You hold in your hands the most powerful book ever written. Countless lives have been changed by it. Numerous authorities have
tried to ban it. Some godless people have burned it. And many Christians have died to preserve it. Why has this book had such
a huge impact on people? Because this book, the Bible, is the very word of God. It came from God himself--he is the author.
Over hundreds of years, he chose certain individuals to write down exactly what he wanted to tell humankind. This process is
called "inspiration." One of Jesus' closest followers, Peter, wrote, "Above all, you must realize that no
prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet's own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved
by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God" (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Although these authors wrote in Hebrew or Greek, their words have been carefully translated into many languages. So today
we can read God's message in our own language--modern English.
God's Message for Today
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the apostle Paul reminded his
student, Timothy, that "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize
what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare
and equip his people to do every good work." This is still true today, even though the Bible was written hundreds
of years ago. Its message is timeless, personal, and powerful because it comes from God. Millions have discovered that
the Bible speaks to their deepest needs, and people from all over the world turn to God's word daily for words of comfort,
encouragement, hope, inspiration, and guidance. There they find satisfying answers to life's most perplexing questions
and difficult problems.
The Bible, however, is more than just an answer book for life's problems. It is also made up of exciting adventures,
inspiring stories, beautiful poetry, convicting messages, and the hope-giving life story of Jesus Christ.
Many Books, One Message
The Bible may look like one book, but it is actually sixty-six rolled into one. Thirty-nine books make up what we call the
Old Testament, and twenty-seven make up the New Testament. God used many authors--as many as forty--over a time-period of
many centuries to write the sixty-six books of the Bible. This makes each book unique. But even though each book has its own
style and character, each one contributes to God's life-changing message. What is that message? Through the Bible, God makes
it clear that he loves us and has a plan to save us from the destructive power of sin.
God's Message for You
What is God's message for you? Read this amazing book carefully, looking for how God worked in the lives of people
many years ago. Then look deeper to discover the timeless truths that can be applied to the lives of people today. Look for
ways that God's timeless truths apply to you. How does he want your life to change? As God speaks to you
through his holy word, do what you know he wants you to do--obey him. James 1:22-25
says, "But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For
if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and
forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says
and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it."
Welcome to God's life-changing message for you. Welcome to the Bible.