“All Scripture is breathed out by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Many different people have described the Bible throughout the centuries in many different ways. Here are just a few examples:
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”
“The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.”
“Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”
“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
To some, the Bible is an interesting read, but not really relevant for today’s culture. For others, the Bible contains good moral guidelines, but should not be taken literally. The Apostle Paul believed the Bible to be much more than this, though. In his letter to Timothy he described all Scripture as the very words of God…breathed out by Him. It is therefore useful to teach, correct and train Christ followers - back in Paul’s day, in ours, and for those who follow after us.
If this is true – and I believe that it is – then it is important for all Christians to understand what the Bible is, and how we got this sacred Book. The Bible is a collection of 66 books united by one common theme. It was written over a period of 1,500 years, by more than 40 different authors who lived on three different continents. It is miraculous indeed that these books have been collected, agreed upon, and accepted as the Word of God. Only God could accomplish that!
The Bible is divided into two parts called testaments – the Old and New. The word “testament” means covenant, which is a divine promise. It is important to understand that there is no difference between the Old Testament God and the New Testament God. There is one God; and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Old Testament is not out of date and irrelevant in today’s culture; and the New Testament is not God’s Plan B for saving the world. Both testaments are an unfolding of God’s plan to glorify His Name in all nations by redeeming lost and rebellious people through His Son, Jesus.
Why do all these facts about the Bible matter, you may be thinking? It matters because the Bible is more than just a book. It reveals the very thoughts, intentions and heart of the One and Only True God as He divinely spoke to men He ordained and enabled to pen each word.
Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. I realize that there are many who do not have a copy of the Bible. I pray that I would never take it for granted that I have access to Your Holy Word. Please help me to honor You not only by reading my Bible, but also by understanding and obeying it. It is in Your name I pray. Amen.