|Teen Bible Study: How We Got the Bible
Youth 82, in conjunction with the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course Department, presents short monthly Bible studies designed especially for teens.
When God created man, He planned to teach him what he needed to know. God taught Adam the basis of how to live a successful, happy and abundant life. And He revealed the wonderful future He had in store for him and his children.
Over hundreds of years God inspired certain men to write these teachings down and preserve them for our time. We have these lessons today in a special book — the Holy Bible.
The story of the Bible's origin is a fascinating one. So find your Bible, some paper and a pen or pencil and let's learn how God prepared and preserved His Instruction Book for us today. Be sure to look up each scripture given in answer to the questions.
1. On the sixth day of recreating the earth's surface, God created Adam and Eve. The next day, the Sabbath, God taught them many things. What was one very important thing He taught them? Genesis 2:16-17.
God spoke with Adam and Eve and taught them His way of life. One of His instructions was a warning not to take of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But they disobeyed God by taking and eating that forbidden fruit. By doing so they rejected instruction from God and brought the penalty of eternal death upon themselves and all their descendants — all mankind.
From that time on, God taught only a few other people His laws — those whom He called for special reasons and to perform specific jobs for Him. The rest of humanity has followed the ways that seem right to men (Proverbs 14:12).
2. Did God talk to Moses as a friend? Exodus 33:11, first part. Did God later also talk to the children of Israel? Deuteronomy 5:1-4, especially verse 4.
Moses was tending sheep in the desert near Mt. Horeb when God told him to go to Egypt and lead the children of Israel out of captivity and into a new land where they were to live (Exodus 3:1-10). As Israel left Egypt and traveled through the wilderness to this new land, God began to teach them His way to a happy, abundant life by giving them the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:16-19, 20:1-17).
3. After God finished speaking the Ten Commandments, what did the people say? Exodus 20:18-19, Deuteronomy 5:23-31.
Israel became fearful of God and did not want Him to talk to them anymore. And so God gave the rest of His law to Moses, and then Moses taught it to the people (Deuteronomy 6:1).
4. Did Moses write God's laws down? Deuteronomy 31:9, 24. What else did Moses write? Numbers 33:1-2.
Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible that together were called "the law" or the Torah. These books cover more than 2,000 years of man's history.
5. How did Moses know exactly what to write? Exodus 34:27, 17:14,
Moses was not an eyewitness to everything he reported in his writings. The creation and Flood were obviously before his time. He wasn't around when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived. It was God who told Moses what to write. And after Moses died, God inspired other men to write down the things He wanted preserved for the instruction of future generations.
6. Why did God inspire history to be included in the Bible? I Corinthians 10:11-12. For whom are these lessons of history recorded? Romans 15:4.
God wants us all to learn from the mistakes and sins of ancient Israel. He wants us rather to obey Him and be blessed, just as He would have blessed Israel if they had obeyed.
7. Approximately one third of the Bible is prophecy — the foretelling of future events. Is biblical prophecy also inspired by God? II Peter 1:20-21. Why did God make prophecy a part of the Bible? Amos 3:7, Revelation 1:1.
God reveals to us world events that will happen in just a few short years. This is so we can be spurred on to obey Him and escape the terrible time of trouble that is coming upon the world. The prophecies also picture the coming wonderful world tomorrow so we can look forward to it.
8. Just before Christ returns to earth, is God sending someone to prepare the way for His Second Coming? Malachi 3:1-2. What is the job of this messenger? Malachi 4:5-6, Ezekiel 33:7, Isaiah 58:1.
Before God intervenes in the evil ways of this world, He is warning the nations of that intervention through His servant, Herbert W. Armstrong. The good news of the restoration of God's government on earth is being proclaimed to the world through the Worldwide Church of God.
9. Did some of the prophets not understand the things they wrote? Daniel 12:8-9, Luke 10:24. At what time did God say He would reveal their meaning? Daniel 12:4, 9.
Most of prophecy is for this "time of the end" we are living in today. God has shown His Church today the meaning of what many prophets wrote and really desired to understand.
So you see, the entire Bible we have today has been written for us. Let's examine what God says about this special Book He prepared for us.
10. How much of the Bible is inspired by God? II Timothy 3:16. What is God's Word described as? John 17:17. What will never happen to God's Word — the Holy Scriptures? John 10:35. Can we absolutely depend upon God's Word? Titus 1:2.
Since the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, we know it is true. And we can rely upon His Word because God cannot lie.
Maybe you are now wondering how God preserved His inspired Word until today. This is also an interesting story.
The books of the Bible were originally written on long scrolls. There were very few copies since each scroll had to be copied by hand, letter by letter. Imagine how long it would take to write out the entire Bible by hand!
The men whose job it was to copy the books of the Bible from scroll to scroll were called scribes. They were very careful in their work. For thousands of years, through persecution and war, until this very day the Jews have preserved the Hebrew Scriptures (what we know as the Old Testament) as God intended (Romans 3:1-2).
Jesus said, "My words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35) — and they have not passed away. The words of Christ — the New Testament writings — were recorded in Greek. And the Greeks faithfully copied, generation after generation, the New Testament in the very language in which God inspired it to be written.
But God was planning to call people from all nations to form His Church just before Jesus returns. These people would need their own copies of God's Word in their own language to study daily. Therefore, God stirred up men to translate the Bible into other languages.
Then, about 500 years ago, the printing press was invented. One of the first books ever printed was — you guessed it — the Holy Bible. Now it began to be easier to have one's own copy of the Bible. Since then the technology of printing has advanced to where hundreds of millions of Bibles have been produced, more than any other book in history.
11. Understanding that the Holy Bible we have today was inspired by God and caused to be preserved for us, what does God expect us to do? II Timothy 2:15. And what are we to do with this knowledge? James 1:22.
God not only expects us to study the Bible, but also to act on what we learn from His Word so we may understand His wonderful plan for our lives now and for all eternity.
So study the Bible regularly (Acts 17:11) and put its lessons into practice — knowing that it is the inspired Word of God preserved for you!