(For Saturday’s, “The Gleaner” Newspaper)
The Bible is a book unlike any other. Containing a sum total of 66 books from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible was composed by over 40 different authors writing over a period of 1,500 years in 3 different languages from vastly different settings and locations. And while the Bible covers a wide array of topics and teachings, one main theme runs throughout its pages: humankind’s need for reconciliation with God.
Not only is the Bible a book written by many human authors, the Bible is also a book written by God. Someone said, “The Bible is the only book whose author is present every time you read it.” So it is. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The word “inspiration,” (literally, “God-breathed”) refers to the way God guides the biblical writers, using their unique backgrounds and personalities so that the book is both thoroughly human and thoroughly divine.
It is this inextricable uniting together of two natures that makes the Bible so unlike any other book. Indeed, the very fact that God guides the human element in Scripture (2 Peter 1:20-21) means that God preserves the Bible from error. Just as the Son of God is one person with two natures; divine and human, so the Bible is one book with two natures; divine and human. Just as Jesus Christ is without sin, so the Bible is without error.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Bible, however, is how God speaks to us through it. The Bible is something of a mirror, revealing our sins to us and pointing out our need for Christ. It’s a bit like the guy who was shaking hands with his pastor after the morning service. He looked long and hard at his pastor before saying, “Your sermons are powerful, pastor; thoughtful, well-researched, I can always see myself in them—and I want you to knock it off.”
Yes, the Bible is an authoritative book that often cuts us like a knife (Hebrews 4:12), pointing out what needs correction in our lives. But God lovingly uses this knife the way a surgeon carefully uses a scalpel, bringing necessary healing to our souls. So be blessed today by reading this unique book and listening to the very word of God who brings forgiveness through Christ!