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Introduction to How We Got the Bible

Introduction

“How The Bible Came From God To Us”

Revelation - God communicating to man what He wants us to know (Hebrews 1:1)

Inspiration - God superintending human writers to compose and record His revelation to mankind (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)

Transmission - The ancient process of accurately copying Hebrew and Greek scriptures for successive generations

Canonicity - God guiding the early church to recognize what books are inspired

Textual Criticism -The modern process of comparing existing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to determine what is original

Translation - The process of translating the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into a modern language

Interpretation - The process of a reader studying to understand what God’s Word means (2 Timothy 2:15)

Illumination - The process of the Holy Spirit helping the reader understand and apply the Bible (John 16:13)

Application - The process of putting into practice what the reader has learned (James 1:22)

The Bible’s Reliability from Revelation by God to Application by Reader

 

 

Definition

Degree of

Certainty

Factors Determining Certainty

Revelation

God communicating to man what He wants us to know (Hebrews 1:1)

Revelation is settled and sure because there is only one Source of revelation.

Revelation rests upon the trustworthy character of God.

Inspiration

God superintending human writers to compose and record His revelation to mankind (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)

Inspiration is settled and sure because there is only one process of inspiration, even though there were many writers.

Inspiration rests on God’s total control of the human-divine process.

Transmission

The ancient process of accurately copying Hebrew and Greek scriptures for successive generations

The transmission of the Bible texts was amazingly accurate, but it was many scribes copying

Transmission depended upon scribes using a careful process that God protected.

Canonicity

God guiding the early church to recognize what books are inspired

Canonicity is settled and sure. There is only one final collection of inspired books.

Canonicity depended upon God controlling an otherwise human process of church councils.

Textual Criticism

The modern process of comparing existing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to determine what is original

-Very reliable overall

Several different theories exist about which original manuscripts are the most reliable.

The accuracy of existing texts depends on the competence of the scholars involved in textual criticism and upon the texts available.

Translation

The process of translating the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into a modern language

We have many reliable translations in English and other languages.

Translations depend on the knowledge and accuracy of the translator(s) and, to some degree, upon their interpretive understanding

Interpretation

The process of a reader studying to understand what God’s Word means (2 Timothy 2:15)

The reliability of interpretation varies greatly.

Many interpretations are suggested

Interpretation depends upon the accuracy, the theology and sometimes the honesty of the Bible student, teacher or writer.

Illumination

The process of the Holy Spirit helping the reader understand and apply the Bible (John 16:13)

The Holy Spirit’s illumination is available to all believers, but accuracy will vary greatly

Illumination depends upon the Bible reader’s accuracy, honesty and even spiritual maturity.

Application

The process of putting into practice what the reader has learned (James 1:22)

Applications will vary greatly. Many applications are legitimately possible.

Specific application depends upon the person’s needs and their willingness to obey God.

Related Topics: Bibliology (The Written Word)