What Is The Bible?
What is the Bible?
Why does the Bible matter?
Isn't the Bible just a book of rules and fairy tales?
The human heart is an interesting thing. It's a physical organ but it's actually way more than that.
I was doing some research about heart transplants. Time after time I saw that the recipients of the new hearts actually received new personality traits, personality traits of the deceased person who the heart belonged to. Things such as becoming an artist overnight, or a new dislike for meat, were miraculously acquired by the patient.
Scientists and surgeons cannot fully explain why this happens.
This is when I started to take scriptures that talked about the heart more seriously. I originally thought they were just poetic metaphors.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart" (Psalm 73:26)
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a loyal spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (Proverbs 4:23)
I look at this as when we might "follow our heart" into a situation that causes heartbreak that we can feel literally... many times, in retrospect, we may not have used the best judgment to begin with. That's why it's important to have a heart after God, so he can lead us in the right direction at all times in all areas of our lives. Guarding our hearts means just that... being watchful of the people and environments we entertain. It has a literal effect on your human heart.
Your soul is your emotions, will, mind and heart.
If we live a filthy life, we will have a filthy heart, and a filthy soul.
That's why it's of course physically important to take care of your body, your arteries, blood pressure, heart and such.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has planted eternity in the human heart.
That means every single human that has ever lived, is living, and will ever live has someway or another wondered what does life mean and is there more to it.
You want to know why you were made. You want to know what your purpose is. You want to know how did you get here and what will happen when you die.
That's because God has placed the knowledge of "there's more" in our hearts.
Whether it's looking up into the sky and admiring the stars or thinking in your room when will life get better than what you know... that is eternity in your heart.
We try to find answers but I've come to realize the bible has so far answered all of my questions.
We are a faith based people. Everyone has a faith in something... if someone is an Atheist they have a faith that nothing exists. Most scientists have a faith that everything they discover is the answer to it all. Their faith is in scientific evidence. What you put your beliefs in is your faith.
We try to find out the future through psychics and zodiac signs but God has all the answers. Astrology is based on stars in the sky that God made. So how can we look to something that God made more than God himself.
"Then God said, 'Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.'" (Genesis 1:14)
"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place" (Psalm 8:3)
Yes, God has created a complex system of information in the sky. But to wake up every morning, and live religiously by your horoscope without even seeking God himself is interesting. It's essentially sun and moon worship like people did in the past, but we look at them as weird.
Scientists are trying to find ways to make humans immortal... when God already told us about eternal life. This end of this physical life is not the end of our life... it can really be looked at as the beginning. I'll talk more about that another time.
Whether you believe in reincarnation and living in a cycle, Buddhist, Hindu, or you're a Christian, a Muslim, or someone that looks forward to horoscopes, or someone that examines scientific data to find life's answers, etc... we all have a desire to know God without even knowing it.
By the time I was in elementary school I knew all the bible stories and I thought they were just that... bible stories.
I gave no 2nd thought to the stories we all know by now... The Flood, Moses parting the Red Sea, etc...
until I read this...
"satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe." (2 Corinthians 4:4)
I'm a very open minded person so I gave this some thought. I look at all belief systems and study them so why not look at the bible, I thought to myself.
Now before I get into the bible I want to talk about how things are always hidden from us even from regular people on an everyday basis.
Most of public school is white history.
White people are awesome but man, black people don't have a history other than slavery?
Black history month... is only a month. And even then... it's the same MLK, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman information. Never anything in depth.
Even now we see how information is trying to be hidden. We are lied to right to our faces when it comes to the police these days. Michael Brown, Tamir, Sandra Bland, etc.
Did you know in the beginning of the settlement era, black people could own white people? Black people owned other black people? White people owned white people and of course white people owned black people but they were treated fairly once free? They were able to purchase land and houses with no problem. Eventually that stopped, and newer, stricter slavery laws were set in place to what we are taught today in school.
Why are answers always hidden? Because there is a system in place... to trap us mentally, and in many other ways. Many people are trapped in this system materialistically.
Information is easily hidden or just not taught. When I find that out, it makes me want to find the truth out even more.
That's the case with the things of God or things that will prove the things of God.
That's why the system wants separation of church and state, no prayer in school, etc.
Coincidentally, we have more school shootings now, but that's a topic for another day as well.
So what makes the bible so interesting?
I started to realize there were facts about the earth in there that went against our own understanding at certain points in human history that were later discovered to be true.
I started to discover that the bible explained things thousands of years ago that we are just now finding out.
It is then I realized that there was more to this bible... and it wasn't a "book of rules" or fantastical compilation of fairy tales.
The Bible is not one book in its true sense; it is 66 books, with over 40 different authors over a period of thousands of years... yet everything connects. Compiling a book of that magnitude, creativity and complexity is hard to do in human history.
The original language for the Old Testament is Hebrew and Aramaic. The New Testament, Greek.
The Bible was not written by a bunch of blue eyed blond haired people.
It contains lessons on life, poems, songs, and many other literary devices I did not realize were in there.
I soon learned that the stories in the bible that we have been conditioned to think or only in the bible, are actually in hundreds of other cultural stories, over the course of human history. This information has been hidden from us.
The Flood is mentioned by over 200 different people groups, legend or folklore other than the bible. The parting of the Red Sea is all over ancient history other than the bible. The Tower of Babel and how our speech was confused which created the different languages is not only in the bible. The creation story, Adam and Eve, countless accounts other than the bible.
Let's look at The Epic of Gilgamesh:
"There is a pair named Enkidu and Shamhat... the man is created from the soil by a god, and lives in a natural setting among the animals. He is introduced to a woman who tempts him. In both stories the man accepts food from the woman, covers his nakedness, and must leave his former realm, unable to return. The presence of a snake that steals a plant of immortality from the hero later in the epic is another point of similarity."
You might say, so now you're comparing the bible to a story we read in class?
Well here's the thing... first I want to establish the fact that everything has a base truth to it. It might be far from the original, like the telephone game, but for something to be, there has to be an origin. With hundreds of the same stories over thousands of years from different cultures in different parts of the world that haven't even seen each other... anthropologists say that at least two, only two, different cultures sharing the same myth means they are descendants of the people who actually lived it. Professional anthropologists say only two cultures are needed... yet the stories in the bible are in numerous, sometimes hundreds, of other stories.
Scientists have discovered that all minerals, vitamins, and elements in a human body can be found in the soil, the dirt. And of course when we die, we return to the earth.
Genesis tells us that God created the first man from the earth.
We have to open our minds up. The lost city of Troy, that was the setting of the Trojan War myth and the giant Trojan Horse, was considered a legend for centuries... until the city of Troy was literally found in the 1800s.
Even America... which at one point the idea of a "new" land was laughable to many... led to a whole repopulated side of the world.
At one point the giant squid was just a myth, a legend, a fable... until it was discovered. Photos have only started surfacing in 2004 and the first official video was caught in 2013. We are constantly trying to catch up to God.
Around 1947 Arabs began to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls in some caves. They date back to 600 BC and set the historical and archaeological world on fire, because they included the 2nd oldest surviving manuscripts of the original bible, proving its authenticity. Over 800 scrolls, biblical and extra information not a part of the bible that paint an even bigger picture for it.
2 Kings 3:4-5 talks about King Mesha of Moab. This stone was found and was dated back to 840 BC to his name.
Solomon's temple that is mentioned in the bible is validated by countless pieces of artifacts from excavations, including this "House of Yahweh" pottery shard. Dating back to the times the bible states.
King Sennacherib of Assyria is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 32:9-10... this story panel was discovered, matching what the bible says.
This is just a very tiny amount of a vast number of confirmed archaeological artifacts that have been found that validates the historical aspect of the bible. I felt so uninformed not just by school or popular culture but sometimes even religious people that never talk about this stuff. I understand why many people wouldn't want to read the bible because it is always presented as an outdated rule book by many religious figures.
If we always live by a "see it to believe it" attitude, though, we won't get far in life. Why do we have faith in everything else... we can't see the outcome of our future but we take chances with our goals. We have faith in other people every time we step into a vehicle that we won't die.
Science tells us everything has a sound vibration, and everything can be manipulated by sound. (which is especially true when I play my bass loud)
"For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command." (Psalm 33:9)
All things have a sound vibration because when God spoke, there it was.
I love science... but it only further explains what God has already told us and did. We as a human race need to put our pride to the side and realize the awesome power of this supreme being. We are responsible for nothing. Many times people use science so hard to attempt to disprove God but it just actually proves God.
Scientists say that all natural phenomena in the universe can be divided into interactions between five basic manifestations: time, force, action, space, and matter. This fundamental truth was first stated by an agnostic gentleman in the 1800s.
but God said this thousands of years ago:
“In the beginning [time], God [force] created [action] the heavens [space] and the Earth [matter].”
"God sits above the circle of the earth." (Isaiah 40:22)
"God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing." (Job 26:7)
At one point in our knowledge, we believed that the earth was flat, when God already told us that it is a circle. He also told us that he has the earth suspended on nothing... and at one point we thought it sat on an something, some even thought a divine being named Atlas.
"so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other." (Isaiah 45:6)
I find this interesting because many people in the past worshiped the sun and some thought it was an actual personified being like Apollo. Also, the fact that the bible has common knowledge like the sun rising and setting... it's not just a book of commandments.
Book of Job:
“Take a look at Behemoth,
which I made, just as I made you.
It eats grass like an ox.
See its powerful loins
and the muscles of its belly.
Its tail is as strong as a cedar.
The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together.
Its bones are tubes of bronze.
Its limbs are bars of iron.
It is a prime example of God’s handiwork,
and only its Creator can threaten it.
The mountains offer it their best food,
where all the wild animals play.
It lies under the lotus plants,
hidden by the reeds in the marsh.
The lotus plants give it shade
among the willows beside the stream.
It is not disturbed by the raging river,
not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it.
No one can catch it off guard
or put a ring in its nose and lead it away." (Job 40:15-24)
The word "dinosaur" was invented in the 1800s so you will not find it any ancient texts... but they were real animals and they were mentioned in the bible. Scientists want to go ahead and say that the scripture was talking about an elephant or a hippo... but if you look at their tails... they are not like this cedar tree. Barely.
Now... we discussed giant animals... what about giant people?
"Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky.'" (Deuteronomy 1:28)
"We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!" (Numbers 13:33)
Giants are not taught in school... and to the average person this sounds absurd. The average person is vastly uninformed, however, as I didn't even know that skeletons of giant people have been on the history and discovery channel all the time.
A patriarch is a male head of a family. The mom is the matriarch. This is a list of the first 10 patriarchs in the bible... and their original Hebrew meaning.
Mahalalel: blessed God
Jared: shall come down
Methusaleh: his death shall bring
"Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) his death shall bring (the) despairing rest." - Chuck Missler
This is the message of Jesus and his mission right there in the beginning of the bible, written thousands of years ago, even way before Jesus was born.
I soon realized that we cannot have it both ways. If the bible is so ancient that it is irrelevant to our lives... then it we are admitting that it is ancient enough to have told us knowledge before we even caught up to it, including hidden messages. Ah, but the bible is relevant to our lives today. After my mind was opened up... I realized there is an Author behind the authors... I found practical lessons and teachings that helped me in my own life. I understood that a lot of religion even blinds us to this powerful knowledge. Remember there is a system in place, an enemy at work that works to blind us, demoralize us, make us feel less than and always lacking. A lot of religious people are doing the blinding themselves... they have religion but no relationship with God. Media makes us feel like we need to be like the next person. Politics are crooked. There is a system.
So what does the bible mean for our lives. I can tell you what it means in my life.
Most people tell us to read the bible but not how to read it.
At first, I googled a topic and put "scripture" and verses would come up. Then someone gave me a bible. Eventually I bought a study bible from Amazon that explained the scriptures.
This helped me out with the lusty girls. Ladies, you can reverse it and make it for the men you deal with too.
"The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. (NEVER THE TYPE TO STAY AT HOME AMEN)
So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap,
Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims." (?Proverbs? 7:10-11, 21-22, 25-26)
I have an anger problem. This helped...
People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. (Proverbs 14:29-30)
"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." (James? 1:19)
"But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. ” (Mark 11:25)
When I started to think before raging, and began to forgive people... my life started prospering.
"History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new." (Ecclesiastes? 1:9)
"I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt! I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.” (Ecclesiastes 3:16-17)
"I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people."? (Ecclesiastes 7:15)
"Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins." (Ecclesiastes 7:?20)
This helped me out for religious people that act like they're perfect.
"Do to others as you would like them to do to you." (Luke 6:31)
Galatians 6:7 says you reap what you sow... what many people refer to as "karma".
We are made up of soul, body and spirit. We know there is more than just our body because of our emotions, feelings, thoughts, conscience, intuition, dreams, etc. When I started to get into the word myself (and I read a lot of good books from other cultures/beliefs), plus not rely on old school style religion, I started to do amazingly better in life. That is because the bible, after so much evidence is proven to be inspired by God, connects us back to him on a spiritual level. It ignites our spirit. It was written by man, but God was the Ghostwriter. We put our trust in everything else man writes... checks, math homework, scientific facts, history books... why not the bible? Another reason is back to the human pride... many of us do no want to be under authority of anything. The Bible has not been tainted by modern man, we can study the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek text with a concordance. There are no contradictions, just people plucking scriptures out of cultural context; kind of like how someone can take your tweets, texts, statuses or words out of context and make you say something you didn't even say. Anyways, multiple cultures say Jesus is the Word.
John 1:1 says in the beginning was the Word.
God has this planned from the beginning.
We do time from beginning to end.
God starts time from the end then works backwards and we're catching up. I'll teach on that as well, another day.
When we read the word we learn the ways of God.
When we learn the ways of God we learn the will of God.
When we learn the will of God we begin to understand what our purpose is and why we are even alive right now. We don't wake up wishing the day was over already. Getting connected back to God gets rid of boredom, depression, low self esteem, suicidal tendencies, thoughts, and attempts.
When we're not connected to God... we our lost, we don't have an excitement for life, we're sad, we're angry, we feel incomplete, we are constantly trying to chase relationships, careers or places and are never satisfied and don't know why.
If there is a void in your life, you can no longer say you don't know why.
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." (Psalm 37:4)