Foundations of Truth #1: The Bible

February 2, 2022 Speaker: Titus Green Series: Foundations of Truth

Topic: Discipleship Class

Foundations of Truth

Week One – The Scriptures

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February 2, 2022

Class objective:  To provide a basic foundation of biblical doctrine for disciples who desire to make disciples.

NOT class objectives:  To argue the finer points or secondary issues; to move into advanced theological discussions;  to teach comparative religions.

Week One:  The Scriptures

Week Two:  God the Father

Week Three:  God the Son

Week Four:  God the Holy Spirit

Week Five:  The Church

Demystifying Key Terms

  • Doctrine. The word doctrine simply means teaching.  So, biblical doctrine is merely a reference to what the Bible teaches.
  • Theology. The word theology is derived from two Greek words:  theos and logiaTheos means God.  Logia means teaching or words.  So, theology is the study of what can be learned about God.

Two Primary Approaches to Theology

  • Systematic Theology. The attempt to put biblical (Christian) doctrine into logical order.  This approach begins with a particular topic of theology and then systematically compiles.
  • Biblical Theology. The attempt to study the truth about God as it is taught within the specific context of a particular passage of Scripture.

When done correctly, these two approaches complement one another and work interdependently.  During this study, we will be using both approaches.

Book Recommendations

  • Basic Christianity by John Stott
  • The Walk by Stephen Smallman
  • Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem
  • Growing in Christ by NavPress (Navigators)

Session One – The Bible

Revelation – Inspiration – Canonization – Illumination - Preservation

Revelation – God has made Himself known

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God’ but the things revealed belong unto us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” - Deuteronomy 29:29

Revelation is the unveiling of something previously hidden so that it may be seen for what it is.

General Revelation

General (or Natural) Revelation is that knowledge of God which is derived from the light of natural things.  It is accessible to all men and is addressed to all men.

  1. Creation-Psalm 19:1-6; Isaiah 40:12, 26; Psalm 8:1
  2. Conscience-Romans 2:15

Special Revelation

Special Revelation is direct, divine intervention in the affairs of this world through which God makes Himself known.

  1. In times past, God has revealed Himself through:
    • dreams (Genesis 37:5-10)
    • visions (Daniel 8:1)
    • audible voices (I Samuel 3)
    • animals (Numbers 22:28)
    • angels (Luke 1:26-37)
  1. The centerpiece of God’s special revelation is the Bible.
  • Psalm 138:2


II Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Inspiration is the mysterious way in which the Holy Spirit moved the human writers of the Bible in such a way that they recorded the very words and sense of God, though maintaining their individual literary style.

  1. Confluent Inspiration-Scripture is the product of two agents, human and divine.

Acts 4:25, 13:35; II Peter 1:20, 21

  1. Verbal Inspiration-the very words of Scripture are God’s words. More than concepts and thoughts, but the actual words are inspired. Ps. 12:6
  2. Plenary Inspiration-extending to all parts alike, the entire Bible is inspired and every part of the Bible is equally inspired. II Timothy 3:16a
  3. Inerrant Inspiration-the Bible was written down correctly in every detail.

Hebrews 6:18b; Titus 1:2c; Numbers 23:19; John 10:35

  1. Infallible Inspiration-without error in its teaching.

Psalm 119:160; John 17:17


Canonization refers to the process by which books, letters and other writings were accepted as Holy Scripture, or the Word of God.  The word ‘canon’ comes from the Greek word ‘kanon,’ meaning ‘a rule,’ and conveys the idea of a measure- a test, a critical standard, or a defined limit.

  1. When referencing Scripture, the word ‘canon’ means:
  2. The rules or standards by which each book of the Bible was determined to be a sacred writing.
  3. The name used for the collection of books determined to be sacred writings – the canon of scripture.
  1. The standards, or tests of canonicity:

The process of canonization involved the “interplay of subjective and objective factors, overruled by divine providence.” – D. Ewert, From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations.

  1. The Writer
  2. Old Testament – Was the writer a prophet of God?
  3. New Testament- Was the writer an apostle or one who worked under the authority of an apostle?
  1. The Contents - Is the content consistent with the rest of scripture?
  1. Acceptance - Has there been ‘historical acceptance’ of this book among believers?  (This was especially necessary for the NT.)
  1. Inspiration and Authority - Are the contents authoritative and powerful?  Have they stood the test of time and scrutiny of God’s people?   
  1. The Old Testament Canon
  2. The OT canon was formed progressively as the books were written down and received by the nation of Israel. This is evidenced by the immediate reception of the Law (Exodus 24:3), Joshua (Joshua 24:26,27), and Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2).  The ‘test of the prophet’ was applied to the prophetical writings of the Old Testament.
  3. Christ gave His approval of the Old Testament’s authenticity by His many references to the writings.
  4. The Apocrypha – The 15 books of Jewish literature that were written during the intertestamental period. They have been regarded as having no verifiable claim to inspiration or legitimate authorship.
  1. The New Testament Canon
  2. The NT was written between the years 50 A.D. and 95 A.D.
  3. The Scriptures were being circulated as early as 65 A.D. The NT canon was being compiled before 70 A.D.  (The destruction of Jerusalem)

-Clement of Rome (c. 96 A.D.) quotes or cites Matthew, Luke, I Corinthians, Ephesians, I Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, and I John.

-The Epistle of Barnabas (c. 100 A.D.) quotes from Matthew and refers to it as Scripture.

-The Didache, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and other ancient writings quote from many NT books.

  1. The Canon was informally compiled progressively by Christians, churches and councils during early circulation of the writings. The Canon was formally settled between 200 A.D. and 400 A.D.
  2. Western (Latin) Christendom.

-By 200 A.D. 22 books were well accepted.  Hebrews was the most difficult to settle.

  1. Eastern (Greek-Egyptian) Christendom.

        -The book of Revelation endured much scrutiny and resistance.

The first known list of 27 NT books was given by Athanasius in 367 A.D.  This is the first known list, it does not mean the list was not compiled earlier.

III.      Illumination

          -The Holy Spirit-given understanding of revelation or revealed truth.

                    1 Corinthians 2:10-13;  John 14:26; John 16:13;  1 John 2:20,21,27


  1. Preservation - The work of God to preserve not only the meaning of scripture, but His very words.  The originals of any Scriptural texts are no longer available to us, but God has promised His people that they would forever have His Words.
  1. Psalm 12:6, 7
  2. II Timothy 3:15, 16
  3. Timothy had the Scriptures, not reliable facsimiles.
  4. Timothy did not possess the originals. In fact, the Old Testament Scriptures were between 450 to 1,500 years old, and were copies of copies.

Overview of the Bible

  • Contains 66 books divided into two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  • The word testament means covenant or agreement.

Old Testament (39 books)

God’s dealings with man from the creation until 400 years before the birth of Jesus.

The Books of the Law

5 books:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

Written by Moses around 1400 B.C.  Creation, Fall, Beginning of Israel, the Exodus, the Law.

The Books of History

12 books:  Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther

Written between 1400 and 450 B.C., these books describe God’s dealings with Israel and 1,000 years of the nation’s tumultuous history.

The Books of Poetry

5 books:  Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon

Written throughout Israel’s history and use poetry to convey God’s character and His dealings with men.

The Books of the Prophets

17 books:  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi

These books were written by the prophets (God’s spokesmen) between 840 and 400 B.C.  They detail the fall and captivity of Israel and Judah.
New Testament (27 books)

God’s dealing with man after the coming of Jesus Christ


5 books:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts

These books were written to detail the life of Jesus as the Christ, the Savior.  The book of Acts is the history of the early church of Jesus Christ.

The Letters

21 books:  Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

The Letters were written to individuals, specific churches, or believers in general.  The letters are instruction to the early Christians about the Christian life, proper doctrine, and proper church practices.


1 book:  The Revelation

This book gives us a glimpse of the future and the culmination of all history in the events that surround the second coming of Jesus Christ.


More in Foundations of Truth

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Foundations of Truth #6: The Church

March 2, 2022

Foundations of Truth #5: Salvation

February 23, 2022

Foundations of Truth #4: God the Spirit