5 Reasons Why “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” Is NOT What the Bible Is

Have you heard this one before?

One way to understand the Bible is to remember that B.I.B.L.E. means “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.”

I know 99% of grown people must know that it doesn’t actually stand for that. It’s only being used as a mnemonic device to explain that thousand-page work of the Spirit from which we draw the truth of God.

It’s cute.

But it doesn’t really make any sense. Here are five reasons why “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” is not a good way of explaining the Word.

  1. 2979302736_62aebac174_bI’ve never seen a set of “basic” instructions that long. 

    Seriously. 66 books. You know what a basic set of instructions is? The one that comes with your phone. Even a car manual is complicated.

  2. There’s nothing “Basic” about the complex, intricate, deep entirety of scripture.

    In his letter to the Hebrew Christians, Paul said, “Let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.” While basic, elementary teachings that are easy to grasp lie at the core of the Gospel, the Bible as a whole is everything of great import surrounding the Good News. The Bible contains basic instructions, but not everything in the Bible is a simple starting point for faith.

  3. Only a portion of the Bible is actually direct instructions for us.

    The Old Testament is mostly history, much of the rest poetry and prophecy, with a small fraction containing directions, laws, or guidance, and even much of that is not directly for Christians, but for Israelites under the Old Covenant. The four gospels are biography intermixed with sermons, illustrations, and commands of Jesus. The letters that follow contain many instructions, but also other types of communication. To call the collection of works itself “instructions” is to dismiss the function of huge chunks of scripture.

  4. The Bible is not a manual you just read before your funeral.

    I wouldn’t give the Bible to someone and say “make sure you read this before you leave the planet.” Like, are aliens coming? What if I die first? What about guiding us through our whole lives as Christians? Where in the Bible does it say that its own instructions are only for the after life? Isn’t the kingdom here and now?

  5. Exactly in what way are we “leaving earth”?

    The phrase can leave open the idea that the earth is nothing more than trash and we’re getting on a plane for somewhere else. But the instructions in the Bible can not be read without applying them to the here and now, not just bags to pack and plans to make for a trip later, but plans for how to transform this world in the here and now.

“Bible” comes from a Greek word that means “books.” And these books themselves, woven into a beautiful and harmonious library, give us a number of names we can call them, including the “Scriptures” (what is written), and the “Gospel” (the good news)!

To me, “good news” always sounds better than “basic instructions.” If you gave me a choice between a positive and exciting newspaper article and a set of instructions, I’m more likely to respond to the news. This doesn’t mean that the Bible is just news without a call to obedient response, but when God speaks, we do injustice by merely calling the total compendium of his great story “basic instructions.”

The Bible contains the powerful story of the God we are to obey. But the Bible is not an instruction manual. There’s no need in a corny acronym when we have so many other choices, like Good News, to explain what the Word is to us.

An instruction manual is something people tend to read once, if at all, and if they read it more than once, it’s only when something goes wrong. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that the Word is something to be glance over once, and only return to when there’s a problem. I want to exemplify the word dwelling in me richly.

Maybe we should start calling it the GNAHWCTE:

Good News About Him Who Came To Earth.

29 responses to “5 Reasons Why “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” Is NOT What the Bible Is

  1. Thank you so much for your article your blog I have been hearing this cliche This Acronym for a while and it seemed to bother me every time I were here and especially people who consider themselves Christians saying this really just would just fix my spirit when I leave here but I think you so much for your read because I definitely believe that the Bible is not basic and I don’t look at it as an instruction manual as much as I look at it being the power of God and I thank you for the read because it’s giving me a peace to understand exactly where this is coming from and it’s almost comical but it’s not but I thank you again and I just want to thank you…..confirmation

    • I’m not sure what version of the song this is talking about, or if it is from many sermons that have been preached. The Burlap to Cashmere is the one I think of, but that could just be an age thing. I am going to post the lyrics to this short song. Salvation is basic. Accept the Blood of Jesus. Nothing complicated. That is the ONLY way to go to heaven. Youre an Author. I am surprised you are judging a book by the cover (I know I am replying to someone else, I didnt see a comment link besides this one)

      Also Serving Christ is also basic. Follow the Holy Spirit and let Him lead. Again, we cant serve Christ, that is when it is complicated. We are giving the Holy Spirit, and He is our guide. As Christians somethings do become impossible to do. I get upset with people, in the moment I might feel “hate” towards them, but we have new hearts (The Bible does say we are new in Christ).

      When you start saying that the whole thing is complicated, we are putting salvation into our own hands.

      The song is basically the plan of Salvation. The reason the Bible was given to us. Without that it would just be a book.

      Basic Instructions before leaving earth…
      For God so much loved the world,
      That He gave His one and only Son.
      That whoever believeth in Him
      Shall not die but live on.
      Living on…
      Through the Son
      Peace almighty
      Living on,
      Let your heart go
      To the one.
      Yes the road is narrow.
      Yes the road is tough.
      But whoever remaineth in Him
      Shall not die, but lift up.
      Basic Instructions before leaving earth.

      You have to look at context before passing judgement.

      Now to your points. I have already covered most of them. The Bible talks about a new heaven and earth, so yes, this planet we are on know WILL be destroyed. I don’t care how you put it, those without the Spirit wont understand it period. It is impossible. The Holy Spirit is the one who shows us what it means.

      So, if you want to also consider that, the part of “Leaving Earth” is also instructional, because it instructs us how things are going to end.

      To many times people come at these things with the attitude, I dont like this Im going to prove it wrong. They do this in the Name of Christ which is an EXTREMELY dangerous thing. You are putting your interpretation before Christ.

      People need to come at it as, OK Lord. What is your view on this song. What do you want me to see about it. Show me scripture to ether prove this right or wrong. Pray without expecting the answer to be ether way.

      I have not looked at the recent rap song of the same title, I didnt know there was one until today. Please let me know which you were relating to so I can also try and see things through the eyes of Christ as well.

      Step away from your analytical author mindset.

  2. If the reader can understand Matthew 13 then they are in a place to understand the whole bible. My problem with your position on this is that God is not the author of confusion. The Holy Bible is NOT complex. If someone asked me, Is Jesus God, if so why did he pray to God? The bible is so clear on that and it is not complex. So what do you mean, COMPLEX?

    • 1 Corinthians 3:2.
      Some passages are simple. Some passages are complex. Otherwise, the Ethiopian eunuch would not need anyone to explain anything to him.

  3. I like the phrase because the bible tells us we must reconnect with the Father (sin has separated us). It tells us how to make that connection, and what the Father expect our lives to look like. It also tells us the place we will spend eternity (after leaving earth), depending on how we followed the instructions given in the bible. There’s a greater depth to it all, but, the bible only gives us what we can handle – the basic.

  4. Point nr. 1:
    And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. – John 20:30‭-‬31 KJV

    And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. – John 21:25 KJV

    And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    Revelation 22:19 KJV

    So basically there is so much information that all the books in the world could not contain it. But what is written is enough for us to believe. Seems like basic instructions to me.
    You can have it on your phone by the way
    Nr. 2:
    The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. – Deuteronomy 29:29 KJV

    In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. – Luke 10:21 KJV

    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. – 2 Peter 1:20‭-‬21 KJV

    Well it doesn’t seems complicated to me and according to Jesus, even a child can understand it if he is moved by the Spirit of God. For those who believe everything is simple.

    He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. – Matthew 13:11 KJV
    Nr. 3:
    This doesn’t even need an explanation. If you believe that the bible is just history and poetry.. Well I can’t change that in you. Only God. But I will say this:

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 KJV
    Nr. 4 & 5
    That’s exactly what the Bible is: a manual to read before our funeral. We are given a time on this earth to prepare for the after life. How would you prepare to do something without a manual? You can’t go in Syberia wearing just a t-shirt. You have know how, prepare and be ready.

    How would you leave Earth without a map or a guide? And yes we are going to leave Earth because:

    For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: – Philippians 3:20 ASV

    And.. Yes.. The earth is trash right now and everything on it will burn.

    And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. – Revelation 21:1 KJV

    And the earth is not the kingdom of God right now but it will be:

    Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. – Matthew 4:8‭-‬9 KJV

    And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. – 1 John 5:19 KJV

  5. Yes!
    Very truly uve addressed this issue. Its a “GOOD NEWS” BIBLE has PROPHETIC WORDS thats as St. Paul has written we are not here to treat BIBLE as a cheap MERCHANDISER. YES! Maybe we should start calling it the GNAHWCTE:

    Good News About Him Who Came To Earth.

  6. I say look at law books you have to read, and learn. They are thousands of pages long. The Bible is not even a quarter that thick. All you need to learn in the Bible is really the ten commandments. The rest is just story telling that give you examples of life experiences. Of what you might go through in life. The Bible is not much more then that.
    The Bible is a simple easy to read book. Only takes a few of days to read. The only reason people will never open that book is because the believe system that it holds over people’s life.
    People don’t want to believe in something that holds them accountable. People don’t want to believe that there is some imaginary guy in the sky that’s going to judge them when they die.
    I look at it like this. A judge told me one time just because you don’t know the law of the land it does not make you exempt from it.
    This is why I learn about all types of believe systems. Not just the Bible. Because how can one hate on another if one dose not know what he is about if you don’t study it. This is why Christians, Jews, and Muslims will always be at war with each other. Because they refuse to learn from each other.

    • You got to fully understand a believe system before you make a judgement on it. Like for me there was different Prophets throughout the Bible. Noah, Abraham, David, and Jesus. John was the last. Each one for each time period in life. Who is to say that Muhammad is not that last of them, or is one at all? Muslims have the same value systems as Christians do. The problem is with them is they are more cut and dry with it. It God way or no way with them. Same as with the Jews. But not with Christians because Christians believe that if they fall short they can repent of their sins through Christ.

      So if you ask me dose the Bible stand for basic instructions before leaving Earth. I would tell you all faith believeing systems are. Not just the Bible. Because no one knows for sure which one belief system is the right one. There are over one million god’s in this world that man can worship. One of them are bound to be right.

      • See you are wrong there. There is 1 tru way to heaven. Through the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are doing apple and oranges. First this song is geared towards the Christian Bible, therefor for your point doesnt fit the narative.

      • Moderator please delete my Thank you. It was intended for another thread, and my computer messed up. Thank you.

        Great discussion BTW.

  7. We are so swollen up by the world that we can’t even do basic instructions I think anything it takes to get a person to try to understand that they need to learn the word of God to get to God we don’t need somebody trying to change it all up try to fit their way of thinking

  8. Im not sure if this is what you are going for, but I agree Salvation isn’t complex at all. It is Christians and others who put all these extra things onto it.

  9. I love this saying. The Bible all the instructions for everything in this world from life to death
    If you do not it ,it tells me you are like I use to be. I never had a petsonal relationship with Jehovah God Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We need so much more instructions than you would give to a babysitter.

  10. I love this saying. The Bible all the instructions for everything in this world from life to death
    If you do not it ,it tells me you are like I use to be. I never had a petsonal relationship with Jehovah God Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We need so much more instructions than you would give to a babysitter.

  11. Hello, I disagree with you the bible itself uses the word instructions. GOD himself in the book of Jeremiah 35:13 and there’s more scripture that says so. If you can please give me a scripture that confirm that it’s not instructions.

    • I’d be happy to do so.
      Isaiah 53:13 says,
      “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord.’
      This shows that this passage is the word of the Lord regarding instructions.
      In order for every passage of scripture to be instructions, such a statement would have to preface every single bit of scripture.
      I made no statement in my post arguing that there are no instructions in the Bible. I would recommend reading the post again to confirm this.
      2 Kings 5 says, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
      Have you done this? Why have you not done this? I would suggest that it is because the passage is not meant to give instructions directly to you and me, but to recount in story form instructions given to someone else, to serve as an example for the kind of heart you and I must have. Therefore the entire account of Elisha’s life is not a list of basic instructions, but much more than that.
      The Gospel calls itself Gospel several times. The word “Gospel” does not mean instructions, but news. News is not something you are being told to do, but something that has already been done. You want to respond to it if it is true, but it is not an instruction to you. Whether or not it includes instruction, the correct definition of the genre is “news.”
      The burden of proof is on one who is trying to argue that every line of scripture is an instruction for all persons. God bless.

  12. B.I.B.L.E is a song by an underground rapper named Killah Priest.

    That acronym term originated from him. He not your rapper. He raps about Biblical and Anunnaki history


  13. As I refect on what you’re saying I believe our different views. Why do we read? Why is it that mankind has lost its way? Because they don’t get instructions. It that simple. Disobedience = sin which is an abomination to God. We must learn how to get into the presence of God. How by following instructions in this journey called life. Jesus said that it’s better that I go away, but I will send the holy spirit. He will show you everything… I’m not here to despute what you’re saying but I believe it to be different than what I believe. We need instruction. What better than to receive it from the creator of everything. The gospel is simply. Repent,recieve Jesus. We’re promised the holy spirit . Learning to work in the spirit is not the easiest thing to do. But because because we follow instructions by applying the word of God daily we receive daily instructions. Applying the word of God is a lifestyle. I appreciate you because sometimes it will causes us to see it from a different view. That’s why we have 4 gospel yet same message. Repent,Receive Jesus and be reconciled back to God. God’s vision is always the same. I want my children all to come to me… God bless…

  14. No what I meant was that it’s an instructional book to understand how to live while on earth so you can move forward after death,and I now it’s long book to be basic,but if you take aa big book only first 88 pages are your instructions all the rest are stories

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