By signing up for the course, participants are agreeing to the commitments under "course description."  Point out the course requirements and procedure at sign-up.

Distribute the first lesson at least one week prior to that session.

Prompt participation in meetings by asking questions and assigning different participants passages to read aloud or parts to lead in class participation.  Leaders should work through each lesson themselves before going through the instructor's materials.  The ultimate goal is not only that each participant gain a clear understanding of the heart of the Bible and develop a disciplined approach in using it [good Bible study habits], but that each be able to lead others (friends, family, etc.) along the same path of discovery.

Each session ends with recommended reading, listening, or watching.  Some of these could be used to build additional group meetings/discussions around, though it naturally falls to the leader to set up and structure these additional sessions.


1st session – the subject and theme of the Bible

2nd – a deeper understanding of the subject and theme of the Bible

3rd – God's heart, the progressive nature of revelation and the Old Testament's relation to the New

4th – Types & Allegories; Christophanies; Messianic offices

5th – Christ in the Covenants

6th – the Kingdom; the Goal of the Gospel; the Story


GET ACQUAINTED - Ask each participant to give name; where grew up; where live; and how long been in this area.

1.    Write in one sentence your impression of what the Old Testament is about.

The O.T. revelation is preparation for the N.T. revelation setting the stage for the coming of Christ and redemption in Him.

We will be looking at 2 aspects of OBJECTIVE TRUTH:
(1) what the Bible says;    (2) what it means by what it says.

·        Employ the following METHOD OF STUDY [your training workout] where appropriate: write the passage or a portion of it, then observe and comment - focus and think through what you are reading by interacting with the passage, dialoging with it: reorganize the wording; identify [label] what is being stated; describe; categorize [apdx.A]; summarize; draw conclusions; question; follow leads; state implications; note what it doesn’t say.        My interaction and comments are [bracketed].

Write on board    EXAMPLE: Interact with Mk.1:14-15.  What is the context (see apdx.A)? [Jesus continues the message of John the Baptist [continuity of the message] after John's arrest] "Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, [1] 'The time is fulfilled' What time?  [What is fulfilled?    planned events finally occur]    Cross Reference Study: (Rom.5:6, "at the right time"; Gal.4:4-5, "when the fullness of time had come"; Eph.1:7-10, "as a plan for the fullness of time")    [What does it mean to be fulfilled?]
2] 'and the kingdom of God is at hand' [explanation - what "the time is fulfilled" means];
3] 'repent and believe in the Gospel' [appropriate response or response called for]."


2.  Briefly describe the situation (context) where indicated, then interact with the passages and summarize what they say about the theme of the Old Testament.

Ask different people to look up the following verses and conscript someone to chart on the board the content of what was foretold.  Most people have heard that the Bible is all about Jesus and know it as a kind of slogan.  This series is designed to make the framework of the Bible clear, show how it is revealed, and why it is what it is.

Lk.24:44-47 [Context: Jesus after He had risen appearing to His disciples in Jerusalem] "this is what I told you while I was still with you [consistent teaching]: everything that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.  Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures" [hidden truth] [v.46-47 reveal specific content]

I Cor.15:3-4 - "Christ died for our sins [vicarious; substitute] in accordance with the Scriptures [predicted or predetermined]…He was buried…He was raised [He lives] on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."  [anticipated].  Where is this in the scriptures?  How does one find these OT references?    Use cross references and concordance.

{Jn.2:19-22 "destroy this temple…After He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this and believed the Scripture [Which?] and the word that Jesus had spoken."    [About what? – His Death and resurrection] > References say it refers to Ps.16:10.  Acts 2:25-27; 13:35 tell us exactly what that Psalm is referring to, so Jesus was speaking metaphorically.}    {Braces} indicate material is not in student lesson.

Acts 2:25-31[Context: Peter addressing the crowd which has just experienced the pouring out of God’s Spirit] "for David said concerning Him [Christ, Ps.16:8-11, specificity of prophecy] His body would not decay.  Acts 13:23-33, in raising Jesus from the dead, God declared Jesus to be His Son and fulfilled His promise to the fathers, Ps.2:7.

Acts 10:42-43 - [Context: Peter speaking about Jesus to a gathering of Gentiles] "all the Prophets testify about Him [universal consensus] (He is appointed to judge) that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name." (Isa.53:11)  Judge of all (Ps.2, "kiss the Son"); Forgiveness of sins on the basis of faith

Acts 26:22-23 - [Context: Paul later before King Agrippa] "I am saying what the Prophets and Moses said"  [identity] Christ's suffering and resurrection.  Paul was sent to proclaim light (v.23), ie. repentance and forgiveness of sins offered to all (v.17-18), including Gentiles.

{Mt.16:21 "From that time Jesus began [new, different than before] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things [What things? > Isa.52:14; 53:3-12] from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."}

·        Ask, "Why couldn't the disciples understand the Scriptures (Lk.24:25)?    Why do I have so much trouble?"

More than one simple answer (appendix B, session 4) - Sin blinds us to the truth; we were not taught to think; don't put the effort into it; false preconceptions; etc.

Jn.5:39-40 "You search the Scriptures … It is they that bear witness of Me," 45-47 "Moses wrote of Me [Where? > Gen.3:15; Passover lamb; sin offering; etc.]  He [Moses] accuses you because if you believed Moses [his writings], you would believe Me [My words]"  [reason for their unbelief in Jesus].  These passages and others (ie, Lk.24:44-47) tell us that every part of the O.T. speaks of Christ: the Scriptures; Moses (Gen - Dt., law and history); Psalms (poetry); and the Prophets (prophecy).  [In Mt.5:17-18 "the Law or the Prophets" refers to the whole Old Testament, prophecies as well as types]

Ask, "Why are we covering so many passages that make approximately the same point?"
To show that the Bible makes this point with overwhelming force.

Acts26:6 [Context: Paul later before King Agrippa] "I am on trial today because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers"  [historic roots]

·        Ask, “How or in what manner was the truth of the Gospel foretold in the OT?”  Symbolically, in types, and shadows

Heb.3:5-6 "Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house for a testimony of those things which would be spoken of afterward, but Christ was faithful as a son…"  [comparison and contrast]

Heb.9:8-12 "the Holy Spirit was indicating that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.  It was symbolic [a parable of, it typified] for the present time"  [representation by types and figures]

Col.2:16-17 "regulations concerning food and drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ"  [details of the law had a typological purpose]

·        Go over the chart we have been making and notice the many specific things concerning Christ that the NT says are found in the Old Testament.

Ask for a volunteer to continue soliciting answers to questions 3-6.

3.  Now, having thought through the above passages, what is the Old Testament about?    The Old Testament focuses on the coming of Christ, his person, and work.

Jn.5:39-40 the Scriptures testify about Christ and the life He offers

Since Christ is also the subject of the New Testament, we must conclude that He is the subject of the Bible.

Why is He so central?  To answer this question, we must ask several others.

4.    What are the two great works for which God is praised (2 Cor.4:3-6)?    For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”    Creation and redemption

Rev.4:9-11 "O Lord [God the Father] you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things and by Your will they exist and were created."  [also Ps.148:1-6]

Rev.5:8-9 "You [God the Son] are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals for You were slain and have ransomed [NIV purchased; NKJ redeemed] us [liberated us by payment] by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation"  [also Ps.77:11-15]

The significance of the Sabbath is depicted in the 10 Commandments as a reminder of the completion of God's creative activity (Ex.20:8-11).  Later, there is a shift in emphasis.  The Sabbath is spoken of in connection with God's deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt (Dt.5:12-15).  [salvation]  The Sabbath therefore depicts the great themes of creation and redemption.  Once God had completed his work, He rested.  When Adam sinned, God began to work again making a new kind of creation by redeeming (Gen.3:21) that which was lost.  The Jews were persecuting Jesus because He was healing people on the Sabbath (Jn.5:15-17), "My Father is working until now, and I am working."  God completed his work in redemption, "It is finished" Jn.19:28-30, just as He did in creation, "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them" Gen.2:1.

5.  What happened after God created all things?  Adam disobeyed God and the whole creation was spoiled along with mankind  Gen.3 [headship]

6.  The issue then becomes one of recovery.

How can sinners dwell with God in His perfection of holiness?

by being sanctified [set apart, made holy] by faith in Jesus

Acts 26:18 Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles to open their eyes that many “may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified.”

Explain the concept of corruption (tainted or corrupted by mixing) & purity (unmixed).

God is absolutely pure so He cannot join with sinners (impure people).

7.  So, what is the pervading theme of the Bible?    redemption which means deliverance, liberation through payment of a ransom (forgiveness).

Heb.2:14-15 "He…partook of flesh and blood that through death, He might destroy the devil who has the power of death and redeem all those who were subject to lifelong slavery through fear of death"

Eph.1:7 "in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins"

Col.1:12-14 "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins"

What struck you in this lesson?

1 Pt.1:10-12a, "They [the prophets] were serving you [How?] in the things that have now been announced through those who preached the good news [Gospel] to you"


Display after session - The Unfolding Drama of Redemption;

Tablets of Stone & the History of Redemption;

The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption

God’s Big Picture – Tracing the storyline of the Bible, a 2002 book by Vaughan Roberts: He was about to embark on a 2 year training course for the ministry.  “I had been a committed Christian for six years, but my knowledge of the Bible, especially the Old Testament was very limited…I had already completed a theology degree at university, but it left me unable to find my way around the Bible.  There had been detailed analysis of individual books and passages, but no-one had shown me how they fitted together.”  He met someone who “was able to travel through the Bible with apparent ease…as if he was using a map…while I was left without any sense of direction.”  His new friend introduced him to Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy, “I had the map I needed.  I was still very ignorant about much of the Bible, but the framework was in place.”  So he wrote God’s Big Picture to help others understand how different parts of the Bible fit together.

Look up the following passages   Theme: Christ as fulfillment

Mk.14:49, "let the Scriptures be fulfilled," referring to Christ's suffering and death

Rom.1:1-4, God promised His Gospel beforehand in the holy Scriptures through His prophets

APDX A, Contexts, Categories, and Vocabulary