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  • Thomas Jaymac

What is the bible?

By Thomas Jaymac

The Bible is not only the oldest book known to mankind, but also the most historically accurate. As often as this fact gets called into question, this fact gets proven, again and again.

Of all the ancient writings, the most experienced scholars agree that the Holy Bible's 'books of The Law' are the oldest. Words given by Yahweh (God) and written by Moses, they date from 1445 BC to 1405 BC and consist of Five books.

The oldest collection of written words is found within one of these books. These words are known as "The 10 Commandments” and are found in the 20th chapter of the book called Exodus. They were inscribed on two tablets of stone by God himself and then given to Moses (Exodus 31:18, 32:16, Deut 4:13, 10:4). They were given for Yahweh’s chosen people, The Nation of Israel, to know and abide by.

In the future the 'Ten Commandments' and 'Books of the Law' would also become foundational to Christians. Christians have been 'grafted' into the blessings and instruction Israel received from God (Rom 11:17).

The bible stands head and shoulders above the other well-known ancient scripts that underpin significant world religions. Even though proclaimed by millions, they are young in comparison. Remembering that BC dates count down towards the birth of Christ, with larger numbers being older, the comparison is stark. The "Hindu Veda" was written from 1200BC to 1000BC. The Buddhist "Tripitaka" was written in 100BC. "The Taoism book of philosophy" was written from 200BC to 200AD. And the holy book of Islam called the "Koran" or al-Qur'an was written in 650AD.

The Holy Bible consists of 66 books compiled over 1500 years. These books where written by 40 authors across three continents, starting with the Old Testament and finishing with the New Testament.

The Old Testament was originally written in ancient Hebrew text and consists of 39 books, with the first five written by Moses. These first five books are referred to by Jews as the Torah or Pentateuch.

The Old Testament also includes poetry, wisdom, words of praise, prophecies about the Messiah, historically fulfilled prophecy and yet to be fulfilled prophecy. The Old Testament can best be summed up as:

  • The five books of Moses (being Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy)

  • The book of Joshua the son of Nun

  • Judges

  • Ruth

  • Four books of Kingdoms

  • Two books of Chronicles

  • The Psalms (many of King David)

  • The Proverbs (many of King Solomon and his wisdom)

  • Ecclesiastes

  • The Song of Songs

  • Job

  • The prophets (including Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Twelve minor prophets in a single book, Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra)

The Old Testament was complete in 435BC and there was a 400 year pause until the beginning of the New Testament.

The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek and consists of 27 books that were specifically written for Christians. It was complete in approximately 97AD after the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation while on the island of Patmos, around 95-96AD. The New Testament is underpinned by the Old Testament and many prophecies recorded in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the New Testament with Jesus Christ at their center.

In John 14:26, Jesus promised his disciples that they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to remember his words and teachings.

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

In 367AD the thirty-ninth Paschal Letter of Athanasius contained an exact list of the twenty-seven New Testament books we have today. This was the list of books accepted by the churches in the eastern part of the Mediterranean world at the time.

Thirty years later, in 397AD, the Council of Carthage, representing the churches in the western part of the Mediterranean world, agreed with the eastern churches on the same list. These are the earliest final lists of our present-day canon.

At the end of the last chapter in the final book in the biblical canon, John writes:

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”

Revelation 22:18-19

The Holy Bible is Holy for several reasons.

Many godly, God-fearing men sought the Lord to ensure it was canonical. For a book to belong in the canon, it must have divine authorship. Christ gave the apostles the ability to write words with absolute divine authority. If a writing can be shown to be by an apostle, then its divine authority is automatically established. Thus, the early church automatically accepted as part of the canon the written teachings of the apostles which the apostles wanted preserved as Scripture. These words are God’s words (through human authors), they belong in the canon, and have been subsequently preserved. Essentially, if the words of the book were not God’s words, they did not belong in the canon.

The first complete Holy Bible to be written was The Wycliffe Bible of 1400AD. It was based on Latin and was distributed only in handwritten copies.

Down through the years God maintained his written word.

In 1525AD the first English Bible translated from Greek was printed in the form of the Tyndale New Testament.

It's pioneer, William Tyndale, was not able to complete the entire Old Testament before he was put to death by the Catholic Church in 1536AD. He completed Genesis through 2 Chronicles, plus Jonah, 15 of the 39 books. After his death the translation of the Old Testament were finished by other men. The entire Tyndale Bible was published in several editions, primarily including the Coverdale Bible, the Matthew’s Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Great Bible, and the King James Bible of 1611. For the first time since God created the earth, English speaking nations now had the first complete English bible.

The key to knowing God is the Holy Bible. In his written word is revealed the wisdom, justice and love of our Creator God. In the Holy Bible is revealed his intention to bless ALL humanity. From the very first chapters of Genesis—outlining the creation of earth and man, as well as our first parents’ disobedience and consequences—is a promise to resolve the trouble humanity struggles with.

Instead of the Garden of Eden becoming a Paradise for all mankind—it became “cursed." Sin brought a death sentence on all people. And yet in the midst of this, Genesis reveals, one thread, one promise of hope, that the “seed of the woman” would fatally “bruise” the “head” of the serpent (Satan). (Genesis 3:15-17).

Genesis includes the continuation of this thread with the comprehensive and wonderful promise to Abraham. God promises Abraham that in his “seed...shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:17,18). This “seed” promised was then defined both as “stars” and also as “sand.”

That thread of promise in the Bible is confirmed to Abraham's son Isaac (Genesis 25:5), and then to Isaac's son Jacob (Genesis 28:14) whose name was changed to “Israel” (Genesis 32:28). Israel then had twelve sons who inherited God’s promise to bless “all the families of the earth” (Genesis 26:3,4). A further affirmation of God’s Plan of blessing was penned by the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Church at Galatia.

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’”

Galatians 3:8

As Christians in the modern era, we are blessed to have the Holy Bible in its complete form. As a result, we have access to an abundance of knowledge.

Discoveries from archeological digs in the Middle East have verified the Bible’s recorded history. The physical evidence unearthed by excavations supports biblical accounts of everything from ancient cities and kings to supernatural occurrences. These discoveries provide a modern link to the ancient past. They continue to prove that the Bible is written fact, both historically accurate and written in logical sequence.

Up until the middle of the twentieth century, other than the scriptures themselves, there was little in the way of archeological evidence for the Bible's historical accounts. Then in 1947, in caves by the Dead Sea, a Bedouin shepherd discovered large clay jars containing well preserved leather scrolls. These are now known as "The Dead Sea Scrolls". In the years that followed, more scrolls, both leather and papyrus, were discovered. Except for the book of Esther, fragments of every book of the Hebrew canon (Old Testament) where discovered. .The Scrolls not only enhanced our knowledge of Judaism and Christianity, they confirmed Christianity’s roots in Judaism.

For further in-depth study see

In a 1993 an archeological dig turned up a broken chunk of basalt with the inscription "The House of David". It described an ancient battle. The following year two more pieces were unearthed, along with a 34cm x 32cm artifact called the Tel Dan inscription. This significant discovery from northern Israel supports the scriptures account of King David and gives weight to the biblical account of Jesus Christ as heir to King David's throne. See Isaiah 7:13-14 and Luke 1:31-33. Logical reasoning supports belief in the Bibles accounts and claims. If it is historically accurate then it is logical to believe it's prophetically accurate. The bible declares that Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. On the evidence of the bibles accuracy in the past we should expect for this to occur in the future.

For those who would like to learn more about this a great place to start is by visiting can do so by going to Dr Robert Cargill's YouTube channel (XKV8R — Robert R. Cargill, PhD), where Dr Cargill gives a detailed account of the Tel Dan Inscription.

Throughout the modern era science and astronomy have confirmed what the bible declares. Many scientists and astronomers have marveled at its accuracy.

For example, ancient people living before Aristotle believed the Earth was a flat disk carried by a giant, or even a turtle! In contrast, the Bible, written centuries before Aristotle lived, recorded the earth as suspended in empty space.

“He...hangeth the earth upon nothing”

Job 26:7-8

Often, we stop after attaining an intellectual knowledge of the Bible, but God urges us to go further, to apply his word. See Philippians 4:9, James 11:22-25 and 2 Thessalonians 3:4 for example. Actively applying its content and seeking spiritual understanding is a vital part of a true and real relationship with God. It takes self-discipline and determination to learn and rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 3:16).

By reading the Bible regularly and asking God for understanding, we can achieve this. Jesus opens people's minds to understand his word. Jesus said:

"'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.' Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures"

Luke 24:44-45

"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true...

1 John 5:20

And this leads us to the next chapter in the journey. The biggest question of all: who is God.

See the next post by Thomas Jaymac - Who is God?


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