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The Bible. Its History,Canonicity and Importance. Joseph David Rhodes. Poetry Baptist Church. July 2013.
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The Bible. Its History,Canonicity and Importance. Joseph David Rhodes. Poetry Baptist Church. July 2013.


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A brief introduction to the history of the formation of the Bible from a believer's point of view. Includes some description of inspiration, canonicity, archaeology, etc.

A brief introduction to the history of the formation of the Bible from a believer's point of view. Includes some description of inspiration, canonicity, archaeology, etc.

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  • 1. Wednesday Night Adult Bible Study
  • 2. Lesson One: What Kind of a book is the Bible ?
  • 3. The Bible records life stories of real flesh and blood people who lived in a real time in history and specific geographical places. The picture on the left is of the Golden (or Eastern) Gate in modern Jerusalem. The foundation of the gate was here in Jesus’ time. Early Christians believed that Jesus will return through this gate. In response, the medieval Muslim leader Saladin had it sealed in 1187. It remains sealed today.
  • 4. The Bible’s record is about real people in real life with real experiences. It tells of God’s specific actions with particular individuals who experienced these things at definite date and in places located on the physical face of this created earth. So, it is not a “Holy Book” in the sense of an otherworldly, purely “spiritual” saga. It is not mystical or esoteric - God is encountered in ordinary life but in extraordinary ways. The Bible is “holy” in an incarnational sense. God’s Word comes to and through flesh and blood and in the sunlight and moonlight of this actual world we live in. It is not a fairy tale or just a fable with a moral !
  • 5. I. General Overview: The Bible An Incredible & Unique Book.  The World’s All Time Best Seller !  It has shaped our world and our language.  It is the world’s most translated book.  It is definitely the most controversial book.  It is a book for both the humble and simple and the great and the wise.
  • 6. Johann Gutenberg and his Printing Press (Europe: 1450s)
  • 7. Statistics on Bible Production and Distribution Number of total Bibles Printed 6,001,500,000 Approximate number of languages spoken in the world today 6,900 Number of translations into new languages currently in progress 1,300 Number of languages with a translation of the New Testament 1,185 Number of languages with a translation of the Bible (Protestant Canon) 451 Sources: Gideons International
  • 8. Children receiving New Testaments in a remote Tamil village in India. Cf. the Joy !
  • 9. The Bible is definitely a Controversial Book !
  • 10. The Bible is definitely a Controversial Book !
  • 11. A. Some Love It As God’s Infallible Word ! Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) “ The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity." German-Prussian Philosopher who was a Lutheran rationalist. Wrote numerous philosophical works.
  • 12. A. Some Love It As God’s Infallible Word ! Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) “ All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated through this book … All things desirable to men are contained in the Bible. ”
  • 13. A. Some Love It As God’s Infallible Word ! Horace Greeley (1811-1872)
  • 14. A. Some Love It As God’s Infallible Word! Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
  • 15. B. Some Hate It Because . . . . ? ( *They hate Christ’s holiness and the Righteousness of God. It means they are sinners ? ) Voltaire (1694-1778) : “ If we would destroy the Christian religion, we must first of all destroy man’s belief in the Bible. ”
  • 16. B. Some Hate It Because . . . . ? Thomas Paine (1737-1809) “. . . It would be more consistent that we call it the work of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind. ”
  • 17. B. Some Hate It Because . . . . ? Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899) “ The inspiration of the Bible depends upon the ignorance of the gentleman who reads it. ”
  • 18. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). German Philosopher – Hitler’s Favorite . Wrote numerous essays against Christianity. “ One does well to put on gloves when reading the New Testament…everything in it is cowardice and self-deception. ” B. Some Hate It Because . . . . ?
  • 19. Yet, It is a book loved by the humble and simple . . .
  • 20. But, also by the learned and wise of all kinds: Dr. N.T. Wright , Professor at Oxford and University of St. Andrews in Scotland, U.K. Professor Craig Evans, Ph.D., the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • 21. But, also by the learned and wise of all kinds: Dr. William F. Albright (Ph.D., John Hopkins University), Dean of American Biblical Archaeologists & veteran Near Eastern Scholar. Albright could read over 40 languages ! “ There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition. ”
  • 22. But, also by the learned and wise of all kinds: “ I heard one time the Bible being compared to a pool of water. A pool that in some parts is so shallow that a child can go wading, but a pool also that is so deep in other places that an elephant can go swimming there. Well, the Bible is a wonderful book that contains passages which in some cases are very deep and profound. Yet, in general the Bible as a whole is simple enough for anyone who is untutored to read it and understand what God’s will and way would be for that person. “ Noted New Testament scholar, Dr. Bruce Metzger (Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey). Author of over 40 books on New Testament and Greek manuscripts.
  • 23. A. The Name or Title of the Bible The English word "Bible" comes from bíblia in Latin and bíblos [ βίβλος ] in Greek. The term means book, or books, and may have originated from the ancient Egyptian port of Byblos (in modern-day Lebanon), where papyrus used for making books and scrolls was exported to Greece. Other terms for the Bible are the Holy Scriptures, Holy Writ, Scripture, or the Scriptures, which mean sacred writings.
  • 24. The Name or Title of the Bible Papyrus plants near Syracuse, Sicily
  • 25. How was papyrus made? The triangular stems of the papyrus plant were used to make papyrus. The outer green layer was removed, then the white fleshy part was cut into thin strips. These strips were rolled out to flatten them, then laid next to each other in rows. Then another layer of rows was put on top, going the other way. The two layers were then pressed together for a few days. The juices in the stems acted like a glue, and the strips all stuck together. The sheet was left to dry, and then it was ready to write on. The same method is still used today to make papyrus!
  • 26. Papyrus was first manufactured in Egypt and Southern Sudan as far back as the fourth millennium BCE. The earliest archaeological evidence of papyrus was excavated at Wadi al- Jarf, an ancient Egyptian harbor dating from 4500 BCE located on the Red Sea coast. The piece of papyrus was inscribed with an illegible hieroglyph. In the first centuries BC and AD, papyrus scrolls gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parch- ment, which was prepared from animal skins. Sheets of parchment were folded to form quires from which book-form codices were fashioned. Early Christian writers soon adopted the codex form, and in the Græco-Roman world, it became common to cut sheets from papyrus rolls to form codices.
  • 27. Images of Early Christian Codices: 1st to 3rd Century
  • 28. Map of the Ancient Biblical World
  • 29. The Bible, for the most part, centers on a small region of the world (see the previous slide !)—with the primary events taking place in the small land of Israel. Israel is roughly the same in size as the state of New Jersey. You can readily see why this land has always been a kind of crossroads of the world. Here Africa, Asia, and Europe intersect. This is where most of the Bible was written and where most of the Biblical history occurred. The focal point of the lands of the Bible, the small city of Jerusalem, is sacred today to Jews, Christians, and Moslems. This city is mentioned 656 times in the Bible. Over the last thirty centuries it has been destroyed 17 times, and 18 times has been rebuilt.
  • 30. Now Back to the Bible . . . What Is The Bible ? Is It One Book or Many ?
  • 31. Now Back to the Bible . . . What Is The Bible ? Is It One Book or Many ? The Old Testament consists of 39 Books. The Hebrew Bible has 24 books, but those 24 books correspond exactly to the 39 books in Christian Bibles. The difference is that the Hebrew Bible combines 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles and Ezra & Nehemiah into single books, and counts the last 12 or “Minor Prophets” as one book with twelve divisions. The Old Testament was written over a very long time. It took at least a thousand years, from ca. 1500-400 BC, and no doubt considerably more.
  • 32. But What is the Bible . . . ?
  • 33. II. The Bible Is God’s Word It Reveals His Mind and Will to Man. It is Divine Revelation given by Inspiration . . . . The Bible itself declares that it is God’s Word for man. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV
  • 34. II. The Bible Is God’s Word It Reveals His Mind and Will to Man. . . . . And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpreta– tion, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. - 2 Peter 1:19-21 (NKJV) .
  • 35. II. The Bible Is God’s Word ! The key Greek word used in 2 Timothy 3:16 is θεόπνευστος, theopneustos which does not mean “God-breathed in” but rather means “God breathed out” or “God blowing out” like a mighty wind or as a powerful force, i.e., the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • 36. II. The Bible Is God’s Word ! It does not mean that people simply got enthused inside or that their heart suggested ideas, it rather means that the power of God’s Spirit dynamically blew away all the debris of their thoughts and dropped the hailstones of God’s ideas all around. It is a noun formed from an active verb! When God spoke to his ancient servants, He rearranged their world !
  • 37. The Bible has the Mind of God . . . . II. The Bible Is God’s Word ! Verbal – The very words of the Bible are inspired.  Plenary – Every single word is inspired.  Inerrant or Infallible – God’s ideas are without error.  (An Important Distinction, however : This applies to the original autographs of Holy Scripture, not to all copies and versions !!!! )
  • 38. A Brief Detour About Ancient Writings III. The Bible & Archaeology
  • 39. III. The Bible & Archaeology Ancient Writing which precedes or perhaps parallels that of the Bible. This is a Sumerian inscription in the monumental archaic style . The script is “proto-cuneiform” and is dated about 2600 B.C. ! It is from the Schøyen Collection MS 3029. The writer or sender lists “gifts from the High and Mighty Adab to the High Priestess, on the occasion of her election to the temple". This is almost twelve hundred years before Moses and the Exodus !
  • 40. III. The Bible & Archaeology The oldest writing in the world - The Sumerian Stone Tablet - The “Kish Tablet” (containing the so-called “Locust Charm). The tablet records the means taken to rid various tracts of the land of a plague of locust and caterpillars. The last line, "he made it bright," refers to the ceremonial purification of the field. Date: ca. 3500 B.C. A plaster caste of the original artifact is kept today in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, U.K.
  • 41. III. The Bible & Archaeology The Tell-Amarna Tablets (ca. 1400 B.C.) EA 161, letter by Aziru, leader of Amurru (Biblical Amorites), (stating his case to the Pharaoh), one of the Amarna letters in cuneiform writing on a clay tablet. This was in the time era of either Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1386-1349 B.C.) or Pharaoh Akhenaten (ca. 1350s – 1330s B.C.) Some scholars believe that some of the Amarna letters report on the Israelites conquest of Canaan. Amarna Tablets at the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the British Museum, the Lourve, and the University of Chicago.
  • 42. III. The Bible & Archaeology The Gilgamesh Epic: Written in Akkadian cuneiform. 7th century, B.C., it was discovered by Sir Henry Layard in 1849 among the ruins of the royal library of King Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, Assyria (modern Iraq). It relates the story of the King of Uruk, who met a certain Utnapishtim who had survived the “great flood” in a huge boat filled with every kind of animal. (British Museum)
  • 43. III. The Bible & Archaeology The Tel Dan Stele was unearthed by Avraham Biran in 1993 excavations at Tel Dan in Northern Israel. It is a 9th century B.C. victory inscription of King Hazael of Aram- Damascus, who boasted about his defeat of the king of Israel and his ally from the “house of David” (i.e., ben-David). It is currently on display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
  • 44. III. The Bible & Archaeology
  • 45. III. The Bible & Archaeology The Priestly Benediction on a silver amulet. The text is in Paleo-Hebrew script (used from ca. 2000 – 600 B.C. It comes from at archaeological excavation in Jerusalem, Ketef Hinnom. It dates from the Israelite period, Late 7th century BCE. H 3.9 cm W 1.1 cm IAA Source:
  • 46. III. The Bible & Archaeology
  • 47. III. The Bible & Archaeology
  • 48. IV. The Bible Is God’s Word The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) is one of the original seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947. It is the largest (734 cm) and best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, and the only one that is almost complete. The 54 columns contain all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version of the biblical Book of Isaiah. Dating from ca. 125 BCE, it is also one of the oldest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some one thousand years older than the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible known to us before the scrolls' discovery. Source: The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
  • 49. IV. The Bible Is God’s Word Papyri 66 of the Bodymer Papyri. The Bodmer Papyri are a group of twenty-two papyri discovered in Egypt in 1952. They are named after Martin Bodmer who purchased them. The papyri contain segments from the Old and New Testaments, early Christian literature, Homer and Menander. The oldest, P66 dates to ca. 200 A.D.. The papyri are kept at the famous Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny, Switzerland just outside Geneva. The manuscript contains John 1:1- 6:11, 6:35b-14:26, 29-30; 15:2-26; 16:2-4, 6-7; 16:10-20:20, 22-23; 20:25-21:9, 12, 17. It is one of the oldest NT manuscripts known to exist, with its writing dated to around 200 AD.
  • 50. II. The Bible Is God’s Word The J. Rylands Papyrus 52: Original is at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England Text: John 18:31–33, 37–38 Date: c. 125 Script Greek Found Egypt Now at John Rylands University Library. Citation : C. H. Roberts, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library (Manchester University Press, 1935) Source: Library_Papyri_52
  • 51. IV. The Bible Is God’s Word From parchment to pixel: Original volumes of the Codex Sinaiticus (whose contents are now available online for the first time) are part of a Biblical manuscript exhibition at the British Museum. This historical treasure is a 4th century AD Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in unicals on parchment. It contains both part of the ancient Greek Septuagint and the New Testament as well as two early Christian essays. Most scholars view it as the best of all NT Greek texts. It was discovered by F. Constantin von Tischendorf in a pile of rubbish [?] in May 1844 at the St. Catharine’s Greek Orthodox monastery on Mt. Sinai in the Egyptian desert of Sinai.
  • 52. IV. The Bible Is God’s Word The Ben Asher-Aleppo Codex This is a rare ca. 10th century AD Hebrew text in a medieval bound manuscript. The codex is thought by some to actually be the most authoritative document in the masorah ("transmission"), a long tradition by which the Hebrew Scriptures have been preserved from generation to generation for centuries. Rediscovered during a Crusader’s plunder of an ancient synagogue during the First Crusade, it was taken to Egypt, ransomed by a few devout rabbis, and then later entrusted to Maimonides to took it to the city of Aleppo in Syria where it remained for 500 years. It re-emerged during the turmoil of the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1947- 1958. Itzhak ben-Zvi obtained it then and now it is at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
  • 53. IV. The Bible Is God’s Word How was the Bible was Written and Transmitted ? As has been said, the Bible, this very ancient book, was probably first written on papyri, but sometimes on stone (like the Decalogue of Exodus 20) or even in various inscriptions, or on clay tablets (like ancient Babylonian and Akkadian cuneiform), or on animal skins like vellum or leather.
  • 54. IV. The Bible Is God’s Word How was the Bible was Written and Transmitted ? The Scriptures were also originally written in three ancient languages: the Old Testament was mainly written in “old” Hebrew but also in ancient Imperial Aramaic (as in parts of Daniel and Ezra); the New Testament, however, was written in the Koinev Greek which was the universal language from ca. 300 B.C. to 400 A.D.
  • 55. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: While God’s initial communication with mankind was through the spoken word (e.g., Adam and Eve, Noah, etc.) eventually records of God’s commands and promises were kept (cf. the Toledoth and Berithim in Genesis). It was understood in even very ancient times that if God’s Word was to be preserved, it needed to be written down (Cf. Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 31:24-26; Psalms 102:18; Isaiah 30:8). Although this process may have begun as early as Noah (Genesis 9) or Abraham (Genesis 12, 15, 17, etc.), it is explicitly initiated by God himself at Mt. Sinai, when Yahweh gave to Moses the two engraved tablets of stone (Cf. Exodus 32:15,16).
  • 56. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: The tablets of the Decalogue were later deposited in the Ark of the covenant (Deuteronomy 10:5) and this Law was the basis for the covenant relationship between Yahweh and Israel. Still, later on other revelations were written down and added to “ the Book of the Covenant” (Cf. Exodus 24:7; Joshua 24:26; 2 Kings 23:2). One significant object lesson on the importance of preserving God’s Word in a written record was the later discovery of the Book of the Law by Hilkiah, after it was lost during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon: its teaching came as a great shock to the people because of their many generations of idolatrous activity. Yahweh’s covenant and its demands had actually been forgotten (2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34).
  • 57. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: Secondly, the Law was read on all of Israel’s significant occasions:  On every national occasion when the nation gathered as one people or later in Jerusalem (Exodus 24:7; 2 Kings 23:2; Nehemiah 8:9, 14-17, etc.).  It was read regularly on each and every Sabbatical year (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).  In the post-Exilic period, this same practice was imitated by the reading of the Pentateuch in the synagogue each Sabbath, supplemented by a reading from the Prophets (Cf. Luke 4:16-20; Acts 13:15,27; 15:21, etc.).
  • 58. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: Thirdly, the Law given by Moses was to be placed in the sanctuary (first in the Tabernacle, later in the Temple, Cf. Deuteronomy 31:24-26) and that was where Hilkiah later found the Book of the Law (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15). Josephus and the early rabbinical literature also state that this practice of laying up the Scriptures in the Temple was being carried on down to the first century A.D. According to Canon scholar Roger T. Beckwith (Researcher & Warden at Latimer House, Oxford) “ To lay up any book there as Scripture must have been a solemn and carefully deliberat- ed act of national significance. ”1 1Cf. The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church (London, U.K.: SPCK Press, 1986). See also appendices to the ESV Bible, pp. 2577-2588.
  • 59. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: Fourthly, several factual-historical markers date that the OT canon was recognized as “closed” at the latest by the 2nd century B.C. (Remember, Malachi was written ca. 400 B.C.).  The calendar of the Apocryphal book of 1 Enoch (used at Qumran –Cf. the Dead Sea Scrolls) which was created in the 3rd century B.C. knows at least 10 of the 24 OT Hebrew books as Scripture.  Another intertestamental Jewish writing , Sirach 44-49 (ca. 180 B.C.) which provides a catalog of famous men who are all Biblical figures, mentions as inspired Scripture 16 books of the Old Testament.  Josephus (in Jewish Antiquities and his Wars of the Jews) relates that the rival schools of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes formed at the time of Jonathan Maccabeus (d. 143 B.C.) all accepted the same canon and did not alter it.
  • 60. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: Fifthly, one historical marker reveals that final touches to the OT Canon may have been done by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. when he gathered scattered portions of the OT Scriptures after the vicious persecutions of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes IV (2 Macc. 2:14). A collection or list of 24 OT Hebrew books is given in three sections, beginning with Genesis and ending with the Chronicles. Please see the next slide – a chart of “ The Traditional Order of the OT Canonical Books according to the Jewish Talmud ”. . .
  • 61. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission The Law: Chronological (from the creation of the world to Moses’ death): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The Prophets: Narrative Books (from the entry of Israel into the Promised Land until Babylonian Exile, 606 – 539 BC): Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings. Oracular Books (in descending order of size): Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, the Book of the Twelve. The Writings: Lyrical/Wisdom books (in descending order of size): Psalms, Ruth, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations. Narrative Books (from the period of exile to the return): Daniel, Esther, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles.
  • 62. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible: Note: Two other Early Versions of the OT:  The Samaritan Pentateuch ( 432 B.C. or 122 B.C. ?)  The Septuagint (LXX) – a Greek translation of the Old Testament made by the Jews in Alexandria, Egypt under the royal sponsorship of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (287 -247 B.C.)
  • 63. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission Two Images of a 11th – 12th Century A.D. Copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch
  • 64. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible
  • 65. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible Sixthly, returning to our theme of the development of the Old Testament or Hebrew Canon, we may observe that despite the numerous differences that Jesus and His disciples with the Jewish religious leaders of the time, there is no record of a dispute between the early Christians (e.g., the Apostles and their followers) with the Jewish religious leaders over which books belong in the Old Testament. The early Christian canon of the Old Testament was precisely the same as the Jewish canon in essence !!!
  • 66. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible Seventhly, both the Jesus and all the New Testament writers quote the words of the Old Testament about 300 or more times or allude to it. When they do this, they consistently cite it as having Divine authority by using such phrases as “ it is written,” “ Scripture says,” and/or “God says,” while no other writings are quoted in this same manner. On a few occasions, the NT some other authors, even pagan Greek writers, but they never cite these sources as being the words of God (Cf. Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12-13; Jude 8 – 10, 14 – 16) as they do texts of the OT Canon.
  • 67. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission A. The Early Form of the Bible Eighthly and finally, both Josephus’ history and the strong Jewish rabbinical traditions in the first to the fourth centuries A.D. expresses the conviction that no Apocryphal writings nor any new prophetic texts had the validity of Holy Scripture since the last true OT prophets were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi (Cf. Against Apion 1.41; and the Babylonian Talmud: Yoma 9B; Sotah 48b; Sanhedrin 11a; and the Midrash on Song of Songs 8.9.3).
  • 68. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission The Work of the Scribes “It is scarcely possible to overstate the importance of early scribes. In Mesopotamia and Egypt, the trained scribe was highly prized. In Palestine, it was professional scribes who were responsible for writing and copying most Hebrew documents” 2 Scribes copied manuscripts both by reading an exemplar and by dictation. It was painstaking work, and biblical scribes were extremely careful about their accuracy. 3 2 J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays(London: Macmillan and Co., 1893), p. 30. 3 See Professor Alan R. Millard(Liverpool University) , “In Praise of Ancient Scribes” in the Biblical Archaeologist 45 (3): 145–53 for more details.
  • 69. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission 1. The Role of Ezra After the Babylonian Exile  The canon grew over time and was assembled into an accepted collection around the time of Ezra in c. 400 B.C.  Josephus confirms that no book was added to the Hebrew Scriptures after Malachi.
  • 70. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission 2. Note on the New Testament As we have already hinted, the New Testament came into being over a gradual process of time, yet this period was quite short in comparison to the Old Testament. Either the Letter of James or the Gospel of Matthew may have been the earliest writing (ca. 42-45 A.D.) and either the Apocalpyse (Revelation) or the Epistles of John in the late 90s A.D. would have been the last written before the closing of the Christian canon.
  • 71. Note on the New Testament These Greek writings (Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and the Apocalypse) were circulated among the early Church and and around the Mediterranean world so that by ca. 150 AD at the latest this whole collection of Christian documents became known as the New Testament (or New Covenant). This designation was based on the fact that the prophet Jeremiah prophecied of a “New Covenant” (Cf. Jeremiah 31:31-54) and that Jesus himself announced its arrival (Cf. Luke 22:20, etc.). The Apostle Paul referenced this truth in 1 Corinthians 11:25 also, and the entire book of Hebrews endeavors to explain the fact that the New Covenant has come and perfected God’s more ancient covenant. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission
  • 72. V. The Bible’s Compilation & Transmission 3. Early Versions & Translations of the New Testament Old Latin New Testaments (4th Century)
  • 73. 3. Early Versions & Translations of the New Testament Old Latin New Testaments Codex Bezae (ca. 400 A.D.) Corbeiensis (350-380A.D.)
  • 74. 3. Early Versions & Translations of the New Testament An Early Coptic Manuscript: Codex Schøyen (ca. 325 – 350 AD.):
  • 75. 3. Early Versions & Translations of the New Testament Other Early Coptic Manuscripts: Chester Beatty manuscript Coptic B. Chester Beatty manuscript Coptic A. (ca. A.D. 570-600).
  • 76. 3. Early Versions & Translations of the New Testament Early Syriac Versions of the New Testament
  • 77. 3. Early Versions & Translations of the New Testament Early Syriac Versions of the New Testament Curetonian Gospel (5th Century AD.) Eastern Syriac (9th -10th Century A.D.)
  • 78. VI. The Bible’s Early Transmission & Its First Modern Printing. As we have indicted, both in the Old Testament times and early Christian centuries the Bible was copied quite meticulously by hand. Scholars generally acknowledge that it was copied with great accuracy (although not done always with absolute perfection). Still, Biblical scribes for both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Christian Greek New Testament developed highly intricate special methods of checking their work, even counting the very numbers of words and very letters to avoid transmitting errors in God’s Holy Word.
  • 79. One Late Hand-Copied Medieval Bible: The Wycliffe Bible (ca. 1380 AD.)
  • 80. VI. The Bible’s Early Transmission & Its First Modern Printing.
  • 81. The Gutenberg Bible. Copies from the New York Public Library and the British Museum. The Bible was the first book ever printed on the printing press with moveable type (ca. 1455 A.D.). VI. The Bible’s Early Transmission & Its First Modern Printing.
  • 82. VII. The Biblical View of History:
  • 83. VII. The Biblical View of History:
  • 84. A Good Example of a Biblical Philosophy of History
  • 85. “ The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make His face to shine upon and be gracious to you. The LORD lift His countenance upon you and give you peace.”