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Sunday Dialogue Series: Understanding the Bible: What kind of book is the Bible?

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“The word, Bible, from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, means "the books.”

The opening paragraphs to this article are a re-prints of the first two articles for those who may not have read them. If you have read - you might like the review - but you can also scroll past to this week's dialogue.

"Books" is an accurate description because the Bible is not just one book; but sixty-books all bound together in one cover.”

“The Bible (Book) is widely considered to be the best- selling book of all time. It has estimated annual sales of 100 million copies, and has been a major influence on literature and history, especially in the West where it was the first mass-printed book.

The Gutenberg Bible was the first Bible ever printed using movable type.”

We learned in the first article in this series that the Bible is about God. If we had to narrow a description down to one word, it would be “God.”

While it tells of evil of mankind, it also tells of all the goodness and attributes of God; which will be another article.

We also learned in last week’s article, (Sunday Dialogue Series: Understanding the Bible, Who is God?) that the Bible is not just one book but many.

“The New Testament – mainly used in the Christian faith, contains forty-two books of the Bible. These are usually divided as: Gospels, Acts, Paul's Epistles, Hebrews, General Epistles and Revelation. Epistles is translated as meaning a writing or letter.”

“The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, contains twenty-four books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), the Nevi'im ("prophets"), and the Ketuvim ("writings").”

So what kind of book is the Bible? Aside from the Truth and Spiritual guidance found in the Bible, it contains every type of reading material there is – anyone can find a book of interest in the Bible’s vast library of books.

Take a walk down the imaginary pathway in the library of all of the various books on the shelves and you will find a topic of interest that perhaps you did not know was in the Bible.

Nature – Creation, Storms, Plants, Rainbows, Humans, Mountains, Rivers, and animals.

Romance – Isaac and Rebecca, Song of Solomon, Ruth and Boaz, Mary and Joseph

Murder – Cain and Abel, King Ehud, Ishbosheth, Jael, the Egyptian killed by Moses, Jesus killed by the Romans, and Stephen stoned by followers of Paul.

Heroes: Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Joseph, David, Elijah

Science: Moon, stars, tides, plants, animals,

Travel: Abraham, Moses, Jacob, The Children of Israel, Jesus, Paul, The Disciples, John

Medicine: Naaman, Cripple, Blind man, Jarius’ daughter, Peter’s mother-in-law, leprosy

Supernatural: Plagues, Calming of storms, Feeding 5,000, Raising Lazarus from the dead

Politics: Kings, Egypt, Rome, Priests, Pharisees, Zacchaeus, Tax Collectors, Sadducees, Pilot

Poetry: Psalms, Song of Solomon, Miriam’s song

Adoption: Pharaoh’s daughter (Moses), Samuel (Eli)

Evil Divas: Samson’s wife, Delilah, Jezebel, Salome, Potiphar's Wife

Sex and Adultry: (This seems to be a popular genre in today’s society), Hosea’s wife, The woman Jesus saved from stoning, Woman at the well, Song of Solomon

Prophecy: The Old Testament if filled with prophecy that was fulfilled in the New Testament. That gives us the faith and hope that the prophecy in the New Testament will continue to be revealed at the appointed time by God.

History: The Bible is the greatest of all history books. It is not just the history of America and other nations; but the history of the world and mankind since the beginning of the world. It also tells how history of this world will end forever.

The Bible is also filled with other material for books: How to tips, Household hints, War, Diet, Recipes, Sewing, Remedies, Marriage, Parenting, Worship, Singing, Praying, Borrowing, Finances, Housing, Giving, Receiving, Love, Hate, Children, Chores and on and on. There is probably not a book ever written that was not first somehow hinted at or covered in detail in the Bible.

Some of these stories tell of great love, redemption, forgiveness and the way God wanted the world to be.

But is also tells the stories of corruption, cheating, lying, stealing, murder, dishonesty, the way the world became when sin entered into the world and man used his free will to chose evil rather than good.

But the Good News in the Bible is that God sent Jesus in order that we might be set back on the right track in a personal relationship with God through Christ.

The Old Testament is mostly about what man wanted and what man did that was wrong and evil.

But the Gospels (Good News) tell of what God has done through Christ and what we can become and receive through God’s sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.

We can become reconciled, forgiven, and made righteous which has a reward of eternal life. Eternal life in heaven means that none of the evil above will ever touch the lives of men, women, and children who accept the free gift of eternal life that the death of Jesus provided. Jesus had to die – we have to believe and receive.

Want to know more about how to receive this free gift of love from God our Father? Bill Bright of Campus Crusade, a true man of God, who is now with God, wrote a little booklet that explains just how wicked man can be and how man can be reconciled.

It is called, “The Four Spiritual Laws.” Just as there are laws that govern the universe also there are laws that govern our lives.

You are encouraged to copy these to your computer for future reference and to put all of these articles together so that when you study your Bible you will understand the book you are reading.

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