Welcome to Word of Life Study Series- The Word of God! The foundation of our Christian faith is found only in one book: the Bible. In it we discover who we are, where we came from and where we are going; it explains the “why” of the human condition, and the existence of evil in the world. Through its pages we become acquainted with the God of the universe, the all-powerful, loving, holy, just, Redeemer and Savior. The Word of God speaks to us about a personal relationship with God and with the community of saints, which is the Church.
Our attitude toward the Bible will determine our willingness to put into practice its principles. If we consider it to be the Word of God, it will be the measure by which we judge all human thought and systems of truth, whether social, scientific, historical or religious. It will rule our conduct and personal relationships. If we believe that the Bible is the divine Word of God, it will mold our values, attitudes, judgments and actions.
1. How the Bible came to us
The English word “Bible” comes from the Greek word biblos, meaning “a book”. The word biblos comes from the word given to the inner pulp of the papyrus reed on which ancient books were written. The Bible didn’t fall miraculously from heaven; it came to us through a historical process which was guided by the Holy Spirit. Only by the grace of God is it possible for these sacred books to be preserved and copied throughout the centuries.
The Holy Spirit used between, 35 to 40 writers over a time period of around 1500 years to write the Bible, in different parts of the world, time, environment, personalities and culture. Among them were priests, prophets, kings, a tax collector, a doctor, a soldier, a scribe, a poet and a theologian. Yet they were consistent in what they wrote and did not contradict one another. The only solution is a divine author spoke through them. The Bible is the Word of God, preserved by God, and inspired by God.
2. The Canon of the Bible
The word “canon” comes from the Greek kanon, meaning “a measuring rod or reed,” and signifies a rule, a standard. Hence, the Canon of the Bible consists of those books considered worthy to be included in the Holy Scriptures. The New Bible Dictionary puts it this way: “The various books possessed and exercised divine authority long before men ever made pronouncements to that effect. Ecclesiastical councils did not give the books their divine authority, but merely recognized that they both had it and exercised it.”
3. Bible Translations
The Bible was originally written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. These languages are still spoken in some parts of the world today. The word “manuscript,” as it is used today, is restricted to those copies of the Bible which were made in the same language in which it was originally written. At the time the Bible came to be printed (1455 A.D.), there were over 2,000 manuscripts in possession of certain scholars. At present, there are some 4,500 manuscripts of the New Testament. This number is significant when it is considered that scholars are willing to accept ten or twenty manuscripts of classical writings to consider a work genuine. Contrast ten or twenty with thousands of manuscripts of the Bible. The manuscripts, of course, were written by hand.Support the show