We begin with the simple observation that the Bible is the bestselling book of all time. More copies have been printed in more languages and read by more people than any other book in history. It is so far out in front of every other book ever written that it stands in a category all by itself. Over six billion copies have been printed, sold, or distributed in over 2200 languages. It is not only the best selling religious book, it is the bestselling book of any and every category. The Bible is number one. The all-time best seller. The undisputed champion.
Every Sunday it is read, studied, quoted and memorized in every nation on every continent. The Bible has now been translated into every major language of the world and work goes on around the clock to translate it into the remaining tribal languages that do not have it.
So if we had no other reason to study the Bible, its unparalleled popularity must cause us to stop and consider it carefully. But the title of this message is "Best Seller and More." The question might be put this way: Why is the Bible still the all-time best-selling book in world history? What is it about this ancient book that still draws the attention of this generation? Why are we still attracted to these ancient stories? Is it just our religious background? Do we turn to the Bible because it makes us feel good in times of trouble? Or is there something more?
Every Word and All the Words
Indeed there is, and it is the burden of this message to explain the "something more" about the Bible. For 2000 years Christians have used a particular phrase to describe what they believe about the Bible. We call it "the Word of God." That alone sets the Bible apart from every other book. When we use the phrase "the Word of God" we mean that the Bible comes from God and records his message to us. That is, when we read the Bible, we are reading the very words of God. Sometimes Christians use the word "inspiration" to describe this truth. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that "All Scripture is God-breathed." Applied to the Bible, that means that God breathed out the very words of the Bible and the human authors wrote them down. Note three implications of this truth:
1. Inspiration extends to every part of the Bible.
2. Inspiration extends to the very words of the Bible.
3. Inspiration guarantees the absolute truthfulness of the Bible.
-The Bible is infallible (teaching only the truth).
-The Bible is inerrant (incapable of teaching error).
Now that in a nutshell is what we believe about the Bible. It is what we mean when we use the phrase "the Word of God." But saying it is so doesn't make it so. Why do we believe the Bible is the Word of God and thus absolutely truthful? How can we be so sure that the Bible stands above every other book ever written? In this message we're going to attempt to answer those questions.
Let's suppose that someone comes up to you and offers you a soft drink you've never had before. No doubt you'll ask a few questions before you take a sip. You want to know its claims (what's on the label), its credibility (what's behind it), its consistency (what's in it), and its certainty (what comes out of it). Let's apply those four tests to the Bible and see what we find.
You can read the rest of the message online.
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