What Is the Bible?

What’s the number one best-selling book of all time? Here’s a hint: it’s filled with epic wars, intrigue, murder, romance, and scandal. You might think Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code, The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games. But you’d be off by a couple thousand years.Try the Bible. Written by forty different authors over 1,600 years, the Bible is one of the oldest, most documented, and most controversial texts in history. It’s loved and revered; it’s hated and distorted. Want to find out what the fuss is all about? Check it out here.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. Is it surprising to hear about some of the more unusual parts of the Bible? Why is that?
  2. Why do you think the Bible is so controversial?

The Bible, a book that contains stories of nine-foot giants, families who lived to be a thousand years old, food that falls from heaven, and epic wars, cities turn to ash from the rage of tyrants, kings cast down, men dying in the dust of battle. One of the most controversial books in history, some people claim it even holds the answers to life and death. The Bible was written by 40 different authors, representing a diverse group of people. They range from a doctor, a few shepherds, farmers, fishermen, tax collectors, and kings. With over six billion copies in print, the Bible is actually a compilation of 66 books written over 1,600 years. This makes it one of the oldest books in existence. It's also one of the most documented books ever. There are over 10,000 ancient manuscripts supporting its accuracy and consistency with original writings. Parts of the Bible, like Proverbs, read like self-help: It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife or Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those in anguish. Other parts read like love poetry that conservatives don't want you to hear: You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit. I said, I will climb that palm tree and take hold of this fruit. There are rules to live by, too, like, "Don't murder people." Four books of the Bible are biographical accounts of Jesus called the Gospels. And then there are historical books about people like Moses, Noah, and occasionally bears. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled 43 of the youths. Right now, copies are being smuggled across borders. It's sitting in the pocket of a pastor being arrested. It's being read in jail cells and on death beds. It was tucked in the hold of the Mayflower. Without a doubt, it's a provocative and controversial book. Love it or hate it, believe it or don't, but decide for yourself. As the number-one bestselling book in history, it just might be worth the read.