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Lesson 13

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When the famous Christian missionary Dr. David Livingston set out on his trek across Africa he brought with him a small collection of medical and religious books that he felt were indispensable to the success of his work. All in all there were a total of 73 books in 3 packs, weighing around 180 pounds. After 300 hundred difficult miles, Livingstone knew that if his party were going to survive they would have to lighten their lode. And, among other things, one by one he began throwing away some of his prized books. As he continued on his journey the size of his library grew smaller and smaller, until he had only one book left, one he refused to throw way-his Bible.

Would you have made the same decision? If, through some misfortune, you had to throw out all your records, CDs, videos, DVDs, and books except one, would you chose to keep your Bible? That is what David Livingston did! Why? He doesn’t say. But I think the answer is self-evident. Livingston believed that the Bible was no ordinary book. It was something that was so powerful and practical for his daily life that to forfeit it would have been like throwing away his supply of food. It was something that impacted the way he lived his life on a daily basis. It made a practical difference to how he lived life. It was something he not could get along without.

It was similar convictions that motivated early scribes to take up the painstaking task of copying by hand the ancient scriptures. They knew the Scriptures were not just any regular book, but they contained a treasure and power that far outweighed the painstaking labour that was the price for copying every word on every page. It is through their labour over the centuries that we have the Scriptures today. In our final lesson, we consider what it is about the Bible that has set it apart from any other work of literature this world has ever known.