More Reasons To Trust The Gospel Accounts Of Jesus
Four of the writers of the New Testament each wrote their own biography on the life of Jesus. These are called the four gospels, the first four books of the New Testament. When historians try to determine if a biography is reliable, they ask, “How many other sources report the same details about this person?”
Here’s how this works. Imagine you are collecting biographies of President John F. Kennedy. You find many biographies describing his family, his presidency, his goal of putting a man on the moon, and his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Regarding Jesus, do we find multiple biographies reporting similar facts about his life? Yes. Here is a sampling of facts about Jesus, and where you would find that fact reported in each of their biographies.
Two of the gospel biographies were written by the apostles Matthew and John, men who knew Jesus personally and traveled with him for over three years. The other two books were written by Mark and Luke, close associates of the apostles. These writers had direct access to the facts they were recording. At the time of their writing, there were still people alive who had heard Jesus speak, watched him heal people and perform miracles.
So the early church readily accepted the four gospels because they agreed with what was already common knowledge about Jesus’ life.
Sample of what is presented in one of the Gospels…
She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
When Was The New Testament Written
Since the New Testament books of the Bible are younger than the Old Testament collection, we naturally have more understanding about how the New Testament was written. The astounding feature of this knowledge actually helps us to understand how the Old Testament was collected and compiled. There is little difference in method. The books of the New Testament were recognized in time as the divine Word of God moving through His Apostles and disciples. From A.D. 33 until approximately A.D. 80, the Holy Spirit breathed out His Word in twenty-seven books and nine authors. Among the authors used by God were those who actually walked with Jesus and had seen Jesus in His post-resurrection form . The New Testament may be simply divided into Gospels and Epistles. Paul wrote most of the Epistles. These letters to churches were primarily concerned with clarifying doctrinal truths about Jesus and the way to be saved and ethical goals for the life of believers in the Church. Misunderstanding, contextualization problems, persecution, and false teachers became the forces that caused the writings and led to clarity, faithfulness, and further revelation about the mission of God in the world through Jesus Christ.;
Stories You Didn’t Learn In Sunday School
Many of the New Testament texts familiar to Christians today were being used authoritatively already in the second century, but different congregations preferred some texts over others and included some texts that don’t appear in the New Testament. Here are a few:
The Gospel of Peter: Only a fragment of this text was recovered in 1886 in Egypt, but it includes the only narrative account of the resurrected Jesus leaving his tomb. According to Peter’s version, two giant angels descended to the tomb and escorted the resurrected Jesus out, who was also suddenly gigantic. But the oddest note was that the three figures were followed by a floating cross that could talk.
“And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, ‘Thou hast preached to them that sleep.’ And a response was heard from the cross, ‘Yea.'”
The Gospel of Mary: Combs says that some apocryphal texts reflected theological and doctrinal debates going on within the early church, such as the role of women. In the Gospel of Mary , is not only referred to as one of Jesus’s disciples, but perhaps his favorite one. In this text, after Jesus is resurrected, he relays esoteric teachings to Mary, who then tells the other disciples. Peter asks why they should listen to a woman, to which another disciple Levi responds:
“If the Savior made her worthy, who are you then, for your part, to cast her aside? Surely the Savior knows her full well. That is why he has loved her more than us.”
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Legacy And Impact Of The Bible
The sheer diversity of literature in the Bible is one of the secrets of its continuing popularity through the centuries. There is something for all moods and many different cultures. Its message is not buried in religious jargon only accessible to either believers or scholars, but reflects the issues that people struggle with in daily life. Despite their different emphases, all its authors shared the conviction that this world and its affairs are not just a haphazard sequence of random coincidences, but are the forum of God’s activity – a God who is not remote or unknowable, but a personal being who can be known by ordinary people.
Melvyn Bragg believes the King James version of the Bible, first published in 1611, has had a profound effect on human history over the last 400 years.
Archaeology Confirms The Bibles Historical Accuracy
Archaeologists have consistently discovered the names of government officials, kings, cities, and festivals mentioned in the Bible — sometimes when historians didn’t think such people or places existed. For example, the Gospel of John tells of Jesus healing a cripple next to the Pool of Bethesda. The text even describes the five porticoes leading to the pool. Scholars didn’t think the pool existed, until archaeologists found it forty feet below ground, complete with the five porticoes.1
The Bible has a tremendous amount of historical detail, so not everything mentioned in it has yet been found through archaeology. However, not one archaeological find has conflicted with what the Bible records.2
In contrast, news reporter Lee Strobel comments about the Book of Mormon: “Archaeology has repeatedly failed to substantiate its claims about events that supposedly occurred long ago in the Americas. I remember writing to the Smithsonian Institute to inquire about whether there was any evidence supporting the claims of Mormonism, only to be told in unequivocal terms that its archaeologists see ‘no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.'” Archaeologists have never located cities, persons, names, or places mentioned in the Book of Mormon.3
Archaeology consistently confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible.
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Where Is The Original Bible
Bible #1. The oldest surviving full text of the New Testament is the beautifully written Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered at the St Catherine monastery at the base of Mt Sinai in Egypt in the 1840s and 1850s. Dating from circa 325-360 CE, it is not known where it was scribed perhaps Rome or Egypt.
Who Really Wrote The New Testament
Traditionally, 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament were attributed to Paul the Apostle, who famously converted to Christianity after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus and wrote a series of letters that helped spread the faith throughout the Mediterranean world.
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Disputed Spurious And Downright Heretical
Luther had issues with the book of James, which emphasized the role of “works” alongside faith, so he stuck James and Hebrews in the back of the Bible alongside Jude and Revelation, which he also thought were questionable. Combs says that in Luther’s original Bible, those four books don’t even appear in the table of contents.
Eusebius was a Christian historian writing in the early 300s who provided one of the early lists of which books were considered legit and which were borderline bogus.
Eusebius broke his list down into different categories: recognized, disputed, spurious and heretical. Among the “recognized” were the four gospels , Acts and Paul’s epistles. Under “disputed,” Eusebius included James and Jude the same books Luther didn’t like plus a few others that are now considered canon, like 2 Peter, 2 John and 3 John.
When Eusebius turns to the “spurious” and “heretical” categories, we get a glimpse into just how many other texts were in circulation in the second and third century C.E. Have you ever heard of the Apocalypse of Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas or the Gospel of Thomas? Combs says that there were hundreds of texts similar to those found in the New Testament and Old Testament that didn’t make it into the canon.
What About The Original Language
Again, the beauty of the Bible is how God reaches men and women, boys and girls, by coming to us in our own language. The Old Testament was written in ancient Hebrew. Parts of the Old Testament were written in an imperial Aramaic . The fact that the Bible was written to a People, in a place, amidst their trials and joys, their living and dying, demonstrates the astounding relevance, relation, and reliability of Gods Word. This is no fable. This is not yarn. This is God with us.;
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How Was The Bible Created
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 down.
How Were The Books Of The Bible Selected And Compiled And How Were The Decisions Made As To What Would Be Distributed As The Word Of God
Even though we think of the Bible as being one book, its actually a collection of sixty-six books, and we realize that there was a historical process by which those particular books were gathered together and placed in one volume that we now know as the Bible. In fact, we call the Bible the canon of sacred Scripture. Canon is taken from the Greek word canon, which means measuring rod. That means it is the standard of truth by which all other truth is to be judged in the Christian life.
There have been many different theories set forth over the history of the church as to exactly how Gods hand was involved in this selection process. Skeptics have pointed out that over three thousand books were candidates for inclusion in the New Testament canon alone, and only a handful were selected. Doesnt that raise some serious questions? Isnt it possible that certain books that are in the Bible should not be there and others that were excluded by human evaluation and human judgment should have been included? We need to keep in mind, however, that of those not included in the last analysis, there were at the most three or four that were given serious consideration. So to speak in terms of two or three thousand being boiled down to twenty-seven or something like that is a distortion of historical reality.
Do you have a question about the Bible or theology? Get a live response from one of our well-trained agents when you;ask Ligonier.
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The History Of The English Bible
One way to think about the history of the English Bible is to consider prominent movements and individuals who led to putting the Bible in the hands of the people. The history of the English Bible begins in, where else England. Dr. John Wycliffe was the priest at Saint Marys at Oxford. The very epitome of a pastor-scholar, Wycliffe not only wanted the Bible translated into the vernacular of the people he served but desired to see the Word of God preached in English throughout the Realm. So, Wycliffe published dozens of copies of the Bible in English. These Bibles were taken by his band of preachers, called Lollards, and they exposited the truths of the Word of God. This was the beginning of the English Reformation and was the precursor to John Hus and, then, Martin Luther.
The story of how the Bible was written cannot be recalled without the most important fact of all: why the Bible was written. As always, the Word of God attests to its own purpose:
But these things are written that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that in believing ye might have life through his Name. .;
Heres Why The Gospels Were Written
In the early years after Jesus’ death and resurrection there was no apparent need for written biographies about Jesus.Those living in the Jerusalem region were witnesses of Jesus and well aware of his ministry.6
However, when news of Jesus spread beyond Jerusalem, and the eyewitnesses were no longer readily accessible, there was a need for written accounts to educate others about Jesus’ life and ministry.
If you would like to know more about Jesus, this article will give you a good summary of his life: Why Jesus is God.
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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?
When Was Adam And Eve Born
Adam and Eve were not created until the 7th Day, approximately 9,700 years ago during the early Mesolithic. In addition, Adam was created, then placed in a botanical garden specifically to dress it and to keep it, and the Garden only .
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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.
Who Decided Which Books To Include In The Bible
In his best-selling novel, “The Da Vinci Code,” Dan Brown wrote that the Bible was assembled during the famous Council of Nicea in 325 C.E., when Emperor Constantine and church authorities purportedly banned problematic books that didn’t conform to their secret agenda.
Except that’s not how it really went. “The Da Vinci Code” was fiction, but Brown wasn’t the first to credit the Council of Nicea with deciding which books to include in the Bible. Voltaire, writing in the 18th century, repeated a centuries-old myth that the Bible was canonized in Nicea by placing all of the known books on a table, saying a prayer and seeing which illegitimate texts fell to the floor.
In truth, there was no single church authority or council that convened to rubber stamp the biblical canon , not at Nicea or anywhere else in antiquity, explains Jason Combs, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University specializing in ancient Christianity.
“Dan Brown did us all a disservice,” says Combs. “We don’t have evidence that any group of Christians got together and said, ‘Let’s hash this out once and for all.'”
What evidence scholars do have in the form of theological treatises, letters and church histories that have survived for millennia points to a much longer process of canonization. From the first through the fourth centuries and beyond, different church leaders and theologians made arguments about which books belonged in the canon, often casting their opponents as heretics.
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