[CF Devotionals] 2009-07-12 - The Book & How We Got It

Study on the Bible, Introduction

“The Bible, at first sight, appears to be a collection of literature—mainly Jewish. If we inquire into the circumstances under which the various Biblical documents were written, we find that they were written at intervals over a space of nearly 1400 years. The writers wrote in various lands, from Italy in the west to Mesopotamia and possibly Persia in the east. The writers themselves were a heterogeneous number of people, not only separated from each other by hundreds of years and hundreds of miles, but belonging to the most diverse walks of life. In their ranks we have kings, herdsmen, soldiers, legislators, fishermen, statesmen, courtiers, priests and prophets, a tentmaking Rabbi and a Gentile physician, not to speak of others of whom we know nothing apart from the writings they have left us. The writings themselves belong to a great variety of literary types. They include history, law (civil, criminal, ethical, ritual, sanitary), religious poetry, didactic treatises, lyric poetry, parable and allegory, biography, personal correspondence, personal memoirs and diaries, in addition to the distinctively Biblical types of prophecy and apocalyptic.” 1

“Of all that, the Bible is not simply an anthology; there is a unity which binds the whole together. An anthology is compiled by an anthologist, no anthologist compiled the Bible.” 2

In upcoming devotionals, we are going to examine the Bible, the history of the book as well as the internal support for our acceptance of it as God’s Word. This material has been developed from a number of sources for which Geoff will provide a suggested reading list. If you have questions or would care to explore this subject, we would refer you to the bibliography and a comprehensive Christian book store for other resources.

Outline for the upcoming study:

  1. The History of the Bible
    1. God's Unique Word
    2. The Old Testament
      1. Background
      2. Canon
    3. The New Testament

To be continued next week. Footnotes may be found below.

  1. Bruce, F. F., “Archaeological Confirmation of the New Testament,” Revelation and the Bible, Edited by Carl Henry, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1969, p. 6.
  2. Unger, Merrill F., Archaeology and the New Testament, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1962, p. 6.

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com