What is the Bible? Part 1

The Bible is first and foremost the history of Israel, and was written by Israel for Israel. 

When we read the Bible, we are essentially reading a different culture's mail. 

So the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, an instruction manual or a moral guide. To read the bible in these ways will mean missing the bulk of the message the Bible has for us today. 

First and foremost, the Bible is a collected history written by and for Israel. As such, it's a reminder to Israel of who God is, what God has done in Israel's midst and what God will do.

Digging deeper, although the Bible was written by and for Israel, Israel is not the primary subject of the Bible. Jesus is. In my last post, I talked about some practical ways we can understand the Bible's human and divine authorships. To fully appreciate the Bible for what it is, it's important to keep the two authorships of the Bible in mind.

When we make the Bible all about our desires, goals or our ideas, we rob the Bible of it's intended divine message. When we make the Bible all about us, we re-make the Bible into nothing more than a self-help book. 

Self help is not the primary goal of the Bible, because the intended message of the Bible revolves around the saving work of Jesus.

For example, the metaphor and meaning of David's victory over Goliath is not primarily about how God helps us face our giants. 

The primary metaphor in this ancient story is a Christ metaphor. Just as David had victory over Goliath, Christ claimed victory over the last giants to stand - sin and death. Jesus is therefore the true and better David. Through Jesus we are saved from the giants that threaten to derail our lives.

As David's victory was imputed to Israel so that they lived with the benefits of King David's work, likewise the work of Jesus on the cross is imputed to all who believe so that we may live with all of the benefits that children of God receive.

We therefore do not need to be afraid of any challenges we may face. We can tackle them headlong because we have a mighty King who has gone to battle for us, and won! As we live in that victory, we can be assured that no matter what happens, we can trust our lives to the God who loved us so much that he would rather die than be eternally separated from us. This is a God worth trusting, even when things seem to be going terribly wrong.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16


Copyright © 2013 Think Theos