Article by Gary L. Grizzell
We sing a beautiful, edifying song today entitled, “Give Me The Bible.” Though this hymn was written over 130 years ago (1883), its words are just as scriptural and meaningful as ever (as seen below):
Give me the Bible, star of gladness gleaming,
To cheer the wand’rer lone and tempest tossed;
No storm can hide that radiance peaceful beaming,
Since Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
Give me the Bible, holy message shining;
Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way;
Precept and promise, law and love combining,
Till night shall vanish in eternal day.
Give me the Bible, when my heart is broken,
When sin and grief have filled my soul with fear;
Give me the precious words by Jesus spoken,
Hold up faith’s lamp to show my Savior near.
Give me the Bible, all my steps enlighten,
Teach me the danger of these realms below;
That lamp of safety o’er the gloom shall brighten,
That light alone the path of peace can show.
Give me the Bible, lamp of life immortal,
Hold up that splendor by the open grave;
Show me the light from Heaven’s shining portal,
Show me the glory gilding Jordan’s wave.1
What Is Meant By "The Bible"
What is meant by The Bible? It is that book, and the only book on the face of the earth, which is from God. It is made up of 66 books from Genesis to the Revelation. Perhaps the best and complete definition of The Bible is seen in the follow statement:
“The Bible in its entirety is God’s written Word to man, free of error in its original autographs, wholly reliable in history and doctrine. Its divine inspiration has rendered the Book infallible (incapable of teaching deception) and inerrant (not liable to prove false or mistaken). Its inspiration is plenary (extending to all parts alike), verbal (including the actual language form), and confluent (product of two free agents, human and divine). Inspiration involves infallibility as an essential property, and infallibility in turn implies inerrancy. This threefold designation of Scripture is implicit in the basic thesis of Biblical authority.”2
Bible Is Still The World’s Best Selling Nonfiction Book
Is the Bible popular? Note the following reports with regard to the Bible. “Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world's best-selling and most widely distributed book.”3 “According to Guinness World Records, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time with over 5 billion copies sold and distributed.”4
An article found in The Washington Post pointed out facts concerning access of the Bible in the U.S.A. Daniel Silliman in the article dated August 28, 2015 was entitled, “The Most Popular Bible Of The Year Is Probably Not What You Think It Is.” Below are interesting excerpts.
· "Americans don’t lack access to the Bible, but it remains a big business for publishers in the United States.
· In fact, 88 percent of Americans have a copy of the Bible in their homes, according to a 2015 report from the Barna Group.
· Most homes have more than one copy and nearly a quarter of people have more than five.
· Nevertheless, 13 percent of Americans said they bought Bibles within the past year.
· As journalist Daniel Radosh observed, ‘The familiar observation that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact: The Bible is the best-selling book of the year, every year.’”5
From A Handbook On Bible Translation—The Ninth Annual Shenandoah Lectures, edited by Terry M. Hightower, comes the following statement.
“After all these years the Bible is still number one on the best-seller list. The author heartily and unashamedly is an advocate of the plenary, verbal inspiration of the Bible. This is what makes it the book (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Gal. 1:11-12). The Bible is a library of 66 books written by 40 different writers over a period of 1600 years. ‘The Greeks called a book biblos. The word Bible is derived from its plural ta biblia, ‘the books,’ and the Greek word for library bibliotheke meant a container for such a book.’ Scripture means 'a writing' rendering the Latin scriptura and the Greek graphe. The term is used some fifty times in the New Testament for some or all of the Old Testament. God has spoken to man by both revelation and by inspiration. Revelation is with reference to God’s making known his will to his creation, man. Inspiration refers to the proper receiving and transmission of that revelation.”6
Commanded To Rightly Divide It
The inspired apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, a younger gospel preacher, saying,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Men are commanded by the pen of inspiration to rightly divide the holy book. Paul wrote, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). When we do that, we will recognize immediately the two major divisions in the Bible and that is the 39 books of the Old Testament from the 27 books of the New Testament.
The expression, “new testament,” is found within the 27 books of the New Testament of Christ. Note the following:
Matthew 26:28 -- for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
1 Corinthians 11:25 -- After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
2 Corinthians 3:6 -- who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Hebrews 9:15 -- And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
We are living during the Christian Age and responsible to the New Testament of Christ as the law which will judge us in the last day. The words of Christ will judge us in the last day (John 12:48). Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). The expression, “my words,” is synonymous with “the doctrine of Christ” (all of the New Testament).
The New Testament is referred by other terms, such as the following.
It is The Law of Christ—Galatians 6:2
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
It is The Doctrine of Christ—2 John 9
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”
It is The Oracles of God—1 Peter 4:11
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
It is The Faith—Jude 3
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Choosing A Translation
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” when choosing a translation of God’s inspired Word? Most of us will need a translation, since most do not read Hebrew, Aramaic (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). As an example, the King James Version is a solid and reliable translation.
We need a literal, word for word translation and not a paraphrase. The importance of this is observed in the fact that the inspired writers used the very words the Holy Spirit guided their minds to write. The apostle Paul even engaged in word studies, as in Galatians 3:16. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" (Gal. 3:16). So, if a word the Holy Spirit gave was singular, it does not need to be made plural by unqualified Bible translators who want to simply paraphrase the text. In the process of translating we do not want some modern man’s opinion (interpretation or paraphrase) of what the Holy Spirit gave to Biblical writers, but exactly what the Holy Spirit gave through His inspired writers. Thus, we must have a word-for-word translation.
The choppiness of the reading of certain texts in the KJV reflect scholarship and honesty by translators in dealing with the words of reliable manuscripts. Yet, ironically that is one of the very features foolishly criticized by many who are just plain, downright ignorant of the Bible translation process. One does not have to be a scholar in the original languages to understand the basic, fundamental guidelines in the translation process.
Things Necessary To Salvation
Do we say, “Give me the Bible,” and mean it in regard to things necessary to Salvation? Church bulletins rightly list the plan of salvation as: Hear (Rom. 10:17). Believe in Christ (John 8:24). Repent of sins (Luke 13:3). Confess Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Mat. 10:32). Be Baptized (a burial) in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-4). Be Faithful (Col. 1:23). Religious groups who sing, “Give Me The Bible,” but then teach the false plan of salvation by faith only do not practice what they sing. (see James 2:24—salvation is not by faith only). Stay away from such groups.
The Worship Of The Church
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” in regard to the scriptural worship of the church? There are five (and only five) authorized acts of worship which please God. The worship of the church on the first day of the week consisted of the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7), public prayers (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 2:8), preaching (Acts 20:7; 2 Tim. 4:2), vocal, congregational singing (Eph. 5:19 - a cappella, the instrument is the heart, not the harp), giving of one's means as one has been prospered (1 Cor. 16:2). Religious groups who take the Lord’s Supper quarterly instead of weekly are not following the New Testament pattern. Those who add mechanical instruments in the singing of spiritual songs do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. Why sing the song, "Give Me The Bible," if you do not mean it?
Singing Spiritual Songs
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” when singing spiritual songs? God’s people are serious in their sincerity when singing. When we sing the words we are to mean it, worshiping in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). We are commanded in worship to be about "speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19). Imagine singing, “all to Jesus I surrender,” but refusing to have surrendered one’s heart in some area of activity to Jesus. Such would be weakness at best and hypocrisy at worst. When singing, “Give Me The Bible,” do we mean it when problems arise in our lives? Or do we rely on some other source for answers? Some turn to what some worldly Hollywood actor says, a man-made creed book, or popular humanistic psychology. Friend, we are not singing in spirit and in truth if we do that.
Organization Of The Church
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” in accepting the God-appointed organizational structure of the Lord’s church? Here’s what the New Testament teaches:
Christ as the only head. “And he is the head of the body, the church …” (Col. 1:18). The head is not to be a Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence, as in 3rd John 9-10: “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.”
Elders, and only if qualified. (I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-11; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). Watching to protect the flock from false teachers (see Acts 20:28-31). Just being a good man is not sufficient. He must meet these qualifications given in God’s Word. Many unqualified “elders” exist in today’s churches because some sang, “Give Me The Bible,” but did not mean it. We thank God for the qualified ones!
The Men of the church, where a plurality of men are not qualified to serve as Elders, are to lead the church. (See the principle taught in 1 Timothy 3:1—“if a man” & in 1 Timothy 2:8—“men” everywhere). Only males are authorized to serve in the leadership of the church in positions such as the eldership, deacons, preacher, congregational song-leader, or presiding at the Lord's Supper. Otherwise, it is a usurping of authority of the man/male leadership in the church.
1 Timothy 2:8-15 -- 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (underline mine, glg).
When men respect God’s plan for church organization, they should not be accused of disrespecting women. Women in the work of the church where authorized is wonderful to behold. However, many seem to think that advocating God’s pattern is to hate women and deny them to fulfill their talents. Googling on the internet with the words, "Was Jesus a woman hater?" resulted in about 1,130,000 search results. This reveals the interest in this question.
The first page contained some blasphemous headings/links (though not all), as the following: (I added my observation beside certain headings below, glg).
"1. New Testament: Women - Skeptic's Annotated Bible (what in the world is that?! glg).
2. Proof #30 - Examine God's sexism - God is Imaginary - 50 simple proofs
(an obvious blasphemous heading, glg)
3. JESUS IS [a psychotic woman hater]. (another obvious blasphemous heading, glg).
4. Paul Hated Women -- Or Did He? (Paul did not hate women!, glg)
5. Christianity: The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Women (This is true, glg)
6. Was the Apostle Paul a woman-hater, or what? (Paul did not hate women!, glg)
7. The Dark Bible: Women's Inferior Status (But Christianity elevates womanhood, glg).
8. The Paul Problem - The first stratagem used by Paul’s critics is to attack him personally. He is called "the old bachelor" or "the old woman hater." It is implied Paul was a bigot and his teachings about wives and women are the result of a personal vendetta against them. (answer): This approach is as old as Paul’s ministry itself. The Judaizers who dogged Paul’s missionary travels attempted to discredit him by saying he wasn’t really an apostle and that he was taking advantage of the churches for personal gain. Much of Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Romans, and his second letter to the Corinthians are devoted, consequently, to Paul’s vindicating himself as an apostle, defending his means of supporting himself, and defending the very gospel he preached. (A good defense of Paul's motives; There is no "Paul Problem" to those who know the Bible, glg).
9. Do Some Christian Men Really Hate Women?" (end of Google search samples from the internet)
Again, these many results and headings/comments from the internet reveal great interest, yet confusion on this question of "Was Jesus a woman hater?"
The authority, the New Testament, on the role of women and in view of this topic, teaches the following.
1 Cor. 11:3 -- Line of authority set forth: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”
1 Cor. 14:33-35 -- “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
1 Peter 3:1-5 — "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands." (underline added for emphasis, glg).
1 Timothy 5:10 -- The widow indeed is authorized to receive support from the church: "well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."
Titus 2:3-5 -- "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Certainly, older women who teach doctrinally sound classes to the younger women and those sisters in Christ who faithfully teach children's Bible classes are a great blessing the church. Leadership in these type of areas (as well as areas of benevolence, secretarial, and other authorized tasks) is under the authority and supervision of the eldership. (For more on this see Women's Role In The Church: The Biblical Perspective by the author on Amazon.com). http://tinyurl.com/y99o6cap
Romans 16:1-6 -- "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epænetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us" (bold mine, glg).
Luke 8:1-3 -- "And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance" (bold mine, glg).
You will note that none of these women mentioned above (after the church was established) served as a leader in the church in areas which would supplant (or any verses above which would allow for supplanting) male leadership in positions such as the eldership, deacons, preacher, congregational song-leader, or presiding at the Lord's Supper. That leadership the Lord reserved to males. Why? God’s reasons are given in 1 Timothy 2:12-14: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” God’s faithful do not resent the role God has assigned.
The Work Of The Church
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” in accepting the God-appointed work of the Lord’s church? The authorized work of the church is the salvation of souls. The Mission of the church is saving souls (Luke 19:10). This is done by the preaching of the gospel of Christ, which is the only message with the power to save men from their sins. Of that inspired message, like Paul, we are not ashamed (Rom. 1:16-17). Paul’s letter to the Colossians reminds us of the power of the word of truth when he wrote, "for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth" (Col. 1:5-6).
Edification (the teaching program of the church) helps keep saved souls, saved. Jesus gave some to be teachers (Eph. 4:11). The Word of God builds up in the faith. Paul to the Ephesus' Elders stated, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). Our Lord then uses His saved ones (the church) to preach to the lost of this world.
Benevolence is accomplished with a view to evangelism. "The mission of the church is to save souls. Jesus says, ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost’ (Luke 19:10). We recognize that this is accomplished in three ways: (1) preaching the Gospel to the lost, (2) edifying those who are already saved, and (3) helping those in need — benevolence."7
* The churches of Galatia were commanded, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). Jesus did not say, Go ye into all the world and feed and clothe all the world. The church does good as she has opportunity.
* B. C. Goodpasture wrote, "Finally, the church in Jerusalem ministered to the material needs of its worthy poor (Acts 4:32-37; 6:1-6). The Gentile churches sent help to the brethren in Judea (Acts 11:29-30; Rom. 15:25-26). Paul said that he was always ready to help those in need (Gal. 2:10). It is a part of the work of the church to help those who are in need, but the church is under no obligation to help those who will not help themselves. 'If any will not work,' said Paul, 'neither let him eat' (2 The. 3:10). If the church will discharge its duty in preaching the Gospel, in edifying its members, and in helping the worthy poor, it will not have desire or time merely to amuse and entertain."8
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” when seeking to practice Godly living? Do we allow the Bible to define truth and error—What is sin from what is righteousness so that we might avoid sin? We are told:
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:11-12).
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Marriage, Divorce And Remarriage
Do we say, “Give Me The Bible,” when seeking to the know the truth which pleases God about marriage, divorce and remarriage? Or do we go to false teachers who speak convenient, gospel-compromising things which things damn the soul in eternity? Consider these four Biblical facts given for man’s good and to please God. Matthew 19:3-12 teaches the first three things below and Romans 7:1-4 teaches number 4. (see below):
1—God’s original intention in regard to marriage: one man, one woman for life.
2—For living companions, there is only one scriptural reason for divorce, and that is fornication.
3—Only the innocent partner in that divorce may scripturally remarry and that must be to a scripturally eligible party.
4—Death servers the marriage relationship.
Romans 7:1-4 teaches a divine analogy. Those in the Christian Age are dead to the Law of Moses by the body of Christ (see also Col. 2:14). Are you married to Christ? If not, obey the gospel, making Him your spiritual husband.
As his bride, are you faithful? “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:1-3).
Let us be the pure, chaste and faithful bride by continuing to sincerely sing and say, “Give Me The Bible.”
1 Words: Priscilla J. Owens, in Happy Voices for Sunday School, 1883. Music: Edmund S. Lorenz (1854-1942). http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/i/givemetb.htm.
2 Author: Clark H. Pinnock. Book: A Defense of Biblical Infallibility. Publisher: Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1967. Series: International Library Of Philosophy And Theology: Biblical And Theological Studies; Tyndale Biblical Theology Lecture, 1966. ISBN 978-0-875-52350-7. OCLC 2212570. (Note: Sadly, Pinnock later in life weakened on the inerrancy subject).
3 Best-selling Book of Non-Fiction | Guinness World Records. www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction/
6 Gary L. Grizzell. Chp. entitled, “No Translation Without Preservation.” p. 826. Book: A Handbook On Bible Translation—The Ninth Annual Shenandoah Lectures. Editor: Terry M. Hightower. Copyrighted 1995 by Shenandoah Church of Christ. 11026 Wurzbach Road, San Antonio, TX 78230. For quotations within this reference, see Holman’s Bible Dictionary for Windows, 1994 & Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1975.
7 Michael Hatcher. Defender. April 2010. Article entitled, "Mission." A publication of the Bellview Church of Christ, 4850 Saufley Field Road; Pensacola, FL 32526 (850) 455-7595 Internet Web Page: http://www.bellviewcoc.com E-mail: email@example.com.
8 Beacon. Vol. XXXVI. JULY 16, 2007. NO. 29. As taken from Gospel Advocate. May 20, 1948. Beacon is a publication of the Bellview Church of Christ, 4850 Saufley Field Road; Pensacola, FL 32526 (850) 455-7595 Internet Web Page: http://www.bellviewcoc.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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