What is the Bible?


The Bible tells the story of the Creator and his creation. It follows the twists and turns as the creation rebels and the Creator takes more and more drastic steps to win back his beloved creation.

The story begins with a beautiful account of the Creator’s work. It’s amazing to compare the Hebrew creation account (found in the Bible) with other creation stories from the ancient world. The others tell a soap opera of major and minor deities in petty feuds, looking out only for their own selfish plans. Humans were nothing more than minions to do back-breaking work for these “gods.” But the Hebrews tell of one God who takes his time crafting a beautiful creation by his words alone, with each new step more beautiful than the last. Humans are the crowning achievement of God’s fantastic work. He appoints them to care for the creation along with him. That’s far different from the other stories!

However, the first people betrayed God by listening to his enemy. They thought the enemy had a better offer, and that offer had disastrous consequences. The trust was broken between the Creator and his creation. But God took several steps to make the relationship work again. He clothed the disobedient people, showing that he cared for them still. He called one man and his family to restore creation after God’s judgment on it—the natural outcome for people’s continued rebellion against the Creator. Then God called one man to be the father of a nation that would show the rest of the nations how to live well, according to the Creator’s plans. It’s easy for us to call that plan a failure, since that nation rebelled against God more than any other nation did.

God’s plan always expected the chosen nation to obey, but it also showed how futile human attempts are at making good choices and living well. This big story of God and his world looked like a hopeless tragedy.

Then, a surprising twist turned the story upside down—or maybe right-side up. God chose to take on human flesh with all its weakness. Jesus was born to a humble young woman in a very humble setting. As he grew, he always looked out for the outcasts and misfits. He had good news: he was the king that had been promised to God’s people! And he was not going to be king in the power-hungry, violent way that has been so common throughout history. In fact, when he announced that he was king to the leaders of his nation, they chose to kill him to keep their power intact and not upset the status quo.

Again, this story looked hopelessly lost. But Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death and people’s tendency to always selfishly grasp for power and control. Jesus took his rightful place on his throne above all creation. And he sent his presence, known as the Holy Spirit, to make people’s hearts new and create a single family from all nations—what God intended all along!

The Bible says that all who say that Jesus is King, the true Ruler of the world, become part of a new creation. These new people take their place as humble caretakers of God’s creation as they wait for Jesus to return and make all things new.

You may wonder how any of this answers the question of why the Bible is true. Many will argue that verifying statements in the Bible as facts make the Bible true. That is a noble exercise, but facts can capture only our minds at best. A story as compelling as the one above can capture both our minds and hearts. When that happens and we say, “Jesus is King!” we begin to find our place in that same story. We begin to love and serve those around us, especially those who are weak and thrown aside by society. We sacrifice ourselves because violence and power grabbing never did anything other than lead to more violence and power grabbing. The way of living that Jesus teaches is truly human, and it shows that the Bible is true when it claims that God is making everything new.

This is a very brief summary of the Bible’s story, but as you read the Bible, see how each detail and episode fits (either positively or negatively) with this summary. As you discover the truth of the Bible, join in with its story of God making hearts, families, communities, nations, and all creation new.

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Biblica, the International Bible Society, is a worldwide ministry that has been helping people read and understand God’s Word for over 200 years. We are committed to providing the Bible in accurate, contemporary translations and formats so that more people around the world will have the opportunity to be transformed by Jesus Christ. We do this through translation and publishing, by making the Bible accessible, and with innovative Bible engagement programs like Community Bible Experience. To learn more about our ministry and how you can partner with us to share God’s Word with people around the world, go to our ministry page.