This course is a general course about what the Bible is and how we should read it. Below is the most basic version of the course. You can also navigate directly to the Bible Project page where you will find a ton of other videos on the different genres of Scripture mentioned in video 3 below. I'd recommend going through the general course together then encouraging people to check out the specific videos on narrative, poetry or prose discourse on their own. Or if you've already gone through the basic course you can do the videos on one specific genre.

Session 1: What is the Bible

So, the Bible is:

  1. The most influential literary work in the history of Western Civilization.
  2. A "library of books," inspired by God, written, compiled, and translated into various languages by humans.
  3. The story of what God was doing in the world, through the historical lens of the Hebrew people.
  4. Brilliant literature, made up of different literary styles, which require study and understanding to be properly read and applied.
  5. A unified story that highlights humanity's need for God, and points to Jesus as the way.


  1. What are some of the wrong ways of understanding what Scripture is?
  2. How can these wrong ways of understanding what Scripture is be problematic for one's faith?
  3. How would you describe your understanding of what the Bible is when you were growing up?
  4. How would you describe your understanding of what the Bible is now?
  5. Describe your typical interaction with Scripture? (devotional reading for 10 min in the morning; in depth study on my own with commentaries and concordances; I pray, close my eyes, flip to a page and put my finger down to see what God is saying to me)
  6. The Bible texts were originally written in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek therefore they all need to be translated into English, hence the different translations. Which translation do you prefer to read and why?
  7. Do you believe the Bible to be the authoritative text in your life? Do you attempt to live according to the teachings of the Bible or do you march to the beat of your own drum? Do you tend to read the Bible to support your behavior or to challenge your behavior?
  8. What questions do you still have about the Bible?

Want to Dive Deeper?

<aside> 🎧 This Bible Project Podcast episode talks about what we can learn about the story of the Bible from how the books were ordered.