As we prepare to help people grow in their understanding of Scripture, at some point those we teach have questions not only about the content of the Bible but also how the Bible came to be. Thankfully there are plenty of resources on this subject, and Desiring God has compiled a list of books they recommend in these three categories:
- The formation of the canon (how it was decided which books are included in the Bible)
- The reliability of the New Testament
- Refuting the claims of some recent critics
The list is here:http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/believing-the-bible-book-list
Last year I attended a “Church Underground” session at Blackhawk where Tim Mackie taught about how the Bible was formed. It was really good! You can find the audio and handouts on Blackhawk’s archives: http://www.blackhawkchurch.org/sunday/this-weeks-message/message-archive/?sermon_id=133
Also, John Piper has a series of talks on the subject of “Why We Believe the Bible.” The first (http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/seminars/why-we-believe-the-bible-part-1) has both a video of his talk as well as a text outline of the entire 5-part series. This is a list of the topics covered:
- Why Are We Concerned with the Bible?
- Which Books Make Up the Bible and Why?
- The New Testament Canon
- Do We Have the Very Words Written by the Biblical Authors?
- Does It Matter Whether We Affirm the Verbal Inerrancy of the Original Manuscripts?
- What Does the Bible Claim for Itself?
- The Old Testament Claims for Itself
- The Truth and Authority of the Apostles
- How Can We Justify the Claim That the Bible Is God’s Word?
- The Meaning of the Bible’s Inerrancy
- Appendix One: The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978)
- Appendix Two: The Immediate Knowledge of God That Comes with Human Consciousness in the World
- Appendix Three: My Own Experience of God as an Immediate Effect of My Consciousness in the World as a Human Being
- Appendix Four: Note on How the Immediate Knowledge of God Relates to the Self-Attestation of Scripture
- Appendix Five: Thoughts on How to Know If a Writing Is From God
- Appendix Six: An Argument From the Fulfillment of Prophecy
- Appendix Seven: How Do We Credit Paul’s Testimony?
- Appendix Eight: John Calvin on Scripture and the Internal Testimony of the Spirit