God's Handbook for Man
Lesson 1

The Scriptures claim for themselves that which no other book can rightly claim—to be a revelation of God to man. Approximately forty writers penned the books that make up our Bible. Among those writers were men of every rank and class: men educated in Egypt, in Babylon, in Jerusalem, and some with very little education at all. Written over a period spanning nearly two thousand years by numerous writers from widely varying backgrounds, what an opportunity was afforded for variety of opinion and conflict, and yet, the books of the Bible are in perfect agreement. Turning from what other sources have to say regarding the Scriptures, we will open the Bible itself.

1. How did God originally communicate with man?

Genesis 3:8–9
Genesis 3:8-9

Note: It was not God’s original plan to give His word to men in a written form. God and angels visited Adam and Eve, speaking with them face to face. Angels were to be their teachers. The entrance of sin, however, broke this line of open communication, and man was no longer able to enjoy this close communion with his Creator. The Lord, therefore, devised a new method of communicating His will to the human family.

2. How did God promise to communicate with fallen man?

Amos 3:7
Amos 3:7

Note: To sin, wherever it is found, God is a consuming fire. See Hebrews 12:29. As man, corrupted by sin, could no longer speak face to face with his Creator, God developed an alternate method of communicating with him.

3. How did these men gain a knowledge of God’s will?

2 Peter 1:21
2 Peter 1:21

Note: The writings of the Bible were not obtained by the authors of the various books searching the archives of libraries, but by the thoughts impressed upon their minds by the Holy Spirit.

4. How did God generally communicate with His prophets?

Numbers 12:6
Numbers 12:6

5. Who was the first man of God to be referred to as a prophet?

Jude 14
Jude 14

Note: Though God began to speak to men through His prophets very early in the history of the world, these communications were not initially committed to writing. For approximately 2,500 years the instruction was oral. However, sin’s entrance affected not only the length of life, but man’s other faculties were impaired as well. This degeneracy, along with the rapid spread of apostasy, made it imperative that the truth of God be preserved and given with accuracy. Hence it was that the word of God was put into written form.

6. By what name did Christ refer to the sacred writings of His day?

Matthew 21:42
Matthew 21:42

Note: Those writings that made up the Scriptures of Christ’s day were those which we refer to as the Old Testament.

7. Who was speaking through these men?

Hebrews 1:1
Hebrews 1:1

8. Whom do we find revealed in the Scriptures?

John 5:39
John 5:39

9. How does seeing Jesus revealed in His Word change us?

2 Corinthians 3:18
2 Corinthians 3:18

Note: We all tend to become like that which we see. If we view immorality and violence, we tend to become immoral and fail to view violence as something unusual. On the other hand, if we spend our time thinking about and viewing pure and holy things, our lives will just as surely come into harmony with these higher principles. This is also what Jesus meant when He said, “Sanctify them (make them holy and free of all moral impurity) through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” John 17:17

10. Whom did our Lord recognize as the first Bible writer to write of Him?

Luke 24:27
Luke 24:27

Note: There is no record of inspired writings pre-dating Moses. Beginning with these first books in the Bible, the writings of the Old Testament span a period of time that extended from approximately 1500 B.C. until the time of Ezra, soon after the return from Babylonian captivity. At that time, the books that make up our Old Testament were compiled and brought together, forming the sacred canon contained in the Hebrew manuscripts.

11. What three divisions did Christ recognize in the Scriptures?

Luke 24:44
Luke 24:44

Note: Christ, during His ministry, as did the apostles in their writings, quoted from each of these groups of Old Testament writings.

12. How did Paul expect the believers to test his words?

Acts 17:11
Acts 17:11

Note: There are those who believe that the writings of the Old Testament are inferior to those of the New Testament, but here we have evidence that the apostles believed them to be inspired. As a matter of fact, Christ, as did the apostles, pointed to the Old Testament, which were the Scriptures of their day, to prove the validity of their own writings and mission.

13. When did Peter see Christ glorified and hear God’s words of approval on His mission?

2 Peter 1:17–18
2 Peter 1:17-18

14. What even more certain evidence of Christ’s divinity did he have?

2 Peter 1:19
2 Peter 1:19

Note: Peter is referring to the experience he had on the mount of transfiguration (see Matthew 17:1–8), when he had seen Jesus glorified by His Father. The thought that he is expressing is this: even though he had seen with his own senses tremendous evidence of Jesus’ being the Messiah, the words of prophecy are more certain and are, therefore, more to be trusted than are the senses.

15. In giving their prophetic utterances, what did the prophets seek?

1 Peter 1:9–10
1 Peter 1:9-10

16. By whose Spirit were they actuated?

1 Peter 1:11
1 Peter 1:11

17. What four things will a study of the Scriptures provide?

2 Timothy 3:16
2 Timothy 3:16

18. What will this study accomplish in the life of the believer?

2 Timothy 3:17
2 Timothy 3:17

Note: The New Testament was not completed until more than half a century after Christ’s death. The only Scriptures the church had during these early years were the writings of the Old Testament. From these texts we see that the inspired writers of the New Testament recognized the Old Testament as containing light, teaching true doctrine, and as necessary for salvation.

19. By what means did God preserve Israel?

Hosea 12:13
Hosea 12:13

20. What promise is made to those who believe God’s prophets?

2 Chronicles 20:20
2 Chronicles 20:20

21. In seeking for an understanding of these prophecies, what method of study must be used?

1 Corinthians 2:13
1 Corinthians 2:13

Note: Not all truth is fully explained in all its aspects in any one place in the Bible. God inspired various writers, allowing them to express those thoughts in their own words. It is by studying, comparing text with text, that we are able to appreciate the full beauty of the truth that was revealed through these men.

Lesson HomeNext Lesson►

Print Lesson in Adobe Acrobat