Summary: The Bible, how we got it, and is it reliable?
The Bible, yes that’s the book for me
By Kenny McKinley
2nd Tim 3:16, 2nd Peter 1:20-21
The Bible is the greatest book ever written, it tells us not only how to live on earth, but how to get to heaven. The Bible is also the greatest literary work ever written, and is still the number one best seller of all time. Its pages contain amazing stories, prophecies, poetry, and practical advice for every situation. But it is more than just great reading, and it is more than great literature. It is the Word of God. We just read in 2nd Timothy how all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Bible is Gods way of revealing Himself to man. You see, God didn’t have to give us a Bible, and we would be stuck wondering how we got here, what our purpose in life is, what the future holds. But in the Bible we find the answers to all those questions. We learn that God created us, we didn’t evolve, and we learn that God created the heavens and the earth, not the big bang. We learn that because of mans rebellion sin entered the world, and that’s why we have so many problems in the world today, but we also learn that even though man turned away from God, God chased after him, and that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to seek and to save that which was lost. And we learn how Jesus achieved that salvation for us, by dying on the cross. We learn all those things from Gods inspired Word.
So what does it mean when we say that the Bible was inspired? What did Paul mean when he wrote to Timothy and said that all Scripture is given by inspiration. Well, in the Greek language that word “inspiration” literally means, “God breathed”. The Holy Spirit guided the writers of Scripture, so that what they wrote was of divine authority, and without error. Now that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have their own writing styles and preferences when it came to writing, because you can tell the difference between Moses’ writings, and David’s writings. And you can tell the difference between Paul’s writings and Peters writing’s. But what it does mean, is that even though they were able to write in their own styles and in their own way, what they wrote was according to God’s standards, without error, and exactly the way God wanted it done.
I hope that everyone understands the value of a solid foundation, whether your building a play house for your kids, or a fifty story building, you’ve got to have a good, solid foundation, otherwise what your building will collapse. The doctrine of inspiration is foundational to Christianity, because if you think about it, if the Bible wasn’t inspired by God, then it was the imagination of men, and if it was the imagination of men, then who’s to say anyone is really saved at all? Or that we’re even doing the right thing by coming to church on Sundays, and trying to live the Christian life. If the Bible wasn’t inspired by God, then were all in big trouble.
But it was inspired by God.
The Bible was written over a period of nearly 1,600 years. It was written on three different continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in three different languages. And not only did God use men to write His message, He used men to protect His message, and to make sure we believers today would have His Word just like the early church did. In John 10:35 Jesus said that the “Scripture cannot be broken”, and in Matthew chapter five Jesus said, “For assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass away…” A jot and a tittle were like the dot of an I, and the crossing of a T. So what Jesus was saying is that the Word of God would remain until heaven and earth passed away. Now that means that the Bible we have today is true, or it means that Jesus was telling us a lie.
Now I’ve heard people say that the translations of the Bible we have today are not correct. That is the argument that Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons make, and I’ve also heard that our Bible that we use today isn’t complete, that there are more books, but people that make those kinds of arguments do not understand the cannon of Scripture.
Now when I say the Cannon of Scripture I’m not talking about some big gun, or artillery. The word Cannon comes from the Greek language and it means a measuring rod, or a standard. It’s the standard that the church has used to determine if a book was inspired by God or not. And that is how we got the 66 books in the Bible that we have today, 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament. Now the Catholic Bible has some extra books that they call the apocrypha, but they are not part of the Biblical Cannon, and the Catholic Church even says that they are not. The Catholic Church says that the apocrypha in their bible is for historical and devotional purposes only. It isn’t to be confused with Scripture. Meaning that it’s not from God, and it doesn’t measure up to the standard (the Cannon).