How do you explain the Bible to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

On Saturday, I got to a free screening of the above movie. It’s really fascinating and I recommend you to go check out the trailer and see it. With the Twin Towers no longer in existence, it tugged on my heartstrings to see a movie about it and having the towers as a celebration of life.

With the idea of the towers in my mind still as I went into Sunday School, the topic of the Bible was brought up in preparation of the day’s sermon. The question asked simply was: “How would you explain the Bible to someone who doesn’t know what it is?”

That’s not an easy question. As easy as it is to talk about the Bible among Christians, it’s so hard to talk about it with someone who doesn’t know what it is. Even among Christians, do we actually sit down and talk and discuss what exactly this famous book really is about? We know what’s in it but what value does it hold?

Yet somehow, someway, the image of the movie and the actual story couldn’t leave my head. Why was this so important to me at this time? Then in my heart and in my mind, and possibly through God, I felt that the building was my starting point to answering this question.

Photo of Philippe Petit crossing the Twin Towers. His story inspired my answer about the Bible.

So this was my answer.

The Bible is the foundation. Everything we know about Christianity up until this day is rooted in the Bible. Everything is connected and it all leads back down to the foundation.

We look at the buildings of the world, like the Twin Towers. The roof, the 110th floor is so grand and beautiful. Yet we don’t have that top floor without the bottom floor — the foundation. Every building has a foundation. The Bible is also the foundation of faith. You look at the Bible and you see the seeds of growth of faith, starting with Adam and Even all the way to Moses and through and through to Jesus and the faith story continues today.

A building must have a strong foundation. Without it, we can’t build stories (unintentional pun/play on words) from it. You can’t build the second floor without the first floor. And the first floor’s foundation must be strong. The walls must be strong or else the 54th floor can’t hold up with its wall. The lining and electricity must be strong too or else the 79th floor doesn’t function. All parts of every story in the building is an extension and it all leads back down to the foundation of the building.

If we want to add another story to the building (or in this sense, the history of the Christian faith), we have to look at the foundation. Once we understand the foundation’s core and how strong it is, then we know how to use that to help build.

The Bible is like that. The Bible is the foundation of the Christian faith. Everyone’s story of their faith journey, every church, every missionary, every person who claims Christ as their savior are all stories to a building. All their stories are traced back down to the foundation. This foundation is where it all started. That’s what the Bible is. It’s the beginning — a starting point — of faith. All stories built subsequently are somehow connected to other stories and it all extends back down to the foundation.

And how do you get to the top of the building? You can’t just approach a building and magically make your way to the 85th floor. No. You start at the first floor — the floor of foundation. It is through the foundation of faith do you grow. And as you grow, so does Christianity’s building. Every story up is another connection back to the foundation — the first floor — of faith. Even when you reach the rooftop (metaphorically) of faith, you know that the journey there is because of where you started: the foundation of the first floor.

I am not sure if this was the best analogy to explain the Bible but God put it in my heart to paint the picture of it in this way. The book are stories, testimonies, eyewitness accounts of the beginning. And it is through that beginning does the faith grow. Like a building, the stories keep adding up because of the strength of the great foundation.

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What do you think about this? Is it a good analogy? A good way to try to explain? How would you explain the Bible to someone who doesn’t know about it?

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