“Whether it’s answering the questions of young inquisitive minds, skeptical classmates, or hostile strangers, sooner or later we’re all forced to reckon with how we got the Bible, how its books were chosen, and whether we can trust it today.” – Ivan Mesa
EXPLORE | Don’t Be That Guy
Do you know how we got the Bible? Would you be able to articulate an answer to the question? I find this such an intriguing and fundamental question, especially with respect to our journey toward exercising wisdom in all things. My answer or response to this question would be to answer with another question. Apart from supernatural intervention, how could so many authors over such a long period of time, having written in various locations and in different languages, produce a collection of writings with such unity?
“The Bible was written over a period of roughly 2,000 years by 40 different authors from three continents, who wrote in three different languages.” – Tim Chaffey, Unity of the Bible
Of course, it would be difficult to do this question justice in a single post, but I do want to set the table, so to speak.
How we got the Bible is replete with miraculous movements of the Holy Spirit. Taking a look is not just a lesson in history–it is inspiring. Having the understanding of how God captured what we hold in our hands today energizes our investment in studying and applying it, so that we’re not only ready to handle inquiries, but that our confidence in it’s authority will radiate throughout the leadership of our families, churches, and communities.
We don’t want to be this guy:
“…if someone lacks awareness of the history of the canon they also provide an open window for unbelief. In today’s culture, at least a basic knowledge of canon formation has become essential for anyone whose worldview is based on the Scriptures. Without this knowledge, Christians are incapable of defending with clarity and conviction what we believe about the Scriptures.” – Dr. Timothy Paul Jones
EXECUTE | O For Grace to Trust Him More…
The article I’m referencing below is an interview with Dr. Timothy Paul Jones about his new resource How We Got the Bible. This resource may be the kick start you need to lay the foundation for understanding the miraculous work around the origin of the Bible, or maybe the impetus to satisfying any lingering questions or doubt you may have with its authority.
While this is one of many resources that you could consider, the question of being confident is the Bible’s origin and authority is crucial when we consider applying wisdom in all things. I’ve highlighted several questions, quotes, and references to help us start poking at it:
A question posed to Dr. Jones in this article would be an interesting place to start our pondering: What’s so special about the Bible?
Shore up our understanding of its origin. Are there gaps in your understanding? Is there a recent question you’ve been asked? Is there a question haunting you undermining the confidence you have in the Scriptures?
“We account the scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.” – Sir Isaac Newton
Voltaire said “that within 100 years of his time, Christianity would be swept away from existence and pass into the obscurity of history--Yet 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used his house and printing press to produce stacks of Bibles.”
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.” – President George Washington
“…There is no ground at all for refusing to accept these oldest traditions as historically trustworthy in all essentials, and in their chronological ordering of history.” – Prof. Edward Meyer, University of Berlin, one of the greatest living authorities on ancient history
“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” – D.L. Moody
Where Did We Get the Bible? – blog post from The Village, Matt Chandler’s church.
Our God-Breathed Bible – sermon John MacArthur preached focused on God’s revelation from a passage in Hebrews.
Thank God for an Inspired Bible – sermon from John Piper that highlights the inspiration and the authority of Scripture.
The Bible: The Holy Canon of Scripture – article from J. Hampton Keathley, III on the Bible’s canonicity.
When we think of growing in wisdom, it naturally assumes a greater trust in God, which comes from a deeper understanding and application of the Bible. Having a firm grip on how God’s Word came to be will give us the confidence to “trust him more…” as the old hymn proclaims:
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His word;
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus… O for grace to trust Him more…
– Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus, Louisa M. R. Stead
[Original article: do you know how we got the Bible]