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Bible Survival

a presentation about the Christian Bible focussing on two major persecutions: Antiochus Epiphanes and Emperor Diocletian

Sean Finnegan

on 11 December 2011

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Transcript of Bible Survival

breathed is Scripture All False Religion God's Radical Idea The Greek Attempt The Roman Attempt The English Bible True Religion many gods
ritual based
amoral one God
ritual based
moral (Torah) Innovations sacred books
no idols
no magic Attempts to Destroy the Bible Hellenization
Jewish betrayers
if only I had Egypt
the rumor
a line in the sand
the backlash mandatory Hellenization
temple defiled
burnt offerings banned
sacrifice to idols
no Sabbaths/feasts
no circumcision
renounce the Law death penalty for:
circumcising infants
possessing the Bible
practicing the Law
refusing to sacrifice 1 Maccabees 1.56-59:
56 Any books of the Law that came to light were torn up and burned. 57 Whenever anyone was discovered possessing a copy of the covenant or practicing the Law, the king's decree sentenced him to death. 58 Month after month they took harsh action against any offenders they discovered in the towns of Israel. 59 On the twenty-fifth day of each month, sacrifice was offered on the altar erected on top of the altar of burnt offering. Bible Survival 1 Maccabees 1.60-62:
60 Women who had had their children circumcised were put to death according to the edict 61 with their babies hung round their necks, and the members of their household and those who had performed the circumcision were executed with them. 62 Yet there were many in Israel who stood firm and found the courage to refuse unclean food. 1 Maccabees 1.63-64:
63 They chose death rather than contamination by such fare or profanation of the holy covenant, and they were executed. 64 It was a truly dreadful retribution that visited Israel. The Maccabean Revolution:
Judah "the Hammer"
guerilla warfare
religious freedom (164 BC)
political freedom (142 BC) Diocletian
Emperor of Rome
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3.16) Bede (673-735) Translated a portion of John into Anglo-Saxon John Wycliffe (1328-1384) Handwritten English translation of Latin Vulgate William Tyndale (1492-1536) First to publish the New Testament translated from the original Greek on the printing press. "If God spared my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture than thou doest."
Fugitive for 12 years
Finished the NT in 1526
Learned Hebrew and began working on the OT
Strangled to death and burned at the stake on October 6, 1536
Last Words: "Lord open the king of England's eyes" Myles Coverdale (1488-1569) Using Tyndale's work he completed the first printed complete English Bible in 1535 Coverdale Bible (October 4, 1535)
In 1539 King Henry VIII had it chained to a bookstand in every English Church Geneva Bible (1576) more than 80% from Tyndale
William Whittingham, Myles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and William Cole
First printed Study Bible
The Bible on the Mayflower
The most popular English Bible until it was no longer published in 1644 King James Version (1611) begun in 1604, completed in 1611
translated by 47 scholars
translation by and for the Church of England (Anglican/Episcopalian Church)
in the NT, 80% is from Tyndale
no marginal notes (unlike Geneva Bible)
in 1661 BCP adopted KJV for readings
revised in 1769 to update spelling, grammar, and punctuation along with adding italics for added words The KJV is called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language The American Standard Version (ASV)
published in 1901
50 scholars
revised the KJV
updated language Revised Standard Version (RSV)
published in 1952
updated the language
based on older and larger number of Greek texts than the KJV
updated in 1989 and called the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) to account for improved manuscripts, elimination of archaisms, and gender inclusiveness. New American Standard Bible (NASB)
published in 1971
used a better Hebrew text
along with the newly discovered Dead Sea Scrolls
word-for-word translation (highly literal like ASV)
revised in 1995 by 20 scholars with PhD's in biblical languages according to new manuscript discoveries, improvements in discerning which manuscripts are older and better, and recent advances in understanding the meanings of Hebrew and Greek vocabulary modern manuscripts
we have discovered over 5,500 Greek Manuscripts
over 19,000 copies in Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic translations available
complete Bible in 469 languages
NT in 1,231 languages
some portion in 2,527 languages tools
free websites with dozens of versions (like biblegateway.com)
instant searching for words or phrases
language tools to help you understand the original languages
Hebrew and Greek online courses
commentaries, theological dictionaries, and other reference books The Bible is more accurate and accessible today than ever before! 2 Peter 1.16-21 Mark 12.36 ESV
David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.' Acts 1.16 ESV
"Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. Acts 28.25-26 ESV
25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: "The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 "'Go to this people, and say,... Matthew 1.22-23 ESV
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). I saw with my own eyes the houses of worship demolished to their foundations, the inspired and sacred Scriptures committed to flames in the middle of the public squares, and the pastors of the churches hiding shamefully in one place or another, or arrested and held up to ridicule by their enemies. …In March of the nineteenth year of Diocletian’s reign, when the festival of the Savior’s passion was approaching, an imperial edict was announced everywhere ordering that the churches be demolished and the Scriptures destroyed by fire. Any [Christians] who held high places would lose them, while those in households would be imprisoned if they continued to profess Christianity. Such was the first decree against us. Soon, however, other edicts appeared ordering that the presidents of the churches everywhere be thrown into prison and then forced by every sort of device to offer sacrifice. …Such methods, however, failed against the holy martyrs. How could I adequately describe them? Countless numbers of them showed a marvelous enthusiasm for worshiping the God of the universe not only when the persecution against us broke out, but long before, when we had peace. …An imperial decree ordered that church leaders everywhere be chained and imprisoned resulting, in a spectacle beyond description. Countless numbers were incarcerated everywhere. Prisons prepared for murderers and grave robbers were now filled with bishops, presbyters and deacons, readers and exorcists, so that there was no longer any room for criminals. The first decree was followed by others, according to which those imprisoned were to be set free if they sacrificed but mutilated by constant torture if they refused. …Who, seeing them, was not astounded at the countless lashes and perseverance displayed by these superb champions of godliness; at the contests with man-eating beasts that followed the floggings, when they were attacked by leopards, bears of all kinds, wild boars, and bulls goaded with hot irons; and at the incredible courage of these noble people in facing each of the beasts? ...Their whole bodies were torn to shreds with claw like potsherds until they expired. Women were tied by one foot and swung high in the air, head downward, by machines, their bodies totally naked without a stitch of clothing—the most shameful, cruel, and inhumane of all spectacles for onlookers. Others died fastened to trees: they bent down their strongest branches by machines, fastened one of the martyr’s legs to each, and then let the branches fly back to their natural position, instantly tearing apart the limbs of their victims. This went on not for a few days but for some whole years. I myself saw some of these mass executions by decapitation or fire, a slaughter that dulled the murderous axe until it wore out and broke in pieces, while the executioners grew so tired they had to work in shifts. But I also observed a marvelous eagerness and a divine power and enthusiasm in those who placed their faith in Christ: as soon as the first was sentenced, others would jump up on the tribunal in front of the judge and confess themselves Christians. Heedless of torture in its terrifying forms but boldly proclaiming their devotion to the God of the universe, they received the final sentence of death with joy, laughter, and gladness, singing hymns of thanksgiving to God until their last breath. Matthew 16.18 NASB
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Luke 6.22-23 (ESV)
22 Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. Matthew 24.9-10 (ESV)
9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
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