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WHAT IS THE BIBLE ALL ABOUT?
by Philip Owen

            “What is the Bible all about?”  That may sound like a preposterous question especially if one were to suggest that it could be answered adequately in the few brief paragraphs contained in this space.  Nevertheless, the Word does provide a succinct suggestion for starting to answer that question.  Interestingly, it may be found in two places—one from each Testament, the one in Hebrews quoting from a verse in Psalms.  Noting the quotation recorded in Hebrews:  “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God’” (10:7), let us consider the following points.

            1.  The entire Bible shares one theme.  Unbelievers seek and profess to find discrepancies in the Word of God between the Old and the New Testaments.  That no such discrepancies exist may be illustrated partially by the thematic statement recorded in Psalm Forty, recognized as a Messianic psalm:  “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.  I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart’” (vv. 7, 8).   Had we only these two verses, it might be possible to argue that they refer exclusively to the theme of the Old Testament scriptures, but their reiteration in Hebrews confirms that the entire Bible is bound together by the one theme.  With the opening breath of God as early as Genesis 3:15 the coming and the mission of the Messiah are proclaimed; and with His closing breath in Revelation 22:17, the Spirit offers an invitation to respond to that Messiah and Savior and His saving mission.  Everything between is explanation and elaboration on those fundamental truths.

            2.  God has a revealed will.  We live in an age that is completely man-centered, self-focused, and egocentric.  But this text gives preeminence to God and His will.  The words “Your will” are placed in an emphatic position (at the end of the sentence) according to Greek sentence structure.  In other words, what our text suggests is that the Bible is not about man per se but about God and the revelation of His will.  His purpose and plan take the forefront.  God is the central figure in Scripture; the Book has been God-breathed in order to reveal Who He is and what He has done and is doing.  Insofar as this text might be considered to be an expression of the theme of the Bible, it is worth observing that men are not mentioned, not because they have no place in God’s plan nor because He has no interest in them but because they serve as functionaries in God’s plan.  Men and their salvation are not the end of God’s purpose but the means to that end, which is the fulfillment of His will that He alone might be glorified.

            3.  Christ had a work:  to fulfill that will.  What a statement.  We would search high and low to find any more succinct and powerful an expression about the Person and work of Christ.  As surely as God had a holy, eternal will, the Son had a holy, eternal work, which was to submit to the will of His Father, taking on human flesh so that He might suffer and die in order to save lost sinners on their way to hell.  As the Authorized Version translates our text so eloquently:  “Lo, I come, (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”  Properly understood, the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation testifies to the submission of the Son of God to the will of His Heavenly Father.  It is one vast revelation concerning the humbling obedience of the eternal 2nd Person of the Trinity—very God—to the will of the Father regarding the salvation of men. 

In other words, the Book is certainly for men but it is about God—Who He is and what He has done for men.  It is about the soul-stirring submission and self-humbling of Christ.  It is about the glory of the Godhead and the glory of the work of Christ.  To see and appropriate by faith those truths is to be saved.  To think that the focus of the Bible is on man is infinitely more misguided than to think that the focus of a biography about Franklin D. Roosevelt is on Fala.  We delve into the Book for the purpose of learning of God’s will, knowing His Son, and trusting His salvation for the glory of God.            

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