TELL me, which book do you like best of all?— Some children would pick one that tells about animals. Others would choose a book with lots of pictures in it. It can be fun to read those books.
But the best books in all the world are the ones that tell us the truth about God. One of those books is more precious than all the others. Do you know which one it is?— The Bible.
Why is the Bible so important?— Because it came from God. It tells us about him and about the good things that he will do for us. And it shows us what we should do in order to please him. It is like a letter from God.
Now God could have written the whole Bible in heaven and then given it to man. But he didn’t. Even though the ideas came from God, he used his servants on earth to do most of the writing of the Bible.
How did God do that?— To understand how, consider this. When we hear the voice of someone on the radio, the voice may come from a person who is far away. When we watch television, we can even see pictures of people in other countries of the world, and we can hear what they are saying.
Men can even go all the way to the moon in their spaceships, and they can send messages back to the earth from there. Did you know that?— If men can do that, can God send messages from heaven?— Of course he can! And he did it long before men had radio or television.
Moses was a man who actually heard God speak. Moses could not see God, but he could hear God’s voice. Millions of people were there when this happened. In fact, on that day God caused a whole mountain to shake, and there was thunder and lightning. The people knew that God had spoken, but they were very scared. So they told Moses: “Let not God speak with us for fear we may die.” Later, Moses wrote down the things that God had said. And what Moses wrote is in the Bible.—Exodus 20:18-21.
Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. But he was not the only one who wrote. God used about 40 men to write parts of the Bible. These men lived a long, long time ago, and it took many years for the Bible to be finished. Yes, it took a period of about 1,600 years! What is amazing is that even though some of these men never met one another, everything they wrote is in absolute agreement.
Some men who were used by God to write the Bible were famous. Although Moses had been a shepherd, he became the leader of the nation of Israel. Solomon was a king who was both the wisest and the richest man in the world. But other writers were not so well-known. Amos took care of trees that grew figs.
In addition, one Bible writer was a medical doctor. Do you know his name?— It was Luke. Another writer had been a tax collector. His name was Matthew. Still another had been a lawyer, an expert in Jewish religious law. He wrote more books of the Bible than anyone else. Do you know his name?— It was Paul. And Jesus’ disciples Peter and John, who also were Bible writers, had been fishermen.
Many of these Bible writers wrote about things that God was going to do in the future. How did they know those things before they even happened?— God had given those men the information. He had told them what would happen.
By the time that Jesus, the Great Teacher, was on earth, a big part of the Bible had been written. Now, remember, the Great Teacher had been in heaven. He knew what God had done. Did he believe that the Bible was from God?— Yes, he did.
When Jesus talked to people about the works of God, he read from the Bible. Sometimes he told them from memory what it said. Jesus also brought us more information from God. Jesus said: “The very things I heard from him I am speaking in the world.” (John 8:26) Jesus had heard many things from God because he had lived with God. And where can we read those things that Jesus said?— In the Bible. It was all written down for us to read.
Of course, when God used men to write, they wrote in the language that they used every day. So most of the Bible was written in Hebrew, some in Aramaic, and a lot of it in Greek. Since most people today do not know how to read those languages, the Bible has been put into other languages. Today parts of the Bible can be read in over 2,260 languages. Just think of that! The Bible is God’s letter to people everywhere. But no matter how many times it has been copied, the message is from God.
What the Bible says is important for us. It was written a long time ago. But it tells about things that are happening today. And it tells us what God is going to do in the near future. What it says is exciting! It gives us a wonderful hope.
The Bible also tells us how God wants us to live. It tells us what is right and what is wrong. You need to know this, and so do I. It tells us about people who did bad things and what happened to them, so that we can avoid the trouble they had. It also tells us about people who did right and the good results that came to them. It was all written down for our good.
But to get the most out of the Bible, we need to know the answer to a question. The question is this: Who gave us the Bible? What would you say?— Yes, the whole Bible is from God. How, then, can we show that we are really wise?— By listening to God and by doing what he says.
So we need to take time to read the Bible together. When we get a letter from someone we love very much, we read it again and again. It is precious to us. That is the way the Bible should be to us because it is a letter from the One who loves us most. It is a letter from a loving God.