Since this is a Bible based website, I deemed it appropriate that the first article posted would be The History of our Bible.
What is the Bible about
Unlike any other book ever written, the Holy Bible is compiled of writings that cover a span of about 1400 years and include some 40 writers. In spite of this, it is in perfect harmony. Within its pages are 66 books, yet it is considered one book, The Book, The Holy Scriptures, The Word of God. The
time period recorded during those 1400 years covers nearly 4000 years of human history and God’s revelation of Himself to and through man. The history of the Holy Bible is the history of God’s involvement with mankind.
When does the Bible begin
This 1400-year-period begins with the writings of Moses, the first five books of the Holy Bible. These writings include a time recorded prior to Moses’ lifespan. It started out at the actual creation of the cosmos. By the time Moses completes the teachings found in Deuteronomy, we learn about the very beginning of mankind. The final writer was probably John when he was on the Isle of Patmos and wrote the book of Revelations. Also, known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Between the days of Moses and John, a time period of about 14 centuries come to light, yet the Bible covers over 4000 years of history. It has been nearly 2000 years since the last of the writers lived.
Was the Bible written by God
Those that contend the Bible will say: “I don’t follow the Bible because it was written by man.” To that I’m somewhat amused. It is interesting that practically everything we’ve learned was through books written by man—especially history. We read materials written by man everyday through one medium or another and for the most part are considered authentic. This very article was written by a man! Yet when it comes to the Bible, it’s not relevant or believable enough to follow. The fact is man writes what he is inspired to write.
So, how could Moses have written about things that occurred before Adam? The same way the prophets could write about things that would occur hundreds and thousands of years later (e.g. the birth of Christ). The writers were penning God’s Word under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God revealed things to them that would have been otherwise unknowable.
The Bible is divided into two sections. All that was recorded prior to the birth of Jesus Christ is referred to as the Old Testament. A testament is a written account, proof, evidence, a record of events that took place. More accurately, biblically speaking, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant (2 Cor 3:14). Thus, testament is generally used to refer to the spiritual COVENANT between God and His people.
The Old Testament covers 39 books. About four hundred years passed from the writing of the last book in the Old Testament and the birth of Christ. These are referred to as the silent years. Four hundred years in which God did not speak through prophets. Some of the historical events that occurred during that period are recording in the Catholic Douay version of the Bible. These books are known as the Apocrypha. They fill in some of the 400-year period between the official catalog of the Old Testament and the New Testament. It was the time of the Maccabees.
Then, the silence was broken. The New Testament begins with the coming of Christ into the world as the prophesied Emmanuel (God with us) in the form of the baby Jesus through the Virgin Mary. God took on a body of human flesh. The New Testament is composed of 27 books and ushers in the church age. From the writings of Moses through the prophets and other Old Testament books, God worked exclusively through the children of Israel. Today they are referred to as the Jewish people. But with the arrival and departure of Jesus, the church opened up God’s grace to whosoever would come. This includes non-Jews. It includes Gentiles of all nations and races.
The Old Testament points to the coming of the Promised Messiah. Woven through the Old Testament are prophesies concerning Him. The tenth chapter of Hebrews gives a good explanation for how the Old Testament and New Testament are woven from the same cloth. Both are about Christ. One testament looks toward His coming and the other records the fact of His coming into this world, fulfilling every Old Testament prophecy concerning His earthly ministry.
The Old Testament remained in the Hebrew language until c.280-150 B.C. when it was translated into Greek at Alexandria, Egypt. This was known as the Septuagint. The next language change occurred when Jerome (c. 383-405 AD) translated it into the Latin Vulgate. This was used by the clergy for nearly 1000 years.
The first English translation was completed by John Wycliffe and soon after, King James authorized the English version that has come to be known as the King James Version. This was in 1611.
God has preserved the Bible from the first book of Genesis to the final book of Revelation. There are many translations but God has maintained His word faithfully through all the generations of scribes and translators. Jesus made this clear as recorded in Matthew 5:18: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (KJV). When He spoke this, the New Testament had not begun to be written and the Old Testament was all that existed. He declared that not so much as a stroke of the pen will be altered until all is fulfilled. He was referring to all prophecies recorded in the Old Testament.
The Bible is the only complete history book. All other history books record only the past. The history of the Holy Bible records the history of mankind from the beginning until the day this earth will pass away and a new heaven and a new earth will appear. It covers humanity from beginning to end. No other history book records future events. Only God possesses such knowledge. He is the Alpha and Omega. The “I AM of eternity.” The Bible is written in “time” from an eternal perspective. Only the Divine could have created this masterpiece.
Scripture Reads in 2 Tim 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness KJV.
There are people in every corner of the globe who turn to the Bible to find satisfying answers to life’s questions and problems. But the Bible is more than an answer book to turn to when the pressures of life com upon us. It is really a library of books that are filled with inspiring people-stories, majestic poems and songs, direct messages and prophesies. But most clearly of all, is the account of God visiting the earth in the person of Jesus Christ.
What Scripture provides for us is a solution for mankind’s greatest need: rescue from sin and the eternal separation from God . From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible makes clear that God has an eternal plan for rescuing us from our sins and allowing us to enjoy fellowship with Him. The Scriptures points us to the One who can solve our biggest problem—Jesus.
If you need a good Bible commentary that explains every written Scripture in a concise and clear way, I recommend the Believer’s Bible Commentary. It is available at Amazon by clicking this link. (paid link)
I pray that you’ll join me in the exploration of the Bible and its principals and the everyday application of them in our lives.
Please feel free to leave a comment or question.