Monday, July 6, 2009

Oldest known Bible goes online ... does it change your belief?

Several news agencies (including this from CNN) are reporting on the British Library bringing online the world's oldest known Christian Bible. However, the 1,600-year-old handwritten Codex Sinaiticus is different than Bibles that are commonly found at home, including books that are not part of the accepted Old and New Testament.

Rather than dismiss this as error or conspiracy, we hope all Christians take a moment to reflect and understand how and why the pre-denominational Church undertook the process of Canonization of the Bible.

The Bible did not fall from the sky, nor did writers get possessed by God to pick up quills and begin writing in trance-like states. The printing also did not begin in the middle ages of Europe. If understood, accusations that the Apostolic Churches are not Scriptural are easily dismissed as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church indeed came together to agree on the Books.

This process spanned several centuries, and included councils (small and Great), eloquent defenses on the Faith, prayer and the blood of several martyrs ... culminating in the Church agreement on the books of the Old and New Testaments.

What's most important to understand is our early Church fathers and Saints did not undertake the canonization process in an attempt to rationalize and define who God was, but rather to defend the Truth revealed by Christ. The Church needed to definitely state who God was not in order for the Church to continue to grow and make disciples of all men (Matthew 28:19-20). Literally our lives today depended on numerous acts of the pre-denominational Church during those first hundreds of years after Christ's Resurrection.