What information does the Bible contain?
The Bible is a book penned by forty different authors written over a period of fifteen hundred years consisting of sixty-six different books. There are four hundred years separating the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament from the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Yet from Genesis to Revelation, they tell one seamless unfolding story and together present the consistent theme of God's holiness, love and grace, while providing answers to the most important questions we can ask of ourselves. The Bible contains stirring accounts of God at work in the lives of His people.
With broad strokes, the authors portray the grand, redemptive purpose of God as revealed in His acts throughout the Old and New Testaments. We see the drama starting in the Old Testament with God's creation of the universe, and move through the stories to the lives of the patriarchs, the release of the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery, their settlement in Canaan, and finally the loss and resettlement of their land. The story continues in the New Testament with the coming of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection, followed by the growth of the early church and the writings of His apostles and other early followers.
Despite the span of time and the various writers, the message and stories which are contained within the Bible are coherent and seamless, which itself is evidence of the hand of God in its creation. The Bible offers knowledge in a number of different areas including history, knowledge about God, prophecies of the future, a way to salvation, a set of morals and the meaning to life.
The Bible contains different kinds of books. Some are history, telling the story of the Jews, or Jesus. Some are collections of wise sayings. Some are God's commands to His people, which He expects them to obey. Some are songs of praise to God. Some are books of prophecy which are messages from God that He gave through chosen people called prophets. The Bible was written long ago in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and later translations were made into other languages. All in all the Bible has been translated into over 2000 languages.
The first half of the Bible is called the Old Testament or Tanakh. This tells the story of the Israelites and how God chose them to be called "His people". This part of the Bible is considered to be holy by Jews as well as Christians. The second part is called the New Testament, most of which was written first in Greek. Some was probably written in Aramaic first, but the oldest copies known today are in Greek. The main part of this book is the story of Jesus life. There are four different accounts of the life of Jesus called Gospels. The New Testament also contains letters by early Christians.