In this discussion, we will look at about six to eight academic papers covering the LXX, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Masoretic text, and several other biblical variations that existed in the First Century. The aim of this study is to understand how First Century believers viewed the Bible and what that means for our canonized text today.
Since these papers are all PDFs, I will provide them to you before the class begins. You will have nothing to buy for the reading material. I anticipate that we will be able to cover one paper in each session, so this class will be only about four weeks long.
Today, most believers have no real idea of where the Bible came from or how it was transmitted to us in its current form. This applies to both Jewish and Christian Bibles. Academics have long understood that there are a great many issues about transmission and textual sources, but this is rarely communicated to ordinary believers. We will look at this scholarship and break it into ordinary language. We will pay particular attention to the implications of this scholarly work on the ideas of inspiration, authority, and canonization.