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Chapter 1

The Sacred Scriptures

***In the days of Jesus, what was the name for the Bible?
“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?” Matthew 21:42.

***What other Biblical name is given to this important book?
“And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21.
NOTE. – It is interesting to note that the word Bible does not occur in the Bible itself. It is derived from the Latin bibla, which came from the Greek biblia, meaning “little books.” The Greek word biblia in turn is derived from byblus, meaning “papyrus,” the name of the material upon which ancient books were written. The Greeks call this writing material byblus because they obtained it from the Phoenician port of Byblos.
      The Bible has sixty-six books and was written by thirty-five or forty men over a period of some fifteen hundred years. The books are called the “Word of God,” or the “Scriptures.” Scriptures means “writings.”

***How were the Scriptures given to mankind?
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16.

***By whom were the prophets of old guided as they thus spake for God?
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21.

***What specific example of this is mentioned by Peter?
“Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” Acts 1:16.

***Who was it, then, who spoke through these men?
God, who at sundry times and divers manners spake in past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Hebrews 1:1.

***For what purpose were the Holy Scriptures written?
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4.

***What are the four ways in which Scripture can help us?
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16.

***What was God’s plan in thus giving the Bible to us?
“That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:17.

***How does God intend that His Word shall help us in this dark world of sin and death?
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.

***What were the three divisions of Scripture in the days of Christ?
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” Luke 24:44.
NOTE. – “The law of Moses” was a common Jewish term for the firsts five books of the Old Testament. In “the prophets” they included Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve Minor Prophets; also Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings. “The psalms” included all the remaining books.

***Upon what evidence did Jesus base the fact of His Messiahship?
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27.
NOTE. – Jesus referred particularly to the Old Testament prophecies as proof of His Messiahship. When Christ spoke of the Scriptures He meant the Old Testament, for the New Testament had not yet been written.

***What is one of the names of God in the Bible?
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4.

***What, therefore, must be the character of His Holy Word?
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

***To what extent has God magnified His Word?
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalms 138:2.
NOTE. – A man’s name stands for this character. It is the same with God. When God places His world above His name, His character becomes the foundation of His world and the pledge that His world will be fulfilled. (Hebrews 6:13-14).

***What value did Job place upon the words of God?
“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12.

***How firm was the prophet Isaiah’s faith in God’s Word?
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8.

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