Bible Basics

Bible Basics

Site: Rock Basics

Section: OriginsProphetsGospelsLetters

Some key verses are either skimmed over and forgotten if we read it quickly, or are somehow plain missed. Here's my summary:


Genesis 1:1  hub

Foundational concept of "In the beginning God". Compare John 1:1.

The whole story of Creation is critical, see Genesis 1:1-2:4, then retold from another perspective in Genesis 2:4-25.

Genesis 3:6  hub

This one verse describes the heroic (sarcasm) clash of good and evil where the forces of good took their stand once and for all against the forces of evil and were tricked and overpowered by evil's cunning. Oh, wait, it wasn't that dramatic. Too bad. This is one case where truth was not stranger than fiction. (Commentary: how often do all of us repeat the same tragedy of nonchalantly giving into temptation with no serious thought for the devastation that could result?)

Genesis 4:7  hub

God points out to Cain that he (like his father) has been given the choice of good and evil. (Commentary: we all have the same choice and the same responsibility.)

Genesis 6:5-7  hub

God reveals three fascinating pieces of insight here. First He summarizes the character of humanity, and then He shares how that makes Him feel. Third, He declares the flood will be global. Compare Genesis 8:21 (spoken after the flood was over) and Jesus' sadness in Matthew 23:37. Fortunately there's Romans 5:8.

Genesis 12:1-4  hub

This is why the Israelites (later to be called the Jews) exist. See also Genesis 15:6 and James 2:23.

Exodus 3:13-15  hub

God tells His name to Moses. Jesus makes reference in John 8:58.

Exodus 7:10-12  hub

Anyone can do magic, but God operates on a whole other level.

Exodus 9:16  hub

One of God's universal priorities is the glory of His name. Compare Ezekiel 36:22-23 and 1 Corinthians 10:31. In Isaiah 43:7 He says He created us specifically for His glory, which gives new depth to the disappointment God expressed in Genesis 6:5-7.

Exodus 20:1-20  hub

These are the famous 10 commandments. These represent the minimum system requirements to being human. (Note the 10th essentially says don't even think about the first 9.) Repeated in Deuteronomy 5:5-22 to emphasize their importance and summarized by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40. While there are a lot of "don't" in there, God's purpose is not to restrain us, not to limit us. Any parent knows children need to have boundaries that are sometimes simpler to communicate in terms of "don't." It's important to lay a proper foundation, and only when that is firm can the fun begin, such as mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11.

Exodus 23:20-26  hub

God describes His strategic plan for the Israelites' return to the promised land. Compare Genesis 13:14-17.

Exodus 34:10-16  hub

God explains why He expects the Israelites to discriminate and be generally intolerant by today's standards. However, whenever God commands it, it's always because of worldview and beliefs, never because of demographics (biological characteristics, location, family, wealth, intelligence, style preference, etc.) God knew what corruption would happen if His people didn't stay close to Him. By 2 Kings 17:7-20 God's warnings had long been proven justified.

Deuteronomy 6  hub

Moses's wonderful summary of God's strategic plan, God's character, and God's expectations for us, all at the same time. (See especially Deuteronomy 6:10-15.)

The next 3 chapters are also amazing insight into the character of God, as Moses essentially tells the Israelites all the ways they're going to disrespect God in the next couple centuries, and yet knowing this God still gives them the chance. Because He still remembers what He told their forefather in Genesis 17:4-6. Also reminds us of Paul's famous observation in Romans 5:8.

Deuteronomy 9:4-6  hub

Do you ever feel like you have to put up with a lot of people who don't live up your expectations, but they're the best people available? If so, God can relate. Here God is warning the Israelites not to get big headed about what God is about to give & do with them. Then about 700 years later the Israelites have royally degraded. In Isaiah 10:5-19 God proclaims He's going to use the Assyrians to punish His people for becoming so wicked, but at the same time He's warning the Assyrians not to let this go to their head. The fact that God is using them doesn't mean they're all that great (2 Kings 19:35-37). God is great, and He deserves our honor and obedience.


Judges 3:1-2  hub

When I was young in the faith, I wondered for years why God didn't just wipe out all of Israel's enemies. Well, here's an important part of why. And don't read this wrong, God's not pro-war. Remember, God knows the human heart, it's us who can't abolish war.

1 Samuel 15:22  hub

The prophet Samuel makes the point that God is not a ritualistic, animistic, divinity. Being His follower is not a "paint by numbers" formula where if we do this then He'll do that because our actions (rituals, traditions) obligate/​require Him to.

1 Samuel 16:6-7  hub

God has much healthier perspective than us. There are many times in our life we wonder if we're more humane than God, but we're not: Psalms 14:1-3.

Job 1:6-7  hub

Satan is real, powerful, has many followers, but in the end is under God's authority. See also Matthew 4:1, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, Revelation 12:3-4 and 20:10.

Ecclesiastes 1:18 hub

While wisdom is great, it's a burden.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 hub

Solomon, known as the wisest and wealthiest human king Israel ever had, uses the word "meaningless" 33 times in this book (NIV translation) beginning with Ecclesiastes 1:2 and Ecclesiastes 1:12-14. However, his conclusion at the very end is profound. We want our dreams and possessions and accomplishments to have intrinsic value, but they don't.

Regarding Solomon, don't forget the great conversation he had with God when he first became king, recorded in 2 Chronicles 1:6-12

Isaiah 1:16-17  hub

The prophet Isaiah's articulation of a recurring theme of some of God's top priorities for mankind. (Compare Exodus 22:22-24, Psalm 82:3-4, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Jeremiah 22:3, Amos 5:14-15, Micah 6:8, Zephaniah 2:3, Zechariah 7:8-10, James 1:27, and follow-up by Jesus himself in Matthew 23:23.)

Jeremiah 1:5  hub

Abortion is murder, sin, and not a "choice" we should encourage anyone to make. Notice in Luke 1:4-15, John the Baptiser was another person who played a part in God's story before he was even born.

Malachi 2:13-16  hub

The prophet Malachi's description of God's opinion on divorce.

Malachi 3:8-12  hub

The prophet Malachi's description of God's opinion on tithing (and the lack thereof).


Matthew 4:17  hub

Jesus says repentance is important. (Implication: belief by itself isn't enough. Compare Luke 6:46.) This is not a new-testament-only concept, compare Ezekiel 18:30-32.

Matthew 7:21  hub

Jesus describes what His disciples (followers) look like. Compare John 8:31. (Commentary: in other words: obedience is critical, remember 1 Samuel 15:22. Following God isn't about believing in Him, but believing Him.)

Matthew 10:16  hub

Jesus doesn't want mindless followers but intelligent ambassadors. Compare Luke 16:8 and John 3:12.

Matthew 22:36-40  hub

Jesus answers a skeptic who asks what is the most important commandment in the law. Notice the word "don't" isn't any part of His answer (i.e. don't do this, don't do that). Compare Matthew 7:12

Matthew 28:2-7  hub

He wasn't just a martyr, He came back from the dead just as He said He would. This was proof He was who He said He was.

Matthew 28:18-20  hub

Jesus's "great commission" after His resurrection and just before His ascension, mentioned here for two reasons.

  1. It could be considered the prime directive for Christians.
  2. It's divine endorsement of the concept of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

John 3:16-17  hub

Jesus shares God's strategic plan for His visit to Earth. Follow-up in John 12:31-32.

John 10:30  hub

Jesus claims to be of the same essence as God the Father, therefore claims to be God, as nothing created can be the same as the infinite God. This interpretation of Jesus's comment is confirmed by the reaction of the crowd in the very next verse (they try to kill him for blasphemy). See John 10:31-33, and earlier John 5:18.

John 13:34  hub

It's pretty rare that Jesus gave commands. There's not a lot of clarity on what was old if this was new, but I have a perspective. In the beginning God said to fill the Earth (Genesis 1:27-28). This was the prime directive for humanity for thousands of years. Which begs the question: now that we've done it, now what? Well, this verse is as good of an answer as any.

John 14:30  hub

Jesus refers to Satan as the prince (ruler) of the whole earth. Indeed, Satan was the most beautiful creation God made (Ezekiel 28:11-17). This should inform us that when Satan seems to favor or help anyone, he's totally just using them and will utterly dispose of them when finished (1 Peter 5:8). No matter how smart or skilled or special we think we are, he's all that and an order of magnitude more, has no reason to 'ally' with any mere mortal (Hebrews 2:6-9) and will always turn on you (John 8:44). But even though Satan is the rebellious prince, with all the power and authority that comes with the position, Jesus is still the King (Deuteronomy 10:17 and Revelation 19:16). We must always be careful here, for even if we are a servant of the king we are never an equal to the prince (Jude 1:9). Even if we claim Galatians 4:4-5 then consider Satan the oldest and firstborn son, compared to us (Deuteronomy 21:17).


Acts 15:28-29  hub

The apostles summarize their expectations for gentile (non-Jewish heritage) believers (Christians) after strict Jewish believers tried to impose the entire law of Moses on them.

Romans 10:9  hub

Eternal salvation in a nutshell.

Galatians 5:22-23  hub

The fruit of the spirit is a much cited concept.

Ephesians 2:8-9  hub

A critical point most important for us prideful people. Compare Romans 5:8.

Ephesians 6:10-18  hub

The armor of God and the nature of spiritual warfare.

Philippians 2:9-11  hub

The apostle Paul describes who Jesus was. Compare Colossians 1:15-20.

1 Timothy 4:1  hub

We've been warned that false prophets are (unfortunately) very real. This isn't politically correct in our current culture, but it's none-the-less eternally important to be discerning (1 John 4:1-3). Don't trivialize the fact that we may be spiritual beings but we lack any direct perception of the spiritual world (meaning we must rely on spiritual things presenting themselves to us rather than us being able to perceive them on our own.) Discernment doesn't come by willpower or physical strength but by a healthy combination of (a) maximizing education/​wisdom and (b) relentlessly investing in our relationship with our Creator, God.

1 John 1:5  hub

The apostle John summarizes the character of our Creator as both the presence of light and absence of darkness. See also 1 John 4:7-8 where he further summarizes God's character as love. (Contrast Genesis 6:5-7 and John 3:19, but see John 13:34 and 1 Peter 4:8.) (Commentary: the concept of God being love is critically important in the context of Genesis 1:27 where God made us to be like Himself. But for love to exist, freedom of choice must also exist (remember Genesis 4:7). Because we habitually lower the bar for ourselves and each other, God provides a solution mentioned in Ezekiel 36:26 and of course, John 3:16-17.)
Last Modified: Saturday, October 14, 2017

( back | top )