God Informs Us About His Purposes
1, 2. How do we know that God supplies answers to those who sincerely ask?
A LOVING God does indeed reveal his purposes to sincere ones who search for him. He does provide inquiring humans with answers to questions such as why he has permitted suffering.
2 The Bible states: “If you search for [God], he will let himself be found by you.” “There exists a God in the heavens who is a Revealer of secrets.” “The Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets.”—1 Chronicles 28:9; Daniel 2:28; Amos 3:7.
Where Are the Answers?
3. Where can we find out why God permits suffering?
3 The answers to questions such as why God permits suffering and what he will do about it are found in the record he inspired for our benefit. That record is his Word, the Holy Bible. “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
4, 5. What makes the Bible a unique book?
4 The Bible is truly a unique book. It contains the most accurate record of human history and even goes back beyond the creation of humans. It is also up-to-date, for its prophecies have to do with events of our time and of the near future too.
5 No other book has such credentials for historical accuracy. For example, only a few manuscripts of ancient classical writers exist. But many manuscripts, some partial and some complete, exist of the Bible: about 6,000 of the Hebrew Scriptures (the 39 books of the “Old Testament”) and about 13,000 of the Christian Greek Scriptures (the 27 books of the “New Testament”).
6. Why can we be sure that the Bible today is basically the same as when God inspired it?
6 Almighty God, who inspired the Bible, has seen to it that its textual integrity has been preserved in those manuscript copies. So our Bibles today are essentially the same as the original inspired writings. Another factor that helps us to appreciate this is that some manuscript copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures go back to within a hundred years of the time of the original writing. The few manuscript copies of ancient secular writers that are still in existence seldom date to within even several centuries of the original authors.
7. How wide is the circulation of the Bible?
7 The Bible is the most widely distributed book in history. Some three billion copies have been printed. No other book comes close to that figure. And the Bible or parts of it have been translated into some 2,000 languages. Thus, it is estimated that 98 percent of the population of our planet could have access to the Bible.
8-10. What are some reasons why the Bible is worthy of our examination?
8 Surely a book that claims to be from God and has all the external and internal evidences of authenticity is worthy of our examination.* It explains the purpose of life, the meaning of world conditions, and what the future holds. No other book can do that.
9 Yes, the Bible is God’s communication to the human family. He directed the writing of it by his active force, or spirit, with some 40 humans doing the recording. Thus God speaks to us through his Word, the Holy Bible. The apostle Paul wrote: “When you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.”—1 Thessalonians 2:13.
10 Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, called the Bible “the best gift God has ever given to man . . . But for it we could not know right from wrong.” Now then, what does this superlative gift tell us about how suffering began, why God permitted it, and what he will do about it?
For more detailed information about the authenticity of the Bible, see the book The Bible—God’s Word or Man’s?, published in 1989 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
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The Bible, inspired of God, is his communication to the human family