He had already been teaching on the radio for many years, but fifty years ago—1967, to be exact—Dr. McGee began teaching the Bible studies that laid the foundation for what we hear today on Thru the Bible. What an adventure it’s been! If he only knew, I’m sure Dr. McGee would laugh and shake his head in wonder at what God has done.
Let’s just think about it . . . in 1967, we never would have imagined . . .
That God would take His Word into realms forbidden, and that people once behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains would hear His Good News.
That pastors, producers, and follow-up teams in over 160 countries would be using Thru the Bible materials in serving their people’s spiritual needs.
That people in the hardest to reach places of the world without traditional radio, or even electricity, would hear and respond in faith to God’s Word taught on solar players.
And that anyone in the world with a mobile device or access to the Internet would be able to listen to any Thru the Bible study at any time.
Who would have guessed it in 1967? And if Jesus tarries, who knows where God will take His Word in the next 50 years?
At the core of what Thru the Bible is and what we do, is the conviction that the Bible is true and trustworthy. We believe God uses His Word uniquely in each of our lives to transform the way we think, believe, and live.
How does He do this? We believe that, in part, He does this by telling us His own story: The story of His love, His redemption—a story that He planned and put into place before our time began. At its heart, it’s the story of how He has opened the way for us to know Him, to love and obey Him, to grow deeper day by day in the ways we trust Him. It’s a beautiful story that gets better every time we hear it.
It’s the story Thru the Bible tells every day on the air and invites people to listen.
Dr. J. Vernon McGee, our founder and teacher, loved to tell the story more than anything else in the world. He began teaching on the radio in 1941, hoping that the San Gabriel Valley and the metropolitan Los Angeles area would pay attention and respond to the wonders of the Bible, simply told.
And to his surprise, people listened. Because not only is the Bible a good story, and Dr. McGee a good storyteller, but through the Bible is also the primary way God draws us to Himself.
While teaching in the book of Hebrews, Dr. McGee said, “The only way you and I are going to stay close to Jesus is to stay close to His Word . . . that’s why we’re spending time in the Word of God, and the reason I read letters from people on the air. They say ‘for the first time I found out about the joy of the Lord.’ The Christian life has been a yoke on them; all they knew was duty and discipline. But when you spend time studying the Bible, you can’t help but be drawn to the Person of Jesus. That’s what you should listen for in the letters we read—listen for the joy of walking close to Jesus.”
That’s why it is not unusual for there to be many longtime, repeat travelers on “The Bible Bus,” as Dr. McGee calls the journey we take through the Word every five years. People come aboard and stay aboard because they grow closer to Jesus with each trip. And the good news is, there’s always room for more on the Bible Bus. So invite your friends.
But we must be clear: People don’t come aboard because of Dr. McGee. They come because Dr. McGee points them to Jesus. No one would be more surprised than J. Vernon McGee at the worldwide response to his country preaching, with simple ways and endearing mannerisms. Yes, we honor his courage to answer the call, but we give the glory to God for the generations of lives changed. And we’ll keep telling those stories until Jesus comes again.
We hope that in telling our story, we’re really telling your story . . . about the joy you found in walking closer to Jesus . . . about the gratitude you feel for that window of understanding into His Word . . . for the first time you heard the name of Jesus and knew it was Him who you’ve been looking for all along. We are privileged to hear these same stories every day, coming from nearly every nation on earth.
Yes, that’s how far God has taken this simple story—to nearly every nation on earth in over 100 languages. This stunning fact alone testifies to the surpassing power of God at work, using simple jars of clay (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
The Thru the Bible story is simple . . . and deep. Just like yours. It’s a story of God reaching down to man—and man, reaching back. We’ll be telling these stories to each other throughout eternity, so you won’t mind if we get in good practice now.
We love to tell the Bible’s story . . . the story of Jesus and His love. Join us on the Bible Bus today to hear it again in a new way. We’re saving you a seat.