Life, Hope & Truth

The Bible: God Speaking to Us

The Bible is God’s written instruction manual for how humans can have a better life now and enjoy life with Him forever.

Who really wrote the Bible?

About 40 different authors recorded the 66 books of the Bible, but the Bible claims they were all inspired by the same ultimate Author.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16.

And God makes powerful claims for this extraordinary book:

  • “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God,” Jesus said (Luke 4:4).
  • “But the word of God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
  • “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
  • “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Jesus also said that “the Scriptures must be fulfilled” (Mark 14:49). And a great many biblical prophecies have already been fulfilled, helping prove that the all-powerful Creator God is truly the Author, and that the Bible is completely true. More about the proofs of the Bible in a moment.

But, first, what is the Bible and what can it do for us?

What is the Holy Bible?

The Bible records the words of God, who inspired the entire collection of 66 books written over 1,500 years by about 40 people. This fascinating library provides what we need to live a good life now and prepare for an abundant life forever.

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that the Holy Scriptures “are able to make you wise for salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15). The Bible shows that salvation means to be saved from the penalty of death for our sins and to be given eternal life as the children of God.

Paul went on to list some of the purposes and benefits of the Bible. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (verses 16-17).

Paul also said it was written to give us hope and encouragement. “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

God gave it as an instruction manual for His human creation. The Bible reveals what God knows is best for us.

Millions of people are searching for tips and secrets that will reduce their suffering and increase their happiness in life.

If something goes wrong with our cell phone or computer, we might go online looking for an expert or a user’s guide that can help us solve the problem.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to have access to an expert or an instruction manual for the human life? Where can we find a guide that helps us troubleshoot our problems and prepare for success and happiness?

The Holy Bible claims to be such a guidebook.

Is the Bible true?

The Holy Bible claims to be inspired by the Creator God—and it gives us tests we can use to prove that the Bible is true.

Many of the most important proofs of the validity of the Bible are covered in articles in this section. For example, see our articles on the evidence of archaeology, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, historical records, fulfilled prophecy and the internal consistency of the Bible.

You may have been told that the Bible is full of contradictions. Conservative scholars have examined all the apparent contradictions and found logical explanations for them all. Many turn out to be misunderstandings, and a few appear to be copyist errors.

Our articles examine several of the apparent “Contradictions in the Bible.” You may also be interested in our look at why God has allowed apparent contradictions.

Is the Bible relevant today?

The Bible was written thousands of years ago, but it claims to have a message for today. It also gives insights into the future and offers us help to prepare for that future.

You’ll find today’s human relations problems paralleled in the Bible. Thankfully, the Bible also outlines the cure. It tells us tried and proven methods for avoiding and fixing the common pitfalls of the human condition.

Bible study helps

The Practical and Priceless Benefits of Bible Study” section shows why you should read the Bible and how to get the most out of it. This section gives you tools to find answers and inspiration.

Within this section you will also find dozens of “Bible Stories” that are downloadable with pictures for children to color.

In the “Holy Bible” section you will also find overview articles about the different parts of the Bible, including articles that provide background and overview of each of the 66 books of the Bible. You can access them all from this convenient page: “Books of the Bible.”

Many of our resources can be used as Bible study lessons. For example, our Daily Bible Verse blog can be used for daily Bible study online or through an email subscription.

Our Learning Center gives access to a number of Journeys that can be used for daily Bible studies, as well as video series, booklets and study guides.

And use our search function (on the upper left of any page) to find articles on almost any biblical subject. These all include relevant scriptures and can be used as Bible study resources as well.

Bible study tips

You don’t have to be a scholar or theologian to understand the Bible and gain the wonderful blessings that come with studying the Scriptures.

What is the best way to study the Bible? Consider these Bible study tips:

  • Pray for God’s guidance. The Bible says there is a veil over understanding the deeper spiritual meaning of Scripture, but “the veil is taken away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14). Ask for God’s help to find what He has for you in your studies.
  • Search the Scriptures daily, as the Bereans were praised for doing (Acts 17:11).
  • Do what you learn.
  • Examine the context as you study.
  • Study all the passages about a subject throughout the Bible.
  • Use clear passages to understand difficult passages.
  • Remember that the Bible does not contradict itself, and apparent contradictions can be resolved.

Our article “How to Study the Bible” expands on these helpful tips.

Bible study tools

Though the Bible itself is the essential tool for Bible study, printed reference works, Bible software and online Bible resources can be helpful for taking a deeper dive into the background and meaning of biblical passages and topics.

See our articles “Bible Study Tools: Where to Start” and “Bible Software: Tools to Maximize Your Study” for more insight.

Top Bible translations

There have never been more English-language translations of the Bible to choose from. Which are the most accurate?

See Ralph Levy’s article “What Is the Most Accurate Bible Translation?” to examine the reasons we chose the New King James Version (NKJV) as our standard Bible for quotes on this website. It shares a high level of accuracy with the older King James Version, but is easier for modern readers. Still the King James Version (KJV) has its uses.

Other modern translations can also be helpful to compare, once you understand their translation philosophy and their strengths and weaknesses as summarized in Dr. Levy’s article.

You will occasionally see quotes on Life, Hope & Truth from the New International Version (NIV), English Standard Version (ESV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and other Bible versions when they add clarity to the translation.

The Bible gives practical answers

The Bible gives the essential information that helps us prepare for eternity, and it is also powerfully practical in the here and now. It provides the help we need to solve our problems and improve our relationships.

Here are just a few of the Christian living principles that can make our lives much better today as we study how to apply them throughout the Bible:

  • Improving our marriages: “Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).
  • Improving our parent-child relationships: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4).
  • Job success: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).
  • Avoiding debt: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
  • Avoiding a fight: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

Whatever situation you are facing, the Bible has practical, useful advice. Search it out in your Bible study.

And make use of another recommendation in the Proverbs: “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22). Feel free to use our “Ask a Question” form to get biblical help and counsel from our team of dedicated and caring ministers.

Some key biblical themes

The Bible touches on basically every subject that affects our lives. In this section of the Life, Hope & Truth website we focus on several major themes.

10 Commandments

For example, we go into depth about themes that run through the entire Bible, like God’s Commandments. They appear from Genesis to Revelation. (Surprised? See Genesis 26:5 and Revelation 22:14 and 154 other verses in between.)

God gave the 10 Commandments for our benefit. Our articles show they were revealed before the time of Moses, and they were upheld in New Testament times.

Explore each of the 10 Commandments and how they apply and can bring benefits when obeyed today. This includes the greatly neglected Fourth Commandment.

How does God intend Christians to apply the Sabbath today? When is it, and what are its benefits? Why is it so ignored?

Other biblical laws

Beyond the 10 Commandments, we also address other biblical laws

These include what Jesus called the “first and great commandment”: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Jesus went on to list a corresponding second one: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (verse 39).

Do these two conflict with the 10 Commandments? Not at all! In fact, Jesus showed they summarize them: “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (verse 40).

This section on “Biblical Laws” also includes a study of Jesus’ “New Commandment,” as well as marriage laws, biblical festivals and laws about clean and unclean meats.

Law and grace

In this section you can also study the vital and often-misunderstood relationship between God’s law and His grace. (Hint, they aren’t mutually exclusive, but work together. They are both aspects of God’s loving nature.)

The apostle Paul did not found his own religion. Paul was in full agreement with Jesus Christ’s teaching about the importance of both God’s beneficial law and His unmerited, merciful grace.

This section also explores some of the most commonly misinterpreted passages about law and grace. What is the “curse of the law”? What was nailed to the cross? What does “yoke of bondage” mean? These studies bring clarity to difficult passages and reinforce the unity of God’s unbreakable Scripture (John 10:35).

Covenants

Another theme that may sound ancient and academic to modern ears is covenants. In reality, God’s agreements with man are important and relevant today. The articles in the “Covenants: God’s Agreements With Man” section can help you understand. So few recognize fully what is new about the New Covenant.

Learning about God’s covenants sheds more light on God’s love, loyalty and faithfulness. God always fulfills His promises. He wants us to understand the need to be faithful to our commitments to Him.

Explore the Bible

We hope this page is only a first stop on your expedition to explore the Bible—the book God has written and preserved for you!

See more about what God has to tell us in His wonderful Bible in the many articles throughout this section. And please let us know if we can help you gain more from your efforts to understand and apply the “word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). You can contact us through our “Ask a Question” form.

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