The Bible—Not Just Another Book

Most of us have heard of the “Wonders of the World,” including the pyramids of Egypt, the hanging gardens of Babylon, and so on. There are also “wonders” of the Bible, characteristics that set the Bible apart from all other literature, ancient and modern. Let’s look at eight of these “wonders of the Bible.”
One amazing characteristic of the Bible is its unity. The Bible is composed of sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New. Yet those sixty-six books form a cohesive whole, one dynamic message of God’s dealings with humankind. Probably the first books written were what we know as the Books of Moses or the Law (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), composed around 1400 b.c. (This assumes an archaeological dating of 1445 b.c. for the exodus. Others cite 1290 b.c.)
The last of the New Testament was written around a.d. 90, and includes the writings of the apostle John (the Gospel of John, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelation). Genesis through Revelation involves a time span of around fifteen hundred years. These sixty-six books were composed by more than forty authors, from a variety of educational and cultural backgrounds. Joshua was a general; Daniel was a prime minister; Nehemiah was a court servant; Amos was a shepherd; Luke, a physician; Paul, a rabbi; and Peter and John were fishermen. The books of the Bible were composed in a variety of places and cultures. Ezekiel wrote his work while a captive in Babylon. Paul wrote some of his letters from prison in Rome. David wrote some of his psalms while he was a fugitive in the wilderness. Jeremiah wrote while he was in a dungeon. The books were written on three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The Bible was composed in three languages. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, with a small part in Aramaic. The New Testament was in the common Greek of the day, Koine. The Bible deals consistently with such subjects as the origin of the universe, the existence and nature of God, the nature and purpose of humankind, and the origin and extent of evil. One would expect that the result of such diversity would be a chaotic text, full of contradictions and distortions. But the Bible is consistent, coherent, and trustworthy. None of the authors or books is either internally, of themselves, or externally contradictory. The unity of the teachings of the Bible is consistent from the beginning to the end. These teachings include the following:
• man—his origin, fall, redemption, earthly and eternal destiny
• sin—its beginning, consequences, punishment in this world and the next
• Satan—the instigator of evil, the liar and murderer from the beginning, his war against God and against believers, his final judgment
• Israel—her social and political development, idolatry, preservation, and final destiny
• the church—her history, from her establishment to her glorification • salvation—its provision, according to the divine plan
• repentance, faith, the life of the believer, prayer, the service of God, etc.—subjects for infinitely rewarding study, carrying us through the entire Bible
• the Holy Spirit—present at creation, pronouncing the last prayer of the Bible (Genesis 1:2; Revelation 22:17)
• God—forever the same, in his sovereignty, his eternality, his spirituality, his omnipotence, his uniqueness, his omniscience, his omnipresence, his holiness, his righteousness, and his love
• Jesus Christ—the person par excellence of all the written revelation THE WONDER OF ITS HISTORICAL ACCURACY Another feature that separates the Bible from other ancient literature is its fidelity to historical accuracy.
Within the pages of the Bible are countless references to events, people, and places. The science of archaeology and secular historical records have repeatedly confirmed the precision of the references in the various biblical books.
The minute attention to detail observed by the biblical writers is unparalleled in any other ancient literature. Nelson Glueck, a famous Jewish archaeologist, observed, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.”
The fact that the text of the Bible has survived throughout history is a wonderful testimony to the preserving power of God. The Scriptures have survived time, persecution, and criticism. The first book of the Bible was composed some thirty-five hundred years ago; the last was completed nearly two thousand years ago. The original manuscripts were all written on perishable materials and have long since disappeared. The thousands of copies we possess, however, accurately represent the originals. Through the science of textual criticism, we can arrive at a very close reproduction of the originals. We will develop this point further in our chapter on the reliability of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible has also survived the persecution of its adherents. Consider the following examples of the tenacity of the followers of the Bible in preserving its text in the midst of persecution. Voltaire, the noted French infidel who died in 1778, said that in one hundred years from his time Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history. But what has happened? Voltaire has passed into history, while the circulation of the Bible continues to increase in almost all parts of the world, carrying blessing wherever it goes. For example, the English Cathedral in Zanzibar is built on the site of the Old Slave Market, and the Communion Table stands on the very spot where the whipping-post once stood! The world abounds with such instances. There is a historical irony about the Voltaire matter. Fifty years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used Voltaire’s house and printing press to print hundreds of Bibles. Further, two hundred years after Voltaire’s death, Christianity is still not extinct. In a.d. 303 the Roman emperor Diocletian wrote an imperial letter ordering the destruction of all churches, the burning of all Scriptures, and the loss of civil liberties by all professing Christians. That did not stop the spread of Christianity or the proclamation of God’s revelation in the Bible. Constantine, the Roman emperor who succeeded Diocletian, converted to Christianity and eventually ordered Eusebius to make fifty copies of the Scriptures, to be produced by the best scribes at government expense. Time passes, but the Bible remains a dramatic testimony to the keeping power of God for his revelation. Rulers come and go. The Bible remains. Critics come and go. The Bible remains.
One of the wonders of the Bible is its scientific accuracy, even though the Bible is not primarily a scientific book. Whenever the biblical writers touch on scientific matters, their observation about nature, man, history, and society are generally accurate and free of the ancient and unsophisticated scientific inaccuracies of their contemporaries. The mythologies in ancient cultures are missing from the Old and New Testaments. Charles Woodrull Shields observed, “Although scientifically the Hebrews did not make the advances that the Assyrians or Egyptians or Greeks did, nevertheless, the Hebrews were free from the grotesque absurdity that disfigures the astronomy or geology of their contemporaries as found in the sacred books of the east or even in the more artistic mythology of the Greeks.” There are vast differences between the historically sound accounts of creation found in the Bible and the unscientific, absurd accounts of creation popular at the same time in other cultures. The Babylonian mythological account of creation is a good example of the views current in the ancient world. The account below is quoted from a commentary by religions expert John B. Noss: The present world order was formed after a primeval conflict between the dragons of darkness and chaos, led by the bird-god Zu (or in other accounts by Tiamat) and the gods of light and order, headed by Ninurta, the war-god. But the Babylonian priests rewrote whatever materials they inherited, and they made Marduk both the hero of the struggle against chaos and the creator of the world and of man. Their story began with Apsu, the god of fresh water, and Tiamat, the dragon of the unbounded salt water (chaos). By their intermingling, this pair over a period of years produced the gods, but the youthful gods were so lively and boisterous that Apsu could not rest and resolved to destroy them, against the wish of Tiamat…. But before Apsu could execute his plan, he was destroyed by Ea, who got wind of it, whereupon Tiamat resolved on avenging him. She created monsters to be her allies, and both Anu and Ea fled before her. Not until Marduk, assured by the gods that he would be their chief, came forth to meet her in combat was she halted….
After next subduing the monsters she had arrayed against him, Marduk turned back to Tiamat and split her open like a shellfish into halves. With one half he made the canopy which holds back the waters that are above the heavens; with the other half he formed the covering which lies above the waters under the earth. He constructed stations for the gods in the heavens. With Ea’s help he made man from the blood of the god Kingsu, Tiamat’s ally and second husband. Seeing what he had done, the delighted gods bestowed on him many titles as their undisputed leader. This account contrasts sharply with both the scientific evidence regarding creation and with the biblical account, which tells of an all-powerful, eternal Creator who created the heavens and the earth from nothing. The Genesis account of creation, while not a scientific narrative in itself, is harmonious with scientific evidence. Theologian James Orr observed: No stronger proof could be afforded of the truth and sublimity of the biblical account of the origin of things than is given by the comparison of the narrative of creation in Genesis 1–2:4, with the mythological cosmogonies and theogonies found in other religions. As another example of the harmony between science and Scripture, we turn to Noah’s ark. The dimensions of Noah’s ark as revealed in the Bible are completely credible when compared to barges and large ocean-going vessels in use in this present century. But the Babylonian account of the flood describes an ark that would be completely unseaworthy and scientifically impossible. Whenever the Bible touches on areas of science (for example, in discussing creation, the flood, etc.), it does it accurately. No scientific observation in the Bible contradicts known scientific evidence. Understand, however, that the Bible is not written in scientific vocabulary. It is primarily a book about God’s relationship with humankind. The language of Scripture is neither scientific nor unscientific, but nonscientific. It is the language of everyday communication. A pitfall should be avoided concerning the Bible and science. The tendency is to accuse the Bible of being unscientific for using nonscientific language. An example often pointed to by critics is the biblical account of the sun “standing still” in the sky during Joshua’s long day. The critics failed to take common language conventions into consideration. How many critics hear their local television weather report state, “The rotation of the earth on its axis will move our area out of the path of direct sunlight at 5:45 this evening”? None. The common report is, “Sunset this evening will be at 5:45.” The critic places greater restrictions on the language of the Bible than he does on himself and those around him. To do so is untenable and, ultimately, unscientific. Though the Bible is not a scientific textbook and is not written in scientific language, it is wonderful that in all of its particular observations concerning science, it is accurate, faithful to scientific evidence, and in dramatic contrast to other primitive and mythological religious writings.
An amazing feature of the Bible is the frankness with which it deals with the frailties of people and even with the shortcomings of its own authors. The Bible paints a realistic portrait of its characters, resisting the temptation to mythologize or perfect them. For example, the book of Genesis reveals that Noah, a great man of God who saved the remnant of humanity from the Great Flood, was once found in a drunken stupor: “Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent” (Genesis 9:20–21). We see in 2 Samuel 11 that David, a man who loved God, was an adulterer and murderer. Verses 3–4, 14–15 tell us: So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” And David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house….
Now it came about in the morning that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.” The Bible does not hide the fact that the apostle Paul argued with his companion, Barnabas: And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” And Barnabas was desirous of taking John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. (Acts 15:36–39) The fact that the personalities in the Bible are flawed does not detract from the biblical message: it is the holiness of the Lord God that the Bible proclaims, not the perfection of his followers and prophets. Yet Jesus, the greatest personality revealed in the Bible, the one of whom in some sense the whole Bible speaks, is described as being without sin. T
One of the most incredible features of the Bible is its prophecies. In no other book do we find the wealth of prophecies, clearly made years before their fulfillment, and all accurately fulfilled in history. The biblical prophet was a spokesman for God to the people. He not only predicted future events in God’s plan, he also exhorted the people according to the directives of the Lord. His task of exhortation, in fact, occupied more of his time and words than did his prophesying of future events. It is with predictive prophecy, however, that we are here concerned. There are dozens of examples of fulfilled prophecy to which we could point in both the Old Testament and the New. The most important prophecies, some fulfilled and some yet to be fulfilled, concern Jesus Christ, the most important person in the Bible.
One set of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah has to do with his family line. Those prophecies, given long before Jesus was born, indicate that his lineage would be through the royal house of Israel. That is something over which Jesus himself could have no control: he could not manipulate the fulfillment of such prophecies in himself. The one coming would come from the line of Abraham: “The Lord appeared to Abraham and said ‘To your seed I will give this land’ ” (Genesis 12:7). According to the apostle Paul, this “seed” was Christ (Galatians 3:16). Out of Jacob’s twelve sons the Messiah was to descend from the line of Judah: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples” (Genesis 49:10). Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, had eight sons; the Bible predicts that the Messiah would come from his son David: “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16); “ ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and he will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is his name by which he will be called, “The Lord our righteousness” ’ ” (Jeremiah 23:5–6). Thirty times in the New Testament Jesus Christ is said to be descended from David. Three of those statements are: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1); “And when he began His ministry, Jesus himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David” (Luke 3:23, 31); and “concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3). There are several other Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus, prophecies that could not have been manipulated by any human being.
For example, it was predicted that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22–23), born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5–6), be filled with the Spirit to begin his ministry (Isaiah 11:2; 61:1–2; Luke 4:18–19), be rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3; Psalm 69:8; John 1:11), be betrayed by his companion (Judas) for thirty pieces of silver (Psalms 41:9; 55:12–14; Matthew 26:14–16, 21–25), be forsaken by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31, 56), be crucified with malefactors (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38), be pierced (Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Mark 15:25; John 19:34, 37; 20:25–27), be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57–60), and be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Matthew 28:2–8). This abundance of predictive detail was beyond the control of any human being and shows the inspiration of the Scriptures and the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth. THE WONDER OF ITS CHRIST-CENTEREDNESS Another unique and wonderful feature of the Bible is its Christ-centeredness.
The Bible, from beginning to end, in both Old and New Testaments, is a testimony to Jesus Christ, the “Son of Man” and the Lord of glory. After the resurrection, Jesus Christ himself explained how the Old Testament Scriptures pointed to him: “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25–27) Even before his death, Jesus Christ pointed out the Christ-centeredness of the Scriptures. When the Jews who continually harassed Jesus challenged his authority, he responded: You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. (John 5:39–40) The Old Testament records the preparation for the coming of Christ: “A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God’ ”
(Isaiah 40:3). The theme toward which the Old Testament is pointing is the establishment of the kingdom of God through the reign of the Messiah (the Christ). The Old Testament looks forward to his coming and tells us what it will be like. Genesis
• Adam is the type of him “who was yet to come” (Romans 5:14)
• the posterity of the woman was to be Christ, who would bruise and crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15)
• the blood of Abel, the righteous man, is compared to the blood shed on the cross (Hebrews 12:24)
• Melchizedek is said to be like unto the Son of God (Genesis 14:18–20; Hebrews 7:1–10)
• Isaac, the son loved of his father, was offered as a sacrifice (Genesis 22)
• Shiloh is the Sovereign from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) Exodus
• the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7)
• the manna, miraculous bread sent down from heaven (Exodus 16; John 6:31–33)
• the smitten rock, which “was Christ” (Exodus 17:1–7; 1 Corinthians 10:4) Leviticus
• the bleeding sacrifices, picture of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (Hebrews 9:12–14; 10:1–4, 11–14)
• the sacrifice of atonement (Leviticus 16:1–35; Hebrews 9:24–25) Numbers
• Aaron’s rod, picture of the resurrection of the Lord (Numbers 17:1–11)
• the red heifer, another prefiguration of the purifying sacrifice (Numbers 19: Hebrews 9:13)
• the brazen serpent, representing Christ on the cross (Numbers 21:4–9; John 3:14–16), etc. Going over to the Psalms, we see further details in the portrayal of the coming Messiah: 2: the Anointed One 8: the Son of Man and the humiliating witness of the Old Testament because he presents a full picture of the coming Messiah.
Isaiah speaks of the Messiah as: 7:14: Immanuel, born of a virgin 9:6: the Son, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace 11:1–10: the shoot out of the stock of Jesse, the One clothed with the Spirit who “will rest” upon him 40:1–10: the God who was to come 40:11: the Shepherd of the sheep 42:1–4; 49:1–7: the Servant of Jehovah (Yahweh) 53: the man of sorrows 61:1–2: the Anointed of God, the Emancipator 63:1–6: the Judge The New Testament tells of his first coming and anticipates his second coming. Before his death Jesus Christ described to his disciples the necessity for his death, burial, and resurrection in order to accomplish redemption for the world. But he did not stop there. He also described to them his second coming, with glory, power, and judgment at the end of the age: For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be….And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matthew 24:27, 30–31) The Old Testament records the preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The Gospels record the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. The book of Acts records the propagation of the gospel (the good news) concerning Jesus Christ. The Epistles (letters) explain the gospel and its implications for our lives. The book of Revelation anticipates and describes the second coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of his eternal kingdom. From beginning to end, the Bible glorifies Jesus Christ and centers on him. Its Christ-centeredness is one of its wonderful features. THE WONDER OF ITSon 16: the Beloved delivered to the place of the dead 22: the sufferings on the cross 69: the insults and the gall and vinegar 72: the King of Peace 110: the Lord glorified Among the prophets; Isaiah has been called the evagilist
One of the Bible’s most wonderful features is the intellectual integrity it inspires in its readers. Although it was composed between two and four thousand years ago, it still has the power to challenge intelligent men and women to develop their full intellectual capabilities in studying its rich teachings and history. It can stand the test of the most rigorous intellectual assault. Those who have dedicated their lives to understanding and appreciating the Scriptures have not been disappointed. A contemporary example of a person whose intellectual pursuits were spurred on by his devotion to the Scriptures is the noted Christian scholar E. M. Blaiklock. He writes: Here are the alternatives. Either four men, only one of them with any education in the liberal sense of the word, invented the Character who altered the whole course of history, or they wrote of One they knew or had heard about from those who knew him, a Person so extraordinary that he could claim deity, sinlessness, all authority, and rouse no revulsion among those who long knew him intimately and experimentally. The religious leaders, collaborators with the occupying power, so feared him that they betrayed and murdered him, and in so doing, like the doomed actors in an Aristotelian tragedy, loosed forces which swept the world. The Bible tells us we are to love the Lord our God with all our mind (Matthew 22:37). Twentieth-century men and women can use their minds, taking the Bible and evaluating it with full intellectual scrutiny. The Bible will prevail and continue to satisfy and stimulate the intellect of any who fairly investigate its claims.
Another wonderful aspect of the Bible separates it from all other religious books and is a testimony to its divine origin. This is the wonder of its unique teachings. The teachings in the Bible cannot be explained as a product of the religious environment of its authors, since many of its teachings were contrary to contemporary religious thought and were hard for the Jews themselves to accept. Of many such examples we will discuss a few representative ones. Much of the unique teaching in the Bible centers around the personal God it reveals. Israel was surrounded by polytheistic cultures (cultures that believed in more than one God). Israel often slipped into idolatry itself. Yet its holy Scriptures, the Old Testament, betray not a word in favor of idolatry. The Old Testament, in fact, is filled with warnings against idolatry. In addition, the Bible repeatedly emphasizes monotheism (belief in one God). Here are two scriptural examples: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4–5) “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no savior besides Me.” (Isaiah 43:10–11) The New Testament continues the absolute monotheism of the Old Testament: We know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:4–6) The nature and attributes of the God of the Bible are also different from the concepts of God in cultures surrounding the Jews. The Bible reveals a God who is infinite and personal, who cares for human beings as a Father and who personifies love, respect, justice, and mercy. This is in contrast to other gods of the ancient world who were to be obeyed and served out of fear rather than from loving respect. An idea of the fatherly attitude of the God of the Bible was revealed by Jesus Christ: And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (Luke 11:9–13) In many other religious settings God is to be obeyed in order for the faithful to receive rewards. In the Bible we are taught to obey God out of love: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). A final unique teaching from the Bible is the resurrection of the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ. This teaching is a wonder, since in no other religious literature do we have a resurrection that was bodily and that can be tested by the most rigorous historical methods. While many other religious traditions have ideas of spiritual or spirit resurrections (untestable hypotheses), only the Bible proclaims a bodily resurrection that passes all tests of historical reliability. We conclude that the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, contains teachings that are unique and wonderful in comparison to the best teachings offered in any other religious or nonreligious writings.
We now come to the last of the ten wonders of the Bible considered here. This wonder is the Bible’s effect on individuals. If the Bible is indeed the Word of God, it should demonstrate its ability to transform lives. We must first note that the Bible claims that Jesus Christ can fill the spiritual void within all people. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6) Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light. (Matthew 11:28–30) Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. (John 4:14) I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (John 10:10) Christian scholar Harold Lindsell gives this perspective on the life-transforming importance of Christianity as revealed in the Scriptures: We can trust the Bible [because] it does what it claims it will do: it transforms lives. Millions of people have testified that they have been forgiven and have received the gift of eternal life. Their prayers have been answered; their deepest needs satisfied. Lives have been radically changed. Thieves steal no more, liars become honest, adulterers live holy lives, and covetous people lose their greed. Churches, schools, and hospitals have risen as proof of the salutory effect the gospel of Jesus Christ has had on multitudes. Psychiatrist J. T. Fisher put it this way: If you were to take the total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene—if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage—if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison. For nearly two thousand years the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearnings. The wonderful, life-transforming power of the Bible is a fact.
CONCLUSION The remarkable credentials of the Bible do not mean that it is true, but they do mean that it deserves serious consideration. Any sincere seeker after truth should look into this book for answers to the ultimate questions of existence. Now that we have seen that the Bible is not just another book, but a wonderful record of God’s voice to humankind, we will go on to review the making of the Old and New Testaments. We will first delve into questions concerning the reliability of the Hebrew Scriptures. Can we really trust our Old Testament? Is the text we have today truly representative of the original? We will cover these and other interesting features about the making of the Old Testament in the next chapter.