Whether you’re deeply devoted to God to spread His sacred teachings or simply looking to expand your knowledge on Christianity and related topics, the Bible is the essential fountain of information. However, some people feel intimidated poring through this sacred tome due to several reasons ranging from its content to how it is often viewed as a source of conflict and controversy by those who wish to detract from it. People will always have differing opinions about the Bible, and it can be hard for a person to apply essential Christian teachings unless he or she is aware of what the Bible truly means. Before you attempt to study the deeper intricacies of this sacred book, here are a few key points to consider.

The first thing that you should know about the Bible is that it’s actually a collection of several books, effectively making it as a sort of mini-library of sorts. The very etymology of the Bible translates roughly to “little library”. This makes sense given that the four canonical gospels highlighted in the New Testament are referred to as “the Book of Matthew” and so on. Many of the books that make up the Bible, as we know it, have included the contributions of several people of different ethnicities spread across different time periods. With this information, it’s easier to explain and understand the various contrasts in spiritual perspectives when reading the Bible from start to finish.

Furthermore, the Bible of one person may not be the same version that another person is reading.  This is a fundamental fact, given that there are several Christian denominations that utilize the Bible as the source material for their central doctrines. For example, a person who is a practicing Catholic will use a version of the Bible that is slightly different from those who are Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Methodists, or Eastern Orthodox. Even Jewish people, who are not part of the spectrum of Christianity, utilize the Old Testament as part of their sacred writings. Despite these variations, the content and messages endorsed within the respective Bibles of these denominations are similar in nature.

Finally, if a standard copy of the Bible you are reading is printed in English, you are reading a translation from the original ancient texts which were written in several different languages. For instance, the majority of the Old Testament used Hebrew, with a few exceptions transcribed in Aramaic. The New Testament scripts, meanwhile, were written in Greek. Things can sometimes get lost in translation, and thus, translators tasked to interpret the Bible, have the responsibility of making decisive choices that reflect the true intent behind the original words of the many authors who contributed to the Bible’s content.

The key factor in understanding the Bible, however, is being constantly aware of its overriding purpose and theme.  Its fundamental claim is that it is the authoritative attempt of the Creator God to reveal to His intelligent creation who He is, what He is like, and what He has in mind for this world and humanity.  He wants you to know that He is the embodiment of limitless love, and that He loves you.

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