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Sermon Notes

The Bible (2) - Notes

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  1. Inspiration & Composition
  2. Compilation & Preservation
  3. Translation & Illumination
  4. Interpretation & Application


Luke 24:25-32

Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:44-47

Jesus said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

Old Testament scripture

Compiled and standardized by the time of Jesus

  1. Jesus Knew Scripture 
  2. Jesus Used Scripture
  3. Jesus Upheld Scripture
  4. Jesus Fulfilled Scripture
Matthew 5:17-18

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

39 books, 30ish authors, 1000+ years

  1. Thematic Unity
  2. Prophetic Fulfillment
  3. Historical Accuracy
John 5:39

You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!
Archaeologist William F. Albright

There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition.

New Testament scripture

John 2:22

After Jesus was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.
2 Peter 3:16

Paul writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Making the cut

  1. Connection to the Apostles
  2. Use by the Churches
  3. Consistency of Teaching

Didn't make the cut 

  • Gospel of Thomas
  • Gospel of Judas
  • Gospel of Peter
  • Infancy Gospel of James …

The idea isn’t that a group of people had the authority to decide what was to be God’s Word. The idea is that the books themselves carried God’s authority and the whole Christian community recognized this and it  eventually standardized it.

The New Testament wasn’t a product of the church. The church was a product of the New Testament.

  1. Written early
  2. By eyewitnesses or with the help of eyewitnesses (Like and Unlike Telephone) 
  3. Authors were willing to die for what they wrote


Included ...

  1. In Septuagint (LXX)
  2. St. Augustine Endorsed
  3. Three North African Church Councils Standardized

Excluded ...

  1. The Jewish people never recognized the Apocrypha as Scripture
  2. The authors of the New Testament never quoted the Apocrypha as Scripture
  3. Jesus recognized the 3-part Old Testament division as Scripture

TaNaK - a) Moses, b) Prophets & c) Writings (Psalms)
But not the Apocrypha



  1. Jewish Respect for & Precision with Scripture
  2. Septuagint (LXX)
  3. Dead Sea Scrolls 

Details schmetails!

  • One letter at a time (No letter or word or sentence was written for memory) 
  • The letters were counted by a checker


So many errors!

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The good and bad of so many copies

  • The more copies / the more potential differences
  • The more copies / the easier to determine the original

So many errors! No, so many manuscripts!

  • Copy mistakes
  • Harmonizations
  • Clarifications (1 John 5:7)
Timothy Paul Jones

Spread across millions and millions of words in more than 5,000 manuscripts, the variations represent a small percentage of the total text. According to one scholar, the New Testament is 92.6% stable. In others words, all these differences affect less than 8% of the New Testament text! What’s more, the overwhelming majority of these differences have to do with words that are misspelled or rearranged - differences that have no impact on the translation or meaning of the text. What this means practically is that the text of the New Testament has been sufficiently preserved for us to recover the words that God intended and inspired.
Clark Pinnock
There exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made. An honest person cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based on irrational bias.

Bottom Line

The Bible is God's Word so ...

  1. Read it
  2. Believe it
  3. Live it
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Jesus as ...

  • Eve’s Descendant
  • Abraham’s Blessings
  • Moses’ Prophet
  • David’s Son
  • The High Priest’s Sacrifice
  • The Suffering Servant
Karl House