How Did We Get the Bible?
A SCHOLAR EXPLAINS THE HISTORY AND
CANONIZATION OF THE BIBLE WE HAVE
GOD SOVEREIGNLY ARRANGED to get
us the Bible tha we have today. But just as we
alway recognize His plan in the details
of our lives until He fulfills it, many
istians over the centuries struggle also to discern leading
egarding the Bible.
While they agreed on most
books, they debated whether
so books belonged in the
non?the list of its accepted books.
Eventu Christians together discerned
which books should be included and which
books should not be. Even today, of course,
Catholics and Protestants agree on every
book that belongs in the Bible.
Fortunately, we can start this examination of
which particular books made it into the Bible by
looking at Jesus Himself. When the Lord quoted
from the Psalms or Deuteronomy or Isaiah, He
knew that His hearers recognized these books as
Despite disagreement on some details, Judeans
and Galileans accepted for the most part the
same Hebrew Bible that Jesus did. Later rabbis
clearly accepted our Old Testament; the firstcentury historian Josephus held a view at least
very close to this. So did the authors of the Dead
Sea Scrolls, though they may have accepted a few
additional books, such as Enoch.
Greek, Latin and
What complicated matters was that the Greek
translations of Scripture often circulated outside
the Holy Land with books that we consider part
of the Apocrypha?those books not accepted
as part of the canon. Although the writers of the
New Testament may sometimes allude to this
material, they apply Scripture formulas?such
CHARISMA January 2011
a i a a co
HISTORY OF THE BIBLE