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Solving the Bible Study Puzzle

Buy your copy of the Storyline Bible in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every dayWe know the Bible is one book, with one Author, that tells a single story, but how does that story fit together? We know the stories about Abraham, King David, Jesus, and the Apostles, but it’s challenging to understand how it all fits together in God’s plan. To help solve that puzzle, the Storyline Bible (Zondervan, 2019), which uses the New International Version (NIV) Bible translation (@NIVBible) shows how each individual book, and numerous biblical themes, connect together to tell one story of God’s redemption in Jesus Christ.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, A Study Bible that Weaves God’s Story Together for an Unraveling World]

Through helpful book introductions, concise articles, and colorful infographics, the Storyline Bible provides vital information on the people, places, and events of Scripture while showing how they interconnect to form a single, inspired narrative.

For example, as the introduction to the book of Genesis explains:

When God rebuked Satan in Genesis 3:15, he outlined the plot of the entire rest of the Bible: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Indeed, the devil would fight against Eve’s descendants; but one of them, Jesus of Nazareth, would deal him a fatal blow by defeating sin and death on the cross.

[Read the New International Version (NIV) Bible translation on Bible Gateway]

That’s a great reminder that the story of the Bible is the story of paradise lost and then regained through Jesus’ rescue mission to mankind!

Certain events are mentioned in Scripture several times, but it’s easy to miss their significance. The event and later celebration of Passover is a good example. An article in the book of Exodus in the Storyline Bible unpacks this important account.

Throughout the Old Testament, celebration of the Passover feast commemorated God’s protection and deliverance from Egypt. But there is a much deeper meaning to the Passover, revealed in the New Testament. As Paul proclaims in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

The most important Passover meal of all was the one Jesus celebrated with the disciples in Matthew 26 (also recorded in the other three Gospels). An article there calls our attention to the original Passover, and how it connects with Jesus’ Passover—the Last Supper.

In the Last Supper, Jesus observed the traditional Jewish Passover feast, which recalled God’s deliverance of his people from oppression in Egypt. He applied elements from this meal, the bread and the wine, to the new covenant, for which he was about to die. In doing this, Jesus showed how the exodus from Egypt foreshadowed the ultimate deliverance in Christ.

While Jesus’ Passover/Last Supper looked back to the first Passover, it also looked forward, showing how the storyline runs from the book of Exodus to the book of Revelation.

Jesus’ statement, “I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25) reminds believers of His ultimate victory. So today, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper looks back to the crucifixion, where Christ’s blood was shed for sinners, but also forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb, where the redeemed will join their Lord in glory (Revelation 19:6–10). It is a celebration, indeed.

Along with scores of articles on fascinating topics like these, the Storyline Bible will also encourage you in your daily walk with Christ. The book of Philippians has a lot to say about sanctification—the ongoing work of spiritual maturity in the life of a Christian (e.g., Philippians 2:12-13; 3:13-14). An article on sanctification in the Storyline Bible imparts the following encouraging message.

For the believer, the path of sanctification leads upward toward glorification. Though there are many missteps, pauses, and even reversals along the way, the Christian, by God’s grace, regains his or her direction and footing and resumes his or her walk. The work of sanctification is a daily challenge, but Christians may join Paul in saying, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Thus, they receive with confidence his words of assurance to young believers: “[Be] confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

When it comes to Bible study, the various books and sections of Scripture can look like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with no finished picture for reference. The Storyline Bible provides the big picture, allowing you to fit the pieces together and understand the story of God’s redemption from Genesis to Revelation.

The Storyline Bible is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.

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Filed under Bible, Bible Study, Editions, Study