Can We Trust the Bible? Is it Reasonable? Part 2 – The Resurrection

Can We Trust the Bible? - Is It Reasonable? Part 2 - The Resurrection (From the Bible Study series: Fear Not! You Can Do This. Easing in the Bible One Toe at a Time) via www.JeanWilund.com

Dead Man Walking

The credibility of the New Testament hangs on one event — the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus could have lived a perfect, sinless life and died on the cross, but if He didn’t rise from the dead and walk out of the grave, the entire New Testament unravels.

All 27 New Testament books might as well be thrown into a fire as worthless kindling.

The resurrection of Jesus birthed the Christian church and led to the completion of the Bible as we know it.

If God’s enemies wanted to destroy the church and discredit the Bible, disproving Jesus’ resurrection would have done it.

It should have been quite simple.

Huge crowds followed Jesus for most of His three-year ministry, but by the end of it, His enemies far outnumbered His friends. Few would’ve supported any claim of Him having risen from the dead.

Why So Many Haters?

Jesus’ haters didn’t come together to demand Jesus be crucified over the vast number of people He fed or healed — although a surprising number of Jewish leaders took offense at His good deeds.

His enemies hated Him for His claims and the impact it would have on them.

Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

With these six words, Jesus declared He was God.

Jesus also said, “I tell you the truth … before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58).

The Jewish leaders understood His claim. No one but God could stand before them and declare he existed before a man who’d lived 2,000 years earlier.

Jesus’ enemies wanted to kill Him because He threatened their religious power and influence over their people. They used His supposed crime of blasphemy — dishonoring God and His name by claiming to be God — as justification.

If Jesus isn’t God, His bold claim is a crime against God of the highest, most offensive order. But He is, so it isn’t.

Most of the Jewish leaders couldn’t see the truth, though. They’d hardened their hearts against Him especially as His miracles stirred up the whole region.

Many of the people who saw His miracles wanted to make him their king.

Jesus — A Blasphemer and a National Threat

Jesus didn’t just threaten the Jewish leaders’ religious power. He also threatened their peace with Rome.

If Caesar suspected mutiny against his rule over them, they knew he’d squash them with his heavy hand.

Even the Jewish leaders who rarely seemed to agree on anything, agreed on this one point: Jesus had to go. And stay gone!

As motivated as they were to kill Jesus, they were even more motivated to keep Him dead. (Executioners rarely face such a concern, but then, Jesus is rare.)

Jesus had said He’d rise from the dead. They couldn’t allow it.

No matter what it took, Jesus simply must remain in the tomb. Stone cold dead.

His resurrection would confirm His claims and indict them for having crucified God’s Son.

After Jesus’ followers laid Him in the grave, the Romans rolled a stone in front of the tomb and sealed it. The soldiers guarded it with their lives.

No one could get in. Or out.

Nevertheless, three days later, reports of Jesus sightings spread across the land.

When word of these eyewitness reports of Jesus’ resurrection reached the Jewish leaders, they tried to squelch them.

Displaying Jesus’ dead body would’ve done it.

For Want of A Body

Jesus’ enemies had everything to lose if He’d risen from the dead.

If His dead body existed anywhere on planet earth, they needed to find it and parade it down the Via Della Rosa for all to see.

They needed to chisel the parade into stone and order a national day of remembrance to ensure the whole world knew Jesus Christ was still dead.

But over 500 people said Jesus appeared to them.

His dead body on display would’ve silenced them.

And yet it never happened.

They never produced a body.

Is it reasonable to believe that the combined forces and resources of Rome and the Jewish leaders couldn’t produce His body if He were still dead?

Or that they could produce it, but simply chose not to?

For want of a body, the leaders resorted to storytelling.

The Disciples — Master Conspirators?

The Jewish leaders concocted a story that the disciples were master conspirators and stole Jesus’ body while the Roman guards slept.

Their conspiracy theory expected everyone to believe that:

  • the same men who’d run away when the soldiers arrested Jesus and cowered behind a locked door after His crucifixion only three days earlier suddenly came together after His death and, without anyone seeing, successfully stole Jesus’ body and hid it forever (Matthew 28:11-15).

  • that even though the Roman soldiers knew they’d be executed if they failed to perform their duties, they willingly admitted to falling asleep. And apparently without any other motivation than honesty.

  • that the guards slept through the rumbling sounds of the massive stone rolling away from the grave, and the disciples carrying Jesus’ body away.
  • that despite all the resources the Jewish leaders and Rome possessed, the simple disciples outwitted them all and hid Jesus’ body so well no one has yet to find it.

Is it reasonable for us to believe that Christianity has survived over two thousand years simply because the disciples were able to hide a dead body that well?

And then dedicate the rest of their lives to keeping that lie by enduring persecution (and some even execution) in order to lead others to trust in and believe in Jesus — the dead guy they’d stashed away?

Is it reasonable to believe that not one of the disciples would’ve finally caved and admitted they stole and hid Jesus’ body?

Is it reasonable to believe they could also convince Saul, the infamous Christian persecutor, to join their conspiracy? That he’d accept the lie and give up his position as an esteemed Jewish leader to become Paul, the impoverished, beaten, imprisoned, and shipwrecked missionary?

And is it reasonable to believe the disciples convinced over 500 people to agree to say they saw Jesus alive again and to take that lie with them to the grave?

It would’ve been so easy to dismantle Christianity before it even got started if His enemies could only have presented His dead body.

Instead, Jesus presented Himself. Alive.

Next Time – Tangible Evidence

So far, abductive reasoning has encouraged us to conclude it’s reasonable to believe God exists, and thus the seemingly wild claims of the Old Testament are reasonable to believe. (See Can We Trust the Bible? Is It Reasonable Part 1.)

Abductive reasoning also leads us to conclude it’s reasonable to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, on which the entire New Testament hinges.

Next, we’ll look at evidence we can hold in our hands that show us we can trust the Bible.




I & II Samuel — Super-Short Summary

I & II Samuel -- Super Short Summary (Welcome to the Bible Series) (Fear Not!) via www.jeanwilund.com

Theme Verse for I & II Samuel:

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ I Samuel 16:7

Super-Short Summary:

In I & II Samuel, God gave his people a king to protect and rule them with righteousness and to lead them in godliness. Through the kings, God pointed to, Jesus, the one true King. He would come through King David’s enduring dynasty and bring mercy and forgiveness for sin, which Israel’s kings vividly demonstrated.

Less-Than-Super-Short Summary:

Coming Soon


Check out the entire Welcome to the Bible Series.




Can We Trust the Bible? – Is It Reasonable? Pt. 1

Can We Trust the Bible? - Is It Reasonable? Part 1 (From the Bible Study series: Fear Not! You Can Do This. Easing in the Bible One Toe at a Time) via www.JeanWilund.com

A talking donkey, a global flood, and a virgin birth. These sound like the stuff of fables, not facts. But the Bible includes them as historical events.

How can we know the Bible is inspired, trustworthy, and infallible when we read about phenomenon such as these?

Sure, we can believe it by faith. But we don’t have to. We have evidentiary proof.

Before we look at some of the evidence we can hold in our hands, let’s consider the Bible’s trustworthiness using good old-fashioned detective work—abductive reasoning.

This means we’ll consider the observable facts and then look for the simplest and most reasonable explanation.

Can We Trust the Bible? - Is It Reasonable? Part 1 (From the Bible Study series: Fear Not! You Can Do This. Easing in the Bible One Toe at a Time) via www.JeanWilund.com

Considering the Inconceivable

In order to answer the inconceivable oddity of a talking donkey or a world-wide flood, it’s helpful to first reason together whether we believe that the God of the Bible even exists.

Is it reasonable to believe God exists?

Consider our world, our bodies, and the cosmos.

Complex DNA strands.

Crazy creatures at the bottom of the sea with lighted fishing poles for noses. Crazy stuff like that. I still marvel at electricity.

Consider the precise alignment of the planets and stars that enable life on earth to neither burn up nor freeze solid.

The Bible says God created the heavens and the earth, including all living beings within them. It seems reasonable that something this complex would have a highly intelligent designer.

But what if we don’t believe?

What If We Don’t Believe?

If we look at the complex universe around us but don’t believe it’s reasonable that God exists, we must produce an alternate explanation for how everything came into being.

Thus far, scientists who don’t believe in God have offered only theories, like the Big Bang Theory – the “something came from nothing” theory. (Not the TV show.)

Let’s imagine if the Big Bang Theory were true. We’d now need to explain why other things haven’t “started from nothing” ever since that initial bang.

Is it reasonable to believe that the creation of the world was the sole incident of spontaneous creation in history?

The Big Problem with the Big Bang

Can We Trust the Bible? - Is It Reasonable? Part 1 (From the Bible Study series: Fear Not! You Can Do This. Easing in the Bible One Toe at a Time) via www.JeanWilund.com

In support of the Big Bang Theory, atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins presented in his book, The God Delusion (published in 2006), his “Ultimate Boeing 747” argument.

This argument asserts a Being that could create the world would have to be more complex than a 747. And something would have to create the Being.

Ironically, rather than presenting evidence to prove God doesn’t exist, Dawkins’ 747 argument supports the Bible’s view that God is more complex than His creation and anything His creation could build.

But Dawkins ignores the possibility that God, being supremely complex, was never created. He’s always existed with no beginning and no end.

Interestingly, an article on his website from 2016 discusses a new theory that involves the universe having no end and no beginning.

The author of the article explains the need for their new theory, which is: the Big Bang theory simply doesn’t work.

Here a clip from the article:


Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.

“The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told Phys.org.

Ali and coauthor Saurya Das at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang singularity can be resolved by their new model in which the universe has no beginning and no end.

— No Big Bang? Quantum Equation Predicts Universe Has No Beginning


What Does Your Reasoning Tell You?

Using our abductive reasoning, we now ask ourselves, which is more reasonable to believe?

Is it more reasonable to believe that the universe has simply existed without beginning or end and that one day that abyss of nothingness collided and created our intricately complex universe as we now know it?

OR

Is it more reasonable to believe that God is the intelligent designer who has always existed and created the universe?

If neither seems reasonable, what’s the alternative origin of the universe? The one that Richard Dawkins and others who don’t believe in God have yet to discover?

I believe the God of the Bible is the Creator, and He’s always existed.

Which leads me back to the talking donkey.

A Powerful and Creative Creator

If God can create the universe and give mankind – and parrots, and a few dogs on YouTube – the ability to speak, can we then also believe He’s able to make a donkey speak?

Can we also believe He can cover this globe we live on with water? And do everything else we read about in the Bible that seems impossible?

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV). 

“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26 ESV).

If God can create the world, it’s reasonable to believe He can and will perform miraculous works, whether on a small, talking-donkey scale or on a massive worldwide flood scale.

To be continued in Part 2 . . .





Welcome to The Bible: 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 www.JeanWilund.com)

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




RUTH ~ A Super-Short Summary (and a Less-Than-Super-Short Summary)

How to find Jesus in the Book of Ruth. Click to read a short summary of Ruth and a less than short summary with fascinating connections between the book of Ruth and Jesus Christ our Redeemer. (www.JeanWilund.com)


RUTH ~ Book #8

“Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!'” ~ Ruth 4:14


Super-Short Summary:

In Ruth, God uses an unlikely romance to spotlight His faithful promise to provide His destitute Bride a Redeemer.


Less-Than-Super-Short Summary: 

If you’re reading the Bible in order, you’re probably still numb from reading the book of Judges, where everyone did what was right in his own wretched and perverted eyes.

As we saw:

Joshua focuses on the Israelites conquering the Canaanites physically.

Judges focuses on the Canaanites conquering the Israelites spiritually.

Ruth focuses on the hope of God’s promise to provide a Redeemer for His destitute bride.

(I got those three descriptions from a great Bible teacher and my friend, Dede Gavlin. Thanks, Dede!)

While Judges enrages our hearts, Ruth lifts them with its unusual love story and reveals a hope that doesn’t disappoint.


The Destitute Bride (Ruth 1)

When we flip to the first page of the book of Ruth, we discover God had crushed the land of Israel under a famine.

(If you’re curious about why God would do that to His own people, check out the book of Judges. Trust me, you’d have crushed them, too.)

To flee the famine, Elimelech of Bethlehem took his wife, Naomi, and their two sons to sojourn—not stay—in the land of Moab.

(This was a strange choice since the Moabites were enemies of God.)

In the land of Moab, tragedy befell them. Thrice. (That’s old-fashioned for “three times.”)

1. Naomi’s husband Elimelech died

Painful, BUT, praise God, their two sons could care for Naomi.

The sons then married Moabite women — depsite God’s law forbidding Israelites to marry Moabites. Perhaps Naomi thought they could provide her with grandsons to care for her as well.

2. One son died

Tragic, BUT, praise God, Naomi still had one more son to care for her and his brother’s wife. And perhaps they could give her a grandson or two?

3. The other son died

Devastation.

Sure, Naomi and her two daughters-in-law were still alive, but they were now destitute. Utterly destitute. Neither daughter-in-law had even given birth to a child who could grow up and care for them.

Naomi looked around at her foreign home and helpless state. She had nothing left but God. (Which means she had all she needed, but she didn’t quite realize that yet.)


Hope (Ruth 1-2)

Word reached Naomi that the Lord had given His people food in Israel.

It was time to go home.

Naomi’s daughters-in-law set out with her, but Naomi urged them to return to their families in Moab and their gods.

Orpah hugged Naomi and left.

Ruth clung to Naomi. She refused to leave her.

 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. ~ Ruth 1:16-18, NASB

(Interesting Note: This passage is quite popular for weddings. I wonder how many realize this declaration of love wasn’t voiced to a beloved groom by his bride, but by a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law. Take that, mother-in-law jokes!)

Naomi returned to Jerusalem with an empty belly and a bitter heart. But she still had Ruth. Sweet, faithful Ruth.

Ruth rose early to glean—to scavenge pieces of grain dropped by the harvesters in the fields.

It just so happened that she found herself gleaning in the field of Boaz, one of Naomi’s rich relatives. (It so happened? Yeah, right. We can be sure it was God’s hand at work.)

Boaz learned of Ruth’s stellar reputation and kindness to Naomi. He, in turn, showed Ruth kindness. He gave her extra grain to share with Naomi and a doggy bag from lunch.

When Ruth told Naomi that Boaz owned the field, Naomi’s heart leaped, and her faith set down new roots because she knew something Ruth didn’t:

Boaz was their kinsman redeemer!


Education Intermission — Kinsman Redeemer

I interrupt this story for a quick lesson on the Kinsman Redeemer.

“The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch [the first five books of the Bible], had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9–2525:47–55).” (quoted from GotQuestions.com)

The kinsman-redeemer could redeem property or even a widowed wife by marrying her and caring for her.

But only a family member who was willing and able could pay the redemption price.

He had to be free of personal debt.

Back to Our Story . . .


Ruth Gets a Redeemer (Ruth 3 & 4)

How to find Jesus in the Book of Ruth. Click to read a short summary of Ruth and a less than short summary with fascinating connections between the book of Ruth and Jesus Christ our Redeemer. (www.JeanWilund.com)Following Naomi’s instructions for appealing to Boaz as her kinsman redeemer, Ruth prepared herself as a bride.

Then she waited until he fell asleep on the threshing floor and lay down at his feet.

(I agree if this sounds strange to you. But it made sense in those days. Boaz slept on the threshing floor to protect the grain from thieves. And Ruth’s lying at his feet was actually a respectful way to say, “I’d like you to be my kinsman redeemer.”)

Boaz was both willing and able to redeem Ruth. Yay!

But there was a man who was an even closer relative than Boaz. This man must be given the chance to redeem Ruth. Ugh.

Boaz sat down with this other relative (along with witnesses), and just as he’d hoped, the man was able to redeem Ruth but not willing.

With much joy, Boaz redeemed Ruth and took her as his beloved bride.

Ruth, the Moabite, had once been an enemy of God. But through her faith in Him, she became a friend of God and her kinsman redeemer’s bride.

In time, the Lord blessed Ruth and Boaz with a son, Obed.

No longer destitute or without a family, the salvation of the Lord through their kinsman redeemer filled them with joy and peace.

Ruth and Naomi praised God as Naomi cradled her grandson and the women of Israel called her blessed.

The book of Ruth closes with a peek into the future and a fun fact:

Ruth and Boaz’s son Obed was the ancestor of King David, Israel’s greatest king, and of Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer.


Jesus, Our Kinsman Redeemer

How to find Jesus in the Book of Ruth. Click to read a summary of Ruth with fascinating connections between the book of Ruth and Jesus Christ our Redeemer. (www.JeanWilund.com)The kinsman redeemer is one of the Old Testament’s most powerful pictures of Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer.

Only Jesus could ever qualify to serve as our Redeemer.

  • Jesus was free of all debt. Born of a virgin, He was free of inherited sin.

The rest of us are born with sin. It’s passed down from our first father, Adam.

Despite Satan’s best but futile efforts to tempt Jesus in sin, He never fell for any of Satan’s lies. He remained debt-free of sin.

  • Which means, Jesus was willing and able to pay our redemption price through His death on the cross.

Out of His great love and riches, Jesus redeemed us.

  • All who accept Jesus as their Kinsman Redeemer become members of His precious Bride, the church (aka known as the family of Believers).

He bought us with a bride price much greater than the price Boaz paid for Ruth. He bought us with His own shed blood on the cross.


Today is the Day of Salvation

If you’ve not accepted Christ as your Kinsman Redeemer, today is the perfect day for it. Naomi’s husband and sons remind us we’re not promised tomorrow.

God alone knows the number of our days. Trust in your Kinsman Redeemer Jesus today.

(And please let me know when you do, so I can celebrate with you.)




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!

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