The most unique Book: But what is its Message?

Brilliant and creative writers have penned many great books down the centuries. Books of different genres written in multiple languages from diverse cultures have enriched, informed, and entertained mankind over generations.

The Bible stands unique among all these great books. It is unique in several ways.

Its Name – The Book

The Bible literally means ‘The Book’.  The Bible was the first volume in history to be put into the book form using pages common today.  Before that people kept ‘books’ as scrolls. The change in structure from scroll to bound pages allowed people to keep large volumes in compact and durable form. This led to increased literacy as societies adopted this bound page form.

Multiple Books and Authors

The Bible is a collection of scores of books written by several dozen authors. As such it is perhaps more accurate to think of the Bible as a library rather than a book. These authors came from different countries, languages, and social positions.  Prime Ministers, kings and senior government officials to shepherds, rabbis, and fishermen comprise the some of the authors’ backgrounds. However, these books still create and form a unified theme. That is remarkable. Pick a controversial topic today, like economics. If you scan the foremost writers in that topic you will see how they contradict and disagree with each other. Not so with the books of the Bible. They form a unified theme, even with their diverse backgrounds, languages and social positions.

The Most Ancient Book

It took more than 1500 years for these books to all be written from start to finish.  In fact, the first authors of the Bible wrote their books about 1000 years before the rest of the world’s earliest authors began their writing.

Bible Time Span with some of its major characters shown on Timeline. Notice how much later the ‘Father of History’ come as well as other major historical events and persons. The Bible is Ancient

Most Translated Book

The Bible is the most translated book in the world, with at least one of its books translated into over 3500 languages (out of a total of 7000). It is the first book to be translated into another language. It was when the Bible was translated from Hebrew to Greek ca. 200 BCE (known as the Septuagint) that the name ‘Bible’ came to be, since it derives from the Greek Βιβλίο.

Diverse Writing Genres

The books of the Bible form a wide variety of writing genres. History, poetry, philosophy, prophecy all incorporate into the various Bible books. These books look back to the ancient past and also forward to the end of history.

Most Partitioned Book

The Bible is partitioned into various sections depending on the cultural background of the readers. Jews partition the Tanakh into Torah (writings of Moses), Nevi’im (prophetic writings), and Ketuvim (writings including wisdom literature). With the possible exception of the ancient book of Job in the Ketuvim which might pre-date Abraham himself, all the books in the Tanakh were written by Jews. Christians around the world generally refer to the Tanakh as the Old Testament. They use the same books but they are arranged in a slightly different order.

The disciples of Yeshua wrote more books which came to be grouped together in the Bible as Brit Chadasha. This designation was taken from Jeremiah’s prophecy

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

Jeremiah 31:31

where a new covenant (Brit Chadasha in Hebrew) was promised to come, fulfilled at the Shavuot after Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection. Christians around the world generally refer to this as the New Testament. With the possible exception of Luke, all the authors of the books in Brit Chadasha were also authored by Jews.

This also makes the Bible a most Jewish book.

… But its message not readily known.

This book is also a long book, with a complex epic story. Because its setting is so ancient, its theme so profound, and its scope so wide many do not know its message. This unfamiliarity with the over-arching message is partly reinforced because many do not venture outside the particular partition of the Bible that they are familiar with. Some read only in the Torah. Others read only in the Brit Chadasha. But the overall message is understood through the unity of its different sections. What the Torah initiates, the Nevi’im extends and the Brit Chadasha fulfills. Together they form an overall story.

Many do not realize that the Bible story, though vast in scope, centers on a very personal invitation. You can take different perspectives to understand the Biblical story. The list below provides a few on this website: