T' Talks about the Bible
For Young People! Ernest F. Kevin
Dr. Ernest F. Kevan, author of The Grace of Law, still a much referred to recommended book today, was a Baptist minister was the Principal of London Bible College, where he labored until his death in 1965.
"Let's Talk .... " Talks About the Bible (out of print) by Dr. Kevan consists of talks to young people about the Bible - What is it about? How did it come to be written? Why do Christian people attach so much importance to it? The book is divided into three parts: Part I - About the Bible, Part II - About The Old Testament, and Part III - About the New Testament. We are reprinting Part I, Chapter 1 - Pen and Paper - in this issue. This is a trial to see if our readers would be interested in having this to read with their children. If there is enough interest we will continue printing this book, chapter by chapter. Let us hear from you. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Editor: Wayne Rogers
Part I. About the Bible
I. PEN AND PAPER
WE are going to have a few talks together about the greatest book in the world. Can you guess which book it is? Yes, it's the Bible. I want us to imagine that we are sitting round the fire, just talking. In the summer, of course, we shall have to pretend we are out in the garden. It is much easier to sit and talk than to write things down; at
least, I think so. Do you ever get a headache and bite the end of your pencil, as I do, because you do not know what next to write? Well, although I am actually writing down this talk to you on my paper here, we are going to imagine we can see each other.
I wonder whether you can picture to yourself what the Bible looked like before our busy printers set to work on it. I am sure you have never made the mistake of thinking that the Bible fell down from heaven all neatly bound in a black cover
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and with gold edges! One of the big things I want to tell you is that the Bible took at least fifteen hundred years to write, and it was finished nearly two thousand years ago. That means that the earliest parts of the Bible are more than 3,000 years old. If there were no more reasons - and there are lots more - the very great age of the Bible ought to make us think a lot of it. There is no other book in the world which has writings so old.
The first man whose books are in the Bible was Moses. It's wonderful how God prepared Moses for writng the first part of the Bible. He sent him to school with the boys from the family of the kings and queens in Egypt. I can imagine him walking tiptoe round the big libraries in the king's palace, and reading all the books he could find. Moses was not an Egyptian; he was a Hebrew, and belonged to one of the cleverest races in the world. These are the kinds of letters and words similar to what Moses used to write:
The picture above shows the kind of letters and words Moses used to write.
It looks very strange indeed to us, but that is because it is in the Hebrew language, and the Hebrew ABC's are not the same as ours. I am not quite sure, but I believe that when Moses started on his book he had some family stories that perhaps even Abraham might have written. It may be that he had some papers (we will think of them as papers, though the ancient people did not have the kind of paper we use) written by Noah when he was in the ark during the Flood. Perhaps we must not imagine too much; but it is nice to go on imagining, especially when you are fairly certain that things really did happen in the way you
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How many books did Moses write? I can hear you say, "Five". Yes, these first five books of the Bible, and if you like the sound of nice long words, here is one for you: it is the word "Pentateuch". You pronounce it Pen-ta-tuke, and it means something like "five in one". The Pentateuch is five books in one, and the books of Moses are sometimes called by this name. It's a bit like your serial stories, only this one is in five parts.
The last man to write a book of the Bible was the Apostle John. He was a brave and a loving old man, and he lived until he was nearly a hundred years of age. Have you ever written a letter to somebody? I expect you've written to an Uncle or Aunt, a Grandpa and a Grandma, when they've sent you a birthday present. I wonder where those letters ate now? John wrote some letters, and three of them are in the Bible. He also wrote a book about the life of Jesus - we call it the Gospel of John - and he wrote another book about Jesus in heaven. I am afraid that when you see the kind of words the Apostle John wrote you will find them just as hard to make out as the handwriting of Moses:
11V 0 ... ~.oyo~
These are the first letters and words of the Gospel of John, John 1:1, and these are the kind of letters he used in his alphabet. But there is one thing about the way John wrote that is a little easier for us than the way Moses wrote. When you read Moses' writing you have to start at the top right-hand corner of the page and read backwards. It seems funny to us, but I expect Moses would say the same about our writing if he were here. But there, I am running away from what I wanted to say. I was really talking about the way John wrote. His language was Greek. Have you started learning French
or Latin yet? If you have, you will one day be able to learn to read Greek. The Greek ABC's are different from our own, but not quite so strange as the Hebrew letters.
Moses began the writing of the Bible, and John finished it. But between them there were ever so many others whom God used for the writing of this precious Book. You'll never guess all the different sorts of people there were. First of all there were the prophets and the priests: these, no doubt, you would quite expect to find among the writers. But did you know that there were two kings among the writers of the Scripture? As well as these, there was a man who was a fruit-picker, another was a shepherd, another was an income-tax collector, another was a fisherman, another
was a doctor. God used all sorts of people to write the Bible, and there were between thirty and forty of them altogether. "What a lot of people," you say. Of course, as you will remember, they did not all live at the same time. Sometimes there were hundreds of years between the time of one writer and the next.
But I think I can see you yawning and saying to yourself that you think it is time for the talk to stop. Having been told so plainly, I certainly will stop. Ah! That reminds me, Moses, and John, and all the others, had no periods or commas to remember when they were doing their writing. It must have been easy to do a composition or an essay in those days!
~~udy RogerJ~ mUJic iJ one of a kinJ. Biblically concerneJ parentJ JhoulJ obtain it
at all COJtJ. ~~ Jay Adanu
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