The Bible: A Holy Book

1 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Hebrews 6:18 says, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”

1 Peter 1:24-25 says, “24For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

2 Peter 1:19-21 says, “19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

The Bible is a holy and precious Book. The reason is because it is not man’s idea of God or how to get to Him, but it is His Word that was made manifest to the believers of old. The stories of many miracles in scripture testify of the handiwork of God’s healing, saving, and delivering power, one that is still at work till this very day. Those ancient prophecies, visions, and dreams were written as men and women were moved upon by the Holy Ghost! It holds the very answers and elements of truth that all of us can apply to our lives. All we have to do is read it, meditate on it, speak it, pray it, and apply it so that we can obtain the same results as people like the three Hebrew children in the fire, Daniel in the lion’s den, the lame man at Gate Beautiful, the woman with the issue of blood, and countless others. It is faith in His Word and obedience to the Bible that make all of the difference!

Many people only read and use the scripture for the wrong reasons. Some twist the Bible and take passages outside of their historical or literary context in order to support a bad or addictive habit that is absolutely destroying them. Others only read the Bible in an attempt to debate with and humiliate someone else. The Bible is not here and translated into our language for us to bring and tear down others, but rather to edify, encourage, strengthen, and lead them into divine truth. When followed, the Bible gives life and life more abundantly!

Some accuse the Bible as being filled with many contradictions. However, there is not one single contradiction in it! The Old Testament was Jesus Christ concealed, foreshadowing the coming Savior of the world, while the New Testament was Christ revealed, which led to the birth of the church! The Word This Word cannot lie, neither can it return void, but it has proved itself as absolute truth. The fact is that there are 225 verses in the Muslim Qur’an, which are cancelled out by later ones. The biggest contradiction in the Qur’an (Koran) is that it says the Qur’an can be contradicted at any time. God can change his mind, and change verses in the Qur’an, with or without telling Muslims. This principle is called the “Doctrine of Abrogation.” The doctrine arose from a practical dilemma. Muhammad wanted to marry his daughter-in-law, but he had already “revealed” the suras that prohibit Muslims from marrying their daughters in law. Muhammad’s solution was the doctrine of abrogation – the idea that Allah, through Muhammad, can change his mind about anything at anytime and Muslims have to shut up and obey. (link) The Mormons also believe that a later prophet can cancel out an earlier prophet. While religions such as these support contradictions, Christianity does not! The only thing that God cancels out is your sin when you humble yourself, pray, seek his face, and repent from your sins (2 Chronicles 7:14). The Bible can and should always be trusted as absolute truth!

Finally, some argue that the Bible has been corrupted over the years and cannot be trusted, and the argument is based upon the certain books not being canonized and the various translations of scripture. Although I do not fully understand why some books were not canonized into our modern-day Bible, I have to put my trust in the fact that these men who decided what books would make up the Holy Bible were led by the Holy Ghost, and the books that were left out must have lacked some form of authenticity, or they were more historical books instead of God’s divine act. There are various translations of scripture so that people can better understand what the verses are saying. Now, if the translation corrupts the original and overall meaning of the text, then it needs to be thrown out the door! Some translations, such as the King James Version Bible and the New American Standard Bible, are literal translations of scripture, where as books like the Message Bible paraphrases what the Bible is saying. The Message Bible would appeal more to the younger generation because they can read the Bible in their language, while the KJV and NASB are for those who are more mature in the faith and want to know word-for-word exactly what God is speaking to them. The KJV is a translation of a translation into the old English language, whereas the NASB is the literally translation of the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic into the American English. Although we do not say “thee, thou, and thy” in today’s society, I have a great respect for the KJV and use it in preaching because of the countless number of people whose blood was shed so that I have this Bible in my hands today, learning, reading, and preaching it. One man who paid the price was William Tyndale.

“It would be wrong to translate God’s holy Word into English,” the Doctor of Divinity said sternly.  “Only a language like Latin or Greek is able to fully convey God’s truth.  English is a vulgar language–fine for plowmen and shopkeepers, but hardly suitable for the Bible.”

Willaim Tyndale’s eyes blazed.  He was a highly educated man, fluent in several languages, including Greek and Hebrew.  “Not only can an accurate English translation be done, it should be done.  The Scriptures of God are being hidden from the people’s eyes.  The only way that poor people can read and see the simple, plain Word of God is if it is turned into their mother tongue, English.”  In the early 1500s, only scholars could read God’s Word.  The only legal Bible was in Latin, which most of the common people could not understand.  Since they could not read God’s Word for themselves, they had to rely upon what others told them it said.

It was illegal to own an English Bible or even memorize Scripture in English.  In fact, in 1519, seven Christians were burned at the stake in Coventry, England, for teaching their children the Lord’s prayer and the Ten Commandments in English!

Before long, the two men were arguing heatedly.  Tyndale quoted Scriptures, the doctor quoted man-made tradition and church rules.  Finally, the Doctor of Divinity shouted, “It would be better to be without God’s laws than without the Pope’s”

Tyndale courageously replied, “I defy the Pope and all his laws!  In fact, if God spares my life, I intend to make it possible for a common farmer, a plowman, to know more of the Scripture than you do!”

Within a year of Tyndale’s conversation with the Doctor of Divinity, he decided it was no longer safe for him to stay in England, so he traveled to Germany.  There he lived under an assumed name while he worked to finish his translation.  When spies from England found him in Germany, he escaped to Belgium, where he printed thousands of his New Testaments.

In 1526, Tyndale’s English New Testament began trickling into England.  The Scriptures, now referred to as the “pirate edition,” were made smaller than conventional books.  This size was easier to smuggle into bales of cotton and containers of wheat being shipped into England.

As copies poured into England, they were eagerly bought and read by all sorts of ordinary people, who often sat up all night reading them or hearing them read.  When the Bishop of London discovered the New Testaments, he bought as many as he could on the black market, paying full price for them.  He declared, “I intend to burn and destroy them all.”  The merchant who had smuggled them into England gave the money to Tyndale, who then printed three times as many in a revised version.  The Bishop of London had unknowingly become Tyndale’s foremost financial supporter!

When Tyndale heard the Bibles were being thrown into the fire, he said, “I expected they would burn the New Testaments.  I expect they want to burn me too!  This may yet happen, if it is God’s will.  Even so, I know I did my duty in translating the New Testament.”

Within the next ten years, Tyndale’s New Testament was widely distributed throughout England.  Bible truths were now available to everyone, and many people discovered they could have a personal relationship with God based on His Word.  At the same time, anyone caught with this illegal book faced severe persecution.  Prisons were overflowing and thousands of Christians were executed.  Weekly, reports of the persecutions would come to Tyndale, who remained in exile in Europe and continued his translation of the Old Testament.  Two of Tyndale’s close friend were burned at the stake.  Even church officials, once persecutors, became martyrs after finding truth in Tyndale’s work.

In the spring of 1535, a man named Henry Phillips arrived in Antwerp, where Tyndale had been hiding.  In hope’s of a reward, Phillips took it on himself to betray Tyndale.  He befriended Tyndale, noting that he was “simple and inexpert in the wily subtleties of this world.”  Before Tyndale knew what was happening, Phillips had set an ambush for him.

Tyndale spent the next 18 months in prison near Brussels, Belgium.  With the help of Miles Coverdale, he was able to complete part of the Old Testament.  During his stay in prison, his powerful preaching and the sincerity of his life greatly influenced those around him.  The jailer, the jailer’s daughter, and others of his household accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.

On October 6, 1536, Tyndale was taken from his dungeon and strangled.  Then his body was burned.  His last words were a fervent prayer:  “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”

God honored Tyndale’s prayer.  Within three years, the King of England gave instructions that a copy of the “Great Bible” completed by Tyndale’s co-worker, Coverdale, including Tyndale’s New Testament, be placed in every church in England!

Tyndale’s translation was so accurate that 75 years later, when the King James version of the Bible was published, it was based largely upon Tyndale’s work.  In fact, about 90% of the words remain exactly as he wrote them! (“Jesus Freaks,”  pages 210-213, copyright 1999)

So, instead of allowing dust to pile up on your Bible, read and respect it. Understand that this is a holy and precious Book, and should be highly revered in our lives. While many try to take it out of the public educational system, they encourage it in the prison cell. Before waiting for some form of imprisonment or catastrophe to take place, read and obey it now! Honor those who have died for us to be able to read the Word of God by reading it, knowing that it holds the keys to unlock all truth and any breakthrough that you need in your life!