We all know the Bible is important. But sometimes it can be hard to understand. But what if there were a way to make it more approachable? What if we could start by understanding the Bible as a story? The Bible is made up of hundreds of stories—the story of creation, the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, the story of Jesus’ birth and death and resurrection. And each one of these stories has its own unique perspective on what it means to be human. These perspectives can help us see our own lives in a new light: where we came from, where we are going, and how we got here. The Bible contains these stories so that we might learn from them and use them as guides for living our own lives well. This series will explore 30 different stories from Genesis through Revelation (and beyond). We’ll take time every day for 30 days to look at one specific passage or passage group from each book of the Bible and consider what it has to say about faithfulness, hope, joy, love—and so much more!
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30 days of understanding the bible
Day 1 – How to Read the Bible
The Bible is the most important and influential book in human history. It’s also a huge, complicated book. If you’re new to reading it, you might be wondering where to start or what you should read next.
Here are some tips from leaders at The Bible Project on how to read and understand the scriptures:
- Start with God’s story
The Bible starts in Genesis 1—2 Kings 2 and tells God’s story from creation through Jesus’s death and resurrection. This narrative arc is called salvation history, as it describes how God saves people from their sins by sending his son Jesus Christ into the world to die for them on the cross (Romans 5). You can find this narrative throughout all 66 books of Scripture, so once you’ve finished Genesis-Kings 2, look for where your faith intersects with this narrative arc elsewhere in Scripture!
Day 2 – Creation and the Fall
The story of the creation and fall is one of the most important stories in all of Scripture, because it explains how we got here. And how we get here matters! It impacts who we are today and where we’re going tomorrow.
In Genesis 1-3, God creates a perfect world for us to live in. This world is beautiful and good—perfect for us to be happy living in together with God (Genesis 1:31). But then Adam and Eve reject God’s original plan by eating from fruit on which He had not declared them allowed to eat (Genesis 3:6). The result? We’ve been separated from our Creator ever since. His perfect plan was ruined because of our disobedience, but even now He still loves us enough to offer forgiveness through Jesus Christ if we will accept Him as Lord and Savior (John 3:16).
The effects of sin persist today because no matter how hard we try or what sacrifices are made, there will always be consequences when someone chooses their own way instead of following instructions given by God Himself
Day 3 – Patriarchs of Israel
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are all patriarchs of Israel. They played an important role in the history of God’s people.
These men had many similarities:
- They were each the father of a nation that would be called Israel.
- They lived in the same area (Canaan).
- Each one was married to two wives named Sarah and Rebekah respectively (Genesis 20:12).
But each man also had his own unique character traits:
Abraham is known as the Father of Faith because he believed God when He told him that his descendants would become a great nation even though he did not yet have any children (Genesis 15:6). Jacob was a deceitful man who lied about being Esau’s brother so he could receive Esau’s blessing instead (Genesis 27). Moses led Israel out of Egypt after God freed them from slavery there; then later led them into Canaan where they conquered cities belonging to other tribes living there at that time (Numbers 33).
Day 4 – Exodus from Egypt – The Law Given
Day 4 – Exodus from Egypt – The Law Given
In this lesson we will learn about the exodus from Egypt, where God delivered his people from slavery and bondage. In this lesson, you will:
- Watch the video below to hear more about the exodus
- Read an article on Exodus (Exodus 1)
- Take a quiz on your understanding of the video and reading.*
Day 5 – The Conquest of Canaan
God told the Israelites to go into Canaan and conquer it.
The Israelites had to fight hard to take over that land.
They had to fight at Jericho, Ai and Gibeon.
Day 6 – The United Kingdom
- David conquers Jerusalem, builds Temple
- David’s sin with Bathsheba
- Solomon builds Temple, Israel becomes wealthy
- Solomon’s sin
Day 7 – Division and Decline
The seventh day of your Bible study will take you from the Golden Age of David and Solomon to the Divided Kingdom. The two kingdoms established after Solomon’s death were Judah (in the south) and Israel (in the north). They battled each other for years, until they were brought together under one ruler—Ahab.
Today we’ll focus on Ahab’s reign, plus some of his greatest battles against Syria and Aram (the Arameans).
Day 8 – Survival and Revival
Today, you’ll look at the prophets of Israel and Judah. The two kingdoms were divided after Solomon’s death in approximately 930 B.C.E., with 10 tribes forming the Northern Kingdom of Israel and 2 tribes forming the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
In both kingdoms, renewal came through prophets who spoke God’s message to their people during times of severe trial and turmoil. In Israel, prophets like Elijah and Elisha were instrumental in leading their nation through drought and famine as well as military conflicts with other nations such as Aram (Syria) or Assyria; in Judah, Isaiah was a major figure during the Babylonian exile while Jeremiah preached against idolatry during captivity; Ezekiel was sent by God to warn Jerusalem that they would be destroyed if they did not repent before it was too late; Daniel became an advisor to kings Nebuchadnezzar II and Cyrus II because he understood how they thought better than anyone else did—he had predicted what would happen before it actually happened!
Day 9 – Christ’s Birth, Life, and Death
The Christmas story is a familiar one. It’s the tale of Jesus Christ, born to Mary and Joseph on December 25th in Bethlehem. The Bible tells us that he was born as many others are, but his death was quite different. He died not by natural causes but because he was crucified for his teachings. Three days after his death he rose again, having been resurrected by God himself!
The birth of Christ is an important part of our faith as Christians because it shows us how God cares for us even when we make mistakes or do bad things—like rejecting his son (who gave himself up for our sake). It teaches us that God can forgive any sin if we ask him with humility and sincerity; this applies not only to ourselves but also to those who have hurt us or those whom we have hurt.
Day 10 – Apostolic Age
The apostolic age is the period of the first century of Christian history, traditionally believed to have begun with the ministry of Jesus and to have ended with the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles (traditionally held to be John the Apostle at Ephesus, although this view has been challenged in recent times).
The earliest followers were Jewish Christians, who were dispersed throughout Judea, Samaria and Galilee. They had all things in common: they shared possessions, ate together in love and were sold out for God. The historical evidence shows us that these early believers lived simple lives without money or houses owning little more than what they could carry on their backs. They preached about Christ’s life and resurrection as recorded in scripture along with his commands concerning discipleship which are recorded in scripture as well as their own personal eyewitness experiences involving miracles performed by Christ himself during his earthly ministry.
Day 11 – Era of Persecution to Constantine
The Era of Persecution
- Diocletian was the last emperor who tried to restore paganism and end Christianity in the Roman Empire. During his rule, he persecuted Christians in many different ways, including having them killed or thrown into prison.
- Constantine became emperor in 306AD and ended persecution against Christians when he converted to Christianity himself in 312 AD. His conversion resulted from a vision of a cross-shaped sign that appeared before him during a battle against Maxentius, who was persecuting Christians at this time (Constantine won). This victory signaled his conversion from paganism to Christianity – Constantine then put an end to all state-sponsored persecution against believers over the next five years by issuing laws protecting them from being murdered or tortured for their faith alone.* After Constantine’s reign ended around 337 AD there were still some persecutions but not nearly as bad as previously under Diocletian or other Roman emperors (this is primarily due to Theodosius’ edict).
Day 12 – Byzantine Empire and Islam
The Byzantine Empire was founded in 330 AD. It began when Constantine moved his capital to Constantinople. The Roman Empire had two capitals: Rome and Constantinople. The Byzantine Empire was a Greek speaking empire, not a Latin speaking empire.
Day 13 – Reformation to Today
You might be wondering what the Reformation was and how it affected the bible. In short, the Reformation was an effort by Christians to reform their church from within. The Protestant Reformation occurred when Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted 95 “theses” on October 31st, 1517, in Wittenberg Germany. This act symbolized a major division between Catholics and Protestants who disagreed about several key issues such as:
- whether salvation is earned by good works or received through faith alone;
- whether Christ is present in bread and wine during Communion;
- whether priests are necessary for salvation
This guide is a 30-day journey through the Bible. There is a lesson per day, each with its own video.
This guide is a 30-day journey through the Bible. There is a lesson per day, each with its own video.
Great for beginners in the faith, this course will cover all major themes of Scripture, including the epic story of creation and God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 1-11). It then moves on to explore how these promises were fulfilled by Jesus’ birth and ministry (Luke 1), teaching us how we can follow Him as His disciples today (John 17).
For seasoned believers who want to learn more about their faith and love reading the Bible but don’t have time for long studies or complicated explanations, this short course will serve as an invaluable resource!
Understanding the Bible just got easier.
Are there parts of the Bible that you don’t understand? Let’s face it – studying the Bible can be complicated. Bestselling author and pastor Max Anders once shared your frustration until he unlocked the secret: Learning the structure of the Bible and how it is put together makes all the difference.
30 Days to Understanding the Bible
- I’ve been a Christian for 51 years, a graduate of a Theological Seminary and have taught some type of Bible Study or Sunday School for 40+ years and I wish I had been introduced to this marvelous book 30 years ago!L. Hudson
- This book is a must have for Bible study!Jeffery S.
- Max has done an excellent job on how to “understand” the Bible – not merely read. The book starts off with helpful background on the History and Geography of the Bible and then goes through the various periods and principal characters. Would recommend this to everyone – regardless of level of prior experience and knowledge.C. Ahuja
- This book is teaching me all the geographical areas first which helps me understand time lines and history better.Julie S.
- I have been a Christian my whole life and attended christian schools. This book is helping me tremendously. Probably with things I have learned but I am not actually getting! I bought 2 and shared the other with a friend who is new to the Bible and is hungry to understand. Definitely recommend this book.M. B.
- This book did not only help me understand my Bible – it helped me cherish my Bible. It helped me to treasure God’s Word. I am more confident in my role as husband and soon-to-be father knowing that I have a resource that can help me explain God’s Word to my family. My personal devotions were enriched after having a better understanding of the geography and culture of the Biblical world.Aaron
- This book is amazing, I read my Bible daily and have done so for years….but…this book has added a new dimension in my understanding of the Word. This is a must have for Bible Study.Roslyn C.
From the author Max Anders on why he wrote the book
“Many years ago, I decided I was going to master the Bible. I was going to begin with Genesis and read through Revelation, and I wasn’t going to put it down until I understood it.
I soon became hopelessly entangled in a jungle of fantastic stories, unpronounceable names, broken plots, unanswered questions, and endless genealogies.
I was defeated. I threw my Bible down, concluding that the Bible was a series of unrelated stories put together in a random order!
The one day I discovered a key. With this key, the fog that enshrouded my understanding of the Bible began to lift.
The key: Learning the structure of the Bible.
If you want to learn to understand the Bible, you must first learn how the Bible is put together.
In one month of reading this book, you’ll learn all the major men and women, all the major events and, all the major points of geography in the Bible and more!
30 Days to Understanding the Bible will be able to put these people and facts together in their proper chronological order and trace the geographical movement as you think your way through the entire bible!
• No previous knowledge is assumed.
• A beginner will not be overwhelmed,
• The established student will find much help organizing and expanding what he or she already knows.
In just fifteen minutes a day for thirty days, you can gain a foundational grasp of the most important book ever written.”
In 30 days, you’ll have a solid grasp on things like…
- The Arc of Bible history
- Main characters and people in the Bible
- Major points of geography and locations of main events
- The 10 doctrines of the Bible
- The stories and themes of the Old and New Testament
- Why there are four Gospels
- How to understand the parables of Jesus
- The importance of miracles, and more!
This book is great for…
- New Christians who want to build a foundational knowledge of the Bible
- Longtime believers and Bible students who want to expand on what they already know
- Anyone who wants to understand the structure and main ideas of the Bible…This book has been used to teach Christians of all ages, from fifth-graders to seasoned theologians!
Bonus Bible study tools included…
- Workbook-style, fill-in-the-blanks questions within each chapter
- A self-test at the end of each chapter to test what you’ve learned
- Maps, charts, and illustrations to help you visualize what you’re learning and make it easier to remember