The Bible, The Word of God

The Bible claims that it is inspired by God, or "God breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17) and is to be considered "spirit and life" (John 6:63). It teaches that God sent His word to the Old Testament prophets (Nehemiah 9:30; Acts 3:18, 21; 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 1:1) and to the New Testament writers (like Paul - 2 Peter 3:14-16), through His Son (Galatians 1:11-12), each through His spirit, as in the Old Testament (2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13). It declares that God has placed great importance on His word (Psalm 138:2) and He wants us to learn from it (Romans 15:4) and to study it, and teach it correctly (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible reveals what humans truly are (Genesis 6:5; Romans 7:18; Matthew 15:18-20) and that it should be an active force in the lives of believers (Hebrews 4:12) to change them (Colossians 3:16; 2 John 6) to be more like Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:2; Colossians 2:6). The Bible affirms that it is the only authority in matters of doctrine, exposing and correcting sin and instructing believers in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11-12), and to accomplish God's purpose in those who believe (Isaiah 55:11). It is from reading and understanding the Bible that faith is developed (Romans 10:17).

The Bible is made up of 66 books, divided between the Old (Genesis through Malachi) and New (Matthew through Revelation) Testaments. These books contain different styles of writing, such as narrative (Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts), poetry (Psalms, Song of Solomon), prophecy (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel Daniel, Matthew 24, Revelation), genealogies (Genesis 11:11-32; Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah), letters to congregations (Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians), letters to individuals (Philemon, Timothy, Titus), parables (Luke 16, Matthew 25, Mark 3), proverbial sayings (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes), and laws (Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy).

The Bible also uses many literary devices such as metonymy (Proverbs 20:1), allegory (Galatians 4:21-31), metaphor (John 6:35), personification (Proverbs 8), synecdoche (Philippians 3:19), simile (Isaiah 1:9), symbolism (Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Revelation), idiom (Genesis 13:15 cp. Galatians 3:16), hyperbole (Psalm 6:6), onomastics (Genesis 25:25), irony (2 Corinthians 12:13), euphemism (Genesis 4:1), types (Genesis 6, 7 cp. 1 Peter 3:20-21), etc. It is for this reason that we must read our Bibles carefully, and in full context to truly understand what God has left on record for us.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)

Written by Matthew Smith