The Bible is no ordinary book. It’s all about God, and how much he loves us. Now, you might think the Bible is a big long list of rules and names, but it’s not! You might also think it’s about a bunch of perfect people who always followed God’s rules.
Actually, the Bible is a bunch of stories, poems, letters, and even songs — that are all telling ONE BIG STORY — that have been put together into one big book. And everything in the Bible is true! Like how God created the whole world and everything in it. And the stories about Jesus, God’s son. And in between, there are LOTS of stories written by all kinds of people. But the amazing thing about the Bible is, all these stories came from God!
The first part of the Bible is called the Old Testament. It tells the story of God’s special family, the Israelites, and how God promised that through them he would bless the whole world. To help them do that, God gave them “The Torah,” or The Law. These were ways for the Israelites to live differently than other nations — by welcoming people who were different from them, forgiving each other, and following God.
The only problem was, no one was able to follow ALL the rules. This is what the middle part of the Bible is about. People tried as hard as they could, but they kept making mistakes. And every time, God forgave them and promised them that someone would come, a King, a Rescuer, who would actually follow all of God’s rules and show us what God is like.
Well, Israel waited a LONG time for the King who was also the Rescuer. While they were waiting, Israel had good kings and not-so-good kings. Sometimes the people in charge forgot about God and started to worship other gods. And sometimes they even got taken over by other countries.
And whenever God would do something amazing — like when he saved three guys from a fiery furnace, or when he sent messages to prophets like Jeremiah or Ezekiel — or even when ordinary people like Ruth decided to be part of God’s family — people would write it down. They wanted to remember what God had done, and teach their kids what God was like: he’s powerful, he’s loving, and he’s GOOD.
In some stories, God reminds us he’s a good king — powerful and mighty, someone who saves his people from danger. In other stories, God reminds us he’s a good father taking care of his children. Or like a good shepherd, gently taking care of his sheep.
Now that’s all in the Old Testament. The next part, the New Testament, starts with four books full of stories about Jesus!
Jesus was God’s Son, and he lived a perfect life without breaking any of God’s rules. He taught people about God, and showed people how to be like him, by helping those who were poor and sick. Then, Jesus died for our wrong choices and came back to life — which was a pretty amazing thing!
It was so amazing, that people made sure they wrote down the stories about Jesus. And as more and more people started following Jesus, there were more amazing stories to write down! Like when the Holy Spirit came down like wind on Pentecost. Or when people who followed Jesus performed miracles.Or even when one of Jesus’s friends, John, had a crazy dream about what it will be like when Jesus comes back to rule the entire world.
After Jesus came back to life and then went to heaven — yeah, that happened! — people who followed Jesus wanted to put together all these stories about the Law, the Israelites, Jesus, and the early church — into one big book. It took a few tries before everyone agreed on what parts should be in what order. But that’s how we have this big book called the Bible.
Today, people still read the Bible all over the world, because what was true a long time ago, is still true today! God always stays the same. God still speaks to us, he forgives us and loves us, and he’s always GOOD. And when we read the Bible, we can still learn about who God is, and what he’s like.
The Bible says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Tim 3:16 NLT)
And THAT’s the story of the Bible.
So in case you missed it, here’s the quick version: The Bible is a book of stories about God. The Old Testament is about Israel. The New Testament is about Jesus and his followers. We can still learn about God today.
And THAT’s a part of God’s Story.