Lesson 1.1

About the Bible—Can the Bible Help You?

When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to list key features of the Bible that show that it’s practical and reliable.

Begin Lesson

The contents of the Bible make it a unique book. In this lesson, we’ll look at three of its outstanding features:

  1. Reliable guidance for everyday life
  2. A sure hope for the future
  3. Accurate prophecy

1. Reliable guidance for everyday life

The Bible contains wisdom that can help to improve our family life, our work, and even our health. People have valued the Bible so highly that it has become by far the most widely distributed book of all time.

An instruction manual can help a worker to keep a machine operating at its best. Likewise, the Bible is a guidebook that is helping people around the world to live their lives successfully. (Psalm 119:105) Click the picture to see the comparison. [?]

Consider some examples of the Bible’s practical wisdom. Click the highlighted words for more information. [?]

Proverbs 14:30

A calm heart gives life to the body.”

Modern research has confirmed the Bible’s advice. An article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reports: “Men who experience outbursts of anger have twice the risk of stroke as men who control their tempers.”—Volume 279, No. 16, page 1246.

Acts 20:35

“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”

This famous statement made by Jesus Christ almost 2,000 years ago is supported by modern science. For instance, researchers from Canada and the United States concluded that “spending money on others promotes happiness more than spending money on oneself.”Science, Volume 319, page 1688.

Summary of Section 1

The Bible’s practical wisdom is helping people to find happiness and fulfillment. It can help you too.

2. A sure hope for the future

The Bible contains not only practical wisdom for today but also a wonderful hope for the future.

The Bible assures us that in the future, “no resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24) Slide the circle to change the picture. [?]

“The eyes of the blind will be opened.”Isaiah 35:5. [?]

“The lame will leap like the deer.”Isaiah 35:6. [?]

“Those in the memorial tombs [people who have died] will . . . come out,” being raised back to life on earth. (John 5:28, 29) Later in this lesson, you’ll see why you can trust the Bible’s promises. [?]

To Think About

Which Bible promise appeals to you most?

It’s difficult to overemphasize the importance of sight. It’s been estimated that most people take in about 85 percent of what they learn through their eyes. Those whose vision is impaired usually do all they can to improve it.

Most people take the ability to walk for granted—until that ability is impaired. If you’re limited by an injury or a disease, you can keenly appreciate the simple joy of walking on your own two feet.

Eventually, we all lose someone dear to us in death. The Bible teaches that death is mankind’s ultimate enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:26) How comforting is the Bible’s promise that “death will be no more”!Revelation 21:4.

Even those without major disabilities must face declining health and physical strength as they get older. Yet, the Bible promises not only the elimination of disease but also the reversal of the aging process itself.Job 33:25.

That’s a common response. You may wonder, though, ‘Can I really trust what the Bible promises?’ The next section of this lesson will give you a sound reason to do so.

Summary of Section 2

The Bible’s message of hope for the future sets it apart from other books.

3. Accurate prophecy

The Bible includes prophecy—history written in advance. Bible writers predicted future events that later happened just as foretold. This unique feature of the Bible indicates that it comes from a Source higher than humankind.

This video clip shows two examples of Bible prophecies, each recorded some 200 years or more in advance.

See for yourself the Bible’s accurate prophecy about the conquest of Babylon. Each detail is confirmed by historical records, including the Nabonidus Chronicle and the history of Herodotus.* [?]

Isaiah 44:27; 45:1

“The One saying to the deep waters, ‘Be evaporated, and I will dry up all your rivers.’”

“This is what Jehovah [God] says to his anointed one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of to subdue nations before him, to disarm kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut.”

This part of the prophecy identified the strategy that would be used to conquer Babylon. The invaders would “dry up” the Euphrates River so that they could march up the riverbed. They did this by diverting the river into a nearby marsh.

This part of the prophecy identified the conqueror by name—King Cyrus of Persia.Ezra 1:2.

This part of the prophecy showed that the invaders would conquer Babylon easily. The city gates would be left open.

Pick the statement that describes the Bible’s accurate prophecy about the conquest of Babylon.

Such a prediction might have appeared likely to come true. In Isaiah’s time, the Assyrians used battering rams effectively and seemed unbeatable. Yet, the Bible foretold something else.

Excellent! The prophecy included all these details.

Although Babylon’s walls did eventually collapse into ruins as foretold, the Bible doesn’t indicate that this happened miraculously.

How could the Bible writers provide such detailed prophecies? Watch this video clip to see how this was possible.

True or False: The phrase “inspired of God” at 2 Timothy 3:16 indicates that the Bible claims that God guided Bible writers to record his message.

Correct. The Bible claims to contain God’s message, not the thoughts of the men who wrote it.

The Bible states at 2 Peter 1:21: “Prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit,” or by God’s power in action. Thus, the Bible claims to come from God.

Summary of Section 3

We considered two of the Bible’s many accurate, detailed prophecies. These indicate that the Bible comes from a Source higher than humankind.

Review

Now let’s review some key points to help you remember what you’ve learned.

Review 1 of 3

Who can benefit from the Bible? Pick the best answer.

You might be surprised to learn that many with no religious background have found that the Bible’s wisdom is helping them to improve their lives every day. Check out the links at the end of this lesson for examples.

The Bible does highlight the value of education. (Proverbs 1:5) However, millions of people with little or no formal education are benefiting from the Bible.

Very good. The Bible’s practical advice has proved successful in all areas of the world. In addition, the Bible is by far the most widely translated and circulated book of all time—truly a book for all people.

Review 3 of 3

True or False: Bible prophecies include specific details.

Very good. Bible prophecies that have been fulfilled in detail indicate that the Bible is from a Source higher than man.

Consider, for example, Bible prophecies about the conquest of Babylon. Those prophecies included many specific details.Isaiah 44:27; 45:1; Jeremiah 51:37.

Dig Deeper

Pick the best answer. What would identify a book from God?

No matter where it was written, God’s message should be useful to all people.

It’s true that we may need to work to comprehend God’s thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) However, God wants people to understand his message so that they can know the truth about him.—John 4:23, 24.

There would be little need for God to provide such a message; people could provide it for themselves.

That’s right. You’ve examined three features that mark the Bible as being not only unique but also inspired by a Source higher than mankind.

Lesson Summary

The Bible contains . . .

  1. Reliable guidance for everyday life
  2. A sure hope for the future
  3. Accurate prophecy

What’s next?

Go to the Next Lesson

Does God have a name? Can you get to know God? Lesson 1.2, “Who Is God, the Creator?,” will answer those questions.

Attend a Group Study

You’re welcome at our meetings. There we examine what the Bible says and how we can apply its teachings in our life.

Request a Personal Instructor

Would you like more help? We’ll be happy to contact you at a time and place convenient for you.

 Book I, chapters 191-192.