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What is the Bible?


The Bible is both the most beloved and most hated book in History. This seeming contradiction is a result of the differences in how people respond to the Bible. Those who see it as God’s word showing them the way of salvation love the Bible. Those who are brought under conviction by the Bible but do not want to repent, hate it.

Knowing what the Bible really is, is important. If it is just another piece of ancient mythology then it would be worthless beyond its literary content. But if the Bible is the word of God then it is the most important book ever written, and you ignore it at the peril of your soul.


What the Bible is not

The Bible is more than just a book of religious instruction, in that not everything in the Bible has religious or moral implications. Some times the Bible just states the facts without commenting on the moral or religious implications of it however; it often shows the consequences of bad decisions. This occurs mainly in historical sections of the Bible.

The Bible is not mythology. Neither is a mixture of mythology and history, though it does contain history. However some aspects of mythology from the ancient world do support events described in the Bible. For example civilizations from all over the world have stories of a Global flood survived by one human family and a bunch of animals on a boat. This suggest that these stories are corrupted versions of the account of Noah's Flood in the Bible.


Content of the Bible

Much of the Bible is History. Historical Books include: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Job, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. Exodus Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy also contain the Mosaic Law as well as some songs.

The Bible also contains poetry including Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations. Yes Job contains both History and poetry. The Bible also contains prophecy including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, and Revelation. These also contain some history beyond their prophecies whose fulfillment are now history.

In the New Testament the Bible also contains several epistles (letters) including Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. These mainly contain doctrine and instruction, though they do contain some history as well. Doctrine and instruction are found in other books as well.

The Bible has two main divisions the Old Testament and the New Testament. There is a gap of about 400 years between Old and the New Testaments, which is why it is such a clear division.



Objections to the Bible

Here are eight common objections to the Bible. Each of them is given with a response. There are probably others that are used but these are the ones I have encountered. If one has been missed it is because I have not encountered it before.


It’s too hard to read.

This objection is probably correct if you are trying to read it in Greek or Hebrew, since they are both difficult languages to learn. If you understand this sentence then you can read the Bible in English.The English of the King James Bible is not as hard to read as is often claimed and in many ways is more precise than what we commonly use. The use of the singular personal pronouns such as thou is more precise than using you for both plural an singular. The fact is that the King James Bible is not particularly hard to read, it is mainly a matter of getting use the Early Modern English, which only differs a little from Modern English. It also helps to know the the Bible's author that is God. (1 Corinthians 2:14)


It’s boring.

Any one who thinks this has clearly never really read the Bible, because nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible contains a lot of history which includes, wars, spying, intrigue, mysteries, romance, and lots more. Even those portions of the Bible not dealing history are exciting to someone really interesting in studying it. The point is that the Bible is far from boring which is one reason why even Hollywood has turned to it pages for movies.


It’s Too old-fashioned.

The intent here is to imply the Bible is out of date, this is based on the fact that it stands in contrast to many liberal ideas and attitudes. The fallacy here is to assume that liberal ideas and attitudes are correct and the Bible is wrong and out of date. The truth is that the Bible represents a timeless standard that can never be out of date. You may of course reject the Bible because you do not like what it says, but casually dismissing it a old-fashioned is intellectual laziness.


It’s Bonze & Iron Age Mythology

This is based on the notion of so called higher criticism. The presupposition is that the Bible is no different than the mythologies of ancient Egypt, Babylon, or Greece. It also assumes that any event described in the Bible is not historical unless confirmed by another source. It further assumes that the human writers of the books of the Bible were not those the books are attributed to. The reason originally given for Moses not writing the first five books of the Bible was the assumption that writing had not been invented yet. This assumption has long been proven wrong. The Bible is unique in many way from ancient mythologies. The Bible is totally monotheistic (one God) while ancient mythologies are polytheistic. (many gods) The history given in the Bible blends seamlessly into externally verified history.

The Bible does not idealize the men and women within its historic narratives showing that it is presenting an honest history. The Bible also make historically verified prophecies. Hundreds of which about the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus himself during his time on Earth 2,000 years ago. Some of these prophecies have been fulfilled in recent times such as Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 and Israel taking Jerusalem in 1967. In fact even today events and other factors are setting the stage for other Biblical prophecies to be fulfilled. The simple fact is that the Bible can not just be dismissed as Mythology.

There are many ways in which the Bible differs from Mythology. It is in fact an accurate record of real ancient history

It’s unscientific.

While the Bible is not a science book where it speaks on science it is accurate. By this I mean there is nothing in the Bible that contradicts operational science. There is however disagreement between the Bible and some claims of some historical sciences that are based on anti-Biblical assumpsions. Yes some passages have been interpreted as indicating geocentric system and even a flat Earth, however these are misinterpretations of the passages in question. These passages usually use commonly used terms like sun rise and sun set or simple observational descriptions.


It is not consistent with the Egyptian chronology.

   

While it is true that the Bible is not consistent with the traditional Egyptian chronology, all that shown is that at least one of them is wrong. Objecting to the Bible because it is not consistent with the traditional Egyptian chronology assumes that the Egyptian chronology is correct. There are however reasons to question the traditional Egyptian chronology. Traditional Egyptian chronology is based on a list of pharaohs compiled by the 3rd century priest Manetho. The pharaohs list includes the lengths of their reigns and the Traditional Egyptian chronology assumes they reigned sequentially when some may have reined at the same time in different areas of Egypt such as north and south. Not only was Manetho’s the pharaohs list not intended as chronological account of Egyptian history, but it does not agree with other 3rd century Egyptian sources.

You can add to this the fact that Egyptian pharaohs sometimes engaged in history revisionism as well as exaggerating their own accomplishments. The Bible on the other hand is incredibly honest showing the flaws of even the most godly of men. This means that the Biblical chronology is more likely to be accurate than the traditional Egyptian chronology. Further more when the Egyptian chronology is adjusted to include the over lapping dynasties the Egyptian chronology lines up with the Biblical chronology.


It is inconsistent with the Big Bang.

While this is true it fails as a valid objection to the Bible because it is possible to build a scientifically viable cosmology based on the Bible. This objection assumes the Big Bang is correct despite its numerous problems. This is a classic case of the logical fallacy “your theory does not work under my theory so your theory must be wrong.


It’s anti-evolution.

It depends upon what one means by evolution. If you mean by evolution the observed changes that can occur over time within various kinds of organisms like dogs producing different varieties of dogs then the answer is no. If you mean by evolution the hypothesis that all life on Earth is descended a common single cell ancestor the answer is yes.

The observed changes that can occur over time within various kinds of organisms represent a loss of information usually through mutations. With Natural Selection to filter out the worst mutations it still represents an increase in the randomness of the genetic content of every organism. This increase in genetic randomness over the life of each organism is why we all eventually die. This is fully consistent with the Biblical account of creation.

The hypothesis that all life on Earth is descended from a common single cell ancestor on the other hand requires an increase in information, something that mutations and Natural Selection can not produce. This is because information requires order while mutations are random and Natural Selection lacks the order need to overcome that randomness. The Bible is definitely opposed to this form of evolution since it clearly says that God created all living things after their kind. However the idea that all life on Earth is descended from a common ancestor is a conclusion drawn by starting with the assumption that the Bible is wrong so it is no surprise that it contradicts the Bible.


Misrepresentations of the Bible

Those that scoff at the Bible often misrepresent what the Bible says to make it look as if the Bible teaches thing it does not in an effort to discredit it. Some times this misrepresentation takes actual verses out of context. Some times this misrepresentation is a total lie about what the Bible actually says.

One common example is the fact that the historical portions of the Bible will some times report what someone did without commenting on the morality of it. The misrepresentation comes from claiming the act of reporting as an endorsement of the activity. Another common example is to take something from the Mosaic Law and pretend it applies generally. Much of the Mosaic Law was intended as a civil code for the ancient nation of Israel and does not apply out side that civilization. This civil code sometimes included laws governing things that God does not approve of but tolerates. The failure to distinguish between tolerance and approval is another form of misrepresentation. Another from of misrepresentation involves exaggerating a perceived negative and / or making them look one sided. An example would be emphasizing a perceived negative for women while ignoring the negatives for men. Some times these negatives are real but exaggerated by the person doing the misrepresentation, but other times they are just made up.

Misrepresentations about the Bible are quite common some of them are honest misunderstandings but many are deliberate misrepresentation resulting from trying to make the Bible look bad. However the Bible is a spiritual book and needs to be spiritually understood, thus unbelievers tend to misunderstand it. Once one come to know Jesus as savior it can be spiritually understood.


What the Bible really is

The Bible is the word of God. What does this mean? It means that God wrote the Bible through human authors by verbal inspiration. So what is verbal inspiration by God. Inspiration is the Spirit of God influencing the human authors resulting in inerrant scripture. Verbal inspiration means that the Spirit of God influenced the human authors in vary words that they used. This verbal inspiration by God is not limited to the original writings commonly referred to as autographs, but is preserved through copying and translation. Inspiration is the Spirit of God influencing the human authors resulting in inerrant scripture. Now this does not mean that ever copy and every translation of the Bible is inspired, as is obvious by some of the garbage masquerading as Bibles.

Acts 2:5-6 (KJB) 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

As on the day of Pentecost God wants us to have His word in our own language as a result the Spirit of God influences human translators in vary words that they used in many languages. For the English language this translation is the King James Bible. How do we know that the King James Bible is God’s inspired inerrant word in English. It is the only English translation considered by its supporters to be God’s inspired inerrant word in English. King James Bible is attacked more than any other English translation. Yet despite these attacks it has endured for over 400 year. Not only has the King James Bible passed the test of time but God has used it mightily to win souls to himself more than any other verson of the Bible. There are many more lines of evidence that are beyond the scope of this discussion but these are the simplest. So if you have a King James Bible you have God’s inspired inerrant word in English.

The main message of the Bible is that of the fall of mankind and God making redemption available to mankind thru the death, burial and resurrection Jesus Christ. Since all men have sinned (Romans 3:23) we deserve the penalty for sin which is spiritual death in hell and are all in need of redemption. However since Jesus paid the penalty for all our sin by of his death on cross, God offers eternal life with him as a free gift. (Romans 6:23) Accepting God's free gift of salvation involves believing on Jesus and his redemptive work of dying on the cross and raising from the dead (Romans 10:9,10) and repenting of your sin. (Acts 20:21) Once this is done it is simply a matter of asking the Lord to come into your heart and save you. (Romans 10:13)


Conclusion

The Bible is a unique book, that many people love and see as the word of God, while others hate it. The Bible is much more than a book of religious instruction but also contains history, poetry, prophecy, and more. The Bible is the word of God written by God through human authors by verbal inspiration.

The King James Bible is God's word in the English Language having been proven by God using it so mightily to win souls to himself. The Bible speaks of the fall of mankind and God making redemption available to mankind thru the death, burial and resurrection Jesus Christ as a free gift. Accept God's gift of salvation by believing the Lord Jesus Christ as saviour.



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