1. What are the Scriptures?
1.1.1. Why this question is important
- There are specific claims that the Scriptures make, about the “Scriptures” themselves.
- If these claims are not entirely true, then the Scriptures cannot be trusted at all.
- If they are, completely true, then a believer must believe all of them.
1.1.2. The Scriptures claim to be the written record of God’s purpose, plan and accomplishments in Heaven, and on earth.
- They also reveal the Spiritual War that is going on between God and Satan
- The Scriptures are a compilation of 66 books, written in two sections, which are the Old and New Testaments.
- People are often confused by the term "Testament", which simply means, a Covenant or Contract.
1.1.3. The Old Testament
- The Old Testament is comprised of 39 books. It was written in a combination of Hebrew and Aramaic Languages.
- The Old Testament is primarily written about God's covenant with a people, that is the nation of Israel.
- Israel failed to keep the covenant that God made with them.
- But, that was part of God's plan.
- The Israelites were the people, through whom the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would come.
- He came to save everyone, who would put their faith in Him.
1.1.4. The New Testament
- The New Testament is comprised of 27 books, and was written in the Koine Greek Language, which was the common language of the world in the first century.
- The New Testament is primarily about God's covenant of "Grace “, through a person, that is, His Son Jesus.
- This Covenant of "Grace“ is a Covenant between God, and those people who accept Jesus, and choose to be His followers, or disciples.
1.1.5. Translations of the Scriptures
- The Scriptures (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) have been translated into many modern languages and dialects.
- Had this not been done, we would need to learn these original languages, to learn the truth, which would be daunting.
- The Scriptures have been translated into over 2,000 written languages, and many audio translations (in places where there were no written languages).
- In contrast, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into about 50 languages.
- Although the Scriptures are understandable, some things require serious study to be understood.
1.1.6. Inspired and Protected by God
- The Scriptures were inspired by God Himself, and were recorded by about 40 different authors, from an array of backgrounds:
- They were shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, tax collectors, priests, prophets and kings.
- The Scriptures are protected by God Himself, and are without error.
- They are historically accurate.
- The Scriptures are the only source, of Eternal Truth.
1.1.7. The Scriptures are Practical
- They were written with only one interpretation, in plain words that can be understood.
- The Scriptures are the foundation, for how we are to live in this world.
- Even though many modern cultural behaviors conflict with the Scriptures, the Scriptures are completely relevant for today.
1.1.8. There are several basic responses that people make to the above claims of the Scriptures.
- If you are a person who believes in Jesus and in the Scriptures, you will find the above claims of Scripture, to be encouraging and comforting.
- Or, if you have not yet pondered this question, and have not formed an opinion, you will likely be intrigued, or puzzled by the above statements.
- If you are a person who is full of fear or guilt, you are likely to avoid these issues entirely.
- Or, if you have rejected Jesus and the Scriptures, and have chosen to be an antagonistic, hostile, non-believer in Jesus.
- For you, the above statements will be maddening.
- Finally, there are those who say that they believe in Jesus and the Scriptures
- But, they are self-righteous, and have their own particular twist, and self-serving interpretation, of the Scriptures.
- They are like the Pharisees that Jesus confronted, (as recorded in the four Gospels), who ended up crucifying Him.
1.1.9. So, the important question is:
What do you believe about God’s Word, the Scriptures