From God to us: How we got our Bible.
by Dr. Geisler and Dr. Nix
We first heard about Dr. Geisler and Dr. Nix's weighty 412 page book on Mrs. Parshalls radio show, In the Market. Moody Press has just republished this book, revised and expanded from the first edition in 1978. This book should be on every Christians shelf. This book contains 21 chapters that cover the four very strong links in the chain from God to us. These links of Inspiration, Canonization, Transmission, and Translation bring the Bible to us from God. God wrote the Bible by Inspiration.
From God to us, page 66 "The first characteristic of Inspiration is that it is Inspired writing; namely it is verbal. The very Words of the Prophets were God given, not by dictation but by Spirit-directed employment of the prophet's own vocabulary and style. Inspiration also claims to be plenary (full). No part of Scripture is without Divine Inspiration. Paul wrote 'All Scripture is Inspired by God.' (2 Tim. 3 verse 16, NASB). In addition, Inspiration implies inerrancy in the original documents, called autographs... Finally Inspiration results in the Divine authority of Scripture. The teaching of Scripture is binding on believers for Faith and Practice."
This is what elevates the Bible to a whole new not so easily dismissed plane, making it so rich for those who feed their soul on its marrow and fatness and yet so threatening to those who defy it. The Bible actually claims to be the Words of God, collected, preserved, and here for us today. The Doctrine of Inspiration, and the quote above give us the frame of the book. The frame of studying How we got our Bible. First- All Scripture is God Breathed. How did we determine what books were Scripture? Who got to decide? Or- was it all decided by God and we recognized it? How did we? This is Canonization, studied in chapters 6 through eleven. Then we have the question- the autographs were inspired, but they are all gone. Do we have the Bible we were given? Has it changed? How? Can we trust it? This is Transmission, studied in chapters eleven to Then we have the question that according to evangelist Bill Jack is often cited by college students as a reason why they cannot believe the Bible is true: Too Many Translations.
How did the Bible come to us in English faithfully copied and translated throughout hundreds of years, with no mistakes. What about all the Revisions and Corrections that must have been made? Are Revisions in a Translation the same as changes to the text? How do I choose a Bible that is a close to the original text as possible? When was the ESV begun? Is the KJV the definitive Bible?
This book is a worthy read- a very worthy read. If we study this book and master its contents we will be able to defend the Scriptures' authority and we will have comprehensive answers to give the person who says that the Biblical books were "chosen" and "decided" at a big council in the 300s AD. Or that the prophetic books were written long after the prophecies. Or that Genesis was written during the Babylonian Exile. Or that the whole Bible was written by a sixth century monk, as one anti-theist said. Or- the idea that somebody changed every manuscript all over the known world to reflect their personal heresy. Or any number of feeble attacks that this book will help you resist. Understanding the Bible also arms you to war with cult teaching- all of which rewrite the Scripture to get what they want. Why should we believe that we have the Bible we were given? How do we know that the "cult" version is not what the original really said? Aren't we getting further from the original each time we translate our Bible? Did you know that every translation can be more accurate than the one before because of the old manuscripts we can now work with? Did you know that every one of Paul's letters claims its own inspiration? Even Philemon? Philemon claims its own inspiration verses eight and nine when Paul makes it clear that he has the authority as an apostle to command Philemon to obey, but would rather appeal to him as a brother in the Lord.
There are many exciting facts woven in- did you know that many languages were written for the first time when Christian Evangelists brought the Gospel to an unsaved country and wrote the spoken words into a written language so the Bible could be read by the people?
This book is a thorough study of the way we got our Bible from two esteemed Professors, and leaves you knowing that you have the tools in the book to learn a lot about this topic. Buy this book- take a highlighter or three, and spend a month reading From God to us. Go to In the Market with Janet Parshall and listen to her review with Dr. Geisler as you wait for your copy to come.