What is the Bible?

The Bible is a library of various pieces of literature written by many different people over the course of many years.  But there is much more to the Bible than a seemingly random collection of stories, poems, and letters. God played a significant part in the formation of the Bible, and it is one of the primary ways that we can learn who God is and how we ought to live righteously in the world.

The Bible is a collection of many pieces of divinely inspired Jewish and Christian works of literature that focus on the Jewish people and their experiences with God, the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and the beginnings of the Christian church.  The books included in the Bible were written to challenge, encourage, and instruct the hearers and readers of the Bible about God and the proper way of relating to Him, other people, and to the world around us.

The Bible was written by many different authors spanning thousands of years, but there is a consistent thread throughout all of Scripture that points towards a Supernatural conveyance of information.  2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is God-breathed…” (NIV)  This means that God not only inspired the authors as they were writing, but He also guided the community of faith throughout history as people wrote, preserved, copied, and selected the books that are included in the Bible.  

The pieces of literature included in the Bible can be categorized into many different genres including history, poetry, and letters.  The purpose of each of these pieces of literature as stated in the second half of 2 Timothy 3:16 is for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (NIV)  We learn who God is and what He desires from us through the stories, poems, letters, teachings, and prophesies included in the Bible.  Most significantly, the Bible recounts the life and teachings of Jesus Christ who according to John 1:14 is “the Word [that] became flesh and lived among us.”(NRSV)

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