What is the Bible?

The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors over a period extending well beyond a thousand years. These books were accepted as being inspired by God’s Holy Spirit from the time they were written and are regarded by Christians as God’s revelation of His will to humanity.

The interaction between the human and the divine authors in the production of these books is not fully disclosed, but we do get some insight into the process from 2 Peter 1:20-21: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

This does not mean that the human authors were nothing more than printers for the divine Word Processor, because we can easily discern differences between the various books of the Bible that reflect the diverse backgrounds of the writers involved. It does mean, however, that God had a message that He prompted His prophets to write, each in his own style, and that He supervised the result to ensure it contained all He wanted it to convey, and nothing more.

The term “Bible” comes from the Greek word for “book” (biblos). Other names for the Bible include “the Word of God” (Mark 7:13), or simply “the Word” (Psalm 119:105), “the Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:15-17), or just “the Scriptures” (Daniel 9:2; Matthew 22:29).

Want to go deeper? 
The following are useful resources for pursuing your study of the reliability of the Bible:

Recommended for purchase:

Erwin W. Lutzer. Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible. (2001).

F. F. Bruce, et al. The Origin of the Bible (2004).

Online resources:

The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F. F. Bruce.

Checkable Bible Accuracy