What’s the Bible about? That’s a good question, but I have a hunch that many people—perhaps even many participating in regular worship communities each week—might have trouble answering it. Many know individual Bible stories or often-quoted passages, but how does it all tie together? Fortunately, two new resources for the Accordance Library have arrived to help Bible readers not only gain an overview of the entire biblical story, but also piece it all together into a unified whole.

IVP OT NT Essentials Covers w/drop shadow This week, we are pleased to announce the release of Old Testament Essentials: Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return by Tremper Longman and New Testament Essentials: Father, Son, Spirit and Kingdom by Robbie Fox Castleman. Together, these two volumes deliver a total of 29 in-depth and interactive Bible surveys that can be studied individually or in small groups.

In the introduction to Old Testament Essentials, Tremper Longman immediately addresses a problem that he’s observed numerous times: the Old Testament is often very foreign—and as a result, neglected—by many Bible readers who are more comfortable sticking with the New Testament. This realization led him to create three goals for Old Testament Essentials: “(1) to acquaint you with the message of the Old Testament, (2) to show you how the Old Testament points to Jesus, and (3) to show you how the Old Testament is relevant to your life” (p. 9).

IVP OT Essentials screenshotTap or click the image above for a larger view of
Longmans’s Old Testament Essentials.

Castleman’s New Testament Essentials, like Longman’s Old Testament companion volume, is more than mere survey of the New Testament. It is also a thematic study that demonstrates how the component parts of the New Testament, written by multiple authors, fit together. Throughout each of the 12 studies, the reader will find interaction with the New Testament’s Christocentric emphasis as well as continued examples of how God has revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

IVP NT Essentials
Tap or click the image above for a larger view of

Castleman’s New Testament Essentials.

Both volumes break down their respective chapters into four parts, which can be compared in the table below:



Bible Study—The heart of the study is reading the Scripture itself. This begins with a reading assignment (and a memory verse that captures a central theme). The reading assignment is typically a selection of passages from the topic under study. Also suggested are longer reading assignments that cover the whole topic in the Bible. After reading the assigned passage, questions follow that will help you to think about some of the crucial issues of the passage. Bible Study—Each chapter focuses on particular texts within the New Testament to be read, as well as a verse or two suggested for memorization. This is followed by initial questions to reflect on and discuss with others from your own reading and observation of the text.
Reading—Each study includes an essay that covers the high points of the biblical texts under discussion. This essay is followed by more questions that hope to prod even further thinking about the biblical text. Reading—In the reading section, the author offers background information and insights of her own and other scholars concerning the passage or passages and their connection to the canon of Scripture as a whole. The reading is followed by more questions to help you think further about the biblical text.
Anticipating the New Testament—This section in particular explores how Jesus is anticipated in the Old Testament. As St. Augustine said, “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.” Connecting to the Old Testament—The reading is followed by a particular connection the New Testament text has to the Hebrew Scripture of the Old Testament.
The Ancient Story and Our Story—In the final major section we will look at the important implications this ancient text has for our lives today. The Ancient Story and Our Story—The study of the passage ends by considering how the New Testament passage might connect with our own lives today.

These two titles may be purchased individually or together in the IVP Old Testament and New Testament Essentials Bundle. Page numbers are included in the text in case some of your participants are using print copies. However, we think Accordance is the perfect platform for this kind of study because any biblical text can be read and highlighted, and you can answer study questions right in the Accordance User Notes.

Through February 8, get both titles together for only $21.90!

IVP OT NT Essentials Essentials Bundle: OT Essentials & NT Essentials

  • OT Essentials (Longman)
  • NT Essentials (Castleman)


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IVP-OT Essentials Old Testament Essentials: Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return (Longman)


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IVP-NT Essentials New Testament Essentials: Father, Son, Spirit and Kingdom (Castleman)


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