The Bible is not a comprehensive book. It does not even contain some of the very basic words in Christianity. For example on a quick research on a Bible website, I noted that the words, the Bible, Trinity, Original sin, Christianity or Limbo do not exist in the text.
The Hebrew Bible is as basic to Christianity as it is to Judaism. Without the Old Testament, the New Testament could not have been written and there could have been no man like Jesus; Christianity could not have been what it became. This has to do with cultural values, basic human values, as much as with religious beliefs. The Genesis stories of prehistoric events and people are a conspicuous example. The Hebrew myths of creation have superseded the racial mythologies of Latin, Germanic, Slavonic, and all other Western peoples. This is not because they contain historically factual information or scientifically adequate accounts of the universe, the beginning of life, or any other subject of knowledge, but because they furnish a profoundly theological interpretation of the universe and human existence, an intellectual framework of reality large enough to make room for developing philosophies and sciences.
The Bible is the literature of faith, not of scientific observation or historical demonstration. God’s existence as a speculative problem has no interest for the biblical writers. What is problematical for them is the human condition and destiny before God.The great biblical themes are about God, his revealed works of creation, provision, judgment, deliverance, his covenant, and his promises. The Bible sees what happens to mankind in the light of God’s nature, righteousness, faithfulness, mercy, and love. The major themes about mankind relate to man’s rebellion, his estrangement and perversion. Man’s redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, the gifts of grace, the new life, the coming kingdom, and the final consummation of man’s hope are all viewed as the gracious works of God.
- “biblical literature.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 21 Feb. 2010 ca.com/EBchecked/topic/64496/biblical-literature>.