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Introduction & Class 1
God's Word (The Bible) and its authority

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Adult Instruction Series


This series is divided up into fifteen lessons. It begins by establishing the authority of the Word of God as the only source for all Christian doctrine (teaching) and then presents the Christian religion from that framework. The first lesson deals with the basic differences between denomination's, highlighting the Lutheran teaching and continuing from there. Each section will involve looking up passages that support the claims made, further illustrating that we do not teach some fantasy, but from God's Word.

There are two companion books that accompany this Adult Instruction, and regular reading in these will enhance the discussions. The first is Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation, © 1991 Concordia Publishing House. This is the basis for the curriculum, and a very handy book to have. If you have the older version, Copyright © 1943 CPH, then you may still follow with it. Each lesson contains a line stating the catechism questions related to that lesson. The numbers given refer to questions listed in the section beginning on page 47 (page 39 of the old catechism). The second set of numbers following the word OLD: indicate the questions from the 1943 edition.

The other text book is Light from Above, by Alfred Koehler (CPH #14EE1260). Each lesson will indicate at the top of the page which pages of this book pertain to that particular lesson, with a notation such as Koehler pp. 9-14 or simply Koehler 9-14. In each case, pages 9-14 are meant.

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you as you study this Adult Instructin Series.

Rev. Jeffrey D. McPike

Lesson 1 - God's Word(The Bible) and its authority

Catechism Questions 1, 2, 9-12 (OLD: 1-6); Koehler pp. 9-14


What are the basic differences among the Christian denominations?


The main question: Where does the Church get its teachings?


The answer according to the three major divisions


Roman Catholic:


The Bible (Creation to 95 AD)

b. Tradition (First 500 years)

Decrees of Popes and Councils (Since A.D. 800)


Protestants: The Bible as interpreted

• Who or what is the interpreter?
• Human Reason! Difficult passages therefore must be reasonable
• No immediate revelation


Lutheran: Sola Scriptura, the Bible alone

• The literal sense of the passage is taken first unless there is good evidence to do otherwise.

• The Bible does not contradict itself

• The Rule of Faith:
___ * Doctrine of Justification
___ * Body of the Church's teaching


Our knowledge of God

A .
Natural Knowledge


2 .



Revealed Knowledge: The Bible



What does the Bible say about the knowledge of God?


1 Timothy 6:16

Romans 1:19

Acts 14:17


Various sources of revelation in the past
__• Dreams
__• Visions
__• Miracles
__• Prophets
__• Jesus


The Bible - God's self-revelation to us
(Catechism Questions 5-8(OLD:7-13); Koehler pp. 15-21)


The purpose: John 20:30-31


Its source


Original languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek


Original authors

__• Some books named after author
______Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc.

__• Some books named for events
______Exodus, Judges, Kings, Acts

__• Some named for contents
______Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs


Human sources

_____ Joshua 10:13

_____Luke 1:1-4

_____Jeremiah 36:17-18

_____Romans 1:1, 16:22

_____ Galations 6:11


Its authority


The concept of inspiration

• Why do we call the Bible the Holy Scripture?

• The Bible is the Holy Scripture because God the Holy Spirit gave to His chosen weriters the thoughts that they expressed and the words that they wrote(verbal inspiration). Therefore, the Bible is God's own Word and truth, without error(inerrancy). (From Luther's Small Catechism)

• Verbal Inspiration: The Holy Spirit carefully guided the process of writing down exactly everything God wanted said, but did it in such a way as to involve the intellect, education, vocabulary and grammar of the original author.
____Dr. Luke's Gospel is very complex Greek
____St. John's Epistles (letters) are very simple


Why we believe the Old Testament is the Word of God


the testimony of the New Testament

__2 Peter 1:20-21
__2 Timothy 3:15-17


Jesus' testimony

__John 10:34-35
__Luke 24:44
__Matthew 5:17-18
__Isaiah 7:14
__Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:4-6


its prophecies are faithfully fulfilled

__Joel 2:28-31, Acts 2:14-21


Why we believe the New Testament is the Word of God


the promises of Jesus

John 14:25-28

John 17:20


the standard of the early Church in selecting the canon

Only books written by Apostles, or under their authority, were accepted as inspired


Modern Versions

• King James Version (KJV) 1611
• Revised Standard Version (RSV)
• New International Version (NIV)
• New American Standard Bible (NASB)
• English Standard Version (ESV) 2001
• Living Bible: Not a translation!








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