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The history of the bible The history of the bible Document Transcript

  • The History of the Bible Authored By: Sean W. Begle
  • Forward The purpose of authoring this book, is to give you the History of the Bible, and to help you to understand the history, of how and also on how the bible came to be. I believe in the bible, and that yes it is the true and living word of God. Being that it is the true and the living word of God, there is nothing that can be added to the bible, and there is nothing that can be taken away from the bible. It is my hope that as you read this book, titled as The History of the Bible you will come to know the truth of what it is, how it is, and why it came to be. This book is going to be a very lengthy book, but I know you will get something out from it. Do not try to read this book, all at one time, but read what you can, and learn from the history of the bible, as much as you can, and take from it whatever you learn from it, as much as you can learn, and get an understanding of the information, I have provided to you, and provided for you. I hope you will find this book of interest, and that you will enjoy learning what you learn.I hope this book will help you to see the truth of Gods word, and why Gods word is so important. Not only important to you, but also important for you as well. May God bless you as you seek to know about his great big book, and may you see and understand the importance of how great and powerful the word of God really is. I hope this book will be a blessing to you as you come to know the word of God, which is the truth of God. The Author Sean W. Begle 6/6/2013
  • Introduction When it comes to the bible, people view the bible in many different ways. They have views on what it says, and why it says what it says. Some people they look at the bible as just being a book. Some people they look at the bible as being a book, that is full of fairy-tales, a book that is meaningless, a book that was without purpose, when it was written, they look it the bible as just being a book that has no purpose at all. But the bible it is the word of God, and it will always be the word of God. The bible, it is not a book that is full of fairy-tales, the bible it is not a book that is meaningless, the bible is not a book without purpose. The bible it is the true, the living, and the holy word of God. The bible is the best book, the greatest book that, was ever written. We can depend in the bible, we can depend on the bible, we can trust in the bible, and we can trust on the bible. The word of God will never fail, and it cannot ever be changed. What is in the bible is in there, to teach us how to talk, to teach us how to walk and to teach us how to live.
  • Table of Contents Chapter 1 The purpose of the Bible? page __ Chapter 2 How was the bible put together? page __ Chapter 3 Who is the bible about? Chapter 4 Why sometimes is the bible taken out of context? page _ Chapter 5 Can we live by every word page ___ Chapter 6 The Bible from Genesis- Revelation page __ Chapter 7 Do other parts in the bible apply to us today? page ? Chapter 8 Why do people misuse the text of the bible? page ___ Chapter 9 Why are there some things in the bible we understand and some things that we do not? page ___ Chapter 10 Can the things in the bible we do not understand be understood? page ___ Chapter 11 Which bibles are of better quality that are more easy to understand? page ___ Chapter 12 Why do some people not accept the bible? page ____
  • Chapter 13 What conflicts does the bible have compared to other religions that people do not accept it fully? page ___ Chapter 14 Why is the bible such a big book? page ___ Chapter 15 How can we live according to the bible? page __ Chapter 16 Is Everything in the bible true? page __ Conclusion Sources of info About Me- The Author
  • Chapter 1 The purpose of the bible The purpose of the bible, is to help us to know, and to help us to understand, how to walk, how to talk, and how to live. The purpose of the bible it was written to instruct us, and to teach us what is right, and what is wrong. To help us to know and understand what is right, and to know, and to understand what is wrong. The purpose of the bible it was written, for us to know, and to understand, what God expects of us, and why God expects of us, and from us what he expects. It was written to show us the way of God, and the way of Jesus Christ. To show us, what to do, to teach us what to do, to show us, what not to do, and to teach us whatt not to do. To teach us in the ways that are good, and to teach us in the ways that arte bad. The things we should do, and the things, that we should not do.
  • Chapter 2 How was the bible put together? http://www.nomatterwhatonline.com/origin.htm The origin of the Bible Where the bible came from? In answering the question How the bible was put together? As you have noted,and if you are paying attention in the starting chapter of chapter two of this book I have used the website address http://www.nomatterwhatonline.com/origin.htm as you see above. So what it is that I am going to do here in this chapter, is I am not going to copy straight, what this says but I am going to try to put this, in my own words, and I am going to try, and break this down for you the best way, that I can. In this chapter which is Chapter 2, we are dealing with How the bible was put together. We do however have a different title that is on this, even though this chapter here, even though it has not been renamed, and even though it is titled differntly from the question, that is being asked in this chapter. But we will still be addressing the same thing as we go along with this, and what is being presented. So as we deal with How the bible was put together we first have the origin of the bible which in this is titled Where the bible came from? Many people they are unaware of just how we came to have the bible as we have it today. An understanding of the bible, and understanding of how the bible, how it came to be it can add a new dimension, to the perspective of a believer of who it is that God is, and how he has chosen to work upon his creation. The writings which were eventually gathered together, and came to be known as the Holy Bible, they were written over a period of 1,500 years. Written by more then 40 differerent authors that were living on three continents Asia, Africa and Europe. While the text of the bible, while the text iself was penned by the hands, of the various human authors, the ultimately divine origin of scripture, is testified to numerous times within the text itself and has repeatedly confirmed througout history, by its steadfast integrity, and reliability. Based upon the textual evidence, to key doctrines may be discerned. (Note 1) 1. Doctrine of Revelation The Doctrine of Revelation this addresses the means by which God, the means by which he reveals truth unto his people. Revelation it may be defined as "A supernatural work of God in which He communicated divine truth to human beings that they otherwise would not or could not know. 2. The Doctrine of inspiration The Doctrine of inspiration this doctrine addresses This addresses the means by which the writers of Scripture received and recorded God's truths accurately. Inspiration may be defined as "The supernatural act of God whereby He so directed human authors of Scripture that, without destroying their individuality, literary style, or personality,
  • His complete and connected thought toward humanity was received/recorded without error or contradiction -- each word being supernaturally written and preserved so as to result in an infallible document in the original writings". But how did the original writings penned by so many different people over such a long period of time come to be grouped together as the Bible we know today? And how certain are we that the documents we have today are accurate copies of what was originally written? The sections which follow attempt to answer these questions by tracing the development of the group of writings now known as the Bible. When reffering to the books, that are of the Christian Bible the word 'canon' is often used (as in "the Canon of Scripture"). According to the American Heritage Dictionary [Note 3], canon may be defined as "the books of the Bible officially accepted as holy scripture". If we examine the word history of our English word "canon" we can understand why this particular word came to be used to denote the list of Biblical writings. Our English word evolved (via Latin) from the Greek word "kanon" which itself evolved from the Hebrew word "qaneh". This Hebrew word referred to a "reed". Reeds were used in ancient times as measuring devices (like we use a ruler today); hence, the Hebrew word suggested something to measure with or a standard by which to compare other things. The Greek word "'kanon" then took on the meaning of a "rule" or "standard". Origen (the Greek church father) used this word to refer to "the standard by which we measure and evaluate everything that may be offered to us as an article of belief". Thus, the "Canon of Scripture" came to mean the list of Biblical writings used by Christians as the standard by which we evaluate our beliefs. Since the canon of Scripture as we know it today has not always existed, where did it come from? And how do we know that the copies we have today accurately represent what was originally recorded by the authors of scripture? Fair questions for anyone considering the Christian faith - and questions Christians would do well to answer for themselves in order solidify the foundation of their own personal beliefs. The canonicity of a book (that is, its right to be part of the canon) is dependent upon its recognized authority. This is important to understanding the canon of Scripture:  Many people think the books are considered authoritative because they are included in the Bible; the historical truth is the opposite; they are included in the Bible because they are considered authoritative. The canon of Scripture is the result of the collecting together of the various writings which Christians of previous times recognized as authoritative. Who was it that collected the writings together, and what basis did they have for considering them authoritative? To answer these questions, it is best to consider the two testaments separately. the word 'canon' is often used (as in "the Canon of Scripture"). According to the American Heritage Dictionary [Note 3], canon may be defined as "the books of the Bible officially accepted as holy scripture".
  • If we examine the word history of our English word "canon" we can understand why this particular word came to be used to denote the list of Biblical writings. Our English word evolved (via Latin) from the Greek word "kanon" which itself evolved from the Hebrew word "qaneh". This Hebrew word referred to a "reed". Reeds were used in ancient times as measuring devices (like we use a ruler today); hence, the Hebrew word suggested something to measure with or a standard by which to compare other things. The Greek word "'kanon" then took on the meaning of a "rule" or "standard". Origen (the Greek church father) used this word to refer to "the standard by which we measure and evaluate everything that may be offered to us as an article of belief". Thus, the "Canon of Scripture" came to mean the list of Biblical writings used by Christians as the standard by which we evaluate our beliefs. Since the canon of Scripture as we know it today has not always existed, where did it come from? And how do we know that the copies we have today accurately represent what was originally recorded by the authors of scripture? Fair questions for anyone considering the Christian faith - and questions Christians would do well to answer for themselves in order solidify the foundation of their own personal beliefs. The canonicity of a book (that is, its right to be part of the canon) is dependent upon its recognized authority. This is important to understanding the canon of Scripture:  Many people think the books are considered authoritative because they are included in the Bible; the historical truth is the opposite; they are included in the Bible because they are considered authoritative. The canon of Scripture is the result of the collecting together of the various writings which Christians of previous times recognized as authoritative. Who was it that collected the writings together, and what basis did they have for considering them authoritative? To answer these questions, it is best to consider the two testaments separately. The Old Testament The section which follows attempts to summarize the development of the Old Testament canon and its basis of validity. At the beginning, however, it is worth noting that for Christians the canonicity of the Old Testament carries with it the highest stamp of approval possible - the acceptance of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament of today is what made up the entire Bible of those living at the time of Jesus (since the New Testament had not yet been written). While Jesus often criticized many of the traditions of the Jews of that time, he never criticized the validity of their scriptures; in fact, his greatest criticisms pointed out that the Jewish traditions often conflicted with the truths espoused in their scriptures. For a Christian today, the simple fact that Jesus himself accepted the validity of the Old Testament canon is sufficient reason for accepting it ourselves. The Hebrew Bible (used during the time of Jesus and still used by Orthodox Jews today) is commonly referred to as having three sections: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. This division is based on the organization of the Hebrew Bible which is somewhat different from the Christian Bible we have today.
  •  The Law (also called the Pentateuch or the Torah) consists of the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis to Deuteronomy). This section is referred to as the Law because it contains the laws for the nation of Israel as laid down by God through the prophet Moses.  The Prophets consists of the books of Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and the prophet books Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve Prophets.  The Writings consists of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, I & II Chronicles. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible consists of the same writings as those listed above - they are simply included in a different order than that of the Hebrew Bible. The English Christian Bible took its arrangement from the Latin Bible (called the Vulgate) which, in turn, took its arrangement from the Greek Bible (referred to as the Septuagint). Few debate that during the time of Jesus the books contained in the first two sections (the Law and the Prophets) contained the same books as contained in the Hebrew Bible today. More conjecture has been associated with the third section - the Writings. It is most likely, however, that this section, too, contained the same books as contained in today's Hebrew Bible. When Jesus was summarizing the martyrs of the Old Testament he used the expression "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah". It is clear why Abel would be considered the first martyr in the Bible (Genesis), but why would Jesus refer to Zechariah as the last? Because in the Hebrew Bible (both of Jesus' time and of today) the last book is 2 Chronicles and there Zechariah is the last martyr to be named (2 Chronicles 24:21). Hence, Jesus was summarizing the whole of the Old Testament scriptures when he summarized Abel to Zechariah. Throughout history, the list of the books of the Hebrew Bible has been recorded by various figures. These include:  Philo (20? B.C. - 50 A.D.), the learned Jew of Alexandria and a contemporary of Jesus  Josephus (37 or 38 - 101? A.D.), the non-Christian Jewish historian  Melito (about 170 A.D.), the bishop of Sartis  Origen (185? - 254? A.D.), the foremost Greek Biblical scholar  Jerome (347 - 420 A.D.), the foremost Latin Biblical scholar While the lists generated throughout history have sometimes differed in the total number of books they contained, most scholars attribute the difference to various ways in which the lists' authors grouped the books together. (For example, Ezra and Nehemiah were sometimes considered as a single book rather than two separate books. Likewise, Lamentations has sometimes been considered an appendix to Jeremiah. There are other
  • examples as well.) While there are exceptions, the majority of historical records indicate remarkable agreement as to the content of the Hebrew canon (the Christian Old Testament). The Hebrew Bible (used during the time of Jesus and still used by Orthodox Jews today) is commonly referred to as having three sections: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. This division is based on the organization of the Hebrew Bible which is somewhat different from the Christian Bible we have today.  The Law (also called the Pentateuch or the Torah) consists of the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis to Deuteronomy). This section is referred to as the Law because it contains the laws for the nation of Israel as laid down by God through the prophet Moses.  The Prophets consists of the books of Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and the prophet books Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve Prophets.  The Writings consists of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, I & II Chronicles. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible consists of the same writings as those listed above - they are simply included in a different order than that of the Hebrew Bible. The English Christian Bible took its arrangement from the Latin Bible (called the Vulgate) which, in turn, took its arrangement from the Greek Bible (referred to as the Septuagint). Few debate that during the time of Jesus the books contained in the first two sections (the Law and the Prophets) contained the same books as contained in the Hebrew Bible today. More conjecture has been associated with the third section - the Writings. It is most likely, however, that this section, too, contained the same books as contained in today's Hebrew Bible. When Jesus was summarizing the martyrs of the Old Testament he used the expression "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah". It is clear why Abel would be considered the first martyr in the Bible (Genesis), but why would Jesus refer to Zechariah as the last? Because in the Hebrew Bible (both of Jesus' time and of today) the last book is 2 Chronicles and there Zechariah is the last martyr to be named (2 Chronicles 24:21). Hence, Jesus was summarizing the whole of the Old Testament scriptures when he summarized Abel to Zechariah. Throughout history, the list of the books of the Hebrew Bible has been recorded by various figures. These include:  Philo (20? B.C. - 50 A.D.), the learned Jew of Alexandria and a contemporary of Jesus  Josephus (37 or 38 - 101? A.D.), the non-Christian Jewish historian  Melito (about 170 A.D.), the bishop of Sartis
  •  Origen (185? - 254? A.D.), the foremost Greek Biblical scholar  Jerome (347 - 420 A.D.), the foremost Latin Biblical scholar The Hebrew Bible (used during the time of Jesus and still used by Orthodox Jews today) is commonly referred to as having three sections: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. This division is based on the organization of the Hebrew Bible which is somewhat different from the Christian Bible we have today.  The Law (also called the Pentateuch or the Torah) consists of the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis to Deuteronomy). This section is referred to as the Law because it contains the laws for the nation of Israel as laid down by God through the prophet Moses.  The Prophets consists of the books of Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and the prophet books Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve Prophets.  The Writings consists of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, I & II Chronicles. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible consists of the same writings as those listed above - they are simply included in a different order than that of the Hebrew Bible. The English Christian Bible took its arrangement from the Latin Bible (called the Vulgate) which, in turn, took its arrangement from the Greek Bible (referred to as the Septuagint). Few debate that during the time of Jesus the books contained in the first two sections (the Law and the Prophets) contained the same books as contained in the Hebrew Bible today. More conjecture has been associated with the third section - the Writings. It is most likely, however, that this section, too, contained the same books as contained in today's Hebrew Bible. When Jesus was summarizing the martyrs of the Old Testament he used the expression "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah". It is clear why Abel would be considered the first martyr in the Bible (Genesis), but why would Jesus refer to Zechariah as the last? Because in the Hebrew Bible (both of Jesus' time and of today) the last book is 2 Chronicles and there Zechariah is the last martyr to be named (2 Chronicles 24:21). Hence, Jesus was summarizing the whole of the Old Testament scriptures when he summarized Abel to Zechariah. Throughout history, the list of the books of the Hebrew Bible has been recorded by various figures. These include:  Philo (20? B.C. - 50 A.D.), the learned Jew of Alexandria and a contemporary of Jesus  Josephus (37 or 38 - 101? A.D.), the non-Christian Jewish historian  Melito (about 170 A.D.), the bishop of Sartis
  •  Origen (185? - 254? A.D.), the foremost Greek Biblical scholar  Jerome (347 - 420 A.D.), the foremost Latin Biblical scholar While the lists generated throughout history have sometimes differed in the total number of books they contained, most scholars attribute the difference to various ways in which the lists' authors grouped the books together. (For example, Ezra and Nehemiah were sometimes considered as a single book rather than two separate books. Likewise, Lamentations has sometimes been considered an appendix to Jeremiah. There are other examples as well.) While there are exceptions, the majority of historical records indicate remarkable agreement as to the content of the Hebrew canon (the Christian Old Testament). The Hebrew Bible (used during the time of Jesus and still used by Orthodox Jews today) is commonly referred to as having three sections: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. This division is based on the organization of the Hebrew Bible which is somewhat different from the Christian Bible we have today.  The Law (also called the Pentateuch or the Torah) consists of the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis to Deuteronomy). This section is referred to as the Law because it contains the laws for the nation of Israel as laid down by God through the prophet Moses.  The Prophets consists of the books of Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, and the prophet books Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve Prophets.  The Writings consists of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, I & II Chronicles. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible consists of the same writings as those listed above - they are simply included in a different order than that of the Hebrew Bible. The English Christian Bible took its arrangement from the Latin Bible (called the Vulgate) which, in turn, took its arrangement from the Greek Bible (referred to as the Septuagint). Few debate that during the time of Jesus the books contained in the first two sections (the Law and the Prophets) contained the same books as contained in the Hebrew Bible today. More conjecture has been associated with the third section - the Writings. It is most likely, however, that this section, too, contained the same books as contained in today's Hebrew Bible. When Jesus was summarizing the martyrs of the Old Testament he used the expression "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah". It is clear why Abel would be considered the first martyr in the Bible (Genesis), but why would Jesus refer to Zechariah as the last? Because in the Hebrew Bible (both of Jesus' time and of today) the last book is 2 Chronicles and there Zechariah is the last martyr to be named (2 Chronicles 24:21). Hence, Jesus was summarizing the whole of the Old Testament scriptures when he summarized Abel to Zechariah.
  • Throughout history, the list of the books of the Hebrew Bible has been recorded by various figures. These include:  Philo (20? B.C. - 50 A.D.), the learned Jew of Alexandria and a contemporary of Jesus  Josephus (37 or 38 - 101? A.D.), the non-Christian Jewish historian  Melito (about 170 A.D.), the bishop of Sartis  Origen (185? - 254? A.D.), the foremost Greek Biblical scholar  Jerome (347 - 420 A.D.), the foremost Latin Biblical scholar While the lists generated throughout history have sometimes differed in the total number of books they contained, most scholars attribute the difference to various ways in which the lists' authors grouped the books together. (For example, Ezra and Nehemiah were sometimes considered as a single book rather than two separate books. Likewise, Lamentations has sometimes been considered an appendix to Jeremiah. There are other examples as well.) While there are exceptions, the majority of historical records indicate remarkable agreement as to the content of the Hebrew canon (the Christian Old Testament). The New Testament While by its very nature the canonicity of the New Testament cannot carry with it the endorsement of Jesus Christ as does the Old (since it was not written until after his death and resurrection), there is nonetheless ample substantiation of the recognized authority of the New Testament books. The New Testament consists of 27 books (or letters) which, for the most part, were written prior to the start of the second century (100 A.D.). The first four (the Gospels) contain written accounts of the teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ. The books which follow interpret Jesus' teaching and explain how to apply it to daily life. It would appear that until about 50-60 A.D. there was no need for a written account of the Gospel. This is because the eyewitnesses were still living who could pass on the information first-hand. However, since the apostles were to grow old and pass away like everybody else, it later became necessary to have written accounts of the life of Jesus so that the facts would not get distorted with the passage of time. As a result, certain of the apostles and their associates penned the accounts we now have included as the four gospels. Towards the end of the first century, it appears the four gospel accounts were gathered together into a single collection called "The Gospel". (The various accounts were distinguished by adding According to Matthew, According to Mark, etc.) At roughly the same time the letters written by the apostle Paul were also gathered together into a collection referred to as "The Apostle". While these collections represent the beginning of
  • what eventually came to be regarded as the New Testament canon, they were not yet formally grouped together and designated as such. In about 140 A.D., a man named Marcion arrived in Rome and began preaching a distorted version of the teachings included in The Gospel and The Apostle. This movement grew to such an extent that the Christian church leaders saw the necessity to more clearly formalize the distinction between what was and was not authoritative scripture. This led to the formalization of the list of writings considered authoritative by the Christian church (the New Testament canon). Factors which the early church used in deciding whether a book was to be regarded as canonical included:  Apostolic Authorship - Was the letter written by one of Jesus' apostles or one of their close associates?  Authoritative Recognition - Was the book generally regarded by the various congregations of the early church as authoritative?  Doctrinal Soundness - Were the teachings of the book in keeping with the apostolic faith? It is important to note that when putting together the list of authoritative books, the church leaders did not arbitrarily generate a list of books that henceforth would be considered authoritative; rather, they simply documented and formalized the list of books which the early Christian church already considered authoritative. As with the Old Testament, the list of canonical New Testament books has been recorded and re-recorded throughout the course of history by several notable figures, including:  Origen (see above)  Eusebius, Pope from 309-310 A.D. The first known list which includes the 27 books which Christians recognize today appeared in the Festal Letter written by Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, to the churches when announcing the date of Easter in 367 A.D. Later, Jerome and Augustine produced canonical lists containing the same 27 books. In summary, the New Testament canon was not produced by the simple decree of any church governing body. Rather, like the Old Testament, the New Testament took shape over a period of time as the oral teachings of the original apostles were written down and distributed among the early Christian churches. The early church then documented and formalized the already recognized list of authoritative writings in order to prevent the distortion of the truth over the passage of time.
  • The New Testament While by its very nature the canonicity of the New Testament cannot carry with it the endorsement of Jesus Christ as does the Old (since it was not written until after his death and resurrection), there is nonetheless ample substantiation of the recognized authority of the New Testament books. The New Testament consists of 27 books (or letters) which, for the most part, were written prior to the start of the second century (100 A.D.). The first four (the Gospels) contain written accounts of the teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ. The books which follow interpret Jesus' teaching and explain how to apply it to daily life. It would appear that until about 50-60 A.D. there was no need for a written account of the Gospel. This is because the eyewitnesses were still living who could pass on the information first-hand. However, since the apostles were to grow old and pass away like everybody else, it later became necessary to have written accounts of the life of Jesus so that the facts would not get distorted with the passage of time. As a result, certain of the apostles and their associates penned the accounts we now have included as the four gospels. Towards the end of the first century, it appears the four gospel accounts were gathered together into a single collection called "The Gospel". (The various accounts were distinguished by adding According to Matthew, According to Mark, etc.) At roughly the same time the letters written by the apostle Paul were also gathered together into a collection referred to as "The Apostle". While these collections represent the beginning of what eventually came to be regarded as the New Testament canon, they were not yet formally grouped together and designated as such. In about 140 A.D., a man named Marcion arrived in Rome and began preaching a distorted version of the teachings included in The Gospel and The Apostle. This movement grew to such an extent that the Christian church leaders saw the necessity to more clearly formalize the distinction between what was and was not authoritative scripture. This led to the formalization of the list of writings considered authoritative by the Christian church (the New Testament canon). Factors which the early church used in deciding whether a book was to be regarded as canonical included:  Apostolic Authorship - Was the letter written by one of Jesus' apostles or one of their close associates?  Authoritative Recognition - Was the book generally regarded by the various congregations of the early church as authoritative?  Doctrinal Soundness - Were the teachings of the book in keeping with the apostolic faith? It is important to note that when putting together the list of authoritative books, the church leaders did not arbitrarily generate a list of books that henceforth would be
  • considered authoritative; rather, they simply documented and formalized the list of books which the early Christian church already considered authoritative. As with the Old Testament, the list of canonical New Testament books has been recorded and re-recorded throughout the course of history by several notable figures, including:  Origen (see above)  Eusebius, Pope from 309-310 A.D. The first known list which includes the 27 books which Christians recognize today appeared in the Festal Letter written by Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, to the churches when announcing the date of Easter in 367 A.D. Later, Jerome and Augustine produced canonical lists containing the same 27 books. In summary, the New Testament canon was not produced by the simple decree of any church governing body. Rather, like the Old Testament, the New Testament took shape over a period of time as the oral teachings of the original apostles were written down and distributed among the early Christian churches. The early church then documented and formalized the already recognized list of authoritative writings in order to prevent the distortion of the truth over the passage of time. Notes From the chapter titled "Three Gates That Open the Scriptures” in the study guide A Look at the Book: A Bible Survey, co-authored by Lee Hough and Bryce Klabunde, from the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll (Fullerton, California: Insight for Living, 1994), pp. 1-10. F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments: How We Got Our English Bible, pp. 86- 104. Used by permission of Baker Book House Company, Copyright © 1950, 1963, 1984 by Fleming H. Revell. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Book House Company. (See Site Links Page) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company, see "canon."
  • Chapter 3 Who is the bible about? http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/plaintexthistories.asp?historyid=ab85 The Old Testament In answering the question for this chapter, which is Chapter 3, as you have noticed I have used the web address above to help with this chapter. As we look at the question for this chapter here, the first thing that we are going to focus upon is the Old Testament. And after focusing on the Old Testament, we are going to use another source for the New Testament. So what it is that I am going to do here is help you to understand the Old Testament, so that you can understand the New Testament. So in addressing both the Old and New Testament there are two sources I am going to use. And when I get to that second source that I am going to use I will give that to you also, as I given it to you for the Old Testament. The bible is from biblos the word biblos it means in the Greek Language for the word book. The bible from Biblos (The Greek word for book) it is the basis, of two great religions, and those religions they are Judaism in the Old Testament, and Christianity in the New Testament. In each case it brings together, a book of documents, to tell the story of the founders, and of the early followers, of the religion. And so in doing it also, explains their beliefs. The conventional sources of evidence that is historical, evidence (archaeological remains, written documents) provide few traces of the Old Testament story and none at all of the events described in the New Testament. Yet in the Bible the early Jews and Christians provide an account of themselves which is unparalleled, among religious groups of those times, in its wealth of detail. The books that are off the Jewish bible they are believed, to have been written over several centuries, beginning in the 10th century BC - by which time the Hebrews are settled in Canaan, or Palestine. But in many parts the scribes are writing down a much older oral tradition. It is thought that some of the events described may go back as far as the 18th century BC. The holiest part of the bible, that is for the Jews it is the first five books, known as the torah ('instruction' or 'law' in Hebrew). In non-Jewish sources these books are sometimes called the Pentateuch ('five scrolls' in Greek, from a translation done in Alexandria). Genesis it is the first book of the Torah and it begins, with a resolutely monotheistic story of the creation and goes on to provide a series of myths which can be echoed in other religions - the fall of man into a state of sin through disobedience (Adam and Eve eating the apple), a great flood which sweeps away the whole of sinful mankind except for one small group of survivors (Noah and his family), and the emergence of different languages (God's punishment for man's presumption in building the mighty tower of Babel, which almost reaches to heaven). With the entry of Abraham, Genesis reaches the story of the Bible's own people, the Hebrews. Abrahams People: 18-13th Century BC
  • In the book of Genesis Abraham he is a Patriarch of a tribe that is nomadic. The story it has him moving through Mesopatamia (from Ur to Harran) and then down into Canaan - a land which, God promises, his descendants will inherit. Many tribes they move with their flock, they move among the settled cities of Mesopotamia and Phoenicia. No doubt several, from time to time, have charismatic leaders long remembered by their descendants. There is no reason to doubt that a figure such as Abraham exists, and scholars put his likely date at about 1800 BC. What makes him significant is the idea of his pact with God, by which God will help Abraham's people in return for their fulfilling God's law. This is the covenant at the heart of the story of the Hebrews. Abraham his grandson, who was Jacob, whose story provides the origin of the tribal division of the Hebrews. When God renews the covenant with Jacob he gives him a new name, Israel. Jacob eventually has twelve sons, from each of whom a tribe descends - the twelve tribes of Israel. In Genesis the sons that are of Jacob causes his family to move to Egypt - first by selling one of their number (Joseph) into slavery there, and then by moving south themselves in a time of famine. People called habiru feature in Egyptian records. They have been identified by some scholars with the Hebrews, but there is no firm evidence to prove the link. Moses and the Exodus In Exodus, which is the second book of the Torah, the religious identity of the Hebrew tribes, is firmly established through the leadership, and through the the leadership and inspiration of Moses - as he brings them north towards Canaan, escaping from a state of slavery in Egypt. It is to Moses that God he reveals his name from the burning bush. In God speaking to Moses from the burning bush this is what God said to Moses. Here God says to Moses (putting this in my own words) that I am who I am. Going back to the page I am going to put it the way it is on the page and this is now how the page reads, this is what it says. so let me restate it according to the web page I am coming from I am just going to give you the rest of the information off of this page, since I mainly have already started with putting it together in my own words, so now I am going to give you the rest of this page text. So to continue when God speaks to Moses out of the Burning Bush here is how it went down and then as we get off of Moses we will continue with this It is to Moses that God reveals his name (from the burning bush), saying 'I Am Who I Am'. This gives him a name written with four Hebrew letters, YHWH, meaning 'He Who Is'. God's name is later considered too holy to be spoken, but with its vowels added it is Yahweh. In Christian versions of the Old Testament it becomes written as Jehovah.
  • God also reveals to Moses the ten commandments. If the Hebrews obey these laws, God will favour them as his chosen people and will bring them into the promised land of Canaan. This pact is a renewal and development of the long-standing covenant between God and the Hebrews. It now becomes literally the centrepiece of the Hebrew religion. God, in Exodus, tells Moses to engrave the laws upon two tablets of stone and to place them in a wooden chest covered in pure gold. This chest is the ark of the covenant. As the most sacred object of the Hebrew cult, it will eventually be housed in the inner sanctuary of the temple at Jerusalem. In Exodus and the three remaining books of the Torah, the Hebrews are wandering in the Sinai desert under the leadership of Moses and of his elder brother Aaron, later seen as the prototype of the Hebrew priesthood. The third book, Leviticus, is priestly material - largely given over to listing the proper details of ritual and sacrifice. The fourth, Numbers, describes something of the social and political structure of the tribes on the slow journey north towards the promised land. Deuteronomy is an amplification of God's law for his people. At the end of Deuteronomy Moses glimpses the land promised by God to Abraham, but dies before he can enter it. The Torah: 1000-400 BC The five books of the Torah, made up of passages composed at various times from the reign of David onwards, are amalgamated and amplified by the priests in about 400 BC. They attribute all five books to Moses, inspired by God. The underlying purpose of the priests is to reinforce the identity of the Jewish community after the return to Jerusalem. In this they succeed beyond all possible expectation. The Torah becomes, and remains today, the centre of Judaism. The most sacred part of a synagogue is the ark containing the Scrolls of the Law. Reading from them, in a cycle
  • which completes the Torah each year, is the heart of the liturgy. After the five books of the Torah, the Old Testament consists of material which can be classed in three categories. There are historical books, continuing the story of the children of Israel; prophetic books, in which the prophets (in effect preachers) castigate the Israelites for their sins and warn them of the wrath of God to come; and poetic works, ranging from the devotional (Psalms) to the more literary (Song of Solomon). In Jewish Bibles the warnings of the prophets are interspersed with the history, of which they are indeed an important part. In the Christian arrangement the prophets are kept to the end, after the poetic books. Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings: 11th - 8th century BC The historical books of the Bible begin with two, Joshua and Judges, which describe the attempts of the Hebrews to enter the promised land. In spite of the resounding story about the walls of Jericho falling down when Joshua (the chosen successor of Moses) marches round them, the texts make it plain that the move into Canaan is a long and fiercely contested process - with the various tribes achieving their own small victories and glorying in their own local heroes. The most famous of these heroes is Samson, a great slayer of the people who are the Hebrews' main rivals for this land of milk and honey. They are The Philistines.
  • The peak of the Israelite achievement is described in the two books of Samuel. These tell how the tribes of Israel finally unite against the Philistines. Samuel, a combination of priest, prophet, soldier and politician, anoints Saul as king and thus creates the Israelite monarchy. Saul's success is limited, and it is not until the throne has been usurped by David that the monarchy in Israel is secure. It then seems to go into a steady decline, from Solomon onwards (as described in Kings). Even so, David's dynasty will rule for 400 years. And moral decline has certain attractions, as a theme, for the stern prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel: 8th - 6th century BC The message of the prophets is a constant one. The threats facing Israel are the direct result of the failure of the people and of their rulers to live according to God's commandments. The disasters, when they come, will be God's punishment. But by the same token there is hope. The Israelites are, after all, his chosen people. If they repent and mend their ways, he will again protect them. Among the three major prophets, Isaiah preaches in the 8th century when the threat is from Assyria; Jeremiah pronounces doom in the early 6th century, when the enemy is Babylon; and Ezekiel, in exile, comments a few years later on the same disasters, after Jerusalem has fallen to the Babylonians. A variable text: from the 5th century BC After the return from Babylon the priests in Jerusalem are determined to establish a definitive text of the Bible. Scrolls are exhibited in the Temple forecourt, against which other manuscripts can be checked and corrected. Yet over the centuries the text becomes increasingly subject to change for a purely practical reason.
  • The original version shows only the consonants. To help in the study of the Torah, schools add vowels and accents to give assistance when reading aloud. This allows ample opportunity for variations to creep in. Masoretic text: 9th century AD The problem is not finally resolved until a major effort in the 9th century AD by Jewish scholars in Jerusalem and in Baghdad (the successor city to Babylon) results at last in consensus. Their agreed Hebrew Bible becomes the standard for all subsequent manuscript copies, and thereafter for printed versions. As guardians of the biblical text these scholars are called Masoretes. The authorized version is known as the Masoretic text. Meanwhile the Hebrew Bible becomes the first body of sacred scripture to be translated - in the form of the Septuagint, for the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria. And it acquires a new and influential identity as the Old Testament, prefacing the New Testament of the Christians. What is the bible about? The New Testament http://www.maplenet.net/~trowbridge/NT_Hist.htm Introduction A Brief History of the New Testament In the two thousand years since the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the world of Christendom has seen incredible changes, including a split with the Eastern Orthodox Church and a Protestant Reformation, accompanied by a rejection of much core ideology. Yet throughout it all, the collection of scripture called the New Testament has remained unchanged and largely unquestioned, even though it was assembled by the same church leaders whose beliefs many now refute. To challenge the veracity of the canonical New Testament is, at best, an uncomfortable position; such questions strike at the very heart of most Christians' faith. Nevertheless, these sacred writings have come to us only after decades of oral traditions and centuries
  • of scribal rewrites, much according to the beliefs of select groups in the early days of Christianity. It is only by attempting to study the origins and evolution of the New Testament scriptures that one can hope to discover the true historical Jesus—a worthy goal of any Christian believer. The source texts: Sifting through the scores of different English versions of the New Testament, one is poignantly reminded of how translation, particularly of archaic language, is subject to personal interpretation. It is therefore vitally important that we get as close to the original source as possible. The oldest surviving complete text of the New Testament is the Codex Sinaiticus, dating back to the middle of the fourth century. The oldest fragments, the Bodmer and Beatty Papyri and Papyrus 52, date back to the second century but only contain bits of the Gospel of John. All of these texts are Greek. This presents a few disturbing problems. First, Jesus's native tongue was Aramaic, and even if he knew Greek, he certainly did not speak it to his apostles, many of whom were uneducated fishermen. Without any surviving Aramaic texts, the actual words of Christ are lost forever, mired in a sea of subjective translation by ancient scribes. Second, we are faced with a gap of as much as three hundred years between the composition of a text and our surviving copies. In a world without a printing press, texts would often undergo drastic evolution through centuries of handwritten duplication. Origins of the canon: Our four canonical gospels did not begin their lives as the gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" and "John." Different groups of early Christians maintained their own oral traditions of Jesus's wisdom, as writing was a specialized skill and not every fellowship enjoyed the services of a scribe. When written accounts of Jesus's teachings began to circulate (i.e., the theoretical "sayings" gospel Q and the Semeia or Signs source), the independent groups would supplement them with their own traditions about the savior, each believing their own versions to be "the Gospel." Eventually, as these expanded writings spread through other communities, some versions were viewed as having more authority than others. It was not until the pronouncement of Bishop Irenus (185 C.E.) that Christians began to accept only the four familiar gospels as authoritative, and to refer to them by their modern titles. The rest of the canon was much slower to develop. For the next two centuries, the four gospels would be coupled with a myriad of different letters, epistles, stories and apocalypses, according to what a particular congregation judged as relevant to their understanding of Jesus Christ and his message. Catholicism was only one of the dozens of "denominations" within the early church—Gnosticism was prevalent throughout Egypt, Montanism in Asia Minor, Marcionism in Syria. Eventually, the Catholic church was adopted as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and all other systems of belief were branded as heresies. Following the Epistle of Athanasius in 367 C.E., the Church finally reached agreement upon which writings were truly authentic and representative of
  • apostolic tradition, thus forming what we know today as the canonical New Testament. Although factions of the Church continued to debate the merits of various books for centuries, and many even used other writings in their liturgy, most uncanonical writings were ordered to be destroyed. In many cases, possession of heretical literature was punishable by death. We are extremely fortunate that many of these texts have survived the millennia, giving us insights into the development of various early Christian traditions. In the two thousand years since the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the world of Christendom has seen incredible changes, including a split with the Eastern Orthodox Church and a Protestant Reformation, accompanied by a rejection of much core ideology. Yet throughout it all, the collection of scripture called the New Testament has remained unchanged and largely unquestioned, even though it was assembled by the same church leaders whose beliefs many now refute. To challenge the veracity of the canonical New Testament is, at best, an uncomfortable position; such questions strike at the very heart of most Christians' faith. Nevertheless, these sacred writings have come to us only after decades of oral traditions and centuries of scribal rewrites, much according to the beliefs of select groups in the early days of Christianity. It is only by attempting to study the origins and evolution of the New Testament scriptures that one can hope to discover the true historical Jesus—a worthy goal of any Christian believer. The source texts: Sifting through the scores of different English versions of the New Testament, one is poignantly reminded of how translation, particularly of archaic language, is subject to personal interpretation. It is therefore vitally important that we get as close to the original source as possible. The oldest surviving complete text of the New Testament is the Codex Sinaiticus, dating back to the middle of the fourth century. The oldest fragments, the Bodmer and Beatty Papyri and Papyrus 52, date back to the second century but only contain bits of the Gospel of John. All of these texts are Greek. This presents a few disturbing problems. First, Jesus's native tongue was Aramaic, and even if he knew Greek, he certainly did not speak it to his apostles, many of whom were uneducated fishermen. Without any surviving Aramaic texts, the actual words of Christ are lost forever, mired in a sea of subjective translation by ancient scribes. Second, we are faced with a gap of as much as three hundred years between the composition of a text and our surviving copies. In a world without a printing press, texts would often undergo drastic evolution through centuries of handwritten duplication. Origins of the canon: Our four canonical gospels did not begin their lives as the gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" and "John." Different groups of early Christians maintained their own oral traditions of Jesus's wisdom, as writing was a specialized skill and not every fellowship
  • enjoyed the services of a scribe. When written accounts of Jesus's teachings began to circulate (i.e., the theoretical "sayings" gospel Q and the Semeia or Signs source), the independent groups would supplement them with their own traditions about the savior, each believing their own versions to be "the Gospel." Eventually, as these expanded writings spread through other communities, some versions were viewed as having more authority than others. It was not until the pronouncement of Bishop Irenus (185 C.E.) that Christians began to accept only the four familiar gospels as authoritative, and to refer to them by their modern titles. The rest of the canon was much slower to develop. For the next two centuries, the four gospels would be coupled with a myriad of different letters, epistles, stories and apocalypses, according to what a particular congregation judged as relevant to their understanding of Jesus Christ and his message. Catholicism was only one of the dozens of "denominations" within the early church—Gnosticism was prevalent throughout Egypt, Montanism in Asia Minor, Marcionism in Syria. Eventually, the Catholic church was adopted as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and all other systems of belief were branded as heresies. Following the Epistle of Athanasius in 367 C.E., the Church finally reached agreement upon which writings were truly authentic and representative of apostolic tradition, thus forming what we know today as the canonical New Testament. Although factions of the Church continued to debate the merits of various books for centuries, and many even used other writings in their liturgy, most uncanonical writings were ordered to be destroyed. In many cases, possession of heretical literature was punishable by death. We are extremely fortunate that many of these texts have survived the millennia, giving us insights into the development of various early Christian traditions. In the two thousand years since the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the world of Christendom has seen incredible changes, including a split with the Eastern Orthodox Church and a Protestant Reformation, accompanied by a rejection of much core ideology. Yet throughout it all, the collection of scripture called the New Testament has remained unchanged and largely unquestioned, even though it was assembled by the same church leaders whose beliefs many now refute. To challenge the veracity of the canonical New Testament is, at best, an uncomfortable position; such questions strike at the very heart of most Christians' faith. Nevertheless, these sacred writings have come to us only after decades of oral traditions and centuries of scribal rewrites, much according to the beliefs of select groups in the early days of Christianity. It is only by attempting to study the origins and evolution of the New Testament scriptures that one can hope to discover the true historical Jesus—a worthy goal of any Christian believer. The source texts: Sifting through the scores of different English versions of the New Testament, one is poignantly reminded of how translation, particularly of archaic language, is subject to personal interpretation. It is therefore vitally important that we get as close to the original source as possible. The oldest surviving complete text of the New Testament is the Codex
  • Sinaiticus, dating back to the middle of the fourth century. The oldest fragments, the Bodmer and Beatty Papyri and Papyrus 52, date back to the second century but only contain bits of the Gospel of John. All of these texts are Greek. This presents a few disturbing problems. First, Jesus's native tongue was Aramaic, and even if he knew Greek, he certainly did not speak it to his apostles, many of whom were uneducated fishermen. Without any surviving Aramaic texts, the actual words of Christ are lost forever, mired in a sea of subjective translation by ancient scribes. Second, we are faced with a gap of as much as three hundred years between the composition of a text and our surviving copies. In a world without a printing press, texts would often undergo drastic evolution through centuries of handwritten duplication. Origins of the canon: Our four canonical gospels did not begin their lives as the gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" and "John." Different groups of early Christians maintained their own oral traditions of Jesus's wisdom, as writing was a specialized skill and not every fellowship enjoyed the services of a scribe. When written accounts of Jesus's teachings began to circulate (i.e., the theoretical "sayings" gospel Q and the Semeia or Signs source), the independent groups would supplement them with their own traditions about the savior, each believing their own versions to be "the Gospel." Eventually, as these expanded writings spread through other communities, some versions were viewed as having more authority than others. It was not until the pronouncement of Bishop Irenus (185 C.E.) that Christians began to accept only the four familiar gospels as authoritative, and to refer to them by their modern titles. The rest of the canon was much slower to develop. For the next two centuries, the four gospels would be coupled with a myriad of different letters, epistles, stories and apocalypses, according to what a particular congregation judged as relevant to their understanding of Jesus Christ and his message. Catholicism was only one of the dozens of "denominations" within the early church—Gnosticism was prevalent throughout Egypt, Montanism in Asia Minor, Marcionism in Syria. Eventually, the Catholic church was adopted as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and all other systems of belief were branded as heresies. Following the Epistle of Athanasius in 367 C.E., the Church finally reached agreement upon which writings were truly authentic and representative of apostolic tradition, thus forming what we know today as the canonical New Testament. Although factions of the Church continued to debate the merits of various books for centuries, and many even used other writings in their liturgy, most uncanonical writings were ordered to be destroyed. In many cases, possession of heretical literature was punishable by death. We are extremely fortunate that many of these texts have survived the millennia, giving us insights into the development of various early Christian traditions. In the two thousand years since the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the world of Christendom has seen incredible changes, including a split with the Eastern Orthodox Church and a Protestant Reformation, accompanied by a rejection of much core ideology. Yet
  • throughout it all, the collection of scripture called the New Testament has remained unchanged and largely unquestioned, even though it was assembled by the same church leaders whose beliefs many now refute. To challenge the veracity of the canonical New Testament is, at best, an uncomfortable position; such questions strike at the very heart of most Christians' faith. Nevertheless, these sacred writings have come to us only after decades of oral traditions and centuries of scribal rewrites, much according to the beliefs of select groups in the early days of Christianity. It is only by attempting to study the origins and evolution of the New Testament scriptures that one can hope to discover the true historical Jesus—a worthy goal of any Christian believer. The source texts: Sifting through the scores of different English versions of the New Testament, one is poignantly reminded of how translation, particularly of archaic language, is subject to personal interpretation. It is therefore vitally important that we get as close to the original source as possible. The oldest surviving complete text of the New Testament is the Codex Sinaiticus, dating back to the middle of the fourth century. The oldest fragments, the Bodmer and Beatty Papyri and Papyrus 52, date back to the second century but only contain bits of the Gospel of John. All of these texts are Greek. This presents a few disturbing problems. First, Jesus's native tongue was Aramaic, and even if he knew Greek, he certainly did not speak it to his apostles, many of whom were uneducated fishermen. Without any surviving Aramaic texts, the actual words of Christ are lost forever, mired in a sea of subjective translation by ancient scribes. Second, we are faced with a gap of as much as three hundred years between the composition of a text and our surviving copies. In a world without a printing press, texts would often undergo drastic evolution through centuries of handwritten duplication. Origins of the canon: Our four canonical gospels did not begin their lives as the gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" and "John." Different groups of early Christians maintained their own oral traditions of Jesus's wisdom, as writing was a specialized skill and not every fellowship enjoyed the services of a scribe. When written accounts of Jesus's teachings began to circulate (i.e., the theoretical "sayings" gospel Q and the Semeia or Signs source), the independent groups would supplement them with their own traditions about the savior, each believing their own versions to be "the Gospel." Eventually, as these expanded writings spread through other communities, some versions were viewed as having more authority than others. It was not until the pronouncement of Bishop Irenus (185 C.E.) that Christians began to accept only the four familiar gospels as authoritative, and to refer to them by their modern titles. The rest of the canon was much slower to develop. For the next two centuries, the four gospels would be coupled with a myriad of different letters, epistles, stories and
  • apocalypses, according to what a particular congregation judged as relevant to their understanding of Jesus Christ and his message. Catholicism was only one of the dozens of "denominations" within the early church—Gnosticism was prevalent throughout Egypt, Montanism in Asia Minor, Marcionism in Syria. Eventually, the Catholic church was adopted as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and all other systems of belief were branded as heresies. Following the Epistle of Athanasius in 367 C.E., the Church finally reached agreement upon which writings were truly authentic and representative of apostolic tradition, thus forming what we know today as the canonical New Testament. Although factions of the Church continued to debate the merits of various books for centuries, and many even used other writings in their liturgy, most uncanonical writings were ordered to be destroyed. In many cases, possession of heretical literature was punishable by death. We are extremely fortunate that many of these texts have survived the millennia, giving us insights into the development of various early Christian traditions. NARRATIVE GOSPELS The word gospel is the English translation of the Greek evangelion, which literally means "the good news." The first known use of the word in Christian writings was by Paul, who referred to the message about salvation through Christ. It was not until the writings of Justin Martyr in the mid-second century that the term began to be used specifically in reference to scriptures about the deeds and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The four gospels in the canonical New Testament are of the narrative variety— specifically, they tell the story of Jesus's life, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection as handed down through decades of oral tradition. However, these four by no means represent all of the traditions of the day, but only the select few that were precisely in accord with the orthodox (Catholic) beliefs of the late fourth century. Three of the four (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are derived from at least one common source, and are referred to as the "synoptic" gospels due to their similarities. Even those who unwaveringly accept only the canonical accounts can still benefit from a study of the apocryphal narratives and why they were rejected by the Catholic church.  Gospel of Matthew (canon)  Gospel of Mark (canon)  Gospel of Luke (canon)  Gospel of John (canon)  Gospel of Peter (1, 4, 6, 7)  Secret Gospel of Mark (1, 2, 6, 7)  Egerton Gospel (1, 6, 7)  Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel (1, 6, 7)
  •  Gospel of the Hebrews (1, 2, 6, 7)  Gospel of the Ebionites (1, 2, 6, 7)  Gospel of the Nazoreans (1, 6, 7)  Gospel of Nicodemus (see Acts of Pilate) INFANCY GOSPELS The earliest Christian writings (i.e., the letters of Paul) focus on Jesus's death and resurrection. By the time the gospels of Matthew and Luke were penned, the focus was also upon the circumstances of His birth. Eventually, the infancy gospel developed as a separate format to supplement the traditions in the narrative gospels.  Infancy Gospel of James (1, 2, 4, 6, 7)  Infancy Gospel of Thomas (1, 2, 4 [late redactions], 6, 7)  Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (2, 6)  Birth of Mary (4) ACTS The apocryphal Acts were intended to supplement the gospels and canonical Acts with narrative details about the missionary work of the individual apostles. The five primary Acts in particular (those of Peter, Paul, John, Andrew and Thomas) were widely popular in the early church and the traditions contained therein are still accepted by many Christians today. Because of their relatively late dates of composition, however, the historic validity of these Acts is questionable.  Acts of the Apostles (canon)  Acts of Peter (2, 6, 3 [Coptic only])  Acts of John (2, 6, 7 [chs. 87-105 only])  Acts of Paul (2, 6 [inc. 3 Corinthians], 4 [Paul and Thecla only])  Acts of Andrew (2, 6)  Acts of Thomas (2, 6)  Acts of Pilate (2, 4, 6, 7)
  • SAYINGS GOSPELS The format of the sayings gospel is derived from Jewish Wisdom literature, and seeks to preserve not an historical or biographical history of Jesus, but rather a collection of his teachings in the form of isolated sayings or hypothetical dialogue. While no sayings gospels were canonized into the New Testament, most scholars theorize that such a gospel ("Q") was used as a source by Matthew and Luke.  Gospel of Thomas (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)  Gospel of Mary (1, 3)  Secret Book of James (1, 2, 3, 7, 8)  Secret Book of John (2, 3, 8)  Dialogue of the Savior (1, 3, 7)  Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel (1, 6)  Epistula Apostolorum (6, 7) EPISTLES  Letter of Paul to the Galatians (canon)  First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians (canon)  Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians (canon)  Letter of Paul to the Romans (canon)  First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (canon)  Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (canon)  Letter of Paul to the Philippians (canon)  Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (canon)  Letter of Paul to the Colossians (canon)  First Letter of Paul to Timothy (canon)  Second Letter of Paul to Timothy (canon)  Letter of Paul to Titus (canon)  Letter of Paul to Philemon (canon)
  •  Letter to the Hebrews (canon)  Letter of James (canon)  First Letter of Peter (canon)  Second Letter of Peter (canon)  First Letter of John (canon)  Second Letter of John (canon)  Third Letter of John (canon)  Letter of Jude (canon)  Letter of Paul to the Laodiceans (4, 6)  Third Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (see Acts of Paul)  Letters of Paul to Seneca (4, 6)  Didache (5)  Letters of Clement to the Corinthians (4)  Epistle of Barnabas (4, 5)  Letters of Ignatius (4)  Epistle of Polycarp (4, 5)  Letters of Pilate and Herod (4, 6)  Letters of Christ and Abgarus (4, 6)  Letter to Diognetus (5)  Shepherd of Hermas (4)  Gospel of Truth (2, 3)  Gospel of Philip (2, 3) APOCALYPSES  Apocalypse of John (canon)  Apocalypse of Peter (Akhmm) (2, 6)
  •  Apocalypse of Peter (Gnostic) (3)  Apocalypse of Paul (Visio Pauli) (2, 6)  Apocalypse of Paul (Gnostic) (3)  Book of Thomas (the Contender) (2, 3, 8)  Apocalypse of Thomas (2, 6)  I, II Apocalypse of James (3)  Questions of Bartholomew (2, 6) Written and maintained by Geoff Trowbridge, 6/97 "The canon is neither a total nor a random collection of early Christian texts. It is both deliberate and selective and it excludes just as surely as it includes. I would even say that you cannot understand what is included in the canon unless you understand what was excluded from it. When the [extracanonical] gospels are played over against the four canonical gospels, both the products and the processes of those latter texts appear in a radically different light." — John Dominic Crossan, Prof. Religious Studies, DePaul Univ. Return to the Introduction Return to Geoff and Heidi's homepage
  • Chapter 4 Why sometimes is the bible taken out of context? The reason why sometimes the bible, is taken out of context, is because people they try to put it to fit themselves. And also not only that but some people do not fully understand the bible so they try and draw there own conclusion, stand on their own understanding of the bible which is the true and living word of God. For my reasearch for this chapter I have used the website http://contextbible.com/context.html and I am going to give to you what it says. This is what the article reads concerning what we are addressing within this chapter. I am going to go straight from it, and I am going to leave it the way it is. THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT IN BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION by Jack Seay, copyright 1988, jackseay@sbcglobal.net Home Page Of the reasons Christians disagree, an inadequate knowledge of what the Bible teaches tops the list. If many more Christians learned to interpret the Bible in context, quite a few denominational differences could disappear. When interpreters from various groups have worked together to unfold the meaning of a passage, agreement on many significant conclusions have been reached. Thus hermeneutics [biblical interpretation] is a potent unifying force in the Christian church. * * A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Interpreting The Bible, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1963), p. vii. Unfortunately, many people would like to have churches unite by compromising the truth. A much better unity will result by going to the Bible and studying it in all it's contexts, allowing it to teach us. The test of what is true should not be denominational creeds or doctrinal statements. What we believe should not be based on tradition, church history, personal opinion, wishful thinking, prejudice, bias, or unquestioning acceptance of what we have been taught. The final test of truth is the accurate interpretation of the Bible in any area it touches upon. God has shared with man a part of His infinite knowledge. We must find out what He meant by what He said. Simply stated, the task of interpreters of the Bible is to find out the meaning of a statement (command, question) for the author and for the first hearers or readers, and thereupon to transmit that meaning to modern readers. The interpreter will observe whether a given statement tends to be understood by a modern reader identically, similarly, or differently from the sense intended by the writer, and will adjust his explanation accordingly. * * Mickelsen, Interpreting The Bible, p. 5 I will give examples of four contexts to keep in mind when studying the Bible. First there are the surrounding verses. Second is the cultural setting. Third is the book of the Bible
  • the passage is in. Forth is the teaching of the rest of the Bible. "Do not accept anything heard nor written until you have checked the scriptures in the light of contexts." * * William S. Dillon, Commentary On The Book Of Matthew. (River Grove, Ill.: Voice Of Melody, 1976) p.5 Many verses of the Bible are routinely taken out of their immediate contexts and misinterpreted. 1Jo 4:4 is a good example of this. You, dear children, are from God and overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. * * All verses (unless otherwise noted) are quoted from the New International Version, (New York International Bible Society, 1978) This verse is commonly taught as meaning that God is greater than Satan. However in verse 1 of this chapter, the one in the world is defined as being a false prophet. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. The words "spirit" and "spirits" in this context refer to intelligent beings - men, not demons or Satan. ("spirit" in 1Jo 4:6 refers to their teachings) This can be verified by comparing 1Jo 4:2,3 with Luk 4:3 and Mat 8:29 . 1 Joh 4:2,3 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. Luk 4:3 The devil said to him, "If [in view of the fact that * ] you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." * "If" is more accurately translated here from the New Testament: An Expanded Translation, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961) Mat 8:29 "What do you want from us, Son of God?" they [demons] shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" In the passage in I John, it states that if a spirit agrees with the divine incarnation of Christ, that spirit is from God. The other passages in Luke and Matthew are examples of both Satan and demons acknowledging that very fact. Obviously, in both the immediate context of I John 4 and when contrasted with other passages, the reference is to human "spirits" or intellects, not Satan or demons. Another example of a verse clarified by the immediate context is Mat 3:11 . "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
  • Those who are pleading with God for a baptism with fire might reconsider if they connect this verse with the one following it. Mat 3:12 "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering the wheat into his barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Baptism with fire is hell. An example of the importance of cultural setting can be found in 1Co 11:3,4 . Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. In the Corinthian Greek culture if a man wore a head covering in public worship, he dishonored his head, that is, Christ. This was different from the Jewish and Roman cultures, where a man wore a head covering as a symbol of his humility before God. Therefore, the application of these particular verses depends on the customs of a society. * * William S. Dillon, God's Work In God's Way, (Sanford, FL: Brown Gold Publications, 1972), p. 150. The purpose for a book being written has an important influence on the meaning of particular verses in that book. Contrasting and comparing other books of the Bible is important also. One cannot properly handle context until he has a good grasp of biblical content. The interpreter must know the content of the book from which the particular passage he is interpreting comes. He needs to know the content of books in which there are passages devoted to the same theme which he is interpreting...Biblical content is essential far the much-needed grasp of context. * * Mickelsen, Interpreting The Bible, p.100 The book of James, for instance, was written for the purpose of showing that we are justified in the eyes of other people by our actions. Other people cannot know of our faith unless they see it in action. The book of Galatians, on the other hand, sets forth the doctrine that we are justified before God by our faith, not our actions. Gal 2:16 "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." Contrast this with Jam 2:24 . "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." Galatians teaches justification before God. James teaches justification before men.
  • Sometimes a doctrine is just partially covered in one book of the Bible and must be compared with another to get a full understanding. Such is the case with Gal 5:19-21 . The acts of the sinful (human) nature (not society, sickness, Satan, or one's upbringing) are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Taken in isolation, this passage would seem to indicate that anyone who has hated or been jealous couldn't make it to heaven. But when the parallel passage of 1Co 6:9-10 is completed by verse 11, it is made clear that there is hope. 1Co 6:11 . Some of you were like that. But you have been cleansed from sin; you have been dedicated to God; you have been put right with God through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (GNB) The most common misinterpretations occur when parts of the Bible written about the Jews are interpreted to be written to the Church. It must be remembered that the Church did not begin until the day of Pentecost. Therefore every event in the gospels occurred during the age of law, before the Church age began. All of the parables are about Israel, not the Church. * This is important to remember in order to avoid a great number of contradictions. All of the Bible is of value to the Church, but not all can be directly interpreted or applied to the Church. The Church is made up of only those who are saved. Israel was made up of some who were saved and some who were lost. This makes clear verses like Joh 15:6 . * Dillon, Commentary On The Book Of Matthew, p.6 "If anyone does not remain in me he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." This verse doesn't teach that some Christians will lose their salvation, but rather that some Jews are lost, not ever having been saved. The Church age began in the book of Acts, a book of transition from the age of law to the age of grace (the Church age). Some things that were begun in this transitional period were not carried over into the epistles (Romans through Jude). Most people, who have wrong ideas about the ministries of the Holy Spirit, base their beliefs only on the book of Acts. No one can learn the complete working of the Spirit until they have also studied and incorporated the Epistles into their thinking. The book of Acts does not even mention such important ministries of the Spirit as, The Fruit of the Spirit, The nine gifts of the spirit, etc. Acts is a book of transition, but more of method than message. Some events recorded in Acts will never occur again. * * William S. Dillon, The Seven-Question Series Of Bible Doctrines, (Sanford, FL: Brown Gold Publ., 1972) p.42
  • If all of these aspects of context are carefully kept in mind when interpreting the Bible, a much more accurate knowledge of it's truth will be known. I believe this approach to be much better than the common practice of ignoring or belittling doctrine, (the teachings of the Word of God) usually hiding behind the excuse of avoiding controversy. Only by finding out what God meant by what He said can we begin to do His will and have real unity with Him and fellow Christians. We must begin with a teachable, humble attitude, willing to change, realizing how much we don't know and God does. Then once we have correctly ascertained the will of God from the Word of God, don't ask "should we obey it", just obey it. As the missionary leader, C. T. Studd, said: "If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then nothing is too great for me to do for Him". BIBLIOGRAPHY Dillon, William S. Commentary On The Book Of Matthew. River Grove, Ill.: Voice Of Melody, 1976. Dillon, William S. God's Work In God's Way. Sanford, FL: Brown Gold Publications, 1972. Dillon, William S. The Seven-Question Series Of Bible Doctrines. Sanford, FL: Brown Gold Publ., 1972. Good News Bible. American Bible Society, 1971. Mickelsen, A. Berkeley. Interpreting The Bible. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1963. New International Version. New York International Bible Society, 1978. New Testament: An Expanded Translation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961.
  • Chapter 5 Can we live by every word of the bible? When it comes to the word of God, the question is Can we live by every word of the bible? Is it really possible for us to be able to do this. in the article I am getting ready to share with you, this is from http://www.gty.org/resources/positions/P10/you-can-trust-the-bible You can trust the Bible We live in a world that, for the most part, has no absolute standard for life and behavior. We are under a system of morality by majority vote--in other words, whatever feels right sets the standard for behavior. That philosophy, however, runs contrary to everything we know about our world. For example, in science there are absolutes. Our entire universe is built on fixed laws. We can send satellites and other spacecraft into space and accurately predict their behavior. Science--whether biology, botany, physiology, astronomy, mathematics, or engineering-- is controlled by unalterable and inviolable laws. Yet in the moral world many people want to live without laws or absolutes. They try to determine their points of reference from their own minds. However, that is impossible. When we move from the physical to the spiritual realm, fixed laws still exist. We cannot exist without laws in the moral and spiritual dimensions of life any more than we can do so in the physical dimension. Our Creator built morality into life. Just as there are physical laws, so there are spiritual laws. Let me give you an example. People have asked me whether I believe that AIDS is the judgment of God. My response is that AIDS is the judgment of God in the same sense that cirrhosis of the liver is the judgment of God or that emphysema is the judgment of God. If you drink alcohol, you're liable to get cirrhosis of the liver. If you smoke, you're liable to get emphysema or heart disease. And if you choose to violate God's standards for morality, you're likely to contract venereal disease--even AIDS. It is a law that the Bible describes in terms of sowing and reaping. We can explain this principle in another illustration. Gravity is a fixed law. You may choose not to believe in gravity, but regardless of what you choose to believe, if you jump off a building you'll fall to the ground. You don't have an option. It's not a question of what you believe; it's a question of law. The law will go into effect when you put it to the test. That is true in any other area of physical law. The same thing is true in the moral and spiritual dimension. To segment life into a physical dimension in which fixed laws cannot be violated and a moral or spiritual dimension in which laws can be violated is an impossible dichotomization. The same God who controls the physical world by fixed laws controls the moral and spiritual world.
  • Where, then, do you find the laws of morality? How do you determine what is right and what is wrong? Has our Creator revealed such standards to mankind in a way we can understand? The Bible claims to be the revelation of God to man. Although I have spent many years of my life studying the Bible, I wasn't always committed to it. That commitment developed after my freshman year in col lege, when I came to grips with my life and future and wanted to know the source of truth. I discovered several compelling reasons for believing that the Bible is God's Word. Five basic areas, which go from the lesser to the greater, help prove its authenticity. The Authenticity of the Bible Experience First, the Bible is true because it gives us the experience it claims it will. For example, the Bible says God will forgive our sin (1 John 1:9). I believe that, and I can truly say that I have a sense of freedom from guilt. The Bible also says that "if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17 ). That's what happened to me when I came to Jesus Christ. The Bible changes lives. Someone has said that a Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't. That's true because the Bible can put lives together. Millions of people all over the world are living proof that that is true. Maybe you know one or two of them. They've experienced the Bible's power. That's an acceptable argument in one sense, but it's weak in another. If you base everything you believe on experience, you're going to run into trouble. Followers of Muhammad, Buddha, and Hare Krishna can point to various experiences as the basis for their beliefs, but that doesn't necessarily mean that their beliefs are correct. So although experience can help validate the power and authority of the Bible, we will need more evidence. Science The Bible also presents a most plausible, objective understanding of the universe and the existence of life. It presents a God who creates. That makes more sense than believing that everything came out of nothing, which is essentially what the theory of evolution says. I have an easier time assuming that someone produced everything. And the Bible tells me who that someone is: God. The study of creation helps explain how the earth's geology became the way it is. The Bible tells of a supernatural creation that took place in six days and of a catastrophic worldwide flood. These two events help explain many geological and other scientific questions, some of which we will soon explore. You will find that the Bible is accurate when it intersects with modern scientific
  • concepts. For example, Isaiah 40:26 says it is God who creates the universe. He holds the stars together by His power and not one of them is ever missing. In this way the Bible suggests the first law of thermodynamics--that ultimately nothing is ever destroyed. We read in Ecclesiastes 1:10: "Is there anything of which one might say, 'See this, it is new'?" The answer immediately follows: "Already it has existed for ages which were before us." Ancient writers of the Bible, thousands of years before the laws of thermodynamics had been categorically stated, were affirming the conservation of mass and energy. The second law of thermodynamics states that although mass and energy are always conserved, they nevertheless are breaking down and going from order to disorder, from cosmos to chaos, from system to non-system. The Bible, contrary to the theory of evolution, affirms that. As matter breaks down and energy dissipates, ultimately the world and universe as we know it will become dead. It will be unable to reproduce itself. Romans 8 says that all creation groans because of its curse, which is described at the beginning of the Bible (Genesis 3). That curse--and God's plan to reverse the curse--is reflected throughout biblical teaching. The science of hydrology studies the cycle of water, which consists of three major phases: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Clouds move over the land and drop water through precipitation. The rain runs into creeks, the creeks run into streams, the streams run into the sea, and the evaporation process takes place all the way along the path. That same process is described in Scripture. Ecclesiastes 1 and Isaiah 55 present the entire water cycle: "All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again" (Ecclesiastes 1:7). "For . . . the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth" (Isaiah 55:10). Also, Job 36:27-28 speaks of evaporation and condensation--centuries prior to any scientific discovery of the process: "He [God] draws up the drops of water, they distill rain from the mist, which the clouds pour down, they drip upon man abundantly." In the 1500s, when Copernicus first presented the idea that the earth was in motion, people were astounded. They previously believed that the earth was a flat disc and that if you went through the Pillars of Hercules at the Rock of Gibraltar you'd fall off the edge. In the seventeenth century, men like Kepler and Galileo gave birth to modern astronomy. Prior to that, the universe was generally thought to contain only about one thousand stars, which was the number that had been counted. However, in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, the number of the stars of heaven is equated with the number of grains of sand on the seashore. God told Abraham, "I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore" ( 22:17 ). Jeremiah 33:22 says that the stars can't be counted. Again God is speaking: "As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David." Today several million stars have been cataloged, though hundreds of millions remain unlisted.
  • The oldest book in the Bible, the Book of Job, pre-dates Christ by about two thousand years. Yet Job 26:7 says, "He hangs the earth on nothing." In the sacred books of other religions you may read that the earth is on the backs of elephants that produce earthquakes when they shake. The cosmogony of Greek mythology is at about the same level of sophistication. But the Bible is in a completely different class. It says, "He . . . hangs the earth on nothing" (emphasis added). Job also says that the earth is "turned like the clay to the seal" (38:14, KJV*). In those days, soft clay was used for writing and a seal was used for applying one's signature. One kind of seal was a hollow cylinder of hardened clay with a signature raised on it. A stick went through it so that it could be rolled like a rolling pin. The writer could, therefore, roll his signature across the soft clay and in that way sign his name. In saying the earth is turned like the clay to the seal, Job may have implied that it rotates on its axis. The Hebrew word translated "earth" (hug) refers to a sphere. It's also interesting to note that the earth maintains a perfect balance. If you've ever seen a basketball that's out of balance, you know that it rotates unevenly. You can imagine what would happen if the earth were like that. The earth is a perfect sphere, and it is perfectly balanced. The depths of the sea have to be balanced with the height of the mountains. The branch of science that studies that balance is called isostasy. In Isaiah 40:12, centuries before science even conceived of this phenomenon, Isaiah said that God "has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales." English philosopher Herbert Spencer, who died in 1903, was famous for applying scientific discoveries to philosophy. He listed five knowable categories in the natural sciences: time, force, motion, space, and matter. However, Genesis 1:1, the first verse in the Bible, says, "In the beginning [time] God [force] created [motion] the heavens [space] and the earth [matter]." God laid it all out in the very first verse of Scripture. The Bible truly is the revelation of God to mankind. He wants us to know about Him and the world He created. Although the Bible does not contain scientific terminology, it is amazingly accurate whenever it happens to refer to scientific truth. But someone might say, "Wait a minute. The Old Testament says that the sun once stood still, and if that happened, the sun didn't really stand still; the earth stopped revolving." Yes, but that statement is based on the perception of someone on earth. When you got up this morning, you didn't look east and say, "What a lovely earth rotation!" From your perspective, you saw a sunrise. And because you permit yourself to do that, you must permit Scripture to do that as well. Miracles A third evidence for the authenticity of the Bible is its miracles. We would expect to read of those in a revelation from God Himself, who by definition is supernatural. Miracles are a supernatural alteration of the natural world--a great way to get man's attention.
  • The Bible includes supportive information to establish the credibility of the miracles it records. For example, Scripture says that after Jesus had risen from the dead more than five hundred people saw Him alive (1 Corinthians 15:6). That would be enough witnesses to convince any jury. The miraculous nature of the Bible demonstrates the involvement of God. But to believe the miracles, we must take the Bible at its word. So to further validate its authenticity we must take another step and consider its incredible ability to predict the future. Prophecy There is no way to explain the Bible's ability to predict the future unless we see God as its Author. For example, the Old Testament contains more than three hundred references to the Messiah of Israel that were preciselyfulfilled by JesusChrist (Christ isthe Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah). Peter Stoner, a scientist in the area of mathematical probabilities, said in his book Science Speaks that if we take just eight of the Old Testament prophecies Christ fulfilled, we find that the probability of their coming to pass is one in 1017. He illustrates that staggering amount this way: We take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas . They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly. . . . Blindfold a man and tell him he must pick up one silver dollar. . . . What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them come true in any one man. ([ Chicago : Moody, 1963], 100-107) And Jesus fulfilled hundreds more than just eight prophecies! The Bible includes many other prophecies as well. For example, the Bible predicted that a man named Cyrus would be born, would rise to power in the Middle East, and would release the Jewish people from captivity (Isaiah 44:28--45:7). Approximately 150 years later, Cyrus the Great became king of Persia and released the Jews. No man could have known that would happen; only God could. In Ezekiel 26 God says through the prophet that the Phoenician city of Tyre would be destroyed, specifying that a conqueror would come in and wipe out the city. He said that the city would be scraped clean and that the rubble left on the city's surface would be thrown into the ocean. The prophecy ended by saying that men would dry their fishnets there and that the city would never be rebuilt. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege to Tyre three years after the prophecy was given. When he broke down the gates, he found the city almost empty. The Phoenicians were navigators and colonizers of the ancient world; they had taken their boats and sailed to an island a half mile offshore. They had reestablished their city on the island during the years of siege. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city on the mainland, but since he didn't
  • have a navy, he was unable to do anything about the island city of Tyre . This left the prophecy partially unfulfilled. About 250 years later Alexander the Great came into the area of Tyre needing supplies for his eastern campaign. He sent word to the residents of the island city, but they refused his request. They believed they were safe from attack on the island. Alexander was so infuriated at their response that he and his army picked up the rubble that was left from Nebuchadnezzar's devastation of the mainland city and threw it into the sea. They used it to build a causeway, which allowed them to march to the island and destroy the city. That exactly fulfilled what Ezekiel had predicted hundreds of years previously. If you travel to the site of Tyre today, you'll see fishermen there drying their nets. The city was never rebuilt. Peter Stoner said that the probability of all the details of that prophecy happening by chance is one in 75million. The Assyrian city of Nineveh is another example. It was one of the most formidable ancient cities, which reached its apex during the seventh century b.c. Yet the prophet Nahum predicted that it would soon be wiped out. He said an overflowing river would crush the gates and that the city would be destroyed (Nahum 1:8; 2:6). In those days when people walled in their cities, they tended to build gates down into the rivers nearby. The water could flow through the bars of the gates and keep out intruders. In the case of Nineveh , a great storm came and flooded the river, carrying away a vital part of the city walls. That permitted besieging Medes and Babylonians to enter the city and destroy it, just as the prophet predicted. The Life of Christ Additional evidence for the authenticity of the Bible is Christ Himself. As we have already seen, He fulfilled many detailed prophecies and did many miracles. It is important to note that He also believed in the authority of the Bible. In Matthew 5:18 He says, "Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished." If you would like to read more about the life of Christ and other evidences for the Bible's reliability, try Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell (Here's Life Publishers). The Power of the Bible The Bible is an amazing book. It's amazing in that it stands up to many tests of authenticity. But beyond that, it's particularly amazing when looked at from a spiritual and moral perspective. The Bible claims to be alive and powerful. That's a tremendous statement. I have never read any other living book. There are some books that change your thinking, but this is the only book that can change your nature. This is the only book that can totally
  • transform you from the inside out. There's a section in Psalm 19 that is Scripture's own testimony to itself. This is what it says:  The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;  The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;  The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;  The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. (vv. 7-9) Let's look at each aspect separately. The Bible Is "Perfect" First, "the law of the Lord" is a Hebrew term used to define Scripture. Psalm 19 specifies that it is "perfect"--a comprehensive treatment of truth that is able to transform the soul. The Hebrew word translated "soul"(nepesh) refers to the total person. It meansthe real you--not your body but what is inside. So the truths in Scripture can totally transform a person. You may say, "I'm not interested in being transformed." Then you probably aren't interested in the Bible. The Bible is for people who have some sense of desperation about where they are. It is for people who don't have the purpose in their lives they wish they had. They're not sure where they are, where they came from, or where they're going. There are things in their lives they wish they could change. They wish they weren't driven by passions they can't control; that they weren't victims of circumstance; that they didn't have so much pain in life; that their relationships were all they ought to be; that they could think more clearly about things that matter in their lives. That's who this book is for: people who don't have all the answers and who want something better. The Bible says that the key to this transformation is the Lord Jesus Christ. God came into the world in the form of Christ. He died on a cross to pay the penalty for your sins and mine, and rose again to conquer death. He now lives and comes into the lives of those who acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior, transforming them into the people God means for them to be. If you're content with the way you are, you're not going to look to the Word of God for a way to change. But if you're aware of your guilt, if you want to get rid of your anxiety and the patterns of life that desperately need to be changed, if you have some emptiness in your heart, if there's some longing that has never been satisfied, and if there are some answers you just can't seem to find, then you're just the person who needs to look into the Word of God to determine if it can do what it says it can. It can
  • transform you completely through the power of Christ, the One who died and rose again for you. The Bible Is "Sure" Second, Psalm 19 says that the Scripture is "sure"--absolute, trustworthy, reliable-- "making wise the simple." The Hebrew word translated "simple" comes from a root that speaks of an open door. Ancient Jewish people described a person with a simple mind as someone with a head like an open door: everything comes in; everything goes out. He doesn't know what to keep out and what to keep in. He's indiscriminate, totally naive, and unable to evaluate truth. He doesn't have any standards by which to make a judgment. The Bible says it is able to make such a person wise. Wisdom to the Jew was the skill of daily living. To the Greek it was sheer sophistry--an abstraction. So when the Hebrew text says it can make a simple person wise, it means it can take the uninitiated, naive, uninstructed, undiscerning person and make him skilled in every aspect of daily living. The Bible touches every area of life, including relationships, marriage, the work ethic, and factors of the human mind and motivation. It tells you about attitudes, reactions, responses, how to treat people, how you're to be treated by people, how to cultivate virtue in your life--every aspect of living is covered in the pages of the Bible. How does the Bible transform one's life? It does so when you read it and Commit your life to Jesus Christ, the Teacher and the Author of Scripture. He comes to live in you and applies the truth of the Word to your life. The Bible Is "Right" Third, the Word of God--called "the precepts of the Lord--is right. In Hebrew, that means it sets out a right path or lays out a right track. And the result is joy to the heart. I look back at times in my own life when I didn't know what direction to go, what my future was, or what my career ought to be. Then I began to study God's Word and submit myself to His Spirit. Then God laid out the path for me. As I've walked in that path, I've experienced joy, happiness, and blessing. In fact, I find so much satisfaction in life that people sometimes believe something's wrong with me. Even difficulty brings satisfaction, because it creates a way in which God can show Himself faithful. Even unhappiness is a source of happiness. In John 16, Jesus compares the disciples' sorrow at His leaving to the pain of a woman having a baby. There's joy through any circumstance. I know you want a happy life. I know you want peace, joy, meaning, and purpose. I know you want the fullness of life that everybody seeks. The Bible says, "[Happy] are those who hear the word of God and observe it" (Luke 11:28). Why? Because God blesses their faithfulness and obedience. You can have a happy life without sin, without sex outside of marriage, without drugs, and without alcohol. God is not a cosmic killjoy. He made you. He knows how you operate best. And He knows what makes you happy. The happiness He gives doesn't stop when the party's over. It lasts because it comes from deep within.
  • The Bible Is "Pure" Fourth, the psalmist says the Word of God is pure, enlightening the eyes. The simplest Christian knows a lot of things that many scholarly people don't know. Because I know the Bible, some things are clear to me that aren't clear to others. The autobiography of English philosopher Bertrand Russell, written near the end of his life, implies that philosophy was something of a washout to him. That's shocking. He spent his life musing on reality, but was not able to define it. I don't believe I'm Russell's equal intellectually, but I do know the Word of God. Scripture enlightens the eyes, particularly concerning the dark things of life, such as death, disease, tragic events, and the devastation of the world. Scripture deals with the tough issues of life. I can go to a Christian who is facing death and see joy in his heart. My grandmother died when she was ninety-three years old. She was lying in bed, and the nurse told her it was time to get up. My grandmother said, "No, I'm not getting up today." When the nurse asked why, my grandmother said, "I love Jesus, and I'm going to heaven today, so don't bother me." Then she smiled and went to heaven. Do you have that kind of hope? When I was a boy I used to go to Christ Church in Philadelphia and read epitaphs written about Americans who have had a great impact on our country. Benjamin Franklin wrote his own epitaph: The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, (Like the cover of an old book, Its contents worn out And stript of its lettering and gilding) Lies here, food for worms! Yet the work itself shall not be lost, For it will, as he believed, appear once more In a new And more beautiful edition, Corrected and amended By its Author! Can you look death in the eye and say, "This is not the end; it is but the beginning for me"? What can you say to someone who loses a child? What can you say to someone who loses a spouse to cancer or heart disease? Are you roaming around in the confusion in which many people find themselves? Where do you go for the dark things to be made clear? I go to the Word of God, and I find clarity there.
  • The Bible Is "Clean" Further, Psalm 19:1 says that the Word of God is "clean, enduring forever." The only things that last forever are things untouched by the devastation of evil--another word for sin. The word of God is clean. It describes and uncovers sin, but it is untouched by evil. And even though it is an ancient document, every person in every situation in every society can find timeless truth in this book. Here's a book that never needs another edition because it's never out of date or obsolete. It speaks to us as pointedly and directly as it ever has to anyone in history. It's so pure that it lasts forever. When I was in college I studied philosophy. Almost every philosophy I studied was long dead. I also studied psychology. Almost every form of psychotherapy I read about is now obsolete or has been replaced by more progressive thinking. But there's one thing that never changes, and that is the eternal Word of God. It is always relevant. The Bible Is "True" Finally, and most pointedly, Psalm 19:9 says that the Word of God is true. Today it seems there's no longer a premium on truth. But that was true even in Jesus' day. Pilate, when he sent Jesus to the cross, said, "What is truth?" (John 18:38). The context makes clear that he was being cynical. I remember meeting a young man on drugs who was living in an overturned refrigerator box by a stream in the mountains of northern California . I was hiking through the area and asked if I could introduce myself. We talked a little while. It turned out he was a graduate of Boston University . He said, "I've escaped." I asked, "Have you found the answers?" "No," he said, "but at least I've gotten myself into a situation where I don't ask the questions." That's the despair of not knowing the truth. Scripture describes some people as "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7). That's not referring to intellectual truth; it's referring to the truth of life, death, God, man, sin, right, wrong, heaven, hell, hope, joy, and peace. People can't find it on their own. What Is Truth? To look at things philosophically, we live in a time-space box we can't get out of. We cannot go into a phone booth and come out Superman--we cannot transcend the natural world. We are locked into a time-space continuum. And we bounce around in our little box trying to figure out God. We invent religions, but
  • they're self-contained. The only way we'll ever know what is beyond us is if what is on the outside comes in. And that's exactly what the Bible claims. It's a supernatural revelation from God, who has invaded our box. And He invaded it not only through the written word, but also in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jean-Paul Sartre's novel Nausea lays out an existential view of life. Its main character, Antoine Roquentin, is horrified by his own existence. He tries to find meaning in life through sex, humanitarianism, and other avenues but is left with a nauseating feeling of meaninglessness, never really finding genuine answers. Where do you find truth that eluded Roquentin? I believe it is in the Word of God, the Bible. Consider its attributes. The Attributes of the Bible The Bible Is Infallible and Inerrant The Bible, in its entirety, has no mistakes. It is flawless because God wrote it--and He is flawless. It is not only infallible in total, but also inerrant in its parts. Proverbs 30:5-6 says, "Every word of God is tested. . . . Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar." Every word of God is pure and true. The Bible is the only book that never makes a mistake--everything it says is the truth. The Bible Is Complete Nothing needs to be added to the Bible. It is complete. Some today say the Bible is incomplete and simply a product of its time--a comment on man's spiritual experience in history--and that we now need something else. Some believe that preachers who say, "The Lord told me this or that," are equally inspired, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, or any of the other prophets. That is essentially to say that the Bible is not complete. However, the last book of the Bible, Revelation, warns, "If anyone adds to [the words of this book], God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book" (22: 18-19). The Bible Is Authoritative Since the Bible is perfect and complete, it is the last Word--the final authority. Isaiah 1:2 says, "Listen, Oh heavens, and hear, Oh earth; for the Lord speaks." When God speaks, we should listen, because He is the final authority. The Bible demands obedience. John 8:30-31 reports that many of the people Jesus preached to came to believe in Him. Jesus said to them, "If you continue in My word, then are you are truly disciples of Mine." In other words, He demanded a response to His word. It is authoritative. Galatians
  • 3:10 says, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them." That's a tremendous claim to absolute authority. In James 2:10 we read, "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." To violate the Bible at one point is to break God's entire law. That's because the Bible is authoritative in every part. The Bible Is Sufficient The Bible is sufficient for a number of essentials: Salvation . Jesus said, "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). Salvation is the greatest reality in the universe--and the Bible reveals the source of that salvation. Acts 4:12 says regarding Jesus, "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Instruction . Second Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." The Bible can take those who don't know God and introduce them to Him. Then it will teach them, reprove them when they do wrong, point them to what is right, and show them how to walk in that right path. Hope . Romans 15:4 says "Whatever was written in earlier times [a reference to the Old Testament] was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." The Bible is a source of encouragement, giving us hope now and forever. Happiness . James 1:25 reveals the key to happiness: "One who looks intently at [Scripture], and abides by it . . . this man will be [happy] in what he does." Psalm 119, the longest psalm in the Bible, devotes all 176 verses to describing the Word of God. It begins, "How [happy] are those who walk in the law of the Lord." How Will You Respond? Your response to the Bible determines the course of your life and your eternal destiny. First Corinthians 2:9 says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (NIV). Man could never conceive of all that God has to offer on his own! Every time we pick up the Bible, we pick up the truth. Jesus said, "If you continue in My word . . . you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:31-32). What did He mean by that? Think of the person who is working diligently on a math problem. As soon as he finds the answer--he's free. Or consider the scientist in the lab pouring different solutions into test tubes. He stays with it until he says, "Eureka, I found it!"--
  • then he's free. Man will search and struggle and grapple and grope for the truth until he finds it. Only then is he free. The Bible is our source of truth--about God, man, life, death, men, women, children, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, friends, and enemies. It shows us how to live. The Bible is the source of everything you need to know about life on earth and the life to come. You can trust the Bible. It is God's living Word. Copyright 1988 by John MacArthur. All rights reserved. All Scripture quotations, unless noted otherwise, are from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, and 1977 by The Lockman Foundation, and are used by permission. Adapted from How to Study the Bible, by John MacArthur (Moody Press, 1982). Related Products (to purchase):  The MacArthur Bible Handbook (Hardcover) (books)  You Can Trust the Bible (booklets)
  • Chapter 6 From Genesis- Revelation In this chapter I am going to give you a summary of the books of the bible, starting with Genesis, and ending with Revelation. In doing so I am going to use the website http://www.jansbiblenotes.com/bibleinanutshell.html This is what her notes read The Bible in a Nutshell Have you ever thought about reading the whole Bible but don't think you can get through it or understand it? Here is the story of the Bible in a nutshell. Well, OK, maybe a little more than a nutshell...but this is a summary of the important events, characters, and ideas. Then you can go back and read the whole Bible for yourself and it will be easier to see how everything fits together and where the story is heading. Hopefully you will embark on a journey of reading through the Bible over and over throughout your life. Genesis (means "beginning") The three main characters of the Bible are introduced: God, man and Satan, 1:1, 1:26, and 3:1. The conflict between these characters will play out through the entire Bible, with many plots and sub-plots, themes and sub-themes. It gets worse and worse until it appears all is lost (like any well-written long, complex novel) and culminates in the resolution found at the end, in Revelation. The story of the Bible opens with a key event: creation, Gen. 1. Everything is described as very good--perfect, 1:31. But in 3:6 sin enters the world. Compare Rom. 3:23. Because of this, there are consequences for Satan, for man, for woman, and for the earth. Man was created perfect, put in a perfect environment, with fellowship with God, and given free will. Man chose to sin and lost fellowship with God. Now all mankind as well as the earth and its creatures will suffer the consequences of sin. Now death has entered the world. How can this dilemma be resolved? The rest of the Bible tells the story. We have the first prophecy of the promised Messiah in 3:15, where God is speaking to Satan. Satan's seed would be the wicked, John 8:44; the seed of the woman (a hint at the virgin birth) will be the Messiah--Jesus Christ. Satan would give Him a heel wound--not fatal; Christ will give him a head wound--a fatal blow. So here is foretold the spiritual warfare between God and Satan. Satan later "wounds" Christ at the crucifixion, thinking he has defeated Him. But through the resurrection, God brings about Satan's defeat. The next main character in Genesis is Noah, 6:8. His story involves the worldwide flood, Gen. 6-9. Not long after that, the next key event is the confusing of language at Babel, 11:1-9. These first 11 chapters give us important information about why the world is the way it is. The next main character is Abraham. God makes him three important promises in 12:1-3: a people (the Israelites), a land (Canaan/Palestine, today known as Israel), and a worldwide blessing through him. 12:3 is another prophecy of Christ: through faith in
  • Him, the whole world can receive the blessing--salvation. The Bible will follow the bloodline that leads to Christ. This Abrahamic Covenant, an unconditional covenant, sets the stage for not only the rest of the Old Testament story, but also future prophetic events. A basic doctrinal fact is first presented in 15:6--righteousness comes by faith in God. Gen. 22 is a picture or type of Christ, the promised Messiah. Compare 22:7-8 and 22:13; God did not provide a lamb that day--not until Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, John 1:29, who came to shed His blood as God's required payment for sin. Abraham's son was Isaac, 22:1-3. His grandsons were Jacob and Esau, 25:25-26, but Jacob's line will lead to Christ. In 32:28, God changes Jacob's name to Israel. Next in his line are twelve sons, Gen. 49:28. 49:10 indicates which of those would be the line leading to Christ--Judah. (Shiloh is a term for the Messiah.) Exodus (means "going out") The sons of Israel multiplied (as promised in Gen. 12:2) in Egypt and were made slaves, 1:14. The main character in this book is Moses, 2:10. 12:1-23 pictures Christ in the story of the first Passover: for each one who puts the shed blood of the lamb on their doorpost, 13 and 23, death passes over them. For us, believing in Christ's death for our sin and His resurrection, proving He is God, gives eternal life. Moses will lead the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt, 6:1-8. In 20-31, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law. Leviticus (the Levites are the priestly tribe) The theme of this book, which describes the many sacrifices required by the Law, is the holiness of God, 10:10 and 20:26. Numbers The 12 tribes are numbered; remember, we will be following the line that leads to Christ- -the tribe of Judah. We have more about the Mosaic Law and the 40 years' wandering in the wilderness because of their unbelief, ending up at the Jordan River across from the promised land, Canaan (Gen. 12:1). The generation that received God's Law at Mt. Sinai all died in the wilderness, 26:63-65. Deuteronomy (means "second law") Moses teaches the Law to the younger generation before they enter the land. God makes another important covenant in 28-30, the Palestinian Covenant, in which God lays out the conditions under which they will be able to live in their land. Moses dies at the end, 34:4- 5, and Joshua takes his place, 34:9. This is the last of the five books written by Moses. Joshua The first of the books of history. Joshua leads the 12 tribes in the conquest of the land of Canaan (Palestine, Israel) that God promised them. Judges
  • Following the death of Joshua, God raises up a series of judges over the next generations, who did not know God as their fathers had. This book shows a cycle of sin and defeat to their enemies, crying out to God, who raises up a judge, returning to God under that judge, victory, then falling away again, only to repeat the cycle. Ruth The story of the marriage of Ruth and Boaz fits into Gen. 12:3--the line leading to Christ- -because their son will be the grandfather of King David, 4:17-22. I Samuel Samuel was a judge, a priest, and a prophet. Now we enter the era in which God spoke to His people through prophets. The people are not satisfied with a theocracy, with God as their King; they now want a king, 8:5-7. The first king is Saul, 9:1-2. He disobeys God and loses the kingship, 15:22-23. David will be the next king, 16:11-13. This book follows the conflict between Saul and David until Saul's death. II Samuel This book is the biography of David and his reign. In 7:1-16, we find another great covenant, the Davidic Covenant. The word "forever" at the end of 7:13 and 7:16 show that God's promise is speaking of more than just the kingdom of David's son--He is promising that the Messiah will come in David's line, and that His kingdom will last forever. I Kings David's kingdom passes to his son Solomon, 1:30. He is wealthy and wise and builds the temple. God promises his throne to his descendants, 9:4-7, but the promise is conditional: "if/then." Solomon does evil, resulting in a divided kingdom: Israel in the north, and Judah in the south (under Solomon's descendants). The rest of the book deals with the succession of good and bad kings, as well as the prophet Elijah. II Kings Elijah is followed by the prophet Elisha, and we continue to read of the succession of good and bad kings in both kingdoms, causing both kingdoms to be taken out of their land into captivity. Israel is captured by Assyria, 17:23, and Judah is captured by Babylon, 25:21. I and II Chronicles Chronicles is a parallel account of the times of the kings, giving another perspective. The lengthy genealogies remind us of the importance of the tribal inheritances and the prophecies of the line leading to Christ. Ezra
  • Following the 70 years' captivity, a faithful remnant of Israelites returned to their land and rebuild the city of Jerusalem, the city walls and the temple. Ezra the scribe returned also, to teach this generation the Law. Nehemiah Nehemiah was another Jew that, although he had been a cupbearer to the king (now of Persia--the kingdom which conquered and succeeded Babylon), received permission to return to the land. He was instrumental in the rebuilding and served as governor. Esther Esther was a beautiful Jewish girl taken into the harem of the king of Persia, also in the post-captivity period. Her uncle Mordecai acts boldly to protect her and in the process, foils a plot to destroy the Jews. We see God's providential care for His people. Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are the last of the historical books in the Old Testament. The timeline of the Old Testament actually ends here, with the rest of the Old Testament fitting into earlier places on that timeline. The books of the Bible are grouped in sections, not by a strict time-line. Following these three post-captivity books, there were 400 years of silence from God; He did not speak to His people through any prophets for 400 years, until the New Testament begins. During this period, the empire of the Medes and Persians was taken over by Alexander the Great, resulting in the Greek empire. Shortly before Jesus was born, the Roman empire took over. Next in the biblical timeline are the Gospels, beginning with the angel's announcement of the birth of the promised Messiah. Job Job probably takes place before the time of Abraham, possibly not too long after the flood, and is the first of the books of poetry (Hebrew poetry is not rhyming like our poetry, but a stylistic type of writing). Job 1-2 give us insight into the spiritual realm-- what goes on "behind the scenes" that makes life so hard for us to understand, not being privy to God's plans and purposes. From the story of righteous Job, we learn about patience, pride and repentance, the purpose of suffering, and God's sovereignty. Psalms (means "songs") The Psalms are songs of praise and prayer, written mostly by David. In them, we learn of many attributes of God, how the righteous should live, and much about the coming Messiah and God's future plans for the world. The Psalms contain a great deal of prophecy. Proverbs Proverbs are not promises but rather, the wise sayings, observations and generalizations of wise King Solomon. We read about the sowing and reaping of the righteous and the wicked, with many specific examples of each. It is not addressed to Israel so it has universal application. True wisdom comes only from God, 2:6.
  • Ecclesiastes (means "one who calls together or addresses an assembly; a preacher or teacher") Solomon's refutation of humanism. This book shows that all man's wisdom and works can't bring knowledge of God, peace with God, or a relationship with God. He concludes that we should not worry about trying to figure out life; it will never make sense from our human perspective. Trust God--He is sovereign. Be diligent, try to please Him, and leave the results to Him. 3:11, 8:17. Song of Solomon A love story of the king and his bride. Also a picture or foreshadowing of Christ and the church. KJV uses "spouse" only in this book; it is translated "bride" in the NASB. Compare Eph. 5:25-32 which tells us the bride of Christ is the church. Isaiah to Malachi The rest of the Old Testament is made up of the books of prophecy, known as the major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) and the minor prophets (all the rest). These prophesies were given during the times of the kings and up through the three post- captivity books. Most of them tell at the beginning which kings reigned during the ministry of that prophet. Prophecy means speaking God's message in His own words ("thus saith the Lord..."). It also includes foretelling future events, including prophecies of the promised Messiah, and events still future in our day--endtimes events. Most of these books deal with Israel's sin (mostly that of idolatry) and God's warnings to them of coming judgment. Does that mean these warnings do not apply to us? On the contrary, ALL are guilty of the sin of idolatry. We may not sacrifice to images, but we are all guilty of putting SOMETHING before God in our lives. According to Col. 3:5 and Eph. 5:5, greed, or materialism, is idolatry. So we need to see how God feels about idolatry and what He has to say to us about it. We could make specific comments about each book, but for the purposes of our "nutshell," we'll leave it at that. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John The "gospel" is defined in I Cor. 15:1-5. It is the message of salvation from sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ--God in the flesh. The Gospels are four parallel accounts of the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Each is written to a different audience and so has a different perspective. Matthew is written to the Jews, presenting Jesus as King and Messiah, and says much about how Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecies. Mark is written to the Romans, and is short and pithy, emphasizing action rather than doctrine. Luke is written to the Greek--the intellectual man--and presents Jesus as the perfect Man. John is written to the early church and presents Jesus as Savior of the world, with much more doctrine, explanation and editorializing than the other three Gospels.
  • The Old Testament followed the line leading to the Messiah. Luke gives the lineage of Mary--the bloodline traced from Adam, through Abraham, Judah, David, David's son Nathan. Matthew opens with the lineage of Joseph, through David's son Solomon, who, although he was not Jesus' blood father, gave Him His legal right to the kingship of Israel. Acts (The Acts of the Apostles) Acts is the one book of history in the New Testament. It begins with the ascension, then the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. We read of the beginnings of the church, the ministries of Peter and Paul, the inclusion of the Gentiles into what was initially a church made up of Jewish Christians, and Paul's three missionary journeys, bringing the gospel to the known world of that day, ending with Paul's imprisonment. Romans through Jude Romans is the first of the Epistles (letters), which were addressed to believers--various churches or individuals. Most were penned by Paul, but other authors include Peter, James, John (the author of the Gospel of John) and Jude. These letters were to encourage the believers, remind them of doctrinal truths, and correct doctrinal errors and problems in the early church. This is where we find specific instructions to the church (all believers today). We are taught about the mystery of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer, and the power He gives--Christ in us. Some of the problems addressed in the Epistles are the same problems the church has today. Some were not, but we can always find application for believers today by studying the context, the historical setting, and determining what principles are unchanging. Revelation The final book of the Bible is the one book of prophecy in the New Testament. It is a series of visions with much horror, mystery and symbolism. In this book all the plot threads winding through the entire Bible are drawn together and we read the conclusion. We learn about God's great plan for the ages, stretching into the future and eternity. We read of God's justice and the final judgment, of Satan's final rebellion, and the defeat of Satan, Satan's man (the Antichrist) and evil. We read the fulfillment of the prophecy about Satan and the Messiah made in Gen. 3:15. We read of the day of God's wrath (the seven years of tribulation), Christ's second coming and His thousand-year reign on earth-- the fulfillment of the promises God made to Abraham about the future of his people, in Gen. 12:3 and in numerous other Old Testament prophecies about Israel's glorious future. We learn of the end of the world, the new heavens and new earth, and the New Jerusalem--the future home of the church--where believers will dwell with God forever in their sinless immortal state. Copyright 2011 Jan Young
  • Chapter 7 Do other parts that are in the bible still apply to us today? For Chapter 7 of this book I have used the website http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-apply- today.html and in my reasearch the question that I am trying to answer is Do other parts of the bible, still apply us today. In using this website, that I have used this is what the website page says as we answer this question which is How do we know which parts of the bible, still apply to us today This is what I found in my reasearch Answer: Much misunderstanding about the Christian life occurs because we either assign commands and exhortations we should be following as "era-specific" commands that only applied to the original audience, or we take commands and exhortations that are specific to a particular audience and make them timeless truths. How do we go about discerning the difference? The first thing to note is that the canon of Scripture was closed by the end of the 1st century A.D. This means that, while all of the Bible is truth we can apply to our lives, most, if not all, of the Bible was not originally written to us. The authors had in mind the hearers of that day. That should cause us to be very careful when interpreting the Bible for today’s Christians. It seems that much of contemporary evangelical preaching is so concerned with the practical application of Scripture that we treat the Bible as a lake from which to fish application for today’s Christians. All of this is done at the expense of proper exegesis and interpretation. The top three rules of hermeneutics (the art and science of biblical interpretation) are 1) context; 2) context; 3) context. Before we can tell 21st-century Christians how the Bible applies to them, we must first come to the best possible understanding of what the Bible meant to its original audience. If we come up with an application that would have been foreign to the original audience, there is a very strong possibility that we did not interpret the passage correctly. Once we are confident that we understand what the text meant to its original hearers, we then need to determine the width of the chasm between us and them. In other words, what are the differences in language, time, culture, geography, setting and situation? All of these must be taken into account before application can be made. Once the width of the chasm has been measured, we can then attempt to build the bridge over the chasm by finding the commonalities between the original audience and ourselves. Finally, we can then find application for ourselves in our time and situation. Another important thing to note is that each passage has only one correct interpretation. It can have a range of application, but only one interpretation. What this means is that some applications of biblical passages are better than others. If one application is closer to the correct interpretation than another, then it is a better application of that text. For example, many sermons have been preached on 1 Samuel 17 (the David and Goliath story) that center on "defeating the giants in your life." They lightly skim over the details of the narrative and go straight to application, and that application usually involves allegorizing Goliath into tough, difficult and intimidating situations in one’s life that must be overcome by faith. There is also an attempt to allegorize the five smooth stones David picked up to defeat his giant. These sermons usually conclude by exhorting us to be faithful like David.
  • While these interpretations make engaging sermons, it is doubtful the original audience would have gotten that message from this story. Before we can apply the truth in 1 Samuel 17, we must know how the original audience understood it, and that means determining the overall purpose of 1 Samuel as a book. Without going into a detailed exegesis of 1 Samuel 17, let’s just say it’s not about defeating the giants in your life with faith. That may be a distant application, but as an interpretation of the passage, it’s alien to the text. God is the hero of the story, and David was His chosen vehicle to bring salvation to His people. The story contrasts the people’s king (Saul) with God’s king (David), and it also foreshadows what Christ (the Son of David) would do for us in providing our salvation. Another common example of interpreting with disregard of the context is John 14:13-14. Reading this verse out of context would seem to indicate that if we ask God anything (unqualified), we will receive it as long as we use the formula “in Jesus’ name.” Applying the rules of proper hermeneutics to this passage, we see Jesus speaking to His disciples in the upper room on the night of His eventual betrayal. The immediate audience is the disciples. This is essentially a promise to His disciples that God will provide the necessary resources for them to complete their task. It is a passage of comfort because Jesus would soon be leaving them. Is there an application for 21st-century Christians? Of course! If we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray according to God’s will and God will give us what we need to accomplish His will in and through us. Furthermore, the response we get will always glorify God. Far from a "carte blanche" way of getting what we want, this passage teaches us that we must always submit to God’s will in prayer, and that God will always provide what we need to accomplish His will. Proper biblical interpretation is built on the following principles: 1. Context. To understand fully, start small and extend outward: verse, passage, chapter, book, author and testament/covenant. 2. Try to come to grips with how the original audience would have understood the text. 3. Consider the width of the chasm between us and the original audience. 4. It’s a safe bet that any moral command from the Old Testament that is repeated in the New Testament is an example of a "timeless truth." 5. Remember that each passage has one and only one correct interpretation, but can have many applications (some better than others). 6. Always be humble and don’t forget the role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation. He has promised to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Biblical interpretation is as much an art as it is science. There are rules and principles, but some of the more difficult or controversial passages require more effort than others. We should always be open to changing an interpretation if the Spirit convicts and the evidence supports.
  • Chapter 8 Why are there some things in the biblle that we understand. and some things we do not understand? To answer the question Why are there some things in the bible that we understand, and some things we do not understand. In answering this question our source of information is Answer: Much misunderstanding about the Christian life occurs because we either assign commands and exhortations we should be following as "era-specific" commands that only applied to the original audience, or we take commands and exhortations that are specific to a particular audience and make them timeless truths. How do we go about discerning the difference? The first thing to note is that the canon of Scripture was closed by the end of the 1st century A.D. This means that, while all of the Bible is truth we can apply to our lives, most, if not all, of the Bible was not originally written to us. The authors had in mind the hearers of that day. That should cause us to be very careful when interpreting the Bible for today’s Christians. It seems that much of contemporary evangelical preaching is so concerned with the practical application of Scripture that we treat the Bible as a lake from which to fish application for today’s Christians. All of this is done at the expense of proper exegesis and interpretation. The top three rules of hermeneutics (the art and science of biblical interpretation) are 1) context; 2) context; 3) context. Before we can tell 21st-century Christians how the Bible applies to them, we must first come to the best possible understanding of what the Bible meant to its original audience. If we come up with an application that would have been foreign to the original audience, there is a very strong possibility that we did not interpret the passage correctly. Once we are confident that we understand what the text meant to its original hearers, we then need to determine the width of the chasm between us and them. In other words, what are the differences in language, time, culture, geography, setting and situation? All of these must be taken into account before application can be made. Once the width of the chasm has been measured, we can then attempt to build the bridge over the chasm by finding the commonalities between the original audience and ourselves. Finally, we can then find application for ourselves in our time and situation. Another important thing to note is that each passage has only one correct interpretation. It can have a range of application, but only one interpretation. What this means is that some applications of biblical passages are better than others. If one application is closer to the correct interpretation than another, then it is a better application of that text. For example, many sermons have been preached on 1 Samuel 17 (the David and Goliath story) that center on "defeating the giants in your life." They lightly skim over the details of the narrative and go straight to application, and that application usually involves allegorizing Goliath into tough, difficult and intimidating situations in one’s life that must be overcome by faith. There is also an attempt to allegorize the five smooth stones David picked up to defeat his giant. These sermons usually conclude by exhorting us to be faithful like David. While these interpretations make engaging sermons, it is doubtful the original audience
  • would have gotten that message from this story. Before we can apply the truth in 1 Samuel 17, we must know how the original audience understood it, and that means determining the overall purpose of 1 Samuel as a book. Without going into a detailed exegesis of 1 Samuel 17, let’s just say it’s not about defeating the giants in your life with faith. That may be a distant application, but as an interpretation of the passage, it’s alien to the text. God is the hero of the story, and David was His chosen vehicle to bring salvation to His people. The story contrasts the people’s king (Saul) with God’s king (David), and it also foreshadows what Christ (the Son of David) would do for us in providing our salvation. Another common example of interpreting with disregard of the context is John 14:13-14. Reading this verse out of context would seem to indicate that if we ask God anything (unqualified), we will receive it as long as we use the formula “in Jesus’ name.” Applying the rules of proper hermeneutics to this passage, we see Jesus speaking to His disciples in the upper room on the night of His eventual betrayal. The immediate audience is the disciples. This is essentially a promise to His disciples that God will provide the necessary resources for them to complete their task. It is a passage of comfort because Jesus would soon be leaving them. Is there an application for 21st-century Christians? Of course! If we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray according to God’s will and God will give us what we need to accomplish His will in and through us. Furthermore, the response we get will always glorify God. Far from a "carte blanche" way of getting what we want, this passage teaches us that we must always submit to God’s will in prayer, and that God will always provide what we need to accomplish His will. Proper biblical interpretation is built on the following principles: 1. Context. To understand fully, start small and extend outward: verse, passage, chapter, book, author and testament/covenant. 2. Try to come to grips with how the original audience would have understood the text. 3. Consider the width of the chasm between us and the original audience. 4. It’s a safe bet that any moral command from the Old Testament that is repeated in the New Testament is an example of a "timeless truth." 5. Remember that each passage has one and only one correct interpretation, but can have many applications (some better than others). 6. Always be humble and don’t forget the role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation. He has promised to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Biblical interpretation is as much an art as it is science. There are rules and principles, but some of the more difficult or controversial passages require more effort than others. We should always be open to changing an interpretation if the Spirit convicts and the evidence supports.
  • Chapter 9 Can the things in the bible that we do not understand be understood? In telling you the honest truth. I do not understand everything that is in the bible, all I know, and all I believe is that yes it is the word of God. There are times when the bible just does not make sense, and we sometimes question the bible, and we sometimes question How to apply it to our life. One thing I believe though concerning the bible, is that sometimes we do not accept the truth, because we do not know the truth of the bible, and sometimes our knowledge of it, in understanding it can be difficult, and it can be challenging. But if you want to know and understand the truth about the bible, you can pray and ask God to reveal to you. the scriptural truths, if it is his will to reveal the scriptural truth to you. The bible it can be confusing at times. To understand the bible you need to get something like the amplified, or the NLT versions like that. It will make the bible more clearer to you. Maybe you might want to get you a study bible, and that will help you to understand the bible as well. By seeking God that is one way to understanding the bible. Then like I said getting An Amplified, or getting an NLT.
  • Chapter 10 Which bible versions are of better quality that are easier to understand? The source of information for this chapter is from http://www.yrm.org/choosing_bible_translation.htm Choosing a good Bible translation can be a daunting task. Walking into a bookstore you are faced with dozens of options and unless you know what purpose each translation serves, you can easily feel overwhelmed. To understand why so many versions exist you must realize the difficulties in translating from Hebrew and Greek texts into English. A goal of any good Bible should be to have an accurate translation while at the same time using a style that sounds natural to an English-speaking person. To be accurate, however, the text also must express the same meaning that was intended when it was originally written or spoken. And to sound natural the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek needs to be translated into the right words and expressions. Difficulties in Translation To accomplish this goal most Bibles are completed by a committee of scholars who ultimately need to overcome the following difficulties:  Many Hebrew and Greek words have no direct equivalent in English. Some words have multiple meanings in English and some have no English equivalent. For example, the Greek has many words for "love" (eros, phileo, agape, storgay). The translator must determine the original meaning of the word and then accurately translate the word into English.  Thousands of years separate us from Biblical times. For translators to understand the text they need to understand the setting and culture in which it was written.  There are figures of speech in the Hebrew and Greek that do not make sense in English. Part of understanding the language of Biblical times is understanding the idioms and euphemisms commonly used then, and then finding an accurate English interpretation. Even after translators overcome these difficulties there are still meanings lost in the translation, like Hebrew wordplays and acrostics, both of which are unique to the language they were written in. Often, the translators will just add a footnote to point these out. Methods of Translation Translators use many methods to create new Bible versions, and each version can be put into a category. These categories are good for comparing Bible translations because they
  • are a good indicator of the purpose of the version, and summarize which method the translators used. Following are the major methods of translating: Formal Equivalent (word-for-word) In this version translators try to reproduce the Hebrew or Greek language word- for-word, sometimes at the expense of expressing a passage in a way that sounds natural in English. Because this type is as close as possible to the original text, it is good for Bible studies but may require advanced knowledge of the language and historic setting to fully understand. Dynamic Equivalent (thought-for-thought) In the dynamic equivalent the Hebrew or Greek has been more loosely translated to make understanding easier. Instead of word-for-word meaning, the translators will take phrases or thoughts and translate them into a modern equivalent that the average person would understand. While these versions are easier to read than their Formal Equivalent counterparts, some scriptures are more interpretations than translations. Free Translation (Paraphrase) Some Bible versions are complete paraphrases of the original text, or even of other versions. Translators will re-word whole passages, focusing on readability instead of staying true to the original. Some versions paraphrase to the extent that many details are lost. For that reason these may be suitable for personal devotions or youth Bibles but not so suitable for Bible studies as are other versions. Mainstream Translations With these categories in mind, presented below are reviews of several of the most widely available Bible versions. Most Bibles have this type of information in the preface or it can be found on the publisher’s website. King James Version (KJV) The King James Version is the most circulated and well-known version of the Bible. Originally printed in 1611, this version was authorized by King James I of England in an attempt to unify the kingdom by providing a single version to replace the various English translations that existed at the time.
  • The translators of the KJV relied heavily on the work of William Tyndale, whose translations had been used in the first English versions printed in the prior century. The King James Version is not without error, and does not always match more recent versions, which have been updated with manuscripts not yet discovered in 1611. The KJV is a word-for-word (Formal Equivalent) translation, and although some scriptures contain antiquated language (the English language has evolved a lot in 400 years), the KJV contains the flowery Shakespearean language that many have come to love. Take for example Psalm 23:2-3: "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake." In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an update to the KJV was sponsored by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This New King James Version was completed in 1982 and sought to address the archaic language in the KJV (e.g., thee, thou, ye, -est, -eth) while keeping the stylistic beauty of the KJV. This update is still a word-for-word translation and, therefore, an acceptable version for Bible studies. When translating Yahweh’s Name, the translators of the KJV substituted "lord" in small capital letters. "Yahshua" was substituted with "Jesus." In fact, one of the mistakes of the translators was to make this substitution for the name of Old Testament general "Joshua" in Hebrews 4:78 and Acts 7:45, which renders the passages meaningless. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) The King James Version spawned several revisions in an attempt to correct some of the translation issues and update the language. One of these revisions is the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV), which was the basis for the Revised Standard Version. Like the KJV and the ASV, the RSV is a word-for-word translation. The RSV is easier to read and some believe this version accomplished the goal of readability while staying true to the original text. When it was originally published in 1952 it replaced the KJV in many churches as their Bible of choice. Like the KJV, the name Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD. The Amplified Bible This version was created to give more depth to key words and phrases translated from the original languages by "amplifying" them with synonyms and definitions placed right in the text inside parenthesis and brackets. This version also includes cross-references and commentary in the footnotes. The Amplified Bible is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, but according to the publisher’s website, it "attempts to go beyond the ‘word-for-word’ translation to bring out the richness of the Hebrew and Greek languages." The Amplified Bible was printed in stages over a period of about 10 years until the complete version was published in 1964 by the Lockman Foundation. This version was not meant to be a stand-alone version, but rather to complement other Bibles. "Yahweh" is rendered in this translation in title case as Lord.
  • New American Standard (NASB) This version is also a revision of the 1901 American Standard Version printed by the Lockman Foundation. The project started in 1959 and was a collaboration of conservative scholars from various religious backgrounds. The goal was to create a version that is grammatically correct and easy to understand, while being true to the original languages (a literal word-for-word translation) incorporating texts that had been newly discovered. The complete Bible was printed in 1971 and became the best-selling Bible until the New International Version was published later in the decade. To enhance readability each verse starts on a new line, and paragraphs are marked by boldface verse numbers. Any quotations from the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters. The NASB also has an extensive cross- referencing system, and occasionally includes alternate translations in the margins. These qualities make it a good study Bible. Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD. New International Version (NIV) The project for the NIV started in 1965 after a meeting between the Christian Reformed Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, and other Bible scholars. Their desire was for a version that used contemporary English, one that was accurate and readable, and that fell somewhere between formal and dynamic equivalence. The NIV is not as literal as the versions that preceded it like the NASB or RSV, but is arguably easier to read. There is some debate over whether the NIV is suitable for Bible study because of the emphasis put on being a thought-for-thought translation. With the support of the New York Bible Society (now the International Bible Society) and Zondervan Bible Publishers, the work began in the late 1960s and involved over 100 scholars from different religious backgrounds (some in different countries). One of the most costly translation projects, the NIV quickly became the fastest selling Bible and remains one of the most popular Bibles. The NIV is available in many forms, like the NIV Study Bible and the Life Application Study Bible. Another revision to the NIV has just been completed, and printing of the new NIV is scheduled for later this year. In 1996, Zondervan also published The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV), which is a revision of the NIV intended for youth or anyone to Psalm 23:2-3 in the Amplified Bible reads, "He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He
  • leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake." The Amplified Bible is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, but according to the publisher’s website, it "attempts to go beyond the ‘word-for-word’ translation to bring out the richness of the Hebrew and Greek languages." The Amplified Bible was printed in stages over a period of about 10 years until the complete version was published in 1964 by the Lockman Foundation. This version was not meant to be a stand-alone version, but rather to complement other Bibles. "Yahweh" is rendered in this translation in title case as Lord. New American Standard (NASB) This version is also a revision of the 1901 American Standard Version printed by the Lockman Foundation. The project started in 1959 and was a collaboration of conservative scholars from various religious backgrounds. The goal was to create a version that is grammatically correct and easy to understand, while being true to the original languages (a literal word-for-word translation) incorporating texts that had been newly discovered. The complete Bible was printed in 1971 and became the best-selling Bible until the New International Version was published later in the decade. To enhance readability each verse starts on a new line, and paragraphs are marked by boldface verse numbers. Any quotations from the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters. The NASB also has an extensive cross- referencing system, and occasionally includes alternate translations in the margins. These qualities make it a good study Bible. Yahweh was rendered in this translation in small capitals as LORD. New International Version (NIV) The project for the NIV started in 1965 after a meeting between the Christian Reformed Church, the National Association of Evangelicals, and other Bible scholars. Their desire was for a version that used contemporary English, one that was accurate and readable, and that fell somewhere between formal and dynamic equivalence. The NIV is not as literal as the versions that preceded it like the NASB or RSV, but is arguably easier to read. There is some debate over whether the NIV is suitable for Bible study because of the emphasis put on being a thought-for-thought translation. With the support of the New York Bible Society (now the International Bible Society) and Zondervan Bible Publishers, the work began in the late 1960s and involved over 100
  • scholars from different religious backgrounds (some in different countries). One of the most costly translation projects, the NIV quickly became the fastest selling Bible and remains one of the most popular Bibles. The NIV is available in many forms, like the NIV Study Bible and the Life Application Study Bible. Another revision to the NIV has just been completed, and printing of the new NIV is scheduled for later this year. In 1996, Zondervan also published The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV), which is a revision of the NIV intended for youth or anyone to whom English is a second language. The sentences were shortened, and an easier vocabulary was used, and this version is more of a dynamic equivalence translation and not especially suitable for Bible study. In 2005 Zondervan published Today’s New International Reader’s Version (TNIV), yet another spinoff of the NIV, with updated English intended to engage young adults. Some of the updates were made to remove gender references. For example, Genesis 1:27 reads "…human beings in his own image," instead of "…man in his own image." The main purpose of this version was to make the English more clear to modern readers. In the NIV Yahweh is rendered LORD in small capital letters. Adonai is rendered Lord with small letters. When the two are found together in the Old Testament in reference to Yahweh, they are rendered "Sovereign LORD." New Living Translation (NLT) This version was created to be easily accessible to those who are accustomed to reading in modern English. Published in 1996 by Tyndale Publishers, this started as a major revision of The Living Bible (which was a paraphrase of the 1901 American Standard Version), but as the translators referenced more recent manuscripts, the NLT because a much more accurate translation than The Living Bible. Still, as a dynamic equivalence translation, there are better versions for Bible study than the NLT. The Message This version is a paraphrase that uses a lot of English figures-of-speech. The version was created in about 10 years by pastor Eugene H. Peterson, and published in its complete form in 2002. About this version, Peterson said, "This paraphrase is not meant to replace one’s current Bible. Rather it was designed as a reading Bible that can provide a fresh perspective."
  • Psalm 23:2-3 in this version reads, "You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction." As with any paraphrase, a true worshiper should be cautious with paraphrased Bibles because they can reflect the opinions and religious views of the person(s) doing the paraphrasing, whether they are aligned with Yahweh’s word or not. Sacred Name Versions Most mainstream versions of the Bible have taken out the sacred Names of Yahweh and Yahshua, and in their place put pagan terms or erroneous transliterations. There are now a handful of Bible translations that have restored the sacred names. Most of them are based on translations discussed earlier, like the  King James Version or the 1901 American Standard Version. Because these versions are literal translations they make good Bibles for studying. The obvious benefit of having a sacred Name Bible is that you do not have to mentally restore the sacred names as you are reading the text. Pictured is the Word of Yahweh Bible from Eaton Rapids, Michigan Request it here >> Restoration Study Bible At the time of this writing, Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry was in the final stages of producing The Restoration Study Bible (RSB) and raising funds for an initial printing. An online version is now available at www.restorationstudybible.org There you can view the text with and without Strong’s numbering along with Strong’s definitions. We plan to add study notes in the near future. The RSB project started two years ago and is being completed by a group of volunteers from Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry. The goal of this version is to provide a sound study Bible with the sacred Names restored. No such Bible has ever been done. The version is based on the original King James Version, a word-for-word translation, in order to remain close to the original text. The KJV was also chosen as the basis because it is easy to cross-reference in Hebrew/Greek dictionaries and lexicons for deeper study into the Word. Every significant word in the RSB includes a Strong’s reference number corresponding to a definition in Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. This version also includes character profiles in the footnotes as well as commentary and word definitions. The
  • commentary explains popular error and some of the translation issues in the KJV that have led to error. To enhance readability each verse begins on a new line, and paragraphs are marked with a paragraph symbol. Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are printed in small capital letters, and each quotation includes a cross-reference in the footnotes. As True Worshipers, we should be looking to the Bible as the Word given to us by Yahweh to guide our lives. Deciding which version to use for our devotions and Bible studies should not be taken lightly because there are so many translations to choose from and some are much better than others. You could say there is no perfect English translation. Several translations have been created in an attempt to improve upon the ones before, and new translations and revisions will continue to be produced. A good rule of thumb is to get a good formal equivalence translation for Bible studies. You could also benefit by having more than one version so you can compare how different translators render passages into English. Additionally, a good Hebrew/Greek lexicon is very helpful in finding the possible English meaning and renderings of the original words. We are anticipating that the RSB currently being produced by Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry will be very useful in Bible studies, and we are confident it would make a great addition to your collection of Bible translations. by Randy Dimmett
  • Chapter 11 Why do some people not accept the bible? The reason why some people do not accept the bible, is because they do not realize and understand the importance of it being the word of God. They think the bible is to much for them and they feel that the bible is just a book of fairytales, and that the bible is without meaning and without purpose. They feel like following the bible would be so hard for them so they chose to ignore it. But when they choose to ignore it they chose to ignore God. They feel like its all about theiir standards, instead of God's standards. They do not want anything to do with God.
  • Chapter 12 What conflicts does the bible have compared to other religions that people do not accept fully? In answering the question What Conflicts does the bible have compared to other religions that people do not accept fully? To answer this question the website we will be coming from is http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/clark14.htm And this is what it reads in the article that is written by Stephen B. Clark Here is the information he has provided, that I myself are now providing you. We are looking at the Authority of the Bible and we are following whateverit is that we are folloing according to this site.excerpted from his book, Man and Woman in Christ, Chapter 14 (entire book now online) originally published by Servant Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. Nihil Obstat: Rev. George A. Kelly; Imprimatur: Most Reverend Kenneth Povish, Bishop of Lansing hosted by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood The Authority of Scripture by Stephen B. Clark excerpted from his book, Man and Woman in Christ, Chapter 14 (entire book now online) originally published by Servant Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. Nihil Obstat: Rev. George A. Kelly; Imprimatur: Most Reverend Kenneth Povish, Bishop of Lansing hosted by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Copyright © 1980 by Stephen B. Clark CHRISTIANS THROUGH THE centuries have viewed the scriptures as a unique book (or collection of books). They have believed that the scriptures come from God in a way that no other book has. They have said that God is the author of scripture and that scripture is his word which he has spoken through human beings. If these statements are true, or even if they contain some truth, a person's approach to the scriptures cannot be merely detached or scholarly. Each person is approaching a book which is intended to address him or her personally; in fact, it is a book in which God is addressing him or her personally.(1) Scripture is not simply interesting data or thought. By its very nature, it calls for a response. Therefore, the way a person talks and thinks about scripture is itself a
  • religious response. The approach people take to the scripture is an important part of the way they approach God. This fact may be disguised behind phrases like "Con temporary Theories of Inspiration," "The New Hermeneutics," "A Realistic Interpretation of the Scripture," "Biblicism and Fundamentalism." But it is nonetheless true that the way people read the scripture involves their response to God. From the Christian point of view, the question of the authority of the scripture is a question about how to approach God himself. Few would deny that the scriptures teach about the roles of men and women. The question remains, however, how a person will respond to that teaching. Many people in secular society will catalog the views of scripture on this subject under such headings as "First Century Thought" or "Approaches of Pre-Industrial Cultures" or "Ideas from Great Religions." They will, in other words, file them away as interesting specimens of human thought, or even as possible examples of significant human wisdom—products, perhaps, of religious genius.(2) However, such people will not decide that something is true on the basis that it is taught in the New Testament. Others, who consider themselves to be Christians, will take a similar approach. They will catalog the scriptural views under headings like "Paul's Opinion" or "Primitive Christian Thought." These people will, in other words, respect the scriptures as worthy of great attention, as important sources or data from which their opinions will be formed, as opinions which they would not want to blatantly contradict; yet they too will not hold a viewpoint or adopt an approach on the basis that it is taught in the New Testament. All of these people might give the scriptures weight, authority in the sense of something to which one should pay attention and be influenced by, but they will not give them authority in the sense of being the highest norm for their minds and lives. The position of scripture, once ascertained, will not be automatically decisive for them. The question of authority is concerned with scripture as a norm or criterion for the beliefs and way of life of Christians. The scriptural teaching on the roles of men and women has a normative aspect. It involves questions of fact, but it is primarily the presentation of instructions for how Christians should conduct themselves. Even where possible facts such as God's creation of the human race as male and female for his own purposes come into the teaching on men and women, their acceptance as facts rests upon the authority of scripture for determining the beliefs of Christians. The issue, then, is whether the scripture ought to determine the way people think and act in the area of the roles of men and women. The question of authority not only differs from the question of content—that is, what the scripture teaches-but it also differs from the question of application. The scripture could, for instance, teach a consistent approach to the roles of men and women with the highest authority, and its teaching still might turn out to be inapplicable to all peoples subsequent to the industrial revolution. It might not even be addressing the situation of modern people. Part Three of this book will treat questions of applicability. The question of authority, however, is distinct from the question of applicability. The question of authority concerns personal response.(3) The Nature of Scriptural Authority The traditional Christian view has been that the scripture (both Old and New Testaments) has highest authority for the beliefs and life of Christians(4). This means that Christians
  • ought to change if they discover that their beliefs contradict those presented for acceptance by scripture or if they discover that their way of life does not conform with that directed by scripture.(5) The word "authority" is not a traditional word to describe the scripture.(6) It is, however, commonly used in modern theological discussions of the nature of scripture.(7) To say that the scripture has the highest "authority" in this case does not necessarily mean that there are no other authorities or that there is nothing else which also has highest authority. Some would hold, for instance, that tradition, reason, or personal revelation likewise have highest authority. In the sense used here, highest authority means that there is nothing which should cause Christians to contradict or otherwise set themselves at odds with scripture.(8) A more traditional word for describing the claim scripture has upon the Christian is "canonical." The word "canon" means "rule" in the sense of a "yardstick" or "ruler."(9) Something which is canonical is a standard for measuring or judging something else. In this sense, the canonical scripture is the standard against which all other opinions can be measured. If something is at odds with scripture, it is not Christian and therefore for a Christian not true. The authority of scripture, in the traditional approach, is grounded in its origin. The scripture is composed of writings which come from God.(10) They contain the highest revelation of God and of his intentions for the human race. The scriptures are not merely human books or collections of human opinion, although they are also these things. They are books which contain God's revelation of himself. When people deal with scripture, they deal with God himself-the creator of the universe, the one who has all power in heaven and earth, and who knows all things. They are dealing with the one whose opinions count, whose word is automatically truth because he knows everything, and because he does not lie. God himself is a rock, and his words are faithful and true. Therefore, anyone who does not approach the scripture with fear of the Lord either does not know what the scriptures are or does not know who the Lord is. There are two words which have been commonly used to describe the origin of the scripture as from God: inspired and apostolic. The New Testament books, the part of the scriptures with which we are primarily concerned in this book, were written by inspiration with apostolic authority and are therefore accepted as canonical for the Christian faith. "Inspired" means that the New Testament writings are given by God.(11) They are the product of the Holy Spirit, inspiring the human authors to write these books. To make this basic point, the different approaches to scriptural inspiration do not need to be discussed.(12) Here it is sufficient to say that the collection of books called scripture are writings which have been described as inspired by God (cf. 2 Tm 3:16), meaning that they were given through the work of the Holy Spirit and can be counted on to give truths from God. Human beings actually wrote the scriptures, and the scriptures bear many marks of the human personalities of their authors, but these works were nonetheless written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and this inspiration guarantees their truthfulness. "Apostolic" is a second word that is important for understanding the New Testament's origin in God. In this case it designates the way his inspiration is mediated through authoritative human beings. The New Testament has been handed down as a collection of apostolic writings. Whether this means that the writings of the New Testament were
  • actually penned or dictated by one of the apostles is a question that is not crucial for our concerns. It suffices here to say that the term "apostolic" at least indicates that the work in question comes to us under apostolic authority; that is, it comes to us as the teaching of one of the apostles. The apostles are the foundational authorities of the Christian church (Rv 21:14), and the foundational authorities of Christian teaching.(13) They have a unique authority, the highest authority after Christ. They were delegated by Christ to do whatever was needed to establish the Christian people after his resurrection and ascension, and that role included teaching (Mt 28:19-20). They therefore exercised Christ's authority and did not hesitate to speak with his authority (2 Tm 3:6-15; 1 Thes 4:1-2). Clement of Rome, a contemporary of the apostles and a man taught by them, summed up their position in this way: "The gospel was given to the apostles for us by the Lord Jesus Christ; and Jesus the Christ was sent from God. That is to say, Christ received his commission from God, and the apostles theirs from Christ."(14) Reading some contemporary scholarship on scripture leads to approaching the apostles as though they were merely early Christian thinkers, limited men like all other men. Most scholars discuss Paul as a theological thinker, or evaluate John's opinions, or reflect on the origin of Matthew's views, and so forth. To do so is unavoidable, both because scripture scholarship is a secular discipline, and because the human authors of scripture did stand in human history under historical influence, and they were limited men of a particular age in history. It is sometimes helpful for a Christian to look at them in that way. But if this view dominates, one loses the Christian perspective on the apostles- namely, that they were given the foundational authority to establish the Christian people and they were delegated the authority of Christ to teach, and were often equipped with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to do so. A collection of the books that represent the apostolic teaching has therefore become the canon for the Christian people. "Inspired" and "apostolic" have been chosen here to describe the scripture insofar as it originates in God. They have been chosen because they are two of the most common terms used in Christian tradition for this aspect of the scripture. Of the two, "inspired by God" is the more important term. It should, however, also be observed that the books of the scripture were probably not received as canonical simply because their inspiration was discerned or their apostolicity was well attested. Very commonly books were eliminated because they did not teach unquestioned orthodoxy. They were discerned, in other words, on the basis of their content. That too was seen as a sign of their origin from God. The fundamental point, however, is simply that scripture has been given the authority it has because it has been understood to be from God and to be reliable as an expression of his mind. Sometimes this understanding of the nature of scripture is attributed to Protestantism, while Catholicism is often said to substitute the church for the scriptures. However, Catholic teaching on this point is no different than most Protestant teaching that holds to the authority of scripture.(15) Both Catholics and Protestants stand on the same ground in approaching the scripture as authoritative truth from God. The Vatican Council II, in its Constitution on Divine Revelation (sec. 11), makes this point very clear: The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and New Testaments, whole and entire,
  • with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 20:31; 2 Tm 3:16; 2 Pt 1:19-21; 3:15-16), they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself. To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their powers and faculties so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more. Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors, or sacred writers, affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture, firmly, faithfully and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the sacred Scriptures. Thus "all Scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Tm 3:16-17,13 Gk. text).(16) In Catholic teaching as well as in Protestant teaching, nothing can overrule or contradict scripture-not pope, council, inspired prophet, or great theologian. There are many questions connected with the authority or canonical status of scripture, not the least of them why these twenty-seven books and only these twenty-seven books are contained in our canon and should be regarded as having highest authority.(17) Christian theologians have traditionally answered these questions in various ways. The fundamental point, however, is that we do have a canon, and the books in that canon have the highest authority for a Christian because they have been given by God through the Holy Spirit. This is a faith position (like all faith in Christ or in his word). Christianity is based upon the recognition of God speaking in the words of men. The acceptance of the canon is also a first principle. It determines to a great extent what someone will claim that Christianity is. If someone does not accept the New Testament as canonical, or only accepts something in the New Testament as canonical, that person will come up with a different religion. That religion may preserve some faith in Christ, and it may be properly termed "Christian" by historians or sociologists, but it will be different from traditional Christianity. The New Testament as a whole is foundational for faith in Christ. Submission to Scripture If the New Testament is a collection of inspired apostolic writings that are the canon, then it has the highest authority in the life of a Christian. It presents words from God, the Lord of all, and it must be believed and obeyed. To use a term from the New Testament (2 Cor 11:4), Christians must "submit" themselves to it.(18) They must submit their minds, indeed their whole lives, to it. That submission includes both believing it where the scripture proclaims a fact about the Christian faith, and obeying it where the scripture indicates the Lord's desires. Christians must respond to scripture as something with authority in their lives, in such a way that it is enough for them to know that scripture has taught something in order to accept it and follow it. Scriptural teaching is not merely one of many opinions, viewpoints, or theologies. It is the standard against which all other opinions must be measured. If other views do not correspond, they must be rejected. The concern here is not primarily with an intellectual position, but a question of how people should orient their lives. One can easily begin to approach scripture as a source of
  • opinion or a justification for different propositions, taking a stance in regard to it as a thinker who makes use of scripture. While Christians must think about scripture, they may not stand over it, using it for their purposes. Approaching scripture is approaching the Lord himself. It should be received as a message from the Lord. The appropriate attitude is one of submission-the submission that should mark any relationship with the Lord. Righteousness demands submission to the Lord. Contemporary society, however, does not value personal submission. Rather, it teaches that the ideal, the highest position a human being can attain, is that of personal autonomy. The human being who decides for himself, who is creative, that is, who devises novel opinions or viewpoints, the human being who is "adult," taking the responsibility to make his own decisions-this is the human being who is valued.(19) By contrast the ideal for a Christian is to submit totally to God, to be molded and formed by him, to desire first and foremost to be what God wants. The Christian is the servant (doulos-slave) of Jesus Christ; perhaps a voluntary servant, but a servant nonetheless (Rom 6:16-23).(20) He is the person whose life does not belong to himself, but who has given it completely, his mind included, to another-his Lord. Many modern Christians have lost not only the sense of the dignity of submission to the Lord but also an understanding of how to submit. They no longer have an instinctual understanding of the importance of obedience as an aspect of personal loyalty to God, and of how obedience grows out of personal devotion to him. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Obedience and love go together. But loving obedience is not content merely to keep the explicit commandments that are solemnly enjoined. Loving obedience also means eagerness to follow his preferences as well and to be formed by all of his desires. Christians who show loving obedience want their lives to be formed by the Lord's desire, so that it is pleasing to him even in the smallest respects. Moreover, loving obedience is active obedience. It does not wait for the Lord to make his will known but seeks out the Lord's will. It is eager to discover where the Lord has a preference, and to follow it. Concretely, obedience means comparing one's mind and one's thinking with the Lord's mind and thinking as found in scripture. Obedience means changing one's mind when it is not in harmony with the scriptures and changing one's life when' it is not shaped by God's desires as revealed in the scriptures. This attitude does not deny that God can reveal his will in other ways, but it does emphasize that he has revealed his will in scripture, and that one must at least be eager to follow what is stated there. Christians are often tempted by a selective submission. Some scriptural teaching is very attractive to them, and they find in themselves an admiration and a willingness to submit to it. Modern Christians usually find it easier to feel enthusiastic about Christian teaching about God's fatherhood or about love of others. Some scriptural teaching, however, contradicts their desires. Some may even repulse them. To be sure, often the difficulty is genuine uncertainty about how to respond to some part of scripture. Often a person may know that the scripture is saying something on a given subject, but can be uncertain how to understand or apply what is said. Despite some uncertainties, for most Christians there remains much scriptural teaching that is sufficiently clear, or could seemingly become sufficiently clear with more investigation, but which they find themselves unwilling to submit to. The genuineness of submission is tested precisely at these points. They prove that their submission is genuine, and not a mere pretense, when they submit to the Lord in something which is personally difficult and which may lose them the respect of the world
  • around him. A Christian may be uncertain about how to submit, but should not be selective about submission. Freedom and Rights Some people today would dispute the notion that submission is the ideal for the Christian. They claim that such an ideal is opposed to the Christian freedom proclaimed in the scriptures. Yet the submission being described here is closely related to true Christian freedom. Paul is the great apostle of Christian freedom, but the Christian freedom taught by Paul is not the same as the freedom extolled by modern man. For the modern mentality, freedom is the ability to set one's own standards, to submit to no person, to chart one's own course. The freedom Paul teaches about comes in Christ and through faith in him.(21) It is a freedom defined primarily in relationship to the Mosaic law. The two great epistles of Christian freedom, Galatians and Romans, are concerned with questions about the need for Gentile Christians to conform to the Mosaic law, especially in its ritual provisions. Christian freedom as taught by Paul, then, is first of all a freedom from the ritual provisions of the Mosaic law, at least for the Gentiles. But it is also a freedom from the (Mosaic) law in its entirety as the way to enter into the full relationship with God and the full status as his people. Behind this change is an understanding that the purpose of law is not to give life but to reveal sin (Rom 7:7-12). Life, relationship with God, power to live the Christian call, come through faith in Christ and through the Spirit of God given to us. The freedom that Paul teaches is not, however, a freedom to disobey the ethical prescriptions taught in Old and New Testament alike, much less a freedom to set our standards and to submit to no one.(22) There was a temptation to abuse Paul's teaching in that way, but Paul understood that temptation as providing an opportunity for the flesh, that is, an opportunity to follow our own will and desires (Gal 5:13). Paul expected freedom to operate in precisely the opposite way. It should produce an ability and a desire to live the kind of life which not only fulfills the commands of the law but which proceeds to an even more complete and demanding love. It is a freedom to submit to God and to do his will with a more perfect submission than had existed under the law, when the commands of God were written on tablets of stone and not on the heart (2 Cor 3:3). It is freedom from the law, but a freedom that is meant to put us into a direct relationship of obedience to our Father as his sons and daughters (Gal 3:23-4:7). In fact, the same Paul who insisted so strongly on freedom could also insist strongly on obedience, and could act as a disciplinarian, commanding respect for his own authority because his authority and discipline were spiritual, conferred on him by the Lord Jesus under the New Covenant (I Cor 4:18-21). Freedom is another area in which contemporary man is ready to find contradictions in Paul, contradictions that never existed in Paul's mind. Here again, the contradictions are not in scriptural teaching. Rather, they arise when the scriptural texts are interpreted using a modern understanding of freedom alien to the scriptural mentality. Submission, then, does not conflict with "freedom" in the scriptural sense. It can be undercut, however, by an approach to freedom which leads Christians to understand their lives in terms of their own rights. The discussion of the roles of men and women is often framed in a way which stresses the need to give women their rights and which urges them to claim or defend their own rights. At first, such an approach was used to claim for
  • women basic legal protections and constitutional guarantees. Presently, it is often used to orient people toward seeking a kind of personal independence and individualism which conflict with the spirit of Christian teaching. We can often hear, for instance, that basic human rights include making one's own decisions, being independent upon reaching adulthood, expressing one's own opinions, developing one's full potential, having as much opportunity to do a particular job as anyone else. Moreover, we are sometimes told that these rights are violated not only when the government takes them away by force, but even when a group of people freely decide to establish their common life on different principles. The term "rights" is a legal term, indicating something which gives us a claim in court. "Rights" in this sense is an ancient term, and can be found in scripture. The broader idea of basic human rights, or of the rights of man, was formulated later in human history as a way of developing certain principles for framing the constitutions of modern states.(23) The origin of this approach will be discussed in Chapter Nineteen. This broader concept has much utility, especially as a protection for individuals in a pluralistic state which cannot presuppose a shared view of fundamental social and ethical questions. The term "the rights of women" is certainly appropriate in discussions about how legal protection should be given to women in contemporary society. However, when that legal rights framework is brought into a Christian discussion, it normally orients the whole discussion in a direction that is alien to the basic Christian context. It leads to a frame of mind in which people become oriented primarily to their own welfare, it leads them to even make demands on the Lord himself. In short, the legal rights framework used as a basis for a Christian discussion leads away from an attitude of submission, of eagerness to find out what the Lord is saying, and of readiness to accept and obey his will. Legal rights, then, is not the proper basic framework for issues concerning the people of God. The "constitution" of Israel, and that of the Christian people, rests on an entirely different basis than those of modern states. The scripture does not speak about "the rights of man." From the scriptural point of view, we have no intrinsic and inalienable rights.(24) Women have no rights, but men have no rights either. Human beings are God's creatures, totally at his disposal. In the book of Isaiah, the Lord says, "Woe to him who strives with his Maker, an earthen vessel with the potter! Does the clay say to him who fashions it, 'What are you making?' or 'Your work has no handles?' Woe to him who says to a father, 'What are you begetting?' or to a woman, 'With what are you in travail?' " Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? I made the earth, and created man upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
  • and I commanded all their host." (Is 45:9-12) The "constitution" of Israel was based upon a covenant relationship between God and man, a covenant which God gave and men accepted.(25) The basic framework is not one of rights but of promises and commandments: the promises of God as to what he would do for his people if they were faithful to the covenant, and the commandments of God as to how his people should relate together and to others. The protection of "strangers" (that is, of resident aliens), for instance, was not based on "the rights of the strangers." Rather, it was based upon God's commandment to his people: "Thou shalt not oppress the stranger among you." God is a sovereign creator. His commandments are not based on rights that he must recognize, but on his own nature (including his goodness) and his purpose. His commandments express his plan for his people as an unfolding of his purpose in creating the human race. This is not to deny that often his purposes and his commandments can be understood by considering the way he created the human race. It is to deny, however, that a discussion with God can properly be conducted in terms of rights, or that a Christian's basic understanding of the roles of men and women can be. To think in those terms puts human beings in a false position, and induces them to call God to account for how he respects the rights of his creatures. The framework of a Christian discussion should simply be: What does God want for the human race? What does God want of men and women? Those who approach him in that way will be in a much better position to hear his word. To speak so strongly of submission is not to ignore all the various problems in attempting to submit to scripture. Scripture can be difficult to understand. It can require some effort to grasp the meaning of what the scripture teaches about the roles of men and women. It can also take work to grasp scripture's intention in a particular passage. For instance, someone who approaches an instruction meant only for one situation as though it were meant for all of life would be making a significant mistake, as did the child who turned out the lights on his parents because he misunderstood the command "always turn out the lights when you leave the room." It is by no means true that someone who disagrees with the approach taken in this book must be rebellious toward God. Many good Christians differ simply because they understand the scripture differently. Nor is it always easy to apply the scripture once it has been understood. The New Testament was written in a very different situation than ours, and we often do not know how to do what it says. Nevertheless, if we approach the scripture submissively, with an eagerness to do everything that the Lord desires, we are in a much better position to solve these problems and to understand God's way. The scripture is meant to be read in the fear of the Lord and in humility. As it says in Sirach: Those who fear the Lord will not disobey his words, and those who love him will keep his ways. Those who fear the Lord will prepare their hearts and will humble themselves before him. (Sir 2:15-17) Understanding and Obeying
  • Submission to scripture should not be approached in a rigid or inflexible way. In the minds of many people, the term "submission to scripture" conjures up a picture of scripture as a huge law code, a set of commandments, in which everything is a directive. Not everything in scripture is a commandment. The scripture is a collection of many different types of writing. It contains commandments, but also teaching, maxims of wisdom, poetry, and what we might call disciplinary decrees.(26) Some of scripture is based upon what could be called "implied social structure." So far in this book, all these types of scriptural literature have been considered. All of scripture is to be approached with seriousness and submissiveness. All of it is there for shaping our lives. But not all of it is intended to shape our lives in the same manner. Major mistakes can be made in approaching a poem or an ironical or hyperbolic statement as though they were laws from the Code Napoleon. A few reflections on the different types of scriptural literature should make the point clearer. 1. The commandments in scripture should be taken as commandments. When the Lord says, "Thou shalt not steal," people had better not steal. Moreover, they had better not redefine "stealing" in such a way that something can be judged as acceptable under our definition, but still falls under what the Lord forbids according to his definition. 2. There are differences among commandments. Some commandments concern basic righteousness and must be approached with tremendous seriousness. Others are commandments of right order, commandments designed to order life in a better way. These do not have the same weight (Mt 23:23). For example, the directives about manwoman subordination in scripture are not on the same level as the Ten Commandments and cannot be treated with the same gravity. Yet recognizing different weight to different commandments does not mean that we need only obey some of them. All commandments are to be obeyed. Some people apply a traditional distinction between faith and order to most of the New Testament teaching about the roles of men and women, holding that these roles are matters of order, and the Christian people can change matters of order whenever it chooses.(27) Some order can be changed, but in the New Testament, as in the better Christian teaching of all ages, matters of order or discipline can also be matters of obedience to the Lord if he is the originator of the order or if he simply stands behind the order. In fact, commandments such as that to honor one's parents could be considered as commandments of order, yet they are basic and inviolable. 3. Commandments should be taken as they were intended. Some commandments about the roles of men and women are clearly intended by the scripture to be universal for all Christians--not merely for Christians at a particular time, or in a particular situation. For instance, the directive for the wife to be subordinate to her husband and for the husband to care for his wife is a commandment for Christians as long as there is marriage. If anything in scripture should be approached as a commandment this should. 4. Submission takes on a different character when its object is teaching, prophecy, poetry, or the other genres of scriptural writing that are not simply commands. The submissive response to a command is obedience, but the submissive response to other forms of speech is not always obedience. If, for instance, a woman were to approach the portrait of the ideal wife in Proverbs 31 as a set of commands to be obeyed, she might end up with a physical collapse. Proverbs 31 is intended to serve as an ideal or model, not a point-by- point command. Similarly, the teaching in scripture about Adam and Eve and God's
  • purposes in creation is, for the most part, not easily "obeyed." Nonetheless, it is supposed to mold Christians' minds, so that they can see the area with God's vision. These genres of scriptural writing can help form the lives of those who are submissive to them, and they can mold their lives as firmly as commandments; yet submission to them is expressed differently than submission to commandments. A special type of submission to scripture should have a fuller consideration because of its relevance to this subject. This case concerns submission to New Testament patterns of church order. For centuries Christian theologians have studied the patterns of community or church order in the New Testament (and beyond the New Testament) to discern a pattern which they could view as authoritative for the following generations. Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and almost every group of Christians have used this method to justify the approach taken to order and government in their denominations. Even now, few Christian theologians would say that New Testament and early church patterns have no validity as standards for Christian life today. Moreover, the early Christians themselves believed that many of their patterns of community order came to them from the Lord and that they were obliged to follow them.(28) Indeed, for Christians who still respect scriptural and traditional patterns of order and who do not feel themselves free to order the life of the Christian people however seems good to them, one of the weightiest arguments against having women as elders or ministers or priests is the argument that Christ himself chose only men for this position. Recently, however, there has been a stress on the variety of patterns and approaches to order in the New Testament.(29) Some have correctly pointed out that the approach to ordering the life of the Christian community taken in Jerusalem in 35 A.D. and the approach taken in Corinth in 60 A.D. appear to have been somewhat different. The approach to ordering community life that we see in the letters of Ignatius of Antioch and that which we see in the Didache are likewise different in important respects. The conclusion which some draw from this observation is that different Christian communities today can take different approaches, including different approaches to such questions as the ordination of women. The recent approach of noting variety between New Testament churches has something to recommend it. This can help avoid a "blueprint" approach to following New Testament patterns.(30) The early churches may even have approached the roles of men and women somewhat differently. As was discussed in Chapter Five, some writers have held that there was a difference between the roles of men and women in Jewish Christian communities and those roles in Gentile Christian communities, although the evidence is far too weak to make such an assertion confidently. It is possible, then, that the early Christians did have two patterns of community order for women: one which included deaconesses and active service for women, and one without these features. The evidence that some early Christian communities were free to order their church life somewhat differently does not lead to the conclusion that Christians today can take a fundamentally different approach to men's and women's roles. First, the stress on different patterns of community order was developed in the context of trying to deal with differences in forms of church government, for example, the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Congregational approaches. The approach was developed, that is, for investigating an area in which few explicit scriptural directives are given, and in which Christian teachers for centuries have had to rely on tracing the pattern of how it was actually done and
  • teaching the pattern they had traced as the correct form. Second, the observation about the existence of different patterns in the early church only applies to certain levels of a given question. Thus, there may be something to the view that some churches had one bishop presiding over the community and others had only a presbyterate, but there is no question that some men presided over a Christian community, and that the community was expected to be subordinate to them. While differences in approach existed, there were also uniformities.(31) Third, on the subject of the roles of men and women, one finds a basic uniformity of approach concerning both the husband being head of the family and the elders or heads of the community being chosen from among the men. There is no credible instance which is different or which would suggest that a different pattern might have been followed. Communities may have structured leadership roles of women differently. One community may have had an order of deaconesses, while another may have instead relied on some of the widows. One community may have had a chief deaconess, while another may not have had one. One community may have assigned a deaconess some teaching functions that another community may not have allowed. But on many points, especially the most fundamental ones, no variation can be shown. Paul can even appeal to the universal practice of the churches on the issue of headcoverings, a practice where one might expect a variety of approaches (1 Cor 11:16; 14:36). Finally, and very importantly, the basic uniformity of pattern is also accompanied by the explicit directives in the New Testament both about husband-wife order and about the governors of the community being men, and the latter appears in the closest thing we have to an authoritative book of church order (1 Timothy). In short, in the area of the roles of men and women, submitting to the New Testament patterns of basic order for the roles of men and women does not entail a simplistic or overrigid type of "blueprint ecclesiology."(32) Avoiding Legalism Submission to scripture, even obedience to clear commandments, should not happen legalistically. Thus, it is not enough merely to hear a command and put it into practice; rather, the intention behind the commandment must be understood. The hazard of failing to grasp the underlying intention of a command is well illustrated in the practice of a certain religious community, which had carefully observed an old rule in its constitution that community members were not permitted to eat chicken. At the time the constitution was written, chicken was a great delicacy; the rule was intended to help community members achieve simplicity of life. Until recently, the members of that community ate the most expensive meats in good conscience, while carefully avoiding chicken—often one of the cheapest meats in recent years. A further example of the need to grasp the intention of a rule concerns practices designed to observe the prohibition against braided hair in 1 Tm 2:9 and I Pt 3:3. In some Christian groups, women never wear braided hair in any sense (not even pigtails on the little girls), in order to obey that scriptural directive. Their desire to obey the Lord may be very commendable, but it does seem clear that the kind of braided hair that was being discussed in the passages was a luxurious style of headdress, not simply any manner of braiding hair. The intention of the passages is to prohibit luxurious adornment, not to eliminate what most people nowadays would understand by "hair braiding." Avoiding legalism also involves recognizing exceptions. At times, it might be right for a
  • Christian to breach good order because circumstances make that the only reasonable course. If a husband and father has mental disabilities a wife might have to assume the role of head of the family, while a similar disability in a wife might require the husband to mother the children as well as to father them. The story of Deborah in the Old Testament is a canonized story of an exception from the normal order of the roles of men and women. Finally, avoiding legalism also means employing good judgment in determining the relative importance of different scriptural prescriptions. Not everything is important enough to die for. It is worth dying rather than burn a pinch of incense in worship of an idol (Rv 14:9). But it is not necessarily worth irreparably damaging a marriage in order to preserve a correct scriptural pattern of roles for men and women in all respects. Avoiding legalism, however, does not mean following the "spirit" of the biblical teachings rather than the "letter," in the sense sometimes given to those terms.(33) When Paul talked about following the spirit rather than the letter of the law (2 Cor 3), he meant Christians following the law written on their hearts by the Holy Spirit rather than simply following the external code. Sometimes, however, the phrase "following the spirit of the biblical teachings" is used to refer to a process by which one does not really follow the biblical teachings at all. Rather, one finds certain values or principles in those teachings which one follows in one's own way. Someone operating in this vein "follows the spirit of the biblical teachings" on the roles of men and women, for instance, by valuing both men and women and by seeing the mutual responsibility in relationships which involve men and women. It is then suggested that as long as one is trying to follow the spirit of the teachings, one can avoid being literalistic about actually having the husband be the head of the family. By the same principle, one can also (as some have suggested) follow the spirit of the commandment against adultery by not having sexual intercourse with any married people whom one did not love.(34) "Following the spirit of the biblical teachings," then, can be a phrase which ultimately means not following the biblical teachings at all, but merely selecting aspects of them and obeying only what one thinks is important. It can be a way of avoiding submission to the Lord's word. Neither does avoiding legalism mean disobeying directives in the scripture in order to avoid turning the gospel into law. Some currents of theology would want to make the gospel the key interpretative principle of the New Testament, seeing everything else as secondary.(35) These theologians stress the gospel as freeing us from the law, and they resist any efforts to approach the New Testament as law. In many respects, these currents emphasize important elements of the New Testament. They attempt to synthesize New Testament teaching in a way which preserves Paul's teaching on grace and faith. But the gospel certainly involves the lordship of Jesus, and the gospel is received in repentance and a commitment to obedience to the Lord. Our righteousness may not save us, but that does not mean that obedience can be eliminated from the Christian life. The scripture also talks about "lawlessness" (anomia). In fact, 2 Pt 3:15-17 sees this lawlessness as often expressing itself in scriptural interpretation and as leading to ruin: So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scripture. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand,
  • beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. The very difficulties of scriptural interpretation can sometimes undercut submissiveness to the Lord in scripture.(36) Often Christians feel (with good reason) that they do not know what the passages mean, how they were intended, or how they can be applied in a responsible way. In this area, as in others in the Christian life, eagerness to obey can make someone scrupulous or confused, and there is the possibility of committing a foolish mistake in an effort to obey. Such a possibility should not lead to replacing eager obedience with a cautious skepticism. It should rather produce a desire to balance eagerness with wisdom. The Lord is probably more pleased with someone who makes a foolish mistake in attempting to obey scripture than with someone who requires that everything be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt before considering obedience. At the same time, submission to scripture does not mean trying to compile a distinguished record of foolish mistakes. No one will probably ever be flawless in obedience, but the Lord is asking for a relationship with him which involves desiring to do his will, doing it as it is understood, asking for his light, and actively seeking to grow in wisdom and the understanding of his will. An attitude of submissiveness to God's word can easily become legalism and a burden, but it does not have to be. It can be a loving, trusting desire to do the will of the Lord, who for our sake died and was raised that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him (2 Cor 5:15). Is This Fundamentalism? The approach taken in this book runs the risk of being labeled "Fundamentalist." A brief discussion, therefore, would be helpful for understanding the meaning of the term "Fundamentalist," and for evaluating the validity of applying that label to the approach taken here. The term "Fundamentalism" was coined in the course of the anti-Modernism struggle in the early part of the twentieth century. It arose among American Protestants who, for the most part, had been influenced by the broad movement termed "Evangelicalism." The Evangelical Movement had arisen in the eighteenth century, and was characterized by a stress on the gospel and on calling people to a conversion to Jesus Christ. Closely linked to these stresses was an emphasis on the scripture as both the authoritative word of God, and the main instrument for Christian conversion and growth. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Evangelical Movement had influenced significant segments of most of the main Protestant denominations in the United States and Great Britain. In the course of the nineteenth century, Biblical criticism, the study of comparative religions, and evolutionary theories began to challenge many of the traditional views about the scripture and about the authority of Biblical revelation. As a result, the movement which is sometimes called "Protestant Liberalism" or "Modernism" arose as a way of altering Christian doctrinal and moral tenets to better accommodate them to what Modernism understood to be scientific evidence. Fundamentalism arose as a countermovement to Modernism.(37) In an attempt to secure the basis of the Christian faith, Fundamentalists laid down what they considered to be the "fundamentals" of the Christian faith, and attempted to defend them. While fundamentals varied somewhat in their formulation, they generally included doctrines such as the inspiration, inerrancy, and
  • supreme authority of scripture, the Trinity, Jesus Christ as true God and true man, the Fall, the atonement through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the second coming, the new birth in the Holy Spirit, the resurrection of the dead, and heaven and hell.(38) Fundamentalism grew directly out of an Evangelical environment and background, and formulated the fundamentals in the way an Evangelical Protestant would (rather than the way a Catholic or an Orthodox or even a traditional Lutheran would). Yet, in order to maintain a proper perspective, it is helpful to realize that Catholic Church leaders were fighting much the same battle against Modernism-Protestant Liberalism at the same time.(39) Pius X, the pope most identified with the anti-Modernist struggle, would have accepted the main points of the Fundamentalists, even if he would have formulated those points differently. As Fundamentalism developed, the more conservative spokesmen assumed prominence and added to their defense of the fundamentals a vehement attack on evolutionary theories. Partly because of the growth of the more conservative wing of Fundamentalism, and partly because of the bad press given Fundamentalism, many Evangelicals and other conservative Protestants who believed in all the fundamentals distanced themselves from the name "Fundamentalism" and from those who claimed it. The "fundamentalists" gradually received a reputation for being anti-intellectual, politically conservative, belligerent, and legalistic. They also became identified with their opposition to "critical" methods of scriptural interpretation. How far this reputation is justified is not relevant to this discussion. The point is that the term "Fundamentalism" became a symbol of a certain approach, especially in scriptural interpretation, much as the term "the Vatican" symbolizes for many a religious bureaucracy and ecclesiastical power politics.(40) Thus, the term "Fundamentalism" could be used in a variety of ways. First, it could be used in the technical sense as referring to an early twentieth century anti-Modernist movement within Evangelical Protestantism (and to those who identify with that movement today). Secondly, it could be used in a symbolic way, referring to all those who are opposed to Biblical criticism, or, relatedly, to all who approach the scripture in a somewhat "uncritical" way. Or it could be used in yet a third way: as a term of abuse for someone whom one considers to be more conservative than oneself. In this third sense, "Fundamentalist" is applied somewhat freely to categorize a great variety of opinions that people do not like. Briefly examining each of these senses of the term can aid in clarifying some of the issues involved. First, it is important to recognize that there is, in fact, a technical sense of the term—there was an actual historical movement called Fundamentalism, and there are still many people who identify with that movement. Many churches today can properly be termed "Fundamentalist" in this technical sense (or "Fundamental," as many of them tend to prefer). Most Classical Pentecostals, for instance, are Fundamentalists in this sense. A failure to recognize the existence of this technical sense of "Fundamentalism" can lead to a great deal of confusion in the use of the term. For instance, believing that scripture teaches that there should be differences in the roles of men and women can easily earn one the label "Fundamentalist." However, historically speaking this would, in fact, be a particularly inapt label. Many of those who were historically Fundamentalists (anti- Modernist, conservative Evangelicals) were, paradoxically, among the first to ordain women and to argue for a less traditional role for women.(41) More common than this first meaning, however, is the second use of "Fundamentalist"—
  • as a way of referring to certain approaches to the interpretation of scripture. Someone can be called a "Fundamentalist" because someone else regards his approach to interpreting the scripture as too conservative or uncritical. The following are approaches which seem to provoke being called a Fundamentalist:(42) 1. Those who do not seem to fully accept or fully use modern methods of scriptural criticism will often be termed Fundamentalists by someone who considers them too uncritical either in their overall approach or in a given exegesis. Among the things which will commonly elicit such a label are approaches which seem to interpret the scripture without an adequate sense of literary form (such as interpreting the book of Jonah as a historical narrative), or which seem to fail to adequately ascertain the author's intention (for instance, by holding that women should not wear braided hair on the basis of 1 Tm 2:19 and 1 Pt 3:3). Here it is helpful to observe that people can be called Fundamentalists because they have rejected certain critical methods or principles after a great deal of thought and scholarship or because they are not too educated in scriptural interpretation and simply take passages out of context or use facile proof-text approaches.(43) 2. Those who hold what could be called a conservative view of the historical facticity of narrative sections of the Bible or of the inerrancy of the Bible in its statement of fact (scientific and historical as well) are often termed Fundamentalists. Those who hold that creation actually happened in six days, that a whale did swallow Jonah, that every discrepancy between accounts has to somehow be harmonized will often be considered Fundamentalists for holding such views. Those who call them Fundamentalists will sometimes view the problem as a failure to adopt proper methods of Biblical criticism (not understanding the literary form of Jonah, for instance, and thinking that it is a historical narrative). Sometimes they will view the problem as simple traditionalism. 3. Those who hold that the scripture should be obeyed when it gives a command without considering questions of applicability will often be termed Fundamentalists. The label can be applied not only to those who forbid women to wear braided hair but likewise to those who object to homosexual relationships on the basis of scriptural commands. On the other hand, it is not likely to be applied to someone who is a pacifist out of obedience to their understanding of scripture—thus showing that the term is normally used for those who are adopting what would be viewed as a conservative position. One person, of course, could take all of these approaches or only some of them. Frequently, one or all of these approaches will be described as "reading or interpreting the scriptures literally."(44) There is a historical reason for calling these three approaches "Fundamentalist." In the anti-Modernist controversy, the Fundamentalists opposed many of the critical methods and positions, considering them an expression of Liberal Protestantism or Modernism. It should be pointed out, however, that other opponents of Modernism (for example, the Catholic Church) took the same positions. The above three approaches to scriptural interpretation were as characteristic of the dominant Catholic method of scripture
  • interpretation before Vatican Council II (or at least before Pius XII) as they are characteristic of the Fundamentalists. Hence, it is historically somewhat unfair to label all opposition to Biblical criticism as "Fundamentalist." Nonetheless, such labeling is common. The above three approaches do not characterize the argument of this book. One of them concerns matters which are not central to the discussion of the book: the issue of historical facticity and inerrancy. The remaining two, however, are central to the discussion of the book. It is, however, possible to hold that scripture teaches a difference in the roles of men and women without disregarding questions of literary form, or ignoring the intention of the author, or neglecting principles of sound Biblical scholarship. As the Note on Method in exegesis pointed out, this would be as obvious now as it was twenty years ago if it were not for the amount of politicization that has entered the discussion in recent years. It is also possible to hold that the scripture should be followed in its teaching without ignoring questions of applicability. The following chapters raise the issues in the area of applicability (see especially Chapter Twenty). The approach taken in this book is not "Fundamentalist" in either the technical/historical sense of the term, nor in its approach to the interpretation of scripture. There remains, however, a fourth use of the term by which the approach taken in this book could be labeled "Fundamentalist." That is, the term could be used in a derogatory way as an epithet for certain opinions regarded as being conservative or even reactionary. There are at least two reasons why the term has become a frequent although inaccurate slogan. One reason is simple ignorance. Many people know little or nothing about Fundamentalists and have not really thought through the issues, but they know that the term "Fundamentalist" can be used to describe someone that seems more conservative than they are. They may inaptly label a book such as this one "Fundamentalist" because they disagree with its conclusion, e.g., "anyone who can come up with such a conclusion must be a Fundamentalist." There is a second and more important reason for this use of the term, however. Many who use the term in an inaccurate, derogatory way have come under the very strong influence of secular humanism (Liberal Protestantism, Modernism). They use the word as a term of abuse to discredit their more orthodox opponents. These people interpret scripture as a book which does not have God as its author in any significant sense, and as a book without real authority. Their approach to interpretation comes out of a line of thought which has compromised the fundamentals of the faith (including the articles of the creed and the commandments), and that seeks to interpret scripture in a way that allows that compromise. Often, they will label the approach taken in this chapter to the authority of scripture as "Fundamentalist." However, if this approach is Fundamentalist, almost all of Christian tradition—Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant alike—is Fundamentalist. Simply accepting the need to submit to scripture should not be enough to qualify one as a Fundamentalist. The question of the authority of scripture, however, is a particularly difficult and controversial one today. As has been seen, there are many ways in which the authority of scripture is disregarded without seeming to be. The following chapter will continue the discussion on the authority of scripture, and will treat more fully the ways in which that issue enters into the contemporary discussion of the roles of men and women. | Modern Bypasses of Scriptural Authority | Reading the Word of God | Christian Teaching & Way of Life |
  • | Daily Scripture Readings & Meditations | The Sword of the Spirit | Christ the King Association | | Man and Woman in Christ: An Examination of the Roles of Men and Women in Light of Scripture and the Social Sciences | Copyright © 1980 by Stephen B. Clark
  • Chapter 13 Why is the bible such a big book? There is so much to read in the bible, and the bible it is really and it is truly a big book. However it is a book of great importance and it covers many things, and it re- addresses many subjects. The bible is such a big book because of what it covers, who it covers, and why it covers what it covers. It is a big book of instruction, and it shows us the way in the instructions that we are living by, reading on, and also who we are living for.
  • Chapter 14 How can we live according to the bible? In living according to the bible, we must live like the word of God tells us to live. We must not just talk the talk, but we must also walk the walk. We can live according to the bible by holding on to the truth of the word of God, and living like they word of God says how to live, doing all we can do to please God by obeying his word. Living according to the standards of God, and not the standards, of us or the standards of man.
  • Chapter 15 Is Everything in the bible true Yes everything in the bible is true, everything that was said and done, it was true. Nothing was made up, nothing was just written in the bible just to be written. John 1:1 it says In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. So if it was with him it is of him. The bible has not changed it cannot change, God his word it will always stay the same. The word of God will stand, when all else fails. His word will still endure. If Gods word is alie God is a lie. God will never go against the truth of what he said, and he will not go back to creating a whole new book for us to read. When what we have today is what he wants us to read. We can trust in the word, trust on the word, believe in the word and believe on the word everything that is in the bible it is true.
  • Conclusion This book project has been an important project for me. I have a love for the bible I have a love for the word of God. Through you reading this book, I hope you have learned something from it. I am very suprised that as I did this book it only took me 2 days, I thought it was going to take me longer to do this, but It did not take a long time, like I thought it would take. I hope this book has been helpful, in helping you to understand and know, all about the history of the bible, all about the history of the word of God. It is a good thing to want to know more about the bible, and that is what I wanted to do in this book.
  • Sources of info Chapter 2 How was the bible put together? http://nomatterwhatonline.com Chapter 3 Who is the bible about? http://historyworld.net The New Testament http://maple.net Chapter 4 Why sometimes is the bible taken out of context? http://context.com jackseal@sbcglobal.net Chapter 5 Can we live by every word of the bible? http:// gty.org/resources You can trust the bible Chapter 6 From Genesis- Revelation jansbiblenotes.com Chapter 7 Do other parts in the bible apply to us today? Chapter 8 Why are there some things that are in the bible that we understand and some things we don't? Chapter 9
  • Can the things in the bible, that we do not understand be understood? Chapter 10 Which bibles are of better quality that are more easy to understaand Chapter 11 Why do some people not accept the bible? Chapter 12 What conflictss does the bible have compared to other religions that people do not accept it fully? Chapter 13 Why is the bible such a big book? Chapter 14 How can we live according to the bible? Chapter 15 Is everything in the bible true?
  • About Me- The Author I am Sean Begle the Auuthor of this book and will be the author of future books. I am currently 20 years Old, at the time of this book I was born in November of 1992 on the 21st. I will continue to write books, and more books. I have enjoyed working on this project, the history of the bible, and there will be many more to come.