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. The last 5 lectures were originally a separate course entitle, Why We Believe the Bible. For additional notes and outlines for these lectures, you can go to desiringgod.org by clicking here.
Answers to common questions about the canon, now that these question are targeted to the lay level.
In Part 1, Dr. Daniel Wallace addresses the challenges to the believability of the Bible brought by the issues related to the Greek manuscripts, and especially the influence of Dan Brown and Bart Ehrman.
In Part 2, Dr. Daniel Wallace addresses discussion of the historical process that led to manuscripts and variants, with some examples of variants.
In Part 3, Dr. Daniel Wallace responds to three basic challenges by Bart Ehrman: the "black hole"; the quality of the copies; the effect of Constantine on the manuscripts.
In Part 4, Dr. Daniel Wallace addresses how now that we understand why there are variants in the manuscripts, how does the art and science of textual criticism help us determine which variants are most likely to be original?
In Part 5, Dr. Daniel Wallace addresses a brief overview of why the King James Bible is different from all modern translations, and issues of the Greek texts behind it.
In Part 6, Dr. Daniel Wallace focuses in on variants, how many there are, how many significant variants are there, and how good of a job has textual criticism done.
In Part 1, Dr. Bill Mounce begins the seminar by talking about how we use words and grammar to communicate within our historical context. This is the theoretical basis for the rest of the seminar.
In Part 2, Dr. Bill Mounce addresses do you translate words or meaning? At one level, all translations translate for meaning. However, every translation has to decide if they want to err on the side of words or the side of meaning. (Bill references "12" principles, but shortened the presentation to "10.")
In Part 3, Dr. Bill Mounce addresses four more principles of translation that stem from the basic decision of translating words or meaning.
In Part 4, Dr. Bill Mounce addresses four more principles of translation that stem from the basic decision of translating words or meaning.
In Part 5, Dr. Bill Mounce addresses that this is the most difficult issue in modern translation. For many people, the words "he" and "man" refer to all people, men and women alike. But for many others, "he" and "man" only refer to males. This is not an issue of conservative or liberal. English is in the middle of a significant shift on how it uses these words, and others like "they."
The importance of inspiration and inerrancy for our belief in the Bible.
Manuscript evidence indicates that we have the words of the authors. Jesus, the apostles and the authors of the Old Testament claim that Scripture was written by people who were inspired by God.
The writings of the apostle Paul are a significant part of the New Testament. The Westminster Confession includes a concise statement about why the Bible is the Word of God.
The scope and cohesiveness of the message of the Bible is remarkable, considering it was written over a period of hundreds of years by over 40 different authors.
Scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God by their light and power to convince and convert sinners. The Spirit of God, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.
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.