THE BOOK OF BOOKS
Written by Ron Hutchison

The Bible is the most important book in the whole world and in any age. It is the most important book because it is the inspired word of God (See "The Inspiration of the Bible"). The Bible is actually a book of books which grew through the centuries as each book was written until it reached its present form. But it is not just "a book of books," but THE BOOK of books! In the front of one of  my Bibles the following is written:

  • This book reveals the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.
  • Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
  • Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
  • It is the travelers map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here, too, heaven is opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.
  • Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.
  • It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.
  • It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
  • Owned, it is riches; studied, it is wisdom; trusted, it is salvation; loved, it is character; and obeyed, it is power.

The above certainly sums up the Book of books. It is certainly the greatest and most important book ever written!

The Bible is composed of two major divisions:

THE OLD TESTAMENT


In our English Bible the books of the Old Testament are grouped into five divisions. This arrangement came from the Latin Vulgate translation which derived its order from the Greek Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament). It is interesting to note that Jesus divided the Old Testament into three divisions. Jesus said, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures" (Luke 24:44-45).

THE NEW TESTAMENT

Many people divide the New Testament into four divisions: The Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; History - Acts; The Epistles - Romans through Third John; and Prophecy - Revelation. However, some have also grouped the Gospels with Acts as books of history.

HOW DOES THE BIBLE DESCRIBE ITSELF?

The Bible uses several descriptive terms when it refers to itself. Notice the words highlighted in each verse: (Note: this is not an exhaustive list).

  • Hebrews 4:12 - 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.

  • Ephesians 6:17 - And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

  • Hebrews 10:7 - Then I said, 'Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; To do Your will, O God.'"

  • John 5:29 - "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - 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.

  • Romans 3:2 - Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.

  • Hebrews 5:12 - For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

  • 1 Peter 4:11 - If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

  • Acts 7:38 - "This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us...

  • Isaiah 34:16 - "Search from the book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these shall fail; Not one shall lack her mate. For My mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.

  • Nehemiah 8:3 - Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

  • Galatians 3:10 - For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them."

  • Hebrews 6:5 - and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

  • Romans 1:2 - which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,

  • 2 Timothy 3:15 - and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

  • Philippians 2:16 - holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

  • James 1:25 - But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

In addition to these actual titles for the Bible, there are some symbolic and figurative terms used.

  • Psalm 119:105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path.

  • Proverbs 6:23 - For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,

  • Jeremiah 23:29 - "Is not My word like a fire?" says Yahweh, "And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

  • Luke 8:11 - "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

  • 1 Peter 2:2 - as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

We can certainly see how powerful God's word is by reading the passages containing the descriptive and figurative terms listed above. Surely, what the Psalmist said in Psalm 12:6 is true, "The words of Yahweh are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times." Truly, the Bible is the Book of books!


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