In American schools we teach the works of Aristotle as authentic. Did you know there are 49 copies of his work in existence today? The closest one dates 1,400 years past his original writing.
How about Homer? His work is mandatory for most high school students in the United States. There are 643 copies of his work dating 500 years after his original work.
The authenticity of the Bible is often under a much different microscope.
Did you know there are 5,686 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in human hands today? Those manuscripts date just 100 years from the original texts.
God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone… 2 Tim. 2:19
The Bible is actually quite an amazing collection of writings. The word bible comes from the Greek work biblos, which means book of many books. That’s a better description of what the Bible really is. It’s one book that contains many books, 66 to be exact.
Those 66 books were authored on three different continents (Africa, Asia and Europe) by 40 different authors. Those 40 authors penned the books over 1,500 years in 3 languages (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic). And there are no contradictions within those books.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God… 2 Tim. 3:16
In these diverse writings there is a common theme- the creation and fall of man. God’s redemption of his people and is unfailing love for humanity. Throughout the book, the promise of salvation is declared to all who obey the word of the Lord.
But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 1 John 2:5
There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament, centuries later. Those prophecies concern his place of birth, mother, home town to his manner of death. MIT conducted a study to determine the odds of one man fulfilling just eight prophecies. You want to take a guess on the odds? 1 in 1 trillion.
The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Luke 4:17-21
What about the apostles who wrote the New Testament? Were they reliable witnesses? Did they really believe what they saw to be true? Did you know that most of the apostles were martyred for their beliefs? They were so convicted by what they saw and what they wrote that they were willing to face prison, their own crucifixion and beheading.
After the scriptures were collected and translated into Latin, a period of time came when the common man did not have access to the scripture. Then a radical and fatal restoration of the word took place among the best scholarly men of the day. Beginning with John Wycliffe of Oxford University in the 1380’s to William Tyndale in the early 1500’s, these men risked heresy. These “heretics” were exiled and burned at the stake to make sure that the Holy Scripture could be accessible and understood in a common language. They did it so I could have a Bible.
The simple fact that nearly everyone who paved the way for the Bible to be in my hands was persecuted or killed for it tells me something very important. Some one doesn’t want me reading it. And the cost to overcome that opposition was the blood of many men.
I trust the Bible with all my heart. I will walk by its statues. I will commit to its way. I will honor its God. And I will face every challenge of my day, knowing there is a Creator who orchestrated a beautiful story of redemption to pass on to me. And my spiritual ancestors believed in that story so deeply they paid the ultimate price to pass that life-giving message on to me. Amazing.
Now, are you too busy to read it?
I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. Psalm 119:59