Presentation on theme: "Why tackle this kind of study?"— Presentation transcript:
1Why tackle this kind of study? Example: Jesus Seminar, Claremont, CA…82% of Jesus’ words GONE. General rule: “Canonized boundaries are irrelevant.” Beads: Red…Jesus definitely said this; Pink…Jesus might have said this; Grey…Maybe, but doubtful; Black…No way Jesus said that. Voted: 75% above left in Bible…AND added Gospel of Thomas as the 5th Gospel.Another example: Thomas Jefferson published a Bible where he took out all the miracles & called them “rubbish” and not fitting his times of Enlightenment. No Virgin Birth & most of the Gospel of John pointing to Jesus’ divinity.Listen: Questioning is a normal and healthy part of learning. Every teacher I know loves students who ask questions, because it shows they are interested and learning. God certainly does not mind when we ask Him questions. Furthermore, God has answers to our questions. The Bible is full of answers on all kinds of subjects. God gave us a command to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Some people act as if an intellectual pursuit of God is either unnecessary or ungodly. However, God created our minds so we can think using reason and logic, and He is the One who said we should love Him with “all” our mind. We cannot do that if we are not fully convinced that the Bible is true.Asking questions is a vital part of learning, and God tells us to ask Him if we need wisdom: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. Jms 1:5It is very important, however, that we understand the difference between questioning and doubting. I believe that many people who say they “question” the Bible actually mean they “doubt” it. I say that because, in my years of teaching the Bible, most people who have told me they “question” the Bible are not really looking for answers. They do not trust God, and are comfortable living with doubt and unbelief about Him and His Word. If the Bible is true, however, it is not wise to remain comfortable in unbelief. We are pleased when people trust us, and God is pleased when people trust Him.In fact, the bible states clearly that “…without faith [trust] it is impossible to please God…” (Heb. 11:6a). God can answer questions and help us believe if we search for answers.It is not necessary to live in unbelief and doubt. You can resolve any doubts or overcome any unbelief you may have if you desire to.
2A few preliminary thoughts: 1. Bible remains the world’s best seller.2. Bible remains most neglected book.3. Bible remains the piece of literature to be most trusted.A few preliminary thoughts:Bible remains the world’s best seller.Koran (Muslim): Translated 125 languagesBible: Translated 307 languagesNT into 680 moreAt least one biblical book (Wycliff): 1360 more1999: 670 million copies of Bible distributed (Bible Societies)Bible remains most neglected book.10’s of 1000’s buy a Bible – never read it.Biblical knowledge: All time lowBible remains the piece of literature to be most trusted.Trust in Scripture remains a test for orthodoxy.The Bible truly is the Word of God.Verbal (Every Word), Plenary (Every Part of the 66) InspirationBible is constantly under attack.Liberalism: InerrancyPostmodernism: Canonization4. Bible is constantly under attack.
3Biblia- “the books” Papyrus Codex Almost impossible to say exactly when and under what circumstance the Bible has it’s origin.The term Bible comes from the word “biblia” meaning literally “the books.” The term Bible is used 2 times in the Bible – Daniel 9:2 (LXX) and 2 Timothy 4:13.Let me talk to you about the format of ancient books.For many years, the standard format of a book was a scroll…often made of papyrus that had been glued end-to-end and then rolled up.Papyrus sheets are made by a four stage process. 1) A fresh papyrus plant is cut into long strips; 2) The strips are laid out on a flat surface in a crisscross pattern; 3) The sheet is pressed and left to dry; 4)Sheets are joined together with glue to make long scrolls.The roll was stored upright in a book-box or capsa, horizontally on a shelf or in a pigeonhole. If particularly valuable, it could be placed in a chest or wrapped in a protective sleeve of parchment and tied with thongs. An author's work very often would require several rolls, which would be kept in the same book-box. It was these physical limitations--the length of the papyrus roll and the number of rolls that could be stored together--that tended to define the divisions of literature.Eventually this papyrus would give way to parchment (Parchment: “The skin of a sheep or goat prepared as a material on which to write or paint) and the roll form would yield to the “codex.”Codex- term used to describe the Roman writing tablet and later came to be used for a book with leaves (pages).Some are convinced that this codex format was a Christian innovation. If it wasn’t, Christians were certainly the first to take advantage of this format.
4Over 500 years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Marzeah Papyrus (7th century BC), is currently touring the US as part of a larger exhibition and is touted as either the "earliest Hebrew writing on papyrus" or "the oldest known Hebrew manuscript in the world and the oldest known mention of the name 'Elohim,' a name for God in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible." Taking its cue from this last claim, it is now often called the "Elohim papyrus.“A final note: The nickname "Elohim Papyrus" is peculiarly misconceived. The crucial word is actually אלהן, perhaps "Elohin" or even "Elahin," but definitely not "Elohim"! Not only that, it is far from certain that the reference is to a single god. The full phrase is כה אמרו אלהן, with a plural verb, possibly to be translated "thus said the gods." It is true, though, that in the Hebrew Bible "Elohim" meaning "God," singular, can be construed with a plural verb (e.g., Ps. 58:12).Marzeah Papyrus
5Biblical Languages 1. Hebrew 2. Aramaic 3. Greek Written backwardsNo vowels (points) originallyARAMAICKindred language to HebrewAfter the exile (500 BC), became tongue of Palestine3. Nehemiah 8:8, “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.”4. Usually that passage is read with an assumption that the people did not know pure Hebrew and therefore needed a translation.5. In Bible? Yes!Jeremiah 10:11Daniel 2:4b-7:28 (Writing on the wall-Daniel 5)Ezra 4:8-6:178; 7:12-266. Jesus called God “Abba” which is Aramaic for “Daddy.”7. Lord’s prayer PictureGREEKNew TestamentUniversal language of the times.“Koine” – CommonTwo FormsUncials – All Capitals (PICTURE: Codex Vaticanus)Miniscules – Cursive and small lettersOf the known 5300 manuscripts, all but 650 are miniscule.No gaps between words originally: “thus saith glen, it is high time we took out bibles literally and seriously”UncialsMinisculesthussaithglenitishightimewetookourbiblesliterallyandseriously
6Kanwn- “A measuring stick” Where does the authority originate? “Authority for the Canon comes from man.”Canon: “Kanwn” originally meant “a measuring stick.”Carried the idea of an authoritative norm.Paul used the word to describe a “rule of conduct.” After all his discussion of what real freedom is all about…how we need a NT Savior, not an OT system…Paul tells the Galatian believers of the benefits of this way of thinking…this authoritative norm for their lives…Galatians 6:16, “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.”Early Apostolic Church: The Canon referred to the summary of Christian teaching.Remember, measuring sticks are usually marked in units of length.CANON: “The list of books acknowledged by God’s people as belonging to the Bible.”Athanasius: 4th Century Bishop of Alexandria was the first to use the term in regards to Scripture.3 views:1. Authority for the Canon comes from man: Humans expressed their faith as witnesses to divine revelation and so choosing the Canon was a human endeavor. (No inspiration)2. Authority for the Canon comes from the RCC: RCC sees themselves as the infallible authority of Christ and therefore had the power and mandate to determine the extent of the Canon.3. Authority for the Canon comes from God: Scriptures are the inspired Word of God and it was God who providentially guided his people to recognize these writings as coming from Him…the ultimate authority.J. I. Packer (God Has Spoken): “The church no more gave us the [NT] Canon than Sir Isaac Newton gave us the force of gravity. God gave us gravity, by his work of creation, and similarly he gave us the [NT] Canon, by inspiring the individual books that made it up.”2. “Authority for the Canon comes from the Church.”3. “Authority for the Canon comes from God.”
7OT Canon Begins with the written words of God (Ex 31:18) Grew in size throughout the time of Israel’s history, written by those who fulfilled the office of prophet (Deut 31:24-26; 1 Sam 10:25; Jer 30:2)Continued until about 435 BCAccepted by Jesus and his contemporariesConfirmed by the church as early as AD 170Old TestamentRemember: God’s first communication with humanity was oral; Adam; Noah; Abraham.When studying the OT, remember that often God spoke orally to leaders and prophets and they passed on the oral tradition. But Moses’ activity as a writer is frequently mentioned.First mention of any writing of Scripture: Moses wrote 6 times…Canon began with Moses’ writing!!The memorial of Amalek: Exodus 17:14, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’”The words of the covenant made at Sinai: Exodus 24:4, “Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.”The Ten Commandments: Exodus 34:27-28, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.’ Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant---the Ten Commandments.”The journeys of Israel in the wilderness: Numbers 33:2, “At the LORD’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages.”The Book of the Law kept in the Ark of the Covenant: Deut. 31:9, 24, “So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel….After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end.”The Song found in Deut. 32:1-43: Deut. 31:22, “So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.”We believe Moses wrote the first 5 books! Why?Other writers said so: Joshua 8:31; 2 Kings 14:6; Ezra 6:18;Jesus said so: Mark 12:26; Luke 2:22; John 7:19, “‘Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?’”5. Granted…When divine revelation was put in writing, natural for other events and revelations to be recorded…so successors also wrote words. Joshua 24:26, “And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.” (Example? Deuteronomy 34)6. So…the OT, as a whole, grew gradually and came to be accepted as a collection possibly as early as the time of Ezra (c. 400 BC).7. In fact, Josephus, a Jewish historian, says that no book was added to the Hebrew Scriptures after the time of Malachi, (Against Apion, I. 8.). (Around 432 BC)8. Some say Jamnia (90 AD)
8OT Canon God’s 1st communication was oral. Moses Exodus 17:14 Numbers 33:2Deut. 31:9, 24Deut. 31:22Moses wrote the TorahOld TestamentRemember: God’s first communication with humanity was oral; Adam; Noah; Abraham.When studying the OT, remember that often God spoke orally to leaders and prophets and they passed on the oral tradition. But Moses’ activity as a writer is frequently mentioned.First mention of any writing of Scripture: Moses wrote 6 times…Canon began with Moses’ writing!!The memorial of Amalek: Exodus 17:14, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’”The words of the covenant made at Sinai: Exodus 24:4, “Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.”The Ten Commandments: Exodus 34:27-28, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.’ Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant---the Ten Commandments.”The journeys of Israel in the wilderness: Numbers 33:2, “At the LORD’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages.”The Book of the Law kept in the Ark of the Covenant: Deut. 31:9, 24, “So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel….After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end.”The Song found in Deut. 32:1-43: Deut. 31:22, “So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.”We believe Moses wrote the first 5 books! Why?Other writers said so: Joshua 8:31; 2 Kings 14:6; Ezra 6:18;Jesus said so: Mark 12:26; Luke 2:22; John 7:19, “‘Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?’”5. Granted…When divine revelation was put in writing, natural for other events and revelations to be recorded…so successors also wrote words. Joshua 24:26, “And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.” (Example? Deuteronomy 34)6. So…the OT, as a whole, grew gradually and came to be accepted as a collection possibly as early as the time of Ezra (c. 400 BC).7. In fact, Josephus, a Jewish historian, says that no book was added to the Hebrew Scriptures after the time of Malachi, (Against Apion, I. 8.). (Around 432 BC)8. Some say Jamnia (90 AD)
9Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions The History of Ancient WritingsProto-Sinaitic InscriptionsTHE HISTORY OF ANCIENT WRITINGSBibles are old…but not the oldest writings in the world.Writings have been traced back to 3000 BC Mesopotamia.Best example: proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions; Small cluster of rock-carved graffiti dating back to 1500 BC (Located 50 miles from Mt Sinai).Why important? Some contend that writing did not exist during the days of Moses. So Moses could not be the author of the Torah.But….there were at least 5 different systems of writing known when Moses lived.
10The History of Ancient Writings 1. Stone5 ANCIENT WRITING SYSTEMS: 1. STONEIn Egypt and Palestine, the earliest writing material was stone.Hammurabi (c BC), well known Babylonian King set up stone monuments so that people could read his 250 laws.Gezer Calendar: Kinda a poem having to do with various agricultural activities during the months of the year. (Date: c. 925 BC Time of Solomon)Moabite Stone: Erected by King Mesha of Moab to commemorate his revolt against Israel (2 Kings 3:4-27)Gezer CalendarMoabite Stone
11The History of Ancient Writings 2. Clay5 ANCIENT WRITING SYSTEMS: 2. CLAYMoist clay was formed into tablets, written upon, and dried.Common in OT:A Babylonian tablet from 87 B.C. reports the arrival of the comet now known as Halley.Fragment of a clay tablet from the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, with an Assyrian account of the Flood
12The History of Ancient Writings 3. Wood & Wax5 ANCIENT WRITING SYSTEMS: 3. WOOD & WAXOT makes specific reference to writing on wood rods and sticks.2. Numbers 17:2-3, “‘Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. On the staff of Levi write Aaron's name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe.’”3. In Greek & Roman times, whitened board was used for public notices. (“Album”)Wooden tablets often had an inlay of wax to write upon. The Assyrians used these tablets and bind them together like a modern day book and call it a “Codex.”
13The History of Ancient Writings 4. Metal5 ANCIENT WRITING SYSTEMS: 4. METALGold…silver…bronze.Gold: Exodus 28:36, “‘Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD.’”In Greece and Rome, government recorded treaties and decrees on bronze tablets.Roman soldiers, at the time of their discharge, were given a small bronze tablet called a “diploma” granting them special privileges and citizenship.Priests wore silver scrolls as amulets around their necks.In 1979 Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, working with a group of students from the Institute of Holy Land Studies, excavated several tombs in Jerusalem on the "Shoulder of Hinnom," on the southwestern slope of the Hinnom Valley. In one burial cave a repository for grave goods was found, containing approximately 700 items, including burial gifts of pottery vessels, over 100 pieces of silver jewelry, arrowheads, bone and ivory artifacts, alabaster vessels, 150 beads and a rare, early coin. Among the silver items was a rolled-up amulet bearing the tetragrammaton, the name of God (the consonantal letters yod, he, waw, he), YHWH. The tomb dates to the end of the Davidic dynasty, approximately the seventh century BC. The silver amulet thus dates to the end of the seventh or early sixth century. The prayer-like inscription containing the divine name provides the oldest extra-biblical evidence for the name of God thus far archaeologically recovered in Jerusalem. The scripture passage on the amulet is from the Aaronic or priestly blessing found in Num 6:24-25.Numbers 6:24-26, “‘'The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.'’”The owner apparently wore the inscribed, rolled-up silver amulet during his/her lifetime, and people felt it appropriate that such objects should accompany the owner in death as in life.“‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.’” Numbers 6:24-25
14The History of Ancient Writings 5. Ostraca5 ANCIENT WRITING SYSTEMS: 5. OSTRACABroken pottery was often used as scratch paper.In Palestine, one shard has been discovered with the name Pekah, King of Israel about 735 BCBroken pottery was often used as scratch paper
15Why did Moses write Scripture? 1. God’s method of preservation of canon2. Delivery to other placesJeremiah 29:1Jeremiah 36:1-81. The unreliability of oral tradition was well known to OT writers.Object lesson: Loss of the book of the Law during the wicked reign of Manesseh and Amon. When rediscovered by Hilkiah, its teaching came as a great shock. (Oral tradition had evidently not been adequate)2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34Lesson: A written canon was necessary.2. Jeremiah 29:1 “This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.”Jeremiah 36:1-8 “In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.’ So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the LORD had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll. Then Jeremiah told Baruch, ‘I am restricted; I cannot go to the LORD’s temple. So you go to the house of the LORD on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the LORD that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns. Perhaps they will bring their petition before the LORD, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the LORD are great.’ Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do; at the LORD’s temple he read the words of the LORD from the scroll.”3. Exodus 17:14 “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’”4. Deuteronomy 31:24-26 “After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: ‘Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.’”3. Future memorial to IsraelExodus 17:144. A witnessDeuteronomy 31:24-26
16TaNaKh T – Torah (The Law) OT Canon N – Neviim (The Prophets) K – Kethubim (The Writings)In 1892 a scholar named H.E. Ryle published The Canon of the Old Testament; first to discuss a 3-part process in OT canonization. (3 tiers)TaNaKThe Law (Torah, 400 BCE) - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and DeuteronomyThe Prophets (Neviim, 200 BCE) - Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel (one volume), 1 & 2 Kings (one volume), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the 12 Minor Prophets (one volume)The Writings (Kethubim, 200 BCE) - Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah (one volume), 1 & 2 Chronicles (one volume)Hypothetical: especially in regards to the 3rd tier at Jamnia.Tripartite approach seen in NT:Law & Prophets: Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”Moses & Prophets: Luke 16:29, “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’”Jesus reminds disciples of a tripartite division of OT…but does not include the rest of the Hagiographa: Luke 24:44, “He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’” (Psalms = ”Writings?”)
17OT Canon Closing of the Torah (Law) Closing the Neviim & Kethubim Canonical by times of Ezra & Nehemiah5th Century BCClosing the Neviim & KethubimCLOSING OF THE TORAH (LAW)References in Scripture itself: Daniel 9:2 “In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.”Canonical by times of Ezra and Nehemiah (5th Century BC)CLOSING OF THE 2nd & 3rd SECTIONS3rd Century BC: Translated into Greek (1st part of LXX)Other theories?Documentary Hypothesis: J-E-P-D wrote Torah. (4 separate documents edited together by a “Chronicler”)Some contend that Judas Maccabaeus collected all these sacred books and was himself instrumental in closing the 3rd tier…about 165 BC: Why? NEXT SLIDE3rd Cent. BC: Translated into Greek (LXX)
18OT Canon(Apocrypha)," And also that he [Judas Maccabaeus] founded a library and collected the books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David, and letters of kings about votive offerings. In the same way Judas [Maccabaeus] also collected all the books that had been lost on account of the war which had come upon us, and they are in our possession. So if you have need of them, send people to get them for you.” Maccabees 2:13b-15 (RSV)2 Maccabees 2:13b-15 (Apocrypha), “And also that he [Judas Maccabaeus] founded a library and collected the books about the kings and prophets, and the writings of David, and letters of kings about votive offerings. In the same way Judas [Maccabaeus] also collected all the books that had been lost on account of the war which had come upon us, and they are in our possession. So if you have need of them, send people to get them for you.” (Revised Standard Version)This is right after a major exile and these writings had to be preserved. But time was needed for Ezra to be completed, probably the last OT canonical book and for recognition that the prophetic gift had ceased.War? Liberation from Antiochus Epiphanes. Since these “Scriptures” were scattered on separate scrolls, they had to be collected.
19Difference between Jewish OT and Canonical OT OT CanonDifference between Jewish OT and Canonical OTJewish (22 Books)LawProphetsFormer Prophets – Joshua, Judges, Samuel & KingsLatter Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, & EzekielOur protestant OT is different from the Jewish Scriptures22 books….SAMEEnds with 2 ChroniclesExplanation? NEXT PAGEThe “Twelve”WritingsNote: Ends with 2 Chronicles
20OT Canon“‘And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.’” Matthew 23:35“‘From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.’” Luke 11:51Chronicles last? Reflected sayings of Christ. Matthew 23:35 “‘And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.’”Luke 11:51 “‘From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.’”Phrase “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah” probably means all the martyred prophets from one end of Canon to the other – Genesis 4:3-15 to 2 Chronicles 24:19-22
21What About Jamnia? AD 90: Council of Jamnia Not a major councilLimited discussion on Ecclesiastes and Song of SongsCanon fixed prior to birth of ChristMatthew 4:1-4 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. '’”Council of JamniaNot major council. (Small collection of rabbinical Jewish leaders) No major decisions made. Only discussions.Did not gather to determine canon; limited their discussion to the books of Ecclesiastes and Song of SolomonRCC claims Jamnia fixed canon. They suggest that canon could not be fixed until after fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.OT Canon was fixed clearly before Jesus was born.Jesus’ response to temptations in Matthew 4:1-4 (It is written.”)Devil never asked, “Written in what/where?”Theory: John Barton (Prof of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at Oxford University) believes Jamnia was called, according to the Mishna (Yadaim 3:5), to determine if Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs “defile the hands.”Wrong interpretation: Question canonicity.Correct interpretation: Because the two books did not contain the name YHWH, they were not being handled with the same care and reverence as the other books.
22Principles & Factors Determining the OT Canon 1. Prophetic Authorship (Hag 1:3; Zech. 1:1)Prophetic Authorship:Many books claim prophetic authorshipHaggai 1:3, “Then the Word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:”Zechariah 1:1, “In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.”Later Prophets referred to former Prophets (Zech. 1:4; 7:12)Zechariah 1:4, “Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord.”Hebrews 1:1, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.”2 Peter 1:19, “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”When Jesus was arrested, He said in Matthew 26:56a, “But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”Testimony of the Holy Spirit:Canon involved 1) Divine revelation & 2) Human recognition.How did they recognize the Prophets? Some did miracles (Moses). Others, the Holy Spirit testified to the truth in THE hearts of those who received it.Providential Care:Israel disobedient: OT still preserved.Scripture pronounced judgment…not very popular: OT still preservedPersecution: OT still preserved.Validation by Christ:Often quoted the OT: Matthew 21:42, 26:54; John 5:39Jesus knew and ratified the Canon2. Testimony of the Holy Spirit3. Providential Care4. Validation By Christ (Matt 21:42; 26:54)
234 Categories of Religious Writings 1. Homolegomera2. Antilegomera3. Apocryphal4 Categories of Religious WritingsHomolegomera: Means “one word.” Accepted by everyoneAntilegomera: Books initially spoken against. “Not sure about this one!”5 OT: Song; Ecclesiastes, Esther; Proverbs; Ezekiel7 NT: Hebrews; James; 2 Peter; 2 & 3 John; Jude; RevelationApocryphal: Means “hidden” or “hard to understand.” Examined and measured against the standard of God’s authorship. Some of the original books still accepted by Roman Catholic Church, substantiated teachings such as purgatory and prayers for the dead.Pseudepigrapha: 300+ high quality writings clearly recognized as NOT God’s Word. Magical stories; Jesus doing tricks on his friends as a kid.4. Pseudepigrapha
24Robert Saucy…Tobit 12:9, “Almsgiving saves from death and purges every sin.”Eccesaisticus 33:26, “Yoke and thong will bow the neck, for a wicked slave there are racks and torture.”Does that sound like inspired words from God?Do these words belong in your Bible?RCC, and Eastern Orthodox Church say they are canonical.RCC: April 8, the Council of Trent as a way of recovering lost ground to the reformation “deuterocanonized” the Apocrypha. It was said that a person was “Anathem (ex-communicated) if you rejected these writings.” But this was also the council that said that the Mother Church was infallible in its decisions.Included in the LXXAugustine gave the Apocrypha a degree of acceptance.INTERESTING NOTE: Today, the RCC only includes Tobias (Tobit), Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch and Maccabees. Not included any more are I & II Esdras, Epistle of Jeremiah, Susanna, Bel & the Dragon, Prayer of Manessah, Prayer of Azariah and Laodiceans.
25The Apocrypha The Intertestament Period Alexander the Great died in 323 BCIntertestament PeriodWhen Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, his empire was split among his four generals. Seleocus I got Judea.Judea annexed by Ptolemy of Egypt in 320Palestine was under severe political/social pressure.Ptolemy V died in 205 BC: Antiochus III of Syria decided to annex Judea. Egypt fought; lost.Antiochus tolerant of Jews but civil strife broke out.Hellenizers began to bring paganism into the culture. Revolts over and over.During this period, many of the Apocryphal books were written.Apocrypha… (Seems to have common themes)Deals with struggles between good and evil, and the expectation that God rewards faithfulness.Represented a narrative of endurance under persecution.Apocrypha: “hidden things” meaning that which the religious authorities wanted to conceal from the reading public.5th century: Jerome urged that these books not included. So apocryphal now meant noncanonical.There is an OT apocrypha and NT apocrypha.Palestine under severe pressureConstant revoltsHellenization of culture
26The Apocrypha Never included in Old Testament canon Why not canonized?Never included in Old Testament canon2. Never accepted by Jesus/Apostles3. Never accepted by early Jewish writers4. No evidence of inspiration5. ErrorsWhy not canonized?Never included in the original OT canon. Josephus said the OT canon was 22 books, the exact equivalent to our 39 books today.Never accepted by Jesus/Apostles. Jesus’ OT was the Hebrew OT and never included the Apocrypha. Apostles never refer to them.Never accepted by early Jewish writers. 1st century Philo and Josephus; Council of Jamnia (AD 90); Jerome (AD 400) translated Latin Vulgate which remains official Roman Catholic Church Bible, strongly maintained Apocrypha not included in canon.No intrinsic evidence of inspiration. Great portions legendary and fictitious. Example: Book of Tobit (200 BC) tells story of Israelite named Tobit who was carried as a captive to Nineveh by the Assyrians. Purpose: Encourage keeping the Law. Fictitious character detracts from its usefulness.Historical, chronological and geographical errors. Example: Judith says Holofernes is a general of “Nebuchadnezzar who ruled over the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh,” (1:1). Error! Holofernes was a Persian general and…Nebuchadnezzar was King of Babylonians in Babylon. Other books have a number of errors.Shrouded by uncertainty. Not regarded as authoritative by the Jews, so received validation elsewhere… the Greek-speaking church…and thus into the LXX. Interesting: Some compromise in their acceptance. Church of England – semi-canonical status: May be read in public worship “for example of life and instruction of manners,” but not to “establish any doctrine.” STRANGE.7. Objections not overcome by dictatorial authority. April 8, 1548, in the 4th session of the Council of Trent, Roman Catholic Church said Apocrypha (Except 1 and 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh) are canonical.8. Unorthodox Doctrine: Saucy’s examples6. Uncertainty7. Objections not overcome8. Unorthodox Doctrine
27Problem: Doesn’t Jude quote non-canonical literature? “(v. 9) But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’…Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’” Jude 1:9, 14-15Problem: Doesn’t Jude quote noncanonical literature?Jude 1:9 “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”“Assumption of Moses,” exists in only fragments.Jude 1:14-15 “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’”From 1 Enoch, an apocalyptic book.Explanation?Not too unusual: Paul does this. Paul even calls one of the Greek poets a “prophet,” in Titus 1:12 “Even one of their own prophets has said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’”Paul did not believe the poets were prophets like Ezekiel or Jeremiah.So when Jude addresses false teachers, whether using a traditional story about Moses’ body (v. 9), or a prophecy of “Enoch” (vv ), he may be simply using an illustration using writings which may have been familiar to his readers OR his opponents.
28After the dispersion, the Jews living OUTSIDE Palestine soon forgot their native Hebrew language and learned to communicate in the language of the culture…primarily Greek.Alexander’s Plan: One universal empire dominated by Greek culture/language.Because of the Hellenistic influence, the Jews of the Dispersion had a need to have a translation of the Law of Moses in their new language.Massive undertaking under Ptolemy II (Disputed) who wanted a copy of the Law in his own library.Tradition: 72 translators (6 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel), thus LXX (70).Also possible that LXX comes from the 70 elders of Exodus 24:1, 9, who accompanied Moses to Sinai to receive the Law.Translated entire OT: Good/Bad job: Good job on the Law; bad job on Isaiah.Quickly accepted in the Christian community.Example: Matthew’s quote of Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:23. Hebrew text says, “young woman.” The LXX says, “virgin.” Context: The prophet Isaiah promises in 7:14 a sign to King Ahaz and the house of David that a royal son was to be born. But the Jews knew of the deeper meaning because of the explanation in Isa 8:8, 10 that his name would be called “Emmanuel” or “God with us.” The translators of the LXX understood this deeper meaning and thus translated the Hebrew word, “‘alma” (which means “young woman,” who may or may not be a virgin), with the Greek word “parthenos” which specifically means “virgin,” rather than “veanos” which means “young woman.”
29Dead Sea Scrolls Qumran History: In 1947, young Bedouin shepherds, searching for a stray goat in the Judean Desert, entered a long-untouched cave and found jars filled with ancient scrolls. That initial discovery by the Bedouins yielded seven scrolls and began a search that lasted nearly a decade and eventually produced thousands of scroll fragments from eleven caves. During those same years, archaeologists searching for a habitation close to the caves that might help identify the people who deposited the scrolls, excavated the Qumran ruin, a complex of structures located on a barren terrace between the cliffs where the caves are found and the Dead Sea. Within a fairly short time after their discovery, historical, paleographic, and linguistic evidence, as well as carbon-14 dating, established that the scrolls and the Qumran ruin dated from the third century B.C.E. to 68 C.E. They were indeed ancient! Coming from the late Second Temple Period, a time when Jesus of Nazareth lived, they are older than any other surviving biblical manuscripts by almost one thousand years.Significance: The Dead Sea Scrolls include a range of contemporary documents that serve as a window on a turbulent and critical period in the history of Judaism. In addition to the three groups identified by Josephus (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes), Judaism was further divided into numerous religious sects and political parties. With the destruction of the Temple and the commonwealth in 70 C.E., all that came to an end. Only the Judaism of the Pharisees--Rabbinic Judaism--survived. Reflected in Qumran literature is a Judaism in transition: moving from the religion of Israel as described in the Bible to the Judaism of the rabbis as expounded in the Mishnah (a third-century compilation of Jewish laws and customs which forms the basis of modern Jewish practice). The Dead Sea Scrolls, which date back to the events described in New Testament, have added to our understanding of the Jewish background of Christianity.Bottom Line: All books of traditional Hebrew Canon, except Esther, are found in the DSS.Contributions to Biblical Scholarship: 1) Study of ancient writing and making of scrolls; 2) Textual criticism of OT; 3) Linguistic study of Hebrew and Aramaic; 4) Apocryphal studies; 5) Study of the Essenes; 6) Ancient methods of Biblical interpretation; 7) Intertestament period; 8) NT background.
30J. I. Packer (God has Spoken, Pg 81): “Had one suggested to Christians of the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th centuries that they were recognizing the canonical books and the church was creating a canon for itself, choosing out some good quality Christian literature to authorize as a standard of faith for the future, they would have shaken their heads and marveled that anyone could dream up an idea so perverse and far from the truth. The belief that Apostolic writings as such were inspired, and therefore intrinsically authoritative, was the presupposition of their whole inquiry.”Louis Gaussen, well known for his high view of Scripture, (The Canon of the Holy Scripture, Pg 26): Describes the development of the canon as a woman walking through the garden with the owner, and the owner is picking flowers for her to put in the basket…until the entire basket has a bouquet. The bouquet exists and is admired the moment she receives the first flowers. Likewise, God picked the books He wanted to include in the Canon.New TestamentOriginally the NT Christians accepted the OT as their Bible. They soon accepted other writings as being on par with the Jewish Scriptures.Mostly letters penned by inspired men and addressed to different church/individuals.Read in public assemblies.Remember: primarily illiterate cultureThe mass literacy phenomena actually appeared at the advent of the Industrial Revolution.Most influential study on literacy: Columbia University, professor William Harris. “Best literary roles were in Athens (5th Century) at the height of the Classical Period…10-15%.”Readers and writers were thus hired.Problem: How to define literacy? There was an Egyptian scribe name Pateus who was responsible for a village’s financial and agricultural affairs around 184 BC He was called in to resolve a dispute between another village and Ischyrion, their local scribe, who was accused of being illiterate. Pateus: “No, he can sign his name.”Lower classes never read.Exchanged with other churches.
31NT Canon Begins with the writings of the apostles (Jn 14:26; 16:13-14) Claims authority (2 Pet 3:2; 1 Cor 2:6-10)Apostles treat the writings of other apostles as part of Scripture (2 Pet 3:15-16; 1 Tim 5:17-18 with Luke 10:7)Basic principle of canonicity: Divine inspiration.John 14:26 “‘But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’”John 16:13 “‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.’”Tertullian was 1st to call the Christian Scriptures the “New Testament” (3rd century)DOES NOT MEAN: Scriptures lack recognition before Tertullian. He was also the first to use the term “Trinity,” but the doctrine of the triune God was already in existence.Though the NT writing was done in shorter period of time, the geographic range of its origin is wider.Created some lag in acceptance of portionsCreated a series of events towards canonizationLet’s trace the events through 5 periods of NT canonization.
32NT CanonIncludes some writings of those very close to the apostles (Mark, Luke, Acts, Jude)The author of Hebrews is not known, but the church accepted this book early on as self-attestingCompleted with the death of the apostles; no further revelation awaits (Heb 1:1-2; Rev 22:18-19)Confirmed by the church as early as AD 367Basic principle of canonicity: Divine inspiration.John 14:26 “‘But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’”John 16:13 “‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.’”Tertullian was 1st to call the Christian Scriptures the “New Testament” (3rd century)DOES NOT MEAN: Scriptures lack recognition before Tertullian. He was also the first to use the term “Trinity,” but the doctrine of the triune God was already in existence.Though the NT writing was done in shorter period of time, the geographic range of its origin is wider.Created some lag in acceptance of portionsCreated a series of events towards canonizationLet’s trace the events through 5 periods of NT canonization.
33NT Canon“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you…But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 14:26; 16:13Basic principle of canonicity: Divine inspiration.John 14:26 “‘But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’”John 16:13 “‘But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.’”Tertullian was 1st to call the Christian Scriptures the “New Testament” (3rd century)DOES NOT MEAN: Scriptures lack recognition before Tertullian. He was also the first to use the term “Trinity,” but the doctrine of the triune God was already in existence.Though the NT writing was done in shorter period of time, the geographic range of its origin is wider.Created some lag in acceptance of portionsCreated a series of events towards canonizationLet’s trace the events through 5 periods of NT canonization.
345 Periods of NT Canonization 1. First CenturyScriptures were written.Scriptures were to be publicly read.1 Thessalonians 5:27AD 95 Clement of RomePaul commends their acceptance1 Thessalonians 2:13Paul insists his writings are from God.Colossians 4:16First CenturyFirst of all…this was when the NT Scriptures were written…last one being Revelation around 95 AD.Publicly read: 1 Thessalonians 5:27 “I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.”Paul commends acceptance: 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”Paul insists writings from God: Colossians 4:16 “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.”Peter’s letter included with “other Scriptures:” 2 Peter 3:15-16 “Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”AD 95, Clement of Rome: wrote to the Christians in Corinth using a free rendering of material from Matthew and Luke, 1 Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter and EphesiansPaul’s letters included with “other Scriptures”2 Peter 3:15-16
355 Periods of NT Canonization 2. First half of second centuryRyland FragmentIgnatiusPolycarpMarcion2. First half of Second CenturyRyland Fragment: AD 125, found in Egypt. Evidence that within years, Scripture had migrated to other lands. Very important because some scholars say that someone else wrote the Gospel of John and put John’s name on it around the 2nd to 3rd century.First 3 outstanding Church Fathers (Polycarp, Ignatius, Clement) regular used a big chunk of NT, authenticating with little argument [only Mark, 2, 3 John, Jude and 2 Peter are not clearly attested by them]Epistles of Ignatius (AD 115): Clearly used all Gospels and Pauline letters.NOTE: All church fathers made clear distinction between their own and the apostolic, authoritative Scriptures.Polycarp: Links OT and NT – Citing Ephesians 4:26, where Paul quotes Psalm 4:4, Polycarp says, “…as it is said in these Scriptures.” (12:4)Marcion (heretic): Tried to limit the canon (140 AD) forcing believers to know what Scriptures they believed in. Marcion rejected the entire OT, eliminated Luke 1 and 2 as “too Jewish;” Accepted Paul’s letters except for the pastoral ones.Marcion came to Rome from Asia Minor after making big money in ship building.Came to Rome: Made an enormous donation to the Roman Church that put him in good favor.After 5 years, organized the 1st actual “canon” of Scripture.Marcion’s teachings?Absorbed by Pauline teaching…seen as the “True Apostle.”Became anti-law.Concluded that the God of Jesus (and Paul) was not the God of the OT.Jesus was sent to save the world from the OT God’s wrathful vengeance.Marcion's Canon: 10 Pauline letters and Gospel of Luke.Proceeded to “correct” these 11 books by editing out references to the OT God.Forced Christians to establish what became the NT Canon.
365 Periods of NT Canonization 3. Second half of second centuryMuratorian Fragment AD 170“The Word gave us the Gospel in fourfold shape, but held together by one Spirit.”~ Irenaeus3. Second half of second centuryIrenaeus trained under Polycarp…became Presbyter of Lyons. He quotes from almost all the NT and described the Apostles as, “Fully informed concerning all things, and had a perfect knowledge…having indeed all in equal measure and each one singly the Gospel of God,” (Against Heretics, 3:3).Irenaeus said there should be 4 gospels because “The Word gave us the Gospel in fourfold shape, but held together by one Spirit.”Muratorian Canon: 170 AD The original fragment was a Latin translation of the Greek. (Included M, M, L, J, Acts, 13 Pauline letters, Jude, 1 & 2 John and Revelation) states, “We accept only the Apocalypse of John and Peter, although some of us do not want it [Apocalypse of Peter is 2 Peter?] to be read in the church.” Included some “apocrypha.” Most famous quote: “But Hermes wrote The Shepherd very recently, in our times, in the city of Rome, while Bishop Pius, his brother, was occupying the chair of the church in the city of Rome. And therefore, it ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly to the people in church either among the Prophets, whose number is complete, or among the Apostles, for it is after their time.” (This quote dates the document around 170 AD)Montanus: Heretic that thought he was a prophet, who had the prophetic gift, forced search for authority and standard of revelation4. Third CenturyClement of Alexandria (AD ): Director of the Catechetical School in Alexandria; Cited most NT books (Except James, 2 Peter, 3 John). Metzger (Modern Scholar) says Clement “delighted to welcome truth in unexpected places,” (Metzger, Canon, 124). He did not acknowledge “apocrypha” as Scripture but readily quoted it.Origin (AD ): Scholar and exegete, wrote commentaries on most of NT. Metzger: Origen never wrote a commentary on a book NOT found in the later NT.Tertullian (AD ): Often called the “Father of Latin Theology.” Included all 4 Gospels, but loved Matthew and John. Felt apostolicity was the chief reason for inclusion. Later became a Mortanist.Diocletians Tyranny: passed an edict for Christians to hand over their “sacred writings” to be burned. Churches knew what was “sacred.” Many handed over non-sacred writings to try and satisfy the authorities.4. Third centuryClementIrenaeusOrigenTertullian
37Constantine Eusebius Athanasius 5. Fourth centuryConstantine5. Fourth CenturyEusebius (AD ), bishop of Caesarea, historian, set the canon as 4 Gospels, Acts, Pauline letters (including Hebrews), 1 Peter, 1 John and Revelation. [Disputed James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John and Jude]Athanasius of Alexandria: At the Council of Nicea (325), there was a dispute as to when to celebrate Easter. It was decided that the Bishop of Alexandria would announce to all fellow Bishops each year the date for the celebration. The Bishop did this yearly in the form of a “Festal Letter.” In Athanasius’ 39th letter, he dealt with the Biblical Canon. Bishop wrote a Festal Letter for Easter, 367 included information designed to eliminate once and for all certain apocryphal books.397 AD: Council of Carthage, Athanasius decreed, “…aside from the canonical Scriptures nothing is to be read in church under the Name of Divine Scriptures.” (His list: Our 27 Books)Constantine the Great: October 28, 312, Constantine is said to have conquered in the sign of the Christian faith after a vision. Hard to tell if he really was a believer. Sent his mother, Helena, to retrieve “relics” and identify sites. Tended toward “syncretistic” Christianity…identified God with the sun…thus the 1st day of the week (Lord’s Day), he called the “venerable day of the sun” or Sunday. He tried to unify the church under state…lead to later papal ecclesiology. Constantine’s title? Pontifex Maximus or “chief priest,” later inherited by the Popes.Edict of Milan: Emperor Constantine (313) created wide NT acceptance. Gave Eusebius the task of preparing 50 copies of Divine Scripture, he well knew the sacred books believers were willing to die for. Very noteworthy! It is very possible that the Codex Vaticanus or the Codex Sinaiticus is one of these 50 copies!EusebiusAthanasius
38The Big 3 Codices Codex Alexandrinus Codex Sinaiticus Codex Vaticanus This codex consists of 773 parchment leaves measuring 12.6 by 10.4 inches. Virtually all of the OT (630 leaves) and NT (143) are preserved in the codex. The text is written in two columns. The letters are written in a plain uncial script (Capitals) with the beginning lines of books in red ink. Letters at the ends of lines are often smaller and crowded.Codex Alexandrinus is an Byzantine witness while the next two are Alexandrian witnesses.Codex SinaiticusCodex Sinaiticus was discovered by Constantin Tischendorf in a convent at the foot of Mount Sinai. It contains the entire Greek Bible, plus the Epistle of Barnabas and most of the Shepherd of Hermas (early Christian writings which were widely used in teaching). It is believed to be from the fourth century. The text of Sinaiticus contains an unusually high number of readings which have clearly arisen by transcriptional error, most of them by careless omissions.Aside from these, however, the text closely resembles that of Codex Vaticanus, and so the discovery of Sinaiticus had the effect of increasing the already high reputation of that manuscript. Readings which are shared by both of these codices are usually regarded by critics as deserving of special attention (Westcott and Hort 1881).Codex VaticanusThe Codex Vaticanus B (Written in the fourth century) is considered to be the oldest copy of the Bible, and is, along with the Codex Sinaiticus, one of the two main witnesses supporting modern Greek texts and English translations. It contains in Greek most of the Old Testament with the Apocrypha (excluding 1 and 2 Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasses) and most of the New Testament.Codex AlexandrinusCodex SinaiticusBritish LibraryBritish LibraryCodex VaticanusVatican Library
39Summary100 AD:All 27 books of the New Testament were in circulation and all but Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation were universally acceptedAD:6 “disputed” books accepted.A number of other books were read in a few churches at various times: Shepherd of Hermes, 1 Clement, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Wisdom of Solomon, Apocalypse of PeterKEY: Therefore, the method of determining the canon is not one of selecting the best from all candidates. (There are no other candidates.) The method simply represents the reception by an ever-widening circle of what God has given to us.So… NEXT SLIDE…What are the principles and factors for determining the NT Canon?
40Principles & Factors Determining the NT Canon 1. Divine InspirationInspiration is not…Human achievement2. Human thoughts and ideas1. Divine Inspiration: 2 Timothy 3:16Inspiration is not…Human Achievement: The Bible is NOT inspired the same way as your favorite author. The Bible is NOT the product of really smart writers otherwise it would have errors because of human influence. Some questions need to be answered…Would smart writers condemn people to hell?Would smart writers say Jesus is the only way to heaven?Human Thoughts & Ideas: Some contend God gave the writers the “general” ideas, but the writers were free to pen whatever came to mind.1 Cor. 2:13 “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.”3808 times in the OT we read, “Thus saith the Lord,” NOT “Thus saith a smart guy”Human Responses to God’s Leading: This is called existential inspiration: the only part of the Bible that is inspired is the part that impacts you. The Bible “becomes” God’s Word when it hits you…but most of the bible is myth and historically false.John 17:17 “‘Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.’”Divine Dictation: This view means the writers were mere robots…writing in a semi-conscious state.Why would God use man if this was the case? God could have just done the 10 Commandments all over again.There is too much Apostolic personality in Scripture to be dictationLuke (Doctor) talking about medical thingsMatthew (Tax collector) talking about finances3. Human responses to God’s leading4. Divine dictation
41Principles & Factors Determining the Canon continued… Divine Inspiration2. Authorship2. Authorship: There had to be a connection to the apostolic roots of the church and does not mean all were written by apostles…does mean the author did have contact with an apostolic source.Mark was not an apostle: Associated with the preaching of Peter. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3:39.15)Luke was not an apostle: hung out with Paul and had contact with other apostlesSome Biblical scholars contend that Mark wrote his Gospel, then Matthew and Luke used mark AND “Q” (Quelle=Source) document, a list of sayings of Jesus to write theirs. NO NEED! They were with Jesus too!This criteria makes adding to the Bible impossible after 2nd century.3. Orthodoxy: Bishop Serapion (ca. 200) rejected the reading of the Gospel of Peter in church because of this criterion of truth. When asked by the church at Rhossus…whether the Gospel of Peter could be read in their services, he at first agreed because it had an apostle’s name attached. But later he reversed his decision saying, “since I have now learnt, from what has been told me, that their [the authors’] mind was lurking in some hole of heresy, I shall give diligence to come again to you; wherefore, brethren expect me quickly.” His rejection was based upon the book’s divergence from what was generally accepted as true in the churches. It was not because of its questionable authorship, though that may have played a small role, but because the theology was considered out of step with the “rule of faith” operating in the church. (Lee Martin McDonald, James A. Sanders, Editors: The Canon Debate; Lee Martin McDonald, Identifying Scripture and Canon in the Early Church: The Criteria Question, p 428, 2002)4. Obedience: I do not believe it is sound to say that history teaches us that the people who selected the Bible “canon” were extremely intuitive. God chose the canon and the people knew it and were obedient to its teachings and commands. 1 Cor. 2:13 “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.”5. Cohesiveness: The doctrine of ALL the books had to be in alignment. This was a major reason some of the earlier contested books were rejected.TRUE OF ENTIRE BIBLE: Written over a period of years. Imagine: You begin a book; your son adds to it years from now; then his son and so on for generations; book finished 3506 AD; what would that book be like? Add: 66 installments; over 40 authors from every strata of society (rich-poor; kings-peasants; fishermen-scholars; shepherds-philosophers); different locations (deserts, mountains, prisons, palaces, islands, tents); three languages. (A.T. Pierson Quote)3. Orthodoxy4. Obedience5. Cohesiveness
42Principles & Factors Determining the Canon continued… 6. Acceptance7. Relevance8. Universality6. Acceptance: The original recipients fully accepted these writings as the very words of God and a continued acknowledgement of these as the way to know God. These letters/books were circulated as Holy Scripture. 2nd/3rd generations after Christ saw with confidence the Apostolic writings as the very words of Christ.The regular use of writings in the ancient churches was also an important factor in their selection for the NT canon. An important factor was WHO was favorable toward the acceptance of a document and who was not. Athanasius, for instance, would have had a greater influence on the church than many lesser known figures. Also, larger churches in the metropolitan centers such as Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, Ephesus, and the New Rome, Constantinople, were more likely to have a greater influence on which books were included than were the smaller churches in rural areas.7. Relevance: There was a belief then, as now, that the text is relevant to all possible circumstances, and will illuminate people’s lives if they read it properly. Example: NT writers quoting OT Scriptures as relevant for the church. Paul says of the disobedience of the Israelites in the wilderness, 1 Cor. 10:11, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” (Compare Isaiah 49:8 and 2 Cor. 6:2)8. Universality: If Scripture is relevant at all times, it is also relevant to all people. People around the world, of different languages, different histories, different cultures and different spiritual backgrounds all viewed the Scriptures the same…the Word of God.9. Sacred Objects: They were handled with reverence. Became ornate pieces of worship. Very concerned with correctness….especially with God’s name YHWH…usually never verbalized because the name was so holy. An OT text containing God’s name was holy…was stored properly…and when worn out was burned in special process. (Hagiographa in the Baroque Library of Prague)9. Sacred Objects
43Bottom LineThe believers (the church) DID NOT establish the canon, but simply bore witness of God’s leading by recognizing their authority!But…what about all the other writings people are talking about today?Gnostic Gospels.
44Background to Gnosticism: Nero’s persecution of the 60s is over; The sacking of Jerusalem in the 70s is just a memory. Christians were now assimilated into the culture. Romans 12:2Gnostic teachings:Gnostic from gnosis, “to know;” Intellect was supreme and faith & morals was a distant second. Intellect, the spirit, is imprisoned in the body and can only be released through knowledge, special ceremonies and special initiations.The body is evil matter, so it doesn’t matter how you live. Led to hedonism. Laughed at the morals and ethics of Jesus’ teaching. All experience, good or bad, adds to your knowledge.Despite being deceptive, there was a chief proponent of Gnosticism; CerinthusArchenemy of the Apostle John: One story shares of John going to a public bathhouse in Ephesus to bathe and seeing Cerinthus, John shares, “Let us fly, lest even the bath fall on us, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth is within.”Cerinthus gained a great hearing with many believers, esp. the intellectual.His belief system was very close to Christianity.The Holy Spirit did descend like a dove. (Matt. 3:13, 16)Jesus’ teaching was new and fascinating regarding the Father.Jesus did cry out from the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)And Cerinthus did not deny the resurrection.So why was he so wrong? Jesus was merely an illusion…merely Spirit.Jesus had to be fully man and live a sinless life to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin and to identify with man’s plight. 2 Cor. 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of gnosis. Another Gnostic teacher, Monoimus, says: “Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, "My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body. Learn the sources of sorrow:, joy, love, hate If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself.”
45The Nag Hammadi Collection One morning, Muhammad ’Ali al-Samman and his brother Khalifah saddled up their camels and rode off tp a near-by mountain. The journey would take them several hours, so during the trip they talked about a man who lived in a near-by village. His name was Ahmad Hawara. The two brothers were plotting his murder.Back in May, Ahmad had killed Muhammad ’Ali’s father, the latest victim of an ongoing blood feud. Muhammad ’Ali wished to avenge his dad’s death. At his side he had a mattock (large dagger like sword), which his mother advised him to keep sharp, should they happen to find the monster who made her a widow. For now, however, he intended to use it to dig sabakh, a soft nitrogen-rich soil that is good natural fertilizer.They reached the mountain, with over one hundred and fifty caves, and chose a suitable place to put their camels. Muhammad ’Ali began to dig around a boulder, & to his surprise found something solid buried in the ground. Quickly, he unearthed a large clay pot, caked with ages of earth. The top, he saw, was sealed.Muhammad ’Ali pondered this a moment, extremely uneasy. After all, just to the north on another side of el-Tarif, the mountain, was an old graveyard. Officials who served the pharaohs of the Sixth Dynasty with distinction were interred there. He considered the jar before him, mattock in hand. To him, there was the very real possibility that it might contain a djinn, an evil spirit, and breaking it open would release it. But of course, it might also contain gold. He weighed his options, and greed conquered superstition. Hefting his mattock, he smashed open the top.Leaning over, Muhammad ’Ali looked inside. He found it held, not gold or spirits, but thirteen leather-bound books, filled with crumbling, yellowed pages that flaked off and blew away as he pulled them out to examine them. The pages were cracked and brittle, and filled with an elegant calligraphy totally lost on his illiteracy.He had no idea what they were, but was certain of 1 thing: these books were ancient. This meant they were valuable. Antiques dealers in Cairo just loved these things, and paid good money for them. So, wrapping them in his tunic, he returned home and put them on a bed of straw right next to the stove. Muhammad ’Ali’s mother was pleased: not only had her son brought fertilizer for their crops, he apparently found some kindling as well.Well…they finally caught up with Ahmad and killed him. Unfortunately for them, the person they had chosen to kill was the son of the local sheriff. But, Ahmad was not very popular, and the villagers (who had eagerly shown Muhammad ’Ali where Ahmad was) suddenly suffered acute amnesia regarding the whole affair. During the investigation, Muhammad ’Ali learned that the authorities were going to search his house for evidence. He decided to hide the books, until he could eventually get to Cairo to sell them. So he gave several to friends for safe-keeping, including a Coptic priest, knowing that a priest’s house would not likely be searched. The priest agreed to keep it for him, and put it aside without looking at it.Coptic priests can marry, and this priest’s brother-in-law happened to be visiting. He saw Muhammad ’Ali’s codex, suspected its value, and promptly stole it. He took it to an antiques dealer in Cairo, who bought. Most, if not all, of Muhammad ’Ali’s “friends” did likewise over the next year as the homicide investigation dragged on. This eventually attracted the attention of the Department of Antiques, who began to acquire them in curiosity.The location for this find was Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
46The Nag Hammadi Collection Gospel of Thomas1. Supposedly written by the Apostle Thomas2. Unanimously rejected by the early church fathers as heretical3. Confusion: Does contain some accurate quotes from Jesus…but these quotes are mixed with Gnosticism.But those who wrote and circulated these texts did not regard themselves as "heretics. Most of the writings use Christian terminology, unmistakably related to a Jewish heritage. Many claim to offer traditions about Jesus that are secret, hidden from "the many" who constitute the "catholic church."Problems: (Mostly Theological)First, Orthodox Jews and Christians insist that a chasm separates humanity from Its creator: God is wholly other. But some of the Gnostics who wrote these gospels contradict this: self-knowledge is knowledge of God; the self and the divine are identical.Second, the "living Jesus" of these texts speaks of illusion and enlightenment, not of sin and repentance, like the Jesus of the New Testament. Instead of coming to save us from sin, he comes as a guide who opens access to spiritual understanding. But when the disciple attains enlightenment, Jesus no longer serves as his spiritual master: the two have become equal--even identical.Third, orthodox Christians believe that Jesus is Lord and Son of God in a unique way: he remains forever distinct from the rest of humanity whom he came to save. Yet the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas relates that as soon as Thomas recognizes him, Jesus says to Thomas that they have both received their being from the same source:Gospel of Thomas: “Jesus said, ‘I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling stream which I have measured out.... He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.’”This teaching--the identity of the divine and human, the concern with illusion and enlightenment, the founder who is presented not as Lord, but as spiritual guide… sounds more Eastern than Western? Could Hindu or Buddhist tradition have influenced Gnosticism?Supposedly written by the Apostle ThomasUnanimously rejectedConfusion
47The Nag Hammadi Collection Gospel of PhilipPhillip portrays Jesus and Mary Magdalene as a "couple". Their relationship is a special one, and envied by many of the other male disciples. Phillip goes on to state that Jesus was always accompanied by his mother, Mary, his sister, Mary, and his companion, Mary the Magdalene, where ever he went.Problem with The Da Vinci Code: The unfortunate claim he makes at the beginning of the book: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” Very well then, let’s see how well Brown does at describing an early Gnostic text entitled the Gospel of Philip.On pages of The Da Vinci Code we read: “Teabing located a huge book and pulled it toward him across the table. The leather-bound edition was poster-sized, like a huge atlas. The cover read: The Gnostic Gospels. Teabing heaved it open, and Langdon and Sophie joined him. Sophie could see it contained photographs of what appeared to be magnified passages of ancient documents—tattered papyrus with handwritten text. She did not recognize the ancient language, but the facing pages bore typed translations. “These are photocopies of the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea scrolls, which I mentioned earlier,” Teabing said. “The earliest Christian records. Troublingly, they do not match up with the gospels in the Bible.” Flipping to the middle of the book, Teabing pointed to a passage. “The Gospel of Philip is always a good place to start.” Sophie read the passage: “And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, ‘Why do you love her more than all of us.’”The words surprised Sophie, and yet they hardly seemed conclusive. “It says nothing of marriage.”“Au contraire.” Teabing smiled, pointing to the first line. “As any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the word companion, in those days, literally meant spouse.” Landon concurred with a nod.Despite all Brown’s lofty pretensions about accuracy, he makes a number of serious mistakes here. (1) A book containing the texts from Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea scrolls, would not have a cover stamped, The Gnostic Gospels, unless the people who did the stamping were ignorant of the contents. Although the Nag Hammadi texts do include some Gnostic gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls do not. They do not contain any gospels, nor were any of them written by Gnostics. The Dead Sea scrolls are made up exclusively of pre-Christian Jewish texts.(2) The Nag Hammadi texts and the Dead Sea scrolls, do not represent the “earliest Christian records.” The Dead Sea scrolls do not represent Christian records at all, nor do they so much as mention Christianity or the names of anyone associated with its beginnings. As to the Nag Hammadi texts, they date from the second half of the fourth century. Hence a large body of New Testament manuscript material predates them.(3) As to whether the Gospel of Philip teaches that Mary Magdalene was the spouse of Jesus, Teabing tells Sophie: “As any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the word companion, in those days, literally meant spouse.” This is interesting since the Gospel of Philip was most likely written in Greek and now survives only in one Coptic manuscript. As it turns out, tracing this statement back through Dan Brown’s probable sources nicely illustrates just how bad his scholarship really is.Is it a fun book to read? Yes…of course it could be to many…but so is The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss. That doesn’t make it true.“All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” ~Dan Brown
48What People Say About the Bible 1. The Bible is just a bunch of stories.2. The Bible is filled with contradictions.3. The Bible is outdated.4. The Bible is not scientific.What People Say About the BibleThe Bible is just a bunch of stories. Noah’s Ark? Adam and Eve? Superman and Cinderella?The Bible is filled with contradictions. How can I believe a book that doesn’t agree with itself?The Bible is outdated: 2000 years? Different times/customs.The Bible is not scientific: Offensive to modern intellectuals. Written by a bunch of fishermen.The Bible is a man-made book. Who chose the Bible? Who says it’s complete?5. The Bible is a man-made book.
49Evidence for Reliability of the Bible 1. External EvidencePreeminence Among Literature1) Preeminent in circulation2) Preeminent in influenceEvidence for Reliability of the BibleExternal Evidence: Proofs outside the BiblePreeminence Among Literature: Irrefutable that the Bible stands alone among all other books – by far!Preeminent in circulation: 400 languages; portions in 2,500 languages; in 2004 Gideon’s placed 56,000,000 Bibles…107 copies per minute.Preeminent in influence: More books have been written about the Bible than any other subject.Preeminent among religious writings: 100 times more3) Preeminent among religious writings
50Preservation Under Attack 1) Attack of manEvidence for Reliability of the Bible continued…Preservation Under Attack: Has always been under attack. Since the days of Emperors burning Scripture to the modern day attacks on relevance.Attack of man: Burned, banned and outlawed. Roman Emperors, Communist leaders, college professors…Are they attacking Book of Mormon or Koran? No!Attack of time: Has it been corrupted by time?Number of Manuscripts5600 ancient manuscripts of Greek NT10,000 Latin manuscripts; 25,000 early manuscripts of BibleNext most commonly copied document…Homer’s Iliad – 643 manuscriptsBible outnumbers 40:1Number of VariantsWas it copied accurately?Most variants easily accounted for.Textural critics: 1% of NT seriously debated; not one doctrine affectedTime gap between originals and earliest copiesHomer’s Iliad written around 800 BC; earliest copy 400BC – gap of 400 years. (Josh McDowell’s New Evidence)NT completed around 95 AD. Ryland Fragment 125 AD – gap of 30 years.Scribes took great care; often an hour per page; any mistake meant whole page burned and started over.“The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. This can be said of no other ancient book in the world.” ~ Sir Frederic Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient ManuscriptsProof From Archeology: Archeology is increasingly showing more evidence of biblical places, people, and culture…3 examples1. Critics: “Moses did not write the Pentateuch. People couldn’t even write 1400 BC.”1975 Elba Tablets: 20,000 written tablets dating 1000 years pre-Moses.Translated: Supports laws, customs and even sacrificial system2. Critics: “No such group as Hittites.” (Mentioned 50 times in OT) Recent archeology finds hundreds of references. Lived over 1200 year period in Middle East3. Critics: “Genesis 31 is a fabrication. When Jacob and Rachel left Laban’s home, Rachel stole his family idols. When Laban discovered the theft, he pursued the couple for several miles…why the great pains?”clay tablets called Nuzi: Revealed a person who possessed the family idols could make a legal claim to all the family property.So…as long as Jacob and Rachel had the statues, they owned all that was Laban’s.2) Attack of timeA. Number of ManuscriptsB. Number of VariantsC. Time gap between originals and earliest copiesProof From Archeology
512. Internal Evidence Amazing Agreement Total Consistency 1) Supposed contradictions of messageEvidence for Reliability of the Bible continued…2. Internal Evidence: Proofs inside the BibleAmazing Agreement: 40 authors; 1500 yearsTotal Consistency: “What about the contradictions?”Supposed contradictions of messageOT says “eye for an eye.” NT says “turn other cheek.”Matthew 5:38-39, “‘You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.‘ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.’”Old Covenant vs. New CovenantSupposed contradictions of numbersMark and Luke says 2 blind men healed; Matthew one.Matthew merely focuses on one; he never said 2 weren’t.Supposed parallel story contradictionsParallel stories in 2 or more places describe same event.Tell it differently = contradictionBiggie: Matthew 27 Judas hanged himself; Acts 1 says he fell and burst open.Answer: Hinnom Valley has rocky ledges. Hanged. Swung for period of time. In time, branch broke…could have fallen 25 feet.Supposed historical contradictionsLiberal scholars: “No place called Jericho. King David never lived.”Found artifacts with Jericho and David on them.Liberal scholars: “Exodus never happened.”Archeology says it did.Supposed scientific contradictionsJoshua 10:13 – Sun stood still.Hey, God created it…what’s the big deal.Fulfilled Prophecy:61 major prophecies regarding JesusTo fulfill 8 of these would be 1 in 10 to the 17th powerPeter Stoner: Texas; silver dollars, 2 feet deep; 1 red dot…2) Supposed contradictions of numbers3) Supposed parallel story contradictions4) Supposed historical contradictions5) Supposed scientific contradictionsFulfilled Prophecy
523. Experiential Evidence The Bible is gripping.The Bible is comforting.The Bible is convicting.The Bible is freeing.Evidence for Reliability of the Bible continued…3. Experiential Evidence: Effect on people’s lives.The Bible is gripping.Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”Addictions broken; depression lifted; bodies healed.The Bible is comforting.Visit hospitals: Bible gives hope.People lost loved ones: Bible.The Bible is convicting.Only book to condemn people as sinful and lostPeople want to change.The Bible is freeing.John 8:32 “‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”Freedom from slavery to sin
53“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. ” “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Mark 13:31
54Sin separates man from God “I came that you might have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10bSin separates man from GodManGod(Sinful)(Holy)
55"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 Good WorksManGodReligion(Sinful)(Holy)PhilosophyMorality
56“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8Jesus ChristManGod(Sinful)(Holy)
57"To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12Jesus ChristManGod(Sinful)(Holy)
58Special Terms Apocrypha apostle canon canonical covenant God-breathed history of redemptionself-attesting