What is the Bible?

For Bible references in this video, check the description on YouTube.

  • What's the best-selling book of all time, with 5 to 7 billion copies being printed?1
  • What book has a count of 168,000 copies sold, given away, or distributed just in the United States every day?2
  • What book could be read in its entirety in 70 hours?
  • What book has parts originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic?
  • What book is technically one book but comprised of 66 smaller books, 1,189 chapters, and 783,137 words?3

These are all true facts about the Bible! My favorite quote describing the Bible is by the preacher Voddie Baucham, who said, “[The Bible is] a reliable collection of [66] historical documents written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They reported to us supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claimed that their writings are divine rather than human in origin.”4

What does it mean that the Bible is God’s Word?

God is the ultimate author of the Bible, and He used human men to physically write down His words. Some of these writers were kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, or doctors. Many authors of the Bible specifically stated that they were recording God’s message. This includes commands given by God to men like Moses (Exodus 19:3-6, 20:1), words and visions given to God’s prophets like Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4, 11, 2:1) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1, 2:1, 6:1), or revelations given to Jesus’ disciples like John in Revelation 1:1-2.

2 Timothy 3:16 clearly states that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. This word “inspiration” doesn’t just mean that God gave ideas to the writers of the Bible; it literally means “God-breathed” which means that “...God divinely influenced the human authors of the Scriptures in such a way that what they wrote was the very Word of God.”5

If you and a group of different individuals from around the world were all writing a story (without collaborating) you would all write something different. The amazing thing about the Bible is that, even though there are 40 different authors who lived on three different continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) and wrote over a period of 1,500 years, there is STILL complete unity in the message of the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation.

The Bible is neither random nor contradictory. It tells the same story about God and His ways, man and his sin, and Jesus the Savior. This is evidence that the Bible is written by God Himself!

Basic Structure of the Bible

The word “Bible” means “book”. Within the singular book of the Bible, there are 66 smaller books that serve different purposes. Some contain the law (like Exodus and Leviticus) and others are records of history (like Genesis or 1 and 2 Samuel). There are even books of poetry (like Psalms and Song of Solomon), prophecy (like Isaiah and Revelation), biography (like Matthew and Acts), and formal letters (like Romans and Titus). In one sense, the Bible is like the complete story of God and His creation, because it's a record of God and man’s response to Him.

The Bible is divided into two main parts: the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). The central character of the Bible is Jesus—yes, even in the OT!

Jesus in the Old Testament: The OT describes the founding and preservation of the Jewish people and the history of specific families within the nation of Israel, through which the promised Savior (Jesus) would come. The OT predicts Jesus' arrival on earth as God incarnate and sets the stage for His entrance.

Jesus in the New Testament: The NT describes the events leading up to Jesus’ birth as a human, His life and ministry, then His death and resurrection, which serves as payment for our sin. (See Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.) The rest of the NT helps us understand how people should respond to God's amazing gift of salvation. Since Jesus is God in the flesh (John 1:14), knowing His story helps us better understand who God is.

The Bible: A Brief Summary

The Bible starts out with the book of Genesis, which literally means “beginnings”. This book is truly a book of beginnings, as it narrates God's creation of the universe and our world, mankind's first sin against God, and the first promise of a Savior to redeem us from the punishment of sin.

Genesis 1-11 provides answers to questions like: How did the world get here? Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Why do we wear clothes? Where did different languages come from? These chapters answer many other essential questions too. Genesis also details the history of the Jewish people, beginning with the founding fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (aka Israel).

The rest of the Old Testament details how the Israelite people came into a land God promised them, then how they forgot about their Father in Heaven and worshiped false gods instead. We see how they were warned to repent from their sin or be taken into captivity, then how they refused to repent and were taken prisoner—just as God said they would be. We rejoice when we see God in His grace and mercy allowing them to return to their homeland.

King David and his family line are a key part of the OT, as Jesus is a descendant of David. Throughout the OT, God promises, through prophecy, that the Savior of the world would be coming. And the OT leaves off with the people waiting for this promised Savior.

The New Testament begins with details of the Savior’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. The death of Jesus Christ is the basis for the new covenant between God and His people. The good news God gives us in the NT is that all who believe in Jesus as their Savior will be saved from sin and spend eternity with Him.

The book of Acts details the first missionaries who go into the world and spread this good news. Much of the NT is comprised of letters written by the apostle Paul. As these young churches are trying to figure things out, Paul helps explain how believers should live after believing in Jesus as their Savior and how their lives should be different than they once were. The NT closes with the promise that Jesus will return, judge unbelievers, and free creation from the curse of sin once and for all.

The Bible is God’s true Word.

The Bible is a great gift and treasure. Without the Bible, we could not know specific details about God or the way of salvation. This amazing book has been given to us for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that we can be equipped to do good things for God's Kingdom (2 Timothy 3:16). Whether you're new to the Bible or you've been reading it all your life, take time to read God's Word as much as you can!

REFERENCES: 1. “Best-Selling Book.” Guinness World Records, 2019, www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction. 2. Bible Facts and Statistics – Amazing Bible Timeline with World History. www.amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/q10_bible_facts_statistics/. 3. Bible Facts and Statistics – Amazing Bible Timeline with World History. www.amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/q10_bible_facts_statistics/. 4. “Voddie Baucham: This Is Why We Believe the Bible Is True.”; youtu.be/txbC6j71bng. Accessed 23 Feb. 2023. 5. GotQuestions.org. “What Does It Mean That the Bible Is Inspired? | GotQuestions.org.” GotQuestions.org, 6 Apr. 2004, www.gotquestions.org/Bible-inspired.html.



The Bible is God’s Word, “inspired” or “breathed-out” by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16), through the hands of men. This means that God is the ultimate author of the Bible (Jeremiah 1:4; Revelation 1:1-2). The Bible is a collection of 66 books, which contain laws, history, poetry, prophecy, biography, and formal letters to the early church. These books are divided into two parts: the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). The OT predicts and sets the stage for Jesus’ entrance into the world as the promised Savior, and the NT is its fulfillment. The Bible is a great gift and treasure. Take time to read the Bible today!

Writer: Hanna S.

Hanna loves spending time with kids and teens. She enjoys being detectives with them to investigate God's Word to discover truths to answer any questions. She is the co-author of a newly published apologetics curriculum for children and teaches one online for highschoolers-adults. To learn more about her ministry you can visit networkerstec.com. For fun, she likes to play Ultimate Frisbee, read historical fiction, and paint.

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