What is the Bible

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Cultural historians place the Bible at the foundation of Western thought and morality. Until very recently the moral teachings of the Bible have been almost universally embodied in the laws of the Western world and even in this present age, with its moral teaching under increasing attack, the teaching of the Bible still forms the foundation of the Western judicial system. Educators study the Bible as an example of the highest forms of human expression, as a source for information on ancient civilizations, and as a historical document of unparalleled accuracy and depth. The Bible has been variously described as: literature, history, poetry, drama, logic and myth (both in the sense of a traditional story accepted as truth and in the in the sense of an untrue tale of an unknowable past) to name only some of the responses to it. We who are Christian believe that while the Bible may be each of these in part it is also more than these in the whole (and that it is certainly never myth in the sense of an untrue tale of an unknowable past). We believe that it is in fact Truth as revealed by God to mankind over numerous centuries. The Bible does contain history and it is used extensively to date other historic events; it does contain poetry, some of the most beautiful ever written; it is logic, filled with irrefutable proofs to the validity of its teaching; it is even literature, giving great insight into literary methodology of cultures long vanished. But more than any of these the Bible is the one document that relates the story of God’s interaction with mankind and His vast and glorious plan to fulfill His purpose within the created order and redeem mankind from his sinful condition.

The Bible does not present itself as an exhaustive text on any one subject; but since it has been written under the guidance of God, the incorruptibly perfect creator of all that is, where it touches on any subject it teaches the absolute and unalterable truth.

In one sense the entire Bible is a textbook, not of history or ancient styles of writing, but of God. In the Bible we are studying God. What is more is that it is a textbook of His own design and therefore ultimately reliable. Each page of the Bible is a lesson and we will do ourselves an injustice if we read the Bible without attempting to apply its lessons to our lives.