Dr. Paul L. Maier is a Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University and an expert in biblical studies. I highly appreciate all his works as they help to know more about the Bible and the Christian faith. It is found that the story of the Bible is one of the greatest stories ever told in the world. Dr. Paul Maier is one of those specialists who are interested in the study of the Bible, and he tries to find out where the Bible came from and who was the author. In his study How we got the Bible, Dr. Paul Maier visits The Bible Museum in Goodyear, Arizona in order to find the answers to these questions. He represents 5 video sessions which help to better understand the story of the Bible and investigate how we got the Bible.
In the video session 1, Dr. Paul Maier discusses the Bible which was written 3500 years ago. It is found that the Bible we read today differs from the original texts which were written 3500 years ago. It is interesting to know that in 1228, the Bible was first divided into chapters by Stephen Langton. In 1488, the chapters of Old Testament were divided into verses by Isaak Nathan, and in 1551, the chapters of New Testament were divided into verses by Robert Stephanus. Moreover, it is found that one of the top selling books in the world’s history was the Holy Bible with more than 6 billion copies sold across the world.
In addition, Dr. Paul Maier found that there were more than 40 authors of the books included in the Bible over the span of 1500 years. The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Today the Holy Bible includes 66 books: 39 books of Old Testament and 27 book of New Testament. The first printed Bible appeared in 1455. In addition, the professor represents many interesting facts about the translation of the Bible into different languages. It is found that the first legal translation of the Bible in English was done by Myles Coverdale in 1535. The Pilgrim’s Bible was translated in 1560 and divided into chapters and verses. Thousands of translations have been done by such organization as Lutheran Bible Translators, and today the Bible can be read in all part of the world.
In the video session 2 Can we be confident in the Bible?, Dr. Paul Maier shares his ideas about the Bible’s nature and discusses biblical criticism. It is found that the Bible was criticized by a number of historians. One of them was Bruno Bauer who considered that Jesus was neither the son of God, nor a human being. However, Dr. Paul Maier proves the fact that the Bible can be viewed as a source of faith and inspiration. Â The Bible is a collection of “rich and varied texts, its narratives, psalms, laments, proverbs, prophecies, epistles, gospels, and wisdom literature-to name some of its most prominent genres-form a fascinating array of documents”ť (Dr. Paul Maier). In the video session 3 Silencing The Old Testament Critics, Dr. Paul Maier discusses the Old Testament which includes the information about creation, fall into sin and God’s promise of a Savior and God’s grace. The professor pays special attention to the manuscripts of the Old Testament and their significant role in the history of the Bible.
In the video session 4 Did The Church Make Jesus Divine?, the professor is involved in the investigation of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. It is found that many Christian scholars and historians stated that Jesus never spoke of himself as the son of God. Moreover, they were sure that he never wanted people to consider him the son of God. In the video session 5 The High Price Of An English Bible, Dr. Paul Maier discusses some more important facts from the history of the Bible. It is found that the leaders of the Western Church insisted on the fact that only their Latin translation of the Bible was the most authoritative in comparison with other translations. It was a real problem for ordinary people of the Middle Ages period, who were illiterate and could not understand Latin. In addition, the professor finds out that the scholars Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Erasmus and Tyndale were involved in the battle to reclaim the interpretation of the Bible through learning the original Greek and Hebrew of the Bible.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that Dr. Paul Maier’s biblical study represented in the form of 5 video sessions helps to better understand the history of the Bible. In this study, the Professor used reliable sources of information, historical documents, manuscripts, etc. which helped to learn many interesting facts about the Bible and the major events that are closely connected with the history of the Bible. In this study, Dr. Paul Maier discusses the history of production, canonization, and inspiration of the biblical texts. I consider that these 5 lessons can be effectively used in schools and universities as they help to learn more about the birth of the Bible and the manuscripts of the New Testament, about the significance of textual variations of the Bible and translations of the biblical texts.