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Case for Christ - Session 1

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Session 1

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Is the bible corrupt?

Telephone game

Variants

•Part of the reason we have so many variants is because we have so many copies.
up?
How many documents for all ancient Roman and Greek history?
•5 different historians around 1 AD
•Less than 400 surviving manuscripts
•How high would that stack up? 4 ft
How many NT manuscripts do we have?
Over 5,700 in Greek manuscripts
59 have the entire NT
Avg. manuscript is about 450 pages
10,000 in Latin
5,000-10,000 in other languages
20K-25K total
How high would this stack up? 1 Mile

Timeliness

Strobel addressed NT was written within a generation of the events
How about manuscript timeliness?
Ancient Greek and Roman History
•Oldest manuscript fragment: 300-800 years after written
•The average classical author has no copies for more than 500 years
New Testament
•Oldest manuscript fragment is one to two decades after original
•From 10 to 15 NT manuscripts were written within the first 100 years of the completion of the NT

Setting the stage

Philip Yancey: As I read the birth stories about Jesus, I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich and powerful, God is tilted toward the underdog. (The Jesus I Never Knew).
Saturday, Anna Marie and I went to the Lanier Theological Library met NT Wright, renowned NT theologian, scholar and historian. Some have compared him to a modern day CS Lewis.
Panel discussion - Paul, a Biography
One thing we can miss with Christmas is Luke is setting the stage for the biggest battle in history.
In one corner, we have have Satan and the fallen world. There are some interesting parallels here:
Luke for Everyone The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1–20)

In case we need reminding, Luke has introduced the story by telling us about Augustus Caesar, way off in Rome, at the height of his power.

Augustus was the adopted son of Julius Caesar. He became sole ruler of the Roman world after a bloody civil war in which he overpowered all rival claimants. The last to be destroyed was the famous Mark Antony, who committed suicide not long after his defeat at the battle of Actium in 31 BC. Augustus turned the great Roman republic into an empire, with himself at the head; he proclaimed that he had brought justice and peace to the whole world; and, declaring his dead adoptive father to be divine, styled himself as ‘son of god’. Poets wrote songs about the new era that had begun; historians told the long story of Rome’s rise to greatness, reaching its climax (obviously) with Augustus himself. Augustus, people said, was the ‘saviour’ of the world. He was its king, its ‘lord’. Increasingly, in the eastern part of his empire, people worshipped him, too, as a god.

In another corner:
Luke for Everyone The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1–20)

Meanwhile, far away, on that same eastern frontier, a boy was born who would within a generation be hailed as ‘son of God’; whose followers would speak of him as ‘saviour’ and ‘lord’; whose arrival, they thought, had brought true justice and peace to the world. Jesus never stood before a Roman emperor, but at the climax of Luke’s gospel he stood before his representative, the governor Pontius Pilate. Luke certainly has that scene in mind as he tells his tale: how the emperor in Rome decides to take a census of his whole wide domain, and how this census brings Jesus to be born in the town which was linked to king David himself.

Luke for Everyone The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1–20)

But the point Luke is making is clear. The birth of this little boy is the beginning of a confrontation between the kingdom of God—in all its apparent weakness, insignificance and vulnerability—and the kingdoms of the world. Augustus never heard of Jesus of Nazareth. But within a century or so his successors in Rome had not only heard of him; they were taking steps to obliterate his followers. Within just over three centuries the Emperor himself became a Christian. When you see the manger on a card, or in church, don’t stop at the crib. See what it’s pointing to. It is pointing to the explosive truth that the baby lying there is already being spoken of as the true king of the world. The rest of Luke’s story, both in the gospel and, later on, in Acts, will tell how he comes into his kingdom.

Wrap-up

Class Schedule
No abf 11.25 and the last two sundays of december
Class Christmas party
Prayer / Praise Requests
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