Dan Buttafuoco, an attorney in New York City, is president of the Historical Bible Society. He has written this powerful description of why we need to be reading Scripture every day.
The Bible is the single most important book ever written. It is an eyewitness account of historical events of such magnitude that they have literally shaped the world in which we live. Without this book the Western world and a good deal of the Eastern world would be completely different today than if the events of this book had never occurred.
It is not too much to say that the events recorded in this book are claimed by a significant percentage of people who have ever lived on this earth to be the most important events ever recorded in the history of the world. This book is foundational to just about everything mankind will ever know or accomplish. It has directly led to massive undertakings of good will and charity. Because of this book, great projects have been undertaken, hospitals have been built, multitudes fed and clothed and orphanages founded.
Here are five primary reasons why you need to read the Bible. This article was written by Dan Buttafuoco, president of the Historical Bible Society.
The Bible has transformed the world
It would be impossible to claim to be an educated person in today's world without having at least some familiarity with the events contained in this book. Actually, all of the events contained in this book should be known by everyone.
- A good number of people around the world read portions of this book every day. It is one of the most published and printed books in the history of the world. It has been printed in just about every known language (including braille) and each year, since it was first written, it has been the world's greatest bestseller year after year. As time marches on it is continually printed in yet more languages. Collectors of rare books treasure it in every form.
- The Bible was the first book ever put to the printing press. The man who first printed it, Johannes Gutenberg, was recently voted the most important man to have ever lived within the past 1000 years!
- A good number of museums exist today which are dedicated solely to this very book and the events contained therein.
- The Bible is available in every corner of the globe, even where it is illegal to own or read this book. It is available in electronic format and on CD as well. You can find it on the internet for free. Famous actors and personages regularly quote it. It was quoted by William Shakespeare many times in his writings.
- Worldwide organizations and associations have been formed because of this book and its message, many of them existing for centuries. Together they represent multiple hundreds of millions of members.
People are willing to die for this book
People have died torturous deaths simply to gain access to this book. You may, even now, be in a country where this book is discouraged or even banned outright. In many countries it is a crime to distribute or even possess this book.
- This book has been praised, cursed, restricted, banned, desecrated, burned and fought over. People swear on it and at it.
- Some have tried to eliminate it. All who have tried have failed. People have suffered exquisite tortures and loss of freedom and even their lives for printing it. This has occurred recently and over many centuries past, as well. It is, in fact, a regular occurrence in this world.
- This book is simultaneously hated and loved. Once read it would be impossible to be indifferent to it; for its claims are monumental and beyond exaggerating. It provokes a strong response in either a positive or negative direction; you will either love it or hate it. It was meant to be so by design. It is so controversial that wars have been fought over its interpretation. Governments have toppled on account of it and kings have been deposed because of it. Most importantly, lives have been dramatically changed for good because of this book.
It’s the most accurate book of antiquity
The Bible is the most copied book of antiquity. Written over a time period of some 1,500 years, it was completed approximately 2,000 years ago. Yet, in all the centuries that have passed, none of its contents have ever been found inaccurate.
- It has been translated into its present form directly from the original languages from a vast supply of ancient manuscripts sifted by the best minds and most competent scholars of our day and of many prior generations. It has been translated into every known existing language.
- It is surpassingly accurate to the smallest details. Its contents, as translated, are as close to the original words of the authors as humanly possible. Only a few words of the entire book (a tiny, insignificant percentage) are in any doubt as to the original words and none of the disputed text affects the message of the book. Additionally, new discoveries of previously unknown ancient manuscripts continue to provide ever greater accuracy to the contents of this book.
- It has been sifted, studied, commentated upon and dissected more than any book in history. Volumes of books have been written about it and if they were stacked on top of one another they would reach to the sky.
- Where this book can be verified by external events such as archeology, geography, custom, politics, culture, known world history and writings in other ancient texts it has been so verified as to be accurate in all respects. New discoveries always support it, never vice versa. It has never once been proven faulty on single detail or fact, although many have mightily tried and failed.
It contains a life-changing message of freedom
The Bible has liberated many from oppression by its clear teachings. It raises the dignity and rights of every human being ever born. It is truly an amazing and remarkable piece of writing. It contains clear teaching on the value and worth of every individual. It will astonish and surprise you and likely move you to tears.
- It has freed minds and hearts throughout history. The events recorded in this book have generated more great works of art (and some not-so-great ones, as well) than any other subject matter in the history of the world. All the museums in the world, added together, could not possibly contain all of the artwork inspired by the events of this book.
- This book itself represents true freedom. It has never been in the custody and control of a single group of people, unlike other important books. It belongs to everyone and it has been possessed by everyone, every culture and every tribe and race of people. Reading it will strike you directly in your heart. It has the "ring of truth" to all who love the same.
- This book contains a message at its very core. It is a message to all people everywhere, in every time period, relevant to their everyday lives. It claims to be the very words of God... an audacious claim, for sure. It is for you to decide whether to believe the message of this book and apply it to your own life.
- If you now know nothing about God, you will know a great deal about God after reading this book. If you believe you know much about God, you will know even more about him after you read this book. You may even decide to re-evaluate your knowledge of God after reading it.
It connects you to history’s most important figure
You may have heard of the "godman," Jesus of Nazareth, also called the "Christ" (i.e."Anointed One"). You may even think you know him. But if you have not read the account offered firsthand throughout this book, you will, in effect, know nothing definite about him. The entire Old Testament points to his coming, and the entire New Testament testifies to his teachings and actions.
- His name has been used to bless people and it has been used as a curse word by those who despise him. People have been healed and set free in his name. One thing is for sure: when you meet Jesus in the pages of this book and understand who he claims to be it is impossible for you to remain indifferent to him.
- This story is either the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind or it describes Jesus as exactly who he claims to be: the Supreme Lord and Ruler over all of mankind and the very creator God of the Universe. Logically speaking, this is either a nice poetic story created from a fantasy with an intent to deceive you or a clear and accurate picture of God, who is our judge ( both mine and yours). You decide. If you think you know about God already, consider the source of that "knowledge" and examine if this book may, in fact, be a better source for true knowledge about the one true Creator God that made you and everything else, both known an unknown in this Universe.
- People are free to reject this book and what it says. God made us "free moral agents" to choose as we desire. Yet, people violate the teachings and wisdom of this book at their own peril.
- Because of the main person in this book, Jesus of Nazareth, time has been split into two main epochs (B.C. "before Christ" and A.D. "anno Domini" for "year of our Lord").
- Each year, over a billion people celebrate his birth, his death and his bodily resurrection from the dead.
- Jesus is the only religious leader ever to make the claim that he has risen from the dead. All others are dead and buried. Abraham is dead. Moses is dead. Mohammed has died and remains dead, Buddha is dead, Gandhi is dead. Only Jesus claims to be alive. Even Muslims revere Jesus as a holy man and a great prophet. All told, about half of the world today accepts that this Jesus was a great and remarkable personage.
Keep turning the pages of this remarkable book. Read it with an open mind and open heart. It contains pure truth about God, about life, the nature of mankind and our own hearts as human beings. The Gospel of John is a wonderful place to start, but read the whole thing — Old and New Testaments. You'll be amazed what you discover about God, and about yourself.
If this God is indeed your judge, before whom you will someday give an account of your life, it truly behooves you to be aware of who he is and the simple thing he asks of us before that solemn time comes. In essence, this book will help you to deal with that very event for which we are all destined. Be warned: you will not be the same after you read this book.
Content ©2013 Daniel P. Buttafuoco, used with express permission of author.