Tag Archives: new testament

Historical Reliability of the Bible Resources

I had the pleasure of speaking on the historical reliablity of the bible to the students at the Grace Centre for Urban Mission tonight. As usual, I was verbose and went longer than I should have – it’s a curse, I swear! None-the-less I really enjoyed myself. The questions that students had were great and I hope that I gave them some good reasons to believe that our bible is historically reliable.
Some of the questions that they had dealt with the Dead Sea Scrolls and the relationship to the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament. Sadly, I wasn’t as well versed on this issue and could only take them so far. So I thought, in case any of the students checked out my blog, that I would post some links:
Probably the place to start online research into the Dead Sea Scrolls is the Orion Center the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here you find everything you need to know. This is their introductory article to the Scrolls that should be read first.
A collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls texts is here if you want to delve more into key manuscripts.
A summary of the Hebrew bible is given at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog based upon G. Norton’s book, this is very useful.
In fact, any discussion of textual criticism (which we talked about tonight) really needs to have some reference to ETCblog. Check them out here.
Another good site regarding textual criticism is the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts run by Dan Wallace. I mentioned this to one of the students after the lecture.
A couple of good books on the subject of text criticism, Gnostic gospels, etc. Are:
Reinventing Jesus by Dan Wallace, Ed Komoszewski and James Sawyer (review). Sadly their website is no longer up.
The Missing Gospels by Darrell Bock. Introductory but not basic.
Judas and the Gospel of Jesus by N.T. Wright (review). Witty and informative – a great read.
As more resources come to mind, I’ll post them here. I hope they’re of use!
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The Case Against Q

Mark Goodacre is one of today’s top scholars writing against the gospel source document commonly called “Q.”
Here are ten reasons why Goodacre believes that Q is not a good hypothesis.
UPDATE: Michael Bird also shares his scepticism about Q.

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James White on the Reliability of the New Testament Text

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Codex Sinaiticus

Wow, this is a really neat website. Codex Sinaiticus is one of the oldest full manuscripts we have of the New Testament – it dates to the fourth century. It is housed in the British Library, but now the whole thing is being made available online. I have a picture of it at home, but I can barely make out the words (it’s a small picture – not a reflection of my Greek skills [which, well, ain’t great]). The website is still going through growing pains so you’ll have to keep checking it for more stuff.
[HT: Between Two Worlds]

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No More Commentaries???

Michael Jensen, who blogs at Blogging Parson, a blog I enjoy reading, has a provocative post on the use of Biblical commentaries. His is a plea to biblical theologians to stop writing them, or at least reduce their size to less than 250 pages! He also asks pastors to stop buying them, instead opting for a few classics (i.e. Calvin, Barth, Augustine).
It’s an interesting post, but I’m not sure I agree with him. I get his point, and he may be going to extremes just to get the idea across, but are commentaries that useless?
I just completed my first semester of New Testament exegesis. We studied Paul’s epistle to the Philippians to great profit. We translated, parsed, diagrammed and gave exegetical notes on the text. I really enjoyed it and learned alot. One of the great helps in learning was Peter O’Brien’s excellent commentary on Philippians (NIGTC), which was our course text. I also used Moises Silva’s helpful little (under 250 pages) commentary. In the process I could see the tremendous value in having such men as my guide. Although I was dealing with the text myself, I had the benefit of them spurring me along, pointing me to interesting options and offering opinions on the text.
I do agree that we need to spend more time in the original text and in prayer, but should we sell all of our commentaries? I don’t think so. We should be careful in our choices, that’s why little books like the one by D. A. Carson on choosing commentaries is indispensable.
So, read Jensen’s thought provoking post and take to heart the criticism of over-reliance on commentaries, but let’s not throw them all out (even Doug Moo on Romans, whom Jensen doesn’t care for much!).

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Ignite the Tinder

I am currently studying for my New Testament Theology exam that I will write tomorrow morning. One of the questions that will likely be on it will have to do with the “Jesus of History” and “Christ of Faith.” My notes were inadequate on it, and the books on my shelf didn’t really help – so it took to the internet. In my heavy research (ie. Google), I came across this excellent little article in the McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry by Richard Longenecker entitled “The Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith: Some Contemporary Reflections.” In it he explains the differences scholars have had on the relation between the two. Beginning with Schleiermacher, he highlights the various views of Schweitzer, Kasemann, Cullman, Davies, Borg and the Jesus Seminar. He then follows up with his own excellent seven point reflection.
Near the end of his reflection he has a really cool quote that I thought I would post:
Real conviction, Jesus is presented as saying, comes only by revelation from the Father in heaven – or, to say it more prosaically: History and reason may pile up the dry wood, but it takes the heavenly fire of revelation from God to ignite the tinder.”

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More on the Jesus Tomb

Denny Burk, Prof. of New Testament at Criswell Theological College, has posted some helpful links about “The Jesus Tomb” on his blog. Of particular help is the link to Darrel Bock’s article called “Hollywood Hype.” This whole thing is such a joke.

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Covenant and Justification

I haven’t listened to all of these lectures yet, but they do promise to be good. I have only managed to hear the first one, by David Chapman. These lectures are a review and response to the New Perspectives on Paul given by faculty members at Covenant Theological Seminary (PCA). Chapman is quite irenic, which I’m thankful for in light of the amount of harsh language lobbed back and forth from each side, and it provides a scholarly response.
Hans Bayer – Paul

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Filed under apostle paul, audio, judaism, justification, n t wright, old testament, Resources