Friday, January 21, 2011

The Bible Itself

The Christian Bible consists of, sixty six books, penned by fourty different authors (under the inspiration of God of course) make up the entire Christian Bible.ow can it be God's Word?:
Technically, yes, the Bible was literally penned by men but, that is where the human aspect of the creation of the Bible ends. The men who put the words onto the manuscripts, were inspired directly by God's Holy Spirit. There are many evidences to back up the fact the Scriptures are God breathed and flawless. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that:  "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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Some undeniable evidence that the Bible text comes from God's Hand is the mere fact that many prophecies throughout the old Testament about the coming of Christ and other events have all come true. And even now, we await the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, such as, the return of Jesus Christ, the day of judgement, the new heavens and earth, and much more!
Another something to think about that proves the Bible is God's Word, is the fact that, that even though back in the time of Moses, about four thousand years ago, there were no text books about microbiology, no microscopes and no  germ researchers, yet because God created everything, He knows about the invisible bacteria that grow and multiply under certain conditions, how some are healthy and a lot that can cause illness and death.

He knows all about the dangers of touching dead bodies and then preparing food and the diseases that could be passed on. He knows all about contagious diseases such as Leprosy. If you read an Old Testament book such as Leviticus, you will see the explicit directions that God provided to protect His people from sickness and the effects of sin. Obviously, because God knows all that was and is to come, the beginning and the end, nothing and no one, is hidden from His sight. 

This is why the explicit directions to His people are there. Check it out, read Leviticus alone and then think about what history has taught us about the spread of germs and disease, what we need to do to stop them. Proof that He already knew what would happen and what we needed to do, hear, and experience. He loves us and wants to make sure we know these things like cleanliness and the avoidance of sin that can destroy us.  
Here is a web site about the Bible and Microbiology, that might be interesting:
The Bible has been re-written so many times that it can't be anything like the original
Of course, I if someone doesn't want to read the Bible, they won't. But perhaps if they heard counterpoints to their many excuses, maybe, it is all they need to know to crack one open.

For instance, the excuse about the Bible being re-written so many  times it can't be accurate anymore, is simply untrue. In fact, when the Scribes in the Old Testament copied out the Scripture manuscripts, they did it with precision. There weren't printing presses or Xerox machines, so the manuscripts had to be hand copied letter by letter. And they didn't just haphazardly copy the words, each letter and line was counted precisely to insure that the manuscript copies were exact. Here is an excerpt from a website that explains the process in great detail:
  1. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
  2. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
  3. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.
  4. They must verbalize each word aloud while they were writing.
  5. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the word "Jehovah," every time they wrote it.
  6. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
  7. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.
  8. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc).
  9. As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried, in a genizah - a Hebrew term meaning "hiding place." These were usually kept in a synagogue or sometimes in a Jewish cemetery.

Then there is the issue of translating the original manuscripts into English. The Old Testament, was originally in Hebrew and the New Testament's original language was in Koine Greek. Between the second and third centuries before the birth of Christ, some Jewish scholars created a Koine Greek version of the Hebrew Bible also known as the Jewish Bible and the Old Testament and became known as the Septuagint version.
What about translating the Bible into English?
Partial translations of Scripture into English go back as far as to the end of the 600s BC. In fact there are over four hundred and fifty versions in english. John Wycliffe, born 1328 and died in1384, is the one most often given credit for translating the first entire Bible into english. 

Today, if you go to purchase a Bible you will notice there are a pile of english translations available. The King James Bible, completed in 1611, is an official translation that is public domain and therefore not subjected to copyright laws. If you have ever used a thesaurus, I like to say that is what the range of english translations are. These Bibles are accurate and still based on God's inspired Word, but as you will notice, every translation often has different words, they mean the same, but are just different. So the essence of the original meaning is still there. 
What English Translation Do I Read?
I do strongly suggest that if you are seeking to purchase a Bible, to buy a parallel Bible. They are literally heavy, but have at least three to four different english translations so you can get the most out of the scriptures. Better still, here is the online Bible I use:
This resource has far more translations, so you can easily click back and forth comparing words and phrases. And the best of all is if you can see the original manuscript language called the Greek and Hebrew Lexicon. 
It is incredible when you learn that the word love for instance is used as is in many english translations, yet if you look at the original Greek language there are many types of "love."

Eros (ἔρως érōs): Romantic love (in ancient Greek, desire)
Philia (φιλία philía): Love (but especially "platonic") (in ancient Greek, friendship).
Agape (ἀγάπη agápē): Divine, unconditioned love. Sometimes Christians will refer to the love that they receive from God as Agape Love.
Storge (στοργή storgē) Natural affection.

One more resource for Bible study is called an  Exhaustive Concordance. A Bible with an exhaustive concordance is a useful tool for those times you want to look up one particular word such as hope. The exhaustive concordance will show you every single verse in the entire Bible that has the word, "hope."