The Bible is a Letter
To the saints who are in Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, Belfast.
The Bible is a Library – 66 books, composed by over 40 writers, perfectly expressing the mind of God. The Bible is a Landscape – a landscape of life, full of wisdom about living. The Bible is also a Letter.
What is a letter? It is writing addressed by a particular person, the composer, to a particular person or persons who read it. Not everything that is written is a letter because not every document is addressed to particular people. In Scripture, not only were all 66 books written by human authors who had an intended readership in mind (like Paul writing to the Thessalonians), but the whole Bible is God’s letter, consciously addressed by him to every single person who reads it.
Does that take your breath away? This is the wisdom of God. Holy Scripture is the Word of God addressed personally to everyone to whom it comes. If you have a Bible and your name is written in the front of it, think of it as though the Lord himself had written it there. And instead of something like RSV (Revised Standard Version) printed on the introductory page it could be RSVP (Reply if you please). The Lord who has written to you this letter would like to know your response to it.
Just reflect on what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3.15-16, ‘you have known the scared writings [the Bible] which are able to make you [singular] wise for salvation.’ Paul is saying, ‘Timothy, think of those Scriptures that you have, and which you were brought up on, as the Lord’s personal word to you – given to make you personally wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.’
And he goes on, still in the singular: ‘All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuke, correction and instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God [that means you Timothy] might be equipped for every good work.’ All Scripture is breathed out by God – the product of God’s creative breath – so that it can be described in Article XX of the 39 Articles as ‘God’s Word Written.’
The Bible is totally human, of course, but it is totally divine also. In that sense it is comparable only to the incarnate Christ – where total humanity and total deity were together in personal union. This book comes from the Lord through human writers, the Holy Spirit prompting, guiding and inspiring each one of them to write God’s Letter.
Sincerely in Christ