What does the Bible mean to me?
Is the Bible a collection of shepherd’s stories, recounted and modified over centuries? Is the Bible a big fairy tale collection that contains certain bits of human wisdom?
2. Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
John 17:17 “Your word is truth”
Psalm 119:160 “The entirety of Your word is truth”
The Bible itself claims to be the true word of God. The Holy Scriptures say they are inspired by God’s powerful Holy Spirit: “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2. Peter 1:21).
There is no need to go into “proving the Bible” which many others have done before (http://www.tomorrowsworld.org/booklets/the-bible-fact-or-fiction or http://www.ucg.org/booklet/bible-true/).
Since I believe it can be proved that the Bible is MUCH more than a mere collection of tales – the inspired Word of our Creator Himself – it seems fitting to talk about the impact this very book has on my and your life.
1. Without the Bible I wouldn’t be writing this. You wouldn’t be reading this. Probably none of us would exist. Not because of the absence of the book itself, but because of the different course history would have taken. The Bible didn’t only lead to the rise of Christianity almost two millennia ago, it also heavily influenced medieval and modern thinking. It is the book that shaped our culture and laws under which we now exist. Without the Bible – for example – the many kingdoms of the high and late middle ages wouldn’t have existed in their form and therefore wouldn’t have done what they did. Charlemagne, Otto the Great, Henry the XIII. – nobody would have even been on the throne. There wouldn’t have been wars, missionary work for (or against) barbarian people like the Saxons, there wouldn’t have been highly influential theologians as Augustine the Great or Thomas Aquinas, whole nations wouldn’t have had the politics of their times – look at Italy and the renaissance, not even any of those art works would exist since they were a reaction to Biblical art of the Middle Ages – music, philosophy, science, the whole story of civilization: It all would have been completely different without that one book – the Bible.
And since all of that what makes out the life of us humans – history, present and future; education, politics, migrations, morals, laws etc. – would have been vastly different from what we know now, our forefathers would have died in different kinds of wars, would have produced different types of literature, would have decided differently on where to move and whom to marry and as a result you and I would not have been born, but others would live in this day and age.
It is self-evident that this scenario in such strong significance only targets traditionally Christian western nations, where the book of books had a greater impact than on let’s say Tibet or Taiwan. Continents such as Africa or South America were heavily influenced by western nations – also in their religiosity – and were therefore in modern times to some extent indirectly and to some extent directly touched by the Bible.
2. My life as it is now in this Bible-shaped world: I am married to a wife whom I have deliberately chosen to be not only my mate and counterpart, but also to be my sister in Christ with whom I can share all of my beliefs, thoughts and even doubts. Without the Bible I wouldn’t even know my wife since I wouldn’t have been in the same Church community where I met her a few years ago. As a result my two lovely little children wouldn’t exist. Where would I be, what would I be doing now, WHO would I be? Most likely I would be a completely different person that only looks and maybe smells like me (debatable). I would have nothing in common with the other me except for a few habits that I learned from my parents.
3. Without the Bible I would be a person without vision. Many people think they have vision, and they do – short term vision! Many people know where they want to be in 10 years – financially and with their family planning. But what is true vision? True vision is when you can see beyond what is foreseeable. What eyes can’t see and intellect can’t anticipate – that is vision. I have a vision for my life and for eternity. I know WHY I live, where I am going and what I should be doing. God has shown me through His Word what is right and what is wrong, He has showed me which way to walk and where to turn to. Through God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, I am given a daily orientation through life and even through death, into a new life.
4. This hope makes me strong and free: “ And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31). I can only thank God on a daily basis that He has given this priceless gift that the Bible is. Unwise and ignorant people have abused the Bible according to their own lusts and have heaped suffering upon others and themselves. When correctly used this book is the perfect guideline for a peaceful, happy and rich life. Since I was given the opportunity to lead such a life I am very, very grateful for God’s guidance which He has given me through His Word. And for nothing would I change this Bible-led life. I might be poor and simple in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of my family and – that is my hope – in the eyes of God also, I am a valued and loved individual. Who could desire for more?
1. Corinthians 1:18-21: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
I thank God so very much for His true Scriptures, my permanent guideline, His inspired Word, the Bible.