1. The bible did not drop from “heaven”, from God to man. It was compiled by men and printed in printing Presses which are inventions of men.
2. The first known Bible came to being in the later part of the 4th century after the ascension of Christ. It was produced by a foremost scholar of the Roman catholic extraction named Jerome, who received a nod from the then Pope Damasus, to go ahead to produce one. Before then, worshipers had access to separate scrolls of scriptures and some books containing a few assorted scriptures.
3. The name of that Bible was called the “Latin vulgate”. Vulgate, because it was written in the language of the common man who spoke Latin. Jerome reportedly revised the existing Latin New Testament and then translated the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text.
4. There were a total of 76 books in this first Bible. 30 in the new and 46 in the old testament. The vulgate was reportedly a scarce commodity and as such, only a few people had access to it, priests inclusive, even though people had some fragments, from time to time.
5. The vulgate reigned as the official Bible of the western world from the 4th to the early 16th century when there arose much agitations following the Roformation that had Martin Luther, a Roman catholic monk, as a prominent activist in 1517.
6. Before the Reformation, services were conducted largely in latin across the western world even though the majority of the parishioners did not understand Latin.
7. Martin Luther, a German priest reportedly made a German translation of the Bible between 1520 and 1522 when he was hiding away from being killed after he was declared persona non-grata by the church leadership. It was however said that there were a couple of German translations by a few others about the same time.
8. The church, which was at the time an arm of the government had strong legislation against translations to other languages that were not Latin. In many quarters, it was believed that no other vernacular (languages) deserved to have the bible translated into it. Other languages were considered to be too vulgar; hence, the church fought the idea of new translations aggressively.
9. A man named John Wyclife, born in the early 14th century was the first to make a seriously dogged attempt to translate the bible to English. He actually did and despite the fact that there was no printing press available at the time, he made handwritten copies of the Bible available in hundreds of copies, with the help of his friends who were despised by the church people of his days. He was passionate about making the Bible not only available but readable to the common man in English language. He believed that the priests of his days were involved in too many sharp practices because English people across Europe had no access to the language of the Latin Bible. Posthumously, Wyclife was condemned as a heretic by the church; his remains were exhumed at the council of the church meeting at constance 30 years after his demise and and burnt.
10. There is nothing like a complete or incomplete Bible. The idea of completion is relative, depending on the time in church history that you live. For instance, the first popular Bible called the Vulgate contained 76 books, the first KJV had 80 books while most versions of commonly used contemporary Bible have only 66 books.
Further, the much touted “authorized” version of the bible was not authorized by God. It was a version of the Bible whose translation was authorized by King James I of England back in 1611.
11. Evidences exist from the new testament writings that there were scriptures used by the first century church that are no longer part of the popularly accepted contemporary versions of the Bible. Read the book of Jude and imagine what scripture he was referencing for part of the time, for instance.
12. The Bible is however self-evident in its core message. The intent and the message of the scriptures is sacrosanct. Christ Jesus, it is. Hence, it will not matter how many books you have inside your own Bible, whether 66 or 100. They all point to one person, the person of Christ Jesus. Even the new testament part of the Bible is self-explanatory that there were more that Jesus did that were not documented.
13. The scriptures are the documentation of words of men who were inspired and spoke by the Spirit of God in time past. Scriptures were not written in the language of God but in the language of men. God does not speak any human language. Even though we have become attracted to the “original Hebrew or Greek texts” in order to solve textual complexities in the bible, God’s language is not Greek or Hebrew. Neither does He speak English. God is a Spirit and His language is spirit. Jesus said, “the words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life. ”
14. More often, God’s Spirit communicates with man’s spirit by way of light and understanding while man uses his own mind (the seat of language) to turn what he perceives into words. If the man has a bad diction, it will not change the fact that he has heard from God. The same goes with scriptures. People used their varying phraseologies to document what they perceived. Bad dictions and poor literary skills will not nullify the fact that God has spoken. God is not fastidious over lexical wordings like many of us think. Hence Literally inadequacy is no grounds to discredit a word from God.
15. If all scripture is given by the inspiration of God, then it will take the Inspiration by His Spirit to decipher the message therein. Without this, the Bible is just another great book of history, wisdom and poems. It can even become an instrument of manipulation in the hands of many unscrupulous fellows who have chosen to abuse it. It is also no news that some occult individuals use certain portions of the bible for their nefarious activities.
16. The Bible, which contains the old testament books (precisely referred to as scripture) and new testament books is only a reference to the Word of God. In the strict sense of the word, It is not the Word of God in itself. The word of God is a person. It is not a book.
The word of God is eternal and timeless and was present in the beginning with God (John 1:1-3). Forever, His Word is settled in heaven, not on earth and not in a book. Please calm down and take a deep breath…
The Bible in our hands is not a document that is cast in iron. It is a product of many years of scholarly critiques and reviews by men in the past. It has taken years to develop. The true Person of God’s word cannot be critiqued or reviewed by men. Never!
17. The Bible is the singular most important reference to how God speaks, even today. It is the richest documented resource and testimonial of God’s pattern of dealings with mankind in the past and it is a useful guide into the future. This is because God is the same, yesterday, today and forevermore.
18. Knowing your bible from beginning to the end is not the same as knowing God. You might be an academic bible scholar and an enemy of the cross of Christ at the same time. The Jews who resisted Jesus in Israel were respected scholars in documented scriptures. They knew the scriptures but when they set their eyes of the Word-made-flesh, they could not recognize Him. Hence, they opposed Him. The greatest opposition to the gospel of Christ today remains the same: the present-day Bible scholars. When they quote from the Bible, it is Christ and His finished work they are opposing.
19. The true revelation of God comes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Hence, when Jesus was going, He promised His disciples to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The most important treasure, yet the most neglected is the Holy Spirit. It is the one of which it was written… “He will guide you into all truth…
Our Bible colleges teach the Bible and philosophy to people while the school of the Spirit produces teachers of the Word of God and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
20. The Bible is the most idolized physical material in the church today. The Bible has taken the place of God and His Christ in people’s lives because the true message of the bible is lost on them. Most people who frequently say “the Bible says….” and quote plenty scriptures do not know what the Bible truly says.
21. There are many Bible teachers who cannot be said to be teachers of the word of God. They do not preach Jesus Christ, who is the true word of God. Rather, they teach Bible stories, different Bible characters, and other flimsy narratives only to pray in the name of Jesus. Meanwhile, the entire scripture point to one person: the man Jesus. (John 5:39b). All that God has been wanting to say to mankind is “Jesus”. He is the express image of His person.
22. Should we disregard the Bible? I will not. But the Bible should be given its proper place as the authentic reference on the Word of God. The book of Acts and the epistles are replete with examples of how the early church referenced the scriptures while trying to establish the gospel of Christ and build His Church.
23. I strongly disagree with people who claim to cling to the Holy Spirit’s direction in lieu of the scriptures. The Holy Spirit will not contradict the message and the intent of appropriately interpreted scriptures. I recall a church leader was in the habit of taking a pause while praying at home, going upstairs to beat up his wife and children and then return to prayers. He claimed the Holy Spirit led him. I disagree.
There is a high risk of slipping into erroneous practices when you abandon established references. This is true to life as it is true in theology.
24. The Church is not built on Bible stories, characters, poems and other narratives in the Bible. The church is built on the Revelation of Who Christ is and what He has done for man.
After Peter revealed who Jesus was as The Christ, Jesus said, “on this rock I will build my church…”. That rock (Gibraltar) was not referring to Cephas but the revelation of who Jesus is
25. If you have been in the church for upwards of 10 years and you have attended foundation classes, believer classes or Bible school and half of what I have written above unsettles you, then you have been cheated by the religious system of our days which hides vital information from us, only for the curious minds among us to stumble on them out there.
26. If this write-up appears like something damaging to your faith, it means your faith has not been resting squarely on Christ. It has rested, partly, largely or totally on a physical book: the Bible.
*Please note: the information provided above are not exhaustive and you are free to make further search, either to verify or refute them. In the meantime, make sure you pocket your sentiments and open your minds to learning
It is a new day!