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  • Writer's pictureJean-Garry Olivier Jr

Biblical Literacy: A Historical View of its Impact

Updated: Sep 30, 2023


Throughout history, the Bible has significantly influenced how people and some societies have lived. Understanding the historical impact of biblical literacy allows us to look back to see actual individuals who were transformed by the power of the scriptures. Looking back will help us understand that something unique about the Bible propels men and women to engage the world around them.

Scripture

Hebrews 11:33-34 declares, “Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” Let us break this down in basic terms:

“Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised;” Here we see people who believed in and trusted God, who could conquer significant obstacles and ensure people were treated justly.

“…who shut the mouths of lions,” is most likely talking about Daniel, who had faith in God and was protected from the lions (Daniel 6).

“…quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword;” Here we see those who believe and trust God being unharmed (Daniel 3) and escaping death (Exodus 14).

“…whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” Those who were initially weak in themselves but when God got involved with them became strong because of their faith and trust in God. They were able to do the impossible with God.

Changed Lives

Several historical figures have depended on the Word of God as their source of direction, power, and vision to transform their lives with each action and decision.


Impact: He was a significant person in the civil rights movement in the United States of America. He was the voice who echoed equality and justice from his belief and knowledge of the Bible. He helped racial segregation and was known for being nonviolent with his approach.

Biblical Influence: Most of his speeches were rooted in biblical illustrations and references, speaking of peace and equality.

Impact: He was a Christian evangelist who could preach the gospel message of salvation to millions worldwide for over 60 years. His impact on the evangelical movement in America. He was the spiritual leader to many U.S. Presidents.

Biblical Influence: His message was grounded in the Bible. He preached the message of the Gospel about repentance and God’s love and forgiveness. He was committed to the scriptures and the message of salvation.

Impact: She devoted her life to serving those who were poor and sick. She is the founder of Missionaries of Charity. She impacted the world with her compassion for those in need.

Biblical Influence: Her basis for doing what she did was based on Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Her aim was to serve “the least of these.”

Impact: He was a German pastor and theologian that was involved in fighting against the Nazis. His books are a must-read for all believers.

Biblical Influence: His actions were shaped profoundly by the Word of God. He believed a believer’s life should be one of love, sacrifice, and doing what’s right no matter the cost.

What this means for me

Faith is not an unsure and fictitious belief. Faith is practical, purposeful, and powerful. No matter the challenge, faith helps us experience God's presence and promises to turn our weakness into strength. We are then compelled to trust God and live courageously before people.

Get Involved

What historical events can you think of that were influenced by the Bible? Or person? What about someone near you who has impacted you by their commitment to the Bible? Share your thoughts and experience with me through audio, video, or by writing it? I would love to hear or see you (drop a video).

Invitation

Have you considered Jesus? Jesus is the only one we can truly experience a transformed life. I invite you to receive Him today as your Lord and Savior. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” There is assurance in these words. Please let me know if you made the decision to follow Jesus. I would love to celebrate with you.

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