I wanted to look into the bible to see if I could understand exactly what the bible is. My first thought was; what comes to mind when thinking of the bible? Some say it’s a nice book of stories/fairytales. Others say it was created to control people, a few say that it takes away your rights. Some take it for the infallible word of God. The bible has 2 Testaments 66 separate books 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament with a total of 783,137 words. The longest book in the bible is Psalms. The shortest book is John 3. This book is one of the most popular, purchased, and sought after pieces of literature in the history of the world. It was originally written in three different languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The entire bible has been translated into 693 different languages while the New Testament has been translated into 1548 diverse languages. In 1455 Johann Gutenberg successfully printed the first bible. This is a relatively quick overview of what the Bible is. There is so much more after all, its believed to have been written over a 3000 year period.

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” -A.W. Tozer

Fairy Tails

I have been around church since I was born and can say that I have heard many different perspectives on exactly what the bible is. There’s an interesting perspective that the bible is a nice little compilation of fairy tales which can all be clarified with science and logic. The absolute of science has been tested more and more; it has proven itself as what it is a “Theory” of beliefs, what one might even call a religion of faith all to its own. The bible referenced the sphere that is the earth in the Old Testament when the rest of “science” believed that the earth was flat. Science has done so much for us to help us to understand how things work; ex. gravity, electricity, the solar system, medicine. Science provides medical advancements that keep the diseases of old away. I am not a denier of science in fact in a lot of cases it helps prove the “fairy tales” in the bible. In school it is taught that the bible is superstition that helps leaders control other people. When applied through the eyes of man that is exactly what happens, this is a sad reality that so many people have died in the name of God because a human need to control everything. Application is everything. When this is understood you can see how some would call these fairy tales.

Control

Next; there are some that have said that the bible is used to control people. I do not disagree throughout history the bible was used to control people. People are always trying to find ways to manipulate things so they can gain an advantage over others. In the past kingdoms used it to control their people and did some horrendous things that were never acceptable, and it was said to be in the name of Jesus. There are some, even today, that will misinterpret what it says to control whole congregations, some have even rewrote and placed their own tweaks so it kind of looks the same but it is not. As you learn the bible more and more you will even see that the devil uses the bible to try and control people. It says he disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan is so arrogant that he even tried to use the bible against Jesus when He was being tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:6). So those who say the bible is used to control people, you are correct it can be used that way if you do not know what the bible says. We have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) not by what someone says or does for you. Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Remember we have freewill (Revelation 3:20) to choose if you want to follow Him but it is important to know the bible so that you are not deceived: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6 ESV For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. Titus 3:3 ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

What is the Bible

The bible is the direct word from God, it is direction for our lives and it is the one and true testament about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The bible helps us understand what’s to come, what we can expect and ultimately eternity. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV When we are told that it was “breathed out by God” this is in reference to the Holy Spirit: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 ESV And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 ESV This is how through faith we know we can trust the bible. As we read and learn it we will see how factual that the bible really is: The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they then gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  Psalm 19:7-11 ESV  It is so awesome to know that we have been given a book that is just like a Service Manual used by professionals to diagnose problems for every little item around us, exe. cars, vacuums, dishwashers, the list is huge. This manual that we have been given will help you understand the situations that we face every day. Fear (Psalm 23:1-6), anger (Proverbs 14:29), dismay (1 John 5:19), Love(1 Corinthians 13:4-8), Depression (Psalm 34:17-18), Politics (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12), Laws (Romans 13:1-7), Relationships (Ephesians 4:29). The list could never end if you are going through something in your life it is discussed in the bible. We are told that, and shown,  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV

It was written a long time ago

I was kind of what you would call a nerd in school, I was weird, awkward one of my favorite subjects was History. Throughout history humans seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, “I can do it better this time”. So when we put that into a modern perspective; today we drive cars, back then they drove chariots, even back then they found ways not to walk. Back then they dealt with political strife you can read about the “Judges” in the books of Judges, read about Saul in the book of Samuel, the first Jewish king, and you will see the striking resemblance of what is going on today. Back then they were trying to destroy each other at any cost, just like they are doing today. The diversity, political posturing, and ongoing political venues have not changed. It is still a never ending fight for who has the power. When you say this happened a long time ago you are right! Does it matter today? Yes; as human beings we keep going the same direction time and time again. God gave us this owner’s manual so that we might stop this vicious circle that we cannot seem to get ourselves out of. When you read the bible you are taking steps to jump off the rollercoaster we are on. You can exit all of its ups and downs, the going in circles helping so you do not have to return to the same place you started.

Only the New Testament Matters

So there are a lot of different people that say the only thing that we have to pay attention to in the bible is the New Testament. That lends the question What Did Jesus Say (WDJS): But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 ESV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 ESV So in those two statements we are told that we need His direction and He does not change. So when the statement comes out that tells us that we do not have to pay attention to the Old Testament it is going against what we are told. Another thing to consider is when Jesus was quoting the “Word” it was not the New Testament.  The Old Testament was all that had been written up to that point. So to say that the Old Testament has no validity today is to say that what Jesus quoted was worthless. I know that is a very bold statement but it is what we are being told and what was been said in the past. Jesus told us: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 ESV We can get further insight into the words of God from John : In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ESV

Interpretation

You can’t quote the Bible indiscriminately. There is a story of two lawyers. One thought he would make a great impression on the jury by quoting from the Bible. So he said concerning his opponent’s client, “We have it on the highest authority that it has been said, ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.'” But the other lawyer knew the Bible better. He said, “I am very impressed by the fact that my distinguished colleague here regards as the highest authority the one who said, ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.’ You will find that this saying comes from the Book of Job, and the one who utters it is the devil. And that is whom he regards as the highest authority!” 

Rat Stedman

It is so important to know and understand what the Bible says. We are told in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” that cannot be said more directly. There have been so many sayings that are supposedly from the Bible and have been repeated so many times that people “know” that the sayings are from God Himself. Let’s take a look at a few:

  1. “A fool and his money are soon parted” Thomas Tusser (1573) “Five Hundreth Pointes of Good Husbandrie”
  2. “Beggars Can’t Be Choose” English Proverb from around the 1500’s
  3. “Charity Begins at Home” Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
  4. “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness” Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and then again by John Wesley (1703-1791)
  5. “Everything that Glitters is Gold” Shakespeare
  6. “God Helps those who Help Themselves” Algernon Sidney (1623-1683) and then again Benjiman Franklin (1706-1790)
  7. “Love conquers all” Vigil (70 BC-19 BC)
  8. “The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways” William Cowper (1731-1800)
  9. “To Thineself Be True” Shakespeare
  10. Quoted from “Encouraging Bible Quotes” Kathrine Walden

The devil tried to use the Bible against Jesus while He was being tempted in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-11 ESV Yes, you heard that right, the devil tried to deceive the one who wrote the book. Jesus knows the Bible inside and out, never forget, so does the devil. The devil has worked in little nuances that if you don’t understand and know the Bible they will go unnoticed. There is theology that has been twisted. There are words that have been twisted, and people who mean the best have been deceived and are now church leaders. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

Getting to Know Him

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Citations:

Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut E. “Printing of the Bible.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 Nov. 2019, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Johannes-Gutenberg/Printing-of-the-Bible.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Biblical Translation.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 20 Jan. 2017, http://www.britannica.com/topic/biblical-translation.

 “Scripture Access Statistics.” Wycliffe Global Alliance, http://www.wycliffe.net/resources/scripture-access-statistics/.

ESV

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Esword

“Sword: Free Bible Study for the PC.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary , e-sword.net/.

Bible Gateway

 “BibleGateway.” BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 150 Versions and 50 Languages., http://www.biblegateway.com/‎.

Open bible info

Editor: Stephen Smith. Publication date: Apr 10, 2020. Publisher: OpenBible.info.

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