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Spiritual Maturity Training Upper Midwest Family of Churches Special Fox Valley Edition FALL 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Spiritual Maturity Training Upper Midwest Family of Churches Special Fox Valley Edition FALL 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spiritual Maturity Training Upper Midwest Family of Churches Special Fox Valley Edition FALL 2013

2 Session :15-11:15 – Do the Bible’s Critics Have a Point? Break - 11:15-11:30 Session :30-12:15 – The Big Picture of the New Testament Break – 12:15-12:25 Session :25-1:00 – The New Creation People Today’s Schedule Spiritual Maturity Training

3 Biblical InterpretationSpring 2012Mke/MnplsBurns Core Doctrines & Church LifeFall, 2012Mnpls./MkeSaindon/ Burns Reading the Old TestamentSpring, 2013Mke/MnplsAlexander/Stevens Reading the New TestamentFall, 2013Mad/E.C.Burns/ Alexander Defending the FaithFall, 2014TBATBA What we Believe About GodSpring, 2015TBATBA The Kingdom of GodFall, 2015TBA TBA Course Schedule Spiritual Maturity Training

4 Do the Bible’s Critics Have a Point?

5 4 Common Attacks on the New Testament 1.NT Writers didn’t intend to write Scripture (Power Struggles produced Scripture) 2.NT Canon wasn’t established until the 4 th century (or later) 3.There were many contenders to be part of the NT 4.The texts aren’t reliable (copies of copies of copies)

6 EXPECTING CANON

7 Canon is Covenant The Old Testament is organized as a Covenant document

8 “Biblical canon is covenantal canon” – Meredith Kline, The Structure of Biblical Authority

9 Jeremiah 31:31 “The days are coming,” declares the L ORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah”

10 Luke 22:20 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

11 A Completely New Covenant 15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. – Hebrews 9:15 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. – Hebrews 10:9

12 Free from the Old Covenant 24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” [f] 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.f - Galatians 4

13 The Fulfillment of the Law – Matt “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. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear [a common 1 st century figure of speech meaning “it’s not going to happen], not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands [the beatitudes that were coming with the New Covenant as Jesus fulfilled the Law] and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

14 The Apostolic Authority John 16:13 Matthew 10:1 John 20:21 Acts 1:8; 2:42; 10: Corinthians 12:28 Ephesians 2:19-20; 3:4-6 2 Peter 3:2

15 Apostles’ Covenant Authority 1 Corinthians 14:37-38 Mark 1:1 Luke 1:1-4 John 21:24 1 Corinthians 7:12 1 Thessalonians 2:4, 13

16 Publicly Read as Scripture Colossians 4:16 1 Thessalonians 5:27 Revelation 1:3

17 Covenantal Curses for Altering Revelations 22:18-19 (see Deuteronomy 4:2)

18 The New Testament as Scripture 2 Peter 3:16 1 Timothy 5:18 (Luke 10:7)

19 Attacking New Testament Reliability 1.NT Writers didn’t intend to write Scripture (Power Struggles produced Scripture) 2.NT Canon wasn’t established until the 4 th century (or later) 3.There were many contenders to be part of the NT 4.The texts aren’t reliable (copies of copies of copies)

20 The Standard - Canon Criteria Written by an apostle or companion; Dating to the 1 st Century Apostolic Doctrinally sound with OT and apostolic teaching Orthodox Universally used and read in the churches Catholic

21 The Standard – Received 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance – 1 Cor. 15:3 you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. – 1 Thess. 2:13 “Do not abandon the commandments of the Lord, but guard what you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away.” – Didache (c. 100 AD)

22 The Standard - Rejected “Hermas composed The Shepherd quite recently—in our times, in the city of Rome, while his brother Pius the overseer served as overseer of the city of Rome. So, while it should indeed be read, it cannot be read publicly for the people of the church—it is counted neither among the Prophets (for their number has been completed) nor among the Apostles (for it is after their time)” – Muratorian Fragment (c. 170 AD)

23 Development of Canon SourceYearNT Books Cited Other Works Fully Accepted as New Covenant Scripture Justin Martyrc. 150Quotes from 13 NT books None Irenaeusc (including all 4 Gospels) None Muratorian Fragment c (including all 4 Gospels) None Origenc. 245Mentions all 27 NT books None EusebiusEarly 4 th Cent.22 (including all 4 Gospels) Ahtanasius367Lists the 27 books of the NT as canon None

24 Muratorian Canon Categories Accepted Gospels/ActsPaul’s Letters Solomon of Wisdom 1 & 2 John, Jude Revelation Disputed Apocalypse of Peter Rejected but to be read privately Shepherd of Hermas Heretical Paul to Laodicea Paul to Alexandria Arsinous Valentinus Basilides Marcion Montanists

25 Eusebius Canon Categories Acknowledged Books Gospels/ActsPaul’s Letters 1 John 1 Peter Revelation Disputed Books JamesJude2 Peter2/3 John Spurious Books Apocalypse of Peter Acts of Paul Shepherd of Hermas Epistle of Barnabas Apocalypse of John Didache(Hebrews) Rejected Books Gospel of Peter Gospel of Thomas Gospel of Matthias Acts of Andrew Acts of John

26 Canon of Athanasius 325 AD - Attended Council of Nicea 328 AD - Bishop of Church in Alexandria 367 AD - 39 th Festal letter “In these alone, the teaching if godliness is proclaimed. Let no one add to these; let nothing be taken away from them.” – Athanasius finally had enough of the Gnostic “gospels” and put his foot down, confirming them to be heretical and no longer being patient with the Gnostics and their teachings

27 Athanasius Canon Categories “Books of the New Testament” Gospels/Acts Paul’s letters/ Hebrews General EpistlesRevelation To Be Read Wisdom of SolomonWisdom of SirachEsther, Judith, TobitShepherd of HermasDidache Heretical Books “there should be no mention of all of apocryphal books created by heretics”

28 Other Significant Documents The Shepherd of HermasThe DidacheThe DiatessaronThe Epistle of Barnabas1 EnochThe Apocalypse of PeterThe Letter of ClementWisdom of Solomon

29 Attacking New Testament Reliability 1.NT Writers didn’t intend to write Scripture (Power Struggles produced Scripture) 2.NT Canon wasn’t established until the 4 th century (or later) 3.There were many contenders to be part of the NT 4.The texts aren’t reliable (copies of copies of copies)

30 The Pretenders - Canon There were disputed books through the first 4 centuries (and beyond) but there is amazing and overwhelming agreement as the NT cannon developed −Only the 4 Gospels were ever accepted −Paul’s letters were overwhelmingly accepted −No book that is not in the 27 was ever widely accepted as a NT book

31 Other Writings WorkApproximate Year Written Gospel of Thomas AD Gospel of Truth3 rd century Gospel of May AD Gospel of Philip AD Gospel of JudasLate 2 nd – Early 3 rd century Gospel of Nicodemus (Acts of Pilate)Late 4 th century

32 The Gnostic “Gospels” Denied the OT Believed an evil god named Demiurge created the world Salvation was not who you know but what you know Elitist and intellectual-focused (self-help for those in the “know”) Mixed the religious and philosophic beliefs of the day with a bit of gospel (with the Cross almost entirely removed) Removed the Jewishness of Jesus and the Gospels Denied the goodness of creation and the material realm Modern claims of the Gnostics that they believed Jesus was married— they would have been the last ones to claim that (they believed that you could transfer knowledge through a holy kiss on the cheek) −Gospel of Phillip implies that Mary was enlightened by Jesus not married to him

33 Reasons for Rejecting these Other Writings Clashed with Old Testament Teaching Did not have apostolic connections Were written too late to be approved by the apostles Contained aberrant doctrines about Christ and the gospel Were never widely accepted by the Orthodox churches

34 Confirming Canon The Church went through a careful process of sifting out the canon There was never any real debate over the four gospels and Paul’s writings The Gnostic gospels were never on any canon list—Ever!

35 Attacking New Testament Reliability 1.NT Writers didn’t intend to write Scripture (Power Struggles produced Scripture) 2.NT Canon wasn’t established until the 4 th century (or later) 3.There were many contenders to be part of the NT 4.The texts aren’t reliable (copies of copies of copies)

36 Textual Criticism (Lower Criticism) Concerned with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of ancient biblical manuscripts.

37 Common Claims We have no surviving original autographs of the New Testament Of the 5,800+ Greek manuscripts, no two are identical There are over 400,000 transcriptional variants in the New Testament manuscripts There are only about 138,000 words in the whole New Testament The texts have been copied so many times and so riddled with errors that it is impossible to know what the original autographs actually said

38 Papyrus

39 Parchment

40 Scroll vs. Codex

41 Greek Manuscript Text-Types Alexandrian Library Scholastic Most accurate Western Loose Many variants One or many introductions Caesarean Conflation text True text- type? Byzantine Late date Majority Text

42 Types of Greek Manuscripts papyri 116 MSS 2 nd – 8 th century ½ early 4 th or earlier uncials 310 MSS Also called majuscules 3 rd – 8 th century minuscules 2877 MSS Byzantine lectionaries 2432 MSS Byzantine

43 Common Claims We have no surviving original autographs of the New Testament Of the 5,800+ Greek manuscripts, no two are identical There are over 400,000 transcriptional variants in the New Testament manuscripts There are only about 138,000 words in the whole New Testament The texts have been copied so many times and so riddled with errors that it is impossible to know what the original autographs actually said

44 No Twin Although it is true that there are no two manuscripts that are identical: −This is an unrealistic expectation before the printing press −You would not expect two hand-written manuscripts of that size to be identical −There is no precedent for such a thing in the ancient manuscript world

45 Common Claims We have no surviving original autographs of the New Testament Of the 5,800+ Greek manuscripts, no two are identical There are over 400,000 transcriptional variants in the New Testament manuscripts There are only about 138,000 words in the whole New Testament The texts have been copied so many times and so riddled with errors that it is impossible to know what the original autographs actually said

46 What About All Those Variations? 400,000 Variants (errors)

47 What About All Those Variations? 400,000 Variants (errors) 138,000 Words in the Entire NT

48 What About All Those Variations? 5,800 Manuscripts Average of 69 variants per manuscript 400,000 Variants (errors)

49 Minor Variations Minor spelling differences Confusing similar letters Skipped words or lines Repeated words or lines Changes in word order in a sentence Dropping an article like “the” before a proper noun

50 What About All Those Variations? Minor Variations 69 Variants per Manuscripts 99% of all Variants

51 What About All Those Variations? What’s Left? Less than 1% 69 Variants per Manuscripts

52 Other Variations Intentional explanation notes inserted: −John 5:3-4 −Mark 1:2 Other Scriptural references inserted −Matthew 6:13 (1 Chronicles 29:11) Inserted sections: −John 7:53-8:11 −Mark 16:9-20 Unresolved variants (.002% of NT text) −An extremely small handful of passages are left (and we know what they are! −They make NO difference in our understanding of any biblical doctrine, belief, or practice

53 How Do the NT Manuscripts Stack Up?

54 How Far Away? Your House How about at 1,400 m. How about at 1,200 m. 60 m. – Could you hear your mom? How about at 500 m.

55 Gap between original and earliest copies Your House Year the Text Was Written Aristotle 1,400 m. Plato 1,200 m. NT 60 m. Homer 500 m.

56 How Many Candy Bars? Candy Bars What about 5,800? You would be set for life Would you be happy with 7 Candy bars? How about 643? How about 49?

57 How Many Manuscripts? Number of Manuscripts NT 5,800+ manuscripts Plato 7 manuscripts Homer 643 manuscripts Aristotle 49 manuscripts

58 How Does the NT Stack Up?

59 Reliability – A Case Study Muhammad solely records revelations from “Gabriel” over a period of 23 years (even Muhammad questioned this process at first) He wrote down some of the revelations on palm fronds, bones and tablets but the majority was entrusted to certain individuals to be memorized After Muhammad’s death, Caliph Uthmait was decided upon to collect all of the revelations into one volume partly because many of the men who had memorized portions had been killed in battle and there was a fear of losing the majority of the revelations

60 Reliability – A Case Study The Caliph alone decided what would be included in the Qu’ran(during this process several new verses were found and accusations were made that some were changed) Throughout the ensuing years, the Caliph of Islam, Uthman, completely controlled the Qur’an and all copies made There were other copies with different verses and different orders that were seized and destroyed Because of this, there is no guarantee that the Qur’an as it is today is what Muhammad originally revealed

61 Original Statement: Everyone Should Give Michael Burns Peanut M & M’s.

62 An Illustration of Biblical Texts Everyone should give Michael Burns peanut M & M’s because he likes them. Everyone should give Michael Burns peenut M & M’s. All people should give Michael Burns peanut M & M’s. Everyone should give Michal Burnes peanut M & M’s. Everyone should give Michael Burns peanut M & M’s.

63 An Illustration of Qur’anic Texts Everyone should give Michal Nieves peanut M & M’s.

64 Reliability – A Case Study From the earliest days, copying the Bible was freely encouraged so that people could read it and encounter God The manuscripts were spread so quickly and widely that despite there being minor manuscript variants, large-scale changing of the text would be rendered impossible because manuscripts could be compared against one another It would appear that God once again used human beings (in a slightly messy way) to bring about the best possible circumstances and display his glory

65 Common Claims We have no surviving original autographs of the New Testament Of the 5,800+ Greek manuscripts, no two are identical There are over 400,000 transcriptional variants in the New Testament manuscripts There are only about 138,000 words in the whole New Testament The texts have been copied so many times and so riddled with errors that it is impossible to know what the original autographs actually said

66 The Encouraging News God always uses human beings in his plans This leads to a bit of messiness but God’s plans are never thwarted −What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. – Romans 3:3-4 God always leaves room for faith The New Testament Texts that we have are incredibly reliable


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