|2011 A.D.: A Good Bible Nugget To Ponder!|
|Written by Dan Curry|
|Wednesday, 29 June 2011|
2011 A.D.: A Bible Nugget To Think About!
If the Bible is Holy - the Holy Word of God - then it's structure may also be holy, right? But how could it be, if faulted men teamed up to translate it, and to break it into chapters and verses? Or did the Holy Spirit guide these faulted humans, so that it turned out just as it should have anyway? Long indeed have such questions been embroiled in the battle over whether to believe, or not believe, and which group to believe with, or from which Bible!
But consider the following. It suggests that God - always sovereign - was sovereign over translation teams also:
The Protestant Bible has a structure. (I like to read several Bibles, but I think of myself as just Christian and do not have a favorite denomination, though if a church doesn't stay very close to the Word I try to avoid that church) After the Protestant translation teams were finished, they had a smaller Bible than the Catholics had used. They had removed several books. Should they have? I don't know. I like to read those removed books. I have a Catholic Bible also.
What they were left with was 39 books in the Old Testament, and 27 books in the New Testament.
The Old Testament certainly pointed to Jesus in many ways, but it was largely the story of Israel - God's people Israel. Israel ended up being a nation of 13 tribes. The 12 sons of Jacob each formed a tribe, but one son - Joseph - was replaced by his two sons named Manasseh and Ephraim. So, there were 13 tribes of Israel in that respect.
The 13 tribes were guided through the course of history up to the ministry of Jesus on Earth by the Father, the Son (Jesus, not yet revealed), and the Holy Spirit of God, those 3. And 3 times 13 is 39. And once again, there are 39 books in the Old Testament. So, there is a numerical sense, in that respect, to the number of books in the Protestant Bible's Old Testament. That's only a guess though, concerning why God had it be so....only a guess. I have never with certainty been spoken to by God using His voice, like an audible voice.
What about the New Testament? The New Testament has 27 books. That is 3 x 3 x 3. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are also 3, once again.
The number 27 is also 9 + 9 + 9. You know, 9, 18, 27. The New Testament, in one sense, is about release from slavery through Jesus, and life everlasting through and with Jesus. We are given release from our slavery to sin, and release from bondage to the Laws of Moses, which preserved God's people Israel because the Law guided them towards God-pleasing behavior, but it could not save their souls because, by their own admission, no man could keep the law.
And so, curiously, the 9th book of the New Testament (Galatians) is especially focused on the release from slavery to the Mosaic Law that the Christians received through Jesus. The 18th book of the New Testament (Philemon) has the Apostle Paul asking a Christian slave owner to forgive his run away Christian slave, and grant his freedom. And the 27th book of the New Testament (the Book of Revelation) deals with release of those in bondage to a future King, the Anti-Christ, and the great release of Jesus's people from the oppression of Satan when Jesus returns to claim them and take them off the Earth, prior to the worst of the Great Tribulation. And some will come to know and follow Jesus during the Great Tribulation, and those too will be saved.
What about the fact that there are 66 books altogether in those Protestant Bibles? When the 12 tribes were without Joseph, and when the 12 Apostles were without their Judas, there were 11 of each. So, when each was missing a critical member (who would in each instance be replaced by two - Joseph by his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, and Judas by Mattathias and Paul) they were only 11 and they had suffered a great loss, there had been through a great betrayal, and they were in distress because of what they were missing and what had gone on. So it is striking that if you multiply the number most closely associated with man (6) times the number of God's people (or Jesus' followers the Apostles) in distress and suffering a great loss (11) you end up with 66 as well. And in a way, the entire Bible is about mankind (God's lesser but loved creation) trying to get by without what they have lost (their proper relationship to God their Father in Heaven) and without the physical visible presence of the One they have betrayed (God the Father). In it's beginning, they are right before their God - if only briefly. At the very end, they are right before God again, we learn from the Book of Revelation. But all in between is about man living in a state of loss and mourning, trying to regain what was lost. Paradise lost, as Milton might say.
And curiously, almost any time the number 66 shows up in the Bible, it relates to God's chosen people being saved in the nick of time. I personally believe that the number 66 is the Church's number at this time. To me, the evidence is overwhelming that it is something very like that.
So, the numbers of books in both the Old and New Testament of such Protestant Bibles as the King James and the NIV can be related numerically to their subject. Is that a sign of guidance by the Holy Spirit, or is it only chance? It's a ponderable!! But when people - reluctant doubters - make out like they wish they could be believers, but they are certain that much has been lost in the translation of the scriptures, bear in mind that scientific texts are edited like nobody's business - sometimes their content is entirely remade - and those same doubters never say a word about not being able to believe in the scientific community's big lies because of all the rewrites of their subject matter! People look for any excuse sometimes to avoid becoming accountable to God. It's one of the ways that we people are really unworthy of our God. I've been this exact sort of person before!
Anyway...numbers! They are just a side show compared to the message of salvation, but numbers very often seem to have meaning.
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