The Bible is a centerpiece of Christianity. As Christians, we believe all the words contained in the Bible are true. The Bible is the source of all Christian doctrine, including how we qualify many pastors and leaders, as well as for the personal growth of every individual’s faith. As Christians working to share the message of Jesus and bless the world around us to bring God glory, the Bible is central to our mission. And as it contains the most trusted accounts of God’s relationship to humanity, it is the essential lens through which we interpret the human experience. It is the story of God relating to Humanity through Jesus, by way of the cross and empty tomb.
The Bible is more than a single book. It is made up of 66 books, written down by 40 different writers, over a period of 1500 years. There are 39 books in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), and 27 additional books in what is called the New Testament. It was written originally in three ancient languages, being Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. Virtually all Christian traditions and denominations recognize the 66 books of the Bible as true Scripture, though some groups such as the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church include some additional writings into their official canon. But we’ll discuss that later.
Next we’ll discuss how on earth these 66 books came into being, who decided which books were considered official, and finally how it all applies today.