Summary: An “edition” is a series of issues of the same book printed at different times with later additions and changes included. God’s revelation through His word was not issued all at once but rather given progressively. In the course of man’s history, God reve
Intro: An “edition” is a series of issues of the same book printed at different times with later additions and changes included. God’s revelation through His word was not issued all at once but rather given progressively. In the course of man’s history, God revealed Himself, His laws, commandments and covenants through His words. Today, we shall deal with God’s revelation as it developed all through its seven editions.
1. The First Edition – WRITTEN ON NATURE (Psa. 19:1-3). An unsaved man cannot discover an invisible God by using his five senses alone. Even his heart and understanding are darkened by virtue of his corrupt nature (Eph. 4:18). Therefore, the Lord exhibits a general revelation of Himself to man through nature. Those who have not heard of Christ and the Gospel can still “see and hear” God through the partial yet clear imprint He has left upon nature (Psa. 97:6). Hence, unreached peoples from the uttermost parts of the earth are still liable and without excuse before God (Rom. 1:20, 25).
2. The Second Edition – WRITTEN IN HEARTS (Rom. 2:14-15). Though Gentiles only possess a partial knowledge of God through nature, yet they are able to perceive good and evil through their conscience. Even without formal knowledge of the Ten Commandments, the most primitive of men have enough moral light to know that cheating, lying, stealing and murder is evil. They are answerable to God and will be judged according to their recognized moral standards (Rom. 2:12).
3. The Third Edition – WRITTEN ON TABLES OF STONE (Exo. 24:12; 31:18). This was in the Hebrew language. The children of Israel were most privileged for they had a better revelation. Not only did they had a knowledge of God through nature and their conscience, but they also literally heard the voice of God (Exo. 20:19, 22) when He spoke with them from Mount Sinai and from Heaven. God even issued them His divine commandments on tables of stone written by His very finger! With the children of Israel’s great privilege arose their great responsibility of living by God’s laws (Exo. 24:3, 7).
4. The Fourth Edition – WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (Luke 24:44-45). This edition of God’s revelation is recorded in 39 Hebrew books classified into 3 main divisions, namely: the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Notice that the Lord Jesus Christ NEVER included the Apocryphal Books in His identification of the Old Testament “scriptures.” God made an exclusive covenant with Israel that was sealed with animal blood. Thus, the Jews became the custodians of God’s word (Rom. 3:1-2).
5. The Fifth Edition – WRITTEN IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST (Heb. 1:1-3). Jesus is God’s very special revelation to man. He is the Word that “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14); “God...manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16); and the visible“image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; John 14:9). As God the Son, He humbled Himself and became man so that He could shed His precious blood and die for our sins at Calvary (Phil. 2:8; Eph. 1:7).
6. The Sixth Edition – WRITTEN IN THE WHOLE BIBLE (II Tim 3:16-17). The entire Christian Bible is a collection of 66 books originally written in Hebrew (O.T.) and Greek (N.T.). Now we Christians have a far superior and a more complete revelation from God than the Jews. Not only do we have the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms; but the very words of Christ and the writings of His Apostles. Therefore, “we have also a more sure word of prophecy” (II Pet. 1:19a).
7. The Seventh Edition – WRITTEN IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN (II Cor. 3:2-3). There are thousands of Bible translations in English and other languages of the world. Nonetheless, the best and well-read translation of all is – the Christian! Like Christ (the Word Who became flesh) we have to “translate” the scriptures in our lives so that those who do not read the Bible can practically read it from us. All of us are not Apostles of Christ, but all of us are Epistles of Christ!
Conclusion: Fellow Christian, I hope and pray that you are a good “living translation” of the Bible. May people clearly read God’s words in all that you say and do. Non-Christian friend, you have no excuse before God. Come to Jesus and be saved!