(9 min read; 2,307 words)
The referenced post was written Peter Saunders, CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organization with 4,500 UK doctors and 1,000 medical students as members.
The earliest undisputed manuscript of a New Testament book is the John Rylands papyrus (p52) (pictured above), dated from 117 to 138. This fragment of John’s gospel survives from within a generation of composition. Since the book was composed in Asia Minor and this fragment was found in Egypt, some circulation time is demanded, surely placing composition of John within the first century. Whole books (Bodmer Papyri) are available from 200.
Most of the New Testament, including all the gospels, is available in the Chester Beatty Papyri manuscript from 150 years after the New Testament was finished (ca. 250).
No other book from the ancient world has as small a time gap between composition and earliest manuscript copies as the New Testament.
Michael Kruger gives a brief but moving personal testimony of his faith in the historical reliability of the New Testament…in the face of great skepticism from Bart Ehrman.
I think the writer here is Eric Chabot. In any case, he is focused on the genre of the gospels. In the conclusion, he writes:
It is my hope that more people will take the time to look at the genre of the books of the Bible and actually attempt to know what it is they are trying to interpret. While this may be a challenge for some people, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
The post is replete with facts and sources relevant to understaning the genre (literary framework) through which the gospel writers deliver their message.
Although there are many portions of this post that are worthy of excerpting, here is one that is particularly pithy [emphasis added]:
Michael Bird has recently noted that the content of the Gospels is singularly determined by Jewish Christian content, while the literary form of the Gospels is a clear sub-type of Graeco-Roman biography.
(8 min read; 2,020 words)
You can find more about and from Jim Wallace at www.coldcasechristianity.com.
Bill Craig responds to the question “Who wrote the Gospels?” by saying that it is a secondary matter.
(9 min read; 2,300 words)
Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions was published in April 2014. There are six chapters in it. The first two chapters are on the New Testament text, canon, and translation respectively.
- Aren’t the Copies of the Bible Hopelessly Corrupt?
- Wasn’t the Selection of Books for the Canon Just Political?
- Can We Trust Any of Our Translations of the Bible?
- Don’t These Issues Rule Out Biblical Inerrancy?
- Aren’t Several Narrative Genres of the Bible Unhistorical?
- Don’t All the Miracles Make the Bible Mythical?
As you may have surmised, Blomberg has framed his chapter titles as challenges to the position he defends.
Nick Peters of the Deeper Waters podcast (on-demand radio) interviewed Blomberg about this book on April 26, 2014. The episode takes its title from the book “Can We Still Believe the Bible?” Peters’ show last two hours and is divided into six 20-minute segments. They spent one segment on each of the six chapters. Therefore, you can get the material on text and canon in the first 40 minutes. To listen to the podcast, find the date and title of the episode on this list: Deeper Waters Podcast Schedule
Nick Peters’ blurb about this podcast episode:
Join us this Saturday as Craig Blomberg comes on to talk about his newest book “Can We Still Believe The Bible?” We’ll be discussing the text of the Bible, questions about what books made it into the canon and what books didn’t, questions about why there are so many translations of the Bible, how it is that a Christian should understand the topic of Inerrancy, how genre consideration plays into our understanding of the Gospels, and finally whether the Bible can be believed since it contains miracles in it.
Michael Patton of Parchment and Pen (a blog) wrote “Christianity, the World’s Most Falsifiable Religion.” (He means this description, by the way, as a compliment.) Here’s how he begins the post:
…[T]he more I research, the more I find it to be the case that Christianity is the only viable worldview that is historically defensible. The central claims of the Bible demand historic inquiry, as they are based on public events that can be historically verified. In contrast, the central claims of all other religions cannot be historically tested and, therefore, are beyond falsifiability or inquiry. They just have to be believed with blind faith.
(4 minute read; 853 words)
One of today’s urban myths is that antiquity is filled with myths of dying and rising gods of which Christianity was just a copy-cat formulation. In less than two minutes, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig sets the record straight.
(ht: Stephen J. Bedard at Hope’s Reason)