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?" 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 biblia, 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." 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 first 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." Verse 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?
"Thou has magnified Thy word above all Thy name." Psalm 138:2.
NOTE.-A man's name stands for his character. It is the same with God. When God places His word above His name, His character becomes the foundation of His word and the pledge that His word will be fulfilled. (Hebrews 6:13-14).
What value did Job place upon the words of God?
"Neither have I gone back from the command 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.
Searching the Scriptures
What did Christ say to the people of His day concerning the Scriptures?
"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me." John 5:39.
NOTE.-When this was spoken, not a word of the New Testament had been written. It was to the Old Testament that the Jews looked as their guide to eternal life; and although they would not accept Christ, He said that these very books which they esteemed so highly, testified of Him. If the Old Testament points to Christ, it is worthy of our careful study.
Do the Scriptures furnish positive evidence that the gospel was known in the patriarchal age?
"And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham." Galatians 3:8.
NOTE.-It was through gospel faith that Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ. John 8:56. So with all the faithful who lived in the patriarchal age. All these had a practical knowledge of the gospel, as appears from their godly lives and sacrificial offerings.
Does Holy Writ contain unmistakable evidence that the Hebrews were taught the gospel under the former dispensation?
"For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it," Hebrews 4:2.
NOTE.-The persons here referred to by "them" are the Israelites when on their journey from Egypt to the promised land, as will be seen by the Scripture connection. Paul says the gospel was preached unto us, as well as unto them, putting "them" ahead, and letting "us" have the gospel afterward.
Why did Moses give up the riches of Egypt?
"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt." Hebrews 11: 26.
NOTE.-People in that age, even as now, were influenced by the riches of Christ to give up the world.
Whence came the spiritual meat and drink of the Israelites while in the wilderness?
"And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:2.4.
What was the chief corner-stone of the faith of both apostles and prophets?
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone." Eph. 2:20.
What part of the Scriptures did Philip hear a certain eunuch reading?
"And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?" Acts 8:30.
When asked if he understood what he was reading, what reply did the eunuch make?
"And he said, How can " except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." Acts 8:31.
What did Philip then do?
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." Acts 8:35.
What are the Scriptures able to do?
"Hast thou not known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Tim. 3:15.
What was said of the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures daily?
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11.
By what is man to live?
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4.
How greatly 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. " Ps. 138:2.
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