The Good Book, as some often call it, is written in such a way as to present the truth God has purposed to reveal to mankind. Since the Good Book, or the Bible, presents the truths God has purposed mankind to know, we should not expect the Bible to give us answers it was not designed to give us.
How We Often Think of The Bible
The Bible, like any other book, was written with a purpose, which we will get to in a minute. First, let me explain how people generally think of the Bible. I will start with a comparison. Take a math book for example, you would not open it and expect to learn about history, nor would you open a literature book and expect to learn about the inner workings of the human body. Rather, you would expect to learn about the subject the book was written about. Math books teach you math, and literature books teach you literature. If math and literature books are written with a purpose in mind, we should expect books covering other subjects to have a purpose as well. The Bible is no different.
However, we often treat the Bible as if it should be different, believing it should provide us with a detailed history of the surrounding countries, use language that is in accordance with the twenty first centuries scientific dictionaries, rather than language descriptive of an event, or provide us with answers it was not designed to provide, such as what existed before the beginning of the world, or who created God. In short, we believe the Bible should encompass all aspects of history, mathematics, science, literature, etc, while at the same time answering all our most pressing questions. If it does not, then we often believe we should be able to write it off as if it is a book wrought with error. However, this assessment of Scripture is not fair, because it is not taking into account the purpose for which the book was written.
The Purpose of Scripture
So what is the purpose of Scripture? The purpose of Scripture is to tell us about God, Us, His plan, and His Son.
The Bible tells us who God is – The Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign Lord of the Universe. It provides us with a glimpse of the Character of God, and how He expects His people to live and interact with Him and His creation.
It tells us who we are – We, and the world, are apart of God’s creation. Since He is our Creator, we should worship Him, but we often don’t. Here is where the Bible reveals the problem of why we don’t worship Him. Scripture tells us we are sinners and we inherited our sinfulness from Adam and Eve. As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, mankind and the entire creation fell into sin. The result of our sinfulness was a broken relationship with God. We could no longer enter into the presence of God because His holiness would not allow it. The great news is that God had a plan, which is revealed progressively in His Word, the Bible.
God’s plan involves the redemption of all creation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. Jesus, who is also God, came to earth, lived a perfect life, while being subjected to the same pain, suffering, and temptations we face, and died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. If we believe in Him as our Savior, then we will experience a restored relationship with God along with eternal life, instead of eternal death. God’s plan also tells us that after Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven, where He awaits a time when He will return to redeem and restore creation to a perfect state. All those who have believed in Him as their Savior, will enter into this new creation with Jesus as their king, and they will live for all eternity.
The purpose of the Bible is to reveal the overarching meta-narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. As you travel through the pages of Scripture, this narrative is revealed. Through reading the story of the Bible we learn how mankind and all of creation fit into that narrative, as well as who our God and Savior is, and how we can and should interact with Him and His creation. If this is the case, then Scripture, like all other books, was written with a purpose. As a result, Scripture should be read with that purpose in mind, meaning we should not expect the Bible to answer questions it was not designed to answer.