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Map centered on JerusalemClick on the map image to go to the Bible Places page.

You'll be able choose Bible locations from a list and see where they were located.

Choosing two locations will show the locations plus calculate the distance between them.

Why would anyone want to study the Old Testament?

What’s the point of studying the Old Testament? The answer to this question can be found in the book of Hezekiah. Go ahead and turn to that book in your Bible right now. 

If you just tried to find the book of Hezekiah in the Bible, sorry (not sorry). Years ago a visiting minister to my church did the same thing. He asked everyone to turn to the book of Hezekiah, so most everyone tried. Feeling embarrassment from not being able to quickly find the elusive book, some of us swallowed our pride and went for the table of contents to find the page number. About that time the minister let us in on his trick - there is no book of Hezekiah. He had staged this little demonstration to prove a point: Christians don’t know the Old Testament.

Various denominations, movements and famous preachers have been known to de-emphasize the relevance of the Old Testament. The reasons vary, but generally speaking the rationale behind their arguments is that since Christians live under a new covenant, the older covenant isn’t as important to focus on.

It is true that Jesus fulfilled the terms of the old covenant. It is also true that those who are His disciples have entered into a new covenant and aren’t bound to the terms of the old covenant. However, that doesn’t mean we can dismiss the Old Covenant as a religious relic that has little relevance.

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"The Bible works not only for your own personal life, it works in archaeology, it works everywhere you apply it. Trust it. Follow it."


Dr. Steven Collins, Dean, College of Archaeology & Biblical History
Trinity Southwest University

Bible BlueprintIf one is to properly understand the message of the Bible, he or she must first understand how the Bible is structured. We need to be able to read the Bible's "blueprint".

Two major sections

The books of the Bible are separated into two major sections. The first 39 books are contained within what is referred to as the Old Testament. The remaining 27 books are in the New Testament. The books of the Old Testament were written in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. The New Testament books were all written in Greek.

The Old Testament books cover the period of time from the creation of the world until about 425 B.C. There are books of history, poetry and prophecy. The first five books of the Old Testament were written by Moses in about 1450 B.C. The other 34 books in the Old Testament were written by a number of other people over the following 1000 years. The Old Testament's primary focus is on God's dealings with the descendants of Abraham (the Israelites/Jews).

The New Testament books record events in the first century A.D. that pertain to the life of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His group of disciples (also known as the church). There are five books of history, 21 letters (books) written to Christians and one book of prophecy.

The Convenants of the Bible

The word "testament" is an older term for the word covenant. A covenant is not really the same thing as our modern "contract", but there are similarities; both are agreements between two parties. One of the most well known covenants was between God and the Israelite nation. It was the first of two great covenants and is referred to as the "Old Testament" because God's people today are bound by a New Covenant. The laws of the Old Covenant where given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai and contained not only the Ten Commandments, but also detailed information about every aspect of the life and worship of the ancient Jewish people. 

While the Old Testament was given through Moses and was directed only to the Jews, the New Covenant came through God's Son, Jesus Christ. The New Covenant took effect when Jesus died on the cross (Hebrews 9:15-17). The New Testament writings contain instructions for God's people today.

Since the death of Jesus Christ, the Old Testament is no longer in effect and we are not bound by its laws and requirements today (Heb 8:13). The requirements under the new covenant are not the same as those under the old covenant. It is true that there are things that both testaments have in common, but we don't obey them because they are found in the Old Testament writings. We obey them because they are found in the new covenant writings.

The time period prior to the first covenant that God made with the Jewish nation is commonly referred to as the Patriarchal Age. This is because God dealt directly with the male heads of families (patriarchs).

Correctly handling the word of truth

As Bible students, we must make a distinction between the laws and commands that God gave to people of other ages and the ones that He expects us to obey today. For example, God once commanded Noah to build an ark to save himself and his family. This was a command given to one man for a specific reason and God never intended anyone else to obey this directive. It is recorded in the Bible to teach us. Likewise, under the old covenant, the ancient Israelites were not permitted to wear garments made of "mixed linen and wool" (Leviticus 19:19) but this is not a prohibition under the new covenant. Many examples such as these could be referenced but the point is that many commands given by God were never intended to be obeyed by all people of all times.

In 2 Timothy 2:15 the Bible says, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." This verse is teaching us to be careful and diligent to correctly interpret the message of the Scriptures. We must "correctly handle" the Bible in order to determine which laws we are to obey today and which ones were given to other people of other times.

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