The Bible is by far the best-selling book of all time with around 6 billion copies printed. Add to that the online versions now available. What sets the bible apart from every other book? What does the bible mean to you?
Here are a few Bible facts that may surprise you:
- has been translated into more than 2,000 languages
- over 1,000,000 copies are sold or given away every year making it the top selling book every single year
- written by about 40 different authors over a period of about 1,500 years
- written in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic)
- three major divisions in the Old Testament and four in the New Testament
- the Bible’s authors wrote under divine inspiration from God
Just a couple days ago a new acquaintance commented, “I have a bible. It is too hard to understand and isn’t relevant for today.”
He’s not alone in thinking this way. Many people question how a book written so long ago could possible be applicable to our fast pasted changing world.
In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states:
“God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change,
frightens the Devil,
causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character,
imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation,
infuses hope, releases power,
cleanses our minds, brings things into being,
and guarantees our future
Notice all the verbs?
“For the word of God is alive and powerful.
It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,
cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.
It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
The bible gives a plumb line of moral character. It sets boundaries of healthy personal and corporate relationships.
The bible is the most incredible love letter ever written. The Old Testament contains writings about Jesus Christ concealed; the New Testament writings reveal Him fully. Jesus is the greatest Lover ever!
Every word in the bible, though written by the hand of man, is inspired by the breath of God.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true
and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.
It corrects us when we are wrong and
teaches us to do what is right.”
2 Timothy 3:16
The Things We Don’t Understand
Whoever reads the bible will come upon portions that are beyond our understanding or explanation. Some portions at first glance seem to contradict at each; other portions are hard to accept.
Nicky Gumbel in his Alpha Series suggests we view the bible like a crossword puzzle. Some questions we can answer quickly and easily. Some questions we will draw a blank on! Are some queries tough? We go on to the easy ones, filling in the blanks as we go. Then we come back to the tough ones, that have a few more clues added. Now perhaps, we have solutions for the really difficult areas. Little by little the answers come.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
There are a surprising number of Christians who do not make daily bible reading a practise. In our busy lives, the best way to begin is to schedule it into your calendar. I would suggest picking the time of day that you are the most alert. Set aside just fifteen minutes!
Jesus said that the word of God is even more important than eating food.
“But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Pick out a private spot and begin!
If you need some help, try the Bible in One Year App or something similar.
Valuable and Precious
I hold tightly to this, one of my most valued and precious possessions, my bible.
“They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.”
Several years ago I held in my hands a hand-written bible. Outlawed and banned, hidden at risk of life and liberty! Each page painstakingly copied and lovingly worn. I still feel the emotion of holding and touching those pages.
May the bible become that precious to each of us — reading, meditating on, loving ,and obeying the words within its covers.
More thought provoking reading here: