When a person hears that there are 300,000 Textual Variants in the New Testament, they are naturally concerned. When we hear that the Gospels were written anonymously, we wonder if they are accurate. If a scholar states that the Gospels were written late in the first century by non-eyewitnesses, we might conclude that we can no longer trust the narratives about Jesus.
In all of these questions of modern New Testament Criticism it is important to understand that every one of these issues have been raised thousands of times over the past 2,000 years, and not one has been proven true. Since the first century, the New Testament has remained intact, unimpeached by anyone.
Whenever I have a conversation with an atheist it is inevitable that they will cite one of the alleged problems I mentioned above. Critics tell me that this information comes from a New Testament scholar. The posits made by critics of the New Testament is that if a scholar doesn’t trust the New Testament, no one else should either.
If you will investigate who these scholars are and what they actually said in their books, essays, and video presentations, you will quickly learn that they are atheists. These men and women who say the New Testament is not reliable, don’t believe that God exists in the first place. They say that the New Testament is nothing more that literature from antiquity—on the same level as all secular literature.
When we read the comments of these atheist scholars, we are not surprised to discover that when they make statements that the New Testament was written late in the first century by non-eyewitnesses, they do not provide us with any proof to support their statements. We find that these statements are merely the opinions of an atheist, who claims that their title as a scholar earns them the right to be believed.
Let me ask you a pertinent question: would you trust any person who claims to be an expert in a field, when you learn that they don’t believe the tenets of their profession? Would you trust a doctor who tells you that they don’t believe in medicine?
Why should anyone believe an atheist when they tell us facts that concern God? It matters not that these persons have earned a degree or Ph.D. A degree does not guarantee truth. What matters is what a scholar says and the evidence they present to prove their conclusions.
You will discover that the world’s leading New Testament scholars who state that the New Testament is not reliable, contains errors and contradictions, and was not written by eyewitnesses, have absolutely no evidence to prove these claims. They expect the public to trust them simply because they are a scholar.
First find out what a person believes, before you place any confidence in what they say. Second, demand evidence to prove the conclusions of any scholar. Third, examine the work of these individuals to see if they have presented evidence for any of their conclusions, or are they simply stating their opinions?
- Biblical Inerrancy: Is The Bible Accurate And Trustworthy?
- Biblical Inerrancy And The Errors Of Critics
- New Testament Criticism
In a scholarly investigation of the evidence that proves the New Testament is a reliable record of true historical events, it is important to understand that the texts from these surviving 24,593 extant manuscripts, when compared with our modern translation of the New Testament, are virtually identical in all its basic principles about Jesus.
The allegation that the text of the New Testament has been changed over the past 2,000 years by thousands of textual variants, is a deceitful fabrication. In fact, what is meant by a textual variant, is nothing more than misspelled words, alternative words meaning the same, grammatical errors, and different ways of saying the exact same thing.
It is important to understand that there are two classes of New Testament scholars: Liberal and Conservative. There are significant differences between the conclusions of these two groups that result in critical results.
Liberal and atheist scholars classify the New Testament as ancient literature only, not the inspired word of God. Conservative scholars classify the New Testament as the word of God that was inspired, directed, and composed as a direct work of the Holy Spirit.
These stark differences are observed by the comments of liberal scholars who do not regard the New Testament as the word of God. This in contrast to scholars who do regard the New Testament as a supernatural composition by the Living God.
Because liberal scholars do not view the New Testament as authored by God, they treat the text differently than conservative scholars. Critical liberals scholars analyze the text for reliability based upon suppositions and conjecture that is reflected in their comments and opinions, while failing to provide actual evidence to support their hypotheses.
Liberal scholars insert their opinions that the synoptic Gospels were written late in the first century, by non-eyewitnesses. Conservative scholars insist that the synoptic Gospels were written early in the first century, by the men who saw and heard Jesus.
Conservative scholars rely upon the actual evidence of the surviving New Testament manuscripts to prove the New Testament Gospels were written early in the first century by the men who saw Jesus perform miracles, be crucified, and rise from the dead three days later. Jesus Himself commanded these men to write a testimony of what they had seen, and send it out to the entire world.
The writers of the New Testament state 134 times that they are eyewitnesses of all that they recorded for us. They cite the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, 396 times in the text of the New Testament. These records are the proof that these men saw what they wrote, not the conjectures of men and women who live today, some 2,000 years after the events took place.
Any person who reads the New Testament with the idea of seeking evidence that Jesus intended that the men He chose, would write a testimony of what they had seen, will find this evidence in the texts of the New Testament. These records have existed since the first century.
In the first essay to follow, (When were the Gospels written), there is substantial evidence from the text itself demonstrating that Jesus intended the Gospel testimony about Him should be immediately written and sent out to the entire world.
The facts of evidence that is included in the following essays, proves that it is possible to know for certain whether we can trust what is written about Jesus. The following are the resources available at this site which contain evidence to prove each of these important issues:
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Were The Gospels Written By Eyewitnesses?
- Did The Gospel Writers Borrow From Each Other?
- Has The Text Of The New Testament Been Changed?
- Is The New Testament Filled With Errors?
- Were The Four Gospels Written Anonymously?
- The Body Of New Testament Evidence
- Are There Sources For Jesus Outside The New Testament?
- Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?
- Did Jesus Really Claim To Be God?
Other Articles Concerning New Testament Criticism
- Impeaching Bart Ehrman
- The Synoptic Problem
- Historical, Evidentiary Proof Of New Testament Reliability
- Why The New Testament Is a Valid Historical Narrative
- Evidence The Four Gospels Are Separate And Distinct Narratives
- Scripture Is The Only Authority In All Matters Concerning Christianity
- 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
- Correctly Dating The P64 Magdalen Papyrus
- First Century Manuscript Evidence For Jesus
- A List Of Conservative And Liberal Bible Scholars
- The False Assertion That The Gospel Writers Borrowed From Mark Or The “Q” Document
- It Is Very Easy To Deceive An Atheist
- Impeaching The Idea That The New Testament Is Not True
- 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
- Proving The New Testament Is A Reliable Narrative Of Jesus’ Crucifixion And Resurrection From Evidence
- Does Jesus Live In The Believer? How Jesus Communicated A Remembrance Of All He Had Done To The New Testament Writers
- Table Of Extant Greek New Testament Manuscripts
- 121 Non Biblical Sources For Jesus in the Historical Record
- How Does Criticism Of The New Testament Relate To Its Reliability?
- Evidence Of New Testament Reliability: Reliance Upon The Old Testament
- Truth And Lies Regarding New Testament Reliability
- The Truth Of The New Testament Is Not Defined By Opinion, Bias, Or, Doubt, But By Historical Evidence
- The Historical Records Of Jesus’ Life, Death, And Resurrection Are Unimpeachable
- How Liberal New Testament Scholars Deceive The World Today
- When A New Testament Scholar Is Not
- Jesus Authenticates The New Testament As Scripture
- The New Testament is Written by Jews, About Jews, For Jews
- Empirical Integrity of the New Testament
- Biblical Inerrancy And The Errors Of Critics
- The Reliability of the New Testament
- The Historical Record Proves That God Exists
- Old Testament Law: A Lesson In God’s Nature Not Understood Today
- Are The Old Testament Laws Applicable Today?
- The Greatest And Most Astute Scholar In History Said That Jesus Is God And Messiah
- The Historical Documentation For Jesus’ Death And Resurrection
- The Death and Resurrection of the Messiah Predicted by the Old Testament
- If You Just Read The New Testament For Yourself, You Will See That It Is True
- How Peter Knew the Birth of Jesus Church Was a Fulfillment of Prophecy
- New Testament Evidence, Jesus is “Yahweh” of the Old Testament
- Principle Differences Between Jesus And All Other Gods And Religions
- These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death, And Resurrection Of Jesus
- How Faith And Evidence Work Together
Categories: Atheists, Agnostics and Skeptics, Contradictions in the Bible, Exegesis and Hermeneutics, Historical Validity of the New Testament, How The NT Writers Remembered, Jesus is God, Josephus as a credible witness, Literary authenticity of the New Testament, New Testament Criticism, New Testament Manuscripts, Reliability of the New Testament, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Secular sources for Jesus, Tacitus as a credible witness, The Creation of the Universe, The Existence of God, The Four Gospels, The Historical Crucifixion of Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Historicity of Jesus, What is required for Heaven?, You Are My Witnesses
Dear Mr. Robinson,
Thank you for this good essay.
What, therefore, is the agenda of atheists? What is it to them whether a person believes in God or not?
I believe they are engaged in the old selfish act of “featherbedding”.
The term “featherbedding” originally referred to any person who is pampered, coddled, or excessively rewarded. The term originated in the use of feathers to fill mattresses in beds, providing for more comfort.
Do they seek self-importance, attention, personal validation? Due they reap the reward of financial gain
and ego-satisfaction by being a notorious “thorn in the side”?. Are they playing “devil’s advocate” to appease their fiendish delight in getting people to question their own belief? Is this how they “get their rocks off” in this world.
I think so.
However, these people should make note of the fact that even the most brilliant people are often
blindsided by the obvious facts staring at their faces. Often a naivete exists in their minds without them
The Hindenburg is a good example. How could premier scientists fill a technologically advanced monstrosity like an airship with highly explosive gas? Were they oblivious to the fundamentals of chemistry or were they being deceitful in their practices for the sake of politics and economic gain (earthy lusts)?
Just like the Hindenburg, the rhetoric of the atheist will backfire on them as well.
Thank you, Steve. I always enjoy reading your comments and observations.
I have spent a lifetime studying the mind of the atheist. Having been one myself 46 years ago, I know a bit about this way of thinking.
I am writing a new book that will blow away the primary arguments against God. Frankly, I am surprised that atheists are even given a place in human thought. The entire premise is a ruse.
Dear Mr. Robinson,
Thank you for your response.
I have no doubt about your literary acumen to dismantle the arguments of atheists and scoffers.
Nonetheless, I bid you to keep in mind Proverb 9:7 which says:
“He who reproves a scorner gets to himself shame and he who rebukes a wicked mam gets himself a blot.” (KJV)
I did in-depth research on this verse and came to the conclusion that your effort to tackle scoffers rates as most admirable because of the ingenuity and exhaustive, comprehensive approach needed for rebuttal of the atheists’ position.
The backdrop to your efforts is your passionate desire to edify these people to salvation despite their implacable, resolutely defiant posture of disbelief in scripture, the Word of God. But your efforts may still fall on deaf ears and wind up a biblical “vanity” on your part save for the acknowledgement by God that you’ve upheld the commandment to spread the Gospel of Christ. For this you are to be commended.
Still, please remember, Mr. Robinson, that you cannot change the function of a horse’s rear end. The scoffer or atheist led to Jesus being crucified and Stephen being stoned to death. Perhaps God has these people as incorrigible as they are as part of His Salvation Plan. He has these people in place actually as a vehicle for the edification and solidification of the believers’ Faith.
So let these asses do what they may since fertilizer just may well be good for the earth.
Please reference my computer search “Bible Scripture: Planting Seeds In A Dunghill”. I was looking for what the Bible says about planting seeds of Faith in a dunghill (atheism). While the Bible did not say that atheism is synonymous with dunghills, we do find related ideas:
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.
“Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
I Samuel 2:8
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.
Finally, please let me know the title of your new book and where I can get it.
I wholeheartedly agree with your observations regarding the atheist, the scoffer, the critic of Jesus and the Bible.
It is also true that God has appointed some to defend the Gospel, as Jude and Paul wrote. It is with an understanding that the reason the scoffer cannot understand the things of God, is because he is outside God, lacking the Spirit of God within him.
I know, when I write to the scoffer, that they will not likely listen to me, or anyone else who tries to tell them the truth. I also know that there are many watching or listening to the conversation who can believe, or already believe, and they need to see how to defend the Gospel when they are confronted.
It should also be understood that simply because someone first presents themselves as as scoffer, it does not necessarily mean they are beyond redemption. Faith comes by hearing the word of God.
I was myself an atheist 46 years ago, and it was by reading the words of Jesus that I became a believer. If we don’t tell them, they may not hear the truth and respond. The process of planting the seed of God’s word, others coming to water the word, another to harvest the word, requires the first step, planting.
If we find a person is persistently resistant to our attempts at reasoning with them from the scriptures, then we can shake the dust from our feet and move on to the next person whom we can witness to about Jesus.
Thank you again for your thoughtful observations…