People of the Word SS Class

Dr. Robert C. Newman

9 July 2000


                                            Scripture in the Early Church


AScripture@ is the traditional term in English (borrowed from a Latin term scriptura meaning Awhat is written@) to translate the Greek graphai and Hebrew katuvim (both also meaning Awhat is written@) used to refer to the sacred writings given by God through prophets to the Jewish people before the time of Christ and to the early church through Jesus= specially chosen apostles.


The Old Testament is used to bring the message of Jesus to Jews and to AGodfearers@ (non-Jews who worshiped with the Jews):


Peter=s speech to the crowds at the Jewish feast of Pentecost (Weeks) - Acts 2:14-39

cites Joel 2:28-32; Psalm 16:8-11; Psalm 110:1

Stephen=s speech to the Jewish supreme court (Sanhedrin) - Acts 7:2-53

recites Israel=s history from OT, quoting Genesis 12:1; 15:13-14; Exodus 2:14; 3:6; 3:5-10; Deuteronomy 18:15; Exodus 32:1; Amos 5:25-27; Isaiah 66:1-2

Philip=s conversation with the Ethiopian official - Acts 8:26-40

explains Isaiah 53

Paul=s speech in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia - Acts 13:16-41

recites Israel=s history; cites Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 55:3; Psalm 16:10; Habakkuk 1:5

Paul=s speech to the leaders of the Jewish community at Rome - Acts 28:17-28

cites Isaiah 6:9-10


The Old Testament is used as a record of God=s activity in previous centuries, as a revelation of God=s character and of human nature, and a guide for how believers ought to live:


Peter=s argument for choosing a successor to Judas - Acts 1:15-22

cites Psalm 69:25; 109:8

The believers= prayer in the face of persecution - Acts 4:23-30

cites Psalm 2:1-2

James= argument at the council of Jerusalem for accepting Gentiles - Acts 15:13-21

cites Amos 9:11-12

Paul=s argument that no one is good enough to be acceptable to God - Romans 3:9-20

cites Psalm 14:1-3 (=53:1-3); 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; Isaiah 59:7-8; Psalm 36:1

Paul=s argument that sinners are given forgiveness rather than earning it - Romans 4:1-8

cites example of Abraham, Genesis 15:6, 22 and of David, Psalm 32:1-2

Paul=s response to concern that Jews rejected their Messiah - Romans 9-11

cites about 30 passages from OT, mostly from Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 Kings, Psalms, Isaiah, Hosea


The New Testament was prepared to record the testimony of the apostles who would not be living much longer:


1Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,  2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.  3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4


30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31


22 Jesus answered, >>If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.@  23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, >>If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?@ 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. John 21:22-24


3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer  4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God=s workCwhich is by faith.  5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.  7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. 1 Tim 1:3-7


14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God=s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Tim 3:14-15


12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.  13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,  14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.  15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 1 Pet 1:12-15


7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  8 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.  11 Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work. 2 John 7-11