Monday, June 22, 2020

The Bible

The Bible

Most religions of the world have a 'Holy book' or 'Holy writings' for the underlying basis of belief and practices. The 'Holy Bible' is indeed such, but it is different in several ways.

It has been composed over a period of 1,500 years by some 40 different authors. Much of it is a historical narrative, ( much verified by archaeology), of the Hebrew people (later called Israelites and later some as Jews). At the end of the Bible, in the New Testament, the history of Christianity is described. This includes the significant inclusion of the Gentiles (non Jews).

The Bible is not a set of rules and rituals for all people. It is a record of God interacting with individuals and groups of people over many centuries. It highlights God connecting with Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David , Isaiah, Daniel etc. These all lived in different times and different places, so often their messages were appropriate to their circumstances.  The New Testament is connected to the Old Testament, but it is different. The New Testament records the history of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus, the death of Jesus the resurrection of Jesus etc. This led to a major change of focus. Instead of the focus being on Israel, it changed to the whole world.

The Bible is a big book – actually 66 books. Reading from the beginning is good, but reading both the Old Testament and the New Testament together is better. For example Genesis 1 begins   " In the beginning God created.......", likewise John 1 (NT)  begins   "In the beginning was.......", so these two parts of the Bible should be read together- they explain each other.

Much of the New Testament is an explanation of the Old Testament – for example the celebration of the Passover each year, is explained in the NT as a picture of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God dying for the freedom of other people.

For those who struggle with reading English, I recommend a translation of the Bible called NLT or NASB. For those who like to study, the ESV. Why are there  so many version of the Bible?     Over the years the English language  has changed.   Also many more copies of the original writings have been discovered (like 5000 including the Dead Sea scrolls). So is the English Bible trustworthy? Evidence points to at least 98% accuracy of the original writings (many scholars have tested the accuracy of the Bible).

Please note that true Christianity (not all Christian religions) is based on the Bible, but Christians do not worship the book. Rather they worship the God who is revealed in the Bible. God has sought to connect with people in various ways, especially through the Bible. This is why in some restricted countries in the world today, millions of people would love to have a Bible to read- to know God  more fully.

I encourage you to search and see. If you do not have a Bible, please send me an email.

I invite you to  receive these articles by subscribing on the margin of the main website page .

No comments: