Notes from Robby Dean


The Claims of the Bible                Bibliology #001                                                2004


Most people know little about the Bible from any church. They are easily swayed. The culture in general is now Biblically illiterate. People used to know about the events and stories of the Bible in the past. There was a common reference point at one time and people believed that the Bible had some value. When someone said, “That’s Biblical” that carried weight; that meant something.


In the past 150 years or so, there has been a steady assault on the Bible. There is an attempt to remove God and the Bible from the market place of ideas. You can pray, but just quietly. As long as it is between you and God, and you don’t bother the rest of us, it is okay.


People know so little today, that they fall prey to any attack or any statement made concerning the Bible. Half truths and falsehoods are spread about the Bible today; and Christianity is seen as some subjective religion like any others. This has become most crystalized by the DiVinci Code, where there are claims that there were so many other books that should have been included in the Bible, but they were not, because Constantine determined what he expected to be a part of the Bible. These other books are seen as equally important books. People here these things and many fall for them. This book has become so popular, that previous books by Dan Brown have gone back into hardback due to demand for them.


Christians with no frame of reference become confused and they think there is nothing to the Bible that they have; and friends and family members question them as well.


There are believers who go through life and they have questions and doubts; how do I know I am not just buying into some religious system.


Questions to be Addressed

1.     Isn’t the Bible just some human book?

2.     Isn’t the Bible filled with contradictions and human errors?

3.     Hasn’t the Bible been changed over the years, since it has been translated and copied so many times? Don’t we have translations of translations of translations?

4.     How can we be sure that our Bible is the same as what was written originally? There are some minor changes.

5.     Weren’t there some small group of men who just decided what books should be in the Bible and did they not simply choose books which backed up their culture? Every culture has its own construct of reality and they just chose what fit their society and culture.

6.     There are so many different interpretations; how do we know what is right?

7.     Isn’t the Bible just a part of an evolving religion which began with Assyrians or Babylonia myths.

8.     Doesn’t the Bible have common historical errors and scientific errors?


If a person is serious in life, then they ought to be serious about these things, you should ask questions and you should think critically.


We ought to begin with, does God exist? Either God exists or He does not. If God does not exist, then God has not revealed Himself, as there is no God. This is the position of the materialist and the atheist. We are just the result of these random collisions and electrical impulses, and life just accidentally by chance materialized; inorganic material came from organic material. There is no significance in life; it is just random molecules.


In the history of philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy and Thales thought that water was the ultimate truth of the universe. Water could be a solid, gas or a liquid, and he put the idea of God to water, and God was impersonal.


A personal, infinite God, a God Who is a Creator of all things. We are going to assume God’s existence. If God does not exist, then there is no ultimate reality, and everything is just some subjective truth.


Two reasons that people reject the existence of God. They don’t believe in miracles; they don’t believe anyone could come back from the dead. They have difficulty with creation. Often their problems are based upon their misconceptions of the Bible; they don’t read the Bible. Or they have intellectual doubt, because they have been taught all of their lives that evolution is a fact and they simply believe it. However, most people reject God because they are not really comfortable with the idea of God. If this God exists, then I have to live differently than the way that I want to live. Such would rather suppress God or reinvent God. They find all kinds of intellectually defensible reasons to reject the Bible. If there is no God, then nothing matters. There is no right or wrong; there is no truth; do whatever you want to do. When you die your molecules just fall apart and you are gone. If God exists, then there is nothing more important than determining Who God is. As a believer, we will be in the presence of God to enjoy Him forever. However, if we are not believers, then we will face a very harsh penalty.


Option #2, God does exist. If we think that God exists, then is He capable of making Himself known? Now, accepted that God exists does not tell us anything about his attributes or his characteristics. If there is a creator God, then isn’t His knowledge vast and infinite? Doesn’t He understand the vast extensiveness of the universe? Can He not comprehend all of this at once? He understands the intricacies of a biological cell; he understand our DNA and the interaction of our DNA. He can comprehend the working of the universe along with all the biological systems, the geological systems, He has created all of the laws of physics; so He is a God capable of revealing Himself to us. He is capable of making certain that He can communicate to us what He choose to reveal. He is capable of accomplishing the simple task of revealhimg Himself to us.


Then we ask, has God communicated Himself to us? If He has chosen not to reveal Himself, the Bible would not be different than any other religious book. It would be no better than the diary of Thomas Jefferson or some philosophical treatise; but the Bible would be of no significance. If we don’t know, we are in the same sort of situation.


In a court of law, we do not know if a person is guilty or innocent; so we listen to their claim of innocence. We would not dismiss a claim like this without giving it an honest and fair hearing. The same thing should be true relative to the Bible being the Word of God. If the Bible is the Word of God, then there will be corroborating evidence. No necessarily a mathemitcal proof, but something that we can reasonably validate. In man’s history, many people have said, “This is from God” in order to bolster their own position; so how do we distinguish? The ultimate argument is, if all these people claim that God spoke to them, and that is clearly false; then the Bible is not the Word of God.


We are not asked to make a leap of faith and to believe things which are illogical or irrational or unrelated to reality. The people that Dean has listened to and learned from and been taught by, are great intellects who rarely find counterparts in the secular world.


We need to begin with an overview of the Bible and understand its claims and hten look at evidence which supports or contradicts these claims.


Βιβλια is the word which Bible comes from, and it means a collection of books which is accepted as being authoritative for Christianity. We also use the word canon (κανον). The Greek word means a rule, a standard. So we can have many different canons. With the Bible, we are suggesting that these books are inspired by God and that He reveals Himself to us through these books. Conversely, there are other books which are not to be revered.


There is the Old and New Testament, and the word testament means covenant. The old covenant might be thought to be the covenant of God to Abram or to Moses; and the New covenant is the covenant of Jesus Christ.


In the English Old Testament, there are 39 books and 27 in the New. The Old Testament is broken down into the Torah, the Pentateuch or the Law. The second section is sometimes called the prophets, the Neviim. Samuel, King, Isaiah, Ezekiel. The 3rd divisionii is the writings, which is like Psalms, Job, etc. In the New Testament, we have the gospels and acts, which make up the historical section. Then we have the epistles. The final book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John.


The Roman Catholics accept another set of books known as the apocrypha. They were not accepted until the Council of Trent in 1552 a.d. The Jews never accepts these as canonical. Some say there is no difference between Genesis and other creation epics; so we ought to read them side by side, and the difference is striking. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years. The Law is not really the oldest; Job was probably written about 2000 b.c. So, the period of time over which the Bible was written was around 1500–2000 years.


Over 30 different men wrote the Bible. Think about other religious books. They were written by one person at one particular time. Angels appear and give a code and makes man able to read and translation and we never have the originals in those cases. The men who wrote the Bible came from all walks of life. Moses raised to be the pharaoh of Egypt; David was a shepherd who became a king; Solomon was a king; Joshua was a warrior general; Amos was a fig picker; Daniel was taken hostage to Babylon, but he became the prime minister. John had a commercial fishing business as did Peter. Paul was a rabbi. Luke was a train physician; Matthew was a tax collector. These were not men who were primarily religious. They came from a variety of backgrounds. Some had great education, like Moses and Solomon and Paul and Luke. Mark, Peter and probably John were not trained. Great diversity in the authors. The Bible still presents a unified theme. Is there any such grouping of books which is composed over 2000 years, all with different backgrounds and cultures, and yet they all hold to the same essentials of theology. Africa, Asian and Europe. They wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Despite these great differences, they all agree on everything. The Bible has a unique quality to it.


The Bible also has a Unique Claim

1.     The Bible claims to be the communication of God to man. God said is found 46 times; God spoke, 12 times. Perhaps, this is just in the law? God even confirmed His private conversations with verifiable things. 502 times thus says the Lord. Several other similar phrases used hundreds of times. Over 900 times there are clear statements that God is speaking to man.

2.     The Bible claims to be a uniquely inspired revelation from God. This is not the same as an inspired work of literature or a work of art. This is not something of incredible artistic value. All Scripture is inspired by God...that the man of God might be thoroughly furnished, equipped for all good works. The original Greek means that God breathed His Word. God exhaled this through a man. 2Peter 1:20–21: No prophecy is made from an act of human will, but as a person is moved by God. 2Sam. 23:2 the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me Zech 7:12: they made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the Law; the wods of the Law were sent by His Spirit. 1Cor. 2:13. Spiritual thoughts combined with spiritual words.

3.     This inspiration includes and extends to minute details in Scripture. Matt. 5:18: not the smallest letter or stroke will fade from the Law unitl all things come to pass. Matt. 22:29. Have you not read that which was spoken by God.... Jesus deals with the tense here to make a point. Gal. 3:16, Paul does the same thing. The promises were spoken to your Seed, that is, Christ.

4.     The Bible claims to be absolute truth, which goes beyond all other truth. Num. 23:19 God is not a man that He should lie nor does He change His mind. Psalm 19:9: the judgemtns of the Lord are true. 119:42, 151 John 17:17: Your Word is truth. Deut. 4:2 You should not take away from the truth or add to it. Jer. 26:2. All the words I have commanded you to pseak to them, do not omit a word.

5.     As absolute t ruth, the Bible has everlasting value. Isa. 30:8 40:8 Matt. 24:35 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. Isa. 55:11 My Word will not return to Me empty.

6.     As absolule truth, it is the source of guidance and direction for our lives.


If God exists and this is His Word, then this should be our lives. The Bible tells us that this is the only source of life, as Jesus is called as well, the Logos of God.


The of the Bible                             Bibliology #002                                                2004


The Bible is unique, which is what Dean focused on previously. It uniquely claims to be the Word of God, breathed out by God. Other books claim similar things, but there are radical differences between the Bible and these books.


The Bible

1.     The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years or longer, depending upon the time that Job was written. The Book of Mormon or the Koran were given all at once by some sort of angel and the original languages and the original manuscripts are not available to us.

2.     The Bible was written by 40 different men from all walks of life. Moses was raised to be a king. David was first a shepherd, then a warrior and then a king. He was a musician and a poet. Amos was a fig picker. Solomon was raised to be a Jewish king. Daniel was taken hostage to Babylon in 605 b.c. and he became the prime ministers of Babylon. Nehemiah was more than just a cup bearer. If someone was going to die for you, they must be very trustworthy and they became a trusted confidont of the king. Probably the 2nd highest position in the land. Matthew was a Jews working as a Roman tax collector, and most Jews hated him. John and Peter were commercial fishermen, Paul was training to be a Rabi; Luke was a physician and an historian. Paul and Luke had Hellenistic backgrounds. Nehemiah raised in Babylon.

3.     Yet, the Bible presents one unified theme. Pick any discipline and choose literature on this discipline over a period of 1500 years and do they have a unified theme.

4.     The Bible covers the most controversial topics and without contradicting itself.

5.     A variety of writing styles. In many cases, they had no access to the writings of the others.

6.     The Bible was written in a variety of styles of literary genre. Most individuals might write in 2 or 3 different styles at the most. The largest book in the Bible is a hymn book. Law, personal correspondence. Despite all of these differences, the unity focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ, always, whether in the Old or New Testaments. The Old Testament looks forward to the coming of Christ; the New is about Him and looks back on Him. The gospels record the historical incarnation of Jesus Christ. The epistles give the proper interpretation to His person and work. In Revelation, we focus on the coming of Jesus Christ in the future.

7.     Throughout all the years, the Bible remains the most popular book of all time. 14.4 million copies last year alone. All the key languages have the Bible in their language. The Bible was the first book deemed important enough to translate into another language. Wycliffe Bible translators figure that in 15–20 years, it will be in every language. It is unique in its popularity.

8.     The Bible is unique in its preservation. When we compare documents and manscripts and those used to determine the KJV, and compare them to those tha twe have today, there is very little different. There might be an additional word, a slightly different ordering of words, an occasional extra phrase. But, there is no real substantive change in anything. No documents are as well attested to as the Bible. We have fragments of Scripture which go back to 10–20 years of its writing. Jews preserved the Bible as they did no other book. They knew the number of words and syllables. Special classes of men whose sole duty was to copy manuscripts. Whoever counted the letters or words to any ancient author. No other book has been so many times said to be dead; what book has been examined with such careful examination. We are more sure of the Bible written so long ago than of Shakespear written a few hundred years ago. Voltaire predicted that Christianity would be swept into history. His house, in 50 years, the Geneva Bible society used his house to print Bibles. God has a great sense of humor.

9.     The Bible does not skip over the weaknesses of those in Scripture. We know of the sins of almost every person in the Bible. The faults and failures and obtuseness of the Apostles and the flaws of the early churches. The early Christians are not presented as people who have it all together. The history of the Jews is rarely flattering.

10.   All the evidence tells us that the Bible is unique in history. Lewis Sperry Chafer stated the Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write, if he would. This is not a book men would write.


1700 skepticism that this was simply a record of man and God, rather than a revelation from God. As a culture, we drift further and further from of Biblical culture roots. Even religious documentaries, which are supposed to give us an objective view, that these shows deliberately undermine faith in the Bible. If you pick up any book on history or talk to any scholars, they reject the existence of Moses, the exodus, they deny miracles, they deny the historical validity of these things, and they claim to speak for the scholarly Christian. When liberal Christians face the Bible, they come to the text with loaded dice; they have a deeply, profoundly held beliefs that they bring to the Bible and to theology when they approach it. Presuppositions. A man thought that he was dead, and he spoke to a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist decided to prove to the man that dead things don’t bleed. They would poke and prick living animals and they would bleed, and dead ones would not. They convinced the man, and then pricked him with a pin, and he says, “Wow, look at that, dead men bleed after all!” Their presupposition: God cannot speak to man. There is nothing that exists beyond their own natural phenomenah. So the Bible cannot be what it claims to be, which is revelation from God. The second presupposition: nothing in the Bible can be believed unless it is corroborated by history or archeology. If we cannot find independent corroboration of Abraham, then he cannot exist. Quotes from liberal theologians: the familiar intercourse of the divinity with the patriarchs constitutes to me that this cannot be history. He reads it, and has already put into this his presupposition. Gilky: the acts the Hebrews believe that God might have done and said them, but we know he did not. 3500 years later, we know more than they did. We can examine archeology and history and we can be a better judge of this than those who were there. Bultman, thought to be a great New Testament scholar, wrote: the historical method includes the presupposition that history is a closed system. In other words, God cannot get into it. This closeness means that the continuum of historical happenings cannot be rent by divine intervention. An historical fact which involves resurrection from the dead is utterly inconceivable. Empiricism and rationalism give us truth. One scholar argues that Christ did not exist at all, since no object or building survives with a link to Him, or no 1st century writer mentions Him. However, 15 1st century writers name Him. Rom. 1: they suppress the truth by means of unrighteousness. Legal arguments are always based on presuppositions. We believe that it is possible for God to communicate with man; they assume that He cannot. If you grant their presupposition, any logical argument will be consistent. The assault must come at that level. You must attack them at their presupposition, which determines the interpretation of the data.


How do we prove the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible? We cannot prove it like a scientific demonstration. The same thing happens in a geometric proof; you learn specific assumptions. Euclidian geometry but this is rejected by some, and what if we are on a sphere? That rejects Euclidian geometry. We must submit to a higher authority. What universal law is higher than God? There are no laws of physics which exist apart from God. We can elevate science and history to a level where it can evaluate God and man.


We may think we can simply prove that the tomb of Jesus is empty; the problem is that they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. The Bible does make certain claims, and we can notice that whenever we are able to verify this or that in the Bible, then it should be truthful. When Jesus speaks to Nicodemus. “If I had told you earthly things, and you don’t believe; how will you believe when I tell you of heavenly things?” Nicodemus was religious, but he had rejected the truth. Jesus is saying, if I tell you about all of these things which you can easily confirm, then how will you believe Me when I tell you of heavenly things? If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then there is no Christianity. When Jesus heals the paralytic in Mark 2, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Some scribes rejected Jesus as God, that is their presupposition, so they cannot believe that He can forgive this guy’s sins. Then Jesus physically heals the man. Only God can forgive sins, and only God can heal in this way. Jesus demonstrates that He is able to do and perform only what God can do.


One way that we can look to gain some insight, is to look at claims which are made historically. We have to be careful. When we compare archeology to the Bible. The presupposition is. Historically, because of the presupposition of liberalism, the Bible is wrong unless it can be proved to be right. To the liberal, the Bible is guilty unless proven innocent. Certain scholars have jumped to conclusions, and these conclusions have become calcified; and even when the underlying assumption is proven false, these concludsioins are still taught in the classroom.


Archeology is an inexact science. You can only deal with left over, limited historical evidence. You cannot prove or disprove the Bible with archeology. You can get a limited picture of the ancient world and possibly show some correlations between the Bible and archeology.


The purpose of Biblical archeology is the recover artifacts of man’s past; but it cannot prove the veracity of the Bible. However, it can clarify the accuracy of Biblical accounts. Along with the Hittites, the Jews were some of the best historians in history. We discover in archeology, when the Bible gives us a picture of what was going on in the past in, say, 2000 b.c., we can find a 1 to 1 correspondence. There ends up being no contradictions.


One prime example of this flaw from the 1830's and 1840's was Documentary Hypothesis. They argued that Moses could not have written the Bible, because no one was writing at that time. Most people could not read or write at tha time. However, by the late 1800's, there was the discovery off the Black Stele which had the code of Hamarabi on it, with writing, a detailed law code, all from about 1700 b.c., predating Moses. Dean had a wonderful scholar as a teacher in many classes, and this guy taught in 1970 the documentary hypothesis was a fact, even though it was based upon faulty assumptions since proven to be false. These theories develop a life of their own.


Archeology certainly confirm some things which we read. Glueck said, “That in all of the discoveries which I have made, I have never found anything which has disproven the Bible or any historical information in it.”


Ashurbanipal in his set of documents, there was a 6 day creation and a day of rest. There is also the Babylonian creation epic. Out of a watery chaos came the earth. The liberals claim that the Bible comes from Babylonian fables. But, as man took a hold of this truth, that they distorted it and fablized it. To say the Bible came from these other things which mean that there was such a wholescale revision, that there jus tis no evidence of it. If it was a revision, it would have been a 99% revision. Gilgamish epic is the flood story, with a Babylonia Noah, who sends out a dove, swallow and a raven. There is obvious embellishment. No incredulous spernatural things going on. Zigarottes discovered, with an artist depiction of the tower of Babel. It is s step pyramid which went up. A few years ago they built the European building of some sort and designed after the tower of Babel, and build intentionally unfinished. The architect intentionally built it that way. Even though pagan man wants to reject the Bible, they still fulfill prophecy.


We’ll come back for more of this for the Old and New Testaments next time.


Archaeology and the Old Testament Bibliology #003               2004


Can we trust the Bible. The issue goes to authority. Many people want to knee-jerk reject the Bible as the final authority. Men are naturally rebellious, so we want to have things according to our own terms, in accordance with our own agenda. We want to reject absolute truth and a God to Whom we are accountable. There is a hidden agenda at work in the soul of the unbeliever. Almost without thought, they reject the Bible. One question you might want to ask is, what constitutes absolute truth? They want to establish a criterion which is either unreasonable or invalid. The Bible claims to be the Word of God, breathed out by God. How do we prove this? How do we validate it? We cannot take it to the lab and prove it empirically. In some sense, you are relying on some visual, repeatable experiment. Science is based upon repeatable, observable events. Evolution is not science as it cannot be observed or repeated.


Now, if I have some preconceived standard of truth, then I need to have that satisfied in order for me to believe the truth of the Bible. In other words, there is a higher authority than the Bible which will dictate whether or not it is truthful. Who God is defines morality and truth. Righteousness is not some abstract system which we conjure up, but righteousness is what God is. Now, we don’t get to start from the framework that there is something over God which God must satisfy in order to prove that He is God; or to prove that His Word is truly His Word. You cannot elevate something in God’s creation above His person or His Word.


At 2 or 3 years old, you knew the authority voice of your mother or father. If we are made in His image, then, despite man’s fallen state, we recognize the authority in His voice. It reverberates in our soul. Whether we want to admit it or not is one thing; but God’s truth cuts to our soul.


Now, if the Bible makes certain claims, then they can be verified in some way. If we examine what we find historically in the Bible, we will find that it is historically accurate. We are not required to find some document which mentions Abram, son of Tera in order to believe tha Abraham mwas a real man who existed.


Presupposition: God cannot speak to man. They see this as impossible. They deny anything supernatural taking place. Liberal theology approaches the data with the assumptions which nullify the truth of Scripture.


Christians do not necessarily come to the conclusioni that the text calimin o be what it is proven to be. History cannot be divorced from history. Mormonism has this huge group of white skinned people with an enormous civilization in north America. There is no evidence of this. Brigham Young has the largest archeological department in the US and there is no evidence which they have found.


Liberals have had egg on their faces over and over again, as they thought that the Bible could not be this or that, because Moses could not have written it back in 1450 b.c. But later it was shown that man wrote at least 1000 years before Moses, which takes us back to the time of the flood. Anti-supernatural bias and anti-Christian doctrines have caused some theologians to reject Moses as the writer.


You cannot divorce spiritual truth from space-time reality. Political liberalism and religious liberalism go hand-in-hand. Liberals often deny that religion shoudl play a part in our political decisions. Teddy Kennedy says that he cannot trust someone who makes decisions based upon religious beliefs.


Mark 2: Jesus heals the paralytic. “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And the pharisees complain, “Only God can forgive sins.” So Jesus heals the man, revealing His divinity. Evidences do not prove the Bible; but the demonstrate that there are no flaws in Scripture.


“The purpose of Biblical archeology is to recover artifacts from man’s past, and archeology has demonstrated historical and geographical accuracy of Scripture. It rejects the view that the Bible is a partison book of little importance.


Some mythological creation epics. One had 6 days of creation and 1 day of rest. There is the tower of Babel which is confirmed with the Zigarots. The parliament building for the EU is based upon the tower of Babel, intentionally designed as the tower of Babel.


Black stele with the code of Hammurabi written a thousand years before Moses, indicating that there was writing and that there were codified laws in some societies. The Mosaic Law fits the time and place wherein it was written.


We would think that if the Bible spoke or a great destruction of cities near the Dead Sea that we could find them. Philo said that the evidence of the destructioni of Sodom and Gomorrah could be still be seen. There were remains of trees at a depth of 23 feet and structures on the eastern shore of the Transjordan. Numerous cemetaries, artifacts, etc. dated about 2200 b.c. His dates are a little older than what we believe Sodom and Gomorrah to be. 23 foot thick or high walls. Evidence that the city had been destroyed by fire. Thick ash on this place; many feet of ash deposits. Posts and woodbeams turned red by heat. Charnel houses, burned from the inside out. The first started on the roof, collapsed the roof, and then burned outward. This fire may have been brought on by an earthquake. Asphalt, petroleum and natural gas. An earthquake could release these gases into the air and an electrical storm could ignite them. Very similar to Gen. 19 when fire and brimstone rained out of the air onto Sodom and Gomorrah. The destruction which we have discovered fits the picture of the Bible.


The 5 cities of the plains have been discovered and all of the sites were destroyed at the same time and several feet thick of this ash. The ground was spongy and could not be resettled. His trip to the Land of Promise will include a trip to Sodom and Gomorrah.


Liberal theologians reject the historicity of David. For 200 years, David was thought to be some mythical figure that the Jews invented. They ignore all that is found in the Bible. In 1993 another stele was found at Tel Dan, and there was a victory there, and this stele was written 150 years after David, and the king named is Jehoram from the house of David. Some liberals say, then, the myth goes back further than we thought. They cannot get away from their supposition.


Haley’s River 90 miles east of Ankara. The liberals said that the Hittites did not exist. Then they discover this incredible library of the Hitites and now it is clear the Hittites existed.


Meggido is where Solomon was said to have 1000's of horses. Archeologists discovered the stables there and there are 1000's of stalls.


New Testament archeology. A group of scholars called the Jesus seminar. They claim the Bible was put together 300 years after Jesus and that Jesus was a mythological character. Someone of this group said, “Just because you prove that there is an empty tomb, it does not mean anything.” They do not reject the Bible because it is irrational or they have reasonable objections. “The truth of Easter is not based upon an empty tomb. It is the meaning of Jesus which gives meaning to Easter. Taking these things seriously does not mean that you take them literally.” They do not live in the realm of reality.


The date of Jesus’ birth. Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,.. (Luke 1:1–3). Turn to Luke 2:2: This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. There is someone around 4-9 a.d. Quirinius does not fit. However, there was another Quirinius or he ruled in another area 11–4 b.c., which is when our Lord was born, and this fits with the text. Liberals also claim that there was no evidence of a census which caused people to go to their hometown to be counted. The oxyrhincus papyrus in the British Museum and another papyrus both contain orders that people return to their birthplace in order for a census to be taken.


Liberals challenge that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Jerome who translated the Scripture into Latin said that Bethlehem was the most revered place in the world. Hadrian ruled 117–131 a.d., who was anti-Christian, had a grove of trees planted there where Jesus was born for the worship of Adonis in order to profane the area where Jesus was born. A church was built over a cave which was the site of the birth.


Evidence from Capernium. A synagogue and we know the house where Peter’s mother lived. Assuary is a bone container, and this is the ossuary of Caiphus, the High Priest who condemned Jesus. We have evidence of Pilate, who was thought to be fictional. In 1960, a 2x3 foot slab called the Pilate inscription, written to commemorate a temple he had built to commemorate religious worship of Tiberius (I think?).


We also have evidence of a crucifixion from a period 3o or 40 years after the time of Christ and there is a heal bone with a nail driven through it. Up until this time, 1968, liberals said that there was no evidence of a crucifixion in Israel.


John 5:42; altar to an unknown god found in Athens. Biblical archeology demonstrates that the Bible is consistent with what we find recorded.


Tyre: Prophecy Fulfilled               Bibliology #004                                                2004


He was at the WHW pastor’s conference. These are pastors who recognize that they want to be pastors. It is important for churches to realize that it is important to support seminaries, because they train the pastors.


Founded in the early 90's with the purpose of founding seminaries. Their central verse is 2Tim. 2:2: The things which you have heard from me in front of many witnesses, commit this to others. Paul wrote this from prison and he was about to be martyred and these were his last words. Paul’s final words are directed to a pastor in the context of a letter related to a local church. Pastors should be involved in the training of pastors for the ministry.


Since Dean teaches at a depth greater than the emotional/devotional stuff most pastors give; and some say, you ought to teach in a seminary. Given the length of a class at a seminary, you cannot get much depth. You can only plant the seeds in people who will be pastors, and hope the Holy Spirit can fertilize these seeds. You give them the basic tools of exegesis and most of the books should be covered and the languages should be taught.


It is the local church which teaches people. The Lord did not institute Bible colleges or seminaries, and the church is the support for these things. The divine ideal for the believer’s life under grace remains unchangeable. In the empowering life, there is victory. Chafer’s is the most extensive systematic theology which has been written. The average life of a seminary is 75 years. Chafer Seminary is apparently different than Dallas Theological Seminary.


Both Samuel and Elijah led training schools for the prophets. Many schools emphasize their doctrinal statements. No one is going to claim that they don’t believe in the Bible. It is what they do with their statements.


Distinctives: literal hermeneutics for every portion of Scripture. Covenant theologians are not consistent in their hermanuetics; they go into allegorical interpretations when it comes to prophecy. 4 years of languages are required and relate them to theology. It is not programs and it is not music, it is the simple teaching of the Word of God that builds believers. Dispensational theology. There is a distinction between God’s plan for the church and God’s plan for Israel. We need to understand the Word of God from a dispensational framework. When pastors are dependent upon others—and we all are to some extent—but we should be able to build upon our teachers. We should be able to go beyond them. The sufficiency of Scripture. Scripture is completely adequate. The Word of God by itself is sufficient to prepare a person for a lifetime of ministry. No need for psychology or salesmanship. The freeness of God’s grace; God saves man by faith alone in Christ alone. Faith in Christ is assurance of salvation; it is not our works which provide assurance of salvation. Works at anytime contribute nothing to our salvation.


We build from God’s Word from exegesis to a sound theology and we build categories and from this is a systematic theology, which gives us a framework to interact with the world around us. The curriculum there is built upon the exegesis of Scripture. We develop a Biblical theology, which is a technical term which means, for instance, that John has a particular theology and his own vocabulary and he emphasizes certain doctrines in a certain way. Each book has its own development, its own theological emphasis. What do these books teach about God, man, nature, sin, etc. In the 4th year, you move from Biblical theology to systematic theology. To become accredited, you need a library with a certain number of volumes. Students need access to a lot of good libraries (there are others?).


Dean gets up at 6 am there and begins to teach at 8 am and he teaches 4 hours in the morning and 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and he never sees the weather in southern California. John Beck teaches systematic theology; Jack Littlefield., George Meisinger, John Nash. Tim Nichols, and several others. Two graduation ceremonies 2001 and 2004. Two sisters, one of whom is a missionary in Cairo. Also developing resource materials for churches, pastors and Sunday School.


The Bible is the center of Christianity, and there are so many assaults on the Bible. Some say it contains a kernal of truth; or the Bible has been too shaped by past societies, views on child rearing are archaic. The Bible does not contain error. The trustworthiness of the Bible. This is not just a book about God, but it claims to be a direct revelation from God. If God is there, then nothing else matters. God can communicate clear to us, and He has constructed this marvelous book for man, so that no matter what culture we are from, or what time period we are from, and no matter what language we speak, we can understand the principles of Scripture.


Don’t fall for any of this Bible code stuff. The idea that embedded in the Scripture are these codes, and all of the letters are run together and there is some sort of a number sequence code, and you can discover certain hidden messages in the Bible. The biggest problem with this is it presupposes that we have the precise, exact original. No two Hebrew manuscripts agree 100%. There are spelling differences, there are synonyms used, a word is dropped out here or there. If one letter is wrong, dropped out or added, then that changes the whole code. The idea is, the Bible cannot be understood on the surface, but it has the super-secret meaning buried away in it.


You don’t prove the Bible as you do a geometric proof. We can look for evidence to confirm Scripture. Archeology cannot prove the Bible in one sense, as the Bible teaches doctrine. Archeology will demonstrate that the cultural aspects of the Scripture are accurate. The geography is going to be accurate. We may or may not find some ancient manuscript which speaks of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob.


Another line of evidence is the prophecies found in the Bible. There are prophecies and detailed prophecies which have already been fulfilled in history. We can go back and see when the prophecies were made and how they were fulfilled, and we can see them fulfilled in a literal fashion.


The generalized prophecies found in other areas are general and can be applied to almost any set of circumstances. And even those Christians who claim to have the gift of prophecy are not right most of the time. The Bible gives hundreds of specific prophecies hundreds of years in advance, with 100% accuracy. Declaring the end from the beginning. God can tell us precisely what will take place in history. He knows all that will occur, and He can tell us to the precise detail and it will all come to pass exactly as He says that it will. Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism do not have detailed, fulfilled prophecies. When anyone claimed to speak a word from God, If you claimed to prophesy, but what you said did not come to pass, then you were to be killed. 99.9% accuracy rate means you would be executed. Not all of the prophecies could be tested. Every prophet gave numerous prophecies in his lifetime in order to validate his ministry. If the thing does not happen or come to pass, you will not be afraid of him and you will execute him. Isa. 41:21. A challenge given to the prophets of that time. Present your case, says the Lord; bring forth your strong reason and bring forth and tell us what will happen. Let them show the former things that we may consider them or have them declare the things that will come to pass. The test was always 100% accuracy. A declaration of future events which excludes vague predictions. Those who stand up in churches stand up and give prophecies give vague statements which can fit almost any situation. In the Scripture, we have detailed prophecies of future events in the Bible.


1Kings 13:2–3: And the man cried against the altar by the word of the LORD and said, "O altar, altar, thus says the LORD: 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.'" And he gave a sign the same day, saying, "This is the sign that the LORD has spoken: 'Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.'" Written 100 years before Josiah and fulfilled precisely.


Ezek. 26 contains God’s judgment against the city of Tyre. In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, 'Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,' therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD. "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the LORD; I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. "Thus says the Lord GOD to Tyre: Will not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when slaughter is made in your midst? Then all the princes of the sea will step down from their thrones and remove their robes and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground and tremble every moment and be appalled at you. And they will raise a lamentation over you and say to you, "'How you have perished, you who were inhabited from the seas, O city renowned, who was mighty on the sea; she and her inhabitants imposed their terror on all her inhabitants! Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall, and the coastlands that are on the sea are dismayed at your passing.' "For thus says the Lord GOD: When I make you a city laid waste, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you, and the great waters cover you, then I will make you go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living. I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord GOD."


Tyre was right on the coast, strongly fortified, with 150 ft. high wall, 15 foot thick, and surrounded the city on the land side. Strong flourishing city going back to at least 1400 b.c. Tyre, at this time, had been there for nearly 1000 years. The cedars of Lebanon brought from Hiram the King of Tyre for David’s castle and Solomon’s Temple. This prophecy was given 587 b.c. and Nebuchadnezzar would invade the land in 586 b.c. Nebuchadnezzar has a 13 year siege against Tyre, The initial fulfillment is begun some 15 years later. I will cause many nations to come against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. God uses the imagery of the sea on this maritime town. I will tear down your walls. This took 13 years. I will scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock. The topsoil itself was scraped away. This was a major metropolitan area. What was said here was unimaginable for such a destruction to take place. Her daughter villages will be slain by the sword, and they will thus know I am the Lord. Even Nebuchadnezzar is named by name to do this. Nebuchadnezzar will come against them from the north with horsemen and many men. You walls will shake... In v. 13 there is a shift to they from he. Before this was Nebuchadnezzar, and after this come the nations over 250 years in order to fulfill this prophecy. The people in Tyre took all of their material goods offshore to an island and there was no plunder for Nebuchadnezzar to take, and they built a new city of Tyre on this island. The main city was turned to rubble, and the island city of Tyre became the center of focus. 325 b.c. there was the invasion of the east by Alexander the Great. A small navy and large army and calvary. He comes through Turkey, defeats Darius III, and the Phœnicians are resistant. He recognizes that these people in Tyre are a half mile off shore. So, he has his soldiers tear down the city, and in order to get out to the main city, they had to scrape out the dirt to fill in everything. The Greeks had mobile shields. They developed 250 ft. assault towers, and they were able to overcome the walls. The result of this attack was that the details of the prophecy were completed. No habitation there; and for hundreds of years, there have been fishermen who spread out their nets to dry on the rocks and land which was once Tyre.


Incredible Predictions of the Bible Bibliology #005                      2004


Can we trust the Bible. How do we know that this is not just a collection of nice things cobbled together over the years. Maybe it has some truth in it, but every religion has such a claim to holy books and perhaps they all have a bit of truth in them as well.


The Bible claims for itself to be the Word of God.


You cannot go to the Bible and say that the Bible must meet some external standard. That means that you believe that God should meet a specific standard.


Christians are just those mindless robots who put their mind in neutral and just believe it no matter what.


Those people who disparage the Bible either have not spent much time in it or they simply have negative volition against God. So, depraved man says, “There really isn’t a Creator” or “God never gave us His Word.”


For believers, we get an increased confidence in Scripture. We have learned that nothing discovered in the Bible confirms the Bible, but it does not prove the Bible in any way. There was an inscription relating to the house of David, the first historical evidence which validated that there was a David. Archeology corroborates the information in Scripture.


The Bible uses prophecy as evidence that it is from God. Isa. 46:9–10: “I declare the end from the beginning.” This distinguishes the God of the Bible from other religions. There is enough detail in Scripture, that it is clear that it is clear that the Bible is the Word of God. In Deut. 18, if a prophet does not get it right, then that prophet is to be killed. A prophet who speaks in the name of the Lord, if that does not come to pass, then he should be stoned.


The challenge from Scripture to other religions is, show us the future. Biblical prophecy is a declaration of future events which avoid vague predictions, but have specific details. It must be more than trends or cycles of history.


The last time, we examined the destruction of Tyre in Ezekiel. The city would be destroyed and scraped down to the bare rock. Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the city for 13 years, so the people moved off to an island off the coast. However, there was nothing left for Nebuchadnezzar when he finally entered into the city. 250 years later, Alexander the Great came along and he took all of the dirt and debris and build a causeway out to the city of Tyre, and that was how the rest was scraped clean.


Nineveh was like Tyre—a significant and populous city, more so than Tyre and less so than Babylon. Nineveh was originally founded by Nimrod, along with Babylon. It has always been a part of the kingdom of man trying to establish itself by the ruleof many instead of God. The city was 3 miles long a 1.5 miles wide. Roughly an 8 mile wall, quite thick, which provided protection. There were smaller suburbs outside the walls. Reached its heyday in the 8th and 7th centuries b.c. From the 12th century b.c., it was a place for kings. In the 7th century b.c., it became the capital of Assyria (I think?). 793–753 b.c. for Jeroboam II. No precise date on Jonah, but he came along about this time, and that puts Jonah in the first half of this century. Jeroboam II was an evil king. The Jews hated the Assyrians more than anything, and God told Jonah that he needed to become a missionary to these Gentiles, which Jonah did not respond to well at all. Jonah was going to take this message of grace to Nineveh. If the Assyrians did not repent, God would destroy Nineveh. Jonah took off in the opposite direction, and he hated the enemy of his people. He was headed to Spain. God sent a storm, and the ship is about to sink, and Jonah confesses that he is at fault. He is thrown overboard, and God sends a great fish which swallows up Jonah, giving him a ride back to home port, regurgitating him up on the beach.


Jonah would have been bleached white by the stomach acids of the fish’s stomach; and he probably stunk. Jonah gave the gospel, and the people of Nineveh responded, and God spared Nineveh for 150 years. Sargon II was one of the greatest rulers of Assyrian from 722– b.c.; and Sennacherib came after him, who expanded the ctiy. He increased the fortitications about the city. This city was right on the Tigris River, and the city would flood when the river overflowed. Sennacherib built up a dam further up to prevent this.


The build a huge wall around the city. Sennacherib lives 704–681 b.c. This is the golden age of Assyrian. A dam, aqueducts bringing water into the ctiy; greatest time. God prophecied that they would be destroyed.


Jewish tradition places this book in the 7th century b.c. There are no markers within the book to nail down the date. Nahum spoke about Assyria. Nahum 1:1: An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh. This is the whole message of this book. Nahum 1:8: But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness. What do you plot against the LORD? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.


Nineveh was ripe for judgment and all they had to be was shaken in order for them to collapse. 612 b.c. an alliance of Scythians, Medes and Persians (?), and they first destroyed the Dam, which would allow water to pour into the city, which would destroy the brick from which the walls were built. 100 years later, its remains could not be seen. In the mid 19th century a.d. Nineveh was found; but excavation has not been complete because there are people who live there now.


People challenge that these books were written after the fact. The are various historical events described in detail.


There are over 200 Old Testament prophecies which are found which apply to the Messiah.

10 Prophecies

1.     Prophecies in the Old Testament are not allegorical but they are literal. This helps us to figure out unfulfilled prophecy.

2.     The vast number of these prophecies could not be fulfilled are astronomical. Josh McDowell writes something from Stoner’s book. The odds of 10 prophecies about the Messiah coming true are like: 950 miles by 900 miles, approximately. Cover Texas with silver dollars up to a depth of 4 feet. One of them is marked. You stir the whole pot and then blindfold one person and the chances of him picking out the right silver dollar is astronomical. That is just for 10 prophecies, and there are 100 or more prophecies about the Messiah.

3.     The Messiah would be born of a virgin. The Jews in the 2nd century b.c. translated this into Greek, they understood that this referred to a virgin, and not just to a young woman, and used παρθενος = virgin. Furthermore, this is a sign, which is more than an unmarried woman giving birth.

4.     Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. The scepter would not depart from the line of Judah. Luke 3:23, 33 fulfills this.

5.     Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, in Micah 5:2. Matt. 1–2 Luke 2–3

6.     Isa. 9:1: Messiah’s ministry would begin in Galilee: Naphtali and Zebulun. Matt. 4:12, 13, 17.

7.     Messiah would enter into Jerusalem on a donkey, Zech. 9:9. Luke 19:35–37.

8.     Crucifixion: He would be silent before His accusers. Isa. 53:7 Matt. 27(37?):13–14 Only when sins were poured out on Him did He scream.

9.     After the crucifixion, the body was put into a tomb of Joseph of Aramathia. Isa. 53:9: his grave with the wicked Matt. 27:57–60

10.   You will not leave my soul in Sheol and quoted by Acts 2:29–31.

11.   Psalm 16:10 no decreed.

12.   Jesus would be betrayed by a friend. Psalm 49:1? Judas would betray Him at the Garden of Gethsemene. Matt. 26:49, and he did it for a price.

13.   Zech. 11:12 30 pieces of silver, as Judas took.


This is 10 out of maybe a 100 or so. Now, these are fulfilled simply by pure chance or this is the Word of God.


Dan. 9:24–25: Daniel’s 70th week: "Seventy-sevens are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. From the issuing of the decree to rebuild restore and rebuild Jerusalem, to the Messiah, it would be 70-7's. 69 sevens to Messiah. Daniel is the prime minister in Babylon; the Temple has been destroyed, Jerusalem is in ruins; and just a few years later, Cyrus would give a decree for the Jews to go back into the land. Isaiah did tell us that Cyrus wold be the one to send them back into the land. Dan 9:26–27: And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." There were people who had been resettled into the land from previously, and they resented these Jews coming back to this land. The people of the prince who is to come would destroy the Temple and the city, which was fulfilled in 70 a.d.


Several decrees: Cyrus in 538 b.c. to settled the land. Ezra 6 decree. 1st decree of Artexerxes Longimontes, but that was not the right one. The 2nd decree of 444 b.c. of Artexerxes Longimontes. Neh. 2:1–3 and we know from archeology that the decree was given at the first of the month, and changing to our calender makes is march 4th, 444 b.c. Or is it the 5th? 17640 days, 360 day years, and half weeks are mentioned. Time, times and half a time. 1260 days. 30 day months and 360 day years. 173,880 days. From March 5th 444 b.c. to March 30th 33 a.d. is the day that Jesus comes into Jerusalem. Daniel predicted to the day that the Messiah would come into the city. Decree to restore on March 5, 444 b.c. to march 30, 33 a.d. Luke 19:22–40. Then the Messiah is cut off and the 70th week will be the Tribulation.


Jesus enters into Jerusalem and He looks at the city and He has lareayd wept over the city. Jesus Matt. 24:2 “Not one stone shall be left here on another; all of them will be thrown down.” This occurred in 70 a.d. Gold melted and ran down in between the cracks of the blocks, and the blocks were torn apart in order to get the gold in between them.


Years ago, what about the Wailing Wall? This was not a part of the Temple structure, but it is the only thing left of that general area, the retaining wall. This was not a part of the Temple structure itself. The Bible has tremendous prophetical structure.


This is not just some book written by men, but divinely inspired.


How do we know that we really have the Bible. How do we know that we can trust it?


How We Got the Old Testament Bibliology #006                                             2004


How do we know that we have the Word of God; how do we know we have it all; how do we know it is infallible?


Canon comes from the Hebrew qenen and kanon in the Greek. This describes a simple reed which was used as a measuring device. It was a standard, authoritative measuring device. It refers to any authoritative collection of books for whatever subject there may be. The core issue is really a question of authority. There is a problem in the human soul and a rejection of God’s authority. Man wants to reject God’s authority. The Bible is a self-authenticating revelation. Human viewpoint challenges the Biblical concept. There is objective revelation to man. There is always conflict between human viewpoint and divine viewpoint. Pagans are those who are set over-against the Bible; that is a technical term for non-Biblical thinking. Divine viewpoint is the source of the Bible is God. Can God oversee the process enough so that we can trust the Bible. It is an issue of authority and trustworthiness. If the Data has errors in it, we don’t know where to trust it. If we recognize that the Bible is a legal document, or testament. For a legal document to be binding, every word has to be true. In signing a mortgage, we are supposed to read every single word. Every single word in a contract is important; you can’t go in and talk to the mortgage company and say, “I don’t need to pay exactly $865/month; I just need to send in some money every month or so.” God has established the contract with man; God is the source and the words are important.


Self-authenticating. Some think you just get caught up in this circular argument. Why do you know the Bible is the Word of God? It says so. Therefore it is. No external authority, because how can the Word of God appeal to a higher authority? There is no higher authority than the Word of God. As God speaks, His voice carries its own validation. When God speaks, man knows that God is speaking. He may suppress this in unrighteousness, but he nevertheless recognizes it. We can validate the Bible through various external circumstances.


Anti-supernatural thought. This has gone back for a few hundred years. No way that God can speak to man. No way can we know Him. He is too far out there. The universe is a closed system, which fits with the concept of evolution. Man determines revelatory authority or religious authority.


Church councils which name various books as authoritative, are merely recognizing what is already known. Pagan argument that 90 a.d. was the council of Jewish rabbis made this Old Testament into a particular set of books. These churches and synagogues merely affirmed what was already known. By 200 b.c., the canon had been set. The council of Yamni in 90 a.d. merely recognized what was already a portion of Scripture. Paganism gets it backwards and puts the emphasis on human authority.


1.     Islam and Mormonism claim that one angel gives the entire book to one man at one time.

2.     Others have a book written by one person which is not claimed to be the Word of God, but that it is simply wisdom.

3.     Or, stories about the gods, which claim to be stories about the gods, but is not the Word of God. For these other books, man makes the decision.


Today, we put the emphasis on the councils, as if they could give authority to these books.


Catholic doctrine came out of the end of the 2nd century, which was developed and began to be recognized in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The issue of canon in the Roman church isn’t settled until 1540 a.d. at the council of Trent. Early church theology claims the authority is in the New Testament itself. Man can, at best, recognize the authority. The voice of God carries with it the authority. If God’s voice would be audible, there would be no doubt that it is the Word of God. Like the Jews in Exodus who could not listen to God’s Word. The core issue; how do we know we have all the right books, is where is the authority, with man or God. How can we trust it? Not only can we trust it, but we cannot trust anything else. If there is a God, then nothing matters more than what He has said. If there is no God, nothing matters.


2Tim. 3:15: From childhood, you have known the sacred writings. This means we are speaking of the Old Testament, which would have been the only Scripture at this time. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. 2Peter 1:20–21: Know that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. was Both passages recognize that there is a set of authoritative writings.


Several passages show us that from the very beginning that the Bible was authoritative and that we have the totality of revelation. Ex. 24:4: Liberal theology hears the word about God instead of the Word of God. Conservative theology hears the word from God. Joshua 8:30–35 where Joshua reconfirms the covenant with the Jews. Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Israel and the Bible was placed into the Ark which reconfirmed this contract of God. Deut. 26 mentions this as well. 1Sam. 10:25 Dan. 9:2 recognizes Jeremiah as authoritative. Neh. 9:14 recognizes Moses wrote the words of God. The writers understood that various books came from God. Now, non-Biblical sources are named, like in Joshua 10; Num. 21:14 book of the wars of the Lord; clearly those viewed as being canonical and those that weren’t.


What is the Old Testament canon? Two ways to look at it. The Hebrew Old Testament is organized differently from the English. 22 or 24 books in the Hebrew Old Testament, the Torah, the Nevaiim, and the Kethubim. This has given the acronym TNK and add vowels to get Tanak, a Jewish translation of the Old Testament. Torah has 5 books. Nevaaim has the early prophets, including Samuel and Kings. Later prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. One book for the 12. Kethuvim are the wisdom books, including psalms, proverbs, Ezra-Nehemiah. Same books as is in our Bible.


The Law, historical books, poetry, major and minor prophets . Daniel had the gift of prophecy but he did not hold the office of prophet. He is placed in the writings. The Jews only accept the apocrypha, which means that which is hidden, obscure, spurious. Not accepted by Protestants or by Jews. Eastern Orthodox, Roman and Syrian all have some portions of this apocrypha. All hold to the same New Testament canon. The differences only relate to the Old Testament. What is in question are those things written in between the testaments. Wisdom of Solomon, Brauch, Ecclesiasticus, letter of Jeremiah, prayer of Azariah, book of Susannah, Bel and the dragon (added to Daniel). 1 and 2 Maccabees from 300–100 b.c., which is good for history from that time period. Where did the apocrypha come from? After the council of Vicia, 325 a.d. Constantine becomes emperor around 315 a.d. 351 is when Athenacious sends out an easter letter and in that, there is a list of the 27 books of the New Testament.


360–370 is a council which lists all 27 New Testament books. What Jerome proclaims occurs after all of this. Pope Damasus commission Jerome to prepare a standard Latin version of the Scriptures. The Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament to the common (vulgar) language, with is the Latin Vulgate. Jerome in the preface calls the readers attention to the apocryphal books, and he reccomends other books which are profitable, but not those which are authoritative. This preface told about these books, and most figured that, when they saw the Apocrypha, that they were a part of the Bible. Jerome included them. Council of Trent decreed that the Old Testament include the Apocrypha. They pronounced a curse on anyone who did not accept this Apocrypha (along with the rest of the Scriptures). The Apocrypha was primarily written in Greek; but some was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. It was written late, and Jewish writers understood that with Malachi, God stopped revealing things. The Apocrypha has numerous errors. Tobit 1 said the kingdom divided and that Tobit was a young man in 931 b.c. and also a young man under Shalmaneezer at the time of the Assyrian captivity. Has him living until 6 something  b.c.; but he is only 160 or so years old at his death.


Nebuchadnezzar rule which is inaccurate.


Also false doctrine: prayers and offerings for the dead; giving money to atone for slave; justification for cruelty against slaves; emmination of God, purgatory; which all helps to give rise to Romanism. The canon is determined by the church, whereas the Protestant canon was confirmed, but not determined.


Books in the 27 have been discussed and disagreed upon; but none outside the canon was every seriously considered.


Jewish exiles in Babylon, another group in Egypt, another in Palestine, and in Babylon Talmud confirms 22 books of the Old Testament. No communication between these groups and they agreed upon the same canon. Same order as Hebrew Bible today and this was in 200 a.d. recognizing a much older tradition. Those in Babylon. In Alexandria represented by Philo and they recognized 22 books. Jesus in Luke 24:4: the law and the prophets and the psalms, which is the 3-fold division. Jesus clearly affirms this group. Furthermore, Matt. 23:35 from the blood of righteous Abel to Barachiah, which takes us from Gen. 3 to 2Chron. 24:20. He is not the last prophet slain in the Old Testament, but in the Jewish Old Testament he is. First and last murders take us from the beginning to the end of the Old Testament.


How do we know the Bible has been transmitted accurately. The Masoretic text 1008 a.d. is are oldest complete text. Some partial texts a century or two before that. 930–940 a.d. The Dead Sea Scrolls were then discovered on the northern shores of the Dead Sea, from 200 or so  b.c. to 100 a.d. There is a complete scroll of Isaiah, so they could compare an Isaiah scroll from 125 b.c. or so; maybe 200 differences, and most were style changes, spelling disagreements. Only 13 differences were accepted as substantive. One first accepted them for the RSV and later rejected them, believing the MT to be superior to the text of 1000 years previously. When the scrolls were worn out, they would burn the old ones. If a new scroll was off by a letter, they would destroy it. God watched over the text and providentially preserves the Scripture. History substantiates the claims that God’s Word was maintained. Tremendous evidence to support the accuracy of the Old Testament.


How We Got the New Testament Bibliology #007                               2004


Prays about the 2004 election and that we would continue enjoy freedom, be able to continue to support Israel.


How do we know that we can trust the Bible. The Bible was written over at least 1400 years by over 40 authors. The Bible cannot be proven by archeology, but it is consistent with archeology and history; and nothing is discovered to contradict the Bible.


Prophecy and how it could only come from a God who understood history. Job may have been written before Moses. Old Testament canon closed with Malachi around 400 b.c. whereafter followed 400 years of silence from God. The Jews developed techniques of copying the text in order to maintain accuracy.


Dead Sea Scrolls discovered and there were writings from that community, intertestiment material, and copies of the Old Testament. Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essences were the 3 religious groups. Comparing these scrolls to the Hebrew manuscripts which came along about 1000 years later. Most of the differences were grammatical, updates in spelling. 12 significant differences in the book of Isaiah. One accepted as significant as 5 or 6 changes from the Dead Sea Scrolls ini Isaiah in the RSV and later rejected these differences after having time to study, judging the manuscripts from the Masorites to be better.


There was a council of Rabbis around 90 a.d. where they ratified what had been practiced for 400 years. Paganism gets this backwards and believes that they established the authorized text; they recognized the authentic text, which had been understood in this way already. There was debate about some included books which are with us; but there was never any serious debate over books which have been left out.


What about the New Testament? How do we recognize them? The canon of the Old Testament had already been set by the time that Paul was writing. He spoke of the holy writings when writing to Timothy. Jesus spoke of these Scriptures. The New Testament understood that these Holy Books existed and eventually developed a canon.


There is the historical section, the gospels and Acts; the epistles, made up of Paul’s epistles and the general epistles; and Revelation. The birth and ministry of Jesus Christ are told about in the gospels. There is only one incident mentioned from Jesus’ childhood where He remained behind to argue with the Rabbis. Each gospel focuses on different aspects of our Lord’s ministry. The book of Acts picks up where the gospels end. The gospels end with our Lord’s ascension and the book of Acts picks up there; and how the church spread. Paul is mostly the focus, but that is not until Acts 9, when Paul is saved. Peter is much of the focus until then. Acts ends with Paul’s first imprisonment; but he was imprisoned twice. Paul may have gone to Spain, north to Bulgaria. He is arrested again and taken to Rome and beheaded, stuff which is not found in Acts.


The epistles are letters, which fit the form of letters of that day. 13 Pauline epistles and the general epistles. John’s, Peter’s, Hebrews, James and Jude (both the half brothers of the humanity of Jesus Christ). The final book is Revelation.


These books were written about a period of 50 years. James was probably the first book written, about 45 or 46 a.d.; and Revelation was written about 95 a.d. Nothing was written about Jesus during His earthly ministry or by Him. Gospels written to 70 a.d. Tremendous debate about the order in which the gospels were written. A lot of overlap between Matthew, Mark and Luke. John Nemelah at Chafer seminary and he wrote his doctrinal dissertation on the order of these books. He demonstrated that Mark could not have been written first, but Matthew was written first. To the Jew first and then to the Greek, which means that Matthew was written first. Mark and Luke next, but we don’t know which. No particular names affixed to the gospels until the 2nd century a.d. when they were placed together. Evangelical scholarship seems to always follow Israel, and they will try to do things like everyone else. They follow the liberal viewpoint. This has happened in every major seminary in the past 15 years. They all have adopted historical critical method when it comes to the gospels. David Cornell (?) and Robert L Thomas called the Jesus Crisis. Dallas tried to intimidate them into not publishing this book, as it made them look bad and several others. They just got their PhD’s from Dallas, so they understood what had happened in Dallas Theological Seminary. A right thing done in a wrong way is wrong. Methodology is never neutral. He suggest Matthew, then Luke, then Mark then John.


In the 7th or 8th centuries, when the calender was done, they messed up on the birth of Jesus Christ. His crucifixion was when Jesus was about 30. Herod died in 4 b.c., so Jesus must be born before Herod, in 4 or 5 b.c. Paul begins to write at the end of his first missionary journey, the first epistle written to the Galatians. The Olivet discourse was to warn the Jews of the coming judgment against Israel, probably written in late 50's. Luke went out and chatted up the eyewitnesses, and this would have been the year to year and a half period when Paul was at Ceasaria. Luke could move around at this time. Mark would have been written about the same time; maybe a little later. Hebrews had to be written before the fall of Jerusalem. John’s epistles, his gospel and Revelation all written about 90–95.


Liberal presupposition is the Bible cannot be what it claims to be. Liberal theology believe the Bible to contain wise sayings, but not divine truth. Liberals assume that no prophecy was written in advance. Furthermore, they assume that Jesus never claimed to be God. They think the church embellished in the area of Christ’s deity. Found in the popular culture as the DiVinci code. If the gospels were written when they claim to be written, the view of orthodox Christianity, then the canon is completed by 95 a.d.


So how do we get the text? Originally written on scrolls, and we do not have the original writings. Up until 150 a.d., the New Testament writings were bound together into a codex. We have very old copies and fragments. The oldest is P52, which contains a small fragment of John (John 18:31–34, 38) and Pilate is saying “What is truth?” God’s humor. P46 may be older, the Chester Beatty papyrus 2, and some might be putting this in the late 80's or late 90's. P52 110–195. P46 may be within a few decades of the original; within a generation of the originals. There is no other ancient document which has as much documentation as the original or is written as close to the original. Oxyrhynchus papyri. 1898 discovered in the rubbish heaps of this village, and there were all kinds of legal documents and 35 manuscripts with portions of the New Testament. Large portion of the Chester Beatty papyri. DiVinci code thinks Constantine made these sweeping changes, but these all exist far before him. P46 is early. Martin Bodner manuscripts purchased in 1950's and 1960's. P72 from the 3rd century. P72 from 2nd century? 1000's of papyri in the 1900's from before Constantine. Comparing documents allows us to get back to the original.


19th century: Codex Siniticus by Tishendorf, All of the letters are in upper case and that is an uncial text. No breaks between the words. No punctuation; no commas; no periods. Tishendorf spending the night at St. Catherine’s monistary at the foot of Mount Sinai (which may or may not be it). They are burning papers and lighting this parchment, and Tishendorf stamps this out and finds almost an entire codex of the New Testament back to the 4th century. Codex Vaticanus by Tregelles staying at the Vatican and librarians would not let him take it out or write, so he would go in, memorize it, and write it out. The Vatican was forced to release it and published it. These 3 caused a revolution in textual criticism.


Westcott Hort theory oldest is best. Majority text is possibly the best. Erasmus used textus receptus.


This occurred on same day as Luther putting 95 theses on the door.


Rediscovery of truth and the reformation. The textusreceptus is part of a braoder family of manuscripts known as the Bazintine text or the majority text. 1800 differences between the Majority text and textus receptus. Most agree with the older texts. Where Westcott Hort differs from the TR, it agrees with the Majority text.


Our problem is not that we have 95% of the text, but we have 105% of it and we must throw some out.


Codex Ephraimi rescriptus which contains a large portion of the New Testament on a partially erased codex. Tishendorf discovered this and various techniques allowed us to recover what was originally discovered. Theodor Bissa text. WashingCodianus found in the Smithsonian from the 5th century.


Author, then the book he is known for it, earliest surviving manuscript, and the number of copies. Homer 800 b.c. and earliest copy 400 b.c. and 645 copies of the Illiad. Heroditus wrote the history of the Greeks and we have 8 copies with a 1000 year gap. Others are mentioned.


45–95 a.d. written and 114–200 a.d. is the earliest and there may be portions which go back into the 1st century. Over 5,366 copies, which does not count writings from Barnabas, Justin Martyr, etc. 75–200 a.d. who quote the New Testament in many different ways. Tapius 60–130 and he mentions all 4 gospels. Within the 1st century, this was know. Teshon wrote the harmony of the 4 gospels early on.


Clement of Alexandrian has 2400 quotes from all but 3 books. Tertullain of Carthage quotes 7000 times from the New Testament. 1300 quotes from one. Origin has 18,000 quotes from the New Testament. He refuted the false gospels of the gnostics and he knew about the Matthias and the Thomas gospels. We have approved solely what the church has recognized. This goes back to the 3rd century a.d. There are minor discrepancies and nothing which affects any doctrine or anything significant.


How We Got our English Bibles Bibliology #008                                 2004


Final lesson. The election was last week and it sounds like they are checking out pastors?


The claim that the Bible makes, where God reveals truth in and through human authors. The Book of Mormon and the Koran dictated by angels, supposedly, to a so-called prophet. Different in the dynamics of the revelatory process. A claim that God has revealed absolute truth to man. Can we trust the Bible and this is more vital to new believers. The biggest impact of apologetic literature is for believers; not on unbelievers. It provides reenforcement. How do I know that the Bible is not just some other human-generated religious system. That is the typical approach in history and sociology and psychology classes; and a part of English courses as well.


Robby sat in a Western Civilization course with one of the best professors, and very liberal who did not believe in Mosaic authorship. He will not accept clear conclusions of scholarship and continues to hold onto 19th century theories. It leaks out to programs on A&E or the History Channel and their programs are heavily influenced by neo-orthodoxy. Today, we live in an era which has been previously restricted to ivory tower institutions and it is filtering down now to the masses through literature and movies. Peter tells us that we need to be ready to give an answer for the hope which is in us.


We’ve looked at the background and how the books of the Old and New Testaments were gathered. The OT canon was settled about 200 years before Christ; and He obviously accepted it. Dates are important because some prophecy occurs prior to the events described, and liberals do not allow for that. New Testament written 45–95 a.d. Even some liberals understand that the Bible had to be written by 95 a.d. For awhile in the 19th century, liberals believed most of the New Testament was written in the 2nd century, but that has changed. Albert Switzer said we had to figure out who Jesus really was and that there were tons of myth by Him. The Jesus group (or something like that) tried to figure out what Jesus said and did not say, and accepted about 10% of what He said as what He said.


Then these groups tried to add in other gospels all written well after the fact, from the 2nd century on. Post-modernism: everyone has their own truth; and some white male council pronounced them correct; but these other gospels are just as good. Some of this stuff comes out of feminism, because they don’t like the treatment of women. Feminism is being used to elevate Mary and Mary Madeline, the latter almost to the divine, as she married Jesus and had His baby, etc. This is because they do not know history and they do not know the Bible.


How do we know what we have in front of us is the Word of God and not just the words of man? Some think the Bible has been translated from language to language; but all translations are based upon the original. We have farm more manuscript copies of the ancient Greek New Testament than any other 6000 manuscripts which go back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. No other work of literature is that close to the original nor are there that many copies. Homer’s Illiad has about 650 manuscripts put together 1000 years later. The Bible manuscripts go back within decades of the originals.


The papyrus and velum would deteriorate with age. DiVinchi Code claims there were over 60 gospels and that Constantine decided which 4 were in. However, there are not 60 gospels and constantine had nothing to do with it. 15–20 pseudo gospels. All the other gospels written 150+ years after out Lord, so none are written by eyewitnesses.


60– 130 a.d. Pappius, was one of John’s disciples and he mentions all 4 of the gospels and no others. Justin Martye in 150 said there were only 4 gospels. Titian wrote a harmony of the gospels in 170 and includes only these 4. Another said, cannot be more or less than these 4. Clement of Alexander quoted from all but 3 of the NT books. 7000 times Tertullian quoted. 1300 from another. Origin in earth 3rd century and quoted the NT 18,000 times. An author from this era knew Thomas and Matthias, and mentions them, but not as authoritative. They knew of these other gospels. We have only approved solely what the churches have recognized. The people read the gospels and they recognized the divine authority.


The canon was not imposed by a church council. It went through a process and there were several criteria used to validate the selection of these books.


The Reasons for Books Being Placed into the Canon

1.     The New Testament book had to recognize, validate and be consistent with the OT. Mid-2nd century Marcion, came up with a canon and he was anti-Semitic. Often orthodoxy comes in response to stuff like this. He rjected any book with any positive statements about the Jews or Israel. He accept most of Luke and 13 of Paul’s gospels.

2.     There had to be consistency with the Apostle teachings.

3.     Had to be authenticated by the authoritative inner voice. Some books edified and built up believers. You could read, for instance, the Shepherd of Hermas, which was very popular and devotional. Written at the end of the 1st century. It has a limited value. Not of divine origin.

4.     Widespread use and recognition; churches in Collossee, Thessolonica, Jerusalem, etc. A solid consensus, and many churches began to develop their own incomplete canons, particularly when they did not know about this or that epistle (like the letters of John or Hebrews, etc.). There may have been some debate and discussion, but books outside the canon were NEVER seriously considered. Gospel of Philip or Thomas or the Shepherd of Hermes were never thought to be possibly accurate.

5.     Persecution. When the Roman soldiers came to confiscate any holy books, so people had to decide which books they would die for.


3 Stages of Collection

1.     70–170 a.d. Separate circulation, circulated in groups of 1–4; particularly with churches in close proximity with one another. They would become aware of one another and share their epistles. Clement of Rome who wrote about 96 mentions at least 8 New Testament books in his epistles. 105–110 mentioned by another. Polycarpa mentions 15 around 150. Hippolitus names 22 books at the end of the 2nd century. Hebrew, James, 2Peter, 2–3John and Revelation were discussed.

2.     170–303 men in widely separated areas agreed on a canon. Greece, Rome, Antioch, etc. had men all coming to the same conclusion about which books were authoritative and which ones were not. Tertullian did not know about Hebrews, James, and a couple of others. Euroneas mentions 21 books, but he did not know about all of the books. Hippolitus mentions 21 of them. The old Syriac version had everything but 2Peter, 2–3John, Jude and Revelation were not included. Old Latin excluded some of these and James. The muratorium canon 155–200 recognized all of the gospels and most of the New Testament. They recognized that Luke wrote the third gospel and that he did this after the resurrection and did not see the Lord. The Acts were written by Luke in one book, and they took place in his presence and he omits Peter’s martyrdom and Paul going to Spain. He wrote to the Corinthians and to the Galatians and then to the Romans (with summaries offered). Paul wrote to only 7 churches by name. Others which are forged which are mentioned under Paul’s name.

3.     The period of completion 303–397 the council of Nicia in 325. Issue at Nicia was who was Jesus before He came. Eusebius wrote about the early church and discusses the problem books, most all mentioned already. Formal acceptance and recognition took place around this time. 363 council at Laodicia where the present collection of books are mentioned, but not a formal pronouncement. 367 easter letter where 27 are mentioned. A local council in North Africa in 393 in Hippo around Carthage where Augustine would later be bishop a couple hundred years later. They recognize 27. One more after that. But it is still not settled and the Catholics and the Protestants are fighting over this in the 16th century. There was no list handed down authoritatively. These councils just validated the accepted practice of the churches. No one looked outside of these books for additional authoritivative works.


How do we go from there in 397 to where we are now? He is closing out the series. His last Sunday there. During these councils, people are translating the Bible. Around 200 we have the Old Latin. During the 1st century the old Syriac. Also the NT is translated into Aramaic. These translations can be compared to what we have.


About the 4th century, Jerome translates the Old and New Testaments into Latin, known as the Latin Vulgate. He includes the Apocrypha as supplementary information, and people thought it was a part of the canon and Roman council of Trent recognized them in the 1500–1600' s at the Council of Trent (but Jerome did not so recognize it).


Various attempts to translate the Bible into the language of the people down through the centuries. Alfred the Great, Cadmen, and the Venerable Bean. The first one to get most of it translated is John Wycliffe 1320–1384 and he was called the morning star of the reformation. The French king kidnapped the pope and for 70 years the pope ruled out of France under the domination of the French king. Nationalism is beginning to develop. British don’t like the pope dictating to them under the rival king.


Lallers were Wycliff’s followers. 1388 made a complete translation of the Old and New Testaments. Following him is Tyndale who made another translation and he was burned at the stake for his translation and he prayed “Open the eyes of the King of England.” Henry the VIII had to get rid of his wives and he separated from the Roman church and the protestant reformation begins in England. But Martin Luther had already nailed the 95 theses. Zwingli, Calvin and Luther had already circulated their writings in England. Late 1400's and early 1500's and Hebrew grammars are being published. Greek grammars as well begin to be published. Many scholars call to check out the Greek and Hebrew Bible and not the Latin, which lays the foundation for the protestant revolution.


Robert Stevens added verses to the Greek New Testament while riding horseback to Paris, around the 1550's by Stevens. This text which Stevens and Erasmus develops is Textus receptus, and the basis for the KJV. It was revised at least 10 times from 1611 to the 1700's. Lots of changes and revisions. The adulterer’s version, where the “not” was left out of the 7th commandment.


Manuscripts from North Africa. There are 3 or 4 families of manuscripts. North African family; those which survived in Turkey/Byzantine area; and another group in Rome called the western text; those in Jerusalem and Syria and the Caesarian family.


Textual criticism dominated by older is better; dominated by Wescott and Hort. There are some verses which will read differently between TR of the Byzantine family; and the majority text view is not the same as the TR, but most follow this majority text. This explains some differences in translations.


Translation theory: dynamic equivalence versus formal [literal] equivalence. Anytime you translate, there is some interpretation that goes in; no 1-1 formula which can be applied. Interpretive nuance. Formal equivalence tries to hold to the word order and structure. The NASB is probably the closest to the original text. Dynamic equivalence is that you render the ideas; the NIV is one of the most conservative of the dynamic equivalence; probably the worst is the Message.


NKJV is what he recommends in the Thomas Nelson study Bible. Tends to be solid and grace orientated. Or the NASB which was revised in 1995 which gets rid fo the thee’s and thou’s. NIV study Bible has great notes, but some text is bad. Gender specific language is a discussion today. Don’t want to refer to God as He. Some try to get rid of the 3rd person masculine singular. These are just pandering to a social political movement. If God did not see a problem with using gender specific language, then we should not. The root of this is that God did not accurately communicate His Word to us.


The Bible is trustworthy. We can go back to the Dead Sea Scrolls for this. Nothing added, nothing has disappeared; we can be confident that this is the word from God and not a word about God by men.