The Bible was written over a period of about 15 Centuries by many different human authors who were inspired
by God. These men lived on different continents, spoke at least 3 different languages and yet The Bible contains one
unified message about Jesus Christ and God's Purpose for us.
The Bible tells us that it is God’s Word many times. The
human writers tell us that they were inspired by God. The Bible contains many very specific prophecies which have been fulfilled
in minute detail. The Bible is “real.” It describes its “heroes’’” weaknesses as
well as their strengths.
The Bible is historically accurate. Even though it is not a history text the events spoken of in Scripture
have often been verified from other sources such as archaeology and secular history.
The Bible is scientifically accurate. Some have
doubted this fact but The Bible is primarily written from the perspective of the human writer. For example Scripture
describes the earth as round in an age when the best scientists thought it was flat.
There are no errors in the original “autographs”
of The Bible. Whatever is described is spoken of truthfully. Supposed contradictions can be resolved when a person
has a mind and heart open to receive the truth. The Bible was carefully and faithfully transcribed and transmitted to us with
very few scribal slips resulting in an extremely high degree of accuracy.
There is more documentary evidence and more manuscripts to support the
accuracy of The Bible texts than any other ancient document. Even though there are many different modern English translations
of The Bible, we are fully able to receive the truth of God’s message to us. Any time any document is translated
from one language to another there may be choices the translators must make about specific words. The basic ideas still
come through loud and clear.
The books “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell and "The Case for Christ"
by Lee Strobel are excellent reading. They give a clear picture of why we should believe that The Bible is God’s
Word to us.
To be fair to The Bible and ourselves we
must read it in a similar way to other books. It is important to research the cultural and historical context of a passage
to understand what applies to us today. The Bible contains many literary forms including poetry, wisdom literature, narrative
and prophecy. It is important to recognize the literary genre and the intended audience for each section of Scripture.
It is important
not to engage in “cut and paste” theology. We need to read verses in context and compare all of the related
passages in Scripture about any specific topic before jumping to conclusions. To fully understand the meaning of The Bible
it is essential to accept God's Free Gift of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. We
must ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture for us.
If a passage is difficult to comprehend it is wise to consult conservative, orthodox
commentaries and find out what other Christian scholars have to say on the subject. Mere knowledge means nothing without application.
After studying a passage we must extract the timeless principle that we can apply to our own lives and then take action.
God wants us to be obedient to what we have learned. He gives us further insight as we obey His directives.
“Halley’s Bible Handbook”
and “Smith’s Bible Dictionary” are very helpful study tools. Some suggested websites for Bible study tools
are Blue Letter Bible and Bible.org.
Scripture quotations marked NIV or (NIV)
are from the Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®,
© 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture
quotations marked (NLT) are from The New Living Translation,
© 1996, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Used by permission. All rights reserved.