Rapid Response: “You Can’t Trust the Gospels Because They Were Written by Christians”

by J Warner Wallace

In our Rapid Response series, we tackle common concerns about (and objections to) the Christian worldview by providing short, conversational responses. These posts are designed to model what our answers might look like in a one-on-one setting, while talking to a friend or family member. Imagine if someone said, “I can’t trust what the New Testament says about Jesus: after all, it was written by biased Christians. I can only believe what’s been written by ancient nonChristians, and they don’t say much about Jesus.” How would you answer such an objection? Here is a conversational example of how I recently responded:

“When I hear someone demand an ancient non-Christian authority, I immediately recognize the objection for what it is: a complaint about the historical reliability of the Gospels. Some skeptics think you can’t trust the New Testament because it was written by people who were friends of Jesus. They assume those who were close to Jesus would lie about (or exaggerate) the details of his life and ministry. But the Gospel accounts have to be assessed based on their own historical merit, and we have to remember the nature of their authors. Let me give you an example from a case I worked many years ago.

I once investigated a bank robbery in which the robber waited in line prior to committing the crime. As he stood there, he was recognized by the assistant manager (Kathy) who was sitting at a desk. She went to high school with this guy (for the sake of my illustration, let’s call him ‘Mark Hill’). The assistant manager thought, ‘I’ll say hello to him,’ but before she could approach him, he walked up to the teller and began committing the robbery. Mark never even noticed Kathy was in the bank…

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Rapid Response: “You Can’t Trust the Gospels Because They Were Written by Christians” | Cold Case Christianity