In this lesson, we will discuss the Bible as a whole – its inspiration, infallibility, translation and interpretation. In the preceding lessons, we have established the historical validity of the books of both the Old and the New Testaments and have presented reasons to believe them to be accurate regarding the material therein. It now remains to complete the puzzle as to how the Bible became the Word of God.Preview This Lesson
Buy Apologetics #7: The Christian Holy Books – Part 3 for only $3.99
The Old Testament
The Old Testament is a uniquely Hebrew and Greek compilation of Jewish “Scripture.” First, we must acknowledge that what the Palestinian Jews accepted as their canon differed in part from what the Alexandrian Jews believed to be theirs. The Catholic Church accepts the Alexandrian version of the Old Testament, which contains seven more texts than does that of the Palestinian Jews, while most Protestant churches accept only the texts of the Palestinian Jews. In the very early Church, debate over which was authentic was open and often fierce, until the canon was closed and the Catholic Church accepted the Alexandrian texts. Without these texts, Old Testament history is incomplete and great stories of Biblical heroes go untold.
The New Testament
The story of the development of the New Testament is a bit more involved.
In the Age of the Apostles and the closely associated Post-Apostolic Age, occasional schisms arose in some elements of the Church.
The first big debate was about Gentile circumcision and arose when the Gospel began spreading to Gentiles. The earliest Christians, of course, were Jews. These Jewish Christians were appalled when the Holy Spirit was said to be given to Cornelius, a Gentile:
Not to all the people, but to witnesses preordained by God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he arose again from the dead; And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God, to be judge of the living and of the dead. To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles also.
And again, circumcised believers criticized Peter for going to the house of an uncircumcised person and eating with Gentiles:
And the apostles and brethren, who were in Judea, heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying: Why didst thou go in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them?
The problem surfaced again when Jewish Christians came to Antioch and taught that Gentiles had to be circumcised to accept the salvation of Christ.
And some coming down from Judea... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Apologetics #7: The Christian Holy Books – Part 3 is part of the following course(s):