Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Peace & Blessings Beloved,
TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.
Last week we covered a method of studying the bible using the acronym SOAP, which stands for scripture, observation, application, & prayer. With that foundation in mind, lets now focus on what we'll be studying: the Holy Bible.
The English word bible is ultimately derived from the Greek term biblia, meaning books. Biblia is the plural form of biblion, which denotes any written document, but originally one inscribed on papyrus. Our word Bible eventually came to be used for the collection of 66 Old and New Testament books recognized by Christians as the canon of Scripture.
Sixty-six different books comprise the Bible. They include books of law, historical books, books of poetry, books of prophecy, biographies, and epistles.
The Greek phrase ta biblia to hagia meant the holy books. The first Christian use of the term ta biblia, or the books, to designate the Holy Scriptures is believed to be in 2 Clement 2:14, written around AD 150: “The books and the apostles plainly declare that the Church hath been from the beginning.” In Latin, the Greek phrase became biblia sacra. In Old French, the word biblia became bible. Old English already had a word for the Scriptures, biblioðece, taken from the Latin word for “library.” But the shorter Old French word bible replaced it in the early fourteenth century. The concept of a collection of holy writings developed early in both Jewish and Christian thought. In the sixth century BC, the prophet Daniel referred to the prophetic writings as the books (Daniel 9:2). Synonymous terms for Bible include the writings, Scripture, Holy Scriptures, and Holy Writ, which means sacred writings. In the early Jewish historical writing of 1 Maccabees, the author refers to the Old Testament as the holy books (12:9). Jesus made reference to the books of the Old Testament as the Scriptures in Matthew 21:42, and the apostle Paul called them the Holy Scriptures in Romans 1:2. In summary, the Bible is the Word of God; it is God’s book written to humankind. The Bible is God’s guidebook for how to live our lives: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14–17).
About 40 different human authors contributed to the Bible, which was written over a period of about 1500 years. The authors were kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, and doctors.
The Bible's unity is due to the fact that, ultimately, it has one Author: God Himself. The Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). The human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, and the result was the perfect and holy Word of God (Psalm 12:6; 2 Peter 1:21).
The Bible is divided into two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. In short, the Old Testament is the story of a nation, and the New Testament is the story of a Man. The nation was God's way of bringing the Man -Jesus Christ- into the world.
The Old Testament describes the founding and preservation of the nation of Israel. God promised to use Israel to bless the whole world (Genesis 12:2-3). Once Israel was established as a nation, God raised up a family within that nation through whom the blessing would come: the family of David (Psalm 89:3-4). Then, from the family of David was promised one Man who would bring the promised blessing (Isaiah 11:1-10).
The New Testament details the coming of that promised Man. His name was Jesus, and He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament as He lived a perfect life, died to become the Savior, and rose from the dead.
Jesus is the central character in the Bible. The entire book is really about Him. The Old Testament predicts His coming and sets the stage for His entrance into the world. The New Testament describes His coming and His work to bring salvation to our sinful world.
Jesus is much more than a mere historical figure. In fact, He is much more than a mere man. He is God in the flesh (John 1:14, 14:9), and His coming was the most important event in the history of the world. God Himself became a man in order to give us a clear picture of who He is.
In conclusion, the Bible, among other things, is described as illumination to us: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105). It is like food that nourishes and sustains us (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 12:12–14). The Bible outlines and elaborates on God’s interactions with humans throughout history. In it, we learn of His eternal purposes and His loving plan of salvation. Most importantly, the Bible is God’s personal love letter to us: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16–17).
I pray you receive this with the love intended, & apply it to wisdom.
Love you much.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!
P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.