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#1 Christian Bible History June 29, 2005 Ralph D. Koehler PO Box 201 Collingswood, NJ 08108.

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Presentation on theme: "#1 Christian Bible History June 29, 2005 Ralph D. Koehler PO Box 201 Collingswood, NJ 08108."— Presentation transcript:

1 #1 Christian Bible History June 29, 2005 Ralph D. Koehler PO Box 201 Collingswood, NJ 08108

2 Topics Motivation - Purpose Divine Inspiration of the Word Prophecy Eyewitness Testimony Christian Martyrs Preservation of the Word Biblical Canon Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Biblical Translation Biblical Quotations Jesus Cited in History Archaeology Synopsis

3 Motivation

4 The Truth “Every word of God is pure” (Proverb 30:5) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16) “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (John 17:17) The Bible presents the infallible and inerrant Word of God…

5 Motivation (continued) The Lie “Yea, hath God said…” (Genesis 3:1)  The Serpent beguiled Eve causing doubt in God’s Word “Men wrote that book [the Bible].”  Yes, but under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “There are so many versions.”  Yes, but one definitive text can be discerned

6 Purpose

7 Purpose of this Study To manifest the Truth concerning Bible history To help sincere people to recognize the Godly authority of the Christian Bible To affirm the Divine inspiration, faithful preservation, and competent translation of the Christian Bible To present factual evidence building a compelling case for the reliability of the Biblical record - trustworthy To overcome deception and ignorance concerning Bible history To dispel the lies of the Serpent “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32) Thereby, to lead people to the Lord Jesus Christ!

8 Key Points

9 Overview of Key Points God communicated directly with chosen men and commanded them to write Infallible and inerrant Biblical prophecies and their fulfillment provide objective vindication of the supernatural origination of the prophetic Scriptures The Bibles authors were eyewitnesses of the events they recorded The New Testament authors were martyred for their testimony in the Lord Jesus Christ

10 More key points… Biblical manuscripts have been accurately preserved Thousands of ancient copies in many languages The Christian Canon recognizes the inspired books of the Bible Old Testament – Judaic tradition New Testament - Books written by Apostles or a close associate English translation of the Bible has been accomplished by devoted scholars Archaeology consistently confirms Biblical history

11 Divine Inspiration

12 God communicated directly with chosen men and women Through His spoken work Through Angels as His messengers In dreams and visions By the Holy Spirit God commanded chosen men to write His words “God said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book” (Exodus 17:14) “Write the vision” (Habakkuk 2:2) “What thou seest, write in a book” (Revelation 1:11) Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would remind and guide “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you” (John 14:26) “Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself, but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13)

13 Prophecy

14 Prophecy – predictions and their accurate fulfillment Prophecy is found throughout the Bible Over 1,817 prophecies are found in the Bible Throughout both Old and New Testaments Direct evidence of supernatural knowledge Compelling witness for Divine inspiration of Scriptures Objective – prophecies written centuries before fulfillment Prophecy

15 Prophesy (continued) Prophets are called by the LORD “If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream” (Numbers 12:6) When Messiah Comes The Angel of God informed Daniel of the exact year of the cutting-off (crucifixion) of the Messiah  445 BC - Order to rebuild wall of Jerusalem  Elapsed years  31 AD - Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection

16 Eyewitness Testimony

17 The authors of the Bible were eyewitnesses of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ New Testament writers directly knew the Lord Jesus Christ Multiple eyewitnesses agreeing Parallel passages in the Gospels show clear consonance Independent testimonies are recorded Entirely valid admissible evidence – affirmed

18 More… Scriptures declare the eyewitness testimony “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses.” (Luke 1:1-2) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16) “For the life was manifested; and we have seen it, and bear witness; and shew unto you the eternal life” (1 John 1:2)

19 Christian Martyrs

20 The Lord Jesus Christ predicted persecution unto death “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20) “They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (John 16:2) Imperial Rome outlawed Christianity for three hundred years Merciless torture and executions Systematic state-sponsored destruction of Christian churches and biblical manuscripts The New Testament authors endured martyrdom rather than renounce the truth of their eyewitness testimony concerning the Lord Jesus Christ Provides compelling evidence for the truth of their witness as recorded in the Bible

21 Preservation of the Scriptures

22 Writing predates the oldest books of the Bible – many examples Original biblical languages Hebrew for Old Testament Greek for New Testament A few verses included in Aramaic Old Testament (OT) Preservation Dedicated Hebrew Scribes used careful copying and verification techniques Letters and verses were counted to verify accuracy of copies Dead Sea Scrolls ( circa 50 B. C.) match OT Hebrew manuscripts dating to 1100 A. D. New Testament (NT) Preservation Over 5,230 ancient manuscripts extant in Greek Over 10,000 very old Latin Vulgates and other languages Traditional Text retained in Church use through the centuries – strong consensus for accurate preservation

23 Biblical Canon

24 Old Testament (OT) Canon Established by Judaic tradition – 39 Books in OT Received into Christianity from Judaic tradition OT Apocrypha – fourteen Books Excluded by Judaism as not inspired Retained in early Old Latin texts and Vulgate Retained in Roman Catholic Bibles as “authentic” Generally, excluded from Protestant Bibles as not inspired New Testament (NT) Canon Established by Christian tradition – 27 Books in NT Selected as inspired by God  Written by an Apostle or someone under apostolic authority  Known to be prophetic and written in the apostolic period Canon established and published through Church councils and leaders - Althanasius (367 A. D.) Bishop of Alexandria

25 Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

26 Uninspired writings may be arranged into categories Important to separate from inspired canonical books Old Testament Apocrypha – 14 books Not considered inspired by Judaic tradition Examples: 1 & 2 Esdras, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom of Solomon Old Testament Pseudepigrapha – over 280 writings Uninspired books purporting to be written by an OT hero Examples: Apocalypse of Abraham, Psalm 151, 1 Enoch, Jannes and Jambres, Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah

27 Continued… Rabbinical Literature Commentaries on Scriptures and religious instructions Examples: Talmud (Mishnah and Gemara), Midrash New Testament Apocrypha Uninspired (legendary) books concerning NT topics Examples: Protoevangelism of James, Gospel of Thomas, Christ’s Descent into Hell, The ACTS of Andrew

28 Biblical Translation

29 The Lord Jesus Christ instructed that the Gospel was to be preached to all nations unto the uttermost parts of the Earth The outpouring of the Holy Spirit as recorded in ACTS Chapter 2 enabled the Apostles to preach the Gospel in fifteen different languages This miraculous gift is indicative of God’s intention to reach mankind in numerous spoken languages

30 Biblical Translation (Continued) Biblical translation into multiple languages is ongoing Ancient language translations remain extant including Latin, Ethiopic, Slavic, Armenian, Syriac, Boharic… Modern language translation is ongoing  As of 2003, the Bible was translated into over 780 languages English Translations For many centuries the Latin Vulgate was the only Bible in England English translations of selected books began circa 600 A. D. Complete English Bible translations – Wycliffe (1380), Tyndale (1526), Coverdale (1535), Geneva (1560), King James Version (1611)

31 The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was public “Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all” (Matthew 12:15) The Lord Jesus Christ fed thousands of people… Early Christians extensively quoted and referred to New Testament scriptures Letters, sermons, commentaries, books Over 98% of the NT was quoted in early writings Over 36,000 quotations indexed Prolific writers: Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Eusebius of Caesarea Orthodox Christianity has steadfastly confessed the Divine inspiration of the Bible Infallible – completely truthful in all matters addressed Inerrant – without error in fact, completely reliable Confessions of Divine inspiration of Scripture  Documented by prominent individuals and Church organizations “Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all” (Matthew 12:15) Biblical Quotations

32 Jesus Cited in History

33 Non-Christian writers cited the Lord Jesus Christ in ancient times Provides independent witness to the existence of the Lord Jesus Christ Objectively proves that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical person living in Palestine Jewish references Flavius Josephus – Jewish Antiquities, 93 A. D. Babylonian Talmud – Sanhedrin, circa 70 – 200 A. D. Roman references Pliny the Younger – Letter to Trajan, circa 110 A. D. Tacitus – Annals, 116 A. D. Other references Mara bar Serapion – Syriac manuscript, circa 150 A. D. Suetonius – Life of Claudius, Life of Nero, 120 A. D.

34 Biblical Archaeology

35 Archaeology has served to consistently prove the accuracy of Biblical records Detailed historical information presented within the Bible has been vindicated through archaeological discoveries – without exception Archaeological findings vindicate Biblical stories Existence of ancient cities and tribes Invasions and conquests Locations of wells and tombs Details of New Testament locations and events Stable at Bethlehem Synagogue at Capernaum Peter’s house at Capernaum Jacob’s well at Sychar Pool of Siloam, etc. Professional archaeologists testify of the precise vindication of Biblical historical accuracy – confirms and verifies

36 Synopsis of Key Points God communicated directly with chosen men and commanded them to write Infallible and inerrant Biblical prophecies and their fulfillment provide objective vindication of the supernatural origination of the prophetic Scriptures The Bible’s authors were eyewitnesses of the events they recorded The New Testament authors were martyred for their testimony in the Lord Jesus Christ Biblical manuscripts have been accurately preserved Thousands of ancient copies in many languages The Christian Canon recognizes the inspired books of the Bible Old Testament – Judaic tradition New Testament - Books written by Apostles or a close associate English translation of the Bible has been accomplished by devoted scholars Archaeology consistently confirms Biblical history

37 “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20) Please see the new book by Ralph D. Koehler: Christian Bible History (444 pages ) Available via the Internet at Authorhouse.com And other major online book stores


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