1. The Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
2. The Bible is made up of 66 different books that were written over 1600 years (from approximately 1500 BC to AD 100) by more than 40 kings, prophets, leaders, and followers of Jesus. The Old Testament has 39 books (written approximately 1500-400 BC). The New Testament has 27 books (written approximately AD 45-100). The Hebrew Bible has the same text as the English Bible’s Old Testament but divides and arranges it differently.
3. The Old Testament was written mainly in Hebrew, with some Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek.
4. The books of the Bible were collected and arranged and recognised as inspired sacred authority by councils of rabbis and councils of church leaders based on careful guidelines.
5. Before the printing press was invented, the Bible was copied by hand. The Bible was copied accurately, in many cases by special scribes who developed intricate methods of counting words and letters to ensure that no errors had been made.
6. The Bible was the first book ever printed on the printing press with moveable type (Gutenberg Press, 1455, Latin Bible).
7. There is much evidence that the Bible we have today is remarkably true to the original writings. Of the thousands of copies made by hand before 1500, more than 5,300 Greek manuscripts from the New Testament alone still exist today. The text of the Bible is better preserved than the writings of Plato or Aristotle.
8. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the astonishing reliability of some of the copies of the Old Testament made over the years. Although some spelling variations exist, no variation affects basic Bible doctrines.
9. As the Bible was carried to other countries, it was translated into the common language of the people by scholars who wanted others to know God’s Word. Today there are still 2,000 groups with no Bible in their own language.
10. By AD 200, the Bible was translated into seven languages; by 500 AD, 13 languages; by 900 AD, 537 languages; by 1980, 1,100 languages; by 2006, 2,426 languages have some portions of the Scripture.
What the Bible is About?
The Bible has one consistent message from Genesis to Revelation and that is God’s message of love, grace, mercy, salvation and redemption in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
◦ Jesus Christ testified that He is the theme of the Bible in John 5:39, 46-47 – “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me…For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
◦ In Luke 24:27, Jesus says, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
◦ And in Luke 24:44, Jesus “said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’”
◦ In Matthew 5:17 Jesus says, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
◦ And again in Hebrews 10:7, Jesus affirmed Himself to be the theme of the Old Testament, “Then I said, ‘Behold I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do Your will, O God.’”
As Josh McDowell explains:
◦ The Old Testament is the preparation (Isaiah 40:3)
◦ The Gospels are the manifestation (John 1:29)
◦ The Book of Acts is the propagation (Acts 1:8)
◦ The Epistles give the explanation (Colossians 1:27)
◦ And the Book of Revelation is the consummation (Revelation 1:7)
C/f: P.W Comfort, How we got the Bible (Rose Publishing: Torrance, California, 2008), 259.