God Said Man Said

The Bible—Get One!

In spite of its diversity, the Bible presents a single unfolding story: God’s redemption of human beings. Whereas the gate to the tree of life is closed in Genesis, it is opened forevermore in Revelation. The unifying thread is salvation from sin and condemnation to a life of complete transformation and unending bliss in the presence of the one, merciful, holy God.
Recommend To A Friend
Audio Options: MP3

The Bible—Get One!

Article#: 1620

We all begin life’s journey on Rt. 7 South.  The Scriptures speak of our original condition in Ephesians 2:1:

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

All of the sons of Adam start their journey on Rt. 7 South—spiritually stillborn—thus the requirement to be, as Jesus calls it in John 3:3, “born again”—born a literal second time, this time of the Spirit of God. 

The analogy of Rt. 7 is framed in Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son, and number seven, the number of perfect rest, the number of completion.  Traveling north and south relates to life’s direction:  The end of Rt. 7 South—the highway of unbelief and disobedience—is Hell and finally, the Lake of Fire.  The ultimate destination of Rt. 7 North—the highway of faith and obedience—is glorious, eternal life in Christ Jesus in God’s new heaven and new earth.  The differences are stark indeed, and they are certain.

Have you been born again?  Will today be the day you make the directional decision that, without question, changes everything?  Will today be the day you see God (John 14:8-9)?  Make a U-turn:  Repent and turn from your sins. Believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His precious blood will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  Today is your day of salvation.  Click onto "Further with Jesus" for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  It’s time for a U-turn.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT. 

GOD SAID, Deuteronomy 32:1-4:

1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

GOD SAID, Psalm 68:11:

The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

MAN SAID: That old Bible is just a book written by mere men and has no real credibility.  Those church-going Christians who embrace it must check their brains at the door. 

Now THE RECORD: God is the God of wordsPsalm 33:6-9:

6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

With His words, He spoke the universe into existence out of that which is invisibleJohn 1:1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

Revelation 19:13 speaks of Jesus Christ and says, “His name is called The Word of God.”  Consider Psalm 138:2:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

God’s magnificent words have been captured on the printed page and faithfully preserved for thousands of years.  The Holy Bible towers over the aggregate of recorded knowledge in all the world’s books.  Every book must bow to God’s Book at a soon-coming global reckoningPhilippians 2:9-11:

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

This feature is about the glorious Book in particular: a very literal, living Book.  Consider some of the following excerpts about your Bible, written and compiled by Josh McDowell in his book The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict:

It’s not unusual to hear about books that have hit the bestseller list, selling a few hundred thousand copies.  It’s much rarer to come across books that have sold more than a million copies, and rarer still to find books that have passed the ten-million mark in sales.  It staggers the mind, then, to discover that the number of Bibles sold reaches into the billions.  That’s right—billions!  More copies have been produced of its entirety as well as selected portions than any other book in history.  Some will argue that in a designated month or year, more of a certain book was sold.  However, no other book even begins to compare to the Scriptures in terms of its total circulation. 

According to the United Bible Societies’ 1998 Scripture Distribution Report, in that year alone, member organizations were responsible for distributing 20.8 million complete Bibles and another 20.1 million testaments.  When portions of the Scripture (i.e., complete books of the Bible) and selections (short extracts on particular themes) are also included, the total distribution of copies of the Bible or portions thereof in 1998 reaches a staggering 585 million—and these numbers only include Bibles distributed by the United Bible Societies! 

The numbers of translations of the Bible are every bit as impressive as its sales numbers.  Most books are never translated into another tongue.  Among the books that are, most are published in just two or three languages.  Far fewer books see translation figures rise into the teens. According to the United Bible Societies, the Bible (or portions of it), has been translated into more than 2,200 languages! 

Professor M. Montierro-Williams, former Boden professor of Sanskrit, held this perspective:  After spending forty-two years studying Eastern books, he compared them with the Bible and said, “Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Bible on the right side—all by itself, all alone—and with a wide gap between them.  For…there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East, which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and forever… A veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science of religious thought.” 

English poet and literary critic, Samuel Taylor, writes:

I have found in the Bible words for my inmost thoughts, songs for my joy, utterance for my hidden griefs, and pleadings for my shame and feebleness.   

Returning to New Evidence that Demands a Verdict:

In spite of its diversity, the Bible presents a single unfolding story: God’s redemption of human beings.  Norman Geisler and William Nix put it this way: “The Paradise Lost of Genesis becomes the Paradise Regained of Revelation.  Whereas the gate to the tree of life is closed in Genesis, it is opened forevermore in Revelation.  The unifying thread is salvation from sin and condemnation, to a life of complete transformation and unending bliss in the presence of the one, merciful, holy God. 

…[A]lthough the Bible contains many books by many authors, it shows in its continuity that it is also one book.  As F.F. Bruce observes: “Any part of the human body can only be properly explained in reference to the whole body.  And any part of the Bible can only be properly explained in reference to the whole Bible.”  Each book is like a chapter in the one book we call the Bible.  Bruce concludes:

The Bible, at first sight, appears to be a collection of literature—mainly Jewish.  If we enquire into the circumstances under which the various Biblical documents were written, we find that they were written at intervals over a space of nearly 1,400 years.  The writers wrote in various lands, from Italy in the west to Mesopotamia and possibly Persia in the east.  The writers themselves were a heterogeneous number of people, not only separated from each other by hundreds of years and hundreds of miles, but belonging to the most diverse walks of life.  In their ranks, we have kings, herdsmen, soldiers, legislators, fishermen, statesmen, courtiers, priests and prophets, a tent-making rabbi and a Gentile physician, not to speak of others of whom we know nothing apart from the writings they have left us.  The writings themselves belong to a great variety of literary types.  They include history, law (civil, criminal, ethical, ritual, sanitary), religious poetry, didactic treatises, lyric poetry, parable and allegory, biography, personal correspondence, personal memoirs and diaries, in addition to the distinctively Biblical types of prophecy and apocalyptic. 

For all that, the Bible is not simply an anthology; there is a unity which binds the whole together.  An anthology is compiled by an anthologist, but no anthologist compiled the Bible. 

Bernard Ramm speaks of the accuracy and number of Biblical manuscripts: “Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved.  With their massora (parva, magna, and finalis), they kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word, and paragraph.  They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity—scribes, lawyers, massoretes.  Whoever counted the letters and syllables and words of Plato or Aristotle?  Cicero or Seneca? 

The noted French infidel Voltaire, who died in 1778, declared that in one hundred years from his time Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history. 

Only fifty years since his death, the Geneva Bible Society used Voltaire’s press and house to produce stacks of Bibles. 

In A.D. 303, the Roman emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping and to destroy their Scriptures.  “An imperial letter was everywhere promulgated, ordering the razing of the churches to the ground and the destruction by fire of the Scriptures, and proclaiming that those who held high positions would lose all civil rights, while those in households, if they persisted in their profession of Christianity, would be deprived of their liberty.” 

The historic irony of this event is recorded by the fourth-century church historian Eusebius, who wrote that twenty-five years after Diocletian’s edict the Roman emperor Constantine issued an edict ordering that fifty copies of the Scriptures should be prepared at the government’s expense. 

H.L. Hastings has forcefully illustrated the unique way in which the Bible has withstood attacks of infidels and skeptics:

Infidels, for eighteen hundred years, have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock.  Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before.  Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt.  When the French monarch proposed the persecution of the Christians in his dominion, an old statesmen and warrior said to him, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”  So, the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures.  If this book had not been the Book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago.  Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the Book still lives. 

Bernard Ramm adds:

A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read.  But somehow the corpse never stays put. 

No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified.  What book on philosophy or religion or psychology or belle lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism?  With such thoroughness and erudition?  Upon every chapter, line, and tenet? 

The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions. 

Earl Radmacher, retired president of Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, quotes Nelson Gluek, former president of the Jewish Theological Seminary at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and one of the three greatest archaeologists: “I listened to him [Gluek] when he was at Temple Emmanuel in Dallas, and he got rather red in the face and said, ‘I’ve been accused of teaching the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scripture.  I want it to be understood that I have never taught this!  All I have ever said is that in all of my archaeological investigation I have never found one artifact of antiquity that contradicts any statement of the Word of God.’”

Elie Wiesel, novelist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient:

An inspired work, the Bible is also a source of inspiration.  Its impact has no equal, whether on the social and ethical plane or on that of literary creation.  … Its characters are dramatic, their dramas timeless, their triumphs and defeats overwhelming.  Each cry touches us, each call penetrates us.  Texts of another age, the Biblical poems are themselves ageless.  They call out to us collectively and individually, across and beyond the centuries.

Again, from New Evidence that Demands a Verdict:

The historian Philip Schaff (in The Person of Christ, American Tract Society, 1913) classically describes the uniqueness of the Bible and the Saviour:

This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. 

Bernard Ramm adds:

There are complexities of bibliographical studies that are unparalleled in any other science or department of human knowledge.  From the Apostolic Fathers dating from AD 95 to the modern times is one great literary river inspired by the Bible—Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, Bible lexicons, Bible atlases, and Bible geographies.  These may be taken as a starter. Then at random, we may mention the vast bibliographies around theology, religious education, hymnology, missions, the Biblical languages, church history, religious biography, devotional works, commentaries, philosophy of religion, evidences, apologetics, and on and on.  There seems to be an endless number. 

No other book in all human history has in turn inspired the writing of so many books as the Bible.

A professor once remarked to me, “If you are an intelligent person, you will read the one book that has drawn more attention than any other, if you are searching for the truth.”  The Bible certainly qualifies as the one book. 

French philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau exclaimed: “Behold the works of our philosophers; with all their pompous diction, how mean and contemptible they are by comparison with the Scriptures!  Is it possible that a book at once so simple and sublime should be merely the work of man?”  [End of quotes]

Samuel Arbesman, an applied mathematician and network scientist, authored a book titled The Half-Life of Facts.  In this book, he outlined a technique by which scientific writings are rated.  Arbesman writes:

We can also understand the impact of papers and the results within them by measuring how many other publications cite them.  The more important a work is, the more likely it is to be referenced in many other papers, implying that it has a certain foundational impact on the work that comes after it.  

And again, he writes:

As mentioned before, citations are the coin of the scientific realm and the metric by which we measure the impact of a paper. 

Most papers are never cited.  And many more are cited only once and then forgotten.  Others are only cited by their own authors, in their own other papers.  But—and this is no doubt a point in the favor of the scientific endeavor—there are numerous papers that are cited by others in the field.  And there are even rarer papers cited so many more times than those around them that they are truly fundamental to a field, towering well above other publications.  [End of quote]

According to Arbesman, “the more important a work is, the more it is likely to be referenced in many other papers.”  Down through time, the Word of God has been referenced billions upon billions of times.  According to “lifetime citations,” there is no book like our Book.  The Word of God is alive and all the redeemed live in it.  Embrace this Book and live forever. 

GOD SAID, Deuteronomy 32:1-4:

1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

GOD SAID, Psalm 68:11:

The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

MAN SAID: That old Bible is just a book written by mere men and has no real credibility.  Those church-going Christians who embrace it must check their brains at the door.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Arbesman, S., The Half-Life of Facts, Current, 2012

McDowell, J., The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, McDowell, 1999

 

Visits: 495