The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by over 40 authors, including prophets, kings, scholars, and fishermen, from around 1500 BC to AD 100. It is divided into two main sections: Old Testament (a.k.a., the Old Covenant or “Tanakh” in Jewish circles) and New Testament (a.k.a., the New Covenant or “Brit Chadashah”).
The original audience varied, as the texts were written to different groups of people, including Israelites and early Christians. The Bible, with its diverse authors and contexts, seamlessly weaves a consistent message, inviting every reader from any era or background, into an eternal relationship with God.
The Old Testament primarily focuses on God’s covenant with the nation of Israel, whereas the New Testament reveals the fulfillment of God’s promises through Jesus Christ. Together, they form a cohesive narrative that illustrates God’s redemptive plan for humanity, weaving themes of love, justice, mercy, and salvation throughout.
The Bible progressively reveals the nature of God the Father as Creator, Provider, Holy Judge, and Passionate Companion. The Holy Spirit transitions from briefly entering someone for a task, to gently guiding and equipping people deeper and deeper into an intimate union with God, and ultimately permanently residing within believers through Christ’s sacrifice. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, is revealed as the Son of God, the Savior, fulfilling prophecies and embodying God’s love and grace. Through their individual interactions, they collectively provide a unified glimpse into the depth of God’s affection for humanity.
The Bible underscores the significance of a relationship with God through faith, but even that is a gift bestowed upon us by Him. Obedience is also emphasized throughout, but not as a simple adherence to a moral code; it’s our imperfect yet genuine attempt to resonate with God’s holiness, striving to please an Unwavering Lover by aligning our hearts and minds with His. The love we are commanded to express is actually a reflection of His love flowing through us. All of this is to remind us that our journey of faith is not of our own making but a testament to our complete dependence on God. In every step, we are called to recognize that our connection to God and our efforts to live for His glory are gifts from Him, underscoring our continual need for His grace and guidance.
Key verses: Genesis 12:1–3; Matthew 5:17–20; Exodus 34:6–7; Galatians 5:16–18, 22–25; Luke 24:44–48; Ephesians 2:4–10; 1 Samuel 15:22–23; Matthew 22:36–40; Isaiah 41:10, 13; 1 Corinthians 10:31