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The Genuineness, Credibility, and Canonicity of the Books of the Bible Bobby Long 1737-805 Thursday, April 05, 2007

Introduction The Bible was written by over forty authors spanning over sixteen hundred years. The penmens vocations ranged from sheepherder, fisherman, and tax collector, to doctor, lawyer, and king. Yet, their inspiration was of one source; Holy Spirit. The story is as relevant today as it was when the first words were orally transmitted or written down. The Bible tells the story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the redemption of fallen mankind and the universe. It tells anyone who reads its pages of the sinful state of all man, and the means by which we can be justified in the eyes of our Holy Creator. It tells a love story written in blood on cross over two thousand years ago.

This paper will deal with the genuineness, credibility, and canonicity of the books of the Bible. The genuineness of the scripture will discuss the overall authenticity of the books. The credibility of the Bible will deal with the references made by Christ, accuracy of the scriptural backdrop proven by archeological evidence, and the character and honest of the writers. The canonicity will reflect on the affirmation of the books of the Bible.

1. The Genuineness of the Books of the Bible It is important that the facts portrayed in the Old and New Testaments are accurate from authorship, to historical events, to coinage, and even the customs described in its pages. Modern critics have tried to discredit the scripture by accounting the work to unknown authors as in the case of Deuteronomy and the other books of the Pentateuch.

In the case of the New Testament, bogus authors and non-apostolic material has been tested as canonical and found lacking doctrine and authorship, thus, not in the protestant Bible. Inspired men wrote inspired scripture. If the scripture we have includes uninspired material, then we are like a ship without a rudder. The entirety of scripture must be totally and unequivocally inspired or there can be no absolute truth.

1.1: The Genuineness of the books of the Old Testament. The Old Testament is broken down in five sections: 1) Pentateuch, 2) Historical Books, 3) Poetic Books, and 4) Prophetic Books. In the Hebrew Bible, they are condensed to the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. Jesus sometimes spoke of this body of writings as the Law and the Prophets. The Prophetic Books are broken down further into the major and minor prophet giving five in total. The terms major and minor when used to describe the Prophetic books are attributes of volume of writings, not significance. Below is a grid showing the breakdown of the books, the time period to which they are attributed, and the author. Section PENTATEUCH Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy HISTORICAL Joshua Judges Ruth First Samuel Second Samuel First Kings Second Kings First Chronicles Second Chronicles Erza Nehemiah Ester POETIC BOOKS Job Psalms Writer Moses Moses Moses Moses Moses Time of Writing ? 1445 B.C. 1445 1405 B.C. 1405 B.C. 1444 1405 B.C. 1405 B.C.

Joshua Samuel Samuel Samuel Ezra? Jeremiah? Jeremiah? Erza? Erza? Ezra Nehemiah Mordecai?

1404 1390 B.C. 1374 1129 B.C. 1150? B.C. 1043 1011 B.C. 1011 1004 B.C. 971 852 B.C. 852 587 B.C. 450 425 B.C. 450 425 B.C. 538 520 B.C. 445 425 B.C. 465 B.C.

Proverbs Ecclesiastes

Job? David, Son of Korah, Asaph, Heman, Ethan, Hezekiah, Solomon, [Moses] Solomon wrote 1-29 Agar wrote 30 Lemuel wrote 31 Solomon

?? Unknown 1000 B.C.?

950 700 B.C. 935 B.C.

Song of Solomon Section PROPHETS (Major) Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel

Solomon

965 B.C.

Writer Isaiah Jeremiah Jeremiah Ezekiel Daniel

Time of Writing 740 680 B.C. 627 585 B.C. 586 B.C. 593 - 560 B.C. 605 536 B.C.

PROPHETS (Minor) Hosea Hosea Joel Joel Amos Amos Obadiah Obadiah Jonah Jonah Micah Micah Nahum Nahum Habakkuk Habakkuk Zephaniah Zephaniah Haggai Haggai Zechariah Zechariah Malachi Malachi * adapted from www.carm.org1

710 B.C. 835 B.C. 755 B.C. 840 or 586 B.C. 760 B.C. 700 B.C. 663 612 B.C. 607 B.C. 625 B.C. 520 B.C. 520 518 B.C. 600 450 B.C.

The original manuscripts of the Old Testament were written on a form of leather or papyrus. Because of the veneration of the scripture, the original texts were copied with remarkable scrutiny and accuracy. Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran in 1947, the oldest copies dated back to around 900 A.D. The two main families of texts are the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint. The Jewish Masoretes flourished between 500 and 1000 A.D and developed strict measures to ensure the reproduction of the text. Proto-Masoretic

texts did exist prior to this and was available during the time the Septuagint was being translated from the Egyptian copies of the Hebrew Bible. However, the Proto-Masoretic texts were taken from the Babylonian copies.2

The Septuagint tradition says that seventy of the most renowned Jewish scholars of their time met in Alexandria to produce the Septuagint which was completed in 270 B.C. after fifteen years of work. Warner speaks to the purity of the manuscripts when he writes, 3

Any one identical error would hardly be repeated by any two or more copyists; also that the Author would not allow any essential truth necessary to our salvation to be lost through the frailty of its human custodians.3 The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew texts, and is important in many ways. First, it gives validity to the text we have today in comparison to other manuscripts. Second, it proves that Daniel was not written in a later time period as some scholars proclaim. This may seen insignificant, but some of the prophecies in Daniel are so vivid and exact, that modern critics have stated that there was no way that it could have been written according to tradition. However, the completion of the Septuagint translation is well documented in history and tradition as being finished late in the third century. The Book of Daniel was a part of this translation, securing the tradition and historical date thus validating the divine prophetic nature of the book.

The authorship of the books of the Old Testament has been debated time and time again for over two hundred years. Tradition, as well as internal references, points to Moses as the author of the Pentateuch with the death of Moses recorded by Joshua. Although some form of written language has been discovered in Sumeria that dates around 3100 B.C4., the primary source for the book of Genesis would have been oral transmission. This does not preclude Moses from having access to records or other written sources that date back to the time of Abraham.

If this is so, then Abraham could have met and talked with Noah personally. That is an amazing realization. Noah was only ten generations from Adam. He had gone through the flood and had experienced first hand, the way of life prior to the flood. Noahs account of history would have been handed down from his father Lamech not to mention his grandfather, Methuselah. This would have surely included the account of the fall of Adam, descriptions of Eden, Satan, the degradation of man, the strange account of the Nephilum, the flood, and other supernatural events.

When put in perspective, Abraham could have possibly been familiar with at least one of the five different known writing systems during his time in history. Moses could have had these works at his disposal along with the oral transmission record when he wrote Genesis. Some scholars once said that Moses couldn't have written the first five books of the Bible (as the Bible says) because writing was largely unknown in his day. Then, archaeology proved otherwise by the discovery of many other written codes of the period: the code of Hammurabi (ca. 1700 B.C.), the Lipit-Ishtar code (ca. 1860), and the Laws of Eshnunna (ca. 1950 B.C.)5 Internal evidence points to Moses as the writer of the Pentateuch. These can be found in several places in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, and other books of the Bible. And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. (Ex. 24:4 KJV) And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Ex. 34:28 KJV) And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel. (Deut. 31:9 KJV) As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up [any] iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. (Jos. 8:31 KJV) Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. (Dan. 9:11 KJV) Christ also talks of Moses as the author of the law in the gospels of Luke and John as the other writers of the gospels do: And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Matt. 8:4 KJV) For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: (Mar 7:10 KJV)

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. (Acts 3:22 KJV) There is also the external, geographical evidence for Moses as the writer of the Law. The geography as depicted in the Exodus account as the nation of Israel wandered in the wilderness, and other characteristics all point to someone who had first hand knowledge of the area and the events of that day. This region was extremely well known to Moses.

1.2 The Genuineness of the books of the Prophets The era of biblical prophets spanned from the time of Joel (835 B.C.) to the time of Malachi (580 B.C.). During this time, Israel experienced God in a unique way through the mouths of sixteen canonical prophets. Although there were thousands of prophets at this time, the ones appearing in the Bible are those that God has seen fit to preserve for our use and learning. Some of these prophets served as advisors to Kings as Daniel did, and others were of more humble means such as Amos who was a herdsman and a dresser of Sycamore trees. As we take a closer look at each of the prophetic books and the authenticity of each, it will be apparent that the hand of God was with each of these men as the prophecies of each NEVER failed.

Starting with the Major Prophets; Isaiah is a literary masterpiece. He possessed an extraordinary power of adapting his language both to occasions and audiences;6 His prophetic ministry lasted for approximately fifty years. The authorship of Isaiah has come under scrutiny by the hypothesis that there are two Isaiahs. This is called the DeuteroIsaiah belief. This belief hold that one Isaiah wrote chapters 1 39 and some other

prophet named Isaiah wrote chapters 40 66. However this is easily over come from the testimony of Jesus himself. 37: But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38) That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41)

These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.(Jn 12: 37-41 KJV) In verse 38, we see Jesus quoting from Isaiah 53:1, which would have been in the second Isaiah according to higher criticism. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (Isa. 53:1 KJV) However, in verse 40, Jesus quotes from a passage found in Isaiah 6:10. This would have been in the first Isaiah. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (Isa. 6:10 KJV) The proof is in verse 39. Jesus attributes both passages to the same Isaiah. Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,(Jn. 12:39 KJV) Its as if Jesus knew that this controversy would come up and He was settling the issue right there. The books of Jeremiah and Lamentations are attributed to Jeremiah after being called to prophetic office in 628 B.C. During the thirty years of prophetic ministry, Jeremiah saw the overtaking of the city by Nebuchadnezzar (589 B.C.), then later by the Chaldeans (588 B.C), who showed favor to him.7 These historical facts make it easy to validate the book of Jeremiah with other historical events.

The book of Lamentations is a prophet mourning over the state of Jerusalem. The book has historically and traditionally been ascribed to Jeremiah due to several factors such as the nature and linguistics used in the Book. Eastons Bible Dictionary says, there is no room for hesitancy in following the LXX and the Targum in ascribing it to Jeremiah.8

Written between 593 and 560 B.C., Ezekiel accounts the book to himself as do other prophetic books. Tradition also ascribes this book to Ezekiel. His writing is dark and somewhat ambiguous. His book if full of symbols and allegories and makes mention of Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah. 9

Daniel was revered by Ezekiel as a man of righteousness and wisdom. The book of Daniel is one of history and prophecy. Due to these factors, the genuineness of Daniel is validated

with certainty. The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived.10 In the third century, Jerome accounts Daniel as the author in his commentary on Daniel, After all, both Origen, Eusebius and Apollinarius, and other outstanding churchmen and teachers of Greece acknowledge that, as I have said, these visions are not found amongst the Hebrews, and that therefore they are not obliged to answer to Porphyry for these portions which exhibit no authority as Holy Scripture.11 The section as listed in the table earlier as the Minor Prophets will be discussed as a whole. Tradition, as well as the historicity of the books, does not point to any other writer other than the one that penned the book. There was hardly ever any questioning of the authorship of minor prophet books. The question was not necessarily the genuineness of authorship, but the actual point in time the book was written. Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the date as in the case of Obadiah. His family or his home is not known. Ryrie makes this point clear as he wrestles with the point in time of Obadiah. Notice however, that the authorship of the book is never in question. The question of date relates to which battle against Jerusalem the Edomites were associated with (vv. 11-14). There were four significant invasions of Jerusalem in Old Testament times: (1) by Shishak, king of Egypt, during Rehoboams reign, in 926 B.C. (1 Kings 14:25-26); (2) by the Philistines and Arabians during the reign of Jehoram, from 848-841 (2 Chron. 21:16-17); (3) by King Jehoash of Israel during the reign of Amaziah, in 790 (2 Kings 14:13-14); (4) by Babylon during the years 605586 (2 Kings 24-25). Obadiah prophesied against Edom either in connection with invasion #2 or #4. If the first, this book is the earliest of the writing prophets (see 2 Kings 8:20 and 2 Chron. 21:16-17; then see Joel 3:3-6 compared with Obad. 11-12 and the use of Obad. 1-9 in the extended passage in Jer. 49:7-22 as support for the earlier date).12 These books, as well as other books of the Bible, are dated by comparison to historical events, geography, writing style, and individuals mentioned in the writings. 1.3 The Genuineness of the books of the Kethubhim (Poetic Books) The next section is the Poetic Books namely Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Where English poetry relies mainly on rhyme and meter, Hebrew poetry relies on imagery, figures of speech, metaphors, similes, and parallelism. Baxter identifies the relationship the poetic books have to one another in that;

1. The Book of JobBlessing through Suffering. 2. The PsalmsPraise through Prayer. 3. The ProverbsPrudence through Precept. 4. EcclesiastesVerity through Vanity. 5. Song of SolomonBliss through Union13 These books give a picture of Israels spiritual sense. Unlike the Prophetical books which are contained to a time period of less than 400 years, the poetical books span from the time of the Patriarch with the Book of Job (2000 B.C.) to the end of an old kings life in approximately (935 B.C.) where the end of all earthly aspirations is vanity and the realization that true life and peace can only be found in obedience to God.

Psalms, for example, are not all written by David. The word psalms means holy writing. These writings can be dated back to the time of Ezra, and were written over a thousand year period. Eventually, this collection became known as the hymn book of Israel. Again, as in the writings of the prophets, there is no reason to believe that the name attached to the psalm is not the author of that particular psalm.

The Book of Job is of unsettled authorship. Although its settled as scripture by the reference of the apostles in Hebrews 12:5 and I Corinthians 3:19, the actual penman is uncertain. Some relate it to Job himself, Elihu, Elijah, or to Moses by Jewish tradition. It is believed to be set in the era of the Patriarchs sometime between Noah and Moses.

Before we leave the genuineness of the Old Testament, an overview of the books as a whole is in order. The authorship has been discussed, as well as the accuracy portrayed in the writings to the events in history. The one factor that has yet to be mentioned, but is of greatest importance is the God. Arthur W. Pink writes, Had the historical parts of the Old Testament been a forgery, or the production of uninspired men, their contents would have been very different to what they are.14 In the same section, he later writes, One of the outstanding truths of the Old Testament is that the Unity of God, that God is One, that beside Him there is none else, that all other gods are false gods and that to pay them homage is to be guilty of the sin of idolatry.15

1.4 The Genuineness of the books of the NT No other text is more authenticated and tested as the books of the New Testament. To cast shadow on them as authentic would be to discredit virtually all books of antiquity. John Warwick Montgomery is quoted as saying, to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.16 A quick look at the availability of manuscript evidence provides a firm basis for the accuracy of the text we have before us.
Author Lucretius Pliny Plato Demosthenes Herodotus Suetonius Thucydides Euripides Aristophanes Caesar Livy Tacitus Aristotle Sophocles Homer (Iliad) New Testament
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Date Written died 55 or 53 B.C. 61-113 A.D. 427-347 B.C. 4th Cent. B.C. 480-425 B.C. 75-160 A.D. 460-400 B.C. 480-406 B.C. 450-385 B.C. 100-44 B.C. 59 BC-AD 17 circa 100 A.D. 384-322 B.C. 496-406 B.C. 900 B.C. 1st Cent. A.D. (50100 A.D.

Earliest Copy

Approximate Time Span between original & copy 1100 yrs 750 yrs 1200 yrs 800 yrs 1300 yrs 800 yrs 1300 yrs 1300 yrs 1200 1000 ??? 1000 yrs 1400 1400 yrs 500 yrs less than 100 years

Number of Copies 2 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 10 10 20 20 49 193 643 5600

Accuracy of Copies ------------------------------------------95% 99.5%

850 A.D. 900 A.D. 1100 A.D. 900 A.D. 950 A.D. 900 A.D. 1100 A.D. 900 A.D. 900 A.D. ---1100 A.D. 1100 A.D. 1000 A.D. 400 B.C. 2nd Cent. A.D. (c. 130 A.D. f.)

The table above indicates several key points that support the genuineness of the text. Those that would argue against the authenticity of the New Testament would have no other option than to discredit the purity of several other well established writings of antiquity. Reluctance to discredit secular antiquities has put opponents of a corrupt New Testament text against a wall. Discrediting the New Testament text would only lead to a discrediting of

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most ancient documents which very few secular critics are willing to do. However, an acceptance of the secular writings with their limited copies and larger spans between the original and the first copy leaves no room for the New Testament to be left out of the category of authentic, genuine, and pure of text.

With over 5600 Greek New Testament manuscripts, over 19,000 copies in various languages, and an internal consistency rate of 99.5%, we can rest assured that the text is genuine and pure to a staggering degree. The authorship of the New Testament writers is well established and there is little reason to believe otherwise. During the time of the writings, there were many who would have eagerly desired to point out the errors in the writings or corruption in the scripture. However, no such writing exists. The overwhelming evidence that what we have before us has been accurately transmitted through time is impressive. F.F. Bruce writes: "The evidence for (the accurate transmission of) our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.18 One of the more significant facts that differentiate the books of the New Testament from those of the Old Testament is the time period that spans the writings. The compilation of the Old Testament spanned over a thousand years, while, in contrast, the writings of the New Testament were achieved in less that 100 years. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that the resurrected Christ was seen by over 500 people, most of whom were still living at the time of the letter which was about 54 A.D. Therefore, if there were any of the writings falsified any of the claims of the writers, the church would have dismissed it as heresy and the secular opponents would have aggressively attacked the claims. Yet, there is no credible document in possession that denies the claims. "The interval between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the (New Testament has) come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established."19

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2. The Credibility of the books of the Bible OT It is important that the basis of eternal salvation and absolute truth is, in deed, absolute in every aspect, in every detail, and in every way. The credibility of the books of the Old Testament can be validated in many ways. Two of which are proof derived from Christs own recognition of the Old Testament as the true word of God, and the proof that we have in the consistency of record from history and archeology. It is also significant to note that the presupposition that all scripture is God breathed would lend credibility to the fact that the Old Testament is quoted by New Testament writers approximately 855 times. In the Book of Revelation, John quotes Old Testament passages 249 times.20 Some authors have noted over 800 allusions to the Old Testament in the book of Revelation alone. 2.1 The proof from Christs recognition of the Old Testament I have heard it said that if one has a problem with the authority of what Jesus Himself validates, they have a bigger problem than what is being disputed. In other words; the person who brings into questions the testimony of Jesus, brings into question the divinity of Jesus. Jesus venerated the Old Testament as expected since it was about Him. The weight Jesus carries as a teacher but also as the incarnate God is significant as Guthrie writes, "The importance attached to what a teacher says is inextricably bound up with what kind of person he is. In the case of Jesus this is supremely important...Jesus saw himself, and other came to believe him to be, both man and God. In this case he is unique among men and his teaching must carry with it a unique authority. What Jesus says about the Old Testament must be regarded on the same footing as what he says about his mission. It will be clear from the following evidence that he had the highest possible regard for the Old Testament text and recognized in its words the voice of God. We first note that Jesus did not question the historicity of the many Old Testament persons or events to which he refers. Such people as Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Lot, from the patriarchal age are treated not as myths, but as actual persons. The same applies to Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha and Jonah. The sayings in which these are mentioned would lose some of their authority if the historicity of the persons concerned were in doubt." 21 A close look at the texts of the New Testament will see Jesus quoting from the Old Testament and declaring it as God breathed. He quotes from twenty-four Old Testament

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books. Those that are not quoted are Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. This does not negate them nor cast any shadow of doubt because of Jesus refers several times to the value of the Law, Prophets, and Psalms. These non-quoted books were part of a collection of books called the Psalms or the Writings. There were two volumes of the Writings. In addition to Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, were Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, Lamentations, and Daniel. The second volume consisted of the combined books of 1st and 2nd Chronicles. Luke 24:44 has Jesus saying, These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. In this one verse, Jesus attributes all three collections as authoritative concerning His coming and His divinity.

Jesus authenticates the Genesis account of the flood in the days of Noah in Matthew 24:37, 38 as an actual historical event as well as Jonah and the great fish in Matthew 12:39, 40. Moses is attributed by Jesus as the author of the Pentateuch in Matthew 19: 8, 9; John 7:19, and Mark 12:29-31. Daniel is validated as a prophet by Jesus in Matthew 24:15. In John 12, Jesus also put to rest the false teaching of the two Isaiah theory commonly known as deuteron-Isaiah by attributing both sides of the text to the same Isaiah. In verse 38, Jesus begins with a quote from Isaiah 53 which is attributed to the second Isaiah. In verse 40, during the same thought, Jesus quotes from Isaiah 6:10 which some attribute to the first Isaiah. In between verse 38 and 40 is verse 39 in which Jesus puts an end to the debate by

attributing both quotes to the same Isaiah. Jesus says, Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, (John 12:39. KJV)
Below is a listing of scripture references from the above passage in order to aid in the reading of the text.

[37] But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (Mat 24:37-38 KJV) [39] But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: [40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mat 12:39-40 KJV) [8] He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put

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away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. [9] And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Mat 19:8-9 KJV) [19] Did not Moses give you the law, and [yet] none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? (Jhn 7:19 KJV) [29] And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: [30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment. [31] And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mar 12:29-31 KJV) [15] When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Mat 24:15 KJV)

Jesus speaks of the historical event of Sodom and Gomorrah in Luke 17:29, 32, the call of Moses in Mark 12:26 and the strange substance called manna that fed the nation of Israel while in the wilderness in John 6: 31, 32. Jesus confirms the historical event of the murder of Able by his brother Cain in Luke 11:51. He was confounded that the religious leaders didnt know the scriptures any better than they did. In Matthew 22:31 He says, Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God? attributing the entirety of Old Testament scripture as literal speech from God. This is also seen in John 10:35 when He says, The scripture cannot be broken. To Jesus the scriptures were not only commandments but were the actual word of God as seen in Matthew 15:6.
Below is a listing of scripture references from the above passage in order to aid in the reading of the text.

[29] But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. [32] Remember Lot's wife. (Luk 17:29, 32 KJV) [26] And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I [am] the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? (Mar 12:26 KJV) [31] Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. [32] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. [51] From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. (Luk 11:51 KJV)

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[6] And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (Mat 15:6 KJV) In my view, some of the most confirming words Jesus ever said concerning the validity of the Old Testament is in Matthew 5:18, Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished.

2.2 The proof derived from history and archeology Though no more proof is actually needed other than that of our Lord Jesus, still other proofs remain in the form of secular history and archeological finds. There has never been one piece of historical data or archeological finding that has disproved any event, coinage, rivers, kingdom, or ruler as portrayed in the Bible. When there seems to be a shadow of inconsistency between archeology and the Bible, the shadow always seems to fall on the findings, not the Word. What once was rejected as myth or fairy-tale has been confirmed and affirmed by archaeological findings time and time again. Dr. Merrill Unger says, Old Testament archaeology has rediscovered whole nations, resurrected important peoples, and in a most astonishing manner filled in historical gaps, adding immeasurably to the knowledge of biblical backgrounds.22 Critics once maintained that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch due to the belief that forms of written language did not exist during 1700 B.C. However, approximately 20,000 tablets from the Middle Eastern kingdom of Elba dating back 1000 years before Moses, the laws of Hammurabi written on Black Stele dating back to 2000 B.C., and a form of Hebrew alphabet inscribed on stone found in July 2005 at Te Zayit by Ron E. Tappy of Pittsburg Theological Seminary dates back to 1000 B.C. All these findings confidently supports that Moses had forms of writing at his disposal.23

The patriarchal period has been established as well as the existence of Abraham, and the land of Heron has been confirmed. There is a reference to the fields of Abraham when Shishak of Egypt commissioned a carving of his conquests. This is said to be the first reference by a non-biblical source putting Abraham in the land of Palestine. University of Chicago

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archaeologists uncovered Haran in Mesopotamia where the Bible puts Abraham after leaving Ur. Tablet # 1860 found in Elba lists all five cities of the plains once thought to be fabrication. These were Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. Below is a non-inclusive listing of other cities and places that has been confirmed by archaeology: Ashdod Ashkelon Bethany Bethesda Ceasarea Ephesus Nineveh Laodicea Shiloh Ur
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1 Sam. 5:1 Joshua 13:3 Gen. 35: 1-7 John 5:2 Acts 9:30 Acts 19 Jonah 1:2 Rev. 1: 4, 11 Judges 21:19 Gen. 11:31

Found by M. Dothan & D.N. Feedman Excavated by J. Garstang Excavated by Albright & Kelso Excavated by c. Schick Excavated by Israels Dept. of Antiquity Excavated by J.T. Wood & D.C. Hogarth Excavated by H.A. Layard Still visible today Excavated by A. Smith Excavated by J.E. Taylor & H.R. Hall

Among other findings is proof of the existence of Pontius Pilate, the Hittite civilization, the Book of Numbers, and others such as Israelite kings of Omri, Ahab, and Jehu. King Nebuchadnezzar was established as a historical figure in 1899 when the Kings temple at Marduk and the Ishtar gates were excavated by German Robert Koldewey. Josh McDowell said it well in his book, More Than a Carpenter when he says, "After personally trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scriptures, I have come to the conclusion that they are historically trustworthy."25 3. The Credibility of the Books of the Bible NT In this section we will explore the credibility of the New Testament by surveying the competency of the writers, the harmony of their writings, and the agreement with history and experience. In exploring the credibility of the New Testament, a logical question would be why someone would not accept the volumes of writings (both secular and biblical), findings, and proofs as not credible. The answer is Jesus. The critics attack the validity and authority of Jesus by attacking His Word. The Bible has declared itself to be infallible, indestructible, and the uncontested, one and only, Word of God. With this statement, the contenders come running with attempt after attempt to be the one that takes the Bible down. Several have tried, all have failed.

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As we go deeper in this subject, the question may arise as to what the New Testament writers would have to gain from such a fabricated story. Was great wealth, power, or glory to be gained? Since we have established the accuracy of the New Testament text, we can now explore the motives of the writers. Many skeptics propose that the apostles contrived the stories, fabricated events, and literally made up the gospels. If this is true, then why do we see not only the miracles but also the frailty and failings of the writers; Peters rebuked at the transfiguration and outright denial of Jesus after the arrest, the scattering of the disciples after Jesus was arrested, the apparent quarrelling over who was going to be first in the new kingdom by the apostles. Given that the testimony of a woman was not as credible in the 1st century as a mans, why would the fabrication include the account of Mary being the first to testify of the risen Lord, or the rejection of the central Savior Jesus in his hometown? The only plausible answer is that the accounts we find in the Bible are historically accurate and written by contemporary eye witnesses.

As history has forever established, these writers wrote as they were supervised by the Holy Spirit. The powerful events witnessed by these men gave undeniable hope that Jesus was and is the Son of God. This life was just a shadow of what the real and more tangible life was theirs in Jesus. This hope led all the apostles but John to horrible deaths. Although John was dipped in boiling oil he did survive and died a natural death as an old man. 3.1 The Competency of the New Testament Writers The New Testament books can be broken down into three categories or sections: A) Historical Books- These are the 4 Gospels and Acts, sometimes referred to as Luke (part II) B) Pauline Epistles- These refer to 14 books namely, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1& 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Some break down these further calling 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus as being Pastoral Epistles. I will include the book of Hebrews with this section.

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C)

Non-Pauline Epistles- These are James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.

The Historical books or the synoptic gospels were written by Matthew, Luke, who also wrote Acts, and John. Historically, Mark was written by John Mark. However, there is good evidence that suggests that Mark was penned by John Mark but under the direction of the apostle Peter. This comes from the writing of the historian Eusebius who writes, "The Elder [apostle John] used to say this also: 'Mark, having been the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately all that he [Peter] mentioned, whether sayings or doings of Christ, not, however, in order.26 Matthew shows Jesus as the Lion of Judah, Mark as the suffering servant, Luke as the Son of Man, and John portrays Jesus as the Son of God. Although these titles were not added until the second century, early church fathers and early historians didnt see the authorship as any other way. Luke traveled with Paul and was a historian of the highest caliber. Although Luke himself was never an eye witness to the events concerning Christ, he traveled with Paul who was called by Christ on the road to Damascus in a way that truly was unique.

The competency of some to write more eloquently that others rests with background and education, the inspiration of the writes rests solely on the direction of the Holy Spirit. A clear evidence of the care and attention of the writers is found in the statement that, For the New Testament, Dr. G.R. Habermas points out that within 110 years of Christ's crucifixion, approximately eighteen non-Christian sources mention more than "one hundred facts, beliefs, and teachings from the life of Christ and early Christendom. These items, I might add, mention almost every major detail of Jesus' life, including miracles, the Resurrection, and His claims to deity." Sir William Ramsey, one of the greatest archeologists to ever live, demonstrated that Luke made no mistakes in references to 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 islands.27 As stated earlier, the New Testament cannon was logistically in place in about 100 years, yet there is no credible evidence from any source that disputes the factuality, accuracy, or credibility of any of the New Testament writings. Paul was the known writer of thirteen books. In addition to these, some have strong reason to believe that the book of Hebrews was written by Paul. Although Hebrews is an unsigned book whose authorship is disputed, it is my conviction that the writing was Pauline in origin.

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Scholars agree that whoever wrote Hebrews was a learned Christian and the fact that it was viewed as scripture by the early church and the Holy Spirit led those to canonize it, confirms its place as inspired. I feel there was ample reason for Paul to purposefully leave his name off the book. As to the concern of credibility, Paul was trained in the finest schools, spoke several languages, and had knowledge of secular writings as seen in the discourse at Mars Hill when he alludes to other secular writers of the time, and He knew his writings as Scripture. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 1:12) Nine of Pauls letters were addressed to seven different churches and four letters to individuals known as the Pastoral letters. Peter acknowledges Pauls writing as God breathes as we read, And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15, 16) Paul wrote his letters to be distributed and read among the churches. It is also noteworthy to say that among the New Testament writings, not one letter of Pauls signed letters was ever disputed as being revelation and inspired by any canonical body. The last section contains the book of James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, Jude, and The Revelation or the Apocalypse. These were the ones most disputed. Although these books may have been sporadically and regionally disputed, by 100 A.D. the New Testament, as we see it today, was being circulated and read in the early church. James and Jude were the brothers of Jesus and wrote under that authority. James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. Peter was an apostle, and John was one whom Jesus loved who later wrote the Revelation.

The appeal to truth, integrity, and honest in their writings in the face of Jewish and Roman persecution testifies to the fact that these writers were not deceivers, but delivered the

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inspired word of God. These writings endangered their livelihood, social status, and their lives and flew in the face of everything they had been brought up to believe concerning the Messiah and the ways of right living before God.

3.2 The Harmony of the New Testament Writers Because I am a musician, I may see harmony in a different sense of the word. Harmony, in musical terms, is different notes in the same scale, when put together, yields something that can be seen as greater than the individual parts. The individual notes are pure and undefiled, but when put with complementary notes, they become more expressive than the singular. In the case of the Gospels and the entire New Testament, I see them as individual notes but part of a larger scale; pure and undefiled. When fitted together with the others, they give a greater, broader, and more majestic picture of the focus of the piece which is Jesus, the Messiah, the servant, the man; God. Harmony is non-contradicting or dissonant. The wrong note in placed in the scale sticks out like a sore thumb. Thus would be the case with the gospels and, for that matter, then entire Bible.

Jesus as the way, the Truth, and the Life is central to all the teaching. In Jesus, all the unfulfilled promises of the Old Testament were kept. The New Testament has a meaning that is best described as a last will and testament. In keeping with the analogy, the will only comes into play upon the death of the person making the will. In our case, the death Jesus on the cross ushered in the new covenant as written in the pages of the New Testament.

When viewing the harmony of the writers, we must understand the background of the writers, the audience of the writing, the purpose that the writing achieved. The authors of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark (possibly under Peters direction), Luke (with historical input from Paul and other eyewitnesses), John, Jude, James, Paul, Peter, and the writer of Hebrews if Paul was not the author. All of these men were Jewish in heritage except for Luke.

Even though these books were written within the span of less than sixty years, many from separate places, the underlying themes do no conflict. Instead, they give a purposeful concise message that portrays Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus in His humanity, Jesus as the

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servant, and Jesus as God. With the leading of the Holy Spirit, the authors expound on Christian living, focus, doctrine, proper assembly, and our future in the Kingdom of God; all without contradicting, yet focusing of different aspects of the same message.

With the help of an Ungers Bible Dictionary, the following table has been constructed to visually aid in the staggering power of Holy Spirit in the direction and inspiration of the New Testament writers. The books are in a chronological order instead of Biblical sequence. Matthew is listed first, with the understanding that there would be no argument if Mark were listed as first.

Date of Writing (A.D.) 45-55

Book / Author

Location Where Written Antioch

Audience

Themes

Matthew/ Matthew

Jews in Syria

Jesus the Messiah as King; Lion of Judah; fulfilled prophecy in Jesus; Genealogy through Joseph as rightful heir of King David. Written just after 1st missionary journey. The Gospel of Christ as liberating; Salvation is by grace through faith and never by the law or works. Give a proper place of grace in a Christians life. Written during 2nd missionary journey. Teaching on look at be ready, the day of the Lord, comfort on the loss of loved ones. Written during 2nd missionary journey; More on the day of the Lord and the second coming of Jesus. Written during 3rd missionary journey; discusses abuses, disruptions, marriage, sacraments, idols, and spiritual gifts. Paul defends his Apostleship; shows his love and compassion for the converts. Written during 3rd missionary journey; Discusses Gods plan for Jews and Gentiles, justification, sanctification, and glorification

48

Galatians / Paul

Antioch

Christians in Pisidian Antioch, lconium, Lystra, Derbe, and southern Galatia Christians in Thessalonica

53

1 Thess. / Paul

Corinth

53

2 Thess. / Paul

Corinth

Christians in Thessalonica

54

1 Cor. / Paul

Ephesus

Christians in Corinth

55

II Cor. / Paul Romans / Paul

Phillipi

Christians in Corinth

56

Corinth

Christians in Rome

21

50-60s

Mark / John Mark

Rome

Romans & New Converts

Jesus the Messiah as a Servant of YHWH. Symbol of the Ox that carried our sin. Over 1/3 of the gospel accounts the last week of Jesus life. Joy in Christ; exhorts to pursue Godliness and shun legalism. Christ as Lord over the church; the believers position in Christ; and spiritual warfare. Jesus the Messiah as the Son of Man; Genealogy is traced from Adam through Mary. Is the largest of the Gospels Writing against heresies that would reduce Christianity to legalistic rituals and view Christ as a lesser god.; Paul focuses on the deity of Jesus, and His role in creation and redemption. Appeal for the life and forgiveness of a slave turned brother in Christ and helper of Paul. Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Church; Accounts Pauls missionary journeys; Historical account of the churches beginning. Urges self examination of the fruit of our works as evidence of the regenerated spirit of God working in and through the lives of the believer. Gave Timothy credentials; exhort against false teachers; instruction on leadership, role of women, and prayer; requirement for leadership in the church. Encourages Christians in suffering, practicality and duty in their calling, and warning about temptations.

61

Philippians / Paul Ephesians / Paul Luke/ Luke

Roman Prison Rome Prison Caesarea or Rome

Christians in Philippi

64

Ephesians Christians

60s

To a Roman official or certain Greeks

60

Colossians / Paul

Roman Prison

Colosse Christians

61

Philemon / Paul Acts / Luke

Roman Arrest Rome

Philemon and the church at Colosse To a Roman official or certain Greeks

61

62

James / James the brother of Jesus 1 Tim. / Paul

Jerusalem

To the Jewish Christians in the dispersion

65

Macedonia

Timothy in Ephesus

65

I Peter / Apostle Peter

Rome

Christians in Asia Minor

66

II Peter / Apostle Peter Titus / Paul

Rome

Christians in Asia Minor

A reminder against false teachers, the coming apostasy, and the certainty of the gospel. Instruction to young pastor on leadership, and take strong position against false teachers.

67

Ephesus

To Titus in Crete

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67

Hebrews / Unknown, Possibly Paul 2 Tim. / Paul Jude / The brother of Jesus John / John

Italy while Paul was a Prisoner in Rome Rome

Jewish Christians in Rome or Jerusalem / Author is unknown possible Paul Timothy in Ephesus

Superiority of Christ as our High Priest and His Salvation.

68

Final words of encouragement to Timothy as to the walk and character of a true servant of Christ in the mist of apostasy. Fighting for the faith and the second coming of the Lord.

75

Unknown

Christians in General

85 90s 95

Ephesus

Christians & people in and near Ephesus He who has ears let him hear.

Jesus the Messiah as Son of God; God in the flesh; Reveals the nature of God The things which have been, which are, and which are still yet to come. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The redemption of mankind and all of creation. The love of God and walk in His light.

Revelation / John

Island of Patmos off Asian Minor

90 - 95

1 John / John II John / John III John / John

Ephesus

Christians and those in Ephesus A church near Ephesus A certain man in the church Gaius.

95

Ephesus

Writing against false teachers and walk in Gods love. Stresses personal responsibility; rebuke against false teachers.

95
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Ephesus

The table above makes it evident that even though the New Testament writers were in various regions as they wrote, the theme is still the same; The Messiah has come, His name is Jesus, and He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Salvation is by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus was there when God said, Let us make man in our own image. The Christian is to walk in love one toward another, and keep a vigilant eye toward the coming of the King to take His people home. The gospels portray Jesus as the Messiah, the epistles teach on life as follower of Christ, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ tells us of the coming of our Lord and our role in the events of that time.

3.3 The Agreement with History and Experience One thought that deserves mentioning again is not only to notice what history tells us concerning these times, but what history does not say or historians do not mention. Again, Christians were persecuted by both the Jews and the Romans. The uniqueness of the books that make up the New Testament is that they were circulated throughout a hostile region.

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With this said there is no credible historical evidence or writing that attempts to prove the Bible as fair-tales or myths. With so many eye witnesses still alive during the time these books were written, if any were false or told of things that were not true, there would have been a multitude of people ready to debunk this sect and stomp Christianity out. The lack of derogatory evidence or testimony refuting the events as portrayed in the Bible lends enormous credibility to the books and the integrity of the writers.

The flip side to that is what secular historians did say concerning the people places and times portrayed in the New Testament. We will look as such passages from some noted contemporary historians of that day and what they said concerning the events portrayed in the New Testament.

The first writer is Falvius Josephus who was born in 37 A.D. and lived to see and record the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. He was a Jewish historian whose works include The War of the Jews, Antiquities of the Jews, and Against Apion. His writings lend tremendous insight into this time period. He writes this concerning Jesus,

Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful worksa teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.29 In this one passage, Josephus gives an account of the historical Jesus, his position as a teacher of truth, the conversion of Jews and Gentiles alike, Jesus as the Christ, and the historical figure of Pilate. We read that Jesus was crucified on a cross at the suggestion of the Jews, and that he rose again on the third day and was seen by many. Josephus accounts that this was foretold by the prophets validating the Old Testament by a secular historian.

Josephus puts John the Baptist in an historical context by mentioning him, his calling, the fact that he baptized many, and his death.

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2. Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism;30 In the passage below, we have an appeal to the fulfillment of prophecy and an interesting passage that states that all these things were cataloged in a document called the Acts of Pontius Pilate. And the expression, "They pierced my hands and my feet," was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate.31 Julius Africanus quotes from Tallus who tries to discredit the darkness that fell on the earth at the point of Jesus death on the cross. Africanus explains that an eclipse, as the pagan historian proposes, would be impossible because that was during the time of a full moon which would make that explanation impossible. This account was also noted by Tertullian as well. Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun-unreasonably, as it seems to me. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun."32 much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work. For the most part, historical events described took place and the peoples cited really existed.33 The last in the secession of evidences is a quote by Ramsey which lends credibility to Luke as a historian and the accuracy of the documents of his gospel and the book of Acts. Ramsey was known for his scholarship and came from a school which believed the New

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Testament was not a historically accurate document. As he ventured through Asia-Minor, Ramsey found himself being ever more intrigued with the accuracy of Luke as a historian. Ramsey writes: I began with a mind unfavorable to it [Acts], for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced me. It did not then in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely; but more recently I found myself often brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.34 To discredit Luke as a historian would be to discredit Neal Armstrong as an astronaut. When attacks on the gospels are made, and especially to accounts set forth in Luke, the reasons for the attack can only reduce down to ignorance of the facts, or an underlying motive that wishes to discredit the gospels in an attempt to justify sin. As Sherwing-White says, Any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted."35 The Bible predicts that in the last days there would be scoffers that would rather believe a known lie than the truth. Peter calls these people willingly ignorant or dumb on purpose as Dr. Ken Hovid would say.

4 The Canonicity of the Books of the Bible The word canon comes from the Greek translation of kanon or straight rod. Scoggins point out that the word probably derives from the Akkadian ganu, Hebrew ganeti, which means 'measuring rod'"36 or a rule of law. In reference to scripture it exhibits a meaning of authoritative correctness. In the following two sections, we will explore the canonicity of the both the Old Testament and the New.

An important point to make would be to reiterate that the books contained in both the Old and New Testaments were not decided upon by man. These books were inspired by the Holy Spirit and acknowledged by man. The church has no authority to define or regulate what is or is not the word of God.

The necessary attributes for a work to be canonized would be that it would need to be inspired of God, recognized by men that the work was of God, and lastly, the work would be

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collected and preserved by Gods people as the word of God. There were many writings during this time, but only those that met the criteria would be canonized.

4.1 The Canonicity of the Books of the OT The canon of the Old Testament has gone with relatively few arguments concerning the books that were inspired and the ones that were not. The Jews were very meticulous in the copying of the text. They realized what they possessed was from God and treated it as such. Jesus quotes from twenty-four books of the Old Testament and, as a whole, the New Testament writers quote from thirty-four books over two hundred and sixty times. The only books not directly quoted from are Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. As stated earlier in section 2.1, this is not an issue due to the fact that they are a part of a collection of books. Jesus authenticates the three sections in one verse. "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke 24:44 KJV) Just as an entire collection is justified by our Lord, it is worth mentioning that the collection known as the Apocrypha is not quoted at all in the Bible, nor does Jesus give it any weight as He does the other collections in Luke 24:44.

The Hebrew Old Testament is called the Tanakh which contain thirty-five books. Other ancient historians condense the books further by relating the twelve books of the Minor Prophets into one collection. The list is the same as the Protestant Bible taking into consideration that the Protestant Bible separates 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, 1 & 2 Samuel, and Ezra-Nehemiah. It is commonly held that the Christian Bible during the 1st century was the Septuagint. It does appear though that Jesus used and/or alluded to different versions of the Old Testament Text. We find agreement with the proto-Masoretic text, with the Hebrew under-lying the Septuagint, and with the Aramaic para-phrase.37

The Jewish canon was established prior to Jesus walking the earth. In many places, New Testament writers use the phrase, the scriptures to denote the collection of inspired writings.

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The traditional Jewish canon was divided into three sections (Law, Prophets, Writings), and an unusual feature of the last section was the listing of Chronicles out of historical order, placing it after Ezra-Nehemiah and making it the last book of the canon. In light of this, the words of Jesus in Luke 11:50-51 reflect the settled character of the Jewish canon (with its peculiar order) already in his day. Christ uses the expression "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah," which appears troublesome since Zechariah was not chronologically the last martyr mentioned in the Bible (cf. Jer. 26:20-23). However, Zechariah is the last martyr we read of in the Old Testament according to Jewish canonical order (cf. II Chron. 24:20-22), which was apparently recognized by Jesus and his hearers.38 Jesus was encompassing the entirely of the Old Testament in this one passage.

The beginning of the canonization can be traced back to Moses when he writes, And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. (Exod. 24:7 KJV). Another passage that is noteworthy in reconciling the canon of the Old Testament is from Nehemiah which says, So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading. (Neh. 8:8 KJV) When Ezra was teaching from the law, this would have been about 444 B.C., he had to encourage them not to weep when they heard it, but that the joy of the Lord is their strength. They understood that this was from the Lord. Most scholars believe that the book that Josiah was brought after Hilkiah found it and gave it to Shaphan in 2 Kings 22:8 was the book of Deuteronomy.

The Hebrew Bible, as mentioned before, is in three sections: 1) Law, 2) Prophets, and 3) Hagiographa or Writings. Jesus ben Sira notes on more that one occasion in the prologue to his translation of Ecclesiasticus from Hebrew to Greek, of the three divisions of the Jewish Bible, that these books were distinguishable from other writings at the time, and that this collection was even closed during his fathers time. Beckwith notes that, This passage can hardly have been written later than about 130 BCE.39 If this is true, then the canon of the Jewish Bible was closed and distinguishable as early as the late third century. This would coincide with the three divisions as noted in Luke 24:44.

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4.2 The Canonicity of the Books of the NT In keeping with the idea of the New Testaments right to be apart of the canon, we will pattern the review after the qualification of the inspired canon which are writers authority, inspiration of text revealing internal evidence of the character of God, and recognition and preservation of the text by the church.

When I walk on the sand, I leave a footprint. When I talk to others, they can recognize my voice if they have conversed with me before. When others speak of things that I have supposedly said, it can easily be determined if I was the speaker by the character, tone, and content of that which I was suppose to have said. The Bible is no different. The Holy Spirit leaves divine footprints, has a distinct voice, and a recognizable tone and character that can be easily distinguished from the writings of man.

It must be said here that neither Jesus nor the Jews accepted the Apocryphal books. Jesus never quoted from the books nor subscribed them as scripture in any way. All the writers of the New Testament were either an Apostle of Jesus or under the direct supervision of an Apostle. Peter was Marks backing and Paul was Lukes backing. The Bible, unlike any other book declaring to be the Word of God, is a self-authenticating book. The Bible itself is its own Supreme Court. The chief rule of biblical interpretation is sacred Scripture is its own interpreter.40

Second would be the recognition of men that what was being written was God breathed and set apart from other writings of the time. The first church council to recognize all twenty-

seven books of the New Testament was at Carthage in 397 A.D. What was approved in Carthage was ratified at the Synod of Hippo in Regius four year earlier. Cannon 24 was read allowed and recognized at the only words to be read as divinely inspired scripture.

Canon 24. Besides the canonical Scriptures, nothing shall be read in church under the name of divine Scriptures. Moreover, the canonical Scriptures are these: [then follows a list of Old Testament books]. The [books of the] New Testament: the Gospels, four books; the Acts of the Apostles, one book; the Epistles of Paul, thirteen; of the same to the Hebrews; one Epistle; of Peter, two; of John, apostle, three; of James, one; of Jude, one; the Revelation of John. Concerning the confirmation of this

29

canon, the transmarine Church shall be consulted. On the anniversaries of martyrs, their acts shall also be read.41 Something interesting is to note that the book of Hebrews was separated from the other 13 epistles of Paul but sort of backhandedly attributed to him in the following section. The words, ...of the same to the Hebrews would lend itself to the assumption that the writer of the previous was also the writer of the Hebrews. That is case, was Paul. on this came at a later council also held in Carthage in 419 A.D. Later clarification

Thirdly, we would see these works collected and preserved. There is no other work that comes close the manuscripts we have for the New Testament. At the same time, there has been no other work that has endured the frequent attempts to wipe it from history by some of the most powerful men of their day.

From Satans attempt to corrupt the Word of God in Genesis 3, to Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33, to Diocletian in 303 A.D., all attempts to wipe the Word away or corrupt it have failed. The preservation of scripture can be seen as supernatural through the lens of attempted destruction. Failure to destroy the Bible is a testimony in itself to preservation.

Summary: From Ezra to the Septuagint, to the synod of Hippo, this collection of inspired books has a scarlet thread weaving them together in form of Jesus Christ. With a support base of over 24,000 manuscripts having a 99.5% accuracy rate, the Bible has been supernaturally preserved kept from corruption to this day.

The fact that these sixty-six books, penned by over forty authors over a span of fifteen hundred years still remains one book with a singleness of mind from the heart of God. Jesus Christ can be found on every page with a desire to redeem the lost. To discredit the genuineness, credibility, and canonicity of any of the books would be absurd. Yet, we find

ourselves in the same position as the Christians of the first century did so long ago; fighting heresy at every turn, and defending the faith with all that is within us. We do have the advantage, He that is in us is greater that he that is in the world.

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We do not have to be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The argument is lost when man thinks his trite arguments concerning the validity of the Bible do any good. As debates rage between those that believe the Bible and those that dont, the pursuit of truth takes a left turn, toward the pursuit of winning. All the while, the sinful heart of man refusing the revelation of God sends him to hell. Sin is cloaked in intellectual debates and arguments that in the end neither win a soul nor turn a heart of man toward Christ.

True conversion comes when the debate turns from the intellect and focuses on the conscious. It is there that real conviction lies. I have never won one soul to the Kingdom of God by debating evolution, or arguing the canonicity of the Old or New Testament text. Dont get me wrong. For a Christian, it is good to have a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the vastness of God revealed in the Word, and His Son Jesus Christ. If ones calling is to teach or preach, then it is even more important. However, it was not the pursuit of knowledge that spurred me to Biblical academia, but the life of Jesus in my spirit. I want to know everything I can about my Savior and those that trusted in Him. His Word is genuine, His Word is credible, and His Word has been recognized and faithfully preserved by man. I intend to preserve it by writing it on my heart.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
1

www.carm.org/bible/biblewhen.htm http://biblical-studies.ca/pdfs/History_of_OT_Text_diagram.pdf

Wearner, Alonzo J. Fundamentals of Bible Doctrine. Sixty Studies in the Basic Facts of the Everlasting Gospel Arranged fro Classes in Advanced Biblical Doctrines., Revised Edition. Review and Herald Publishing Association. Taxoma Park, Washington, D.C., 1931.
4

www.mtio.com/articles/bissar35.htm. As taken from: Burgland, Dr. Lane. Reading the Bible with understanding. How We Got the Bible; Chapter 13. Authors and Date of Writing
5

http://www.gospeloutreach.net/bible3.html http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08179b.htm.

Information taken from Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary World Wide Web Version http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0002000.html#T0002035.

Information taken from Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary World Wide Web Version http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0002200.html#T0002235 Information taken from Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary World Wide Web Version http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0001200.html#T0001290
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Information taken from Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary World Wide Web Version http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0000900.html#T0000970 St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel (1958). pp. 15-157. Prologue. Translated by Gleason L. Archer. BAKER BOOK HOUSE. Grand Rapids 6, Michigan. 1958. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 58-59818 Ryrie, Charles Caldwell, Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded Edition, Moody, pg. 1415. Baxter, J. Sidlow, Explore The Book, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1960, pg. 13 Pink, Arthur W. The Divine Inspiration of the Bible. Ch. 3. pg. 9 Pink, Arthur W. The Divine Inspiration of the Bible. Ch. 3. pg. 9 John W. Montgomery, History and Christianity. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1976, pg. 29 http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualevidence.htm F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987, pg. 15. Sir Frederick Kenyon, The Bible and Archeology. New York: Harper, 1940, pg. 288,289.

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Johnson, B. W. "Quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament," The People's New Testament. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Aug 2002. 29 Dec 2006.<http://blueletterbible.org/study/pnt/pnt08.html>. Guthrie, Donald, "New Testament Theology". England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1981 pg. 957 Unger, Dr. Merrill. Archaeology and the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954, pg.15.

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23

Adapted from: Unger, Merril F. Ungers Bible Dictionary, Chicago:Moody, 1971, pg. 444.

24

Adapted from: Thompson Chain-Reference Bible (NIV), Frank Charles Thompson, Ed.,"Archaeological Supplement," by G. Frederick Owen, D.D., Kirkbride/Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1978, pg.1629-99
25

McDowell, Josh, More Than a Carpenter. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1977, pg. 57. Eusebius. The History of the Church, bk. 3, chap. 39 http://www.gospeloutreach.net/bible3.html

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The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.) Josephus, Flavius. The Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 Josephus, Falvius. Antiquities, Book 18, Ch. 5, Par. 2 Martyr, Justin, Apology, Ch. XXXV.-Other Fulfilled Prophecies Africanus, Julius, Extant Writings 18, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 6. http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/newsletters/0403lead.asp Ramsay, William, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1982), 8.

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Sherwing-White, A. N., Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963),pg. 189.
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Soggin, J.A., Introduction to the Old Testament. London: SCM, 1989, pg.13. Evans, Craig A., The Scriptures of Jesus and His Earliest Followers, pg. 191-194, 2002) http://www.reformed.org/master/index.html?mainframe=/bible/bahnsen_canon.html Beckwith, R., The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church. London: SPCK, 1985, pg.110.

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Sproul, R.C., Essential Truths of the Christian Faith., Part I- The Nature and Attributes of God, sect. 8- The Triunity of God., Copyright 1992 by R. C. Sproul http://www.ntcanon.org/Carthage.canon.shtml

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QUESTION AND ANSWER PAGE Q.1) A.1) What are the divisions of the Old Testament? Pentateuch, Historical Books, Poetic Books, Prophetic Books (Major / Minor). However, Jesus tends to relate to them as the Law, Prophets, & Pslams. Where and when were the dead sea scrolls found? Found in Qumran in 1947. What are the 2 main Old Testament translations used today? Septuagint and Masoretic Texts. When was the Septuagint completed? 250 A.D. by seventy Jewish scholars from Alexandria. What Prophet closes out the Old Testament? Malachi closes out the Bible Old Testament, but there can be an argument that John the Baptist was the last of the prophets due to his heralding of the Messiah. How many prophets named Isaiah wrote the book of Isaiah? ONE What is the internal accuracy rate of the New Testament copies? 99.5% Approximately how many New Testament manuscripts and copies remain? Close to 25,000 How many books of the Old Testament did Jesus quote from? 24

Q.2) A.2) Q.3) A.3) Q.4) A.4) Q.5) A.5)

Q.6) A.6) Q.7) A.7) Q.8) A.8) Q.9) A.9)

Q.10) How many times has an archeology discovery conflicted with a Biblical fact? A.10) None Q.11) What is the significance of Tablet #1860 found in Elba? A.11) It proves the historical existence of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar. Q.12) How is the New Testament broken down? A.12) Historical Books, Pauline Epistles, and Non-Pauline Epistles. Q.13) How many books of the Bible did Paul write? A.13) 13 possibly 14 if Hebrews is counted among the writings of Paul Q.14) How long did it take for all the books of the New Testament to be written? A.14) Less that 70 years.

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Q.15) Where does the word canon come from? A.15) From the Greek word kanon meaning straight rod or measuring rod. Q.16) What role does the councils of man have in the canon on scripture? A.16) Recognition of inspired text only. Man does not regulate what is and what is not scripture. Q.17) What are the only Old Testament books not quoted from? A.17) Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. However, this not an argument against canonicity as these were attached to collections as a whole which were acknowledged by Jesus. Q.18) What is another name for the Hebrew Bible and how many books does it contain? A.18) The Tanuk containing 35 books. Q.19) What was the first church council to acknowledge all 27 books of the New Testament? A.19) Carthage in 397AD ratified the list produced at the synod of Hippo in 393 AD. Q.20) Failure to destroy the Bible is a testimony in itself to ____________________. A.20) Preservation and indestructibility.

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