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Sermon No: 70351-The history of the Bible and Christian Worldview



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SERMON TOPIC: The history of the Bible and Christian Worldview

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 29 May 2020

Topic Groups: WORLDVIEW, BIBLE, COLLEGE

Sermon synopsis: Chapter 3. The history of the Bible.
66 Books, written in 3 languages, by 40 Writers, on 3 continents, over 1500 years.

Chapter 4. Christian Worldview.
An atheist would probably say that we evolved from lower primates. A Christian, on the other hand, sees things differently. A Christian would say that God created us and put us in the world with a purpose.

Chapter 5. Christocentric.
Christocentric means that we see Jesus at the centre of all scripture. In other words, the Bible is all about Jesus Christ.
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SERMON OVERVIEW:

The history of the Bible.

66 Books, written in 3 languages, by 40 Writers, on 3 continents, over 1500 years.

Chapter 4. Christian Worldview.

An atheist would probably say that we evolved from lower primates. A Christian, on the other hand, sees things differently. A Christian would say that God created us and put us in the world with a purpose.

Chapter 5. Christocentric.

Christocentric means that we see Jesus at the centre of all scripture. In other words, the Bible is all about Jesus Christ.

The history of The Bible.

The three most basic Christian truths.

God actually exists.

He has revealed Himself in a way that is understandable to people.

His revelation has been preserved for us in the Bible

The sixty-six books of the Bible have come to us today because men have considered them to be the inspired Word of God. Other religious books were written in the same period as the Bible, however these books have not been considered inspired.

An example of such books would be the fourteen books of the Old Testament Apocrypha. These books were not considered by the Jews to be inspired of God and were not included in the Hebrew canon: therefore, they were not added to the Bible.

They are included in the Catholic Bible and some are included in the Septuagint, Jerome also included them in the Latin translation of the Bible (The Vulgate).

The language of the Bible.

The Old Testament texts were mainly written in Biblical Hebrew, with some portions (notably in Daniel and Ezra) in Biblical Aramaic.

Biblical Hebrew, sometimes called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of the Hebrew language.

When the Jews went into Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C., they went to captors who spoke the Aramaic language. During the seventy years of their captivity, many Jews, learned and spoke Aramaic. On returning to Israel, this is the language they brought with them.

Koine (Common) Greek was the Greek that was commonly spoken on the Street in Jesus’ day. This was the trade language of the New Testament times.

The language of the Bible.

All of the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament which have been discovered are in Koine Greek.

Mainstream and modern scholars have generally had a strong agreement that the New Testament was written in Greek and that an Aramaic source text was used for portions of the New Testament, especially the gospels. Wikipedia

The New Testament was written in a form of Koine Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600). Wikipedia

The Septuagint.

The name “Septuagint” comes from the Latin word for seventy. (also known as LXX)

The tradition is that 70 (or 72) Jewish scholars were the translators behind the Septuagint. It was translated in the third and second centuries B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt.

The Septuagint is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible, various biblical apocrypha, and deuterocanonical books. It later became the accepted text of the Old Testament in the Christian church and the basis of its canon.

As Israel was under the authority of Greece for several centuries, the Greek language became more and more common. By the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., most people in Israel spoke Greek as their primary language. That is why the effort was made to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek – so that those who did not understand Hebrew could have the Scriptures in a language they could understand.

Differences in the Masoretic text and the Septuagint.

Masoretic text: The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. It was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries of the Common Era (AD) Wikipedia

There have been a number of texts in the Masoretic texts that differ from the Septuagint, however there is a possibility that there was bias on the part of the Jewish translators in the 8th century and the proof texts that referred to the Messiah were deliberately altered to suite that bias; however the Dead sea scrolls (Found in 1946/ 7) are in agreement with the rendering of the Septuagint.

The Dead sea scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were originally discovered in the winter of 1946 or 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd named Mohammed edh-Dhib, who was looking for his lost goat.

In his search, he came across a cave where he found several nearly-complete scrolls hidden in clay jars. The cave was located on the western shores of the Dead Sea. Most of the texts use Hebrew, with some written in Aramaic and a few in Greek. Most of the texts are written on parchment, some on papyrus, and one on copper.

The scrolls are estimated to have been written between 200 B.C and 68 A.D. The scrolls contain handwritten copies of every Old Testament book except Esther. The significance of these scrolls is that the modern translations of the Bible have a 95% word for word accuracy as compared to the ancient Dead Sea scrolls. The 5% variation consists mainly of obvious scribal errors and spelling variations.

What is a codex.

Whereas the Septuagint is the basis for our Old Testament translations, there are 4 codices that are the main source of our New Testament translations.

The plural of the word codex is codices.

A codex is a book made of sheets of paper, vellum, papyrus or other materials. The term is now typically used of books written by hand. The book is usually bound with the pages stacked on each other.

The Romans developed the original codices from wooden writing tablets. The codex gradually replaced the scroll, which was the dominant book form in the ancient world.

There are four codices of complete (or nearly complete) Greek Bibles that have survived to the present day.

The codices used for our modern translations.

The Codex Vaticanus.

The Codex Sinaiticus.

The Codex Alexandrinus.

The Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus.

The Codex Vaticanus is one of the oldest copies of the Bible, one of the four great uncial codices. The Codex is named after its place of conservation in the Vatican Library, where it has been kept since at least the 15th century.

It is written on 759 leaves of vellum and has been dated to the 4th century.Codex Vaticanus, originally contained a virtually complete copy of the Greek Septuagint ("LXX"), lacking only 1-4 Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasseh.

The canon of the Scriptures.

What are un-canonical books?

By un-canonical books we mean those books not included in the canon such as the Apocrypha, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabus.

No single Church council was responsible for collecting and proclaiming the list of books which made up the New Testament.

The choice was made by a consensus among Christians over about 300 years.

The Holy Spirit witnessed to them what was inspired and the choice was made by the early Church and ratified by the 3rd Council of Carthage in AD397.

The Apocrypha.

The books, mentioned below, are found in some versions of the Old Testament, but not in the Hebrew canon. They are called the Apocrypha.

1 Esdras

2 Esdras

Tobit

Judith

Additions to Ester

Wisdom

Ecclesiasticus

Baruch

Song of the 3 young men

Susanna

Bel and the dragon

The prayer of Manasseh

1 Maccabees

2 Maccabees

The Apocrypha indicates that it is not Scripture.

Catholics include these books in their Bible, while Protestants do not? Because much confusion exists around the Apocrypha, let me give four reasons why I believe the Apocrypha shouldn’t be included in our Bible.

1. THE APOCRYPHA ITSELF INDICATES IT’S NOT SCRIPTURE

The authors of the Apocrypha acknowledge that they aren’t prophets and don’t speak with divine authority like the Old Testament authors.

Ryan Leasure (http://jesusisnotfakenews.com)

Grace Bible Church

1. The Apocrypha indicates that it is not Scripture.

The author of 1 Maccabees writes: (1 Macc. 9:27).

So there was great distress in Israel, the worst since the time when prophets ceased to appear among them

Prophets only existed in their ancient memories.

This text, written around 100 BC, refers back to a time when the prophets were in their midst. The logical conclusion is that no prophet existed at this time who could speak from God. 1 Maccabees 14:41 says as much:

The Jews and their priests have resolved that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise.

Again, none of the Jews knew of a prophet who was speaking from God during the time of these events.

1. The Apocrypha indicates that it is not Scripture.

Additionally, these books contain theological and historical errors.

For example, the Book of Wisdom indicates that God created the world out of pre-existing matter (11:17) which contradicts the rest of Scripture’s teaching that God created the world out of nothing.

Moreover, the book of Judith incorrectly states Nebuchadnezzar was king of Assyria, when in fact, he was king of Babylon (1:5). It’s hard to imagine how the Spirit could inspire documents containing both theological and historical error. When you couple the errors with the authors’ acknowledgement that no prophets existed during this time, we have good reasons to reject the Apocrypha as sacred Scripture.

2. Jews never accepted the Apocrypha as Scripture.

The Jews don’t believe the Apocrypha belongs in their Bible, and they never have. Josephus, the greatest Jewish historian of the first century explained:

It is true, our history has been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but has not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers.

Josephus’ quote is especially helpful here. He indicates that ever since the reign of Artaxerxes (465-424 BC), the Jewish writings (the Apocrypha) have “not been esteemed of the like authority with the former (the Old Testament) by our forefathers.” In other words, the Jewish consensus was that while these writings might contain some helpful history and content, they don’t belong in the same category as the Old Testament texts.

2. Jews never accepted the Apocrypha as Scripture.

Rabbinic literature during the first couple of centuries also affirms this distinction.

The Babylonian Talmud reports:

After the latter prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi had died, the Holy Spirit departed from Israel.

Based on this text, the Jews recognized that the Spirit stopped speaking through the prophets after Malachi died. Thus, the Apocryphal documents, which were written after Malachi, are not Spirit-inspired Scripture.

In fact, no early or recent Jewish canon includes the Apocrypha.

That the Jews reject these Jewish documents as Scripture is a strong indication that they don’t belong in our Bible.

3. Jesus and the Apostles never referred to it.

3. THE NEW TESTAMENT DOESN’T REFER TO THE APOCRYPHA AS SCRIPTURE

When reading the New Testament, you will find hundreds of quotations from the Old Testament. According to one count, Jesus and his apostles quote various portions of the Old Testament as Scripture 295 times.

Not once, however, do they quote a text from the Apocrypha.

The absence of references to the apocrypha speaks volumes. After all, if these books were from God, why wouldn’t Jesus or his apostles quote from them?

They don’t, because they believed the Old Testament canon was closed, and it didn’t include the Apocrypha.

Jesus indicates what the Jewish Scripture include:

Luke 24:44

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

In other words, Jesus breaks down the Jewish canon into three sections.

The law, the prophets, and the Psalms. Notice he doesn’t mention the apocrypha.

Jesus gives another indication of a closed Jewish canon in Luke 11:51. When talking to the Jewish leaders, Jesus says the Jews will be held accountable for all the martyrs from Abel to Zechariah. At first glance, it might appear that Jesus is making an alphabetical list, but that’s not what he’s doing. Remember, his alphabet was different from ours. Instead, Jesus makes a chronological list. Abel was the first martyr in Genesis (the first book), and Zechariah was the last martyr in Chronicles (the last book in the Jewish Bible). Note, the Jewish Bible contains all the same books as our present Old Testament, but their ordering of the books is different.

Again, the New Testament provides strong evidence that the Apocrypha doesn’t belong in our Bible.

4. Only canonized by the Catholics in AD1546.

4. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH DIDN’T DECLARE THE APOCRYPHA WAS SCRIPTURE UNTIL THE REFORMATION. (The Council of Trent in 1546)

Part due to the fact that the Apocrypha contained material which supported certain Catholic doctrines, such as purgatory, praying for the dead, and the treasury of merit, things disputed by the Protestants.

One must ask though, if these books were authoritative, why wait over fifteen hundred years to declare their authority?

It seems that Rome declared their canonical status as a direct response to the teachings of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformers who rejected these books and their teachings.

4. Only canonized by the Catholics in AD1546.

Perhaps the biggest reason these books were even up for discussion is because St. Jerome hesitantly included them in the Latin Vulgate Bible in AD 404.

Because this was the official Bible of the Western Church for over a thousand years, it’s not hard to imagine how Christians began to think the Apocrypha was also Scripture.

While Jerome included these books in his Vulgate, he specifically differentiated them from the rest of the Bible. He indicated that these books were “not for the establishing of the authority of the doctrines of the church.” That is to say, Jerome recognized that these books didn’t carry the same authority as Scripture. Only Scripture establishes Christian doctrine, the Apocrypha doesn’t have authority to do that, another reason to reject these books as Scripture.

Reasons why The Apocrypha is not canonical.

They were never in the Hebrew canon.

They are not quoted in the New Testament.

Josephus, the Jewish historian, expressly excludes them.

None of them claims to be Divinely inspired.

They contain historical, geographical and chronological errors. They teach and uphold doctrines that are contrary to Scripture (For example, lying is sanctioned, magic is practiced etc)

As literature we may classify them as myth and legend.

Their spiritual (and even moral level) is far below that of the Old Testament in General.

These books were written much later than the Old Testament books, after the closing of the canon.

The Apocrypha.

The Apocrypha contains offensive material unbecoming of God’s authorship.

Ecclesiasticus 25:19. Any iniquity is insignificant compared to a wife’s iniquity.

Ecclesiasticus 25:24. From a woman sin had it’s beginning, because of her we all die.

Ecclesiasticus 22:3. It is a disgrace to be the Father of an undisciplined, and the birth of a daughter is a loss.

The New Testament.

The books of the New Testament were written between 55 and 96AD.

Between AD100 and 200, they were collected and read in the Churches.

This can be seen, for example in the writings of Irenaeus of Lyons (AD130-200) He mentions all the books of the New Testament except for 3 (Hebrews, 2 Peter & 3 John)

The canon of the Scriptures.

Over the next 100 years these books were carefully examined and compared with spurious writing, like the “fake gospel falsely attributed to Thomas.”

Only those which were penned by the Apostles or were a direct by-product of an Apostle’s input (like Mark, which is based on Peter’s account of the life of Jesus) were accepted as authoritative.

The canon of the Scriptures.

Tertullian one of the early church fathers wrote in about 200AD:

We Christians are forbidden to introduce anything on our own authority, or to choose what someone else introduces on his own authority. Our authorities are the Lord’s Apostles, and they in turn chose to introduce nothing on their own authority. They faithfully passed on to the nations the teaching which they had received from Christ.

The canon of the Scriptures.

In the early centuries of the church, Christians were sometimes put to death for possessing copies of Scripture. Because of this persecution, the question soon came up, What books are worth dying for?

Some books may have contained accurate information, but were they inspired.

Throughout the early centuries of the Church, few books were ever disputed and the list of canonical books was basically settled by AD303

Apostolic authority.

Matthew 16:19.

I will give to you the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Binding and loosing.

Binding and loosing was something that the Jews were familiar with, it was a practice of the Pharisees to bind and loose, that is to declare certain things forbidden and certain things allowed.

The Jews who converted to Christianity had been governed by the Law of Moses and Jesus was giving the Apostles the “Authority to declare what was allowed and what was forbidden.”

Christian worldview.

First Christian Church website.

Do you have a Biblical worldview? A recent survey found that less than 4% of all Americans have a Biblical worldview.

Someone with a Biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God.

A Biblical worldview is based on the truth of the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do.

People with a Biblical worldview are called intolerant by those with other worldviews. However, the source behind the so-called ‘tolerant’ crowd is actually evil.

.

Every Christian has a duty to confront an evil world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

All those who have the Holy Spirit within them through faith, and utilize the Word of God, have all the tools they need. Even if the entire world turns away from the Bible and perverts their way, we are without excuse if we join the crowd. A crowd may sin together, but we will all be judged as individuals.

Isaiah 5:20-23.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight…..

We see this passage lived out in our culture today as sin is called good, morals and values are called evil, those who are ungodly are honoured, and those who are living for Christ are demonized.

Frequently, we hear about leaders being caught taking bribes, committing crimes, and perverting justice; yet they will be honoured and re-elected instead of prosecuted.

We see justice perverted for financial gain, retaliation against a political enemy, or for changing the values of a culture, but there will be a time of judgment.

Our culture has no moral compass other than the acceptable standard of those around them. When the culture has a greater influence on the church than the church does on the culture, restraint is cast off.

As the culture continues toward worshipping the antichrist, it will be challenging for us to keep God’s commandments. We need to set our heart on the things of God now, know His Word, and seek His face now. We cannot control what those around us are doing, but we can live by the Word of the Lord and faith in Christ. Since God alone will hold us accountable, we should fear God rather than be intimidated by man. Jesus made it clear that when we live as His disciples, those in rebellion will say that we are of the devil. Do not be surprised when this happens, for it will happen if we truly stand upon Truth. Indeed, it is even happening within the church, as Bible believing Christians are being called judgmental, hateful, and divisive. Nevertheless, we are commanded to speak the truth without fearing the threats of men.

Christocentric.

Christocentric is a doctrinal term within Christianity, describing theological positions that focus on Jesus Christ, the second person of the Christian Trinity, in relation to the Godhead/ God the Father (theocentric) or the Holy Spirit (pneumocentric).

Jesus in every book of the Old Testament

Christ is either patterned, promised, or present on every book of the Hebrew Bible

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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