Why The Bible Is Called The Bible? Is It Really Holy?

by Jack Wellman

Where did the name the “Bible” come from?  Why is it called the Bible and is the Bible really holy as it claims?

The Meaning of the Word Bible

The word Bible comes from the Koine Greek word ta biblia or “the books” because the Bible contains 66 books.  It is literally ta (the) biblia (books) and sometimes called in the plural, biblias or biblios. It is a collection of 40 authors written over at least 1,500 years.  Most authors of the different books of the Bible did not know each other, yet the accuracy and consistency is miraculous.  The Hebrew Bible contains 24 books that are in the Old Testament in the Protestant Bible.  The Catholic Bible contains more than 66 books because it holds books of the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books like Tobit, Judith, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.  The word Apocrypha actually means “hidden.”

Strictly speaking then, the Bible is called the Bible because it is a collection of books and these books are inspired by God and said to be written by the Holy Spirit so the Bible is actually God speaking (2 Timothy 3:16).

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What the Bible Says about Itself

The Bible is God speaking.  Why do we say that?  Because there are 418 times that the Bible uses the term “Thus says the Lord” and then there are 48 sayings of “God said“, but if you add the times when it said, “And Jesus said” we have over a thousand more sayings that the Bible is God’s Word or God speaking.   The total amounts to about 2,000 times that the Bible declares that God is speaking, either in the text or by Jesus Christ Himself, Who is also God.

Here is what the Word means to me:

I read the Bible but the Bible reads me
I go through the Bible but the Bible also goes through me
I have gone from cover to cover in the Bible but the Bible uncovers me
I know the Bible but the Bible also knows me
The Bible gets to the heart of the matter and the matter gets to my heart

Why do I say these things?  Because as Hebrews 4:12 says that, “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word has power and it has effectual power.  That is, it has power to affect a person and convict them of their sin.  God has said that the “word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

The Word of God is like a seed…it is planted in the human soul and causes growth.  It is like a hammer in that it breaks up the stony, hard places in my heart.  It is like a fire as it refines, purifies, and burns away the dross (the impurities).  It is like bread because it gives us our daily sustenance and allows us to survive. It is also like a sword as mentioned in Hebrews 4 because it cuts to the quick and penetrates our thoughts and intents that are unseen by human eyes…


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