The Holy Bible is a unique and amazing collection of ancient writings. It is unique in that it is the inspired (God breathed) word of the Almighty God. How can we say that? Because it claims that distinction and has amazing facts and features to confirm that claim. Bear with us and attempt to keep an open mind as we delve into this most amazing of all books.
Let's always keep in mind this, that the Bible is not a single book, written and bound at one time, by one author, etc. Rather, it is a compilation of sixty-six writings. The first five of these writings, or books, are almost unanimously credited to Moses hand. The first book, Genesis, gives us a rather brief, yet amazingly thorough history of man from the creation for well over 2,000 years. The best (or at least shortest) computation is a period of 2,369 years. This, in itself is rather amazing, since it covers over one-third of the estimated time which has expired since the creation. It is important to keep in mind, the times these books were written, by whom and to whom. In fact, if nothing whatsoever is known concerning those three things, it becomes impossible to fully understand the value and the requirements for Christians, of the entire Bible. The remaining 34 books which comprise the Old Testament, were written over a period of approximately 1,300 years. They were written by prophets largely, with a few being written by kings such as David, Solomon, and a few lesser known kings.
No inspired writings have been found which were written during a period of about 300 years before the birth of Jesus the Christ. Then , from about 40 A.D. on until near the end of the first century, we have the writings of the Apostles and other inspired followers of our Lord which comprise the 27 books of the New Testament. Now to summarize this briefly, we have a total of 66 writings (books) that were written over a period of time between 1,500 and 2,000 years with a historical account of approximately 4,100 years. Although the authors of a few of the books are not known for a certainty, it is thought that there are at least 40 writers involved. The fact that this many men, living centuries apart, from different nations and localities, left writings that so beautifully fit together and harmonize, is one of the major factors that leave the skeptics speechless in astonishment.
Now, with these facts in mind, let's look at how we managed to come by the Bible as we now have and know it. Since printing was not invented for some 1400 years after the last of these sacred documents were written, they were of course, handwritten on whatever type of materials they had at the time. Needless to say, the pieces of wood, papyrus, parchments, etc. that were used would not be expected to remain in good condition and the writing legible for long periods of time. This, plus the fact that one copy of some message would be inadequate if numerous peoples were to read or hear it read. Therefore, through the ages, many scribes spent hours, days, even weeks, meticulously hand copying these documents. (Their faith in the authenticity and value of them, is another factor which indicates something more than just another document by another uninspired writer.) Because of this widespread practice, a great number of copies of these ancient writings have been preserved.
Our Fathers before us are due a great deal of gratitude, for many having dedicated their lives to the preservation and spreading of the holy writings. When printing was invented, the first book printed was the Gutenberg Bible. The Bible has been translated into more than 1,000 languages, at least in part. The entire Bible is translated into approximately 200 languages.
It has consistently been the best selling book in the world. Even the greatest of secular best-seller books are completely overshadowed by it’s enormous annual sales throughout the world. No other book is studied as much as the Bible and still, it is not studied as much as it should be. Week after week, millions of teachers and scholars read and meditate upon these holy words.
And yet, no other book has been attacked as vehemently and often as has this book. Many have tried to destroy it, discredit it, disprove it, all to no avail. It must be disheartening to it's critics to see this book constantly proving itself and showing the foolishness of their efforts. The noted infidel Voltaire once said, " In fifty years from now, the Bible will not be read any longer." Voltaire has been dead now for some 200 years and the Bible survives and is being read daily by many millions of people. In times past, and I am told it still happens in some places, men tried to rid the earth of this book by confiscating and burning copies as they were found. Perhaps they could accomplish more if they would only heed the writings they try to destroy and apply their energies to good works. Jesus said "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."(Matthew 24:35)
Now, if there is an omnipotent (all powerful) being who can create the universe and all that is in it simply by speaking the command (and there is), and if this being spoke into existence a planet within this universe, and created man from the dust of that planet (and He did), would it not be logical to think that he put man there for a specific purpose and that he would reveal that purpose to him? Of course this is logical, in fact it would be illogical to think otherwise. And this he has done, through divine inspiration of chosen men down through the ages, God has revealed his purpose, his plan and his requirements for man. He has protected and preserved this revelation down to this time so that man can know what he is required to do to please this almighty being. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Ephesians 1: 4) Thus, God has hereby revealed his purpose for man. And again, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)
The two scripture quotations above tell us briefly what we are doing here and what God expects of us. What they do not tell us is that we can do these required things in any way we please. It is man's responsibility to study the revelation that God has given us, the Holy Bible, and to obey it. We, of the Highway 9 church of Christ, are devoted to helping everyone that we possibly can, to study and learn God's revealed word and we implore that all people accept and render obedience to these Holy Scriptures while there is still time.