The purpose of the Bible (Greek biblia) is to reveal who God is, his will for mankind, and to document the prophecies about, arrival of, and ministry of Jesus. Overall, the Bible is a history book, divided into Old and New Testaments, that conveys the account of God's work from the beginning of creation in Genesis to the end of the world in Revelation. Though it is comprised of 66 books, it has a unified message throughout. Jesus said in John 5:39, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me." So, we can say that the focus of the Bible is about Jesus since he said that the entire Scriptures bear witness of who he is. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that he is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9), who bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Timothy 2:24), and who died and rose from the dead (1Corinthians 15:1-4). Therefore, it can be said that the history of the Bible is the background that supports and testifies to who Jesus is and what he did.
The Bible documents the origins of mankind as described in the first book: Genesis. In it, God recounts the creation of the world and how he placed Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden. He gave them the Dominion Mandate, to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). After The Fall, and their expulsion from the Garden, God promised a Messiah who eventually would undo the damage caused by Adam's rebellion (Romans 5:12) and bring redemption to the word (John 3:16). The Old Testament is the account of God working through the chosen nation, Israel, through whom the Messiah would be born. The New Testament is the account of God, in Christ, bring redemption through his sacrifice on the cross. Therefore, Jesus is the culmination of history and the promise of God to work through Israel and bring light to a fallen world.
Following are some of the major themes found in the Bible
- God created the heavens and the earth and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
- When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, sin, suffering, and death entered the world.
- God chose a people, the Jews, through whom the Messiah would come and deliver people from sin and death.
- God sent Jesus, the son, to bear our sins on the cross, die and rise from the dead.
- Deliverance from God's righteous judgment is through faith alone in Christ alone
- There will be a new heavens and new earth