Jeff Mikels » October 17, 2011

Daily Archives: October 17, 2011

Front Page My Beliefs

The Bible: What about the apocrypha?

This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

On Sunday, I was asked about the apocrypha, but I later found out that the answer I gave was partially wrong.

What I said was that back in the days before Jesus, there were a number of books that were circulated among Jewish people. However, back then, no one considered them to be on the same level as Scripture. In fact, after the prophet Malachi wrote his prophecy it was widely understood that there were no more prophets, and that was 400 years before Jesus. Nevertheless, history still happened during those 400 years and Jewish teachers still speculated on spiritual realities. That’s where the extra books came from. Nevertheless, as I said, the Jews of the time did not consider them to be authoritative or on the same level as the other Scriptures. Continue reading

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Front Page My Beliefs

The Bible: Have we found all the original manuscripts?

This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

How do we know that all of the original manuscripts have already been found?

I didn’t get to answer this one on Sunday, but the answer is simple. None of the original manuscripts have been found. Sadly, the oldest shred of any manuscript we have is a fragment from the gospel of John that dates to about 100-120 AD. It’s theoretically possible that John himself wrote that fragment since he died around 90 AD, but it’s highly unlikely. What we have are so many thousands of copies, versions, translations, and commentaries that we can reconstruct the originals with a high degree of certainty. Continue reading

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Front Page My Beliefs

The Bible: Is one translation of the Bible more accurate?

This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

Is one translation of the Bible more accurate? Why the need for so many English translations?

I addressed this one on Sunday, and the basic answer is that because inerrancy depends on understanding the original intent of the original manuscripts, we employ as much scholarship and study as it takes to get back to both. Some scholarship helps us reconstruct the original manuscripts with greater accuracy. Some scholarship helps us translate the original intent with greater accuracy. Continue reading

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The Bible: Do NT verses on Scripture apply to both Testaments?

This post is part of a series investigating the most important items of Christian doctrine. View all posts by clicking here or the DOGMA tag above.

Can we generalize New Testament verses on the authority of Scripture (eg. 2 Tim 3:15-17) to the NT since in the original context they were referring only to the Old Testament?

I didn’t get to answer this one on Sunday, but it’s a good question and deserves a little time. Basically, the question raises the issue that the New Testament authors use the word Scripture to refer to their Scripture which would have been the Jewish Scriptures or the Old Testament. Therefore, one could argue, the New Testament passages on Scriptural authority apply only to the Old Testament. As a result, how do we get our idea that the New Testament is also authoritative? Continue reading

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Front Page My Beliefs

DOGMA: The Authority of the Bible

At Lafayette Community Church, I have just begun a teaching series called DOGMA to discuss the core beliefs of our church and why we should be dogmatic about them.

Even though our world is filled with arguments about tolerance, the Bible is completely intolerant about a few key doctrines. We would say the Bible is dogmatic about them, and though we never berate or belittle those who disagree with us, we can certainly hold that over certain issues, there are clearly defined lines between right and wrong.

This series is all about exploring those lines. Continue reading

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