Unique Evidence for the New Testament: Interview with Lydia McGrew about “Unintended Coincidences”

by Sean McDowell

Lydia McGrew has written a fascinating book in defense of the reliability of the New Testament called Hidden in Plain View, which officially releases March 1. I first heard about it because she gave me the privilege of endorsing it along with William Lane Craig, J. Warner Wallace, Craig Keener, and others. To be honest, I was blown away with her reasoning and conclusions. Even though I have been studying apologetics for over two decades, her approach in this book was new to me. My father and I were so impressed that we have included (with her permission) a small section from the book in the upcoming update of Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Fall, 2017).

Lydia was kind enough to briefly answer a few of my questions, as you can see below. Check out this interview, and–whether you are a skeptic or a believer–consider getting a copy of her excellent book and studying it carefully. She makes a fresh, unique, and weighty argument in favor of the reliability of the NT that deserves to be heard far and wide.

SEAN MCDOWELL: How did you come up with the idea of unintended coincidences as support for the reliability of the NT?

LYDIA MCGREW: I learned about it from my husband, Tim McGrew. He discovered the argument in old writers and has been reintroducing it through his lectures.

MCDOWELL: What is an unintended coincidence?

MCGREW: This is how I define it in the book: An undesigned coincidence is a notable connection between two or more accounts or texts that doesn’t seem to have been planned by the person or people giving the accounts. Despite their apparent independence, the items fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Undesigned coincidences are often best understood by examples…

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Unique Evidence for the New Testament: Interview with Lydia McGrew about “Unintended Coincidences”