Andy B gets a little excited about the Bible, and shows some of his own collection.
Andy shows how, unlike the dictionary, the value and meaning of the Bible never changes.
It's collection of 66 books gets him very animated in this video.
So I now get the really exciting job of talking about why the Bible is such an amazing, exciting, life transforming book that is just fabulous!
Hidden in the text that we read out earlier on, in 2 Timothy, there's a verse here, which is just beautiful.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong, and teaches us what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip these people to do every good work."
And that's what we read from 1 Timothy. So in my hand, I have a dictionary. It's a brilliant book, it contains lots of words, and the Words have meanings. And those meanings are changing over time. So this dictionary, today, is a few years old. And the problem is that words change their meaning. And every so often, the people who write dictionaries, they take the words and they change the meanings to what society, people, are using that word to mean. So eventually, the dictionary becomes obsolete, it becomes irrelevant.
When I was little, I can even give you the date, where was it? It says it in here somewhere, or it used to. When I was 10, so that's that's 33 years ago, I was awarded this Bible, at my Baptist Church. You go for so many Sundays a year, you got a little voucher, and you could get a book or a Bible. So I wanted to get a Bible. So this was my very, very first Bible. It's a Good News Bible. And it's great 'cos it's got colour pictures in the book, which just bring it to life in a really, really good way.
When I went to work in Manchester for a year at a massive, just a brilliant church, on the east of Manchester, I didn't have a very good Bible. And a lovely man there, called Colin, he was the senior pastor of the church and helped me buy this Bible, which is great. So I've been using this particular Bible since 1995. And all the talks, and all the stuff I do, whether it's a sermon, or a talk, or whatever it is, comes out of this particular Bible. It's really exciting. That's the NIV.
I really get excited by the Street Bible. It's now called The Word On The Street, written by a guy called Rob Lacey. I was really blessed to hear him speak at Spring Harvest. He read out of this, this book, and he tragically died not long after. But it's an amazing paraphrase. It's not the actual Bible although, apparently, theologians say it's brilliant. But it's not an actual Bible. It's a paraphrase. So it takes the bits of the Bible, and he rewrites them. So you get these little gems. This is the same reading from 1 Timothy 3, 10 to 17.
"But you keep on track with your training, you're convinced so carry on, focused,"
And it goes on. This is just a book you can read. It's fabulous!
I've been reading the NIV for a very long time. And now I've got an ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version. It's apparently very, very good, very close to the original text, which means it's far more accurate. And I love the different way in which it talks about God's word. All of those different translations of the Bible are awesome, whether it's the good news or the NIV, the ESV, I've even, somewhere, got a VeggieTales Bible, which is great 'cos they tell some stories with great pictures, and they really elaborate and bring it to life. But the Bible is some't I get very, very excited about all the time. My children love the Bible. As a family, we love to read the Bible, and see what God's saying.
The dictionary becomes obsolete over time. The words change. They change their meaning. The great thing about the Bible, sorry, i'm dipping all over the place. I need another stand. The great thing about this, the Bible, is it doesn't change. 'Cos God doesn't change. And although the dictionary becomes out of date, because what we use a word for changes over time, God's word stays the same, which is awesome!
Which leads me to whhas sold more books than any other book in the world. The Bible, of course, is a collection of 66 different books, written over a couple of thousand years, which is amazing, by loads of different people writing on behalf of God. And it's so exciting.
There's a piece of scripture I'm gonna share with you. It's probably my favourite piece of scripture in the Bible and it can be found in Isaiah chapter 43 and it's the first three verses and it says basically this,"
Fear not for I have redeemed you I have summoned you by name. You are mine." That's an NIV from that 1990.
When I first became a Christian, when I was seven years old, and I said, do you know what, I want to follow Jesus and make Him my special friend, a really beautiful couple in the church took me to one side, they prayed with me, and they spoke this verse over me and they wrote in a card, 'cos some of those words were a bit complicated. And they wrote this
"Fear not for I have called you by your name, Andrew, you are mine says God!"
It's awesome. It brought it to life for me. It's a very special piece of scripture.
It's brilliant to memorise scripture. I'm not awesome at it. My children are fantastic. Jo is very, very good. I remember some scripture, sometimes. It's great to memorise scripture. And here's the thing, the Bible is so life transforming, it's so exciting, because when you come back to a piece of the Bible that you've read 35 years ago, for 35 years, you can read that same piece of the Bible, and every day you can get something new. It's why it's called the Living Word. You may have heard it described as that, because it's alive. And it's amazing, because he's got at work today.
Unlike the Bible, sorry, unlike the dictionary, the Bible never gets old. It never gets out of date, from the Old Testament, from Genesis right through to Psalms, through to some of the amazing prophets, Daniel, Micah, all these amazing people that did stuff. The book of Ruth, Judges, you've got Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Synoptic Gospels, four gospels that are sort of the same with some stuff that transfers from one to the other, Synoptic Gospels. All the New Testament through to Revelation, God is the same from Genesis through to Revelation, from making the Bible, from creating the world, which God did in Genesis, to all the stuff that happened in the middle, all the way through to Revelation, God is the same. And God's word is the same. And it never changes. And every single piece of the Bible is good for teaching us and correcting us.
All that means is get yourself focused, get into the Bible. It's life transforming. It's life changing. It's life defining in amazingly good ways. So, get into scripture, get excited about it, teach your children. Children, teach your parents about it. Children, tell you friends, adults, tell your friends, it's an amazing book. And I hope you can get as excited, and much more excited than I am, and I'm probably speaking far too fast because the Bible is so amazing. And every time I dive into it, to a friendly piece of scripture I know well, or whatever, I get more and more and more from God, it's truly fantastic. So dig into a Bible.
There's a video link, we're going to show you at the end from a guy called Dr. Michael Brown. He's from the United States. He's got a fantastic, little, YouTube video, which we'll link to, which talks about what versions are good. And he sums it up this way. This is my paraphrase of his summing up.
'There isn't really a good translation so much as a translation, that excited to read the Bible.'
I read the NIV for years and years. Now I've gone on to the ESV, the English Standard Version. It just gives me a different colour of the Word of God. It's amazing. Get a Bible, get into it, get reading, it's amazing. Have a fantastic day, but get into your Bible. It's so exciting. It'll change your life for good, and it'll change everyone around you.
So, let's pray as we close. Father God, I thank you for your Bible, the Word of God, alive today. For 6,000 years, it's been teaching us, equipping us, helping us to live lives as you would desire us to live our best lives possible, through you. I thank you for the Bible, the collection of 66 books, all the authors who took the time to write it. For the Oral Testament when people were telling it as a story, when it couldn't write down before photocopiers and typewriters. And I thank You, Lord, for all the good that we can get from the Old Testament, and the New Testament, from the Psalms, from the from the Judges letters, from all these amazing books of the Bible, Timothy and Paul, his writings through to Revelation, Father, thank You for the Bible. Thank you that it's alive. And thank you that is so amazingly life changing. Help us to read it. Have your Holy Spirit to interpret it for us, so that we can live it out day in day. And I thank you, God most of all, unlike my out of date dictionary, the Bible will never be out of date, because it's always cutting edge, ahead of its time. Help us to be the same way as we read your word and get deeper into it. Let it transform our lives, to become more like Jesus, so we can show your love, your light and your hope, and bring joy to the people around us that meet us each and every day. Amen. Thank you
Written by Andy B