What Is the Bible?

The Bible is a collection of sacred writings about God. It consists of 66 different books in two sections – Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament contains writings penned before Jesus came to earth, and the New Testament contains writings penned after Jesus came (including the writings about His life, known as the Gospels.) It is a great resource for us to read to better understand the character of God, and who He is.

Nowadays, the Bible has been translated into many global languages, and even within the field of English translations, there are a wide variety to choose from. But the writings contained within the Bible were originally written in two main languages. The Old Testament writings were written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek.

It is amazing to think that writings penned thousands of years ago, have been translated into so many different languages, and are still read by millions globally on a daily basis. You can actually visit the Chester Beatty Museum in Dublin which houses a large collection of some of the earliest manuscripts still in existence today.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ This tells us that there is something truly special about these writings. They aren’t your everyday pieces of ancient text. But they are God-breathed and inspired by Him. They have a purpose – they are useful for correcting, training and teaching. This explains why millions still read the Bible on a daily basis.

Did you know that Jesus was actually foretold in the Old Testament, many, many years before He was born in Bethlehem? Paul writes in the New Testament book of Romans - “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify” (Romans 3:21). The Law and the Prophets’ is effectively a way of saying the Old Testament. Paul is saying the Old Testament prophesy of the salvation that later comes in Christ. In other words, Jesus is present throughout the Torah, and the Major and Minor prophet books in the Old Testament. His death also points us back to a prophecy from the Old Testament. In Isaiah chapter 53, we read of a suffering servant who was “despised and rejected”, who was “pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.”

The Bible is full of content to help us in our daily lives. The Bible contains writings to help us when we are grieving; when we are sick; when we feel alone; when we feel lost; when we have money worries; and many, many more scenarios. The Bible still has a role to play in our lives. It still speaks to us today. It is still useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

 

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