Saturday, November 22, 2014

CCS SLEW -- "Is The Bible Reliable?"

If we, as Christians, claim to base our view of reality on the Biblical account, we have to also be able to trust that that account is true. What the Bible says, and what we believe about it, have to match reality (the definition of truth as we discussed in the seminar you attended). So, how could we know that? What good reasons do we have to trust that the Bible we have is an accurate account of the story and that it is reliable as the inspired word of God?

One of the easiest to understand, clear, and convincing books I have ever read on this subject is Cold Case Christianity, by J. Warner Wallace. Jim is a (now retired) cold-case homicide detective from Los Angeles who has been on Dateline NBC several times in stories about murder cases he has helped solve that had been "cold" for as long as 35 years. Wallace used to be an in-your-face skeptical atheist who mocked Christianity. But when he was challenged to put his cold-case methods and analysis on the case for Christianity, he was shocked and upended by the evidence he uncovered. Here is a short intro video from J. Warner Wallace, who has become one of the most compelling contemporary case-makers for the Christian view:




Obviously there is a lot to look at on this topic. But let me summarize why we should in fact be comfortable in trusting that the New Testament (NT), and therefore the entire Bible, is reliable:

  • Most (if not all) of the New Testament was written before 70 A.D.
  • It was attested by non-Christian sources that confirm it's most important details
  • We have thousands of copies of it -- more than any other ancient document
  • With just the quotes of early church fathers, we can reconstruct the entire NT
  • It is obviously a collection of eyewitness accounts
  • It is written by multiple, independent sources
  • It has been corroborated by numerous historical and archeological evidences
  • It fulfills ancient prophecy in ways that cannot be coincidental
  • It contains embarrassing details that no fraudulent writer would include
  • It leaves in demanding and difficult sayings of Jesus
  • We have thousands of manuscripts from different geographic locations that match
  • It contains "undesigned coincidences" that verify its truthfulness (see below)
  • There is a solid "chain of custody" that confirms we have accurate manuscripts

There are plenty of details about each of these that allow for further discussion, but we can be very confident that the Bible we have in our hands is an accurate, well-preserved transmission of the originally inspired writings God meant us to have.

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Tim Mcgrew's Undesigned Coincidences Blog Series

  • Follow the link provided to Dr. McGrew's series. It contains links to other resources on the absolutely fascinating topic.

Other Resources from J. Warner Wallace

J. Warner Wallace's website: Cold Case Chrisianity
J. Warner Wallace's book: Cold Case Christianity

Books

Walter C. Kaiser, The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant?
F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
Mark D. Roberts, Can We Trust The Gospels?

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