Summary of the series: Where did our Bible come from? (part 13)
This is a summary of the posts in this series in an effort to both give a sense of cohesion to it and to provide a reference point for those who may have missed one or two (or more) in the series, but wanted to keep up. I’ve provided links to each of the posts if you would like to follow up. I’ll start by briefly reviewing each post (where you can click the hyperlink) and then give my summative comments at the end.
Part 1: Introduction: In this post I introduced the series and also mentioned that Bruce Metzger’s Text of the New Testament as a good resource. Also I began to refine which version of the bible we were looking at which led into the next part.
Part 2: The KJV only position and its problems: Here I briefly explain what the KJV only position is and why it is wrong.
Part 3: Defining which Bible we’ll use: In this post I finish talking about which bible I was focusing on. We settled on the Christian Protestant version on the bible and reasons for this were given.
Part 4: Introducing the Old Testament: Here I talked about the old theory of the Hebrew Canon and the Hebrew structure of the canon.
Part 5: Settling on the Old Testament: In this post I review the history of the canonization process for the Old Testament, with the recognition that it is ultimately speculative to some degree though certainly affirmed by the New Testament.
Part 6: The Window for the New Testament: In this post I discuss the historical time from during which the New Testament would have been written and canonized, which is considerably smaller in scale than that of the Old Testament.
Part 7: The Marcion Canon: Here I review the history of Marcion’s canon for the Gospels and why it was rejected.
Part 8: The Diatesseron: Here I examine the other early unification of the four gospels which, while admirable, was also rejected.
Part 9: The First Two Criteria: Here I begin to examine the criteria that the early church, either knowingly or unknowingly, used in identifying the biblical canon. This was based on F. F. Bruce’s excellent work The Canon of Scripture which is the other major resource I used. The criteria were apostolicity and early compostion.
Part 10: The Next three criteria: I examine the next criteria, which are Orthodoxy, Catholicity, and Use as Scripture.
Part 11: The Final Criteria: In this post I give a discussion of the doctrine of inspiration of Scripture.
Part 12: The Bible in English: In this final post I talk about the translation of the bible, particularly into English to talk about how we got the bible today.
In Summary: The main thing I wanted to do with this series was, of course, answer the question of how we got to our bible today (meaning the protestant bible in English). Of course I could have been more in depth along the way and even gone farther to talk about things like the Brick New Testament and other non-traditional translations, but I have given what I think is a good general overview of the history of the bible. Primarily, I wanted to demonstrate that the bible as we have it was not decided upon arbitrarily nor was it a single person’s decision. Rather, the community of God over multiple generations recognized that certain writings were of a special character that they could be regarded as authoritative and informative for our faith and practice even today. More than anything, I hope that you can walk away from this series with a certain level of confidence. If there is anything that I brought up, but have failed to address and you are just dying to know what I say about it, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be back, hopefully, with some posts on the Olympics this year not too far from now.