Sunday, July 13, 2014

All About The Bible

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

It’s been said that “The Bible is the best-selling, least read, and least understood book in human history.”  Many people know about the Bible, and think we know what’s in it.. But most don’t actually take the time to find out!  For example, did you know…

…that the word “Bible” actually means “Book”, and is actually a compilation of 66 separate books, each written for a different purpose over a period of approximately 1600 years (from about 1500 BC to AD 100), by perhaps hundreds men (and maybe even a few women)?

…that the 66 individual books are written in at least 10 differing literary styles (such as law, history, poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic, gospel, epistle, etc.), none of which is meant to be read and/or interpreted exactly alike?

…that the current listing of books in the Bible wasn’t established until 367 AD, that those books weren’t divided into Chapters until 1238, and that the Chapters weren’t separated into Verses until 1551?

…that the entire Bible has been translated into over 500 languages, and that at least a portion of the Bible has been translated into over 2500 languages?

…that the English language is home to around 75 different Bible translations?  And while the King James Version (KJV) was the first widely-used English translation, today other translations are much more popular, including the New International Version (NIV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and Common English Bible (CEB) that we use in worship each week. (Note: popular versions like the “Good News Bible” and “The Message” are actually Bible paraphrases, and not true Bible translations).

…that though the Christian Bible has been written over a long period of time by many people, no other single book has transformed so people or affected so much of history as much as it has?

Want to know more? The best way to learn about and experience the transformative power of the Bible is to do so in community.  To that end, our church offers “Disciple” Bible Study as one opportunity.  If you never have, I pray that you will consider taking one of the “Disciple” classes now forming, and that if you have had one, that you’ll consider taking one you haven’t yet had (there’s at least one new study this year). Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

[For more information the “Disciple” Bible Study opportunities that begin this August, CLICK HERE]


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