Summary: Looking at the historical and scientific background of the bible and how you can know it is the word of God. It inspires us abou the truth of God's claims and remids us that the central part of our belief is God in history and that Jesus did rise from the

Where did the bible come from?

Have you ever stopped and looked at a bible, wondering ‘Where did this thing come from?’. I mean seriously, where did this thing come from?

For Muslims the answer is simple, Mohammed recited the Koran to his followers. Mohammed died in 632 AD. Ali a disciple of Mohammed compiled the first Koran after Mohammed’s death. In 650AD the Islamic ruler Uthman ordered a standard version of the Koran to be created and all other copies, he disagreed with, to be burnt. Between Mohammed, Ali and Uthman you have today’s Koran.

For Mormons, they believe that the book of Mormon was given to the prophet Joseph Smith by the Angel Moroni in 1830. He published the book and there are no questions who wrote it.

The teachings of Buddhism come from the Buddha who was born around the 5th Century BC. After achieving enlightenment and destroying all desire, he surrounded himself with disciples and taught the people how to rise above suffering.

In the 1940’s Hubbard wrote about Dianetics and founded the scientology movement. He produced a few books and made a fortune of money selling them.

But where did the bible come from? Who created it? How old is it? How long did it take to write?

By the end of today’s sermon I am hoping to answer these questions and give you confidence in the bible as a platform to build your life.

The Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing 27 books. That is not interesting, what is interesting is that these books were written by hundreds of people. Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with 2.2 Billion people calling themselves Christian and one third of the globe regarding the bible as a source of faith.

Like it or hate it, you cannot ignore the bible and its impact upon our lives. But where did it come from? Is it reliable? Can I build my life upon it? I hope to answer these questions by the end of today’s sermon.

But before we go any further let’s lighten the mood with a joke.

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.

"Momma, look what I found," the boy called out.

"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's clothes!"

So let me first explain why the books of the bible are grouped the way they are (show chart explaining the books of the bible)

1) The bible before history

2) The bible in history

3) God in history

4) The New Testament and how the whole thing was put together

1) The bible before history

I was always fascinated, even as a child, by antiques and ancient times.

Margaret O'Brien

American, Actress (born 1937)

When asking ‘Can I base my life on the bible?’ I really want to know how old is it? I want something reliable.

I always think the best way to start this sermon is to look at the beginning.

The bible is so old; parts of it are what is called prehistory. That is, the beginning of Genesis existed even before complex writing existed.

You can see the opening parts of Genesis. It tells us that God has been caring for his creation since the beginning of the world, God has been caring for people and reaching out to them.

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

3 Then God said, "Let there be light "; and there was light.

Professor Saenz-Badillos, a director at Harvard University, records that the Hebrew Language is over 3,000 years old. Making it one of the oldest languages known to humanity. Even before the invention of writing, God was at work in the world. The first 11 chapters of Genesis contain a lot of poetry and memory tricks because they have existed even before writing existed. But how do we know that the story of creation did not get changed over time? How do we know that the oldest parts of the bible did not get changed like a game of Chinese whispers?

Turn in your bibles with me Genesis chapter 1.

Verses 3, 6, 9, 14, 20 and 24 all begin with the same phrase ‘And God said’. Making it a powerful chant to be memorised by people even before writing was invented.

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