“This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News. God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:1-4
What if the Bible didn’t exist even though God does? What, then, would humanity do if we had no formal written communication and revelation from Him? How much differently would Jesus have been viewed if no prophet had received a revelation of his eventual coming? Sure, it could be said that he wasn’t received by everyone when he came the first time (John 1:12); yet, over and over again, when the writers of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) spoke of Jesus, they often used written Scripture to support their case of the Messianic claims that Jesus made.
· Matthew 2:5; 26:24
· Luke 2:22-23
But what if we had no such prophetic writings of a promised Messiah?
Indeed, that whole line of questioning is a bit superficial because of the records we do have of the revelations God did give kings, prophets, and priests of old. However, do we ever stop to think of how intertwined and reliable the Scriptures are? When Jesus came the first time, his claims to be the Messiah were already surrounded by the context of Scripture (mostly what we refer to as the Old Testament). The words of God had been preserved so that it would be easily understood what someone meant when they made lofty claims as Jesus did. Don’t get me wrong, every lofty claim Jesus made was validated and affirmed by the Father and the Spirit.
Indeed, the method God used, in part, to show forth the truth, reliability, and accuracy of his words was through men preserving his words from generation to generation. As advanced of a being that God is, he graciously worked within the finite capacity of humanity to deliver and fulfill what he has spoken.
When you read your Bible, it’s proof that the work ancient scribes undertook to hand-copy it from one generation to the next has left a distinguishable mark on history. We have the word at our fingertips; they, undoubtedly, labored painfully to ensure each work was copied as best as possible.
A Worthwhile Investment
I recently watched a YouTube video of a godly, biblical scholar, Dr. Craig Keener. In the video, he talked about the historical background of how the book of Romans probably cost Paul the modern equivalent of $2,275 to produce it between labor and the papyrus used. That’s a significant investment to write a letter that would eventually be accepted into the canon of Scripture.
While we aren’t adding to Scripture in our day, the importance of what it reveals, the absolute truth claims it makes, and its eternal significance remains ever crucial to it being read, studied, followed, and communicated. The written Word of the Lord remains, and he typically uses human vessels to preserve its spiritual truths.
What are some ways you could communicate the Bible to others? Each time you share God’s Word, you join the chorus of believers who have persisted and given their lives for the furtherance of the gospel. Can you send a friend a text or call someone who has been on your heart and share the word of God? Could you share a Bible verse or two in a card and mail it to a friend? Ask God today for ideas on how you can ensure you do your part to share the gospel with the generations alive on the earth and don’t overthink it. Just do what countless followers of Christ and God have done for centuries – continue to share the beautiful history of the eternal truths with people everywhere. God’s people are always making history.