Updated: Jan 22
What is the Bible? The Bible is one of the most influential books of all time, translated more than any other book in the world. The Bible looks like most other books we may have in our homes. However, the Bible is not one book but 66 individual books. These books form the Scriptures.
Multiple people wrote the Scriptures over a period that spans some 1,600 years making the Scriptures unique. Although it looks like any other book, when we read a Bible, we are not reading a book.
Reading a Bible, as others have described, is like stepping into a library. The Bible is not one book but many books. Although there are different books, they tell one unified story, the story of Jesus and the restoration of all things through Him.
Like other libraries, the Scriptures contain books of different literary styles. The Bible has books of law, history, poetry, and biographies. The Bible even contains letters, much like we would write today. Recognizing this helps us understand what the authors intend to communicate. For example, we would not read poetry the same as we would read history books or books of law. When reading the Bible, we should not read it as all the same literary style. Recognizing the different types of literature found in the Scriptures helps us understand the Bible.
A Divine & Human Project
The Scriptures begin by telling us of the Creator who, from formless, void, and darkness, creates order, beauty, and life. Then, to crown His creation, God creates humans, who reflect the divine image of the Creator. Thus, although written by different people, the Scriptures are a process of both the Divine and humans working together
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Peter 1: 20-21
(New International Version)