The Bible is like a great ocean. It has a sandy beach with shallows where even children can play safely. It has deeper parts where adults can swim. But it also has vast depths that we can never get to the bottom of.
There are some people who have never seen the sea.
They have never scanned that broad horizon, never smelt the tang or tasted the salt spray on their lips, never experienced the crash or roar of the great breakers, the turmoil of the surf, the gentle lapping of a tranquil sea, or the quiet stillness of a flat calm. They have missed a whole dimension of life's experience. One writer put it like this:
The Bible is like a great ocean. It has a sandy beach with shallows where even children can play safely. It has deeper parts where adults can swim. But it also has vast depths that we can never get to the bottom of.A User’s Guide to the Bible – Lion PressRead more: A Guide to Bible Reading
When you start to read the Bible you will soon realise that this is no ordinary book. Its claim to be the inspired Word of God becomes self-evident as you turn its pages. This being the case you will want to dig below the surface to get a better understanding of what God is communicating to those who take the trouble to listen to Him. The words of Solomon are relevant here:
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.Proverbs 25:2 NIV
The study of the Bible is uniquely rewarding and worthwhile. As with the study of any topic, you can approach this at various levels and this section will provide a guide on various tools available to us today.Read more: Bible Study Tools
The Bible has much to say about the life and teaching of Jesus and there is ample independent evidence to verify that he actually existed. The Bible names many eyewitnesses, such as the Apostle Peter, who after the ascension of Jesus to heaven preached in Jerusalem saying:
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know – Him, being delivered by the carefully planned intention and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up...Acts 2.22-24Read more: Jesus Christ
Imagine you wake up one morning and you’re not in your own bedroom. You look around and there is nothing in the room but the bed you are lying on and a black box on the floor.
You hop out of bed and go over to the black box – as you walk over you notice that it is ticking. Written in capital letters on top of the box is the word BOMB! You jump back in horror and start running around the room looking for a way out – but, there’s no doors and no windows! You bang on the walls and start yelling – ‘let me out, let me out!’ But there’s no answer.
You look fearfully over at the black box and you notice a black book on the floor next to it. You go over and pick up the book. On the cover in capital letters it says – HOW TO DEFUSE THE BOMB.
You feel a great surge of hope and quickly open up the book. But oh dear! It’s quite complicated – no pictures, lots of writing, maybe some formulas? Your heart sinks as you try to make sense of the instructions. This is really hard! You look at the ticking bomb – no indication when it’s due to go off. You break out into a sweat.
Just then there’s a click behind you. You turn around – a hidden door has opened and a man is standing in the doorway with a smile on his face. “Good morning”, he says cheerfully, “breakfast is being served if you come this way.” With a huge sigh of relief you drop the book and rush out the door.
We’ll come back to this story a bit later.Read more: Is the Bible Relevant Today?
About two thousand years ago, a group of people assembled in an upstairs room in Jerusalem. The book of Acts in the New Testament records what followed in these words:
...suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them forked tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance Acts 2.2-4Read more: The Holy Spirit