What Is the Bible? (And how to train it)

How much do we really know about the Bible?

D. Thomas Lancaster


Bible Bible literacy study Tanach Torah

Biblical literacy is on the decline. That’s just a fancy way of saying that most people don’t read the Bible anymore. When they do read it, they don’t understand it.

Messianic Judaism is all about the Bible. The Bible is at the center of everything we do. Our whole religion and style of life is built around the Bible. But how much do we really know about the Bible? What is the Bible? Where did the Bible come from? Who wrote it? And why is it so hard to read? Shouldn’t the Bible be easier to understand?

Sounds like we need Bible training. Do you know how to train your Bible?

Sometimes people think that they should be able to open their Bibles to any page, and God will talk to them through what is written on the page. Maybe that works sometimes, but the Bible is not a magical book. It is a real book written by people and to people who lived thousands of years ago. It’s made up of many different books. It’s a whole library of ancient books. Some of them are ancient history books. Some of them are books of poetry. Some of them are prophecies and oracles. Some of them are letters and personal mail. It’s quite a mixed bag. That’s one of the reasons it can be so hard to understand.

To get the most out of your Bible, you have to train it. If you don’t train your Bible, you will be in for a wild ride every time you try reading it. To really train your Bible well, you will want to learn about the different types of books, different genres, and the story behind each book. This video series is going to help you do that. At 12-21, we will be posting a new video from thebibleproject.com every week to help you train your Bible. Spend six minutes a week watching the video and you will be amazed at how easy it can be to train your Bible.

We start with an overview of the Bible before getting into the specific books. This first week’s lesson, “What Is the Bible?” features episode one of a short series that explores the origins, content, and purpose of the Bible. Here you'll be introduced to a condensed history of how the Bible came into existence, and the different forms of the Bible in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christian traditions, and how all these traditions began with Judaism.

Along with some videos, we will post a PDF of the study notes from thebibleproject.com.

Download the First Lesson

Download the notes and use them for personal study, a serious weekly Bible study, or a homeschool unit project. By the time you finish the series, you will be well on your way to Biblical literacy and a well-trained Bible.

The videos from bibleproject.com are written from a mainstream Christian perspective, so you shouldn’t be surprised when you encounter English names (like “Jesus” instead of “Yeshua”) or theological expressions that sound a little foreign to the way we might express them in Messianic Judaism. But you will be surprised at how compatible the videos are with a Messianic Jewish perspective. That’s because the Bible is a Jewish book, and anyone who wants to really understand the Bible needs to understand Judaism.

About the Author

D. Thomas Lancaster is Director of Education at First Fruits of Zion, the author of the Torah Club programs and several books and study programs. He is also the pastor of Beth Immanuel Sabbath Fellowship in Hudson, WI.


Bible Bible literacy study Tanach Torah

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