1. Introduction

The Holy Bible is a book that has been around for many generations, and has been viewed as being important by a great number of people. This section examines some of the qualities of the Bible that make it rewarding for people to read and understand.

In claiming to come from an only true God, it offers something exceptional. That is the knowledge of real truth, and an insight into what we can expect from the future. Not only that, but it contains a specific offer of a presence in a peaceful and idyllic future age on the Earth.

So the Bible potentially offers great rewards for those who seek to learn about it and understand it. The following sections describe some of these areas.

2. Why God is Important Now

When we turn to history, whenever we find civilisation, there so often goes with it a seeking by the people of that society for answers about the world they live in. This extends primarily to the origins and meaning of life, together with the question of why things happen the way that they do. As people look at the complexity and order of the world about them, civilisation after civilisation has concluded that there is a greater force behind the world, typically in the form of a god or gods. In current times, we are still left with the same questions.

There are two primary questions about God that people worry about in modern times. One is whether there really is a God that controls the earth, and the second is whether it is a good thing to be concerned about such a God.

Is there a God?

The basic idea of whether there is a God or not is very abstract. It is impossible to prove that no God exists, and it is for that reason that it is not considered a scientific concept. The onus is more to show that a specific God is real, based on the information that we have about the teachings and actions of that God. This section examines the case for one specific God.

Three of the world's major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam, all have their origins in a set of writings that date back to a period starting about 3500 years ago. They teach that there is a God who has supreme power over the world, and that people have a responsibility to him. These writings form the greater part of what is now known as the Holy Bible. Because it has such wide acceptance, even among such widely different belief systems, the Bible is a very good place to start looking.

The Bible

In claiming to come from an only true God, The Bible offers something exceptional. That is the knowledge of real truth, and an insight into what we can expect from the future. Not only that, but it contains a specific offer of a presence in a peaceful and idyllic future age on the Earth. So the Bible potentially offers great rewards for those who seek to learn about it and understand it.

Given that so few things can be proven about the “laws” of nature, the Bible is remarkably provable. There is no doubt the Bible is a very old book, and that it has been accurately been preserved over that time. There are several ways in which it demonstrates that it has come from a power much greater than that normally known to humans. These include it's internal consistency, and also in the external consistency with history. Further to that, believers in the God described in the Bible attest to having seen his power working in their lives, and so gain further faith from that.

Internally, the Bible is unique because it was written down over a very long period of time, spanning many writers, living under different political systems. Yet despite the 1500 year span of time, the message is consistent in basis from the start to the end. It was certainly not possible for one person, or even a small group, to coordinate the effort. This points to the authenticity of the claimed divine authorship.

While the Bible is a marvel in itself, it is more revealing to see it in the context of the historical events that surround it. In particular, it describes the plans of God in terms of events he was going to cause to occur. Thus it shows the ability to predict events in the future before they happen.

Many people see the Bible as a book that tells truth about God on account of these predictions, because it has been able show history in advance, and be consistent with it. We know that to tell the future of the world centuries in advance requires a power beyond human capability.

An Example: God's Witnesses

One stream of predictions in the Bible is centred on the nation of Israel. This is considered as a special nation, as this passage in Isaiah states:

Isaiah 43:11.: "I, even I, am the LORD, And besides Me there is no savior. 12. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses," Says the LORD, "that I am God." NKJV

As an example, the Bible contains a number of prophecies of how Israel would be scattered and then gathered again to form a nation at a future date. This is something that we can now see that has happened over the course of history. The culmination if this was the formation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. An example of one of these prophecies is in Ezekiel,

Eze 11: 16.: ... 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone. ... I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel." ' NKJV

The prophet Zechariah also reveals great modern insight. It is beyond question that these words were written before the time of Christ, but yet it paints the picture of the Middle East as we know it today. Jerusalem would again be a place of conflict. This passage in Zechariah This aptly describes the very difficult region of the middle east today, despite being written over 2000 years ago,

Zech 12:3.: And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. NKJV

Although this is only a sample of the content of the Bible, it shows how it does have strong evidence of authority.

Is any Action Necessary?

When the authenticity of the Bible is established, it offers two opportunities. One is as a source of knowledge about the world, revealing good principles about how to live. The other is that it contains a number of specific offers to those people who choose to seek out and follow God. In particular, those faithful are offered a place in God's “kingdom” and to live forever. This is described in the Bible as being of great value, for example:

1 Cor 2:9: ...Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. NKJV

However, the message of the Bible is that the issue is not simply about being a good person in whatever way we feel it means to be “good”. Instead, it is specifically stated that it is important to seek out and believe in God in order to be part of His people. One of the gospels in the Bible says,

Mark 16:15: ... "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. NKJV

In particular, the Bible reveals that all people are sinners in the sight of God, because of failure to follow his commandments. The result of that is the great number of problems in the world, and a condemnation to death. A way of forgiveness is offered, and that requires an association with Jesus Christ, the son of God.


The Bible as a book was miraculous in it's very writing, but since then has stood as a symbol of authority for a long time. It's value as a source of wisdom and truth has been upheld by it's ability to predict into the future, and remain relevant for centuries following.

Although the general principles of Christianity as detailed in the Bible are something many people feel they have a grasp of, having a relationship with God requires getting to know Him. The best way of doing that in modern times is by reading and seeking to understand his book, and allowing it to be a guiding force in life.

3. What's In The Bible?

The Bible is a compilation of writings that have come from many different periods in history. They are united together in the claim that their writing was directed by God. This God is a being that has power over the Earth and the lives of people. He is claimed to be a real living God with great power over the world, and essentially the true ruler of the world. Just one example is in the famous “10 commandments” passage:

Exodus 20:1: God spoke all these words, saying, 2. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3. You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourselves an idol... WEB

So here the writer is claiming to be speaking the words of an authoritative God. The Bible makes no apologies for being dictatorial, and instead claims the exclusive right to be that way. Thus the compilation of books in the Bible is considered to be the words of God to people.

An Overview

The content of the Bible itself was written down over the period 1250BC through to about 100AD. Through that period of time, many different people wrote sections of text that were later put into the compilation. Despite the span of time and the various writers, the message that is contained in the various sections is coherent, and this in itself is an indicator that there is more to this book than just the ideas of humans.

The Bible offers knowledge in a number of areas:

The account of history is in some ways obvious, and at other times glossed over. As a historical source of information it is quite valuable. Even if one were to dispute the true nature of the Bible, it is still unquestionably a very old book and reveals events that reach a long time back into history

As a source of history, the Bible is not unique, as there are many other source books for historical knowledge. Something that can make it unique is how it describes the world as being subject to the power of a mighty God. The Bible then goes onto describe the nature of this God, and what he wants from the people of the world.

On account of it's age, the Bible tells us of history, but it can also tell us of things that are still in the future. It does this through its predictions, or “prophecies”. These are sections that describe things that would happen on the Earth at some future time. One theme of those prophecies is that there is to be a future Kingdom on this earth where the problems and sufferings that we have now will stop, and people will live in peace.

Not only does the Bible prophesy that this Kingdom will appear, but also that there is a way to become a part of it. It introduces the two concepts of “salvation” and “resurrection”. The salvation is the means to be saved from the condemnation that results from our present failures before God. The Bible also speaks of a resurrection, where people will be raised from the dead to be able to participate in this future Kingdom.

The Bible also contains numerous laws and moral codes. These are presented the laws and standards of behaviour dictated by God for the people of the earth. Many people feel that these are appropriate moral standards for people to live by, but if this book is truly the words of an all-powerful God, they are also the only true morals that we can live by.

If the Bible can specify the true morals of life, it is not surprising that it can also show the true meaning of life. As humans, we can discover our world and environment through exploration and experimentation. However, that does not take us any further than the visible things in the world. The Bible though paints a picture of something bigger, and puts the world that we see into a bigger context. We can then discover the meaning of our lives in that context.

The Old Testament

There are two main sections of the Bible. There is first the “Old Testament”, which is the older section, and was written through the period 1250BC to about 400BC. This formed the book of scriptures for the Jewish people. It is primarily about the ancient nation of Israel, and includes sections of law and history that have been important to the Jewish people for a long time. It was written in the Hebrew language, and has been meticulously preserved by the Jewish people over the centuries.

The New Testament

The New Testament is quite different to the Old Testament. It was written over a comparatively short time, approximately spanning the years 50 to 100AD. It details the life of Jesus Christ, his teachings, and the early Christian movement. It starts with a number of books that are largely written as a historical narrative, and then includes a series of letters written to various Christian groups and individuals.

A message and theme of Jesus' life was given right at the start of the New Testament, by another man who told of his coming,

Matthew 3:1: In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2. and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.' " NKJV

Three aspects are borne out in this passage:

The message of repentance shows that the Bible carries with it an active message. It ought to be the sort of message that causes changes in the life of the listener. If the repentance is something that is needed, then it is important to actually hear that message. So in this case, the Bible contains potentially very important information.

The second point about the Kingdom of Heaven indicates that it is a book about a change, and that something new was at hand. The New Testament describes what that change involves.

Importantly also, this short passage links with the words of the Old Testament. In many places, the writers in the New Testament show how something was told or predicted in the past. This emphasises the cohesiveness of the Bible, and also the power of the Old Testament to predict that were still in the future at the time it was written.

4. The Bible and Culture

In present times, the Bible is often labelled as a “Western book”, and is considered a part of western culture. Many people from other cultures do not think that it is relevant to them because they are not westerners. In addition to this, there is a lot of pluralist thought in modern philosophy, which suggests that there can be many different religions and cultures, but where each can be good for different people. The idea that many different religions can be “right” leads people to feel that the Bible has no relevance to them, because they are not part of that “religion”.

Cultural Relevance

In the context of these ideas, it is worth considering how the Bible relates to culture and religion. Firstly, the Bible is not a western book at all, and the Christian religion is not a western religion. Instead, it has its origins in the Middle-East, with a particular focus on Israel. The Old Testament of the Bible could be considered to Jewish in origin, and the holy book of the Jewish people. Indeed the message in that section of the Bible is largely about the Jewish race, and God, as described in it, is principally attentive to the nation of Israel as it was at the time.

Even in the Old Testament though, the whole world is included in the message. For example, In a series of promises that were given by God to the patriarch Abraham, He states,

Gen 12:3: I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." NKJV

This was shown to be later fulfilled by the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Although Jesus was also born a Jew, his message was to reach to people all over the world, and offer this blessing to all people.

The people who wrote down the New Testament were also Jewish in origin. The message though, was one about the life of Jesus, and to be given to the whole world. Even at the time, people had thoughts about restrictions of cultures, and wondered if it was just for the Jewish people, so there are passages stating that it was not restrictive.

Romans 3:29: Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, NKJV

Here the term “Gentiles” refers to people who are not Jewish, so the God of the Bible is the God over the whole world. Expressed in a different way,

Galatians 3:28 : There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. NKJV

This is a statement of equality of all races and people, saying that they all have the same hope of being heirs of the promises given in the Bible.

Uniqueness of Salvation

It is really that way of salvation that is the offer of the Bible. There are many avenues of discovering aspects of history, and many different people have formulated codes of morals that they feel people should adhere to, but the concept of salvation in the Bible is claimed to be unique. In the New Testament, it states that people may be “saved” through the name of Jesus, and further that there was no other way of obtaining this salvation.

Acts 4:10: "let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. ... 12. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." NKJV

This uniqueness is a theme that runs right through the Bible. Right from the earliest sections of the Bible, there is always the assumption and the explicit statement that there is only one God, and that that God has revealed Himself through the words of the Bible.

Deut 4:35: To you it was shown, that you might know that Yahweh he is God; there is none else besides him. WEB

The name “Yahweh” here is the English form of the name of God as described in the Bible. This passage claims that he is the God of the world, and that there is no other equivalent God.

5. A Future Glory

One of the great features of the Bible is that it talks about things that were yet to happen in the future. Some of these things sound good, and some of these things sound bad. A term often used of these predictions is “prophecy”, and the Bible contains many prophecies of this form.

Some of the prophecies were written over 3000 years in the past, and they have varying prediction horizons. Some speak of events that were to happen shortly after they were given, while others speak of events far into the future. The ones of most interest to us today fall into one of two categories:

The first are useful because they may be used to establish the authenticity of the Bible and its message. The ability to accurately predict the future is good evidence for the power of an almighty God. The second type are also interesting to us because, if true, they can give us a glimpse into the future, and the plans that God has with the earth. Both of these types of prophecy may be found in the Bible.

The Past Foretold

Considering that there is a considerable focus of the Bible on the Middle-East, it is not surprising that much of the foretold history relates to the nation of Israel.

One of the things that the Bible has predicted is that the city of Jerusalem would be a point of interest and a hotbed of political instability. On small example is in the book of Zechariah, where the city of Jerusalem is isolated as a place of future conflict,

Zech 12:2.: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3. "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. NKJV

This aptly describes the very difficult region of the middle east today. It is quite clear that these words were written over 2000 years ago, yet they isolate what was to be one of the most troubled regions of our time.

Although this is only a small part of the predictive content of the Bible, this is a sample of the fulfilled predictions which help to establish its authority.

The Future Foretold

There are some well-known passages from the Bible that speak of a future time when the world will be a better place. Some of these just allude to the time, but others are quite specific about the conditions

The Book of Isaiah is a collection of prophecies relating to Israel, and the part of Israel known as Judah. One of the early passages relates to a time known as the “latter days”.

Isaiah 2:1.: The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. NKJV

This passage speaks of time that has never yet come on the Earth during recorded history. It may be the dream of the United Nations, but world peace is still a long way from being a reality. This passage promises a time when people will be willingly following the leadership of God, and when nations will be at peace.

Chapter 11 of Isaiah goes even further, detailing a time when there will be no violence.

Isaiah 11:1.: There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. 3. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; 4. But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; ... 6. " The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. 7. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. ... 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. NKJV

The person referred to as the “Branch” is understood to be referring to a promised Messiah. Christians believe that this Messiah is Jesus Christ, while the Jewish people believe he is yet to appear. Under the just rule of the Messiah, people are promised peace and prosperity. This is the sort of world that many people have hoped for, and are still hoping for.

The book of Daniel also contains many prophecies and promises of future times. Daniel is a particularly useful book in our times because the prophecies cover a wide range of timescales. In chapter 2, a vision is shown that describes the progression of world empires from 600BC to present times. It identified Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman and a divided empire. In the end, however, it described how these empires would be replaced by a kingdom of God.

Daniel 2:44.: "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. NKJV

This kingdom corresponds well with the images given by Isaiah. It is an everlasting kingdom of God with universal acceptance.

This is consistent with a promise given in the early days of Israel, while they were in the wilderness between Egypt and the promised land of Israel. After the people rebelled against God, Moses asked God for their forgiveness,

Numbers 14:19.: "Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now." 20. Then the LORD said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; 21. "but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD -- NKJV

In this case God was promising that the earth would be filled with His glory, which is consistent with the other prophecies.

These Four prophecies speak of a promise to the nations of the Earth. The claim is simply that there will come a time on the Earth when there will be peace and happiness. There is no claim in these passages that any particular people will be able to take a part in that world as described.

However, the Bible says more on the subject, and says a lot about how people can choose to have a part in this future kingdom. It claims to be the genuine source of information about how to be involved in the establishment of this kingdom, and to be a part of it.

6. The Reward of the Faithful

In one of Daniel's prophecies, details are added to the picture. Daniel 11 is a detailed description of national events that can largely be identified with events that have already occurred. Chapter 12, however, shows a time that has not yet been seen.

Daniel 12:1.: "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. 2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. NKJV

By correlation with other parts of the Bible, the “Michael” referred to can identified with the “Branch”, the Messiah, or as Christians believe, Jesus. Daniel prophecies of a time when this man will stand up and cause a series of events to occur. There is firstly a time of trouble, “such as never was since there was a nation”. In recent history, there have been upheveals such as the world wars, but even these fall short of such a description.

Verse 2 then speaks of a resurrection, “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake”. Both righteous and unrighteous people are said to be raised, with a reward offered to the former, and a punishment to the latter. What the Bible is offering here is a hope of life again after death. It is saying that people die, and “sleep” in the ground, until a time in the future when they could be raised to life again.

New Testament

Apart from this Old-Testament reference to a resurrection, there are many references to this event in the New Testament. When appearing before the governor in defense of his conduct, the apostle Paul made a claim that he believed in the resurrection from the dead.

Acts 24:15.: "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. NKJV

This agrees closely with the words written in the book of Daniel. There are also some more detailed explanations of the time. One of this is in the letter to the Thessolonians,

1 Thess 4:13.: But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. NKJV

In this case, both a resurrection, and a gathering of people who are alive is spoken of. The dead and the living are joined and then remain with the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15 is a chapter with a large emphasis on the resurrection. It is a part of an argument of the apostle Paul to show that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.

1 Cor 15:16.: For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18. Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. NKJV

The important aspect from this passage is that “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable”. It shows that the promise of resurrection offers a much greater hope than what can be seen in our current lives. As the passage continues, a definite link is made to the kingdom idea from the earlier passages.

1 Cor 15:21.: For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. NKJV

Toward the conclusion of this chapter, a link is also made to a change in the bodies of the people raised from the dead.

1 Cor 15:51.: Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- 52. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." NKJV

This shows that the resurrection is not simply back to the same type of existance as the mortal life. Instead, the raised recieve immortality, that “Death is swallowed up in victory”.

Jesus' sermon on the mount in Matthew 5 is also consistent with the promised kingdom on Earth.

Matthew 5:1.: And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. NKJV

So this represents a reward offered in the Bible, and the centrepiece of what it offers.


This paper has shown the potential importance of the Bible and the offers contained in it. The promises of the Bible are so great that they can make all other things appear insignificant. It is the offer of both life and meaning.

Acts 4:10.: "let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11. "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' 12. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." NKJV

Not only that, but one section, the book of Ecclesiasties is about all seeking the meaning of life. The conclusion sums it up with terms,

Eccl 12:12: Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13. This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. 14. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil. WEB