When you are new to the Christian faith, or just new to reading the Bible on your own, it’s hard to know where to start! We have put together a 10-lesson course that will help you understand the big picture of the Bible, how it’s put together, why you can trust it, and how you can start talking to others about it. Lessons are 40 minutes to an hour in length each. You can also find this lesson in our courses section.
What is The Bible? (Session 1)
To understand Christian apologetics and Christian living, you must start at the beginning: what is the Bible? And why does it matter? This lesson will give you the big picture view of the story of the Bible and God’s purpose for humankind.
Why does the Bible have “Testaments”? (Session 2)
The Bible is divided into two “testaments.” A common misconception about these “testaments” is that they are completely independent from each other. This idea lacks understanding of why the Bible canon was put together the way it is and what purpose each Testament serves. This session will address these questions and give you a big picture understanding of how these two parts of the Bible work together.
Why should we care about the Old Covenant? (Session 3)
The Old Covenant or Old Testament is often overlooked in favor of the New Testament. The Old Covenant is criticized for portraying an angry God or being irrelevant to Jesus’ story. As mentioned in the previous lesson, there is a specific reason why Christians need to study the Old and New Testaments together. This lesson will dive deeper into the importance and specific purpose of the Old Testament to help you develop a foundation for further study.
The New Testament is not just about love (Session 4)
Most will be familiar with one of the four Gospels and the story of salvation through Jesus. God’s love is the most emphasized aspect of the New Testament and a very well meaning slogan for today’s culture. However the New Testament is not just about love and if that’s all we learn from it, we will miss the greater point of our faith in Christ. This lesson will help broaden your understanding of the New Testament so you can be better equipped to learn and grow from this section of the Bible in your personal study.
The importance of Messianic Prophecies (Session 5)
The Old Testament contain 80 major and 170 minor messianic prophecies that give us clues as to who the messiah will be and what his life will be like. This lesson will only cover about 18 of those prophecies and why they are important to know. You can explore the more extensive Messianic Prophecies series here: https://evidence4faith.org/portfolio/messianicprophecies/
The Old Testament on the Future (Session 6)
Fortune telling today is as popular as it was in antiquity. But the attentive observer will note that predictions tend to be vague to retrofit events more easily. Their prophets also tend to have imperfect track records. The Bible is one of the only religious books to contain a multitude of prophecies about world events, and specific instruction on how to verify the credentials of a prophet. This lesson provides an overview of Old Testament prophecies, when they were written, and when they were fulfilled.
Daniel in the Critic’s Den by Josh McDowell: https://archive.org/details/danielincriticsd00mcdo/page/n9/mode/2up
Watch the Cyrus Cylinder: https://evidence4faith.org/portfolio/archaeologyofdaniel/#session5
Is the Bible Reliable? (Session 7)
Many say they can’t trust the Bible because it has been changed over time. The popular narrative is that the Hebrew people didn’t have a written language until 450 B.C. and much of scripture was written later. However, if we look at the facts, we can trace back the preservation of scripture throughout time. This lesson will give you an overview of how old and accurate our modern scriptures are, and how old the texts are.
How we got our modern Bibles (Session 8)
How did we get our modern Bibles? This is likely a common question you have heard and wondered about. A common misconception is that our Bibles are a very recent creation. Not all of the books in the Bible were written at the same time and not all writings were considered God-inspired. This lesson traces back the history of our Bible to the very first writings all the way up to our modern printed Bibles. You will learn how our current canon got put together and why you can trust the accuracy of modern translations.
Why are there 4 Gospels? (Session 9)
The differences found in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are often used to discredit the life of Jesus and as a reason to not trust scripture. This perspective often comes from a fundamental understanding of what these books are. As the books talk about the life of Jesus we are tempted to think of them as biographies. But compare any of the books to a modern biography and you will find the Gospels to be lacking quite a bit to fit the biography category. Are the differences between the Gospels and the events they emphasize intentional? Prophecies from the Old Testament shed light on this problem and provide a better framework to read the four Gospels as they were intended. Read Why Four Gospels by Arthur W. Pink (1921): https://www.holybibleinstitute.com/files/Pink_-_Why_Four_Gospels.pdf
How do I answer critics? (Session 10)
This is the last lesson in our Basics of Apologetics series that addresses how you can help answer questions about the Bible and have productive discussions with critics. All types of people, even other Christians, often have questions about the Bible. This lesson will cover a simple method to work through questions and maintain respectful relationships with people we may disagree with.