How We Got The New Testament 

Codex Sinaiticus of Lukes Gospel

Codex Sinaiticus showing Chapter 22 of The Gospel of Luke  © The British Library

Oldest Surviving MS Of Luke's Gospel 

The Codex Sinaiticus (above) is named after the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, where it had been preserved until the middle of the nineteenth century. It was written in the 4th century AD in Greek on four hundred leaves of animal skin and is one of the earliest texts of the complete Bible as we know it today. The principal surviving portion of the Codex, comprising 347 leaves, is now held by the British Library. Other part copies are held in Leipzig, St Petersburg and St Catherine's Monstery on Mount Sinai.

The Divine Inspiration of the New Testament

The New Testament is based on the same principle of divine inspiration to specific individuals as the Old Testament. The books included in the New Testament were written by those who had been personal witnesses of Jesus Christ, including Paul who had a vision of the Risen Christ shortly after Jesus returned to heaven. The Four Gospels record the life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, including many of his sayings as well as accounts of miracles he performed.

Jesus himself attested to the authority of The Law, The Prophets and The Psalms in the Old Testament.

From Oral Tradition To Written Texts

Like the Old Testament books the New Testament is based on an original oral tradition of Jesus' sayings as well as letters written by James, Peter, John and Paul to the various churches after Pentecost.

The diagram below shows how we got the New Testament.

New Testament from Oral to Written Text

The Formation Of The New Testament Canon

The decision as to which writings should be included in the definitive version of inspired Scripture was taken by several high-powered COUNCILS of church leaders and scholars who prayed and discussed which writings should be included and which should not.

For a detailed account of how the final version of the Canon was decided, go to THE BIBLE

For more on the Codex Sinaiticus go to CODEX SINAITICUS.

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