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The Holy Bible

Study-guide

 

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Key Considerations

  1. Did you know there are two types of God’s word (stemming from the Greek)? There is the ‘Logos’ word (the total summation of God’s word written in the Holy Scriptures) and the ‘Rhema’ word which is the spoken word of God. Jehovah God spoke the Rhema word into existence, so that it could be written (Logos) in order for it to be spoken by us (Rhema).
  2. Did you know that the Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 authors, covering a span of 1600 years? The timespan in which it was written covers from 1500 BC to 100 AD approximately.
  3. Did you know that the chapters and verses in your bible were not in the original manuscripts? The Hebrews recorded scripture on long parchments or scrolls that were rolled and bundled. Hebrew is read from right to left as opposed to English. The saying goes that all languages lead to Jerusalem, i.e. all languages spoken by nations that are geographically west of Jerusalem read from left to right and all languages spoken by nations geographically located east of Jerusalem read from right to left! According to scholars, chapters and verses were introduced by Cardinal Hugo de S, Caro in 1238 AD. Verses were not added until 1551 by Robertus Stephanus.
  4. Did you know the Bible is historically accurate? There are several secular historians that wrote about distinct key events surrounding the New Testament Period, these would include Titus Flavius Josephus (born in Jerusalem in 37 BC and witness to the fall of Jerusalem), Philo Judaeus (Hellenistic Jewish Philosopher) and Tacticus (Roman historian who would have no benefit from telling the truth). Reports of Christ’s Resurrection were widespread and historically documented for example and are not anecdotal.
  5. Did you know the Bible (largely the King James Version) is the most sold book of all time? It regularly tops the best seller’s lists. The Bible has been translated into more than 1200 languages, in line with Christ’s mandate that the Gospel should be preached to all the nations of the earth, and then the end shall come (Matt 24:14).
  6. Did you know the most prolific authors of books in the Bible are the Apostle Paul (13 books alone, excluding Hebrews possibly) and Moses (5 books), Apostle John (5 books), Peter (2 books), Luke (2 books).
  7. Did you know the bible never contradicts itself? This has been contested down the years by numerous critics. People claim there are contradictions but they have to take verses out of context to do so. When looking at the totality of scripture and understanding all its teachings, there are no contradictions. This is incredible when you consider how 40 different authors synergistically combined their writings in one comprehensive volume. Think of the Gospels and you will understand that the four authors were writing to unique audiences (Matthew – Jews, Mark – Romans, Luke – Greeks/Gentiles, John – church) having witnessed events from their own perspective. If you asked four people to describe the same car accident for example, each one would explain their own viewpoint, details and perspective. The exclusion of some events by some authors in the Gospels does not mean they didn’t occur, merely that they were emphasized and inspired that way, each harboring their outlook.
  8. Did you know the bible claim to be God’s word and makes no bones about it. The Bible says more than 3000 times, “Thus Saith the Lord”. The term, “and God said”, is used over 2600 times.
  9. Did you know God’s word is eternal? Compare these passages (Matt 24:35 and Isa 40:8).
  10. Did you know that Scripture has many uses? Check out this scripture, 2 Tim 3:16 and meditate upon it, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” What does reproof mean?
  11. Did you know that the Holy Scriptures were divinely inspired? Compare these scriptures (2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 1:21). Was the Holy Spirit involved intimately with the recording of Scripture?
  12. Consider the difference between illumination and inspiration. Illumination refers to the influence of the Holy Spirit, common to all Christians, which assists them in grasping the true meaning of the word and application for their lives (1 Cor 2:4, Matt 16:17). We are ‘illuminated’ to the already ‘inspired’ scriptures. This illumination is common to all but it is different from inspiration. The authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write inerrant scriptures; this is a one-time affair. There are degrees of illumination and insight into scriptures but in the case of inspiration in a biblical sense this has ceased as the full Canon of scripture is complete (1 Peter 1:10-12, Gal 1:9, Rev 22:18-19). The scriptures emphasis is always on inspired words, not inspired men. The word of God is to be esteemed, not man.
  13. Did you know that Jesus Christ himself endorsed the Old Testament, quoting it and lived in harmony with its teaching? He also endorsed its truth and authority (see passages Matt 5:18, John 10:35, Luke 18:31-33, 24:25,44 and Matt 23:1-2, 26:54).
  14. Did you know that not only was the Old Testament divinely inspired, but the New Testament is too? Everywhere the New Testament claims to be a fuller and clearer revelation of God than that given in the Old Testament, and authoritatively declares the cancellation of the old laws, leaving the royal law in tact (James 2:8), that is to love God first and foremost, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37).
  15. Did you know that the New Testament speaks of its own divine inspiration? Peter seems to place the writings of Paul on a level with those of the Old Testament (2 Pet 3:15-16), and Paul and the other apostles claim to speak with a Divine authority (1 Cor 2:13, 1 Cor 14:31, 1 Thess 2:13, 1 Thess 4:2, 2 Pet 3:2, 1 John 1:5, Rev 1:1).

Throughout the annals of time, the Bible has been fiercely contested as the true word of God. It has remarkable preservation in the face of persecution and the opposition of science. As the saying goes, “The hammers (critics) break, yet the anvil (Bible) remains.” Intellectual defenses of the Bible have their place; but after all the best argument is a practical one. The Bible has worked. It has influenced civilizations, transformed lives, brought inspiration and comforted billions. Its work continues today and is applicable to all generations.

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