Summary: Christianity is stands out from all other religions because of its unique book.
Nearly every brand of religion is based on a book. Whether it’s an ancient religion or a modern construction it’s almost certain that it will follow some kind of sacred book. And in that sense Christianity is no different. We have our holy book and it’s called the Bible. But the Bible is different from every other book. The Bible is absolutely unique. There is no other book like it known to humanity.
1. A UNIQUE AUTHOR
“All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness …” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)
God himself is the author of the Bible.
Of course, other religions claim that God wrote their book too. Mohammed believed that God dictated the words of the Quran to him, and Joseph Smith claimed the words written in the Book of Mormon came straight from the mouth of God.
But the crucial question we have to ask of other books is this – do these other books speak about Jesus as the one and only Saviour? You see, the strange fact about other religious books that claim to have come from God, is that none of them outline God’s plan of salvation through Jesus. But the central purpose of the Bible is to do just that. From start to finish, the purpose of the Bible is to outline God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Christ is central to the Old and the New Testament. Every book has a climax and the climax of the Bible is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – God’s great plan of salvation.
In Mark 1:11 we read about the time at Jesus’ baptism, when God broke through the heavens and called out …
You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Mark 1:11 NIV)
Friends, if God is so excited about his Son, then why doesn’t Jesus even rate a mention in all these other religious books that God supposedly wrote? The answer is easy – God was not the author of these other books.
2. A UNIQUE UNITY
The Bible was written over a period of about 1500 years and by about 40 different writers. Yet even though it has such a mixed background, the Bible displays an amazing harmony. There is incredible agreement between the writers, some of whom lived 1500 years apart and obviously never met.
And the story of God’s rescue mission through Jesus Christ is woven throughout the entire Bible from beginning to end. We can see this so clearly in a passage from Luke 24.
… beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [i.e. Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:27 NIV).
Imagine picking up a book written by authors such as Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Isaac Newton, Queen Elizabeth as well as many unknown writers. And then, as you read it, you discover that this book is a complete biography of one man, Winston Churchill.
You would read that book in utter amazement. Amazed that Aristotle in and Plato could write about a man who lived at the same time as Queen Elizabeth. You would be amazed that poets, scientists, philosophers and royalty were all writing about the same man and with the same passion, excitement and zeal.
The Bible is similar to that scenario. Many writers, from many different backgrounds, writing over a period of 1500 years, but all writing about the same man - - Jesus. And that is why the Bible is unique. That is why the Bible stands out among every other religious book we have.
But how can it be, as Christians claim, that the Bible has one Author but many writers?
It’s helpful to see it like this. Maybe you’ve been watching the series on the ABC called, “Constructing Australia.” Last week’s episode was all about the construction of the Kalgoorlie pipeline which carries water 500 kms from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie.
Who made that pipeline? It was C.Y. O’Conner right?
Wrong! C.Y. O’Conner never lifted a spanner or turned a shovel of dirt in the entire construction of the Kalgoorlie pipeline. But history records that that pipeline was built by C.Y. O’Conner. We know, of course, that that pipeline was built by teams of men - - mostly concrete form-workers who first built the Mundaring Weir - - and then steel-workers who fashioned the pipe and then laid it from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie.
But in the history books O’Conner did it all. He planned it, he inspired it, and he supervised its construction.
Likewise the Bible was penned by the hands of many writers - - but its author, the One who planned it, inspired it and oversaw its construction, was God.
3. A UNIQUE TRUTH