The Book of Books

There was a time in history when books were highly valued because they were rarely made. The old process of making books was laborious, to say the least. Those of old time had to spend many long hours and days to produce a copy of any book, only to have them wear out in a short time because they were written on papyrus. By the time of the use of animal skins (vellum) the process of preserving the writings of men had progressed some, but still lacked. In 1436, Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press; thus the history of book making changed drastically.

It was during this time that reading and writing also progressed, and now the commoner demanded for books to be printed in the common language. The Bible was one of the first books to ever be printed on the Gutenberg press in 1452, and it was the first book to be printed in one volume. The call for the Bible in print in the common language was overwhelming by multitudes who desired the written Word that had for so long been out of reach.

Throughout the history of God’s people the need to keep the Law of God close to their hearts and minds has always been paramount. In the early centuries the Law of God was given by direct communication from God to man (Patriarchal times). With the advent of the Mosaic dispensation the Law of God was written down. Moses was given the Ten Commandments to be delivered to the Hebrews that had been written with the finger of God (Exodus 31:18). At a later date the entire Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) were written by Moses for future generations (Luke 24:44).

Through the centuries, the Hebrews lost sight of what was precious to them; they began to give themselves over wholly to idolatry. The Book of God had literally been lost from the people for a many years. It was the reform of the boy king, Josiah, that retrieved the lost book of the Law of Moses.

Josiah had purged the land of idols and the places where the people were worshipping idols, now he sought to repair what had been tainted and destroyed. Josiah commanded his most loyal servants to go to the House of Jehovah to repair the damage done from years of abuse. It was during this cleaning of the Temple that Hilkiah the priest “. . . found a book of the law of Jehovah given by Moses” (2 Chronicles 34:13). Shaphan the scribe was given the Book of Moses, took it directly to Josiah, and read the words of life to his king. Josiah immediately repented and went into mourning for his sins.

This was both a happy and sad day in Israel. It was happy in that the Law of God was restored in written form. It was sad in that God’s people had lost the Book right under their physical and spiritual noses. Please notice where the book was found—in the House of Jehovah! If it had been lost during some battle or during a ransacking of the Temple by a Barbarous horde would have been another matter; but this is not the case. They lost the book precisely where it should have been. This is comparable to losing one’s car in their carport. Does the reader doubt we could ever lose the Word of God today?

The Bible is a God-breathed piece of literature that should always be kept in high regard considering this fact. Paul wrote to Timothy: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Men have tried to burn, destroy, prove it to be false, and otherwise destroy the validity of the Bible’s pages; but all to no avail. The only way God’s Word can be kept from His people is when they keep it from themselves.

Too many today have lost the Book of books right under their spiritual noses, as well. Almost every living room and coffee table in America has a Bible, but few read its glorious pages. Some come to the services of the Lord’s church without the first scratch of the Holy Pages in their hands. Have these people become so strong in their knowledge of the Sacred Writings that they have no need to read, study, or bring their Bibles to church? Nay verily! The Bible is lost in plain sight of far too many who are either too physically or spiritually slothful (or perhaps both).

Those of Hosea’s day were lost and ready to be destroyed from the earth because of their lack of the knowledge of God (Hosea 4:6). Where does the church of our Lord stand in today’s battle front? Is she ready to stand up and do battle with the adversary? If so, can she do it without the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)? No one would ever dream of going to battle without an offensive weapon. Nor should they go into spiritual battle without the Word of God.

The Bible is a lost book that must be found. Only complete respect for what is given to us in the form of the written Word, and good use of the Word, will keep the enemy at bay. The Bible should be read, studied, and lived to be of any use to anyone. It has been well said that the best protection for one’s Bible is “Palm Oil.”


Hardy Building Ward Street Church of Christ
3832 Hwy 62/412 (Mailing address: P.O. Box 224)
Hardy, AR 72542