We don’t measure the existence of the New Testament (NT) canon just by the existence of lists, which came somewhat later than the NT canon’s coming into existence. When we examine the way the NT books were viewed and used, we can determine the de facto existence of a functioning canon by about 100 CE.
This view is admittedly different than the traditional, or orthodox view of how the NT canon in particular, and the Bible as a whole came into acceptance. The view presented here stands in stark contrast to modern-day populist charlatans like the agnostic Bart Ehrman.read more
History says Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the books with those titles. People seem to have a highly variable standard in their assessment of what ancient writings are genuine, especially the Bible. What do we mean? Here is an example:
Most people accept Alexander the Great as a real historical figure. Yet, the two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written by Arrian and Plutarch more than 400 years after the Great One’s death 323 BCE. Legends about him developed centuries after these two writers. Alexander’s true, accurate is preserved for hundreds of years, prior to these legends.read more
The claim that Jesus rose from the dead is extraordinary. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. What is the strongest proof that Jesus was resurrected? Let’s start at the point of beginning, and work, or build from there.
This beginning point is that the universe, the earth, etc. very strongly witness to God’s existence as Creator. Psalm 19:1 says: “the heavens declare the glory of God.” (NIV)
Building on this is the text of the New Testament. It has been subjected to the most extreme scrutiny imaginable. This has resulted in the number one “Extraordinary Proof” of all time. This is the fact that the text of the New Testament in Koine Greek that we have today is verified as being 99.5% pure. That is 99.5% of the words are the same as originally written by writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul etc. What about the other 0.5% in which there is some doubt? These somewhat doubtful words do not affect any of the principles, truths or doctrines in the Bible. They are inconsequential of interest to some scholars, technicians, those who love trivia, etc. No other work from ancient times comes anywhere close to the New Testament textual integrity.read more
Different Resurrection Appearances are “Infallible Proofs” – Not Contradictions
Some have claimed the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection appearances in the four Gospels and 1 Corinthians are “proofs” these Bible books are riddled with errors and contradictions. If true, these would in turn “prove” the Bible not to be inspired of God, or infallible, as many Christians believe that it is.
The Bible itself says that these different resurrection appearances confirm the Bible’s inspiration by God.
“To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3 NKJV, emphasis added)read more
Witnesses of Jesus’ Execution, Burial, Empty Tomb and Resurrected State
Many non-believers do not doubt the existence of the historical Jesus. It is the miracles, and most importantly, his resurrection that they deny. But the Bible contains evidence that must be examined by any honest-hearted skeptic if they are truly open-minded enough to give it a fair chance. Let’s take a look at the witnesses to Jesus’ execution, burial, empty tomb, and resurrected state.
The placement of witnesses is very important in proving things. The Gospels and letters (such as 1 Corinthians) were all written independently. There were no “rules” such as requiring strict chronological listing of all witnesses of Jesus in his resurrected state. The writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and 1 Corinthians made true and accurate statements in their books. There are no false statements, even though there are divergences. Divergent accounts are not tantamount to contradictions, as some skeptics assert. In fact, virtually identical accounts would be highly suspect to be collusion.read more
Critics claim that the temple cleansing in the Gospel of John is either the same temple cleansing reported by the three Synoptics and/or is out of place and out of harmony with them, therefore constituting a contradiction in the Gospels. Below are listed a number of reasons why the temple cleansing in John is accurate and was performed by Jesus around the time of the first Passover after his baptism, which was probably about six months earlier. John clearly states in 20:31 and 21:25 that he was highly selective in his reporting on the events of Jesus’ life. The other three Gospel writers has already reported on the second temple cleansing. It seems fairly obvious that John was very familiar with these other three Gospels and quite possibly had copies of them in his possession as he wrote his fourth Gospel.read more
Why would Matthew, a tax collector, rely so much on Mark’s account? The answer? He didn’t. He was an eyewitness.
Matthew the Tax Collector
Matthew was presented as a tax collector – “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'” (Matthew 9:9-11)read more
Is the New Testament based on eyewitness testimony?
Is the New Testament based on eyewitness testimony? Let’s examine the Bible to find out.
“Draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses.” (Lk 1:1-2 NIV) The Bible writer Luke based his accounts on eyewitness testimony.
“You are eyewitnesses of these things.” (Lk 24:48 NIV) Jesus told his disciples they were eyewitnesses.
“This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.” (Jn 19:35 NLT) – Spoken by the Apostle John.read more