The Definitive Bible Bible

Any printed volume that nowadays claims pre-eminence in its field, special expertise or an encyclopaedic scale of subject matter, calls itself a ‘bible’. Various cook-books, general reference works as well as thick gardening manuals describe themselves in this way. There’s even a so-called bible about sexual congress, as well as a whole raft of occultic literature, such as the Wicca Bible and the Spells Bible. The publishers are presumably immune to irony, seeing as the real Bible forbids such deleterious practices. In one sense, it’s a tribute to the Bible’s authoritative status even in our godless culture when secular publishers appropriate its name so glibly. On the other hand, it demotes the real Bible to just one more book of human expertise. If I were to crassly republish the Bible as a ‘bible’, of what field of knowledge would it speak? It covers everything, from its account of creation, the final state, ethics, romance, theology, the past and the future. It is also the primary means by which the God of heaven communicates to humans.

The Pilates Bible might tell me all I need to know about that fitness technique, but one day I’ll be too old to engage. God’s word, in contrast, addresses my life from beginning to end- and then beyond. The healthiest recipes contained in The Healthy Cooking Bible cookbook cannot keep me alive forever, but God’s word tells me how to attain heaven. Judy Hall’s the Astrology Bible: The Definitive Guide to the Zodiac, is now potentially out of date; an article published by NASA claims there is a thirteenth Zodiac sign, Ophiuchus, and that all the other star signs’ dates might have to be altered accordingly to make room for it. I bet Judy didn’t see that coming; perhaps another definitive guide will have to be published.

The only bible worth buying is the Bible. It records the words of the Author of life; readers ignore it at their peril.

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. John 6:68