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How Do We Know?
     
Its Genuineness
 
Its Canonicity
 
Its Completeness
 
So-called
experts in Biblical Studies and related fields at various universities have often characterized the Bible as a mixture of history and fable,
produced by the 'spin-doctors' of ancient Israel and of early Christianity.
 
The shame of these professionals is their selective use of the Bible while ignoring its contradiction of their own theories. This is academic dishonesty to say the least.
 
But remember, the Bible is uniquely the property of God's people. It is not God's gift to an unbelieving world as some naïve believers may think.
It is the treasured inheritance of those alone in whom the Spirit of God dwells – who is the ultimate Author of this most precious of books.
 
  Authenticity  
  The Spirit's Witness to the Bible's Genuineness  
To the
spiritually illumined (the simple born-again Christian), the Word of God is self-authenticating. As we read its words the Holy Spirit gives an inner assurance to each believer of its divine authenticity. But, as the Bible itself says:
"the natural (unregenerate) man receives not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned
".
1 Corintians 2:14
 
So each person must choose between: the vox Dei and the vox mundi, the voice of God and the voice of the world.
 
• 
The voice of the world is that 'truth is established by authority of office' (such as church hierarchy, eg. the papacy; or some other system), or by human intellect (such as rationalism). Rationalism is a system of thought which assumes that the human reason is capable of sitting in judgment upon and evaluating all human experiences, and which therefore denies the necessity of any supernatural revelation whatsoever from God.
 
• 
On the other hand: the Biblical principle, as it was given typical expression for instance in the Westminster Confession, is the voice of God speaking in the soul:
 
 
"The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God, ... the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God... Our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts" (I:IV, V).
 
  Authority  
  The Bible's Canonicity  
• 
False Scriptures, produced by heretics and pseudo-Christian cults, moved Christians to publicly spell out what is of God. The Christian view is called the canonicity of Scripture. This decision did not give authority to Scripture as some think. (i.e. That the church produced the Bible, and it is therefore its superior in doctrine: the Catholic papal-view). The Holy Spirit produced Scripture – through inspired individuals – not by committees, or religious office bearers, or Church conferences of any kind. The Spirit moved special individuals at special times to produce His Word – the Bible (2 Peter 1:20,21).
 
• 
These more than 40 individuals include: kings, fishermen, and priests; a herdsman (Amos), a civil administrator (Daniel), a medical doctor (Luke), a military leader (Joshua), and so on...
The Bible was written in the desert (Moses), in a dungeon (Jeremiah), on a journey (Luke), in a prison colony (John), on three continents (Asia, Africa, Europe), and in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek).
It deals with the most controversial issues of life and yet through all this variety of person, place, time, and subject, it has a unity unparalleled by any other literature in all human history!
 
• 
This intrinsic awareness of the Bible's inspiration by the first Christians is an important guide to us.
The apostle Peter places Paul's writings on the same high plane with "the other Scriptures" saying:
"Paul ...in all his epistles ...as also the other Scriptures" [that is, the Old Testament].
Paul, in his turn, speaks in one breath of the Old Testament Torah and the Gospel of his friend, Luke, as both equally "Scripture" (1 Tim.5:18), even though the ink on Luke's writing was hardly dry. In other words, it did not need time to become inspired and therefore authoritative to all believers.
2 Peter 3:15-16.
• 
It is certainly not length of time or the decisions of church councils that have conferred authority on the Bible. From the very beginning of church history the Spirit-filled believer has had an immediate awareness of the authority of the authentic – the Word of God.
See the illustrative anecdote at page bottom from the life of William Maldon.
 
  Autonomy  
  The Bible's Completeness  
The
common structure of the completed written revelation of God shows a magnificent symmetry, molded around its message. Historically, this present day order of the Bible's contents was largely contributed by the Greek language version (incorporating the Septuagint Old Testament). This beautiful structure was anticipated in the literary structure of the Isaiah prophecies, centuries before the Christ of God came!
 
 
Unfortunately, the three-fold Jewish structure of Scripture, 'Law' (Pentateuch), 'Prophets' (Joshua, etc), and 'Writings' (Psalms to 2 Chronicles) – Torah, Nebiim, and Ketubim (abbreviated as TNK, pronounced Tenakh) – had acquired a hierarchical value which downgraded the words of the Prophets and in particular the Writings, in favour of that which exalted Israel's Torah. Daniel, with its direct time-prophecy of Messiah's arrival, was accordingly downgraded to the 'Writings'. (Christians made just too much use of it! Or so the rabbis thought).
 
The
earlier wisdom of Jewish scribes, who translated the biblical Hebrew into the international language of their day (the Septuagint version), grouped the Word of God according to its content, rather than its assumed process of collection, and this is reflected in our Bible today. (See their semantic accuracy in Isaiah's Immanuel Prophecy).
 
 
The supernatural anticipation in the literary structure of the book of Isaiah, of a completed written revelation, is awesome and further attests the perception of these pre-Christian Jewish scribes.
The book of Isaiah falls into two parts – chapters 1-39 and 40-66.
 
 
The second part of Isaiah, with its 27 chapters (40-66), which corresponds to the New Testament, is one majestic messianic poem in three groups of nine chapters each. The central chapter of the middle nine carries the central theme of the New Testament –
the atoning death of the Messiah Himself (53). 
 
Thus this centre of the centre says –
"Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
Isaiah 53:4-5.
  This is an awesome reminder of the dimensions of the message of this Book of books!  
  The Beautiful Book  
 
39
OLD TESTAMENT
THE  BIBLE
containing 66 books   
 ←  (3 x 9 = 27)  →
27
NEW TESTAMENT
 
 
17
*History
5
*Experience
17
*Prophecy
v
5
*History
22
*Letters
Genesis – Esther
Job – Song
Isaiah – Malachi
 
Matthew – Acts
Romans – Revelation
Major  &  Minor
5
Major  &  Minor
 
5
9  –    4     –  9
5   –   12
5   –   12
 
Pastoral
9 – 3 v
Pre & Post
Exilic  
Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
9 – 3 v
Pre & Post
Exilic  
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Acts
Christian
Church
4–3–2
...
v
Hebrew
Christian
4–3–2
...
 
*
No literary type or genre is exclusive. History contains prophecy and Prophecy contains history, etc., such a category therefore refers only to its primary literary content.
 
Note:
Psalm 119, the longest psalm, has as its theme – the written Word of the Lord. This Psalm runs as an alphabetic acrostic in the Hebrew that reinforces the awesome significance of its written record.
 
 
Accordingly, each of the first eight lines begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The next eight lines each start with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and so on. Hence this Psalm has a total of 22 x 8 verses: the number of letters in the alphabet times eight. Why eight? It represents new beginning.
 
The
eighth day is the first day of the new week. Just as the number seven has no magical or lucky significance but simply represents completeness – the full week – from the Genesis creation account, so the number eight represents a new beginning. It is no coincidence that the early church met regularly on the first day of the week, the day of Christ's resurrection, the eighth day of the old week.
 
So
– the Word of God, fulfilled in Jesus, is the new beginning for every person who hears ...
There is so much more that deserves to be said but insufficient space in which to say it.
 
The
book of Psalms itself has a natural five-fold grouping arising from its content, such as:
     Psalm Number    Empasising –    Which could be
alligned with
1.    1 to 41    The Human Condition    Genesis
2.    42 to 72    Deliverance    Exodus
3.    73 to 89    The Sanctuary    Leviticus
4.    90 to 106    The Coming Kingdom    Numbers
5.    107 to 150    God's Word and Thankfulness    Deuteronomy

Why 'five'?
It should not surpise us
for the Creator gave us
five on each hand and
five on each foot,
which is why
we count in tens.
Note:
Former Director of the British Museum, Sir Frederic G. Kenyon concludes, in The Bible and Archaeology, concerning the reliability of our New Testament texts –
“The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”

See Also
Understanding the Bible The Hidden Time
 
A private history of –
William Maldon
 
Long
before the King James Version translation of our Bible into English, two young men put their meager earnings together to buy a smuggled English translation of the New Testament (unapproved by the state church).
See:
Anglican Church
Behaviour
 
They hid it in the straw of the mattress in the room they shared in the Maldon home. William Maldon and Thomas Jeffrey spent every spare moment reading and thinking about their discoveries in their precious Book. But the cost of their journey of faith was nearing...
As
his father sat snoozing, William began discussing, with his mother, his concerns over the idolatrous ritualism of the Church of England. His mother was appalled that he could dare question the religious practices into which he had been raised. He retired to bed leaving his mother to worry over the disturbing new direction in her son's thinking.
 
When William's father awoke later that evening, she shared her fears with him. His alarm at strange teachings being fed to his son, and the intransigence of the boy his mother had reported, propelled him angrily to the boy's bedroom, stick in hand.
 
 
The shocking division of the Maldon family and the cost of a young faith deserves to be read in its original form as it reflects the personal cost of what we take for granted today.
 
  See – William Maldon  

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