Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Irrelevant . . . or Irreplaceable?

I initially read through the Bible my senior year in high school. The previous summer I had heard someone teach directly from the Scriptures for the first time. Intrigued, I decided to read the Bible, five chapters a night. That took about nine months.

Although I read it cover to cover, I didn’t understand much in between. The “begats,” "thous, “whosoevers,” “shalts” and “sayeths” of the King James Version were bothersome. So after the last verse in Revelation, I placed the black, cloth-covered Bible on a bookshelf, where it remained.

In 1978 I encountered the New American Standard version, astounded to discover the Scriptures translated into modern, easy-to-understand language. I also learned the Bible was not some ancient, obscure manual for preachers with years of specialized seminary training, but a practical guide for everyone.

Over the years since, I have read through the Bible more than a dozen times. Some say it’s archaic and irrelevant. A friend once told me, “The Bible’s a good primer, but then you move on to something more sophisticated.” (The work of some great philosopher or thinker, I suppose.) The Scriptures respond to that: “The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

I have found the Bible an incomparable source of instruction for all areas of life – work, marriage and family life, finances, morals, relationships – even sports. Like peeling on onion, removing one layer to reveal another, the Bible possesses limitless depth. Every time I read it, I find insights and truth I didn’t see before.

Without question, we can gain wisdom as well from holy books of other religions, including the Torah, the Koran, even the Tao Te Ching. That’s because all truth is God’s truth. But the Bible is the “owner’s manual,” God’s revelation of how He designed us, His plan for us, and how to truly find joy and fulfillment in this life as we anticipate the next.

The apostle Paul assured us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). Through it we realize Jesus’ promise to His followers: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).


Unknown said...

Good post;However I believe God only wrote one book, the one that declares Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords-The Savior of all mandkind.

Bob Tamasy said...

No question, Steve. The Bible is the only inspired Word of God. But wherever you find truth, whether in Aesop's Fables, good literature or whatever, it's truth because God established it to be so. Unfortunately, people are too ready to accept counterfeits and worship a god they want, rather than the God who is.