The Bible was written over a 1,500 year time span by 40 different generations coming from radically different backgrounds and cultures. It was written from different places, at different times, in different languages by writers on different continents, yet it contains an Unmistakable thread of continuity throughout its pages.
The Bible is somewhat like a library because it is actually a collection of books. Those books were written over many centuries, and they were only gradually brought together into their present form. The first "collection" was probably the first five books of the Bible (often called the "Torah," which is the Hebrew word for God's Law). As time went on, other books were added.
This carefully maintained collection of 66 individual books was penned over 1,000 years. The Lord used His holy servants to hear His heart and then under the Holy Spirit’s direction write the Holy Scriptures. Servant leaders, kings, farmers, prophets, warriors, businessmen, religious leaders, fishermen and a doctor all make up the unique profile of writers. The Trinity in Their infinite wisdom used a cross-section of culture to give us the whole counsel of God. The Bible is practical because holy, real, people wrote His words. Context is critical to understanding the world of those the Bible is addressing. Customs, traditions and the mores of the culture bring clarity to what is being said. For example, agrarian illustrations and Jewish traditions both bring out nuances in occupational and religious concepts. Cultural familiarity is necessary for an accurate interpretation of the text of the Scripture. Also the style of writing defines the context: poetry, prose, historical narrative, prophecy, praise and parables each describe a unique purpose for the reader.
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