Merry Christmas from Newsweek!

by Allen Hainline

As has become common around Christian holidays, another media outlet has issued what I think can rightly be called an attack piece. Newsweek rolled out a cover story for this week’s edition that attacks the Bible and the warrant for trusting that we even know what it says as well as its content:

http://www.newsweek.com/2015/01/02/thats-not-what-bible-says-294018.html

I’m all for free speech and critiquing all viewpoints including religious ones but this article makes egregious factual errors. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, a world-renowned expert on early manuscripts of the New Testament (and shown in this picture), has responded to this article by pointing out numerous mistakes and some key omissions that make it quite misleading:

Predictable Christmas fare: Newsweek’s Tirade against the Bible

I’ve had the honor of getting acquainted with Dan the last couple of years as I’ve become involved in the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts which he founded. This organization is doing incredibly important work to combat the kind of misconceptions propagated by this Newsweek article. Check out their web site to see how they’re digitizing early New Testament manuscripts and along the way even discovering new

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documents that are confirming our confidence in the transmission of these Biblical texts. I’ve found Dan to be fair-minded, incredibly knowledgeable, and sacrificially committed to the noble task of learning as much as we can from the earliest Greek texts of the New Testament books.

Here is a sampling of some of Wallace’s corrections but I recommend that you read his entire article:

Newsweek: “At best, we’ve all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.”

Wallace: “This is rhetorical flair run amok so badly that it gives hyperbole a bad name. A “translation of translations of translations” would mean, at a minimum, that we are dealing with a translation that is at least three languages removed from the original. But the first translation is at best a translation of a fourth generation copy in the original language. Now, I’m ignoring completely his last line—“and on and on, hundreds of times”—a line that is completely devoid of any resemblance to reality. Is it really true that we only have access to third generation translations from fourth generation Greek manuscripts? Hardly…

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Merry Christmas from Newsweek! | Cross Examined