Next Wave International™

What's So Special About The Bible?
Mal Fletcher

Watch the special EDGES TV Programme on 'The Bible' (28 mins) at

The Bible has a unique place in history. It is a great piece of literature. It's had a profound effect on languages and cultures right around the world. And even in this age of legal thrillers, murder mysteries and fantasy sci-fi stories, it is still the world's best selling book.

Through the centuries, the Bible has been celebrated in the work of great sculptors, painters and composers. It has featured in operas, stage musicals and dramas, and it has provided story-lines for some truly epic movies. Today, you can read the Bible online, you can download it for your PDA, and read it on your WAP phone. The Bible, it seems, just goes from strength to strength.

Romance, betrayal, espionage, international intrigue, murder -- the Bible has it all. But it's much more than just another best-seller. For Christians, the Bible represents God's written revelation to humanity -- God's personal letter to us, telling us what he is like and how we can know him intimately and personally.

The word Bible comes from the Greek 'biblia' which means 'the books'. The Bible is really a whole library of books -- 66 of them. They were written over a period of 1500 years, starting in the time of Moses -- around 1450 BC. Their authors included kings and princes, philosophers and doctors, shepherds, farmers and fishermen. Despite the fact that it was written over so many centuries, it's an amazingly consistent book. It tells just one great story: the epic tale of where we came from, who we are, and where we're going.

The Old Testament of the Bible is made up of the Hebrew Scriptures. It begins with God's creation of the world and the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden. It traces the development of the Hebrew nation and, more importantly, how God revealed himself to the world through his dealings with them. And it closes with a promise: that God will redeem and restore our fallen humanity and pour out his Spirit of favour on people of every nation on earth.

The New Testament is uniquely Christian, but it grows out of the Hebrew Scriptures. It tells the story of Jesus Christ. It was written by the first apostles and their closest followers in the period between the resurrection and 100 AD. The Hebrew Scriptures predicted the coming of a Messiah, God's 'anointed one', to save his people from their sins. For Christians, Jesus is the fulfilment of that promise. In fact, the word 'Christ' is just the Greek version of the word 'Messiah'.

Over the years, gifted translators have worked with a passion to provide us with copies of the Bible in modern languages. There are so great many versions to choose from today -- in every major language group. You can buy them in bookstores and newsagents; you can find them in your library; you can even read them online. To help you get started with the Bible, we've made some suggestions right here on the EDGES site. Check them out. Whatever you do -- don't miss reading this world-beating book of life!

Watch the special EDGES TV Programme on 'The Bible' (28 mins) at

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