Session 1

Where did the Bible come from?

Introduction to the Bible

While the Bible is the sacred book for Christians, many of us rarely stop to consider that it didn’t just fall out of the sky one day, but was instead developed over thousands of years. Our scriptures represent a long history of humanity’s interactions with God that we often forget transcends generations and civilizations.

This session explores theories of how we got the Bible we read today, and we hope to discover some important things about ourselves along the way.

Session Video Lecture

Suggested Resources

For a deeper understanding of this  session, please give attention to these suggested materials:

 Some articles to read:

 Textual Criticism
The Emergence of the New Testament Canon
The Development of the Canon of the New Testament
 The Canon of Scripture
English Translations of the Bible
 The History of Bible Translation

Some terms to research:

Masoretic Text,  Biblical canon,  papyrus, scroll, parchment, Dead Sea Scrolls, codex, Tanak, Septuagint (LXX), canon, apocrypha, Vulgate, Talmud, Targum, Rule of Faith, textual criticism 

Using What We've Learned (Come back to this after the session)

Now that you’ve picked up some information on the origins of scripture, let’s think about how you might use it:

Bible Layers Project Introduction

One goal of this course is that you might create a resource that you have authored and can use in you own context. This may be a Bible study lesson, sermon, newsletter article, devotional, or whatever would be helpful. Begin by selecting a passage of Scripture. This can be any passage, but use the same passage each session. There will be a new activity every session to help you uncover a different layer to studying Scripture. If you are studying with a group, it might be helpful to discuss what you are learning and in the final session to look back over the whole project.


Part 1

Spiritual Context

This week take time to sit down with your passage ahead of any research. Pray over the passage in the pattern of Lectio Divina, reading the passage through four times. First, read the passage for its surface-level meaning. Second, read the passage asking God to draw your attention to a particular word, phrase, or idea. Third, read the passage asking God what you are being called to do or to be based on this word, phrase, or idea. Finally, read the passage worshipfully resolving to follow God’s call and spend a few minutes in silent rest. Journal the impressions that God’s spirit is laying on you. Come back and add any thoughts throughout the week as they come to you.


Roger Jasper

Original Live Session Instructor – Project Designer

Roger Jasper has served as pastor of Living Faith since July of 2010 and has been in pastoral ministry since 2003. Roger holds a BA (double major in Religion and Philosophy) from Georgetown College, an MDiv from Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Baptistic Histories and Theologies from the University of Manchester. Currently, he is working toward a PhD at the International Baptist Study Centre in Amsterdam (formerly in Rüschlikon and Prague). Roger came to know Christ at a young age through the teaching of his grandmother and was later baptized into Slate Branch Baptist Church of Somerset, KY. Slate Branch also ordained him in 2004 during his first pastorate.

Dr. Dalen Jackson

Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies

Dalen C. Jackson came to BSK in the Fall of 2002 and has served since 2007 as Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies. He was ordained to Christian Ministry in 1987 and served churches in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia as pastor and interim pastor, youth minister, children’s director, recreation assistant and in a variety of lay roles. Prior to coming to BSK, he was chair of the Division of External Studies at Judson College in Marion, Alabama and chair of the Humanities Division and head of the Theology Department at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia.

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