WHY READ THE BIBLE?
By Ernie Ramaglia
We are living in a world with too many problems and far too few answers. Many millions regularly go hungry. Increasing numbers are addicted to drugs. More and more families are breaking up. Incest and family violence are constantly in the news. The air we breathe and the water we drink are slowly being poisoned. Meanwhile, more and more of us are victimized by crime.
The Bible offers guidance. The trouble is, most people no longer view the Bible as an authority in such matters. At one time, it was listened to with respect although the Bible was written down by humans. Today, however, it is fashionable to be sceptical about everything: customs, ideas, morals, even the existence of God. Especially, people doubt the value of the Bible. Most seem to consider it out of date and irrelevant.
Do you think the Bible is God’s word, or man’s? If it is of human source we will just have to muddle through as best we can, hoping somehow to avoid poisoning ourselves out of existence or blowing ourselves up in a nuclear war. BUT, if the Bible is the Word of God, it is the very thing we need to get us through this difficult time.
According to the 1988 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, an estimated 2,500,000,000 copies were printed between 1815 and 1975. No other book in history has come even close to the Bible in circulation figures. Also, the Bible can now be read, in its entirety or in part, in more than 1,800 different tongues. The American Bible Society reports that it is now accessible to 98 percent of the population of our planet.
The New Encyclopoedia Britannica calls the Bible ‘probably the most influential collection of books in human history’. On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, called the Bible ‘the best gift God has ever given to man…But for it we could not know right from wrong.’
At the same time, we have to note that no other book has been the target of so much vicious opposition and even hatred throughout history. Bibles have been burned on public bonfires, from the Middle Ages down to our 20th century. And reading or distributing the Bible has been punished with fines and imprisonment even in modern times. We must confess: no other book has inspired so many ordinary men and women to rise to such heights of courage. In this respect, the Bible is truly without equal.
UNIQUE – yes, some 40 individuals, including kings, shepherds, fishermen, civil servants, priests, at least one general, and a physician, had a hand in writing the different parts of the Bible. But time and again, the writers made the same claim: that they were writing not their own thoughts but God’s (please see 2 TIM. 3: 16, 17).
In harmony with the claim that it is God’s word, not man’s, the Bible answers questions that only God can answer. You ask: WHY READ THE BIBLE? Why not discover the logical evidence presented along with its powerful demonstrations of the Bible’s divine inspiration, its deep wisdom, and last but not least, the remarkable effect is has on people’s lives.
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Modifié le 14-02-2012.