Testing the Historical Reliability of the New Testament
by Sheri Bell
Vetted for Historical Reliability, the Bible Stands Strong
Welcome to our ninth blog post in this series focusing on the topic of apologetics! If you’d like to catch up from the start, here’s the link to the first blog we posted: Apologetics: Apologizing for Believing in God?.
Apologetics — the defense of Christianity — is not about our apologizing for our Christian beliefs, but rather our sharing of the plethora of historical evidence that confirms the Bible’s validity — and, thus, Christ’s claims. We can all be confident apologists!
No more replying, “I don’t know if there’s evidence for that.” (Armed with facts, you’ll quickly find that most critics can’t substantiate their dismissal of the Bible. Now’s your chance to have a respectful, impactful conversation about the truth of the Gospel.)
To further your growing knowledge, let’s look at the bibliographical test, which scholars employ to determine the historical reliability of any and all ancient literature, including the New Testament.
The bibliographical test looks at manuscript transmission — how documents reach us. As scholars do not have the original documents of the Scriptures, they have had to determine if the existing (extant) copies of the originals are reliable The greater the number of copies, and the earlier their dating, the easier it is to reconstruct a text closer to the original and identify errors or discrepancies in subsequent copies…
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