The basic truth of the Bible and practical Christian life
A book about meaning of life - by Arvid Aasen
Chapter - 3
Why believe in the Bible?
What is the Bible and why can we believe it?
The Bible is not an ordinary book, it is actually quite unique. There are no other books of the same kind. The Bible is God's Word to us humans. It is written by people who were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they wrote it, and they could formulate the Word of God so that we can understand it today.
The Bible is a collection of Jewish and Christian texts written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. It consists of two separate but related main parts, which Christians call the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). The Old Testament was and is the holy scriptures (Jewish Holy Scripture) of the Jews. The Jews divided their scriptures into three groups, the Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets) and Ketubim (Scriptures), collectively called Tanak. In our OT in the Bible, the texts are arranged in literary categories, and are thus in a different order than in the Jewish Tanak.
The last events in the Old Testament are written at the end of Nehemiah's book and in the Prophet Malachi and are written approx. 400 years BC (Before Christ). The last book in the OT is Malachi.
The history of the New Testament begins around the year 1 AD, which is around the birth of Jesus. The New Testament story begins with the birth of John the Baptist, 6 months before the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
The New Testament is also a collection of books written by different authors. Most of them were disciples and apostles of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul has written most of the books, but also the brothers of Jesus; James and Judas (not Judas Iscariot) have written some of the books. The order of the New Testament is also based on literary categories. Together with the Old Testament, these books make up the Christian Bible.
The scriptures (the books in the bible) were written over a period of approx. 2000 years and by more than 40 different authors. Several of them have not had the opportunity to know each other since they lived at different times. The Bible consists of a total of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. From ancient times, the texts were written on scrolls, but also gradually on smaller sheets that were bound together as in a book (codex). When the art of printing came in the 15th century, the Bible was put together as a book. It was also translated into German in 1522 by Luther, while the first English versions came in the middle of the 16th century. The Bible that was first considered a standard edition did not appear until 1611 and was named the King James Bible (KJV).
Towards the end of 1946, an Arab shepherd found in Qumran a collection of ancient jars containing Old Testament texts. Later excavations led to findings from all the writings in the Old Testament except the book of Esther. These scrolls, which have been named the Dead Sea Scrolls, allow recent translations of the Bible to be verified by comparing them with these ancient writings. The Dead Sea Scrolls were also 1,000 years older than the manuscripts that had been the basis for Bible texts up to that time.
There are many Bible translations, and it is sometimes difficult to know which one to choose. Some of the differences are just simple words or ways of translating a text, while other differences give the reader a false impression of Bible teaching. This occurs with translations made by a particular denomination or by individuals. Such translations are unreliable.
Fortunately, there is a large group of Bible scholars, archaeologists and translators who have such great respect for the ancient scriptures and ensure that people can read the Word of God as it was intended. They use a "word by word", "meaning by meaning" translation method, and they say the following: "It is not up to us to understand what the written word says and thereby make translations of the Bible based on what we understand. It is up to the reader himself, with the help of the Holy Spirit to understand the Word of God, therefore we translate word by word and meaning by meaning."
Although the Bible has many different authors, there is a "common thread" from the first to the last book. Among other things, there are over 300 prophecies spread throughout the Old Testament that point to Jesus coming as the Savior of the world. And in the New Testament, we see that these prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled one by one when Jesus lived and when He died on the cross.
The stories of people who believed in God and people who did not believe God show us how God led countries, peoples, and individuals. We can see how God intervenes when people pray and how He leads godly men and women through the stories.
Although God has given us free will, He watches over and cares for those who belong to Him and who ask Him to take care of them.
We can also see and understand that the people who lived at the time the Bible was written are not different from us who live today. No, they did not have the internet, planes, and cars, but humanity - the bad and the good - can easily be compared to us who live in the 21st century. Based on these stories, we can also understand who God is and how He works, and we can use this in our own everyday lives. God is the same from eternity to eternity, with Him there is no change or changing shadow says Psalm 90: 2 and James 1:17.
In Jeremiah 1:12 and in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 we read that God watches over his word: «All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.»
Psalm 119: 160 says; «The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.»
God is zealous, He stands firm in His word and in His truth, He leans neither to the right nor to the left. His word and His Spirit tell us who He is, and we can be sure that what He says in His word, it stands. This makes it easy to relate to God even though we don't always understand everything and can’t explain everything from our earthly perspective, we know that God's laws and words are always fixed. Our perspective is only based on what we ourselves have seen and experienced in the short time we have lived. God's perspective is eternal. It is written in the Bible that for God, human life is like smoke that is visible for a little while, and then it disappears (James 4: 14b). It is then important to recognize that we ourselves fall short and that the knowledge of this world falls short. If we believe the word of God, we must come to God in Spirit and truth, as John 4:24 says; «God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.» If we believe God and His word, we also follow the commandment given in the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22: 18-19 «For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.»
The Bible also talks about our present. The Bible explains that this earth will end. Jesus says that those who read and know the word of God will understand when the end is near (Matthew 24: 15b). Several places in the Bible describe the end times and end time signs, such as the book of Daniel. In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus says a lot about what awaits us believers, and in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, everything from chapter 4 to 22 revolves around this topic. In the book of Revelation, John explains in pictures what he has seen in prophetic visions. He describes the events and things based on the understanding he himself had when he wrote the book of Revelation almost 2000 years ago. We can recognize several of his descriptions today. For example, we can read in chapter 9 verse 17 that fire, smoke, and sulfur came out of the horses' mouths. A little earlier, in verse 9, it says that the sound of them was like the sound of chariots with many horses running. To me, this sounds like modern tanks, but how could John explain what this was when people at that time only knew about war with horses and with chariots? The clearest sign he describes, which we can easily understand and relate to today, is in chapter 13, verses 16 and 17. «He (the beast / Antichrist) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.»
As an example of this, we can look at the systems that the leaders tried to introduce in connection with covid-19, where they stated that a chip implanted under the skin, instead of QR code on the phone would be an even more reliable proof that the vaccine had been taken. I believe that statements like this are not just about covid but are an attempt to introduce systems world leaders want and need. The world has never been exposed to such a mark being implanted on our bodies before. Slaves and Jews have been branded, but those brands could be hidden, and payment could be made in the usual way. Data chip, which is tracked electronically, contains payment information and more, at the same time as the cash is on its way out.
Since this is consistent with several Bible prophecies that are currently being fulfilled, it is reasonable to believe that Jesus will soon return, as He has said. I also firmly believe that we as Christians should not accept the mark of the beast.
The Bible is the most quoted book in the world. Many of the world's religions originate from the Bible and have copied much of its teachings. But as I have mentioned before, unfortunately these religions have traditionally translated the Bible or made a political translation, which fits their ideology and no longer points to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and they do not say that Jesus is the only and true way to God. Religion is used to control people, instead of giving freedom as the Bible explains and gives.
It is said that The Bible is the most read book in the world, natural outcome as it is based on the oldest writings that exist. The entire Bible has been translated into more than 700 languages and the New Testament into more than 1,550 languages.