Where & how did we get the Bible

Old Testament History,
Literature, and Theology
Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
Is there a God? Why would I
believe that?
• Cosmological Argument: first cause
• Teleological Argument: design/order
• Intelligent Design
Moral Argument: with and without God
Pascal’s wager
Jesus: liar, lunatic, Lord—legend?
Personal testimony
Predictive Prophecy, miracles, Jews
Old Testament Overview
Primeval History: Adam/Eve, Noah/Flood,
Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
Exodus: Pharaoh, Plagues, Moses, and Red
Wilderness: Sinai Covenant, 10 commands,
Tabernacle, Manna, 40 years in desert
OT Overview C-JU
Conquest: Joshua/Jericho, tribes get land
Judges: Deborah/Barak, Gideon,
Jephthah, Samson, Samuel
United Monarchy: Saul, David, Solomon
Divided Monarchy: Kings north all bad
(Ahab); Kings of South some good
(Uzziah, Hezekiah, Josiah), Prophets
Assyria and Babylon (enemies)
OT Overview D-ERA
Exile: Judah to Babylon 70 years, temple
destroyed, Daniel, Ezekiel
Return: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther,
Jerusalem walls and temple rebuilt
Apocrypha: Maccabees and Antiochus
Epiphanes, Persian Greek Rome
Five Dates: 2000 BC Abraham,
1000 [David],
722 [Nineveh],
586 [temple/Babylon, 400 [end of OT]
Where & how did we get
the Bible
Does the Bible claim to be from
2 Tim. 3:16 God-breathed
2 Peter 1:21 origin in God
not man
Heb 1:1-2 prophets and
What did Jesus say: Mat
5:17f, Jesus and the OT
4 Step Process from God to us
Inspiration: God speaks to prophets,
prophets speak to people, written down
Canonization – community collects sacred
Transmission – scribal copying
Translation: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek Eng.
Inspiration Processes
Spoke to Moses face to face (Num 12:6-8);
prophets: “Thus saith the Lord” Jer.1:1-4; Isa.
Spoke through His Son --Jesus (word incarnate)
– Heb 1:1-2; John 1:1-12
Some did historical research--Luke 1:1-4
Some edited former works--Prov 25:1
Some quoted secular sources--Acts 17:28
External Corroboration
Moral Quality: Love God, love neighbor,
10 commandments, yet not simplistic,
interfaces with culture yet deep values on
human life—what you’d expect of God
Historicity: camels? Hittites? David?
Jeremiah’s scribe, Balaam, Mesha, Omri,
Sennacherib, resurrection witnesses
Fulfilled prophecy: Tyre (Ezk 26:12),
Isaiah –Cyrus (Isa. 44:28, 45:1, Jesus (Isa
53; Mic. 5:2 ); 1 Kgs. 13:2—Josiah
8/15 BAR
The first of the clay bullae, which surfaced during Mazar’s excavation of
what may be king David’s palace bears the name “Yehuchal [or Jehucal] ben
Shelemyahu [Shelemiah]” (pictured above left). The second was found in the
First Temple period strata reads “Gedalyahu [Gedaliah] ben Pashur” (pictured
above right). These two men are mentioned together in the Bible as ministers
of King Zedekiah (597–587 B.C.E.). As the Babylonians closed in on
Jerusalem during the last years of the First Temple period, Jeremiah, prophet
to Judah’s last kings, advised Zedekiah and the people of the city to surrender
to Nebuchadnezzar’s men so that their lives and city might be spared. But not
everyone liked Jeremiah’s message, including Gedaliah son of Pashur and
Jehucal son of Shelemiah. According to Jeremiah 38:1–13, the two ministers
had Jeremiah thrown into a pit because they did not like the message of
surrender he was preaching to the people of Jerusalem.
Archaeological Confirmation
A collection of small, burnt, clay seals was found in 1975
about 44 miles southwest of Jerusalem. They dated from the
time of Jeremiah, the Prophet. Each small lump of clay had
been impressed with a seal. These served as an official
signature for individuals. The clay seals were then attached to
documents to identify the sender and still have the impress of
the string which bound the scrolls on their reverse.
Amongst the seals, four contained the names biblical figures
mentioned in the 36th chapter of the book of Jeremiah. One of
these seals reads: Berekhyahu son of Neriyahu the Scribe.
We also have them bullae from Jeremiah; incl. Jaramael,
Seriah & Gemaryaha (see Jer.36:26, 22, & 10-12).
Don’t have everything God ever said:
– Prophets like Huldah-- 2 Chr 34:22ff
– Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs we’ve got 375 (1 Kgs 4)
– Many things Jesus did not recorded--Jn 21:25
God’s people collect and sanction books—
canonization 10 commandments in ark; Ex 24:4,7;
1 Kgs 8:9; Neh 8:8; Jews recording negatives
NT: Rev 22:18-19 not add or subtract (Deut. 4:2)
Immediately authoritative Dt 31:24ff; 1 Sam 10:25
deposited; Dan 9:2-Jeremiah
Peter of Paul 2 Pet 3:15f
Certain books not accepted--which? why?
Criterion of Canonization
Is it inspired by God? -- Thus saith the
– Lord (Isa. 7:7)
Is it written by a prophet/apostle?
Does it agree with previous revelation?
Does it come with the power of God?
Was it received by the people of God?
Antilegomena: Prov., Ezek. Esther, Eccl.
Song of Songs
TaNaK: Torah, Nebi’im; Kethubim
Levels of “Canonization”
OT Apocrypha
Canon of OT
Transmission – Did God use flawed
processes to preserve His word?
Moses wrote it 1440 BC how did we get it?
Copied over and over
Copying process not always 100%
Mark 16
1 Jn 5:7
Jer 27:1 Jehoiakim/Zedekiah KJV versus NIV/NRSV
Jer 39:13 Rab-mag  high official (Akkadian copied)
How do we correct for that?
Why didn’t God preserve it perfectly?
Scribal errors: Internal Evidence
Misreading Gen 10:4 dodanim/rodanim d / r
Mis-hearing Ps 100:3; not we/we are his
Metathesis: thier
Homoeoteleuton: same endings—Luke 10
Harmonizing corruptions – bless for curse
Conflation: church of God/ church of Lord
Church of Lord God
Text Criticism: External
Older manuscripts better—MT [Hebrew
Masoretic Text], LXX [Septuagint-Greek OT]
Shorter reading preferred
Greater geographical spread
Number and types of manuscripts--weighing
groups/families of manuscripts
DSS—Dead Sea Scrolls
Silver amulet of Numbers 6:24ff (700 BC)
Translation Theory
MT  LXX Vulgate KJV/NIV/NRSV et al
Different ways to translate: which one is right?
Do translators make mistakes: Prov 26:23
KJV: Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a
potsherd covered with silver dross.
New Discoveries: 1 Kgs 6:31 mezuzot
–5 recessed – Tel Qeiyafa
(BAR Aug 2015)
Does language change: 2 Cor 8:1 KJV: “We do
you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on ….”
Translation Theory
Literal word for word … pros/cons Prov
Modified literal… pros/cons
Dynamic equivalence: meaning for
meaning… pro/cons
Politically Corrected texts… pros/cons
Proverbs 10:5 KJV
lyKiW;ma NBe Cyiq.aBa rgexo
wybime NBe rycqA.Ba MDAr;ni
KJV: He that gathereth in
summer is a wise son,
but he that sleepeth in harvest
is a son that causeth shame.
Proverbs 10:5 NIV
NASB: He who gathers in
summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a
son who acts shamefully.
NIV: He who gathers crops in
summer is a wise son,
but he who sleeps during harvest
is a disgraceful son.
Proverbs 10:5 NLT
NLT: A wise youth works hard all
summer; a youth who sleeps away
the hour of opportunity brings shame.
Message: Make hay while the sun
shines -- that's smart, go fishing
during harvest --that's stupid.
Better manuscript evidence than ever
No major doctrine affected
Realistic view on transmission and
translation issues
Confidence in God’s word… benefit of
plurality of translations
Focus not on jots/tittles but on meaning
God speaks the language of the people
If God has spoken and told us many things then
this book should be the most important guideline
in our lives.
God used flawed processes—why? idols;
honor us
– Providence did not preserve it perfect
– God can use me
– Calls us to study and figure things out, focus on
– Best position in 2000 years to know what God said
4 Processes God to us: ICTT
Inspiration, Canonization, Transmission,