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Canonicity #1, how we got our Old Testament AND what makes the Bible different than other religious books

This probably should be two lessons and the video is a bit long, but as I researched, thought and prayed about the subject, I realized that to help you see the incredible value of the Old Testament manuscripts and for you to realize how unique they really are, you need to see them alongside other so called “scriptures” from other religions.

To do that, I have included some examples from Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Mormon Church. When you read even these brief examples, that have no tie to true history, it becomes obvious that the Christian Bible is unique. People still must decide what they think about Jesus and make a decision to follow Him as leader and forgiver, but they cannot lump our scriptures in with all others.

It also becomes obvious with even a brief look at the scriptures of other religions that: “all religions DO NOT lead to God.”  All religions do not say the same thing, they do not have the same message. It is an insult to each one of them to lump them all together.

Though we must always speak to people of other religions with “gentleness and respect” as 1 Peter 3:15 commands us to do, but at the same time in our conversations we much always affirm:

That is it by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone that we are assured of eternal salvation.

Below is the video–you don’t have to watch it, you can just click on the computer, listen and go about your work.

Below the video are the PDFs. Be sure to print off the chart before watching if possible. To print either one, just click on the image, the PDF will open on your computer and you can print it.


How we got our Bible chart, canonicity lesson 1

How we got our Bible chart, the Old Testament, click on image to go to PDF, print off.



Canonicity #1 Notes PDF

Canonicity notes and information on what makes the Christian scriptures unique. Click on image to go to PDF and print off.


Canonicity #2: Inbetween the Old and New Testament and what about the Apocrypha?

Catholic Bibles have extra books between the Old and New Testaments called the Apocrypha–why is that and why don’t Protestant Bibles have them? You’ll find out in this lesson.

There is a video below and handouts below that.

Canonicity #2 Handouts

Canonicity #3: About the New Testament and the Gnostic Gospels

The Old Testament is not the only part of the Bible that has books that aren’t correct that some folks believe should be part of the Bible. In the Old Testament we already talked about why we don’t have the Apochrypha in our Bibles and this lesson will show why the Gnostic Gospels are not included in our Bibles.

Below is the video and then the notes after it. Please do download the notes because they have lengthy copies of some of the Gnostic Gospels. The video will discuss and you can see for yourself how foolish these works are and why they are not included in our Bibles.

Canonicity 3  Handouts

Canonicity #4: How the church decided what books were included in the Bible

This is the final lesson on the series on Canonicity, what books are in our Bible and why.

What’s most important to remember is that God determines the content of the Bible and people recognize it. This lesson discusses the Five Keys that were used to determine canonicity.

Below is the Video of the lesson and then below that, a PDF of the handouts. Click on the image to download and print them.

Canonicity Handouts #4

Why bother to be good?

This is part of a question that was asked in our Coastline Life in 3D class and we answer it in the video below with information from both the Bible and church history.

Our actions can have a tremendous impact on our world. We tend to live out what we believe and as you’ll see in the ancient world, though the early Christians did not have the special events and spectacles common with the pagan religions, they did have one thing that helped them turn the world upside down—they loved and cared for each other with sacrificial, serving love.

Below the video is a PDF of the PowerPoint notes. Just click on it to go to the PDF and then you can print it off.

Why be good PDF notes

Class Schedule, last week in August and September

Join us for in-depth Bible teaching, study from history, and answers to important questions about the Christian faith. Our goal is to answer the really tough questions in practical, easy-to-understand ways. The class is for Christ followers and those exploring the faith—we love questions and interaction!

For next week and the next month we’ll be studying…..

August  29: Why should Christians bother to “be good?” and what kind of goodness is really important to God?

September 5: Lesson #1 on Canonicity: how did we get the books of the Old Testament? When were they written, by who, and what historical events were going on at that time?

September 12: Lesson #2 on Canonicity: how did we get the books of the New Testament? When were they written, by who, and what historical events were going on at that time?

September 19: Lesson #3 on Canonicity: how did we get the books of the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigraphia and Gnostic writings (the books that did not make it into the Bible)? When were they written, by who, and what historical events were going on at that time?

September 26: Lesson #4 on Canonicity: How then did all the books come together, why do we have the ones we have, and what was the procedure that brought them together?

Every Sunday, 9-10:15 am Coastline Bible Church, Room 207
Teachers, Yvon & Paul Prehn, email:

Website:; Facebook: Life in 3D @ Coastline Bible Church

Copy and email the schedule above to friends and invite others whether they go to church or not to the class!