Finding your way around the Bible At first sight the Bible appears to be a confusing book. It’s a bit like visiting a foreign country and you’re not quite sure how to find your way around. For our present purposes think of the Bible as a book full of maps.
Pick a Continent To begin with, think of a large scale map of two connected continents, one bigger than the other. One is called the Old Testament which is followed by the second, called the New Testament. So far so good.
Explore its Regions Now think of each Continent as being split up into Regions (types of writing). The Old Testament weighs in with four: History, Prophecy, Wisdom and Law.
The New Testament has three: Gospels (edited highlights of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus), the book of Acts (telling us the story of the first generation of Christians), and the Letters (from early Christian leaders such as Paul, Peter and John and a few others).
Visit its Cities, Towns & Villages Each regions has its cities, towns and villages, corresponding to the books of the Bible. The Law in the Old Testament has five: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Gospels in the New Testament have four: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All these cities, towns and villages are connected by roads and tracks.
Each has its own style and character. Some books are full of poetry (for example, the Psalms – all 150 of them). Some are long histories. Some contain pithy wisdom. Some tell personal stories.
Walk the Street Each book of the Bible is broken down into chapters. Think of these as the streets of whatever city, town or village you’re in. You’ll find that some are long, some are short and many are somewhere in between!
Look at the Houses Each chapter has numbered verses. Think of these as houses with numbers.
Giving the Address “John 3:16” means John’s Gospel, chapter 3 verse 16