WHAT IS GOD’S WORD

Lesson No. 3

 

(HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT)

 

 

SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLE

 

            #1.  THE BIBLE = SCRIPTURES = WRITINGS

There are over 12,000 manuscripts (over 5,500 in the New Testament) to prove the existence of the Bible. No other book in existence has near that amount of existing manuscripts extending over such a long period of time.

           

            #2.  THE BIBLE IS THE OLDEST BOOK IN THE WORLD

 

The Bible has been in continuous use (approximately 3,500 years) since books were first written.

 

            #3.  THE BIBLE IS BY FAR THE MOST POPULAR BOOK IN THE WORLD

 

                        The most widely read book ever published.

 

            #4.  THE BIBLE IS THE ONLY BOOK:

 

The only book with a clear, understandable, and truthful record of creation, the great flood, and the end of the world.

 

            #5.  THE BIBLE IS THE ONLY BOOK:

 

                        That gives mankind a reason for living. (1 Corinthians 6:20, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5)

 

            #6.  THE BIBLE IS THE ONLY BOOK:

 

                        Solves the riddle of the crazy days we are living in today. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12,  1 Timothy 4:1-3, 2 Timothy 3: 1-13, 2 Timothy 4:3-4,

                                2 Peter 2:1-22, 2 Peter 3:1-7,  Jude 17-19)

 

            #7.  THE BIBLE IS THE ONLY BOOK:

 

To accurately foretell the future in detail and never have a prophecy fail.

 

Christ’s 1st. Coming: (Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, Jeremiah 31:15, Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 3:1)

 

Israel’s Rebirth: (Ezekiel 37:1-14, Hosea 9:10, Joel 1:7, Matthew 24:32-34, Mark 13:28-30,  Luke 21:29-32)

 

Christ’s 2nd. Coming: (Matthew 24:1-51, Mark 13:1-37, Luke 21:1-38, Acts 1:9-11, Acts 3:18-21, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18,

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

 

(Over 1,000 prophecies in The Book – many still to come)

 

            #8.  THE BIBLE - WRITTEN ENTIRELY BE JEWS 

(Luke – The only possible exception) Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 30:10-14, Deuteronomy 32:1-4, Isaiah 45:23, Isaiah 55:10-11,

Ezekiel 3:10, Romans 3:1-2

 

 

            President Garfield visited the Metropolitan Tabernacle (Charles Spurgeon - pastor) with great interest in 1867, and his personal journal published after his death says of that visit: “C. H. Spurgeon evidently proceeded upon the assumption that the Bible, all the Bible, in it’s very words and phrases is the word of God, and, that a microscopic examination of it will reveal ever-opening beauties and blessings”.

 

            Now that is what a former president of the United States thought Charles Spurgeon believed about the Bible after just one visit to the Metropolitan Tabernacle. What do you suppose that Charles Spurgeon really believed about The Book?

 

 

“I do not believe that, from one cover to the other, there is any mistake in it of any sort whatever, either upon natural or physical science, or upon history or anything whatever. I am prepared to believe whatever it says, and to take it believing it to be the Word of God; for if it is not all true, it is not worth one solitary penny to me. It may be to the man who is so wise that he can pick out the true from the false; but I am such a fool that I could not do that. If I do not have a guide here that is infallible, I would as soon guide myself, for I shall have to do so after all; I shall be correcting the blunders of my guide continually; but I am not qualified to do that, and so I am worse off than if I had not any guide at all . . . . . . SIT THOU DOWN, REASON, AND LET FAITH RISE UP.”

 

                Charles Hadden Spurgeon

 

 

TIME TO READ THE BIBLE = 71 HOURS

 

(52 Hours - Old Testament & 19 Hours – New Testament)

 

            If you read the Bible 8 hours a day it would take 9 days to read.

           

            If you read the Bible 4 hours a day it would take 18 days to read.

 

If you read the Bible 2 hours a day it would take 36 days to read.

 

If you read the Bible 1 hour a day it would take 72 days to read.

 

If you read the Bible 1/2 hour a day it would take 144 days to read.

 

If you read the Bible 15 minutes a day it would take 288 days to read.

 

If you read the Bible 10 minutes a day it would take 365 days (one year) to read.

 

 

The Holy Bible = God’s Holy and Infallible Word

 

            The Bible has 66 Books. (39 Books – Old Testament & 27 Books – New Testament)

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT = 39 Books

 

                The Jews divided their Scriptures (Old Testament) into 3 Sections:

 

                                                THE LAW

 

THE PROPHETS

 

THE WRITINGS

 

THE BOOKS OF THE LAW 

 

The Law was given to Moses (Exodus 24: 3-4; 12)

 

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy

 

Written by Moses (Deuteronomy 31:24; Mark 2:26; John 5:46; John 7:19)

 

           

 

 After Moses wrote The Law, what happened to these writings? 

 

THE LAW WAS ENTRUSTED TO THE PRIESTS

(Deuteronomy 31:1-13; Deuteronomy 31: 24-26)

 

(The priests from the tribe of Levi were given the responsibility for the copying and preservation of The Scriptures).

 

THE PROPHETS

 

Written by the men who held the official Office of Prophet to Israel.

 

A Prophet was a man from the Nation of Israel, called by God to serve Him, who preached, prophesized, warned, and worked in the Jewish Nation. Either he or his scribe wrote a record of his ministry to Israel.   

 

The Books called The Prophets were divided into two sections:

 

            THE FORMER PROPHETS

 

Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings

 

THE LATTER PROPHETS

 

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

 

THE WRITINGS

 

The Books of the Writings were written by men who were inspired by God, but did not hold the position or Office of Prophet. David and Solomon were inspired, but they were Kings. Job, though inspired, was not a prophet. Even Daniel, who prophesized, and whom we (Christians) hold to be a Prophet, did not labor among the Nation of Israel as the Prophets did before and after him.

 

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song Of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles

 

THE LAW, THE PROPHETS, & THE WRITINGS make up what we (Christians) call:

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT CANON  (Canon = a measuring rod or rule)

 

            The Old Testament Canon is the Jewish standard for the Scriptures and simply means that these are all the Books of Scripture that the Jews recognized and accepted as being The Holy Word of God at the time of Christ’s first coming.

 

            The Lord Jesus Christ quotes from Psalms, Daniel, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Deuteronomy, Exodus, and many other Books of the Old Testament. The Lord referred to or quoted over 400 Old Testament Scriptures in The 4 Gospels. During The Lord’s entire ministry here on earth, not once did he ever question or doubt whether he was using, reading or handling the word of God!

 

            The Scriptures clearly demonstrate that the Priests were entrusted with the Law, but what about the rest of The Old Testament Scriptures? THERE IS NO RECORD, NO INSTRUCTIONS in the Old Testament. However, we know from history, that the Jewish scribes faithfully copied all of the Books from The Old Testament Canon, not just The Law (Romans 3:1-2). Don’t forget, Daniel has all of The Old Testament (Daniel 9:1-6) up to his time (the Babylonian Captivity).

 

After the Captivity, the Jews returned to Palestine and Ezra sets about to teach the people what?  THE HOLY SCRIPTURES!

 

Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.

7 And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.

 8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.

 9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.

10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

11  Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.

 

The Jews either took the Scriptures back with them or God miraculously restored the Scriptures to them (WITHOUT ERROR). How do we know this? Because The Lord Jesus Christ never once questioned the authenticity of the Scriptures that He and the Jews of his time used. And neither did Paul, Peter, John James, or any other disciple or apostle. (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

 

Up until the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ the Priests (scribes) of the tribe of Levi kept and preserved the Holy Scriptures. The Lord recognized this and approved of their authority.

 

Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

                     3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye

                        after their works: for they say, and do not.

 

            After the Atonement was made with the sacrificial death and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. And following His resurrection and ascension, the Jews continued to keep and faithfully copy the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, the AV-KJB text of the Old Testament comes from this Jewish text (known as the Massoretic Text) – NOT from the Gnostic, philosophical, depraved text of the gentiles!

 

            After the first three centuries of the existence of the church and up to the Reformation most Christians didn’t use the Old Testament very much. But the Jews kept faithfully copying and preserving the Old Testament Holy Scriptures.

 

            The following is a quotation on Bible Inspiration from John Wesley.

 

“The Bible must be the invention of good men or Angels, bad men or devils, or of God!

 

(1) It could not be the invention of good men or Angels, for they neither would nor could make a book and tell lies all the time they were writing it saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord’, when it was their own invention.

 

(2) It could not be the invention of bad men or devils, for they could not make a book which commands all duty, forbids sins, and condemns their own souls to Hell for all eternity.

 

(3) Therefore I draw the conclusion that the Bible must be given by Divine Inspiration.”

 

 

 

THE STANDARD, OR TEST, OF CANONICITY

 

            In order that a book mat be acknowledged as canonical, as worthy of a place in the Sacred Canon, five tests are applied:

 

            1. Divine Authorship. Inspiration - Is it inspired? Was it given by God through the Spirit through men; or did it come from man alone?

 

            2. Human authorship. Was it written, edited, dictated, or endorsed by a prophet, or spokesman for God?

 

            3. Genuineness. Is it genuine? Can it be traced back to the time and to the writer from whom it professes to have come? Or, if the writer cannot be named positively, can it be shown to contain the same matter, in every essential point, as it contained when written?

 

            4. Authenticity. Is it authentic? Is it true? Is it a record of actual facts?

 

            5. Testimony. In modern times another test is included: the testimony of orthodox Jews, the early Jewish church, the early and latter Christian churches, the so-called church “fathers”, and the ancient versions of the Bible in other languages.

 

            Each of these tests should be considered separately. The first two, however, dealing with divine authorship and endorsement, are sufficiently strong to settle the question of canonicity and authority. And if a book is inspired of God it must be genuine and authentic; He does not inspire deceptions and falsehoods!