The Best Book Ever Written

The Best Book Ever Written

If you were on a search for “the best book ever written,” which book would you choose? Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace? Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote? The U.S. Library of Congress has a growing collection of more than 38 million books on shelves stretching out hundreds of miles;[1] and with hundreds (or thousands) of millions more books across the world, this task seems to be impossible.

Additionally, what criterion would you use to determine which book deserves this honor? Certainly, one to consider would be the influence a book had on humanity to produce superior values and noble actions. Such criterion would automatically discard the majority of books, leaving out a limited selection. Which one of them, then, would have the honor? Consider the Bible’s influence concerning moral principles and the human heart, and you soon will arrive to the conclusion that the Bible, indeed, is the best book ever written!

ITS INFLUENCE ON MORAL PRINCIPLES

What would the world be like if moral principles were ignored? What would become of our society if the concept of right and wrong were unknown? The words “chaos,” “anarchy,” and “corruption” would not begin to describe the state of a nation or world without moral principles. Every person—whether a Bible believer or not—acknowledges the importance and need of morality and ethics. Our perspectives concerning morality greatly influence our actions. Therefore, it is essential to have a good understanding of ethics and an unpolluted spring of moral principles. Where can we drink of the purest waters of morality? The answer: in the best book ever written!

In chapter 20 of the book of Exodus, the Bible records the greatest pre-Christian code ever given. This code presents moral principles such as honoring father and mother, and prohibitions against committing murder and adultery, stealing, lying, slandering, and covetousness (vss. 12-17). This is a moral foundation you would like for your children to learn as they grow up. On the other hand, ignorance and rejection of these principles have produced a criminal wave that has flooded the whole world.

The New Testament treasures moral pearls that are even brighter. In its pages, man is called to be the light of a world in darkness (Matthew 5:14-16), love even his enemies (Matthew 5:44), do for others what he would like others to do for himself (Matthew 7:12), forgive tirelessly his neighbor’s wrongdoings against him (Matthew 18:22), love his neighbor as himself (Matthew 22:39), help those less fortunate (Acts 20:35), return good for evil (Romans 12:17-21), and give his life for those whom he loves (John 15:13). If people paid attention to the morality found in the pages of the Bible, this world would be a more beautiful place, where our children would grow in peace, confidence, and love.

But what happens when the best book ever written is replaced with the “ethical” manuals of human philosophy? Consider some main ethical philosophies and soon it will be obvious that there is a very deep gap between Biblical and human principles. For example, hedonism is “the ethical doctrine that pleasure, variously conceived of in terms of happiness of the individual or of society, is the principal good and the proper aim of action.”[2] That is, good is in the pleasure; if you like something, or something gives you pleasure, then, it must be good. However, not always what appeals to our senses, passions, and pleasures is good. This kind of philosophy is the mother of social crimes as rape, pornography, prostitution, and homosexuality. And what is there to say about determinism, which absolves man of all responsibility for his own actions?[3] Atheistic trends have led many to believe that man’s corrupt actions and habits are the result of a long genetic and evolutionary process, or a result of cosmological, geographical, and environmental conditions. Thus, we are informed that man cannot avert his personality and behavioral trajectory.

Would you like to live in a world guided by these human philosophies—where everybody seeks his own pleasure and nobody is ultimately responsible for his own actions? Even a well-known atheist has granted that, “a human society based simply on the gene’s law of universal ruthless selfishness would be a very nasty society in which to live.”[4] In fact, good moral principles admired in modern world are the vestige of ancient zeal to revere the Bible. The Bible is, indeed, the best book ever written!

ITS INFLUENCE ON THE HUMAN HEART

Although many people do not believe in the Bible as the Word of God, no one can deny that this writing has influenced human life greatly and positively. What would human life become without the Bible’s influence? Man has created hospitals to help the sick, nursing homes to take care of the old and weak, orphanages to shelter the neglected—and much of this, thanks to the Bible’s influence that promotes loving our neighbors! The Bible not only has given meaning to our personal life, but also to the lives of others.

Many books dealing with the essence of human origins have failed miserably in their attempts to efficiently influence human life. Others have negatively contributed to the detriment of society. What kind of influence in humanity would the radical belief in the famous book of Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, have? Nursing homes would be unknown, hospitals would be considered as a threat to society’s survival, and orphanages would be an insanity. This would be a world were the strongest plunders, kills, and survives—and the weak is relegated to the dustbin of history.

The Bible has influenced human life to the point that many, throughout the centuries, have given their lives voluntarily to defend its teachings. Consider Stephen—the first martyr—who courageously received the hard blows of stones to defend the Old Testament doctrine about the Messiah. Consider those in the first century who suffered great tortures and were even burnt due to their connection with Christianity. Consider those who, during the inquisitorial rule, lost their lives for denouncing religious corruptions and clinging to Biblical doctrine.

Consider also those, living in Communist or Muslim nations, who have lost their lives for promoting or accepting biblical teaching. About three decades ago in Asia, some Communist soldiers found a small group of Christians. Pointing his gun to the head of the group leader, a soldier demanded his Bible. The soldier threw the Bible to the floor, and addressed the congregation, saying: “We will let you go, but first, you must spit on this book of lies. Anyone who refuses will be shot.” The first man who was asked to do it, reluctantly knelt down and spit on it, saying: “Father, please forgive me.” With tears in her eyes, a woman spit only a little, but enough. Courageously, a young girl (about 17) came forward, knelt down, picked up the Bible, and wiped off the spit with her dress, saying: “What have they done to Your Word? Please, forgive them.” The solider put his gun to her head; then he pulled the trigger.[5]

The unending declarations of those who believe the Bible also show the great influence of this book on the human heart. Statements such as, “This book has changed my life,” “God has showed the purpose for my life through this book,” “By reading the Bible I have found peace and eternal life,” etc., echo many statements from people of old times (e.g., Psalm 119:130,140; Proverbs 30:5; Jeremiah 15:16). The Bible has changed the lives of murderers, prostitutes, drug addicts, homosexuals, thieves, etc. It has impacted the lives of politicians, homemakers, kings, celebrities, and skeptics. Biblical teachings have saturated old and modern literature, have invaded political addresses, have penetrated governmental laws, have been expressed in art and music, and have even entered the big screen. Certainly, no one can ignore the Bible’s influence on the human heart. Many noble efforts and many drops of blood and tears confirm that this book is special. This is the best book ever written!

CONCLUSION

The characteristics presented in this study speak loudly of the quality, supremacy, and uniqueness of the Bible, but the definitive evidence establishing the Bible as the best book ever written is its special origin.[6] Although it would be great if the world accepted and molded life according to the Bible due to its great teachings and superiority, the truth is that only believing that this is the best book ever written will save no one. Each person must believe that the Bible is inspired by God, and must mold his/her life according to this belief. If you have seriously considered the Bible’s influence on moral principles and the human heart as insuperable traits, would you not believe that it is also logical to conclude that this book could have only originated in the mind of an insuperable Being? If so, read the Bible to be wise, practice the Bible to be holy, and believe and obey the Bible to be saved!

[1] “Fascinating Facts,” Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/about/fascinating-facts/, access date: September 8, 2017.

[2] Agnes, Michael and David Guralnik, eds. (1999), Webster’s New World College Dictionary (New York: Macmillan), p. 660.

[3] Ibid, p. 393.

[4] Dawkins, Richard (1989), The Selfish Gene (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press), pp. 2-3, emp. added.

[5] dc Talk (1999), Jesus Freaks (Tulsa, OK: Albury), pp. 50-51.

[6] See Pinedo, Moisés (2017), Is the Bible Inspired by God? (EB Global), tract.

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