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DIPLOMA IN THEOLOGY | from (6) TOPIC: Amnesia. ... | 2. Adjustment Disorder | 3. Biomedical Therapy. | INSTRUCTION
DIPLOMA IN THEOLOGY

(1) TOPIC:  History of the Bible- O/T and N/T.

INTRODUCTION

Today, many people who claim to know something about the Bible, especially in the Judeo, so-called Identity movement, have little or no knowledge about the history and development of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

The trademark signs of this type of people who are Biblically ignorant include the following: they believe that the King James Version is divinely inspired or that it is the best available translation; they believe that the New Testament was written in Aramaic; they believe in the so-called "sacred names"; they build doctrines on textual interpolations, such as the trinity doctrine; they accept pseudepigraphal writings such as the 29th Chapter of Acts, Jasher, and Enoch as books of the Bible, and build false teachings upon these false books; they believe that the Old Testament has been preserved in the Hebrew Masoretic Text; they believe that Esther should not be in the Bible; etc.

Such are the misconceptions that are, in truth, Jewish fables. Thus, the study of what is called the history of the Bible is of great importance to the true Bible student. Only through a thorough knowledge of how the Bible has come to be can the Bible student see through the Jewish propaganda and lies regarding the Bible. For this reason, the information that follows is very important. Each of the misconceptions mentioned above and many more are answered and exposed in the following pages. Only when the Bible student is aware of these facts can he truly begin to study the Bible. The antichrist Jew would seek to hide this information from the white Christian, and thus I would admonish you to study it carefully.

The Bible refers to the primary sacred scriptures of either the Jewish or Christian religions. These scriptures are compilations of what were originally separate documents (called "Book"); they were written over a long period of time; later compiled to form first the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) and, with later additions, the Christian Bible.

 

Overview

The Jewish Bible (called the Tanakh) consists of the five books of Moses (the Torah), several books written by the Hebrew prophets (Neviim), and a few books that do not fit in either of the previous two categories (the Writings or Ketuvim); these are known as either the hagiographa or simply as "the writings". The Jewish Bible was written predominantly in Hebrew but has some small portions that were written in Aramaic.
The Christian Bible contains the entirety of the Tanakh translated with some modifications and re-ordered (there called the Old Testament), along with a set of later writings known as the New Testament. Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and some Anglicans (but not most Protestants) also include some additional works from the Septuagint, an early (pre-Christian) translation of the Old Testament into Greek. Within Christianity, there is not complete agreement on what the Christian Bible contains, i.e. on the Biblical canon. However, this only extends to a few books -- there is no dispute as to the majority of books of the Bible.

The various books of the New Testament were written in koine Greek. Early Christian Bibles used texts of the Old Testament dependent on the Greek Septuagint, which differs in places from the primarily Hebrew Masoretic text. Most modern translations of the Old Testament are based primarily on the Masoretic text. Some modern editions of the Old Testament also adopt different readings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. For more information, see the entry on Bible translations.

Contents: The Bible tells how the one God relates to the world and his creations, especially mankind; it also details mankind's relationship and obligations to God. It also includes a great deal of the history of the Jews. Many Christians use the Bible as a source of religious beliefs and doctrines. Most Protestant Christians advocate that it is the incomparably authoritative guide in all matters of faith and practice, a principle called sola scriptura.

Definition of Biblical Terms

The English word "Bible" means "book of books" (from the Greek word for "books", biblia: ). A book of the Bible is an established group of writings. For example, the book of Psalms consists of 150 songs (151 in the Septuagint), while the book of Jude is a half-page letter. Canon refers to the accepted books of the Bible differentiated from other sacred writings not accepted as part of the canon, which are not accepted as part of the Bible. Catholics and Orthodox call writings that they do not accept Apocrypha; Protestants call those writings they do not accept but that Catholics and Orthodox do Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical, and call other writings that neither accepts Pseudepigrapha. The Protestant Bible consists of 66 books. The Roman Catholic version, including the Deuterocanonical books, counts altogether 76 books, while the Eastern Orthodox version includes 77 or 78. (4 Maccabees is sometimes included in an appendix, sometimes not.)

Description of the Bible

The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) is divided into 3 sections, the Law (Torah), the Prophets, the Writings. The translated, modified and re-ordered version of the Hebrew Bible is called the Old Testament in the Christian Bible. The Christian Bible includes the Old Testament plus the New Testament, which chronicles the doings of Jesus and the reaction to them. The New Testament is divided into the four Gospels, History (Acts of the Apostles), the Letters to Christian churches by Paul and other apostles, and the Book of Revelation.

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Bible Canon

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INSTRUCTION

Bible Canon - Which books are biblical?

A Biblical canon is an exclusive list of books written during the formative period of the Jewish or Christian faiths; the leaders of these communities believed these books to be inspired by God or to express the authoritative history of the relationship between God and his people (although there may have been secondary considerations as well).

There are differences between different Christian traditions, as well as between Christians and Jews, over which books meet the standards for canonization. The different criteria for, and the process of, canonization for each community dictates what members of that community consider to be "the Bible."

 

History of the Bible- Timeline and Notes

Note: Most dates are approximate.

14th - 7th Century BC
Sometime during this rather large block of time, the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) took its final form.

Traditional Conservative View:  The Pentateuch was written by Moses during Israel's wilderness period, with additions made after his death, perhaps by Joshua.  Since archeology has now proven that writing existed in the time of Moses, and since Moses would probably have been educated in the palace, it is not unlikely that he would have been his people's scribe as well as their leader.

Liberal View:  Liberal scholars believe the Pentateuch is a compilation of a variety of sources and that it was edited into its final form during the Babylonian Exile.  They consider the songs of Deborah and of Miriam to be among the oldest writings of the Old Testament.  The liberal view relies on the documentary hypothesis, which speculates that the Pentateuch utilized the following sources:

1.  Yahwist - Presumably written during David's reign, it refers to God as Yahweh.
2.  Elohist - Presumably written in the northern part of the divided kingdom, around the 9th century BC, it refers to God as Elohim.
3.  Deuteronomic -  Presumably, the Deuteronomic code was written during the reign of Hezekiah. Scholars accepting this hypothesis believe this code is "the book of the law" rediscovered during Josiah's reign. Deuteronomic historians are also credited with writing Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. 
4.  Priestly - Finally, it is presumed that during the Exile, the priests collected the previous three sources and edited the Pentateuch into its final form, no doubt adding new material of their own in the process.  The Pentateuch was then known as the "Torah" or law. 

These sources do not actually physically exist today.  Their prior existence is merely a hypothesis based on some scholars' interpretations of the textual evidence. 

621 BC
The high priest finds the "Book of the Law" during Josiah's reign, leading to a national revival.  Reference to this discovery proves that the book of the law must have existed well before this time; long enough, at least, to have been lost and rediscovered.  Liberal scholars assume that the "Book of the Law" refers only to the deuteronomic code, while conservative scholars tend to think it refers to the complete books of Leviticus and/or Deuteronomy.

250 BC - 70 AD Septuagint Compiled
The
Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, and it began with just the Pentateuch.  Over time, however, it came to include all of the Hebrew scriptures, as well as additional books written in Greek, which Protestants term the "Apocrypha."  The Septuagint, including most of the Apocrypha, forms the Old Testament scriptures in the Catholic, Greek, Slavonic, Armenian and Ethiopian Bibles. However, the Catholic Bible omits 3 Ezra (also called 1 Esdras) and the Prayer of Manasseh.  The Ethiopian Bible also includes other Pseudepigraphal books not in the Septuagint, such as 1 Enoch and Jubilees.  The books of the Apocrypha that the Catholics call "deutercanonical" include 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, and Baruch, as well as additional parts of Esther and Daniel (such as Bel and the Dragon).

210 BC
I and II Macabees, later included in the Septuagint and the apocrypha, were written around this time, recounting the Maccabean Revolt of 167-164 B.C.

200 BC - Prophets
By this date, the prophets are widely accepted as part of the Hebrew Scriptural canon

200 BC - 200 AD Pseudepigraphal Writings
The term pseudepigrapha literally means "false inscriptions." We are aware of at least 52 of these works, which were written by Jews and Christians between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. Writers often credited their works to famous biblical characters, such as Enoch. Though not part of most Bible canons today, these works influenced both Judaism and Christianity as well as the writers of the Bible.  For instance, Jude in his epistle refers to a story from the Assumption of Moses and directly quotes the Book of Enoch.

30 - 40 AD - Sayings of Jesus
Some bible scholars believe the sayings of Jesus were collected during this period and that parts of this document, called the "Q" source by scholars, underlie the gospels of both Matthew and Luke.

59 AD - Paul's Letters
Most of the apostle Paul's letters were in circulation by this date, and they are the first unified Christian writings that have come down to us today.

65 AD -  Mark
The Gospel of Mark was probably in circulation by this date.

80 AD - Matthew, Luke, and Acts
The Gospel of Matthew was probably in circulation by this date.  It may have been written for the Jewish Christians in Palestine and Syria, who had recently been banned form attending the synagogues. At about this time, a gentile convert to Christianity wrote Luke and the Acts, which are directed at the Greek communities.

90 AD - John
The Gospel of John was probably in circulation by this date.

90 AD - Hebrew Canon Established By This Date
After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, the Jews began to associate Christianity with the Roman threat.  Christians were expelled from the synagogues, and a strict separation between Jews and Christians began to develop.  The rabbis met in Jamnia to solidify the canon, and under the leadership of Johanan ben Zakkai they selected twenty-four books to be included in the Palestinian Hebrew Scriptural canon. None of the Apocryphal books were seriously considered for inclusion.  The only two books that were hotly debated were Song of Solomon and Ecclesiasties, but they were finally included.  The Palestinian canon is the accepted Jewish canon to this day.  The canon is also equivalent to the Protestant Old Testament, though Protestants divide the books further into thirty-nine:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (the Pentateuch); Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (the Histories); Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs (Wisdom Literature);  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micha, Nahum, Habbakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi (Prophets).

200 AD
Tertullian was the first to use the title "New Testament"  to describe the commonly accepted Christian scriptures.

367 AD -  Earliest New Testament List
The earliest surviving list of books exactly matching the modern New Testament Canon dates from 367 AD and comes from a festal letter to the churches written by Athanasius of Alexandria. Shortly after this letter, the theologians Jerome and Augustine defined the canon of 27 books.  

397 AD - New Testament Canon Officially Established
In A.D. 393, the Synod of Hippo officially listed the 27 books of the New Testament, which had already been widely accepted in practice.  This ruling was reconfirmed four years later by the Synod of Carthage in 397 A.D., thus putting an end to debates about the canon.  Up to this point, many books had been questioned.  Revelation and Hebrews, in particular, were strongly disputed by many Christians, as were James, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John.  These books were eventually included in the canon but other disputed books, considered inspired by some, were not: Shepherd of Hermas, 1 and 2 Clement, and the Didache. The books selected at the Council of Carthage have been accepted as the New Testament ever since, by both Protestants and Catholics. These books include: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.  (This is the order in which these books are arranged in modern Bibles--they were not always placed in this order.) The disputes are now for all practical purposes at an end, though individuals may continue to question; Martin Luther, after all, questioned whether Revelation should be included.

405 AD - Vulgate
Jerome completed his Latin translation of the Bible, known as The Vulgate, at about this time.  He worked with the Septuagint, older Latin translations, and the old Hebrew texts.  In doing so, he noticed that some of the works contained in the Septuagint and older Latin translation were not in the Hebrew canon.  These books he described as "the crazy wanderings" of a man who has lost his senses.  He gave these books the label "Apocrypha," which means "hidden."   Nevertheless, they continued to be popular among Christians.

1236 AD
Chapter divisions were added to the Bible by Cardinal Caro.

1382 AD - Wycliffe
The first complete English translation of the Bible was made from the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and his followers. All of Wycliffe's works were condemned at the Council of Florence in 1415.

1408 Council of Oxford
This council forbade translations of the Bible into the vernacular unless approved by Church authority.  

1454-1456 - Guttenburg
Access to the Bible was dramatically increased by Guttenburg's invention of the printing press.

1525 - Tyndale's Bible
Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament was made from Erasmus's Greek text and compared to the Vulgate.  In 1536, Tyndale was put to death.

1534 - Luther's Bible

By this time, Luther had translated the entire Bible into German (he finsihed the New Testament first).  A version was published in 1541 in Wittenberg.  In translating the Old Testament, Luther excluded the Apocrypha from the canon.  He also assigned a greater value to some New Testament books than to others, considering James, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation to be inferior.   

1535 Miles Coverdale
Coverdale, the first Protestant Bishop of Exeter, published his English Bible translation, which was translated from Latin and German.  

1539  The Great Bible
Also known as Cromwell's Bible, it was the first English Bible to be authorized for public use in churches.  It was revised in 1561 and was then known as the Bishop's Bible.

1551 AD
Individual verse and numbers were added to the Bible by Robert Stephens.

1557  Geneva Bible
The only New Testament translation to be published during Mary Tudor's reign.   It was most likely the Bible Shakespeare read, and it remained the family Bible in England until the Civil War (1642).  The text was divided into verses for the first time in any English Bible.

1610  Catholic Bible
A Catholic English translation of the Old Testament was published.  Earlier, a New Testament had been translated at Rheims, and some claimed the King James was indebted to it.

1611  King James (Authorized Version)
The most famous English Bible translation was commissioned by King James and included the Apocrypha as an appendix.

1611  Algonquin Bible
This was the first Bible translated into a Native American language.

1885  Revised Version

1901  American Standard Version

1945  Knox Bible
Ronald Knox translated the Bible in an idiomatic style from the Vulgate.

1946  Revised Standard Version
This Version is a rewording of earlier English translations, substitituing modern idiom for archaic language.  The Apocrypha was so translated in 1957, and a Catholic version of the RSV appeared in 1966.  The New Revised Standard Version came out in 1998 (scroll down in timeline for details).

1947  Dead Sea Scrolls Discovered
Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the oldest surviving Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts dated form the 9th century (A.D.).  The Dead Sea Scrolls, which contain about 170 biblical manuscripts, date from the 3rd century B.C. to the 1st century (A.D.).

1966  Jerusalem Bible
This is the first complete English, Catholic Bible translation made from the original lanaguages.

1970  The New American Bible
The New American Bible was completed primarily by Catholic scholars, and it is the first American Catholic translation based on the original languages.  (Previous translations were based on the Vulgate.)

1978  New International Version
This translation, made by Evangelicals and relying directly on the original languages, was finally completed after over two decades of study.

1982  New King James Version

1988 New Revised Standard Version
This version insists on gender neutral language, and was created by a committe of Protestant and Catholic scholars, which included also one Jewish scholar.

 

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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

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INSTRUCTION

Books of the Bible

1. Introduction

At this site the word 'Bible' means the Christian Scriptures. The Bible is made up of a collection of 66 books which are divided into 2 parts: the Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books). The old testament was written before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and the new testament was written after he rose from the grave and went to heaven. The message of the entire Bible is inspired by the Spirit of Yahweh, the Almighty God of Israel. The physical writing of the Bible was done by some 40 people during a period covering over 15 centuries. Many books in the Bible bear the names of prophets and apostles, e.g. Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, or Matthew, John, James. Some books bear the name of the subject they are about or even the person or church group to whom they were initially addressed, e.g. Timothy, Titus, Corinthians, Hebrews etc. The name of an individual book, however, is not that important. What is important is the real author, Yahweh and His message. Remember these two facts when reading the Bible texts quoted at this site.

2. Bible Versions

The Authorised Version (A.V.) of the Bible, also known as the King James Version (KJV), was first published in 1611. The A.V. reigned supreme till 1885 when the Revised Version was published. Since 1885 there have been 100+ modern versions published in the English language alone: over 70 of these in the past 30 years! Modern versions of the Bible are very different from the Authorised Version and even from each other. What's more they are dangerously corrupt! Stewarton Bible School articles written before March 1997 often contain quotations from modern versions. But since that date all Bible quotations at this site have been - and will continue to be - from the Authorised King James Version alone.

    3. Abbreviations / Book List

    When SBS quotes a Bible text its address is often - not always - abbreviated: e.g. Exodus chapter 20 verses 8-11 could be written as Exo.20:8-11 or Ex.20:8-11. Matthew chapter 24 verse 6 could be written as Matt.24:6 or even Mt.24:6. The book of Mark could be abbreviated to Mk and the book of John to Jn. If you do not know the books of the Bible then the following list should be useful.

    OLD TESTAMENT
    Genesis
    Exodus
    Leviticus
    Numbers
    Deuteronomy
    Joshua
    Judges
    Ruth
    1 Samuel
    2 Samuel
    1 Kings
    2 Kings
    1 Chronicles
    2 Chronicles
    Ezra
    Nehemiah
    Esther
    Job
    Psalms
    Proverbs
    Ecclesiastes
    Songs of Solomon
    Isaiah
    Jeremiah
    Lamentations
    Ezekiel
    Daniel
    Hosea
    Joel
    Amos
    Obadiah
    Jonah
    Micah
    Nahum
    Habakkuk
    Zephaniah
    Haggai
    Zechariah
    Malachi
    NEW TESTAMENT
    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    John
    Acts
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Ephesians
    Philippians
    Colossians
    1 Thessalonians
    2 Thessalonians
    1 Timothy
    2 Timothy
    Titus
    Philemon
    Hebrews
    James
    1 Peter
    2 Peter
    1 John
    2 John
    3 John
    Jude
    Revelation


    No book is more worthy of study than the Authorised Version of the Holy Bible. It is, without a doubt, the real WORD OF GOD! and is infinitely superior to every other book in the world: simply because it's author is the Creator of the mighty universe, Yahweh the Holy One of Israel.

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