The Influence and Indestructibility of the Bible


The power of influence and indestructibility of the Bible is seen in the following illustration:

The Blacksmith’s Anvil and the Bible

In the late nineteenth century, a young farm boy traveled to town for the first time. As the boy walked with his father down the unpaved main street, he heard a loud clang ... clang ... clang.

"What's that?" he asked his father.

His father said, "Come, I'll show you," and took the boy to the door of the blacksmith's shop. There the boy saw a huge man lifting a big, heavy hammer high in the air, as if to chop down a tree, and then crashing it down on a glowing piece of metal on top of the anvil. The man hit the anvil so hard that it made the boy wince. The boy's father explained to him that the blacksmith made all kinds of metal pieces for wagons, carriages, plows, and tools.

But the little boy was fixed on two things: the heavy hammer and the great metal anvil. They met each other with such a loud sound and with such force that the boy thought surely the anvil could not last long. The big, strong blacksmith paused for a moment to catch his breath, and saw the boy standing in the doorway.

"Aren't you going to break that thing?" the boy asked, pointing at the anvil.

The blacksmith smiled and said, "This anvil is a hundred years old and has worn out many hammers."

Likewise, the Bible is an anvil that has worn out a thousand hammers. In every generation, new heavy "hammers" are forged against the truth of the Bible. Strong men and women use these hammers to pound on the Scriptures. People with no historical perspective--like little boys who've never been to town--see it and say, "Surely the Bible will be destroyed." But others who know their history a little better say, "This Bible was forged in the furnace of divine truth and has worn out many hammers."


I.                   THE INFLUENCE OF THE BIBLE:

A.     The Bible's influence is seen in literature, speeches, civil laws, politics, and art.

1.         Many nations, including the United States, have based much of their laws upon the civil laws found in the Bible, especially those recorded in the Old Testament.  Nations that do not do this tend to be barbaric. 

2.         Politicians and others who make speeches often quote scripture or refer to it.

3.         Noted artist, in the various fields of art, have been influenced by the Bible in producing their art. 

B.     Prominent men and women of our nation and from other nations have acknowledged the influence of the Bible in their lives. 

Abraham Lincoln:  “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man.  All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.” 

George Washington:  “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” 

John Quincy Adams:  “So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society.  I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.” 

Napoleon:  “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that opposes it.”

 Queen Victoria:  “That book accounts for the supremacy of England.” 

Daniel Webster:  “If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures.  If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”  

C.     The influence the Bible is seen in the following:

1.         It affects our manner of thinking. 

Phil. 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

a.       Our philosophy in life is developed by that in which we meditate upon. 

Prov. 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he;…” 

2.         The Bible affects the standard of our society

Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” 

3.         The Bible convicts sinners of their sins

Acts 2:36-38, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  


A.     Even before the creation of the physical universe, God’s scheme of redemption for lost humanity was in His mind. 

Eph. 3:8-12, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”

1.         God’s will is that the church would make known His manifold wisdom in providing salvation for man. 

1 Tim. 3:15, “…the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

 B.     It would be ludicrous for a person to question as to whether or not God’s inspired Word has been preserved for future generation while at the same time acknowledging that the Heavenly Father’s scheme of redemption was predetermined before the foundation of the world. 

Prov. 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

1.         Question:  How is the Lord to direct our path if we no longer have access to His inspired Word to guide us? 

2.         The Son of God has assured us that His Words would not pass away.

Matt. 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Also, Mk. 13:31).

a.       His Words will still exist after the physical universe passes away.                                                 

3.         The Apostle Peter declared, “…the Word of the Lord endureth for ever(1 Pet. 1:25).

4.         At the end of time, we will be judged by His Word. 

John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him:  the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”


A.     First of all, it has come down to us in marvelous manuscript, precious documents that date back to an early age.

1.       There are several of these manuscripts, three in particular.  These are the Alexandrian, the Vatican, and the Tischendorf.

a.       The oldest of these date back to about 200 A. D.  This is less than 200 years from the time that Christ lived here upon earth.

b.      Someone might say, “That’s an old document, but it does not go back to the apostolic age.” 

B.     Fortunately, we can get back closer, because in addition to the manuscripts are the versions.

1.       A manuscript is a document containing the New Testament in Greek, the language in which it was originally written.

2.       A version is a translation into some other language from the Greek original text.  Bear in mind that inspiration was originally in men.  While in men, they had to be miraculously endowed in order that it might be taught to people of other tongues.  If those early preachers had been required to attend language schools and study how to talk in other languages, multitudes of people would have died while the preachers were learning their tongue.  So, the Lord simply endowed them with miraculous ability to speak in these other languages.

3.       Some of those old languages still exist or some of those old translations in other languages.

4.       The Ethiopic version is still being used by Ethiopians.  It dates back to the apostolic age.

5.       The old Syriac version was written about 120 A. D.  This is about a quarter of a century removed from the era of the apostles. 

C.     Well suppose we lost the manuscripts and the versions.  Would we have lost the New Testament?  No!  We can get back still closer through the writings of the so-called church fathers, such as Cyprian, Polycarp, Clement of Alexander, and a host of others.

1.       These writings begin about 70 A. D., well within the apostolic age and continue down to about 324 to 325 A. D.

2.       Those writings are uninspired writings, but the remarkable things about them are that they contain all of the New Testament but thirteen verses. 

D.    Even if we lost the manuscripts, versions, and the writings of the church fathers, the Word of God has been reproduced in the various writings produced since the first century. 

(The material pertaining to the process in which the scriptures came down to us was obtained from a sermon of the late brother Guy N. Woods.) 


A.     Efforts to destroy the Bible have been both by the religious and the


1.         Recorded in the Old Testament, King Jehoiakim cut out and burned portions of the inspired Word.  He rejected that within it that required his strict obedience unto God. 

Jer. 36:23, “And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.” 

2.         William Tyndale was a theologian and scholar who translated the Bible into an early form of Modern English.  He was the first person to take advantage of Gutenberg’s movable-type press for the purpose of printing the scriptures in the English language.  He was considered a heretic by the Catholic Church, and later by the Church of England.  Tyndale was burned at the stake in 1536 and copies of his English translated version of the Bible were burned.

3.         In the mid-1700’s Voltaire, one of the most influential writers of his day, held a copy of the Bible in his hand and stated that within 100 years from his time, Christianity would be “swept from existence and pass into the dust bin of History.”  However, 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society bought his house and printing press to print and distribute thousands of Bibles.

4.         Thomas Paine was a deist who rejected the Bible and attempted to depict error in it in his book, “The Age of Reason.”

5.         Robert Ingersoll during the 19th century popularized the theories of Charles Darwin.  He was a leader among atheist and spoke out against God and His inspired Word, the Bible. 

B.     Books written by uninspired men rise and fall with respect of public acceptance, but the Bible continues to be a best seller.

1.         Other books are revised or become obsolete, but God’s inspired Book remains as relevant today as it was when written by inspiration.

2.         It has been translated many times, but never revised.   


Jesus depicted the kingdom of Heaven as a pearl of great price (Matt. 13:45-46).  That passage states:  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  Since the seed of His kingdom is the Word of God (Lk. 8:11), we must place our trust in it above creeds, doctrines, and the philosophies of men.   

The Bible 

The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.  Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. 

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.  It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

It is a traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the children's charter.  Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.  Christ is the grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.  Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.  It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.  It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever.  It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. 

--Dub Mowery