What Is the Bible, Anyway?

The Bible guides us to its purpose and power through the many metaphors it uses to describe itself.

“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)

 

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)

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