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Reasons to Believe the Bible 1 – It was written from the beginning

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The fact that Moses wrote the Bible’s first five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy commonly referred to as the Pentateuch) is confirmed by scripture itself[1] and he was repeatedly instructed by God to write what God had told him.[2] At the very start of Genesis there is a reference to it being written.[3] There are repeated references throughout the Bible to the fact that it was a written record.[4] It was important for the Hebrews to record their history meticulously and accurately for several reasons:

  • God had promised to send a Messiah[5] to reverse the judgement he placed on mankind and they wanted to track from where this man would come.
  • The Children of Israel were descendants of the sons of Jacob (God had changed his name to Israel) to which tribe they belonged was important to them.
  • God gave Moses instructions on how they should live; the Ten Commandments, the Civil laws and the Ceremonial laws. These needed to be recorded for future generations.

blog-a-defence-of-the-bible-march-2015-reasonsMoses would have received either direct inspiration from God as to the events which happened before his life and/or this information would have been handed down from his ancestors, e.g. Adam was alive during the life of Noah’s father Lamech. Since Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s household and was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,[6] he would have written as instructed and most likely on clay tablets which were commonly used at the time, an example is pictured. Later, these and subsequent writings were written on scrolls and kept in the Temple.[7] Most importantly, the scriptures were written from the beginning; God spoke and Moses wrote. It set the pattern for the rest of scripture. The expression “This is what the Lord says” or “The Lord spoke saying” and similar phrases occur some 560 times in the Pentateuch, some 300 times in the historical and poetic books, 1200 times in the prophets and 24 times alone in Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. The scriptures were all written close to the time of the events and were not handed down as from generation to generation as folk law, with the possible exception of events before Moses’ time. But ultimately the message was given by God to the writer.[8] The only exception to this is the writing of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) which were written years after Jesus had ascended to heaven. However, before He left his followers He told them that the Holy Spirit would bring to memory all that He had said to them.[9] The letters were of course written and Jesus instructed John to write the Revelation. To summarise then, the Bible consists of God’s inspired words to the people at the time and to all who read it. It can be relied upon for what it says and has always been relevant to the reader irrespective of the time, society and situation. God speaks to His people through the Bible. You may ask, sure the words originally were God’s words but they (the autographs) are no longer in existence, we only have copies of copies of copies, how do we know the coping has been done accurately? This question will be answered in the next communication in this series.

[1] Exodus 17:14, 24:4, 34:27; Numbers 33:1-2; Deuteronomy 31:9-11; Joshua 1:7-8, 8:31, 23:6; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 1 Chronicles 22:13; Ezra 6:18; Nehemiah 13:1; Daniel 9:11; Malachi 4:4; Matthew 8:4; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:29, 24:27, 44; John 5:46, 7:22; Acts 3:22, 15:1, 28:23; Romans 10:5,19; 1 Corinthians 9:9 and 2 Corinthians 3:15.

[2] Exodus 17:14, 24:4, 34:27; Leviticus 1:1, 6:8.

[3] Genesis 5:1.

[4] Deuteronomy 31:9, 31:24-26; Joshua 1:7-8, 8:31-34, 22:5; 2 Chronicles 34:14,  Mark 7:10, 12:24; Luke 24:44; John 1:17, 5:46, 7:23; Romans 10:5.

[5] Genesis 3:15.

[6] Acts 7:22.

[7] 2 Chronicles 34:14.

[8] 2 Timothy 3:16. [9] John 14:26.

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