Bibliotecha Divina

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Bibliotecha Divina Powered By Docstoc
					Bro. Virgil L Killebrew
Men’s Leadership Training Class
Minister Robert L Turner, Instructor
Assignment; 12. 27. 2009
Completed: 01. 03. 2010
                                        A Brief History of The Bible
                                                       Bibliotheca Divina
                                                      ‘The Divine Library’
                             The Bible was given to bear witness to one God, Creator and Sustainer of the
                             universe, through Christ, Redeemer of sinful man. It presents one continuous
                             story – that of human redemption. This story is a progressive unfolding of the
                             central truth of the Bible that God in His eternal counsels was to become
                             incarnate in Jesus Christ for the redemption of fallen man. The unfolding of
                             this central truth of redemption is set forth through history, prophecy, type,
                             and symbol. This revelation of human redemption through Christ orients man
                             in the larger framework of God's plans for him in the ages of time, as well as
                             the divine purpose for him in eternity.
                                                                         — The New Unger's Bible Handbook
          The word ‘Bible’ is commonly used to reference                       Tertullian, an early Latin father (c. 200), first
the thirty-nine books of the OT (Old Testament) and the               employed the term Novum Testamentum.Thereafter it
twenty-seven books of the NT (New Testament). These                   came into general use, and the concept of a Christian
sixty-six manuscripts constitute a divine library that is,            Bible was crystallized. The OT is written mostly in
nevertheless one Book.                                                Hebrew; the NT wholly in Greek.
           The English word ‘Bible’ came from the name                         NT Greek, so greatly illuminated by important
of the papyrus, or Byblos reed used extensively for                   papyri discoveries, particularly from Egypt, has been
making scrolls and books in antiquity. Byblos, a                      shown to be not a special sacred dialect, as was
Phoenician seaport city was so named because of the                   formerly thought, but the common Hellenistic speech of
trade in and manufacture of papyrus writing materials                 the first century a.d. In no phase of its composition
that was carried on in it. The OT name for Byblos is                  does the Bible show itself to be a book for the people
Gebal.1                                                               more than in its use of the everyday language (koine) of
          In the OT and in the Apocrypha the sacred                   the Greek-speaking world of the period.
writings are called “the books2,” “the holy books3,” “the
books of the law4,” “book of the covenant5,” and other                Note on the 39 Books of the Old Testament.
such descriptive terms.                                                        The content of the English OT is identical with
          In the NT, common designations for the OT                   that of the Hebrew. The only difference is in the
books are “the Scriptures6,” “the holy scriptures7,” “the             arrangement of the material and the number of books,
sacred writings8”; Luke utilizes the Jewish technical                 of which there are but 24 in the Hebrew OT.
terms “the Law9,” the Prophets10,” and “the Psalms11,”                         The English translators followed the order of
          The Lord Jesus customarily referred to the OT               the books in the Septuagint (Greek) translation made
books as ‘the Scriptures’13, as did his followers. The OT             about 280-150 b.c. The form as it has come down to us
is briefly termed ‘the Law and The Prophets’.                         from the Masoretic period [A] is as follows:
Interestingly, there is no name in the bible for the                  1. The Law (Torah), 5 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
complete body of sacred writings.                                     Numbers, Deuteronomy
           Since the close of the second century the terms            2. The Prophets (Nebiim), 8 books: Former Prophets, 4
'Old Testament' and 'New Testament' have been used                    books: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings Latter Prophets, 4
to differentiate the Hebrew from the Christian                        books: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve
Scriptures. The formal collection of Christian writings               3. The Writings, 11 books: Poetical Books, 3 books:
made after the middle of the second century was called                Psalms, Proverbs, Job The Scrolls (Megilloth), 5 books:
the New Testament. This collection was placed                         Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes,
alongside the Hebrew canonical books as of equal                      Esther Prophetic-Historical Books, 3 books: Daniel, Ezra-
inspiration and authority. The Hebrew Scriptures were                 Nehemiah, Chronicles.
then called the Old Testament.
Bro. Virgil L Killebrew
Men’s Leadership Training Class
Minister Robert L Turner, Instructor
Assignment; 12. 27. 2009
Completed: 01. 03. 2010
                                       A Brief History of The Bible
                                                    Bibliotheca Divina
                                                   ‘The Divine Library’

Note on the 27 Books of the New Testament.                      epistles were written to meet this need. The book of
         The gospels, although composed later than              Acts met the demand for a historical sketch of the
many of the epistles, in completed collections were             development of the church. The Apocalypse was
placed before Acts and the epistles for chronological           written to consummate the revelation of God's plan and
reasons. Cataloging the earthly life and ministry of our        purposes for time and eternity.
Lord, they naturally precede the book of Acts, which
describes the formation and history of the early church.                 Criteria for New Testament canonicity
         The 21 epistles consist of 13 by Paul, one                      The word kanon in the Greek originally signified
(Hebrews) anonymous and addressed to Hebrew                     a reed or measuring rod. It indicated 'that which
Christians, another (James) also addressed to the twelve        measures,' i.e., a standard or norm or rule; specifically,
tribes of the Diaspora, with two by Peter, three by John        'that which is measured' by that standard or norm.
and one by Jude.                                                Those books that were measured by the standard or
         James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude       test of divine inspiration and authority, and were
are called the Catholic Epistles. Revelation, the               adjudged ’God-breathed,' were included in 'the canon.'
capstone of biblical prophecy, completes the NT                          The first criterion was apostolicity. Was the
books.14                                                        writer a bona fide apostle? If not, did he have close
         It is important to note that even within the New       associations with an apostle, as was true of the writers
Testament, many of the events recorded15 occurred               of the gospel of Mark, the gospel of Luke, the book of
under the Old Covenant. Not until Christ's death,               Acts and the epistle to the Hebrews?
attended by the tearing of the curtain that separated                    The second criterion was content. Were the
the holy place from the most holy place16, did the legal        subject matter and the treatment of it of the high order
age end, and the New Testament (covenant) actually              and spiritual stamp demanded by the test of Holy
begin.                                                          Scripture? By this criterion, the spurious books were
         For almost two decades after our Lord's                eliminated.
ascension, the OT Scriptures, mainly in Greek,                           The third criterion was universality. Did the
constituted the only Bible in existence.                        church as a whole receive the book? Did it have a
         The first NT book was apparently James, written        universal appeal?
perhaps as early as a.d. 45. The Apocalypse (Book of                     The fourth criterion was divine inspiration. Did
Revelations) is commonly viewed as the latest, dating           the book give unmistakable evidence of being 'God-
from about a.d. 95.                                             breathed'?21 Did the Holy Spirit give this conviction to
         During this early period, the church used the OT       men of God that this was true? This was the final test.
as its Bible. Peter preached from the OT17, as did              Without providential guidance, the NT canon would
Stephen18, Philip19 and Paul. All the NT writers                never have been correctly delimited.
referenced the OT, and their inspired writings were                      The Didache22 (c. 120) was regarded as Holy
grounded in its inspired revelations.                           Scripture by some in Egypt, notably Clement of
         The gospel20 was first preached by word of             Alexandria, and Origen. It had a wide circulation.
mouth and interpreted in the light of OT history and            Support for this concept is based on (a) the primacy of
prophecy. Oral accounts of the life and work of Christ          the apostles, especially Peter, and (b) an unbroken line
were written down and finally gave way to the inspired          of succession from the apostles to today.
synoptic gospels sometime before a.d. 70.                                (Although it is true that the apostles constituted
         The need for doctrinal interpretation of Christ's      the foundation on which the church was built23, and it is
person and work soon became a necessity, accentuated            true also that Peter was prominent though not
by the need to define Christianity against such errors as       primary24, the apostolate disappeared by the end of the
legalism and antinomianism[B]. The Pauline and other            first century and there has not been any kind of
Bro. Virgil L Killebrew
Men’s Leadership Training Class
Minister Robert L Turner, Instructor
Assignment; 12. 27. 2009
Completed: 01. 03. 2010
                                       A Brief History of The Bible
                                                     Bibliotheca Divina
                                                    ‘The Divine Library’

unbroken line of succession of bishops (the apostles’            Word of God, and as such is different from any other
successors) to the present time.)                                book sacred or secular. It is an inspired revelation of
                                                                 God's redemptive plan and purposes in Christ on behalf
         Summary of the formation                                of man, and not a revelation of natural science or a
         of the New Testament canon                              book of secular history. Alleged scientific discrepancies
         The NT canon was formed spontaneously, not              are due to either faulty scientific theories or inadequate
by the action of church councils. The inspiration and            interpretations of Bible thought forms. Alleged
intrinsic authority of each individual book were the             historical blunders may be due to such factors as a
determining factors in their eventual recognition and            faulty textual tradition, or wrong interpretation of
canonization. By a.d. 200, the NT contained essentially          historical or archaeological evidence or of the biblical
the same books as we have today. These were                      text itself.
regarded with the same authority and finality by
Christians then as they are now.
         In the third century the antilegomena25 were               1
                                                                     ( Eze 27:9) 2(LXX, bibloi, Daniel 9:2) 3(1 Macc. 12:9)4 (1 Macc. 1:57)5 (Matt
debated. The book of Revelation was opposed in the               21:42)6 (Rom 12:8)7 (2Tim 3:15)8 (Lk 24:44)9 (Acts 13:15)10(Mt 21:42; Mk
East. Hebrews was the subject of controversy in the              14:49; Jn 5:39)13 The New Unger's Bible Handbook14 (e.g. the majority of the
                                                                 four gospels)15 (Mt 27:51)16 (Acts 2:14-36)17 (Acts 7:2-53)18 (Acts 8:32-35)19 (1
West. By the end of the third century, practically all the       Cor 15:3-4)20 (2 Tim 3:16)21 (The teaching of the twelve Apostles)22 (Eph.
extracanonical books had been dropped from                       2:20)23 (Gal. 2:11)24
authoritative lists.                                                 Origen called these questioned books the antilegomena ('spoken against'
                                                                 or 'disputed'). Among these, he placed Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James,
         During the fourth century, debate on questions          Jude, and the apocryphal epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the
of the canonical status of certain books practically             Didache, and the gospel of the Hebrews.
ceased in the West, due to Jerome and Augustine's                    Eusebius of Caesarea divided the antilegomena into (1) those merely
influence, and the clear distinctions made regarding the         disputed or questioned – James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John; (2) those actually
                                                                 spurious or uninspired – Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the
canon by Athanasius in Egypt. The Third Council of               Apocalypse of Peter, the epistle of Barnabas, and the Didache. — The New
Carthage26 sealed the decision, and from that time on            Unger's Bible Handbook25 (a.d. 397)26
no appreciable opposition to any of the NT books                 (c. 600-900 a.d.)[A] Antinomianism teaches that the Christian is not bound by
                                                                 the law.—Basic Theology[B]

The authority of the written word.                               Note: As one might imagine, there is a substantial body of
         This is now the sole and all-sufficient authority       work detailing the origin, growth, and development of the
for faith and practice. The written Word not only                bible and the need for rules of canonization. The struggles
contains and preserves the authority of apostolic                and conflicts pertaining to its authority and the books or
testimony, but it has been proved inspired by                    writings included therein are legion and legendary. The
fulfillment, (‘and we have the word of the prophets [the         present writer has neither the skill nor intent to put forth
OT Scriptures] made more certain,') attested or                  here a comprehensive study of bible history. The above
confirmed by fulfilled NT events.                                writings are selections chosen to summarize in brief, and to
                                                                 give an overview of, bible history.
         The Scriptures also are of divine origin, for they
                                                                                                                        - VLK
are divinely inspired. An expanded translation of the
Greek text would read: 'For not by the will of man was
any prophecy ever borne to us, but, on the contrary,
men being borne along by the agency of the Holy Spirit
spoke from God.
         Divine inspiration makes the Bible uniquely the
Word of God and not merely a book containing the