Presentation on theme: "The Bible: A Unique Book 1: Being the only one; 2: Being without a like or equal; 3: Very rare or uncommon” Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary."— Presentation transcript:
The Bible: A Unique Book 1: Being the only one; 2: Being without a like or equal; 3: Very rare or uncommon” Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
A Comparison to Other Books “Pile them if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side – all by itself, all alone – and with a wide gap between them. For … there is a gulf between it and the so- called sacred books of the East which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and forever.” (Professor M. Montiero-Williams, former Boden professor of Sanskrit. This quote after spending forty-two years studying Eastern books) (All About the Bible, Sidney Collett, 314-315)
Unique in its Continuity Written over a 1500 year spanWritten over a 1500 year span Written by over 4o authorsWritten by over 4o authors Kings, peasants, military leaders, philosophers, fishermen, poets, shepherds Written in different places, times and moodsWritten in different places, times (war/peace) and moods (joy, sorrow, certainty, doubt) Written on 3 continentsWritten on 3 continents (Asia, Africa, Europe) Written in three languagesWritten in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek)
Nehemiah 13:24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people. Hebrew is called the “language of Judah.” In Isaiah 19:18, it is referred to as the “language of Canaan.”
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Aramaic, the common language of the Near East until Alexander the Great. Similar to Hebrew. Parts of Daniel (chs. 2-7) and Ezra (chs. 4-7) written in Aramaic. Still spoken today.
The Greek New Testament “The conquests of Alexander the Great encouraged the spread of Greek language and culture. Regional dialects were largely replaced by ‘Hellenistic’ or ‘koine’ (common) Greek … The Koine dialect added many vernacular expressions to Attic Greek, thus making it more cosmopolitan. Simplifying the grammar also better adapted it to a world-wide culture. The new language, reflecting simple, popular speech, became the common language of commerce and diplomacy.” (Foundations for Biblical Interpretation, David S. Dockery, 224-225, 227)
Unique in its Continuity Written in different literary stylesWritten in different literary styles (poetry, history, song, personal letters, law, prophecy) Addressed hundreds of controversial subjects that would create differing opinions among menAddressed hundreds of controversial subjects that would create differing opinions among men (divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, authority, truth- telling VS lying, parenting, nature of revelation, etc.) with harmony Despite these things, the Bible presents a single unfolding story, God’s redemption of man.Despite these things, the Bible presents a single unfolding story, God’s redemption of man.
The Bible: One Book “For all that, the Bible is not simply an anthology; there is a unity which binds the whole together. An anthology is compiled by an anthologist, but no anthologist compiled the Bible.” (The Books and the Parchments, F.F. Bruce, 88)
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The one common element in the Bible, which results in such continuity, is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Unique in Other Ways Unique in its CirculationUnique in its Circulation More copies produced than any other book ever. (In the billions). Unique in its TranslationUnique in its Translation Over 2,200 languages (comprising well over 90% of the world’s population). Unique in its SurvivalUnique in its Survival Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support it than any 10 pieces of classical literature combined.
OT Manuscripts “Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved. With their massora (parva, magna, and finalis) they kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word and paragraph. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity – scribes, lawyers, massoretes. Who ever counted the letters and syllables and words of Plato or Aristotle? Cicero or Seneca?” (Protestant Christian Evidences, 1953, Bernard Ramm, 230-231)
Unique in its Teachings ProphecyProphecy No other book speaks with such specificity of future word events, national conditions, or the coming of a Messiah.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ - 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” No unconditional prophecy of scripture has ever gone unfulfilled
Micah 5:2 “ But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Micah predicted the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem over 700 years before it happened.
Isaiah 7:14 “ Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah predicted the nature of the Messiah’s birth over 750 years before it happened.
Unique in its Teachings ProphecyProphecy No other book speaks with such specificity of future word events, national conditions, or the coming of a Messiah HistoryHistory The historical narrative of Israel in the Old Testament is significant in its detail, its accuracy and its verifiability.
Jewish History Archeologist William F. Albright: “Hebrew national tradition excels all others in its clear picture of tribal anf family origins. In Egypt and Babylonia, in Assyria and Phoenicia, In Greece and Rome, we look in vain for anything comparable. There is nothing like it in the tradition of the Germanic peoples. Neither India or China can produce anything similar…” (as quoted by Lewis Finkelstein, editor of The Jews, Their History, Culture, and Religion, 3)
Table of Nations Concerning the reliability of the “Table of Nations” in Genesis 10, William F. Albright: “It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without a remote parallel even among the Greeks … ‘The Table of Nations’ remains an astonishingly accurate document.” (Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands, 70-72)
Unique in its Teachings ProphecyProphecy No other book speaks with such specificity of future word events, national conditions, or the coming of a Messiah HistoryHistory The historical narrative of Israel in the Old Testament is significant in its detail, its accuracy and its verifiability. CharacterCharacter The Bible focuses on reality, not fantasy. Even when the “protagonists” are put in a bad light.
Character Flaws Revealed The Sins of the Patriarchs are mentionedThe Sins of the Patriarchs are mentioned (Genesis 12:11-13; Genesis 49:5-7) The Sins of the People are DenouncedThe Sins of the People are Denounced (Deuteronomy 9:24) David’s Adultery with Bathsheba is revealedDavid’s Adultery with Bathsheba is revealed (2 Samuel 11-12) The Gospel Evangelists express their own faults and those of the apostlesThe Gospel Evangelists express their own faults and those of the apostles (Matt. 8:23-26; 26:31- 56; Mark 6:52; 8:18; Luke 8:24,25; 9:40- 45; John 10:6) Disorder in the church is exposedDisorder in the church is exposed (1 Corinthians 1:11; 15:12)
Conclusion The Bible is Unique in its Influence Upon Civilization No other book has had a greater influence upon mankind. Our calendars, ethics, laws, morals, etc., are all impacted by the Bible.
The Bible’s Influence “The influence of the Bible and its teaching in the Western world is clear for all who study history. And the influential role of the West in the course of world events is equally clear. Civilization has been influenced more by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures than by any other book or series of books in the world. Indeed, no great moral or religious work in the world exceeds the depth of morality in the principle of Christian love, and none has a more lofty spiritual concept that the biblical view of God. (Norman L. Geisler, A General Introduction to the Bible, 196-197)
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” More than just a unique and influential book, the Bible is God’s Word. It is the will of God for man, and must be heeded for man’s redemption!