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Inspiration, Inerrancy, Canon

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Why We Believe the Bible

Part 1

I. Why are we concerned with the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible

A. We believe the Bible to be the Word of God

B. It’s part of the evangelical tradition

C. Many deny the existence of truth, period

D. Trait of secularism is the criticism of the Bible being a mixture of truth and error

E. Competing holy books from other religions are increasing

F. If the Bible is true, the message of the Bible is the only message of eternal life

1. Psalms 96:5

2. John 14:6

3. John 6:67

4. Acts 4:12

5. John 8:42

6. 1 John 2:23

7. 1 John 5:12

G. Building our lives on a sacrificial mistake would be pitiable

H. The Bible makes claims to inspirational authority; we need to know if these claims are true

I. The most devote believers run into things in the Bible that don’t seem to make sense.

1. Justification: James 2:24 vs Romans 3:28

2. God’s repentance: 1 Samuel 15:11 vs 1 Samuel 15:28


II. Which books make up the Bible and why?

Canon – means rule, measuring stick.

A. Old Testament Canon

1. The Jews believed that divine inspiration stopped with the Book of Malachi

2. The Hebrew canon combines some books.

a. The Hebrew Old Testament Canon is call the Tanakh

b. Law (5 books) – Hebrew word is the To¯ra¯h

i. Genesis

ii. Exodus

iii. Leviticus

iv. Numbers

v. Deuteronomy

c. Prophets (8 books) – Hebrew word is the Nebhi¯’i¯m

i. Joshua

ii. Judges

iii. Samuel 1 & 2 (combined as one book)

iv. Kings 1 & 2 (combined as one book)

v. Isaiah

vii. Jeremiah

viii. Ezekiel

ix. 12 Minor prophets (combined as one book)

d. Writings (11 books) – Hebrew word is the Kethu¯bhi¯m

i. Psalms

ii. Job

iii. Proverbs

iv. Ruth

v. Songs of Samuel

vi. Ecclesiastes

vii. Lamentations

viii. Esther

ix. Daniel

x. Ezra & Nehemiah (combined as one book)

xi. Chronicles (combined as one book) – End of the Jewish canon

3. New Testament pointers to the Jewish canon

a. Paul in his writings to Timothy

b. There is no record of any dispute with Jesus and the religious leaders over the Hebrew canon

c. The three part division of the Hebrew canon was assumed by Jesus. Luke 24:44

d. The Jewish order of the “closed” canon is assumed by Jesus. Luke 11:49-51;

4. The Christian Church follow the Septuagint order of the Old Testament

5. Roger Nichole

a. The New Testament quotes the Old Testament as divinely authoritative over 295 times

b. The New Testament does not site any statements from the books of the Apocrypha or any other writings as having divine authority.

6. AD 170: first complete listing of Old Testament canon by the Christian Church

a. Only missing book from the first complete listing of the Old Testament canon by the Christian Church was the book of Esther.

b. The word 'God' is not used in the book of Esther.

B. New Testament Canon

1. Early church assumed the existence of canonical scriptures

a. John 5:39

b. Acts 17:2

c. Romans 15:4

2. Jesus was recognized by the early church as having authority equal to and beyond the Old Testament scriptures

a. Matthew 7:29

b. Mathew 5:38

c. Mark 13:31

d. John 14:6

e. Mathew 28:18

f. Hebrews 1:1

3. The teaching of Jesus will lead to the expansion of the canon

4. Jesus provides authorized apostles and inspiration of those spokesmen

a. Luke 6:13-16

i. 12 Tribes of Israel, Jesus chooses 12 apostles

ii. Apostles means authoritative sent representative to speak on behalf of a King or an authority

b. Acts 1:26

c. John 14:24-26

d. John 16:12

5. Paul claims to be an authorized spokesmen for Jesus

a. 2 Corinthians 3:13

b. 1 Cointhians 14:37

c. 1 Cointhians 2:12-13

6. Peter saw Paul’s writings as part of an enlarging canon of scripture along side the Old Testament scriptures

7. Main criterion for the New Testament canon was being written by an apostle or endorsed by one

a. Matthew – An apostle

b. Mark - Not an apostle, Peter’s assistant and interpreter

c. Luke - Close associate and partner with Paul

d. John – An apostle

e. Thirteen epistles of Paul – An apostle

f. Hebrews – God alone knows who wrote the book

g. James – Jesus’ brother, an apostle

h. Peter I & II– An apostle

i. John I, II & III – An apostle

j. Jude – The brother of James

k. Revelation – An apostle

8. What is the New Testament canon?

a. 5 books of narrative: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts

b. 21 Letters

c. 1 Book of Visions, Revelation

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