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THE RIVALS (COMPETITORS) OF THE BIBLE
A. THE NAME OF THESE RIVALS
1. The Veda—The ancient sacred literature of the Hindu religion. The Veda are a collection of sacred writings, comprising more than two hundred extant books.
2. The 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.
3. The 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 orally.
4. The 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 the Bible:
1. The 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.
2. The rivals to the Bible are full of fanciful absurdities and unbelievable imaginations—The Bible is filled with that which is sane and creditable.
3. The rivals to the Bible are not based upon historical facts—The Bible is based upon historical facts.
4. The 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.
5. The 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.
6. The 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.
7. The rivals to the Bible offer salvation by means of works—The Bible offers salvation by means of grace through faith.
8. The rivals to the Bible demand only outward reformation—The Bible demands inward regeneration (transformation) followed by outward reformation.
9. The 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 THE BIBLE
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 BIBLE
The Bible 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
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 BIBLE
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 correctly.
XXI. THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE
To really 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. 5:11–14)
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, Pastor
Faith Bible Church
Roy E. Gingrich, Introduction to the Whole Bible (Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing, 2004), 22-24.