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Bible's relevance today
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| Words: 1719 | Submitted: 15-Nov-2011
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Descriptionimportance of the Bible
Sure, the Bible was relevant once upon a time, in that long-ago era of shepherds and scribes. That story of how the Hebrew people emerged from their centuries of slavery in Egypt is a gripping account, but does it have any connection to my world of lightning fast e-mails and jet travel? The problems of a fish swallowing a disobedient prophet named Jonah and how to get Daniel out of a den of lions seem pretty far removed from fixing my transmission or resurrecting my crashed hard drive. For a soccer mom racing to get her kids to the dentist, is there any relevance to the story of how Elijah saw to the killing of 400 prophets of the god Baal? Can we relate at all to such strange and mystifying events today?
Little wonder then that the French philosopher Voltaire said that in a hundred years from his day the Bible would have passed into the mists of history as people became more liberated and enlightened. And today a group of people known as the Jesus Seminar tell us that huge sections of the New Testament are not genuine but were concocted by writers who weaseled their own thoughts into the canon. Others have attacked the names and dates and events and numbers in the Bible, and proclaim that the book is riddled with errors. People who accept human evolution out of some primordial soup ridicule the very idea of creation as a throwback to an age of barbarians and illiterates. And, of course, priests and preachers will keep their jobs as long as they can continue to make you believe in the Bible!
Such attacks on the reliability and relevance of the Bible can be very persuasive. Yet as far as reliability is concerned, it's only fair to note that the Bible contains the best documented text of any volume in human history. Perhaps the most amazing support comes from the Dead Sea scrolls which were discovered in 1947 after lying in the Qumran caves for nearly 2000 years. Here were literally thousands of pieces from the Old Testament, and some were nearly a thousand years older than anything we had before. And yet there is a 98% similarity to the texts that are in common use. Both Christians and Jews were confirmed in their faith in the trustworthiness of the text handed down through the centuries. The attempts to tamper with the text have basically failed, and our treasure of God's revelation has come down to us intact.
But is the ancient book really relevant to the issues of our frenetic, post-modern world of microscopes and satellites? This is a question asked by those who are racing through life with ...
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