What is the Bible?
The Bible is the Word of God. Now as a Christian, you will need to learn and grow in your new relationship with God. This is where the Bible comes in. Jesus Himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The Bible is composed of many different accounts, letters, and writings called the books of the Bible. There are sixty-six books altogether. These are divided into two major sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The books themselves are divided into sections, which are called chapters, and they are divided into verses. This was done so a person can locate specific Scriptures easier. Special notation is used to indicate exactly where you can find a verse in the Bible. For example; John 20:30, 31 means; the book of John, chapter twenty, verses thirty and thirty-one.
The men who wrote these books lived during different periods of history and in different places, writing as they were led by the Spirit of God. “And so we have the prophetic Word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21). They were holy men who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote God’s commands and eternal plans for man. So, what the Bible contains is God’s truth that came from God Himself.
Tips for Using the Bible
· Pray for understanding before and while you read the Bible.
· Use the Table of Contents to find the various books of the Bible.
· Locate a specific chapter and verse by looking at the top of the left and right pages in your Bible.
· Think about what you read, especially the thoughts that touched your heart. God will use His Word to speak to you.
· Ask yourself questions. Is there a promise for me, an action I should take, a truth I must learn, an example I should follow, or something I should pray about now?
· Underline and date important places so you can find them again easily.
· Believe, memorize and obey what God says!
What the Bible Teaches
Do not be misled, there are many groups who claim to have the truth but they contradict the Bible. They claim to be Bible believing Christians but they deny the deity of Christ and preach “salvation through works.” Their aim is to deceive you into leaving the Christ centered church. They will always error in one or more of the foundational truths of the Bible.
Foundational truths of the Bible
The Bible teaches it is the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God and inerrant in the original writings. Accept no other book as the Word of God but the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21).
The Bible teaches there is one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is called the Trinity (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, John 10:30).
The Bible teaches Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23); lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15,7:26); proved by many miracles (John 2:11); died a vicarious and atoning death through His blood (1 Corinthians15:3; Hebrews 2:9); was resurrected bodily (John 11:25,1 Corinthians 15:4); ascended to heaven (Mark 16:19); and will return in power and glory (Acts 1:11). Remember for Jesus to have done this, He had to be God (John 20:28).
The Bible teaches lost and sinful man must be saved and man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Only God can save man. Man cannot save himself no matter what he does (Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:4, 5).
The Bible teaches the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by His indwelling, enables the Christian to live a Godly life (Romans 6-8).
The Bible teaches the resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; they who are saved, unto the resurrection of life and they who are unsaved, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28, 29).
The Bible teaches the spiritual unity of believers is in our Lord Jesus Christ and not any one particular Church (Romans 8;14, 15, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Galatians 3:26-28).
The Bible contains the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors. The Old Testament is comprised of 39 books while the New Testament contains 27. Each testament can be broken up into subdivisions:
Law: Genesis – Deuteronomy (5 books)
Historical: Joshua – Esther (12 books)
Poetical: Job – Song of Solomon (5 books)
Prophets: Isaiah – Malachi (17 books)
Gospels: Matthew – John (4 books)
Historical: Acts (1 book)
Epistles (Letters): Romans – Jude (21 books)
Prophetical: Revelation (1 book)
The Old Testament is written from the perspective of the anticipation of the Messiah, Jesus the Son of God, Who was to come. The New Testament is written from the perspective of the fulfillment of the Messiah, Who came. Although there are many different books, on a variety of subjects, a common theme runs throughout the whole Bible. That theme is two-fold; man is a sinner in need of a Savior and God’s provision of the Savior in the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the prophecies of Jesus’ coming are in the Old Testament, the fulfillment of Jesus’ coming is in the New Testament.