St Augustine’s Church 2018

THE BIBLE

Christians believe the bible to be the inspired Word of God and it’s content can be trusted (but it may in places can be difficult to understand).

The bible is divided into two sections both made up of several books written by different authors.

The Old Testament - written before the time of Jesus and is often referred to in the New Testament as scripture or “it is written”.  The OT is a collection of history books, prophetic books, books of law for the Israelite nation and poetic writings.  One special feature of the OT is that it points to God’s Messiah all through the collections of books which was fulfilled in the person of Jesus.  Because of this, it’s content is still very relevant to life today in the 21st century.

The New Testament - written after Jesus and contains the Four Gospels plus writings distributed to the early Christian churches in the first century.  The NT is all about Jesus also known as the Christ.  Christ is the Greek word for Messiah or “promised one” and is widely used through out the NT. So when people say Jesus Christ this can also be said as Jesus, God’s promised one.

The Bible - A Dangerous Book!

The Bible was originally written in several different languages which have been translated over the centuries into many modern languages.  At one time it was very dangerous to read the bible in English because it was said that Latin was the only true bible language.  People we killed, sometimes burnt alive just for owning a bible in English.  Which was not logical because the Latin bible was also a translation from the original text.

So important was it to have the bible in their own language people were willing to take the risk. Even today in some parts of the world people are still killed for owning a bible and believing in it’s contents.

Today we a very fortunate because of discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and many other finds we are able to read the bible in our every day language based on translations from many very old sources.  The amazing things is that these ancient text confirm the accuracy of translations over the ages

These are some of the modern Translations:-

The Good News Bible - Commissioned by the Bible Society it sets out to make the bible easy to understand.

The New International Version - A very widley used version in the English speaking world

The Message - This is a translation by a church pastor in the USA who had previously been an academic in the ancient languages from which the bible was translated into a version easy to understand by the people in his own church.  The anglicised version available to us is a very good alternative read.

The Authorised Version - A translation commissioned by King James first of England.  Much loved for its language by many people it was mainly based on the Geneva Bible a version of the original translation by Tyndale.  Although not generally known at the time, Tyndale’s translation into English was the very bible that caused many people to be put to death, it was now the authorised bible for use in churches.

New King James Version - A recent updated version of the Authorised Version incorporating ancient text discovered since the original version and uses todays English giving clarity to the meaning of the content.


The Bible - The “Word of God”

Christians believe the bible to be the inspired word of God.    

Over a period of 1400 or more years and about 60 different writers each contributing smaller books which are assembled into the bible.  That God guided the thoughts of these different writers to record the history of the Hebrew (Jewish) nation plus teachings and prophetic revelations.

Although it may not be obvious at first, the bible centres on one person that is Jesus.  God’s son the bible teaches existed before the earth was formed.  Indeed the bible states the it was Jesus who was involved in creation.  Jesus , who is God became a man and walked this planet, spoke about the Kingdom of God, gave powerful teaching , was crucified and then rose from the dead.

It is logical that an all powerful God who is the only and Creator God would ensure that the book that speaks for His kingdom would indeed be The Word of God.

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