The word testament has three usages or applications in the Bible:
1. Testament is another name for a covenant, specifically an agreement between God and mankind.
2. Testament can refer to someone’s will, as in their last will and testament.
3. Lastly, the Bible is divided into two sections or testaments, so named because each encompasses a major covenant from God.
The first is the Old Testament, which refers to being made right with God by following a strict code of conduct and rules.
The second is the New Testament, which refers to being made right with God by following Jesus.
Although virtually all Bibles include the sections of Old Testament and New Testament, this usage is not actually found in the Bible’s text.
The Bible is a book of books, 66 books* altogether, written over a period of hundreds of years by many different authors. These 66 books are divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament contains 39 books** and addresses the formation, existence, and demise of the nation of Israel, the time frame prior to the life of Jesus. The Old Testament books are categorized as follows:
For a good summary of the Old Testament, see Acts 7:2-46; Acts 13:17-23 is even more concise. Also, see the overview of books in the Old Testament.
Here is a list of the books in the Old Testament:
* The Roman Catholic Church includes
additional books in their Old Testament.
See Apocrypha for more information.
**The Hebrew Bible includes the same
writings of the 39 Old Testament books
but combine some books together,
resulting in 24 books.
The Bible says we are to fear God. But what does that really mean?
I don’t think it implies God is malevolent or waiting for us to mess up so he can zap us, which would be legitimate reasons to fear him. Instead, God is benevolent and wants good things for us; there is no reason to fear him for that.
Some translations render fear as “worship” or “revere.” That helps some. We are to worship God and to revere him. I can do that. And although I have a healthy respect for his power, it’s not one the produces fear. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?
Perhaps a hint of understanding is that of the 13 times the phrase occurs in the Bible, most are in the Old Testament.
I will post more on this next time.
Until then, do you fear God? What does that mean to you?