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How We Got The
Bible
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Introduction
• There are no original copies of
the books of the Bible in
existence today
• How do we know that what we
have is accurate?
3
Introduction
• “The story of how we got our
English bible demonstrates the
power and providence of God.”
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Transmission
• There is a chain of transmission
from God to man
• The chain that connects man to
God is his word!
God
What
about
the links
in the middle? Bible
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6
Transmission
• 1. First link is God
• 2 Tim. 3:16-17
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2 Tim. 3:16-17
• All scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be
perfect, throughly furnished unto all
good works.
8
Transmission
• 2. Second link is Jesus, the Son
of God
• Heb. 1:1-2
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Heb. 1:1-2
•
God, who at sundry times and in
divers manners spake in time past
unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto
us by his Son, whom he hath
appointed heir of all things, by
whom also he made the worlds;
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Transmission
• 3. The third link in the chain is
the Holy Spirit
• Jn. 14:26
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Jn. 14:26
• But the Comforter, which is the
Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall
teach you all things, and bring all
things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.
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Transmission
• 4. The Holy Spirit revealed the
Word to inspired men, the
fourth link
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2 Pet. 1:20-21
• Knowing this first, that no
prophecy of the scripture is of
any private interpretation. For
the prophecy came not in old
time by the will of man: but holy
men of God spake as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost.
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Transmission
• 5. These men delivered God’s
message through preaching and
writing – and these original
writings became the fifth link
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1 Cor. 14:37
• If any man think himself to be a
prophet, or spiritual, let him
acknowledge that the things
that I write unto you are the
commandments of the Lord.
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Col. 4:16
• And when this epistle is read
among you, cause that it be read
also in the church of the
Laodiceans; and that ye likewise
read the epistle from Laodicea.
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Transmission
• 6. Copying of the original letters
became the next link
• This led to a series of other links
like early translations, the
printing press, collection of
manuscripts etc.
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Transmission
• Each of these helped complete
the chain that connects our
modern English Bible to heaven
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Books
• God chose to preserve His Word
in a book (scroll form and codex
or book form)
• God did speak to the fathers and
prophets directly
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Books
• When it came to completing the
revelation and preserving it for
all time – God chose to put it in
a book
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Ex. 17:14
• And the LORD said unto Moses,
Write this for a memorial in a
book, and rehearse it in the ears
of Joshua: for I will utterly put
out the remembrance of Amalek
from under heaven.
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Hab. 2:2
• And the LORD answered me,
and said, Write the vision, and
make it plain upon tables, that
he may run that readeth it.
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Books
•
•
•
•
•
Books are:
Durable
Easily passed around
Dependable
We can look up what is written
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Acts 17:11
• These were more noble than
those in Thessalonica, in that
they received the word with all
readiness of mind, and searched
the scriptures daily, whether
those things were so.
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Manuscripts
• Manuscripts were hand written
copies
• Before Gutenberg invented the
moveable type press in the
1400’s, all copies of a document
were done by a scribe’s hand
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• “The New Testament was written
between approximately A.D. 35 and
A.D. 100. Among the books in the
New Testament are letters that
were sent to congregations of the
Lord’s church from the apostle Paul.
Those letters were priceless to
those who received them. Because
of that, copies sometimes were
made.
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• Unlike the scribes who copied
the Old Testament, people who
copied the New Testament
books did not see the need to
bury or burn old, worn-out
copies of the Scriptures. As a
result, we still possess literally
thousands of manuscripts of the
New Testament” Kyle Butt
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Deut. 17:18
• And it shall be, when he sitteth
upon the throne of his kingdom,
that he shall write him a copy of
this law in a book out of that
which is before the priests the
Levites
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Col. 4:16
• And when this epistle is read
among you, cause that it be read
also in the church of the
Laodiceans; and that ye likewise
read the epistle from Laodicea.
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Mt. 2:4
• And when he had gathered all
the chief priests and scribes of
the people together, he
demanded of them where Christ
should be born.
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The N.T. & Other Ancient Books
Title of Book Date
Written
Date of
Earliest
Manuscript
Number of
Manuscripts
Iliad
unknown
643
A.D. 400
9
A.D. 125
5735
700 B.C.
Josephus’ A.D. 70
Jewish
Wars
New
A.D. 35Testament 100
Kyle Butt
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Manuscripts
• “More than 5,300 Greek
manuscripts (in part or whole) of
the NT are available to scholars
today. Some of these go back to
the very shadows of the first
century.” Wayne Jackson
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Early Christian Writings
• Christians of the early 2nd
century and beyond produced a
large number or written works
• Commentaries, sermon books,
harmonies of the Gospels etc.
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Early Christian Writings
• They were not inspired but they
often quoted lengthy portions of
Scripture. Their writings provide
another witness to the inspired
text
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Translations
• Older translations of the Bible
help identify the early text of the
Bible
• Besides manuscripts of the Bible
we also have manuscripts of
early translations of the Bible
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Translations
• “Translations are versions of the
Greek NT rendered into other
languages. There are more than
10,000 copies of the NT in
various languages…” Wayne
Jackson
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Conclusion
• Acts 14:17
• Nevertheless he left not himself
without witness, in that he did
good, and gave us rain from
heaven, and fruitful seasons,
filling our hearts with food and
gladness.
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Conclusion
• “Here (The Word of God) God
revealed His mind, His Son, and
Himself. In the pages of the
Bible we find the means by
which we can know Him --Obedience”
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References
• From God’s Mind To Man – The Bible,
Wayne Jackson
(http://www.christiancourier.com/)
• How We Got The Bible, Sam Dilbeck,
Southwest Lectures, 2011
(http://swcofc.org/lectureship/)
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