The Bible Book by Book: An Introduction to Bible Synthesis

The Bible Book by Book: An Introduction to Bible Synthesis

by G. Coleman Luck

ISBN: 9780802400451

Publisher Moody Publishers

Published in Religion & Spirituality

Are you an AUTHOR? Click here to include your books on

Sample Chapter



The word Pentateuch comes from the Greek word used in Septuagint Version meaning "five volumes."

Genesis to Deuteronomy.

1. Authorship

a. Though each book of the Pentateuch does not bear the signature of Moses, nevertheless several important parts are definitely ascribed to him (Exod. 24:4; Deut. 31:9, 24-26).

b. Later books of the Old Testament often speak of Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. Remember that the Jews spoke of all five of these books as "the Law." (For Mosaic authorship see Josh. 1:7, 8; I Kings 2:3; II Chron. 34:14; Neh. 8:1, 14; 13:1).

c. The New Testament likewise ascribes the Pentateuch to Moses (Luke 24:27, 44; John 1:45; 5:45-47; Acts 28:23). Against these references the claims of destructive critics of the Bible, which state that Moses did not write the Pentateuch but that it was written by various writers some long time after the time of Moses, are of no importance.


I. Author

Written by Moses (see Introductory notes on Pentateuch).

II. Recipients

Not specifically stated but presented originally to the people of Israel.

III. Date

About 1440 B.C. Of events covered; about 2400 years (from the creation of man to the death of Joseph.) Chapters 1-11 cover about 2000 years; 12-50 about 400 years.

IV. Purpose of the Book

1. To furnish an account of the beginning of all things—of the universe (1:1); of man (1:26, 27); of the Sabbath (2:2, 3); marriage (2:21-24); sin (3:1-7); sacrifice (3:21; 4:1-7); nations (10:32); governments (9:6)

2. Especially to show the origin of the nation of Israel as God's peculiar people from whom the Redeemer would come.

V. Theme

The title is a Greek word meaning "origin"; so this is the book of origins or beginnings. Here we find the revelation of the one Almighty God who is all-powerful and all-wise, and of His relationship to the origin of the world, to man, to sin, to salvation. Genesis provides us, so to speak, the first chapter in the history of redemption and lays the groundwork for the rest of the Bible. It shows us that "God has to do with man; man has to do with God" (G. Campbell Morgan).

VI. Key Verse: Genesis 12:1-3

Key Word: generations—19 times; traces the chosen line of the woman's Seed (Genesis 3:15).

Outline of Genesis

After the Creation record in the first chapter, the book largely revolves around the biographies of six men. Though there is some overlapping, the lives of these men make a convenient way of dividing the book.

I. Creation (Ch. 1)

1:1–The original creation

1:2–Earth in chaotic state

1:3-31–Earth brought into its present condition in six creative days

II. Adam (Chs. 2-5)

Ch. 2–Adam and Eve created, placed in Garden of Eden and given a commandment about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Ch. 3–The temptation and Fall

Ch. 4–Cain murders Abel; descendants of the godless Cain; Seth is born

Ch. 5–From Adam and Seth to Noah

III. Noah (Chs. 6-11)

Ch. 6-8–The Flood

Ch. 9–The Covenant with Noah and his sons; Noah's prophetic blessing of his sons

Ch. 10–Beginning of the nations

Ch. 11–Men dispersed; the beginning of languages; the family of Shem to Abraham

IV. Abraham (Chs. 12-23)

Ch. 12–The call of Abraham

Ch. 13–Abraham separates from Lot

Ch. 14–Abraham delivers Lot and is blessed by Melchizedek

Ch. 15–God renews and enlarges the covenant with Abraham

Ch. 16–A misstep, the birth of Ishmael

Ch. 17–Covenant confirmed and circumcision established as "a token of the covenant"

Ch. 18–Abraham pleads for Sodom

Ch. 19–Sodom destroyed but Lot rescued

Ch. 20–Abraham's faith falters at Gerar (as at Egypt 12:10-20)

Ch. 21–Birth of Isaac

Ch. 22–Offering of Isaac (Type of Christ)

Ch. 23–Death of Sarah

V. Isaac (Chs. 24-27)

Ch. 24–A bride secured for Isaac. (An illustration of Christ and the Church)

Ch. 25–Abraham's closing days and the birth of Isaac's twin sons, Esau and Jacob

Ch. 26–The covenant confirmed to Isaac

Ch. 27–Isaac gives the blessing intended for Esau to Jacob

VI. Jacob (Chs. 28-36)

Ch. 28–God speaks to Jacob at Bethel renewing the covenant

Ch. 29–Jacob marries Leah and Rachel, working seven years for each. Four sons born of Leah

Ch. 30–Seven sons and a daughter born to Jacob by his two wives and two concubines

Ch. 31–Jacob, commanded by God to return home, flees from Laban

Ch. 32–God wrestles with Jacob and he is changed to Israel

Ch. 33–Jacob and Esau reconciled

Ch. 34–Jacob's daughter seduced and two sons become murderers to avenge her

Ch. 35–Jacob returns to Bethel and has communion with God there; Rachel dies at time of Benjamin's birth; Isaac dies

Ch. 36–Esau's family—the Edomites

VII. Joseph (Chs. 37-50)

Ch. 37–Sold into slavery by his wicked brothers

Ch. 38–lJudah's immorality; his sons

Ch. 39–Joseph becomes Potiphar's slave and is cast into prison because of the false accusation of Potiphar's wife

Ch. 40–Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker

Ch. 41–Joseph interprets Pharaoh's prophetic dream and is exalted to high position

Ch. 42–Joseph's brethren buy grain but do not recognize him; he arrests Simeon but allows the others to go back home

Ch. 43–They return the second time with Benjamin

Ch. 44–Joseph threatens to enslave Benjamin, and Judah pleads for him

Ch. 45–Joseph reveals himself to his brethren and sends them for Jacob

Ch. 46–Jacob and family move to Egypt

Ch. 47–The Israelites prosper in Egypt

Ch. 48–Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons

Ch. 49–Jacob's prophetic blessing of his twelve sons

Ch. 50–Jacob's burial and Joseph's death



I. Author

Moses. (See notes on Pentateuch; also Exod. 17:14; 24:3-7; 34:27, 28.) Writer evidently an eyewitness of events described.

II. Recipients

Presented originally to Israel but to be preserved by them for our admonition.

III. Date

Written during wilderness wanderings: 1440-1400 B.C. Covers about 215 years—from the going of Jacob's family to Egypt to the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. Note: From covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3) to journey to Egypt, 215 years; from then to Exodus 215-more years (Gal. 3:17). Sir Charles Marston in The New Knowledge about the Old Testament identifies Thotmes III as the Pharaoah of the Oppression (1501-1447) and Amenhotep II as the Pharaoh of the Exodus (1447-1423). The exodus took place about 1440 B.C.

IV. Purpose of the Book

To show how God's promise to Abraham (Gen. 15:12-16) was fulfilled in the triumphant delivery of the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Also to record the origin of the Passover and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.

V. Theme

Title of the book used by Jews "these are the names" after 1:1. But in the Septuagint called "Exodus." This Greek word used in Hebrews 11:22 of this event. Also in Luke 9:31 of the death of Christ and in II Peter 1:15 of Peter's death. So the book tells of the bondage of the children of Israel in Egypt, their redemption and subsequent instruction in holy life and worship. There is a spiritual parallel in the life of each child of God: in bondage of sin, redeemed from this bondage, then instruction in holy life and worship.

VI. Key Verses: 3:8—God's purpose

12:23, 29-31—Accomplishment of that purpose

19:4-6—Instruction of those redeemed

Key Word: redeem—10 times

Outline of Exodus

Possible outline: Historical Section (Chs. 1-18); Legislative Section (Chs. 1940). The following is a longer outline based on events in the book. (Same number of chapters in book as there were years of wandering—forty!)

I. Israel in Bondage (Ch. 1)

II. Israel Delivered (Chs. 2-14)

Ch. 2 A deliverer raised up but rejected when he first appears; Moses goes to Midian

Ch. 3 Moses is called to be Israel's deliverer but hesitates

Ch. 4 Moses raises two objections which are answered by Jehovah; he then returns to Egypt

Ch. 5 Pharaoh refuses to let Israel go but instead lays heavier burdens on them

Ch. 6 God renews His promise to Moses; the family of Moses

Ch. 7 Signs are shown to Pharaoh but he refuses to let the Israelites go. The First Judgment—river turned to blood

Ch. 8 Three more judgments placed on the land; two compromises offered

Ch. 9 Three more judgments

Ch. 10 Two more judgments

Ch. 11 The final judgment predicted

Ch. 12 The final judgment announced—death of the firstborn; way of deliverance provided for Israel—the Passover

Ch. 13 The firstborn set apart for the Lord; the journey begins under divine guidance

Ch. 14 Israel led through the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army destroyed

III. The journey to Mt. Sinai (Chs. 15-18)

Ch. 15 The Song of Moses; bitter water made sweet at Marah

Ch. 16 Hunger satisfied with quail and manna

Ch. 17 Water from the rock; victory over Amalek

Ch. 18 Moses' father-in-law gives advice


Ch. 19 The Law offered and accepted by the people

Ch. 20 The Ten Commandments

Note the three divisions of the Law:

The Commandments—express the will of God with regard to some all-important matters concerning the individual's relationship to God and man (Exod. 20)

The Judgments—social regulations (Exod. 21-23)

The Ordinances—religious ceremonials (Exod. 24-31)

Chs. 21-24 The Judgments

Concerning masters and servants, offenses punishable by death, compensation for injury to life and limb, property rights, penalty for theft, and many miscellaneous laws

V. The Tabernacle and the Priesthood (Chs. 25-40)

Chs. 25-27 Instructions given for building the Tabernacle Observe its limited size (hardly larger than a room in some homes); its unusual purpose (not where fellow-worshipers could meet as in a modern church building, but where representatives of the people could meet with God); its wealth of typical teaching. These chapters give minute instructions for the materials, furniture, and arrangement

Chs. 28-29 Instructions regarding the priesthood: garments, consecration, methods of offering sacrifices, etc.

Chs. 30-31 Further details about the Tabernacle

Chs. 32-34 Parenthetical—the people worship the golden calf; Moses intercedes for them

Chs. 35-40 Tabernacle constructed from the plans previously given



I. Author

Moses (see notes on Pentateuch. Also see 1:1, "The Lord called unto Moses." These or similar words are used about thirty-six times in the 27 chapters. Moses referred to by name fifty-five times in the book. (Also Cf. Matt. 8:4 with Lev. 14; Rom. 10:5 with Lev. 18:5.)

II. Recipients

1. Israel (see 1:2; 4:1-2; 7:23, 29; 11:2; etc.)

2. Especially Aaron and his descendents (the priests) (see 6:9; 6:25; 16:2; 21:1, 17; 22:2)

III. Date

Passover took place on the fourteenth day of the first month (Exod. 12:2-3, 6). Tabernacle set up one year later—first day of first month of second year (Exod. 40:17). Numbers begins first day of second month of second year (Num. 1:1). Leviticus therefore given during the first month of the second year after leaving Egypt. This was about 1439 B.C.

IV. Purpose of the Book

1. It was written to show how God would fulfill His promise of Exodus 25:22

2. It was written to instruct Israel in the holy life which God expects of those who are His worshipers (11:45; 19:2)

3. It was written to provide instruction for the Levitical priesthood as to the proper conduct of their office. (See II-2)

4. It was written to provide prophetic illustrations (types) of the coming Saviour and the work He would accomplish (Heb. 10:1).

Observe the title: Leviticus—from Septuagint, means "the Levitical book." Of course the priests were from the tribe of Levi (Heb. 7:11), but the Levites as such are mentioned only in 25:32, 33. Numbers deals more fully with the Levites; Leviticus with the priests. In the Hebrew Old Testament it is called by the equivalent of the first three words: "And he called." These opening words are significant with regard to this particular book, as it contains God's call to worship and to holiness.

Note also the connection between the books already studied:

Genesis—man's creation and fall into sin; God's promise of a Redeemer and His choice of Israel as the nation through whom that Redeemer should come.

Exodus—Israel's deliverance from bondage; closes with the place of worship set up.

Leviticus—The proper method of worship given in detail.

V. Theme:

A holy people worshiping a holy God "in the beauty of holiness" (I Chron. 16:29).

VI. Key Verse: Leviticus 19:2

Key Words: holy (plus sanctify, sanctified,sanctuary, hallow, hallowed—all from same Hebrew root) used one hundred thirty-one times. Key idea of this word is "set apart"

Sacrifice (with offering and oblation) about three hundred times

Clean and unclean—about two hundred times

Atonement—thirty-six times

Outline of Leviticus

I. The Proper Way of Approach to a Holy God Chs. 1-10)

1. Through Sacrifice (Chs. 1-7)

Here is a detailed statement concerning the five different offerings which were to be made by Israel. These offerings are a type of Christ; they contain a typical description of what Christ has accomplished for us.

Sweet savor offerings—

Ch. 1 The Burnt Offering

Ch. 2 The Meal Offering; the only unbloody offering. Consisted of meal and oil, or of green ears of corn dried, and oil

Ch. 3 The Peace Offering

Non-sweet savor offerings—

Ch. 4 The Sin Offering

Ch. 5 The Trespass Offering

Chs. 6-7 The Laws of the Offerings—Further instructions as to how the priests shall handle each offering

2. Through the Priesthood (Chs. 8-10)

Ch. 8 The consecration of the priests (cf. Exod. 28, 29)

Ch. 9 The ministry of the priests begins

Ch. 10 Nadab and Abihu smitten because of offering "strange fire"

II. The People of God to be Holy (Chs. 11-24)

Ch. 11 Their food

Ch. 12 Ceremonial purification in motherhood

Chs. 13-14 Purification in leprosy

Ch. 13—Rules for judging whether person is clean or unclean, how to detect and diagnose leprosy

Ch. 14 —"The law of the leper in the day of his cleansing"

Ch. 15 Various rules of cleansing in private life

Ch. 16 The Day of Atonement—an annual time of national purification

Ch. 17 Their place of worship and their solemn prohibition—"eat no blood"

Chs. 18-20 The relationship of the people with one another to be holy

Chs. 21-22 Regulations for the priests (priests—holy; offerings –unblemished)

Ch. 23 The seven special seasons of worship (the annual feasts):

1. Passover—first month, fourteenth day (approx. April); speaks of the cross

2. Unleavened Bread—first month, fifteenth to twenty-first days; speaks of holy life after conversion

3. First fruits—at the beginning of the barley harvest; type of resurrection of Christ

4. Wave loaves—fifty days after first fruits. Speaks of Pentecost, beginning of Church

5. Trumpets—First day of the seventh month (about our October); typical of the coming of the Lord and the regathering of Israel

6. Day of Atonement—tenth day of the seventh month (see ch. 16); speaks of atonement for Israel (Zech. 13:1; Rom. 11:26)

7. Tabernacles—fifteenth to twenty-first days of the seventh month; refers to millennial blessing; Israel restored to separated place

Ch. 24 Instructions for oil and showbread; penalty for blasphemy

III. The Law of The Land of God (Chs. 25-26)

Ch. 25 The Sabbatic year; the year of Jubilee; provision for the poor

Ch. 26 General promises and warnings

IV. Vows to god (Ch. 27)



I. Author

Moses (see introductory notes on Pentateuch cf. also 33:1, 2)

II. Recipients

Mostly history and thus recipients not named. Sometimes Israel is mentioned (6:2; 15:2); or Aaron, the High Priest (8:2).

III. Date

This book covers most of the wilderness wanderings of Israel—about 38 years, 9 months. (Num. 1:1; 33:38; 36:13; Deut. 1:3). Evidently written or at least completed at the close of this period, about 1401 B.C.

Excerpted from "The Bible Book by Book: An Introduction to Bible Synthesis" by G. Coleman Luck. Copyright © 2013 by G. Coleman Luck. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Thanks for reading!

Join BookDaily now and receive featured titles to sample for free by email.
Reading a book excerpt is the best way to evaluate it before you spend your time or money.

Just enter your email address and password below to get started:


Your email address is safe with us. Privacy policy
By clicking ”Get Started“ you agree to the Terms of Use. All fields are required

Instant Bonus: Get immediate access to a daily updated listing of free ebooks from Amazon when you confirm your account!

Author Profile

Amazon Reviews