Friday, June 14, 2013

How did the Bible form?

This past Sunday we continued our NEW SERMON SERIES "YOU PICK" For the first time in my life I preached without using the Bible as we answered the question, "Can you prove Jesus without the Bible?" If you missed the message you can listen to it at or you can listen on iTunes at This Sunday we will continue our series with part 3 "Misquotes and Misconceptions of the Bible."

Another question people have when it comes to the validity of the Bible is, "How can it be trusted?" "Wasn't it compiled but a group of men?" "Why did some books make the Bible and others didn't?" "What was the deciding factors and how do we know we have what God intended?"

The  Bible has a closed Canon. The definition of Canon comes from the Hebrew word Qaneh which means reed or stock (example: yard stick). It came to be a measuring reed (which was a form of measurement at the time) to be the standard of Scripture. There were many discussions on creating a finalized cannon and most books of the New Testament were embraced by the 3rd century.

In 400AD Jerome translated the Jewish Scriptures that were written in Greek into Latin. He had all of the same Scriptures from the Jewish Bible but also included a few extra books but noted that they were not on the same level of Scripture but informative. Some of these extra books were embraced by some and rejected by others.

By the 5th Century most New Testament books were widely embraced and accepted by Church Leadership. However, the Protestant Bible did not include the extra books.

Here is the 4 criteria they used for the Protestant Bible.

  1. Inspiration & Authority— There had to be a sense of inspiration from God. Recognition of writings that were divinely written by the hand of God.
  2. Authorship--Attributed to and based upon the preaching/teaching of the first-generation apostles (or their close companions).
  3. Universal Acceptance & Use — Acknowledged by all major Christian communities in the ancient world (by the end of the 4th century) as well as accepted canon by Jewish authorities (for the Old Testament).
  4. Consistent Message — Were the writings consistent with the other writings that have already been embraced as Scripture?
As they went through this test, they came up with the Canon of Scripture. For example, some wonder why the Protestant Bible doesn't include the Apocrypha? When the books were ran through the above test, there was always 1 or 2 that it couldn't pass. For example the concept of Purgatory, a limbo or in between place, between heaven and hell. This theology cannot be found in other writings in the Bible. Therefore it failed the Consistent Message test #4. It also didn't have universal acceptance and use so it failed #3. Some of the authorship of the Apocrypha was highly debated and wasn't agreed upon, so it never fully passed #2 as well.

The ones that passed through the test created what we have today as the Bible. 27 New Testament Books and 39 books in the Old Testament.

Hope this helps bring clarity :) Also here are some great resources to follow up with and continue to study...

#1—Eternity in their hearts by Don Richardson (can find on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle)

#2—The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (can find on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle)

#3—The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (can find on Amazon: Hardcover)

#4—Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (can find on Amazon: paperback)

#5—Basic Christianity by John Stott (can find on Amazon: paperback)

#6—The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (can find on Amazon: Hardcover & Kindle)

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