Books

Origin of the Bible

bible

It’s a fair question: “Can I trust my life to what the bible says?” Wasn’t it written by men? And yet, it, and Christians say it is God breathed. Let’s test the claims made about the bible.

Okay, so the bible is the bestselling book of all time. There’s no denying it has stood the test of nearly 2000 years, but what about the things Christians claim to be true about the bible? They say it is the inspired and the inerrant word of God, and that it is God’s special revelation of Himself to mankind. In fact, the bible itself makes these same claims about itself, but that certainly proves nothing.

This preliminary post, introduces a topic of fiery debate that can bring human emotions to the brink, and is the first in a new series, Lord willing. Today we merely want to peel back the first of multitudinous layers of discovery. Throughout this series we shall attempt to either nullify or verify the claims made about the bible, and my hope is that we may set aside all bias on both sides of the table, and simply examine the facts.

A scholarly or scientific mind can either verify or nullify these claims simply by applying the principles of logic, research, testing and study in discovering whether or not the bible truly came from a personal, all-powerful, Creator God.

“That’s precisely what we intend to accomplish.”

 

Logically, there are definitive qualities and characteristics one would expect to find if God breathed out the message of the bible, and if inspired holy men of God really did record it at His command, as the bible indicates. We will be checking some historical documents and studying the bible’s history. The first order of business would be to delineate answers to the normal, simple queries of who, what, when, where and how.

 

  1. The bible, as we know is not a singular book, but a compilation of 66 books.
  2. It was written by 40 different authors.
  3. It was written over a period of 1500 years.
  4. Moses began recording the Torah (law) which is the Pentatuech (first five books) 3500 years ago. Most believe this was during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The last book (Revelation) was written between 94 & 96 AD.

 

Some other easily verified facts are as follows.

 

  1. The bible was originally composed in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
  2. It addresses hundreds of various topics.
  3. It utilizes multiple genres, which include; historical, poetic, didactic, parabolic, allegorical, apocalyptic, and epic literary constructs.

 

It is interesting to note that the 40 men who did the physical writing were from a wide variety of backgrounds and stations in life, from royal monarchs to homeless vagabonds residing in the wilderness—from the formally educated, to those with only a rudimentary grasp of written language.

 

Sauer, in The Dawn of World & Redemption and The Triumph of the Crucified, writes: “In spite of all this vast diversity, the Bible reveals an amazing unity. First, it is one continuous unfolding drama of redemption from Genesis to Revelation; from paradise lost to paradise regained; from the creation of all things to the consummation of all things.”

 

Sauer was absolutely correct. Having read the bible through multiple times, I can attest to the accuracy of his statement. It is strange indeed that 40 different people who were vastly different from each other (most of them never met any of the other authors) that their writing would form a mosaic of one, single unfolding dramatic story. Most of them lived centuries apart. Some spoke different languages, and were of differing occupations. Not a single one of these 40 men ever received any form of monetary compensation for their contributions. Not one. It would be nigh onto impossible to perpetrate such an elaborate hoax spanning one and a half millenniums. The information they recorded was compartmentalized so as none of them had the complete story, and often did not have an inclination as to what significance the things they were writing would have in the overall storyline. That in itself is amazing.

 

Though it takes some correlating in our minds we will find that the bible has one centralized theme which centers around the person of Jesus Christ. He is referred to early on, yet this main character is not personally identified until we get to the New Testament. In the opening book of Genesis this redeemer of mankind: Savior, Messiah or Christ, though not directly identified, is spoken of as the seed (offspring) of the woman. Jesus of Nazareth is the only human person to be the offspring of a woman, and yet not the seed of a man. Speaking to the serpent the devil used to tempt Eve, God said:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15 This was God prophesying to Satan, alerting Him that a Champion would come from the woman’s womb and purchase people back to God.

 

Theologians confirm that this prophetic statement from God prefigures the virgin birth, or Immaculate Conception.  Further, it alludes to the defeat and overthrow of Satan (the serpent) and the redemption of mankind from the hand of death and sin through the Redeemer. He (the seed of woman) would inflict a head blow upon the devil, signifying complete victory over the enemy, who, at the time God spoke this, had just deceived mankind into rebellion against God’s rule over them. According to Christians and the bible, Christ’s work: His death, burial, resurrection and ascension, is the head shot that won the victory.

 

Approaching this study from a neutral perspective, however, let’s be fair. If God had a book written, there are certain things one would expect to be true of that book. Granted, some particular things could also be true of other books, but of a divinely ordained book, these things would be necessary.  Let’s look at the first ten items that would be true of a book from God.

 

  1. It would be historically accurate when it speaks on historical matters.
  2. Its authors would be trustworthy.
  3. It would be thematically unified and without contradictions.
  4. We would have received accurate copies of the original manuscripts (God would preserve His book).
  5. It would have unique characteristics which no other book has.
  6. The words of the book would have power to change people.
  7. It would predict future events with 100% accuracy.
  8. A book from God would reveal knowledge beyond that of the time it was written.
  9. Those whom God would use to record His word would be confirmed by miracles.
  10. Scholars agree that it definitely should claim to be God’s Word.

 

Now that we’ve identified the first layer of this research’s content, we’ll be putting the bible to the test with these and other essentials, as we seek the truth. For the sake of brevity, we’ll leave off here to ruminate until the next post, when we’ll see how many of these 10 things are true of the bible, and expose the second skin of study.

 

If all goes well, we will continue into increasingly deeper research with each post.

Have a productive and a peaceful day.

 

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Seeking Intimacy With God

The Lord is currently leading me to write a book. While in fellowship with the Lord, I sought His direction. “Lord, where is the void that I can fill? How can I edify my brothers and sisters in Christ? What is yet to be said that other books have not already covered?”

Over the past eighteen months, the answers came clearly and loud, yet in the silence of communion with Christ. The words now burn like a fire within me until they are committed to the page. Here are some snippets from various chapters of that work. I have no idea how long it will be until its completion.

As yet, untitled

“Undertaking to refine a rich spiritual life with the intent of mining deeper into the wealth of communion with God requires the cessation of all devilish hindrances. The enemy is quite adept at impeding our progress toward the higher inner life of supreme sanctification. These obstructions could rightly be described as noisy interference, like many radio stations all bleeding over onto our frequency.”

“All too often we make the mistake of relying upon self-effort in ascending the spiritual heights. Ideas and notions resound in our mind, drowning out the still, small voice of the Lord. Human intellect is a boon for the devil. That old serpent knows that we are incapable of attaining what we seek by means of our own thought processes, and those of us who feel intellectually superior are at higher risk in this regard. Our minds must be led by God in order to reach that desired state of hearing, submitting and following.”

“Be still and know that I am God. In these words from our great benefactor we learn the necessity of shutting down external senses, forgetting about all the weighty concerns of life, and simply waiting upon the Lord. Learn to focus upon His holiness and faithfulness. We are to cast our cares upon Him, because He cares for us. But first we must know Him and experience His presence within the innermost holy place. We first must simply be silent in the presence of holiness. Just as Eli, the High Priest instructed young Samuel. Our opening words to God, whether vocally or simply in practice should be: Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Our concerns will be taken care of God’s way and not how our minds think it should be done. Many times we will receive answers that do not seem to fit our questions. Because we are asking the wrong questions for those burdens to be addressed.”

“It is victory we seek in the attaining of spiritual maturity through intimate fellowship with He that is holy. Yet, for the redeemed, death is imminently required. There can be no survival of the sinful self. One cannot be raised to new life and remain in its glowing warmth while still clinging to remnants of the old self. We must succumb to the extinguisher of every vestige of the life that is passed. This is not relinquishing the true persons we were created to be. Our uniqueness remains intact, yet is purified and more fully developed than ever before—more beautiful than ever before. God’s will as spoken to the believer through the Spirit and the word of God is that extinguisher. He will reveal to us what must go and what should remain and be nurtured of ourselves.”

“The Spirit cannot be fully in charge until the old life has been rendered quiet. There is no possibility for two lives (in this case two natures) to simultaneously control any one vessel. We will obey one or the other and there is no middle ground upon which to compromise. Jesus would have us either hot or cold.”

“Picture yourself bringing a glowing smile to the face of the supreme lover of your soul. For it is blessing which He so vehemently desires to impart to us, and only we ourselves stand in the way of receiving an infinite flow of spiritual blessing. Each time we nail another of those fleshly and sinful longings to Jesus’ cross, our souls beam forth a bit brighter with the light of the Lord’s glory. It is His holiness working within us, bringing forth His glory. Just as a reflection of the “shekinah” glory of God remained upon and radiated from Moses’ face, so shall the beauty of God’s holy nature be reflected from our hearts and through the words we speak. This is for the benefit of all, that others too may see our good works: That praise may be induced unto the Father’s glory. Reflected from us and revealed to the world. This is our assignment. Our task is to constantly reveal and thus propagate the glory of God—the image of God on earth.”

“May we each one retain His glory upon our faces, as did Moses when he descended the mountain. Yet that glory faded over time. This is a profound indication that we must continue to seek God’s face—His presence, and hence constantly revitalize His glory on our faces and through our hearts. He is our perpetual spring of life giving water and we must pitch out tent there and never leave. We must remain in constant fellowship with God. “Pray without ceasing.”

“This then is why we seek intimacy with Him. This is why we long for the joy of His near presence often. Oh the power, the glory, the peace and joy that is demonstrated through the fully surrendered soul! Through the ones who’ve sought the Lord’s face and received counsel from Him. And who have submitted to His word. It is a glorious sight to behold: God’s redemptive plan fulfilled to the fullest it can be until the resurrection of the body at His coming.”

“In every phase of our Lord Jesus’ earthly ministry He found it essential to prepare. Before beginning those three years of ministry work He spent solitary time in much prayer and fasting, in the presence of the Holy Father. Preceding the selection of the twelve disciples, he prayed, apart from others, yet in fellowship with the Father and Spirit. He did not send out the seventy until seeking conversation with the Father. Immediately before His arrest and crucifixion, we see our Savior in the garden, praying, seeking fellowship with God. It is in and through that close fellowship that we too, are prepared for success in our various missions and ministries, as well as in carrying out the general commissions Christ has given to us all.” End snippets.

It is my hope that you will pray for this work. And if the Lord lays it upon your heart I pray that you will give your feedback on the few thoughts presented here which come from different chapters in this coming book. If you know of a topic concerning intimacy with Christ that you feel will help, please let me know, and we will pray together over it.

God bless you as you continue your transformation to be more like the Son of God.

 

 

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