Holy Bible, made up of 66 books, that God has given us. The
first part of the bible The Old Testament contains 39 books. The second part
of the Bible, The New Testament - contains 27 books
"You do not even know what will happen
tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a while and then
vanishes." (James 4:14)
How quickly this one, brief life passes. To ruin it by choosing a wrong direction would be
a terrible waste. Yet how can we be sure of life's true purpose and direction? How can we
be certain that we have made the proper preparation for what lies beyond death?
Bible is "The Book" that alone is a Map
to guide us safely through life and death.
Can we call any book -- "The Book"?
How can a book come to have such a title -- "The Book"? As you will see, the
Bible fully deserves that title.
How many ancient copies from the New Testament still exist? Well over 4000! The oldest of
these dates back very closely to the time when the New Testament was first written. In
these matters, no other ancient book is even near to being like the Bible.
The Bible was first written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. It has come into our modern
languages through translation. So important is its message that the Bible (or parts of it)
has been translated into 2,000 languages. Over 80% of the world's people speak these
languages. No book has been - and continues to be - translated more widely than the Bible.
The Bible was the first book printed for the ordinary people. Year after year the Bible
continues to be the "top seller" in the world. No other book comes close to it.
The Bible's complete truth and honesty make it quite different from other books and
writings that record ancient history. The Bible shows both the good and bad (even the VERY
bad) in Israel's greatest leaders. Whether king or slave, rich or poor, man or woman, all
were measured by the same ruler, "the law of the LORD."
As we have seen above, The Bible was written by 40 men during a period of 1600 years.
Since most of these writers were not alive at the same time, they could not work together
in any direct way. Yet the Bible has one continuing story flowing through it. It forms a
complete, united picture. No other book has been written like this. In the most amazing
way, it joins centuries of history with the highest wisdom.
It is not surprising then that well over a quarter of the world's population claims some
belief in the Bible. Three great world religions claim roots linked with the Bible.
The Writers of the Bible Claimed to Speak from God
In seeking a Map for life, we should open the Bible because of the claims it makes. Again
and again it assures us that it is the pure word of God. Look at these examples from the
pages of the Bible:
Moses said the Ten Commandments were written "by the finger of God" on stone
tablets (Exodus 31:18). He reported the God spoke with him "face to face, as a man
speaks with his friend" (Exodus 33:11).
King David said, "The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel spoke (this) to me." (2 Samuel 23:2-3)
Jeremiah wrote, "The word of the LORD came to me, saying,"... I appointed you as
a prophet to the nations...you must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I
command you..." Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to
me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth." (Jeremiah 1:5-9).
There are well over 2000 places in the Bible where
the prophets said things like:
The Lord said unto me...
These are the words of the Lord...
This is what the Lord says...
We must seriously ask, "Did these prophets have a bad habit of lying? Or were they
speaking the truth, since God really did speak through them?"
Jesus assured us that these Bible prophets spoke the truth. Jesus relied on their reports
of history (Matthew 12:40; 24:37-39). He trusted in all their writings, and taught us to
have the same trust (Matthew 5:17-19; Luke 16:17, 29; 24:27,44; John 5:39-47). Jesus
quoted often from "the Law and the Prophets." He based His arguments on specific
words they used (Matthew 19:5-6; 22:32). When Jesus did this, He reminded us,
"The Scripture cannot be broken." (John 10:35)
How can Scripture be so fully trusted? Because it comes from God, not men. Quoting from
Moses' writing, Jesus said, "Have you not read what GOD said to you?" (Matthew
22:31). When Jesus quoted from the Psalms, He said that David spoke "by the Holy
Spirit" (Mark 12:36).
Jesus himself claimed to speak from God. Jesus said, "I did not speak of my own
accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that
His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me
to say." (John 12:49-50)
Jesus also made this very bold statement of power:
"All authority in heaven and earth has been given unto me; therefore, go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..."
The apostles were leaders chosen by Jesus in the early days of Christianity. Here is how
Jesus gave to them His message for all people:
"The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and
will remind you of everything I have said to you...When He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He
will guide you into all Truth..." (John 14:26,16:13).
Thus the apostle Peter, and those with him, taught "by the Holy Spirit sent from
heaven" (1 Peter 1:12; also 2 Peter 3:2; Acts 2). The apostle Paul was able to say:
"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by
the Spirit... What I am writing to you is the Lord's command." (1 Corinthians 2:13;
"When you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as
the Word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God." (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
The Scriptures are the holy writings from God. Even before the New Testament was
completed, this is how Paul describe the importance of Scripture:
"The Holy Scriptures... are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in
Christ Jesus. All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every
good work." (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
Paul urged his friend Timothy to be a good student of the Scriptures. Why? Because they
are "the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). The apostles' writings make them even
more valuable to all who seek truth, for to the apostles Jesus promised "all
truth" (John 16:13). There can be no doubt what the Bible is claiming to be: The
Guide Book, or Map, from our Maker who gave us our special purpose and who calls us to
fulfill that purpose.
The Guide Who Is Also The Way
The Bible often pictures life as a journey, in which we must choose the road we will
travel. We should be careful because,
"There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads
to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that
leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14)."
Although there may seem to be many roads, in reality they come down to two choices. How
can we see which way to take? "I am the light of the world," Jesus said,
"Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness" (John 8:12). As for the gate
which leads to life, He is that Gate (John 10:9). He is also the Way
(John 14:6; Hebrews 10:20). All who enter by this Gate, and follow this Way, come to the
City prepared by God Himself. In this City God meets all our needs (Hebrews 11:16; 12:22;
It is not surprising, then, that early Christianity was called "the Way" (Acts
24:14,22). This "Way" is not just one more idea, among many ideas, about life.
The Way of the Bible brings us to a Person, a Guide who says of Himself, "I am the
Way and the Truth and the Life" 14:6).
Many people and books claim to guide us to a better life. Many claim to speak for, or
about, God. Making loud claims is easy. The hard part is proving those claims to be true.
Most books by great thinkers do not try to offer real proof for what they say about God.
The Bible not only offers good evidence, it is itself the proof! Remember that the Bible
was written over a long period of history. Because of this, the Bible stands alone in
being able to combine two things: It could foretell coming events. And, much later, it
could then report their fulfillment.
Earlier Bible writers told of things yet to come. Then, even centuries later, other Bible
writers saw and recorded those things coming true. These are not 'guesses' about small,
hidden happenings. Many of these prophecies deal with entire nations, and world-changing
events. Many of the prophecies are about the
Prophecies showed the line of parents through whom He would be born (Genesis 22:18; 49:10;
Psalm 89; Jeremiah 23:5). They predicted the exact place of His birth (Micah 5:2). They
described His nature and work (Psalm 2; 110; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-10). They foretold His
death, and even His victory over death (Isaiah 53).
This picture of the Christ was drawn hundreds of years before the coming of Jesus. Yet
Jesus fit every part of this prophetic picture so well that He is now called Jesus, the
Christ. The evidences about Christ are so strong that the world has never been the same
since His arrival.
About Wrongs Done By 'Christians'?
Because the Bible is so convincing, Christianity has spread around the world. As it
spread, some took its good name and twisted it, for their own selfish purposes. Terrible
things have been done in the name of 'Christianity'. Much of what claims to be
'Christian,' is not! Jesus Himself said that His name would be misused (Matthew 7:15-23).
The apostles predicted that "many" would follow false leaders who would change
Christianity (2 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:5;
4:3-4). False forms of Christianity have caused people to ask, "Where is the true
Way, The Christianity of Jesus? Can we find it again?" Here is the greatest value of
the Bible, for it has safely kept the true knowledge of Jesus.
Real Christianity is, and will always be, CHRISTianity - based on what Christ is, does and
teaches (1 Corinthians 3:11; Acts 1:1; 8:5,35). Christ Himself commanded all people to
follow the original teachings He gave to His apostles. He said to the apostles
"...Teaching them to obey everything I (Christ) have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew
If we wish to have Christ with us, we must find and follow what Christ taught from the
beginning. For that we must learn from the Bible. Some doubt that we can properly
understand Scripture. Yet the Bible itself clearly says that even ordinary people can
understand it (Deuteronomy 29:29; 30:11-14; Nehemiah 8:2,8: John 8:32;
Ephesians 3:4; 2 Timothy 2:7). Jesus said that God's word is like a seed in good ground
(Matthew 13: Luke 8)
"The one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word
and understands it
He understands when he listens with "a good (honest) heart" (Luke 8:15).
As a person is willing to listen with "a good (honest) heart", sometimes the
Lord gives him understanding through the help of a Christian friend. This is what happened
to a man from Ethiopia:
The journey was long, and there was much time for thought. The official read carefully.
His mind was on the greatest journey of all - life and death. This death, of which he
read, was unusual. He did not fully understand it. Yet he knew that it was an important
death, for the book telling about this strange death was _The Book_. Generation after
generation, century after century, The Book's wisdom led the way to a better life. The
part he now read had first been penned 800 years earlier, by the prophet Isaiah.
To whom did Isaiah point, when he wrote of One killed as a sacrifice, like a lamb? Looking
up, the official saw a man coming. Could this man help him? Could this be the friend he
needed? The friend was a Christian called Philip. The official immediately asked him,
"Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about...?" [Let's conclude the
story in the words of the Bible itself...]
"Then Philip began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news
about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said,
"Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" Philip said, "If you
believe with all your heart, you may." The eunuch answered, "I believe that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both
Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up
out of the water, the spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not
see him again, but went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:35-39)."
As chief treasurer for the queen of Ethiopia, the official (or "eunuch") had
many duties. Yet no duty was greater than his duty to God - from Whom all else comes. The
official was religious. He had just been in Jerusalem to worship God. He was a Bible
reader. These things did not make him proud. They made him aware of how much more he
needed to learn. He welcomed a friend who could help him more fully understand God's word.
In so doing, he gained great happiness. In baptism he was "buried" and the
raised up with Christ to a new and better life (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter
3:21, Acts 22:16). Now, in the best sense, he was on his way Home, because He had found