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What Is the Bible, Anyway?

We Christians spend a lot of time reading the Bible, hearing it preached, and meditating on its words. Why this commitment? We are committed to the Bible because of what it is and what it does. The Bible guides us to its purpose and power through the many metaphors it uses to describe itself. Here is a pretty good collection of them. Perhaps you’d do well to meditate on a few of them.

The Bible is a lamp that illumines. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

The Bible is a light that shines. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

The Bible is medicine that heals. “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)

The Bible is rain and snow that causes growth. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Is 55:10-11)

The Bible is fire that refines and consumes. “Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)

The Bible is a hammer that has the power to destroy. “Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)

The Bible is food that nourishes. “But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” (Matthew 4:4)

The Bible is a sword that has the power of life and death. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” (Ephesians 6:17)

The Bible is divine breath that carries the power of God. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible is solid food that strengthens the mature. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food…” (Hebrews 5:12)

The Bible is a plant that puts down roots and bears fruit. “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21)

The Bible is a seed that grows to create new life. “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God…” (1 Peter 1:23)

The Bible is milk that nourishes the weak. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2)

The Bible is a lamp that guides us through and out of this world. “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…” (2 Peter 1:19)


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