40 + human authors
1 Heavenly author
66 books 39 OT 27 NT
3 Languages – Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek
Old Testament/Tanakh comparison:
Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament) has 24 books 1 of which include twelve of our books and Ezra including Nehemiah as well 1 and 2 Samuel, Kings and Chronicles each being one book = 39 books.
Old Testament & Apocrypha:
Apocrypha (hidden) written after the Malachi when Tanakh was closed. 400 B.C. to the time of Jesus (inter-testamental) Books: Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees (doesn’t claim to be scripture), Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus), and Baruch. No Apocryphal books were quoted in the New Testament. Apocrypha never viewed as scripture until 1546 at the Council of Trent. The Catholic Church Added non canonical books to fit the teachings that were challenged during the reformation.
The Books of the Bible are not in chronological order but are arranged by subject (Law, Prophets, Poetry, History etc.)
Originally Written had no chapters or verses.
Period of over 1,500 Years
How we got the Bible:
God’s Special Revelation
GOD > Man > Bible
The Bible is a Divine product of man. Writers use references like, “the Holy Spirit spoke before hand by the mouth of David.” (Acts 1:16) God worked through the authors to complete His will (Job 42:2 “…no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”)
Inerrancy of Scripture:
Self Attesting: to some this may seem like circular reasoning and in a way it is, but if the Bible did NOT say it was the word of God we would have a big problem in ascribing it that title.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
Psalm 119:104-105 through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
2 Peter 3:15-16 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
1 Peter 1:24-25 …. “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
God in his Sovereignty kept every word of the Bible preserved through time.
The Bible contained all the words God intended and tells us everything we need to know about salvation (2 Tim 3:15 “…and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”) & trusting and obeying him perfectly (Psalm 119:1 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!”) but not everything we want to know (1 Corinthians 13:12 we see in a mirror dimly)
The Bible has internal consistency
Character of God
We have over 5,600 copies of the New Testament some within less than 200 years of the originals 99.5% accuracy between copies.
Plato 7 Copies earliest 1300 years removed
Aristotle 5 Copies earliest 1400 years removed
Cesar 3 Copies earliest 950 years removed
Some complain that differences exist between the copies. There are 400,000 variants in the collection of NT copies and references (14,000+) from the Septuagint, Latin Vulgate as well as quotes from the church fathers. That number may seem like a lot but a closer look will reveal that there is nothing to be concerned about.
- Spelling and nonsense readings
- Variants that do not affect translation.
- Meaningful variants that are not viable
- Meaningful and viable variants
here are some rough numbers
Spelling and nonsense reading compose most of theses variants around 75% (300,000) this could be as little as forgetting a ” ‘ ” in a word or a reading that makes sense and one that doesn’t if they are copied the SAME every time until the mistake is caught the variant number climbs in each copied document.
Variants that do not affect translation this number is around 20% (80,000) which are variants that mostly deal with the order of words (John and Jesus or Jesus and John) this drops the number from 400,000 to 20,000.
Meaningful variants that are not viable: this number is around 4% (16,000) this drops the number from 400,000 to 4,000. this is variants that could mean different things depending on the words left out but not viable because it’s is clear what is meant. for example Luke 6:22 reads “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” however in documents found in the 10 and the 11th century leave out “on account of the son of man” which changes the meaning of the text and could assume that Hitler would be blessed.
Meaningful and viable variants: this makes up less than 1% (4,000) of variants and is the most critical. this group can be variants that can be taken either way however there is no essential doctrine that is effected by theses variants. only a meaning of that text for example in Mark 16 did Jesus tell his disciples that they could drink poison without being harmed?
Explaining Inerrancy by R.C. Sproul ISBN: B0006R4R9M
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem ISBN: 0310286700