The Holy Bible has been given by Almighty God. It was written by “Holy men of old who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
It has been thought that the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were written originally in Hebrew. By the third century before our Lord, these had been translated into Greek – the language of the day. This Greek translation, made by seventy devout and learned men working at Alexandria, Egypt became known as the Septuagint. This was likely the version from which Jesus the Christ was wont to read. The original Hebrew scrolls from which the Septuagint was made have not been found. They were likely destroyed by the copyists. Nor has the Septuagint original been found. We have in our famous libraries only copies of copies of the original Septuagint.
In 1947, however, in the foothills of the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea in a hillside cave, a heap of jars were found, in one of which was found eight rolls of leather, covered with faded writing. Four of these scrolls were carried to the St. Mark’s Orthodox Syrian Monastery in Jerusalem, the other four were taken to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The four taken to St. Mark’s Monastery have reached America. These, the American School of Oriental Research say, contain a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah of the second century before Christ.
In 1948 and 1949, further examination of the cave was permitted by the Arabs and fragments of at least forty jars were brought out indicating that originally some two hundred scrolls may have been hidden away for safe keeping, possibly during the Maccabean Wars, since the jars are of that period. Found in square Hebrew and in an earlier Phoenician type of script are fragments of Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Judges, Daniel and Isaiah. These fragments of the Old Testament produce evidence that the copying into Greek and the translation into our English was faithfully done. It is a guarantee of the veracity of the whole Bible as we have it today.
Jesus in His public ministry and in His private teaching of the Twelve, quoted from 24 of the 39 Old Testament Books. We are told that the Gospels contain no less than 198 quotations by our Lord from the Old Testament. Jesus made reference to almost every period of the history covered by the Old Testament.
The first part of the Bible, written by Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is some 3453 years old; the last Book is 1853 years old – being written in 96A.D. Some 1600 years were required for the writing of the Old Testament. Pick up any old book and it seems, even if it is 100 years old, to be so ancient that we cannot understand it; but here is one, some of its parts 3453 years old, yet it is so fresh, and powerful, and up to date that no other equals it.
The Holy Bible is the only accredited written revelation of God through the Holy Spirit. It is primarily good for what it does.
It is not a drug or an opiate, yet it is the greatest force for quietness, peace, and tranquility the world contains. By reading it and allowing it to possess the mind and heart, man is possessed by the Spirit of God who authored it. By reading it thousands have had doubts dispelled and questions answered, for it giveth light. It has comforted the sorrowing, given help to the helpless, guidance to the distracted, solace to the dying, and armed the living for the crusades against wrong and injustice .
It is the greatest guard of morals, for on its pages we learn what God wants us to do and what He requires of us; we learn what He condemns, and from what He comes to save us; we learn that He sees us, and we learn that He will judge us. In the Holy Bible we learn about His love. We are caused to feel that we cannot disappoint Him who so loved us as to give His only begotten Son to the cross to taste our death for us that we might not perish but have everlasting life.
The Holy Bible is the Book which when our fathers read it their faces shone with a light not of this world. Instruction is found within its pages for prosperity, health, and happiness. It is the one Book in all the world which sheds a single ray of authentic light across the river of death, and guarantees the coming of a day when righteousness shall cover our land as water covers the sea; a day when justice shall prevail, and none shall be ill or frail; a day known as the Restoration when God in His loving mercy shall be pleased to raise those “in Christ” from the dead, that they with the living may enter into the joys of the Lord – during His millennium reign, when the faithful “unto death” shall rule with Him on earth.
There are three values which we wish to stress of those which accrue to us as we read or hear the Word.
The first is Faith! Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God. Faith cometh not by prayer, nor alms, or deeds of kindness, but by hearing the Word. Faith is a hearty acceptance of what God has caused to be revealed, therefore, there can be no faith unless the Word of the Lord is known. His Word reveals His promises, His covenants, His will, When we know His mind as set forth in His Word, we can expect Him to fulfill or keep His Word. That is Faith. Only as Abraham knew the mind or the Word of the Lord, could He lay hold of the promises and expect God to fulfill. Faith cometh by knowing the Word of the Lord. Our faith will increase only as we increase our acquaintance and acceptance of God’s Word! Let us in this hour not be people of little faith!
The second value to the Word of God is that it is the power of God unto salvation. While the Word reveals what God commands; we are without the power to go the way He commands until we understand the message of personal salvation; then because we love God for the work which He did for us on the cross through Jesus Christ, and will do when He returns, we receive the dynamic to go the way He requires, and lo we are saved. He that does not read the Word knoweth not how to go. Nor does He come to understand God so as to be impelled to love Him so as to desire power, or receive it, in order to live unto God. Although Pentecost was an anniversary, and thereupon the Spirit was to be poured out, the Spirit came upon only those who meditated on the mighty works of God and were so grateful for salvation that they desired His Word to go forth in obedience to His command that it should go forth! To them was given the power of God!
The third value of the Word is that by it God sanctifies our lives. Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Thy Word.” The word “dedicate” is equal to the word “sanctify.” God can consecrate or dedicate to His service only those who know His Word. How little He can use us if we know little of His Word. How greatly He can use the one who knows with power much of the Word! How much more He can use the one who with power rightly divides the Word he knows.
The Word directed to our Nation has been hidden to us because we have not realized our identity. Therefore, the covenants and promises given to us have not blessed our people with their sweet music, even though God has kept His promises and the covenants made to us! Our National pulse could have been much effected and our National purse could have been saved much had we known who we were, what covenants we held, and what laws we were expected to follow. God give us men in our Israel nations who will desire to know these things, so that our nations may soon turn back to God – to His way, for it to go.
This is the only Book which gives the Nation instruction to prevent chaos; which directs it in case of war so that its actions may have His approval; and shows it how peace shall be made. We stumble along from bad to worse involving ourselves in debt and confusion in the matter of Peace, because we reject the twenty verses of Deuteronomy 20, which give God’s way for having peace.
They say the Bible is worn out and stale and useless: infidels and higher critics and skeptics have done their best to bring it to naught; and those claiming to be believers have relegated it to second rate attention-but the Bible still shines out with undiminished splendor to do its work where people will read it as the Word of God.
Written By Millard Joseph Flenner, A.B., B.D., D.D