Bible

Why Would Anyone Want To Study The Old Testament?

Visualization of Bible cross-references.
Visualization of Bible cross-references.

What’s the point of studying the Old Testament? It was written by ancient authors to ancient people concerning an obsolete covenant (Heb 8:13). One famous mega-church pastor said we don’t need the old testament scriptures to prop up the new covenant. So why would anyone want to study the Old Testament?

Why study the Old Testament?

The Bible is an interconnected whole. It is like a living organism that cannot be reduced to smaller pieces and retain its essence and being. Check out this marvelous graphic that depicts how the Bible connects and hyperlinks to different parts of itself. Along the bottom of this image is one vertical line for each chapter in the Bible. The longer the line, the longer the chapter. All of the colored arcs show 63,779 Bible cross-references. This is an incredible visualization that drives home the fact that the Bible is an astonishingly complex and interconnected collection of texts. Want to make sense of these scriptural hyperlinks in the New Testament without the Old Testament? Good luck with that!

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Bible

Missing Bible Verses?

If you’ve spent much time comparing passages from newer translations of the Bible (NIV, NASB, NKJV, etc) to the King James Version, you’ve noticed that some verses, or portions of verses, have been moved from the main text into a footnote. The footnotes usually say that the verse does not appear in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts.

Why are these verses questioned by scholars and Bible translators? Are they trying to discard portions of the Bible? Are they attempting to achieve some dark objective which results in casting doubt upon the inspiration of the Bible? The quick answer is that nothing sinister is going on. Rather than “removing” verses, the translators have valid reasons to believe that some verses should have never been in the Bible to begin with.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Basics, Bible

How Were The Books Of The Bible Selected?

Measuring

The Bible isn’t a single book. Rather, it is a collection of 66 individual books and letters that have been compiled into one volume. These books and letters were written by approximately 40 different people spanning a time period of over 1500 years.

The books which are regarded as having divine authority and which comprise the Bible are referred to by scholars as “canonical” writings. The English word “canon” is derived from a Greek word which referred to a standard or rule. Thus, a writing is considered canon if it meets a certain standard.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Basics, Bible

Is The Bible Trustworthy?

greek text

How do we know that the Bible is reliable and that the words contained in today’s Bibles convey the same message as the original documents?

Original Documents

The books of the Bible were written on animal skins and on an ancient kind of paper called papyrus. These writings are referred to as manuscripts. A manuscript is a document written by hand. When referring to Bible manuscripts, the term is restricted to documents written in their original languages (i.e. not a translation). The Old Testament books of the Bible were written in Hebrew and Aramaic while the New Testament was written in Greek.

Since these manuscripts were written thousands of years ago, none of the originals have survived to the present day. Due to the effects of age and use, the originals are all lost. However, thanks to ancient scribes, we have literally thousands of copies of the originals. If the originals are no longer in existence, how can we be sure existing manuscripts were accurately copied?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Basics, Bible

How to Define Stuff in the Bible

Dictionary

There are over 750,000 words in the Bible and everyone of them has a meaning! To find out the meaning of a word, a person normally picks up a Webster’s Dictionary and looks up the definition. While that works just fine for looking up words we encounter day to day, it won’t work out so well when trying to define words in the Bible.

We can’t trust a normal dictionary to define Bible words because word meanings change over time. For example, the word “baptize” means to dip, immerse or submerge. If you look up the word in a modern English dictionary it will tell you that baptism is immersion, sprinkling or pouring. This word, like many other words in the English language, has taken on different or additional meanings over the centuries. The Greek word, as it was used in the day when the Bible was written, meant only to immerse. 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Basics, Bible