Baptists > Doctrines > Bible
   "The Bible is a book no man could have written if he would and would not have written if he could."
                                 ~ Dr. Noel Smith, Editor
                                    Baptist Bible Tribune
                                    1900 to 1974
   "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
                                                                          ~ 2nd Timothy 3:16 
The Testaments of the Bible
   The Bible is divided into two sections; each of which is a collection of books.  The Old and New Testaments contain a total of 66 books writen by 40 various authors.  The word 'testament' literally means "something that serves as proof," so both serve as a witness to what God has done since the beginning of time.
   The focal point of the Bible is the Incarnation of Jesus with the Old Testament being a history of the Jewish nation in preparation of the Messiah from 1400 to 400 B.C.
   Conversely, the New Testament is the witness of Jesus having come, lived amongst us, His teachings, and the work He did in regard to securing our salvation.  It also includes the history of the early first century church, the writings of the apostles, and those prophesies referring to the end times.  This testament was written between 50 A.D. and sometime in the second second century, thus completing the full and complete revelation of God's Word (see chart below).

The Writers of the Bible
   The true "Writer" of the Bible was the Holy Spirit of God.  It was He who inspired (2nd Timothy 3:16) the 40 human "writers" as well as those who determined which of the books should be included in the Bible.  God chose those whom He would have to write His Word as the Holy Spirit "breathed" (inspiration) into them the words they were to write.
   What now composes the Bible is referred to as the canon of Scriptures.  This is a Greek term which means a rule or line of measurement.  Therefore, those books which agreed with each other, contained no errors, and could be validated historically were included in this canon.  Those writings that were not are referred to as the Apocrypha, which is a collection of those books which were not able to measure up to the rest of the canon of God's Word.  As a result, they have no authority.

The Covenants of the Bible
   The testaments are also referred to as covenants.  In regard to Scripture, a covenant is a promise made by God to man.
   In the Old Testament, God's prophets announced His will to the people.  In the absence of a prophet, the writings of Moses (first five books of the Bible) and those written books that were recognized as being Scripture provided spiritual guidence to His people.
   However, the New Testament begins with the coming of Jesus and culminates in His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead.  Immediately after this, God chose to indwell every truly born-again believer through the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, a national prophet is no longer needed.  Believers are now able to be led individually by God's Spirit as they study the Scriptures so that we might learn those principles which bring us to a closer relationship and walk with Him.

The Bible Books Chart
Showing Both Testaments & Their Natural Divisions by Book Groups


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Slippage Questions: The Doctrine of the Bible

   "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

1. Are you truly convinced that the Bible is inspired by God, without error, and has as it's theme, the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ?
2. Does the church you attend openly use the Word of God in its services? 
3. Does your pastor preach directly from the Bible?
4. Does the church you attend encourage you to read the Bible yourself and let God speak to you through it?
5. Have you determined whether or not the English version of the Bible you use is truly accurate, is a translation (not just a revision), and is faithful to the best possible methodology when it comes to translating the Scriptures?
6. If you are convicted that the version you use is indeed accurate, what is your attitude towards those who use other versions?  Is your attitude on this point truly a godly one?
7. Do you believe that anyone who uses a translation of the Bible other than the one you use cannot possibly be saved?  If so, on which Scriptures do you base such a claim?
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