The Christian Bible is divided into two major divisions: The Old and New Testaments. For protestant Christians the Old Testament corresponds to Hebrew Scriptures or Jewish Bible. The Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches and other Christian groups have additional books in their Old Testament that correspond roughly to the what the protestants call the Apocrypha. (For more on this see Canons.)

Many think that the Bible is a book of rules. It is, however, best to think of it as a story—the story of the relationship between God and His creation. The Old Testament begins with God. It tells the story of God creating the world and everything in it—culminating with the special creation of Man. God and mankind share a close fellowship until man declares his independence, rebels or sins. The three are much the same and lead to the problems that are encountered in the rest of the Bible. The result of this initial act of sin is a separation from God and a fracturing of all of creation. Even after this initial rebellion there is a promise of redemption. The dynamics of the relationship between God and his creation is the subject of the rest of the Bible. There is through out a balance between God's righteous anger with his rebellious creation and his love for it. Always His judgment is tempered with mercy.

While all of mankind is in rebellion there are some who remember God. These people are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but they remain more or less faithful because they do heed the call of God. This story is told in detail first through a group of patriarchs and then with a nation called Israel. These people are called out of the rest of humanity to demonstrate that man can live in a covenant relationship with God. They do not do too well. God remains faithful; not all of Israel can. God uses various means to call this people back to faithfulness but as a group they always miss the mark.

Israel is called to be an example to the other nations and they do serve that purpose. Within the story the history of the nation's unfaithfulness is used as a lesson to the current generation. It is clear in the story that Israel (which means he who struggles with God) struggles to maintain their end of the covenant.

But one of the promises that is given to Israel, the man, is that all the earth will be blessed through him. This is the promise of a deliverer who will come and have a wider mission than just to the nation of Israel. Indeed far from being an exclusive club, Israel was always open to others who were seeking to live in the covenant relationship with God.

There is a roughly 500 year gap in the story as recorded from the close of the Old Testament to the arrival of Jesus, which is the beginning of the New Testament. Some of it is rendered prophetically in the book of Daniel. Some of this history is contained in the Apocryphal books and extra Biblical sources so it is not unknown but it is not critical to the story.

The New Testament is so called because it is the presentation of what Christians call the New Covenant. The notion of a New Covenant comes from Jeremiah

31 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31.31-34 ESV)

The New Testament contains the stories of Jesus and the early Christian Church. The Old Covenant had not been a total disaster but the faithfulness of the people had waxed and waned. By the time of the Christ, for many, the practice of Judaism had replaced a relationship with God. The New Covenant was brought in by Jesus who was not welcomed by the elite of his day. The political leadership and the religious leadership both saw him as a threat and had him put to death. (Mankind insisting on their independence from God and the leadership insisting that they should be in the place of God.)

To those who understood His message He became the sacrifice that fulfilled the Old Covenant and the key to repairing the relationship that man was to have with God. Not all of the people present to witness the events of Jesus' life and ministry believed him. Despite the best efforts of the Church and the extant Christians much of the world still scoffs at even the notion of God.

The final result is to be a battle between the forces of man and the forces of God and after that a final judgment. The faithful continue in a new creation and the rebellious to eternal judgment. In the final scenes the forces of man array against the forces of God with full knowledge of what they are doing. This is a final act of rebellion that precipitates the final act of judgment.