“…it is written…” (Matthew 4:4)
Without history’s written records, the archeologists examining the Egyptian pyramids would have had no accurate knowledge of who built them or in what time period they were constructed. Thoughtfully pause to consider this infrequently discussed reality. The names, achievements, and renowned thinking of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Aristotle, and Plato would have all been long forgotten without the benefit of language and written history. In that same manner, the knowledge of the virgin birth and God’s self-disclosure, which is profoundly more important than all of mankind’s – wars, philosophies, and nation building, would have also been lost, except for the detailed writing and preservation of Hebrew prophets and scribes.
The world’s knowledge about man’s earliest years from Adam to Noah came to us through the inspired writings of Moses. Without his foundational accounts, today’s scholars would be similar to “…the blind lead[ing] the blind…” (Matthew 5:14). They would lack the dates, historical context, and needed facts to understand the reasons for man’s past failures and successes. Worse still, without the written record of God’s self-disclosure and His teachings – we would lack any understanding of man’s creation and first tragic sin!
Without the Bible we would have no way of understanding evil’s enormous, destructive power in world history, so let’s stop to give thanks for God’s written word. Without it, every human being would essentially be “a law unto themselves…,” with no real understanding of the past, present, or the future!
Without the Ten Commandments, the world would have long functioned like a ship lacking a rudder. We would have had no absolutes by which to judge right and wrong! However, the written Scriptures provided us with a secure basis for understanding life’s intended purpose. Notably, the Bible is the singular source of ultimate self-authenticating truth and knowledge which never changes!
Like the Lord Jesus, who is, “…the same yesterday, and today and forever…” (Hebrews 13:8), God’s Word remains eternally the same. Men and women simply provide new translations as our many languages add additional words or modify the meanings of existing words. In contrast, the written accounts provided by God remain contemporary and readily applicable. Paul wrote Timothy explaining, “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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Though the Lord Jesus never physically wrote even one word of the Old or New Testaments, He nevertheless confirmed the authority of Scripture by quoting from the prophets and the Psalms over 50 times. Following His resurrection, He also explained where the Scriptures were specifically speaking about Him. Consider these words “…beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27)
Jesus is described by the Apostle John as the living – Word (see John 1:1-14)! He both spoke the universe into existence and guided history’s 40 different authors to write the 66 books contained in the Bible. Most of these highly dedicated servants of God were never privileged to personally meet. However, over the many centuries, they were each used by God to write the only unified history of man’s existence. This is why there is no book even remotely as important to mankind as – the Bible!
Apart from the Bible, no other religious literature explains why God’s laws were first created and then presents why His redeeming grace was also needed. The Bible alone provides an overview of Judeo-Christian history explaining that, “…the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
Only the Bible teaches us why – we continually fail to keep God’s pure and righteous commandments (see James 1:14-15). It also reveals the holy nature of God and His eternal purpose for all those whom He created. Scripture clearly teaches us why our confidence in God’s self-revelation – expressed in the person of His Son, is our only means of salvation (see John 14:6). The Bible makes heaven’s message about God’s sinless Son wonderfully clear, “… there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The Bible provides food for our soul and daily personal guidance. The Psalmist was therefore led to write, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
By Billie Hanks Jr.