It's been a long time since I haven't talked to a very good friend of mine. I can still remember our deep conversations where we talk of things that really mattered. I remember how he told me his speculation and skepticism about the validity of the Bible. I just pray and hope that he will be able to find the answer in his heart with God's help. And I hope he reads this and to anyone who has the same musings.
SOURCE: Is The Bible A Significant Book?
What makes a book “significant”? That would have a two-fold answer. If the book is unique, trustworthy, authoritative and impactful it would qualify as “significant”. That significance becomes greater when that book’s message makes a clear impact and change upon my life personally and of those who read it.
The Bible clearly fits those criteria. No matter what you think about the Bible, historically it has impacted people throughout the centuries, and even today, if you choose to follow its teachings your life will be changed.
Is the Bible more “significant” than many other religious writings or books? Why should this book be given a second look by many who have decided it is just another of many religious books?
Obviously in a brief article I cannot exhaust the reasons, but I can share enough to challenge one’s curiosity into rethinking a position.
Consider the composite and composition: A book that was written by many authors, from many backgrounds (Kings to slaves), on different continents, over a 1500 year span all with the same theme--The Messiah. A book that states centuries before Christ was born that the earth is round and that it just hangs in space--long before Stephen William Hawking existed. The Bible is a book that is used by archeologists, both Christians and non-Christians alike, to find ancient civilizations. As far as the historicity of the Bible, the manuscript evidence is overwhelming. There is none like the New Testament. All that we have on Plato is based on 7 manuscripts - 1,200 years from the original, Aristotle on 49 manuscripts – 1,400 years from the original, Caesar (Gallic Wars) on 10 manuscripts – 1000 years from the original, Homer (Iliad) on 643 manuscripts – 500 years from the original versus the New Testament on 24,633 manuscripts, 5000 years from original Greek, 80 years from the original not including parts of the NT that are even closer in time - John Rylands (John) 90 AD 130 AD 40 years; Magdalene Ms (Matthew 26) 1st century 50-60 AD co-existent.
No other document in history has had the manuscript authority, the historical integrity or the impact worldwide as this book. Love it or hate it – history cannot be denied.
Let me return to my definition - for it is two fold. Not only does the Bible on it’s own merit deserve to be considered significant, but it can be even more significant based on its message. What it can do as far as impact is seen by the obvious change that takes place in the lives of those who have read and followed its teachings.
The depth of the message in the Bible has changed every society it has come into contact with. It has a moral code that produces a standard that is not relative. Every society that has adopted this code has moved to a higher quality of life. Human life is elevated to something that is to be treasured. Wisdom flows from the pages of this book. This wisdom expounds into all realms for living.
The book describes our Creator, who He is, and His desire to have an intimate relationship with us, and how that relationship can happen. The Bible shows us the evidence that the Creator exists, as evidenced by His love for us and how He has preserved us. It describes our state in this life as a very small part of our existence, confirming that our spirit will live forever, and how a person can know for sure, where and how their spirit will exist after this short part of life is over. The Bible presents the perfect plan that the Creator designed from the beginning, and how he supplied a way to enter into a relationship with Him. It states that each person was part of the original plan, not an accident, which is what this world has to offer. It makes it clear that this life is made up of much more than what we can see. Communication, family life, work ethic, relationships on all levels, finances. Its pages even teach you how to learn to live with yourself. It tells you how to control your anger, your lusts and your pride. The Bible teaches the importance of forgiveness, resisting doing what is wrong and many other areas of life. Taking us from a personal perspective to the bigger view of life on to the most important view--eternity.
Is the Bible significant? I believe anyone honest would have to say yes. It’s uniqueness alone makes it significant. How significant can it be? That is up to you. You can view it merely as an extraordinary historical book, though you will miss the purpose of this book if you do. It was written to be a doorway to the knowledge of the One who made you. It offers you the way to bring purpose to your life, and a confidence of your destiny. It will lead you into the way of integrity and help you see yourself accomplish things that matter in life. It will educate you on what is and what is not essential in life. It does not promise dreams. Instead it brings reality. It lays a foundation that will allow you to build a life with no major regrets. It removes the agony of having to base life on emotions that are tossed up and down by circumstances. The Bible provides a life that is based on truth. Truth remains truth no matter what the circumstances are. And even though human emotions will remain an important part of our existence, we no longer need to be controlled by them. We can receive our direction and guidance from the truth, because the truth will set you free!