Believers and non-believers have argued and debated about the facts presented in the Book aka the Bible, for thousands of years. Is it true or is it false? No consensus has ever been reached. But both groups agree that the scriptures are fascinating reading.
– The story line that is woven from Genesis to Revelation.
– The descriptions of the lands or nations and the inhabitants and a view of what life was like during biblical times.
– The recording and reporting of significant historical events; though some choose to call them fanciful stories or legends.
– Wise proverbs and profound parables. Beautiful poetry and song lyrics (nobody really knows what the music sounded like).
Almost every year, many make a New Year’s Resolution that they are going to read the entire Bible. They schedule daily readings and by the end of 365 days (366 during Leap Year), hope to have accomplished what they set out to do. How hard can it be?
* The times have truly changed, haven’t they?
There was once a time when the scriptures were a closely guarded “secret”. The common man was not allowed to view these words. Self-appointed “keepers” who considered themselves a sort of “religious elite” decided that they were the only ones that should possess this knowledge and they were the only ones capable of interpreting and teaching the “hidden meanings”. They refused to allow the Bible to be translated or read by ordinary folk.
Brave men, at great peril to their lives, dared not just to read the Word but to translate it into plain English. William Tyndale (1494 – 1536) was forced into exile and later burned to death as a heretic. But not before he translated the Bible into English. He was determined. There were others who like Tyndale were willing to risk it all.
These days, anybody could actually read the Bible in a year or even less than a year. In fact, people don’t even have to read any more! Just listen. The Bible is available on cassette tapes, CD, DVD, audio files via the Internet, etc. Translations are in English and hundreds of other languages. Indeed, the Israel Museum partnered with Google, and undertook the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project to make these ancient manuscripts available for up-close and personal examination by everyday people! [ http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/ ]
* Yep yep. We’ve come a long way baby!
* * *