Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why the Bible? - January 10, 2010

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New International Reader's Version)16 God has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. 17 By using Scripture, a man of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing.

Some of you may be asking, "Why the Bible?", and others might be thinking,"I have a pretty good handle on things,...why do I need I need the Bible for my daily life?". In our Nation and in the many of the countries in this world, the Bible has been ridiculed and banned from schools and public life, and relegated to the back corners of libraries. The Bible for many has just become another book of stories and myths that is no more valid than any other religious texts. I too have been guilty of placing my Bible on the shelf to gather dust way too many times, but in recent years I have discovered that it is useful and powerful as I make my way through life.

As we go through this year together, much of what I will talk about will come from the Bible, and it is important that we have confidence in what we are studying. How can we know that the Bible is relevent and accurate in what it telling us? Did you know that the Bible was written by 40 authors over a span of approximately 1600 years? Here are some evidences that I heard discussed not long ago:

Manuscript copies that were used for modern day translations have been found faithful to the original writings. For the Old Testament, over 18,000 complete and partial copies, dating from as early as 250 B.C. as late as 90 A.D., have been found to be the same. This was supported by the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in Qumran between 1947 and 1956. For the New Testament 5000 complete or partial manuscripts containing over 20,000 lines of text, only found 40 discrepancies of punctuation, which did not change the meaning. No other ancient document has more accurate evidence for its authenticity.

Archaeology also supports the validity of biblical scripture. There has never been an archaeological discovery made that has ever contradicted the Bible. Any search of the internet will give you a list of these, some of these are the Qumran(Dead Sea)Scrolls, House of David Inscription, Ossuary of Caiaphas,and Pontius Pilate Inscription.

Prophecy found in the Bible has long been considered a validation for what is written. The Book of Daniel lists in detail the rise and fall of kingdoms several centuries ahead their time, and the historical record of kings and kingdoms for which Daniel served in ancient Persia are supported in our history books today; you may have heard of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius the Mede, Cyrus the Persian, all are found in the history of ancient Persia, the area now encompassing Iraq and Iran.

Finally the continuity of the story told in over 66 books of scripture, over 1600 years, in 3 distinct languages and different countries, lead us to the One who has all the answers and His book, the Bible.

I believe that the validity and authenticity of the Bible for someone is in direct correlation to the amount of time they take in reading and studying it. If you have never chosen to pick one up and read it, you owe it to yourself to make it a practice in your life this year.

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