Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 2: The Bible - It Origin
January 17 2003 by John S. Pond Jr. , Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:12-21

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 2: The Bible - It Origin | Friday, Jan. 17, 2003

Friday, Jan. 17, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 2: The Bible - It Origin

By John S. Pond Jr. Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:12-21

The Bible is a collection of 66 individual "books" that span more than 1,500 years, written by kings, peasants, farmers, poets, fishermen, a former tax collector, etc. It is a book that "does not ask to be defended but read, used and proclaimed" (Hobbs). The Bible - God's book of grace.

The one source of revelation

Hebrews 1:1-2

In these two verses the author of Hebrews gives the full spectrum of divine communication and revelation. Like the first chapters of Genesis and the Gospel of John, the letter to the Hebrews focuses on the primacy of God. God is the source of revelation - "In the beginning God..." (Genesis, John) and "in times past (of old times) God..." (Hebrews).

Genesis and John's Gospel describe the activity of God in creation through His Word. The letter to the Hebrews serves as a treatise on the superiority of that Word, i.e., Jesus Christ.

In a series of contrasts, this superiority is illustrated and declared. We read that in old times God spoke, but now God has spoken. God spoke to the fathers, but now He speaks to us. God spoke through the prophets, but now He speaks in a final and full way by His Son.

God's revelation presented in the Old Testament is expansive, yet incomplete; God speaks in temporally fragmented and variegated ways. He spoke through dreams, direct communication and by signs using a diversity of forms through His messengers to proclaim His message to His covenant people.

But now, "of these days," God has spoken fully and finally by His Son, His "Son-revelation." Not to be identified as another fragment of divine truth, Jesus Christ is the whole truth. He is recognized and proclaimed as the Son, heir of all things (Psalm 2:8) and agent in the creative process (1 Cor. 8:6). It is the whole of the incarnation, Christ's person, work and acts, that God has communicated His ultimate word to "us."

The superiority of the written word

2 Peter 1:12-19

In the face of his approaching death, Peter reminded his readers of the truth of Christ's second coming (2 Peter 1:11; 2:16). Even though Peter affirmed them in their certitude of the truth, he was concerned that they would stagnate into a state of complacency. Thus he reminded them by "thoroughly waking them up, continually rousing them up" (2 Peter 2:13) that the time is too short - "remember and trust!"

In the face of a myriad of teachings and philosophies, Peter recalled the readers to a living faith as clearly enunciated in his preaching. Rather than succumbing to sophisticated fables and myths, they have received the living truth of Christ's power and parousia (coming).

To substantiate this truth Peter presented three evidences: (1) It is firmly grounded on historical events. Peter testified that he and James and John were eyewitnesses of Christ's majesty on the mount of Transfiguration and actually heard the voice of God confirm His Sonship. (2) It is thoroughly illuminated by the prophetic word, for it acts as a lamp that exposes a dark, dry, squalid, dismal place with blazing divine light. (3) That prophetic word is totally sufficient and reliable for the present life until Christ returns.

It is through the Bible that we encounter and interact with the living reality of the word, Jesus Christ. The experiences and testimonies of the biblical writers provide us a guarantee of the superiority, the viability and verity of God's written word.

The divine origin of the scriptures

2 Peter 1:20-21

Unlike other books, the Bible is unique. Other works are a result of creativity and imagination, a compilation of ideas and opinions. Peter reminded us that the scriptures are not the product of any individual's private opinion, personal interpretation or private disclosure, but are the revelation of God to humanity through His Spirit.

According to Peter, the Holy Spirit operated upon the minds and lives of the biblical writers, "carrying" them to actualize the divine message. Their personalities and thought processes were not superseded, but were used by the Spirit to produce the divine written record. The writers were used by the Holy Spirit to consciously write the message God gave them.

As we read and study the scriptures, that same Spirit should guide our interpretations. Jesus promised that His "Spirit ... will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come" (John 16:13).

When we read the scriptures we must rely upon His Spirit to give understanding, encouragement and illumination so that whenever we sense a new teaching we can ask ourselves if it is truly the outcome of fresh light from the Holy Spirit, or a personal opinion or bias.

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1/17/2003 12:00:00 AM by John S. Pond Jr. , Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:12-21 | with 0 comments
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