These volumes of the Historical Highway and the website are dedicated to my four children Terry, Tony, Rickie, and Robin who sacrificed much of their precious time with their father so these volumes could find their way into your hands.
Now may God Himself bless my four children for their sacrifice.
And may God bless you as you open and read His Word.
THE OVERARCHING CENTRAL THEME OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is the written communication from God to man and it records things we need to know about Him, the world we live in, mankind and ourselves. Though containing sixty-six separate books, the Bible as a whole has a central theme. This theme is the redemption of all creation thru man who is lost and in rebellion against God both because of an inherent fallen nature and by personal choice.
In the beginning of the Bible, Genesis chapter 1 and 2 recounts the initial creation of heaven and earth including Adam and Eve, the animals, etc. in the "unfallen" state of the world. The original purpose for man was to live in harmony and peace with all of creation while having complete access to God. As God's steward, man was intended to have dominion over all the world and at the same time exercise the full extent of all his abilities such as physical, intellectual, artistic, etc.
Most of the rest of the Bible, Genesis chapter 3 thru to Revelation chapter 20, is the clear and concise record of man’s "fall" in the garden, the responses and actions of men in their fallen condition and the redemption process the Lord has provided to redeem all of mankind from the consequences of sin. This redemption is provided by a loving and personal God, who though sovereign, yet is also compassionate and ever-present to protect and preserve both in time and in eternity, by way of covenant relationship, all that trust in Him.
This redemption is not just for men, however, but all of creation. Paul records for us some interesting insights in this redemption process. In Ephesian he tells us “that in the fullness of the times God will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth”. He writes in Romans “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Peter also mentions this redemption in Acts when he preached that God promised through the prophets that He would “restore all things, which God had spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Speaking of the New Heavens and the New Earth that is to come, in Colossians the Message paraphrases Paul's text as ...."that everything of God finds its proper place in Him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe - people and things, animals and atoms - get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His blood that poured down from the cross." In other words, God is redeeming not only man but all of creation, because mankind and creation are inseparably linked together.
At the end of the Bible, in Revelation chapter 21-22 the Lord reveals the New Heaven and the New Earth, where all of creation has been redeemed and is now equal to or better than the original creation. There is no death, no sorrow and all of creation is free to experience all of life eternally in peace and harmony. Scattered throughout the scriptures are references to life in the New Heaven and Earth, giving us little glimpses of our redeemed future looking past earthly fulfillments to eternal rewards. For instance, in the Psalms and prophets we see the text speaking of David’s offspring fulfilling his role as a righteous king in Jerusalem and the kingdom he will establish.
Similarly, when speaking of judgment, at times the Bible looks past the earthly judgments to a very literal eternal judgment when it refers to the earthly as foreshadowing the eternal that is to come.
GOD IS CENTRAL TO THE PURPOSE OF MAN
Having said this, the center of the whole of the Bible is the God who is revealed to us as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. He looks forward and speaks immediately after the fall of “Him” who will bruise the serpents head and put a final end to all that is sinful. In the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms we see “Him” who is going to come as Messiah who will make atonement for the sins of the world and later become the promised King of Israel. Then we see “Him” as He arrives as a baby in the manger and grows into the obedient Servant of God who takes the sins of the world on the cross, dying in our place and is resurrected according to scripture on the third day. He provides salvation to all who believe in Him, past, present and future. Then He returns to heaven and sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in the believer breathing His life in to them and forms a community or church. As the believers in the old testament looked forward to Him in His coming, now we all look back to Him and all He did to secure our salvation on the cross and look forward to His second return and the New Heavens and the New Earth.
It all started in Genesis in a garden where God and man walked together and after the fall all thru the Bible we see God reaching out to man to redeem Him by covenant and sacrifice and it ends in Revelation with God walking with man never again to be separated.
This is the good news of the Bible and is all based on the love of God the Father sending His Son who loved us, died and atoned for our sin and redeemed us and finally sending the Holy Spirit who loves us guaranteeing our redemption and transforms the life of Christ thru us and guides us in all our ways.
Simply put it demonstrates the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in securing for all eternity our redemption.
PURPOSE FOR THE BIBLE
In addition, each book of the Bible has its own central theme which fits into the Bible as a whole and yet stands on its own in clearly communicating to us a distinct part of the overall truth the Bible presents. Therefore to understand the Bible as a whole, it is necessary to understand each book as a whole and the truth it contains before we can come to the full understanding that God has communicated with us for our own protection and guidance. It is of most importance that we never, never, use one text or book against another, but rather understand how they fit together.
The Bible is a book about the lives of people who inter-related with God and received his instruction on HOW TO LIVE in a proper relationship within His kingdom. Every child that has a healthy relationship with his earthly family has been given do's and don’ts for his safety and happiness, so why would you expect anything different from a loving and wise heavenly Father, in order for you to maintain a proper relationship within his kingdom.
The Pharisees and Sadducees saw the Bible as simply a set of holy rules and regulations to obey and force others to obey. In their pursuit to try to be acceptable to God solely by obedience to a set of instructions, they missed out entirely on the grace that was available to them. The whole purpose and intent of the Bible is to instruct you HOW TO LIVE LIFE trusting God. Either you will develop a relationship in the Kingdom of God by grace thru faith in Jesus Christ or you will miss out entirely. How you respond by faith in who Jesus is and what is written in the scriptures is determined by your faith in Jesus, not your obedience to the scripture. Obedience follows belief. This is what the books of the Bible have recorded for our instruction.
The Bible was written so that we might know who God is and how we are to approach Him in light of our fallen nature. It is His desire that everyone "might be saved and that none should perish, but all have eternal life". This is not some hidden or secret truth for just a few insiders, but it is open and plain to everyone who is willing to spend the time it takes to read the Bible and get to know its Author, "who in times past spoke to us through the prophets, but has in these last days spoken to us through His Son Jesus". To assist in this, I have transliterated the names of God in the text of the Old Testament and brought them forward into the text of the New Testament, by transliterating the Greek, and adding the Old Testament transliterated equivalent name, to give a clearer understanding of who "God" is. Generally, God uses different names to convey his strength and character to a person or group of people who are in a position of need. Therefore by understanding the names He uses, we understand more of His nature and trustworthiness.
In the Old Testament God was holy and separate, and the triune nature of God was concealed to a great degree. In the New Testament the triune nature of God is revealed and God is personal and open to all who come to Him by faith in Jesus, while still being absolutely holy.
The Bible is the Word of God and is not only absolutely true and accurate, but is living and sharp, cutting to the heart everyone who tries to present himself acceptable to God by his own merits. It was written by men who themselves had to go through trying times and circumstances in order to establish their faith in the trustworthiness of God, and through this process were transformed into the "holy men" who wrote down the exact words that God superintended. These were compiled into a book which has come to be known to us as the Bible. Some of these men paid for this privilege with their own blood and died horrible deaths for refusing to compromise; and by their own deaths they testified to the truth of God which they had written.
HISTORICAL HIGHWAY THRU THE BIBLE LOGICAL DIVISIONS
While the books of the Bible are not all chronological accounts, there are a number of books that are. What I have done to aid in your understanding of the flow and context of the Bible is to encourage reading of the books that are chronological. I call this the "Historical Highway thru the Bible©". By doing this, the "Historical Highway thru the Bible©" can be read like a story spanning from the beginning of time all the way through to the end of time and into eternity.
The books of the Bible that I have selected to form this "Historical Highway thru the Bible©" are as follows: Genesis, Job, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts and Revelation. The book of Job fits between the eleventh and twelfth chapters of Genesis. Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges and Esther takes place during the time of Israel's exile to Babylon. After the book Nehemiah when the nation of Israel is split into two parts, I have separate sections for the Prophets to Israel and the Prophets to Judah. I have combined the four gospels in chronological order into one book entitled "The Life of Jesus".
To sum up the message of "the Historical Highway thru the Bible©", it is simply "the just shall live by faith". I have added three books to be read after you've finished reading "the Historical Highway thru the Bible©" to let the Bible itself explain this message for you. The books are Romans, Ephesians, and Hebrews. Each of these books helps explain the statement "the just shall live by faith" in a clear, concise manner. Romans covers the aspect of "the just" and explains how you are justified, Ephesians deals with the aspect "shall live" or in view of being justified how we then should now live and Hebrews covers the concept of "by faith" using the many Old Testament examples to show us how to walk by faith.
I have also added Letters and Epistles. These are the books that were given to help the newly formed Church deal with different issues that would face them in transitioning from the Jewish Old Testament to the New Testament Church.
For Comfort for the Heart and Mind, I have added Psalms, prayers offered by men who knew God well, and Proverbs for your reading enjoyment and instruction.
After these books, I have added a small section called “People Matter Most”. In this section I have a graphic that explains the Bible in a simple and understandable graphic, and a few letters covering topics of importance that we may need to be aware of. They are not meant to be an exhaustive study but rather a place to start in your understanding of how to understand the Bible as “you rightly divide the word of truth accurately”.
Lastly I have added two letters to the believers and unbelievers. These are simply brief letters listing some of the rewards for the Believers and a brief letter for the Unbeliever showing that Eternal Judgment is Literal, so that we may take seriously the eternity that we all must face. The rest of scripture was written to be taken literally, so why not this most touchy subject.
In addition to these books, I have listed under the “Names of God”, the names used in the "Historical Highway".
I have also placed a few notes at the end of some of the books, Genesis & Job, Judges, Exodus and Revelation to help you get started keeping notes.
TRANSLITERATED NAMES OF GOD
I have chosen to transliterate the names of God to make the Historical Highway assist in your understanding the nature of God as it was intended in the original manuscripts. By knowing the transliterated names of God you can learn who He is, as each name represents some part of His character that is being focused on according to the hearers need. If you watch the context where the name is first used, it is usually in relation to a weakness or a need of those to whom it was addressed.
Also, I have chosen the transliteration of Jehovah over Yahweh because it was the name the reformers chose to use and it is the most commonly used name for YHWH, Yahweh (transliterated from Hebrew) that the English speaking people understand as the Personal Name of God. To use the name Yahweh, (transliterated from Hebrew) is perfectly correct and if you prefer that, I encourage you to continue. There is no difference in meaning only difference is how we come to use that transliteration.
In transliterating Theos in the New Testament I have chosen to use “Theos, the Triune God” because it is commonly understood in the New Testament that the Trinity is expressed by the repetitive use of “the Father”, “the Son” and “the Holy Spirit”. While many names are transliterated of God in the Old Testament, the New Testament use of Theos is to encompass all those names.
It is my desire to help you approach the Bible in a way that will allow you to understand each book in context as you build on your understanding of the Bible as a whole. This "Historical Highway thru the Bible©" series, www.historicalhighway.com, is a tool that you can keep with you and build on for the rest of your life and is designed to encourage you to read through the Bible. I have laid it out in a format to be read without the distractions of headings, numbers and notes. You can read it on your computer or download PDF’s, AWZ3 and ePubs to read on your eReader devices. The PDF's can be printed and placed in three ring binders so that you can continue to study the Bible in a hard copy study format.
Now may God bless you as you set out on your adventure to read the Bible with the intention of becoming a good soldier of Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of your salvation.
a fellow soldier of Jesus Christ