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The Bible is God's primary way He talks with us.
God is living and active with His creation today - not just distant and watching. Just like talking with a friend, God is in conversation with us. We talk to God (in prayer) and He talks to us most clearly in the Bible.
The Bible is sometimes called "The Scriptures" or "The Good News" or "the Word".
Technically, "The Word" is Jesus. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) and the "Good News" is the message that Jesus is the Savior of all people. But since the Bible is the written account of God's love for His creation (you!) thorough Jesus, the Savior (and that's Good News!) then all these names work for the Bible.
The Bible is all God's Word Bible.
All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16) Some parts of the Bible are easy (like John 3:16) and some are more difficult. As God's Word, we cannot simply ignore parts we do not like or find difficult. This is one reason we are encouraged to be part of a church family - to read and discuss God's Word together. Click here to find out more about Bible Studies at Prince of Peace.
The Bible is the one continuous story of the history of God's love for His creation.
The Bible is in two major sections: The "Old Testament" and the "New Testament"
The "Old Testament" takes place from the creation of the world to the return of Israel after captivity (about 400 BC).
The Old Testament was written over 1000 years by about 30 different people - all inspired by God - in 39 books of history, prophesy, and poetry mostly written in Hebrew.
The "New Testament" takes place from just before the birth of Jesus to about 100 AD.
The New Testament was written over 50 years by 9 different people - all inspired by God - in 27 books of history, letters, and prophecy mostly written in Greek.
The Bible has been translated into 700 languages (some parts into 1500 languages) to make it more accessible to more people around the world. Any act of translation (including a simple spoken sentence or a complete book) includes decisions about word choice and word order. Also, languages develop over time. (Shakespeare sounds different from an American movie even though both are written in "English".) This is why there are different Bible translations that sometimes sound the same and sometimes sound a bit different.
Each book of the Bible is divided into chapters and each chapter divided into verses. Because of the different translations and printings, most of the time sections are referred to by book, chapter, and verse (instead of page number) so people using different versions can follow along.
For example: "John 3:16" means Book of John, chapter 3, verse 16.
In the King James Version: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In the English Standard Version: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
It is easy to have God's Word at your fingertips in many translations through many free phone apps or websites.