As you are probably aware when the Bible was first written down the material that it was written on was perishable. The printing press would not be invented for hundreds of years so during the time between the actual events described in the Bible, the recording of those events in written form, and the invention of the printing press the Bible was hand copied over and over.
The amazing thing about the Bible is that in all those years of hand writing the accurateness and correctness of the copies did not diminish in the least!
The Bible has ten times more manuscript evidence than any other ten ancient documents combined! John Warwick Montgomery said, “ to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”
Bernard Ramm, commenting on the accuracy of the New Testament said, “Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved. They kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word and paragraph. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity – scribes, lawyers, massoretes. Who ever counted the letters and syllables and words of Plato or Aristotle? Cicero or Seneca?”
That exactness in its preservation led to another category in which the Bible far outshines any other writing. It’s circulation. It is rare for a book to sell a million copies ever. It is rarer still to find one that has sold ten million copies. The Bible has sold billions of copies! That’s right billions!
In 1998 alone the United Bible Societies reported that their member organizations distributed 20.8 million complete Bibles and another 20.1 million New Testaments. When portions of scripture and selections are also included, the total distribution that year exceeded 585 million copies in a single year and that only includes members in their society!
No other book has ever even come close to the Bible’s circulation! It is truly a remarkably unique book!
Let’s consider a little more if it.
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. 32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
Answer these questions:
- Why were the people amazed at Jesus’ teaching? (Mark1:22)
- What did the evil spirit know about Jesus? (Mark1:24)
- What did Simon’s mother-in-law do after Jesus healed her? (Mark1:31)
- Who did the people bring to Jesus to be healed? (Mark1:32)
Remember to post your questions.