Mar 22

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In article number two, of this series, I wrote these words: “The greatest book ever written!” Of course, the word “book” referred to the Bible. To go along with this, let me also say, “Over 100 million Bibles are sold or given away for free every year in the world, according to “The Economist,” the Bible is the most widely distributed and best-selling book in the world.” (Reference-Google). Not only this, but how about this: “The Bible has been translated into 349 languages, and a survey conducted by the Bible Society concluded that between 1815 and 1975, …” these translations were done. (Reference). One more little “tid-bit” is now put before you: “between 1815 and 1975, around 2.5 billion copies (of the Bible, frw) were printed.” (Reference). As your mind ponders these “facts” about the Bible, here is one more little “tid-bit” to “roll around in your mind: “Is the Bible the most read book in all the world?”
One thing we can all agree upon, if the Bible is not the most read book, this is not because there is a shortage of Bibles on hand! Two more little facts about the Gutenberg Bible. Are you ready for this one? The Gutenberg Bible weighed in it an average of fourteen lbs. How many copies of the Bible do you ladies have in your purse? Second, the cost of the Gutenberg Bible. For one copy the cost was about equal to a clerk’s wages of three years. Would you have purchased the Bible at that price?
Here is another point to have within your mind. The invention of this printing technique, like most other things, can either be used for “good” or for “evil.” But, not only did the Gutenberg printing finally allow men to read the Bible, the inspired word of God for themselves; but this printing technique also opened the flow of ideas; with the invention of this printing technique, how shall we say it? With this “good,” also came “evil,” sparked movements, as the same press could send forth and spread ideas of a “new” movement! The world had seen a flow of ideas, that led to “a revolution of thought” like this one. The printing press sparked a revolution in the distribution of printed information. One writer compared the invention of the printing press to that of the invention of the internet, which ushered in the “digital age;” as it has revolutionized how we access and share information with our hands upon the keyboard. Just as I am now doing, right now! (Erika Harlitz-Kern July 13, 2016, ABOUT THE GUTENBERG BIBLE).
The Bible, the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God; is the most printed book year after year! But maybe the Bible is not the most read book! It is also safe to say, it is not the most studied book in all the land! That is studied in the manner as put forth by Paul: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Recall the Greek word is “orthotomeo” and it means: 1) to cut straight, to cut straight ways.” But one must not stop here; as Thayer goes on: “1a) to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course, equiv. to doing right; 2) to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly.” The New Testament is in perfect harmony with the Old Testament and so the New Testament is in perfect harmony with the Old Testament. Think of it this way. One may not see this “harmony” at first, but if studied, the harmony will be found to flow in perfection, both ways! Have you ever thought, that as you are studying, as you put this verse with that verse, and each one is smoothed together? No, not with a sledge hammer some folks like to do! But such is not the intend and proposed of God, as his words all fit smoothly together that is if one has studied, “rightly dividing” the text!
Paul also wrote how the Old Testament is spiritual food for our souls; he wrote:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4). This brings forth a problem that a person might have! It must be kept in mind, that God dealt with people and nations directly, person to person! God did speak to Moses personally, we might say, “face to face,” but even this might be misleading! God just does not deal with us today in this manner! When God spoke to Abraham, telling him to offer his son up as an offering, it was to be a physically offering, just as all the other offerings were physical. God will never deal with us in this manner!
The Old Testament was a physical time, doing physical things, and for physical reasons, while the New Testament is spiritual in its required offerings! Certain things, as in worship, had to be done in the Temple, or in the Temple yards. Have you worshipped in the Jewish Temple lately? Of course not, but do you really know why? Peter put it this way: “…, unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into” (2 Pet. 1:12). Not even the Old Testament prophets were able to enjoy the things that we do, and neither were they able to worship God as we do! It is the Old Testament, the physical one was fulfilled, while the New Testament is the spiritual one and the one we are under today!

Frank R. Williams

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