About the Bible
Contrary to common misunderstanding, Christianity doesn't come from the Bible! THE BIBLE COMES FROM CHRISTIANITY (the life, teachings, sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).
The Bible tells the story but is not source of the story; it keeps the facts from getting distorted over time.
WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God – the only authoritative written message from God – the book that keeps Christianity on track over the centuries so that people don't alter it to their own wishes. All Christian beliefs must align with the Bible.
- The Bible is not a single book. It is a collection of 66 different books, divided into two main parts: The Old Testament (before Jesus) and the NewTestament (after Jesus). Think of it as a mini-library of spiritual documents, usually bound into single volume of about 1200 pages.
- God didn't directly write the Bible or mechanically move the hands of those who did. It was penned (or dictated to scribes) by men chosen and inspired by God to write it, and God superintended and preserved the writing.
- The New Testament – the new covenant (plan and agreement ) between God and man through Jesus – explains Christianity. It supersedes the Old Testament. Everything a Christian needs to know is in the New Testament (in size, 23% of the entire Bible).
- There is only ONE BIBLE – not many Bibles. For example, there is not a separate Bible for Catholics, a different one for Protestants, and yet another for Eastern Orthodox. Except for some minor exceptions, everyone agrees on the exact words of the Bible. The historical manuscripts have been so well preserved that they are beyond fundamental dispute. Of course, there will always be some minor differences arising from choice of words used in various translations of the manuscripts (mostly Hebrew andGreek) into modern languages (English, Spanish, etc.)
WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?
Approximately 40 different men, working independently, were used by God to write the Bible.
- They came from different geographic areas, different political systems, different social situations and different walks of life – including king, farmer, shepherd, doctor, fisherman, priest, philosopher and tax collector.
- They ranged from educated to uneducated, from rich to poor, living on three different continents, most not knowing each other.
- Christians believe that God chose, inspired and directed these writers, and that's why, when all of these independent writings are put together, they read as a single coordinated volume.