Ask Your Preacher
How many chapters are in the Bible (both Old and New Testament)?
What is the best yearly reading guide, and where is it available?
Ready To Read
Dear Ready To Read,
There are 66 books in the Bible. 39 are in the Old Testament, and 27 are in the New Testament. There really isn’t a “best” guide for reading the Bible in a year. The best plan is the plan that you will stick to!
There are numerous schedules that will take you through both the Old and New Testament in a year. Probably the easiest way to do this is to go and buy a “daily Bible” that breaks the Bible into 365 chunks. Here is a link to an example. There are other books, such as Halley’s Bible Handbook, that work well to help reference things if you get confused… or you could always write in to us! We also have classes available for download on every book of the Bible at http://sermons.mvchurchofchrist.org. Overall, our advice would be to simply start reading your Bible on a regular basis with a plan that you are likely to continue with. There is nothing more wholesome or fulfilling than simply reading the text God wrote (1 Tim 4:13).
How was it possible that Elisha received Elijah's power?
Passing The Torch
Dear Passing The Torch,
Elisha received Elijah’s ability to perform miracles because God gave it to him. In 1 Kgs 19:16, God tells Elijah to go anoint Elisha as his successor. When Elijah tells Elisha to follow him in 1 Kgs 19:19, it is with God’s blessing.
In 2 Kgs 2:9-15, we see Elijah being taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot and Elisha being given the abilities that Elijah once had. In every step of the process, God was involved.
What is the meaning of “placing your hand under my thigh” when making a covenant in Abraham’s circumstance?
There are two times mentioned in the Bible when someone made an agreement and sealed that agreement by “placing his hand under the thigh”. Abraham made an agreement with his servant in Gen. 24:9, and Jacob made one with his son, Joseph, in Gen 47:29.
Little is known of this tradition of sealing agreements by placing the hand under the thigh, but that doesn’t mean we can’t understand its purpose. When the servant placed his hand under Abraham’s thigh, it had the same effect as shaking hands today. It sealed the agreement and bonded the two parties to fulfill it.
The people of Babel stated, “If we build the tower to heaven, God will scatter us.” How did they know this?
The people of Babel stated the exact opposite of that. In Gen 11:4, the people decided to build a tower, so they wouldn’t be scattered. It is ironic that the building of the tower forced God to scatter them (Gen 11:8-9).
After Cain killed Abel, he said, “Those who come after me will slay me.” My question is: the only law was regarding the eating from the tree of good and evil. How did Cain know about revenge if there was no law then?
Dear Questionable Payback,
Revenge isn’t a matter of law; it is a natural emotional reaction. After Cain killed Abel, God punished him by forbidding him from farming (which had been his previous livelihood – Gen. 4:2) and by forcing him to wander as a fugitive (Gen 4:10-12). Cain feared that others would kill him because that is what he did when Abel made him mad (Gen 4:8). It is natural to fear that others would do to you what you have already done.