View episode 2—best-seller (english subtitles)
Welcome to the FAQ for module 2—best-seller. The following questions include video and/or written answers and are also included in the guide for your leader. You may like to raise these questions during your group time, and we also place them here for you to explore and re-explore at your leisure.
Q 1. Who wrote the Bible and why is it called ‘the Word of God’?
Christians believe that the Bible is ‘the word of God’ because it originates with God. About 37 different human authors wrote the Bible, each in their own distinctive style. But God guided their writing so that, what they freely wrote was exactly what God wanted them to write. That is why Jesus called the Bible “the word of God” (John 10:35).
Q 2. Aren’t there errors and contradictions in the Bible?
If it’s true that the Bible came from God (see Q 1 above), then since God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) it must be that the original writings of the Bible didn’t have any errors or contradictions.
The Bible of today is a thoroughly reliable copy of those original writings. In the process of copying the biblical documents, some copyist errors have been made but these are: (1) few; (2) not significant; and (3) do not affect the message of the Bible at all.
Q 3. Why are modern translations of the Bible necessary? Are they accurate or has the meaning been changed by endless translations down through the ages?
Because languages are constantly changing, new translations of the Bible are always necessary. The meaning of a certain word today may be very different from the meaning that word had even 50 years ago. So we need fresh translations into our modern language.
Modern Bible translations are translated not from previous translations but from ancient copies of the original writings. By comparing the many ancient copies and working from them, scholars and translators are able to give us the Bible in our modern languages.
Q 4. Why can we trust the Bible?
The Bible makes some great claims, so we definitely need to ask whether its claims come out of a trustworthy source! The Bible has always been subjected to the most intense criticism down through the centuries and, for all the criticisms, it has never been proven false; it remains the best-seller of all time, and the most widely read and most translated book in history. It keeps proving itself to be historically, geographically, prophetically and scientifically true. For these reasons, we can definitely trust the Bible.
Q 5. What relevance does such an old book have today?
The Bible is old! Some parts are over 3500 years old. But, ‘old’ does not mean irrelevant. For instance, just because the law of gravity is old, doesn’t make it obsolete (jump out the window and see!—actually please don’t!)—some things are too important and true to be discarded.
Hungry for more? Please enjoy the following questions!
Q: Lost in transmission?
The Bible was not originally written in a book, because the Bible is actually older than the invention of a book. Instead, the Bible was written on scrolls (sometimes made of animal skin, sometimes made of papyrus reed). And of course the printing press was invented many hundreds of years after the New Testament was completed, so copies of the Bible were written out by hand (we call them ‘manuscripts’). Sometimes the people who made a copy of a manuscript made mistakes, and this raises the question: Have we lost the original words? Has the Bible been lost in transmission?
Q: Lost in transmission? The Dead Sea Scrolls
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 has been described as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the entire 20th century.
Q. The world’s best-sellers?
The Bible has been the world’s best-selling book for millennia. But how many copies have been produced and in how many languages has it been translated? And how does this compare with other written works? Although it is often impossible to know exact figures, the following table contains a best-guess of the world’s best-sellers.