The Book of the Ages
Understanding the impact of the Bible on history and its relevance for our lives!
Is the Bible important? Have you ever wondered what the Bible’s influence has been on you, personally, whether you read it daily or not at all? What about others around you? Have you considered the Bible’s relevance and importance in the shaping of Western society and culture? The fact is, the Bible has sold more copies than all other books in history and has shaped the hands that built this country, the United States of America. Even in the days of eroding family values, and an academic and political backlash to remove the Bible and its relevance, the fact is the Bible is the most important document and influence in Western culture. It has been more influential than the U.S. Constitution, the Magna Carta or any philosophical or political idea. The Bible is so important it has influenced much we take for granted in the world from science, technology, and even our political system! And, I have not even brought up the Holy Spirit yet!
Is the Bible important?
If we know why the Bible is important, then we can study the Bible more effectively!
Over the years, I have asked people at various colleges and universities, from students to professors, what they thought about the Bible. During those conversations, I usually received an ear full of hostility. I would get responses that dismiss the Bible as an antiquated book of rhetoric that has no meaning for us in our modern age. Some of the Professors believe that the Bible was responsible for the problems of darkness and disgust of ages past. Savvier students would challenge me with all kinds of rhetoric such as, why should we study such an antiquated book in an age of science and reason? Why study a book that cannot possibly be understood, where highly educated people fight against each other for its meaning, over which so many churches split, cause divisions and change, form different denominations, have such different thinking that varies so much, and has wounded so many? Why study the Bible, when for centuries people have used it to fight against each other in wars and violence? Why study a book that has caused countless thousands of people to die in its crusades? Why study a book that is filled with so many myths and contradictions? Why study a book that is boring, has no historical contribution and has no bearing on us today?
I also posed the same question to people in various churches and denominations, and, would you believe, I received equally as many different answers and even some hostility for asking such questions. They usually believed in the merits of reading the Bible. Even at liberal churches, I would find people in support of the Bible. But, what amazed me was that some Christians did not see any relevance in reading it! In fact, some people got mad at me for even asking them if they read the Bible on a regular basis. They acted as if it were not worth reading, as if there were far more important things that needed that space of time such as sports, TV, parties, going out, reading romance novels, and so forth.
I wondered if the responses from the secular colleges were so different from many of the Christians who believed that daily Bible reading or study did not matter. One group says emphatically that they refuse to believe in the Bible’s precepts, while the other group may believe in it but they do nothing about it. You see, from my perspective, both groups were doing nothing about it and only one group was honest about it!
To the secular historian, the thinking is that throughout church history, Christians have fought amongst themselves