The Bible - Thoughts

The Bible - Thoughts to Inspire

A young man having packed his case for a journey, found he had just a small space left, about 10cms wide by 5cms deep. But he wanted to put into it a guidebook, a lamp, a mirror, a telescope, a volume of poems, a number of biographies and a small library of some sixty volumes. How did he do it? He put in his Bible.

Herod's temple took forty-six years to build, but the book we are now speaking about, but the book we are now speaking of took more than fifteen centuries. It is, however, more than a book, it is a library containing sixty-six books. The writer of the first five volumes having finished his course, was gently laid to rest by a divine hand in a valley in the land of Moab, fifteen hundred years before the writer of the book of Revelation took up his inspired pen to close the Canon of Scripture. It has been said that every road has its beginning in the book of Genesis, and this book is also aptly styled the seed plot of the Bible. To this it might be added that every road finds its terminus in the book of Revelation.

God made use of some forty writers in compiling the Bible. These He took from almost every station of life, lawyers, princes, kings, statesmen, prophets, herdsmen and fishermen. Somewhere educated in all the wisdom of Egypt and Babylon. Others were brought up at the feet of Jerusalem's greatest Rabbis, while yet again others where taken from the humblest paths of life. Some wrote under the most ideal conditions, others wrote in the desert, or in the shepherd's tent by ‘'still waters and green pastures.'' Some were in the prison cell with the iron chains around their limbs and some were banished from their homes in the land of their exile. Yet the book is one. What is the explanation?

THE HOLY SPIRIT INSPIRED MEN to write under His direction. ‘'Holy me of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost'' 2 Peter Ch. 1 v 21. There were many writers but only the one author. Hostile critics have kicked against this, but let them explain the miracle of the book any other way, a book compiled over a long period of fifteen centuries and every writer agreeing with every other writer. The great truths of the Old Testament are unfolded in the New, and the New Testament is unfolded in the Old.

It is said that a book that will bear translation into another language must have more than ordinary merit in it, but some of the Bible has been translated into more than a thousand languages, and every year a number of new ones are added. Other books come and go, this one came to stay. Who will read a book twice? - Yet millions of human beings read this book every day. George Muller of Bristol - the founder of the Orphan Homes there - has left on record that during the later years of his life, he read the Bible through four times each year.

Its circulation increases year by year. A recent report of United Bible Societies tells us that the previous year's circulation of complete Bibles and new testaments was about 40 million copies and of portions and selections over 350 million.

The Bible as at one and the same time THE BEST LOVED AND MOST HATED BOOK IN THE WORLD. In the fourth century the Emperor Diocletian thought the best way to exterminate Christianity was to destroy its books. Accordingly orders were given that all through the Empire, every Bible, every portion of the Bible, and every writing or tract bearing on the Bible was to be collected and burned on a certain day. This was done, and then the Emperor gave orders that a pillar be erected on which three words were to be inscribed, ‘'Exstincto Nomine Christiano'' which means the name of Christianity has been extinguished.
In the eighteenth century, Voltaire, the French infidel, said that in a hundred years a Bible would only be found in a museum. But what are the facts? During those hundred years the circulation of the Bible increased every year and is still increasing. Moreover, the house in which Voltaire lived was acquired after his death by the Geneva Bible Society and became a Bible depot and indeed the very printing machine that he used to print his blasphemies, was used to print Bibles.

Do not think me irreverent if I quote a verse of scripture in this connection. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh'' Psalm 2 v 4.
Wilmot, a seventeenth century infidel, said before he died, the only objection against the Bible is a bad life. Tom Paine said on his deathbed, I would give worlds, if I had them, that the ‘'Age of Reason'' had never been published.
Diocletian is gone, Voltaire is gone, and other enemies of the book are gone, but of the Bible it might be said, as it is written of its Author, ‘'Thou remainest'' Hebrews ch1 v 11. What folly for men to think they can upset the Bible. It is like a cube, no matter how you toss it about it always lands right side up. Millions have suffered the cruelest deaths rather than give it up. Again, THIS BOOK IS FROM ABOVE, all others are from beneath. ‘'For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven'' Psalm 119 v 89.

As the universe, the book of nature, reveals to all the worlds the eternal power and Godhead of its Creator, so the Bible, the book of the Spirit, equally reveals to the entire world the boundless love of its Author. Romans Ch. 1 v 20; John Ch. 3 v 16.

Last century Dr Tischendorf was staying at a monastery on Mount Sinai. One evening his attention was drawn to the peculiar looking parchments that were being used to light the fire. Taking up one he found to his astonishment that it was an ancient copy of the Holy Scriptures. He recovered the rest of the parchments and finally took them to Russia. They remained there until 1933, when that country decided to sell them. Britain was the buyer at £100,000. This was then a very high price to pay for a book that its critics say has outlived its usefulness and should be discarded.

Dr Pearson once said ‘'the various books of the Bible are like an organism, each one having its own definite place, sphere, function and work, and to find out the exact end, for which each is meant and fitted, is to get the key to its contents and to its relation to all the rest.'' ‘'Each part supports the whole and each part is supported by the whole." It is like the seamless robe, which Christ wore, it is "woven from the top throughout. Let us not rend it." Sir Walter Scott wrote on the flyleaf of his Bible - "Within the Precious Volume lies The Mystery of mysteries;
Oh, happiest they of human race
To whom our God has given grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch and force the way;
But better had they never been born
Who read to doubt, or read to scorn"

What is the purpose of the Bible? Is it a history book? No, although it contains history. Is it a scientific book? No, albeit its facts have never been contradicted by true science. What is it then? It is the revelation of God to man, a revelation that could only be completed by a visit to this world of ours by Jesus Christ the Son of God. Was this visit an afterthought with God? Let the Old Testament answer.
In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpents head."
This was a unique expression that could only find fulfillment in the Virgin Birth. Seven hundred years before Christ was born, it was a plainly foretold He would be born of a virgin, Isaiah Ch. 7 v 14. We are told the town in which He would be born, Micah Ch. 5 v 2; and the miraculous powers He would possess, Isaiah Ch. 35 v 5-6. Further Isaiah Ch. 53 clearly states the fact of His atoning, substitutionary death, and Psalm 22 reveals the manner of His death - death by crucifixion.

This was a form of execution unknown for almost seven hundred years after the Psalm was written, and never introduced at any time amongst Jews. This was another proof, if a proof was needed, of inspiration. Psalm 16 foretold His resurrection. Have we design here or mere coincidences?

Can all these quotations; supported as they could be by many more suggest anything to an unbiased mind but that God inspires the Scriptures. (2 Timothy Ch. 3 v 16). Moreover, as John the Baptist was the forerunner of our Lord so the Old Testament is the forerunner of the New, and just as that greatest amongst men gave place when a greater than he came on the scene, so the Old Testament bends before the New, and both of them combined give us this great, grand and central truth of the whole Bible

"That Christ died for our sins according to the scripture; and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.' 1 Corinthians Ch. 15 v 3-4.

Perhaps the words of John Chrysostom may appropriately sum up the wonder and beauty of The Book - the Bible. "When the foundation for the pyramid of letters was being laid, there was brought forth one stone of matchless symmetry, itself a little pyramid, the only fit apex to complete and crown the whole structure, a capstone whose lines and angles might well determine the dimensions and proportions, lines and angles of the pyramid.

Whence came this capstone, while as yet the cornerstone of literature was scarce led? In what Quarry was it found and by what hand was it hewn? It is, moreover, of no common material, but a precious stone, a colossal gem, the like of which is found in none of the richest quarries or mines of earth'' John Chryostom on THE BIBLE.

Jesus Said

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth MY WORD, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life. And shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John Ch. 5 v 24.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." John Ch. 6 v 37.