All the books of the Bible were written in many different time periods. How was it constructed into one combined book?
This is a very involved question. I’ll offer a simple and concise explanation here and point you toward some articles for further reading if you would like to go deeper on this issue.
The Old Testament was well established by the time Jesus walked the earth. The general criteria the Israelites used to determine if a book was scripture were 3 fold:
1 – Did the book indicate that God was speaking through the writer and was it authoritative?
2 – Was the human author recognizes as a spokesman of God (prophet or have a prophetic gift)
3 – Was the book historically accurate
In regard to the New Testament, it was largely established by around 170 AD. By 363 AD the 27 books we have today were recognized as the “only true books”. That was restated by councils in 393 AD and 397 AD. Many writings were circulating during these times, but the ones that we have today passed the following tests (among others)
1 – Was it Orthodox in it’s teaching (doctrinally consistent with the other scriptures)
2 – Was it written by an Apostle or someone close to an Apostle
3 – Was it widely accepted as true by the early church
A person claims to be a believer but offers sacrifices for salvation prays for mercy & forgiveness- are they a real a believer?
Short answer…it depends. Here are a few thoughts:
- It could be an indication that the person has not truly crossed the line of faith. If they are trusting in these things to make them right with God, they are trying to earn their salvation…which Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us is not how it works.
- It could simply be an issue of education. The person may have crossed the line of faith, but doesn’t understand the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. Hebrews 10 talks in detail about this. It compares the OT sacrifices that had to be offered again and again with the sacrifice of Christ which was once for all time.
- It could be the individuals way of trying to express their remorse for their sin. It’s unnatural for us to accept the free gift of forgiveness. When we know we’ve sinned, we have a tendency to want to demonstrate our remorse. A proper understanding of Hebrews 1o mentioned above and 1 John 1:9 helps us to understand that no sacrifice on our part is necessary.