Lesson 1 - The Bible

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“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

1. Why do we study the Bible? About what does it teach us?

2 Timothy 3:14-17: “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 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. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

1 Peter 2:2: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”

We study the Bible because it is the inspired Word of God and it teaches us about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Through the study of the Bible, we learn the true doctrine and teaching of God, and we are taught how to walk in His ways.

2. What is unique and special about the Bible?

2 Peter 1:19-21: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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.”

1 Corinthians 2:13: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

2 Samuel 23:1-2: “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.”

The Bible is special and unique because it is God’s Word to man. It was not written by the will of man. God Himself moved men to write and guided and directed them in the thoughts they expressed and in the words they wrote.

3. Does the Bible have mistakes and errors in it?

Proverbs 30:5: “Every word of God is pure.”

Psalm 119:160: “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

John 17:17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

John 10:35: “The scripture cannot be broken.”

All that the Bible teaches and says is true because it is inspired by God Himself and is His Word.

4. Has the Word of God been corrupted or lost?

Psalm 119:89: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”

Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

1 Peter 1:24-25: “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Not only did God give His Word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He has and continues to preserve His Word as a true and faithful witness to all the people in the world of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

5. What does God say about changing His Word – adding to it or taking away from it?

Deuteronomy 4:2: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Matthew 5:18-19: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot [smallest Hebrew letter] or one tittle [smallest part of a Hebrew letter] shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Revelation 22:18-19: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Jeremiah 23:28: “He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.”

God forbids us to change His Word – to add to it or to take away from it. We are to speak and teach it faithfully. For this reason, we use great care to teach nothing more and nothing less than what God has revealed to us in the Bible. And we seek to use translations of God’s Word which are fully faithful to those texts which God has preserved and which have been widely used by the churches down through the centuries.

6. What use should we make of God’s Word?

Luke 11:28: “Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

Psalm 119:97: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”

We should read and study the Bible, learn its teachings and meditate upon it because it is God’s Word to us. It teaches us of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and it also teaches us how to live for our Lord and Savior.

Look in the front of your Bible at the listing of books there. You will find our Bible has a total of 66 books – 39 Old Testament Books and 27 New Testament Books. Memorize these books of the Bible in order so that you can easily find them when studying God’s Word. Also, memorize the Bible passages listed above – if you can, memorize them all – they are God’s Word and will help you learn of Him and grow in your faith in Christ Jesus.

SUMMARY

We believe that all of the Bible and each and every word of the Bible (the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament canonical books) were given by inspiration of God and are therefore the true and unerring Word of God (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Samuel 23:1-2). We also believe that the Word of God has not been lost or corrupted, but has been faithfully preserved by God down through the centuries as a witness to all the nations (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Matthew 24:14,35). We believe that it is still accurately recorded in the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Majority (or Received) Texts, and that it can be read and studied in faithful Bible translations, such as Luther’s German Bible, the King James Version and New King James Version of the Bible, and other faithful translations. We reject and discourage the use of texts and translations of the Bible which are unfaithful and thus corrupt the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4:2; Jeremiah 23:28; Matthew 5:18-19; Revelation 22:18-19).

Since all of the Bible is God’s true and unerring Word, we teach that the Bible is to be the source and judge of all Christian Doctrine. What is not in accord with God’s Word is not to be taught as Christian Doctrine (Isaiah 8:20; Jeremiah 23:28-32; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11).

The Bible is also its own interpreter; thus, passage interpretations which are not in agreement with other clear passages of Holy Scripture are to be rejected (2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 8:20). We teach that the Bible is to be diligently studied and heard; for it reveals to mankind the only way of salvation, which is through faith in Christ Jesus, and it guides the Christian in living according to God’s Holy will (John 5:39; 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 119:105).

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