The Bible is not just a book. Actually, it is not one book, but a library of 66 books. It contains history books, biographies, poetry, prophecy, letters, etc. The Bible is also a very old book. Some pieces were written some 3,500 years ago. This does not mean that the Bible is no longer of significance in our time. Anyone who reads the Bible will see that the words are still applicable to our lives.
It did not drop down from the sky
The Bible, as we know it in book form, wasn’t dropped on earth. Between the creation of the first and last book of the Bible are more than 1,000 years. It is a unit and collection of separate and very different writings. The Bible is a unique collection of writings. The word “Bible” is derived from the Greek biblia that means “books”. These books contain the sacred scriptures of Jews and Christians. The printed and bound book as we know it has two parts, 66 books, chapters and hundreds of thousands of verses. This book, which is both a unit and a collection of separate and very different writings, has a long history. Many of the events, religious laws and precepts, stories, songs, ideas, prophecies and spells was handed over from generation to generation orally.
The books of the Bible were written in a period of over 1,000 years, roughly between 1000 BC and 100 N.C. at different times and places. Numerous writers have written the lyrics, transcribed and edited or supplemented by other texts or stories. This was done by hand, on papyrus or parchment. Not all texts have been preserved. Also, they are not all considered good enough to be recognized as a definitive collection (canon) of texts. Only after lengthy and complicated processes eventually determined which books had sufficient authority and authenticity to be a permanent part of the Holy Scriptures.
Why no clear and uniform manual?
Here we come back to the freedom of choice. If it would be a manual for life, little choice would be possible.
The Bible does contain important life lessons, and instructions (commandments) that humans must attend. Many of these isntruction are for the welfare of the man himself. The most important commandment is love. (In the bible: 1 Corinthians 13)
By having God’s message been told by people, the message comes to life. Through the Bible, we see people and entire nations struggling with their choices. Those who choose sincerely for God, will be discovering His plan. The people who choose against God have no future.
The Bible consists of two main parts, the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament is primarily about the people that God has chosen as His people. About the struggles that those people to remain faithful to God. The Old Testament is full of references to Jesus (see also More about Jesus).
The New Testament describes Jesus’ life on earth, showing many prophecies from the Old Testament to be fulfilled. (More about this topic). The New Testament tells the story through the eyes of the people who have lived in the era of Jesus and shortly thereafter. It contains many lessons of Jesus and the story about the crucifixion and resurrection.
When you will read the Bible from beginning to the end, you will learn to find a common thread. The thread is about the love of God for his creatures, but you will also find many stories about people who choose to turn their backs on God. God’s love conquers death for those who accept the redemptive work of his Son.