Millions past and present refer to the Bible as “The Good Book.” America’s first vice-president and second president, John Adams, paid an even greater tribute to the Bible when he observed, “The Bible is the best Book in the world.” Many, of course, would disagree, some of them on the flimsy basis that it disagrees with them! Like Judah’s foolish King Jehoiakim who lived 600 years before Christ in the days of God’s prophet Jeremiah. Upon hearing parts of Jeremiah’s inspired words he didn’t like concerning his and Judah’s future, the Bible says Jehoiakim “cut it [that is, the scroll] with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire.” But God had the prophet write the words down again, and Jeremiah’s scroll, along with the rest of the inspired writings of God’s Book, has stood the test of time. In the words of the late Charles Colson, “The Bible — banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more frequently attacked, than any other book in history … Yet nothing has affected the rise and fall of civilizations, the character of cultures, the structure of governments, and the lives of the inhabitants of this planet so profoundly as the words of the Bible” (A Dangerous Grace, p 18). The Bible, measured solely on the basis of its beneficent and positive influence in human history and lives, is indeed the Good Book, yea, the Best Book. When respected and practiced, the Bible’s teachings bring into human society and institutions and relationships such things as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Thomas Jefferson, who, by the way, rejected Jesus’ miracles in New Testament and Christ’s Divinity, never-less paid tribute to the Bible’s powerful effect for good. He declared, “I have always said and will always say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better husbands . . . The Bible makes the best people in the world.” Indeed, as W. J. Bryan noted, “There is not a community which cannot be purified, redeemed, and improved by a better knowledge and broader application of the Bible to daily life. The Good Book makes good people.
For 1,000’s of years the Bible has outlasted its critics. The reason can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The Bible is the Good Book, even the Best Book, but it is more. It is God’s Book. Herein lies the secret to its staying power — it is God’s Word. The Bible is still going because God is still going. The Bible is still relevant because God is still relevant. You can ban and burn copies of the Bible, but no man or court of council or government can bury it forever. Oh, men can pronounce it dead and attempt to bury it and, just as they did Jesus, seal the tomb and make it as secure as they know how (Matthew 27:65-66). But they might as well try to extinguish the sun by spitting on it. It is tougher than the black boxes designed to survive intact through the worst plane crash. It is quite simply but absolutely, indestructible. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). You and I will pass away, but God’s Book is here to stay. Joseph Cook said, “Do you know a book that you are willing to put under your head for a pillow when are dying? Very well. That is the Book you want to study when you are living. There is only one such Book in the world.” The Bible — the Good Book, the Best Book, God’s Book!