Are the New Testament Accounts of Jesus Reliable?

How do we know that the words we read about Jesus in the New Testament are reliable?  Can we actually trace the manuscript evidence back through the centuries and determine what the original writings said?

The answer from the science of textual criticism is, “Yes,” but only if there are enough ancient manuscripts dating to within a few generations of when the originals were composed.  The Scholars studying ancient literature have devised a three-part test that looks at not only the faithfulness of the copy but also the credibility of the authors.  The tests are these:[1]

1. The bibliographical test

2. The internal evidence test

3. The external evidence test

Let’s see what happens when we apply the first of these tests to the early copies of New Testament manuscripts. [Read more…]

The Discovery of the Century?

News alert! The BBC reports that about 70 lead tablets discovered in a north Jordanian cave between 2005 and 2007 may reveal clues about Jesus and his resurrection.[1] If authentic, they would be the oldest recorded documents yet discovered about Jesus Christ.

According to the BBC article, “the director of the Jordan’s Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion. ‘They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ says Mr Saad.”[2] [Read more…]

“The Bible’s Buried Secrets” Exposed

Has the discovery of an ancient pottery shard in excavations near Jerusalem, undone the sensational claims of a PBS documentary entitled, “The Bible’s Buried Secrets”?

In that documentary, PBS shockingly concludes that the Hebrew Bible was written hundreds of years after Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and David. It cites scholars who state that the Bible couldn’t have been written until the 6th century BC because the Hebrew language hadn’t been developed until then.

[Read more…]

Are There Secret Writings About Jesus?

In 1945 a discovery was made in Upper Egypt, near the town of Nag Hammadi. Fifty-two copies of ancient writings, called the Gnostic gospels were found in 13 leather-bound papyrus codices (handwritten books). They were written in Coptic and belonged to a library in a monastery.

A few Gnostic scholars have gone so far as to assert that these recently discovered writings are the authentic history of Jesus instead of the New Testament. But does their faith in these documents square with the historical evidence? Let’s take a deeper look to see if we can separate truth from fiction. (read more)