What is the Injil or the Bible?
First: the Meaning of Injil
"Injil" comes from the Greek language. It means joyful news. This news is all about the coming of Christ the Saviour. So the Holy Spirit of God inspired his righteous messengers to write down the account of their lives, prophecies, teachings, sayings, and all the interpretations that would benefit all who read it, with guidance and instructions to worship the one and only God.
The Bible is one book containing complementing parts called Scriptures or books, gospels, and letters, divided into chapters and verses. All of these parts can be called the "Injil", which can refer to either one part, or to the whole Holy Bible.
Second: The Content of the Bible
(A) Old Testament: God's Word before Christ's birth.
(B) New Testament: God's Word after Christ's birth.
(A) The Contents of the Old Testament
1- The Books of the Law
(from the book of Genesis to Deuteronomy): These are Moses' writings by divine inspiration, which tell us about God creating the heavens, the earth and the creatures in them. They also tell us about the creation of Adam and Eve by the loving God, wanting them to live in the Garden of Eden, which was wonderfully described by Moses, wanting them to choose to worship Him by their free will which He gave to them.
God knew that they were going to fall into sin, so He prepared the means of rescue for the man who wants to return to God and admits his helplessness. That's because Adam and Eve couldn't be allowed to remain in the garden of God's presence after they had followed Satan's deceit and eaten from the forbidden tree. But before casting them out of the garden, God covered the disgrace of Adam and Eve's sin by clothing them with the skin of a sacrificed animal, as an indication to His great redemption.
Also we read in Moses' books about the rebellion of people against God, intending to build the Tower (of Babel) to reach God's heavens. So God punished them by causing them to have different languages. After that they all drowned - except Noah and his family- in the flood which God brought on them. Then came Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob (the father of the tribes), all descended from Noah. But God changed the name of Jacob to "Israel", which means God's prince. God looked after the descendants of Israel in spite of their sinfulness, and disciplined them by letting them be slaves to Pharaoh.
Then we read about the life of Moses himself, liberating the people of Israel from the hands of Pharaoh of Egypt, after God striking Pharaoh and his people with his mighty hand. Then God gave His law and the Ten Commandments into the hand of Moses, along with many of the prophecies about the coming of Christ the Messiah.
2- The Historical Books
(from Joshua to Esther): In these we see how the life of people can be affected according to their responses to God, as in the days of King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. In the time of King Solomon's son, King Rehaboam, Israel was broken up into two kingdoms:
a.) The Northern Kingdom: Samaria.
b.) The Southern Kingdom: Judah.
3- The Poetic Books
They show how people's lives are revived and the lives of the nations change when they taste God's grace. among them are the book of Job, Psalms of David, and the Wisdom Books of Solomon.
4- The Prophetic Books (the major and the minor):
In these, God shows to the people the reasons for their sufferings, reminding them of all he foretold to their fathers about the coming of the Redeemer Saviour's birth from a virgin. He is Christ the Messiah, the meek and humble one, who would be rejected by stubborn people.
Then the revelation stopped for a period of 400 years, which some called the age of the expecting of God to reveal Christ the Messiah.
(B) The Contents of the New Testament
5- The Four Gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John): In these we read about the coming of Christ, fulfilling the predictions and signs which God gave to the prophets in the past. Christ always emphasised that He came to fulfil the previous revelation, not to abolish it. But Satan works to lead people astray, making them think that he has corrupted God's revelation.
So God calls everyone to be alert and return to Him for the forgiveness of their sins. But God's forgiveness is conditional on paying the penalty of our awful sins and our disobedience towards Him. The fair judgment should apply the law, otherwise it would be considered as approving the crime. In this case, the criminal would shout with joy, "Long live Injustice"! Then society would turn into a great pit of corruption. So what do we expect from society if judgment is corrupted? In the same way, if God forgave us without the penalty being paid, then the whole universe would turn into a dreadful moral chaos. But far from God to take His justice easily, as He didn't count us innocent until He sent Christ the Righteous, His Word & His Spirit. Christ carried our sins like the divine pure sheep or lamb which was slaughtered instead of Abraham's son.
6- The Book of the Acts of the Apostles:
From this we know how the people found the truth and opened their hearts to the faith with joy in spite of the persecution which Satan aroused against them, like the plots of the religious Jews, and torture by the Romans. Christ's followers kept on spreading the faith, sacrificing their blood, not the blood of others, for the sake of reaching out with the good news to all people.
7- The Letters:
In these we find the explanation of Christ's teachings with their life applications.
8- The Book of Revelation:
In this the revelation shows the situation of the believers in the ages of persecution, until the Second Coming of Christ, who will judge the whole world with justice.
Note: The word Torah comes from Hebrew Language and it means: teaching , system, law.
The Apocrypha, or the Deuterocanonical Books:
These are historical and educational books, written by some of the fathers and historians. Everyone can read them, although it's preferred to give the priority to reading the Holy Bible, known to all of us.
Third: The Way of Reading it
Whoever reads God's Holy Scripture has to make a life decision and take a stand. Either he will accept it, so that his life will be renewed with an amazing enlightenment, or he will refuse it, thus refusing God himself! Consequently God will also refuse him, and that person will not deserve God's mercy. So if you want to read God's revelation then you should do the following:
1- Read it with the humility of a heart clean from all pride and hypocrisy, asking God to open your eyes so that you can understand what He wants to teach you.
2- Read in sequence and order.
3- Get to know the customs and traditions which were common at the time of writing God's words, so that you understand the meaning of some of the expressions which are unfamiliar to us now.
4- Discuss it with neutral people and share what you learn with others.
5- Learn the symbols which are used now to indicate the sections of the Holy Bible, such as: (Jn 3:16-18)
As an abbreviation for: Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses from 16 to 18.
The following are the names of the parts of the Holy Bible, with the abbreviation used for each of them:
The Old Testament
In order: Genesis (Ge.), Exodus (Ex.), Leviticus (Lev.), Numbers (Nu.), Deuteronomy (Dt.), Joshua (Jos.), Judges (Jdg.), Ruth (Ru.), First Samuel (1 Sa.), Second Samuel (2 Sa.), First Kings (1 Ki.), Second Kings (2 Ki.), First Chronicles (1 Ch.), Second Chronicles (2 Ch.), Ezra (Ezr.), Nehemiah (Ne.), Esther (Est.), Job (Job), Psalms (Ps.), Proverbs (Pr.), Ecclesiastes (Ecc.), Song of Songs (SS.), Isaiah (Isa.), Jeremiah (Jer.), Lamentations (La.), Ezekiel (Eze.), Daniel (Da.), Hosea (Hos.), Joel (Joel), Amos (Am.), Obadiah (Ob.), Jonah (Jnh.), Micah (Mic.), Nahum (Na.), Habakkuk (Hab.), Zephaniah (Zep.), Haggai (Hag.), Zechariah (Zec.), Malachi (Mal.).
The New Testament
In order: Matthew (Mt.), Mark (Mk.), Luke (Lk.), John (Jn.), Acts (Ac.), Romans (Ro.), First Corinthians (1 Co.), Second Corinthians (2 Co.), Galatians (Gal.), Ephesians (Eph.), Philippians (Php.), Colossians (Col.), First Thessalonians (1 Th.), Second Thessalonians (2 Th.), First Timothy (1 Ti.), Second Timothy (2 Ti.), Titus (Tit.), Philemon (Phm.), Hebrews (Heb.), James (Jas.), First Peter (1 Pe.), Second Peter (2 Pe.), First John (1 Jn.), Second John (2 Jn.), Third John (3 Jn.), Jude (Jude), Revelation of John (Rev.).
The Gospel says: "You, therefore, have no excuse" (Romans 2:1)
"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27)
Christ says to everyone: "Here I am! I stand at the door (the door of your heart) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me (having an intimate relationship). (Rev. 3:20)