In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
    Now the Lord had said unto Abram… I will make of thee a great nation. Genesis 12:1-2
    God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses… come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.
    Exodus 3:4,10.

    This book contains the mind of God, the fate of man, the way of salvation the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions immutable.
    Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is a traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.
    Christ is its grand object, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

    The Bible Correspondence Course includes eight lessons and is designed to give you an overall picture of the Bible. You will learn the general content of the Bible, how to rightly divide the word of God, what to do to be saved, and how to live the Christian life.
    The Bible contains 66 books; 1,189 chapters; 31,173 verses. The Bible contains two testaments: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament includes 39 books from Genesis through Malachi; the New Testament includes 27 books from Matthew through Revelation. The Bible was written by about 40 men over a period of sixteen hundred years. The writers came from all walks of life. Some were shepherds, farmers, kings, fishermen, physicians, tax collectors and others. The writers lived in different centuries; many of them were unknown to the others, yet they never contradicted each other. This was true because all of them were directed by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
    The Bible covers three ages or dispensations: the Patriarchal Age, the Mosaic Age, and the Christian Age. The Patriarchal Age began with the creation and continued for about 2,500 years or until Moses led God's people out of Egypt and they came to Mt. Sinai. The Mosaic Age (called this because Moses was the lawgiver) began at Mt. Sinai and continued until Jesus died on the cross or about 1,500 years. This age is sometimes called the Jewish Age. The Christian Age began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and still continues today. You will notice from the illustration of the three ages that the circle for the Christian Age is not complete, indicating that the Christian Age is not yet finished. We live in the Christian Age and at the proper time we will study God's will for us.

    Lesson 1

    Our first lesson is devoted to a study of the Patriarchal Age, so called because it had this type of government and worship. You will notice that the circle for the Patriarchal Age is highlighted, indicating that this is the age we are studying for this lesson. The word Patriarch means a father-ruler of a family or tribe.
    During the first age of Bible history there was no special priesthood such as the priests of Israel that came from the tribe of Levi. The father in the family or the oldest man in the tribe was considered the ruler and lawgiver. God spoke directly to this father-ruler or Patriarch to make His will known. No part of the Bible was written during the Patriarchal Age.
    Not only was the father considered the ruler and lawgiver, he was also the priest. He built altars and offered sacrifices for the family. The altars could be built anywhere and were usually erected on special occasions. Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered sacrifice upon leaving the ark (Genesis 8:20). Abram (later called Abraham) built an altar to the Lord after he was promised the land of Canaan (Genesis 13:14-18). Jacob built an altar at Bethel because God had appeared to him there when he fled from his brother Esau (Genesis 35:6-7). Because the father-ruler type of government and worship prevailed, this period of Bible history is called the Patriarchal Age.

    Since this was the first age it is remembered for many outstanding events. The creation (Genesis 1). The first sin and the fall of man (Genesis 3). The first offering (Genesis 4:3-5). The flood (Genesis 7:11-24). The call of Abram (Genesis 12:1-3). The covenant of Circumcision (Genesis 17:9-14). Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, became ruler of Egypt (Genesis 41:37-46). Jacob and all his family moved to Egypt (Genesis 46:5,6,26). Israel became slaves to Egypt (Exodus 1:7-14). Moses was born (Exodus 2:1-10), and grew up in Pharaoh's house (Exodus 5:10). When he was grown he attempted to deliver his people but had to flee to Midian where he lived for forty years (Exodus 2:11-15). God appeared to Moses through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-4) and sent him to Egypt to deliver His people (Exodus 3:7-10).
    Moses, with his brother Aaron, went to Egypt to deliver Israel (Exodus 4:19-31). Ten plagues were brought upon the Egyptians to prove to them that God could and would deliver His people (Exodus 7:19-12:31). Pharaoh let Israel go from Egypt (Exodus 12:31-33). Israel was in Egypt 430 years (Exodus 12:40). When they left there were 600,000 men besides the children (Exodus 12:37). Some Bible scholars think that there were over a million Israelites including women, children and all who fled from Egypt.
    Pharaoh changed his mind and with his army overtook Israel at the Red Sea. Moses stretched his hand over the sea, the waters parted and Israel went through the sea on dry land (Exodus 14:9, 21-22). The Egyptians attempted to cross the sea through the same path in pursuit of Israel. Moses stretched his hand over the sea again, the waters returned and the Egyptians were destroyed (Exodus 14:26-28). Israel was now across the Red Sea, separated from Egypt and free from Egyptian bondage.
    After leaving the Red Sea they camped at:
    1. Mara (Exodus 15:22-26)
    2. Elim (Exodus 15:27)
    3. The wilderness of Sin. Here manna was given them to eat (Exodus 16:1)
    4. Rephidim (Exodus 17:1)
    5. Sinai (Exodus 19-1-2). Here ended the Patriarchal Age.

    We begin to learn in the Patriarchal Age that God has always required His people to have faith in Him and to obey.
    God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden (Genesis 3:2-3). They ate the forbidden fruit, disobeyed God and were driven out of the garden (Genesis 3:3-24).
    God told Noah to build the ark (Genesis 6:13-14). Noah obeyed God and was saved from destruction by the flood. "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he," (Genesis 6:22).
    God told Abraham to leave his country and go to another land. Abraham obeyed God and became the father of the great Hebrew nation. (Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrew 11:8).
    Let us remember this great truth: God has always required His people to have faith and to obey Him.

    Question 1
    The Bible contains how many books?

    Question 2
    The Bible contains how many testaments?

    Question 3
    Name the testaments

    Question 4
    The Bible was written by about how many men? Over a period of how many years?

    Question 5
    The Bible covers how many ages? Name them

    Question 6
    Our first lesson deals with which age?

    Question 7
    What does the word Patriarch mean?

    Question 8
    How long did the Patriarchal Age last?

    Question 9
    Where is the Patriarchal Age recorded in the Bible?

    Question 10
    Was any of the Bible written in the Patriarchal Age?

    Question 11
    The Patriarchal Age began with the Creation.

    Question 12
    During the Patriarchal Age people went to Jerusalem to worship

    Question 13
    In the Patriarchal Age all priest came from the tribe of Levi.

    Question 14
    Abraham lived in the Patriarchal Age.

    Question 15
    Moses was born in the Patriarchal Age.

    Question 16
    Israel was in Egypt 430 years.

    Question 17
    Ten plagues came upon the Egyptians.

    Question 18
    Abraham stretched his rod over the Red Sea to allow Israel to cross on dry land.

    Question 19
    Enoch walked with God.

    Question 20
    Noah was the oldest man.

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