Prairie values studying the entire Canon of Scripture
Many people who would identify as Christian would also say they believe and are committed to following the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Do we actually know what the Bible story line is? Have we even read the whole book? Our anecdotal experience is that more than 50% of students who are choosing to attend our Bible College have a rudimentary knowledge of this book that they claim is important to them.
One of the core values Prairie holds dear is that the Bible is the God-breathed Truth through which He nourishes us both individually and in community. How do we live out this value at Prairie College? With the commitment that all students in all bachelor degree programs will study all 66 books in seven courses during their four years of study. This makes Prairie College unique among like-minded schools in North America.
Why is this ancient text so important for students today? Since our founding in 1922, Prairie believes that knowing what the Bible says – the whole Bible – is foundational to emotional, mental, and spiritual maturity. A Scripture bathed education offers a space for students to discover their identity, calling and purpose in God and develop the skills necessary to be lifelong culture transformation specialists.
- The Bible is a collection of stories, letters, poems, prophecies and proverbs woven into a historical tapestry as if designed by one Master Weaver. It is a book, like no other, giving future accounts and predicting the rise and fall of historical kingdoms. Written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek over the course of about 1600 years by as many as 40 different authors. Despite all of this, the Bible is cohesive, speaking with a consistent voice.
- The Bible is an irreplaceable library of ancient literature handed down through the centuries by keepers of the Scriptures and carefully copied by dedicated scholars. Of the 66 writings or books in the collection, the 39 books of the Old Testament were written before the birth of Jesus Christ and the 27 books of the New Testament cover the life of Christ and the birth and early growth of the Church, along with a foretaste of things to come. The Old Testament was recognized as inspired long before the advent of Christ and the New Testament as we know it today was canonized by 375 AD.
- The Bible is a literary triumph, a collection of ancient writings reproduced for mass consumption, a format which has become the foundation for publishing around the world. Chapters were introduced in the 1200s. The Bible was first translated into English in 1382 by John Wycliffe. Verse divisions were added in 1551. The Bible was printed in 1454 by Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. It was the first book ever printed.
- Despite people claiming it is a collection of fairy tales, the Bible has stood the test of time and scrutiny as historically accurate and full of truth. There are historical discoveries regularly coming to light that continue to support the accuracy of the Bible. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 established that current manuscripts are remarkably similar to ancient texts, despite centuries of time and generations of copies between the oldest and the newest.
- We believe this book is the inspired, written word of God. There is a standard for accuracy and wisdom embedded in this library that is well worth noting. Approximately 3,200 prophecies have been fulfilled either within the Bible itself or since it was written. Scholars estimate that there are still more than 3,100 verses containing unfulfilled prophecies.
- The Bible is the #1 best seller in the world and a sculptor of cultures. It has influenced nations and set numerous political and social agendas, especially in areas of health care, education and welfare for the elderly and poor. The value of human life is consistently reinforced through each book. The Bible is the world’s most printed, most sold nonfiction book. Guinness World Records says the total number sold is likely five billion Bibles!
- The Bible is a love letter to you and me, a history of rescue and provision including an invitation to enjoy daily revival and to spend eternity with the Almighty. The stories found within the 66 books remind us that in trauma and celebration, God is present and invested in our lives.
- It is a divinely inspired masterpiece, providentially preserved, serving up wisdom and understanding for us in every area of life. It contains secrets for successful living – our social lives, our marriage and family lives, and our personal lives. Wisdom for healthy relationships and parenting, building enterprises, communities, and governments are found in these ancient texts. It offers GPS-like guidance on the routes of our lives.
- Through Scripture, God reveals Himself and speaks directly to each man, woman and child who reads it. It is considered His living word. This book is one of the primary periscopes through which we can learn about God Almighty as a caring Father, amazing Friend and Helper as we learn to live in ways that reflect His values and honour Him.
To know Christ and make Him known,
Mark L. Maxwell, President