The Bible: The Book Of Life
What is the Bible
The Bible is God's written revelation of His will to humanity. Its central theme is salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Bible contains 66 books written by 40 authors, covering a period of approximately 1600 years, and consists of an Old and New Testaments. The word "Bible" comes from the Greek word "biblos", meaning "book". The word "testament" means covenant or agreement.
The Old Testament is the covenant God made with people about their salvation before Christ came. It is the covenant of Law. Its authors were kings and princes, poets and philosophers, prophets and statesmen.
The New Testament is the agreement God made with people after Christ came, and is the continuation of the Old Testament, starting with Christ. In this Testament, we find the covenant of Grace that came through Jesus Christ. It was written to reveal to us the character and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Facts About the Bible
The Old Testament begins with God (Genesis 1:1), and the New Testament begins with Christ (Matthew 1:1). The Books of the Old and New Testaments can be grouped as following:
- The books of law (5 books)
- Historical books (12 books)
- Poetical books (5 books)
- Major Prophetical books (5 books)
- Minor Prophetical books (12 books)
- The Gospels (4 books)
- History of the Church (1 book - Acts)
- Pauline Epistles (13 epistles)
- General Epistles (8 epistles)
- Prophecy (1 book - Revelation)
How to Study the Bible
Remember that in God's Word lies the foundation of Christianity: the revelation of the one and only true God. You have to keep in mind a couple of things when reading and studying the Bible.
1- Look for a purpose: God's plan for salvation
The Bible tells us of the origin of sin and how this curse separated us all from God. We discover how utterly impossible it was for the law to bring to us the salvation we need, for by the deeds of the law could no flesh be justified, for "all have sinned" (Romans 3:20-23). Then we find the promise of a Savior, One who was to come "to seek and to save what was lost" and "give his life as a ransom for many" (Luke 19:10; Matthew 20:28).
2- Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance
The Spirit of God will lead us into all truth, to be sure, but God's command is that we do our best to be approved, workmen unashamed (2 Timothy 2:15).
3- Read attentively
Give to the Bible attention with intention, and intention will necessitate attention. Perhaps there is so little attention in Bible reading today because there is so little intention. We must come to it with a purpose and have a clearly defined object: we must know what we are about.
4- Make a reading plan
We are certainly all busy, but we need to make time for the Bible. If we are going to know the Bible, we must adjust our lives so that time is made. Unless we do, we shall never come into any worthy knowledge of the Word. The Bible reveals the will of God so as to lead us into it.
5- Appreciate the Bible's uniqueness
Although divine, it is human. The thought is divine, the revelation is divine, but the expression of the communication is human. "But men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible takes us back into the unknown past of eternity, and its prophecies take us into the otherwise unknown future. The Old Testament is the foundation: the New Testament is the superstructure. A foundation is of no value unless a building be built upon it. A building is impossible unless there be a foundation. So the Old Testament and the New Testament are essential to one another.
One Book, One History, One Story
The Bible is one book, one history, one story, His story. Behind all of the events stands God, the builder of history, the maker of the ages. Eternity bounds the one side, eternity bounds the other side. The Bible is one book, and you cannot take it in texts and expect to comprehend the magnificence of the divine revelation. You must see it in its completeness. Each book has a message and we should endeavor to discover what that message is. Read until you discover the message of the book.
Don't trifle with the Bible, divide it into short devotional paragraphs and think you have understood its messages. The Word of God is alive and life-giving, and every part is necessary to the perfection of the whole.
The Bible is a whole and we can't tamper with it. For example, to add anything to the book of Revelation or to take anything from it would mar its absolute perfection (Revelation 22:18-19). The canon of Scripture is closed. Other works throw valuable light upon it, but this stands unique, alone, and complete.
Christ, the Living Word
The Old Testament is an account of a nation (the Jewish nation). The New Testament is and account of a Man (the Son of man). The nation was founded and nurtured of God in order to bring the Man into the World (Genesis 12:1-3).
As a man, Christ lived the most perfect life ever known. He was kind, tender, gentle, patient and sympathetic. He loved people. He worked marvelous miracles to feed the hungry and heal the sick. Multitudes came to Him, and He gave them rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
Then He died to take away the sin of the world, and to become the Savior of men.
Then He rose from the dead and ascended to Heavens. He is alive today. He is not merely a historical character, but a living Person, a living God. He promises eternal life to all who come to Him.
The whole Bible is built around the story of our Lord and His promise of everlasting life to all who believe and come to Him.
Online Bible Service
This Church website offers an online Bible service to everyone, which includes the Bible both in English (New King James Version) and in Arabic (Smith and Van Dyke version), along with an audio recording for each chapter. The contents offered through this service may not be copied, reproduced or distributed in any way. All rights are reserved by the respective authors of the contents.
We are also offering an online Bible Search service through this website, which can help in Bible studies and verses cross referencing.
We pray that this service may be beneficial to everyone who uses it, and help everyone understand the will of God and grow in Spirit. Amen.
Source: "What the Bible is all About", by Dr. Henrietta C. Mears