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HACK SCRIBBLER EXPLORES...

WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT BY

HACK

SCRIBBLER


HACK SCRIBBLER EXPLORES...

WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT


Copyright (c) 2014 by For One Books™ www.foronebooks.com www.hackscribbler.com ISBN 000-0-000-00000-0

FOR ONE BOOKS™ with no offices in...

CHICAGO • LONDON • NEW YORK


HACK SCRIBBLER EXPLORES...

WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT BY

HACK

SCRIBBLER


“It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” — Mark Twain

“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” — Soren Kierkegaard

“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” — Augustine of Hippo


SOLI DEO GLORIA

As always, this book was written for the glory of God -- ALONE! (Which is what the Latin phrase up there means.)


A REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER — MUST READ... Frequently we publish material of a controversial nature. Readers often blame us, the publishers, for the content of books with which they disagree (our offices have been egged on more than one occasion). We realize the Bible can be a touchy subject for many people. We also realize many of Dr. Scribbler’s claims in this particular book about the Bible may be new and difficult to accept for many readers. Some readers may have a different view of the message of the Bible. Others may believe the Bible to be nothing more than an old useless book. If you fall into one of these categories and do not agree with the claims in this book, please don’t throw eggs at our office. Your beef is with Dr. Scribbler, not us. In fact, to demonstrate our commitment to show both sides of this issue, we have hired a private detective to investigate the archeaological evidence surrounding the authenticity of the Bible, with a particular interest in disproving it’s genuine nature. We will post his findings in this volume so you, after considering the evidence, may decide for yourself whether or not the Bible is worth your time.


CONTENTS Introduction to the Introduction

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Introduction

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Chapter 1: What is the Bible?

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Chapter 2: Who wrote the Bible?

19

Chapter 3: Are there mistakes in the Bible?

37

Chapter 4: Why these 66 books?

45

Chapter 5: Translations

53

Chapter 6: Can the Bible be trusted?

61

Chapter 7: How do you read the Bible?

69

Chapter 8: Principles of interpretation

77

Chapter 9: What is the Bible’s main message?

87

Chapter 10: Common misinterpretations

109

Chapter 11: What about “offensive” verses?

115

Chapter 12: What do I do with all this?

121

A Final Warning

189


WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PAGES CONTAIN SENSITIVE MATERIAL. FEW PEOPLE KNOW THE THINGS CONTAINED HEREIN. EVEN FEWER UNDERSTAND AND BELIEVE THEM. IF YOU CONTINUE READING YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY READ THINGS YOU’VE NEVER READ BEFORE. IF YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO BELIEVE THEM YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF AMONG A VERY SMALL MINORITY. DON’T TURN THE PAGE UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO FACE THE TRUTH. CHOOSE WISELY. — THE AUTHOR

G N I N R WA


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INTRODUCTION TO THE INTRODUCTION Since you obviously have the courage to learn the truth let me introduce you to some: 1. The World does not want you to read this book. 2. If you do read this book, The World does not want you to believe it. 3. If you do believe it The World does not want you to act on it. 4. If you do act on it — and live your life differently than The World — then The World will hate you. What’s The World, you ask? I’m sorry. Let me back up a bit... At this very moment you are a member of one of two groups — The World or The Kingdom. There is no third option. Whether you realize it or not, you are either living as a member of The World, where people are most typically consumed with the things of this world — like money, power, fame, the approval of peers, material


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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

things, fun, etc. — or you are what the Bible calls a “new creature” — adopted by God to be His child and a member of His Kingdom. You may be wondering, what is the difference between the two? Well, the simplest explanation is this… The Kingdom is comprised only of people who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, commonly referred to as Christians. The World is comprised of people who are not Christians. Seems simple, yes? It is simple. But it’s not as simple as it seems. You see, while the difference between The World and The Kingdom is simple, TELLING the difference between The World and The Kingdom is very difficult. There are a lot of people who call themselves “Christians” who are not actually a part of The Kingdom. They do this for several reasons: 1. Some of them do this to deceive others. They think it is necessary to appear to be a Christian in order to get what they want. They are pre-


INTRODUCTION TO THE INTRODUCTION

tending to be in The Kingdom while, all along, they are pursuing their interests in The World. They are not a part of The Kingdom and they know it. 2. Some are actually deceiving themselves. They think they are a part of The Kingdom because someone told them all they had to do was “walk down the aisle,” or “pray a prayer,” or “get baptized.” And so, for their entire lives they appear to be in The Kingdom because they go to church or act a certain way. But, they are not only fooling others, they are fooling themselves, too. The Bible makes this plain:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” — Matthew 7:21-23

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3. Others invent their “own path” to God and claim it makes them a part of The Kingdom. These are people who don’t like the cold, hard truths about God and the Bible that you are getting ready to read, so they make up their own “truths.” They come up with their own beliefs, declare those beliefs to be true, and then proclaim themselves as a part of The Kingdom. All of these people can appear to be a part of The Kingdom when they are not. Determining who is and who is not a member of The Kingdom can be impossible for us.

cribes s e d n e v e The Bible ... this problem


INTRODUCTION TO THE INTRODUCTION

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” — Matthew 13:24-30

The wheat represents people in The Kingdom while the weeds represent people in The World. It can be impossible to tell the difference until the harvest. This

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means, in most cases, only God will know for sure. We can, however, know some things for sure. We know The Kingdom and The World are different.

is not of this “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom this world, world. If my kingdom were of fighting, that my servants would have been to the Jews. I might not be delivered over the world.’” But my kingdom is not from — John 18:36

We know the vast majority of people who have lived or ever will live will be members of The World.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” — Matthew 7:13-14


INTRODUCTION TO THE INTRODUCTION

Those who find the way that leads to life are the members of The Kingdom. We are few.

WARNING: These next two can be difficult to handle. We know those of us who are in The Kingdom are not to be like The World. We are to be different.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” — Romans 12:2-3

ngers and “So then you are no longer stra zens with the aliens, but you are fellow citi sehold of saints and members of the hou God,” — Ephesians 2:19

We know that if we are in The Kingdom — and we act like we are in The Kingdom — then those in The

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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

World will hate us.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” — John 15: 18-19

This is difficult, I know. But it’s important. In fact, finding out whether or not you are in The Kingdom or The World is the most important thing you can ever do. And, if you find out you are, in fact, in The Kingdom, then learning to live like it is the second most important thing you can do. In order to do these two things you must learn who God is and you must learn what His Word (the Bible) is all about. This book is designed to help you learn these things. But — as I’ve already pointed out — these things are hated by those in The World. Some of the people who hate these things will appear to be in The Kingdom.


INTRODUCTION TO THE INTRODUCTION

It could be that they are and just haven’t learned the truth yet. Or, it could be they are really in The World. In either case, learning the truth and living your life accordingly is difficult. Being in God’s Kingdom is no game. It is serious business. And if you are prepared to learn what that really means then your next step is to keep reading. Learn the answer to the question, “What is the Bible all about?” Just remember a couple of things: 1. You may not like the answer. 2. The World certainly will not.

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INTRODUCTION Dear Reader, Since you are reading this book you probably... a) Have heard of the Bible, and b) Have formed some opinions about the Bible. It is precisely because of your previous knowledge of the Bible that you may not like some of the information contained in this book. I know I didn’t. For a long time I had some commonly held opinions about the Bible. And, as long as I only discussed the Bible with people who shared those opinions, I was pretty confident in what I knew. I grew up around people who at least claimed to believe the Bible, so I thought of the Bible like this... • It’s God’s Word. • It has the answer to all of life’s questions. • It’s a “roadmap” for life. • It’s God’s love letter to mankind. I knew I should believe the message of the Bible even though I really had no knowledge of what the


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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

Bible was or where it had come from. I even thought I could randomly open up my Bible when I had a problem, start reading any passage I found, and God would magically provide me with a solution.

I don’t recommend this method of reading the Bible. However, the time came when I started running into people who did not share my opinions about the Bible. They had a completely different list of opinions about the Bible. Things like... • It’s just another book. • It’s just a book of principles on how to live. • It’s just a history book for Jews. • It’s just a collection of silly superstitions. • It’s a book of mythology.

ries Myths are sto true. t o n e r a t a h t


INTRODUCTION

I was shocked to learn not everyone thought about the Bible in the same way I did. They did not believe it to be anything special and they said so. For a while I was able to disregard those people as just ignorant. But, some of them actually knew more about the Bible than I did and they started challenging me with some very difficult questions like... • Did you know that none of the original manuscripts of the Bible still exist? How can we be sure what we have is accurate? • Did you know that the Chinese philosopher Confucius actually came up with the idea of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you,” almost 500 years before Jesus said it? • Did you know many of the Ten Commandments were written in Babylon in the Code of Hammurabi hundreds of years before the Bible says God gave them to Moses? • Did you know the New Testament was written LONG after the death of Jesus and his disciples?

true and need Some of these are Others are to be addressed. which is which? false. Do you know I didn’t.

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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

Then, of course, there were some who pointed out to me that many of the things I had always thought were in the Bible actually were not... • God helps those who help themselves. • Cleanliness is next to Godliness. • God works in mysterious ways. • Money is the root of all evil. Clearly I needed to learn more about the Bible. So, that is exactly what I set out to do. My research eventually took me to seminary, and do you know what I discovered? The Bible really IS God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. It really DOES contain everything we need to know about how to live a life full of purpose and joy. But, what the world considers a life full of purpose and joy and what God considers a life full of purpose and joy are two completely different things.

der to If you go to the Bible in or in find a way to get God’s help to get accomplishing YOUR goals and what YOU want you will be terribly disappointed.


INTRODUCTION

5

Finding the life of purpose and joy that God intends means discovering HIS purposes for your life NOT asking Him to grant you yours. In order to discover His purposes means properly understanding His message to you — the Bible. And, if you really want to understand the Bible then you are going to have to decide to do some very difficult things: • Forget what YOU want the Bible to be and be willing to accept it for what it truly is. • Don’t try to make the Bible say what you want it to say, but try to read and comprehend what it ACTUALLY says. • Don’t be afraid of big, scary-looking words like “hermeneutics.”

The word “hermeneutic” comes from the Greek word “hermeneuo”, which simply means “translate” or “interpret”. So, the study of hermeneutics is nothing more than learning how to properly read and understand something. In our case, we are going to learn how to properly read and understand the Bible.


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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

We are actually going to engage in some hermeneutics — but you don’t have to worry about that, because now you know what that means. However, I do feel I should caution you about a couple of things: 1. You are about to enter a world few people bother to enter. Even many who believe the Bible will consider this kind of study a waste of time. They will say, “Just tell me what I need to know.” Well, that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing in this book. Contained within the pages of the Bible is a message from God Almighty to us. There is nothing we “need to know” more than what HE wants us to know. And, since it is essential to know how to properly read and understand the Bible in order to understand this message from God, there is nothing more important than learning how to properly study the Bible. 2. In the early chapters you may begin to wonder why you need to know some of the things I’ll be discussing. Trust me, they will all come together in the end to form a complete picture that will absolutely change the way you view the Bible and open it up to you in ways you never thought


INTRODUCTION

possible. Jesus, Himself, even talked about the journey you are getting ready to begin...

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” — John 8:31-32

“Enter by the narrow gate. Fo r the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who ent er by it are many. For the gate is narrow , and the way hard that leads to life, and tho se who find it are few.” — Matthew 7:13-14

So, are you ready? Are you ready to find out what the Bible is all about? Then read on...

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CHAPTER 1 WHAT IS THE BIBLE? The very first thing we need to understand is just what the Bible is. At first glance, the Bible appears to be a book like any other book. It has a cover, publishing information, a table of contents, and is broken up into what many people refer to as “chapters.” But the Bible is not a single book. It is a collection of 66 books. These books are divided into two major sections: 1. The Old Testament 2. The New Testament These two major divisions are subdivided even further according to genre.

later. We’ll talk more about “genre” a look For now, why don’t you take the at the chart of the books of page... Bible I’ve drawn on the next


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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

General Letters

Narratives Major prophets Minor prophets Wisdom

Letters by Paul

The Gospels

Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation

Apocalyptic Letter by John

Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

NEW TESTAMENT Narratives

Law

OLD TESTAMENT


CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

So, the Bible is really more like a library. And, like many libraries, the Bible contains documents from a wide variety of authors in a wide variety of settings. • It was written over a span of approximately 1,600 years. The oldest book was written around 1500 B.C. and the most recent around the year 96 A.D. • It was written through the course of 60 generations of people. • It was written by more than 40 different authors from different walks of life and from different cultural backgrounds.

Just to give you an idea, authors of the Bible include: a fishermen, a Rabbi, a king, a military general, a doctor, and a tax collector. (It kind of sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke, doesn’t it?) • It was written on three different continents: Africa, Asia and Europe.

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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

• It was written in three different languages: Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. • It was written during times of war and during times of peace. • It’s subject matter includes hundreds of controversial topics.

pic A “controversial topic” is a to that would cause people to h disagree -- even argue -- wit one another. But, in spite of all of this diversity, the Bible presents one unified and cohesive message. It is all about just one, single thing — or, more accurately, it’s about one single person...


CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

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GOD


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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

Sure, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The Bible explains a whole lot of things... • The creation of the world • Why there is disease and death • Why bad things happen to “good” people • Why man is incapable of approaching God • And what God plans to do about all of this But, if you remember that God is at the center of all of these things, working them out according to His plan, you will have a HUGE head-start in understanding the message of the Bible. The basic storyline of the Bible is this: God created the entire world — including mankind. God gave man some rules to live by. Man decided to break those rules and disobey God.

sin” “ d e l l ca This is As a result, the whole world fell into decay and everyone who was born after Adam and Eve were born with sinful natures and were incapable of not sinning.


CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned...” -- Romans 5:12

Basically, man created a HUGE mess by disobeying God. Not only did sin mess up the world, but everyone who sins deserves God’s justice and wrath.

“For the wages of sin is death. ..” -- Romans 6:23a

And, to make matters even worse, there is absolutely nothing man can do to fix it. The only one capable of fixing this mess is God. And, from the very beginning of the Bible we see God putting into motion a plan to rescue for Himself a portion of humanity — people from every tribe, nation, and language — who will worship

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WHAT THE BIBLE IS ALL ABOUT

Him and be a testimony of His incredible grace...

“...you ransomed people for Go d from every tribe and language and people and nation...” -- Revelation 5:9

God did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die a horrible death on a Roman cross. While Jesus was on the cross He accepted all of God’s wrath on behalf of those people mentioned in Revelation 5:9. So, the whole Bible is about how God is saving a group of people for Himself through the work of Jesus.

The Bible calls these people the “elect” or the “church”. We’ll talk more about God’s plan in a later chapter. In the meantime, just remember the bottom line...


CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

THE BOTTOM LINE: The Bible is the most remarkable collection of books ever written, and it’s all about one thing — GOD.

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WHO IS HACK SCRIBBLER?

The first thing you should know about Hack Scribbler™ is that “Hack Scribbler” isn’t his real name — it’s a pen name. As you probably know, a pen name is a name an author uses when he doesn’t want his real identity known. Authors do this for a number of reasons. Some are just shy. Others may be fugitives. In this case, Hack prefers his true identity remain unknown because his books are written, as he puts it, “for the glory of God alone” and he wants no notoriety as a result of their being published. It should further be noted that “Hack” is not even his real pen name. It is a nick-pen name. A nick-pen name is very much like a regular nickname in that it is usually used by someone who doesn’t like their real name. Hack’s real pen name is “Dr. Arthur Scribbler.” Hack says that makes him sound to “academic” and might make him too intimidating for some readers. We pointed out that the title of “Dr.” is every bit as made up as the rest of his pen name and that he could just drop it. He pointed out that this was exactly what he was doing by adopting a nick-pen name. Writers can be weird this way so we decided not to pursue the matter further. And, while Hack does not actually have an earned Ph.D., he does have an earned Master’s Degree from an accredited theological seminary — the identity of which has been withheld at the seminary’s request. Note: While little is known about Hack Scribbler, we have discovered the identity of his research assistant...


WHO IS HACK’S ASSISTANT

While little is known about the author, Hack Scribbler, we have discovered the identity of his research assistant, a man named Chip Bayer. Here is what we currently know about Chip... Chip Bayer is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn. and has done additional studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ken. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has served his local church and association as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, Southern Baptist Convention Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher. Chip earns his living as a writer.


WARNING You may not like this book. If you’ve ever wondered if the Bible is actually the Word of God or merely an ancient history book, then this book is for you — but you may not like it. If you’ve ever questioned why an all-powerful God would choose to communicate to humanity through the writings of men, or how He would even do that, then you will most definitely benefit from my research. I have discovered the answers to these questions (and others), and my findings are now available to you. But I am warning you now — you may find much of what you have believed about the Bible to contradict my findings. So, if you have a hard time facing the truth, then you should probably put this down and go find a nice comic book with lots of colorful pictures. If, however, you are the kind of person who really wants to know the truth — and have the courage to face it — then this is for you. Just know you may not like it. ­— The Author


What The Bible Is All About — Sample Chapter