What is the Bible?

You have probably heard Christians talk about “the Bible” or use expressions like “Word of God” or “Holy Bible” or “Scriptures” when referring to a rather large printed book that they carry around and quote a lot. The question is, “What is it? Who wrote it? Where did it come from? What does it contain?”

The way that we answer questions about the Bible is not to offer up opinions. No. We are going to let the Bible speak for itself.

The word “Bible” comes from the Greek word for “book.” The Bible is the book of God – God’s Book.   It describes itself as the “word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). It is exactly that – not words of people – but the Word of God. How? Well, the Word of God says God “breathed” the words, the actual words, into the writers who then wrote them down (read 2 Peter 1:21 and 2 Timothy 3:10-17). God used the grammar of the writer, the vocabulary of the writer and the experiences of the writer in crafting his Word. It is therefore the Holy Scriptures, the words whose source and authorship is divine – God.

Because the Scriptures are of divine authorship and origin we do not mess with them! God warns against this in Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18-19.

So, what is the Word of God? Just that – God’s Holy Scriptures. They are divine. They are from an eternal divine source – God – and therefore without error or contradiction despite what we might think or have been told.

Finally, though, what is the Bible about? What does it contain? Well – it is about God. So, the question to ask is, “What is God about?”  Well, to begin with – the Law. Read Matthew 19:17ff. What God demands is simply this – follow his law – PERFECTLY – and you will live. That is easy isn’t it? You have got to be kidding! No way! We have this problem, this endemic disease called sin that causes us to be selfish, proud, arrogant, unloving etc.

Well, what kind of a God do the Christians worship anyway who expects the impossible?! That is nuts. Okay…hold on…we haven’t let God finish yet.

God continues by saying that he sent his Son, Jesus, to suffer eternally to pay for all those times we DON’T keep God’s law perfectly. Read Ephesians 2:14ff. Only God can suffer eternally in our place – and Jesus did just that on the cross. Our sins have been paid for. The law that we mess up – it holds no power over us. Jesus kept the law perfectly for us, giving us credit for perfection in exchange for our sins. This is Good News. God calls this the gospel.

And that is what God’s Word – his unchanging divine Word is about – LAW and GOSPEL. Read the Bible and let God speak to you. It truly is a divine experience.