Firm Foundations One (2 of 55) What Is The Bible?

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What Is The Bible?

The Bible is the basis of all Christian beliefs. The Bible is truth and as such reveals God’s will to us. The three ways it instructs us are: understanding who God is, how to know Him, and how to live for Him.
John 17:17

The Nature Of The Bible

  • The Bible was originally written in three different languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Today, we have the Bible preserved in many languages.
    Psalm 12:6–7; 33:11
  • God wrote the Bible over the course of 1600 years using over 40 men. It has absolute unity from beginning to end because God is its one Author.
  • All of scripture is given by inspiration of God. (This means that God breathed it or put it into the men what they were to write.)
    2 Peter 1:20–21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13
  • The Bible contains two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. These consist of 66 individual books. The Old Testament contains 39 books and the New Testament contains 27 books.
  • Both the Old and New Testaments reveal God to us. The Old Testament refers to the time before Jesus came, and the New Testament refers to the time after Jesus came. Each is needed to correctly help us understand the other.
  • The Bible is broken down into chapters and verses to help find different areas of the Bible for study and quick reference. These were incorporated by man.

The Authority Of The Bible

  • The authority of the Bible comes from the Bible itself. The words of the Bible are the words of God and there is no greater authority than God Himself. For who can be a witness of God except God?
    2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 14:37
  • Since all the words of the Bible are the words of God, a person who does not believe or obey the Bible is saying that he does not want to believe or obey God; but to believe and obey the Bible is to believe and obey God.
  • Absolute truth is independent or truth by itself. It does not change based on human opinion. Relative truth is dependent. It does change based on human opinion. This means that for relative truth, two opposing sides can both be right. The Bible is a book of absolute truths. Therefore, it’s claims must be all true or all false, they cannot coincide with contradictory truths.
  • The Bible is sufficient for us to know God’s will and it is the only way for us to be certain about God’s will. There are no dreams, visions, or anything else that has higher authority than the Bible itself.
    Acts 17:11

The Books Of The Bible

  • The Old Testament (39 books): Genesis through Deuteronomy are the 5 books of the law. Joshua through Esther are 12 books of history. These 17 books together tell us about the history of God’s work and His people. Job through the Song of Solomon are 5 books of poetry or wisdom about the personal experiences of God’s people. Isaiah through Malachi are 17 books of the prophets that reveal God’s message to His people.
  • The New Testament (27 books): Matthew through John are the 4 gospels that tell us about the life and works of Jesus. Acts is 1 book that transitions from the gospels to the establishment of the church. Romans through Philemon are 13 books or letters written by Paul and then Hebrews through Revelation are 9 more books or letters written by multiple authors. These 22 letters show us how God is working today and will work in the future. Altogether, these books declare how God has kept and fulfilled His promises.

The Gospel Of The Bible

  • Mankind was Created by God: The story of the Bible starts in the beginning with God creating everything. He creates man in His image. Everything God created was good.
    Genesis 1:1, 27, 31
  • Mankind Sinned against God: The first man sinned against God; he chose not to obey. He was separated from God. Sin, death, and evil was passed upon all people.
    Genesis 2:8, 17; 3:6; Romans 5:12
  • Mankind Needed a Savior: God promised a Savior; therefore, He sent His sinless Son Who died for our sin and rose again to offer us forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
    1 Corinthians 15:45–49; Romans 6:23
  • Mankind’s Future: God will make all things new for those who have faith in Him. He will rescue them from sin, death, and evil. Everyone else will be eternally separated from Him.
    Revelation 21:4; 20:13–15

Review Questions

  • What is the Bible?
  • What are three ways the Bible instructs us?
  • Where does the Bible’s authority come from?
  • Is the Bible necessary for us to know God’s will? Why?
  • What is the Gospel of the Bible?

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