Did you know that many popular books, essays, and commentaries written about the New Testament, come from atheists and progressive scholars?
If the New Testament scholars you rely on do not believe the narratives about Jesus are historical, eyewitness, and factual, you are reading the opinions of atheists and progressives, not genuine Spirit-led commentary. Reject the opinions of people; trust the texts of the New Testament. All of the narratives about Jesus in the 260 chapters of the New Testament are true. There is no evidence anywhere that what was written about Jesus early in the first century, is not true.
Impeaching The 21 Primary Arguments of Atheist And Progressive New Testament Scholars
We live in a modern age where reliable biblical scholarship is often deceptive and untrue. In former times people attended university and obtained a degree in biblical studies for the purpose of teaching the truth of the New Testament. Beginning in the eighteenth century, 1,700 years after the books of the New Testament were written and confirmed, a new group emerged who have devious intentions.
Atheist and Progressive New Testament Scholars, Do Not Believe The Majority of the Bible Is True
Why would a person who doesn’t believe God exists, or that the Bible is true, want to obtain a PhD in biblical studies? This is the tactic of atheists who want to destroy the credibility of the Bible. Gain a PhD so that people trust your opinions, and use this authority to cause doubts regarding the existence of God and what the Bible says about Him.
If you read the published works of modern New Testament scholars who are also atheists and progressives, you will quickly notice that what you are seeing are the opinions of these persons. There is little to no evidence to prove that any part of the New Testament is not true. From the basis that God doesn’t exist and the miracles described for Jesus are impossible, these atheist and progressive scholars often assert that the narratives about Jesus were fabricated. They say that men who never saw Jesus, wrote these texts, late in the first century.
The Koine-Greek word, “atheoi” αθεοι,” ‘without God.‘
“You were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” ~Ephesians 2:12
Here’s the problem: there is absolutely no evidence anywhere the writers are not eyewitnesses, or the texts were written late in the first century. This is a ploy of ubbelieving scholars to try and discredit the New Testament.
In confirming any texts of antiquity for their historical reliability, the first place we investigate is the actual texts that come from antiquity. Regarding the New Testament, any intelligent person who simply reads these texts apart from the opinions of critics, discovers that there are 203 eyewitness statements by the writers of the New Testament, who say they saw and heard what they wrote.
The writers of the New Testament clearly state that they wrote these accounts immediately after Jesus was crucified, and rose from the dead. They say that Jesus had instructed them to record what they saw because He was specifically calling them to be His witnesses of all that He said and did. Jesus told these men that the Old Testament prophets had recorded 400 Messianic Prophecies about Him, which He fulfilled in their seeing. Jesus said these Old Testament prophets also wrote that the men who see the Messiah, will write their testimony and send it out to the world.
Jesus said: “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 1:8
Jesus said: “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.” ~John 9:4
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Were The Gospels Written By Eyewitnesses?
- Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?
When a person reads a bestselling book by an atheist of progressive New Testament scholar who claims the texts about Jesus are not true and reliable, they do this by their opinions, not by evidence.
Have you ever read a book by Bart Ehrman? He claims that he was once an evangelical Christian, but learned by his education, that the New Testament is a fabrication. In his books, which I have personally read a majority of, Ehrman makes hundreds of comments that assert the writers of the New Testament embellished and fabricated the stories about Jesus.
You will notices that these statements come by way of his personal opinion as an atheist, not as provable facts that are supported by evidence. Ehrman says he lost his faith in the God of the Bible while at college, and from his unbelief he writes to tell people the truth about the texts of the New Testament.
Bart Ehrman is considered an authority on the New Testament. He is a New York Times Bestselling Author. Millions of atheists and progressive Christians cite his books as their authority to disprove the New Testament. A majority of people don’t know that Ehrman is lying. His opinions are accepted as truth, rather than demanding that he prove what he says by evidence.
Here is what the actual historical evidence proves about the New Testament: These texts were written by men who saw Jesus, and they wrote what they saw and heard, in the 260 chapters that comprise our modern New Testament. There is no evidence anywhere that these texts are not written by eyewitnesses, because the texts themselves say the writers saw what they record:
Were The Gospels Written By Eyewitnesses?
The Writers of the New Testament Say They Are Eyewitnesses
If we conduct a personal investigation concerning the Canonical Gospels of the New Testament, we quickly discern that we are reading testimony from men who were present when Jesus said and did the things recorded in these texts. These men state repeatedly that they saw and heard Jesus and there is no ambiguity in what they meant:
- Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?
- Peter: 1 Peter 1:16: “We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes.”
- John: 1 John 1:1:”We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands.”
- James, Paul, all the Apostles: 1 Corinthians 15:7: “Then Jesus was seen alive by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”
- Mary Magdalene: John 20:18: “Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!”
- Peter: Acts 5:29-32: “But Peter and the apostles replied… We are witnesses of these things…”
- John: 1 John 1:2-3: “This 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.
See The 203 Eyewitness Statements In The New Testament
If you are a student of the New Testament you will often hear the terms: “Primary and Secondary Sources,” used in reference to Biblical Criticism. In order to verify the veracity of the New Testament, some scholars use these two sources in their evaluation of whether or not we can rely upon the texts which describe Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
If we believe the New Testament is what it claims to be: a historical record of eyewitness testimony from the men who saw and heard Jesus, this is our Primary Source to prove reliability. If the New Testament is our Primary Source, we do not require any secondary, secular, or non-biblical sources, to confirm the texts of the New Testament. Can we prove the Bible by the Bible?
- The evidence of the 24,593 extant manuscript copies for the New Testament.
- The Old Testament scriptures which confirm Jesus as the Messiah.
- The written testimony of the men who saw and heard Jesus.
- The command of Jesus to write a record of all they had seen and send it to the world.
- The testimony of Paul who saw Jesus on the Road to Damascus and believed.
- Paul’s missionary journeys to Asia Minor, recorded in Acts.
- Paul’s subsequent letters that confirm Jesus’ claim to be God, miracles as evidence, crucifixion and resurrection.
- The secular records of the Romans and Jews who describe Jesus in Jerusalem during the same period that the New Testament places Him there.
People who do not believe the extant record of New Testament manuscript evidence is proof that Jesus said and did all that these documents describe, seek to use outside, or secondary sources to diminish the authority of the New Testament.
- The assertion that the writers of the New Testament were not eyewitnesses who wrote these texts immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- The assertion that the texts we find in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, borrowed from unknown documents: Critics refer to the material only found in Matthew and Luke as the “double tradition,” also known as Q. Text that is distinctively located in Matthew is described as the M tradition. Text found uniquely in Luke is described as the L tradition. See, “The Synoptic Problem.”
- The assertion that the four Gospels are a fictional romance-type novel, as Pervo and MacDonald assert.
It is my opinion, and the opinions of many other Christian scholars, that the New Testament is sufficient, exculpatory evidence to impeach fraud, historical in nature, and written by men who saw Jesus or dictated their eyewitness testimony to scribes who recorded their testimony. For these reasons we do not require secondary sources—which have as their basis—the idea that the extant manuscripts for the New Testament are not truthful, accurate, or reliable.
These false assertions exist only in the minds of atheist and progressive scholars who seek to impugn the reliability of the New Testament. If the New Testament was unable to prove its historical eyewitness foundation, we might need to look for other secondary sources. As the New Testament also relies upon a substantial part of the Old Testament for its citations to events Jesus is described as fulfilling from the Old Testament prophets, this becomes a reliable secondary source to verify the New Testament.
See the 400 Messianic Prophecies Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament
Primary Source Evidence For Confirmation Of The New Testament
The Primary Source for the New Testament is the extant manuscript evidence itself. Today we have the largest, earliest, surviving manuscript evidence to validate the texts of the New Testament, of any event in antiquity. Several years ago I compiled a list of 24,593 manuscript copies that exist for the New Testament.
Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?
Bart Ehrman is considered by many as one of the world’s most preeminent New Testament scholars. The problem is that Ehrman doesn’t believe the New Testament is true, that God exists, or that the writers of the New Testament have told us the truth about Jesus. The problem with Bart Ehrman is that he rarely presents any evidence to support his suppositions and criticisms of the New Testament. What we do find when reading the books and essays written by Ehrman, are his opinions about the New Testament. These are not scholarly, evidentiary conclusions, but personal beliefs as an atheist.
We might ask why a man would seek to obtain a Phd and become a New Testament scholar, if he doesn’t believe God exists in the first place? The answer is quite obvious. There is tremendous academic and financial recognition for anyone who claims to be a former evangelical Christian, and is now an atheist. Bart Ehrman achieved international acclaim and became a very wealthy man by assuming this role for himself.
- Impeaching Bart Ehrman
- Impeaching Dr. Josh Bowen And The Atheist Handbook To The Old Testament;
- Essays Impeaching Yale Professor Joel Badens Assertions on the Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch
- Proving The Pentateuch: Impeaching The Documentary Hypothesis
If we conduct a personal examination of the persons who are held up as critical scholars, we learn that many are atheists who do not believe God exists, or that the Bible is true. It is not difficult to imagine why a person who doesn’t believe in God, would want to acquire an advanced education that would enable them to be recognized as a New Testament scholar. The adversaries of Jesus and His Gospel have used many tactics in order to try and impeach His death and resurrection. Peter spoke of these false teachers who spread lies.
But there were also false prophets in Israel (then), just as there will be false teachers among you (now). ~2 Peter 2:1
There are many like Bart Ehrman who freely admit they are an atheist, and don’t believe the New Testament, while asking us to believe them when they assure us that the New Testament is not a reliable narrative of Jesus. Would you go to a doctor who told you ahead of time that he doesn’t believe in medicine? Why would anyone believe a Biblical scholar who does not believe the Bible, or that God exists?
New Testament Scholarship is not biased, but many New Testament Scholars are. Every human being is capable of cognitive prejudice. People tend to choose their preferred conclusions, and then justify their choices by fallacious reasoning.
Bart Ehrman has over 30 books currently for sale on Amazon. With four New York Times Bestsellers, Dr. Ehrman is described as having a net worth between two and eight million dollars.
Who Is Qualified To Be A Biblical Scholar?
Although Ehrman defines himself as an atheist, it is unclear why he would seek to achieve a doctorate in Divinity only to use his education to refute and discredit Jesus. The entire point of gaining knowledge of the Bible is to be able to communicate the truth of who Jesus is to the world.
What we discover about atheist scholars is that their views of the Bible is skewed by their idea that God doesn’t exist. You might be surprised to learn that atheist New Testament scholars don’t study the actual texts of the New Testament to learn what it says; they study each other and the secular literary methods that are currently being used to try and impeach the New Testament.
Modern scholars often use methods known as “textual, source, form,” and “literary criticism,” in evaluating the New Testament. Unfortunately, these modern methods do not add to our knowledge of the scriptures, they detract and often confuse the texts. These modern methods of interpreting the New Testament were allegedly created to help us understand the New Testament narratives, but they do not accomplish this goal. The methods used by these modern processes, compare the New Testament texts with other ancient works of literature in order to determine whether or not they should be considered reliable.
Simply Because A Person Says They Are A Christian Scholar, Does Not Mean They Are A Christian, Or A Scholar
If a person cites, “a Christian scholar,” and this scholar denies that the New Testament narratives about Jesus are true, this is not a Christian scholar, this is a “Progressive Christian scholar.” There are many who say they are a Christian, but deny the Christ of the Bible.
Jesus and the New Testament define a genuine Christian by a, “Yes answer,” to the preceding seven questions. Modern Progressive Scholars do not believe the above essentials that Jesus stated a person must believe, or they are not His followers; not born again; do not have eternal life; do not have the Holy Spirit; cannot understand the Bible.
Who Is Qualified To Be A Biblical Scholar?
Everything that results from the false and inaccurate premise of the modern atheist scholar, permits the thousands of errors that these atheist scholars publish each year, deceiving unknowing readers. Errors that a majority of people are not aware of.
 The Gospels Are Written As Ancient Fiction: The hypothesis of Richard Pervo and Dennis MacDonald who claim that the New Testament is nothing more than a fictional Greco-Roman novel.
First, the idea of Richard Pervo that the four Gospels are a romance-novel.[a] A second hypothesis by Dennis MacDonald that the text of the four Gospels are nothing more than an epic-novel.[b]
Richard Ivan Pervo was an American Biblical scholar, former Episcopalian priest, and Fellow of the Westar Institute with a Th.D. In 2001, Pervo was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography and sentenced to prison where he continued to write and publish.
Dennis Ronald MacDonald is the John Wesley Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Claremont School of Theology in California with a PhD from Harvard. MacDonald’s primary method for determining that the four Gospels are fictional novels is called, Mimesis. This method of literary criticism looks for similarities in texts as the sole basis for determining whether two texts are fictional.
MacDonald ignores the actual New Testament text itself which states it is written for the purpose of giving the reader a historical narrative of true events. These statements are supported by the entire Old Testament, written 1,450 years before, which also states that a Messiah will come to earth who will do precisely what Jesus said and did. If MacDonald was truly searching for similar texts to confirm the purpose of the New Testament, why didn’t he use the Old Testament instead of known fictional ancient texts from completely non related sources? The answer is obvious; his agenda was to impugn Jesus and cause the reader to not believe that He is God or Messiah.
The Gospels As Romance Novels
Pervo builds his entire idea upon conjecture and speculation since there is absolutely no evidence within the text of the New Testament, nor from any other religious or secular source to support this hypothesis. It is important to know that, like Ehrman, both Pervo and MacDonald expect us to believe them because they are experts, not because they have presented any evidence which validates their claims.
Pervo and MacDonald are two “experts” that many atheists will present to you as examples that the New Testament is not reliable, when the evidence of the New Testament text itself is presented as proof that these narratives are historical, reliable representations of actual eyewitnesses who are writing about genuine events.
Pervo believes that the four Gospels were written as ancient romance novels primarily because of his personal analysis of the book of Acts and its connection with Luke’s Gospel.
Pervo’s primary assertion is centered on his belief that the historical references in the Book of Acts are filled with inaccuracies. Second, that the references to the miraculous events in these texts makes them certainly fictional.
The problems with Pervo’s acute analysis is obvious. One, these errors of assumption that the Book of Acts contains historical errors in the the details it describes, is impeached by archeological evidence from other scholars. The idea that Acts is inaccurate is quite easily to impeached by a simple examination of the findings of those who have actually traveled to Asia Minor and tested whether the words of Luke are true.
Pervo Impeached By Ramsay
One of the world’s greatest archeologists and historians is Sir William Ramsay.
Notice how Dr. Ramsay describes the accuracy and detail of Luke’s historical references, as being without a single error.
“I began with a mind unfavorable to (the accuracy of the New Testament) but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually born upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.”[c]
Dr. Ramsay believed, at the onset, that the accounts described in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were inaccurate. Over 100 years ago he undertook an expedition to Asia, to try and refute the New Testament, only to become so overwhelmed by the evidence that he became a follower of Jesus Christ.
“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”[d]
Why The New Testament Is a Valid Historical Narrative
Archeological Accuracy Points To Literary Accuracy
Since Luke’s description of cities, names, places, and customs are perfect in their historical accuracy, it is certain that the accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are also accurate and reliable.
The fact that Luke has been confirmed as a scholarly historian of specific details regarding the history of the first century, it is certain that he also recorded the specific events of Jesus’ ministry with the same precision. Luke’s integrity as a historical scholar demands that we accept, with confidence, his testimony of Jesus’ resurrection, which is the foundation of the entire Christian church.
One of the criticisms of Luke’s account of Jesus’ life is found in his description of the census that, he says, was ordered by Caesar Augustus.
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Luke 2:1-3
Because no previous archeological discovery had ever verified that such a census took place, Luke was regarded as having embellished this story. A later discovery regarding the taxes of the kingdom of the Roman government revealed that the taxpayers were enrolled every 14 years by the use of a census. Archeology has uncovered facts that verify Caesar Augustus did conduct the precise census described during the period of time Luke specified, near the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.[e]
Further, an inscription discovered in Antioch describes Quirinius in 7 B.C., who was the governor of Syria on two occasions—7 B.C. and 6 A.D.—a fact that is confirmed by the Jewish historian Josephus.[f]
An archeological discovery in Egypt uncovered a Papyrus that specifically describes the details of this census spoken of by Luke, under Caesar Augustus:
“Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing for any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”[g]
In his book, Archeological Confirmation of the New Testament, Dr. F. F. Bruce describes a problem that was present in Luke’s description of the Tetrarch of Abilene in Luke 3:1.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene… Luke 3:1
Previously, there was no record of anyone called “Lysanias” as the tetrarch of Abilene during the time Luke specified that he was there. In recent history, an archeological discovery made in Damascus, Syria describes a person called the “Freedman of Lysanias the Tetrarch.” Scholars date this inscription between 14 A.D. and 29 A.D.[h] This is the same period of time in which Luke had written in his gospel, describing Lysanias.
An interesting discovery in 1910 by Sir William Ramsay debunked the secular record of Cicero of the Romans, who described Iconium as being in Lycaonia. Luke describes Lystra and Derbe as being in Lycaonia.
They became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. Acts 14:6
This secular record was erroneously held as more reliable and accurate than the Biblical record in past history. Today we know that the Bible was correct all along. This continues to be a common error that is frequently repeated today. The facts bearing witness—the Bible is always right in matters of history, and the secular record is consistently wrong. This truth has been confirmed by archeological discoveries over the entire course of human history all over the world.
Other noted scholars such as Dr. Adrian Nicholas Sherwin-White, a British historian and scholar regarding Ancient Rome, wrote his doctoral thesis on the treatment of the New Testament from the point of view of Roman law and society.
Dr. Sherwin-White said this regarding the work of Dr. Ramsay’s conclusions on the Book of Acts:
“Any attempt to reject its (the New Testament’s) basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.”[i]
Dr. Sherwin-White examined the records of Rome and concluded that their own history proved the narrative of the New Testament scriptures regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.[j]
Of all four gospel writers, Luke exhibits the greatest precision in recording specific details. This has allowed for the verification of every statement Luke has made in his account of Jesus. As a result of Luke’s meticulous record and the verification of his writing as accurate and reliable, we have great confidence—as the readers of this gospel—that it is true. When a man takes the time to ensure that everything he writes is accurate, we can be certain that even events which seem unlikely to us are truthful. Because Luke is classified as a scholarly historian by accomplished experts, we can have great confidence that his accounts of Jesus’ resurrection are also truthful.
With Luke, we find that every word he recorded for us, regarding the specific events in which he was writing, are true. Integrity is a quality a person either has, or they don’t have. Luke’s integrity as a historian is unparalleled amongst the writers of the New Testament. Although all the men who penned the pages of scripture, which are in our Bible today, were men of honor, integrity, and honesty, Luke exceeds every standard of excellence.
If a man tells the truth about the smallest details, he can be relied upon when he describes magnificent details. If Luke exercised such honesty in preserving the details of his gospel, we can also trust that what he said about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is also a true account.
Contrary to the claims of modern atheist, Richard Pervo that the New Testament is nothing more than an ancient romance novel, his conclusions are easily impeached by evidence. This is a man that is often quoted as a notable Biblical Scholar with a Doctorate degree, yet all of his conclusions are inaccurate.
MacDonald’s Assertion That The Gospels Were Written As An Epic Novel
Ph.D, Dennis MacDonald, who graduated from Harvard University, presents the idea that the Gospels were written as fiction, not as historically accurate events. MacDonald states that his examination of the four Gospels has led him to conclude that in comparison to Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, the writing style of the New Testament is very similar.
MacDonald states: “Mark was “not writing a historical biography . . . but a novel, a prose anti-epic of sorts.”[k]. Macdonald also concludes that like the work of Homer, the New Testament Gospels are intended as inspiring myths.[l]
Robert McNair Price is an American theologian with a Ph.D is Systematic Theology who argues that Jesus is not a historical person, and the New Testament is not true because it cannot be confirmed by any secular sources. Robert Price, concludes that MacDonald’s work convincingly demonstrates that Homer was a “major source” for the Gospel authors, particularly Mark and Luke.
The New Testament Can Be Confirmed By Secular Citations
The problems that exists for both MacDonald and Price, is that they rely primarily upon personal opinions in suggesting their conclusions. This becomes a tremendous problem in that the New Testament exists today by 24,593 surviving manuscript copies, greater than any other religious or secular manuscripts in existence.
The text of these surviving documents speak for themselves. Anyone who actually studies the narratives of the New Testament can immediately see that they are not written in the style of a novel or in the manner of Homer or any other ancient narratives. The New Testament consists of 27 letters written between real persons with genuine evidence of honest conversations.
Notice the the text from 2 Corinthians chapter 1 as Paul is communicating with persons at Corinth:
“This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. I am writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all of his holy people throughout Greece…
Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, even if you don’t understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.
Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice—first on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia. Then you could send me on my way to Judea.
You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke. But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm. ~2 Corinthians 1:13-24
This text is classic evidence of personal letters between persons. In the body of evidence that one can draw from in ancient literature, personal letters are never contrived and then used as myths or as biographical.
The entire body of the New Testament consists of these letters, many of which, are written by Paul while in prison. They are written with a style that makes them impossible to be contrived, unthinkable as a novel.
If any person would read these texts from the New Testament for themselves, they would immediately realize these letters are nothing like other ancient novels or prose that MacDonald argues. The manner in which the entire New Testament is constructed is absolutely credible and bears no classic marks of embellishment or falsity.
The narratives of the New Testament are also unique in that they rely heavily upon the text of the Old Testament. Everything that Jesus said and did, is supported by over 400 Hebrew prophecies which Jesus clearly sought to fulfill. When we examine the timeline narrative of the New Testament, we see that Jesus never went anywhere or said anything, that He was not seeking to fulfill the texts of the Old Testament that were written for the Messiah.
The similarity in writing that is proven by actual evidence is from the text of the Old Testament which contains the 400 Messianic Prophecies that the New Testament consistently quotes from, throughout all 27 letters of the New Testament.
This evidence from the Old Testament scriptures makes it impossible that the narratives of the New Testament were written as fictional novels or after the model of Homer. Anyone who really studies the actual text of the New Testament can see this for themselves and very quickly understands that MacDonald’s hypothesis is not correct.
[a] MacDonald, Dennis R. (1983). The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664244644. OCLC 8975344.,The Acts of Andrew and the Acts of Andrew and Matthias in the city of the cannibals. Texts and translations. 33. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. ISBN 9781555404925. OCLC 21950803., Christianizing Homer: “The Odyssey,” Plato, and “The Acts of Andrew”. Oxford, UK & New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508722-2. OCLC 473473966.
[b] William M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 1982, page 8
[c] William M. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915, page 222
[d] .John Elder, “Prophets, Idols and Diggers.” Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960. Pages 159, 160
[e]Joseph Free,. “Archaeology and Bible History.” Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, 1969, Page 285
[f] Elder, John. Prophets, Idols and Diggers. Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960, Page 160
[g] 1.Elder, John. Prophets, Idols and Diggers. Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960, Pages 159, 160 2.Free, Joseph. Archaeology and Bible History. Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, 1969, page 285
[h]F. F. Bruce, “Archaeological Confirmation of the New Testament.” Revelation and the Bible. Edited by Carl Henry. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1969. Page 321
[i] Adrian Nicholas Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 1963, page 189
[j] Tacitus’ characterization of “Christian abominations” may have been based on the rumors in Rome that during the Eucharist rituals Christians ate the body and drank the blood of their God, interpreting the symbolic ritual as cannibalism by Christians. References: Ancient Rome by William E. Dunstan 2010 ISBN 0-7425-6833-4 page 293 and An introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity by Delbert Royce Burkett 2002 ISBN 0-521-00720-8 page 485.
[k] Eddy, Paul Rhodes. The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition (p. 340). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
[l] Eddy, Paul Rhodes. The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition (p. 334). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson
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