Module 1: The Old Covenant
1/0 - Introduction
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.Getting Started
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Welcome to 'Modulo' - a series of 'Modules' that build into an exploration of God and Christianity, which many people find helps to give their life meaning.

The Modules are divided into several parts, the first part (numbered /0) gives an Introduction, whilst the rest of the parts (numbered /1 - /2, etc) explore the topic in detail and provide some sample questions to help get a discussion going.

Part 1/1 provides a revision of the basics in just one session for those who've some experience of Christianity, before the remaining parts go on to explore how God made himself known to humanity, people's response then, and our response today.

We recommend you do the alternative 'Module 0' in 6 parts if you're a newcomer to Christianity, in order to create a 'Firm Foundation', before re-joining us at part 1/2. (Return to top)
......Module 1 Index
    1/0  Introduction (this page)
    1/1  A Quick Revision
    1/2  Creating A Nation
    1/3  Freed For Service
    1/4  Covenant Agreed
    1/5  Rules For Living
    1/6  God Keeps His Promise

    You only need Module 1 or Module 0. You don't need both.

    All Modules give Bible references - you may like to look up some of them to give authority to the material presented.
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Pkicture of a Bible
.The Bible – Why Different Versions?
Christians refer to the Bible a lot, so it's good to know something about it. Surely the Bible is the Bible? Well, yes and no! The Old Testament was mainly written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, so for most of us it has to be translated. The problem is that it's often impossible to get exactly the same meaning in one language as in another, so the translators have to make the best interpretation they can.

It depends what you want from the translation. Do you want a version that's easy to read, or a 'scholarly accurate' translation, even though that may be harder to understand?

Also, words change their meaning over time, eg: 'nice' used to mean 'over fussy' but now means 'pleasant', so an older translation can get out of step with modern meaning and give us a false understanding, or even miss the point altogether.

Sections of the Bible were translated at different times but the first English translation of the whole New Testament (and parts of the Old Testament) was made by William Tyndale early in the 16th century.

King James I of England directed that a new translation be made by a group of eminent scholars, and in 1611 this became the 'Authorised' or King James Version (KJV), still in use today.

In 1970 a new translation into current English was made called the New English Bible (NEB). Other mainstream translations include: 1966 the Jerusalem Bible (JB) often used by Roman Catholics; 1966 the Good News Bible (GNB); 1978 the New International Version (NIV); 1989 The New Standard Revised Version (NRSV); and 1995 the Contemporary English Version (CEV) – several of these have been updated and re-issued since. Specialist translations have also been made, eg: in 2004 a version that uses common slang (The Word on the Street), and even more recently a version in mobile-phone 'Text' shorthand. (Return to top)
  • The first complete translation was made by St Jerome in 405AD. His translation into Latin was used by other translators and became the basis of the Bible in common usage for many centuries, so was known as the 'common version', or 'The Vulgate' from the Latin for 'common'.

  • Many Bibles have the word 'LORD' in capital letters. This signifies it's referring to God and not to an earthly lord.

  • Different translators don't agree on what everything means. Even in the King James Bible there's lots of words or phrases in italic print for no apparent reason – they're the view of the majority, but not all of the translators who worked on it.

  • Modern translators therefore prefer to go back to the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts that are found from time to time, to avoid errors made in earlier translations.

  • It's a good idea to look at several versions and choose one that suits you best, or the one that's used by your church in its worship.
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Old Testament 'Time Line'
Diagram, Old Trstament 'Time Line'