The Bible is God’s Word. It is not just any book – it is inspired by God. So you can look for God’s inspiration any place you read in the Bible.
You can read the Bible for inspiration and to find out what God is saying to you today. You see, the Bible is not just history and it is not just telling about the past. It talks about God and about you and me and Jesus.
The Bible is complex. It’s not one book but a collection of 66 books, split into two sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. All of the books are divided into chapters and verses.
The New Testament begins with four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. These accounts are known as the Gospels. They include eye-witness reports of what happened. Matthew and John were among Jesus’ 12 closest followers. Here you can read about what Jesus did and said – his profound teaching, how he healed people of sickness and how he challenged the authorities. The Gospels also tell us about his death by crucifixion and how he came back to life and then returned to heaven.
Starting with a Gospel introduces you to the person of Jesus and the basics of Christian belief.
Letters such as Philippians or Colossians are short, bite-sized letters full of advice about how to live a Christian life. A good next step is to read some of the teaching given to the early Christian Church. Getting to grips with the whole Bible takes some time, but it is worth the effort.
Many people find it helpful to find a quiet and comfortable place to sit and read the Bible and make sure that they read it every day. Take time to digest what it says. You could say a quick prayer – asking God to help you understand what you are reading and its relevance to you. Another letter in the New Testament notes how the Bible can touch the very heart of the issues we all face. The letter known as Hebrews calls the Bible “the word of God” and says it is “living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”.
There are plenty of tools around to help you read the Bible. You might like to use a daily reading plan, which gives you a structured way to navigate the Bible. These usually include portions of the Old Testament and the New Testament to read every day.
Jesus Christ often referred to Old Testament writings in his teaching, so it is important to understand them so that you can understand what he was saying.
Academics continue to study the Bible and wrestle with the meaning of some passages. They analyse historical documents, read the original translations and consider the context in which the books were written – the culture and the politics. This is important because it uncovers aspects and subtleties that may not be immediately obvious. Academics in
The Bible is God’s inspired Word to you and to me — and to the whole world!