The canon of the Bible comprises the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, is composed of thirty-nine books. There are at least thirty-two writers of these books. Among them there were men of letters, statesmen, and military men; there were priests, kings, and prophets; and there were common people, shepherds, and farmers. The New Testament, from the Gospel of Matthew to Revelation, is composed of twenty-seven books. It was written in both Jewish and Gentile lands by a tax collector, a doctor, an ordinary disciple of Jesus, two fishermen, two flesh brothers of the Lord Jesus, and a scholar.
The scope of the Bible covers a wide span, from the beginning of the universe, through man’s fallen history and Christ’s salvation, to the end times. It gives details of the history of the first man, Adam, and his fall, and it traces his descendants down to the Lord Jesus Christ. It consummates with the end of this age, the coming of the next age, and the final new heaven and new earth.
In the subsequent booklets in this series, we will explain to you some of the different subjects of the Bible. Here we will briefly introduce the main subjects in the Bible.
The first subject in the Bible is God with His plan. The God revealed in the Bible is a God of wisdom and purpose. Just as any person who is intelligent and purposeful is always full of plans, our God, who is most wise, has an eternal plan, which has much to do with man and the world.
The second subject is man and his destiny. The Bible tells us where man came from, how he was made, and where he is going. It also tells of God’s plan for man.
The third subject of the Bible is Christ. Christ is the central figure of the Bible. The Old Testament is a prophecy concerning Him, and the New Testament is the fulfillment of this prophecy. The Bible tells us how this Christ accomplished redemption and salvation for mankind.
The fourth subject is the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of God. He is mentioned very much in relation to man’s experience of God.
The fifth subject is the divine life, that is, the life of God, which a person receives when he believes in Christ. This divine life lives within those who believe in Christ and directs and transforms their living.
The sixth subject is the believers, who are in Christ. The New Testament tells us the meaning of being a believer in Christ and the way to live a proper Christian life.
The seventh subject is the church, which is God’s community of believers on earth today. The Bible explains what the church is and how believers should meet as the church.
The eighth subject is the kingdom of God, which is the sphere where God exercises His rule and authority in this age and in the coming ages.
The last subject is the new heaven and the new earth, which speaks of the things that will happen in eternity in the future.
If you are a person who is seeking after the truth and would like to know the meaning of your life, you need to read the Bible, and you should call on the Christ who is presented to you in the Bible. God has given every person a spirit (Job 32:8) so that he can understand and receive the things of God. We hope that you will begin your reading of this wonderful book, the Bible, by reading the New Testament, and we also hope that you will begin a fruitful and abundant life today through meeting Jesus Christ in this book.
This article is taken from a series of gospel messages given in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia in 1992. They have been instrumental in bringing over 7,000 people to the knowledge of God, the Bible, and the Christian salvation. The entire series comprises six articles with the following topics: 1) The Bible, 2) There Is God, 3) Christ Is God, 4) Christ Is Spirit and Life, 5) Christ’s Redemption and Salvation, and 6) The Meaning of Human Life.
(The Bible, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)