Written by Heather Garner Wednesday, 29 March 2017 08:50
We are so fortunate to live in a time when Bibles are available in nearly every bookstore, variety store like Wal-Mart, and in most libraries. Most homes in America have several copies. It wasn’t always that way. A person in Bible times was very fortunate if their family had managed to acquire any portion of the copies of Scripture that scribes from centuries before copied by hand of the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures. Some Jews in foreign lands were fortunate to get hold of the translation of the old Hebrew and Aramaic text into Greek. This translation from about 200-225 B. C. was called the Septuagint. Usually only wealthier people might have portions of these ancient scrolls. It appears from some quotes such as in Stephen’s sermon of Acts 7 that Jesus, the apostles, and other evangelists of the 1st Century often quoted Old Testaments passages from the Septuagint /Greek translation.
Since most folks didn’t have easy access to these Scriptures – especially since they were copied by hand and limited in number available, these folks often had to wait for public readings of the sacred Scriptures in the Synagogues and the Temple. For example notice: Acts 15:21 (KJV) ²¹ For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Do you remember the day that Jesus went into his home village of Nazareth and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day:
Luke 4:16-22 (KJV) ¹⁶ And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. ¹⁷And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, ¹⁸ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, ¹⁹ To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. ²⁰ And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. ²¹ And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. ²² And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
Where would we be without the Bible? The Bible introduces us to God and defines His personality to us. The Heavens declare His glory but they do not tell us His name, or about His Son, and about salvation. The Bible is His message to us to introduce Himself and His Way to us. God in all His wisdom gave mankind a roadmap to find his way to heaven. I want us to come to appreciate the importance of the reading of the Bible and the means by which God made His will known to Old Testament Characters, early New Testament Christians, and then for us today.