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What Is The Origin Of The Bible

How Is The Bible Structured

The History of the Bible, Animated | National Geographic

Most people assume the books of the Bible are in chronological order, but they are not. Instead, the Bible is organized by genre.

A godly mentor once simplified Bible structure for me by breaking it down into three easy-to-remember categories: History, Experience and Prophecy.

Both Old and New Testaments start with history . History is followed by experience . Experience is followed by prophecy .

History. Experience. Prophecy. This is an easy way to remember how the Bible is structured. Heres a more detailed breakdown of Bible structure:

  • Law: Genesis Deuteronomy
  • Poetry: Job Song of Solomon
  • Major Prophets: Isaiah Daniel
  • History of the Church: Acts
  • Epistles: Romans Jude

How Was The New Testament Canon Determined

The Early church had three criteria for determining what books were to be included or excluded from the Canon of the New Testament.

  • First, the books must have apostolic authority— that is, they must have been written either by the apostles themselves, who were eyewitnesses to what they wrote about, or by associates of the apostles.
  • Second, there was the criterion of conformity to what was called the “rule of faith.” In other words, was the document congruent with the basic Christian tradition that the church recognized as normative.
  • Third, there was the criterion of whether a document had enjoyed continuous acceptance and usage by the church at large.
  • The gospel of Thomas is not included in the Canon of the New Testament for the following reasons.
  • The gospel of Thomas fails the test of Apostolic authority. None of the early church fathers from Clement to Irenaeus ever quoted from the gospel of Thomas. This indicates that they either did not know of it or that they rejected it as spurious. In either case, the early church fathers fail to support the gospel of Thomas’ claim to have been written by the apostle. It was believed to by written around 140 A.D. There is no evidence to support its purported claim to be written by the Apostle Thomas himself.
  • Who Wrote The Bible: The First Five Books

    Wikimedia CommonsMoses, as painted by Rembrandt.

    According to both Jewish and Christian Dogma, the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were all written by Moses in about 1,300 B.C. There are a few issues with this, however, such as the lack of evidence that Moses ever existed and the fact that the end of Deuteronomy describes the author dying and being buried.

    Scholars have developed their own take on who wrote the Bibles first five books, mainly by using internal clues and writing style. Just as English speakers can roughly date a book that uses a lot of thees and thous, Bible scholars can contrast the styles of these early books to create profiles of the different authors.

    In each case, these writers are talked about as if they were a single person, but each author could just as easily be an entire school of people writing in a single style. These biblical authors include:

    Wikimedia CommonsA depiction of the destruction of Jerusalem under Babylonian rule.

    Wikimedia CommonsKing Josiah

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    Set Aside What Religious Tradition Says And Discover Who Wrote The Bible According To The Scholars Who Have Examined The Actual Evidence

    Wikimedia CommonsA depiction of Paul the Apostle writing his epistles.

    HOLY BOOKS HAVE A REACH that goes far beyond what virtually all works of literature can ever accomplish. Unlike, say, The Great Gatsby, the Bible is a text upon which millions and millions of people have based their entire lives.

    That fact can be good or bad, and its often been both over the many centuries throughout which Christians have been reading the Bible and Jews have been reading the Torah. But given its immense reach and cultural influence, its a bit surprising how little we really know about the Bibles origins. In other words, who wrote the Bible? Of all the mysteries surrounding the Bible, that one may be the most fascinating.

    Were not completely ignorant, of course. Some books of the Bible were written in the clear light of history, and their authorship isnt terribly controversial. Other books can be reliably dated to a given period by either internal clues sort of the way no books written in the 1700s mention airplanes, for instance and by their literary style, which develops over time.

    Religious doctrine, of course, holds that God himself is the author of or at least the inspiration for the entirety of the Bible, which was transcribed by a series of humble vessels. About the best that can be said for that notion is that if God really did write the Bible through a millennium-long sequence of various authors, he was certainly doing it the hard way.

    Why Does The Kjv Differ From The Niv


    The reason the King James version differ from the NASV and the NIV in anumber of readings is because it is translated from a different text-type thanthey are.

  • The King James Version was translated from Erasmus’ printed Greek NewTestament which made use of only five Greek manuscripts the oldest of whichdated to the 1,100 A.D. These manuscripts were examples of the .
  • The NASV and the NIV make use of the United Bible Societies 4th Edition1968 of the New Testament. This edition of the Greek New Testament relies more heavily on the Alexandrian text-type while making use of all 5,664 Greek manuscripts. The reasons that the NASV and NIV find the Alexandrian text-type more reliable are the following:
  • This text-type uses manuscripts date from 175-350 A.D. which includes mostof the papyri, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.
  • The church fathers from 97-350 A.D. used this text-type when they quotedthe New Testament.
  • The early translations of the New Testament used the Alexandrian text-type.
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    Who Was Jesus Did He Really Exist

    Most scholars agree that Jesus, a first-century religious leader and preacher, existed historically. He was born in c4 BC and died reportedly crucified on the orders of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in cAD 3033. Then, for around 40 years, news of his teachings was spread by word of mouth until, from around AD 70, four written accounts of his life emerged that changed everything.

    The gospels, or good news, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are critically important to the Christian faith. It is their descriptions of the life of Jesus Christ that have made him arguably the most influential figure in human history.

    We cant be sure when the gospels were written, says Barton, and we know little about the authors. But the guess is that Mark came first, in the 70s, followed by Matthew and Luke in the 80s and 90s, and John in the 90s or early in the second century.

    In general, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the same story with variations, and hence are called the synoptic gospels, whereas John has a very different style, as well as telling a markedly different version of the story of Jesus. Matthew and Luke seem to be attempts to improve on Mark, by adding more stories and sayings from sources now lost. John is a different conceptualisation of the story of Jesus, portraying a more obviously divine figure.

    Who Was King David

    The first wave of scribes may, its been suggested, have started work during the reign of King David . Whether thats true or not, David is a monumental figure in the biblical story the slayer of Goliath, the conqueror of Jerusalem. David is also a hugely important figure in the quest to establish links between the Bible and historical fact, for he appears to be the earliest biblical figure to be confirmed by archaeology.

    I killed king of the house of David. So boasts the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone dating from 870750 BC and discovered in northern Israel in the 1990s. Like the Merneptah Stele before it, it documents a warlords victory over the Israelites . But it at least indicates that David was a historical figure.

    The Tel Dan Stele also suggests that,no matter how capable their rulers, the people of Israel continued to be menaced by powerful, belligerent neighbours. And, in 586 BC, one of those neighbours, the Babylonians, would inflict on the Jews one of the most devastating defeats in their history: ransacking the sacred city of Jerusalem, butchering its residents, and dragging many more back to Babylonia.

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    Are There Lost Books Of The Bible

    No. The Bible is complete there are no lost books. Some may claim that certain ancient books that were long concealed rightly belong in the Bible. * However, the Bible contains its own internal measure of authenticity. Using this standard, Bible books that are inspired by God completely harmonize with one another. This cannot be said for all ancient writings that some individuals claim belong in the Bible. *

    The Avenger Meaning Of Redemption:

    The History of the Bible

    In the event that these aforementioned close relatives passed away as a result of an altercation with someone else, whether the death was accidental or not, Mosaic law established that the guardian-kinsman should avenge the passing of his close relative.

    He is called the blood avenger. However, this did not remain a custom for the entirety of the Old Testament.

    We can find the Bible verse that contains the avenger description of redemption in: Exodus 21.

    12 Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. 13 However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate.

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    The Monetary Meaning Of Redemption:

    It was common in the Ancient Near East that people who were unable to repay a debt often gave themselves away as slaves, inevitably shackling themselves in the bondage of servitude. This practice was part of most ancient civilizations such the Egyptian or Mesopotamian civilizations, and also Israel. Leviticus establishes the sociological institution of the guardian-kinsman, which existed in ancient Israel and that we can see in the book of Ruth.

    This was a Leviticus-established custom or sociological institution that granted legal and economic rights and obligations to any Israelite individual who had brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces. In the event that one of the close relatives of this person lost property because of debt, or was sold as a slave, it was the duty of the kinsman to recover, or buy back for a price what the person had lost, whether it was property or personal freedom.

    We can visualize the context monetary-sense of redemption always involved a ransom, price, or payment in Leviticus 25:47:

    47 If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigners clan, 48 they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: 49 An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves.

    Who Wrote The Bible: Prophets

    Wikimedia CommonsThe prophet Isaiah

    The next texts to examine when investigating who wrote the Bible are those of the biblical prophets, an eclectic group who mostly traveled around the various Jewish communities to admonish people and lay curses and sometimes preach sermons about everybodys shortcomings.

    Some prophets lived way back before the Golden Age while others did their work during and after the Babylonian captivity. Later, many of books of the Bible attributed to these prophets were largely written by others and were fictionalized to the level of Aesops Fables by people living centuries after the events in the books were supposed to have happened, for example:

    Wikimedia CommonsThe prophet Jeremiah

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    Vince LatorreMay 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you for the solid article on the inspiration of the Scriptures. Canonicity was never something that was determined by man, as many think today. Instead, canonicity was imparted to the Scriptures by God, and man merely recognizes their inspiration by the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Scriptures. To paraphrase famous Bible scholar Dr. Bruce Metzger, instead of an authoritative list of books, we have a list of authoritative books.

    RobertMay 23, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Thank you Vince,The Bible is so very foundational to our beliefs that we should all understand as much about it as possible. I guarantee that those who would atttempt to tear it down and cause people to disbelieve it have researched its background. The believer can rest assured that God protected His Word throughout history. God bless you Vince.Yours in Christ,

    The Bible Remains The Same Even As Society Changes

    The Origin of the Bible by F.F. Bruce

    Even when society changes, the need for truth, wisdom, and direction remains consistent. Truth is always truth.

    The Psalmist wrote, Your word, Lord, is eternal it stands firm in the heavens . Isaiah wrote, The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. . In the New Testament, Peter echoes this truth when he quotes Isaiah in 1 Peter 1:25.

    In a world where stability is fleeting, Gods Word, the Bible, is not. The unchanging nature of God, and His Word, makes the Bible the single source of faith and practice for Christians throughout the ages.

    A pastors wife, author, and national speaker, Donna Jones travels from coast to coast, helping people find and follow God in real life. If youre new to exploring God, the Bible, and Christianity, Donna wrote Seek: A Womans Guide to Meeting God, just for you! For resources to help you on your spiritual journey connect with Donna at or on Instagram @donnaajones.

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    Who Wrote The Bible

    Until the 17th century, received opinion had it that the first five books of the Bible Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were the work of one author: Moses. That theory has since been seriously challenged.

    Scholars now believe that the stories that would become the Bible were disseminated by word of mouth across the centuries, in the form of oral tales and poetry perhaps as a means of forging a collective identity among the tribes of Israel. Eventually, these stories were collated and written down. The question is by whom, and when?

    A clue may lie in a limestone boulder discovered embedded in a stone wall in the town of Tel Zayit, 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem, in 2005. The boulder, now known as the Zayit Stone, contains what many historians believe to be the earliest full Hebrew alphabet ever discovered, dating to around 1000 BC. What was found was not a random scratching of two or three letters, it was the full alphabet, Kyle McCarter of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland has said of the stone. Everything about it says this is the ancestor of the Hebrew script.

    Ask the expert: John Barton

    John Barton is a former professor of holy scriptures at the University of Oxford and the author of A History of the Bible: The Books and Its Faiths.

    Q:Just how reliable is the Old Testament as an historical document?

    Q:How much does archaeology support the historicity of the Old Testament?

    Examples That Show Why The Kjv Differs From The Niv And Nasv In Certain Verses

    In the following examples the King James Version differs from the NIV, andNASV. because it bases it’s translation on the and the NIVand NASV base theirs on the Alexandrian text-type.

  • KJV 1 John 5:7-8 “For there are three that bear recordin heaven, theFather, the Word, and Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are threethat bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood and thesethree agree in one.”NIV 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that testify: v. 8 the Spirit, thewater and the blood: and the three are in agreement.”
  • When Erasmus first printed the Greek New Testament in 1514 it did notcontain the words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and Holy Ghost: andthese three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth,”because they were not found in any of the Greek manuscripts that Erasmus lookedat.
  • These words were not quoted by any of the Greek church fathers. They mostcertainly would have been used by the church fathers in their 3rd and 4thcentury letters if found in the Greek manuscripts available to them.
  • These words are not found in any ancient versions of the New Testament.These include Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Slavonic, nor in theOld Latin in its early form.
  • These words begin to appear in marginal notes in the Latin New Testamentbeginning in the fifth century. From the sixth century onward these words arefound more and more frequently.
  • Neither Codex Sinaiticus nor Codex Vaticanus have Mark 16:9-20.
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    How We Got The Bible

    The Bible we have in our hands and on our phones comes through a series of very faithful copying and translating throughout the centuries.

    We also have discovered older manuscripts that we thought were lost, earlier versions of certain texts, like the Greek Bible. But in general, what we have is a series of faithful transmissions.

    Translations, in some ways, are just copies of the existing Bible. They go from a trickle in the Middle Ages, where they can only produce a couple of Bibles a year in certain locations, to the present, when we can print off millions of copies every year.

    But the process is the same. The words are translated, they’re copied over, and they’re reworked and they’re checked and they’re re-checked against the originals. You end up with a copy of the Bible.


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