Bible 101IntroductionBarry E. Horner
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BIBLE BASICSINTRODUCTIONRarely is it disputed that the Bible is the most influentialbook that mankind has encountered. However it must behonestly confessed that, at least in much of Western society,which arguably was born through the agency of the Bible,increased secularity has been paralleled by a decline inunderstanding and interest in this incomparable volume.The aim of this course is to start with the proposition thatbelief, or indeed unbelief, cannot be exercised unless there iscomprehension of the truth of the Bible. Faith, as is so wronglyunderstood, is not the response to abstract thought, to sentimentand tradition; it is not a leap in the dark. Rather faith is a leapin the light; it is the embrace of truth. Granted that faith doesnot necessarily grasp the totality of truth, yet it lays hold ofsufficient truth that is regarded as being worthy of commitmentto its claims.So here we start with learning the truth about the Bible in asummary manner. We must learn its anatomy as well assomething of the flesh that adheres to this form. However wemust also grasp that for the human authors employed, the truthcontained in Scripture has supernatural vitality that fartranscends mere literary structure. If we simply stop at thearrangement of the Bible, we are in danger of dying of thirstwhen a soul quenching spring is before our very eyes.So we take seriously the prescription of Jesus Christ: “Youwill know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John8:32).i
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BIBLE BASICSiiiTABLE OF CONTENTSI.Introduction.1II.Selecting a Bible.3IIIOperational Mechanics.6IV.Reading the Bible with Profit.15V.The Canon of the Bible.19VI.The Languages of the Bible.24VII.Interpreting the Bible.30VIII.A Brief Survey of Bible History.51A.The Major Events of the Bible51B.The Major Characters of the Bible.60IX.The Major Bible Covenants.73X.The Names of God.81XI.Apologetic Considerations of Christianity.86A.Three schools of Apologetics86B.Proofs of the Existence of God.87C.Proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.88D.Proofs of the Authority of the Bible.90XII.Basic Bible Doctrines.107A.The Doctrine of God.107B.The Doctrine of Scripture.109C.The Doctrine of Jesus Christ.111DThe Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.111E.The Doctrine of Man.111
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 101ivF.The Doctrine of Salvation.112G.The Doctrine of Christian Growth.115H.The Doctrine of the Church.116I.The Doctrine of Future Events.118
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 101FOUNDATIONAL STUDIES IN THE WORD OF GODI INTRODUCTIONA.The book that we are about to study is the most influential volume that the human race hasever encountered, in spite of many feverish attempts to burn, ban, and blaspheme it.1.On this fact alone the Bible demands the most serious study and investigation,whatever our presuppositions or bias about it may be.2.When the present Queen of England was crowned, the Archbishop of Canterburypresented her with a copy of the Authorized Version of the Bible and the accompanyingexhortation:Our gracious Queen: to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the Law and the Gospel ofGod as the rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present youwith this Book, the most valuable thing this world affords. Here is wisdom; This is the1royal Law; These are the lively Oracles of God.3.Today the current president of the United State, George W. Bush, tells us that:I read the Bible regularly. . . . I read through the Bible every other year. During the yearsin between, I pick different chapters to study at different times. I have also learned thepower of prayer. I pray for guidance. I do not pray for earthly things, but for heavenly2things, for wisdom and patience and understanding.B.4.Hence, only a fool or bigot would ignore such a legacy, yet we live in an appallinglyilliterate age insofar as the Bible is concerned. Bible and study aids abound, but biblicalignorance yet more abounds!5.Whatever the student’s attitude may be toward the Bible, the presupposition of thisstudy is that it is the very Word of the only living God. There will be repeatedreferences to evidence, both from within and without this volume, that this conclusionis true.The various names given to the Bible.1.“The Holy Bible.”a.It is holy, sacred, or set apart from that which is common, and set apart unto thatwhich is especially to be revered. It is not like any other book, since it has comefrom the mouth of a holy God (II Tim. 3:15-16; I Pet. 1:15-16), and for thisreason it is to be treated reverently.1F. F. Bruce. The English Bible, p. 224.2George W. Bush, A Charge To Keep, pp. 137-38.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1012b.2.3.It is a book, “Bible” being derived from the Greek, bibl on, biblion, having theroot meaning of a type of reed from which papyrus was made. In the time of JesusChrist it referred to either a parchment scroll or a collection of papyrus sheets.The Holy “Scriptures.”a.This is common terminology in the New Testament division of the Bible. Paulwrites concerning “the gospel of God . . . in the sacred/holy Scriptures/writings[gr matta, gramatta]” (Rom. 1:1-2). These are “the sacred/holy Scriptures/writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation throughfaith which is in Christ Jesus,” and thus are “Scripture [graf», graphē],” expiredby God (II Tim. 3:15-16).b.Hence, it is truth inscripturated, that is written down through the use of wordstaught by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:12-13; I Peter 1:20-21). It is a concrete, notfluid, objective, not subjective, propositional revelation, that is a tangible recordas distinct from subjective dreams, visions, opinions, or “truth” by consensus (Jer.23:28-29).“The Word of God,” or “the Word of the Lord.”Other names include “the oracles of God” (Acts 7:38), “the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17;Heb. 4:12; II Pet. 3:5), and “the word of the Lord” as repetitively used in Jeremiah (cf.1:2, 4, 11, 13).4.A fundamental presupposition.In view of the preceding references concerning the Bible’s consistent claims to be theWord of the only true and living God, the presupposition of this study is that this claimis authentic. Other evidence in this regard will be supplied later in this manual. Further,it is believed, according to the Apostle Peter, “that no prophecy of Scripture is a matterof one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will,but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (II Pet. 1:20-21). Here authority ispreserved in confluence. In other words, while God has used human agency in thewriting of the books of the Bible, as was the case with Mary being the human agentand mother of Jesus Christ, yet the Spirit of God so inspired these writings that theyconsequently were preserved from error, in the same way that Jesus Christ waspreserved from sin at birth and throughout his life (Luke 1:35; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15;7:26; I John 3:5). Hence the wise student of the Bible will pray to God that He,through the illumination of His Spirit, will grant a true understanding of His Word (Ps.119:18). In other words, this course will regard the Bible as more than religiousliterature.5.Homework exercises.a.What various terms describe the Scriptures or Word of God in Psalm 119?b.What does Jesus Christ say about Scripture or Word of God in John 10:35; 17:17?c.What does the Apostle Paul say about Scripture in II Timothy 3:16-17?
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1013II SELECTING A BIBLEA.B.Choose a Bible that is first of all accurate and precise, and not a paraphrase that neverthelessmay have colloquial appeal.1.Our first concern must be truth, God’s intended meaning, not linguistic trendiness,cultural novelty, or personal preference. Hence, accuracy of translation is of vitalimportance.2.Bible language, especially in the New Testament, often makes a point that is basedupon precise grammar (Gal. 3:16), and word meanings (Rom. 3:21-26).Choose a Bible that was translated by a committeer of godly men, that is conservativeevangelical scholars. None of the human authors of the Bible were liberals, that is skepticsregarding the Word of God to which they had access.1.Hence, avoid primary reliance upon translations by one man since a panel is less proneto prejudice. In spite of J. B. Phillips’ mastery of English expression, yet in hisindividual paraphrase of the New Testament, Letters to Young Churches, he takesunwarranted liberty in reversing the meaning of I Corinthians 14:22.2.In spite of the historic importance of the 1611 King James Version, it is not today themost accurate modern translation. This estimate is not intended to make light of thegreat reverence that this version has accumulated. However, as a challenging exercise,look up the following references in a KJV and ask yourself if you are clear as to themeaning of the quoted words or expressions. Then refer to the translation of thesesame verses in the NKJV, NASB, ESV, or NIV.1.Genesis 29:17“tender-eyed”9.Job 28:1“fine”17. Nahum 3:5“discover”25. John 10:24“doubt”2.Genesis 37:22“rid”10. Psalm 22:17“tell”18. Nahum 3:19“bruit”26. Acts 17:3“alleging”3.Joshua 9:5“clouted”11. Psalm 139:15“curiously”19. Mark 6:20“observed”27. Acts 28:13“fetched a compass”4.Judges 1:23“descry”12. Isaiah 3:18“tires”20. Mark 6:25“by and by”28. I Corinthians 10:24“addicted”5.I Chronicles 18:4“houghed”13. Isaiah 43:13“let”21. Mark 9:33-34“disputed”29. I Corinthians 16:15“addicted”6.II Kings 5:23“be content”14. Isaiah 57:5“clift”22. Luke 19:13“occupy”30. II Corinthians 4:2“dishonesty”7.Nehemiah 13:26“outlandish”15. Jeremiah 18:11“devise a device”23. Luke 21:34“surfeiting”31. Ephesians 6:4“nurture”8.Job 17:3“strike handsi h”16. Ezekiel 39:11, 14, 15“passengers”24. John 2:3“wanted”32. Philippians 3:21“vile”
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1014Well, how did you fare? But further, consider how a person reading the KJV for thefirst time might understand these words, and many others besides.3.Recommended modern translations are as follows.While this author recommends the NASB and ESV as his primary choices, yet in closestudy of the text there have been times when he has preferred the translation of theKJV, NIV, and NKJV.a.The New American Standard Bible (NASB).First published in 1960, this complete revision of the American Standard Versionof 1901 is renowned for its literal accuracy and sensitivity to grammatical tenses.The translators were conservative.b.The New International Version (NIV).First published in 1978 as a complete Bible, this wholly new version is more freeflowing as a “thought for thought” translation. Though thoughts are meaninglessapart from specific words. The translators were conservative.c.The New King James Version (NKJV).First published in 1982, this revision of the classic English version was intended toupdate the language with as little change as possible. The translators wereconservative.d.The English Standard Version (ESV).First published in 2001, this revision of the Revised Standard Version byconservative scholars, which also resorts to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, andGreek, is described as “essentially literal” in contrast with the NIV.4.3Modern translations not recommended are as follows.a.The New English Bible (NEB). Above all other translations, this version has adefinite liberal bias (Gen. 11:1), including blatant and irreverent “conjecturalemendation” (F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments, pp. 169-70). Thisinvolves alteration (John 19:29), and rearrangement of the text withoutmanuscript warrant (Hos. 2:11-12; Joel 3:9-12; Amos 5:7-9; Nahum 1:2-14).3Consider also the use of “expiation” rather than “propitiation” in Romans 3:25.b.The Good News Bible (GNB). Claiming to be a translation, yet its paraphrasestyle avoids precise and intentional meaning, such as in Romans 3:25; I John 4:10,where “propitiation” is evasively described as, “the means by which people’s sinsare forgiven.”D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Romans 3:20-4:25 -Atonement and Justification, pp. 65-80.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 101c.C.5The Living Bible (LB). While honestly confessing to be a paraphrase withnumerous clarifying footnotes, and in spite of the notorious accuracy of I Kings18:27, yet it is often wrongly treated as a translation. The attempt to paraphraseRomans 3:21-26 is quite inadequate. Originally composed by one man, thoughalso submitted to more scholarly examination, it will be best appreciated if placedon a commentary shelf rather than with Bibles. More recently a Roman Catholicversion has been published, inclusive of the Apocrypha, which has the dubiousqualification, “A Thought-For-Thought Translation.”Choose a quality reference Bible.1.A flexible leather cover with a strongly sewn binding will last the longest. It is worththe extra cost.2.Choose a large type style with plenty of margin space so that not only will you avoidsquinting, but also you will be able to write your own notes, even between lines. Thepaper quality is important in that it should be suitable for adding notes. Hence, in spiteof the temptation to preserve the initial newness, do not hesitate to write notationswith a fine pen. Keep in mind that after a number of years, you will nevertheless needto replace your present version, especially when it has been subject to heavy use.3.It is highly desirable that your Bible be set in type that is comfortable for reading, thatis has a good cross reference system, concordance, reference maps, and space forwriting notes. Further explanation will be provided concerning these features.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1016III OPERATIONAL MECHANICSA.Introduction.While many people today will readily volunteer their opinions about the Bible, yet the truthis that vast multitudes of religious individuals are ignorant concerning the most elementaryfacts and features of the inscripturated Word of God.B.1.You can pray as much as you like, but God will not instantly inject basic Bibleknowledge into your soul. Rather, you have to exercise your responsibility before Godin the area of faculties that have been given to all. God will not spoon feed you.2.A medical student has to learn thoroughly the intricate details of human anatomybefore he is allowed to practice medicine. Similarly a student who learns a newlanguage has to first master the details of vocabulary and grammar before he is able tocommunicate in that language. In either case, that initial period of learning basic factsmay not prove to be a thrilling experience. But such preparation is without question ofcrucial importance. In the instance of the faithful student, it is the hope of futurecompetence and enlightenment that drives him to attain mastery of elementary details.So the effective Bible student will strive to know the basic anatomy of the Word of Godto the end that he might be a competent servant of Christ for the glory of God.The Divisions and Books of the Bible.1.The two-fold division.Here the Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures are most commonly distinguished.However, the truth of Hebrews 1:1-2 best indicates the diversity in unity that isreflected in these complementary revelations, with Jesus Christ being the uniting hinge.a.The Old Testament, comprised of 39 books.“Old Testament” here means “Old Covenant,” tyr]B , berith, or old agreement,specifically with regard to the covenant God made with the nation of Israel shortlyafter it had been redeemed out of Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and arrived at Mt.Sinai (Exod. 20:1-26; 24:1-8). It is vital that this bilateral covenant should bedistinguished from the unilateral Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-21; Gal.3:17-18).(1) The four major Christian Old Testament divisions.(a)The Law, or Pentateuch (five-volumed), or Torah, (instruction) as theJews call it. Genesis through to Deuteronomy.(b) History, principally with regard to Israel. Joshua through to Esther.(c)Poetry, that is especially devotional, relational, ethical. Job through toSong of Solomon (Canticles).
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1017(d) The Prophets, both major, Isaiah through to Daniel, and minor, Hoseathrough to Malachi.(2) The three major Jewish Old Testament divisions (Tanakh).(a)Torah (Law): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.(b) Neviim (Prophets):(c)b.1)Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings,Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel.2)Latter Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.Kethuvim (Writings):1)Poetry & Wisdom: Psalms, Proverbs, Job.2)Rolls (Megilloth): Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations,Ecclesiastes, Esther.3)Historical: Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, I & II Chronicles.The New Testament, comprised of 27 books“New Testament” here means “New Covenant” or new agreement, specificallywhich God promised to Israel through Jeremiah (31:31-37; cf. Heb. 8:7-13) andfulfilled through the sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:25; Heb. 9:15;12:24; cf. “eternal covenant,” 13:20). The five major divisions are as follows:(1) The Gospels, concerning Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry. Matthew to Luke,(synoptic), and John, (Johannine).(2) History, principally concerning the early Church. Acts of the Apostles.(3) The Epistles of Paul, concerning the interpretation of Jesus Christ and thefunction of local churches. Romans through to Philemon.(4) The General Epistles, Hebrews through to Jude.(5) Prophecy, or unveiling of the present and future. Revelation.c.The Bible library, divisions, and book summaries.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1018The beginning of man and the Hebrew people.The redemption of Israel out of Egypt.Laws for the priesthood and the people of Israel.The nation of Israel in the wilderness.A review of the law given to Moses.JOSHUAJUDGESRUTHI SAMUELII SAMUELI KINGSII KINGSI CHRONICLESII CHRONICLESEZRANEHEMIAHESTHERIsrael takes possession of the promised land.The reign of the Judges of Israel.A godly romance during the reign of the Judges.Israel’s monarchy from Samuel to SaulIsrael’s monarchy under David.Israel’s monarchy from Solomon to Elijah.Israel’s monarchy from Elijah to captivity.Israel’s history from Adam to David.Israel’s history from Solomon to captivity.Return from captivity to Jerusalem Temple restoration.Return from captivity to Jerusalem wall restoration.Israel’s deliverance while in captivity.JOBPSALMSPROVERBSECCLESIASTESSONG OF SOLOMONGod’s vindication through Job’s suffering.The Hebrew hymnal of praise to God.The wisdom of Solomon and other authors.The futility of life without God.A godly song of love for the AJORA princely prophecy of salvation by Israel’s holy Jehovah.The doom and restoration of Jerusalem.Mourning in captivity and the cry for mercy.The fall of Jerusalem and the rise of the New.God’s sovereignty over Israel in RSDEUTERONOMYUnfaithful Israel called to repentance.The day of the Lord and the promise of the Spirit.Punishment of Israel and the nations.Judgment upon Edom and Judah restored.God’s salvation comes to repentant Nineveh.Punishment followed by salvation for God’s people.The destruction of Nineveh in judgment.The vindication of God in history.God’s certain judgment upon Judah and the nations.Encouragement to rebuild the Temple.Prophecies of the glory of Messiah’s kingdom.Warning and encouragement about Messiah’s HANIAHHAGGAIZECHARIAHMALACHIOLD TESTAMENT (39 BOOKS)POETRYHISTORYLAWTHE OLD TESTAMENT
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 1019GOSPELSHISTORYACTSThe Christian Church, established, empowered.PAULINE EPISTLESROMANSI CORINTHIANSII I THESSALONIANSII THESSALONIANSI TIMOTHYII TIMOTHY PASTORALTITUSPHILEMONThe gospel of the righteousness of God.Disorder and discipline in the church.Defense of discipline in the church.Justification through faith apart from the law.The gospel and the church.Christian joy and fellowship.The sufficiency and preeminence of Christ.The encouragement of Christ’s second coming.The time and manner of Christ’s second coming.Doctrine and order in the local church.Zeal and faithfulness in Christian ministry.Leadership, church duties, and exhortation.Reconciliation with a repentant slave.GENERAL EPISTLESHEBREWSJAMESI PETERII PETERI JOHNII JOHNIII JOHNJUDEJesus Christ’s superiority over Judaism.The outworking of authentic faith.Kept by God’s power during persecution.Living with apostasy, expecting Christ’s return.Fellowship with God and His children.Walking in truth and shunning error.Showing hospitality and warning the unruly.God’s elect warned concerning apostasy.REVELATIONThe Lamb’s triumph at the end of the age.2.SYNOPTICJOHANNINEJesus Christ as Messiah, the King.Jesus Christ as the active Servant.Jesus Christ as the Son of man for all.Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God.NEW TESTAMENT (27 BOOKS)MATTHEWMARKLUKEJOHNPROPHECYTHE NEW TESTAMENTThe chapter and verse divisionsThe earliest manuscripts, Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the NewTestament, did not contain chapter or verse divisions. Indeed they also lacked spacingbetween words and sentences. The present chapter divisions in our Bibles were inventedin 1205 by Stephen Langton, a professor in Paris who subsequently became Archbishopof Canterbury and incorporated his system into a Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible. Itwas Robert Stephanus, a Parisian book printer, whose published versification of theBible in 1571 has prevailed to the present. Chapter summaries used in the KJV werefirst introduced into Coverdale’s English Bible of 1535, based upon the Latin Vulgate.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 101103.Memorization.Learn, by memory and in right order, all of the sixty-six books of the Bible, even if as aChristian you have been ignorant of these facts for many years. Embarrassment at thispoint is not only a shame, but also a frequent cause of not studying the Bible, especiallyduring church services. After all, who wants to seem ignorant to the person we aresitting next to? Keep in mind that memorization is a matter of cultivation. Make a tapecassette of your own recitation of the books of the Bible, then listen to it over and overagain. Alternatively, write out the sixty-six books on cards, either individually or ingroups, for periodic review. Here is a poem that may be helpfulIn GENESIS the world was made by God’s creative hand.In EXODUS the Hebrews marched to gain the Promised Land.LEVITICUS contains the Law: holy, just and good.NUMBERS records the tribes enrolled, all sons of Abr’ams blood.Moses in DEUTERONOMY recounts God’s mighty deeds.In JOSHUA, into Canaan’s land, the host of Israel speeds.In JUDGES their rebellion oft provokes the Lord to smite;But RUTH records the faith of one well-pleasing in His sight.In FIRST AND SECOND SAMUEL, of Jesse’s son we read:Ten tribes, in FIRST AND SECOND KINGS, revolted from his seed.Then FIRST AND SECOND CHRONICLES see Judah captive made;But EZRA leads a remnant back by princely Cyrus’ aid.The city walls on Zion’s hill NEHEMIAH builds again;While ESTHER saves her people from the plots of wicked men.In JOB we read how faith will live beneath affliction’s rod:And David’s PSALMS are precious songs to every child of God.The PROVERBS like a goodly string of choicest pearls appear.ECCLESIASTES teaches men how vain are all things here.The SONG OF SOLOMON exalts sweet Sharon’s lovely rose:Whilst Christ the Savior and the King the rapt ISAIAH shows.Then JEREMIAH’S solemn voice apostate Israel warns:In plaintive LAMENTATIONS he their awful downfall mourns.EZEKIEL tells in wondrous words the Temple’s mysteries:Whilst God’s great Kingdom yet to come DANIEL in vision sees.Of judgment stern, and mercy mild, HOSEA loves to tell.Then JOEL describes the happy days when God with man shall dwell.Among Tekoa’s herdsmen next, AMOS receives his call:While OBADIAH prophesies of Edom’s final fall.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 10111JONAH enshrines a wondrous type of Christ our risen Lord.MICAH pronounces Judah lost—lost, but to be restored.NAHUM declares, “On Nineveh just judgment shall descend,When God's consuming wrath like fire is poured out to the end.”Chaldea’s fast approaching doom HABAKKUK’S visions give,Next, ZEPHANIAH warns the Jews to turn, repent and live.Stern HAGGAI spoke to those who saw the Temple built again;And ZECHARIAH prophesied of Christ’s triumphant reign.MALACHI was the last who touched the high prophetic chord;Its final notes sublimely show the coming of the Lord.MATTHEW and MARK and LUKE and JOHN the Gospel story give,Describing how the Savior came, and died that we might live.ACTS tells how the apostles preached with signs in every place:And Paul in ROMANS shows how men are saved through faith by grace.The Apostle in CORINTHIANS exhorts, instructs, reproves:GALATIANS proves that faith in Christ alone the Father moves.EPHESIANS and PHILLIPIANS tell what Christians ought to be.COLOSSIANS bids us live for God, and from all sin be free.In THESSALONIANS we are taught the Lord will come from heaven.In TIMOTHY, and TITUS too, a shepherd’s rule is given.PHILEMON marks a brother’s love, which only brethren know.HEBREWS reveals Christ's priestly work, prefigured long ago.JAMES says that without holiness, faith is but vain and dead.And PETER points the narrow way in which the saints are led.JOHN, in his epistles three, on love delights to dwell:While JUDE gives warning terrible of angels once who fell.Last, REVELATION prophesies of that tremendous Day,When all the kingdoms of the world with noise shall pass away!4.The hands-on use of the Bible.a.There is no substitute for physically making use of the Bible, that is burrowingaround. Learn to approximate where a book might be; for instance, Psalms isfound to be in the middle of the Bible. The following exercise is designed to haveyou actually become acquainted with the books, chapters, and verses of the Bible.b.Complete the following exercise that is designed to familiarize you with the Bible.(1) Turn to and read II Chronicles 34:21.(2) Turn to and read Psalm 34:21.
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 10112(3) Turn to and read Proverbs 4:19.(4) Turn to and read Joel 3:2.(5) Turn to and read John 5:24.(6) Turn to and read Romans 8:1.(7) Turn to and read Colossians 1:13.(8) Turn to and read I Thessalonians 5:9.(9) Using the NASB, what are the contrasting features in all of these references?C.Translation and study features.On page 4, four modern translations were recommended for serious Bible study, namely theNew American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), the New KingJames Version (NKJV), and the English Standard Version (ESV). Any of these versions maybe purchased with few or many translation and study helps. The following explanationsassume the use of a reasonably comprehensive reference or study edition.1.Translation features that explain the text.a.Words in italics.These indicate additional words that clarify the English sense. They give asmoother meaning, though they are not directly part of the original text, as isindicated in Ruth 2:16; Psalm 146:8; Colossians 2:2; I Timothy 5:9 (NASB, NKJVonly). The NIV and ESV do not include italics. However consider II Corinthians2:12 where only the NKJV includes “preach” in italics while the NASB does not.b.Textual explanations.(1) Literal renderings.(a)NASB, margin (John 21:5).(b) NIV, footnote (Gal. 1:15).(c)NKJV, margin (Ps. 110:5).(d) ESV, footnote (Rom. 5:1).(2) Factual details.(a)NASB, margin (Acts 19:31).(b) NIV, footnote (John 19:39).
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 101(c)13NKJV, margin (Matt. 17:27).(d) ESV, footnote (Luke 10:35).(3) Old Testament manuscript variations.(a)The Massoretic Text (M.T.), compiled by the Massoretes or Jewishthgrammarians of the 9 century A.D., is still the most trusted O.T.Hebrew text of today.1)NASB, margin (Zeph. 1:5).2)NIV, footnote (Job 7:20).3)NKJV, margin (Mal. 1:12).4)ESV, footnote (Isa. 21:8).(b) The Septuagint (LXX), or Greek version of the O.T. translated c. 250B.C., is the most important of its type.(c)1)NASB, margin, (Hos. 7:14).2)NIV, footnote (Isa. 27:8).3)NKJV, margin (Lam. 3:53).4)ESV, footnote (Eccles. 9:2).The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), are an important collection of O.T.manuscripts dating back to c. 200 B.C. They were discovered in highcaves beside the Dead Sea in 1947, the most significant find being analmost complete scroll of Isaiah.1)NASB, margin (Isa. 18:7).2)NIV, footnote (Isa. 37:20).3)NKJV, margin (Isa. 21:8).4)ESV, footnote (Isa. 28:16).(4) New Testament manuscript variations.(a)Rom. 14:19; 16:24 (NASB). Both this version, the NIV and the ESV, asdistinct from the NKJV, rely more upon the older manuscripts,Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, of the fourth and fifth centuries respectively.(b) John 13:32; Acts 8:3 (NIV).
BIBLE INTRODUCTION 10114(c)Rom. 11:6; Heb. 12:28 (NKJV). This version, as distinct from theNASB and NIV, gives precedence to the Majority Text family of N.T.manuscripts, dating no earlier than the fifth century. Refer to thepreface of the NKJV for further explanation.(d) Mark 2:16, 22; Acts 28:29 (ESV)c.God’s personal covenant name.In the O.T., there is frequent reference to “God” (Elohim, Gen. 1:1) and “Lord”(Adonai, Gen. 18:27) in Hebrew, which titles address the God of Israel in genericterms that infrequently also refer to heathen gods. However there is also frequentreference to “GOD” and “LORD” with the use of capital letters, this being atranslation of “Yahweh” of “Jehovah,” in Hebrew hwhy, or pointed as hw hy ,being God’s own personal name. This was exclusively revealed by God, throughMoses, only to His people Israel (Exod. 3:13-15).2.Study features that explain the text.a.Chapter, paragraph, and verse divisions are helpful, as are subject headings,though they are not found in the original and inspired text. Being arbitrary, theymay vary from version to version, such as with the paragraph divisions in thePsalms. Consider the NASB marginal comment on Jonah 1:17 which indicatesthat, in the He