The most widespread book in the history of the world is likely also the most misunderstood book in the history of the world. Its misunderstanding has led some to justify murder, war, racism, oppression, sexism, adultery, greed, and so much more. For many it is a coaster on the dining room table or wedged between Cosmopolitan and Newsweek on the mag-rack in the bathroom. Some think it to be a good book of interesting stories littered with fiction and inspirational messages while others hold to every word as reality. Mark Twain said,
“[The Bible] has noble poetry in it… and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.”
while Ronald Reagan said:
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”
How is it that there is such a polarity of views over this document? I would like to entertain you with a few snippets about the Bible that at one time I had no idea were true but eventually changed my perspective on this document:
Here is what you probably don’t know about the Bible…
1) It has a very clear, distinct story from beginning to end. Growing up reading and hearing bits and pieces of this book really left me confused. What in the world does a man circumcising his children in the Old Testament and a Roman procurate sentencing a man to death in the New Testament have to do with the same story? Well, though more than 1,000 years apart from each other those two stories have a direct correlation. The Bible has a seamless, intricate, logical, and cross-cultural theme from the first words to the last.
2) It was written by 40 people over about 1,500 years. Compared to every other book written, the Bible is by far the most uniquely composed. How is it that 40 different people wrote books or letters that ended up in one document that all relate perfectly together and tell one, clear, continual story that is still unraveling?
3) It’s contents have not changed since its compilation. The books that are bound within the covers of your Bible have been the same 66 books since before its “official” canonization at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. There are endless books and claims that it has changed over and over and that there are “lost gospels”, all of which have not stood up to the scrutiny of the existing Bible with 66 books.
4) It is the most historically reliable document of all mankind. When it comes to the accuracy of the current version of the Bible we have in 2012 as compared to the original copy, there is no other book that is more reliable. With over 25,000 manuscripts and counting, the Bible is seen by most historians as over 99% accurately passed down while the next most reliable is Homer’s “Iliad and the Odyssey” with only 643 copies! The Bible’s historicity is unparalleled in all antiquity.
5) You can read it yourself…and understand it. You may think it’s only meant for Christians or a pastor/priest but this is simply not true. Though long and at some times seemingly difficult to read, just like doing your homework in college, if you read intently with the purpose to learn about what the textbook says you will learn!
I hope these snippets have been enlightening to you as they were to me at one time and continue to blow my mind. If you have never asked someone to explain more to you who is a daily reader and studies the Bible then ask away. I have met numerous men in their later years who have a great delight in the way their lives and the lives of others have changed for the better through intense, committed study and application of the words contained within this Book so give it a read!