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Course Description

Purpose:   Most Christians understand that the Bible they hold in their hands is the inspired Word of God. Yet very few have a general understanding of the origin of the Bible. The purpose of this class, therefore, is to show the student how the Bible came to be and why it can be accepted as the unerring, authoritative Word of God.

Issues covered:   This eight-week course is devoted to the following issues:

  1. Key terms relating to the Bible (Inspiration, Canonization, Transmission and Translation)
  2. What the Bible was written on
  3. Time period Bible was written in
  4. Languages of the Bible
  5. How the books of the Bible came to be recognized as Canon
  6. Differences between the Hebrew, Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles
  7. The Apocryphal Books
  8. Textual criticism
  9. Old Testament manuscripts our Bible is based on
  10. New Testament manuscripts our Bible is based on
  11. Early translations of the Bible
  12. The English Bible to 1611
  13. Recent English translations
  14. Is the King James version the only version Christians should use?

Course requirements: Everyone is welcome to attend all the classes even if they are not able to do the reading or the short projects. Also, one does not need to be a member of Indian Hills Community Church to attend. For those who wish to get the most out of this class the following is recommended:

  1. Come to class and read the course handouts   Our class sessions rely primarily on the course handouts. New handouts will be given out weekly. If you miss a week you can pick up back copies the next class period or pick up the notes from Room 104-105.
  2. Read How We Got the Bible by Neil R. Lightfoot. You can purchase a copy from Sound Words. We will also have a copy of this book on reserve in the School of the Shepherd’s Library.
  3. Two take-home projects will be given out (probably around weeks 3 and 6). All the answers will be available in your class notes.