Thoughts from the Bible – 01/15/20

The importance of the Bible by Terry Broome We are so fortunate to live in a time when Bibles are available in nearly every bookstore, variety store like Wal Mart and in most libraries. Most homes in America have several copies. It wasn’t always that way. A person in Bible times was very fortunate if their family had managed to acquire any portion of the copies of scripture that scribes from centuries before Jesus copied by hand. Some Jews in foreign lands were fortunate to get hold of the translation of the old Hebrew and Aramaic text into Greek. This translation from about 200-225 B. C. was called the Septuagint. Usually only wealthier people might have portions of these ancient scrolls. It appears from some quotes such as in Stephen’s sermon of Acts 7 that Jesus, the apostles and other evangelists of the First Century often quoted Old Testament passages from this Septuagint (Greek) translation. Most folks didn’t have easy access to these scriptures – especially since they were copied by hand and limited in number available. They had to wait for public readings of the sacred scriptures in the Synagogues and the Temple: Acts 15:21 (KJV) “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” Do you remember the day that Jesus went into his home village of Nazareth and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day: Luke 4:16-17a ( KJV ) 16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias . . .” We need to come to appreciate the importance of the reading of the Bible and the means by which God made His will known to Old Testament characters, early New Testament Christians and then for us today. To illustrate the need for this awareness read Paul’s words in 2 Tim. 3:15-17 (KJV) 15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” In writing to Timothy, it’s apparent that Paul had reference to the Old Testament scriptures. The New Testament books had not been written at this time. The Old Testament scriptures introduced them to God and to His plan to work through the seed of Abraham to bless all nations of the earth through Christ (Galatians 3:24-29 (KJV) 24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” So, we’ve illustrated that early Christians had access to the reading of scriptures, but these were Old Testament scriptures up to a certain point in time. The New Testament books started out as letters to individuals and to churches, plus the mid-first century writing of the biographies by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Primarily, the First Century Church was dependent upon inspired apostles and those with spiritual gifts to make the message known. Often their sermons were based on Old Testament quotes that foreshadowed the coming of the New Testament covenant of Christ. We should be most thankful that God has carefully preserved His Word so that we can know today with certainty His Will for mankind. The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.

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