What’s Special about the Bible?

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 Staying true to my admonition in the last section to base what we believe, and consequently our faith on factual and accurate information, a necessary question prior to using the Bible as the foundation of our discipleship efforts is “What makes the Bible special?”  Let me tell you…

The Bible is a book…

Written over a 1500 year span;

Written over 40 generations;

Written by more than 40 authors, from every walk of life – including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc.:

                         Moses, a political leader, trained in the universities of Egypt

                        Peter, a fisherman

                        Amos, a herdsman

                        Joshua, a military general

                        Nehemiah, a cupbearer

                        Daniel, a prime minister

                        Luke, a doctor

                        Solomon, a king

                        Matthew, a tax collector

                        Paul, a rabbi

Written in different places:

                        Moses in the wilderness

                        Jeremiah in a dungeon

                        Daniel on a hillside and in a palace

                        Paul inside prison walls

                        Luke while traveling

                        John on the isle of Patmos

                        Others in the rigors of a military campaign

Written at different times:

                        David in times of war

                        Solomon in times of peace

Written during different moods:

                        Some writing from the heights of joy and

                        Others from the depths of sorrow and despair

Written on three continents:

                       Asia, Africa, Europe

Written in three languages:

                        Hebrew, the language of the old Testament

                        Aramaic, the common language of the Near East until the time                          of Alexander the Great

                        Greek, the New Testament language at the time of Christ

Finally, its subject matter includes hundreds of controversial topics.  Yet, the biblical authors spoke with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation.  There is one unfolding story: “God’s redemption of man.”

(Borrowed from Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell)

Only a book written by a sovereign God who transcends both time and space could have put the bible together as He did.  For these reasons and many more we can trust that the bible is God’s word and our guide for life and conduct.

Now that we have established the validity of the Bible let’s begin studying it.

I would like for you to begin in the book of Mark.  It is one of the Gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus.  You can find it in the front of the New Testament which is about two-thirds to the back of most Bibles.

The chapters of each book are numbered and so are the verses.  This was done many years after the time of Jesus to give a sort of index to the words in the Bible so that people could refer to things easier.

Begin with Mark chapter one verses 1-8 which is usually written Mark 1:1-8.  In case you don’t have a Bible here is what it says…

1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— 3 “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ” 4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 See if you can find the answers to these questions:

  1. What did the prophet Isaiah say that John would do?  (Mark 1:2,3)
  2. What two things did John do to prepare the way for Jesus? (Mark 1:4)
  3. What kind of baptism did John preach and preform?  (Mark 1:4)
  4. What did John say Jesus would baptize with?  (Mark 1:8)

Remember if you have any questions at all you can comment on it and I will answer them with a future posting.

Great work!  See you later!

 Roy

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