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Are you looking for answers to the following questions: What is the Bible? Who wrote the Bible? and How to read the Bible? This article gives you some answers to all three questions.
We have also put together a video on the authors of the Bible, its purpose, meaning and a guide to reading the Bible effectively, which can be found towards the end of this article.
What is the meaning and purpose of the Bible?
The Bible is Gods Word, an account of His actions throughout humanity. It shows us Gods purpose and plan for all creation.
The Holy Bible is a composition composed of different viewpoints from different individuals. Each book of the Bible is an account written by a king, prophet, scribe, or apostle. What makes it unique is that every character mentioned in the Bible isn’t of the same origin but has peculiar encounters with the deity referred to as “I AM”.
It has stories of the lives of different people. It contains laws, dialogues, proverbs, parables, biographies, miracles, wars, songs, poems, prayers, letters, factual history and prophecies.
The Word of God also tells us about the life of Jesus Christ, His mission, teachings, miracles, claims, suffering, death and resurrection.
It is the greatest love story ever. It tells us about Gods loving plan to save humanity from sin and death.
The Word of God is beneficial for teaching and a source of practical wisdom. It teaches us the ways of the Lord.
It is not like any other book you have read. The word of God is alive and it will change your life for the good.
Did you know that the Holy Bible is still the best-selling book to date? (Includes all translations)
The Bible is Jesus centred.
The Bible ultimately points to Jesus. It shows us Gods plan to save humanity by sending His only begotten son Jesus Christ. ( The word “begotten” is translated from the Greek word – “monogenes” meaning – pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship or class, unique in kind. )
The Bible is an adventure. It is God speaking to you. You can’t afford NOT to read it.
It will change your life for the better.
How many books are in the Holy Bible?
The Holy Bible is a collection of 66 books. The Catholic Bible has 7 more books equalling 73. It consists of the New Testament and Old Testament. The Old Testament has 39 books. The New Testament has 27 books.
Many of these books are written by different authors and with different literary styles and narratives. The accounts of the Bible were passed down through the years and were finally written down.
Why does the Catholic Bible have 73 books?
The seven additional books in question are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch. They are also called the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament.
Christians were using the same 73 books in their Bibles (46 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament) for more than 1100 years. All 73 books were considered divinly inspired. First-century Christians and the apostles considered these seven books canonical.
This all changed during the Protestant Reformation. The 7 books of the Catholic Bible were labelled unscriptural by Protestant reformers as portions of these books contradicted elements of Protestant doctrine.
How many chapters, verses and words are in the Bible?
The Old Testament has 39 books, 929 chapters, 23,214 verses and 593,493 words. The New Testament has 27 books, 260 chapters, 7959 verses and 181,253 words.
What is the order of the books in the Bible?
Books of Moses and the law
History of the early church
Letters of Paul
Letters of others
What are the books of the Old Testament?
- 1 Samuel
- 2 Samuel
- 1 Kings
- 2 Kings
- 1 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
What are the books of the New Testament?
- Acts (of the Apostles)
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
Who wrote the Bible?
It was written by people from all walks of life, fishermen, priests, kings, all who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, God Himself.
It must be noted that although the Holy Bible was written by different authors and over a period of time, it is inerrant, meaning without any errors.
All of the human authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit. God is truly the author. The Holy Bible is a book from God and is scientifically and historically accurate.
What language was the Bible written in?
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek. Since it was published as a book it has been translated into almost every language known to man.
How to read the Bible?
Here’s some advice for beginners on how to read the bible effectively.
Read a version you can easily understand.
There are so many versions online. Please do some research and read a Bible version that’s easy to read according to your level of understanding.
It’s also advisable to read a Scripture study guide with commentary to help you understand the deeper meanings of the scriptures. You can also join a study group at your local church.
Pray before reading.
This is the most important step. Call out to God and ask Him to guide you as you read His word. Ask God for wisdom and knowledge to understand His word as He would want you to.
Always be in communion with God before you read the Holy Scriptures. If you have unconfessed sin, please confess and repent before the Lord Jesus and ask Him to forgive and cleanse you.
Start with one book and read it completely.
Pick one book at a time. For example, The Gospel of Matthew and read one chapter or a few verses every day until you finish it. Read every verse according to context.
Ask questions such as – who is the author, what does the author want to say, who is he writing to, what was happening at that time, is it a poem or prophecy or actual history, etc.
There’s no need to read the whole book in one go. Read the chapters slowly and meditate on the verses.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. If you have questions don’t hesitate to ask a fellow Christian for help or your local church.
Let the Word of God speak to you.
Have an open mind and heart and let God talk to you through His Word. Jesus is the centre of the Bible.
Ask Him, Lord, I am here to read your Word, please enlighten me and grant me knowledge and wisdom, according to your will, to know you more through your Word.
This video on the Bible contains information on how to read the Old and New Testaments, its authors and what is the purpose and meaning of the Holy Scriptures.
What are the benefits of reading the Bible?
You will learn more about God and His saving plan.
You will learn more about Jesus, the saviour of the world.
You will be inspired by the word of God.
You will be more equipped to resist the devil.
You will know the truth.
You will begin to love God.
You will learn more about who you are and why are you here.
You will have peace and hope.
You will be convicted of sin and lead to repentance and asking God to forgive and cleanse you.
You’ll become a better husband, or wife or father, or mother, or son or daughter.
You’ll call Gods kingdom your eternal home.
You’ll be amazed at how the New and Old Testament fit together.
You’ll find Jesus in the Old and New Testament.
It will inspire you to tell others about Jesus and Gods salvation.
You will feel the love of God.
You will have a glimpse of how Holy and righteous God is.
Reading the Holy Scriptures will open your mind to many questions.
It will answer many questions you may have.
You will learn more about prayer and its power.
It will help you remember Gods promises.
The word of God will talk to you personally.
There are many websites online which allow you to read the Scriptures online. You can also create your own reading plan and sign up for Bible study classes. Some of the best ones are Bible.com, BibleGateway.com, Biblica, YouVersion, Catholic Online and Olivetree.
Now …go read the Bible!