I. The meanings of the words “Bible” and “Holy”.
The word “Bible” comes from a Greek word that means “books.” In fact, the Bible is a collection of 66 different books, by many different authors. Even though these books were written over a time‑span of more than 1000 years, they are consistent in how they describe God as a loving God who accepts us into a relationship with Him.
The full name of the Bible is “The Holy Bible.” “Holy” means “pure, completely separated from all that is common and dirty.” God is holy. This book is called Holy because it is not an ordinary book, but a book for God’s special purpose: not only to know him, but to have an eternal relationship with Him
II. The Main Point of the Bible:
The Bible clearly tells us that even though people are not holy because they have rejected God’s will, with the result that they have become incomplete and are far from God, yet people can have a complete and close relationship with the holy God through faith in Jesus.
Who is this “Jesus?” The Bible teaches that Jesus is God, and that He became a man and came into the world for the following two reasons:
A. To reveal the nature of God to people, and
B. To die for mankind.
Why was it necessary for Jesus to die for mankind? Actually, people ought to be punished, because they have not obeyed the God who made them, and in fact have rejected Him. But, when Jesus was nailed to the cross, He took the place of mankind, receiving the punishment that mankind should have received. Therefore, those who believe and trust in Jesus will not receive punishment, but will have a restored harmonious relationship to God.
The Bible uses the word “sin” to describe the attitude of rejecting God and the actions that are in disobedience to God. Because Jesus died for mankind’ on the cross, people have forgiveness for their sins.
Jesus rose from the dead, proving that He is the source of life, and that He can give a rich and abundant life to people. As a result, God takes away people’s guilt, shame, and regret, and gives people daily lives that are full of joy, purpose, and strength
Ill. The purpose of the Bible
A Bible book called “John” states as its purpose: “These things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that because of your faith, you may have life in His name.” (Recorded in the New Testament of the Bible at John 20:31). This sentence is a good way to express the purpose of the entire Bible.
Some of the key words in this sentence are:
a) The word “Christ” is a Greek word, which tells us that Jesus is “King.” (Sometimes you will see the word “Messiah”, which is the Hebrew word with the same meaning; that is because the words “Christ” and “Messiah” both mean “anointed – to pour oil on someone.” Oil was poured on someone to designate that person as king). Jesus, then, is a King. But He is more.
b) When the Jews used the expression “Son of God”, they meant “someone who is God.” Therefore, Jesus is God.
c) The phrase “in his name” means “by depending on the power and authority of someone”. For example, if a policeman says the phrase “stop in the name of the Law”, he means that if you do not stop, you must face the full power and authority of the entire legal system of the country. In the same way, our relationship to God does not depend on our own power, but it depends on the power and authority of Jesus.
V. The content of the Bible
The Bible not only describes the life of Jesus, and his impact on his followers, but also includes the background necessary to understand the meaning of his work. Jesus came into the world nearly 2000 years ago, born into a Hebrew (that is, Jewish) family in the Middle East. God had prepared the Hebrew people for the previous 2000 years, so that when Jesus‑arrived, they would be able to understand the meaning of His life. The details of this long period of preparation are written for us in the Bible’s first part, called the “Old Testament”. By referring to the Old Testament, we can more fully understand the life of Jesus, which is written in the second part, called the “New Testament”. Click here to see the structure of the Bible
V. The results of reading the Bible
The Bible then tells who God is and how we can be close to Him. Therefore the Bible is the authority for Christian life and teaching. The Bible has given inspiration and comfort to millions of people. I hope that through this introduction you will also find God in the Bible.
VI. How to look up verses in the Bible
As you read the Bible, you will notice that each book is divided into numbered sections, called chapters, and each chapter is divided into numbered sentences, called verses. John 3:16 means “the third chapter of the book of John, and the 16th verse in it.” That well-known verse says “God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life.”
These numbers were added by scholars at certain points in history:
Chapters: The numbers for the chapters were added by a scholar at the University of Paris around the year 1226.
Verses: The numbers for the verses were added by another French scholar in 1557.
The Bible has been translated into many languages. Sometimes you will see capital letters after a Bible verse; these are an abbreviation for the particular translation that has been quoted.
For example, here is a well-known verse in two different translations:
1. “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV (English Standard Version)
2. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NASB (New American Standard Bible)
New translations into English are continuously being made to made sure that the people of today can understand the original meaning, and to provide translations for various levels of language ability and cultural backgrounds (like American English and British English). All of the translations attempt to bring out the meaning of the original. You can learn the essential Bible concepts from any of the common translations.