The Amazing Survival Of The Word Of God

No book has ever been the subject of more continued attacks upon it than the Bible. Despite the assaults mounted upon it for millennia, it has emerged unscathed. F. Bettex of Stuttgart, Germany has written:

Unchanged and unchangeable, this Bible stands for centuries, unconcerned about the praise and the reproach of men. With sublime freedom it strides through the history of mankind, dismisses entire nations with a glance, with a word, in order to tarry a long time with the deeds of a shepherd. It rises like an angel to heights that make peoples, passing hither and thither, appear like swarms of grasshoppers, yea, all nations like a drop in a bucket.1

In a book entitled The Wonder of the Book, Dysan Hague described in detail how the Bible has withstood all of the attacks upon it through the centuries. He wrote:

It is almost the only Book in the world that has stood age after age of ferocious and incessant persecution. Century after century men have tried to burn it and to bury it. Crusade after crusade has been organized to extirpate it. Kings of the earth set themselves, and rulers of the church took counsel together to destroy it from off the face of the earth. Diocletian, the Roman Emperor in 303, inaugurated the most terrific onslaught that the world has known upon a book. Almost every Bible was destroyed, myriads of Christians perished, and a column of triumph was erected over an exterminated Bible with the inscription: "Extinco nomine Christianorum" (the name of the Christian has been extinguished). And yet not many years after, the Bible came forth, as Noah from the ark, to repeople the earth, and in the year 325 Constantine enthroned the Bible as the Infallible Judge of Truth in the first General Council.

Perhaps the most deadly persecution of all has been during the last one hundred and fifty years. The bitterest foes of the Bible, curiously enough, were men who claimed liberty of thought; and Bolingbroke, and Hume, and Voltaire, seemed so confident of the extermination of the Bible, that the Frenchman declared that a hundred years after his day not a Bible would be found save as an antiquarian curiosity. Then came the German rationalistic host, with the fiercest and deadliest of all the attacks. Bauer, Strauss, and the Tubingen School took up the cry of the Children of Edom: "Down with it, down with it, even to the ground." But "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; Jehovah shall have them in derision" (Ps. 2:4).

For here it is today; stronger than ever. It stands, and it will stand. Yes, in spite of these age-long persecutions the Word of the Lord is having free course and is being glorified. It is being circulated at the rate of millions of copies a year, in almost every language of the globe. It has an influence it never possessed before, greater in power, greater in life, greater in freshness and the beauty of spring.2

One of the many books written expressly for the purpose of discrediting the Bible was Bradlaugh's The Bible, What It Is (London, 1857). The author of the book wrote, "this work was intended to relieve the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge from the labor of re-translating the Bible, by proving that it is not worth the trouble and the expense."3

Wilbur M. Smith went to the trouble to compare the publishing history of Bradlaugh's book to that of the Bible in the twentieth century. As of the time that Smith did his investigation, not one single edition of Bradlaugh's book had been published since 1905, while Great Britain had published over 400 million Bibles, and the entire Bible had been translated into 320 new languages from the time Bradlaugh wrote his book.4

The number of examples of failed attempts to discredit the Bible is nearly endless, yet the Bible remains the most widely read and sought-after book of all time.

1 Quoted by George T. B. Davis, Fulfilled Prophecies That Prove the Bible (Philadelphia: Million Testaments Campaign, 1931), p. 112.

2 Dyson Hague, The Wonder of the Book (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, n.d.), quoted in Ibid., pp. 108-110.

3 Quoted by Wilbur M. Smith, Chats From A Minister's Library, p. 256.

4 Ibid.

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