Final Session: Michael Bird begins this session noting“The Bible didn’t fall out of the sky, bound in leather, with the words of Jesus colored in red. The New Testament in particular came to us through a particular process by which its text was transmitted, recorded, and formally canonized over time.  Eventually, it was translated into thousands of languages around the world.  While there are other writings out there, the basic consensus of the church has been that the twenty-seven books that make up our New Testament are the authorized list of sacred writings for the Christian church.”

This week will be our final session of “The New Testament You Never Knew.” It will be helpful to recall the first time you held a Bible, had the Bible read to you, or got your own copy.  What did it mean to hear “The Bible is the Word of God”?  In what way do you think God was involved in forming and giving the Bible to us?  Have your ideas changed as you have continued to live as a Christian?  We will explore these issues and trace current scholarship regarding the origins of the New Testament copies we read from in worship and private devotions.  Hopefully, your appreciation for these texts will have grown with knowledge gained throughout our studies, even if you have been led to see them through a different lens.

We will also think about the Christian journey since New Testament times, recognizing a recent article in Christian Century entitled “Between the Bible and Me” by Debbie Thomas.  Any who cannot be present but would like to read it can request a link from David Yarbrough by email to

Please recall that due to copyright issues these sessions have not been recorded or live-streamed.