I do understand the hardships people with a ‘pay as you go data connection’ have to go through. When the data is used up, there is no connection, resulting in you being unable to do anything on your smartphone, laptop, tablet or any other device that requires data. Running out of data can be devastating. After paying for an ADSL line for a few months without connectivity due to the supplier moving the supply box in the street above us, I cancelled our subscription for an unlimited data supply. Over the last few months we have been on a pay as you go data connection … and our various devices chew data! This is the reason that I say I can understand the plight of many people who find themselves in a similar situation. The frustration can be huge!
About two weeks ago, I purchased 80 gigabytes of data. Yes, we have enjoyed a few Zoom sessions with the children, used WhatsApp and uploaded a few services … but today as I tried to upload the video service for tomorrow, the upload dropped. I was confused. I checked and had 7.7 gigabytes of data left … over sufficient data, but until I purchased another 80 gigabits of data, the upload would not continue! No data or limited data and there is no action.
Is it possible for you to imagine a time without the Bible? No Word of God … no spiritual data! Because we have so many translations and because Bibles are so easily accessible, it’s hard to think that there were lengthy periods of time when the people of God did not have a Bible. Mostly, God’s Word was passed down to the next generation via the oral tradition. The Books of the Bible were written by different human authors as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
2Pe 1:20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
This took about 1,500 years … not that it took so long to pen the Bible, but within the 1,500 years different authors were used at different time periods. In Biblical Theology, this is called “progressive revelation”. God did not reveal His complete will immediately in one go, but rather revealed sufficient information (data) at a time in His predetermined time zone, working towards His appearing in the flesh, fulfilling His rescue plan, inaugurating the church and providing all the required Scriptures to complete the Bible as we have it today.
The basis of Christianity is found in what we call the Bible or the Scriptures. In other words, the Bible is our authority because it is inspired by God and in its original, without error or contradiction. The early Christian Church relied upon the Greek Old Testament that Jesus would have used. God then used the Apostles, Paul, James, Jude and the author of Hebrews to write what we call the New Testament. Then, we have what is known as the Muratorian Canon, the oldest list of New Testament Books (from about AD 180). The complete canon of Scripture containing 66 Books (Old and New Testament) was only agreed upon around AD 367 at the time of Athanasius. The word ‘canon’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘rule’ or ‘measuring stick’ (yardstick). The early church fathers used a strict rule or yardstick to measure the character, spirituality and depth of each manuscript before deciding on what the Canon of Scripture ought to include.
From the Greek Old and New Testaments, the Bible was translated into Latin and remained like this for hundreds of years. Only the ‘priesthood’ could read it. This meant that wherever Christianity was, the Word of God (God’s Data) was only accessed by the religious leaders until the Protestant Reformation was about to fall upon the Church. Men like Willian Tyndale believed that the Bible needed to be in the language of the people. In his case, it was English. He was the captain of the “army of Reformers” and was their spiritual leader. He translated and printed the New Testament into English in AD 1525-1526. For this he was executed in AD 1536.
I need to repeat that without the “Data of God” (The Holy Bible) and without it in one’s own language, man will never truly be able to know God through Jesus Christ His Son. When you consider that the whole Bible contains everything necessary for life and eternity, you realise you need to have it to find God, know God and enjoy intimacy with God.
Once you hide God’s Word (data) in your heart (Ps 119:11), you will not neglect it (Ps 119:16), then you will hope in the Word (Ps 119:114) allowing it to direct your feet (Ps 119:133) as a lamp lighting the way (Ps 119:105) and you will accept that this Word is Eternal (Ps 119:89) and that it is Truth (John 17:17). Just as you cannot function without data to operate your various electronic devices … so you cannot operate without data that comes from God. His data gives life, sustains life and directs life towards glory. Some people have a data contract and lose data every month because they don’t use it. Many people have God’s data (Bible), but don’t use it. My friend, God’s data means life … and this life includes spiritual wisdom and discernment. Failure to use it results in losing all the spiritual advances you have made. Don’t neglect God’s data.
Dear God, thank You for the gift of Scripture. Help me to love it and use it and enjoy You speaking to me. Amen.