WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

The Bible is the most wonderful Book. No wonder it’s the best, most printed and translated book in history. The Bible is the account of God’s action in the world and His purpose with all creation. The writing of the Bible took place over sixteen centuries and is the work of over forty (40) different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book. It was written in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years. It is a quite amazing collection of 66 books with very different styles all containing the message God desired us to have. This compilation of booklets contains an astonishing variety of literary styles.

It provides many stories about the lives of good and bad people, about battles and journeys, about the life of Jesus along with letters written to groups of Christians that met in homes. The Bible is inspired and inerrant.  This means that the Bible is from God and that it is without error in everything it addresses. It is the source of the Christian life in that the Bible contains the Words of God and how the Christian is to apply the Words of God to his life. Some say that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales.  But this cannot be for it contains great wisdom and truth and it has been verified throughout history as being accurate.  Its historical accounts are flawlessly accurate.  In fact, archaeology routinely demonstrates the accuracy of the biblical records concerning locations and events recorded in the Bible. It comes to us in narratives and dialogues, in proverbs and parables, in songs and allegories, in history and prophecy.

The accounts in the Bible were not generally written down as they occurred. Rather they were told over and over again and handed down through the years before someone finally wrote them down. Yet the same themes may be found throughout the book.  So along with the diversity there is also a remarkable unity. So what is the Bible? It is a guide for living life to the full. It gives us a road map for the perilous journey of life. Or to put it another way, on our voyage through life’s ocean, we find our anchor right here. It is a storehouse of wonderful stories for children and grownups. Remember Noah and the ark, Joseph’s coat of many colors, Daniel in the lion’s den, Jonah and the fish and the parables of Jesus? In these stories we recognize the triumphs and failures of ordinary people – and we may even see ourselves! It is a refuge in trouble. People in pain, in suffering, in prison, in mourning, tell how they turned to the Bible and found strength there in their desperate hours.

It is a treasury of insight as to who we are. We are not meaningless robots, but we are magnificent creatures of a God who loves us and gives us a purpose and a destiny. It is a sourcebook for everyday living. We find standards for our conduct, guidelines for knowing right from wrong, and principles to help us in a confused society where so often “anything goes”. Basically, the Bible describes the origin of man in the Garden of Eden along with his fall into sin and out of fellowship with God. It then describes how God called out a special people to Himself, the Israelites. He promised the Israelites a future Messiah who would restore mankind’s relationship with God. The Bible is the account of the work of God in history bringing to fruition His prophetic declarations concerning Jesus. Jesus was born of a Virgin, died on the cross, and paid for sins, just as the Bible prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New.

In short, the Bible points to Jesus, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me.” John 5:39. Furthermore, the Bible teaches us that forgiveness of sins is found in Jesus alone, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. The Bible is divided into two Books: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament Books were written by the prophets such as Moses, David, Isaiah, etc. and the New Testament Books written by those who knew Jesus or were under the guidance of those who did.

The Bible contains the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), Historical (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts), Poetical (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon), and Prophetical Books (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi) as well as Pauline (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon) and Non-Pauline Epistles (Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation).

Note: Some authors attribute Hebrews to Paul.

If you don’t have a Bible, please I encourage you to have one. You should study your Bible and do the instructions it give because actually, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16. Even though men wrote the Bible, yet they didn’t think about what to write because God inspired them to. In other words, they wrote as they received from the Lord what to write. This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the travelers map, the pilgrims’ staff, the pilots’ compass, the soldiers’ sword, and the Christians’ character. Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand object; our good is its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgment and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

I love these two quotations from the Bible:

  1. “BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]” (Psalm 1:1-3, AMP).
  2. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

Study the Bible everyday and your life will never be the same!

God bless you!

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