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What is the Bible? Print E-mail
Written by Johan Hammink   

 

God has spoken to humans through the ages through many people, but the main way in which He has revealed Himself to us is through His Word. First of all through the living Word, Jesus Christ Himself. The Bible says that Jesus is the Word of God which has become flesh (John 1:14). However God also commanded His people to write down the things that He told them. The result of these things is compiled together in a book. This book is what we call 'The Bible'. The word 'bible' is the greek word for 'book'. The Bible is the book in which the believers and followers of God have written down their stories and experiences with God.

The content of the Bible

The Bible has 2 main parts. These are called the 'Old Testament' and the 'New Testament'. The word 'Testament" is the translation of the hebrew 'Beriyt' which is the word for 'Covenant". So actually these 2 parts of the Bible are describing all things that relate to the 'Old Covenant' and the 'New Covenant'. A Covenant is the strongest form of agreement or contract between two parties. For more details on this, see the teachings page to download a teaching on the Covenants of God.

The Old Testament has 39 books, which describe the history of mankind from creation until around 400 B.C. About half of the books of the Old Testament are books that describe parts of the human history. About one third of the books of the Old Testament are prophetic books, which describe things that God has spoken to specific people concerning the situation in Israel at that time and concerning the future of Israel. The remaining books are compilations of Songs and wisdom teachings.

The New Testament has 27 books, which describe the history and teachings of Jesus and the Church in the first century. The first four books of the New Testament are describing the history of Jesus and are called the gospels (literaly the Good News). The fifth book describes the history of the early church. The last book of the New Testament is a prophetic book that describes things that, for most of it, are still to come in the future. The remaining books are letters of the leaders of the early Church, the apostles, to specific Churches or specific people. The word 'apostle' litteraly means 'one who is send'. So these books were written by some of the people that were send out by Jesus to preach the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven.