We believe that God has spoken in the Bible, sometimes called the Scriptures, through the words of human authors. Since God is the ultimate source of its contents, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
The Bible contains 66 “books,” the first 39 making up the Old Testament (also known as the Hebrew Bible) and the remaining 27 making up the New Testament. These books are sometimes very short (less than 500 words) and sometimes quite long. Some books are letters written to individuals or groups of people while others give primary focus to telling the story of one ore more people and still others are primarily poetry.
We believe that the Bible can never mean what it never meant. In other words, the Bible means what the original authors meant. So to understand the Bible we need to work to understand the original authors and the original readers, including their language and their cultures. There are many resources from experts in these areas to help us with this task. Study Bibles are one type of resource that can be very helpful.
The Bible was written almost entirely in Hebrew and Greek, and scholars have helped us have a very high degree of confidence in what the original text was. There are many translations of the Bible into today’s languages so it is not necessary to learn Hebrew, Greek, or English to be able to study and learn from the Bible.
One great resource for reading the Bible is http://biblegateway.com. There you can find many translations of the Bible in many languages.