How did man learn about God before the Bible?

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By BibleAsk Team


The Knowledge of God before the Bible

Before the Bible, the knowledge of God was transmitted through various means, including oral traditions, personal encounters, and divine revelations. People had an innate sense of the divine, and God’s existence was evident in the created world. Let’s explore how man knew about God before the Bible.

1-Creation as a Revelation: Romans 1:20 (NKJV): “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, affirms that the Creator’s existence and attributes are evident in the created world. Nature itself serves as a revelation of the divine.

2-Conscience as a Moral Guide: Romans 2:14-15 (NKJV): “for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…” Paul explains that even those without the written law have a moral compass written in their hearts. This points to a universal understanding of moral principles, suggesting a divine source.

3-Divine Encounters: Genesis 18:1-3 (NKJV): “Then the Lord appeared to him [Abraham] by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them…” Abraham’s encounter with the Lord is one example of direct divine communication. Throughout the Old Testament, individuals like Abraham, Moses, and others experienced direct encounters with the Lord.

4-Patriarchal Narratives: Genesis 5:1-2 (NKJV): “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.” The patriarchal narratives provide an account of creation and the early generations. These were passed down preserving the knowledge of the Lord.

5-Personal Relationships with God: Genesis 6:9 (NKJV): “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Noah is described as a man who walked with his Maker, indicating a personal relationship with the divine. This suggests that knowledge of the Lord was not only theoretical but involved personal interactions.

6-Early Expressions of Worship: Genesis 4:26 (NKJV): “And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” The early descendants of Adam and Eve are noted for calling on the name of the Lord, indicating a practice of worship and acknowledgment of the Creator.

7-Covenantal Relationships: Genesis 17:1 (NKJV): “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.'” The Almighty establishes a covenant with Abraham, revealing Himself as Jehovah. These covenantal relationships served as significant means through which the Lord communicated with individuals.

8-Divine Intervention in History: Exodus 3:7-8 (NKJV): “And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…'” God’s intervention in the history of the Israelites, as seen in the Exodus, served as a powerful manifestation of His existence and concern for His people.

9-Prophetic Messages: Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NKJV): “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.'” The prophets received direct messages from God, providing guidance and insight into divine purposes.

10-Dreams and Visions: Genesis 20:3 (NKJV): “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, ‘Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.'” God communicates with Abimelech through a dream, showcasing another means through which divine messages were conveyed. Others received visions from the Lord for guidance.

11-Oral Traditions and Wisdom: Deuteronomy 6:6,7 (NKJV): “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Oral traditions and wisdom have been transferred from one generation to the next providing moral principles and divine instructions on how to lead a righteous life.

12-God’s Guidance through Signs: Exodus 13:21 (NKJV): “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.” The pillar of cloud and fire during the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt is a visible sign of God’s guidance. These manifestations provided tangible evidence of God’s presence and direction.

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