What is the Bible?

What is the Bible?

The Bible is the basis for Christian faith. It contains the stories of God and God's people going back a very long time. The stories contained in the Bible establish the relationship that God has with humanity and creation. They contain God's promises that we see God continuing to keep.

The Bible contains two parts: the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), and the New Testament. The Hebrew Bible is also the sacred text for the Jewish faith, the religion that Jesus was a part of. Most of it was originally written in Hebrew. The New Testament contains stories of Jesus' birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and stories of the early church.

As you look at a Bible, you will see that it is broken down into "books." These books were originally scrolls or letters. Each book is broken down into chapters (big numbers) and verses (small numbers). These numbers were added many years later as more and more people began reading it; they help us all read at the same place. When you see scripture written out like, "John 3:16" that means that you are looking for John, chapter 3, verse 16.

Why Still Read it?

Let's be honest, the Bible is old. Like really old! Why do we read it? Is it actual relevant still?

We call the Bible a "living text," meaning each time we read it, not matter the number of times we have read a passage, we learn something else. So yes, it is old, but it does stay relevant to us because how it speaks to us differently each time we read it. Our life experience and knowledge fuel our understanding of scripture, and that is such a beautiful thing.

The Bible contains stories of God and God's people. As we read it, we gain a deeper understanding of that relationship and our relationship with God and others. As we read it, we see that humanity has turned away from God many times, but every time we turn back to God, God receives us back with "open arms." It is a cycle that continues to happen today. We continue to read it because it reminds us of God's promises and that God continues to keep God's promises even today.


NRSV... KJV...NKJV... MSG... CEB... NIV... ASV

There are so many different versions of the Bible, and so many letters. These are different translations by different scholars. They all say the same basic thing, just in a different way.

What Bible should I pick? We recommend picking a New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or Common English Bible. These are both easy-to-read versions that seek to translate from the original language as true to the text as possible. If you find a "Study Bible," that is awesome! Study Bibles add in commentary and reflections that make it easier to think through the passages and how to apply them to our lives.

Where do I start? If you have not read much of the Bible, we really do not recommend starting and reading it "cover to cover." Honestly, it gets pretty boring in some parts and a bit confusing, especially in the Old Testament.


Try starting with a book like Ephesians or Romans. Both are in the New Testament and are easier to read.

Want to hear more?

Listen to these sermons from Pastor Heather about the Bible.

Have You Read It?

Revive Us