|“In the Beginning…”|
Today, the Holy Bible is published, treasured and studied in most every world culture. No other book compares, either in content or in world-wide circulation just as no other faith-based religion worships an eternal, infinite God who created all life and demonstrated His exclusive power to conquer death as evident through the resurrection of Christ.
The Bible’s Old and New Testaments invest life with purpose and dimension, in sharp contrast to the superstitious imaginings suggesting first life organized itself from nothing, evolved without direction, only to end in the blackness of forever death.
More than a narrative of historical events, philosophy, poetry, and rules for better living, the 66-book compilation offers insight as to where we came from, what we are doing here and where we are going.
The Bible, the all-time best seller, speaks with inspired authority!
No ordinary literature, thoughts expressed came from “men who spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21).
An authoritative narrative of scores of miraculous events, the Bible preserves a panorama of history’s unfolding miracle in action. Sixty-six books, authored by forty or so inspired humans from Moses to John the Revelator, writing between 1400 BC and 100 AD, provide reason for living and direction for every Homo sapiens who has ever lived. Moses, an intellectual giant, who wrote from experience, insight and personal communication with God, is credited with having authored the Genesis account of life’s beginning.
Blessed with access to the higher education reserved for Egyptian royalty, his faith in the Creator was absolute given his cultural exposure to the eyewitness and written accounts of creation week and the global deluge handed down by the likes of Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Jacob and Joseph—devout worshipers of God.
John the Beloved, walked by Christ’s side during His ministry, witnessed His crucifixion, and penned the Book of Revelation with a look to the future —the last of the Bible’s 66 books.
The “Big Picture” theme of Scripture begins with the miraculous origin of life on earth during the literal, seven-day creation week. Accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, God’s only begotten son, tie the ends of historical events together in a living cavalcade of meaning and hope.
In the four centuries immediately following Christ’s ministry, numerous letters were composed and circulated within the Christian fellowship—not all of which were anchored in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Devoted scholars patiently sifted through the manuscripts and compiled the New Testament canon. The central message of the Messiah tied the Old Testament to the new in a single, cohesive entity.
Inspired insights of Moses, Daniel, David, Peter, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul, flow as complimentary components of a contiguous whole. Together, the Old and New Testaments provide purpose and meaning, for diverse cultures and every human life.
The Old Testament describes creation, the fall of man, the plan of redemption and the promise of a Messiah. The New Testament correlates with the Old by confirming the arrival of the Messiah, His message and ministry, His assured return, destruction of evil and an earth made new.
Noah “walked with God,” a man of courage who stood tall, putting his reputation and his life on the line to obey his Creator, preparing for a Global Flood. “By faith, Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7.
Moses, beneficiary of the finest education provided ancient Egyptian royalty, is credited with authoring Genesis, with its Creation account, and the four other books of the Pentateuch. An intellectual giant with a commanding presence, Moses lived without peer as lawgiver, courageous leader, and unselfish human dedicated to serving God, the Creator.
Peter fished in the Sea of Galilee until Christ called him to be a “fisher of men.” Enthusiastic, visionary, loyal, courageous, and most of all a man of faith, Peter committed his life to teaching the truth about God; the life, death and resurrection of Christ, the life giver; and the miracle of creation.
On the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus, struck by the light of truth, did an about face. Paul the Apostle, turned about face from evil, devoting all his energies to presenting the Bible’s “good news” of renewed life through Christ! A legend of living courage and faith, Paul put his own life on the line, preaching the truth about God and His creation miracle.
John the Revelator authored the gospel of John based on his personal eyewitness account of Christ’s ministry, death and resurrection. Living until late in the first century A.D., John penned the Book of Revelation, alerting believers to the church’s perilous road to end-time victory.
Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus, 354-430), Bishop of Hippo, converted to the Christian faith answering the prayers of his devout mother, played a pivotal role in merging the Old and New Testaments into the complete, Holy Bible. Thanks to influential church leaders like Augustine, aided by the translating skills of Jerome (384 A.D}, the complete Scriptural canon was formally ratified at the Synod of Hippo (393 A.D.)—nearly two centuries before Gregory, Bishop of Rome (590-604 A.D.) assumed the full religious and civil power of the Papacy.
John Wycliffe (1328-1384), fourteenth century Christian scholar, defied the religious establishment by translating the Bible canon into English in 1382. This courageous act of making the truth about God convenient to public accessibility so outraged empowered religionists that Wycliffe’s bones were ordered exhumed from the grave and burned as a symbolic warning.
The Waldenses defied religious authoritarianism by going door-to-door sharing their understanding of Scripture. Branded as “heretics,” more than 80 Waldensian martyrs were burned to death in Strasburg (1211 AD).
Martin Luther (1483 -1546), German priest who championed salvation by faith alone, suffered excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church for challenging the pope’s authority. Believing the Bible to be the primary source of religious truth, he translated the Latin scripture into the language of the people. Luther’s credentials include credit as both an exceptional scholar as well as a courageous Christian leader pointing the way to the Reformation.
Varner Jay Johns (1890-1982), joined by his life’s companion, Charlene Morrison Johns, spent a Christian clergyman’s career pointing lives “Back to the Bible.” Articulate pastor and prolific writer, he stood tall for religious freedom and the rights of human conscience, authoring Forty Centuries of Law and Liberty. Three Days Before the Sun exists as a legacy perpetuating their ministry, a humble tribute to their sterling examples of teaching and living the truth about God.