Guest Author - Preena Deepak
The Bible is a book of books, written over a period of 1600 years by at least 40 different authors. The inspiration for the Bible is God Himself and every passage of scripture recorded in the Bible is authentic. Surviving perils over centuries, the Bible remains the best seller of all times and has been translated into several languages.
The entire Bible is made up of 66 books, some extensive while others short and crisp. All the Books of the Bible are distinct and the style of writing varies. The original texts of the Bible were written in Hebrew, Aramic and Greek. The Bible that is now available is the translated version of the original manuscripts.
The Bible records two distinctive phases, the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament has 39 books while the New Testament is a compilation of 27 books. The Old Testament is fully about the Covenant of God with Abraham and his descendants who are referred to as the Israelites while the New Testament is a record of Godís Covenant with all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The message of salvation rings loud throughout the Bible, but is uncovered in the New Testament.
Each book of the Bible is divided into Chapters which have a numerical listing of details. Each item on the listing is referred to as a Scripture verse. It is amazing to note that this pattern is present throughout the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments.
With this introduction in mind, it becomes easier to understand how a Bible is to be used. The reader must first of all remember that unlike other books, each book of the Bible has a different author with a unique style of writing and expression. There are songs, poems, stories, miracles, parables, genealogies, historical details, laws and rules and laments recorded in the Bible. So it becomes very important for readers to first get a glimpse of the author and the purpose of the book.
It is also vital to read passages in the Bible in their context and not pull out verses randomly. Here again the diversity of authors and the differences in expression need to be considered.
There is no set rule to begin reading the Bible. Every book of the Bible is full and complete and offers a reasonable understanding to even common readers. However each verse of the Bible is rich in meaning and those who dare to study deep into the text will certainly be able to perceive the force and intensity of the Bible which makes this book the Word of God.
Anyone using the Bible with an open mind will surely find it easy to read and use. There are several Bible commentaries, dictionaries and devotion books to aid in the study of the Bible. New readers could choose an easy to understand translation of the Bible and use one of the Bible aids to get the most out of reading the Bible.