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"In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures" (James 1:18).
(2 Peter 1:15-21; 2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible is simply the truth. It does not only contain the truth in certain parts. The Bible is not only a means of God 'inspiring' me with some truth. The Bible is God's Word.
15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you may be able to call these things to mind. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased-- 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (1 Peter 1:15-21)
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." G. Washington
"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." T. Roosevelt
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
The word 'inspired' here literally means 'God-breathed.' Notice how it says that 'all scriptures' are inspired and not the authors themselves. God does a special miracle of a work in bringing His Word to written documents.
Some people think that one can pick and choose what is important by what one feels about it. When we begin to chop up God's Word, then we will be judged by it.
Revelation is the communicating of divine truth to man. Most often it is not written down. Certain revelations made known to a prophet were to be written down as directed by God's Spirit. This became a special class of literature known as God's inspired Word.
Illumination is the special understanding that comes to a person when thinking about God's Word. We sometimes say that the scriptures 'moved me'. This more than likely refers to how one was illuminated. God's Word was made vividly alive to you, and you responded to Him.
Inspiration is when the Spirit oversaw the writing of a prophet so that the actual words God wanted were written down as scripture.
Canonization is the process by which the books of the Bible were recognized by the Christian community to be the authoritative Word of God.
Number of at least one book of the Bible has been translated rose from 1,946 in 1990 to 1,978 in 1991. "Scripture has been translated into more than 2,000 languages. 97% of the world's people now have at least a portion of God's Word written in their native tongue." - Bible League 1992
(2 Peter 1:19-21)
"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Peter 1:20-21).
In the passage above we see that scripture is 'prophecy' or 'prophetic word.' We are not talking about what it does to us but what it is. It is not a matter of interpretation. God revealed it, and the Holy Spirit 'moved' or directed the prophet as he wrote it down. We see the personalities of the writers in the scripture. God didn't dictate to them every letter but stirred and moved them.
In the end we see God moved more than forty authors over a period of 2000 years to create what we now have as the Bible. Because the Holy Spirit oversaw the process the Bible acts as one book. (1 Peter 1:10-13).
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, 11seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We should note from the last verse that God says He has cared for the scripture. Our job is not to judge whether we should follow the scriptures but to fully respond to what He has declared in His Word. More about this will be said in the next section.
God uses the Word of God to guide, protect, encourage, warn and strengthen us. The Word of God has a cleansing and convicting power. Through it we are both humbled before God's Almighty presence as well as lifted up to see the great redemption plan of God.
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)
The Bible is important like no other book. We need to meditate regularly in it and then obey God's leading.
Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
The Bible is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). It is all truth.
The Bible challenges evolution, decries popular psychology, and diminishes the powers of the world. For once the Bible is accepted as the Truth, then all philosophies, economies, religions, every thought and every action comes under its scrutiny. If God has spoken, and He has, then we are responsible to Him.
"I have known 95 of the world's great men in my time, and of these, 87 were followers of the Bible."
W.E. Gladstone Theodore Morristhe great merchant, lawyer, and planter from PA who drafted the final version of the Constitution said regarding this, Liberty and justice simply cannot be had apart from the gracious influences of a righteous people. A righteous people simply cannot exist apart from the aspiration to liberty and justice. The Christian religion and its incumbent morality is tied to the cause of freedom with a Gordian knot; loose one from the other and both are sent asunder." The Blood, Grant, p. 109.
Knowing about God's Word and its reliability is one important matter, but one also needs to know how to meet God in the scriptures.
Other Articles on the Origin of the Bible Series
1. How is the Bible different today from before?
2. How did the Bible come into being?
3. Why aren't other books part of the Bible?
4. How is the Bible different from other books?
5. Doesn't the Bible have a lot of mistakes?
6. Is the Bible really relevant to my life?
7. What Bible version should I use? I'm confused.
8. Why do some people say that I must use the KJV?
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988