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Frequently Asked Questions about the Bible       


      I recently read somewhere that the Bible is the book that has been sold more than any other book. Also, it has been translated in almost any language of the world. Although one would expect that after so much interest, there would be no questions regarding the author of the Bible, how the Bible was written, what is its usefulness and what is its right interpretation, unfortunately this does not happen. The reason is because when it comes to such questions, people do anything else except of trying to learn from the information that the Bible gives for itself. The obvious result is confusion that you cannot get rid of except by doing what would be done for any other book i.e. by searching for and trusting the information that the book gives for itself. The purpose of this article is to search for this information so that we no longer be ignorant of the truth.

1. Who is the author of the Bible?

      To find the answer to this very important question we will go to II Timothy 3:16. There it says:

II Timothy 3:16
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...."

      The word "Scripture" in the above passage is another name for the book that today we call Bible. In other words, the name that the book that we are speaking about gives to itself is "Scripture". The name "Bible" is of later origin. As long as it is clear that Scripture and Bible are synonyms, we can use both of these terms interchangeably.
      Thus what the above verse tells us is that all the Bible was given by inspiration of God. The phrase "by inspiration of God" is actually one word in the Greek text, the word "theopneustos". This word is composed by the word "theos" that means God and the word "pneustos" that means breathed. Therefore, when the Bible says that it is "theopneustos" what it means is that it is "God-breathed" which in turn means that it came out of the breath of God and consequently it is God's product. Hence: Author of the Bible is God who breathed it or produced it.

2. How was the Bible written?

      Having seen that the Bible is a book whose author is God, an obvious question is how did He write it? A connected question that many may ask is: "How is it that God is the author of the Bible since what I read was written by Paul, John etc.?" Again, we cannot receive valid answers to these questions but only by searching the book. So, II Peter 1:20-21 tells us:

II Peter 1:20-21
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

      Before we examine this passage, we must first make sure that we fully understand what "prophecy of the Scripture" means. The reason that I say this is because the word prophecy is used today only for the foretelling of things. However, this is not the only Biblical usage of this word. Biblically speaking, "to prophesy" means to speak things that come directly from the spiritual ground1. Whether what is spoken is about the future or not is irrelevant.
      Having clarified what prophecy means, we can easily understand what "prophecy of the Scripture" means: it means the Bible as the sum of the separate prophecies that compose it. Thus, what II Peter tells us is that no part of the Bible came by the will of man. This means that it wasn't Paul for example, that one day decided to sit down and write a letter to Ephesians. If it happened like this, Ephesians would be written by the will of man which the Bible precludes. To find how Paul and the others made their contributions to the Bible we do not have but to continue reading in the same passage. The answer is in the latter part of verse 21 where we are told that the prophecy of the Scripture i.e. the Bible was written by holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, who wrote the Bible? Holy men of God. How did they write it? As they were moved by God Who is the Holy Spirit. And if you ask how did God move them, Galatians gives us the answer for the case of Paul which is also the same for all the others:

Galatians 1:11-12
"I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather I RECEIVED IT BY REVELATION..."

      The way that God moved those people was not by possession for God never possesses (I Corinthians 14:32-33). Instead, it was by revelation. In other words, God told Paul what to write and Paul sat down and wrote it. Who therefore wrote Galatians? Paul. Whose ideas and the signature Galatians bears? God's. Hence, who is the author? God is the author. What were men like Paul and the others that contributed to the Bible? They were writers that wrote down what the author, God, told them. That's why the Bible, though it was written by many, has one and the same author: GOD. It is like the director and the secretary. The secretary writes down what the director tells her. Who does the writing? The secretary. Whose ideas it contains? The director's. And as a director can have many secretaries so God had many writers to write down what He wanted.
      To conclude therefore: All the Bible or Scripture is God-breathed and it was written by people as they were moved by God i.e. by revelation.


3. What is the usefulness of the Bible ?

      For one more time valid answers can come only by searching the book. So, II Timothy 3:16 tells us:

II Timothy 3:16
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (i.e it is God-breathed) and IS PROFITABLE..."

      The first piece of information regarding the usefulness of the Bible is that the Bible is indeed profitable. Reading a bit more we will also see what is its profitability:

II Timothy 3:16-17
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly equipped for every good work."


3.1. "For doctrine"

      The first thing that the Bible is useful for is doctrine or teaching. This is especially significant since when it comes to God, people usually follow the teaching of traditions or the teaching of what the society considers as "the right source of religious teaching". Hence, for many the teaching about God comes from the priest, the family, the school etc. There is no problem with any of these sources IF they teach what the Bible teaches. Unfortunately, often this does not happen in which case the teaching that is received through these sources may be religious or sincere but WRONG because it is not in agreement with the teaching that God gives in the Bible.
      An example of the Bible used for teaching is the subject of salvation. The answer that the Bible gives to this topic is very clear:

Romans 10:9
"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead , you will be saved."

Also: Ephesians 2:8-9
"For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT of works, lest anyone should boast"

      Can it be stated clearer that to be saved what you need is not good works but to believe that Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead? If your school, your pastor, your family supports something else, whose teaching are you going to follow? The teaching of the Bible or the teachings of the various men whoever they are? I prefer the teaching of the Bible, for only the Bible is profitable for teaching.


3.2. "For reproof"

      Except for teaching, the Bible is also profitable for reproof and correction. This means that the Bible is able to tell us if we are wrong and where we are wrong. Therefore, if I believed that salvation is given by works, or by believing plus some good works, or by I do not know what else except by believing that Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead what I would need is reproof and correction. The above verse of Romans 10:9 is again useful for this purpose since, if I didn't believe what it says, it tells me that I'm wrong by stating the right. Thus it teaches me, it reproves me and it corrects and all these in one and the same verse. Another example is Ephesians 4:31:

Ephesians 4:31
"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice."

      If I'm bitter, wrathful etc. the Bible tells me that this is wrong. And do you know why it is wrong? Not because the society or the moral system of the world defines it as wrong but because GOD in His Word defines it as wrong. To find what is wrong or right you do not need to know and to follow the world's system of morals. What you do need to know and to follow is the Word of God.



3.3. "For correction"

      The third thing that the Bible is useful for is correction. Correction is always a necessary complement to any reproof. With the reproof we see where we are wrong, while with the correction we know what is the right thing to do. In the case of Ephesians 4:31 it is enough to go one verse further to receive after the reproof, the correction. Thus Ephesians 4:32 tells us:

Ephesians 4:32
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you"

      All these that the Bible is profitable for i.e. teaching, reproof, correction make it profitable for instruction in righteousness or, as the Greek reads, for training in righteousness.



3.4 "that the man of God be perfect, throughly equipped for every good work"
      The reason that God gave the Bible, which is useful for all these things, is that the man of God be PERFECT. This means that you cannot be perfect but only by putting on what the Bible says.
      The passage also tells us that the Bible was given that the man of God be "throughly equipped for every good work". The good works that are meant here are not good works that YOU have "prepared" for God. For God the only works that are really good are the "good works that GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). To be ready or throughly equipped for these good works what you need is God's textbook: the Bible.



4. What is the right interpretation of the Bible?

      Having already answered three of the most basic questions regarding the Bible, we can now go one step further to examine another big question that has been the source of great confusion. This question refers to the interpretation of the Bible. The need for a right answer to this question is shown by the fact that there are hundreds of denominations that all claim that follow the Bible and yet they have great differences from each other. As with the previous questions, we must go to the Bible to see what the Bible suggests regarding its interpretation.
      The responsibility of each Christian regarding the interpretation of the Word of God is given in II Timothy 2:15:

II Timothy 2:15
"Study to show yourself approved to God a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

      The word of truth is the Word of God i.e. the Bible. As the above verse tells us, we are responsible before God to rightly divide His Word. The Greek word that is translated "rightly dividing" in the New King James Version is the word "orthotomounta". This word is composed by the noun "orthos" that means "perfectly right or straight" and the verb "tomo" that means "to cut". Thus "orthotomounta the word of truth" means "cutting perfectly right the word of truth". Now for God to calls us to cut perfectly right His Word this means that you cannot have three or even two cuttings and all of them be perfectly right, for a case like this would be equivalent to multiple different interpretations of the Word of God and therefore contradictions. This fact is impossible by definition of the Bible as the Word of the One perfect God. To find what this perfectly right cutting of the Word of God is, we do not have but to read a passage that we also examined earlier:

II Peter 1:20
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy never came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

      We already know that "prophecy of the Scripture" means all the Scripture i.e. all the Bible. According to the above passage, nothing in the Bible is of any private interpretation. Now, since private interpretation is precluded, the only alternative is that the Bible interprets itself i.e. it is self-interpreted. This means that we are not permitted to go to the Bible and give our own interpretations. Instead we are obligated, if we want to present ourselves approved to God, to follow the interpretation that the Bible gives to itself. In other words, you are not the one that defines the perfectly right cutting of the Word of God. It is the Bible that has defined it by interpreting itself. Your responsibility before God is to find this perfectly right cutting.
      Therefore, the answer to the question: "which interpretation of the Bible is right" is: the interpretation that the Bible gives to itself. Whether this interpretation agrees or not with the denominations or the traditions this must not have any significance for you. For you what must have significance is to study to show yourself approved to God and to do this you must search for the interpretation that the Bible gives to itself.



5. The importance of accuracy illustrated by two examples

      We have already seen that the Bible is the Word of God and it was given directly from God by revelation. This shows that any alteration through additions, deletions and generally distortions degrades the Word of God and makes it no more Word of God. The same is true for wrong divisions of the Word: you have Word of God to the extent that you have rightly divided it. Below we will present two examples that will make clear the importance as well as the consequences of failure to rightly divide the Word of God.



5.1 Eve and the devil

      The first example is from the very early history of man. God had already made man giving him power over all the earth (Genesis 1:28) and putting only one restriction to him. This restriction is given in Genesis 2:16-17

Genesis 2:16-17
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

      This is what God said i.e. this is the word of God. Let's now go to chapter 3.

Genesis 3:1
"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

      In this verse, the serpent, which is another name for the devil2, tempts the woman. As we can see, he didn't reveal his true face from the beginning. Instead, he started with a question: "Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Did he know what God said? Certainly yes. However, he tries to put doubts in the mind of the woman about it. This strategy hasn't changed at all. Indeed, how many people have come through the centuries that have spent their lives trying to challenge God's people about what God said, exactly as the devil did? And they will always succeed as long as the people of God are inaccurate in what they know from the Word of God. That's why it is needed to rightly divide and to know accurately what the Word of God says. Unfortunately, the woman didn't do that. See her answer in verses 2 and 3:

Genesis 3:2-3
"And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die."

      At first glance, what the woman said seems pretty accurate. However a simple comparison with what God said can easily prove that it is not. Indeed, while she said: "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden", God said: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat". Evidently, she omitted the word "freely". Now you may say "Oh that's nothing. It doesn't matter". But if it doesn't matter then why God said it? Everything that God says matters. Every word of the Bible is there because God wanted so and therefore it is equally word of God. Returning to Eve, her omission was just the beginning. Verse 3: "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said "You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest ye die." Is this really something that "God has said"? No because He never said "nor shall you touch it". Moreover, He didn't simply say "lest (probably, sometime) you die" but He stated emphatically that "in the day (in that very day) that you eat of it you shall surely die." Thus, since God is right in everything He says, something had to die that day3. But see what the woman did: she initially omitted a word, then she added a phrase, and finally she took away the emphasis from what God said. Therefore, what she said was no more than a distortion of the word of God. Now, when the devil saw that she was wrong in what she knew from the word of God, he showed his true colours: "Then the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die". See the contradiction to what God said: God said: "you shall surely die". Devil said: "You shall not surely die". Isn't interesting that it takes just the addition of a small word , the word "not", to arrive to such a contradiction with the Word of God? You may think that this has changed today but it hasn't. For example, for thousands of years God says: "For by grace you are saved through faith; .....not of works lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, for millions of people it is the exact opposite: "by works". Guess who is the one that made this "not of works" of Ephesians 2:8-9 non-existent for those millions of people? The same one that added the "not" in Genesis 3. Unfortunately, this is not the only example of wrong division of the Word of God. There are many others equally serious that would have been avoided if instead of following various traditions, we rightly divided the Word of God.


5.2 Jesus and the devil

      After the above rather sad example, let's examine a more pleasant one in Matthew 4:1-11:

Matthew 4:1-11
"Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward he was hungry. Now when the tempter came to him, he said, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

      Before we say anything else, how do you think that the devil spoke to Jesus Christ here? For many years, because of religious influence, I tended to think that a dark-skin being with two horns, is speaking here. But where does the Bible describes the devil like this? Nowhere. According to the Bible, the devil is a spirit being, a fallen angel, that has no material substance. How therefore did the devil speak here? The answer is obvious: by revelation. And if he managed to do that with Jesus he surely can do that with the others of us. Therefore, it is not enough that something comes from the spiritual ground. It must also come from the right source of the spiritual ground. Something that comes from God is always in alignment with the Bible and it is a blessing in the short-term, in the mid-term and in the long-term. Something that comes from the devil sooner or later will end up in tears, confusion and contradictions of the situation to what the Word says. Needless to say, this mistake would have been avoided if I didn't read my ideas into the Bible. Also, I would have avoided the troubles that devil caused me exploiting my ignorance.
      Returning to our example, see that the pattern that devil follows is the same as in the previous example. He again tries to challenge what God said and which was that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 3:17). Did the devil know that Jesus was the Son of God? Surely he knew it. But he tries to make him doubt his true identity. How did Jesus answer to the devil? Verse 4 tells us:

Matthew 4:4
"But he answered and said, IT IS WRITTEN man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"

      To face the temptation Jesus knew that what he needed was the Word of God. Look how sharp he was: his first words were "it is written.." and he quoted the passage of the Bible that was relative to the temptation. That's how he defeated the devil and that's how you and I can also defeat him.
      The devil having failed in the first temptation continues to a second one. The pattern is the same:

Matthew 4:5-6
"Then the devil took him up into the holy city, set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down: for it is written, "He shall give his angels charge over you": and "in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone."

      As the above passage makes clear, the devil can also use the Bible. However, he uses it deceitfully. What devil quoted is from Psalms 91:11-12. If you compare this passage with what devil quoted, you will see that he omitted the phrase "in your ways". Moreover, he deliberately made a private interpretation of the Word of God asking Jesus Christ to throw himself down because, as he said, was written. That's an example of what kind of conclusions one can get if he wrongly divides the Word of God. See now how Jesus Christ reacted:

Matthew 4:7
"Jesus said to him, "It is written again you shall not tempt the Lord your God"

      Jesus Christ divided the Word of God rightly. You cannot take what the Word of God says in one point, separately from what it says in other points for the same topic. Thus, by leaving the Scripture to interpret itself, Jesus Christ defeated the devil second time. But the devil insisted:

Matthew 4:8-9
"Again the devil took him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; And he said to him, all these things I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me"

      Here the devil plays his last card. He gives everything and requires direct worship. Let's see Jesus Christ's reaction:

Matthew 4:10
"Then Jesus said to him, Away with you, Satan: for IT IS WRITTEN "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."

      Many people say "Away with you Satan" when they feel his pressure and presence. But Jesus Christ didn't stop there. He also added: "IT IS WRITTEN......." stating accurately what the Word of God says about the object of worship. The result of Jesus Christ tactic is given in verse 11:

Matthew 4:11
"Then the devil left him"

      Do you think that the devil would leave him if Jesus Christ hadn't faced him the way that he did? I do not think so. As James 4:7 says, the only way to get rid of the devil is to resist him:

James 4:7
"Resist the devil and he will flee from you".

      Jesus Christ's example tells us that to resist the devil you must know accurately and apply with consistency the Word of God. Eve didn't do that. The results are well-known. You and I must determine what are we going to do? Shall we rightly divide the Word of God independently of doctrines of men and denominational views or we will follow man-made traditions? As it concerns God, there is no more than one right choice: "Study to show yourself approved to God a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."


Tassos Kioulachoglou



1. Since there are two forces in the spiritual ground, the Bible discriminates between the true prophecy that comes from God the Father of Jesus Christ and the false prophecy that comes from the enemy of God the devil (press here to return where you stopped).

2. See Revelation 20:1-2 (press here to return where you stopped)

3. To find what died in that day the reader is referred to The Journal of Biblical Accuracy, Vol.1, Iss.5, 6. (press here to return where you stopped)


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