Sunday, September 11, 2022

Introducing the Doctrine of Scripture - What is meant when we say "The Holy Bible"?


    For quite a while I have had this series about “The Doctrine of Scripture" on my mind. In this introductory post, I want to give you a general survey of the “Doctrine of Scripture”, otherwise known as “Bibliology”. Before we do that survey, let me first introduce the Bible itself.

What is "The Holy Bible"?
    Whenever we think of the doctrine of Scripture, what comes to mind? Let me draw your attention to some opening thoughts.

1. To begin, we think of course about our Bibles. Most Bibles still have written on their spines on front covers “Holy Bible”. That term “holy” speaks of a uniqueness, a “set-apart” quality that makes the Bible different from any other book.

2. Then, when we see that second term “Bible”, we encounter an English word, transliterated from the Latin “biblia”, which in turn is a carryover from the Greek term “biblos”, meaning “Book”. Hence, to say “Holy Bible” means “a set-apart Book”.

3. Now, once you begin to study the Bible, you discover it is composed of sixty-six individual books, sub-divided into two main sections – Old Testament and New Testament. The term "testament" derives from a Latin term that our English Translations have used for centuries to describe our two major sections of the Bible. The term "testamentum", was translated from a Hebrew term ("berith") and a Greek term ("diatheke"), both of which mean  "covenant". 
    In other words, we have what is called "The Old Covenant" and what is called "The New Covenant" Scriptures. "Testament", though more familiar to us, describes a document that goes into effect upon a person's death (i.e. "Last Will and Testament"). God of course is the Living God, which is why the term "Covenant" captures for us what the Bible is all about. "Covenant" refers to a commitment made between the living God and His people. 

    Whether "Old Covenant Scriptures" or "New Covenant Scriptures", the term "Covenant" reminds us that the Bible never goes out of style. It is in written form the voice of the living God Himself, conveyed to us by He as the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. In turn, the Holy Spirit of God, through these words of God, directs our attention to the Son of God - Jesus Christ.
4. The Old Testament (or Covenant) portion contains 39 books, originally written in Hebrew and some Aramaic, comprising over 400,000 words in those languages. These 39 books record the history of God's covenantal dealings with His people, Israel, and how He used Israel to prepare for the coming of Jesus.

5. The New Testament (or "Covenant") consists of 27 books, originally composed in Koine Greek, containing over 138,000 words. Everyone of these words are classified together by the simple term “Scripture”, meaning “that which is written”. Jesus certainly came to ratify the "New Covenant", a better covenant, with His blood, which He shed on the cross as man (see Hebrews 9:16-17). What makes the 27 books the "New Covenant Scriptures" is in how Jesus Christ, being also truly God, demonstrated Himself forever alive by His physical resurrection from the dead, remaining truly man - and thus being forever God and man. 

6. The Bible, comprising Old and New Covenant Scriptures, is the Living God's testimony of Himself to His people whom He calls by faith, and to a world in need of the Savior. This Triune God makes Himself known through the pages of the Bible.

The Bible is a library of Divinely inspired books

    Now these introductory remarks serve to tell you what is inside your Bibles, and why they are called “The Holy Bible”. We see a Divinely inspired library of books, all expressing a unity of message, ranging over 1500 years, through 40 authors, in three languages, displaying all sorts of literary types such as narrative, poetry, letters, and prophecy.

    There are over 700 prophecies, many of which have demonstrated fulfillment in history. No other book in the world, secular or religious, boasts such features. Physical description alone would draw the conclusion that the Bible is a most remarkable book.

    However, in talking about the Bible, I'm not content to just say the Bible is a “remarkable book” (though it most certainly is  remarkable!) Rather, in exploring the doctrine of Scripture, we will discover that this most remarkable book is a “revealed book”. When I talk of "The Doctrine of Scripture", I mean the following qualities or headings.

1. Clarity of God’s words – their

2. Authority of God’s words – that’s

3. Inerrancy and infallibility of God’s words –
    their information.

4. Necessity of God’s words – the foundation.

5. Sufficiency of God’s words – life

6. The writing down of God’s words – that’s

In the next post, we will begin to explain what each of these characteristics mean, and why they matter today. 

No comments:

Post a Comment