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What Does The Bible Say? A Detailed Look At Key Passages

The Bible contains many influential stories and lessons that have shaped society for centuries. A question people often ask is ‘What exactly does the Bible say?’ on important topics like life, death, morality, and more.

This comprehensive guide dives into key Bible passages to uncover their meaning and significance.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview: The Bible speaks on topics ranging from the creation of the world, humanity’s fall into sin, God’s plan for salvation through Jesus Christ, moral issues like murder and adultery, the end times, and more.

While complex theological debates surround many verses, core teachings emerge on the value of life, love, justice, and faith.

The Bible on the Creation of the World

Genesis 1: The 7 Days of Creation

Genesis 1 provides an account of God creating the heavens and the earth in six days, with the seventh day being designated as a day of rest (Genesis 1:1-2:3). On each of the six days, God created different elements of the world: light, sky, land, plants, sun/moon/stars, sea creatures and birds, land animals and humans.

God declares each part of creation as “good” and the whole of creation as “very good” (Genesis 1:31), showing the perfect state of the world at its inception.

Some key aspects include:

  • God creates the world out of nothing – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)
  • God speaks things into existence – “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3)
  • God creates man and woman in His image – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27)

For more details on the 7 days of creation, check out the article on GotQuestions.org.

Genesis 2: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Genesis 2 provides more details on the creation of the first man (Adam) and woman (Eve) and their life in the Garden of Eden. Some key points:

  • Adam is created first out of the dust of the ground, with God breathing life into him (Genesis 2:7)
  • Eve is created from one of Adam’s ribs to be his helper and companion (Genesis 2:21-22)
  • They live in the lush Garden of Eden but are forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:8-9, 2:16-17)
  • The serpent tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, and she gives it to Adam, leading to the fall of humanity into sin (Genesis 3:1-7)

The Genesis 2 account shows God’s personal and intimate creation of humanity and the perfection of the world before the entrance of sin.

For more on Adam and Eve’s time in Eden, see the Bible Study Tools article.

The Bible on Sin, Judgement, and Salvation

Genesis 3: The Fall of Humanity into Sin

Genesis 3 describes the fall of humanity into sin. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden and were given a command by God not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, they were tempted by the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit.

As a result, sin entered the world and creation was cursed (Gen 3:14-19). Humanity’s relationship with God was broken and they were banished from the garden.

This first sin set the stage for the sins of all humanity to follow. As descendants of Adam and Eve, we all have a sinful human nature that leads us to rebel against God (Rom 5:12). Genesis 3 explains the origin of sin in the world and why all humans need salvation from sin.

Romans 6:23: Wages of Sin and Gift of Salvation

Romans 6:23 succinctly states: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This verse teaches two key truths:

  1. The consequence of sin is spiritual death and separation from God. Because God is holy and righteous, our rebellion against Him brings judgement.
  2. Salvation and eternal life are free gifts from God, received through trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. While we deserve death, God offers us life by grace.

The contrast between “wages” and “gift” reflects the change from performing good works trying to earn salvation, to freely receiving salvation by God’s grace. Studies show that once we trust Christ, we are redeemed from sin and death and restored to a right relationship with God.

John 3:16: God’s Plan for Redemption and Eternal Life

John 3:16 succinctly summarizes the gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Key points include:

  • God’s motivation is His incredible love for humanity
  • Jesus Christ is God’s one and only Son, indicating His divine nature and authority
  • We receive eternal life by believing/trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior

Rather than leaving mankind dead in sin, God sent His Son to redeem and rescue humanity (Ephesians 2:1-5). Trusting in Christ results in a restored relationship with God both now and for eternity. God did not wait for us to earn salvation, but instead loved unconditionally by sending Jesus to secure redemption freely by His grace.

The Bible on Morality and Justice

Exodus 20: The 10 Commandments

The 10 Commandments found in Exodus 20:1-17 provide the moral foundation for the Bible’s teachings on justice and righteousness. This list of commands emphasizes loving God, honoring parents, prohibiting idolatry, lying, adultery, stealing, and murder.

The 10 Commandments reveal God’s expectations for moral behavior and relationships. They continue to shape views on ethics and morality today.

Matthew 22:37-39: Loving God and Neighbor

In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus summarizes the entire Law and Prophets by commanding, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This emphasis on wholehearted love for God and others is central to biblical morality.

Loving our neighbor means seeking their good and caring for those in need. This provides a moral basis for pursuing justice, protecting rights, and living generously toward others.

Micah 6:8: What God Requires – Justice, Mercy, and Humility

The Old Testament prophet Micah summarizes God’s moral requirements in Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” This highlights justice, mercy, and humility as key virtues that honor God.

Pursuing justice means standing against oppression, defending rights, and correcting wrongs. Loving kindness emphasizes compassionate care for the hurting and needy. And walking humbly recognizes our dependence on God’s grace and seeks to live rightly before Him.

This passage reveals that morality involves both inward character and outward actions. God cares about our heart motivations as well as our conduct toward others. Micah 6:8 continues to provide an excellent summary of biblical morality.

The Bible on the End Times

Matthew 24: Jesus Foretells the Destruction of the Temple

In Matthew 24, Jesus delivers an extended prophecy to his disciples about the destruction of the Jerusalem temple and the signs of his second coming at the end of the age. He warns them that many tumultuous events will occur before his return, including false messiahs, wars, famines, earthquakes and persecution of believers (Matthew 24:4-14).

However, Jesus urges his followers to endure patiently, assuring them, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13). He also foretells the total destruction of the magnificent temple, warning “Not one stone here will be left on another” (Matthew 24:2), which was remarkably fulfilled around 70 AD.

Revelation 21: A New Heaven and New Earth

The apostle John’s vision in Revelation 21 presents a beautiful, poetic picture of the glorious new creation which God will usher in after Christ’s return and final judgement. John sees “a new heaven and a new earth” descending, symbolizing God making all things new (Revelation 21:1).

He then describes the New Jerusalem, adorned as a bride to meet her husband, glowing with the glory of God (Revelation 21:2, 11). This holy city will be a place of intimate fellowship between God and his people, where “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

What an incredible hope for all who trust in Christ!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: The Return of Christ and the Rapture

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses confusion about believers who had died before Christ’s return. He reassures them that when Jesus comes back, “God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Paul explains that first, those Christians who passed away will rise again. Then, simultaneously, living believers will be instantly transformed and “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

This event where the church is suddenly removed from earth and reunited with Christ is often called “the rapture.” Paul meant this teaching to encourage grieving Christians (83% in America believe this event), reassuring them they will see their dearly departed loved ones again at Christ’s glorious return.


The Bible provides rich insights into humanity’s relationship with God, moral directives for life, and a glimpse into future events. While scholarly debates continue, core teachings emerge on cherishing life, pursuing justice, loving others, and finding hope in Christ.

This examination of key passages provides a launching point to appreciate the Bible’s enduring significance.

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