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The Bible and Religious Cults

Almost every book in the NT has something to say about false beliefs and those who advocate them. We are warned, e.g., about false prophets (Matt. 7:15–16; 24:11), false christs (Matt. 24:5, 24; Mark 13:22), a different Jesus and a different spirit (2 Cor. 11:4), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13–15), and “another gospel” (Gal. 1:8). With […]

The Bible and World Religions

The Bible and Contemporary Judaism Early History (c. 2100 b.c.–586 b.c.) Beginning with Abraham, the founding “rock” of the Jewish people, and continuing to the modern era, Judaism has maintained continuity and passed down a remarkable legacy (cf. Isa. 51:1–2). Judaism has also been a religion of innovation, adaptability, and change. God progressively revealed his will and teachings […]

The Bible in Christianity

Roman Catholicism Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have many beliefs in common, both adhering to the truths expressed in the Apostles’ Creed and the doctrines crystallized and codified at Nicea and Chalcedon (regarding the Trinity and Christology, respectively). However, they have serious differences in their understanding of doctrines such as Scripture, salvation, purgatory, Mary, and the […]

The Septuagint

The term Septuagint is commonly used today to refer to the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures, the books that are called the “Old Testament” in Christian terminology. Scholars who specialize in Septuagint studies point out, however, that in a more technical sense the word Septuagint refers only to the Greek translation of the Pentateuch. Uncertainties about the history […]

The Original Languages of the Bible

Hebrew and Aramaic, and How They Work Introduction The main language of the OT is Classical Hebrew, but some parts are in Aramaic (Ezra 4:7–6:18; 7:12–26; Jer. 10:11; Dan. 2:4–7:28). Two words of Aramaic also occur in the place name Jegar-sahadutha inGenesis 31:47. The form of Hebrew found in the Bible was probably spoken from as early as 1500 b.c. to […]

Archaeology and the Bible

Archaeology and the Reliability of the Old Testament Definition of Archaeology Archaeology may be defined as the systematic study of the material remains of human behavior in the past. It includes written documents and objects of everyday life that are preserved in a fragile or ruined condition. In reality, as archaeologist Stuart Piggott famously remarked, archaeology […]

The Reliability of Bible Manuscripts

The Reliability of the Old Testament Manuscripts Introduction At the beginning of the twentieth century, textual criticism of the OT was in its infancy, with few extant early Hebrew manuscripts. However, with the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls beginning in a.d. 1947, scholars found themselves in a better position than ever before to evaluate whether the […]

The Canon of Scripture

The Canon of the Old Testament The word “canon” (Gk. for “a rule”) is applied to the Bible in two ways: first, in regard to the Bible as the church’s standard of faith and practice, and second, in regard to its contents as the correct collection and list of inspired books. The word was first applied to the identity […]