The Enduring Nature of The Bible
by Mark Nickles

            In the world of great literary works, the Bible is in a category of its own. Unique in content, continuity, circulation, and translation, this exceptional work speaks for itself. However, the Bible is also notably distinctive in how it has survived throughout the ages. Following are some examples.

            The Bible was written long before the printing press, and therefore had to be copied and re-copied numerous times. As a result, it has more manuscript evidence than any other work of classical literature. Over the years, many literary and antiquity experts have admitted to the accuracy and dependability of the text, despite the age of the Bible.

            In A.D. 303, the Roman emperor Diocletian decreed that all Christian churches be destroyed, and all copies of the scriptures burned. At the same time, he declared that any individuals of high station who professed Christianity would lose all liberty and civil rights. Yet, only 25 years later, Constantine, who succeeded Diocletian, ordered 50 copies of the scriptures prepared at the expense of the Roman government.

            On another interesting historical note, the 18th Century French infidel, Voltaire, boasted that the Bible would be non-existent within 100 years of his time. Yet, today, the Bible remains the world’s best-selling and most widely-distributed book. Also noteworthy is the fact that, 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society produced many copies of the Bible…, using Voltaire’s own house and press.

            Theologian Bernard Ramm once wrote, “A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.”

            While this information will not persuade all critics of the Bible to become believers in the truth found within its pages, they have, do, and will continue to motivate some to investigate this amazing literary work. I, and undoubtedly many other ministers in your area, would be happy to give aid to those seeking information on its origins and endurance. I would also recommend the long-time best-seller by Josh McDowell, “Evidence That Demands a Verdict”.

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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