Inspired by God: 2 Peter 1:21 – …no prophecy of Scripture had its origin in the will of man. 2 Tim. 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed… Acts 4:25 – You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David… Using the vocabulary & style of human writers: Example: Luke 1:1-4
Organic Inspiration Pauls style: long sentences, extensive vocabulary, complex grammar, high literary style. One sentence in the original Greek: 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lords holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19
Organic Inspiration Johns style: short sentences, basic vocabulary, simple grammar, style of a fisherman! One sentence in the original Greek: 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. John 21:24
Wild Papyrus A common plant found along the river banks of Africa, Palestine, and the Mediterranean Sea. The stalk is stringy, such that the papyrus-maker removes the strands, and lays them out in parallel and in multiple layers to form ancient paper. The longer the strands, the wider the sheet that could be made. This is the writing medium of the original New Testament manuscripts.
Fragment of Ancient Manuscript ca. 120 AD From the Gospel of John, this papyrus fragment is from an early copy of the New Testament. Because of its date, it was produced by a scribe not long after the apostle John's death.
Early Complete Manuscripts of NT, ca. 300- 400 AD Later manuscripts are better preserved, and can be found in complete books instead of just fragments. This manuscript is called Codex Vaticanus.
Canonicity Clement, bishop of Rome, in 96 AD: For thus saith the holy Word: The Lord hath severely chastened me, yet hath he not given me over to death [Psalm 118:18]. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [Hebrews 12:6]. 1st Clement to Corinthians 56:3,4 Other early church fathers, direct disciples of the apostles, quoted from the NT extensively as Scripture: Polycarp, Papias, Ignatius, and others
Canonicity Four Tests of Canonicity: Apostolicity The writing must have been written by an apostle, or close associate of an apostle. Godly Content The writing must have the majesty and style of having been written by God. Universality The writing must have already been adopted universally by the churches. Divine Inspiration The writing must have already been considered as Gods Word, not just a good book.
Canonicity Gospel of Thomas? Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go away from us, for women are not worthy of life. Jesus said; Le, I shall lead her, so that I may make her a male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven. Thomas 114 Written around 150 AD Lacks godly content Not universally accepted as Scripture by early churches No evidence of early Christians accepting it as inspired
Canonicity Apocrypha: Catholics have them, why not us? Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch were written around 150 BC. Not found in the Hebrew Old Testament Jesus never quotes from them. New Testament never quotes from them as being Scripture. Ancient Hebrew Jews never considered them as Scripture.
Standard Greek Bibles After a careful examination and study of the 25,000 ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, scholars will compile a standard Greek text. If there are any differences between manuscripts, these variants will be noted at the bottom of the page, with an listing of manuscripts supporting each version. Nestle-Aland is the name of Greek text behind most modern English translations such as the NIV.
Textual Variants KJV: …peace on earth, goodwill to men. NIV: …and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.
How Reliable Are Ancient Manuscripts? Very little difference over 1,000 years Isaiah 51:17-19 – Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the boglet that makes men stagger. Of all the sons she bore there was none to guide her; of all the sons she reared there was none to take her by the hand. These double calamities have come upon you – who can comfort you? – ruin and destruction, famine and sword – who can (how can I) console you? Dead Sea Scrolls – 100 B.C. Masoretic Text – 900 A.D.
Early Translations There were many attempts to translate the Bible into the vernacular tongue, such as Wycliffe's Bible in English. Most of these were subsequently burned by the Roman Catholic Church and never made it into the hands of the people. The Church also burned Martin Luther's Bible, shown left. But copies survive, even until today, because of a particularly important invention.
Translation Philosophies Literal Dynamic Equivalent Free (See Leaders Academy Series, pg. 174)
Bible Translations Over 3,000 translations Over 5,000 left to go
The Bible was written so long ago, all kinds of errors and changes must have crept in, so that it is unreliable. How would you respond? If we dont have the original manuscripts, how do we know that our modern Bible is Gods Word? We need to discover the hidden messages in the Bible. For example, it foretells John F. Kennedys assassination, the moon landing, etc. We now have computers that can easily count every 150 th Hebrew character, and string them together to discover the secret messages. How would you respond? We believe in the infallibility of the Bible, but not inerrancy, because the Protestant Reformers never used such a word.
How to Study the Bible Get the Big Picture – Know the geography – Know the writer – Know the date of writing – Know the historical background – Write an outline after trying to read the book in one sitting, if possible.
How to Study the Bible Study the details – Divide the book into chunks according to your outline. – Give each chunk a title – Ask as many questions as you can about the text. – Find the answers using standard Bible tools (e.g. Bible encyclopedia) – Make a summary in your own words.
How to Study the Bible Let God Speak (for each chunk) – God ______________. – Christ _________________. – Therefore, I _________________.