The Bible is a Book
And we approach the Bible as we would approach any other book but with this difference...
We expect to get special information from it that we do not expect to get from any other book.
With other books we may want to be entertained such as when we read fiction books. Or...
We may seek historical data about a specific time or place or person. But when we look at the biblical books...
We are looking for information about ourselves.
We want answers to our questions and not just any questions...
(Sorry, but I need to use one of those five dollars words here)
We want the answers to the "existential" questions of our lives.
And what are the "existential questions"? -- simply these:
"Who are we?
What is the purpose of our lives?"
Starting at the beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, the answers are clearly stated in this way...
You and I are specially created by God- in God's image. That means we "look" like God. Even more...
You and I have within us the breath of God which seperates us and elevates us above every other creature in our world.
Can we agree that it goes without saying that the human person is above stones and rocks and plants and trees?
That we are above the animals? (Athough some would say that we are merely the most advanced animal!)
But even more than merely being above animals, the biblical witness is that we are uniquely formed-
We are unique in our shape- and we are uniquely made alive by the breath God breathed into us.
This means that the human person not only is fashioned by God's creative genious, but that we carry God's breath inside of us.
This breath is our individual soul.
Our unique soul is individually instilled in us at our conception. It is what makes us who we are.
And because we are "somebody" and not "nobody"...because we are persons and not merely another species of animal...
We are persons with a purpose. A purpose that is clearly shown to us in Genesis.
We are persons created by God and breathed into by God in order that we can have communion with God.
This word, "Communion" consists of two words joined together. The first word is "common" and the second word is "union"...
Genesis declares that the purpose of our lives is to live in common union with God. We are to share life with God.
By living in a relationship of faith, hope and love toward God.