The Bible, the oldest modern book.

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The Bible, the oldest modern book.

Post  annlovesjesus on Sat 18 Jul 2009, 11:41 am

There are few books that can claim to be as old as the Bible. Among those that can are:

- The I Ching from the 13th century BCE

- The Papyrus Ebers is the oldest medical text in history, dated around the middle of the 16th century BC

- The Epic of Gilgamesh has been dated between 2100 and 2000 BCE

- Dated even further back are the precepts of Ptah-hotep, which some claim to have been written between 2300 and 2150 BCE.

The starting date of the Bible is an issue of hot debate. Probably the oldest (and correct one in my opinion) starting date for Genesis is the 16th century BCE. However the interesting thing about the Bible is not only its ancient origins but the fact that billions of people read it and respect today.

Nevertheless the real question might be if the Bible is still a useful book today, 3,500 years after it began to be written. Many would say no. You wouldn’t trust a chemistry textbook from 1920 as your basis to conduct an experiment today, would you? Or more to the point you wouldn’t roll out the Ebers Papyrus to read how to treat an open wound. Interestingly if you were to, you would be advised to make an interesting ointment with a base of human excrement. Apparently Egyptians thought it did wonders in the treatment of open wounds. Following this line of reasoning you might conclude that it would be just as illogical to use the writings of the Bible to plan out your life, decide on moral principles and base your hope for the future.

Although the Bible is old, it is by no means old fashioned. Although the world has changed since the first words in it were penned, people haven’t really changed. They have pretty much the same worries, problems and moral dilemmas.

In fact the Bible provides timeless principles that can help us in all walks of life. This article will mention only a few to give a taste of the wide spectrum of themes the Bible covers.

Marriage: “Husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it”. Ephesians 5:28, 29. Simple advice like this would solve abuse within marriages the world around, if only it was followed.

Racism: Although the Bible has been misused as a basis for racism, the truth is that it condemns it. The Bible talks about only one race, the human race and encourages us to imitate God who: “is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” Acts 10:34,35.

Mental Health: Current scientific studies have established a link between a person’s physical health and traits like anger. Dr Redford Williams in his book Anger Kills explains: “Most of the available evidence suggests that hostile people are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (as well as other illnesses) for a variety of reasons, including reduced social support, increased biologic reactivity [...]”

Thousands of years before such studies the Bible set in simple terms: “A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30; 17:22)

These are just a few of many examples that prove the Bible, maybe not as the oldest book, but definitely the oldest modern book in the World.

Source: The Bible
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