The Holy Bible - An Introduction

Picture of the Holy Bible laying on a table top

The Holy Bible is a collection of 66 books, which are divided into two sections known as the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament documents make up a total of 39 of the 66 books, and were penned over a period spanning several thousand years. These documents were meticulously copied and preserved through the ages by the priests and Levites, who considered the writings to be the direct revelation of God spoken through the prophets, and therefore sacrosanct.

The remaining documents that make up the remaining 27 books of the New Testament, consist of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Acts (eye witness accounts of the formation of the early church), and letters (20 in total - Romans, 1Corinthians, 2Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1Timothy, 2Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1Peter, 2Peter, 1John, 2John, 3John, Jude ) from the apostles to the early churches spread throughout Asia. The remaining two books of the New Testament that have not been mentioned thus far, namely the book of Revelation and the book of Hebrews are considred by some to be the most important books of the New Testament Cannon.

The book of Revelation was given by Jesus Christ to St John in a series of visions, on the isle of Patmos and concerns future events that will cumulate in the visible return of Jesus Christ to the earth and the restoration of all things before sin, sickness and suffering entered into the creation. The book of Hebrews, by contrast, sheds light on many things pertaining to the mystery of Christ, that is His death and resurrection and sanctifying work in every true believer. Indeed, the book of Hebrews in many ways is like a treasure trove that contains many literary gems or snippets of information that may either bring clarity to other scriptures throughout the bible, or a totally new revelation such as the existence of other worlds in the universe. Heb 1:2 and Heb 11:3.

Old Testament Vs New Testament

Many people, including some of those who call themselves Christian and who, really should know better, believe the old testament to be a collection of dusty old writings, which consist of rules and regulations that are no longer valid or releveant since the New testament writings about Jesus came into existence. Whilst it is true that Jesus brought in a new covenant, that covenant does not invalidate the old testament writings in any way shape or form. Moreover, some people would go so far as to say that the old testament contains many folk ledgends and/or myths that have been passed down through the generations. In fact, it may surprise the reader to learn that Jesus Christ either appears directly, or is reffered to indirectly as well as directly by way of prophesy on many, many pages throughout the old testament. In fact, far from being seperate entities, the old testament and new testament documents are interwoven in such a way as to validate the whole package as the complete word of God.

For example, the book of Revelation draws heavily on old testament imagery and is the key to unravelling the otherwise weird imagry contained in the visions of St John.

Bible Criticisms

Many people criticize the bible for being its own source of authenticity. In other words, people say that events recorded in the bible, particularly those relating to the existence of Jesus Chist have no real evidence of their existence outside of the bible itself, and therefore, should not be considered as evidence that the events recorded in the bible actually happened. This is wrong on two fronts. Firstly, all the documents that make up the bible, at one time existed as separate documents in their own right - just like any other document or piece of archeological evidence that exists in the secular world. The fact that the evidence has been gathered up and put into one place does not negate its authenticity in any way, shape or form. Secondly, there is ample evidence from archeological findings that confirm many of the old testament documents as being historically accurate. In actual fact, so much archeological evidence has been found to support the old testament, especially when it comes to bible prophesy, that many scholars have tried to ‘late-date’ the scriptures to make it seem as though the scriptures had been written after the fact. Moreover, there is also extra biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus outside of the bible by many secular historians.

The irony is that many of those who criticize the bible, by their own admission, think of themselves as enlightened individuals or free thinkers who are far too intellectual to believe in a bunch of fairy stories contained in the bible. The irony is, that many of these people are not the free thinkers and enlightened souls they make themselves out to be, and certainly lack any real intellectual capacity. This is evidenced by the fact that, when confronted with the truth, many of these people cannot reason sufficiently to see the errors behind their own logic - let alone put forth a contrary argument without retorting to insults. See Evolution The Mst Insidious Lie for a more in depth discussion.

The Preservation of God's Holy Word

The ancient Israelites had a system of copying the manuscripts, whereby the original documents were stored in the Ark of The Covenant by the priests in order that the Holy, God-breathed word of the prophets and kings of Israel be preserved for future generations. The stored scriptures (Masters) were only used occasionally as a reference to compare or make ‘master templates’ (copies of the master from which other copies were made) for general use such as ceremonies and reading in the synagogues. This ensured the longevity of the sacred writings as well as providing a reliable check against future master copies that would have to be made when the original or master documents wore out. Using this method of preservation, one papyrus could last up to 500 years or more before it degraded and a new master made to replace it.

As the years passed the collection of manuscripts grew, as did the need to categorize and catalogue those documents. The first five books of the Old Testament were the first to be cannonized

The first five books of the Old Testament, namely, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are often singled out for special recognition and are sometimes collectively referred to as the Torah or Pentateuch, with the two names oftentimes being used interchangeably but referring to the same thing. More confusingly, however, in the wider context the Torah can also refer to the whole body of the Old Testament, but for the most part, when the Tora is mentioned it usually refers to the first five books of the Old Testament which were considered by Jewish Rabbis and most scholars to be of Mosaic origin, that is, written by Moses. Nowadays however, most secular scholars conclude that Moses was not the sole writer of the 5 books that make up the Pentateuch.

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