What is the Bible? Some claim the Bible is just an old book written by men with wild imaginations, others say it is the inspired word of God himself.
What the Bible is will all depend on who you are. Are you willing to believe what it says, or will you simply view it as a great self-help book?
In this article, we’ll cover what the Bible is, who it is written for, who wrote it, and why Christians hold this book in such high regard.
As Paul writes to Timothy, all scripture is written by God in 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (HCSB)
What is the Bible?
The Bible is the religious text Christians believe is the inspired word of God. While it was penned by many men throughout history, the book itself describes every word in it as God breathed.
Non-believers see the Bible as some ancient collection of stories. Some even believe it is a good self-help book full of good wisdom for life, but not inspired by God.
No matter which of these two groups you fall in, there is no disputing what the Bible is. It is the #1 bestseller of all time, and has the dubious distinction as the most stolen book of all time.
Why is the Bible Crucial?
The book for most denominations is actually 66 books divided into chapters and verses. These books each tell seemingly separate stories of the Hebrew people from creation to the destruction of the Earth, and the setup of a New Heaven and a New Earth.
While the stories seem at times disjointed and separate, a common theme does ring out from each of the 66 books. It is the story of Jesus from beginning to end. It may have been written by men, but it was certainly inspired by God.
The Bible starts at creation to prove that Jesus was there with the Father. It then foretells of a savior who will save the Hebrew people in the Old Testament, giving specific events to prove who Jesus is once he arrives.
The New Testament then tells of the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It tells of how he sent the Holy Spirit to help empower his disciples to plant the church.
The last book of the Bible is Revelation. It is the Revelation of Christ to John, one of Jesus’ disciples. In this book there are many events which are unfolding at this time, and events that have not yet come to pass.
Many Christians point to the historical accuracy and proven prophetic tales within the Bible as proof that it not only is the true work of God, but that it is a living breathing text by which they receive counsel from God himself.
4 Tips for reading the Bible
It is imperative for you to read a book for yourself before you decide what it is. The same is true for the Bible.
Committing to read the Bible is unlike any other task you may have undertaken in the past. It is an ancient story with a confusing format.
This daunting task is made more difficult by it’s sheer size. It is for many the largest book they’ve ever held, much less read.
Many have tried to start at the beginning and read the whole book from Genesis to Revelation. This works for some, but for many (including me), they find it a struggle.
I recommend the 4 following tips for reading the Bible successfully:
Tip #1: If this is your first time to read the Bible, try starting in the New Testament. I personally think the book of John is a comprehensive account of Jesus’ lineage, birth, life, and death. It’s kind of like reading the Cliff’s Notes version of the Bible.
Tip #2: Find a quiet place. Turn off the TV, and find a tranquil time to just sit and read the Bible. It’s ok to get engrossed in the story. Christians say they hear the voice of God when reading this book. Perhaps you will too, but not if you are distracted.
Tip #3: Make notes and keep a journal. Once you start to read, you may find yourself wanting to remember specific passages. This is where having a notebook and journaling about your thoughts or emotions while reading can be very helpful.
Tip #4: Don’t stop. The hardest thing about reading the Bible is gaining traction. As you read, you may find many distractions come up to keep you from continuing to read. Some define these forces as demons or even Satan himself. Whatever you believe, know that there will be days you won’t feel like reading. The best advice I can give is not to stop.
Where can I find a reading plan?
There are many places online to find a reading plan. As a member of the BloggerGrid at Bible Gateway, I recommend browsing their Bible reading plans. Of course, there are others, as well as a great number of Bible apps for mobile devices. I use YouVersion and Bible Gateway apps on my phone for quick reference or for easy access to the Bible.
So what is the Bible and who do you say wrote it? Do you believe that it was merely written by men like David, Solomon, Paul, or John? Do you think it could have been inspired by God himself?
A true follower of Christ believes that it is the very word of God penned by man. I also believe this to be the case. There are times when I read the Bible when I feel like God himself is speaking to me directly.
Does that make me crazy? I really don’t care. This is my experience and the foundation on which I have build my relationship with Jesus. I’ve been asked, “What makes a Christian different?” To me, it is having a personal relationship with their creator.
What do you say?
Do you think the Bible is just some old text? Do you think it is just a hoax? Or you believe as I do that it is the very word of God written by men?
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