The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The Race of LifeThe world of the First Century, when the New Testament was written, was in many ways very much like today’s world. For example, people loved to watch athletics and First Century athletes were stars, just like today!

Bible writers often used pictures from everyday life that were designed to catch the attention and make their readers think. One of the pictures that’s often used is the picture of life as a race.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:24–25).

When the apostle Paul wrote those words to the Christians in the city of Corinth, he was probably thinking of the Isthmian Games, one of the most important athletic events in the ancient world which was held in Corinth. Paul is telling his fellow Christians – you should take your race of life every bit as seriously as the athlete who trains hard and gives everything, he’s got to achieve that moment of glory.

In Greek athletics the winner was often crowned with a wreath made of laurel leaves – to the athlete this was the supreme accolade, but it only lasted a few days before it started to fade. Whether it’s a laurel wreath or a gold medal, sooner or later the glory will fade and be forgotten. But the prize for the Christian is eternal life in God’s Kingdom!

Race Already Won!

Athlets Ready to RaceLet’s face it, there are some of us who are athletic and others who just aren’t.

There are some who are competitive, and some who aren’t. This is where the race of life is different from athletics – the race of life is open to everyone, and it’s a race everyone can win! Why? Because the race has already been won.

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

The Lord Jesus Christ gave his life as a perfect sacrifice. God raised him to life again, and he now lives for ever. He has won the race of life. It’s something nobody else could have done – nobody else was good enough.

The brilliant thing is, Jesus Christ wants to share his victory with you and me! It’s not a race we would ever win by our own strength or skill, but it’s a race we will win if we follow him faithfully.

In It for the Long Term

The Greek games were held in a stadium. As the athletes ran, the crowds would be around them cheering, and often the winner’s wreath was fixed to the finishing post to spur them on. This image of the race is used in the Letter to the Hebrews.

In chapter 11, the writer gives a list of many great faithful men and women of old who ran the race of faith; and at the beginning of chapter 12 he says, think of it as though all those great men and women are now a crowd in a stadium, cheering you on as you run!

He says, get rid of anything that weighs you down – you wouldn’t run a race with bricks in your pocket, just so you need to get rid of the bad things from your life so you can run unhindered – and look to the prize, which is Jesus, who has already run and already won.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1–2).

Following the Rules

“If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5).

It stands to reason – there have to be rules in any sport, to ensure it is safe and everyone is competing on level terms. If you disobey the rules you’re disqualified, that’s only fair.

The race of life is like that: God has set certain rules that He wants us to follow. He’s shown us what they are in the Bible.

Some people want to live their lives their own way. That’s up to them, but if you enter a race and run in the wrong direction you’re not going to win!

Discipline

Whether it’s a 100-metre sprint, a marathon or a boat race, the athlete needs discipline. If you want to succeed you have to be single-minded, train hard, get yourself in top condition, get your attitude right.

Being a ‘disciple’ of Jesus is very much like that – a ‘disciple’ is someone who follows a ‘discipline’.

The Christian’s discipline isn’t physical, but spiritual. This is how the apostle Paul put it:

“Bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Winning Together

The race track is a lonely place when it’s you versus everyone else – but in the race of life you’re running together.

In his letter to the Christians in the city of Philippi, Paul told them to ‘stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel’ (Philippians 1:27).

Paul wrote his letters in Greek. When he said ‘striving together’ he combined two Greek words – ‘sun-athleo’.

This must have sounded odd to his readers, because ‘athleo’ means ‘to strive to win’, the word describes the single-minded pursuit of being the best and beating the rest; ‘sun’ means ‘together’.

So he’s telling the Christians, ‘Put everything you’ve got into winning this race with all the focus and dedication of the athlete who wants to be the best – and help each other so you can all win together!’

The End of the Race

Crossing the Finish LineIt’s thought that Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written while he was in prison in Rome, awaiting execution. In the last chapter he talks about his impending death:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8).

Here’s a man who has run the race well, and now has the end in view. The end of Paul’s life is not going to be a tragedy – it’s going to be a triumph!

Top class athletics is only for an elite few. They are people of special ability who push themselves to the limit to achieve their moment of glory. But it is only a brief moment, and the glory will be forgotten sooner or later. The race of life, on the other hand, is open to everyone – and the prize is eternal glory.

By Chris Parkin

The Real Jesus

THE REAL JESUS

THE REAL JESUS

The Real JesusTrue Christian faith is centred around the work of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection form the basis for God’s plan of salvation.

It is vital to understand the real reason for Jesus Christ, his true status as Son of God and how we can benefit from his work. Jesus prayed to His Father just before his cruel death:

“This is eternal life, that they (true believers) may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

The Virgin Birth

Over 2000 years ago the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with this message:

“You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest…Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I do not know a man? [i.e. she was a virgin]. And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31-35).

Through the Holy Spirit (God’s breath/power) acting upon her, Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin. Thus Joseph was not the true father of Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit acting upon the womb of Mary, Jesus, the Son of God, could not have come into existence.

Jesus was “begotten” by God (John 3:16), rather than created as Adam was originally. This explains the closeness of God’s association with Jesus and also helps explain his natural aptitude for the ways of God his Father.

Christ’s Place In God’s Plan

God had a complete plan formulated right from the beginning of creation (John 1:1). His desire to have a Son was in His plan from the beginning. The Old Testament reveals different aspects of God’s plan of salvation in Christ; from the promises to the Jewish fathers, to the prophecies of the prophets and the types of the Law of Moses.

Christ existed in God’s mind and purpose from the beginning, although he only came into existence physically through his birth of Mary.

Hebrews 1:4-7, 13,14, stress that Christ was not an angel; whilst in his mortal life he was less than angels (Hebrews 2:7), he was exalted to a far greater honour than them seeing he was God’s “only begotten Son” (John 3:16). The Apostle Peter sums up the position:

Christ “was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times” (1 Peter 1:20).

Jesus was the central pivot of the Gospel:

God “had promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:1-4).

This summarizes the history of Christ:

  • Promised in the Old Testament – i.e. in God’s plan;
  • Created as a physical person through the virgin birth, as a seed of David;
  • Due to his perfect character (“the spirit of holiness”), shown during his mortal life He was resurrected;
  • Publicly declared to be the Son of God by the apostles’ spirit-gifted preaching.

The Foreknowledge Of God

God has complete ‘foreknowledge’. We will be greatly helped in appreciating how fully Christ was in God’s mind at the beginning, while not physically existing, if we can come to terms with the fact that God knows all things which will occur in the ‘future’. God can therefore speak and think about things which do not exist, as though they do:

God “calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17).

He declares “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

Because of this, God can speak of the dead as if they are alive, and can speak of men as if they were alive before birth.

The “counsel”, or word of God, had prophesied Christ from the beginning; he was always in God’s purpose or “pleasure”. It was therefore certain that at some time Christ would be physically born; God would fulfil His stated purpose in Christ.

Biblical Hebrew has a ‘prophetic perfect’ tense, which uses the past tense to describe future things which God has promised. Thus David said, “This is the house of the Lord God” (1 Chronicles 22:1), when as yet the temple was only promised by God.

Scripture abounds with examples of God’s foreknowledge. God was so certain that He would fulfil the promises to Abraham, that He told him: “To your descendants I have given this land…” (Genesis 15:18) at a time when Abraham did not even have descendants (see also Genesis 17:5).

Christ was spoken of as existing from the beginning in God’s mind and plan, although physically he could not have done so. He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Jesus did not die then literally; he was the “Lamb of God” sacrificed about 4,000 years later on the cross (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7).

In the same way as Jesus was chosen from the beginning (1 Peter 1:20), so were the believers (Ephesians 1:4; the same Greek word for “chosen” is used in these verses).

We cannot easily imagine how God operates outside of the concept of time. ‘Faith’ is the ability to look at things from God’s viewpoint, without the constraints of time.

Differences Between God And Jesus

There is a fine balance to be drawn between those passages which emphasize the degree to which “God was in Christ” (eg. 2 Corinthians 5:19), and those which highlight his humanity. The latter group of passages makes it impossible to justify from the Bible the idea that Jesus is God Himself.

One of the clearest summaries of the relationship between God and Jesus is found in 1 Tim. 2:5:

“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Reflection upon the highlighted words leads to the following conclusions:

  • The Father is God. (1 Corinthians 8:6, Isaiah 63:16; 64:8).
  • In addition to this one God, there is the mediator, the man Christ Jesus – “…and one mediator…”, indicating a difference between Christ and God.
  • “Mediator” means that Christ is a go-between. A mediator between sinful man and sinless God cannot be sinless God Himself; it had to be a sinless man, of sinful human nature – “the man Christ Jesus”.

The Nature of Jesus

The word ‘nature’ refers to what we naturally, fundamentally are. The Bible speaks of only two natures – that of God, and that of man. By nature God cannot die, be tempted etc. Christ was not of God’s nature during his life, he was totally of human nature. It was vital that Christ was tempted like us (Hebrews 4:15), so that through his perfect overcoming of temptation he could gain forgiveness for us.

The wrong desires, which are the basis of our temptations, come from within us (Mark 7:15-23), from within our human nature (James 1:13-15). It was necessary, therefore, that Christ should be of human nature so that he could experience and overcome these temptations:

“As the children (us) are partakers of flesh and blood (human nature), he (Christ) also himself likewise took part (i.e. “partook”, R.S.V.) of the same (nature); that through death he might destroy…the devil…For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the (nature of the) seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest… to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted”(Hebrews 2:14-18 K.J.V.).

This passage emphasises the fact that Jesus had human nature: “He also himself likewise” partook of it (Hebrews 2:14). This phrase uses three words all with the same meaning, just to drive the point home. Christ was the seed of Abraham (2:16), who had come to bring salvation for believers. In every way he had “to be made like unto his brethren” (2:17) so that God could grant us forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice.

Forgiveness

Whenever baptized believers sin, they can come to God, confessing their sin in prayer through Christ (1 John 1:9); God is aware that Christ was tempted to sin exactly as they are, but that he was perfect, overcoming that very temptation which they fail. Because of this, “God for Christ’s sake” can forgive us (Ephesians 4:32 KJV):

“God. by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3).

“Sin” refers to the natural proneness to sin which we have by nature. We continue to sin, and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). To get out of this predicament, man needed help. God therefore intervened and gave us His own Son, who had our “sinful flesh”, with all the promptings to sin which we have. Unlike every other man, Christ overcame every temptation.

The Humanity Of Jesus

The Gospel records show how completely Jesus had human nature. He was weary, and had to sit down to drink from a well (John 4:6). “Jesus wept” at the death of Lazarus (John 11:35). Most supremely, the record of his final sufferings should be proof enough of his humanity: “Now my soul is troubled”, he admitted as he prayed for God to save him from having to go through with his death on the cross (John 12:27). He “prayed, saying, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup (of suffering and death) pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

From childhood “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature (i.e. spiritual maturity, cp. Ephesians 4:13), and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52, see also 2:40). This shows Christ’s physical growth as being parallel to his spiritual development.

Obedience to God’s will is something which we can all learn over a period of time. Christ also had to go through this process of learning obedience to his Father:

“Though he was a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. and having been perfected [i.e. spiritually mature], he became the author of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:8,9; see also Phil. 2:7,8).

Jesus had to make a conscious, personal effort to be righteous; he was not forced by God, which would have resulted in him being a mere puppet. Jesus truly loved us, and gave his life on the cross from this motive. The constant emphasis upon the love of Christ for us would be hollow if God forced him to die on the cross (Ephesians 5:2,25; Revelation 1:5; Galatians 2:20). That Jesus did have the option whether to obey or not, makes us able to appreciate his love, and to form a personal relationship with him.

It was because of Christ’s willingness to voluntarily give his life, that God was so delighted with him:

“Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down my life. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:17,18).

What Does This Mean For Me?

Salvation depends upon a correct understanding of the real Jesus Christ (John 3:36; 6:53; 17:3). Once we have come to this true understanding of his conquest of sin and death, we can be baptized into him in order to share in this salvation.

The Lord Jesus can become real to us in our common, everyday lives because He too faced the temptations we face. We can really believe that forgiveness is possible through the work of such a representative; his example can be a living inspiration to rise above our lower nature.

Appreciating the doctrines of salvation through Christ enables us to pray acceptably; “we have boldness and access with confidence by the Faith”- not just ‘by faith’, but as a result of the Faith (Ephesians 3:12 KJV). After being baptized into Christ we can come boldly before God’s throne in prayer, with a true heart and clear conscience (Hebrews 4:16).

This “boldness” will be reflected in our being ‘bold’ in our witness (2 Corinthians 3:12; 7:4). ‘Boldness’ characterized the early church (Acts 4:13,29,31; Philippians 1:20).

God existed from infinity, and yet only 2,000 years ago He gave His only and His begotten Son. And that Son was a human being in order to save humans – only a few million of us (if that), who lived in a 6,000-year time span. That the only Son of God should die for a very few of us here, we who crawl on the surface of this tiny planet for such a fleeting moment of time, is wondrous indeed.

Christ died so that God could work out our salvation. The love of God for us is likened to a young man marrying a virgin (Isaiah 62:5) with all the intensity and joyful expectation and lack of disillusion. And more than this. Jesus Christ died for you, in the shameful way that He did. When this is fully appreciated we are left in total wonder and gratitude of God’s love.

The Trinity – Unscriptural

The Bible’s clear teaching about Christ gives no support for the doctrine of the Trinity (symbolised in the photo on the right). Consider the following:

  • Luke 1:31-35: Jesus would be the Son of God. Note the many future tenses in these verses. Jesus did not pre-exist before his birth of Mary.
  • John 3:16: Jesus was the “only begotten Son” of God. He ‘began’ when he was ‘conceived’ (idea of beginning, Luke 1:31) in Mary’s womb. If Jesus was begotten by God, then his Father is older than he – God has no beginning (Psalms 90:2) and therefore Jesus cannot be God Himself.
  • Mary is described in the Gospels as Christ’s “mother”. Jesus did not exist before his birth of Mary.
  • The word ‘Trinity’ never occurs in the Bible.
  • 1 Tim. 2:5: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. (see also 1 Corinthians 8:6; Isaiah 63:16; 64:8).
  • “God is not a man” (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9); yet Christ was “the son of man”.
  • Christ is “the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32). God only has ultimate highness; Jesus as “the Son of the Highest” cannot have been God Himself in person.
  • The language of Father and Son, used about God and Jesus, shows they are not the same. A son may have certain similarities to his father, but cannot be one and the same person.

There are a number of obvious differences between God and Jesus, which clearly show that Jesus was not God himself:

GodJesus
“God cannot be tempted” (James 1:13).Christ “was in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15).
God cannot die – He is immortal by nature (Psalms 90:2; 1 Timothy 6:16).Christ died for three days (Matthew 12:40; 16:21).
God cannot be seen by men (1 Timothy 6:16; Exodus 33:20).Men saw Jesus and handled him (1 John 1:1 emphasizes this).

Other Points to consider are as follows:

  • Jesus was “made like his brethren” (Hebrews 2:17) so that God could grant us forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice. To say that Jesus was not totally of human nature denies the good news of Christ.
  • In some ways Christ’s ‘will’, or desires, was different from that of God (Matthew 26:39; John 5:30)
  • From childhood “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52). This would not be possible if Jesus was ‘God the Son’.
  • Christ did not know the exact time of his second coming, although the Father did (Mark 13:32).
  • God was pleased with Christ’s willing obedience which is hard to understand if Jesus was God, living out a life in human form as some kind of tokenistic association with sinful man (Matthew 3:17; 12:18; 17:5).

Personal Testimony 1

I was a Roman Catholic. The stuff about Mary was of course a big thing for me when I first started looking into my faith deeply. I read the sections about the trinity etc. in Bible Basics. It all worried me. I spoke to my priest but frankly he wasn’t bothered explaining anything to me. I concluded that if Mary was not of ordinary human nature then Christ could not have been both “son of man” (because he was born of Mary) and “son of God” (because of God’s action on Mary through the Holy Spirit). So, she just had to have been an ordinary woman. The fact that Christ had human nature (see Hebrews 2:14-18; Romans 8:3) means that his mother must have had it too, seeing his Father did not have it (consider Job 14:4; 15:14; 25:4). Once I gave up on the idea of Mary being a super-human woman, all the rest of it became easier, and I was soon baptized.

Personal Testimony 2

As an atheist it didn’t bother me at all when I became interested in the Bible and learnt that there is only one God. It was just obvious to me that God can’t be one and also a trinity. I now realize there are some verses in the Bible hard to understand about the extent to which Jesus revealed God to us. But it seems to me obvious that if there is one God, the Father, then Jesus cannot also be God. I have said this to many people and many seem to want to turn it all into a mystery. OK I know we don’t know everything about God. But on the other hand surely we can be clear about some really basic things, like how many Gods there are. Otherwise we can know nothing at all and one may as well return to atheism.

Personal Testimony 3

As a Muslim I had always grown up believing that there was one God, but that Jesus was just another prophet. Yet I was disappointed with my life, I sinned a lot and I felt this need to get right with God. There was nothing in Islam that offered this. So one day I decided to reply to a leaflet I had been given on the street and had kept in my wallet. They sent me the book Bible Basics. Much of it was strange to me at first. But what I was amazed to find out was that these people didn’t believe Jesus was God Himself. I thought all Christians believed that, and it was a pleasant surprise to see that not all of them do.

What was hard for me, though, was to realize that Jesus was not just an ordinary man, but He never sinned, and was the Son of God. In my background, sin wasn’t seen as important or serious. But it was serious to me. So this idea of a man who never sinned and only on that basis was my saviour, this appealed to me and fascinated me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized why He was so highly rewarded by God and why He is written of in the Bible in such high language, even though He isn’t God Himself. And when I finally realized that He really did die for me, it became very clear to me that I must personally associate myself with Him through baptism. So this is what I did and I have never looked back, despite all the problems my decision has brought me.

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of LifeThroughout time, men and women have asked the big question:

   What is this life all about?

  ❖  Is there a purpose or meaning to it?

To answer these questions, we can turn to the Bible message and see that it is still relevant to us living in the 21st century. We will look at what the Bible tells us about the meaning of life, then go on to consider the Bible message to us personally.

We will consider the meaning of life in three sections:

❖  Where did we come from?

❖  What is life all about?

❖  Where are we going?

Then we shall look further at God’s plan and the promises which He has made.

Where Did We Come From?

Where did we come from?We were put here by a power greater than ourselves, by the unchanging Creator. The natural laws which govern our world do not change and those same constant laws apply outside of Earth. This indicates that the same power is in control throughout the universe.

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1 that God is that power, He created our world and keeps it going. In Malachi 3:6 we read that God is constant: For I am the Lord, I do not change.

Because our Creator does not change, His message does not change either.

This is crucial when we are thinking of the vital issues of life and death:

“You are God, and your words are true” (2 Samuel 7:28).

“Not only that, but God will bless those who read His word and try to follow it:

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord!

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart” (Psalm 119:12).

What is Life All About?

The Bible shows that our Creator is concerned about us; in fact, God’s care for us is seen all through the Bible. He assures us that the natural cycles which support our lives will continue.

He told Noah after the flood:

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

God wants us to reflect His care, and the apostle John told us that we should show God’s love to others:

And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (1 John 4:21).

God also cares about our future and He offers us life after death, through the work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is summarized by what is perhaps the best-known verse of the Bible:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

This can give us a real hope for the future, whatever our present problems.

Jesus Christ promised that those who believe in him will be given endless life:

“And this is the will of Him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).

The problems of lifeThe problems we encounter can make our lives very difficult. Sometimes, however, they can serve to make us think about our long–term future.

In Jesus’ day, a tower in Jerusalem fell and killed eighteen people. Jesus said that we should take notice and understand that without a part in God’s plan, when we die that will be the end of us (see Luke 13:4–5). We are also given good advice on this in the Old Testament.

Proverbs 16:25 tells us that only those who respect God have any hope for the future, and we should not rely on our own ideas:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Where are We Going?

God’s plan is for a peaceful worldwide kingdom. Throughout the Bible, many verses talk of a future world order, ruled over by Jesus Christ, which will be very different from today’s fractured experience. Here is just one example:

“Give the king your judgments, O God, and your righteousness to the king’s Son. He will judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice… In his days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace until the moon is no more… There will be an abundance of grain in the earth…” (Psalm 72:1, 2, 7, 16).

True Believers Will Live ForeverThe Bible tells us that some people will be raised from the grave and given Endless life when Jesus returns to the earth to establish this kingdom:

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

God plans to fill the earth with those who respect Him, so we can be involved in this peaceful worldwide kingdom on earth, and even help in solving the world’s problems:

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection… They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).

Bible Promises

We shall now look at the Bible message and what it should mean to us personally. This is the good news, the Gospel. Early on in the Bible we read of the promises that God made to Abram (later called Abraham), the father of the Jews.

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “… I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:13).

God makes it clear right at the start that everyone can be involved in the blessings on Abraham’s descendants.

The rest of the Bible is the account of how God works out this promise. Now, through Abraham’s son Isaac, the Jews are his natural descendants. How then can all nations be blessed with Abraham? We find the answer in the New Testament, in the letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Galatia, an area of modern Turkey. He explains that Jesus Christ is the particular descendant who would bring blessings on all nations:

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your seed,” who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).

This shows that it is through Jesus Christ that all nations can be involved in the promises made to Abraham.

Both Jesus and the apostle Paul confirm the Jewish connection with God’s plan:

❖ Jesus said in John 4:22: “Salvation is of the Jews”.

❖ Paul wrote in Acts 28:20: “…for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain”.

Our Part in this Plan

In Galatians chapter 3, Paul also explains how we can be involved in God’s plan:

“[God]… preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:89).

We join God and His Plan through BaptismSo it is those who believe and have faith in God’s promises who will be involved in His plan. When we have that faith, then we need to be baptized to demonstrate our trust and commitment:

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27–29).

So by having faith in God’s word, being baptized and living as God asks mankind to do, people from any and all nations can be involved in the promises that God made to Abraham and his descendants.

Think about that for a moment. If we are part of God’s plan, we have the hope of being raised from the dead when Jesus returns, and to live for ever in a perfect world – that really is a hope which can give our life meaning!

By Lawrence Cave

The Logic of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith – The Inspiration of Scripture

The Logic of FaithInspiration
The Evidence of Peter
The Evidence of the Prophets
How God revealed Himself through Prophets
Balaam – Jeremiah – Amos
Visions and Events
Style
Conclusion

Inspiration
To anyone studying the Bible it is of vital importance to know where the ideas in the Bible came from. If they are merely the opinions of ancient clerics then they are of historical interest but there is no need to take them especially seriously today. If, on the other hand, they represent the words of a higher authority, then they provide a guide to life that must not be ignored.

The Bible makes claims for itself. For example:
2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This passage tells us that the Bible is inspired by God. However, to understand this claim it is necessary to decide what is meant by the word inspiration.

The phrase “given by inspiration of God” in this passage translates one word from the original Greek, the word theopneustos. This word only occurs once in the Bible and is not found in Greek literature outside the Bible (apart from later commentaries on this passage). It appears to have been derived from two other words, the word theos, which means “God”, and the word pneustos, which means “breathed” (but is related to the word pneuma which means “breath” and also “spirit”). One can thus conclude that the word means that the scriptures were brought about by the action of God’s Spirit.

To see the detail of this one needs, however, to look at further passages. 

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The Evidence of Peter

2 Peter 1:19-21We have also a more sure word of prophecy; to which ye do well that ye take heed, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

In this passage Peter is referring to the witnesses available to show that the apostles were teaching a true message. The first witness Peter describes is the apostles who were eyewitnesses of the doings and words of Jesus but this, he tells us, is supported by the certain evidence of the Old Testament Scriptures. He goes on to tell us that these cannot be interpreted haphazardly; they have a definite meaning of their own because they are given by God and not by the will of man. The prophets spoke what was given them by the Holy Spirit. This means that the words of the scriptures are the words of God.

This picture extends not only to the Old Testament and to the words of Jesus. According to the writings of Peter, the New Testament Epistles are also Scripture:

2 Peter 3:15-16And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him hath written to you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

This passage refers to the letters of Paul alongside other Biblical writings. It calls these the other scriptures which means that the letters of Paul were also considered scriptures in exactly the same way as the Old Testament.

——————————————————————————–

The Evidence of the Prophets

In the Old Testament prophets often introduce their revelations by words similar to these:

Jeremiah 2:1-2Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD…

This passage uses the phrase “the word of the LORD came to me, saying…” This phrase tells us that what follows is not the words of the prophet but the words of God. Another phrase also found in the passage above and many other passages is “thus saith the LORD”. Again this phrase introduces words that are being described as coming directly from God.

The phrase “saith the LORD” appears 802 times in the Old Testament (413 times in the form “thus saith the LORD”) and the phrase “the word of the LORD came to me” occurs 92 times in the Old Testament. The idea that the words of the scripture come directly from God is found throughout the Bible; it is a general description of the way that the Bible was revealed. Indeed, there is an explicit statement by God that this is the way that he reveals himself through prophets:

Deuteronomy 18:18I will raise up to them a Prophet from among their brethren, like thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

It is important to note that the prophet is to be made to speak all the words that God commands. Indeed God says that he will put his own words in the prophet’s mouth. Thus the words spoken (and written) by the prophets as revelations from God were not their own words but the words that God put in their mouth, as the passage states clearly.

This was clearly the experience of the prophets themselves as they wrote. David said, for example:

2 Samuel 23:2The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was on my tongue.

and a similar thought is expressed by Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:17.

Other passages where it is explicitly stated that the words are God’s include:

Exodus 20:1And God spoke all these words, saying…
Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said… 

——————————————————————————–

How God revealed Himself through Prophets

The fact that the prophet spoke God’s words is clearly attested in scripture. The mechanism that God used to do this is also described to some extent in the Bible.

There are three places in the Old Testament where the prophet describes his experience in hearing the word of God and proclaiming it to other people. 

Balaam

Balaam was a prophet of God, but not an Israelite. He was required by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the children of Israel as they ended their wanderings in the wilderness after the Exodus and were about to enter the promised land. However, Balaam explained to Balak that he would be unable to do anything as a prophet which had not originated with God.

Numbers 22:18And Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

The point was that Balaam knew that his prophecies simply repeated messages from God. He could not, by himself, decide what they would contain. In spite of this Balak took him up to a mountain to curse Israel, but no curse came. Instead of a curse, Balaam’s words were a blessing. When he was called on to answer for himself, Balaam said the following:

Numbers 24:13: If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of my own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak.

This describes the way that the prophet received revelation; the words were given him by God and he could not change them. 

Jeremiah

Jeremiah was the writer of one of the largest books of the whole Bible. He describes this throughout as “the Word of the LORD God”. The following verses are taken from the very start of the book of Jeremiah and are all part of Jeremiah’s claim to speak the word of God exactly as God gave it:

Jeremiah 1:2To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.

This records the claim that the Word of God came to Jeremiah. Thus the words of the prophecy are God’s and not the prophet’s own.

Jeremiah 1:4Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,…

This reveals the claim that the following words, at least, are the words of God rather than of the prophet. The passage is saying that these following words are the words of God exactly as God spoke them.

Jeremiah 1:9Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

Here we have the claim that the words of the prophecy are words that were placed in the prophet’s mouth by God. They are thus words that originated with God and not with the prophet.

Jeremiah 2:1-2Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD…

The passage here makes the claim that the following words are exactly God’s. “Thus saith the LORD” is telling us that the words following are an exact repetition of what God has said to the prophet. Not only that but the words “thus saith the LORD” are part of what the word of God originally said to Jeremiah. Even the witness to the words coming from God was given by God.

Having been given the words of God the prophet was constrained to deliver them to other people without omitting or changing any part of the text. Jeremiah’s experience with this is also described in his prophecy:

Jeremiah 20:8-9For since I spoke, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach to me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not refrain.

Jeremiah did not want to deliver the words of God. They were unpopular words and Jeremiah was persecuted for them. He therefore attempted to leave them unsaid, but found that he could not do so. The words seem to have burned into his heart so that he could not ignore them or forget them and he was forced to deliver them to the people for whom they were intended. 

Amos

Amos described the way that the word of God came irresistibly into his life by an analogy:

Amos 3:8The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

What is being said here is that the words of God were fixed in the prophet’s mind and he was then no more able to ignore them than he could fail to be afraid if he met a roaring lion. However, the prophets seem to have heard the words spoken by God rather than to simply have found a strange message in their memories. 

——————————————————————————–

Visions and Events

Sometimes the prophets would receive a vision or would see an historical event and be required to describe it rather than to repeat words given by God. Even here, the words were not left to the prophets, but were given by God. An example which illustrates this is the way that Zechariah received his vision and wrote it down:

Zechariah 1:7-8Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD to Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

This is the start of the description of a vision which the prophet saw. However, Zechariah was not left to describe this in his own words. The words that God gave him to write include “I saw by night, and behold…”. 

——————————————————————————–

Style

One of the objections to the teaching that all the words of the Bible come directly from God is the fact that the style of the words differs from book to book, and sometimes within single books. The objectors claim that if all the words were from God they should all have the same style.

This objection, of course, supposes that one knows the style of writing that God would use in particular circumstances. If one decides that the style is a part of the message, then there is no reason that God should not send different parts of his message in different styles. It is likely that he chose people to be prophets because their natural style fitted in with the message he wished to convey. 

——————————————————————————–

Conclusion

From start to finish the books of the Bible make an absolute claim: they are the inspired words of God, and they have been recorded under His control.

Time to Stand Still

Finding the time to Stand Still?

Finding the time to Stand Still?

It isn’t easy to find time to think. Life is so busy and there is always such a lot to do. Even when on holiday there are places to go, things to see,Time to Stand Still shops to visit and meals to eat. It can be exhausting! Just sitting and thinking is seldom an option.

Stand still

Sometimes we need to find time to take stock, especially when we are really stressed and times are hard. Fleeing refugees were once being pursued by their erstwhile slave masters when they came to an impassable barrier. What were they to do? Fortunately they listened to their leader and he gave them this startling advice:

Time to Stand Still in Awe of God“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever’”(Exodus 14:13).

As it happened the fleeing Israelites couldn’t do much else. The sea was in front of them and the Egyptian army was behind them, so they had to stand still. Then it was that God opened a way across the sea which enabled them to escape. Thus it was that Israel moved forward as a nation and reached Mount Sinai where God declared them to be His special people, through whom He would communicate to all nations.

Kadesh Barnea

Less than two years later, the infant nation assembled on the edge of the Promised Land and hesitated. God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey and now they had to possess it, under His guidance. But they asked for a scouting party to be sent in first, so they could see what they were up against, and selected twelve men – one from each of their tribes – to go and spy out the land.

Their report was discouraging. Only two of the twelve recommended invading; the other ten said it could not be done. What was the nation to decide? Would they believe God and go forward in faith or would they falter and fail? They faltered, because they could not believe that God could do what He had promised and the result left them with a lot of time on their hands. Moses pleaded on behalf of the faithless nation and this is what God said:

“I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord— because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it”(Numbers 14:20–23).

Wilderness wandering

The nation had been on the brink of entering the Land but because of their unbelief they were sent back into the wilderness for another 38 years until that entire generation died out. It was their children who eventually crossed the Jordan with Joshua and proceeded to conquer and cultivate the Promised Land. The promises had always been in place, but the faith wasn’t there to activate them. It was just as God had said at Kadesh Barnea. His promises would indeed be fulfilled, but only those who believed would see that fulfilment.

The people did not take the time to think things through when they had the opportunity but they now had a lifetime for reflection and regretful thought, and their experience is intended to teach us. For, in the New Testament, we read this inspired commentary on those far off happenings:

“With most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted … Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come”(1 Corinthians 10:5–11).

Time out

Reflecting upon Israel’s history many years later, King David urged his contemporaries to use their opportunity to believe in God, and he used a specific word, saying:

Today, if you will hear His voice: do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness”(Psalm 95:7–8).

Israel had been hard-hearted in that they had not been willing to believe God but had made their own assessment of the situation and had followed their own reasoning. David was urging his subjects to think differently and was encouraging them to do that now – today, not tomorrow.

A thousand years later an inspired apostle looked back at David’s advice and repeated it for early Christian believers, for God’s promises have not changed with the passing years: they remain sure and certain. What He promised David, God will most certainly fulfill, but we have to believe if we want to be part of that new age to be established when David’s heir – the Lord Jesus Christ – returns to rule from Jerusalem. So what is the apostolic advice?

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it isTime to Stand Still and Contemplate Life called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…”(Hebrews 3:12–14).

Today!

Every day we need to make some time for serious thought about our lives and the lives of those we love. There is no better way of doing this than regular Bible reading and prayer. Find out about the promises of God and you will learn that God has an escape plan for mankind from all the problems that now beset our world.

Things may be getting worse year-by-year, but that should come as no surprise to Bible readers. They have to get worse before they will get better. But make no mistake! There are better times ahead and if we want to be part of those good times with God, we need to find the time now to think seriously about God’s offer of salvation.

Learn here about God’s Plan for the World

Getting to know God

Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?

Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?

Getting to know GodHow do we get to know anyone? Is it possible to know someone you have never met? For example, can you get to know an artist just by studying his or her artistic work? Starting with these questions, Anna Hart explores how we can get to know God, who we have not met.

Artistic Work

You may get some clues about the type of scenery an artist likes, by studying his portfolio. But what can the paintings tell you about his moral standards, his likes or dislikes? It is unlikely that you would be able to deduce much useful information.

Or think about a musical composition.  Some composers have set scriptural words to pieces of music which are so moving that a listener can be reduced to tears. We might imagine that a composer able to do this would have a strong religious faith. However, this is certainly not always the case, and some very popular religious music has been composed by self-declared atheists.

So a person’s body of work does not, of itself, help you to know the individual. Even people we have met and think we know can react differently from how we expect, for people are unpredictable by nature. It is only when they tell us about themselves that we can start to understand them.

God’s Handiwork

It follows that whilst we can learn something about God by studying His creative handiwork, we cannot conclude that we know what He is like just because we are keen students of nature. We need something more if we are to get to know the God who made the universe. The Bible says this:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

When we look at nature we certainly see beauty, and many people would argue that there is clear evidence of design. There is majesty in high mountains, peace in a babbling brook, glory in a fiery sunset and excitement in a roaring sea. But what does this tell you about the character of God? Nature also gives us earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, storms, hurricanes, beasts of prey, suffering and death.

What do these things tell us about God?

Wrong Assumptions

We often hear people say things like ‘I can’t imagine a God who would disapprove of …’ or ‘I am sure that God would not mind…’ or ‘God would like that’.

On what basis can people make these statements? Have they read the Bible? Do they think they can understand God merely by looking at His handiwork and using their own reasoning powers! Why should the work of God in nature tell us about His character, when the work of artists and musicians tell us so little about the characters of the artists?

Because God is so much greater than His creation, we cannot predict what He will do in any particular circumstance or think we know Him. His ways are very different from our ways and His thoughts are far beyond our level of mental attainment (Isaiah 55:9).

To take one example: the Bible – the Word of God – assures us that ‘God is love’ (I John 4: 8). But we cannot use our own understanding of what that means in practice, and then say that we know what God would do in any given circumstance.

Would we ever imagine that a loving God would do the following?

  •  Swallow men up in an earthquake after they had rebelled against Moses (Numbers 16: 28-32);
  •  Kill a man because he touched the holy ark of God when it was being transported (2 Sam 6:6,7);
  •  Make two Christian believers drop dead because they lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10).
  •  Kill a man for accepting praise and not giving glory to God (Acts 12:21-23)

The outcome for these people was fearsome. It is unlikely that they could have predicted their fate, or maybe even appreciated the enormity of their mistakes. How much better it would have been if they had understood God better.

Mercy and Compassion

For the Bible also describes God as: “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).

Elsewhere He is said to be “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding

in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).

It follows that there are amazing examples of people who were spared from destruction.

  •  Following the pleading of a faithful man, He agreed not to destroy two cities if there were ten righteous people to be found there (Gen 18:23-32);
  •  A prostitute and her family were saved from destruction after she showed faith in God (Joshua 6:25);
  •  King David was spared the death penalty for committing adultery and then murder (2 Samuel 12:7-13);
  •  God did not carry out His threat to punish a pagan city when they repented at the words of a prophet (Jonah 3);
  •  Jesus promised a convicted thief a place in the coming Kingdom (Luke 23:42,43); and, best of all,
  •  God gave His only begotten Son to save those who believe (John3:16).

The Lesson for Us

If we want to be treated like the people in the second list, we need to understand what God is like, why He does what He does, and what He asks of us.

It can be a ‘fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Hebrews 10:31) who, after all, controls our very breath and life (Psalm 104:29, Acts 17:25).

We simply cannot deduce what God is like by sitting and contemplating, by imagination or by deduction: for He has given us details in the Bible.

God is clearly a God of judgement as well as a God of great love and mercy.

So it is a matter of life and death to learn of Him from His own Word, and not from philosophy or human ideas.

It is urgent and essential that we read the Bible prayerfully and obey what it asks us to do.

By Anna Hart

The Centre of the Bible

THE CENTRE OF THE BIBLE

THE CENTRE OF THE BIBLE

The Centre of the Bible

The truth is there are 31,102 verses in the King James Bible.  Therefore there is no single middle verse.  You cannot have a middle verse with an even number of verses.  However there are two middle verses. These would be verses 15,551 and 15,552 (Psalms 103:1-2.) 

PSALM 103:1-2

BLESS the LORD, O my soul:  and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

These are the middle two verses of the King James Bible.  Both verses start with “Bless the LORD, O my soul”.  Verse 1 continues – and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Verse 2 concludes with – and forget not all his benefits.  These are powerful words coming from the two center verses of the Book.  

Now let’s count the words in these two middle verses.  There are twenty-eight.  That’s seven quadrupled (7 times 4) instead of seven doubled (7 times 2.)  Here we have seven compounded twice as much.

Now let’s see if we can find some middle words in the center of God’s middle verses.  Yes, I see four (bless his holy name.)  There are twelve words on one side of this phrase and twelve words on the other side.  So the King James Bible has bless his holy name right in the center of the two middle verses!

This phrase also has exactly twice as many words (12) on each side of it.  God loves the number twelve also.  Next to the number seven, it is his favorite number.  He uses it a lot in his word.  For example there were twelve apostles and twelve tribes of Israel. There are twelve manner of fruits bared by the tree of life.  It is the number of authority and power.  What else would you expect in the center of God’s Holy Bible?  Bless his holy name. 

PSALM 138:2…I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Total Books in the King James Bible66
Total Chapters in the King James Bible1,189
Total verses in the King James Bible31,102
Total Books in the Old Testament39
Total Chapters in the Old Testament929
Total verses in the Old Testament23,145
Total Books in the New Testament27
Total Chapters in the New Testament260
Total verses in the New Testament7,957
Middle Book in the King James BibleNone – There are 2 – Micah & Nahum
Longest Book in the King James BiblePsalms
Shortest Book in the King James Bible2 John (verses) & 3 John (words)
Middle Chapter in the King James BiblePsalm 117
Longest Chapter in the King James BiblePsalm 119
Shortest Chapter in the King James BiblePsalm 117
Middle verse in the King James BibleNone – There are 2 – Psalm 103:1 & Psalm 103:2
Longest verse in the King James BibleEsther 8:9
Shortest verse in the King James BibleJohn 11:35

Note:  Total verses: 31,102.  3+1+1+0+2 = 7

completeness, spiritual perfection, pure)

The following statistics apply to the 1769 edition of the 1611 King James Bible:

All word counts are the work of computer programmer Dave Whitinger.  I have checkedand doubled-checked his counts with a manual count in 10 of the 66 Books and they all match perfectly.  Therefore I believe these word counts to be 100% accurate (I hope.) 

Old Testament

BookChaptersVersesWords
1Genesis501,53338,262
2Exodus401,21332,685
3Leviticus2785924,541
4Numbers361,28832,896
5Deuteronomy3495928,352
6Joshua2465818,854
7Judges2161818,966
8Ruth4852,574
91 Samuel3181025,048
102 Samuel2469520,600
111 Kings2281624,513
122 Kings2571923,517
131 Chronicles2994220,365
142 Chronicles3682226,069
15Ezra102807,440
16Nehemiah1340610,480
17Esther101675,633
18Job421,07018,098
19Psalms1502,461 *42,704
20Proverbs3191515,038
21Ecclesiastes122225,579
22Song of Solomon81172,658
23Isaiah661,29237,036
24Jeremiah521,36442,654
25Lamentations51543,411
26Ezekiel481,27339,401
27Daniel1235711,602
28Hosea141975,174
29Joel3732,033
30Amos91464,216
31Obadiah121 669
32Jonah4481,320
33Micah71053,152
34Nahum3471,284
35Habakkuk3561,475
36Zephaniah3531,616
37Haggai2381,130
38Zechariah142116,443
39Malachi455 1,781

 

New Testament

BookChaptersVersesWords
40Matthew281,07123,343
41Mark1667814,949
42Luke241,15125,640
43John2187918,658
44Acts281,00724,229
45Romans16433       *9,422
461 Corinthians16437       *9,462
472 Corinthians13257       *6,046
48Galatians6149       *3,084
49Ephesians6155       *3,022
50Philippians4104       *2,183
51Colossians495       *1,979
521 Thessalonians589       *1,837
532 Thessalonians347       *1,022
541 Timothy6113       *2,244
552 Timothy483       *1,666
56Titus346          *896
57Philemon125          *430
58Hebrews13303       *6,897
59James5108  2,304
601 Peter5105 2,476
612 Peter361 1,553
621 John51052,517
632 John113  298
643 John114  294
65Jude125   608
66Revelation22404 11,952
66Bible Totals1,18931,102788,280

 

*The book of Psalms has superscriptions under some of the Psalms (chapters.) These were not counted in this chart because they are not in the verses.  Also Psalm 119 has the Hebrew Alphabet translated into English.  Even though these words are not in the verses they were counted because they are scattered throughout this Psalm (Chapter.) 

The fourteen epistles of Paul are sometimes accompanied by subscriptions at the end of each letter.  These were not counted because they are not in the verses.  They are credited to Euthalius, a bishop of the 5th Century.  The wording has slightly been modified during the process of time.  Some of them seem to disagree with the text. 

SUMMARY OF KING JAMES BIBLE STATISTICS:

Total Books – 66  Total Chapters  1,189 Total Verses…31,102

Total words in the 31,102 verses – 788,258 (not including the Hebrew Alphabet in Psalm 119 or the superscriptions listed in some of the Psalms)

Total words in the Hebrew Alphabet in Psalm 119 – 22

Total words on the cover – 2 (HOLY BIBLE)

Total words in the Book Titles – 85 (the full titles as written in the 1611 edition – 374)

Total times the word “CHAPTER” is listed – 1,034 (in 5 books the word is not listed because they only have one chapter)

Total times the word “PSALM” is listed – 150

Total words in superscriptions (sub-titles) of Psalms – 1,034

Total words in subscriptions (concluding remarks) in the epistles of Paul – 186

Total words in Testament dividers – 6 (The Old Testament, The New Testament)

Total words in Table of Contents – 94 (the Book Titles, the Testament dividers plus the phrase Table of Contents) If you use the full titles as in the 1611 edition – 383

Total words either on the cover or the first page explaining which Bible you have:

  1. A)   Authorized Version – 2or
  2. B)   King James version – 3or
  3. C)   King James Bible – 

Can you see now why there are so many word counts floating around?

BIBLE STATISTICS (King James Authorized):
Number of books in the Bible: 66

Chapters: 1,189
Verses: 31,102
Words: 783,137
Letters: 3,116,480
Number of promises given in the Bible: 1,260
Commands: 6,468
Predictions: over 8,000
Fulfilled prophecy: 3,268 verses
Unfulfilled prophecy: 3,140
Number of questions: 3,294
Longest name: Mahershalalhashbaz (Isaiah 8:1)
Longest verse: Esther 8:9 (78 words)
Shortest verse: John 11:35 (2 words: “Jesus wept”).  This is the King James Bible.  Some Bibles might be Job 3:2 (Job said.) but King James has that as “Job answered” which is longer than Jesus wept.
Middle books: Micah and Nahum
Middle verse: Psalm 103:2-3
Middle chapter: Psalm 117
Shortest chapter (by number of words): Psalm 117 (by number of words)
Longest book: Psalms (150 chapters)
Shortest book (by number of words): 3 John
Longest chapter: Psalm 119 (176 verses)
Number of times the word “God” appears: 4,094
Number of times the word “Lord” appears: 6,781
Number of different authors: 40
Number of languages the Bible has been translated into: over 1,200

OLD TESTAMENT STATISTICS:
Number of books: 39

Chapters: 929
Verses: 23,145
Words: 602,585
Letters: 2,278,100
Middle book: Proverbs
Middle chapter: Job 20
Middle verses: 2 Chronicles 20:17,18
Smallest book: Obadiah
Shortest verse: 1 Chronicles 1:25
Longest verse: Esther 8:9
Longest chapter: Psalms 119
Largest book: Psalms

NEW TESTAMENT STATISTICS:
Number of books: 27

Chapters: 260
Verses: 7,957
Words: 180,552
Letters: 838,380
Middle book: 2 Thessalonians
Middle chapters: Romans 8, 9
Middle verse: Acts 27:17
Smallest book: 3 John
Shortest verse: John 11:35
Longest verse: Revelation 20:4
Longest chapter: Luke 1
Largest book: Luke