I’ve never been one to cook very much, in fact, my wife teases me about how I must think that food magically appears on the table in front of me. We then joke that when we go out to eat, she loves to partake in the magic of food just suddenly appearing on a plate in front of her after she puts in her order.
I have found that we Christians frequently treat the Bible in this manner. We just have this book that magically appears in front of us, all polished and pretty with gold letters and leather binding. Few of us stop to wonder: how did we get this book of holy scriptures?
In answer to that question, most Christians would quickly exclaim, “Oh! I know! It came from Greek and Hebrew sources written thousands of years ago. And really smart scholars translated it into English.”
But even in that answer there is this element of magic. How did all of these books come together to form the Bible? Was there a primordial, biblical soup of thousands of writings and whichever ones congealed together were the ones we stuck with?
Lately I have been learning a great amount regarding the Bible, and especially the New Testament. Contrary to popular belief, the mission of the apostles was not to write a Bible, but to build the Church, the Bride of Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit. The Bible we have now took hundreds of years of discussion before finally being canonized in its present form(s).
In fact, the Church is not a product of the Bible, but the Bible is a product of the Church. After hundreds of years of tradition and teachings being passed down from the disciples through the Church Fathers, we finally received the Bible we have today.
I have completed a nine-part series of short posts that discuss briefly the history of the church and the canonization of the Bible. It begins at the ascension of Jesus and goes through the Protestant Reformation and into today. It also addresses sola scriptura arguments. You can view the introductory post and outline here.