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What Do We Know About the Bible?

We know that it was written over the course of several hundred years, starting with Moses. We know that archaeology, history, science and philosophy have shown the Bible to be factual and consistent. We know that many of the people writing in the New Testament were with Jesus during the time of His ministry, and that the timeline in the Gospels, which were written by different people, is consistent between the four of them.

We know from Paul’s letter to the Galatians and Revelation given to John that people adding to or subtracting from the Bible are not going to fare well. According to Paul, those preaching a different gospel than the one taught by Jesus himself will be accursed. (Gal 1:1-12) In Revelation, anyone who adds to the book will suffer plagues, and anyone who takes away from the book will lose his share in the tree of life and the holy city. (Rev 22:12-20)

We hear the history of the world and the promise of the Savior’s coming in the Old Testament. God created the earth in the beginning. After the fall into sin with Adam and Eve, we are given a promise of a great sacrifice when Abraham is commanded to place his only son on the altar. Because of his great faith, God blesses Abraham and spares his son. A lamb is provided for the sacrifice.

Throughout the Old Testament we read of great men and women of God. People who risked their lives to proclaim the glory of God, to rebuke those who had fallen away, and to proclaim God’s goodness and mercy to all. We read of the coming of the Savior as a little child.

The New Testament starts with the story of the birth of Jesus. Imagine how hard that was for both Mary and Joseph. And yet, that same story is written by two different men who were not working on their books at the same time.

Jesus taught his Apostles and the crowds of people about God and what was to come with his own death and resurrection. He traveled throughout the country telling the people of what was to come.

After His death and resurrection, the Apostles started teaching in His place. They were now going outside the familiar country to places such as Rome, Galatia, and Corinth. Because they were not staying in one place to teach, it became important for the Apostles to start sending letters back to the congregations in the different areas. These letters were then copied for posterity. Looking at these letters and trying to decipher them, it was found that there were minimal errors in them, and those errors did not change the context of the writing.

Archaeology has shown that places mentioned in the Bible really did exist. Various countries and cities talked about in Luke have been verified as having existed in the time frame listed in his Gospel.

Having been proven to be historically accurate through various scientific methods as well as having been able to look at early copies of the writings, it is a reasonable conclusion that the prophecies in the Book of Revelation are also accurate. These prophecies detail the end of the old earth and the coming of the new heaven and the new earth.

Whether you read the Bible purely as a history, or to better communicate with God and grow closer to Him, or for the prophecy, it is good to read it. Read it, ponder it, journal it.   

 

References: The Lutheran Study Bible; www.gotquestions.org; www.everystudent.com

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It Just Happened

Science estimates that our universe started 13.7 billion years ago with a “big bang”. However, no cause for this bang has been suggested. It just happened.

Scientists say that humans and all animals evolved from some sort of primordial ooze. No mention of how that “ooze” started. It just happened.

Scientists now say that humans, in their infinite greed and lack of care for the environment, are killing the earth. They say that “climate change” is caused by humans using fossil fuels and not protecting the environment.

Compare that with the Biblical story of creation in Genesis. God formed the world, the sun, the moon, the planets, the waters, the earth, all animals, and finally, humans. There was darkness over the whole earth until God said, “Let there be light”. God then separated the light from the darkness to create Day and Night. From that point on, each day saw a new phase of creation. At the end of each day, God saw that what was created was good. At the end of six days, God had completed the creation of the world with all its vegetation, animals, and humans. He rested on the seventh day.

Sin came into the world when Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. God gave us the ability to make decisions that were not necessarily in our best interests. He gave us free will. With that free will, we can choose to follow Him, or not. He doesn’t force us.

Because of sin, some choices that are made are selfish and self-centered. We can choose to help others, or not. We can choose to take care of our much-loved pets, or not. We can choose to raise our children to become thoughtful, caring adults, or not. Those same children can then choose to be thoughtful and caring, or not.

We can choose to use God’s gifts wisely, or not.

The end of the earth is foretold in Revelation. The first heaven and the first earth pass away and there is a new Heaven and a new Earth. There is no time frame for this rebirth, as only God knows when the end times will occur. However, with the preaching of the Gospel, we are in a time of preparation for these end times.

We are called to listen to the Word of God both in our own Bible reading as well as in fellowship and communion in the church. The Bible gives us a history of the world, much of which science has been able to confirm. There are many archeological sites that have confirmed Biblical accounts. There are also sites that have raised questions that we have so far not been able to answer.

When we read the Bible and listen to the Word of God preached without it being taken out of context, we can look at our own lives to see how we measure up. (We usually fall far short of what God expects.) Jesus, however, is our advocate with the Father. When we believe in Him, when we rely upon Him, He intercedes for us. God has mercy on us for Jesus’ sake.

We need to look at ourselves and our actions. Are we taking care of God’s creation in a way that is pleasing to Him? Are we living our lives as God’s people? Are we willing to listen to Him? Are we giving Him thanks and praise for His goodness and love toward us?

Or do we say that we have done it ourselves. That we are here because of some primordial ooze that just happened?

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