The word bible means “a collection of books.”  The Christian Bible is one big book that is a collection of 66 smaller books.

The Bible is Christian scripture.  “Scripture” means writings which are central or foundational to a religion.  Many religions have scriptures, not just Christianity.  The Bible is the uniquely Christian scripture.

Christian beliefs are based on the Bible.  Technically, Christian beliefs are based on Jesus.  But, since the only way we have to know about Jesus is the Bible, it’s not incorrect to say that Christian beliefs are based on the Bible.

The Bible does not contain a list of beliefs.  The Bible contains ancient writings that, for the most part, tell of things that happened in the past.  Christian beliefs come from interpreting these ancient writings.  To interpret something means to explain the meaning of something.  The idea is that these things that happened in the past have some kind of meaning.  That meaning is the basis for Christian beliefs.

The Christian Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The word testament means “something that serves as evidence of something else.”  The Old and New Testaments serve as the evidence of Christianity.

Christian beliefs come from interpreting ancient writings that tell of things that happened in the past.  These things that happened in the past are why Christians believe what they believe.  That means Christian beliefs derive from interpreting things that happened in the past.

Interpretation is a subjective process.  It depends on personal opinions.  That’s why there are so many different beliefs in Christianity.  Different people read the same things in the Bible and because of their differing personal opinions, come up with widely different meanings.  One Bible, interpreted many different ways, the result of which are many different Christianities.

Since there are so many different interpretations of the Bible, many different versions of Christianity, which one is correct?  That’s a hard question to answer.  It, too, is based on personal opinion.  So whichever interpretation you choose, have a bit of humility about it.  Remember, it’s based on your personal opinion, whether you realize it or not.  

To read about how we got the Bible, click here.