The BIBLE…where did it come from?
The Word of God: We believe in the absolute and verbal inspiration of the entire Bible. The Bible does not merely contain the Word of God; the Bible is the Word of God. It is absolutely reliable and infallible. It is the only message in book form given as a direct revelation from God to man. We will give ourselves to the study of God’s Word and to prayer and fasting. Jesus fulfilled the law. The New Testament is the standard by which we live our lives. (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16)
We believe that the written Word (the Bible) was Divinely inspired and is applicable to us today.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works
2Peter 1:19 ¶ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Hebrews 1:1 ¶ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
How did we get our Bible?
“The story of how we got our Bible is quite as interesting as the doctrine of it’s inspiration. We are so accustomed to the Book that we scarcely ever think of how man came to get it. It’s compilation, and later, it’s preservation, is to us a very great reason for praising the Lord and prizing it’s very message.
The Book is divided into 66 distinct and separate messages, thirty nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New, bringing to us a united story that would be incomplete were any one of these books missing. The book of Job is by many thought to be the oldest of these messages. Next is the Pentateuch, written by Moses; afterwards the other historical, poetical, and prophetic books were written. The Old Testament was written by kings, judges, and prophets, the books being finally compiled in the days of Ezra & Nehemiah. So great was the demand for these Scriptures that they were translated into Greek more than three centuries before Christ. The most celebrated version was that of the Septuagint, begun about 285 B.C, prepared by Alexandrian scholars who translated the Scriptures out of the original Hebrew into Greek .
Centuries rolled on. The scepter passed from Greece to Rome, and at the time of the appearance of the Messiah of prophecy, Palestine was a Roman province. Jesus of Nazareth grew to maturity, was baptized, and began His active ministry. He delivered His Gospel of salvation, sealed it with His precious blood, returned to glory, sent “another Comforter” who endued the disciples of Christ with power from on high, and the world of world evangelism was begun. His disciples recorded His life and teachings in four books known to us as “the gospels”, the activities of the disciples were compiled in a book known to us as “the Acts of the Apostles”, and these, together with the epistolary writings, and the book of Revelation, constitute the New Testament canon. They were compiled very early in the history of the Christian Church, and judging by the writings of Clement, Tertullian, and other ante-Nicene fathers, the entire New Testament must have been completed in their day.
What the Septuagint is to the Greek translations of the Old Testament, the Latin Vulgate is the Latin translations of the Old and New Testaments. This was a translation of the Greek into Latin, by Jerome (385-405) and others, and passed through a number of revisions. The Latin Vulgate is said to have been the first book ever printed, issued in 1455, soon after the invention of the art of printing. Subsequent translations into many languages have made the Bible accessible to the people of many nationalities, the most widely used English translation being the King James Version, completed in 1610.
The question is sometimes raised as to how we may know that we have the same Bible as the one used when the sacred canon was completed. While the original manuscripts are no longer in existence, there is enough evidence in the writing of the ante-Nicene fathers to set at rest all doubts as to the authenticity of the ‘Old Latin” and “Syriac” versions of the second century. In this list of early Church writers are Clement and Polycarp, who lived early enough to know personally a few of the apostles. Handwritten manuscripts, several thousand of which are known to be in existence (the four oldest being the Alexandrian, the Ephraem, the Vatican, and the Sinaitic), cover the time from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries. Since that time printed copies have been in existence. There is no doubt in the minds of men of faith that we have the same Gospel that was preached in apostolic days, the same message as that compiled when the New Testament canon was completed.”
– Daniel Kauffman, Doctrines of the Bible
How many authors were used of God to write the Bible?
Were these authors all of the same occupation?
Any idea of how many different occupations there were among these authors?
Did all of these authors live in the same country?
How many different countries were they from?
How many years did it take to write the Bible?
The Bible was written 40 Authors, in 20 occupations, living in 10 countries, written over a 1,500 year span, comprising dozens of books, in three languages, including 2,930 people, in 1,551 places, 774,764 words in 31,173 verses in 1,189 chapters.
The 39 Old Testament books were accepted as authoritative canon by the consensus of Christian and Jewish groups before the end of the first century A.D.
The 27 New Testament books have been accepted by almost all Christian churches throughout history. There have been certain groups and individuals who at different times have suggested the omission of some of these writings and the addition of others.
The Apocryphal books are a series of 18 writings which may have been produced between the end of the Old Testament and the time of the New Testament. Historically they have been included and excluded in many different numbers and groupings in various Bibles. The twelve Apocryphal books would be considered acceptable for historical and devotional readings but not necessarily inspired writings.
What we know today as the canon of scripture was not the result of a series of contest involving Church politics. The canon is rather the separation that came about because of the intuitive insight of Christian believers. They could here the voice of the Good Shepherd in the gospel of John but they could only here it in a distorted way in the gospel of Thomas.
The canon is a list of authoritative books more than it is an authoritative list of books.
These documents didn’t derive their authority from being selected. Each one was authoritative before anyone gathered them together. The early church merely listened and sensed that these were authoritative accounts.
There is a unity and harmony in the 66 books that comprise our Bible that you will find in no other book.
During the last 3,000 years, the true scripture and Bible believers have been under attack. But as the Bible promises, God’s people and His message have endured. There are many thousands of ancient manuscript (handwritten) copies of both the Old and New Testament still in existence and being studied today. Some of the manuscripts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls are over 2,000 years old. No other ancient writings are as thoroughly documented or as well substantiated by archaeology.
Many careful comparisons have been done of all the handwritten copies. There are some differences among the thousands of writings, but not one foundational doctrine has been affected by those variations. The purity of the Bible text, down through the ages, can only point to God’s miraculous preservation. All this study has only added to the proof that the Bible we have today is the true, reliable, accurate, and authoritative Word of God!
1Peter 1:24 ¶ For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
How do we interpret and apply scripture?
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