How Do We Know That
The Bible is God's Word
and that it is True
?

by Kraig Josiah Rice

          We can rest our confidence for our faith in the comfort that God has given us plenty of evidence for the authenticity of His word.

          We have it on the Highest Authority from Jesus Christ, our Lord of Lords and King of Kings, who attested to the fact that the Old Testament scriptures are God's inspired word, And he said unto them, "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."

          Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them,
"Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem"
(Luke 24: 44-47)
.

          God's word is inspired or "God-breathed". The Apostle Peter said this, "For 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"
(2 Peter 1:21). God has created His word and has watched over it and guided it's preservation and keeping down to this very day. Here are some interesting facts concerning God's word:

ABOUT THE WRITING OF THE BIBLE:

"As many as 40 authors wrote the Bible over a period of more than 1,500 years (from 1500 B.C. to about A.D. 100).

The 40 authors differed widely in their culture and education, and with personality and intellectual perception, and yet the books they wrote do not contradict one another.

The first books of the Bible were written by Moses, and the last by John. Moses wrote the first 5 about 3,500 years ago, and John the last, 1,600 years later.

Some 30 authors wrote the books of the Old Testament. Their lives covered a period of about 1,200 years.

The New Testament was written by 8 men in a period of about 50 years: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. At least 4 of these men were disciples of Christ.

The Bible deals with the subjects of history, biography, poetry, speeches, proverbs, songs, parables, prophecies, romances, drama, tragedies, sermons, dialog, and ethical teachings.

The English Old Testament in the Greek, or Septuagint version, is divided into 4 parts: The Pentateuch, History, Poetry, and Prophecy. The Hebrew is traditionally divided into 3 parts: The Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Jesus so referred to it in
Luke 24:44.

The New Testament has 3 main parts: history (the 4 Gospels and Acts), doctrine (in the Epistles), and prophecy (Revelation).

The New Testament may also be grouped into 4 Gospels, one book of history, 21 letters to churches and individuals- or 14 Epistles of Paul and 7 General Epistles- and one prophetic book.

The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language, except that portions of Ezra and Daniel were written in Aramaic. The 27 New Testament books are generally acknowledged to have been written in Greek, the universal language of that time.

The early Bible was written by hand on rolls of papyrus. The Jews later wrote them on leather rolls. The pens were finely-beaten reed brushes, or sharp-pointed reeds; the ink was made from soot, gum, and water.

In some cases the Bible authors did their own writing. In other instances they dictated to scribes
(Exodus 24:4; Jeremiah 36:4).

Up to the fifteenth century copies of the Bible were made by hand.

It was not until the fourth century A.D. that the Bible was circulated as one complete volume or unit.

The Bible was divided into chapters in the middle of the thirteenth century by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The verse divisions were introduced in 1551 by Robert Stephanus, a Paris publisher of the Greek-Latin edition of the New Testament.

There are more than 4,000 known manuscripts, preserving all or part of the text, dating from about A.D. 200. There are some 8,000 manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate, and at least 1,000 other versions into which the original books were translated.

David is ascribed as writing 73 of the psalms, but 8 different persons are mentioned as being their authors or compilers. Psalm 90 was written by Moses."1

THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:

1.External Evidence.

          "From the earliest times the various books of the Old Testament have been received as inspired documents, and have won their way into the Sacred Canon. The truth of the general narrative which they contain has been attested by the unanimous witness of the Jewish nation, though the greater portion of it is a record of their own repeated disobedience, apostasy, and punishments. But it is also attested by the Jewish historian, Josephus, and by numerous heathen writers; and each accession to our knowledge of the past, whether historic, geographic, or ethnic, only helps to remove difficulties, and to show that in the Scripture records we have the most authentic account of ancient times that have come down to us.

2.Internal Evidence.

          To the external testimony must be added the internal testimony of the books themselves. They do not come to us from any of those great eastern monarchies, distinguished in arms and arts, in wealth and civilisation, contemporaneous with its earlier books, nor from the land of classic wisdom and achievement, ancient Hellas; but from a nation peculiarly separated from the rest of mankind by religion, by unique customs, and by physical position. These peculiarities are consistently maintained throughout the books, which show no evidence, except possibly in the case of Job and Esther, of contact with the literature of any other countries besides those in which the writers profess to have been in temporary exile.

3.Circumstantiality.

          The Old Testament records contain histories, frequent genealogies, and biographies, all of which are capable of more or less verification from other records; but no material discrepancy has been proved. The facts recorded are illustrated from the most diverse sources, from monumental inscriptions, from classical and other writers, from coins, from remains of cities, from modern exploration in Palestine and the adjacent countries, and to these must he added modern Jewish beliefs, formularies, and customs. Ancient kings, ancient towns, and ancient books are constantly rising from the dust in Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, and the recovery of these ancient civilisations of the East makes it clear that the Jews before the Exile were a literary people and well acquainted with the art of writing, and that the narratives of the Old Testament, wherever they can be tested by confessedly contemporaneous documents, are accurate even to the most minute details.

4.Physical allusions.

          It is also worthy of notice that the physical allusions in the Old Testament accord exactly with its assumed geography. The fauna and flora are exclusively applicable to Palestine and the country east of Palestine, and have been proved by modern explorers to correspond in the minutest details with the phenomena of the region indicated. The geographical and geological conformation of Palestine is unparalleled, so that it has been called "the museum country" of the world; but the physical allusions in the Old Testament, infinitely varied as they are, are in precise keeping with the special features of the region as indicated by recent explorations, and attested by the latest travellers.

THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

1.External Evidence.

          That Christian writers during the first three centuries, belonging to all parts of the world, testify to the incidents told or implied in the Gospel narrative, is notorious. But besides this there exists profane testimony of the first order and importance to the same facts. We must destroy the Annals of Tacitus, the Biographies of Suetonius, the Letters of Pliny, if we wish to get rid of their testimony to the fact that in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius there lived One called Christ; that Judea was the place of His teaching; that He was put to death at the command of Pontius Pilate; that in spite of His death His doctrines rapidly spread through the Roman world; that they attracted a vast number of converts; that those converts worshipped Christ as a God, and for His sake suffered cruel persecution. These would be certain and indisputable facts had the New Testament never been written, and these classical notices of them place the facts in historical times, and give them an historical foundation.

2.Internal Evidence.

          The language of the New Testament, as we have seen, was the language of the civilised world at the era of the Advent. But Palestine was at this time under a peculiar system of double government, partly Jewish and partly Roman. Now, not only does the narrative of the New Testament testify in a remarkable way to this dual form of administration, involving a twofold form of taxation, two modes of capital punishment, two methods of marking time, two military forces, etc., but we find occurring side by side in the Greek itself Latin and Hebrew words. Thus we have Latin military terms, Latin names for coins, Latin expressions connected with the revenue, and in conjunction with them Hebrew terms and names of the most distinctive character. Now this was only natural in Palestine during the period to which the New Testament writings profess to have reference; that is, between the time of Herod the Great and the destruction of Jerusalem. These Hebraisms and Latinisms are 'fossil history,' and illustrate the semi-Jewish and semi-Roman condition of the country, a condition which could only have been realised at this period, for it came to an end within forty years of our Lord's crucifixion.

3.Circumstantiality.

          Again, the records of the New Testament, like those of the Old, contain histories and biographies of the most varied character. We find mentioned the names of Roman emperors, as Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius. We have Roman governors, as Cyrenius, Pontius Pilate, Felix, Festus, Sergius Paulus, and Gallio. We have Jewish kings, as Herod the Great, Archelaus, Antipas, Agrippa I, Agrippa II. Classical history and the writings of Josephus attest that they existed at the time specified, that they bore the offices assigned to them in the sacred story, and in the chronological order in which their names occur. The actions, moreover, ascribed to them are either such as these writers tell us they performed, or are at least in perfect keeping with their known characters.

4.Undesigned Coincidences.

          The same records abound also in allusions to places as varied as Antioch, Cyprus, Iconium, Thessalonica, Philippi, Athens, Corinth, Rome; to senatorial provinces and imperial provinces; to Roman procurators and proconsuls; to Greek 'politarchs' and Asiatic aediles; to natives of heathen districts like Lycaonia, and of islands like Malta; to soldiers of the imperial guard, and the members of Caesar's household; to the great goddess Artemis, the recorder, the craftsmen, the assizes, the 'regular assembly' at Ephesus. But every quotation from Josephus, Tacitus, or Suetonius, every fresh archaeological exploration in Palestine, Asia Minor, Cyprus, or Greece only serves to illustrate the minute accuracy with which every particular respecting them is recorded, even in reference to facts apparently the most insignificant. Indeed, it may be said that ancient literature has preserved few, if any, pictures of Asiatic towns and Roman colonies comparable for lifelike truthfulness to the narrative of St. Luke in the Acts."2

THE BIBLE AND ITS TRANSLATIONS

ORIGINAL LANGUAGES OF THE BIBLE

          "Nearly all the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew; the small remaining portion was written Aramaic, sometimes called Syriac. The Aramaic section comprises three passages
(Ezra 4:8—6:18; 7:12-26; Dan. 2:4—7:28), one verse of
Jeremiah (10:11), and two words in Genesis (31:47, a place name meaning "heap of witness"). Aramaic was the language spoken by the people and was the language spoken by Jesus during His public ministry. However, the New Testament was written in Greek, the language used in letters and other writings. Greek was the language understood practically everywhere throughout the Roman Empire, even in the remote provinces, and was recognized as the language of culture.

          Since few persons can easily read the ancient languages of the Scriptures, many versions and translations of the Bible have been made. It has been translated, either in whole or in part, into nearly every language of the world today; but, because the spoken languages change from generation to generation, the work of translation continues.

          Hebrew—
All of the Old Testament manuscripts which have been found are written in square, black letters which resemble the printed Hebrew of today. These square characters came into use some years prior to the birth of Christ.

          Two facts made the translator's task difficult. First, Hebrew then was written without any spaces separating the words. For this reason, the translator sometimes was puzzled to know where one word ended and the next began. Second, the Hebrew alphabet consisted of twenty-two letters, all of them consonants. (Four of these consonants, however, were sometimes used to represent vowels.) In writing, only the consonants were put down. The reader was expected to know what vowels should be added. Evidently it was believed that the reader would be sufficiently familiar with the sacred text to be able to supply from memory the omitted vowels, or else it was thought that the context in which each word occurred would suggest the proper vowel or vowels to be inserted. If we may use English to illustrate the problem, let us suppose one came upon the consonants m and n. Could one tell with certainty what word was intended? Would it be "man" or "men," "main," "mean," "mien," "moan," "moon," or even "omen."

          In the sixth and seventh centuries A.D., when Hebrew as a spoken language was beginning to die out, it was observed that the rabbis were not always agreed as to the proper reading of passages in the synagogue scrolls. As a result, there was danger of confusion and misunderstanding. Accordingly, Jewish scholars of that period, who became known as the Massoretes, undertook to determine and to indicate the proper vowel or vowels for every word in the Hebrew Scriptures. They indicated these vowels by means of small marks above, within, or below the consonants. They did not regard these vowel points as a part of the sacred text, and for that reason they refrained from marking them on the synagogue scrolls. They did insert them, however, on other scrolls and in their commentaries on the Scriptures.

          Furthermore, in Hebrew there are no capital letters to distinguish proper nouns from common nouns and to mark the beginning of each new sentence. Finally, Hebrew is read from right to left, rather than from left to right as in English. The lines of Hebrew follow naturally down the page, from top to bottom. In the case of a scroll or book, one begins to read at what we would consider the end or back, and continues his reading till he reaches what we would consider the beginning or front.

          Greek—
The Greek in which the New Testament books were written differs somewhat from the classical Greek of a few centuries earlier. It is the koine; that is to say, the everyday speech of the common people (and of the aristocrats also) in the first century A.D. Greek is like English in that it is read from left to right. The vowels are included in the Greek alphabet, and they appear in all Greek words except a few frequently used abbreviations. The oldest New Testament manuscripts are written entirely in capital letters, and for this reason are called uncials. As a rule, there are no spaces separating the words. Later Greek manuscripts are written in a running hand (cursives). Both capital letters and small letters are employed. The latter frequently are joined together, much as in handwriting today. In the later manuscripts there are spaces between the words and some punctuation is employed. These manuscripts come from the ninth to the fifteenth century A.D., and they are called minuscules. The name means "rather small"; they take that name from the fact that they are written in small letters rather than in capitals.

          Although much writing in Old Testament times was done on papyrus (a kind of paper), important documents were written on carefully prepared skins (vellum or parchment), because of their greater durability and permanence. In the case of a long roll, the skins were stitched together. The New Testament manuscripts doubtless were written originally on papyrus. Later, when their great value had been perceived, they were copied on vellum. It is not possible to state precisely when the change from scrolls to books took place. It did not happen all at once. It is now known that there were papyrus books much earlier than had been supposed. For several centuries both scrolls and books were in common use. Important books were made of vellum rather than the more fragile papyrus. A manuscript which is in the form of a book, rather than a roll, is called a codex. The word codex means "book."

THE HISTORY OF THE CHAPTER DIVISIONS

          In the Hebrew manuscripts there were some indications of where the major divisions of the text began and ended. Because these sections sometimes were rather long, it was inevitable that someone eventually would make marks of one sort or another in the margins. Perhaps these marks at first merely indicated the point at which he had stopped reading. Later, they may have been added for the guidance of the reader in the synagogue, and were meant to show him appropriate points at which his reading might begin and end.

          In the case of the New Testament, sections were marked off at an early date. These sections were shorter than the present chapter divisions.

          The chapter divisions usually are attributed to Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, in England. Langton died in 1228. Cardinal Hugo, who died in 1263, used these chapter divisions in a concordance which he prepared for use with the Latin Vulgate. Chapter divisions are found in Wyclifs version of the New Testament (1382), and all subsequent English versions.

          These chapter divisions proved so convenient when referring to passages of Scripture that Jewish scholars borrowed the idea and employed it in editions of the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, the present-day Hebrew Old Testament has similar chapter divisions as does our English Old Testament.

THE ORIGIN OF THE VERSE DIVISIONS

          The material within each chapter is further divided into verses, numbered in regular order throughout each chapter. Although these verse divisions are helpful, they should not be emphasized, for they are not properly a part of the Holy Scriptures. They should not be permitted to interrupt the connected reading of the Scriptures, especially when the passage is of a narrative or poetical character.

          Most authorities hold that the verse divisions for the Old Testament were first worked out by Rabbi Nathan in 1448. A Greek New Testament, which was published in 1551 by Robert Stephanus, a printer of Paris, contains the same verse divisions and numbers which we have now in the New Testament. His Latin Vulgate, published in 1551, was the first complete Bible to contain the verse numbers with which we are familiar. The first English Bible to contain them was the Geneva Bible, published in 1560. Since then, all English Bibles have contained the verse numbers.

THE WORDS IN ITALICS

          Readers of the King James Version now and again come upon words printed in italics; that is to say, with slanting letters. Some have supposed, mistakenly, that these words were printed in this fashion for emphasis. This is not the case. The explanation, really, is quite simple. The words in italics are words which do not have any equivalents in the Hebrew or Greek text. They are words which have been supplied by the translators in order to make the meaning of the sentence clearer, or in order to make the passage read more smoothly in English. Numerous italicized words are found in the fifth chapter of Matthew, and they occur with almost equal frequency in other parts of the Scriptures.

          The Geneva Bible, which was a pioneer version in many different ways, was the first to use italics in this fashion.

VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE

          Through the centuries the Bible has found its way into the languages of the people as the tide of Christianity has swept through civilization. As scholarly research uncovers other manuscripts, or acquires new understanding of the Bible languages, Hebrew and Greek, new translations are made. Sometimes these are made by groups of scholars working together, sometimes by an individual scholar. The versions which follow are those most important in the development of the Tyndale-King James tradition.

          The Septuagint—
The Old Testament was translated into Greek even before there was a New Testament. In the centuries immediately preceding the Christian era, the Jews became widely scattered. A large colony of Jews was located in Alexandria, Egypt, and their native tongue, Hebrew, was little used, being superseded by the Greek. In order that the Hebrew Scriptures not be lost, a group of seventy (or seventy-two) scholars was commissioned by the high priest in Jerusalem to make a translation into Greek. This was at about the middle of the third century B.C. The name of this translation, "Septuagint," comes from the Latin word for seventy, and is commonly abbreviated by using the Roman numeral LXX.

          The LXX received the endorsement of eminent rabbis, and within a short time was being widely used by the Jews and their Gentile proselytes in the Greek-speaking world. It was only natural that it became the Old Testament which was read in the early Christian churches. And, too, it was natural for the authors of the New Testament books to use the LXX when they wished to quote the Old Testament. Many copies of the LXX, dating from the third century A.D., have been of great help to scholars in determining the original Hebrew text.

          The Vulgate—
Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire, gradually replaced Greek in the Roman Church, and became the language of the ritual of the Church. Various versions of the Scriptures, in what is known as Old Latin, came into use. Finally, with the approval and aid of Pope Damascus, the scholar Jerome (A.D. 3407—420) undertook the translation of the Bible into Latin. He went to Bethlehem, where he might visit the places mentioned in the Bible, and there completed the translation of the Scriptures known as The Vulgate and also founded two religious orders. This Latin translation became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church. The first book printed from movable type, the Gutenberg Bible, is a printing of Jerome's Latin Vulgate.

          Early English Bible History—
Although the Gospel was carried to what we know as Great Britain as early as the second century, it was not until the seventh century that Christianity became established there. There were few Bibles, all in Latin and handwritten, from which learned men could read the Scriptures. In order that the common people, who used Anglo-Saxon, might understand the Scriptures, translations or paraphrases were needed.

          Caedmon, an unschooled servant in one of the monasteries, by a rare gift, was able to put the Bible stories into Anglo-Saxon verse, which he sang in minstrel fashion. These verses cannot be called a translation but they deserve mention as one of the earliest attempts to put the Bible narratives into the language of the people.

          The first real translation was a version of the Psalms by Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne, who died in 709. The Venerable Bede (673-735) completed a translation of the Gospel according to John just before his death. King Alfred (848—901) supported the Christian movement and either prepared himself, or had prepared under his supervision, portions of the Acts of the Apostles, Exodus, and some of the Psalms. Also to this period belongs a translation of the Heptateuch (the first seven books of the Old Testament) and parts of other historical books by Aelfric, abbot of Eynsham (995-1020).

          In the Middle English period (1150-1500) were completed a metrical paraphrase of the Gospels called the Armulum, the Psalter of Richard Rolle (1290?-1349), and a prose version of the Psalms attributed to William of Shoreham (1270?-1350).

          John Wyclif—
The first English versions of the entire Bible were two associated with the work of John Wyclif (1320?-1384), which were translated from the Latin Vulgate. How much he did himself and how much was done by his associates is not clear. The first version was a careful literal translation of the Vulgate, following the order of the Latin words as closely as possible, and thus perpetuating some of Jerome's errors. The second version was completed (1397) after Wyclif s death by his secretary, John Purvey. Wyclif did more than translate the Scriptures; he also recruited and trained men, called Lollards, who would read the Scriptures to the people.

          The Wyclif Bibles were small books, copied by hand, and very few persons could afford to purchase one. Then too, laws were passed prohibiting the ownership of or the copying of the Scriptures in English.

          William Tyndale—
The martyr, William Tyndale (1490?-1536) believed, as did Wyclif, that there should be universal reading of the Scriptures. At this time there was a renewed interest in Greek and Hebrew, and increased knowledge of these languages made possible a translation based on Hebrew and Greek manuscripts which were available. By reason of Gutenberg's invention of movable type, books could be produced in larger numbers and at much less expense than could the Wyclif Bibles.

          Tyndale tried in vain to get official approval and support in Britain for his work. Finally, in 1524, when he realized there was no place in England where he could carry on his scholarly work with safety, he went to Germany. In Cologne he made arrangements for the printing but before it was completed he was forced to flee to Worms where, in 1525, three thousand copies of the New Testament were printed for him. Copies were sent into England but, because such translations had been banned by church authorities, they were seized and publicly burned. Undaunted, Tyndale continued to revise and improve his translation and to print several editions of the New Testament before his imprisonment in 1535. Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch was published in 1530 and of the book of Jonah in 1531. In 1534 he issued a revision of his translation of Genesis and a revision of the New Testament. The New Testament yet once again corrected by William Tyndale, published in 1535, became the basis for all later revisions and the main source of the Authorized Version of the New Testament in English.

          During the sixteen months of his imprisonment in Antwerp, where he had been safe for a time, Tyndale tried to complete his translation of the Old Testament. Despite all efforts to save him, he was condemned to death and on October 6, 1536, was strangled and then his body was burned at the stake.

          Miles Coverdale—
To Miles Coverdale (1488-1568) goes the distinction of being the first to prepare and publish a complete printed Bible in English (1535). This was not a firsthand translation from the original ancient languages but was based on the Latin Vulgate and upon translations by Tyndale into English, by Luther and by Zwingli and his associates into German, and by Pagninus into Latin. Although Coverdale's translation appeared in England while Tyndale was still in prison, the attitude of the church authorities in England had already become less hostile. At a Convocation of the English Church there had been discussion of the desirability of an English translation. Coverdale was not hindered in his work, and he dedicated his translation to King Henry VIII.

          When (Roman Catholic) Queen Mary came to the throne in 1553 translations were again forbidden and Coverdale was imprisoned. Upon his release he fled to the Continent where he remained the rest of his life. However, his translation of the Psalms was adopted for inclusion in The Book of Common Prayer, where, with some modernizing of spelling, it still appears. Many of Coverdale's phrases reappear in the King James Version. Coverdale was responsible for removing the books of the Apocrypha from the places where they had been located in the Septuagint and, out of deference for those unwilling to discard them completely, printing them together in a separate section between the Old and the New Testaments.

          Thomas Matthew—
In 1537 there appeared a translation of the Bible by Thomas Matthew. Matthew was probably a pseudonym for John Rogers, a friend of Tyndale, to whom Tyndale had left his unpublished work on the Old Testament. This new material, including many notes and New Testament revisions, was combined by Rogers with the work of Coverdale for his translation of the Bible.

          A license was secured by Archbishop Cramner for Thomas Cromwell, prime minister of Henry VIII, to print the Thomas Matthew Bible. Thus, after a long battle, the Bible could now be published in England without fear of reprisals from either the Crown or the church.

          Richard Tavener—
The next English Bible appeared in 1539 and was the work of Richard Tavener, a wealthy and distinguished man who followed the Reformation cause. Tavener apparently prepared this translation at the request of Thomas Cromwell. While the Tavener Bible is of little literary significance, as it was largely a revision of Matthew's Bible. It is important to note that this was the first Bible to be published in England; all preceding English Bibles had been printed on the Continent.

          The Great Bible—
After the publication of Matthew's Bible controversy arose among members of the Anglican Church concerning certain marginal notes in this Bible. These church leaders also thought that there was need for a large size Bible that could be placed in the churches so that members of the congregation could come and read from it. As an answer to these problems Thomas Cromwell appointed a group of scholars to prepare a new translation. This company was led in the beginning at least, by Miles Coverdale.

          This Bible appeared in 1539. Because of its large size (similar to today's "pulpit" Bibles) and the great number of scholars who worked on it, it gained the popular name of the Great Bible.

          Geneva Bible—
Under the Roman Catholic Queen Mary no Bibles were printed in England and the use of the English Bible was banned. Because of the widespread persecution of English Protestants under Mary, many English citizens fled to the Continent. A group of these refugees settled at Geneva and undertook the next revision of the English Bible, which was published in 1560 and became known as the Geneva Bible. A small book, as compared to the unwieldy Great Bible, it was the first Bible to contain both chapter and verse divisions. This Bible was never authorized, nor did it have to be, as it quickly became very popular with the people. It was reprinted at least one hundred and forty times, between 1560 and 1644, and competed with the King James Version longer than any other version of the English Bible.

          Bishops' Bible—
Shortly after the accession of Queen Elizabeth, an injunction was issued from the throne that a large English Bible be placed in every church. Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, commissioned a group of eminent clergymen to produce a new translation in order to carry out the Queen's wish. Each scholar was responsible for translating one or more of the books of the Bible. The entire work was collated and edited by Archbishop Parker.

          The finished version, known as the Bishops' Bible, was published in 1568. It was authorized by Convocation and replaced the Great Bible on the church lecterns.

          Douai Bible—
Up to this time the only Bible used by the Roman Catholic Church was the Vulgate, the Latin version of the Scriptures based on the work of Jerome, done over a thousand years earlier. However, scholars insisted on a more accurate translation and the increased reading of the English Bible led Roman Catholic authorities to approve an English version.

          The work on the Catholic version was done at a Roman Catholic college in Douai, Flanders. Chief among the English translators was Gregory Martin, formerly a Fellow of St. John's College at Oxford. During this time the college moved to Rheims, where the New Testament was published in 1582, and then back to Douai. Because of financial troubles the Old Testament was not published until 1609.

          This translation, known as the Douai Version or the Rheims-Douai Bible, became the official Roman Catholic Bible in English. Until comparatively recent times this was the only English translation receiving the official sanction of the Roman Church.

          King James Version—
James I came to the throne of England in 1603. Being the secular head of the Anglican Church, James was opposed to the various rivals of Anglicanism in England at that time. In January, 1604, the King called a meeting at Hampton Court to discuss religious toleration. During the conference, mention was made of the need for a new translation of the Bible. The Puritans protested against what they thought were mistranslations in the Bishops' Bible and they also preferred the Geneva Bible, thereby antagonizing the Anglicans.

          Shortly after the Hampton Court conference, the King took steps to begin a new version. The work was to be done by a large number of English scholars who were free to use any of the preceding translations which they found satisfactory. When completed, their work was to be reviewed by the Bishops, the Privy Council, and finally by the King himself. The company of translators was divided into six groups; two working at Oxford, two at Cambridge, and two at Westminster. Work did not actually begin until 1607, and in 1611 the first edition of the King James Version of the Bible was printed and distributed.

          This group effort resulted in a sacred and literary masterpiece, a work that soon became "the Bible" to English-speaking Protestants everywhere and against which all subsequent translations were measured. Contrary to popular belief, the King James Version was never officially "authorized" by the King, but won its place in Christendom on its own merits.

          The translation is a scholarly work. The translators were not dependent upon the Latin Vulgate alone for the text; both Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament manuscripts were available to them. The aim of the translators was a concise, accurate, and polished translation that would be readily understood by the readers of that day. This was a period when English literature was blooming and the Jacobean-Elizabethan English was being developed into a magnificent medium of expression. For simple nobility of language, for beautiful cadence, for sublime expression of poetic ideas, the King James Version of the Bible has never been surpassed.

          Modern Versions-
It was not until the end of the nineteenth century, nearly three hundred years later, that any serious thought was given to making a revision of the King James Version. New translations were occasioned by the discovery of new manuscripts giving additional insights into the history, geography, religions, and cultures of Bible lands.

          The first of the major translations following the Tyndale-King James tradition was the Revised Version, published in England in 1881. This was followed in the United States by the publication of the American Standard Version in 1901. Numerous translations by individual scholars followed, the most widely used being The Bible, A New Translation, by James Moffatt (1935); The Bible, An American Translation, by Goodspeed and Smith (1939); and The New Testament in Modern English, by J.B.Phillips (1958).

          The modern translation most widely accepted by American churches is the Revised Standard Version authorized by the National Council of Churches of Christ in America. The Revised Version and the American Standard Version both came too early. They were published just on the threshold of a new period of archaelogical discovery, which included finding the Dead Sea Scrolls, shedding new light on Bible texts and providing new knowledge, particularly of the New Testament Greek. The Revised Standard Version, the product of a group of scholars, incorporates this new knowledge. The complete translation was published in 1952, the Apocrypha in 1957. The Revised Standard Version with the apocryphal books and some notes was approved for use by Roman Catholics in 1966.

          A later group translation to appear was The New English Bible, published by Oxford and Cambridge University Presses, the New Testament in 1961, the Old Testament in 1970. Among the popular Roman Catholic translations are: The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Translated from the Latin Vulgate, A Revision of the Challoner-Rheims Version, by the Episcopal Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (1942); Translations of Holy Scripture, by Knox (1944); and The Jerusalem Bible, published by Doubleday(1966).


The Bible is God's love letter to the human race

WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

          The name "Bible" is derived from the Greek word biblos, meaning "book." This "Book," actually composed of sixty-six separate books, is a collection of ancient Hebrew and Christian writings, each complete in itself. The order of these sixty-six books in the Old Testament and New Testament is a logical one, giving, in general, a consecutive history of mankind— from the story of creation in the first chapter of Genesis to the visionary future of the book of Revelation.

          The order of Old Testament books in the English Bible differs somewhat from the order of the books of Hebrew Scriptures. The sacred writings of the Jews were divided into three parts:
(1) the Law, five books setting forth the laws which God gave through Moses;
(2) the Prophets, including the four "Former Prophets," Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, and the four "Latter Prophets," Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve (the Twelve consisting of twelve brief prophetical books contained in a single scroll, thus looked upon as a single book); and
(3) the Writings, which are divided into four sections:

(a) Psalms, Proverbs, Job;
(b) Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther;
(c) Daniel; and
(d) Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles.
The relative importance of the scriptural writings according to Jewish thinking is shown by this order: The Law, standing first, was considered the most important; second, the Prophets; and third, the Writings, which were truly inspired and to be treasured but were not as important as the Law and the Prophets.

          In English translations of the Old Testament, the thirty-nine books may be regarded as falling into four categories:
(1) History, the books from Genesis to Esther, including the Pentateuch;
(2) Poetry, the books from Job to the Song of Solomon;
(3) the Major Prophets, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel (with Lamentations, a brief and largely poetical book, regarded as an appendix to the book of Jeremiah); and
(4) the Minor Prophets, the same brief prophetical books spoken of by the Jews as "The Twelve."

          The word "pentateuch," derived from the Greek, means "five books," and is used to designate the first five books of the Old Testament. This section is also called "The Law" or "The Book of Moses," following the Jewish tradition that these five books were written by Moses.

          The twenty-seven New Testament books are also divided into four categories:
(1) History, including the four Gospels (i.e. books proclaiming the good news) and the book of Acts;
(2) Paul's Epistles, the books of Romans through Philemon;
(3) the General Epistles, the books of Hebrews through Jude; and
(4) the Apocalypse, the book of Revelation.

SUMMARY OF THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

THE OLD TESTAMENT

          Genesis is the first book of the Old Testament and is a collection of early Israelite information concerning the origin of things. The book has two main divisions. The first is the history of early mankind, narrating the events of the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the Dispersion. The second section concerns the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

          Exodus relates the history of the Israelites from after the death of Joseph to the erection of the Tabernacle by Moses. The book includes an account of the wanderings in the wilderness of Sinai and the giving of the law to the nation.

          Leviticus can also be called "The Book of the Law of the Priests" as it contains very little historical matter, concerning itself with priestly legislation and the practice of the law among the people. Much importance is placed upon Israel's separation from all heathen influences so that the nation may retain its religious purity.

          Numbers is a continuation of Exodus, recording the stay of the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai until their arrival at Moab. The title of the book is derived from the two numberings of the people recorded here.

          Deuteronomy is a sequel to Numbers. Narrated in it are three speeches and two poems, spoken by Moses in Moab before the crossing of Jordan, in which he gives the Ten Commandments to the chosen people. A minor narrative in three of the chapters tells of the last days of Moses.

          Joshua tells the story of Moses' successor. It was Joshua who led the people into the Promised Land after the death of Moses. The book is also a narrative of the conquest of Canaan and the division of the land among the twelve tribes of Israel.

          Judges is so called because it relates of the times of various rulers, or judges, of Israel from the possession of Canaan until the time of Samuel. Also found in Judges is the recounting of the adventures of Samson.

          Ruth is a beautiful pastoral idyll telling the story of Ruth, the Moabitess, and her mother-in-law Naomi. The two women return to Naomi's homeland, Judah, and there Ruth, the foreigner, marries Boaz. Ruth was the great-grandmother of David, the ancestor of Jesus.

          The two Books of Samuel contain valuable historical material concerning the religious and moral conditions of the period. Samuel is the great prophet-judge who helps to unite the scattered tribes under one king, Saul. The history of the reigns of Saul and David is also recorded.

          The two Books of Kings follow the monarchy to its summit under Solomon and the nation's division, decline, and fall under Jeroboam and Rehoboam. Kings also gives an outline of the double captivity of Israel under the Assyrians and Judah under the Chaldeans.

          The two Books of Chronicles have much in common with the books of Samuel and Kings. They contain genealogical tables from Adam to the death of Saul, the reign of Solomon, the division of the kingdom, the exile, and the proclamation of Cyrus.

          Ezra-Nehemiah are companion books, continuing the narration of Chronicles. Ezra details the first return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon and the rebuilding of the Temple. Nehemiah gives an account of the rebuilding of Jerusalem and of the efforts to bring religious reform to the people.

          Esther, the last of the historical books, contains an early example of pre-Christian antiSemitism. Esther, a Jewess, was chosen as the new queen for Ahasuerus, the king of Persia. Her uncle Mordecai had incurred the enmity of Haman, the evil court favorite, and so brought the threat of death to his people. Esther, through her position, was able to avert the tragedy and save her people.

          Job, first of the poetical books, deals with the problem of suffering. God allows Satan to afflict Job, a prosperous and pious Jew, with many hardships in order to test his faith. Job loses his children and his worldly goods, and is afflicted by a terrible disease. Finally when God questions Job, he is forced to admit to the limits of human wisdom, and bows humbly before the will of God. With this new humility his faith is strengthened and Job finds peace.

          Psalms is a collection of poems written over a long period of time by various authors. They express the heart of humanity in all generations through a variety of religious experiences. Originally the poems were chanted or sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument. One of the characteristics of this Hebrew poetry is parallelism; that is, the second line reiterates the idea of the first line.

          Proverbs is a part of the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament. Contained in the book are short, pithy sayings of common sense and sound advice that relate to all ways of life; in short, a practical, everyday philosophy of living.

          Ecclesiastes contains the writings of a wealthy Jew who suffered from the sorrows and disappointments of life and now tries to discover the true value and meaning of life through God. The author of this book calls himself "The Preacher," "The son of David," and "king in Jerusalem." But whether this was Solomon or a later "son of David" is uncertain.

          The Song of Solomon is also called "Song of Songs" and "Canticles." This collection of love songs has long been an enigma and many interpretations have been offered for it. This love-relationship could signify the relation between God and His people, or that between Christ and the Church.

          Isaiah is the first collection of prophecy of the four major Hebrew prophets. Judgment to come is fundamental to Isaiah's teaching. Israel and Judah are to perish but a remnant will survive and a new Jerusalem will rise up as a city of the faithful. It is also in Isaiah that memorable prophecies of Christ's coming are found.

          Jeremiah is the book of the prophet Jeremiah, who received the divine call to prophesy while very young. It was his mission to predict doom upon his nation for its many sins. For this he was hated by the priests and the people. More important than prophecies was the emphasis Jeremiah placed on personal religion.

          Lamentations consists of five poems occasioned by the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity. The first three elegies describe the terrible plight of the nation, the fourth compares the past history of Zion with her present state, and the last is a prayer for compassion and deliverance. The book is regarded as an appendix to the book of Jeremiah.

          Ezekiel is written by the prophet of the exile. The book is divided into two sections; the first denounces the sins and abominations of Jerusalem and the second looks to the future with the hope that the city will be restored after it has been cleansed. This latter section contains passages strongly messianic in nature.

          Daniel, like Ezekiel, is divided into two parts. The first six chapters tell of Daniel's faith and the greatness of his God over the idols of Babylon. The last six chapters contain the four visions of Daniel and their interpretations.

          Hosea is the first book of the twelve minor prophets. Because the times were outwardly prosperous, idolatry prevailed and immorality was rampant. Hosea urges a return to God in order that He may show mercy and forgiveness.

          Joel was written during a locust plague, a time of great distress for the people. The prophet sees in the devastation of the locusts an indication of the coming day of the Lord. Therefore all must repent with fasting and mourning. With repentance, however, there is a promise of relief and God's blessing for Israel.

          Amos is the book of the herdsman from Tekoa, a small town in Judah. He received a direct call from God to prophecy against the unrighteousness of both Judah and Israel. Amos was the first prophet to proclaim that God was the ruler of the whole world.

          Obadiah is the shortest book of the Old Testament, containing only one chapter. In it is given a prophetic interpretation of a great calamity that has already occurred in Edom and a prediction of a universal judgment.

          Jonah is the story of a prophet sent by God to Nineveh. Jonah was fearful of the call and tried to flee by sea to Tarshish. During the sea voyage he was thrown overboard by his fellow passengers and swallowed by a great fish sent by God. The prophet was saved and went on to Nineveh to successfully convert the people of that city.

          Micah, the prophecy of the fourth in the great quartet of eighth-century B.C. prophets, with Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah, who preached against the idolatrous and unjust nations of their generation. Micah's message was stern and uncompromising; judgment was to come soon for Judah.

          Nahum consists of two poems. The prophet tells of the fall of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian nation. God is depicted as revengeful to those who conspire against Him. The book of Nahum also contains a classic rebuke against warfare and militarism.

          Habakkuk, a book of prophecy, is concerned with the problem of unpunished evil in the world. It was revealed to Habakkuk that the Chaldean armies were to be God's means of punishing the wicked and that evil would destroy itself. The book concludes with a poem of thanksgiving and great faith.

          Zephaniah reveals that only the judgment of God can cleanse Judah of the sins that she has committed. The day of the Lord is coming and the nation must prepare for its salvation. According to the genealogy at the beginning of the book, Zephaniah was active during the reign of King Josiah.

          Haggai is a report on the utterances of the prophet Haggai during the second year of the reign of Darius, king of the Persian Empire, in the post-exilic period. The prophet is singularly concerned with the rebuilding of the Temple, which was essential to restoring the nation's religious purity. Haggai also believed that a great messianic age was at hand.

          Zechariah is a book of prophesies of a contemporary of Haggai. Zechariah urged the people to rebuild the Temple for he too believed in the imminent coming of the messianic kingdom. Zechariah and Haggai are equally responsible for determining the narrow exclusiveness of post-exilic Judaism, since they declared that the blessings of God would be shared by Judah alone.

          Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and belongs to the period of Nehemiah. The prophet's message is to the priests and the people, charging them with indifference, doubt, and immorality. Malachi tells of the coming day of the Lord and closes the book with a prophecy of John the Baptist.

THE NEW TESTAMENT

          The New Testament, which has a total of twenty-seven books, begins with the four Gospels, which record the life and teachings of Christ from four different viewpoints. Although the original autographs no longer exist, church tradition has assigned them to the four evangelists. Because of their striking similarity of form, language, and content the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels; the Gospel according to John is in a different tradition.

          Matthew has been pre-eminently the Gospel of the church. It tells us of God's love for Israel and of the fulfillment in Christ of God's promise to the nation. It gives the complete story of Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection. The Sermon on the Mount, and some of the most precious of Jesus' parables are contained in this Gospel.

          Mark is the earliest of the Gospels and contains much of the teachings of Peter. This Gospel presents Jesus as the man of power, the strong and active Son of God; its climax is reached when Peter makes his great confession, "You are the Christ."

          Luke, the third Gospel, was written by "the beloved physician," the companion of the apostle Paul. Only in Luke are found the Magnificat, the story of the birth of John the Baptist, the Christmas story of the shepherds, the parables of the good Samaritan, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son, and the great hymns— the Gloria in Excelsis and Nunc Dimitis. Jesus is presented as the compassionate Savior, healer, redeemer, and friend of the weak. From this Gospel comes a special feeling of the mercy of God as Jesus made men understand it.

          John, written by "the disciple whom Jesus loved," tells us who Jesus was and what He is; what He can always mean to those who love Him. This Gospel contains more than the other Gospels about the stories of Lazarus and Nicodemus and Jesus' trial, crucifixion, and resurrection, and about the disciples Andrew, Philip, and Thomas.

          The Acts of the Apostles, written by the author of the Gospel according to Luke, is the account of what Jesus' disciples did after His resurrection. It tells about the early Christian church and its missionaries, the baptism of Cornelius, the Council in Jerusalem, and about the conversion of Paul and his journeys to establish churches and to teach. Acts emphasizes that the church is guided continually by the Holy Spirit.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans was written from Corinth about 58 A.D. The purpose of the letter is to secure the active support of the church in Rome for his missionary program. Paul stresses the universality of man's sin but that God saves all men through faith in Christ. He discusses the place of Israel in God's plan of salvation and how Christians should conduct themselves.

          The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians were written from Ephesus about 57 A.D. The Christians of Corinth found it hard to live as they knew they should and questioned Paul about their difficulties. In First Corinthians Paul answers their question, points out what they have done wrong, and encourages them with his message, "You are Christ's." Second Corinthians contains Paul's message of thanksgiving and love. Then he goes on to describe his tribulations as he went about preaching the gospel of Christ.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, written in 57 or 58 A.D., probably from Antioch, is the cornerstone of Christian freedom. In Galatians Paul tells of his own conversion and of how he stood firm in his belief that Christ was the Savior of people everywhere, not just those who observed every detail of the Jewish law.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians, written about 62 A.D., seems to be a general letter to the churches of Asia Minor. Paul presents God's eternal purpose to save men through faith in Christ; "the dividing wall of hostility" between Jews and Gentiles has been broken down through the cross of Christ. Paul extols us to live as worthy, true Christians.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philipplans was written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome. This letter, Paul's farewell message, is filled with gratitude and affection for his Philippian friends, the church which was perhaps dearest to him.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians was written by Paul, while he was a prisoner in Rome, to the Christians at Colossae in Asia Minor. Paul writes to encourage them with real truth—that through Christ they have the everlasting love of God.

          The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians were written by Paul from Corinth about 52 A.D. These two letters are the earliest writings of the N.T. Paul tells these Christians what sort of persons they must be, and that they must do their duty every day and not stand idle, waiting for the Second Coming.

          The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, written by the apostle to his friend Timothy at Lystra, tell of the conditions in the church and describe the qualifications and duties of church officers. Second Timothy contains Paul's request that Timothy come to Rome to see him.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Titus encourages Titus, Paul's "true child in a common faith," to lead the church in Crete.

          The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Philemon, is a personal letter in which the apostle beseeches Philemon to take back a runaway slave, Onesimus. The slave had come to Rome, where Paul was being held prisoner, and there had been converted by Paul.

          The Epistle to the Hebrews, the authorship of which has been long debated, urges the Hebrew Christian community not to fall back into Judaism.

          The General Epistle of James, written by the brother of our Lord, provides ethical instruction for all Jewish people who have become Christians. It is clear and practical in its dealing with Christian behavior.

          The First Epistle of Peter was written by the apostle Peter from Rome between 64 and 67 A.D. to Christians who had fled Asia Minor. It admonishes the pilgrims to have hope and courage and to trust in the power of God.

          The Second Epistle of Peter was also written by the apostle Peter in the middle of the first century. It warns of false teachers who had come into the early church and urges Christians to be brave and patient.

          The Epistles of John, assigned to the writer of the Fourth Gospel and Revelation, testify that God is love and that love is the test of religion. Second John is written to "the elect lady and her children," probably a church; Third John is addressed to "the beloved Gaius."

          The General Epistle of Jude designates its author as "a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James." Its message was for Christians wherever unity was threatened by heretical teaching and where Christian doctrinal and moral standards were questioned.

          The Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John, or The Apocalypse,
is the only prophetic book in the New Testament Written by John, one of the apostles of Christ, the book is addressed to the seven Christian churches in Asia Minor, whose members were being persecuted by Roman officials. The images and illusions of Revelation are difficult for us to understand today, but to the persecuted members of the seven churches John's message was clearly one of hope, courage, and faith in times of trouble; and that on the Lord's day the faithful would be greatly rewarded.


The following books are written by men, but are not inspired "God breathed" by God

THE APOCRYPHA

          The Apocrypha are those books and portions of books which appear in the Latin Vulgate, either as part of the Old Testament or as an appendix, but are not included in Hebrew Scripture. With the exception of 2 Esdras these books appear in the Septuagint, but are not found in the Hebrew Canon of Holy Scripture.

          Because they were included in the Latin Vulgate, the church of the medieval period considered them to be part of the Scriptures. The Council of Trent, in 1546, decreed that the apocryphal books (with the exception of the Prayer of Manasseh and 1 and 2 Esdras) were to be part of the Canon of the Old Testament and declared anathema on anyone who rejected them.

          In Luther's German translation of the Bible (1534), the Apocrypha stand between the Old and New Testaments. Coverdale's English Bible of 1535 gave them the same position. These books had a place in all English translations of the Bible in the sixteenth century and also in the King James Version of 1611. In all of the above translations, mention was made to the effect that the Apocrypha, while not accepted by Protestant and Hebrew canons, were nonetheless "useful and good to read." However, the Puritans rejected them as not being of divine inspiration and therefore having no authority in the church. Due to this opposition by the Puritans, later editions of the King James Version in general omitted them. Nearly all modern versions of the Bible exclude the Apocrypha although some editions do include them.

          The books of the Apocrypha are: 1 and 2 Esdras; Tobit; Judith; Additions to Esther; The Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach; Baruch; the Letter of Jeremiah; the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men; Susanna; Bel and the Dragon; the Prayer of Manasseh; 1 and 2 Maccabees."3

If you are a person who is seeking for happiness and having a hard time trying to find it-

you can seek in college and not find it there-
you can seek in the work force and not find it there-
you can seek in the bars and restaurants and not find it there-
you can seek in relationships and immoral sex and not find it there-
well, where can you find it then you may ask?

The answer is not material or fleshly. Yes, the answer is SPIRITUAL!

          Once you invite Jesus Christ to come and live within your heart you will have peace there. He will clear your mind of guilt and give you a purpose for living. Happiness will come as a by-product of abiding joy from an abiding Saviour who sits on the throne of your heart.

This poem helps explain this:
"A seeker went exploring to find happiness and love
He sought them in the city and in the hills above
He traveled many a highway- asked many a passerby,
Where's the path to happiness?
And this was their reply,
We're also on a journey seeking just like you,
but these gifts of love and happiness,
are found by very few.

Then he met a shepherd whose countenance shone bright-
Can you tell me, asked the seeker
how your face took on this light?
It came as I stood gazing at a Babe upon the hay.
God's gift of love and happiness abides with us today!"
Author: unknown

Counterfeits:

          Satan has raised up counterfeits to God's Word. The Koran and other so called holy books of other religions all claim to be from God. Each claims to be God's Word. Millions of people follow the teachings of these books. Should you be confused over this?

          Well, let's look at a dollar bill from the U.S. government. You see the original. But then people influenced by the devil set out to counterfeit it. How can you tell the genuine from the counterfeit? The government says to do this you must study the genuine in minute detail. By knowing the original so well, you will easily be able to spot the phoney. It's a good point. We should study the Bible so well that we will easily be able to spot a counterfeit.

          This same principle holds true for people as well. We should study the life of Christ so well that we will easily be able to spot a counterfeit person who claims to be a follower of Christ...
Remember, that the root determines the fruit...

          Just how important to you and me is knowing God's Word? Jesus told a true story about a rich man who neglected reading, studying, and obeying God's Word. After he died he was thrown into Hades. You can read this true story in Luke Chapter 16. Here is some of their dialog:

          "Then the rich man said, Please, Father Abraham, send him (Lazarus) to my father's home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them about this place of torment so they won't have to come here when they die."

"But Abraham said, Moses and the prophets have warned them
(in the Bible).
Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to
."

"The rich man replied, No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins."
(In other words, have God do something sensational for them)

"But Abraham said, If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead."
(In other words, God's Word will reach their heart, whereas something sensational may not reach and change a hardened heart).
(Luke 16: 27 - 31)

So you can see that reading and studying God's Word is one of the most important things in life.

How important is it for Christians to study God's Word? It's crucial to change our thinking so we don't think the same way that the world thinks. Among other things, studying the Word of God helps us think the same way God does.

HOW YOU THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT
When you change your thinking,
you change your beliefs
When you change your beliefs,
you change your expectations
When you change your expectations,
you change your attitude
When you change your attitude,
you change your behaviors
When you change your behaviors,
you change your performance
When you change your performance,
you change your life!
(shared with you by Kraig J. Rice)

          In conclusion, may the good Lord continue to guide you and help you find the greatest treasure in all of the universe- GOD HIMSELF. Trust His word and study it and obey it and God will help you find unspeakable joy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1Title of the book: Fascinating Facts About the Bible
author: Phyllis Bailey
Review and Herald Publishing Association
Washington D.C. 20012
pages 24 and 25.

2 Title of the book: Helps to the Study of the Bible
author: Henry Frowde
Printed at the Oxford University Press
London, England, 1893
pages 7-10

3THE BIBLE AND ITS TRANSLATIONS; author(s) unknown;
Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tenn., pages 1837-1845.

This document presented to you by the Bread On The Waters Ministry
of Kraig Josiah Rice
www.breadonthewaters.com

More Proof that the Bible is God's Word

The Infallible Word

The Bible is our only authority (Checking Our Foundations Article)

More articles about the Bible
    The Pentecostal Evangel Magazine contains a few articles concerning the Bible.

Has the Bible been corrupted?
    This is a booklet written to Muslims but the truth is relevent.

The Unquenchable Bible

The Promises of God

Testimonies
    Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith.


The Battle Bow Bible Teaching Series

If you want to study the Holy Bible online then this is the place to go to.


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As of April 5, 2005