What Does the Bible Mean to You?

Who Wrote the Bible?
God used chosen people to write down what he wanted them to communicate. The Spirit of God enabled these people to do so (2 Peter 1:20, 21). Even when the literary characteristics   like the style of writing, choice of words, and personality of the author is distinguishable in these writings, the Mind behind these writings is that of the Spirit of God. Therefore the Bible is God-breathed or inspired. That means it originated with God. It includes All Scripture–the 66 books of the Bible–and no more (2 Timothy 3:16).


Whom Does the Bible Point To?
To reveal Jesus Christ to the world and the plan of salvation through his blood-sacrifice on the cross is the main focus, purpose of the Bible. Therefore Jesus was able to point out the fulfilment of everything written about him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27, 44–47). So you should approach the Bible to know God and not always for personal guidance.


 Unless God Told Us
How could we know about God unless he told us about him? That is the first thought you need to know about God’s Word. The Bible is what God has told us about himself. In that sense God has revealed himself to us through the Bible–the greatest revelation of God–came in and through Jesus Christ the Word of God (John 1:1, John 1:14, Hebrews 1:1—3).


Can We Believe the Bible?
The Bible has authority because it is God speaking. The Bible is to be received as the Written Word of God. We can believe the Bible because God is a God of truth and he cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18, John 17:17).


Is the Bible Free of Errors?
The Bible was written by 40 different authors in a period of over 1600 years. It was written in a Hebrew cultural setting in the land of Palestine and Israel. Old Testament was written in Hebrew (a very small part is written in Aramaic) and New Testament in Greek.

Bible is the most translated book in the world. Most popular and widely circulated translations are known to have a high level of accuracy. The Bible being God’s Word, an approach of word by word translation has been used.

Translations can never be the same as the original; and not all translations perfect. However, the most important thing to know is that what the Bible declares to be true is true. Therefore it is infallible. It does not mislead us. The best approach to take towards the Bible is to take in child-like faith as God’s Word and accept it as without error.

There might be many passages you don’t understand and portions which seem to say opposing things. Did you know that even Peter pointed out that there are some portions in Paul’s letters that are difficult to understand (2 Peter 3:16)? But in due time, you will learn. Bible Study is a life-long process.

When a small passage is taken out of context and trying to understand it often results in misinterpretations. Studying the historical situation in which it was written, the overall purpose of the book, the grammar and style of language used in that passage will help you understand it correctly. We can refer to commentaries written by godly scholars to get help on these areas.


Is the Bible for You?
The Bible is God’s story book for you. When you have a personal relationship with him, the Bible becomes a love letter and love story written for you. You will be able to see that God created a perfect world. He put man and woman in it. Then they rebelled against God and his Word; listened to Satan, disobeyed God and sinned. Satan thus became the villain of the story.

God was not defeated because of Man’s sin. He had a plan to rescue Man from sin, evil, and eventual death. The plan was to bring Jesus as a human being to this world (Isaiah 9:6) and have him die on the cross by shedding his innocent blood as a sacrifice for the sin of the world (Isaiah 53:5). He came back to life and those who believe in him will find salvation.

Thus Jesus became God’s Action Hero in rescuing his loved ones (his bride; see Ephesians 5:25, Revelation 19:7) from sin and evil and death and from Satan. The story doesn’t end there. Jesus and his loved ones including you will live happily ever after.


Is the Bible a Book of Prophecies?
There is no human being on earth in whose life so many prophecies were fulfilled as in the life of Jesus. This shows his uniqueness too. Jesus’ virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), the place of his birth (Micah 5:2), the manner of his crucifixion (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53) was all made centuries before he was born. There are many other historical predictions which came true. The Bible is timeless. It was relevant in the past and it shows the future.

Some books that deal with future events and establishment of God’s kingdom on earth are Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah and Revelation. The most exciting predicted event that we can look forward to is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11).


Is the Bible a Completed Book?
A country’s constitution can be amended but the Bible is a finished book and a completed book. God guided his people to compile all the 66 books of the Bible. God does not speak today in the way he inspired people to write these 66 books. All that we need for our salvation (2 Timothy 3:15) and to lead a godly life in Jesus is already revealed in the Bible.

Take a look at the following verses and understand the importance given to the truth that nothing can be changed in the Scriptures:

“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” – Jesus Christ ( Matthew 5:18, 19).

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:35).

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” — Revelation 22:18, 19.


Why Is the Bible divided into Old Testament and New Testament?
The word Testament in simple terms means agreement (or Covenant). The Old Testament is God’s agreement made with man on the basis of the blood of bulls and goats (Exodus 24:8). All the sacrifices in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus Christ the Lamb of God who was to come into the world. The New Testament is God’s agreement with man on the basis of the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28, Luke 22:20). The four gospels talk about the story of Jesus.


It is important to note that Jesus believed everything the Bible said: He talked about beginnings, Adam and Eve (God made them male and female, Matthew 19:4), about the murder of Abel (Matthew 23:35) about Noah (the ark and the flood, Matthew 24:37–39), about Lot (judgement on homosexuality or same-sex marriages, Luke 17:28, 29), about Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32), about Abraham (John 8:56, 58), about Jonah (the big fish, Matthew 12:40), about David (Matthew 22:43), about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Luke 11:31), and so on. If Jesus has quoted Old Testament this much and spoke about all these people and events mentioned as historical figures and facts, how can the New Testament be understood apart from it?


One of the ways of Jesus’s teaching method was to ask people whether they have read a passage from the Old Testament regarding a question they asked or a doubt they expressed. Next time you read through the gospels look for that pattern as well.

Is the Old Testament Connected to the New?
Look at this: Jesus quoted from 22 Old Testament books in the gospels and Revelation quotes the Old Testament 245 times in just 404 verses. Genesis talks about beginnings and Revelation talks about the end. Before beginnings was eternity. After the end is also eternity. Jesus is the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13).

Why Is the Bible Being Attacked?
There is no other book which tells the truth about creation, man’s sin, Satan’s lies (John 8:44) and his deceptions, the reason for the existence of death, the plan of God’s Salvation, how Jesus and his shed blood on the cross gives us forgiveness of sins and eternal life, final judgement, heaven and hell, and God’s final reign as King. As the Bible tells us God’s truth about all these, Satan does his best to attack the Bible. His point of attack right from the Garden of Eden is the same–Cast doubts about God’s Word in the minds of people. He still continues the attempt: “Did God really say (Genesis 3:1)?”


Is the Bible Just Another Book?
The Bible testifies to itself as the Living Word (Hebrews 4:12) of God. It has got life in it. Just look at what Jesus quoted to the devil when he was tempted in the wilderness: “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4).’ ” There is life in this Book.  Therefore it will speak to you, guide you, warn you, comfort you, rebuke you, correct you and discipline you. It can bring healing to your mind and body (Psalm 107:20).


How Should I Approach Reading the Bible?
We need the help of the author, the Holy Spirit, to understand the Scriptures. Let us pray along with the Psalmist, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law (Psalm 119:18).” When Jesus opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures they said, “Our hearts were burning within us (Luke 24:32).” Such is the impact when God speaks to you through his Word. This is generally known as Illumination.

You need more than intelligence to understand what God is saying through the Bible because they are understood only when the Spirit of God helps us or throws light on what we read (See John 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 4:6). Acts 8:29 shows us how the Spirit of God directed Philip to help the Ethiopian Eunuch to understand the Scriptures.




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