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Session 1(Study Day): Overview of the Bible


By the end of this session you should be able to: 

  • give an overview of the timeline and structure of the Bible

  • state how the Old Testament relates to the New and the ways in which the NT moves on from that OT

  • give an account of the major themes of the bible.



Still our minds loving God, and help us to focus on you. May we see you more clearly,

love you more dearly and follow you more nearly

as we explore your revelation to us in the bible.

Speak to us as we learn this day.



Normally we would give you most of this information in person on the Study Days and have you discuss your answers in small groups. Due to lockdown however we have had to find another way of bringing this session to you. So, on the morning of the Study Day, or sometime in the week before, watch the videos below, and think about the questions. Write the answers in your Learning Journals (only you will see these) and share your thoughts on the Forum where indicated.  For the first two videos we recommend you watch each one through entirely once and answer the first couple of questions. Then watch the video again and answer the rest of the questions. There is a lot of information crammed, at a very fast speed, into 5 minutes!  The longer videos further down this page can be completed as you go through the rest of the week - they expand on the things you will have heard in the first two.

What is the Bible

Questions for Reflection

-  What did you know already?

-  What was new to you in this film ?

-  Has the content helped you make sense of the Bible as a unified whole?  Why or why not. Share some of your reflections on the Forum

- How helpful did you find dividing the bible up into the Law, the Prophets, the Writings, the New Testament?

- How do you feel about the fact that some Christians have extra books in their Bible?

The Story of the Bible
  • Think of a time that God has particularly spoken to you through a story in the Bible. What happened and how did it affect you? Share some of your experience on the Forum.


  • The Bible is a lot of reading! What do you think about the idea that we should consider the whole of God’s Word together because it is bringing order (Jesus the NT) out of Chaos (the Fall in Genesis)?

  • Jesus exercised love and forgiveness among all the people he met so that people could know they are loved and forgiven. Can you think of any stories in the Bible where this happened? 


  • Has it been your experience that people who have been loved and forgiven themselves are better able to love and forgive other people?  


  • The film is very clear that the Bible is a unified account of God’s dealings with the world… not just the Jews or just the Christians. Are you happy with that?  Share you thoughts on the Forum


  • If someone asked you ‘Who or what is God?’ Would you think of saying ‘God is the author of all reality?’ Why ( not)? 


  • Do you warm to the idea that in Gen 1-2 , the decision the humans were offered was either to join God or to seize power? What might have happened if Adam and Eve had joined up with God?


  • What do you think about the phrase 'Jesus overcame evil by allowing us to kill him?’

Bible Timeline

Questions for Reflection

- Can you briefly describe the 4 covenants?

- Was it helpful to go over them again after reading Matthew 1:17

- What is the major way the 4th Covenant is different to the other 3?

- What did you make of the comment in the explanation of the 4th covenant 'meanwhile we have the churches?'


Think of the bible stories you are most familiar with and choose one for each section given in this overview video.

There are not many women mentioned in this video - why do you think that is?  What is special about the women that are mentioned?

Give thanks for the way God has spoken to you through the bible in our journey of faith.


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