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Why Is the Bible Called the Holy Bible?

Scripture presents the unsurpassable holiness of God, which differentiates it between the other religious texts of the world. The purity of God is essential and absolute to the revealed character of God in Scripture, which He will not compromise.

Contributing Writer
Updated Nov 02, 2022
Why Is the Bible Called the Holy Bible?

When my son was six, we were walking through a Christian bookstore. We had turned away from the kid’s section to look for a gift. When we passed the Bible shelves, my son asked, ‘why is the Bible holey? I don’t see any holes.’ I withheld my laughter and tried to explain holiness to my six-year-old.

What Does Holy Mean?

Numerous verses in the Bible talk about God’s holiness. It also is a word God uses to describe himself in Isaiah 43:15, “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” Habakkuk 1:13 tells us more about God’s holiness, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you cannot look on wickedness with favor…”

The most common definitions state that holiness is associated with God or deity, sacred and worthy of devotion. Merriam-Webster goes further and says that holiness is “one perfect in goodness and righteousness.”

But Why Is the Bible Called the Holy Bible?

I told my son that holy means perfect, and God is the only perfect one. Since the Bible contains the words of God and communicates truths about God, we call the Bible the Holy Bible.

But holy also means something set aside for God’s use. Something that is set apart from common things. The words of God, the stories that communicate truths about him, are most certainly set apart for the use of God. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit…” (Hebrews 4:12).

As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

What Part Did the Holy Spirit Play in the Bible’s Composition?

There seem to be two schools of thought on how the Holy Spirit informed the Bible’s composition.

One line of thinking is that the writers of the Bible were simply scribes. Passive recorders wrote down whatever God dictated. This viewpoint would suggest that the Holy Spirit completely wrote the Bible. This is supported by 2 Peter 1:21, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

The second school of thought is that the Bible was inspired by God but allowed for individual styles, vocabulary, and experiences to shine through to communicate clearly with the original audience. Which is supported by 2 Timothy 3:16.

While there are many debates over the authority of Scripture and its divine inspiration. Christianity.com writer Betty Dunn observes, “Jesus promised in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit. ‘… will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.’ As Christians, we, therefore, believe that God through the Holy Spirit inspired the authors of the Bible.”

Though it is written over 1400 years by 40 people from many different walks of life, all the books of the Bible communicate the same story: the same qualities of God and the same need for a savior.

Even when people look at the four gospels and argue that they are all too different to be credible, they miss the point. When investigators look into a crime and all witnesses say exactly the same thing, that usually means something strange is happening. It’s expected that different eyewitnesses will give different minor details, but if they are telling the truth, they will communicate the same core account from different perspectives. Even though each presents different minor details, we see the same story in the four gospels (Jesus’ death, the empty tomb, and the women seeing Jesus first).

Throughout Scripture, we see the pieces fit together to tell a coherent story. Dr. Adrian Rogers puts it this way: “The Bible forms one beautiful temple of truth that does not contradict itself theologically, morally, ethically, doctrinally, scientifically, historically, or in any other way.”

This evidence suggests there was a greater power weaving the greatest story ever told to strengthen and teach us, just as many of the books of the Bible say it will.

How Does the Bible Speak to Us?

Charles Spurgeon once said, “if you want to hear the voice of God read the Bible out loud.” This quote always makes me laugh because I can’t imagine a preacher from the 1800’s saying such a sassy sentence.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was only given to those chosen by God to be priests or prophets to communicate God’s truth. In 1 Samuel 10:10, we see the ‘Spirit of God, come on Saul as he is made king, and then the Spirit of God was given to David in 1 Samuel 16:13. But since we live in the New Testament Church, the Spirit of God is given to everyone who believes in the Salvation of Christ.

Ephesians 1:13 says, “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit.” Even more so in 1 Peter 3:9, But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 

Through this gift and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) words of God can penetrate our hearts and minds, convict us of sin, and encourage us in a life seeking the heart and will of God. 

As Crosswalk.com writer Rebecca Barlow Jordan says in “8 Ways God Speaks to Us Today” says this: “These words were not written for a few, select individuals who could jump through the right spiritual hoops (“For God so loved the world…”). Someone in Africa, in Germany, in China, and Alabama can “hear” Jesus’ voice by reading the same Bible.

The same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible is the same Holy Spirit gifted to those who believe in Christ as their savior. Ephesians 1:13 says, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

The Holy Spirit uses the stories of the Bible to correlate to circumstances you are in to speak truth and hope. Jesus even used Parables to relate greater truths to people from any walk of life.

The Psalms are a masterful collection of human experiences. The highs and lows of life in the verses all turn toward glorifying God in our circumstances, no matter where we find ourselves.

This begs the question, does the Holy Spirit speak to us audibly today?

Is the Bible the Only Place We Learn the Truth about God?

While the words and truths of the Bible are one place to learn about God, God is not limited to the words within the Bible. Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

God often reveals truths about himself through nature and the people around us. He is not limited to the confines of the Bible but will use all things to communicate truth to us. God wants us to know him. He wants us to be in a relationship with him, and the Bible is one way he provides so we can know him better.

But this is also a word of caution because everything that people and nature reveal about God should be supported by Scripture. It is important that we “Do not lean on your understanding” (Proverbs 3:6) and that we “do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” (Romans 12:1).

Because God is holy, he cannot contradict himself.

God knows your heart and how you will best hear from him—whether it is a song, a butterfly, or a scripture, he desires you to know him.

Photo Credit: ©Sparrowstock

Valerie Fentress Salem Web Network Contributing WriterValerie Fentress is the author of An Easter Bunny’s Tale and Beneath the Hood: a retelling woven with biblical truth. She aims to engage believers, especially kids, in the wonder and identity of who God is and who God made them to be. 

You can find out more about Valerie, her books, and her blog at www.valeriefentress.com.

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