Lecture One: Introduction To The New Testament
A. Basic Facts About The Bible
66 books, written by 40 different authors over 1500 years
39 O.T. “old” = 3 letters, “testament” 9… 3—9--39
27 N.T. “new” = 3 letters, “testament” 9
blessings multiplied 3x9 = 27
B. How did we get the Bible we have today? The O.T. was preserved through the Nation of Israel/Judah to the time of Jesus. The Septuagint (3rd century BC) is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture & the primary text in 1st century Israel. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 provided important archaeological verification of the O.T.
How was the N.T. put together? The books of the N.T., were written within 30-60 years after Jesus was raised from the dead & ascended to Heaven. First Century Israel was primarily an oral culture. Scholars estimate that 3-5% of the people could read & write. Teaching at first was oral, but the early Church leaders realized a written record would be needed for future generations. There were 3 criteria used to determine if a document should be in the Bible.
1. Apostolic Origin: Is the document directly connected to one of the Apostles? A document had to have been written by an Apostle, or a close associate of an Apostle or Jesus. Matthew & John were Apostles & eyewitnesses of the events they record in their Gospels; Peter & Paul were also Apostles; Mark an associate of Peter; Luke an associate of Paul; James & Jude brothers of Jesus.
2. Doctrinal consistency. Are these documents consistent with the teachings of Jesus & the Apostles? Acts 2:42 “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching & to fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer.”
3. Historical Acknowledgement. Do the documents have widespread acceptance & recognition? Have successive generations of Xians accepted this document as authentic? The process of selecting the books of the Bible had begun in the 1st century. By the middle of the 2nd century, within 100 years after the death of the Apostles, most of the canon of the N.T. had been settled. By the end of the 4th century, the 27 books we now know as the N.T. were recognized as being inspired by God and therefore authoritative Scripture.
Revelation and Inspiration
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God…”.
2Peter 1:20-21 “men moved by the Holy Spirit…”
Revelation (sometimes called ‘special revelation’) refers to something God has made known; He has unveiled, uncovered something. For example, it was a revelation when Moses wrote the opening chapters of Genesis. Moses was not there when God created the Heavens & the earth. No human eye saw it; God made it known by revelation. God revealed to Moses what happened so that Moses could record it.
Inspiration refers to the method that kept the written record error or mistake. For example, when Moses wrote of the crossing of the Red Sea, that was an inspired writing. Moses saw it with his own eyes, & he wrote about it as the Holy...