What Does The Bible Say
The Bible centres on the one and only God, the Creator of all that exists. Gods will and purpose are viewed as just, loving, and ultimately prevailing. The Hebrew Bible starts with an account of Gods creation of the world, and it tells the story of the Israelites and the Promised Land. The New Testament deals with the life, the person, and the teachings of Jesus and the formation of the Christian church.
Bible, the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books and parts of books considered apocryphal by Protestants. The Hebrew Bible includes only the books known to Christians as the Old Testament. The arrangements of the Jewish and Christian canons differ considerably. The Protestant and Roman Catholic arrangements more nearly match one another.
How Did Christianity Spread Around The World
The Epistles, or letters, written by Paul the Apostle to churches dotted across the Mediterranean world which are our best source for the initial spread of Christianity confirm that Christianity started in Jerusalem, but spread rapidly to Syria and then to the rest of the Mediterranean world, and was mostly accepted by non-Jews, says John Barton, former professor of the interpretation of holy scriptures at the University of Oxford.
The epistles are our earliest evidence for Christianity, says Barton. The first date from the AD 50s, just two decades after the death of Jesus.
As Pauls letters to churches such as the one in the Greek city of Thessalonica reveal, the first Christian communities were often persecuted for their beliefs.
And its such persecution, particularly at the hands of the Romans, that may have inspired the last book of the New Testament, Revelations. With its dark descriptions of a seven-headed beast and allusions to an imminent apocalypse, Revelations is now widely believed to be a foretelling of the grisly fate that the author believed awaited the Roman oppressors of Christianity.
Versions of the Bible
Different editions of the Bible have appeared over the centuries, aiming to further popularise the stories and teachings within. Here are three of the most notable versions
King James Bible
The Gutenberg Bible
Dead Sea Scrolls
Origins Of The Written Bible
In the modern era, we take for granted that the Hebrew Bible is a textwritten words, displayed in chapters and verse. Yet biblical scholar William Schniedewind, the Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies at UCLA, has a different view. In How the Bible Became a Book , he explores when and why the ancient Israelite accountsonce conveyed only orallycame to be written down and attain the status of Scripture. Here, Schniedewind offers an overview of his findings.
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In writing How the Bible Became a Book, I began with a different question than scholars usually ask. Namely, why did the Bible become a book at all? This question began to haunt me more and more as I studied the archeology of ancient Palestine and the early history of Hebrew writing. Scholars agree that early Israel was an oral society of pastoralism and subsistence farming. So how and why did such a pastoral-agrarian society come to write down and give authority to the written word? How and why did writing spread from the closed circles of royal and priestly scribes to the lay classes? It was this spread of Hebrew writing in ancient Palestine that democratized the written word and allowed it to gain religious authority in the book we now call “the Bible.”
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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.
May Have Some Historical Accuracy But Is Mostly Made Up
Once looked at logically it is physically impossible to fit a pair of every animal species onto a boat made of wood. Also, how can a woman have a child without intercourse? It seems to me Mary made up the story so she wouldn’t be stoned to death. Many religious people argue that some parts of the bible are a metaphor. I once asked my religion teacher how we know which parts are meant to be taken literally and the other metaphorically. She answered by saying we can’t. Therefore, the bible must be taken literally or metaphorically. If taken metaphorically it destroys the whole Catholic faith, because it is the foundation of such. But it is illogical to be taken literally due to the lack of scientific accuracy, therefore the bible must be made up.
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Yes It Is Mostly Made Up
Maybe some of the stories are true, for example I can believe that there was a guy named Jesus, and he was a Jew born to Mary and Joseph. Maybe he traveled all around and pretended that he was God for a little while, but I believe that there was a guy named Jesus. He may or may not be the son of God. But I believe that most of the stories in the bible about him are made up, and I believe that most of the Old Testament was made up. Besides, I think most of the Old Testament was meant to be taken metaphorically, not literally. Most of the Bible was made up by SOMEONE.
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?
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How The Books Of The New Testament Were Determined
The early church accepted the New Testament books almost as soon as they were written. Its already been mentioned that the writers were friends of Jesus or his immediate followers, men to whom Jesus had entrusted the leadership of the early church. The Gospel writers Matthew and John were some of Jesus’ closest followers. Mark and Luke were companions of the apostles, having access to the apostles’ account of Jesus’ life.
The other New Testament writers had immediate access to Jesus as well: James and Jude were half-brothers of Jesus who initially did not believe in him. Peter was one of the 12 apostles. Paul started out as a violent opponent of Christianity and a member of the religious ruling class, but he became an ardent follower of Jesus, convinced that Jesus rose from the dead.
The reports in the New Testament books lined up with what thousands of eyewitnesses had seen for themselves.
When other books were written hundreds of years later, it wasn’t difficult for the church to spot them as forgeries. For example, the Gospel of Judas was written by the Gnostic sect, around 130-170 A.D., long after Judas’ death. The Gospel of Thomas, written around 140 A.D., is another example of a counterfeit writing erroneously bearing an apostles’ name. These and other Gnostic gospels conflicted with the known teachings of Jesus and the Old Testament, and often contained numerous historical and geographical errors.7
When Was The Bible Written
Literacy in ancient Israel and Judah
Also known as the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible was composed over a long span of time. Numerous opinions exist as to when the earliest and latest biblical traditions were first put down in writing.
The Hebrew Bible contains 35 books sorted into three sections: the Torah , the Neviim , and the Ketuvim . The Old Testament of most Protestant Bibles has 39 books because the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah are split into two books, whereas each of these appears as a single book in the Hebrew Bible. The latest books of the Hebrew Bible, such as Esther and Ezra-Nehemiah, describe events from the fifth century B.C.E. and would have been written afterwardmeaning that the very earliest the Hebrew Bible could have been compiled in its entirety is the fifth century B.C.E., with some scholars suggesting much later dates.
There are two main reasons why many scholars think reading and writing were not prevalent in ancient Israel and Judah until the eighth century B.C.E.:
There are significantly less alphabetic inscriptions from ancient Israel and Judah dated to the tenth and ninth centuries B.C.E. than from later periods.
They think Israel and Judah did not reach the level of development necessary to produce literary texts until the eighth century B.C.E.
Richelle then gives two reasons why writing was likely prevalent in Israel and Judah during the early first millennium B.C.E.:
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The Old Testament: Various Schools Of Authors
To explain the Bibles contradictions, repetitions and general idiosyncrasies, most scholars today agree that the stories and laws it contains were communicated orally, through prose and poetry, over centuries. Starting around the 7th century B.C., different groups, or schools, of authors wrote them down at different times, before they were at some point combined into the single, multi-layered work we know today.
Of the three major blocks of source material that scholars agree comprise the Bibles first five books, the first was believed to have been written by a group of priests, or priestly authors, whose work scholars designate as P. A second block of source material is known as Dfor Deuteronomist, meaning the author of the vast majority of the book of Deuteronomy. The two of them are not really related to each other in any significant way, Baden explains, except that they’re both giving laws and telling a story of Israel’s early history.
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It Was Written By Ancient And Primitive People And Has No Value To Modern People Anymore
The Bible was written by ancient people, to be sure. The earliest writings come from the second half of the second millennium BC and the most recent parts from around 300 BC. Thats a long time ago. The New Testament is more recent, but even those books were written almost 2000 years ago. They were written in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by people who were culturally different from us. Indeed, we often misunderstand the message of the Bible if we dont remember our temporal and cultural distance from those who wrote it. But its one thing to say the Bible was written by ancient people and another thing to say that they were written by primitive people. Even without taking into account the claim that these authors speak on behalf of God, such a charge would be the height of our own cultural arrogance. Yes, ancient people did not have computers, cell phones, video games, or even electricity or cars, neither did Shakespeare or Plato, and would we also say that these writers are too ancient to say anything true or meaningful? We have made remarkable advances in our understanding of natural world since biblical times, and the biblical authors often reflect their ancient worldview . But the Bible does not intend to teach us about cosmology, and the faulty cosmology that it assumes does not affect its intended message.
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Why God Created Us
We can summarize the reason why God created us in this sentence: We were created by God to worship Him, to glorify Him, predestined to do good works for Him, to share Jesus Christs gospel with the lost, and to enjoy Him for eternity. This is the chief purpose of mankind. I believe that I could enjoy that forever for that is what I was created for. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then now you know your purpose in life. If you are not, perhaps today is the day of your salvation . If you choose life, place your trust in Jesus, put your faith in His saving grace, and confess you are a sinner in need of a Savior, then you too have just found your purpose. This is the reason for which God created you.
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New International Bible
- Jack Wellman
Hello Kevin. In the first place, let me explain that Jesus alone saves and that baptism comes after a person is saved but never does baptism save by itself. How can an infant repent from their sins and confess their sins ? I find not one single infant baptism in the entire Bible. If you think you are saved by being baptized at an infant, then no, you are not saved by that. Read Romans 10:9-13 and also click on this link to know how to Come to Jesus to be saved and if you do, please, please let us know. Click on this Kevin:
When Was The Old Testament Written
The Old Testament scriptures were composed and compiled across time. By this, we mean to say that there were not certain dates to locate. Rather, the ancient Church, believers in the Old Testament era, recognized the impression of the Holy Spirit on the text. The believers, like in the New Testament, gathered those documents either because of the author or because the text demonstrated unity, historicity, reliability, and impression was in concert with the other parts of the Word of God. Bodie Hodge and Dr. Terry Mortenson state this about the Pentateuch in their Answers in Genesis article Did Moses Write Genesis?:
“There is abundant biblical and extra-biblical evidence that Moses wrote the Pentateuch during the wilderness wanderings after the Jews left their slavery in Egypt and before they entered the Promised Land .”
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The New Answers Book 2
People complain about The New Answers Book. They say that its so good at giving short, substantive answers that they want more. Well, we listened! In The New Answers Book 2 youll find 31 more great answers to big questions for the Christian life. Many view the original New Answers Book as an essential tool for modern discipleship. Both of these books answer such questions as: Can natural processes explain the origin of life? Can creationists be real scientists? Where did Cain get his wife? Is evolution a religion? and more!
The Church Fathers Bear Witness To Even Earlier New Testament Manuscripts
The earliest manuscripts we have of major portions of the New Testament are p 45, p 46, p66, and p 75, and they date from 175-250 A. D. The early church fathers bear witness to even earlier New Testament manuscripts by quoting from all but one of the New Testament books. They are also in the position to authenticate those books, written by the apostles or their close associates, from later books such as the gospel of Thomas that claimed to have been written by the apostles, but were not.
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