Quick Bible Survey

Get the gist of the whole Bible in 4 minutes: 中文在以下

The first page of the Bible presents the world as created by God (not by an impersonal force, or an eternal law, or by chance.) God calls it “good,” so the Bible is different from those religions that call spiritual things  “good” and material things “bad.” God creates mankind “in His image,” which is the foundation for recognizing the equal value of all people.  In chapter four mankind accepts Satan’s urging to disregard God, and so brings sin and sorrow into the world.  (Satan–the devil– is described in the Bible as an angel who was created good but became God’s opponent.)  God promises that a descendant of mankind will be a savior who will crush Satan. After population has increased, a great flood comes, showing that judgement is real but that God saves his people. 

About 2000 BC God chooses a man named Abraham and leads him to settle in Canaan, the area now called Palestine. See location map and scroll to map A.  God presents Abraham with a promise, called “the covenant,” that his descendants will live in that land, and that one of those descendants shall be a blessing to the entire world.  Abraham’s grandchild Jacob receives the name Israel, so the descendants are called Israelites, and later called Jews. Around 1800 BC the people move to Egypt and stay there for 400 years, eventually becoming enslaved there.

In the 1400’s BC (some say 1200’s), a man named Moses leads the Israelites to escape Egypt. Moses receives the Ten Commandments and other laws, including those for an animal sacrifice system establishing the principle that sin demands punishment but that punishment can be taken by a substitute. The first Bible books are composed, using Hebrew, the language of the Israelites. After the Israelites wander in the desert for 40 years, Moses’ successor Joshua leads the people into Canaan and establishes the nation of Israel there. Scroll to map  B to see Israel divided  among its twelve tribes.

After several hundred years of having temporary leaders, the Israelites began to be led by kings, of whom the most famous was David, who began to rule around 1000  BC, establishing Jerusalem as his capital city.  God promised David that one of his descendants would rule a kingdom that would last forever. This descendant was called the “Messiah” (anointed king; the Greek translation is “Christ.”).  David’s son Solomon built a temple and extended the size of the state of Israel (Scroll to Map C to see the kingdom at its largest extent), but after his death the nation divided into two competing kingdoms. The one in the north was called Israel, and the one in the south called Judah.  Scroll  to map D to see the two kingdoms.

During the rule of the kings, many of the Bible books written by prophets appeared, including Micah, who spoke of an eternal king to be born in Bethlehem, and Isaiah, who spoke of a coming child who would be called Immanuel (God with us). In 722 BC the northern kingdom was conquered by an empire called the Assyrian Empire, and the people were dispersed and are now called the “ten lost tribes.”  The southern kingdom, ruled by descendants of David, continued until 586 BC when it was conquered by the Babylonian empire, who destroyed the temple and deported the leading people to Babylon. This time period, called the “exile,” continued for about 70 years. This was the time of the prophet Daniel, the one who was thrown to the lions for refusing to worship an idol. Daniel had visions in which he saw a heavenly “son of man,” and in which he envisioned the coming of an eternal kingdom. The Persian Empire defeated the Babylonians, and in 535 BC permitted the Jews to return to Israel, where they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and built another temple. This began the “second temple period,” which continued until the Romans destroyed that temple in AD 70. Prophets continued to write during this reconstruction period, and the last prophet is dated at 400 BC. This marks the ending point of the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the “Old Testament.”

During the 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus, the Israelites are ruled by Persians, then the Greek rulers following Alexander the Great, and finally the Romans take over the region in 63 BC.

The New Testament

The appearance of Jesus, during Roman Empire times, is commemorated on our calendars as 1 AD. (The AD is Latin for “year of the Lord;” secular writes prefer CE, which stands for “common era”).  Scroll to map E to see Israel during the time of Jesus. At the age of 30, Jesus begins to speak in public, calling himself the “son of man,” and announcing that the “eternal kingdom” was arriving (concepts that bring to mind Daniel and the promise to David).  Jesus traveled through Israel teaching and healing. He was arrested by authorities in Jerusalem and killed by being nailed to a cross. After three days he was “declared the Son of God with power by rising from the dead.”¹ His followers (the disciples) proclaimed him to be the Messiah (Christ) promised to David, and that his death paid the price for sins,² as had been predicted 700 years before in the book of Isaiah, and fore-shadowed by the animal sacrifice system, which now comes to an end. This message about Jesus is called “the gospel,”  because that word means “good news.”

Along with Paul and other apostles (those who are sent out)., this gospel message was spread to Jews around the Roman Empire, and non-Jews (called Gentiles) also began to believe in Jesus. These believers came to be called “Christians.”  The New Testament has many letters written to Christian churches, and also four versions of the life of Jesus, called “gospels,” written by four different authors. One of them, John, has a sentence about his gospel that serves to sum up the purpose of the Bible: “these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you will have life in His name.”³   John also is the name of the author of the last book of the New Testament, in which he envisions the final victory over evil and the wonders of eternal life, “where all tears will be wiped away,” for, as Paul writes, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ¹¹


For more details on the Bible, go to “Bible as a Whole” Menu

For reasons why the Bible is dependable, go to Bible Evidence

 To read the Bible on your own, I recommend starting with the Gospel written by Mark, using this Book of Mark guide.

To see videos explaining each book of the Bible, go to The Bible Project

To see what has happened in the 2000 years since the New Testament, scroll down the contents of the church history site.


1) quoted from Romans chapter 1 verse 4.      2) prophesied in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 6.      3)  quoted from John chapter 20 verse 31.  11) Romans 6:23





因此罪与忧伤进入世界。 (起初撒旦被造成为神的天使之一,但是撒旦悖逆神,他跟一大部分的天使离开神,背叛神的意思,成为人类的敌手。)




过了几百年,约公元前1000年以色列设立国王制度。第二位国王叫大卫王;他打败以色列人的仇敌,设立耶路撒冷为以色列的首都。神告诉大卫王,救世主将来会从他的后裔出现。从那时起那位所等候的救世主称谓「弥赛亚」( 弥赛亚有涂油为王的意思)。大卫的儿子所罗门扩张以色列到最大的领土,这样完成神给亚伯拉罕的应许(就是以色列人会居住全迦南地;看地图C)。 (然后因为以色列人违背神,领土也来也小)。所罗门死了之后,国度分成两个国家:北边支持以色列为名称;南部的国家称呼「犹大,」支持大卫王的后代为王。 (地图D)。


南部国家犹大继续到公元前589年,就被巴比伦帝国打败。那时耶利米先知出现,他预言说,将来神会复兴他跟亚伯拉罕所设立的约,设立「新的约」。人民的领袖被带到巴比伦,待70年。从此以色列人成为犹太人,意思是「从犹大来的人」 。一位叫但以理的先知也被带到巴比伦,他在异像中看了天堂,看了神的宝座,在宝座旁看了一位超自然的人物,但以理称他为「人子。 」那个人子要审判世界,会永远当宇宙的王。



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聖經的第一頁表示全宇宙為神所創造的(不是偶然來的,也不是為大自然自己的力量或旨意而來的)。 神說宇宙是「好的,」這樣表示物質的和屬靈性的一樣好。 神照著他的「形象「造人類,因此每一個人的價值都一樣。神要人的行為顯示神的特質,例如神的創造力,憐憫和愛。但人因受撒旦的引誘,違背了神, 拒絕神造人的目的,而遠離神。

因此罪與憂傷進入世界。 (起初撒旦被造成為神的天使之一,但是撒旦悖逆神,他跟一大部分的天使離開神,背叛神的意思,成為人類的敵手。)

聖經記錄神如何解決人離開神的問題,吸引人類歸回祂。 神應許祂會差派一位救主打敗撒旦以及恢復人類。 人口增長,人類的罪惡也增長,因此神用一個大水災毀滅大多數的人,但是救出來一個家庭,讓神能夠成就他要救人類的計劃。 藉此水災,神表示他的審判是真的,但是他會拯救相信他的人。

約公元前2000年的時候,神為了要繼續施行他救人類的計劃,選擇一位叫亞伯拉罕的人。 神命令亞伯拉罕搬到東中里的「迦南地「(英文Canaan,參考地圖A),也答應將來亞伯拉罕的後裔會在哪裡設立他們的國家。神跟他立約,說他會當亞伯拉罕和他後裔的 神,他們會當作祂的子民,以及接著祂的後裔之一全人類會受福氣。亞伯拉罕的孫子叫以色列,所以神的子民叫「以色列人「,後來叫」猶太人「。但約公元公元 前1800年的時候,以色列人搬到埃及,在哪裡待430年,成為埃及人的努力。

在公元前第15世紀的時候,神選擇一位叫摩西以色列人來帶領以色列人逃避埃及。 在埃及隔壁的」西乃曠野「中的一座山上,神遞給摩西有名的「十誡。」神也設立「獻祭動物體制。」在這個體制裡,如果一位以色列人違背神,他必須在祭壇 上殺死一隻牛或羊。 神是公義的,所以罪有應得,但是因為神愛世人,神準許動物代替人,擔當人應得的審判。 以色列人在曠野遷徙40年,然後進入迦南地,在哪裡設立一個獨立的國家,叫「以色列」。看地圖B

過了幾百年,約公元前1000年以色列設立國王制度。 第二位國王叫大衛王;他打敗以色列人的仇敵,設立耶路撒冷為以色列的首都。 神告訴大衛王,救世主將來會從他的後裔出現。 從那時起那位所等候的救世主稱謂「彌賽亞」( 彌賽亞有塗油為王的意思)。 大衛的兒子所羅門擴張以色列到最大的領土,這樣完成神給亞伯拉罕的應許(就是以色列人會居住全迦南地;看地圖C)。 (然後因為以色列人違背神,領土也來也小)。 所羅門死了之後,國度分成兩個國家:北邊支持以色列為名稱;南部的國家稱呼「猶大,」支持大衛王的後代為王。 (地圖D)。

聖經裡大多數的先知書在兩國的時代所寫的。 先知們警告以色列人,如果不悔改歸回神,他們的國家就會消失。 以色列人不聽話,結果預言實現。 西元前722年,北部國家以色列被亞述帝國打敗,人民分散,傳統上被叫「10迷失的族別。」那時候以賽亞先知出現,他的書裡有不少細節有關將來會出現的 彌賽亞:彌賽亞會代替我們,擔當我們罪有應得的懲罰。

南部國家猶大繼續到公元前589年,就被巴比倫帝國打敗。 那時耶利米先知出現,他預言說,將來神會復興他跟亞伯拉罕所設立的約,設立「新的約」。 人民的領袖被帶到巴比倫,待70年。 從此以色列人成為猶太人,意思是「從猶大來的人」 。 一位叫但以理的先知也被帶到巴比倫,他在異像中看了天堂,看了神的寶座,在寶座旁看了一位超自然的人物,但以理稱他為「人子。 」那個人子要審判世界,會永遠當宇宙的王。

在公園539年,波斯帝國出現,打敗巴比倫,波斯王準許猶太人會到耶路撒冷,重建以前被毀滅的聖典;但是以色列人不是獨立的,而是仍歸波斯王統治。 猶太的先知們還在繼續出現,寫先知書。 彌迦先知預言拯救主要出生的地點:伯利恆。 最後一位先知生活到公元前400年,然後舊約時期結束。

在接下來400年的時間沒有人寫聖經書,直到耶穌在公元後第一世紀出生。 猶太人先在波斯帝國統治,接著西元前335年被希臘統治,最後在西元前63年由羅馬帝國統治。

耶穌基督的誕生開始公元元年。 新約聖經記錄他的聖工。 地圖E顯現以色列在耶穌時代的情況。 耶穌30歲的時候開始教導,醫治人,做神蹟。 他稱自己為“人子”,並表示他是但以理先知所看到的超自然審判者。 猶太人的領袖逮捕他,求羅馬政府的巡撫讓他被釘在十字架上。 耶穌死了,埋葬了,但是三天後復活,證明他是神的兒子,就是三位一體神的一部分。 祂犧牲自己擔當我們應該擔當的處罰,像舊約獻祭的動物一樣。 獻祭動物製度結束了,因為耶穌帶來耶里米所預言的「新約」。 耶穌的門徒傳揚這個好消息,求人來相信他。 一位叫保羅的人傳揚這個福音到羅馬帝國裡面的好幾個地方。 在聖經最後一本書,叫“啟示錄”,作者約翰寫他所看的形象:他看了永恆生命的地點,在那裡神應驗他向驗亞伯拉罕的諾言:神“要跟人同在,他們要 做祂的子民,神要親自與他們同在,作他們的神。”「像保羅所寫的:」“罪的工價乃是死,惟有神的恩賜,在我們的主耶穌裡,乃是永生 。”

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