What's so Special About the Bible?
The World's Best Book
The world's most-read book
Doesn't that make you just a little inquisitive? What's so good about it? Some people believe that it was written so long ago, that it must be out of date for our modern and enlightened age. If that's the case, why are so many copies still being sold?
It is a unique book that tells an amazing story of love at the same time as warning us of hell and showing us The Way to be saved. Many have tried to disprove it and offer alternatives, but only those who read it can tell whether it truly is inspired of God.
It is the only book that I have kept hold of all through my life. My only defence is that it has been my light in a sometimes dark and confusing world and in addition to guidance, has consistently given me hope, wisdom and comfort throughout my life.
Does It Stand The Test Of Time?
Supposing we were created by God- could this be the manual?
A quick overview of the Bible
Historical fact or fiction?
The Centre of The Bible
The End of The Bible
Where to start
A Quick Poll About The Bible
Have you ever read The Bible?
Does The Bible Stand The Test Of Time?
The Bible was written many years ago
When all other books have become extinct, this one has remained. 3.9 billion copies have been sold and many given away. The reason it is still relevant today is that it is fundamentally written about relationships for mankind and mankind has been the same throughout history. When you read about acts of rage, revenge, desperate pleas for help, sacrificial love and caring even in the face of danger, these traits are still prevalent today. They are the same issues we now face and need answers for. Us humans are complex beings. No wonder, if you believe that you were made in the image of God, as it states at the beginning, in the first book of Genesis.
The Bible begins with an account of God the creator, wanting a relationship with us.
Supposing we were created by God- could this be the manual?
At the beginning of the New Testament
The gospels tell us that The Creator God came to earth as a man to show us how to live, die for us, rise from the dead and ascend back into heaven and then he did something amazing. As he was leaving he saw the agony of his followers who had grown to love and know him and he sent them the Holy Spirit who would from then on live within them. From then on the Holy Bible was put together as a manual to show us:
Who Jesus was
How we could have a relationship with God
The kingdom of God and how we should live in it
But now we weren't just left alone to get on with it. We were given The Holy Spirit as our helper.
If you created something, wouldn't you leave instructions for users, so they could get the best out of it? Yet sadly, so many prefer to stumble on their own way, rather than allow The Bible to be their guide and the Holy Spirit, their ever-present helper. Then, when things go wrong, it's the only time they will pray and blame God when magically things don't go their way.
The Bible shows us how God wants a relationship with us
not program us as puppets to do his bidding. What sort of relationship would that be? Yet with free will there comes the need for accountability and when we mess up, a way out.
The Bible shows us The Way back to God
We often hear stories of what heaven might be like and in our scepticism sneer at those who believe there is such a place. Yet if we are honest we all have a secret longing for such a place to exist, where there is no pain or hatred and only love, joy and peace. Even better, if this kind of place could begin now on this earth and not be dependant upon our circumstances. If the Holy Spirit lives within Christ's followers, then this would be his work in us, to save, heal and restore us to live the way God originally planned for us. He will also help us to understand the Bible and reveal the wisdom contained within it's pages, to us.
Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.— John 6v68
A Quick Overview of the Bible
The Bible is divided into two parts,
- Old Testament
- New Testament
which combined, make up 66 books. Each book is divided into chapters and verses.
The Old Testament
The old testament begins with Genesis and shows how, after creating the world and declaring that it was good, man's relationship with God broke down and God gave them the law to save them from themselves. The world was on course for self-destruction. They couldn't keep the law and were constantly failing and feeling guilty, which separated them from God. Even still, there is much written to show us how the Old Testament tied in with the new. There are many prophecies that were written in Old Testament and fulfilled in the New. Indeed, some are still to be fulfilled. Geneologies show how Jesus' descendants went right back to Adam, the first man.
The New Testament
The New Testament begins with the four gospels, followed by many letters written by Paul to the new churches. It was God's ultimate plan to rescue us from our sin and curse that the world was under. Jesus came to fulfill the law when we couldn't and bring in the New Testament, the new covenant of grace. From now on, it would be by faith in Jesus that we would be saved.
The Word Of God and The Scriptures
are other names for The Bible
Is The Bible Historical Fact or Fiction?
There is much written about the historical facts of the Bible
Many fossil records support Biblical accounts of such events as the flood. Sadly we would often prefer to believe anything rather than that a loving God created us as unique beings, not as freak accidents of nature that would simply appear and disappear. So it is no surprise that the scientifically proven facts are not talked about much.
The Centre Of The Bible
Proverbs and Psalms
If you open the Bible at the centre you will find two books, Proverbs and Psalms. Proverbs contains a collection of wise sayings written mainly by Solomon, who was a King of Israel. He asked God for wisdom (what king wouldn't need it) and God and God knew his heart and gave it to him. These proverbs are amazing. You can read one a day and put them to the test. The Psalms are written mainly by King David, Solomon's father, who, despite living before the Holy Spirit was given to us, had a real relationship with God. He knew what it was to fail too and every time God forgave and accepted him again. Maybe this was why his Psalms were written and often put to music, from a thankful heart that knew forgiveness.
The Bible Message
The End Of The Bible
The final book is Revelation and is very pictorial
It was written by John who had a vision and wrote down what he saw. He explains much about heaven. Many science fiction films that we see today have similarities of wonders and signs that point to the climax of all that has gone before. There is something in us that dreams of a better future that exceeds our lives as we know them today. Revelation (and indeed St Paul's letters before) shows us the importance of the pure and holy church, his bride, for whom Jesus will return at the end of this age, and the difference between the true church and false church. It warns us of deceptions and summarises the Bible by reminding us of the need to be diligent and to know The Truth. Reminding us of what Jesus said:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.— John 14v6.
All Scripture Is Inspired By God
This is what Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy 3v16 in the New Testament. Timothy was young and had much to learn. Paul exhorted him that it would set things straight and teach right from wrong.
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Where To Start
The book of Matthew in the New Testament would be an excellent place to begin reading the Bible. Understand the New Testament and the Old will make more sense.
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© 2015 Christine Hulme