The Early Churchs Recognition Of Gods Word
So, as early as the second century AD, the church began developing the concept of the canon of Scripture to distinguish those books that were regarded as inspired by God and thus carried divine authority. The term comes from Greek where it commonly meant a rule or a standard and came to be applied to the standard books that made up the Bible. The eminent Princeton scholar Bruce Metzger noted that Marcions challenge was accelerating the process of fixing the Churchs canon, a process that had already begun in the first half of the second century.
As for the twenty-seven books that we know as the New Testament, these were formally recognized as the canon of Scripture in the second through the fourth centuries. The apostle Peter himself referred to the letters of Paul as Scripture . In one of the earliest church documents written after the final New Testament book was completed, the Gospel of Mark is cited as Scripture . The earliest church leaders regularly quote passages from the various New Testament documents giving them authority as divine revelation in a way that distinguishes them from any other writings.
Books Of Song In The Bible
The other three books in this section are collections of poems, several of which were probably accompanied by music. Some of these songs are written as prayers to be sung to God, some are written to be sung to other people. There are at least 185 songs in the Bibleand most of them are found in these books.
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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How We Built The Immerse Bible
The Institute for Bible Readings new edition of Immerse: The Reading Bible has been intentionally built to make big reading easier and better. If youre going to read through a big part of the Bible continuously, thats when the book order especially matters.
Overall, Immerse presents the Bible in six volumes . We begin by generally following the older Hebrew grouping, rather than the later Septuagint order followed in most Bibles today. Beginnings is simply the original Torah, in the usual order. Kingdoms is the next set of historical booksJoshua, Judges, and Ruth, with SamuelKings reunified .
Next up is the Prophets, but this time placed in a more chronological order , so they can be read as an ongoing commentary on Israels history. The Poets volume follows, and is broken down into two further categories: song books and wisdom books . With books like these, literary genre makes more sense as an organizing principle than chronology.
The last volume in the First Testament is called Chronicles, since it largely gives an account of Israels history from a later perspective than SamuelKings. The traditional books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah are recombined . The books reflecting a later historical situation, Esther and Daniel, close out the First Testament.
The end result is a fourfold New Testament presenting a fresh, multi-faceted perspective on the life and ministry of Jesus the Messiah, and its impact spreading throughout the world.
What Is The Bible
The Bible, the holy book of Christians, is divided into 2 sections, the Old and the New Testaments. The former, which was written between approximately 1200 BC and 200 BC, begins with the creation of the world, and though it contains prophecies of a Messiah who is yet to come, it ends before the birth of Jesus. The latter, dating from 40 AD to 160 AD, covers the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus, and ends with a glimpse of the end of the world and the final judgement. It is estimated that 6 billion copies of the Bible have been sold in the last two hundred years alone.
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Books Of Wisdom In The Bible
These three books help followers of God think about how the world works, how it should work, and how to deal with the difference between the two. The most celebrated act of wisdom in the Bible is Gods creation of heaven and earth: the God of Israel brings a complex, beautiful world out of cosmic chaos. These books invite the reader to participate in Gods wisdom by bringing justice, mercy, and insight to the world around us.
Latter Day Saint Canons
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Pearl of Great Price contains five sections: “Selections from the Book of Moses“, “The Book of Abraham“, “Joseph SmithMatthew“, “Joseph SmithHistory“, and “The Articles of Faith“. The Book of Moses and Joseph SmithMatthew are portions of the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, also known as the Inspired Version of the Bible.
The manuscripts of the unfinished Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible state that “the Song of Solomon is not inspired scripture”, but it is still printed in every version of the King James Bible published by the church.
The standard works are printed and distributed by the LDS Church in a single binding called a “quadruple combination” or as a set of two books, with the Bible in one binding, and the other three books in a second binding called a “triple combination”. Current editions of the standard works include a bible dictionary, photographs, maps and gazetteer, topical guide, index, footnotes, cross references, excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and other study aids.
Biblical Understanding & 19th
The stories which the Bible relates were considered to be historically accurate and entirely unique until the mid-19th century CE when archaeologists discovered the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Bible, in fact, was considered the oldest book in the world until much older literature was discovered which told the same stories, in an earlier form, than those found in the Bible. Scholars had long known that the Bible was a compilation which had been gathered from earlier works and authorized under the Bishops of Rome but no one seemed to be aware that those works were drawn from even earlier pieces. No one could read Egyptianhieroglyphics until Jean Jacques Champollion deciphered them and the literature of Sumer was completely unknown to the modern world.
In the mid-19th century CE museums and publications sent archaeologists from the west to the region of Mesopotamia to find physical evidence that would substantiate biblical narratives. The 19th century CE was an interesting period for religion in the west, especially Christianity, in that people became more vocal in their criticism of the faith and new ideas and philosophies provided for acceptable alternatives to religious belief. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection was published in 1859 CE and challenged the traditionally held belief in the creation of humanity by an all-powerful God.
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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What Are The Divisions Of The Sixty
The Bible is divided into two major divisions: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament consists of thirty-nine books and the New Testament is made up of twenty-seven books, a total of sixty-six books all together.
Both testaments, or covenants are divided by a grouping of the various books into different kinds of literature, time frames of history, poetry and wisdom literature, prophecy and so forth. So, lets begin with the Old Testament division or grouping of books . . .
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.
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~ New Testament Canon ~
Early Christianity and the New Testament emerged with the larger context of Judaism. Christians of the early church regarded the Old Testament story as incomplete and in need of a proper conclusion.
Because of Jesus, early Christians believed God was ushering in a new covenant. As they believed the apostles possessed the authority of Christ, the early believers received their writings as the very words of Christ himself. The apostles spoke with authority, but they always based their claims solely and directly upon their commission by the Lord.
The initial reason for collecting and preserving these inspired books was that they were prophetic. As well, because of the rise of heretical movements each with its own selected scriptures the church needed to know which books should be revered, read in church services, and applied to life. Early Christians needed assurance of which books served as their source of authority.
Says scholar J.K. Elliot, It is likely that the codex in which the Christian scriptures circulated helped to promote the establishment of the definitive, fixed canon of the 27 books we know as the New Testament. When each book circulated as a separate entity, obviously there was no limit to the number of texts that could be received. When certain, approved, texts were gathered into small collections this had the effect of ostracizing and isolating texts which were not deemed suitable for inclusion.
How Was The Christian Bible Put Together
- AD 90
The Council of Jamnia. A Jewish council at which the canon of the Hebrew Bible is believed to have been finalised.
- AD 170
The Muratorian Canon included all of the New Testament books except Hebrews, James, and 3 John.
- AD 363
The Council of Laodicea stated that only the Old Testament & 26 books of the New Testament were canonical.
- AD 393
The Council of Hippo & the Council of Carthage affirmed the same 27 books as authoritative.
So, given that there are many diverse Books, when, how and who brought it all together into 1 canon of scripture?
The bringing together of all the various circulating books of the Bible begins in about 90AD with The Council of Jamnia. This was a Jewish council at which the canon of the Hebrew Bible was formerly believed to have been finalised and which may also have been the occasion when the Jewish authorities decided to exclude believers in Jesus as the Messiah from synagogue attendance.
If canonicity was decided at this Council, the decisions were not communicated to the Christians, as they remained somewhat uncertain as to which books really belonged in the Old Testament.
As far as the New Testament is concerned the first canon was the Muratorian Canon, which was compiled in AD 170. The Muratorian Canon included all of the New Testament books except Hebrews, James, and 3 John.
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The Theme Of The Bible
In the book of Acts, there is a very instructive story. A man is reading his Bible, but finding it difficult to understand. He happened to be reading Isaiah chapter 53.
Philip approached him with the question, “Do you understand what you are reading”? He didn’t, so Philip started at that scripture and went through the scriptures and from them he preached Jesus.
The man believed what Philip told him, and asked to be baptized so as to become a Christian. This illustrates that the theme of the Bible is Jesus .
Jesus Christ is the key to Gods plan for human beings. The Bible from beginning to end reveals how Gods plan has unfolded in Jesus Christ his Son.
Jesus said, “Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. It is these scriptures that testify of me”.
I say again, since the theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ, the best place to begin reading the Bible is where the deeds and teachings of Jesus are recorded Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts.
Note: BISLAMA ARTICLE: Naoia, i gat wan tok long Bislama blong soemaot ol nem blong ol buk long Baebol. Mo tu, tok ya i telemaot smol samting lomgsaed blong wanwan buk ya.
~ Old Testament Canon ~
The Old Testament canon is the treaty document that God made with Israel. The covenant is the single most important theological structure in the Old Testament.
The Talmud, an ancient collection of rabbinical laws, law decisions, and comments on the law of Moses preserves the oral tradition of the Jewish people. One compilation was made in Jerusalem between 350 and 425 AD. An expanded compilation of the Talmud was made in Babylonia about 500 AD. Each compilation is known by the name of its place of compilation. The Talmud helped to establish the Jewish canon by rejecting later writings, including the Christian Gospels, which they judged to be heretical works. Evidence clearly supports the theory that the Hebrew canon was established well before the late first century AD, though more likely as early as the fourth century BC.
A major reason for this conclusion comes from the Jews themselves, who from the 4th century BC onward were convinced that the voice of God had ceased to speak directly. In other words, the prophetic voice had been stilled. No word from God means no new Word of God. We know that Jesus often referred to the Old Testament there is no evidence that He found fault with the canonicity of any Old Testament book.
Of interest: the Catholic Bible includes 14 books considered not canonical, which are collectively known as the Apocrypha. Apocrypha are works of unknown authorship or doubtful origin. These books were included in the and the Latin Vulgate .
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How Was The Bible Put Together And By Whom
The first five books of the Old Testament are attributed to Moses, who would have gathered together records by Adam, Noah, Shem and Abraham which had been passed on by word of mouth, or possibly in some more permanent form. He added the account of the history of Israel and the laws that God commanded him to write.
When the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon the preservation of Gods word was important for them. Ezra and Nehemiah are credited with collecting the existing writings together. Ezra read to the people from the Book of the Law of Moses , and a non-inspired writing, 2 Maccabees 2:13, says, Nehemiah collected the chronicles of the kings, the writings of prophets, the works of David, and royal letters about sacred writings, to found his library. These writings would have been in the form of scrolls.
In the time of Jesus, the Hebrew Old Testament consisted of 22 books, as it does today. These are exactly the same as our 39 books, but grouped differently, e.g. the 12 minor prophets are grouped together in one book. It was a Jewish tradition that nothing should be added to or taken from this Old Testament. This Old Testament was endorsed by Jesus as being the word of God and when there are references in the New Testament to the Scriptures this is what is meant.