WHAT ABOUT THE BIBLE?
"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." 1 Pet. 4:11.
The Bible is either a revelation from God or a monumental hoax, containing many pretentious claims and preposterous doctrines, by which multitudes of people have been deceived.
That the Bible claims to be a divinely inspired revelation is readily seen by even its casual reader. Throughout its pages, from beginning to end, we read statements such as these: "Thus saith the Lord;" "The mouth of the Lord has spoken;" "Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God?" In addition, we have such explanatory passages as these: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God", 2 Tim. 3:16, and "The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (Spirit)" 2 Pet. 1:;21.
That the Bible is truly a revelation from God is firmly believed by millions of people upon what they consider to be valid and convincing evidence. Some of this evidence is here presented for the reader's consideration.
I. Unlike other creatures, man has moral and spiritual needs which must be supplied. This fundamental truth was noted by the prophet who said, "The way of man is not in himself," and that he himself is unable to "direct his steps." Jer. 10:23. Experience has demonstrated that the principles of faith and conduct revealed in the Bible effectively meet man's moral and spiritual needs, in every place under all circumstances. Whenever and wherever these principles have been respected and applied the welfare and well-being of men have improved. On the contrary, wherever they have been ignored or violated, then sorrow, sin, crime, disease and death follow. It has been well stated that men do not break the moral principles of the Bible, they rather break themselves upon them.
II. The unity of the Bible is another amazing characteristic of it, in view of the circumstances under which it was produced. Consider: it was written by some forty men over a period of more than 1500 years. These men were widely separated by time, residence, culture, training, and language. Their occupations ranged from military leaders, kings, shepherds, farmers, fishermen and a tax-collector. The first part of it was written by Moses about 1500 B.C. and was concluded by John the apostle, about 90 A.D. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic; the New Testament in koine Greek. Yet, when its 66 books are brought together there is a systematic unity and harmony between them, as readily discernable as the unity existing between the chapters of a book written by a single author. Thus it is reasonable to assume that the ideas and principles recorded in the Bible originated in one mind -- that "all scripture" was given "by the inspiration of God."
III. The time-lasting and constantly increasing popularity of the Bible indicates its supernatural origin. Although it is the oldest book in the world, it retains a freshness which appeals to every generation. It has been translated into some 1200 languages or dialects. Year after year, it outsells any other book in print. No book has been so bitterly opposed and treated as has been the Bible. In medieval times its readers were persecuted and jailed by its enemies, who also tried to burn it out of existence. Skeptics have endeavored to discredit the Bible in every century, but their efforts have been futile. Again and again, its doom has been predicted, but it has always survived, only to rise again to greater influence upon the lives of men. Truly, as it is written: "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower falleth: But the word of the Lord abideth forever." 1 Pet. 1:24,25.
IV. The enobling influence upon the characters of those who practice the teaching of the Bible supports its claim to being the word of God. Wherever it has been read and practiced, the ideals and morals of the people have been uplifted. It reveals a standard for inter-personal human relationships excelling anything ever offered in the philosophies of the world. Its teaching on the "love of neighbor", and the "golden rule" (by which each one would treat his fellow-man only as he himself would be treated) if universally practiced would usher us into a world of utopian tranquility. Truly, the Bible has provided the potential to embellish the earth with the beauty of heaven. It has produced and will continue to produce of those who follow its principles, better parents and better children, better husbands and better wives, better employers and better employees, better teachers and better students, better leaders and better citizens. It has no equal! It is the only means by which the simple prayer, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven," can ever be realized.
V. The harmony existing between the Bible and scientific truths (not theories), suggests that it is of divine origin. While the Bible does not propose to deal specifically with science, it is scientifically accurate whenever it touches that field. Many of its statements recognized or implied scientific truth many centuries before they were understood or accepted by scientists. We here offer but a few examples.
Herbert Spencer's five "manifestations of unknowable." Time, Force, Action, Space, and Matter, are all implied in the first verse of Genesis -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Gen. 1 also recognized the three kingdoms in creation, namely: Mineral, Vegetable and Animal, and in that very order.
That the earth is a sphere spinning in space, was certainly implied by Job when he said that God "hangeth the earth upon nothing" Job 26:7.
Medical scientists appreciate the simple statement which was written by Moses 1500 years before Jesus was born: "The life of the flesh is in the blood." Lev. 17:11.
For these and many other reasons, we believe the Bible to be the word of God. We urge you to consider carefully the evidence before you render a verdict against it. Surely you would not want to carelessly reject the only standard in all the world which offers to you the "promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Tim. 4:8.
By: Gordon J. Pennock
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