Where Did the Bible Come From?

April 15, 2006

Introduction: [Adapted from God Wrote a Book, by James MacDonald]
1. We’re continuing our NEW ABF series this morning: God Wrote a Book – this is the 2nd week of an 8-week study on various aspects of God’s Word – examples:
 Evidence for the Bible You Shouldn’t Ignore – [study LAST week]]
 Where Did the Bible Come From? [study for TODAY]
 What Can God’s Word Accomplish? [NEXT week]
 How to Benefit from God’s Word!
 Jesus, the Message of the Bible
2.  Remember, our focus of this study is the Bible as our source of truth – the very foundation upon which our faith is based!
- we want to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to our everyday lives?
- we believe the Bible is more than just a bunch of ‘stories’ of things that happened a long time ago – we view it as TRUTH – God’s revelation of Himself to mankind!
> we want to LEARN from it the things God intended for us to know/learn when He wrote it. 
3.  We believe God’s Word is alive and powerful – it’s no ordinary book – a key verses to focus on:
 Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
[Review Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:7 – GET A BRAVE SOUL TO QUOTE IT! – then the class]
 Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Next week:  Psalm 19:8 –we’ll quote v. 7 AND 8 together!
[READ Psalm 19:7-11]
- Today – let’s focus our attention on: Where Did the Bible Come From?
4.  Maybe you’ve had some of these questions in your mind:
 How did we get the actual book that we hold in our hands?
 Did God get a bunch of people together and do a group project?
 Did the people who were writing the Bible know that they were writing Scriptures?
 Did they have any awareness that God was writing through them?
 Did they say to themselves, “People are going to be reading this for thousands for years”?
 Did some people try to write the Bible and fail?  Or did they get it right the first time?
 Were they on a direct feed from almighty God?  Or were they like, Hey, God, I’m not getting this part – can we go over it again?”
-  The answers to these questions are very important and by studying the history of what happened, we can really increase our confidence in God’s Word.
5.  An important verse to keep in mind for this study today is:
 Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
- that is a promise from God Himself – and He CANNOT lie (Titus 1:2)
- Let’s consider , first of all. . .


I.  Our Confidence in God’s Word


- an important verse for us to consider is: 2 Timothy 3;15-16
 2 Timothy 3:15 From childhood you have know the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
> “sacred writings” is composed of 2 Greek words, which refer to the O.T. Scriptures. 
 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
> “all Scripture” was the term used in the early church to describe God’s new writings.
- but refers to ALL of it – the ENTIRE Bible is inspired by God and is PROFITABLE
“The reason this is so important is that there are some parts of God’s Word that we don’t necessarily like or agree with . . . Some parts make us very uncomfortable because they convict us about our behavior and contradict views that we have thought to be correct.  For that reason, it essential that we understand and accept the Bible’s own assertion that all of it – the parts that bless me and the parts that stretch me – all of it is God’s Word” (MacDonald, p. 42).
A.  Inspiration means God-breathed.
Illustration: A sail-boat on the water – being directed by the wind!
>   when you begin to understand that all Scripture is God-breathed, you’ll never look at the Bible the same way
- God breathed the words of the Scripture into the human authors – in their life-situations, and backgrounds, writing to different audiences in different cultures
Charles Ryrie: “. . .Not many years ago, all you had to say to affirm your belief in the inspiration of the Bible was that you believed the Bible was the Word of God.  That was it.  But as people have sliced and diced and criticized and hacked the Bible to bits [or tried to – obviously they’ve failed], it became necessary to add that you believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God.  Later you had to include the verbally inspired Word of God.  Then to mean the same thing, you had to say the plenary, verbally inspired Word of God.  Today one has to say the plenary, verbally inspired, infallible Word of God.  So many people have tried to undermine God’s Word that you have to be really clear about what you mean.” – Ryrie has a great study Bible, as does John MacArthur!
1.  Plenary inspiration of Scripture = ALL of it, the whole thing from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21
2.  Verbal inspiration of Scripture – not just that God chose the concepts, but that He chose the specific words.
- yes, the authors were writing many years AFTER the life of Christ – and we might tend to think they FORGOT a lot of what Jesus said! (we forget stuff from yesterday)
- but Jesus promised the disciples a source of help in remembering what He had said:
 John 14:26, “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
- in fact, there were a lot of things that Jesus wanted to say, but didn’t, but He would ensure that they got the message later:
 John 16:12-13, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak.”
- in light of the importance of the very WORDS that God has inspired:
B.  A “Caution” to us regarding the Word
- because of the reasons we’ve just discussed, we need to be very sure that we do not allow the words of the Bible to be diluted or compromised.
- John warns us at the end of Revelation:
 Revelation 22:19. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city.
C.  Some very troubling trends related to people taking God’s Word seriously
* For 2,000 years people translated the N.T. with one primary agenda; accuracy.
- but now people seem to be more concerned with making it READABLE – smooth it over
“If the Spirit of god is opening the heart of a person, he or she will understand God’s Word.  If the Spirit of God is not guiding them into truth (John 16:13), no amount of ‘dumbing down’ the Bible and injuring its accuracy will help.” – MacDonald, p. 49!
Note:  Be care about making the study notes of study bible more important than the words of the Bible itself!  Be careful about buying special versions of the Bible for every demographic segment of society!
Point:  God the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to help us get over the limitations of language issues – we need to ensure we’re doing our best to render word-for-word accuracy in our translations.
D.  The human role in the writing of Scripture
“This is where a lot of people begin to struggle, saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with God’s book.  As long as it’s in God’s hands, I feel really confident about it.  It’s when some guy is actually writing it down – that’s what troubles me.  It’s like, what if they got distracted or forgot a part or something?  I forget stuff all the time.  How can I be sure that they didn’t mess up the Bible somehow?’”
–MacDonald, p. 50
 2 Peter 1:19-21  So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts  But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
- God didn’t simply DICTATE the Bible – “I say this, you write this down, ready??”
- God actually worked through the authors’ individual personalities, backgrounds, & life situations – THAT’S part of what make the Bible so special and creative!
- these guys were NOT secretaries taking notes – instead, God supernaturally flowed His word-for-word truth through the personality and mind of the authors.”
 Example: Life of Peter – think about the kind of guy he was –the 1st, and only one, to jump out of the boat to walk on water, the 1st to draw his sword in defense of Christ
> now look at his writings – he bounces from one subject to the other and he’s very DIRECT in what he says as God works through him to give us His Word
 Example:  Paul – more like a lawyer – very methodical, clear cut explanations, with incredible details (reminds me of Pastor Viars!)
>  the book of Romans which is an incredibly logical and detailed argument that has been used even in the Harvard Law School
It was God’s content delivered through human personality.
2 Peter 1:19-21
God chose the most righteous, godly people who have ever lived as the instruments to write His book - but not perfect (e.g. Peter)
-  Now we’re trying to answer the question:  where did the Bible come from?  And hopefully you get the God part and the human part. 
-  Next let’s consider the book part. 
- Maybe you think to yourself, A period of 1500 years, forty different authors, sixty-six book.  I can’t find a book that I read last year.  How did sixty-six little books written over 1.5 millennia get together in one big book?
To state it simply, the early church pulled it all together.


II. Identifying the Inspired Writings:


* The process of canonization describes how the individual books of Scripture were set apart and recognized.
Canon = measuring rod
[cf. MRC has a tape: The Cannon of the Scriptures, I can get you a copy of the teaching notes if you’d like them – I presented this to our church a few years ago]
Q: What were the measuring sticks for believing that a book was truly the Word of God?

A.  Test #1: Authority – Does it claim to be the Word of God
Q: Does this book bear the internal marks of inspiration?
Example: “And God said” // “Thus says the Lord,” // “The word of the Lord came to me saying . . . “
- more the 4,00 times the writers that they are saying/writing the very Word of God!
B.  Test #2: Authorship – Was the book written by a prophet, apostle of God, or close associate of an apostle
– this would be consisted with 2 Peter 1:19-21
C.  Test #3: Authenticity – Does it agree with or contradict the rest of the Scripture)
- the assumes all the rules of hermeneutics (rules of interpretation)
- Good question to ask is:  Is the writing validated by Christ and the NT writers
 Jesus endorsed the account of Jonah (Mt. 12:40)
 Jesus verified the authorship of Daniel (Mt. 24:15)
 Quoted lsh. 6, 29, 42, 50, 53 (Mt. 13, 14, 15)
 directly quoted from Deut. 8:3 “Man shall not live by bread
D.  Test #4: Alive – Referring to the power of the book, its life-changing influence
- the is where Hebrews 4:12 is so important:
 Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
E.  Test #5: Acceptance (another term: Universality) – Accepted and received by the church universally), especially, the early church
– they knew Peter, Paul, John, etc.
* This was the most important test of all.  Did the other churches receive it as God’s Word?
 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
- Folks, we can be VERY confident that we have in our hands the WORD OF GOD!
Conclusion: Memory Verse: Psalm 19:8
Next Week: Chp. 3: What Can God’s Word Accomplish? [Sufficiency: 2 Pet. 1:3; Jn. 17:17]


ABF Series: God Wrote a Book
#2:  Where Did the Bible Come From?

Introduction:
 Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:7
 Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

I.  Our Confidence in God’s Word

“The reason this is so important is that there are some parts of God’s Word that we don’t necessarily like or agree with . . . Some parts make us very uncomfortable because they convict us about our behavior and contradict views that we have thought to be correct.  For that reason, it essential that we understand and accept the Bible’s own assertion that all of it – the parts that bless me and the parts that stretch me – all of it is God’s Word” - MacDonald, p. 42
A.  Inspiration means ______-______________.
Charles Ryrie: “. . .Not many years ago, all you had to say to affirm your belief in the inspiration of the Bible was that you believed the Bible was the Word of God.  That was it.  But as people have sliced and diced and criticized and hacked the Bible to bits [or tried to – obviously they’ve failed], it became necessary to add that you believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God.  Later you had to include the verbally inspired Word of God.  Then to mean the same thing, you had to say the plenary, verbally inspired Word of God.  Today one has to say the plenary, verbally inspired, infallible Word of God.  So many people have tried to undermine God’s Word that you have to be really clear about what you mean.”
1.  _________________ inspiration of Scripture = ALL of it, the whole thing from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21

2.  ____________ inspiration of Scripture – not just that God chose the concepts, but that He chose the specific words.

B.  A “_______________” to us regarding the Word
 Revelation 22:19. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city.


C.  Some very troubling trends related to people taking God’s Word seriously
* For 2,000 years people translated the N.T. with one primary agenda; ______________.
“If the Spirit of god is opening the heart of a person, he or she will understand God’s Word.  If the Spirit of God is not guiding them into truth (John 16:13), no amount of ‘dumbing down’ the Bible and injuring its accuracy will help.” – MacDonald, p. 49!

D.  The ___________ ___________ in the writing of Scripture
“This is where a lot of people begin to struggle, saying, ‘I don’t have a problem with God’s book.  As long as it’s in God’s hands, I feel really confident about it.  It’s when some guy is actually writing it down – that’s what troubles me.  It’s like, what if they got distracted or forgot a part or something?  I forget stuff all the time.  How can I be sure that they didn’t mess up the Bible somehow?’
 2 Peter 1:19-21  So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts  But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
 Example: Life of Peter

 Example:  Paul

II. Identifying the Inspired Writings:
* The process of _________________ describes how the individual books of Scripture were set apart and recognized.
Canon = ___________ __________
A.  Test #1: ______________ – Does it claim to be the Word of God?
Example: “And God said” // “Thus says the Lord,” // “The word of the Lord came to me saying . . . “


B.  Test #2: ________________ – Was the book written by a prophet, apostle of God, or close associate of an apostle


C.  Test #3: ________________ – Does it agree with or contradict the rest of the Scripture


D.  Test #4: __________ – Referring to the power of the book, its life-changing influence
 Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


E.  Test #5: ______________ (another term: Universality) – Accepted and received by the church universally), especially, the early church
 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

Conclusion: Memory Verse: Psalm 19:8
Next Week: Chp. 3: What Can God’s Word Accomplish? [Sufficiency: 2 Pet. 1:3; Jn. 17:17]

ABF Series: God Wrote a Book
#2:  Where Did the Bible Come From?

Introduction:
 Hebrews 4:12
Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:7
 Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
 Matthew 24:35
I.  Our Confidence in God’s Word
 2 Timothy 3:15-16
Quote – MacDonald
A.  Inspiration means God-breathed.
Charles Ryrie – quote
1.  Plenary inspiration of Scripture = ALL of it, the whole thing from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21
2.  Verbal inspiration of Scripture – not just that God chose the concepts, but that He chose the specific words.
 John 14:26
 John 16:12-13
B.  A “Caution” to us regarding the Word
 Revelation 22:19
C.  Some very troubling trends related to people taking God’s Word seriously
* For 2,000 years people translated the N.T. with one primary agenda; accuracy.
Quote – MacDonald
D.  The human role in the writing of Scripture
Quote – MacDonald
 2 Peter 1:19-21
 Example: Life of Peter
 Example:  Paul
II. Identifying the Inspired Writings:
* The process of canonization describes how the individual books of Scripture were set apart and recognized.
Canon = measuring rod
A.  Test #1: Authority – Does it claim to be the Word of God?
Example: “And God said” /“Thus says the Lord,” // “The word of the Lord came to me saying . . . “
B.  Test #2: Authorship – Was the book written by a prophet, apostle of God, or close associate of an apostle
C.  Test #3: Authenticity – Does it agree with or contradict the rest of the Scripture)
D.  Test #4: Alive – Referring to the power of the book, its life-changing influence
 Hebrews 4:12
E.  Test #5: Acceptance (another term: Universality) – Accepted and received by the church universally), especially, the early church
 Thessalonians 2:13

Conclusion: Memory Verse: Psalm 19:8
Next Week: Chp. 3: What Can God’s Word Accomplish? [Sufficiency: 2 Pet. 1:3; Jn. 17:17]