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Why We Trust Our Bible
Discover why we can trust the Bible.
About this Class
The uniqueness and authority of the Bible are always under attack. Professors and writers are claiming that Jesus never existed, Jesus never claimed to be God, the early church changed the basic preaching of Jesus, books were left out of the Bible, the copies of the Bible that have come down through the centuries are hopelessly corrupt, and how can you trust your translation where there are so many? This class walks you through the process of how we received our Bible and why we can trust it.
Dr. Darrell Bock discusses the life of Jesus in lectures 1-5. Dr. Blomberg discusses the reliability of the Bible in lectures 6-11. Dr. Kruger discusses the process of formation of the New Testament Canon in lectures 12-21. Dr. Wallaces discusses issues relating to manuscripts and textual criticism in lectures 22-27. Dr. Mounce discusses the philosophies and process of translation in lectures 28-32. Dr. Piper discusses the content, cohesiveness, scope and power of the Bible in lectures 33-37.
In the historical Jesus debate, some scholars actually question whether Jesus even lived. How can we show that he did live using sources other than the Bible and the writing of the early Church Fathers?
Some liberal scholars argue that because the stories of Jesus were first told by word of mouth, and since memory is faulty, that we cannot trust the gospel witness to Jesus. Dr. Bock discusses three views of orality and why the "informal controlled" model of the Bedouins best parallels the gospels and argues for the authenticity of their accounts. He also shows why the supposed "time gap" between Jesus living and the writing of the accounts is only a few years due to the wintess of Paul, and not decades as some propose.
When the authenticity of the gospels is questioned due to faulty human memory. Some people claim that since we do not know for sure who wrote the gospels, we cannot trust their message. Others argue that there is nothing special about presenting Jesus as a common miracle worker. In this session, Dr. Bock answers each of these charges.
Scholarship has created a series of rules they use to judge the authenticity of a gospel passage. Dr. Bock critiques those rules and shows how they still can argue for the authenticity of the core events of the gospel message.
Dr. Bock looks at two key events in the gospels, Jesus' trial and the resurrection. Using the rules of scholarship, he shows that even by those standards these events are authentic.
Dr. Blomberg begins by introducing the issue of the historical reliability of the New Testament documents, focusing on Dan Brown and some of the other recent "discoveries." He will cover 12 truths agreed upon except by the most liberal theologians.
Would the gospel writers have wanted to preserve accurate history? Why are there four Gospels, with all the similarities and differences?
Seven questions and Dr. Blomberg's answers.
Reasons 7 - 9.
10. Non-Christian testimony to Jesus. 11. Archaeology. 12. Testimony of other early Christian Writers. Dr. Blomberg concludes with a powerful discussion of three ways to believe, and what is the relationship between faith and reason.
Final nine questions from the audience.
Discussion about whether books are in the canon because they are authoritative or they are authoritative because they are in the canon. Has God given us a structure to know which books should be in the canon?
Canonical models are different ways of explaining the process used to determine which books should be included in the canon of Scripture.
The historically-determined model emphasizes the historical background of the books to determine if they are included in the canon.
The purpose of the self-authenticating model is to authenticate the canon without undermining its authority. If something is an ultimate authority, you can’t demonstrate it without using it.
A “defeater” is an idea that undermines your confidence in knowing something.
Covenants in the Old Testament were often written to record them. The apostles saw themselves as agents of the New Covenant established by Jesus.
Corporate reception means that the books of the canon are accepted by the Church.
Corpora. Christians copied, read and taught from books and used them in great numbers. They were made to be easily read in public.
Eusebius describes 4 types of books: accepted, disputed, rejected heretical.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.