Do we really need to study the Bible? Do we have to follow the Bible word for word? Can’t we just follow the church’s teachings and the words of elders? Can’t we just practice traditions in which we’re already accustomed and comfortable? Doesn’t the Bible expire? Is it still relevant in our time? Do we really need the holy Bible?
These are some of the questions that I think we need to answer. The dispute about whether the Bible scriptures are the word of God is the same level as the issue of the existence of God and the divinity of Jesus.
I had once read from another blog that says, “How can you share Jesus using the Bible if the person you’re sharing to doesn’t believe in the Bible?” I think this is a good question and this is why I’m patiently and working hard to establish the authenticity of the Bible to my readers. My other topics will be useless and unacceptable, as I quote the Bible more often and use it as my ultimate reference.
Right now, I’m going to answer the questions above.
God cannot be contained on a single book
I often read that God cannot be contained in just one book. They say that God is too big and too mighty to be contained in a single book. My answer: that is why the Bible consists of several books compiled, each by different authors with different stories. These books pertained on a single direction, God and Jesus Christ. Now, you can see two entities here. But remember what the Bible says, “I and my Father are one.”(John 10:30) Jesus Himself spoke this so we will count them as One.
The Bible consists of different books recording different stories, histories, experiences, troubles, victories and inspirations. It has hundreds of characters; all of them experienced the power and love of God in their lives. These books are writings of different authors with different backgrounds, status, education, and character. But they all had one thing in common: they believed in one God; the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob, and they also believed in Jesus Christ.
However, I would like to ask a question; if you don’t use the Bible exclusively as a reference, where else will you seek God? From another book? Words of preachers? Teachings? Legends? Your inner self?
These options are the common mistake that man usually commit.
Books – people search for God on other books and magazines. These books usually came from educated authors with Ph. Ds attached on their names. I have nothing against reading books. But my point is, make the Bible as your ultimate authority. Make comparisons. If you noticed differences between the book and the Bible, get rid of the book. I had experienced this many times. Some of the books that I had read were that in their first parts, they did fine. But the more I read and go deeper, the more I realized I’m straying away from the teachings of the Bible. That, I think, is one of the benefits of knowing and believing the Bible. You’ll never be lost. You have a strong foundation. You won’t instantly believe anything you just read because you have a stronghold. These books are different from one another, anyway. So you have to make a smart choice.
Magazines– these (religious/Christian) magazines usually came from Church publications. Churches produce their own magazines or reading materials to manipulate the scriptures to blend their own doctrines and influence their members. This is called deception. Mags are fine as long as it doesn’t stray from the teachings of the Bible.
Preachers– preachers also can manipulate the Bible’s teachings to fit on their own doctrines and understanding. Some can corrupt the Bible even unintentionally. So how can you tell? Study the Bible yourself.
Teachings– I would like to include traditions here. These are teachings passed on from our ancestors to our grandparents. These are the things that we do that we usually don’t understand or don’t know the reasons. It’s just we do it occasionally ever since our awareness. We follow these teachings even if they are not in the Bible. And the sad part here is, some teachings that professed to be Christian teachings are in fact, against the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus. (Let me enumerate that in the next article)
Inner self– some of us fall on this category of belief or method, especially in our time, people thought that man already matured and gained knowledge and understanding of all things. And they don’t believe almost anything ancient anymore. They thought that ancient practices are foolishness. As man reached this era, with the knowledge and technology, he already knows everything and doesn’t need help from a superior Being. Some even dismiss the belief of God’s existence.
Some religion teaches self-enlightenment, where you will be able to reach the ultimate wisdom, peace, liberation, etc. through yourself only. This perception doesn’t believe in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, where the Bible tells us that, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…”– John 16:3. They believe that they can reach the god-like status or completeness by themselves, without the help of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost.
Do we really need written words for a guide? Doesn’t a memory or traditions are good enough to follow God and God’s words?
In our modern time, we still use written words as guides and foundation. Let me enumerate them and surprise you:
Contracts– we use contracts to make our deals and agreements stronger. The contract contains the standards each party has to follow. Any activities beyond what the contract stated would result a legal case of Breach of Contract, which could file against the violator. A signed contract is definitely stronger than spoken deals and agreement.
Under the Contract, I would like to add the Marriage contract. Although saying the words how you love the person is sweet. But a signed marriage contract is sweeter and stronger. Marriage contract means accepting responsibilities and the thought of spending your entire life with one another. Each party is more secured if they have marriage contract. I can also say that marriage contracts are also important to the couple’s parents, as this would mean security and peace of mind for them for their sons/daughters.
Public/private documents/legal documents – There are lots of public and private documents that we use such as birth certificates, school records, baptismal certificates, land titles, school diplomas and certificates, etc. There are also lots of transactions that require public IDs for identity validations for important transactions. You can’t just tell them your name and other stuff. You still have to present public IDs such as Social Security IDs, Driver’s Licenses, etc. to have a strong claim that you really are who you say you are.
Last will and testament– this example is one of the most important. These documents are usually prepared by rich individuals. These documents states where or to whom their properties will go when they passed away. To avoid conflicts, property owners prepare a document that declares their inheritor. This will validate the inheritor’s claim and will give the person the right to the properties. An individual’s verbal claim, however close he or she is to the owner, will not be accepted.
Constitution– the Constitution is the list of a country’s laws and standards. Laws were recorded for references and reviews and to avoid confusions, conflicts and its corruption.
Now, the preceding list can be attributed for a reason of legality. Some may say that these documents are needed for legal reasons. That is true. But legal stuffs are useless or baseless if they are doesn’t supported by written documents.
The Ten Commandments– why did God has to record the Ten Commandments to stone tablets. It’s only ten anyway. Does Moses have short term memory? Maybe to make these commandments immortal, God has to engrave them in stones. He knows that passed-on verbal words are easier to corrupt than recorded statements, especially the ones that etched in stones.
How about words of mouth?
Are you familiar with the theory of passed-on-stories? This is if you pass on a story, it will be totally different on the fifth person to hear the story. Sometimes, you don’t have to wait for the fifth person. The story can be already messed up on the second person. It is because we usually tell stories the way we understand them, not in every word that we heard. And each and every one of us perceives things in different ways.
This is the negative product of the method above. Gossips messes the story even more with the desire to make it more controversial. They tell and pass on stories the way they want them to appear. They change some parts and produce their own stories. Newspapers avoid these things. Newspapers validate and tell stories the way they were.
Archives are better than story tellers. Story telling is just entertaining. But a written story is much more reliable. Not only it helps our short-termed memories but it helps to avoid corrupting the story and information. It makes our word more dependable and long lasting. Sometimes, giving words and promises are not enough. We need to write them down to be of good foundation.
Jesus Himself quoted the scriptures when He preached. His disciples used them as well.
Satan also quoted the scripture, believing that it is the best and only way to deceive Jesus. This only means that, there is nothing else that is authorized by God but the Bible or the Scriptures.
Let us give the Bible a chance. Why don’t we try to read and study the Bible and I’m sure that, not only you’ll find amazing true stories and inspirations there, but you’ll also find it sensibly useful in your everyday life.