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The Authority of the Bible

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Title: The Authority of the Bible


1
The Authority of the Bible
  • Sue Bohlin www.probe.org
  • Song of a Wonderer
  • Thompson Chain Reference Bible
  • Evidence that Demands a Verdict
  • www.afcinc.org

2
What we will learn about the Bible?
  • Overview (This week)
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Archeology

3
As we approach the Bible we must deal with . . .
  • 1. The historical gap between Bible times and
    today.
  • We do not live in 800 B.C.
  • We dont even live in 33 A.D.

4
As we approach the Bible we must realize deal
with . . .
  • 1. The historical gap
  • 2. Social and cultural gaps
  • We are not Jews,
    nor do we live in
    agrarian
    Mediterranean society

5
As we approach the Bible text, we must deal with
. . .
  • 1. The historical gap
  • 2. Social and cultural gaps
  • 3. Language differences
  • We arent reading the Bible in the original
    languages in which Moses or Paul or others wrote.

6
As we approach the Bible text, we must deal with
. . .
  • 1. A historical gap
  • 2. Social and cultural gaps
  • 3. Language differences
  • 4. Hand copied manuscripts
  • None of the original manuscripts written by Paul
    or Moses or Isaiah have been found.

7
The teaching of the Bible
  • Answers life's most difficult questions
  • Where did I come from?
  • Why is there evil in the world and in me?
  • Where did nations and culture come from?
  • Does God love me?
  • Does God forgive me?
  • Who is Jesus and what is his role in life?

8
What is the Bible
  • Christians believe Bible is God Inspired
  • Collection of Books in 2 parts
  • 39 Books in Old Testament
  • 27 Books in New Testament
  • A testament is a promise between God and Man.

9
The Old Testament
  • Written in Hebrew and Aramaic
  • 1400 B.C. to 400 B.C.
  • Law - Gods Standard of perfection
  • Genealogy (family trees)
  • Poetry prayers and worship songs
  • History Jewish nation
  • Prophecy Telling of the future. Mainly about
    Gods promise to man.
  • The Old Testament claims to be God speaking over
    3800 times.

10
New Testament
  • Written in Greek
  • 1st Century
  • 8 different authors
  • Teachings on wide variety of topics

11
New Testament
  • Gospel Good News of Gods Love
  • Letters - Encourage people to follow God
  • 1 Book about the early church
  • 1 Book about the future

12
The Authors Formation
  • Over 40 authors from various backgrounds
  • Written under many different circumstances on
    three different continents
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Over a 1500-year period
  • Consistency of theme one problemsin and how to
    be forgiven
  • Many attempts to destroy and discredit the Bible

13
THE UNIQUENESS AND DIVINE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE
14
THE BIBLE IS UNIQUE IN MORE WAYS THAN ANY OTHER
BOOK IN HISTORY
  • Websters Definition of Unique
  • One and only single sole.
  • Different from all others having no like or
    equal.

15
UNIQUE IN ITS CIRCULATION
  • The first book printed in Latin
  • Printed more times, read by more than any best
    seller
  • Billions have been published

16
UNIQUE IN ITS TRANSLATION
  • Translated in more than 2200 languages (90 of
    all people)
  • By 2022 will be translated in every language

17
Unique in affects Literature Music
  • Countless books have been written about Jesus
    the Bible
  • Dictionaries, encyclopedias, lexicons ??, atlases
  • Devotional books, song books (hymnals)
  • No other book has been more talked about or
    written about than the Bible.

18
Unique in affects of society
  • Hospitals
  • Sun calendar is based upon Jesus birth
  • Universities Education
  • Foot Ball games show signs of Bible verses
  • Cover of magazines

19
Affects on idioms
  • Good Samaritan
  • Doubting Thomas
  • Golden Rule do to others what you would have
    others do to you.
  • Money isnt everything (you cant serve both God
    Money)
  • The love of money is the root of all kinds of
    evil
  • The meek shall inherit the earth
  • Practice what you preach
  • Pride goes before a fall
  • Dust I come from and dust I will return

20
Unique fulfillment of Prophecy
  • Norman Geiser William Nix said
  • Other books claim divine inspiration, such as
    the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and parts of the
    Hindu Veda. But none of these books contains
    predictive prophecy.

21
Fulfilled Prophecy
  • Prophecy is history written in advance.
  • Only an omniscient (everywhere), omnipotent (all
    knowing) God could know the future so accurately
    He could have it written down.
  • Fulfilled prophecy is another evidence that the
    Bible is Gods Word.
  • Other religious books have claims to be inspired.
    The Bible has fulfilled prophecies.

22
Prophecies - Tell of God beforehand
  • Total Prophecies more than 1000
  • 1 in every 4 verses talk about prophecy
  • More than 300 prophecies in OT fulfilled in NT
    regarding Jesus.
  • The probability that 16 predictions could be
    fulfilled in one man has been calculated at 1 on
    1045.
  • We will discuss this in detail in a future
    discussion.

23
Unique in its survival
  • Over time (1st writings 1400 BC)
  • Through persecution and criticism.
  • Voltaire, who died in 1778 said that 100 years
    from his time Christianity would be swept from
    existence and passed into history.
  • Only 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible
    Society used his press and house to produce
    Bibles.

24
Unique in the Authors
  • Moses a political leader and judge trained in
    the universities of Egypt
  • David a king, poet, musician, shepherd and
    warrior
  • Amos a shepherd
  • Joshua a military general (to Moses)
  • Nehemiah a cupbearer to a pagan King
  • Daniel a prime minister

25
The Authors
  • Solomon a king and philosopher
  • Luke a physician and historian
  • Peter a fisherman
  • Matthew a tax collector
  • Paul a rabbi
  • Mark Peters secretary

26
Written in different places
  • Moses in the wilderness
  • Jeremiah in a dungeon
  • Daniel on a hillside and in a palace
  • Paul inside prison walls
  • Luke while traveling
  • John while in exile on the isle of Patmos

27
Written at different times
  • David in times of war and sacrifice
  • Solomon in times of peace and prosperity

28
Written during different moods
  • Some writings from the heights of joy
  • Others writing from the depths of sorrow and
    despair
  • Some times of certainty
  • Others during days of confusion and doubt.

29
Written in 3 languages
  • Hebrew the picture based language of the Jews
    (most of Old Testament)
  • Aramaic common language of the Near East during
    the time of Alexander the Great sixth century BC
    to fourth century BC
  • Greek the International language of the 1st
    Century (most of the New Testament)

30
Written in different literary styles
  • Poetry, song, romance, history, autobiography,
    biography, law
  • Personal correspondence a letter to one person
  • Didactic treatise ???? the teaching of a moral
    truth
  • Satire ?? - Use of sarcasm to expose folly
    (foolishness)
  • Prophecy predictions of something to come
  • Parable a short story that is told to show how
    one thing is like another, usually using a real
    world example to express a spiritual meaning
  • Memoirs a narrative composed from personal
    experience, a report 
  • Allegory use of symbolic fictional figures and
    actions to express truths or generalizations
    about human existence a symbolic representation

31
Describes the mistakes sins of the leaders in
the Bible
  • Noah got drunk
  • Moses was a murderer
  • King David committed adultery murder
  • Paul killed Christians before he became one
  • John believed Jesus and later had
    questions/doubts
  • The Bible says we are morally bad and need
    forgiveness.

32
Writing Materials of the Bible
  • Papyrus is an early form of thick paper-like
    material produced from the of the papyrus plant.
    This is the Greek word for paper.

33
Other writing materials
  • Ostrava pottery in Egypt and Palestine for
    storage of scolls.
  • Writings were on stone, clay wax tablets.
  • Chisel iron instrument for engraving

34
How did we get the Bible?
  • Canon an officially accepted list of books

35
Tests for Inclusion in the Canon
  • Was the book written by a prophet of God?
  • Was the writer confirmed by acts of God?
  • Did the message tell the truth about God?
  • Does it come with the power of God?
  • Was it accepted by the people?

36
Recognition of the NT Canon
  • Justine Martyr, Ireneus, Ignatius, Polycarp 180
    AD
  • Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine (350 AD)
  • Church Counsel 393 AD

37
Rejected Apocrypha those hidden away
  • Epistle of Pseudo Barnabas
  • Epistles to the Corinthians
  • Apocalypse of Peter
  • The acts of Paul and Thecla
  • Epistle to the Laodicans
  • The Gospel According to the Hebrews
  • The Seven Epistles of Ignatius

38
Why were they rejected?
  • None had more than a temporary or local
    recognition.
  • No major church council included them as inspired
    books of the New Testament.
  • Some books had historical discrepancies.

39
Recognition of the OT Canon
  • Last books Malachi Chronicles written around
    450 BC
  • Approximate recognition between 450 to 150 BC
  • the voice of God had ceased to speak directly

40
Confirmation of Jesus Christ
  • Jesus was after the Canon (0 to 33 AD)
  • Confirmed the law of Moses and the Prophets (Luke
    2444)
  • Jesus disagreed with Pharisees traditions not
    the Canon (John 1031-36 Luke 2444)
  • From the blood of Abel to the blood of
    Zachariah (Luke 1151) 1st and final martyr

41

42
Codex - Early Bound Copies

43
Ancient versions and Texts
44
Early English Versions
45
Early English Versions
46
Early English Versions
47
English Version Since 1901
48
English Version Since 1901
49
English Version Since 1901
50
Conclusions
  • Unique collection of books
  • Books in Harmony
  • Many authors
  • Written over many years
  • Many topics

51
Bibliographical Evidence
  • How do we know that the Bible of today is
    even close to the original?

52
Historical Accuracy of the Bible
  • Memory fades
  • Written records do not fade
  • Obvious fact
  • The earlier the historical record is written, the
    more accurate it is !
  • So How does the New Testament compare with
    historical writings (about famous people) around
    the same time ?

53
Accuracy Bible vs Julius Caesar
Jesus died
Earliest Surviving Copy Mark
Tacitus
Caesar died
Mark
30 AD
70 AD
60 AD
350 AD
44 BC
Earliest Surviving Copy Tacitus
100 yrs
40 yrs
950 AD
54
When did Christianity begin ?
  • Jesus Christ did not start Christianity
  • Christianity started by
  • Jesus disciples (Peter, John, Matthew,..)
  • Jesus brother James (in Jerusalem)
  • Paul (apostle to the gentiles)
  • So anyone who would know whether Jesus really
    came back alive, it would be these people

55
Foundation of Christianity
  • What is the one thing that the whole Christian
    faith is based on ?
  • Jesus resurrection from the death
  • Supporting material
  • 1Co 1514 And if Christ has not been raised,
    then our proclamation is worthless, and your
    faith is also worthless.

56
The Old Testament
  • The Scribes were professional writers.
  • They believed they were transcribing the Word of
    God and were therefore very careful.
  • The earliest complete copy of the Old Testament
    was written in Hebrew, from around 900 A.D.

57
The Old Testament
  • When the book was copied, auditors would add up
    the letters and find the middle letter. If it
    didnt match the original, they tore it up and
    made a new one.

58
Conclusion
  • We can now be sure that copyists worked with
    great care and accuracy on the Old Testament,
    even back to 225 B.C. . . . indeed, it would be
    rash skepticism that would now deny that we have
    our Old Testament in a form very close to that
    used by Ezra when he taught the word of the Lord
    to those who had returned from the Babylonian
    captivity.
  • R. Laird Harris
  • Can I Trust My Bible

59
The New Testament
  • There are more than 5,000 different ancient Greek
    manuscripts containing all or portions of the New
    Testament that have survived to our time. These
    are written on different materials.

60
Bibliographic Evidence
  • Q Is the text that we have now what was
    originally written? ( of early copies)
  • Compare Bible with other ancient books
  • Author Book Written Early copy Time gap Copies
  • Aristotle Poetics 343 BC 1100 AD 1400 yrs 5
  • Caesar Gallic Wars 50 BC 900 AD 950 yrs 10
  • Homer Iliad 900 BC 400 BC 500 yrs 643
  • Bible-NT 40-100 AD 125 AD 25 yrs 24,000
  • ? Of antiquity, Bible is most reliably validated

61
Consistency among copies
  • Do all copies say the same thing?
  • Homers Iliad Variance of 5.0 of the text
    (764 lines)
  • New Testament Variance of 0.5 of the text
    (40 lines)
  • Scribes were extremely careful to preserve these
    sacred truths
  • ? Good reason to trust the reliability of the
    Bible

62
Internal Evidence
  • Q Are the things written in it credible?
    (geographical chronological proximity)
  • Most authors were direct eyewitnesses
  • Books were circulated within the lifetimes of
    those who were present
  • Could be refuted if incorrectbut wasnt

63
Conclusion
  • In no other case is the interval of time
    between the composition of the book and the date
    of the earliest manuscripts so short as in that
    of the New Testament. Sir Frederic Kenyon

64
External Evidence
  • Q Are there other confirmations outside of the
    Bible?
  • Archaeological confirmations
  • e.g. names, governors, magistrates, and customs
    traditions
  • travel to hometown for the census

65
Archeological Proof
  • Tablets have confirmed ancient structures and
    people.
  • Cities have been discovered
  • A coin of a famous Biblical King was found
  • Bible Fragments/Books (i.e. Dead Sea Scrolls)
  • Countless other artifacts
  • Many famous archaeologists have great respect for
    the Bible.

66
Other historians mention Jesus
  • At this time there was a wise man who was called
    Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was
    known to be virtuous. And many people from among
    the Jews and the other nations became his
    disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified
    and to die. And those who had become his
    disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They
    reported that he appeared to them three days
    after his crucifixion and that He was alive
    accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah
    concerning whom the prophets have recounted
    wonders." Flavius Josephus (AD 37),
    Antiquities XVIII, 33

67
Why should you study the Bible
  • Bible is most published, translated, an purchased
    book in the world.
  • The Bible is a reliable document
  • You will hear Testimonies of how others came to
    know God
  • God loves you and has a plan for your life
  • Great way to make friends learn new words

68
Conclusion
  • Certainly the Bible is the most accurate and
    attested document of the ancient world. To reject
    it as Gods Word is more likely due to personal
    bias than the evidence.

69
How is the Bible Divided
  • Old Testament and New Testament
  • Books
  • Chapters
  • Verses
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