What is the Bible?
Is God as described in the Bible the same as the Creator we have been discussing in our posts? I think a good starting point to understand this question is to answer the following:
What is the Bible?
Newton, who invented Calculus, discovered the Newton’s three laws of motion and Newtonian gravitation, described the Bible in the following way:
“We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy… I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily”.
The phrase “Scriptures of God” means the Bible. The word “inspired” means that God uses men to write His words, so that the words in the Bible were actually originated from God, not from the human writers.
George Washington, the first president of the United States, said:
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
Washington claimed that the Bible is indispensable if one wants to govern rightly.
Abraham Lincoln, who succeeded in abolishing slavery while serving as the 16th president of the United States, said the following about the Bible:
“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good of the Savior of the World is communicated to us through the Book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong.” He also said “I am busily engaged in the study of the Bible. I believe it is God’s Word because it finds me where I am.”
Lincoln believed that the Bible is God’s words, and we could not know right from wrong without it.
Immanuel Kant, a 18th century German philosopher who is one of the most influential figures in Western philosophy, said the following about the Bible:
“The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”
Kant considered it a crime against humanity if someone tries to portray the Bible as less impressive or less important as the Bible really is.
The above are sayings from people who have high regards of the Bible. Are there people who have opposite ideas about the Bible? Absolutely!
“It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it (that is, the Book of Revelation, which is the last book among the 66 books in the Bible), and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation then the incoherence of our own nightly dreams.”
Jefferson said that the Bible was like the speeches of a maniac. Just like our nightly dreams, it is without logical or meaningful connection.
Several God-deniers writing bestsellers caught attention around 2005, and they were collectively called the “New Atheist”. The following is a description of the Bible from one of their books:
“To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil, but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.”
To the atheist author, the Bible is just weird, chaotic, and no one really know how much it has been changed from the time the books in the Bible were written to the translation we received today.