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NT Session 1 Introduction


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Introduction to the Bible & NT Background

Introduction to the Bible & NT Background

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  • 1. Welcome (back) to schoolFoundations (Year Two)“Encountering the New Testament” I will be your teacher!
  • 2. What is the Bible & how did we receive it?biblos = a collection of (66) booksOT (Old/ 1st Testament) = 39 booksNT (New/ 2nd Testament) = 27 booksApprox. 40 different authorsIn 3 languages: Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek…over c.1500 years …& don’t forget about the Apocrypha (14 extra “hidden” inter-testamental books)
  • 3. INSPIRATION“Inspiration is the mysterious process by which the Word of God & the word of mankind combined to produce the original autographs (manuscripts) of the Bible. The result was a fully authoritative & trustworthy revelation.”Key verses: 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21 & Heb. 4:12
  • 4. (Christian) theories of inspiration Neo-Orthodox  Gods word speaks through it Dictation  God uses authors only as instruments Limited  God protected some inspiration (the kernel) of it Verbal/ plenary  God breathed out each part & all of it inspiration (every “jot & tittle”)
  • 5. Authority Creation GOD Jesus ScriptureThe message:God made, God loves, God saves…our world.
  • 6. CANON“Art is limitation: the essence of every picture is the frame”GK Chesterton “Orthodoxy” 1908.
  • 7. Canon Derived from Heb. kaneh (a reed)? From ancient Greek κανον (rod, measuring stick) …later used in Greek for a standard or rule.Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE – 50 CE): uses the term κανον to refer to the “rule of truth”First used by the Church fathers from the time of Irenaeus (115/ 120 -178 CE ) (ie. kanon of the church…of the truth…of faith)
  • 8. NT references to κανον“As for those who follow this rule (κανον) – peace be upon them, and mercy upon the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16 NASV)“Let us keep living by that same standard (κανον) to which we have attained.” (Phil. 3:16 NASV)
  • 9. Canon – a definition“Canon serves as a road marker of biblical authority by serving as the rule of Scripture. Canon both reflects the theological shaping of Scripture and sets the boundaries for the interpretation of Scripture as the Word of God by communities of faith.” (Charles Scalise From Scripture to Theology , p.72)
  • 10. Canon as a set boundary2 Cor. 10:13 We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. 14 We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you. For we were the first to travel all the way to Corinth with the Good News of Christ.15 Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended. 16 Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question of our boasting about work done in someone else’s territory.” (NLT)
  • 11. Guiding principlesALWAYS read a text…Within it’s contextIn light of the big picture (great narrative)Listening to what others have saidRecognizing your limitations"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation" (NKJV)"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of ones own interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20)
  • 12. A Text… …is contained within  …is contained within A sentence  A manuscript, A paragraph scroll (or a codex) A chapter  A collection A book (of writings)  A testament A collection  A canon A volume (measuring reed)
  • 13. OT CanonThe Law The ScripturesThe Prophets “it stands written”The Writings γεγραπται“The Law & the Prophets”Jesus said “All things that were written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44
  • 14. What about the New Testament?Life of JesusFrom 4 perspectives (cf. Luke 1:1-4)Holy Spirit, People of God, Mission of GodHistory of the Church (cf. Acts 1:1-2)Pastoral Letters (x21)Vision of the end (Apocalyptic) “all scripture”: 2 Tim. 3:16 & Rev.22:18-19
  • 15. NT CanonThe NT written in just under 50 yrs. 45-95 CE Who? (Apostolic authority) When? (1st century/ lifetime of Apostles) What? (Apostolic message - Acts 2) How? (Reception by the Church) First complete listing of all 27 books: Athanasius’ Easter letter 367 CE So then, why did it take so long?
  • 16. Possible reasonsKeeping in mind all were in use from times of Church Fathers (Irenaeus q. 21 out of 27)A divided church (East & West)Caution (ensure we get it right)Opposition & difficulty in communicationThe circulation of various books (& collections) in different placesThere could have been more collections in circulation that we realize!God accommodates to our humanityCanon emerged in reaction to false writings
  • 17. Criteria in the selection process Apostolic Origin — attributed to and based on the preaching/teaching of the first gene- ration apostles (or their close companions). Universal Acceptance — acknowledged by all major Christian communities in the ancient world (by the end of the 4th century). Liturgical Use — read publicly when early Christian communities gathered for the Lords Supper (their weekly worship service). Consistent Message — containing a theological outlook similar or complementary to other accepted Christian writings.
  • 18. …or to put it another way Was it…Written by a reputable leader from God?Recognized by men of God (accepted by leaders of the covenant people of God)?Collected, preserved and used by the people of God? (Deut. 31:26; 2 Tim. 3:14; 4:13)?Inspired by the Spirit of God (ie. does it have the ring of truth/ would God say this)?
  • 19. Did the NT authors know they were writing Scripture?2 Tim. 4:13? Paul’s final word(“bring…the scrolls & the parchments”)2 Peter 3:16? Peter’s final word(…“the other scriptures”)Rev. 22:18-19? John’s final word(“the prophecy of this book…do not add …or take away”)
  • 20. Jesus’ attitude to ScriptureHis scripture was the Torah (the Law & the Prophets)He… read it, “People do not memorized it, live on bread quoted it, alone, but on preached & taught it. every word thatHe… loved it, comes from the “fed” on it, mouth of God.” used it, (Matt 4:4/ Luke lived it 4:4, q. Deut. 8:3) & fulfilled it.
  • 21. Types of writing in the NTHistorical narrative ActsLaws Sermon on the mount; Jas. 1:25Poetry & song Phil. 2; Rev. 5Parables & sayings Matt. 13Prophecy Matt. 24; Rev. (& Apocalyptic)Biography 4 Gospels Paul, Peter, John,Letters James & Jude
  • 23. Modern versions/ translationsRV 1881 NIV 1978ASV 1901 NKJV 1982RSV 1952 / rev. 1971 (New Jerusalem)NEB 1970 1985 NCV 1986(NAB 1986/ rev. 1992) NRSV 1989NASB 1963 CEV 1995Amplified 1965 (rev. ASV) NLT 1996(Jerusalem 1966) ESV 2001LB 1971 The Message 2002GNB 1974 / rev. 1993 TNIV 2005
  • 24. Hermeneutics (principles of interpretation)Lit… to translate, explain, interpretTwo classic examples:Ezra (Ezra 7:6, 10; Nehemiah 8:1-8)Jesus (Luke 24:27, 45; Luke 10:21)
  • 25. Anselm (of Canterbury)" I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I am persuaded, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.“ 1033-1109 CE
  • 26. Jesus (the key to interpretation)“Nor does his (the Father) word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:38-40
  • 27. Process of interpretation Scripture (inspired & authoritative)Hermeneutics (principles, practice & discipline) Exegesis (lit. to dig out = to study for truth) Theology Lifestyle (what we believe) (how we live)
  • 28. Three steps Three gaps(to interpretation) (of interpretation)The author HistoryThe text Language (or message)The reader Culture (recipient)
  • 29. 4 basic steps (for Bible study) 2. Interpretation (What does it mean?) 3. Comparison 1. Observation(How does it correlate?) (What does it say?) 4. Application (How does it affect our lives?)
  • 30. Role of the Holy SpiritInspires authors to Reveals to the reader write the text through the text "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13)
  • 31. Remember the role of the Canon“Let scripture interpret scripture”Interpret the text in light of the wholeInterpret the OT in light of the NT (& vice versa) “The new is in the old concealed – the old is in the new revealed”
  • 32. Basic tools A good translation (formal vs. dynamic equivalent) Other translations (for comparison) Interlinear Bible (Heb/Eng. Gk/Eng.) Concordance (online or software = easiest) Dictionary/ Encyclopedia (NBD; ISBE) Atlas (or good maps) Commentaries (background, culture, theology)
  • 33. AUTHORITY- Can we trust the NTInternal evidence (eye-witnesses) Peter (Mark) Luke 1:2; 2 Peter 1:16; Matthew 1 John 1:1-3 John (5 books) James & Jude (brothers of Jesus) Paul (Luke) Continuity with and fulfillment of the OTExternal evidence (manuscripts & secular sources)
  • 34. How many manuscripts are there?• Approximately 5,000 Greek manuscripts• 8,000 manuscript copies of the Vulgate (Latin translation of the Bible by Jerome from 382-405 CE).• More than 350 copies of Syriac Bible (Christian Aramaic version of the NT). These originated from 150-250 CE; most of the copies are from the 400’s.
  • 35. How early?John Rylands fragment: about 117-138 CE - was found in Egypt & contains John 18:31-33, 37-38.Chester Beatty manuscript: 200 CE - contains large portions of the NT.Codex Sinaiticus: 340 or 350 CE - contains the NT and ½ of OT.Codex Vaticanus: 325-350 CE - contains the NT and Greek version of OT.
  • 36. “John Rylands fragment”John 18:31-33 & 37-38.c.117-130 CE
  • 37. By comparisonWriting Date written # of copies IntervalCaesar “Gallic wars” (50 BC) 10 950 yrs.Pliny “History” (100 CE) 7 750 yrs.Tacitus “Annals” (100 CE) 20 1000yrs.NT (50-100 CE) 5000+ 50 yrs.
  • 38. The Message “Promise & fulfillment”The kingdom (reign) of GodOT (shadow) NT (now & not yet)
  • 39. Relationship between OT & NT Promise Fulfillment Shadow (Type) Substance Law (Moses) Grace (Jesus) (Old) Covenant (New) Covenant Sacrifice & Once for all sacrifice offerings (Jesus to God) Priesthood All are priests Kings (David) King (son of David) Nation Nations Land Earth
  • 40. NT development of OT themesThe kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14)New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33)Judgment & SalvationVictory (over God’s enemies)People of God (filled with the Spirit) – Ezek. 37Temple (worship) & Torah (instruction)Messianic hope (Dan. 9; Is. 40-55)New Creation (Is. 65-66)
  • 41. The landGod’s people…in God’s land…ruled by God’s king…acc. to God’s law
  • 42. Political & religious background
  • 43. Political background to the NT The return under the Persians (539 BC) Conquest (& rule under the Greeks) Conflict with the Syrians Maccabean revolt (& independence) Domination of Rome Rise of Herod the Great Jewish response resist withdraw or compromise
  • 44. Between the testaments (400 “silent years”) Cyrus II - Darius III 539 (458, 445) BCE Alexander (the Great) 331 BCEPtolemy Seleucus Antiochus (Epiphanes) 167 BCEHasideans HasmoneansPharisees Freedom fighters Mattathias164 BC Judas Maccabeus Jonathan Simon John Hyrcanus Aristobulus Alexander = Salome Hyrcanus Aristobulus Rome Pompey 63 BCE
  • 45. The HerodiansEsau (Edomites/ Idumeans)Antipater (Gov. of Judea) 47-43 BCEHerod (the Great) 37-4 BCEAristobulus Philip Antipas ArchelausHerod Agrippa IHerod Agrippa II
  • 46. Edom (Edomites/ Idumeans)"I have loved you," says the LORD. But you ask, "How have you loved us?""Was not Esau Jacobs brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals." Edom may say, "Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins." But this is what the LORD Almighty says: "They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD." (Malachi 1:2-4 cf. Genesis 25; Numbers 20)
  • 47. Religious background to NT Priests & Scribes Pharisees Sadducees Essenes (Qumran) Zealots Herodians (Edomite/ Idumean) Samaritans (mixed race)
  • 48. Response of JudaismHasmonean Hasidim HerodianRevolt Religion/ Torah CompromiseMaccabees Pharisees (Idumean) KingsFreedom- “separated -ones” Herod the Great fightersIndependence Essenes Sadducees A purified “lastZealots & Sicarii days” community
  • 49. What sort of people were they?People of the torah PhariseesPeople of the sword ZealotsPeople of deception HerodiansPeople of the last days Essenes
  • 50. People of the TorahThe rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand- all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord. (Neh. 10:28-30)
  • 51. People of the sword1 O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me,2 or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.6 Arise, O LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice.7 Let the assembled peoples gather around you. Rule over them from on high;11 God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.12 If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow.13 He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. PSALM 7
  • 52. People of deception“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every one did that which was right in their own eyes.” Judges 17:6“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12; 16:25The LORD said… "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
  • 53. People of the last days"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.“But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiners fire or a launderers soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites & refine them like gold and silver” (Mal.3:1-3)
  • 54. Expectation of a new day/ ageThen those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name."They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God & those who do not." ( Mal. 3:16-18)"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings." (Mal. 4:2 cf. Luke 1:78)
  • 55. The Forerunner"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." (Mal. 4:5-6)"Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.“ (Luke 1:16-17)