Many Books, yet One

The Bible exists among us as one book. Yet it is in fact composed of more than 60 books, written by over 40 different authors, and its compilation extended from the days of Moses (1400 BC) to the days of the apostle John (end of 1st Century AD), a period of 1,500 years. Its narrative goes right back to the origin of man. It presents the Lord God of heaven and earth as Creator of all, who has a purpose with the human race, which extends through history right up to the present day; and then goes further and tells what will happen to that race in the future.

1631 KJV New Testament titlepage 2

1631 KJV New Testament titlepage 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no other book in the world which has such a range and scope as this. But its writings are not just philosophical predictions. They are rooted in human history, dealing with actual nations and real people. The Bible deals with man’s early career, passes a devastating judgement on him at the Flood, and proceeds to detail God’s purpose with a particular people, the descendants of faithful Abraham, in their deliverance from the oppression of Egypt and their inheritance of the land of Canaan. It faithfully records the history of that people, the lives of their men of faith, their constant failure to do God’s will, the judgements which came upon them through the Assyrians and the Babylonians, and the eventual overthrow of their kingdom. It takes up in the New Testament the record of the coming of Jesus Christ, the preaching of the gospel by his apostles, and ends with their writings to the early communities of believers in the 1st century CE. But the word of prophecy they spoke extends in time into the future.

Now the remarkable fact is that over this long period of 1,500 years the Bible speaks of one God, having one purpose. The earliest books of the Old Testament and the latest of the New are bound together by one outlook and one conviction, so that they become in fact one revelation. How this could be in a world of human fallibility is something we must seek to understand.

– Fred Pearce

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Preceding: The Word of God in print

Next: Inspired Word

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Find also to read:

  1. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  2. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  3. Who Wrote the Bible?
  4. Why believing the Bible
  5. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  6. Unsure about relevance Bible
  7. Scripture Word from God
  8. Bible Word from God
  9. Bible guide Taking the Bible as a lead
  10. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  11. Bible Basics
  12. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  13. Bible for you and for life
  14. The Bible is a today book
  15. Power in the life of certain
  16. Bible power to change
  17. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  18. Plain necessary food of the Gospel
  19. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation

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  • Evidence for The Bible (gospelgetics315.wordpress.com)
    Much in the Bible demonstrates advanced scientific knowledge – that is, God revealed through human scribes information that only He knew long before scientists discovered these truths.
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    While the autographs, or original manuscripts, of the Bible have not survived the ravages of time, no other book from the ancient world has more, earlier, or better copied manuscripts than the Bible.
  • Torah (conversationinfaith.wordpress.com)
    Among other things, Torah tells the early history of Israel from Abraham, and Isaac, to Moses and Joshua. Beginning with Genesis 12  and the call of Abram to Deuteronomy 34 where Moses looks out over the Promised Land just before his death, Torah offers an epic tale of God calling a people and the people’s response.
  • Biblica Cleans Up the Bible with New “Books of the Bible” Release (christianwritingtoday.com)
    Most Christians are aware that there is a curse at the end of Revelation for anyone who messes with the Bible. The Apostle John said, “If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life…”
  • How did we get the New Testament? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    We know that the books in the Old Testament are important because they not only foreshadow the Lord Jesus, but He also taught those who followed Him from them. Though the 27 books of the New Testament were written after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, they were recognized as authentic because they were written by people who had direct contact with Christ and were divinely inspired. Just like a book was considered canonical when Moses or David wrote it, a book was recognized as authoritative when an apostle such as John or Paul wrote it.
  • On How the Bible Belt Brainwashed Me (or How to be a better Christian) (reflectingchristian.wordpress.com)
    For many years, I tried to cherry-pick the Bible. I believed that the Old Testament could be discarded since as a Christian I need only follow the New Testament. After all, Jesus Christ only speaks in the New Testament. I eventually realized that I had to recognize the Old Testament too, since Christ himself said he had come to fulfill the Old Testament.
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    As a Christian, I am a follower of Christ. The great thing about the Bible is that it gives us the story of Christ. His story.
  • The Gospel of Mark and a Revolution Betrayed (cynicmeetshope.wordpress.com)
    Depictions of Christ as a revolutionary figure prompt some to raise the spectre of “politicizing” Christ, as they warn of the danger of manipulating his words to fit a political, often left-leaning, agenda.

    What such critics fail to recognize is that any social institution that involves the use of power – and this includes religion – is inherently political. The status quo has long used religion to fit its own agenda, to justify inequality, to assuage elite guilt at their role in a system that perpetuates systemic depravity, and to leave the poor pining after hoary illusions that betray the essential meaning of the Gospels.   One has only to look at the oppressive history of the Roman Catholic Church, the legacy of George W. Bush, fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Islamists alike – and today’s US Tea Party – to see this as fact.
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    In tracing the origins of Biblical literature to a civilisation born out of a turbulent past, one begins to understand many of the prescribed rituals, stories and myths that underpin the Bible’s radical, even revolutionary, undertones.  Whether inspired by concrete historical events or divine inspiration or both, the Bible is a reflection of a people’s struggle for self-identity and nationhood.

  • Carnal Christians….by Ray Gano (amomlookingup.wordpress.com)
    Carnal Christianity and the refusal to live a holy life is becoming the norm. But what is sad is that this is all being done under the name of “Grace.”
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    We as bible believing Christians are called to be the salt and the light. You can see that 5 had the oil (holy spirit) and because of that, they had “light,” or the ability to share the gospel.
    Until you have the holy spirit living within you, you are not to effective at being a good witness or sharing the gospel.
    Without the holy spirit things of God do not make sense to you.
  • Myth 6: God Approves of the Use of Images and Icons in Worship (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    Are images, as the churches claim, simply a means of approaching and honoring what they represent? “At first,” states The Encyclopedia of Religion, “images may have served primarily didactic [teaching] and decorative purposes; at least, they were defended on such grounds. But soon they came to fill admittedly devotional functions. This was especially true of the icons that became a prominent feature of Eastern Orthodoxy.” However, the prophet Isaiah rightly asked: “To whom can you compare God? What image can you contrive of him?”—Isaiah 40:18The New Jerusalem Bible.

About Christadelphians

Free Christadelphians or Brothers and sisters in Christ, living in Belgium, European Union. - Vrijë Christadelphians of Broeders en zusters in Christus wonende in België in de Europese Unie.
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13 Responses to Many Books, yet One

  1. Pingback: Inspired Word | Broeders in Christus

  2. What does history say about Jesus Christ? How does history authenticate the gospel accounts of His life and ministry? This information program emphasizes extra-Biblical history and gains insight from ancient chroniclers such as Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus and others.

    • About the historicity of Jesus we have written already several articles and in this series on The Bible, we shall go deeper into it. We ask you to have some patience and hope we shall give you some reasonable answers in the near future.

      You may perhaps already find following articles to still your hunger:

      Written to recognise the Promised One

      The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ

      Please do also have a look at our Christadelphian World pages about Jesus and Jesus Christ

    • The question of the historicity of Jesus deals with the analysis of historical data to determine if Jesus existed as a historical figure, approximately where and when he lived, and if any of the major milestones in his life, such as his method of death, can be confirmed as historical events. In contrast, the study of the historical Jesus goes beyond the question of his historicity and attempts to reconstruct portraits of his life and teachings, based on methods such as biblical criticism of gospel texts and the history of first century Judea.

      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, but about the character or the divinity of Jesus Christ the Messiah are lots of discussions. For us Jesus is clearly not God, and we do not have to lean back only on the Bible to get to know this historical figure. So there are many secular books which can tell us a lot about Jesus himself, his family and his followers.

      Biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of Jesus his non-existence as effectively refuted.

      {Please do find:
      1. Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: “biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted”
      2. James D. G. Dunn “Paul’s understanding of the death of Jesus” in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are “a thoroughly dead thesis”
      3. The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : “Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed”.}

      Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7 and 2 BC and died 30–36 CE, and the most appropriate date of his birth would be the 17th of October 4 bCE, taking into account the census, the astronomical situation and Falling star, and the killing of infants. { Paul L. Maier “The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus” in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129; The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114; Amy-Jill Levine has summarized the situation by stating that “There is a consensus of sorts on a basic outline of Jesus’ life. Most scholars agree that Jesus was baptised by John, debated with fellow Jews on how best to live according to God’s will, engaged in healings and exorcisms, taught in parables, gathered male and female followers in Galilee, went to Jerusalem, and was crucified by Roman soldiers during the governorship of Pontius Pilate” The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 page 4}

      Secular historical evidence for the existence of the man Jesus is very strong. The Roman historian Tacitus (1st-2nd century CE) mentions Christ as suffering at the hand of Pilate in the days of Tberias. The Roman chronicler Suetonius identifies a significant individual called Christ in the 1st century.

      Scholars generally consider the patriotic Roman senator Tacitus‘s reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate to be both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source. Eddy and Boyd state that it is now “firmly established” that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Although a few scholars question the passage given that Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus’ death, the majority of scholars consider it genuine. {Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53} Van Voorst states that “of all Roman writers, Tacitus gives us the most precise information about Christ”. { Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53}

      Tacitus, who’s father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus procurator of Belgica and Germania, his works the Annals and the Histories examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors (CE 69) and he gives us a good picture of the personalities at that time.

      The fifth book of Histories contains—as a prelude to the account of Titus’s suppression of the Great Jewish Revolt—a short ethnographic survey of the ancient Jews, and it is an invaluable record of Roman attitudes towards them.

      In his Annals, in book 15, chapter 44, written c. 116 AD, there is a passage which refers to Christ, to Pontius Pilate, and to a mass execution of the Christians after a six-day fire that burned much of Rome in July 64 AD by Nero.

      John Dominic Crossan considers the passage important in establishing that Jesus existed and was crucified, and states: “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus… agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact.”{Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. ISBN 0-06-061662-8 page 145}

      Given his position as a senator Tacitus was also likely to have had access to official Roman documents of the time and did not need other sources.

      The most well known writer giving us information about the Nazarene Jesus is Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian. He writes about Jesus and his death, and even tells us some of the beliefs of the first century Christians about Jesus.

      There are loads of other secular sources mentioning Jesus, and even more if you include writings by the early church fathers.
      Interestingly, there are far more references to Christ in texts we have from the first few centuries AD than there are to Tiberias Caesar, probably the most important man in the world with whom Christ was contemporary. The documentary evidence is overwhelmingly supportive of a historical figure called Jesus, who’s immediate followers believed exactly the same things Christadelphians do today.

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