How did the Bible get put together? Part Four

We’re continuing our series in how the Bible came about. Yesterday, we saw that the New Testament books are simply the writing down of the church’s existing authoritative teaching: the words, deeds, death, and resurrection of Jesus – and their theological interpretation – compiled in the Gospels and applied to God’s people in the epistles. (You really need to read yesterday’s post first for this one to make sense.)

The reason I stress this is because many people have a misunderstanding of the process of how the New Testament came to be. Like the Torah, it wasn’t a case of the church sitting down a few centuries after Jesus and saying, “OK, let’s sit down and make this Bible thingy we’ve been meaning to get around to. Let’s take a vote: what’s in and what’s out?” They ended up having four gospels because the committee couldn’t agree on which one.

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How did the Bible get put together? Part Three

We’re continuing our series in how the Bible came about. Over the past two days we’ve looked at the formation of the Old Testament. Today, it’s time to look at the New Testament.

But first, let’s recap the story of how the OT came to be. It began with a core of teaching – teaching about God’s laws and God’s saving actions in Israel’s history. Teaching that was authoritative for God’s people.  Much of it was initially passed on by word of mouth, but gradually came to be written down, along with other material from prophets, wise men, songwriters – all bearing witness to the truth about God; calling people back to this truth; explaining further this truth. Until by the time of Jesus, it was established as a fixed canon, which we know as the Hebrew Bible.

So how did New Testament come about? Pretty much the same way, just in a much shorter timeframe. Let’s take a quick look at that story.

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How did the Bible get put together? Part Two

We’re continuing our series in how the Bible came about. Yesterday, we looked at the story of how the Old Testament canon was formed. Today, we ask the question: why is the Old Testament canonical for Christians?

Why is the Old Testament canonical for Christians?

So far, this has just been a history lesson. Hopefully interesting history. But what’s it got to do with us. I mean, isn’t the Old Testament just the Jewish Bible? Written by ancient Israelites for ancient Israel? Why is it canonical for us, as Christians?

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How did the Bible get put together? Part One

Tim begins a new series this week. And thanks, Sheree, for the last two weeks in the book of Acts!

This week will be a little different from normal. Instead of studying a text from the Bible, we’re going to learn about the Bible. Looking at the question: How did the Bible get put together? That is, how did the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and twenty-seven books of the New Testament – these sixty-six rather diverse pieces of writing – how did they end up in our Bibles? And why these books and not others?

It’s an important question, isn’t it? I mean, if we’re going to spend the other 51 weeks of this year learning from it, conforming our lives to what it says, and believing that God speaks to us through it – it makes sense to spend at least one week finding out how it came to be in the first place! So this week, we ask the question, “how did the canon of Scripture get put together?”

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Peter at Cornelius’s House (Acts 10:23b-48)

Sadly today our series will come to a conclusion. Thanks so much to everyone who’s joined in for the past couple of weeks, I truly hope you’ve enjoyed our time together as much as I have. And I hope those of you in Australia (besides QLD & WA) are excited for the long weekend coming up!

Today’s passage is a rather long one, so buckle up and hold-on tight, we’re in for a bumpy (but relatively fun) ride.

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Peter’s Vision (Acts 10:9-23a)

Today’s passage is about one of my favourite topics – FOOD!! I often suffer from what is known as being ‘hangry,’ you know when you reach that place where you’re just so hungry you start getting angry at everything because you can’t stop thinking about food? Most of my friends know this about me and are quick to encourage me to eat when I reach this point. Whenever I’m in this state of being hangry, it’s not uncommon that I start imagining things about food, especially delicious food that I would really like to be consuming in that very moment.

It’s been less than 24 hours since Cornelius sent messengers to fetch Peter as the angel had instructed him. Let’s find out what was happening for Peter at this same time, and how he responds when he wants to eat.

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Cornelius Calls for Peter (Acts 10:1-7)

It’s Wednesday! We’re half way through another week together. Today’s passage is a bit of a shorter one where we meet someone new named Cornelius; let’s find out a bit about who he is:

Acts 10:1-4a At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

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Aeneas and Dorcas (Acts 9:32-43)

Welcome to Tuesday!  Today we are reunited with our good friend Peter. We last saw Peter in Samaria a few days ago. Now we’re going to hear a bit more about what he’s been up to, and I should warn you, it’s pretty epic.

Acts 9:32-35 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

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Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem (Acts 9:19b-31)

Welcome to a new week! I hope you all had an amazing weekend, I certainly did.

Last week we finished up with Saul’s conversion experience and baptism. Now that he’s a believer, let’s find out what happens for him next.

Acts 9:19-25 Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

What a turn of events. Can you imagine the reactions from the believers in the town? They would’ve heard about Saul coming with approval from the high priest to take them to prison, and yet now he’s turned up declaring that Jesus is the Son of God!

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Saul’s Conversion (Acts 9:1-19a)

Welcome back! We’ve made it to the end of our first week together, and I’m pretty excited about today’s passage. Today, we get introduced properly to Saul who we briefly met at the beginning of the week. Saul’s a very significant person in the New Testament, and we’re about to witness possibly the most famous conversion in church history.

Let’s get into it:

Saul’s Conversion

Acts 9:1-6 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

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