Is That Your Final Answer?

Is That Your Final Answer? Just wondering with Billy Graham, Regis Philbin, & Jean Wilund via Billy Graham got me wondering.

I read Billy’s final My Answer column, and he got me wondering.

What if God set Regis Philbin of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” fame (remember that show?) outside heaven’s doors with one final question and four multiple choice answers?

What would your final answer be? 

I talk about both over at today.

Check it out by clicking on the photo or the link.


Welcome to the Bible: A Thick Book With Lots of Authors — An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible

Welcome to the Bible: A Thick Book With Lots of Authors — An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible

In the Beginning . . .

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). And thus began the story of the Bible.

It took God only six days to create the world but about 1,500+ years to complete the Bible.   

In my first post in the Welcome to the Bible series, I introduced the Big Picture and mentioned it helps us understand the more confusing smaller pieces of the Bible. We’ll talk about that more. Later.

First, I’d like to address the Bible as an actual book. A thick book — unless you have a copy with tissue-thin pages and tiny type — written by lots of authors.

So Many Authors — So Many Backgrounds

God inspired about 40 different authors from three different continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) who wrote in three different languages (Hebrews, Aramaic, and Greek) to write down in 66 books what He wanted us to know.

All without contradiction.

All point to Jesus.

And all without error.

In the original language, the Bible is infallible.

The exact number of authors is in question because we’re not completely certain who wrote some of the books. Judges, Job, and Hebrews, to name a few.

Seeming contradictions in the Bible become agreements when we set them into context, consider the original language, and/or understand the specific audience and intent of the author.

The original form of the Bible varied greatly from the kind of books we know with bindings and splashy covers. These authors wrote onto materials like scrolls — and a couple of stone tablets.

Many authors were prophets (special spokesmen for God). Others were shepherds, kings, and fishermen. Some wrote in palaces. Others from prison.

But all were inspired by God.

All Scripture is inspired by God…
~ 2 Timothy 3:16

It’s All Greek to Me — or Not

Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew somewhere between 1400 B.C. —  400 B.C.

Part of Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah were written in Aramaic.

The New Testament was written in Greek between A.D. 44 and A.D. 96.

Many books of the New Testament are actually letters written to specific churches or individuals.

The apostle Paul wrote 13 letters — 14 if you believe he wrote Hebrews.

I personally don’t know.

Paul wrote most of the letters to various churches he’d visited. Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians for example.

He also wrote to individuals such as Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

No one seems to know when the book of Job was written, except for perhaps Job, and we can’t ask him. Yet.

Every known author of the Bible was Jewish except one. Luke. He wrote the Gospel of Lukeno surprise there — and was a Gentile doctor

A Gentile is anyone who’s not Jewish.

From First to Last

Moses wrote the first book of the Bible — Genesis

Moses also wrote the next four books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, to be exact. He wrote five books and one Psalm in all. 

John wrote the last book of the Bible — Revelation.

John also wrote four other books: The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.

Genesis is fairly easy to understand. Revelation is not. 

But the right teacher can help us understand much of Revelation. By the way, the Holy Spirit is the best teacher. More on that later.

After Jesus returns and everything that must take place in Revelation has taken place, we’ll finally be able to say, “Oh! Now I get it.” Until then some of it will remain a mystery — and who doesn’t like a good mystery?

Revelation is the written account of the revelation given to John from Jesus. It is the final revelation. That means everything God wants us to know has been written down between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.

There’s no new revelation, no matter what any pastor may proclaim.  

The Fabulous Four

Four of the most well-known authors are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Their books together are known as the Gospels of Jesus Christ.

“The Gospels of Jesus Christ” is the written record of Jesus’ life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament.

The Gospel” is the good news that Jesus paid the penalty for sin on the cross through His death and resurrection and that whoever trusts in Him will be saved. (Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9-10) 

These four fabulous authors kick off the New Testament and tell of Jesus’ time on earth but from different viewpoints and to different audiences.

A friend of mine didn’t know this fact when he first started reading through the New Testament. He began to think every book in the New Testament was the same story. 

They’re not. 

Matthew was a Galilean Jew who wrote to the Jews to prove Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Mark was a Jew who wrote to Romans. He revealed Jesus as the Suffering Servant.

Luke was a Gentile doctor who wrote to Greeks. He focused on Jesus’ humanity and presented Jesus as the Son of Man.

John was a Jew who wrote to Christians and highlighted Jesus’ divinity as the Son of God.

Many Authors. One Lord.

Many authors wrote the Bible, but they all pointed to our One Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the living Word and the visible image of the invisible God.  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
~John 1:1

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
~ Colossians 1:15

Why Is This So Important?

Why should we care about all the details — the languages, continents, authors, perspectives, years, and one consistent message?

We should care because it reveals that the Bible is a supernaturally written book, unlike any other in history.

And it reveals that Christianity is a unique faith because God revealed Christianity to the world through this incomparable book– the Holy Word of God — written by numerous authors all pointing to one Lord.

Next Time

Books, and Chapters, and Verses. Oh, My!

Welcome to the #Bible: A Thick Book With Lots of Authors — An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible Click To Tweet

Welcome to The Bible: So Much to Confuse and So Little to Understand — Wait a Minute. Strike That. Reverse It. — See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion

Welcome to The Bible: So Much to Confuse and So Little to Understand -- Wait a Minute. Strike That. Reverse It. -- See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion (via

Welcome to the Bible Tour — And Willy Wonka

I’m starting the New Year with a Bible Tour blog series: The Welcome to the Bible series. And naturally, I’m introducing the series with Willy Wonka. 

Ok, maybe not so naturally. In fact, this may be the first article you’ve ever read about the Bible and Willy Wonka. 

In case you’re not familiar with Willy Wonka, he’s a crazy character in a book and two movies, which tell about his bizarre search for a new owner of his chocolate factory. He gives out golden tickets to lucky winners to tour his factory where they meet Oompa Loompas, geese that lay golden eggs, and other oddities. 

Fans of the original Willy Wonka movie may recognize this Wonka line that inspired today’s title:

Willy Wonka: We have so much time and so little to see. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.

The Bible can often make us feel like we’re on a Willy Wonka tour — overwhelmed and confused.

A burning bush? A talking donkey? A crucified Savior? (How can a dead Savior save?)

The book of Revelation alone will leave you wide-eyed and scratching your head. 

It can be confusing and surreal. Until we see the Big Picture. 

The Big Picture reverses our confusion, turns it into clarity, and leaves us amazed at God and His unfathomable ways.

What’s the Big Picture?

The Big Picture is both a Who and a what. 

God reveals the Big Picture throughout the Bible, but most famously in John 3:16: 

For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life.

The Big Picture is that God created man so we may come to know and enjoy Him forever, which was only made possible through the death and life of His Son Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In short, the Big Picture is Jesus Christ, who is our salvation. 

From first to last, it’s all about Christ.

The Red Thread

I often refer to the Big Picture as The Red Thread

The Red Thread of Jesus runs through the entire Bible from the first book — Genesis — to the last — Revelation. 

It reveals God’s mysterious plan to restore man to Himself through Jesus.

How we’re able to know Jesus personally and receive His salvation is the heart of the Bible and will be an important part of our tour. 

Join the Tour

We’ll get started on our tour in the next post by looking at some Bible basics and how the Big Picture drives these basics.

By the end of our tour, my hope is that you’ll feel confident in being able to approach the Bible with more understanding. And I pray you’ll know Jesus Christ. 

You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.
St. Augustine 

From our first cry to our final breath, Jesus is our greatest longing. He’s everything we’ve always wanted.

Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.

Charlie: What happened?

Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.


Welcome to The #Bible: So Much to Confuse and So Little to Understand. Wait a Minute. Strike That. Reverse It. Click To Tweet

Jesus is Born, The True Story – Christmas According to Kids

Jesus is Born - The True Story According to Kids via

If there’s someone who doesn’t know the story about Christmas and the birth of Jesus, perhaps it’s because he was only born yesterday. Literally. Or at least in the past year, and he’s still discovering his toes.

While most know about Christmas, how many know the true story? 

I thought I did until I watched this video. The kids in this hilarious video set the story straight. And apparently, it involves a purple stuffed hippo. 

(If you’re reading this on email, you have to go to my blog to see the video. Click “Read More.”)

I love this version of the Christmas story, but, I’m pretty sure the wise men didn’t really bring Jesus gold, Frankenstein, and myrrh — and definitely not a stuffed hippo.

But they got one thing completely right. The new baby changed the world. 

He changed me, too, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Merry Christmas!

Jesus is Born. Watch the so-called true story in this hilarious video #Christmas According to Kids. #thatsfunny Click To Tweet

Need Encouragement When Life Has Gone to the Dogs? Visit Me at “Inspire A Fire” Today

I may be having issues with my blog, but you can find me today over at the website  Inspire A Fire.

I’m excited to announce I’ve been invited to be a monthly contributor to this encouraging website. Visit me there and check out my first post.

Click on the link below:

Encouragement When Life Has Gone to the Dogs

Encouragement when life has gone to the dogs. (via by Jean Wilund

See you there!

The Story of War Revealed Through a Single Look – Welcome Home, Hank Januchowski

The Story of War Revealed Through a Single Look - Welcome Home, Hank Januchowski

Power in a Picture

War Veteran Hank Januchowski was just doing his job that day in Vietnam when photographer Larry Burrows asked to take his picture.

“What do you want me to do?” Hank asked Larry.

“Just do what you’re doing.”

So Hank kept doing his job, the job of a marine. And Larry captured an image of Hank that’s reached into the hearts of millions over the past 40 years and told the story of war in one look.

Hank’s daughter, Cinncinati news reporter Kristyn Hartman, asked her dad, “How would you describe that expression?”

“Anybody that’s been in combat and has been shot at, and if they told me they weren’t scared, I’d call them a liar. That’s just the way it is. That’s what I see. I see . .  .  I see a marine that was doing his duty. Doing his job.”

Final Image in Tour of Duty by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Famed filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick created the PBS 10-episode special “Vietnam War” and chose Hank’s picture out of about 25,000 photos as the final image for the “Tour of Duty” episode.

Kristyn watched the special at home and instantly recognized her dad.

This led to the moment she’d waited for most of her life. Her dad finally opened up about his experience in Vietnam and this photo.

Together with Kristyn, the WCPO news team created a gripping report on her dad — this courageous war vet — and the power of a picture. A picture of not only Kristyn’s dad but of my dear friend Craig’s as well.

When my husband Larry and I met Craig, one of the first things he talked about was his mom and dad’s amazing love story. And then he talked about his dad’s service in the war. And this photo. 

At times, the look in Craig’s eyes when he speaks of his dad mirrors the look his father’s eyes held that day Larry Burrows froze them in time.

Craig’s eyes speak a man who’s seen and experienced life in ways no man ever should.

But then Craig’s eyes brighten and laugh as he looks back on what it was like to be raised by this man who fought hard when necessary but came home and loved well.

Larry and I have had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Hank, and now to see this incredible story, we’re even more honored.

War Vets, We Honor You

Over the course of history, men and women have sacrificed much for God, country, and family.

Every soldier has gone into battle not knowing what the end of the day would bring. If they’d ever see their loved ones again. But they went anyway.

For those who fought for freedom and died, I say Thank you! May God pour out blessings on your family and comfort them.

For those who fought for freedom and lived, I say, Thank you! And welcome home! May you feel honored by all of us who’ve benefitted from your sacrifice. And may you know the comfort only the Lord can give when memories you long to forget return. You did it for us so we wouldn’t have to. Thank you!

Today, I honor Hank and all the other war vets in our country by sharing this touching report on the look of war and the power in a picture. And thank you, Kristyn, for sharing your dad’s story with us:

Welcome home, Hank Januchowski.

Thank you, and welcome home.

I dare you not to tear up when you watch this incredible report Power In A Picture by @kristyn_wcpo #VeteransDay Click To Tweet