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THE BIBLE - THE CANON, ITS TRANSMISSION AND ITS TRANSLATIONS

THE CANON - WHY 66 BOOKS?

The O.T. 39 - How they were determined to be God's books:
      1) A prophet's credentials was required: Miracles and fulfilled prophecy
         (Exod 4:1-9; Deut 18:22)

      2) They needed to be consistent with previous revelation (Deut 13:1-3)

      3) They needed to be written by God's chosen men (Jer 1:5,9,30:2)

      4) Jesus regarded them as God's Word: Divinely inspired (Matt 22:43);
         indestructible (Matt 5:17,18); infallible (Jn 10:35); the final authority          (Matt 4:4,7,10) historically accurate (Matt 12:40; 24:37) scientifically          accurate (Matt 19:2-5); factually innerrant (Jn 17:17; Matt 22:29);          predictive of Him (Mt 21:42; Lk 24:27,44; Jn 5:39); and sufficient for          salvation (Lk 16:31).  He believed in the historical Solomon (Matt 26:29),          Moses (Matt 8:4), Abraham (Matt 8:11), Sodom and Gomorrah's judgment          (Matt 10:15).  He quoted the O.T. (Matt 21:13,16,42).

      5) The Apostles regarded them as God's Word (II Tim 3:16; Acts 17:2,18:28;          Rom 1:2, 4:3, 9:17, 10:11, 11:2, 15:4; I Cor 15:3,4; Gal 3:8,22, 4:30; I          Tim 5:18; II Pet. 1:20,21)

      6) There are about 2600 times in the O.T. where it says that God spoke to          or through the writers of the O.T. (The O.T. books were either written by          God or full of lies claiming that it was written by God!) (Examples: Exod          3:4,14, 19:3-6; I Sam 13:11-14; Isa 6:8-10; Ezek 3:4; Dan 12:8,9)

The N.T. 27 - How they were determined to be God's Word:

      1) An Apostle's credentials were required (II Cor 12:12; Hebrs 2:3,4)

      2) All N.T. books were written by Apostles, companions of Apostles (Mark,          Luke, Acts, and possibly Hebrews) or by brothers of Jesus (James and          Jude)

      3) The Apostles themselves regarded them as Scripture ( I Cor 14:37; II Pet          3:2,16; I Tim 5:18 - Paul refers to both Deut 25:4 and Luke 10:7 as          Scripture)

      4) The early Christian leaders during the time right after N.T. times regarded          them as Scripture (Clement, Iraeneus, Ignatius, Justin Martyr and others)

      5) They were distributed regionally at first (Col 4:16; II Thess 2:15) and          then they were collected together.  The first N.T. list or "canon" that is          the same as the Bible was used by Athanasius in 367 AD.  The later          Church Councils only recognized that a book was given to the Church by          God - recognized by the Church Councils of Hippo in 393 AD and Carthage          in 397 AD.) (There were counterfeits Scriptures - II Thess 2:2)  (Some          books were challenged at first – James, Jude, II Peter, II & III John,          Revelation, and Hebrews)

      6) Ultimately, Divine inspiration was the determiner of which books became
         "canon" or part of the Bible (The Greek word kanon mean rule, standard,
         measuring rod).


ITS TRANSMISSION - Has the Bible been transmitted to us dependably?  Is                                  what they wrote what we got?

1) We do not have the originals:  They were written on perishable materials:
    Papyrus, parchment, vellum, ostraca, clay tablets, etc.

2) What if we did have the originals?

3) The copies are trustworthy

    a) The O.T. was meticulously copied by Jewish scribes and by the Massoretes.

    b) The Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed their accuracy:  Before the dead Sea         Scrolls, we had no copies dated before 900 AD.  After the Dead Sea
        Scrolls, we have copies dated 125 BC.  The difference between the copies         from 900 AD and the copies from 125 BC (a 1000 year difference) showed         few differences except for minor errors.

    c) There are thousands of existing manuscripts of part or all of the N.T.:

        New Testament manuscripts           24,633  (5,309 in Greek)
        The works of Plato                                7
        The works of Aristotle                          49
        Homer's Iliad                                    643


ITS TRANSLATIONS

1) No translation is inspired by God

2) We (the U.S.A) have many translations, while most nations in the world
    have only one or a few translations.

3) Usually the difference in translations is in the wording and not in the     meaning.

4) Four reasons for new English translations:

        a) Changes in the English language (idioms, grammar, the meaning of            words)

        b) New manuscript discoveries (the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example)

        c) Different purposes (word for word, readability- dynamic equivalence,            easy reading, etc.)

        d) Advances in Biblical scholarship

5) Many translations are both a problem and a blessing:

        a) A problem: It is difficult to follow when the Bible is read or taught in a
           translation that is different than your translation.  It is difficult when            you have memorized verses in different translations.

        b) A blessing: Different translations help us to see the different possible            ways the Greek and the Hebrew words can be translated into English.

RESOURCES: EVIDENCES THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT Volumes I & II; THE KING JAMES ONLY CONTROVERSY by James White

ASSIGNMENT1) Do you believe that some translations are more inspired                             than other translations?  Explain your answer.

                            2) Do you believe John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20 are God's                             Word? Explain your answer.