The Bible is…

How would you finish the sentence?

The Bible is…

So much more than a story book – there are great stories in it, some that will encourage us and some that should make us a little nervous. There are great stories of how God saves people but have any of your children asked? “Mummy why did God kill all those people?”.

So much more than a textbook for moral teaching – there are some great morals but for me as a child Sunday school and school assemblies too easily reduced the living word of God to a set of example for good living. Sometimes we’d have a bible story, sometimes one of Aesops fables.
Why not get together with a few people and explore Bible stories you were taught as kids, to see how they fit together and what bits were missed out in the Sunday school version.

So much more than a reference manual – anyone got a Gideon Bible with the handy section in the front of where to find help when… It’s good, it’s helpful, and sometimes a single verse really can speak into a situation but you need more if you are going to have a living relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit. (The Gideons would agree with that too)

So much more than proof texts – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” but the chapters and verses weren’t in the original, so don’t just grab a single verse. Finish the whole sentence “17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”. And even if it’s helpful to commit some verses to memory read them in context and have a clearer idea what was (and is) being said.
So much more than a thought for the day – do you use Bible reading notes to start your morning, or listen to a thought for the day on the radio. If so great? They can help. But be careful that someone else isn’t doing all the thinking for you.
So what is it?

Here’s what a few others have said about the Bible

“The Bible is as true today as it’s always been” – Ricky Gervais (actually he’s an atheist who doesn’t believe it was ever true.)
“The Bible is the account of God’s action in the world, and his purpose with all creation” – Biblica (publishers of the NIV)
“The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years.”
“The authors were kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, and doctors. From all this diversity comes an incredible unity, with common themes woven throughout.”
“Everywhere” – YouVersion (not quite right but they do have over 1000 version in more than 700 languages, accessed on about 150 million devices)

“The Bible is widely considered to be the best selling book of all time” Wikipedia

The Bible is everything God wanted it to be.

The Bible is always true in what God wanted it to say, but we often mishear.

The Bible is God’s blog – a personal insight into who he is.

The Bible is the story of God relating to the world he loves.

The Bible is written for believers. Non-believers will probably look at the readers before they look at the book.

The Bible is “sharper than a two edged sword”

The Bible is meant to be used as a surgeons knife not a dagger

The Bible is the lens through which we are supposed to see the world.

So that’s a few options. Which did you like? How would you finish the sentence?

You can leave your thoughts as a comment here. You can post on facebook or twitter with #TheBibleIs , or you can even have a live face to face conversation with friends.

OK Google: Where do I find help in the Bible

There wasn’t an “OK Bible” app available when I looked but I’m sure there will be soon and it will be possible to do a Google Now voice search by chapter and verse, topic, or partially quoted scripture. What would be the most commonly asked questions to “OK Bible?”

With so many Bibles available online or as downloadable apps searching the Bible has never been easier. You can find bits that you are looking for or follow links to parts other people suggest might be helpful in a particular situation.

You can already do a Google voice search and just ask your phone “OK Google, what does the Bible say about…” , just be sure not to take all the Googled answers as “gospel”.

Long before such interesting technology the Gideons were including a section at the front of the New Testaments that they gave out in schools entitled “Where to find help”.

Not surprisingly those  Bible Helps are now online. They can help you quickly find verses for when you are:
Afraid, Anxious, Apathetic, Away from Home, Bereaved, Bitter, Blaming God, Broken-Hearted, Bullied, Choosing a Career, Complacent, Confession, Conscious of Sin, Considering Marriage, Contemplating Revenge, Critical, Criticised, Desperate, Distressed, Doubting, Envious, Far from God, Feeling Hurt, Feeling Inadequate, Feeling Lost, Friends Fail, Gratitude, Heaven, Hell, Honesty, Humility, Ill, Insecure, In Danger, In Pain, Insulted, Intimidated, Jealous, Lonely, Made Redundant, Needing Comfort, Needing Guidance, Needing Peace, Newly Retired, Praying, Prioritising, Resentful, Sceptical, Stressed, Suicidal, Tempted, Thankful
…and that’s only part of the list. It also provides starting points for finding some of what the Bible says on a whole range of issues.Gideon Bible Helps

Each verse may be a comfort and a help in itself but they are also jumping off points into finding deeper truths. Quotes are helpful doorways into what the Bible is saying and reminders of truths already known. It’s always good to read or listen to them in context, and with electronic Bibles it’s easier than ever to quickly find a verse in context.

There are lots of other great online resources for helping search or navigate the Bible (more links here later).

People before you have asked similar questions and you have access to the whole Bible to test whether what they say is true.

Sometimes I have to ask my phone the same question twice, so I’ll ask the one at the start of this post.

What would you ask OK Bible?  (post answers as comments or tweet them marked #OKBible)