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  • Writer's pictureBrian O'Kelly

2 - How did we get the Bible and Can we trust it?

Updated: Apr 23, 2022

  1. Welcome to today’s edition of the Footlight broadcast

  2. In today’s show are going to cover how we got the Bible

    1. What are the major parts of the Bible

    2. Where did the Bible books come from/

    3. Who chose the books that are in the Bible?

    4. Why are some books excluded?

    5. Can we trust translators

    6. What about copyist errors

    7. Questions from the Facebook page

  3. Where did the books come from

    1. This is also known as the canon of Scripture

      1. Canon being a middle English word that means

      2. an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture the authentic works of a writer “The Tolkien Canon”

      3. a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works

  4. What are the major parts of the Bible

    1. The Bible consists of an Old and New Testament, the Old Testament being the Hebrew Scriptures written before the birth of Jesus and the New Testament being the Greek Scriptures written after the death of Christ.

    2. Old Testament Canon

      1. The Torah also known as the Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the Bible Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

      2. Prophets= Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, “The 12” (Minor Prophets)

      3. Writings = Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chron, Esther, Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs; Lamentations,

      4. Samaritans (who split from Jews when the latter destroyed the temple on Mt Gerazim in 110 BC) only recognized the Torah (as did Sadducees)

      5. Apocrypha (so named by Jerome in his Vulgate trans.) consists of 15 books written between the Old and New Testament times, included in the Septuagint (Greek OT), and attached to the Old Testament canon in Roman Catholic Bibles (though Roman Catholics omit 1 & 2 Esdras and 3 & 4 Maccabees

    3. New Testament Canon:

      1. The Four Gospels

      2. Paul’s Letters – Romans, Two to the Corinthian Church (There was a first) one each to the churches in Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, Two to the church at Thessalonica, as well as personal letters to Timothy and one each to Titus and Philemon.

      3. Hebrews, James, 1st-2nd Peter, 1st-2nd & 3rd John, Jude, Jude and Revelation

  5. Who chose them?

    1. Old Testament Canon

      1. Came to us from Judaism and includes the Apocryphal writings. That was a list of 15 books that were written in the inter-testamental period. Catholics accept Tobit, Judith and first and second Maccabees as part of the historical books, Wisdom and Sirach as part of the poetic works, and Baruch as part of the prophetic books. A total of seven of the 15 apocryphal works.

      2. Catholic Bible has total of 73 books whereas the Protestant Bibles contain a total 66 books. The additional seven books are all in the Old Testament.

      3. Torah or the Pentateuch were the first books to be accepted as canonical. No one is exactly sure when this happened but it appears to be about 500 years before Jesus. We know that the Jews had the law prior to that, but we also know that they didn’t follow it very well. It was likely because of the work of the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah that was restored to general use and fixed in the minds of Jews as authoritative.

      4. The prophets writings were not brought together collectively until about 200 years before Jesus. The entire Canon of the Old Testament probably wasn’t accepted entirely until just before the birth of Jesus. The scattering of the Jewish people meant that they needed to know which books were authoritative and the fixing of the canon of the Old Testament made them a people of one book, this book kept them together and became a unifying force.

      5. Why do Protestants exclude the Apocrypha?

        1. Josephus, a Jewish historian during the life of Christ, testified that the books of the Old Testament were brought together during the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (464 to 424 B.C.) during the life of Ezra the Scribe (Neh. 8:1, 4, 99 14; 7:6, 11; 12:26, 36). He also said the apocryphal Jewish writings were not regarded “worthy of equal credit” with OT

        2. Philo (1st century Jewish philosopher) quotes from OT profusely, but never from Apocrypha

        3. Jesus and the apostles seemed to accept the Jewish canon of the Old dam Testament Luke 11:50- 51; 24:27, 44 (approximately 300 OT quotes in the New Testament, none from the Apocrypha)

        4. In the second century, Justin Martyr and Theophilus of Antioch cited OT scripture frequently, but not the Apocrypha. The earliest known Christian list of OT books, made by Melito (AD 170) did not include the Apocrypha. The catholic churches began to accept these books after the second century, but the reformers (16th century onward) rejected them.

        5. We have to ask the Catholic leadership of the second century knew or understood about these books that the earliest Christians did not.

    2. The New Testament Canon

      1. The New Testament in the same fashion had no single date of adoption. The first and second centuries after Jesus there were a lot of writings circulating amongst the Christian church. Some churches were using books that we now know were spurious not authoritative. Many of these books have their own promoters or sects arising in relation to them. This includes things like the Gospel of Thomas, the shepherd of Hermas, the Apocalypse of Peter and the epistle of Barnabas.

      2. It became clear to church leaders that for the same reason the Jews had wanted an authoritative list of the Old Testament Canon that there was a need for an authoritative list of books for the Christian church. Gradually over time it became clear which books were truly genuine in which books were not and had mixed some level of truth with some level of or invented myth and legend.

      3. It’s important to remember that at that time there were no printing presses to ensure wide distribution of Scripture and all the copies were handwritten to keep them in circulation. This meant that the opportunity to read and understand the entirety of these books sufficient to gain perspective was limited for most people, even church leaders. Many of the local churches had only copies of a few books or sometimes no copies at all. Very few churches had complete copies and even if they did, it was a singular copy retained by church leaders and typically in Greek which was the dominant language in many areas but not in every area. It wasn’t until 1450s when the Gutenberg Bible was printed that there was any kind of wide distribution of the Scriptures. It’s not coincidental that the Protestant reform movement followed shortly after.

      4. What was the method of choosing?

      5. The books of the New Testament weren’t really chosen, that’s really an incorrect way of thinking about. The books of the New Testament were “recognized” for being what they are while others were also “recognized” as not having the same respect. I’ll cover the criterion for recognition shortly.


The Four Gospels—Papias (AD 100) gives information about Matthew and Mark; Ignatius (AD 110) echoes words from John; Four Gospels attested as universally recognized by Irenaeus and Tatian (AD 170). Acts is recognized because it is the second volume of Luke.

  1. Paul’s letters—“all his epistles” called “scripture” by Peter (2 Pet.3:15-16)

  2. By the end of the 2nd century, 21 of the 27 books were accepted as scripture by all churches (questions remained about James, 2 Peter, Jude, 2 & 3 John, Hebrews) Revelation was accepted from the beginning, but was later contested in the East

  3. Origen (AD 240) recognized all 27 books, but mentioned that James, 2 Peter, Jude, 2 & 3 John were still disputed

  4. Around AD 300, Eusebius said some churches had high regard for 1 & 2 Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, The Didache, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Epistle of Barnabas, but he believed they were spurious

  5. Athanasius (367) recognized the 27 books and said some of the others were edifying, but not scripture


  1. All 27, and no others, were recognized at the synods of Hippo (393), Carthage (397). Jerome’s Vulgate

Jerome's Latin Vulgate

(Latin) translation (translated from AD 382-405) reflected this canon

  1. The churches of Syria did not accept Revelation, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, and Jude until the sixth century

  1. What were the criterion used for recognition?

    1. Was it written by an apostle or someone close to an apostle?

    2. Was it in alignment with what was already known about God or being taught?

    3. Was it authoritative or inspired?

    4. Was it accepted universally by the churches at that time?

  2. Why were some books excluded?

    1. They were doubtful in origin (apocryphal)

    2. They were written under pseudonyms (pseudepigraphal). Book of Enoch

    3. They were found to be inconsistent with existing accepted works and what was already known about God.

    4. They were found to be untruthful in some aspect.

  1. Contrary to what some say the canon of Scripture was not chosen all at once, on one particular day by a particular group of people for a particular purpose. The canon of Scripture came about as a process of centuries of reflection.

  2. Christians didn’t get together to decide what to eliminate based on a political narrative or some other agenda. While many of these books were informative and valuable they were kind of in the category of much preaching and teaching today including this show, useful information, perhaps interesting, but not having any special authority or inspiration.

  1. Can we trust the translators?

    1. The short answer is yes, we can trust the translators.

    2. I speak two languages fluently, English and Spanish. I promise you there are things in both languages that don’t translate well or translate only clumsily. But this clumsy translation doesn’t mean that the meaning is lost. Let me give you an example:

      1. Wholesale: there is no word in Spanish for wholesale. But that doesn’t mean that the concept of wholesale can’t be communicated. It’s communicated usually with the words “Precio de mayoreo para vendedores” which translates as preferred pricing for sellers.

      2. Fingers/Toes: and Spanish the same word “dedos” is used for both fingers and toes. So in Spanish expression is “dedos de los manos” (fingers) or “dedos de los pies” (toes).

    3. So while words don’t always translate perfectly there are few or no concepts that can’t be communicated effectively.

    4. Returning to the word wholesale, while often used in English is for exactly the example I gave above; preferred business pricing, wholesale can also mean on a broad basis for example “there was a wholesale discharge of employees”. This is why sometimes it’s useful to look at the original Greek or Hebrew and it’s possible meanings to gain a deeper understanding of a particular verse.

    5. What this results in two kinds of translations of the Bible:

      1. word for word translations like the new American Standard or The New King James, and those that are considered “thought for thought” like the NIV. Some versions like the Living Bible are an extended thought for thought translation which are really more of a paraphrase than a translation.

    6. The fundamental questions then about the translations are twofold:

      1. Are the translators competent?

      2. Are the translators honest?

  2. What about copyist errors?

    1. To be certain there are some copyist errors in the Bibles that we use today.

    2. When you consider the number of times that the Bible was copied by hand and especially the Old Testament Scriptures prior to the invention of Gutenberg’s press it’s almost impossible to consider the idea that the copies are all entirely perfect.

    3. I know this will be a disruptive thought for some of you. Some people seem to have the idea that the Bible fell from heaven between bound covers or that the writers or copyists somehow operated their pens like the new agers do through automatic writing. This simply isn’t the case.

    4. Having made my own handwritten copy of the Bible I’m aware perhaps more than other Bible teachers who haven’t gone through this process to make copyist errors. In doing so I found myself continually crossing out a wrong word, sometimes a repeated phrase and more. Candidly I didn’t expect anyone to ever read these copies so I may have been more careless than someone whose purpose was to transmit this information. Regardless there are some copyist errors we know about and none of them have any doctrinal significance.

    5. So, what about the idea that the Bible is inerrant or infallible?

      1. The Bible itself makes no such claim of inerrancy or infallibility

      2. When people make a claim of inerrancy or infallibility this is in reference to the original texts, not to every copy or translation ever made

      3. Some will claim that God has protected and preserved the text perfectly. There is a King James only movement that claims that the King James Bible is God’s most perfect Bible. I may touch on this movement in a future broadcast.

      4. If God were to protect the text from corruption in a perfect fashion this would mean that he would not only have prevented accidental errors but certainly intentional errors which would mean that no one would be able to produce deviant copies of the Bible like the Jehovah’s Witnesses New World Translation. It wouldn’t be long and people would try this for themselves to determine if they were able to in fact write a copy of any verse or any part of Scripture that was different from the copied they were working from.

      5. If these things are the case, how can we tell if the copyist errors have any material impact or change the text in such a way as to make the text unusable.

      6. In his book, Introduction in Research in English Literary History, C. Sanders sets forth three tests of reliability employed in general historiography and literary criticism.{1} These tests are:

        1. Bibliographical (i.e., the textual tradition from the original document to the copies and manuscripts of that document we possess today)

        2. Internal evidence (what the document claims for itself)

        3. External evidence (how the document squares or aligns itself with facts, dates, persons from its own contemporary world).

        4. It might be noteworthy to mention that Sanders is a professor of military history, not a theologian. He uses these three tests of reliability in his own study of historical military events.

        5. Bibliographical – Old Testament

          1. The Scribe-The scribe was considered a professional person in antiquity. No printing presses existed, so people were trained to copy documents. The task was usually undertaken by a devout Jew. The Scribes believed they were dealing with the very Word of God and were therefore extremely careful in copying. They did not just hastily write things down. The earliest complete copy of the Hebrew Old Testament dates from c. 900 A.D.

The Masorestic Text

The Masoretic Text - During the early part of the tenth century (916 A.D.), there was a group of Jews called the Masoretes. These Jews were meticulous in their copying. The texts they had were all in capital letters, and there was no punctuation or paragraphs. The Masoretes would copy Isaiah, for example, and when they were through, they would total up the number of letters. Then they would find the middle letter of the book. If it was not the same, they made a new copy. All of the present copies of the Hebrew text which come from this period are in remarkable agreement. Comparisons of the Massretic text with earlier Latin and Greek versions have also revealed careful copying and little deviation during the thousand years from 100 B.C. to 900 A.D. But until this century, there was scant material written in Hebrew from antiquity which could be compared to the Masoretic texts of the tenth century A.D.

Caves of Qumran

The Dead Sea Scrolls - In 1947, a young Bedouin goat herdsman found some strange clay jars in caves near the valley of the Dead Sea. Inside the jars were some leather scrolls. The discovery of these “Dead Sea Scrolls” at Qumran has been hailed as the outstanding archeological discovery of the twentieth century. The scrolls have revealed that a commune of monastic farmers flourished in the valley from 150 B.C. to 70 A.D. It is believed that when they saw the Romans invade the land they put their cherished leather scrolls in the jars and hid them in the caves on the cliffs northwest of the Dead Sea.

  1. The Dead Sea Scrolls – Include a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah, a fragmented copy of Isaiah, containing much of Isaiah 38-6, and fragments of almost every book in the Old Testament. The majority of the fragments are from Isaiah and the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). The books of Samuel, in a tattered copy, were also found and also two complete chapters of the book of Habakkuk. In addition, there were a number of nonbiblical scrolls related to the commune found.

Dead Sea Scrolls

  1. These materials are dated around 100 B.C. The significance of the find, and particularly the copy of Isaiah, was recognized by Merrill F. Unger when he said, “This complete document of Isaiah quite understandably created a sensation since it was the first major Biblical manuscript of great antiquity ever to be recovered. Interest in it was especially keen since it antedates by more than a thousand years the oldest Hebrew texts preserved in the Masoretic tradition.”

  2. The supreme value of these Qumran documents lies in the ability of biblical scholars to compare them with the Masoretic Hebrew texts of the tenth century A.D. If, upon examination, there were little or no textual changes in those Masoretic texts where comparisons were possible, an assumption could then be made that the Masoretic Scribes had probably been just as faithful in their copying of the other biblical texts which could not be compared with the Qumran material.

  3. What was learned? A comparison of the Qumran manuscript of Isaiah with the Masoretic text revealed them to be extremely close in accuracy to each other: “A comparison of Isaiah 53 shows that only 17 letters differ from the Masoretic text. Ten of these are mere differences in spelling (like our “honor” and the British “honour”) and produce no change in the meaning at all. Four more are very minor differences, such as the presence of a conjunction (and) which are stylistic rather than substantive. The other three letters are the Hebrew word for “light.” This word was added to the text by someone after “they shall see” in verse 11. Out of 166 words in this chapter, only this one word is really in question, and it does not at all change the meaning of the passage. We are told by biblical scholars that this is typical of the whole manuscript of Isaiah.”z

The Septuagint

The Septuagint - The Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, also confirms the accuracy of the copyists who ultimately gave us the Masoretic text. The Septuagint is often referred to as the LXX because it was reputedly done by seventy (for which LXX is the Roman numeral) Jewish scholars in Alexandria around 200 B.C. The LXX appears to be a rather literal translation from the Hebrew, and the manuscripts we have are pretty good copies of the original translation.

  1. Conclusion - In his book, Can I Trust My Bible, R. Laird Harris concluded, “We can now be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 B.C. . . . indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny that we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the word of the Lord to those who had returned from the Babylonian captivity.”

  1. Bibliographical – New Testament

    1. The Greek Manuscript Evidence - There are more than 4,000 different ancient Greek manuscripts containing all or portions of the New Testament that have survived to our time. These are written on different materials.

    2. Papyrus and Parchment

    3. During the early Christian era, the writing material most commonly used was papyrus. This highly durable reed from the Nile Valley was glued together much like plywood and then allowed to dry in the sun. In the twentieth century many remains of documents (both biblical and non-biblical) on papyrus have been discovered, especially in the dry, arid lands of North Africa and the Middle East.

    4. Another material used was parchment. This was made from the skin of sheep or goats, and was in wide use until the late Middle Ages when paper began to replace it. It was scarce and more expensive; hence, it was used almost exclusively for important documents.

    5. Examples

    6. Codex Vaticanus and Codex Siniaticus - These are two excellent parchment copies of the entire New Testament which date from the 4th century (325-450 A.D.).{5}

    7. Older Papyrii

    8. Earlier still, fragments and papyrus copies of portions of the New Testament date from 100 to 200 years (180-225 A.D.) before Vaticanus and Sinaticus. The outstanding ones are the Chester Beatty Papyrus (P45, P46, P47) and the Bodmer Papyrus II, XIV, XV (P46, P75).

    9. From these five manuscripts alone, we can construct all of Luke, John, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, and portions of Matthew, Mark, Acts, and Revelation. Only the Pastoral Epistles (Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy) and the General Epistles (James, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, and 3 John) and Philemon are excluded.{6}

    10. Oldest Fragment

    11. Perhaps the earliest piece of Scripture surviving is a fragment of a papyrus codex containing John 18:31-33 and 37. It is called the Rylands Papyrus (P52) and dates from 130 A.D., having been found in Egypt. The Rylands Papyrus has forced the critics to place the fourth gospel back into the first century, abandoning their earlier assertion that it could not have been written then by the Apostle John.{7}

    12. This manuscript evidence creates a bridge of extant papyrus and parchment fragments and copies of the New Testament stretching back to almost the end of the first century.

    13. Versions (Translations) - In addition to the actual Greek manuscripts, there are more than 1,000 copies and fragments of the New Testament in Syria, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic, as well as 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate, some of which date back almost to Jerome’s original translation in 384 400 A.D.

    1. Church Fathers

      1. A further witness to the New Testament text is sourced in the thousands of quotations found throughout the writings of the Church Fathers (the early Christian clergy [100-450 A.D.] who followed the Apostles and gave leadership to the fledgling church, beginning with Clement of Rome (96 A.D.).

      2. It has been observed that if all of the New Testament manuscripts and Versions mentioned above were to disappear overnight, it would still be possible to reconstruct the entire New Testament with quotes from the Church Fathers, with the exception of fifteen to twenty verses!

      3. Dates of Writing and distance to the copies

      4. Matthew,Gospelca. 0-70?4 BC – AD 3050 – 65/75ca. 200<50 years<200 years

      5. Mark,Gospelca. 15-90?27 – 3065/70ca. 225<50 years<200 years

      6. Luke,Gospelca. 10-80?5 BC – AD 3060/75ca. 200<50 years<200 years

      7. John,Gospelca. 10-10027-3090-110ca. 130<80 years<100 years

      8. Paul,Lettersca. 0-653050-65ca. 20020-30 years<200 years

  1. Conclusion

    1. In his book, The Bible and Archaeology, Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, stated about the New Testament, “The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”{8}

    2. To be skeptical of the twenty-seven documents in the New Testament, and to say they are unreliable is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as these in the New Testament.

    3. B. F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, the creators of The New Testament in Original Greek, also commented: “If comparative trivialities such as changes of order, the insertion or omission of the article with proper names, and the like are set aside, the works in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly mount to more than a thousandth part of the whole New Testament.”{9} In other words, the small changes and variations in manuscripts change no major doctrine: they do not affect Christianity in the least. The message is the same with or without the variations. We have the Word of God.

    4. The Anvil? God’s Word. – Author Unknown

      1. Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime: Then looking in, I saw upon the floor Old hammers, worn with beating years of time. “How many anvils have you had,” said I, “To wear and batter all these hammers so?” “Just one,” said he, and then, with twinkling eye, “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.” And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s word, For ages skeptic blows have beat upon; Yet though the noise of falling blows was heard, it’s The anvil is unharmed . . . the hammer’s gone.

  1. Are they inspired?

    1. There are two frequently misunderstood verses:

      1. 2 Timothy 3:16 “ 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

      2. It’s important to recognize who Paul is writing to in this verse. He was writing to Timothy. As we just covered, the New Testament in its current form didn’t exist yet. Some of the books have been written and were beginning to circulate, while others hadn’t been written yet. There’s no reason to expect that Timothy had a complete copy of the New Testament or that Paul is referring to it.

    2. 2 Peter 1:20-21 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

      1. This verse refers specifically to prophecy and since it was Peter writing we have the very same issue with the verse in Timothy and some additional considerations.

      2. Like with Timothy the New Testament had not been written yet are widely circulated so it’s unlikely that Peter was referring to the New Testament texts.

      3. The verses contain a qualifier, “no prophecy of Scripture came about” this is not to indicate that historical narrative or poetry came about under inspiration.

    3. Authority and inspiration

      1. The authority of the Prophets

        1. The prophets were authorized to speak for God but the prophetic books also contain historical narrative.

        2. Consider the opening line of Ezekiel 1:1 - In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

        3. This verse is an example of historical narrative Ezekiel is telling where he had the vision. All I need to know is that he is honest and truthful.

        4. Here’s an example from Jeremiah 2:1-2 - The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the Lord says:

      2. The authority of the Apostles:

        1. Apostle means “sent one”

        2. An apostle is one who speaks with the authority of the sender, since the apostles were authorized by Jesus there words carry the same authority as if Jesus himself were speaking. This is like a power of attorney, you are authorized to act in the name of another and your signature in that case carries the same authority as the signature of the person who gave you the power of attorney.

        3. In terms of the Gospels, we would have to know nothing more than they were in fact true narratives to be able to gain a picture of the fact that Jesus was a real man that he really did perform the miracles listed that he really did have the ministry he had and that he really did rise from the dead. Knowing nothing more than this would be sufficient to believe in Jesus and follow him.

        4. I don’t say any of this to indicate that I don’t believe that the Bible is inspired, I do. But I don’t believe it is inspired in a magical kind of way or the authors set their consciousness aside while they wrote or that the authors had no impact on the contents. Paul even says in 1 Corinthians 7:25 - 25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.

  2. The next episode will touch on the question of the accuracy of Scripture and comparing Scripture with the historical record and with scientific discovery.

  3. Questions from page followers:

    1. Emmy asks: Were Adam and Eve saved?

      1. Yes, they were saved. In Hebrews it says that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Salvation is not a product of adherence to a set of right ideas, but rather a product of relationship with the Living God. While they were not allowed to continue in the Garden there is no reason to believe that their relationship with God ended or that God had turned his back on them.

    2. David wants to know: How when the children of Adam and Eve go out are there other people to procreate with already?

      1. If Adam and Eve were fertile and since God told them to fill the whole earth, I’ll assume they were very fertile, they would have probably had a child every year. So by the time that Cain and Abel were of age to have children it wouldn’t be very long before there would have been sisters around to procreate with.

      2. This is unthinkable to us as modern people in the 21st century. While this may cause birth defects like cleft lip and palate it doesn’t always those things. The problem arises because each child shares at least 50% of the DNA of the parents. When both parents have a recessive gene for a defective condition, then that condition can be the outcome because there is no dominant gene to express. However, when both parents have a resistance to a disease the children can also be stronger and better equipped. That is exactly the idea in selective breeding of animals. To combine the strong DNA of two family members and literally breed out the recessive and undesirable traits.

      3. The rate of birth defects among close family members is 20 times what it is when the children are the product of non-family members. For example, sickle cell anemia is more prevalent among children produced this way, but so is resistance to malaria. This is part of why sickle cell anemia is and was problematic in the black community in the US. Because of chattel slavery in the US, there were many families who were captive to their slave owners who then produced children with their close family members on the plantations having no opportunity to choose mates from another population.

      4. Often, the children are as typical as in the general population. For example in the Arabian Peninsula the rate of familial intermarriage is 54% marrying a close family member. May plural marriages where the husband has several wives and the half-brothers and sisters marry. This is why cleft lip and palate, club foot and other birth defects are more common in Africa, India and other less developed countries.

      5. In the case of Adam and Eve, we can expect that there were probably no recessive mutated genes. Their offspring would have had a smaller likelihood of having these effects. With men and women both maturing in their early teens and probably having kids shorty after, by the time 25 years had gone by there would have been 2nd and third cousins to marry and within another 20 years after that, much more distant relatives.

    3. Patricia asks if I belong to a particular church?

      1. I do attend a local church. It is quite literally across the street from my house. I don’t attend there because of the location, but because the people there love each other and are interdependent like a church family should be. It’s a non-denominational church. I neither endorse nor condemn any denomination as all of them do some things well and all of them have some things I would take issue with. My experience has been that all of them have true Christians who are members of them. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some of which I’m a bigger fan than others.

    4. Anita Joyce wants to know: “If there were cave men and women how was Adam the first human?”

      1. All cave men means is that men lived in caves. It doesn’t mean that they pre-dated Adam and Eve. For all we know Adam was in fact a cave man. In parts of the world there are very few caves and in other parts of the world, especially in the middle east, like in the American southwest, there are many more caves. People and animals including Adam and Eve will always seek shelter from the elements. Caves are very convenient shelters. In places where there are no caves readily available people construct shelters to live in. I doubt that Adam and Eve lived unsheltered lives and what kind of shelter they lived in is undetermined.

    5. Seenah asks me to explain how the beast of revelation is the democratic party, China and the like.

    6. I do think that the beast of Revelation is a political entity not an individual. I don’t think I’m prepared to name the Democrats, China or any other organization or nation as the beast based on what I see today, but that also doesn’t mean they are not. The beast has some specific characteristics that no organization has yet manifested. I’ll talk about this more in an upcoming broadcast on the end times, but that broadcast is way down the list from where we are today. It’s my opinion that there is far too much focus on the end times and on Christianity as a form of punishment escape, whether that is through the rapture or through salvation as fire insurance to keep one out of hell. Christianity is more than a way out of trouble at the end of your life or at the end of things. Christianity is first and foremost a relationship with Jesus that changes the way we live in and with the world around us.

    7. Abdul wants me to explain how the Bahai claim to be under the covenant.

      1. The Bahai faith claims that “Just as Jesus the Christ did not come fulfilling the peoples expectation, neither does the Second Christ, Baha'u'llah, appear as the people might imagine. Instead, He appears fulfilling detailed prophecies of all the worlds religions as to the promise of a great World Redeemer who is to appear in the end times and unite all the people of the earth.” “Baha'u'llah made a strong Covenant passing the throne of King David to his son 'Abdu'l-Baha, making 'Abdu'l-Baha the CENTER of His Covenant. 'Abdu'l-Baha then delineated His Father's Covenant in the sacred Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, which is the CHARTER for the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven”

      2. Since the Bible is reliable this simply can’t be true. The Bible says in Acts 1:11 “ “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

    8. Diane wants to know if God created Jesus, who created God?

      1. God didn’t create Jesus. Jesus always existed. John 1:1 says “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

    9. God is Eternal and uncreated existing before all things

      1. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.- Psalm 90:2

      2. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”- Revelation 22:13

      3. I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.- Revelation 1:8

      4. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. - Romans 1:20-21

      5. Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. -Psalm 102:25-27

    10. Bonnie wanted to know about the book of Enoch

      1. The book of Enoch is unique among a class of literature we already covered called Pseudepigrapha, books written under an assumed name. The uniqueness of Enoch is that it is mentioned in the book of Jude. Some have argued that this is sufficient reason to include it in the Bible. Rather, because it was in popular circulation at the time Jude it as something that the reader would be familiar with and which made a true point. It might be best considered in the class of many modern preachers including this show. While not inspired or authoritative in the way that the biblical writers are, other teachers and I may make many true statements. Minimally, the writer of Enoch was dishonest about who wrote the book because it dates to the second century at least 1000 years after Enoch lived.

  4. That’s the second episode of The Footlight Broadcast. In the next episode we will be examining the historical evidences for the Bible’s accuracy as well as the tensions between science and the Bible that some use to call it’s veracity into question.


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