It doesn’t take long to notice that there are many opinions from many Atheist scholars regarding the text of the New Testament. I have read a great number of the conclusions published by these men and women. There is one underlying principle that is true in a majority of these opinions: They make many assumptions that cannot be supported by evidence and often rely upon the conclusions of other Atheist scholars rather than what the text of the New Testament actually proves.
What this means is that there is no possibility of knowing who is right in their conclusions regarding the New Testament.
We must ask ourselves if the men who wrote the New Testament at the beginning, intended that people later in history would have to rely upon the opinions of atheist scholars in order to understand what the New Testament is saying?
We must ask if God, as the author of the Bible, intended that human beings who do not believe He exists, or that His word is true, would be the source of authority for determining the veracity of these texts?
Jesus said that it is impossible for an unbeliever, one who has not been born again by the Spirit of God, to correctly understand the deep things of the Word of God. All of the scriptures that exist in the 66 books of the Bible, are “spiritually discerned.” This is to say, only those born again by the spirit of God, can correctly discern what God intended.
Academic Scholar or Biblical Scholar?
Is there a difference between an academic scholar and a Biblical scholar? In other words, can a person be an atheist and attend university to earn a doctorate in a particular Biblical field, and achieve genuine Biblical scholarship by their academic status? According to Jesus and Paul in the New Testament, no.
In order to be a genuine Biblical scholar one must first be born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:3), and receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39). It is upon these two qualifications that the God of the Bible recognizes a person as a scholar after many years of diligent study. It is God who imparts wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to His scholars, and enables them to understand and discern the scriptures of the Bible.
Daniel said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.” ~Daniel 2:20-21
First Requirements: Born Again; Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
A premise to the endeavor of becoming a qualified Biblical scholar, according to Jesus, is that a person must first be born again by the Spirit of God, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes to reside inside the true believer.
John 3:3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
The Koine-Greek word used in this verse for “see,” is, ὁράω (horaō); to perceive, discern, experience something by the Spirit. Jesus is saying that no person can truly understand the things of God and His Word, until they have experienced a second, spiritual birth. All humans experience a physical birth, but God only reveals the deep things of His Spirit and His Word, to those who have been born a second time by the Spirit of God.
Only after real salvation has occurred, does God give a person the gift of the Holy Spirit, and it is by the Spirit that God enables a person to truly understand the depths and principles of God’s Word. This is the reason that some people begin with the idea of following Jesus, but they are never born again. Without the Holy Spirit to enable them to understand the Bible, these persons often acquire incorrect views of the scriptures.
How God Communicates His Plans And Purposes To Us
It is assumed by most people that anyone can read and learn the Bible. This assumption would be wrong. A person can read the Bible and discover that all humans are sinners and reside under the wrath of God because of their sins.
They can learn that they must feel genuine sorrow over their sins and discover that by committing these sins, they have offended a Holy God. A person can learn from the Bible that they must turn from their sins and trust in Christ, if they will be saved. They cannot, however, understand the deep and abiding principles of the scriptures that God reserves only for people who have been born a second time by His Spirit.
Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians at Corinth, that the texts of the Bible are “spiritually discerned.” This means that the scriptures in the Bible are not earthly literature that can be understood as other works of literature. The texts of the Bible have their origin in the mind of God and are transcendent human wisdom and knowledge. Only by God imparting knowledge to a person can they know the depths of what God has hidden in His word.
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” ~1 Corinthians 2:13-14
Paul wrote that all of the texts in the New Testament are scripture, the Word of God, equal in truth and authority to the scriptures of the Old Testament:
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the good news which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” ~1 Thessalonians 2:13
The Bible is not literature from antiquity that can be fully understood by a human mind. “Spiritually discerned,” means that the texts of the Bible have their origin in the mind of God, who is an eternal Spirit—possessing infinite wisdom and knowledge. The only way that a mortal human being can understand the eternal God, is if He imparts knowledge to the mind of the person seeking to understand God and His word. The method of transmission whereby this knowledge is transferred from God to the mind of a person, is by God’s Spirit—communicated to the spirit of the person seeking to understand God and His Word.
“For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” ~Romans 8:16
The Unsaved Do Not Have Access To The Wisdom Of God’s Spirit To Understand The Deep Principles Hidden In These Texts
Paul told the Christians at Corinth that the natural man, the person born on earth with an old nature that seeks a self-life, cannot know the mind of God or understand His Word. The only way that any person can know God and understand the depths of His Word, is by being born again a second time, by the Spirit of God, after we trust in Jesus for our salvation.
If we are willing to turn from our sins, and cease practicing them, and are born again by the Spirit of God, our Spirit comes alive within us and becomes a receiver for the Spirit of God who will reveal Himself to us. After this takes place God will impart His wisdom and a knowledge of His Word, to the true believer—through His Spirit speaking to our Spirit.
“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” ~1 Corinthians 2:9-10
The person who has come into a new relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, is able to understand the things of the Spirit of God. This person will be looking for the seemingly insignificant parts of the word of God to discover what the Lord might reveal.
The intellectual in the world without God, who does not have the Spirit of the Living God residing within them, cannot understand any of the deep things of God, because they are prohibited and these principles are “spiritually discerned.”
- A Debate With Josh Bowen, PhD, Regarding The Source Of The Pentateuch
- Impeaching Yale Professor Joel Baden And His Views On The Documentary Hypothesis
God determined, before He made anything, that it would be through His Word, that He would give to faithful men, who recorded what He said, that He would reveal Himself and who He is to the world. The primary source of all wisdom in the word, is the Bible, To the unbeliever the Bible is foolishness and he cannot understand it. He reads things that make no sense to him; scoffs at the miracles and strange laws of God; he rejects the Bible as foolishness:
“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” ~1 Corinthians 1:27-29
I am not surprised that highly-intelligent men and women think that Jesus, the Bible, and Prophecy are foolishness. This is what the Lord said would happen when those who “think themselves wise” are confronted with spiritual truth; they will not understand it.
“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” ~1 Corinthians 1:21
How To Properly Exegete The Bible
In order to conduct a correct hermeneutical approach to the Bible, we must use only the Bible as our source. All though commentary from other born again scholars can be helpful in acquiring a foundation for correct exegesis, it is the similar texts found throughout the entire Bible, that is the greatest help for the diligent student of the Bible.
Commentary from an atheist or progressive scholar is not only of no hope, it is nearly always and incorrect approach with disastrous conclusions. Why is this? Atheist scholars seldom use the texts of the Bible as their source for confirmation of a Biblical text. Atheist scholars rely on secondary sources and manners of literary criticism that reside outside the Bible. This is the primary reason that atheist scholars are incapable of correct exegesis of the Biblical text.
We don’t need any outside sources, commentaries, or the opinions of any scholar, including my own. In order to come to the correct conclusion we only need to follow a few basic practices in our hermeneutical approach.
- Pray before beginning and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us what the correct meaning is for the particular text we are seeking to understand.
- Study the texts we are seeking to understand, by reading it over and over again many times.
- Study the context of the particular scripture, in light of what is being stated before and after the text we are seeking to understand.
- Find parallel verses in other locations, from both the Old and New Testaments.
- Combine all of the similar texts on the subject at hand.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the correct exegesis.
- Write a personal commentary based upon what the Holy Spirit teaches us, and continues to ponder the scriptures that all speak of similar context.
Although there are many formal procedures that are offered as a format for correct exegesis, this is my personal procedure, one that I have used for decades, and it has not failed me in over 40 years. I learned this from one of the world’s best verse by verse, exegetical teachers ever to live on earth, Pastors Chuck Smith, and Doctor Church Missler.
How Atheist Scholars Arrive At Their Conclusions
The procedure used in determining the conclusions that atheist scholars use to evaluate the Bible, is significantly different from the methods used by Spirit-filled Christian scholars.
- Reject the assumption that the Bible is true, and the writers were honest.
- Assume in advance that the texts of the Bible are nothing more than ancient literature from antiquity that can be analyzed and subjected to literary criticism, just as any other literature.
- Rely upon the university education these academic scholars received from their professors who taught them that God does not exist, and the Bible is not the Word of God.
- Review the conclusions already published by prominent atheist scholars and progressive Christians.
- Access secondary literary sources originating in secular and pagan writings of antiquity, comparing these narratives with the texts of the Bible.
- Ignore the extant manuscript evidence from the actual biblical texts that exist for the entire Bible.
- Arrive at conclusions based upon secular, non-biblical sources, and consensus among other atheist scholars.
- Publish conclusions that rely primarily on the opinion of the scholar who is writing the essay or book, citing other atheist scholars as their source for authority.
As you can see, these two methods are significantly divergent each other. The approach a born again follower of Jesus accesses as a scholar, to arrive at correct conclusions for any biblical texts, is in direct opposition to the methods used by persons who deny the existence of God, and the presupposition that the Bible is not the Word of God.
A Majority of People in the Word Today, Do Not Know That Atheist Scholars Are The Authors of Many Best Selling Books on Biblical Criticism
It is a fact of modern militant atheists who argue atheism over faith in Jesus. that these persons often cite the comments of atheist scholars as their source. The problem is that these atheists who use the publications of atheist scholars, often don’t know the author is not a believer in God or the Bible.
We should ask why anyone would trust the opinions of an atheist scholar as a reliable source for accurate information? It is not possible to arrive at an unbiased conclusion when the person writing the opinion, did not believe that God exists, or the Bible is true, before they began to write their conclusions.
We see the truth of this premise in that atheist scholars consistently get it wrong when they seek to evaluate whether the texts of the New Testament are reliable eyewitness narratives. Although the writers of the New Testament state 134 times that they saw Jesus with their eyes, and heard Him with their ears, and they are telling the truth, atheist scholars write and publish that the New Testament was not written by eyewitnesses.
In conjunction with a denial that men who saw Jesus, wrote the texts of the New Testament, atheist scholar also assert that the Synoptic Gospels were not written until late in the first century, by men who had never seen Jesus. This supposition bears no actual evidence, but exists as the mere opinions of the atheist scholar community.
In just these two errors we can understand why the opinions of atheist scholars cannot be relied upon for accurate conclusions. Any person who devotes themselves to simply reading the texts of the New Testament and studies what these texts say, for themselves, can achieve far more knowledge about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, than they could by reading the books and essays of atheist New Testament scholars.
Reading the conclusions of scholars who have been born again by the Spirit of God, can be helpful to anyone seeking to understand what the texts are saying. These scholars are the only true biblical scholars that God recognizes as authorities concerning His word. Thankfully the world presents us with a larger number of scholars who do have the Spirit of God residing within them, and are capable of correct exegesis of these texts.
I was fortunate to undertake my education in the Bible from spirit filled men who taught through the entire Bible, and conducted accurate exegesis of these texts in teaching their students. My own scholarship in the Bible originated in this method of study, and did not include the secular methods that atheist scholars and professors access when they teach their students.
An Academic PhD Does Not Convey Truth Or Accuracy
One of the reasons that so man young men and women who love and believe in Jesus, depart seminary after the first year, is due to the lies that they have been told concerning the New Testament by atheist and progressive scholars. A first year seminary student doesn’t know that the professors who are imparting knowledge to them, do not believe the God of the Bible exists, or that the texts of the Bible are inspired by God. Students are often unaware that their professors are atheists or progressive scholars who do not believe all the Bible is true.
These scholars use methods of New Testament Criticism that bring doubt to the minds of those seeking to understand the narratives of Jesus, by constantly asserting that Jesus didn’t say the things that are written in these texts. These atheist scholars and professors claim that the New Testament is filled with errors, was subject to numerous revisions, and has many texts that were added and deleted. All of these assertions are untrue and easily impeached, but a first year student doesn’t have the ability to accomplish this act of rebuttal.
This is one of the reasons that I have written and published more than 30 books and over 3,000 essays. To inform and equip persons who have been told these lies, and teach that what atheist scholars and professors are currently presenting as facts, are lies shrouded in a false idea that an academic degree conveys authority and accuracy to these men and women. It does not.
The most fundamental premise of a genuine New Testament scholar is that they must believe the text of the Bible is authored by God, is reliable, and is truthful. They must believe that God exists, and that He has chosen to communicate with man by the words of the Bible. Men like Bart Ehrman and a long list of other atheist or agnostic scholars, do not believe these things. For this reason, their conclusions cannot be relied upon.
Does God really need men to analyze the text of the New Testament and interject his alleged expertise upon the text?
I say no. God intended that the Bible could be read by any person, and by a sincere and seeking heart, anyone can know God and find salvation in Christ Jesus. What constitutes real New Testament Scholarship is the acceptance of the Bible as the world of God, first, then a lifelong study of the texts themselves, comparing scripture with scripture.
We believe that the Bible is perfect as it is; that God is the true author and it does not require any revision, update, correction, or secular criticism. The God who created the universe with words, used His words to impart knowledge about Himself to men who had set themselves apart from sin and this world, to record accurately what God intended the world know about Him.
The idea that the Bible has been corrupted by men over the ages, is preposterous to those of us who understand the great power that God has to ensure His word survives intact and contains exactly what He wants to world to know.
We become scholars by comparing scripture with scripture and relating the text of the Old Testament to the text of the New Testament. We become proficient in the Bible and are rightly called scholars when we dedicate many decades to learning the scriptures, not by attending a university where the professors do not believe the Bible is the word of God in the first place.
Today, New Testament criticism results from the opinions of non-believers who seek to critique the Bible as though it were a work of man. This results in the confusion and distortion of the scriptures that the layperson reads and is unaware that the opinions of these atheist scholars are not sound, and are filled with errors.
Would you trust the conclusions of a medical doctor who did not believe in medicine? Why would anyone trust the conclusions of men and women who do not believe the Bible is the word of God? A Ph.D is not a qualifying premise to believe the Bible is the word of God.
All that results from modern liberal criticism of the New Testament by atheist scholars is confusion, doubts, and chaos. It is not possible that God would want anyone to look to a human source in order to understand what He has written for the whole world.
Of course, the New Testament scholar who does believe the Bible is the word of God and is reliable, is a trustworthy source for sound conclusions.
Most of the 27 books of the New Testament are really just personal letters written to persons in Christian churches that existed early in the first century. It is a fact of modern forensic literary science that personal letters from antiquity are never found to be works of fraud. Personal letters where men say that they saw and heard a person do and say certain things, are the highest form or reliable, historical, evidence.
Jesus made it clear that these men who had seen Him, were His witnesses, and Jesus wanted these men to write an accurate account of all they had seen and heard, and distribute it to all the churches that existed in Asia Minor. From Asia, these letters were copied and sent to places all over the known world.
Acts 1:8: Jesus said: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 10:39-43 Peter Said: “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”
Revelation 1:11 Jesus said: “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
Today we have the evidence that these men did exactly what Jesus said. There are 24,593 extant manuscript copies of the New Testament. These texts match our current New Testament in every important event these men originally recorded for Jesus. We have nearly complete copies of the New Testament, dated from 175-225 AD. If we have manuscript copies from 175, it is certain that the original autographs were penned early in the first century.
By standing on the shoulders of these honest and diligent men and examining their conversations from afar, we learn a great deal about Jesus and the events that took place at that time. These letters are written matter-of-fact, not as myths, tales or novels. It is well known in examination of ancient literature that personal letters are not vehicles for fraud.
These letters were considered so valuable, accurate and instructive by people of that period, that they were copied tens of thousands of times and distributed all over the known world. Today we have 24,593 surviving manuscript copies of these original autographs from all over the world in multiple languages. There is no body of ancient literature that can meet the immense surviving body of evidence that the New Testament presents to us today.
Evidence Of Ability To Write The Gospels
Modern liberal New Testament scholars assert that the Disciples of Jesus were not able to write in Koine-Greek, the primary method used in the surviving manuscript copies we have today. We don’t know what language the original autographs were written, or who it was that may have assisted the Apostles in transcribing them. We don’t know that the Apostles were not able to write Greek. We don’t know that the original autographs were first written in Aramaic or Hebrew and later copied as Greek texts. In the third decade of the second century, Papias said: “Matthew gathered the sayings of Jesus in the Hebrew tongue, and each person translated them as he was able.”
We can’t accurately conclude what language the original autographs were written because they don’t exist any longer. There are no original autographs for any ancient texts of that age, secular or religious. All that we have today to prove any ancient event are the surviving manuscript copies. For this reason, no scholar can accurately state a precise date for their writing. For this reason, it is presumptuous to rely upon a scholar who claims to know these dates.
Luke writes at the beginning of his Gospel that he was very familiar with all of the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, states that he personally interviewed the eyewitnesses who saw Jesus and heard Him. Luke was a Greek speaking Physician who was highly educated. Matthew was a tax collector and must certainly have acquired the ability to write well. The Romans would have required every tax collector to possess the ability to write and speak adequately in order to carry out their appointed tasks. Mark was a Greek speaking Jew, who was able to write in Greek, and was the scribe for Peter.
When we examine the text of Acts 21:37, we see that Paul was also able to speak Koine-Greek.
Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, (in Greek Ἐλληνιστί) “May I speak to you?” He replied, “Can you speak Greek? ~Acts 21:37
The commander of the barracks was surprised that Paul, a Jew, could speak Koine-Greek. From this we can demonstrate that Paul, a proficient scholar of the Pharisees, was also able to assist the writers of the Gospels in writing their texts in Greek, if this was necessary.
Could Uneducated Men Write The Gospels?
Ehrman often states that the writers of the four Gospels were uneducated men who did not have the capacity to write the elegant Koine-Greek text we see in the New Testament. He refers to Acts chapter 4 where Peter and John are standing before the council of leaders at Jerusalem. In this text we find the statement: “they could see that the Apostles were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.”
From this statement, Ehrman has concluded that it was impossible for these men to have the skill necessary to write the Gospels. The problem is that Ehrman leaves out the rest of the text which helps the reader understand how uneducated men could have the ability to write what we find in the four Gospels. “They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” It was Jesus who gave these uneducated men the ability to understand and communicate everything that He had said and done during His three and one-half years of ministry. Jesus told these men: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” ~John 14:26
It was these unique abilities to remember and write all they had seen and heard that Jesus imparted to these men, which made it possible for them to write what we see today in the New Testament.
Jesus called these twelve men to testify as eyewitnesses at that moment. All the miracles that they saw could never be repeated; yet all these things must be known to the world for all time. Jesus wanted the people of that moment who were still alive to know these things, and also every person throughout history.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus promised that He would remind these men of everything they had seen and heard so they could write a reliable account. ~John 14:26
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would testify of Him to these men. Then they must testify about Him to the world, because they had been with Him from the beginning. ~John 15:26
The evidence that the Gospels were written immediately after Jesus rose from the dead, is found in the text itself where Jesus makes this requirement an imperative.
There is absolutely no evidence anywhere that these men waited for decades to write their testimony. This idea comes from a few New Testament scholars as their opinions, but not because there is any proof that this is really true.
How could any scholar know the precise decade when the Gospels were written? Those who guess say later; those who read Jesus’ words, see He said: “What you see, write in a book and send it now..” The two Gr. imperatives “write” (γράφω) and “send” (πέμπω) are peremptory, authoritative aorists. “Do It Now!”
Until it can be proven by evidence that the Gospels actually were written late in the first century, I will maintain an early date for their writing. There is no proof they were written late, there is tremendous internal proof within the New Testament the Gospels were immediately written.
What Did The Writers Intend?
It is inconceivable that these writers wrote in such a way that their texts were shrouded in mystery and the meaning of what they wrote could not be understood by even the least educated persons.
If we need scholars to tell us whether the text is reliable, has been changed, or really records actual events, then the God who claims to be the author of these texts must be an impotent God, incapable of ensuring that His words could survive intact for the world to read.
The writers of the New Testament state in their narratives that all that they are saying, even they themselves did not understand or believe at first. It is a common agreement amongst the writers that the miracles they saw Jesus perform and the raising of Lazarus from the dead, did not fully convince them at first. It was not until after Jesus was brutally crucified and these men knew that He was dead, and they saw Jesus alive in the flesh, that they really believed that He is the Messiah and God in human flesh.
The New Testament Prefaced By The Old
Any person who has adequately studied the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, understands that these texts make it clear that God would send the world a Messiah who would have the power of miracles to validate that He is the One whom God sent. These prophecies also state that He would be crucified and raised on the third day. There are over 400 of these Messianic Prophecies that I have personally documented and published in two books, which fully validate that Jesus is the only person in the history of the world who has completed these prophecies with great precision.
If Jesus had failed to fulfill even one of these prophecies, He could not be the Messiah. The fact that He did complete these predictions with such care and precision, is testimony to the power that God has to accomplish all that He promised.
Who Is Telling The Truth?
If we start with the assumption that the writers of the New Testament are honest men who are telling the truth about what they recorded, then we do not need the opinions and conclusions of modern scholars. The texts of the New Testament have survived for nearly 2,000 years, intact, with virtually all of the fundamental truths about Jesus coming to us with no substantial alterations to the original text. We have greater surviving manuscripts to validate these events that are described in the New Testament than any other event in the history of the world. The comments and conclusions of modern critical scholars are completely based upon their own opinions that originate by speculation and conjecture.
All we must do is read the New Testament for ourselves to see whether the narratives about Jesus make sense, are credible, and are trustworthy. After nearly 45 years of just studying the text of the New Testament apart from the opinions and conclusions of other scholars, I am convinced that this is all that is necessary.
If we begin with the idea that God exists and He has the power and technology to conceive, engineer, and produce the universe we inhabit, then it is no stretch of the imagination to accept that He also has the power to communicate a message to us through men that He might choose, and preserve their testimony intact so that every person on earth might have a reliable copy to read.
If we rely upon scholars for our confirmation of the New Testament, we will always find that their conclusions vary depending upon their particular mindset. Those who are atheist scholars begin with the idea that God does not exist, therefore the miracles of Jesus cannot be true, the New Testament is a fabrication.
Those who come from the Catholic church and carry a particular feeling about how the texts were written, preserved and arrived to us today, will have their own opinions. Those who are from a protestant background with a fundamentalist mindset, will see the text in a different light.
Many of these modern scholars were participants in the “Jesus Seminar,” in which 50 critical Biblical scholars and 100 laymen in 1985, assembled to determine the reliability of the New Testament narratives of Jesus. Do you know how they determined whether a particular text was actually said by Jesus or any text should be considered reliable? Each member presented a colored bead that indicated whether they felt that the text was reliable or not. Depending upon the number of colored beads these participants presented for each text in question, the texts were authenticated or rejected by a vote. There was never any presentation of evidence to support any supposition, it was merely their opinions that determined whether the text of the New Testament is accurate and reliable.
In all of the books by New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, very rarely does he present any evidence to support his assertions. Ehrman expects us to take his word for it concerning the statements and conclusions he makes regarding New Testament reliability. I have examine the claims of Ehrman and found that all of his assertions regarding whether Jesus ever claimed to be God, are in error. My book “Why Jesus Is God, And Others Are Not,” examines Ehrman’s inaccuracies and reveals the truth about Jesus’ claim to be God.
It is my opinion that we do not need the opinions of these men and women to arrive at our own conclusions regarding the reliability and authenticity of the New Testament. In fact, if we listen to these scholars we are more likely to be confused rather than gain any clarity regarding who Jesus is. In times past, a person could learn all they needed by simply reading what the men who saw and heard Jesus, said about Him in the letters of the New Testament. In the past 50 years, liberal scholars who do not believe God exists, while obtaining Ph.D.’s for the purpose of impugning Jesus, write books that state that the Jesus of the Bible is a fabrication.
The public reads these articles and books by noted scholars and assume that they know what they are talking about, without ever knowing these persons secretly oppose Jesus in their hearts. We might ask if we can really trust someone who begins with the idea that God doesn’t exist, and then makes conclusions about the Bible. Would you trust a physician who you find out doesn’t believe in medicine?
Bart Ehrman is a self avowed atheist. In spite of this, he is acclaimed as a New Testament scholar. Every book that Ehrman writes, deprives Jesus of His identity as God and ability to save those who come to Him for salvation. Jesus said that offenses must come into this world, but woe to the man who causes these offenses. It would be better if that man had never been born (Matthew 18:6-7).
I discovered these truths many years ago and discarded all that liberal scholars have said and just studied the original text of the New Testament and let the writers speak for themselves.
- The New Testament exists today because of 24,593 surviving manuscript copies.
- These Manuscripts are dated closer to the time of the events than any other ancient manuscripts in history.
- Although the manuscripts came from locations all over the world and in multiple languages, they all tell the same fundamental story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
- The writers themselves state they saw the events they are recording. There is no impeaching evidence anywhere in the historical record that these writers did not tell the truth.
- We have complete copies of the New Testament that have survived time and decay, from 240 A.D.
- We have manuscript fragments of the New Testament as early as 60 A.D.
- Since we have manuscript copies from the second century, the original autographs were certainly written early in the first century.
- History confirms that the New Testament, except Revelation, was written before 70 A.D. Not one of the books mentions the siege of Titus on Jerusalem and the obliteration of the Temple that took place in 70 A.D. If the New Testament was written after 70 A.D., this event would have been described in the letters of the New Testament.
- Scholars from the first century have already validated these texts as authentic and reliable. We do not need experts today who have no ability to impeach the conclusions of those who originally wrote the text, 2,000 years ago.
- The writers of the New Testament intended that the texts were historically accurate and true.
- The 27 books of the New Testament are actually personal letters, not stories. Personal letters are the epitome of ancient reliable documents. Personal letters have long been known as the most reliable of all ancient evidence.
- Everything that Jesus said and did, was predicted by over 400 Messianic Prophecies. Jesus fulfilled every Messianic prophecy with great precision. Jesus’ story did not begin in the New Testament. It was foretold by 1,500 years of history that took place before Jesus arrived.
Is it Reliable?
You might ask, how do we know that what we are reading today, is what the original writers wrote? This is certainly a very reasonable question and one that I have also considered. Again, discarding what all other scholars have written or said, I examined the surviving manuscripts of the New Testament for myself and looked for any significant changes in the text.
All that I found were minor differences such as misspelled words, punctuation errors, different words that say the same thing, but no changes in any of the primary principles about Jesus and the total story that the New Testament tells us.
I also considered the enormity of the surviving New Testament manuscript copies that we have today. In any large body of ancient manuscripts which have survived time and decay, coming from several different places around the world, in several different languages, we would expect a great number of differences in the important texts. This is not the case with the 24,593 copies of the New Testament. Despite their great numbers and vast locations and languages that they came from, they are all in symmetry regarding the same story they tell about Jesus.
We do not need a scholar to help us know whether the New Testament is a narrative that we can trust. I believe that we can know this ourselves if we simply read the text and study it as it is, without commentary from anyone else.
The Power To Preserve The Text
A God who has the power to create this magnificent universe we inhabit, and may I say, the scientific evidence proves that intelligence was essential to its existence, this God is also capable of producing a reliable text about the true events of the Savior He sent to us and ensuring its survival for every generation.
Throw out the comments and opinions of all scholars, including my own, and just read the New Testament for yourself. If you do, then you will see that these men specifically state that what they are writing, they saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears.
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. his one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. ~1 John 1:1-4 (NLT)
Modern scholars say the New Testament was not written by eyewitnesses, the text says that it is. I choose to trust the men who were theres and wrote it 2,000 years ago and not the men and women today who say it is not eyewitness testimony. These critics were not there and they rely largely upon what other liberal scholars say; that the text is not reliable or written by eyewitnesses.
The New Testament letters that I have intensely studied for almost 45 years, defiies all the comments of critics who claim it is not true or reliable. Any intelligent person who reads the text will very quickly see that is genuine, sincere, and truthful. I believe it because of how these letters are written and the manner in which they are constructed. Remember that the 27 books of the New Testament are really just personal letters of correspondence between persons early in the first century. Each of you will have to decide whether you will believe the texts or the critics who write today and say that it is not trustworthy.
And this is the most important point, isn’t it? We each have to make our own decision.
- Why The New Testament Is a Valid Historical Narrative
- Alleged Textual Variants Of The New Testament Do Not Change The Narrative
- The Internal Evidence Of The New Testament Proves Its Integrity And Reliability
- Archeological Discoveries That Confirm The New Testament Narratives Of Jesus
- How Forensic Evidence Proves The New Testament Is Historical And Reliable
- First Century Manuscript Evidence For Jesus
- The False Assertion That The Gospel Writers Borrowed From Mark Or The “Q” Document
- New Testament Reliability: Eyewitnesses And Liars
- The Four Gospels Were Not Written Anonymously
- The New Testament Passes Every Literary Test of History
- The New Testament Is Intended As Historical Accounts
- Examining The New Testament For Reliability And Eyewitness Accounts
 Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 3.39.16
Categories: Empirical Evidence for God, God's Sovereignty, Jesus is God, Jesus is the Messiah, Literary authenticity of the New Testament, New Testament Manuscripts, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Secular Sources for Jesus, The age of the Universe, The Creation of the Universe, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus