What Is The Bible?
The Bible is the written Word of God, which was penned down by about 40 different men who were inspired or moved by the Holy Spirit to write the words of God exactly as He commanded them. While God used men to transcribe what He had told them to write, God is the author of every word written in the Bible and even the format in which the Bible is written, whether it is a Jewish or Christian Bible was designed exactly the way God commanded it to be done.
Some of the writers wrote down exactly what God said such as this, “Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.“- Jeremiah 36:2. While others wrote what they experienced, prophecies from God, or of what others experienced such as John was let to write what Jesus told him to write in Revelation. “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” Revelation 1:19.
Every one of the words written were under God’s instructions in order for laymen to be able to know all about God and how they can all have a relationship with Him, all Scripture, not just certain portions of it. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.“- II Timothy 3:16-17. The Scriptures are to be used to teach doctrine, to reprove and correct us from evil, and to teach us how to live righteously. They will help you live right and equip you to work for God no matter where you are.
The Bible is divided into two major sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word “testament” means covenant, which is an agreement. The Old Testament records God’s original covenant with man. The New Testament records the new covenant made through His Son, Jesus Christ. What is the key subject of both two testaments? They both concerned restoring sinful man to a right relationship with God.
God made a law that sin can only be forgiven through the shedding of blood, under God’s agreement in the Old Testament, blood sacrifices of animals were made by man to obtain forgiveness for sin. This was a symbol of the blood sacrifice Jesus Christ would provide under the new agreement with God. Through the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, a final blood sacrifice for sin was made, and a new covenant was made.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” – Hebrews 9:11-15.
Both testaments are the Word of God and we must study both in order to understand God’s message. The terms “old” and “new” testaments are used to distinguish between God’s agreement with man before and after Jesus came to earth to bring permanent redemption to man. We do not disregard the Old Testament simply because it happened before Jesus walked the earth. While we are no longer subject to the law of Moses, often called law of works, they are a reminder that God wants us to live in a way that is pleasing to Him, even though we are now saved by grace and not our works.
The Bible is divided into 66 books. The Old Testament has 39 books. The New Testament has 27. Each book is divided into chapters and verses. Although the content of each book is the Word of God, the division into chapters and verses was made by man in order to make it easier to locate specific passages. It would be very difficult to find a passage if the books were all one long paragraph.