The Bible from beginning to end; from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation is a story of hope for all humankind.
It starts with the story of creation and the perfect world God created in the first book, Genesis.
It then describes a fallen world but moves on to foretell the hope of a new creation.
God offers this new hope through the person of Abraham, who is chosen by God and obeys his commandments and so his offspring are promised they will be the chosen people of god. And that a Messiah will come through the line of Abraham to redeem the world.
Jesus, born in the line of Abraham was the long-awaited Messiah, and the New Testament records his birth, death and resurrection.
Finally, the last book of the Bible, called Revelation, prophesies how a new creation will come about, on earth, for all those who believe in Jesus.
The words in the Bible, were all inspired by the spirit of God and tell of how the living God wanted to dwell in the midst of his creation and people and how his presence first came to dwell amongst the Jewish people in the desert, but he then came physically as a humble carpenter to both Jew and Gentile in the person of Jesus Christ.
He taught us all we need to know about how to live a good and worthwhile life and ultimately be reunited with him in the new creation which will be in heaven on earth.
All the stories in the greatest drama ever written are interlinked and can revolutionise our lives once we come to understand the great historical, and spiritual, truths already played out in it and those promised for the future.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books with contributions from 40 different people, but it is God’s Holy Spirit who guides them as the author. Split into two sections, the Old Testament provides the story of the Jewish people and the New Testament is all about the life of Jesus.
The words in the bible (known as scripture) have formed and shaped communities over 4000 years to date, and still do today in churches all around the world of many different denominations.
There is a program that I often listen to on BBC radio called Desert Island Discs. The program has a different guest each week who is invited to tell what musical pieces they would like to take with them if they were marooned alone on a desert island, that piece is then played for the listeners.
At the end of the programme, the host asks the guest if they could also take a book with them which one it would be – other than the Bible and works of Shakespeare as these would be automatically allocated to them there.
This always moves me, because even though the BBC programme is light entertainment, in today’s somewhat jaded view of Christianity, the Bible is deemed to be something of ultimate importance to someone stranded on a desert island.