Faithlife
Faithlife

The Bible

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views
Notes & Transcripts

The Bible

The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

The Scriptures

We believe that the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is inspired of God and absolutely inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts.
, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
, “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.”
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
This above statements came from Cornerstone’s webpage under our What we Believe section. So, let me ask you this, do you agree?
As believers, we hold this Bible up and we say, Yes! This is true and this is what we believe.
But, how do you know?
How can you be sure that the Bible is even real?
Now, before we get too far here tonight, I want to be clear. I don’t believe that my faith is dependent on me being able to “prove” that the Bible is real. I think that it can be beneficial to me if I am witnessing to someone to be able to counter some arguments. But faith doesn’t rest on this. My faith, and hopefully yours, rests on the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ my Lord, and my trust in this Bible stem from that faith.
So even if I provide a concrete argument tonight for the legitimacy of the Bible, and I prove to you in your mind that the Bible is 100% true, you still need faith.
For by faith you have been saved by grace.
It didn’t say for by the fact that Christianity was proved true to me, I’ve been saved.
I will stand behind this claim because think about the native american in some remote village who is told about the love of Jesus Christ and gives his life to Him. He wasn’t presented with a logical argument of 10 bullet points as to why Christ was real and why the Bible was true based on fragments of paper from 2000 years ago.
No! He put his faith in Christ because the Gospel was proclaimed and the Holy Spirit convicted him of his need of a Savior.
But in saying that, I think it can be useful for us to know why we believe the Bible is true, why we believe the Bible is inspired by God, and why we believe all Scripture is profitable.
, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Many people deny the existence of even truth in today’s culture, so how do we know we have the absolute truth?
So, let’s get into it.
The Scriptures are divided into two parts, the Old Testament Canon and the New Testament Canon, which were written by people, who were inspired by God to write what they wrote. This wasn’t audible, and sometimes they weren’t even aware, but they were “led”
Canon means “straight staff” or “measuring rod”
The Old Testament Canon
How did we get it?
Well, the OT is obviously what, OLD!
The OT is not near as heavily debated as the New Testament is.
The OT was written by prophets mainly, even though they did not know entirely what they were writing.
, “ 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
How were the OT books picked?
In the OT, the Israelites were very quick to accept writings as part of the OT Canon.
For instance, the five books Moses wrote (Pentateuch), were placed in the ark of the covenant alongside the ten commandments. There really isn’t any debate to the books we have being included in the OT.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
However, the Catholic Bible includes books in the OT that our Bible does not contain, known as the Apocrypha.
So what do we do with that?
Well, we and the Jews, deny them as inspired words of God…but why? What grounds do we do so on?
Now stick with me here:
The Jewish Bible (Hebrew Canon) is made up of 24 books, which include all 39 of our OT books (some are combined)
The Law, Prophets, and Writings
Now, the order of their OT is different than ours, which is important, because it’s the reason why we don’t include the Apocrypha books
Their OT ends with 2 Chronicles
Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1/2), Kings (1/2), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Minor Prophets (= one book: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
Writings: Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah (= one book), Chronicles (1/2)
Our American Bible is different, because it was translated from the Septuagint, which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.
s
Now, the Septuagint included the Apocrypha, but they were not included in the canon, which is why our Bibles today do not have them.
Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1/2), Kings (1/2), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Minor Prophets (= one book: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1/2), Kings (1/2), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Minor Prophets (= one book: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
So, why weren’t they included?
Writings: Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah (= one book), Chronicles (1/2)
Writings: Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah (= one book), Chronicles (1/2)
Well, Jesus didn’t seem to include them
2.
, “ 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
Jesus seems to be referencing the Jewish Bible there
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
Now turn with me to , “ 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.”
Now, chronologically, so in order of years, in the OT, the last person to be killed was Uriah, who died somewhere between 609 and 598 BC.
However, if you turn to , you’ll read this, “ 20 Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’ ” 21 But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord.”
Do you see what happened there?!?!?!
Jesus states in Luke that the blood of the martyrs from Abel to the Zechariah would be on their hands.
And 2 Chronicles, the last book in the Jewish OT Canon, states that Zechariah was the last martyr.
So, Jesus referenced the Jewish Bible as the authoritative OT Scriptures, which is why the American Protestant Bible excludes the Apocrypha.
Another point to the 39 book OT and dismissal of the Apocrypha is that the NT mentions OT prophecies 295 times without ever once referencing any book in the Apocrypha
The New Testament Canon
Now, the New Testament is much more heavily debated.
One reason is the Jews don’t even believe in the New Testament at all
And many people deny the truth
So, why did they need a NT Canon.
Jesus was recognized as greater than the OT, and so therefore there was a need to record a new set of books based on the new covenant that Jesus brought.
Think about it, Jesus often spoke saying he was replacing the OT
So, they had an OT Canon based on God’s covenant with Israel
So, logically, they needed a NT Canon based on the new covenant Jesus brought
How did we come up with the 27 books of the New Testament?
What books qualified and why?
To be the author of a NT book, was based on the apostolicity, meaning:
Either the book was written by an apostle (apostle meaning someone who was sent by Jesus and who saw Jesus’ ministry)
Or the book was written in the presence of an apostle
We know of 12 apostles right off the bat don’t we?
Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the sonof Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Matthias was chosen to replace Judas
Matthew: apostle Mark: Peter’s interpreter and assistant (Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis 60-140: “Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered” in Eusebius, EH III, 39.15) Luke: close associate and partner of Paul (known from Acts) John: apostle 13 epistles of Paul: apostle Hebrews: from the Pauline circle (, “But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. Take notice that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom, if he comes soon, I shall see you. Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.” James: Jesus’ brother called an apostle probably in (“But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.”) 1 & 2 Peter: apostle 1, 2, & 3 John: apostle Jude: brother of James Revelation: by John the apostle
Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the sonof Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
The entire NT was completed with the first couple centuries, so within a maximum of 150 years of Jesus’ death.
AD 367, is the first list of the complete 27 books of NT that we have recorded
So, you’re thinking, so what. All you’ve used is the Bible to prove the Bible.
I hear you, so let’s get into some historical evidence really quick
Until 1516, all copies of the Bible were written by hand
So we owe the preservation of our Bible to monks and scribes spending years copying Scripture
How many manuscripts of the NT do we have?
Over 5000 copies of compete NT or significant chunks
5700 bits of manuscripts, handwritten document pieces of papers
So what right?
Well, let’s look at how many manuscripts we have of other non-biblical authors during this time
Caesar’s Gallic Wars - 10
History and Annals of a Roman historian - 2
History of Thucydides - 8
Plato - 7
Aristotle - 49
You get the picture. No one argues the authenticity of these authors, so why the Bible? Because, as Romans tells us, people suppress the truth.
What about Errors
So, naturally, there are some copying errors among all the manuscripts.
But that makes sense. If I wrote something up on the screen and had you all copy it, I’m sure some of you would write down something incorrect
So, how do we defend those errors?
Take the same example, most of you would be accurate, or would be so close to accurate that you would still understand what I was saying, correct?
Same idea applies, if 4500 manuscripts all say the same sentence, but 1000 have slight variations, what would you assume?
That the 4500 would be correct, right?
So the errors tend to self-correct themselves
In fact, there are textual critics whose job it is to do that, and out of all the NT manuscripts, variations are not greater than 1/100th.
Miniscule
Questions
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →