Wednesday, November 3, 2021

IBS-21 Age to Age: Twelve Biblical Eras

 The Big Idea: Understanding the period of time and world situation helps us interpret the Bible

Know the Biblical Eras

There are seasons in life. College days. Newly married. Death of someone in a household. Senior living. There are seasons of a nation as well. A Hebrew word talks about time. עֵת It is often translated “time” or “times” but sometimes translated “seasons” and other words for time periods.

“My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:15a

History is often studied by periods of events/world leaders. The era of a Biblical book is effected by the period of time in history, which is important to Bible interpretation. For instance, the knowledge of Roman world domination is revealing to understanding the Gospels.


Twelve Biblical Eras

The Bible can be summarized by twelve general periods. Note geographic focus, world events/powers and Biblical focus during each period. Click and save this chart to photos or right click and download to save to examine and use later in your studies.

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The Apostle Paul, in Athens, Greece addressed a group of Athenians (~55-60 A.D.) referencing an alter to an unknown God.

“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.

"God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:22-31 NLT

God is at work

God is at work through the entire time frame. Sometimes astonishing is how our Sovereign God uses world powers and world events to work to accomplish His ultimate plan for His people. Enduring world powers, influences and difficulties through the ages of the Bible, God clearly works among His people for His purpose. In our world today take heart. God is not surprised at what is happening, nor is He wondering what to do. He is Lord!


This is the twenty-first in a series called Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.
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1. Think about a distinct season of your life. Was it a difficult one? Tedious? One of great happiness? How long did it last?

2. In the passage from Acts 7:24-21 what do you learn about God? Make a list. How do you see God works in the world with a plan?

3. Reread Acts 7:30-31. What about your life? Have you turned to Him?

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