How and When was The Bible put together
Presentation on the theme: "586 BCE and After: The World that Created the Bible."— Presentation transcript:
The Impact of Exile When Solomon’s Temple was destroyed, most records were lost too. In exile, priests and scribes reconstructed old stories, invented others, and saw the importance of having a permanent collection. But the canon had much more books than the Hebrew bible has today, and was not finally closed until first century CE. Because most texts were composed or finished post-exile, they reflect post-exile concerns: a sense of homelessness, a covenant that is permanently postponed, & an identity defined by exclusion, separation, and ethnic and cultural purity. This is a picture of Adam and Eve expelled from Eden (Masaccio), which is one metaphor for post-exile life. http://slideplayer.com/slide/5734220/
In a recent catechism class, a question arose about the canon of Scripture — that is, the writings that make up the Bible.
By the fourth century, the church had discerned the 39 books that make up the Old Testament and the 27 books that make up the New Testament. (See Article VI of the Anglican Articles of Religion.) For further reading about how and when the Bible came together, this article here is a good place to start.
The surprising origins of the Trinity Doctrine:
The teaching of the Trinity originated well after the New Testament was written rather than with the Bible writers themselves. How, then, do we define the Holy Spirit if it is not a person?
Rather than describing the Holy Spirit as a distinct person or entity, the Bible most often refers to it as and connects it with God’s divine power (Zechariah 4:6; Micah 3:8). Jewish scholars, examining the references to it in the Old Testament Scriptures, have never defined the Holy Spirit as anything but the power of God.
In the New Testament, Paul referred to it as the spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Informing Mary that Jesus would be supernaturally conceived in her womb, an angel told her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you …,” and he defined this as “the power of the Highest,” which “will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35).
Jesus began His ministry “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). He told His followers, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
Peter relates that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38). This was the same power that enabled Christ to perform many mighty miracles during His ministry. Likewise, Jesus worked through the apostle Paul “in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God” (Romans 15:19).
The Holy Spirit is the very nature, presence, and expression of God’s power actively working in His servants (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:20). Indeed, it is through His Spirit that God is able to be present everywhere at once throughout the universe and affect it at will (Psalms 139:7-10).
Again and again, the Scriptures depict the Holy Spirit as the power of God. Furthermore, it is also shown to be the mind of God and the very essence and life force through which the Father begets human beings as His spiritual children. The Holy Spirit is not God but is rather a vital aspect of God—the divine substance of the Father and Christ as well as the agency through which They work.
Divine inspiration and life through the Spirit
Repeatedly the Scriptures reveal that God imparted divine inspiration to His prophets and servants through the Holy Spirit. Peter noted that “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
Paul wrote that God’s plan for humanity had been “revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5) and that his own teachings were inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13). Paul further explains that it is through His Spirit that God has revealed to true Christians the things He has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). Working through the Spirit, God the Father is the revealer of truth to those who serve Him.
Jesus told His followers that the Holy Spirit, which the Father would send, "will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). It is through God’s Spirit within us that we gain spiritual insight and understanding. Indeed, we come to receive the very “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)—also referred to as the “mind of the Spirit” (Romans 8:27).
Christ had this spiritual comprehension in abundance. As the Messiah, He was prophesied to have “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2).
As the Son of Man on earth, Christ portrayed in His personal conduct the divine attributes of Almighty God through completely living by His Father’s biblical standards through the power of the Holy Spirit (compare 1 Timothy 3:16).
Now returned to the spirit realm, Christ wields the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit along with the Father. The Holy Spirit, we should understand, is not only the Spirit of God the Father, for the Bible also calls it the “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19). By either designation, it is the same Spirit, as there is only one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4).
The Father imparts the same Spirit to true Christians through Christ (John 14:26; John 15:26; Titus 3:5-6), leading and enabling them to be His children and “partakers of the divine nature” (Romans 8:14; 2 Peter 1:4). God, who has eternal life in Himself, gives that life to others through the Spirit (John 5:26; John 6:63; Romans 8:11).
Impersonal attributes of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is spoken of in many ways that demonstrate that it is not a divine person. For example, it is referred to as a gift (Acts 10:45; 1 Timothy 4:14). We are told that the Holy Spirit can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19), that it can be poured out (Acts 2:17, Acts 2:33), and that we are baptized with it (Matthew 3:11).
People can drink of it (John 7:37-39), partake of it (Hebrews 6:4) and be filled with it (Acts 2:4; Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit also renews us (Titus 3:5) and must be stirred up within us (2 Timothy 1:6). These impersonal characteristics are certainly not attributes of a person.
It is also called “the Holy Spirit of promise,” “the guarantee of our inheritance” and “the spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 1:17).
In contrast to God the Father and Jesus Christ, who are consistently compared to human beings in Their form and shape, the Holy Spirit is consistently represented, by various symbols and manifestations, in a completely different manner—such as the wind (Acts 2:2), fire (Acts 2:3), water (John 4:14; John 7:37-39), oil (Psalms 45:7; compare Acts 10:38; Matthew 25:1-10), a dove (Matthew 3:16) and an “earnest,” or down payment, on eternal life (2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14, KJV). These depictions are difficult to understand, to say the least if the Holy Spirit is a person.
In Matthew 1:20 we find further evidence that the Holy Spirit is not a distinct entity, but God’s divine power. Here we read that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus continually prayed to and addressed God the Father as His Father and not the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:32-33; Matthew 11:25-27; Matthew 12:50). He never represented the Holy Spirit as His Father. Clearly, the Holy Spirit was the agency or power through which the Father begot Jesus as His Son.
Paul’s example and teaching:
If God were a Trinity, surely Paul, who recorded much of the theological underpinnings of the early Church, would have comprehended and taught this concept. Yet we find no such teaching in His writings.
Moreover, Paul’s standard greeting in his letter to the churches, as well as individuals to whom he wrote, is “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet in each of his greetings, he never mentions the Holy Spirit. (The same can also be said of Peter in the salutations of both his epistles.)
The same greeting, with only minor variations, appears in every epistle that bears Paul’s name (see Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; etc.) The Holy Spirit is always left out of these greetings—an unbelievable and inexplicable oversight if the Spirit were indeed a person or entity coequal with God the Father and Christ.
This is even more surprising when we consider that the congregations to which Paul wrote had many gentile members from polytheistic backgrounds who had formerly worshiped numerous gods. Paul’s epistles record no attempt on his part to explain the Trinity or Holy Spirit as a divine person equal with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
In all of Paul’s writings, only in 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the Holy Spirit mentioned along with the Father and Christ, and there only in connection with the “fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (NIV) in which believers share—not in any sort of theological statement on the nature of God. God’s Spirit, says Paul, is the unifying agent that brings us together in godly, righteous fellowship, not only with one another but with the Father and Son.
Yet here, too, God’s Spirit is not spoken of as a person. Notice that our fellowship is of the Holy Spirit, not with the Holy Spirit. As 1 John 1:3 tells us, “Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit is not mentioned.
Paul states that “there is one God, the Father, … and one Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:6). He makes no mention of the Holy Spirit as a divine person.
Other biblical perspectives:
Jesus likewise never spoke of the Holy Spirit as a divine third person. Instead, in numerous passages, He spoke only of the relationship between God the Father and Himself (Matthew 26:39; Mark 13:32; 15:34; John 5:18; John 5:22; etc.). The Holy Spirit as a person is conspicuously absent from Christ’s teaching in general. Of particular interest in this regard are His many statements about Himself and the Father, especially when He never makes similar statements about Himself and the Holy Spirit.
We should also consider that, in visions of God’s throne recorded in the Bible, although the Father and Christ are seen, the Holy Spirit is never seen (Acts 7:55-56; Daniel 7:9-14; Revelation 4-5; Revelation 7:10). Jesus is repeatedly mentioned as being at the right hand of God, but no one is mentioned as being at the Father’s left hand. Nowhere are three divine persons pictured together in the Scriptures.
Even in the final book of the Bible (and the last to be written), the Holy Spirit as a divine person is absent from its pages. The book describes “a new heaven and new earth” (Revelation 21:1) wherein “the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:3). Christ, the Lamb of God, is also present (verse Revelation 21:22). The Holy Spirit, however, is again absent—another inexplicable oversight if this Spirit is the third person of a triune God.
Clearly, the Holy Spirit, from the evidence found in the Bible, is not a person in a supposed Trinity. Regrettably, the unbiblical doctrine of the Trinity obscures the scriptural teaching that God is a family—a family which, as we will see, is our ultimate destiny!
The Surprising Origins of the Trinity Doctrine
Some Bible translators of past centuries were so zealous to find support for their belief in the Trinity in the Scriptures that they literally added it. A case in point is 1 John 5:7-8.
Any human with a sound/sane mind, who is looking for the truth, will see that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is a contradiction to what God Almighty stated in the Old Testament. Furthermore, this kind of doctrine is never taught by Jesus or his disciples and thus contradicts everything that Jesus taught. If Jesus (p) really taught the doctrine of the Trinity, how come there is not one verse where he states:- “God is One but in three persons” i.e., something along the lines of, “Father is God Son is God and the Holy Spirit is also God?” Anyone reading throughout the New Testament will see Jesus saying: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Jesus taught Monotheism, not Polytheism.
None of the disciples baptized: “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
The formula that is quoted i.e. “Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” is never once referenced, not in any of the Gospels nor of Paul’s letters. C) Eusebius (260 – 339 CE) never once mentioned the formula, “Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” instead he only mentioned the name of “Jesus.” D) The Scholars quoted all agree that it was not part of the original text but an interpolation.
All the evidence quoted by the experts proved that 1 John 5:7 is a fraud, it was added in the 1500th century by Erasmus. The words that are quoted by the KJV for 1 John 5:7 is not found in any Greek MSS.
All in all the evidence we provided is in our favor that Matthew 28:19 and 1st John 5:7 are not genuine verses. Christians need to let go of the Trinity – Triune God, for Jesus never taught such doctrine. God never said he was a Trinity. The Bible never mentions anything about God being “three.” The Bible never mentions anything about God referenced as a “Person.” Lastly, the Bible never mentions anything about the “Holy Spirit” being God
Barely two decades after Christ’s death and resurrection, the apostle Paul wrote that many believers were already “turning away . . . to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). He wrote that he was forced to contend with “false apostles, deceitful workers” who were fraudulently “transforming themselves into apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13). One of the major problems he had to deal with was “false brethren” (2 Corinthians 11:26). https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/the-surprising-origins-of-the-trinity-doctrine
Why believe a teaching that isn’t biblical?
Eusebius (260 – 339 CE) was a Roman Christian historian and is regarded as a well learned Christian scholar. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in 314 CE. He quotes many verses in his works, and Matthew 28:19 is one of them. 17 times in his works prior to Nicaea, Eusebius quotes Matthew 28:19 as “Go and make disciples of all nations in my name” without mentioning the Trinity baptism formula.
This, in brief, is the amazing story of how the doctrine of the Trinity came to be introduced—and how those who refused to accept it came to be branded as heretics or unbelievers.
But should we really base our view of God on a doctrine that isn’t spelled out in the Bible, that wasn’t formalized until three centuries after the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles, that was debated and argued for decades (not to mention for centuries since), that was imposed by religious councils presided over by novices or nonbelievers and that was “decided by the method of trial and error”?
Of course not. We should instead look to the Word of God—not to ideas of men—to see how our Creator reveals Himself! https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/the-surprising-origins-of-the-trinity-doctrine
Biblical passages that teach explicitly that there is One God:
ISAIAH 40:25 – To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
ISAIAH 45:5 – I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
DEUTERONOMY 4:35,39 — Unto thee, it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. (39) Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
DEUTERONOMY 6:4 – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
ISAIAH 43:10-11 – Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me, there was no God formed, either shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me, there is no savior.
ISAIAH 44:8 – Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
ISAIAH 46:9 – Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.
HOSEA 13:4 -Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no savior beside me.
MARK 12:29-34 — And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst asks him any question.
(Mark 12: 29) Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD.