THE RIVALS (COMPETITORS) OF THE BIBLE
A. THE NAME OF THESE RIVALS
Veda—The ancient sacred literature of the Hindu religion. The Veda are a
collection of sacred writings, comprising more than two hundred extant books.
Confucian texts—The ancient venerated writings of the Confucian religion.
These writings are made up of the writings of Confucius plus some of the
writings of his disciples, which record their recollections of his teachings.
Tripitaka—The old sacred books of the Buddhist religion. These writings are
the writings of Buddha’s disciples, for he himself wrote nothing. His
disciples, after his death, recorded the teachings which he had given them
Koran—The sacred book of the religion of Islam. Mohammedians claim this
book was written by God in heaven and that a copy was brought to the earth by
Gabriel and the contents of the book were revealed to Mohammed over a twenty
three years period of time.
B. THE INFERIORITY OF THESE RIVALS—We will
compare these rivals to the Bible with the Bible, showing their inferiority to
rivals to the Bible are not to be read by unbelievers but only by believers—The
Bible is to be read by both believers and unbelievers.
rivals to the Bible are full of fanciful absurdities and unbelievable
imaginations—The Bible is filled with that which is sane and creditable.
rivals to the Bible are not based upon historical facts—The Bible is based
upon historical facts.
rivals to the Bible (some of them) teach numerous reincarnations in the
attainment of the goal—The Bible teaches one reincarnation in the
attainment of the goal.
rivals to the Bible teach the goal to be loss of existence, loss of personal
existence, or the enjoyment of carnal delights in heaven—The Bible teaches
the goal to be conformation to the moral image of God’s Son, Rom. 8:29.
rivals to the Bible present religions whose founders are dead—The Bible
presents a religion whose founder is alive, sharing His powerful risen life
with believers that they might be able to keep His holy commandments.
rivals to the Bible offer salvation by means of works—The Bible offers
salvation by means of grace through faith.
rivals to the Bible demand only outward reformation—The Bible demands
inward regeneration (transformation) followed by outward reformation.
rivals to the Bible do not claim that they are the living word—The Bible
does make this claim. That is, it claims that it not only tells its adherents
what to do but that it also gives them power through the Holy Spirit to do it,
Phil. 2:12, 13; Heb. 4:12.
XVI. THE INFLUENCE OF
No other book
has so greatly influenced the nations and the individuals of the world as has
the Bible (it has had tremendous influence upon the nations and the peoples of
Western civilization). For instance, the great majority of the more than
35,000,000 laws on the statute books of the world are based upon “the Ten
Commandments” and the ethical teachings of Jesus. Queen Victoria once said,
“the Bible is the secret of England’s greatness.”
XVII. THE CONTENT OF THE
contains supernatural revelation. Natural (general) revelation is revelation of truths of God revealed through: (I)
created things; (2) conscience; and (3) history. Supernatural (special) revelation
is revelation of truths of God revealed through direct revelation from God.
XVIII. THE DIVISION OF
The Bible is by
God divided into “The Old Testament” and “The New Testament.” “The Old
Testament” records God’s dealings with Israel under the Old Testament or
Covenant (the covenant given from Mt. Sinai) and “The New Testament” records
God’s dealings with the church under the New Testament or Covenant (the
covenant given from the heavenly Mt. Zion).
XIX. THE VALUE OF THE
According to 2
Tim. 3:15–17, the Bible has a six-fold value:
A. It makes sinners wise unto salvation.
B. It teaches Christians true doctrine (what they
must believe to believe the truth).
C. It corrects Christians when they are erroneous
in their doctrine.
D. It teaches Christians right conduct (what they
must do to do right).
E. It reproves Christians when they are
unrighteous in their conduct.
F. It thoroughly equips the man of God (the
Christian minister) for the work of ministry.
XX. THE INTERPRETATION
OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is not
written in special “Holy Ghost Hebrew” and “Holy Ghost Greek,” it does not have
several levels of meaning, it is not given to us as a prolonged allegory,
neither are magical spectacles required for its interpretation.
If we are to
interpret the Bible correctly, we must approach it as we do any other book,
believing that if the plain sense of a passage of Scripture makes common sense,
we are to seek no other sense. In other words, we must interpret the Bible literally if we are to interpret it
XXI. THE UNDERSTANDING OF
understand the Bible we must:
A. BE BORN AGAIN (1 Cor. 2:14)
B. BE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD (1 Cor. 3:1–3: Heb.
C. PRAY FOR ENLIGHTENMENT (Dan. 9:3, 22)
D. STUDY THE SCRIPTURES (1 Peter 1:11)
E. MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF GOD (Josh. 1:8)
F. SEEK THE HELP OF OTHERS (Dan. 9:2)
G. LEARN SECULAR HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, AND BIBLE
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS
H. TRUST GOD FOR UNDERSTANDING
Roy E. Gingrich,
E. Gingrich, Introduction to the Whole
Bible (Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing, 2004), 22-24.