In this day of instant communication, the truth is getting buried in sensational headlines. I thought this week we could be a little more lighthearted and take a closer look at the ultimate truth, the Bible, and see what we know about it and what’s in it.
What does the word bible mean? In a simple Greek definition, it means book. The Christian Bible is one large book containing 66 smaller books.
Most people know that it is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. What is a Testament ? The word “testament” (Hebrew berîth, Greek diatheke), means “covenant.” The term “Old Testament” refers to the covenant which God entered into with Abraham and the people of Israel, and “New Testament” to the covenant God has entered into with believers through Christ. The books of the Old Testament were written before the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Testament covers the life of Christ and beyond. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119 with 176 verses. The shortest chapter is Psalm 117 with only 2 verses. In the KJV, the middle chapter of the Bible is Psalm 117 and the middle verse of the bible is is Psalms 103:1 The longest book of the Bible is Psalms with 150 chapters, or psalms. It contains 43,743 words. The shortest book is 3 John with only 1 chapter and 299 words.
There are four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What does gospel mean? The word gospel literally means “good news” and occurs 93 times in the Bible, exclusively in the New Testament. In Greek, it is the word euaggelion, from which we get our English words evangelist, evangel, and evangelical. The gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.
Do you know who wrote the Ten Commandments? God. Ok, that was a trick question. God wrote them and Moses transcribed them onto the tablets.
How and by whom was the bible written? The 66 books of the Bible were written on 3 continents, in 3 languages over a 1600 year period from 1500 BC to AD 100 by approximately 40 people who were kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, and doctors. From all this diversity comes an incredible unity, with common themes woven throughout.
Does the bible contradict itself? Many people have claimed the Bible has contradictions and discrepancies. Since there are 40 authors over a large span of time, we can expect different styles, different perspectives which were written to different audiences for a different purposes. Most “contradictions” have been claimed because verses have been taken out of context and when carefully studied have been completely and sufficiently explained.
Does the bible contradict science? Science is a method that mankind can use to gain a greater understanding of the natural universe and its laws. God is more powerful than the laws of nature. In fact, He created all of the laws of the universe and he can do with it as He pleases.
He made the sun and moon stand still for a whole day. Joshua 10:13
He made the sun travel backwards. He reversed the orbit of the earth and made the sundial back up ten steps 2 Chronicles 20:11
In 2 Kings 6:6, Elisha made an iron axhead float on water.
Jesus performed many miracles, such as restoring sight to the blind and restoring speech to the mute (Matthew 12:22), and calming a raging sea (Matthew 8:26), which had to disrupt the current weather patterns at the time. There is no scientific model that explains all the wonders of creation most of all the creation of man. Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
There are more than 3,200 verses with fulfilled prophecy either within the Bible itself or since the Bible was written. But there are still more than 3,100 verses with unfulfilled prophecies. What is prophecy? prophéteia: prophecy προφητεία, ας, ἡ involves divinely-empowered forthtelling (asserting the mind of God) or foretelling (prediction). A prophecy is a message inspired by God, a divine revelation.
Does Jesus have a last name? It is usually assumed by most people that Christ is the last name (surname) of Jesus but people in the Bible did not have surnames. Last names became a regular custom in recent centuries. If a second name was mentioned, it usually indicated a description of the person, their occupation, their tribe or their geographic origin. Jesus was frequently referred to as Jesus of Nazareth. Christ is Jesus’ title meaning “the anointed one”
Did Jesus have brothers and sisters? Jesus had at least six siblings. These included his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas as well as at least two sisters. (Matthew 13:54-56; Mark 6:3) Those siblings were natural children of Jesus’ mother, Mary, and her husband, Joseph. (Matthew 1:25) The Bible calls Jesus “the firstborn” of Mary, which implies that she had other children.—Luke 2:7.
What are the names of the angels mentioned in the bible?
Gabriel, Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Michael Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Abaddon/Apollyon Rev. 9:11, They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. A fallen angel.
Lucifer- Lucifer, means ‘day star,’ or ‘son of the morning.’ Many recognize it as an alternate name of Satan, THE fallen angel. Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Lo Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. HaHa -just kidding about Lo. Wanted to see if you were paying attention.
Why don’t people understand the Bible?
Some don’t believe it – Hebrews 11:6; 3:18-19
Some lack a desire to learn – 1 Peter 2:2
Some are too lazy to study – 2 Timothy 2:15
Many are lost – 1 Corinthians 2:14
What is the job of a Christian? Contrary to one of the things we might believe, it is not to save unbelievers. That’s the job of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to be obedient. 1 John 2:3-6 (NIV) We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
How well do you know this book of truth? You have the answer to that.