The Bible is the Book of Books! It is unique. There is no other book like it in the entire world. It is the only Book God ever wrote. Books written by men come closest to the truth only when they accurately reflect the message of God's infallible Book. There is no man more ignorant than the man who does not know the truths found in this Book.
One of the most famous professors of English literature of our generation was William Lyon Phelps, for forty years a teacher in Yale University. He probably gave more lectures outside of his classroom on the great themes of English literature than any other one man of the twentieth century. In the Introduction to his book, Human Nature in the Bible, which he published when he was 57 years old, Phelps included a most remarkable paragraph on the necessity of knowing the Word of God. The man who wrote these words wrote them after he had been teaching for thirty years, and who lived the better part of every day among the greatest books of the world. The following is Phelps’ tribute to the Bible and the importance of knowing it:
Everyone who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible may truly be called educated; and no other learning or culture, no matter how extensive or elegant, can, among Europeans and Americans, form a proper substitute. Western civilization is founded upon the Bible; our ideas, our wisdom, our philosophy, our literature, our art, our ideals, come more from the Bible than from all other books put together. It is a revelation of divinity and of humanity; it contains the loftiest religious aspiration along with a candid representation of all that is earthly, sensual and devilish. I thoroughly believe in a university education for both men and women; but I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible.
If you know the Bible you will know the truth: "If ye continue in my _____________, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the _____________ and the _____________ shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). NO BIBLE, NO TRUTH. Jesus spoke of God's Word and He said, "Thy ____________ is ______________" (John 17:17).
It is interesting to note that the word "Bible" is never found in the Bible. The only place it can be found is on the cover and on the title page, not in the text itself. If you looked for the word "Bible" in a concordance, you would not find it.
Note: A concordance is a very helpful book which lists all of the words found in the Bible in alphabetical order. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance is recommended. Many study Bibles have a brief concordance in the back which is not exhaustive. This may be helpful but it does not contain all the words found in the Bible, just some of the words.
The following illustrates that the term "Bible" is not found in the Bible, but the idea behind the word is certainly there:
Nowhere in the Bible do we find the words, "Read the Bible," but see John 5:39.
Nowhere do we find the words, "Study the Bible," but see 2 Timothy 2:15.
Nowhere do we find the words, "The Bible is absolutely true," but see John 17:17.
Nowhere do we find the words, "The Bible is living and powerful," but see Hebrews 4:12.
Nowhere do we find the words, "The Bible is divinely inspired," but see 2 Timothy 3:16.
The word "Bible" comes from a Latin and Greek term which means "BOOKS," and that is exactly what the Bible is: A COLLECTION OF SACRED BOOKS. [NOTE: Compare the English word "bibliography" (a listing of books referred to by an author.) Also the Greek words Biblion (John 20:30; 21:25; 2 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 20:12) and Biblos (Acts 19:19; Philippians 4:3) are both translated "BOOK" or "BOOKS" (plural).] God has given us a valuable and precious LIBRARY made up of 66 books and all bound in one volume! We call it "the Bible." What is so special about the books of the Bible?
There are three ultimate questions which every person needs to answer:
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
Only the Bible, God's Word, can answer these questions. A professor in college cannot help you answer such questions, unless he consults God's Book. A philosopher can never provide solid answers to these questions because human reasoning and human thinking and human logic are not sufficient to find answers to life's most important questions. A scientist is very limited because he was not personally present when the world began and he also has no way to tell what the future holds or what lies beyond the grave. Man by himself does not have the answers to such questions, but God does.
God was present when the world began and God certainly knows where man came from. "Where wast thou (where were you) when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding" (Job 38:4). Each of us would have to answer, "Lord, I wasn't there. I have no direct knowledge of these events. In order to understand my origin, I need to listen to the God who was there in the beginning, and take Him at His Word."
God knows WHY we are here. God had a purpose for putting us on this earth and we will never find out the reason for our existence unless we find it out from God. God also knows where I am headed. He knows all about my future. He knows all about what lies beyond the grave. He knows all about where I will be five million years from now. If we are to find out about our destiny, we will have to find it out from God.
The answers to life's most basic questions are not a secret. They have been revealed. God has spoken. God has told us all about the past, the present and the future. He has told us about our origin, our purpose and our destiny. We don't need to be in the dark about these things. God has given us a unique Book which answers these questions. We simply need to believe what God has said.
There are real hundred dollar bills and there are counterfeit hundred dollar bills. The counterfeit bills were made by dishonest men who desire to deceive people into thinking that their fake and phony dollar bills are genuine. They want you to think that their bills are real and valuable, but in reality they are counterfeit and worthless.
There are men who have written books about God that are counterfeits. These books claim to be a message from God, but they are not from God at all. These authors want to deceive people into thinking that these books are the real thing: A REVELATION FROM GOD. Many are deceived into thinking that these counterfeits are really true.
One such counterfeit is called The Book of Mormon, considered to be God's Word by those of the Mormon religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses have distributed millions of copies of a small book entitled The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life. However, what this book tells a person to do to have eternal life contradicts what the Bible tells a person to do to have eternal life. Both books cannot be true; one must be a counterfeit. If one has the truth that leads to eternal life, then the other must have error that does not lead to eternal life. What does the Bible say a person must do to have eternal life (John 6:47)? _________________________________________ The counterfeit "Bible" of the Mohammedans or Muslims (the religion of Islam) is called the Koran. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Christian Science cult, wrote Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures. Keys not only open up things, they also lock up things, and sad to say, Mary Baker Eddy's book has locked up the truth and hidden it from many people. There are other books that claim to be holy books which bring God's message to man. Beware of counterfeits. Is there a difference between the Bible and all these other religious books? Is the Bible really unique and unequaled and in a category all by itself?
In Romans 1:2 the Apostle Paul referred to the Bible (in this case the Old Testament) as "the ___________ __________________. " This is similar to what we find on the covers of most Bibles today: the HOLY BIBLE. The basic meaning of the word "HOLY" is "SET APART."
Suppose you had a bag filled with 100 small, ordinary, dirty stones that you
found in a field or near a pond. How could you make one of those stones HOLY? You could
take one stone out of the bag, clean it, polish it and mount it on a beautiful gold ring.
In so doing, you would have made the stone HOLYcompletely set apart and different from all
the other stones in the bag. God in His grace has done this to every person who believes
on His Son. He has set us apart (sanctified us1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:11), made us
SAINTS (holy ones, set apart onesRomans 1:7; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 3:12) and
made us different from those who do not know God in a personal, saving way. Likewise, the
Bible is and always has been HOLY. It is completely set apart and different from all other
books! Here are some of the reasons the Bible is different and unique:
Apart from the Bible, can you think of any other books which have been authored by God? The Bible is the only divinely inspired book. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we learn that "all _______________________ is given by _____________________ of God," Literally this means "All Scripture is GOD-BREATHED--breathed out from the mouth of God, as if God were actually speaking the very words. Whenever we speak we are breathing out words. If you do not believe this, try to say something while holding your breath! To say that all Scripture is God-breathed is the same as saying that all Scripture is the Word of God (see Psalm 33:6 where the "word of the LORD" is equivalent to "the breath of His mouth"). God has breathed out the Scriptures and the whole Bible is from the mouth of God. No matter what verse you might read in the Bible, you should always realize that "the ______________ of the LORD hath ___________________ it" (Isaiah 40:5). Hes the Author! Its His Book! No other book is like it!
"I don't understand. We know that certain men wrote the Bible: Moses, David, Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, Peter, Paul and many others. If men wrote it, then how can we say it is the Word of God?" The answer is found in 2 Peter 1:21--"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God (such as Moses, David, Isaiah, and others) spoke as they were moved (carried along) by the Holy Ghost (Spirit)." In other words, the Holy Spirit moved and guided these men in such a way that what they wrote was exactly what God wanted them to write. These men were God's penmen. God was the Author, but He used these men to actually write down the words.
Suppose a father wants to leave a message for his family so that they will know what time he will return to his home. For some reason he decides to use seven different pens or markers to write his message. Even though he uses these different pens or writing instruments, it is still his message.
God decided to use many different men to be His penmen, but what these men wrote was the very message that God wanted them to write. Their styles were very different, just as each of the writing instruments used in the above message is different. For example, the Apostle John often used very short sentences and Paul often used very long sentences, but John's short sentences and Paul's long sentences both communicated God's Word with 100 percent accuracy.
Consider David as one example of a man God used. David grew up and became a
shepherd. One day as he realized the loving care and protection of the LORD, he
wrote, "The ______________ is M____ S________________" (see Psalm
23:1). God the Holy Spirit was moving David in such a way that the words
that David wrote were exactly the words that God wanted him to write. Listen to what David
himself said at the end of his life in 2 Samuel 23:2 -- "The ______________ of
the L__________ S_____________ by _____, and His ___________ was in _____
tongue." According to this verse, who was the One who really
spoke?____________________ Whose Word was in Davids tongue?_________
Many books contain statements which are true and helpful, and there is much that we can learn and should learn from the books which men have written. The Bible, however, not only says things that are true, but the Bible is TRUTH ITSELF! The Lord Jesus Himself said, "Thy Word is _____________" (John 17:17). Thus, the Bible is the only book which is absolutely INERRANT and INFALLIBLE!
INERRANT means that the Bible is totally free from error of any kind. In Gods holy Word there are no errors, no mistakes, no flaws, no contradictions, no discrepancies, no inconsistencies, no inaccuracies, no disagreements, no imperfections, no defects, no deceptions, no blunders, no misconceptions, no miscomputations (mistakes with numbers) and no misstatements. The Bible is absolutely "________________ from the___________________" (Psalm 119:160).
INFALLIBLE means that the Bible is not liable to error (hence it is a synonym for inerrant). It is incapable of being wrong or mistaken or inaccurate or misleading. It is absolutely trustworthy and sure. The term is sometimes wrongly used of persons. Roman Catholics, for example, believe that the Pope is infallible when he makes official declarations. No Pope or Priest or Pastor or Professor is infallible, but God is infallible and thus His Word is infallible (John 10:35). People may err, but the Bible does not (Matthew 22:29).
The truthfulness of the Bible depends on the God of truth. God has an
amazing reputation for truth. He has never failed to tell the truth.
It is ____________________ for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). He cannot
_______ (Titus 1:2). In the past, men who testified in court would put
their hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Bible communicates the truth of God which men desperately need to
If the Bible is really different and unique and if it really contains the answers to lifes most basic questions, then shouldnt my life be changed as a result of believing what this Book says and by obeying what this Book commands? In Hebrews 4:12 we are told that the Word of God is QUICK and __________________. The word "quick" means "LIVING." The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are _________ " (John 6:63). Peter, who was sometimes confused about spiritual things, knew one thing very well: "Thou hast the words of ___________________ ____________" (John 6:68). In fact, the Bible is even called "the Word of ____________" (Philippians 2:16). Has your life been changed and transformed by the living Word of the living God? If the Bible is really different, then it ought to make you different! If you have not experienced a changed and changing life, dont blame the Bible, blame yourself! If you really want Gods Word to work in you, WHAT MUST YOU DO? See 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
For another study on the infallibility of the Word of God, see our paper entitled The Bible, How Firm a Foundation!
The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.