The Incredible Bible Chapter 1 - The Only One of its Kind
Abraham Lincoln said: "I believe the Bible' is the best gift God has ever given to man. All
the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this Book."
George Washington said: "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible ."
Charles Dickens said: "The New Testament' is the very best book that ever was or ever will be
known in the world."
Daniel Webster said: "If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is
due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we
abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering
and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and
authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our
glory in profound obscurity."
The Bible is definitely a very unique book. There has never been anything like
it in the world. No book in history has affected the world like this book has.
It is the most quoted, the most published, the most translated, and the most
studied and criticized book in the history of mankind. It is one of the oldest
books, yet it is still the world's best seller.
No one can deny the uniqueness of the Bible. The word "unique" means,
according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "being the only one of its kind."
Everything about the Bible is unique because it is God's very Word to man. We will be
looking at just four areas of uniqueness: Its unity, its content, its indestructibility, and its unique superiority to
the sacred texts of other religions. As we study this please understand, we
are not trying to prove that the Bible is God's Word, for the Bible never does
this, we are simply establishing the credibility and believability of this wonder
book. I heard it said once, "you don't have to defend a lion, just let it out of its cage".
a. Unique in its Unity
The Bible contains 66 books, written by about 40 different men, and covering a
period of approximately 1600 years. It contains hundreds of themes, written in
different countries, by men of various occupations. Yet, among all this
diversity there is an amazing unity of all its teachings and subjects. It has one
basic cause of all man's problems (sin), and one cure (Christ). It deals with
controversial subjects such as: Heaven, Hell, Death, Sickness, God, Satan,
Marriage,... etc. with such harmony, and this Book spans the culturally changing
centuries. What is also amazing is that most of the authors never met each other. Yet
they had the same unique experiences.
Jer 30:1-2 1 The word that came to Jeremiah' from the LORD, saying, 2 "Thus
speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: `Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Lets examine briefly the lifestyles of some of the key writers of the old and
new testaments: Moses , David , Solomon , Jeremiah , Matthew , Peter , & Paul .
Moses was raised in the Courts of Egypt as a princely Epyptian until the age of 40. Then, he spent another 40 years
in the wilderness of Midian as a family man, shepherding his father-in-laws
flocks, until finally he was called by God to lead His people Israel out of
Egyptian slavery. (1400 BC)
David was a shepherd boy from a little city called Bethlehem. After years of
running from king Saul he eventually became king. David did much of his writing
while on the run. He grew into a valiant man of war and wrote also in times of
war. He was from his youth a musician and songwriter. (1000 BC)
Solomon, the son of David, was also king. He reigned at a time when the
kingdom of Israel was at its climax. It was so rich and beautiful that people came
from all over the world to see it. Solomon was probably the wealthiest man in the
world at the time that he did most of his writings. (950 BC)
Jeremiah, who was called "the man that hath seen afflictions" was a
tenderhearted, affectionate son of a priest. He wept continually as he witnessed Judah's
fanatical addiction to idolatry and apostasy. Jeremiah was often writing in a
dungeon and courageously prophesying about the tragedies soon to come, the
destruction of Jerusalem, and the people being deported to Babylon .
Matthew, as we move to the New Testament , was a tax collector. Though he was Jewish, he was hated for serving Rome.
Matthew was more than just a tax collector, he was the kind that would sit in a
little Roman booth at seaports and trade routes. The Jews called them "beasts in
human shape." (1st Cent. AD)
Peter was a simple fisherman with no formal education. He did most of his
fishing at the Sea of Galilee where the society was greatly influenced by Greek culture. (1st Cent. AD)
Paul was a pharisee of pharisees, a student of Gamaliel who was a noted
teacher in Israel. Paul was apparently wealthy as he had a Roman citizenship. Before
he became a Christian he terribly persecuted the Christians from house to
house, throwing both men and women into prison. He was the pride of the Jewish
aristocracy until he became a believer in Christ. He also did much of his writing in
prison. (1st Cent.).
These are just a few examples, but imagine these men, all from different walks
of life, living centuries apart, with different personalities, different moods, and in different places, never having met each other, and
writing books that they said were the word of God. And these books, though
dealing with hundreds of controversial subjects, reveal such a startling continuity, that whoever reads these books must conclude that it is one book, with one
purpose, one moral standard, one plan of salvation, one explanation for
everything, one consummation for all the ages. I am happy to say that it is the
embodiment of divine revelation. The Bible is definitely unique in its unity. It is
also unique in its content.
b. Unique in its Content
The Bible contains so many awesome things including answers to all man's
questions, an accurate history of mankind, miracles that reveal God, and prophecies
about future events that we can look back on and conclude that it all happened
just the way the Bible said it would. It even gives man hope for the future.
Lets look briefly at each of these.
The Bible contains answers .
First of all, it teaches us about God, His personality, the fact that He's one God having a triune nature. It
magnifies His holiness and love, as well as His sovereign rule in the universe. It
reveals to us that we were created by Him in His image and our fall was a free
revolt against His revealed will. It teaches in great detail sin as rebellion
and under the judgment of eternal punishment as well as God's abundant mercies in
providing salvation and the conditions on which it is experienced. The Bible
sets up the highest ethical standards and teaches that these qualities can only
be maintained by a changing of the inward nature through the Word of God. It
answers questions about life, death, good, and evil.
The Bible also contains an accurate history of mankind.
It gives us reliable information about people, places, and events that other
ancient books do not mention. It even tells about kingdoms that have disappeared
from the face of the earth. The Bible begins with God's creation of the world, and leads us through many centuries of ancient history, and points
us toward the end of time. History is very important and does have a purpose. The ancient Sumerians Babylonians, and Egyptians knew this and often wondered the meaning of history and where it was heading. They carefully preserved the ways of their ancestors and treasured whatever
they had of the past. But this sense of history was lost with the fall of Rome
and the coming of the dark ages. Western society lost contact with its heritage.
In fact, medieval art and literature had to illustrate Scripture with people
who wore medieval clothing and lived in castles. Even today modern technology
has blinded us from the depths of the past.
Today, we are only concerned with the "now". It's very hard for us to put ourselves in the shoes of those who lived in
the distant past. Who cares about their manners and customs, trade, money, law,
warfare, etc.? Well, I'm happy to say that God does. God's Word reveals that
ancient human beings were no less creative or intelligent than we are, and
through these people, places, and events God has been working out an eternal purpose,
as one writer put it:
"Behind 10,000 events stands God, the builder of history, the maker of the ages. Eternity bounds the one side, eternity bounds the
other side, and time is in between---Genesis-origins, 'Revelation-endings, and all
the way between God is working things out. You can go down into the minutest
detail everywhere and see that there is one great purpose moving through the
ages, the eternal design of the almighty God to redeem a wrecked and ruined world. The Bible is one book, one history, one story, His story."
The Bible contains Miracles that reveal God.
People say, "Well, if there just weren't any miracles in the Bible, more
people would read it." But the very fact that the Bible does contain miracles, marks
it out as a supernatural book. If there's a God, then He can do anything He wants to do, including things that our finite minds cannot understand. Surely, if
He created the natural laws, then He could, at any time, set them aside to do
whatever He purposed. When I read about the miracles in the Bible, it shows me
that God is always present, and there's no limit to His power.
Is 40:25-26 25 "To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?"
says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these
things, who brings out their host by number; he calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.
Miracles reveal that God is a God of infinite variety and He has millions of
ways to respond to our needs. There's so much we can say about this, but let's
just list a few of the Bible's miracles:
-The creation of the world (Gen 1)... "In the beginning God created..."
-The creation of life (Gen 2)... "The LORD's breath of life..."
-The great flood (Gen 6-7)... "I Myself am bringing the flood of waters.."
-The gathering of animals into the ark (Gen 7)... "They went in to Noah.."
-The tower of Babel (Gen 11)..."The LORD confused their languages..."
-The destruction of Sodom (Gen 18-19)... "The LORD rained fire..."
-The 10 plagues on Egypt (Ex 7-12)... "I will execute judgement..."
-The parting of the Red Sea (Ex 14)... "The LORD made the sea dry land..."
-Events under the ministry of Moses, Joshua, the Judges, the Kings, and all
-Even the New Testament is filled with signs and wonders and healings performed by God through Jesus
and the apostles.
Miracles are occasions on which God comes forth from His hiding place and
shows to man that He is a living God, that He is still on the throne of the universe, and that He is sufficient
for all of man's problems. The Bible is a Book about God. It has to have
miracles. The only other option is that there is no God. Therefore there is no Bible,
or salvation, or resurrection, or any kind of hope for mankind. But with this
little Book, there is hope. We have God's Word that "everything is possible to him who believes."
The Bible contains prophecies about Future Events.
Prophecy here means the foretelling of events through direct communication
from God. There is no other book in the world that foretells the future like the
Bible does. All the way back to the beginning of time the Bible records
predictions about people, situations, cities, nations, and empires with perfect
accuracy to the very minutest detail.
Prophecies about ancient cities and empires such as Babylon, Egypt, Israel, Greece,
Rome, Tyre, Ninevah, etc., as well as predictions about people such as Alexander
the Great, Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes, and especially about Jesus
Christ- His birthplace, lineage, first and second coming, type of death, His
resurrection, and on and on. And these were all written so long before the
actual fulfillments that no one could ever come close to claiming that they were
forged after the events happened. Only God can give us the details of history before they happen.
Is 46:9-10 9 Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no
other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, `My counsel
shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,'
The amazing accuracy leaves us with but one conclusion--the Bible is authored
by God. It is obvious that the Bible is a product of someone who knows everything, and that someone is God. No man has ever been able to foretell the future
with perfect accuracy.
c. Unique in its Indestructibility
The Bible was written over a period of about 17 Centuries and yet here it is
still with us today. Even though the Bible was written on material that perished
more quickly than what we have now, it has survived, and is proven to have
been preserved beautifully in all its writings. How could this be? Even Shakespeare's writings are in total question, and they were written only a couple of centuries ago. There is definitely
something supernatural about the indestructibility of the Bible. Throughout every
century the Bible has been attacked. There have been many geniuses,
philosophers, psychologists, scientists, historians, critics, and political leaders, who
have criticized the Bible over and over again and here it stands. Many have even
tried to do away with it completely or keep people from reading it, and yet
even today almost every home in America has a Bible. There is certainly great
truth in this scripture:
Is 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
4. Unique in its superiority to Other Sacred Texts.
The Bible is infinitely superior and unique to that of any sacred, religious
book in the world. The major religious literature of the world are as follows:
The "Veda" of Hinduism , the "Tripitaka" of Buddhism , the "Zend-Avesta" of Zoroastrianism, the sacred texts of Confucianism, the
"Koran" of Islam , and the "Bible" of Christianity. Lets compare with the Bible the three most influential sacred books: the Tripitaka , the Veda, and the Koran . I think this is important because there are, according to the World Almanac-
over 950,000,000 Muslims (Koran), 700,000,000 Hindus (the Veda's), and over
300,000,000 Buddhists (Tripitaka) in the world today.
The "Tripitaka" of Buddhism
Buddhism began in India about 525 BC. The founder was Gautama Siddhartha
(563-480 BC) who achieved enlightenment through intense meditation. The Tripitaka is
a collection of Buddha's teachings, rules of monastic life, and commentaries.
It is about 10 times larger than the Bible. The basic belief is that life is
misery and decay, and there is no ultimate reality in it or behind it. The cycle
of endless birth and rebirth continues because of desire and attachment to the
unreal "self." Right meditation and deeds will end the cycle and achieve
Nirvana, the Void, nothingness. The Bible makes it clear that a personal God does
exist and He is to be the only object of worship. According to the Bible, man,
though he has sinned against his maker, is not worthless but of infinite worth,
therefore God in His love has provided salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Vedas of Hinduism
Hinduism also began in India, but much earlier than Buddhism, about 1500 BC.
The Vedas are a collection of rituals and mythological and philosophical
commentaries with a vast number of epic stories about gods, heroes, and saints. They
were written over a period of about 2000 years, (approx. 1400 BC-500AD). To
summarize the Hindu belief would be impossible because there are so many different
ways to look at it. That is why there is so many different sects. But they all
believe in Brahman (the three-in-one god), Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the
preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). Man is subject to fate since he is part of
Karma, Reincarnation, and Nirvana are also believed as in Buddhism. Yogas
cause one to control the body and emotions through intense discipline, and Dharma
is the law of moral order which one must follow to reach Nirvana. It is the aim
of every Hindu to avoid reincarnation and reach Nirvana through pure acts,
thought, and devotion. It is interesting to note that it is the Hindu Vedas that
worship the cow.
The Bible teaches God as a definable, infinite, and personal Supreme Being,
who created man in His own image, whom he loves dearly. Sin is rebellion against
a holy God, but the judgment for that sin fell on Christ. Salvation is freely
given by God and cannot be earned. The Bible sees the universe as totally
separate from God and not part of Him.
The Qur'an or Koran of Islam
Islam was founded in 622 AD by Mohammed (570-632 AD), the prophet, in Medina, Arabian peninsula. Today, the Muslim
faith is the fastest growing religion in the world, spreading to over 40
countries on three continents. Its founder, Mohammed, was born in Mecca, Arabia (570
AD). He received his first revelation by the angel Gabriel at the age of 40.
Though he could not read or write, his revelations were apparently written down by
his secretaries for about 22 years until he died in 632 AD. He denied
Polytheism and only worshipped Allah, the only God who sent his last and greatest
prophet, Mohammed, to give the word of God, the Koran, to mankind.
The Qur'an or Koran are the holy scriptures in Islam. Almost as large as the
New Testament, it contains 114 chapters. The Koran is superior to all other
revelations because they have been corrupted beyond recognition. Only the Koran is
infallible. There is no room for discussion of the historicity of the Bible
because Mohammed said it was corrupt. The Koran was written in the Arabic language
shortly after Mohammed's death. It teaches that the one true God's name is
Allah. He is so far above man in His knowledge and power that no man could ever
know him. In fact, it would be blasphemous to call Allah, "your father." There is
no personal relationship with him. He is to be obeyed without question,
therefore the name Moslem, or Muslim means "to submit." Allah has spoken through
numerous prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.
But Mohammed was the last and most perfect prophet. The Koran teaches that
mans good and bad deeds are being recorded by each man's two recording angels, and
on the last day, Allah will weigh them in the balances. Some will go to
paradise, where they will recline on soft couches with cups of wine, given to them by
virgins, of whom each man may marry as many as he pleases. Others will go to
Hell where there will be unmerciful torment. If a man dies in war, defending
Islam, he is guaranteed eternal life in paradise.
The Bible teaches that God is not divorced from His creatures and loves man dearly. He is a God of love, grace, and mercy, and does call us
children. Jesus was called the Son of God, repulsive to Islam. The Bible
reveals that salvation can be certain, and sin has been provided for through the
death of Christ, also repulsive to Islam for Allah would never permit the
suffering of an innocent on behalf of others let alone one of his prophets who he could
easily rescue. God motivates man through grace, not fear, through
relationship, not legalism. According to the Bible, Christianity was founded by a risen
Christ who said:
Jn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for
In conclusion, the Bible is different than any other book ever written. These
are just a few reasons among many. It is without question God's revelation of
Himself and His purposes. The Bible is truly a wonder book. May we, as followers of Christ, believe it whole-heartedly, and seek to Know
Him better, and may we increase in a desire to share the riches of God's love
each day as He leads us.
©1995 The Bible Knowledge Accelerator Created by Rusty Russell