THE WORD OF GOD
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE BIBLE
ByZander Dell Raines
COPYRIGHT, 1997-APOCALYPSE PRODUCTIONS
First of all I wish to dedicate this book to my darling wife Carol Jo Raines. Without her patient endurance, this work would not have been possible. She is the love of my life and my very best friend.
I also wish to acknowledge Dr. Floyd Jones, a Bible scholar and friend whose works helped to inspire my own. In my opinion he is the best Bible teacher currently walking the planet.
Next I wish to thank Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, dean of the Pensacola Bible Institute in Florida. This tireless defender of the Holy Scripture also helped to inspire much of what you will read in these pages.
I would also like to give thanks to God for the wonderful efforts of two dear friends, Joe Johnson and Murray Severance. Without their continual prodding and correction, this book would never have come about.
Finally and foremost, I wish to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose blood bought my salvation. MARANATHA!
No book in the history of the world has affected it like the word of God. The Holy Scriptures have been the source of the transformation and salvation of millions of lives over thousands of years, and yet still many people today wonder. Just where did the Bible come from?
There are two major divisions in the Holy Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The history of the word of God spans almost 4,000 years. It was written down by dozens of believers, most of who lived at different times, sometimes centuries apart from each other.
The Bible covers the history of the world from its creation in the distant past, to its final destruction in the distant future. The Bible opens with the beginning of time, as we know it
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without from, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. - Genesis 1:1-3
This scripture simply reads "And God said....", and it happened. All of creation was spoken into being by God's word. Man, animals, plants, fish all came into existence because God told it to. Here is our very first introduction to what God's word can do. It can create things out of nothing. It gives life to the lifeless. All that is now in existence, including you and I, are here because of the word of God. Next we read of some of God's first words to man:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. - Genesis 2:16-17
If things had only stayed the way that God meant for them to, we'd still be in the Garden of Eden today. The world would still be like Genesis 1 and 2, and we may never know just how beautiful that this life could have been. Things did not stay that way however. The reason that we are here in this sinful world today is because man refused to obey the word of God. One of the greatest Biblical scholars of our generation, Dr. Floyd Jones, has described our current situation very well.
"In many important matters everyone recognized the need for an authority, a Supreme Court of appeal higher than which no one can go. In the realm of supernatural things there is only one authority recognized by Christian people. This is not the church, nor the infallible words of men, nor one's own ego, nor a hierarchy of Roman priests, Protestant ministers, or Jewish rabbis. All such are fallible and prone to error and prejudice. The Bible makes high claims to Divine inspiration, inerrancy and authority; and if it is true that the Sovereign God of the universe has condescended to reveal Himself supernaturally in His Book, even as He has revealed Himself naturally in the material universe, then man, even in a world ruined by sin, has a firm foundation on which to build for time and eternity. That the Sovereign God of creation has done this in the Holy Scriptures is acknowledged by many earnest Christians, but a question arises which demands a clear answer: Which Bible do you mean?"
Hopefully by studying the origin of our most sacred of books, we will be better able to determine the answer to that question. This is the purpose of this work. I hope that it will prove to be as much a blessing to you when you read it as it was for me to compile. God bless. MARANATHA!