Kingdom and spreading the good news. And so with all of that ringing in the
disciples ears, the story comes to its climax. That night Jesus takes the
disciples aside and he celebrates the Passover meal with them.
Passover retells the story of Israel’s rescue from slavery through the death of
the Passover lamb. And then Jesus takes the bread and the wine from this meal as
new symbols showing that his coming death would be a sacrifice that would
redeem his people from slavery to sin and evil. After the meal, Jesus is arrested,
he’s put on trial before the Sanhedrin, the Council of Jewish leaders. And they
reject his claim to be the Messiah. They charge him with blasphemy against
God. Then Jesus is brought before the Roman governor, Pilate, and he thinks
Jesus is innocent, but he gives in to the pressure from the Jewish leaders and he
sentences Jesus to death by crucifixion. So Jesus is led away by Roman soldiers and
then crucified. Now you’ll notice right here in this section that, just like
Matthew did in the opening chapters, he increases the number of references to
the Old Testament. He’s trying to show that Jesus’ death was not a tragedy or
failure. Rather, it was the surprising fulfillment of all of the old, prophetic
promises. Jesus came as the Servant Messiah spoken of by Isaiah. He was
rejected by his own people but instead of judging them, he is judged on their
bearing the consequences of their sin. So the crucifixion scene, it comes to a
close, and Jesus’ body is placed in a tomb. But the book ends with a surprising
twist–the last chapter. The disciples, they discover on Sunday morning that
Jesus’ tomb is empty. And then all of a sudden people start seeing Jesus alive
from the dead. And the book concludes
with the risen Jesus giving a final teaching called the Great Commission.
Jesus says that he is now the true king of the world and so he sends his
disciples out to all nations with the good news that Jesus is Lord and that
anyone can join his kingdom by being baptized and by following his teachings.
And echoing all the way back to his name, Emmanuel, God with us, from chapter one,
Jesus’ last words in the book to his disciples are “I will be with you.” It’s a
promise of Jesus’ presence until the day he finally returns. And that’s the Gospel
according to Matthew.
Have you ever looked at a typical outline of a book of the Bible? Did it mean much to you? Outlines may contain valuable information, but it’s not in a form accessible to most people. It’s not the way we think. Charts tend to be much clearer because the visual structure and the relationship between ideas is easily understood and remembered.
A step up from either of those is an illustrated chart with drawings that visually describe the contents of the book. That’s what you’ll find in this video by The Bible Project. It does a remarkable job of visually explaining the structure of the Gospel of Matthew. Take a look and learn.
To download a free copy of the illustrated diagram used in the video, visit The Bible Project:
The Gospel according to Matthew. It’s one of the earliest official accounts about
Jesus of Nazareth–his life, his death and his resurrection. The book itself is
anonymous but the earliest reliable tradition links it to Matthew the tax
collector who was one of the twelve apostles that Jesus appointed and he
actually appears within the book itself. For about thirty to forty years the
apostles orally taught and passed on their eyewitness account about Jesus,
along with his teachings that they had all memorized. And Matthew has then
collected and arranged all these into this amazing tapestry and designed the
book to highlight certain themes about Jesus. In this video we’re just going to cover the first
half of the book. Specifically, Matthew wants to show how Jesus is the
continuation and fulfillment of the whole biblical story about God and
Israel–that Jesus is the Messiah from the line of David, that he is a new
authoritative teacher like Moses, and not only that, Jesus is God with us or, in
Hebrew, Emmanuel. And Matthew has designed this book with an introduction and
conclusion and these act like a frame around five clear sections right here in
the center, each of which concludes with a long block of Jesus’s teaching. Now
this design is very intentional and it’s amazing. Just watch how this works.
Chapters 1 through 3, they set the stage by attaching Jesus’ story right onto the
storyline of the Old Testament Scriptures. So Matthew opens with the
genealogy about Jesus that highlights how he is from the messianic line of the son of
David and he is a son of Abraham. That means he’s going to bring God’s blessing
to all of the nations. After that we get the famous story about Jesus’ birth and
how all of the events fulfilled the Old Testament prophetic promises that the
nations would come and honor the Messiah, that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem,
but even more than that, Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit, his name Emmanuel, all
these work together to show that Jesus is no mere human. He is God with us; God
So you can see two of Matthew’s key themes right here in the introduction. He’s
from the line of David, he’s Emmanuel. But Matthew also wants to show how Jesus is
a new Moses. So, like Moses, Jesus came up out of Egypt, he passed through the
waters of baptism, and he entered into the wilderness for forty days. And then
Jesus goes up onto a mountain to deliver his new teaching. So through all of this
Matthew is claiming that Jesus is the promised “greater than Moses” figure who’s
going to deliver Israel from slavery, he’s going to give them new, divine
teaching, he’s going to save them from their sins, and bring about a new
covenant relationship between God and His people.
This Moses and Jesus parallel also explains why Matthew has structured the
center of the book the way that he did. These five main parts highlight Jesus as
a teacher. And he’s created a parallel. Jesus as a teacher parallels the five
books of Moses. Jesus is the new authoritative covenant teacher who’s
going to fulfill the storyline of the Torah. Now in the first section, chapters 4 to 7, Jesus
steps onto the scene announcing the arrival of God’s kingdom. And this is
really key. The kingdom is in essence about God’s rescue operation for his
whole world and it’s taking place through King Jesus. Jesus has come to
confront evil, especially spiritual evil and its whole legacy of demon oppression
and disease and death. Jesus has come to restore God’s rule and reign over the
whole world by creating a new family of people who will follow him,
obey His teachings, and live under his rule. So after Jesus begins healing
people and forming a movement, a community, he takes his followers out to a mountain
or a hillside, and he delivers his first big block of teaching, traditionally called
the Sermon on the Mount. And here Jesus explores what it looks like to follow
him and live in God’s kingdom. And its an upside-down Kingdom where there are no
privileged members. So the poor, the nobody’s, the wealthy, the religious–
everybody is invited and is called to turn, to repent, and to follow Jesus and
join his family. Jesus says that he’s not here to set aside the commands of the
Torah or the Old Testament. Rather, he’s here to fulfill all of that through
his life, through his teachings. He’s here to transform the hearts of his people so
that they can truly love God and love their neighbor, including their enemy.
After concluding his great teaching on the kingdom, the next section shows Jesus
bringing the kingdom into reality in the day-to-day lives of people. So Matthew’s
arranged here nine stories about Jesus bringing the power of God’s kingdom into
the lives of hurting, broken people. There are three groups of three stories
and they’re all about people who are sick or have broken bodies or they’re in
danger and Jesus heals or saves them by these acts of grace and power. And then
right in between these triads we find two parallel stories about Jesus’ call
that people should follow him.
Matthew is making a point here. One can only experience the power of Jesus’ grace
by following him and becoming his disciple. Now after Matthew has shown the
power of the kingdom through Jesus, Jesus then extends his reach by sending out the
12 disciples, who are going to go do what he’s been doing, and this leads to the
second large block of teaching, chapter 10. And here Jesus teaches his disciples
how to announce the kingdom and what to expect once they do. Many among Israel
are accepting Jesus and his offer of the kingdom but Israel’s leaders, they aren’t.
They stand to lose a lot if they repent and become disciples of Jesus and so
jesus knows they’re going to reject him and persecute his followers, which is
exactly what happens. In the next section, chapters 11 through 13, Matthew has
collected a group of stories about how people are responding to Jesus and His
message and it’s a mixed bag. So some stories are positive– people love Jesus
and they think he’s the messiah. Others are more neutral, like John the Baptist
or even the members of Jesus’ own family. And they make it clear that Jesus
is not what they expected. And then you have Israel’s leaders. They’re entirely
negative. You have the Pharisees and the Bible scholars. They all reject Jesus
together. They think he’s a false teacher, he’s leading the people astray, they think
he’s blasphemous in these exalted claims he’s making about himself.
But Jesus isn’t surprised or thrown by all these diverse responses. In fact, he
focuses on it in the third block of teaching, chapter 13. Here Matthew has
collected together a bunch of Jesus’ parables about the kingdom, like about a
farmer throwing seed on four types of soil or about a mustard seed or a pearl or
buried treasure. These parables are like a commentary on the stories that you’ve
just read in chapters 11 and 12. Some people are accepting Jesus with
enthusiasm, others are rejecting him. But God’s kingdom is of ultimate value and it
will not stop spreading despite all of these obstacles. So that’s the first half
of the Gospel according to Matthew. Now, here’s a few more things to look for as
you read through these chapters. Matthew’s presenting Jesus, remember, as the
continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament story line. So look for how he
weaves in quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures and what you’ll
find is that they’re placed at strategic points in the story, explaining more
about Jesus and his identity. So stop, take time to go look up these references
and read them in their Old Testament context and most often you’ll discover
really cool, interesting connections. Lastly, pay attention to the types of
people who accept Jesus and follow him. And you’ll see that it’s most often
people who are unimportant, they’re nobody’s, or their irreligious. And these
are the people who are transformed by their trust or faith in Jesus and follow
him. And it’s the religious and the prideful who are offended by him. So how
is this tension between Jesus and Israel’s leaders going to play itself
That’s what the second half of Matthew is all about.
The Old Testament can seem overwhelming. While there are great narrative sections, there are also long sections of laws and prophecies that slow things down. The Old Testament isn’t printed in chronological order, either, so it’s difficult to understand how things fit together.
In five short minutes, this video gives an overview of the entire Old Testament. It follows the main thread of events that ties everything else together. If you understand this main storyline of biblical history, you will be able to piece together other parts into the picture.
The video covers a lot of ground quickly so you might want to watch it twice if you’re not familiar with the content.
What is the “Gospel” or “Good News” the Bible talks about? And why is it associated with references to a “kingdom”? If you’ve ever wondered these things, take a look at this short video by The Bible Project.
The Good News of the Kingdom of God is a central theme throughout the Bible and it is a key to understanding the role of Christ then and now.
The guys at The Bible Project explain, “In Isaiah 52 a messenger comes to tell the good news that God still reigns and that he is coming to bring his reign to earth. This video explores how Jesus saw himself as that messenger and as the King.”
This is so important you might want to watch it a couple times.
There’s this beautiful poem. It’s in the book of Isaiah. The city of Jerusalem has
just been destroyed by Babylon, a great kingdom in the north, and all of these
Jewish people, they’ve been sent away into exile, but a few remained in the
city. And they are left wondering: “What just happened? Has our God abandoned us?”
Right, because Jerusalem was supposed to be the city where God would reign over
the world to bring peace and blessing to everyone. Now Isaiah had been saying
that Jerusalem’s destruction was a mess of Israel’s own making. They had turned away
from their God, become corrupt, and so their city and their temple were
destroyed. Everything seems lost. But the poem goes on. There is a watchman on the city
walls and far out on the hills we see a messenger, and he’s running towards the
city. He’s running and shouting “Good news!” and Isaiah says: “How beautiful upon the
mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.”
Beautiful feet? Yes, the feet are beautiful because they’re carrying a beautiful
message. What’s the message? That despite Jerusalem’s destruction, Israel’s God
still reigns as King. And that God Himself is going to, one day, return to
this city, take up his throne and bring peace. And the Watchmen sing for joy
because of the good news that their God still reigns. Now in the New Testament we
find this same phrase “the good news”. It’s the Greek word Euangelion and it’s
also sometimes translated with the word “Gospel”. Yeah, so when Christians say, “Do you
believe the gospel?” they mean “Do you believe the news?” But not just any news.
In the Bible, this phrase is always about the announcement of the reign of a new
king and in the New Testament, the Gospels use this phrase to summarize all of
Jesus’s teachings. They say that he went about proclaiming the good news of God’s
kingdom. So Jesus saw himself as the messenger, bringing the news that God
reigns. Yes, but the way that he described God’s reign
surprised everybody. I mean, think, powerful successful Kingdom. It needs to
be strong, able to impose its will, able to defeat its enemies, but Jesus said the greatest
person in God’s kingdom was the weakest. The one who loves and who serves the
poor. And he said that you live under God’s reign when you respond to evil by
loving your enemies and forgiving them and seeking peace. This is an upside down
Kingdom. Now Jesus also said that this kingdom was arriving with him. Yes, so for
example, there is this really interesting story where there’s a high-ranking Roman
officer and he comes to Jesus begging him to heal his servant and he even
calls Jesus his Lord acknowledging that Jesus is his authority. Jesus praises this
man for recognizing what no one else yet had, that not only was Jesus
announcing God’s kingdom. He was the King. And so, the word gets out that this Jewish man
from Galilee is talking and acting like he’s the king of Israel. He’s appointing
twelve disciples which are an image of Israel’s twelve tribes. He’s healing people,
forgiving people their sins. And all of this so
threatened israel’s leaders that they finally decided to have him killed.
And Jesus let them. Which is a weird thing to do if you’re trying to become king.
That’s right, but for Jesus this is what had to happen.
Jesus saw the sin and the devastation of His people of Israel as just one small part of the entire human condition.
How all humanity has rebelled against God resulting in the tragedy and devastation
of our whole world. So how is God going to bring his reign over such a world? Jesus
believed it would be through an act of sacrificial love for his enemies.
This is why in the Gospels Jesus’ crucifixion is depicted as his
enthronement as the King of the Jews.
He receives a crown. He also receives a robe. He is exalted up not on to a throne, but
onto the cross. “How beautiful are the feet that bring good news”. And the good news
now is that Jesus has defeated death and that he reigns as King. That he’s dealt
with our sin and corruption himself and that he’s conquered it with his life and
with his love. And then Jesus sends his followers to go out and keep announcing
this good news of the upside down kingdom. And to invite everyone to give
their allegiance to him, the king who defeated death with his love.
Thanks for watching this channel. We do this because we believe the Bible as one unified
narrative believes in Jesus, and has profound wisdom for the modern world, so we’re making
different video series. Some that walk people through the design and message of
books of the Bible or whole sections of the Bible.
We also do series that take one biblical theme and trace that to the
whole narrative part of the Bible, kinda like the one you just watched, and we have
a lot more series coming up that we have planned. The Bible Project is possible
because of your support. Some people give one time gifts and there’s a growing
number of monthly supporters as well and we’re all behind this we want to make
these videos free and available to anyone anywhere.
Yes, so you can join us, be a part of this. Go to jointhebibleproject.com. You can
give there. There is also downloadable stuff, like full res videos and
study guides, posters… It’s all for free and it’s all because of your support, so thanks a lot.
You may have heard Jesus called “the Messiah” but what does that really mean? This short video walks through the Bible exploring the significance of “the Messiah” from Genesis to Revelation. I think you’ll find it helpful because it ties together the Old Testament with the New Testament. Take a look.
Jon: There’s this crazy story at the beginning of the Bible we have Adam and Eve
and they in there in the Garden of Eden.
Tim: And everything in the garden is great exactly is it should be except
there’s this one tree that they’re told by God not to eat from because it’s
dangerous and it will kill them.
Jon: So that’s it, just avoid this fruit tree and we are fine?
Tim: Right, it seems pretty simple. But in this garden there’s a snake
and it starts telling a different story. It says that if you eat of this tree it is not
going to kill you
in fact it’s going to make you become like God.
Jon: And Adam and Eve, they believe the snake and the the fruit.
Tim: And because it is this the goodness of the garden is tragically lost and the evil and death
enters into God’s good world.
Jon: Now, why is there a talking snake in the garden? I mean this thing is a problem.
Tim: Yeah, it is very strange, and even more strange is the fact that the Bible doesn’t say why
or how this thing even got there. It simply presents the snake as this
creature who’s in rebellion against God and wants to get
other people to doubt God’s goodness and lead them on a path toward death.
And so whatever this snake is,
it’s the source of evil that pervades our world and our lives even still today
Jon: But there is some hope because right here in the story God makes this really
interesting promise to Adam and Eve.
Tim: That someone is going to come in the future, a son of Eve,
and this guys gonna common is gonna crash the Serpent’s head and destroy evil
at its source. However during this battle
t he serpent is going to bite this guy’s heal.
Jon: So it’s like I’m mutual destruction
Tim: Yes. It is a strange and beautiful promise and just hanging there until the next key moment in the story…
…when God singled out this guy named Abraham
and says that through his family goodness and blessing is going to be
restored back to all of the nations in the world
and as we follow this family we get to one of Abraham’s great-grandsons, this guy named Judah.
and he receives this promise that a king is going to come from his line
and that the whole world is going to follow this king, and he’s going to bring
peace and harmony and there will be lots of
food and wine and milk in vineyard and it’s going to be awesome.
Jon: The first king that we meet from the line of Judah is a guy named King David
and he’s a hero maybe he is the Snake Crusher
Tim: But it turns out that David is infected with the same evil
as the rest of humanity. He never crushes the snake
just the opposite. However God makes a promise to David that this king
is going to eventually come from his line. But as you go on in the story
one by one each generation of his sons they’re just total
chumps they give in to the snake, they choose evil
they go after money and sex and power and following other gods.
Jon: Things get so bad that they run the nation of Israel
right into the ground and the big bad Empire of Babylon just takes them out.
Tim: So now there are no more Kings to even fulfill this promise.
Jon: So seems like the whole plan is lost.
Tim: But during these dark days there’s these crazy group of guys called Prophets
and they kept talking about this coming King and reminding us of the
promise that he’ll come he will defeat evil
and restore the garden. Now one specific profit Isaiah –
he tells us more about why this King is bitten
Isaiah says that the promised King receives this wound
because of humanity’s evil, and that it kills him.
But then all of a sudden he comes back and Isaiah says that is because he suffered this wound
that he can now become a source of healing to other people.
Jon: But the Old Testament ends and the snake crushing King that everyone’s been
talking about never shows up.
Tim: And that is why when the New Testament begins it introduces us to
Jesus of Nazareth
not as some random guy but as someone who comes to fulfill these specific ancient promises.
Jon: Yeah, we learn that he’s from the line of David, Judah, and Abraham.
Tim: And he goes around Israel announcing
that the goodness of God’s kingdom is here now and he begins
confronting the affects of evil on people by healing them by forgiving them of their sins and evil
Jon: Many people are now believing that this is in fact the promised King
Tim: Bit Jesus began telling his closest followers
that he was going to become king and bring peace
by taking the full effect if humanity’s evil into himself.
Jon: That fatal snake bite wound.
Tim: And so it seems like the serpent wins
and this story actually would be a tragedy except for what happens next.
Jesus rises from the dead.
Jon: A nd now Jesus has the power over evil and death for himself.
Tim: So the rest at the New Testament is then making this claim
the Jesus’ power over evil and death has now become available
to us to begin confronting the effects evil in our own lives.
Jon: But even still, death and evil are a real problem in our world all around us.
Tim: And so the story of the Bible ends
by describing this future day when Jesus comes back
and he finishes the job. He destroys the snake once and for all, and he restores
Jon Collins and Tim Mackie of The Bible Project are using their skills for God by putting together enjoyable and entertaining short videos explaining concepts in the Bible and how it all fits together. According to The Bible Project, “This is episode 1 of a 14-part series that explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you’ll be introduced to some of the basic skills necessary for reading the Bible effectively.”
The Bible: it’s one of the most influential books in human history.
It explores the big questions of why we exist.
It’s inspired many people to do amazing things, and… confused many others.
And you’ve probably got one, sitting around… somewhere.
So. What is the Bible actually?
Well, the Bible is a small library of books, that all emerged out of the history of the people of ancient Israel.
And in one sense, they were just like any other ancient civilization.
But among them were a long line of individuals called prophets,
and they viewed Israel’s story as anything but ordinary.
They saw it as a central part of what God was doing for all humanity.
And, these prophets, were literary geniuses.
Yeah, they expertly crafted the Hebrew language to write epic narratives,
very sophisticated poetry, they were masters of metaphor, and storytelling,
and they leveraged all this to explore life’s most complicated questions
about death, and life, and the human struggle.
So, there’s a lot of different authors writing this book.
Yeah and these texts were produced over a thousand year period,
starting with Israel’s origins in Egypt.
Then leading up to their kingdom, with their first temple.
But eventually they were conquered by the Babylonians, who took them away into exile.
Then, at a crucial moment in their history, many Israelites returned to their land.
They built a second temple, they reformed their identity, and
this is when the Jewish Scriptures begin to be formed
into the shape that we have them today.
Okay, the Jewish Bible… what’s in it?
Well in Hebrew, it’s called by an acronym: Tanakh.
The “T” stands for “Torah.” (Sometimes called “the law.”) That’s Israel’s five-book foundation story.
The “N” stands for “Nevi’im,” the Hebrew word for “prophets,”
and this section consists of the historical books
that tell Israel’s story from the prophets’ point of view,
then you get the poetic books of the prophets themselves.
The “K” stands for “Ketuvim” – the Hebrew word for “writings.”
This is a diverse collection of
of poetic books, wisdom books, and more narrative.
And the Jewish people believe that through all of these literary works,
God speaks to His people.
Now, there are other Jewish writings being produced
during this Second Temple period as well.
Yeah, a really diverse group texts, and these too were
highly valued in Jewish communities.
And there was debate from ancient times,
about whether or not some of these should be considered part of their scriptures.
So… this is a lot of different writings, over a long period of time…
Why did they put them all together like this?
Well all together, these texts tell an epic story,
about how God is working through these people to bring
order and beauty out of the chaos of our world.
And it all builds up to a hope for a new leader who would come, and renew all creation…
And then the Tanakh concludes… and this leader never comes!
So it’s an expertly crafted work but it’s missing an ending?
That’s exactly right.
Now, few centuries later, a Jewish prophet comes onto the scene, named Jesus of Nazareth.
He claimed he was carrying the Tanakh story forward.
Yeah so Jesus, did a bunch of cool stuff… was killed…
But his followers claimed he was alive from the dead.
Yeah, they said that Jesus was that long-awaited leader who would restore the world.
And so his earliest followers called “Apostles,” they compose new literary works about the story of Jesus,
(they called these “good news,” or “the Gospel”), they formed an account, called “Acts,”
about the spread of the Jesus Movement outside of Israel,
and then they circulated letters to different Jesus communities all around the ancient world.
And they saw these writings as part of the scripture.
Yeah, the Apostles wrote all of this is fulfillment of that epic story found in the Tanakh.
And they were continuing the literary genius of the Jewish tradition.
They also believed that God was speaking to His people through
these texts, alongside the scriptures of Israel.
So that’s the Old & New Testament,
but what did the early Christians think of the other Second Temple literature?
Well different groups had different views about some of these books.
But we know they read them and
valued these texts, because they pass
them along with the Jewish Scriptures.
Okay, so we’ve got the Tanakh, (the Jewish scriptures),
we got these other Second Temple period works,
then the writing of the Apostles about Jesus.
And that’s a lot of literature… so what’s in my Bible?
So the Christian movement has taken different forms over 2,000 years, and from the beginning,
all Christians recognized the Tanakh and the New Testament as scripture.
And for centuries, much of the Second Temple literature was read that part of the biblical tradition.
The Catholic Church eventually made it official,
and called some of the books from this collection the “deuterocanonical books.”
Some Orthodox churches used even more books from the Second Temple literature,
and then in the 1500’s, during the Reformation,
Protestant Christians wanted to go back to the oldest writings of the prophets and Apostles,
so they accepted only the Old & New Testaments.
Okay. I think I got it.
But… how does a collection of books produced over a thousand years,
by all these different authors, tell one unified story?
Yeah, that’s the question we’ll address in our next video.
Hey I’m Jon, and I’m Tim!
This is The Bible Project, we believe the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus,
and has profound wisdom for the modern world.
So we’re creating videos to show that!
This was the first in a brand new series, that we’re starting,
“How to Read the Bible,”
But we have lots of other kinds of videos.
And you can find it all for free on our website, at jointhebibleproject.com.
In fact, there you can find a handout that will accompany this video; just goes into more detail
on the information that is video is about,
and… lots of other resources. So check it out,
and you can also be a part of this by supporting us at thebibleproject.com.
Our goal is to make all these resources available for free, to anybody, anywhere,