The Sacred Scriptures

By what name did Jesus refer to the sacred writings of the Old Testament, the Bible of His day?

“Jesus said to them, “Have you never read the Scriptures: “’ The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Matthew 21:42.


What other title is given the revelation of God to man?

 He replied, My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:21.


Note – It is interesting to note that the word Bible does not occur in the Bible itself. It is derived from the Latin biblia, which came from the Greek biblos, meaning, “book.” The Greek word biblos in turn is derived from byblos, meaning  “papyrus,” the name of the material upon which ancient books were written. The Greeks called this writing material byblos because they obtained it from the Phoenician port of Byblos.


The Bible has sixty-six books and was written by thirty-five or forty men over a period of some fifteen hundred years. The books are called the “Word of God,” or the “Scriptures.” Scriptures means “writings.”


The Scriptures Given


How were the Scriptures given?


“All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16.


By whom were men directed who thus spoke for God?


“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21.


What specific instance is mentioned by Peter?


“In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers, the Scriptures had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.” Acts 1:16.


Who, therefore, did the speaking through these men?


“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.” Hebrews 1:1


The Purpose of the Scriptures


For what purpose were the Scriptures written?


“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4.


For what is all Scripture profitable?


“All Scripture is God breathed and is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16.


What was God’s design in thus giving the Scriptures?


“So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Verse 17.


What does God design that His Word shall be to us in the world of darkness, sin, and death?


“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105.


The Divisions of the Scriptures


What three general divisions did Jesus refer to in the writings of the Old Testament?


“He said unto them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Luke 24:44.


Note – “The law of Moses” was a common Jewish term for the first five books of the Old Testament. In “the prophets” they included Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve Minor Prophets; also Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings. “The psalms” included all the remaining books.


Upon what evidence did Jesus base His Messiah ship?


“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:27.


Note – Jesus referred particularly to the Old Testament prophecies as proof of His Messiahship. When Christ spoke of the Scriptures, He meant the Old Testament, for the New Testament had not yet been written.


The Character of God and His Word


What is God called in the Scriptures?  


“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4.


What, therefore, must be the character of His word?


“Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth.” John 17:17.


To what extent has God magnified His word?


“I will bow down toward your temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”

Psalm 138:2.


Note – A man’s name stands for his character. It is the same with God. When God places His word above His name, His character becomes the foundation of His word and the pledge that His word will be fulfilled.” (Hebrews 6:13,14.)


The Testimony of Job and Isaiah


What estimate did Job place upon the words of God?


“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12.


How firm was the faith of the great Isaiah in God’s word?


“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8.


Men Die – the Bible Lives

The French skeptic Voltaire said the Bible was an exploded book. He has been dead for more than 150 years. It was his theory that exploded – not the Bible. Ingersoll said that the Bible would not be read in ten years. He has been dead some fifty years, but the Bible lives on.  Today it outsells any other one hundred books combined. And he who will take this Book into his heart and life will live forever. (1 John 2:17.)   



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