Why this website about the Bible and God?
© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 2 September 2020
Why this website?
The Bible says it is inspired by God 2Tim 3:16 [put your pointer/tap on this Bible verse reference and you will see the verse in a window above.]
Millions of people all over the world believe this is true and aim to live by what the Bible says. Because I too believe this [see “About Us” above] the website is based on that belief.
The website aims to help you understand the Bible. It is accessible on mobile devices as well as computers and tablets. I have aimed for a simple and attractive layout. I hope it will serve a wide and interactive audience.
What is the Bible?
The Bible is a big book. It’s also not a single book but a collection of 66 separate documents or “books”. These were written by many different authors between about 1400BC and 100AD [see OV1 in the INDEX for more details]. It’s in two parts, the Old and New “Testaments” (from before and after the birth of Jesus Christ).
The Bible gives various accounts of God making Himself known to people throughout history – as seen from God’s point of view. It’s “His story”.1
[NOTE: Just click/tap on the footnote number to go to the footnote.]
Why try to read and understand the Bible?
If the Bible really is the record of what God has done in history, surely that would be enough answer to this question. The point is that He is still making Himself known to people in history, in ways as explained in the Bible. So even now we are part of His-story-in-the-making. If we find out from the Bible how to be OK with God, He will make Himself known to us. We could then share with Him positively in what He is doing.
The challenges are to increase our understanding of God by reading the Bible, then to do what it (He) says. But it’s not an easy book to “just pick up and read from cover to cover” (although many of its separate parts would be). So whatever way we follow, there are no shortcuts. Yet it’s vital to make the effort (as Jesus Christ said, Luke 13:23-24). This website aims to give a pathway to follow.
Who is this website intended for?
This is the question so many friends have asked me . . . The best answer I have come up with is “it’s for anyone”.
You may have never seen a Bible or read any of it. Or you could have a Bible and are interested to find out what it’s about. Maybe you have read some of the Bible and are thinking about becoming a Christian. Or you are already a committed Christian and have read much or all of the Bible. You might even have been doing this for many years, perhaps discussing it in groups with others. Maybe you have done a formal course of biblical studies. So I have assumed various levels of prior knowledge of the Bible.2
I also realise you may not believe the Bible is inspired by God and could have some objections to this belief. So I have briefly discussed a few basic concerns [see CA – “Confronting Assumptions” in the INDEX, and “Some controversial issues” at the end of the Introductions to each Chart].
How is this website written?
I have tried to write in simple, clear English. I mostly use short sentences. There are plenty of sub-headings and paragraphs to break it up. Footnotes are used to avoid too much detail.
Some words are in italics, capital letters or bold type, for emphasis. Occasionally there are sentences ending with an exclamation mark. This is also for emphasis (or sometimes it’s my own emotions showing through about what I’ve just written!)
What version of the Bible is used?
I have mainly used the “New Living Translation” (NLT). It’s a contemporary English version which uses plain “explanatory” language to make the original meaning clearer [see OV1]. Sometimes I also refer to the “New International Version” (NIV).3
What method is used here to explain the Bible?
What God made known about Himself was increased by Him with the passing of time. The range of peoples involved and geographical locations also expanded.
This website aims to tie all this together and clarify the vast diversity within the whole Bible. It is organised by using four main methods of explanation:
- It follows the Bible’s historical time sequence (except for the initial “New Testament Summary” section [NTS]).
- The biblical record is broken down into nine “Eras” of history [see OV6-8]. The “boundaries” between the Eras were whenever God changed the ways people were to know and respond to Him. This was mostly when He introduced further “Covenants”.
- Each historical Era is summarised using a pair of boxes-and-arrows flow charts, with articles (“posts”) giving detailed explanations.
- It focuses on God’s purposes underlying His actions in history.
Why focus on God’s purposes?
My perspective is that God’s purposes are the unifying theme throughout the whole Bible. God’s actions are the outcomes of His intentions, to produce His results. Because God is all-knowing and all-powerful, He always achieves His purposes. He even knows the outcomes in advance and often predicted them. The Bible is a history-based record of all this.
Here are some key verses from across the whole Bible that overwhelmingly support this focus on God’s purposes:
Old Testament: Genesis 41:32, Job 42:2, Psalm 33:10-11, Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 14:24,26-27, 46:10, 55:11
New Testament: Luke 13:32, John 12:27-28, Acts 2:23,24, Romans 8:28,29,30, Ephesians 1:9-10,11,12, 3:10-11, Philippians 2:13
Does God have a main or primary purpose?
If we could know God’s primary purpose, surely this would explain everything else in the Bible. I see this “Why?” emphasis as providing a central connection between all biblical themes.
In Eras 1 and 5 [see 1A3 and 5A3] I have developed from the Old Testament the first part of a definition of God’s Primary Purpose, as follows:
God’s Primary Purpose in all of His creation:
To express His own glorious nature forever, beginning especially on Earth by making Himself known to people worldwide, and through them as they respond to Him.
Note that this definition is based only on my research for Eras 1 to 5 (Genesis to Ruth, Job and Psalm 90).
Some key verses are listed below that emphasise the purposeful expressing of God’s own glorious nature. He was making Himself known worldwide TO and THROUGH people, and fully THROUGH His Son Jesus Christ.
Exodus 9:14,15-16, 33:13,19, Deuteronomy 7:9, Joshua 4:24, Psalm 145:10-12, Isaiah 43:10,11-12,13, Jeremiah 23:20, 31:34, Ezekiel 28:22, 38:23, Daniel 4:17
John 16:13-14, 1Corinthians 2:7,10-11,12
What is the overall “big picture” of the Bible?
I have used boxes-and-arrows flow charts to show the “big picture” for each historical Era [see OV7-9], based on how God was accomplishing His primary purpose. Taken together, these trace the Bible’s overall big picture.
In doing the big picture in this way I have had a strong sense of discovery, that “it works”! My hope and prayer are that it will “work” for you too…
To get started, read the HOW-To’s instructions.
Then go to the INDEX list and:
Start with the New Testament, because it is now the most relevant. CLICK on: NTS, then NTQ and NTA-D.
Start on Chart 1A. CLICK on: Era 1 – from CREATION to the FALL, and work down through the items there.
To get a general introduction, CLICK on: OV – Overview: The big picture.
To get into discussions of some of the controversial issues involved, CLICK on: CA – Confronting assumptions.
Do it however you want to . . .
You can also ask questions, make comments and suggestions and give other feedback. Just CLICK on “Your Comments”, write what you are thinking and send. And get replies.
This website is offering you all of this – and it’s all FREE.
1. Using a capital letter “H” for words about God (“He”, “His”, “Him”, Himself”) is a traditional way of showing reverence. I have kept using this because it also easily shows the difference when these words are referring only to people (Return to reading)
2. Some places in the website refer to the writings of Bible interpretation experts. These may be too complicated to understand at first. But my hope is that you will get an appetite for digging deeper into the huge resources available for Bible study. (Return to reading).
3. You can get a free download of the whole Bible at www.biblegateway.com, either onto your computer or as an app on your mobile device. This has many English translation versions, also translations in several other languages. There is a look-up tool to find verses quickly, as well as devotional readings, study tools and other aids. (Return to reading).