Storytelling is as old as mankind. It has been a way to pass on information, teach, entertain and amaze. Most of our discussions on a daily basis have some form of storytelling. The trouble with storytelling is how much can be lost in translation or exaggerated to the point of absurdity. (“Well MY dad is so strong he can pick up a truck with one hand…”)
In this context of the power of storytelling and how easily altered a story can be, the Bible is a stand alone miracle.
For a start, it was written over a period of 1600 years by approximately 40 different hands, it is ranked that the world’s most-read book, has sold over 3.9 billion copies (and this figure does not count Bibles that have been given) and has been translated into over 531 languages and 2,833 languages having parts of the Bible (but not in its entirety).
With such a list of achievements it has real gravitas but more importantly it is the WHO, WHAT and the WHY that is so awe-inspiring.
WHO: Despite many people trying very hard to discredit the Bible there are no contradictions in the 66 books of the Bible. Not one. If you consider the time frame and the number of writers this seems impossible until you realise the most important difference between the Bible and any other book – it was written by God. He appointed different men over the 1600 year period and wrote through them.
WHAT: The Bible takes us through from the very beginning when God created the Earth. In literary terms this sets the stage, introduces key characters and provides the basis on which the rest of the book is based – God’s love for us and our sinful nature. The Old Testament, in itself, is awash with examples of God’s intent to keep us as His children. We learn of Noah and Moses and take away lessons of obedience. However, throughout the Old Testament we are pointed to a future point, prophecies of Jesus start as early as Genesis 3. His crucifixion is prophesised in Psalms 22 v16-18
WHY: We know that God did not create the Bible to be placed on the Top 10 Book Award list so why did He? The Bible was written to tell the story of God’s love for us, His sacrifice for us and God’s promise to those who seek salvation in His name. The true story of Jesus is the greatest story ever told, not just because of the almost unbelievable way in which the Bible was created but because it still, to this day, is working to change lives. The Bible was written to show us how long God has waited for us, how He knew us then as He knows us now. We are invited, through words written centuries ago, to be a part of God’s Kingdom. We are encouraged, through fulfilled prophecies 2016 years ago, to pray through Jesus Christ.
The Bible, historically invaluable, is a living book as it points to our lives today. Yes, it tells us of the past yet it promises a future for each of us and has prophecies that are still not yet realised. Yes, the Bibles we use are printed on paper but the words are formed from God’s mouth to our ears. Yes, they may be pages and pages of text but they are words of comfort, advice and life-lessons. If you truly engage in the story you come to know Jesus Christ and the journey He walked for our salvation. If you spend time reading the greatest book ever written you will learn the greatest story ever told. If you spend time reading the Bible and engaging in God’s will for us, you will become a part of this story and your story will in turn act as a testament to others. For it is written, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matt 24:14
You do not need to re-write history as it is wiped clean when you come to God and are baptised. You do not need to write a mission statement, there’s already one written for you – be a storyteller – we are called upon by God to share the story of Jesus Christ. The Greatest Story Ever Told.