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[The Bible] is a supernatural book. The words of this book–the Bible–are not merely human words. Instead, these are God’s own words, His own personal revelation of Himself to us. Here in the Bible we encounter God and come to know His amazing love for us.

It is no wonder that the Bible is as relevant today as when it first was written. It is the most popular book in human history, and through the centuries millions have risked their lives to have their own Bible. Only a supernatural book could survive countless attempts to destroy it.

The Bible is a unique book. It actually includes 66 different books–some short, some long–written over a period of 1,500years. It was written by more than 40people from all walks of life and in three different languages. But the Bible is especially unique in that the words of each book were inspired or “breathed out” by God (2Timothy 3:16). Taken together, the books of the Bible are “the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”(2Timothy 3:15).

The Bible’s great message is the revelation of Jesus Christ and His work of saving us. The Bible begins in the book of Genesis by telling how God created everything, including human beings, and how sin and death first came into the world to spoil God’s perfect creation. But then the Bible unfolds God’s wonderful plan to give eternal life to all who believe in Jesus. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born the Bible predicts His birth. The Bible then goes on to tell the amazing story of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection–and that Jesus will return one day in the future, to take all who believe in Him to be with forever in heaven.

Though the Bible is all one book, it is divided into two main parts. The first part is the Old Testament, which was written initially to God’s chosen nation, the Jewish people, through whom God would bring His Son Jesus into the world. The New Testament was written initially to those who first believed in Jesus in the first century church. But the message of both the Old and the New Testament is timeless and as relevant today as ever–for every race and culture and for every generation down through history.

Best of all, you can discover the life-giving message of the Bible for yourself. The Bible is God’s book written for you–with God’s message of hope and peace and truth and life for you. Why not start reading it today?

–Excerpt from ESV® Bible, The Economy Edition. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®(ESV®). Copyright 2011 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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