Fact file: the Bible ‘Bible’ = ‘library’ ‘Bible’ = ‘library’ 66 books 66 books Two parts Two parts Old Testament (OT) Old Testament (OT) New Testament (NT) New Testament (NT) Original languages Original languages Hebrew & Aramaic (OT) Hebrew & Aramaic (OT) Greek (NT) Greek (NT) Written between Written between 1,500 BC and AD 100 1,500 BC and AD 100
The New Testament 4 accounts of Jesus’ life, death & resurrection 4 accounts of Jesus’ life, death & resurrection Matthew, Mark, Luke, John Matthew, Mark, Luke, John History of early Christianity History of early Christianity ‘Acts’ ‘Acts’ 22 letters written by early Christians in specific circumstances 22 letters written by early Christians in specific circumstances E.g. ‘1 Corinthians’ E.g. ‘1 Corinthians’
The early Christians made mistakes when they decided which books should be in the Bible in the first place
The people who translated the Bible made mistakes
non occides Thou shalt not kill You shall not murder WRONG!
New International Version Revised Standard Version English Standard Version Other versions
The people who copied the original documents made mistakes
Events of Jesus’ life Written down Seen by Eyewitnesses
The people who wrote the original documents made mistakes
Mistakes? Myths? Myths? 1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Contradictions? Contradictions?
The criterion of multiple attestation ‘when numerous ancient sources independently offer roughly the same portrait of an event or person that portrait takes on greater plausibility’ ‘when numerous ancient sources independently offer roughly the same portrait of an event or person that portrait takes on greater plausibility’ John Dickson, The Christ Files, page 52
Contradictions? Luke 24:1-4 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. Matthew 28:1-3 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
The biggest mistake of all 1 Corinthians 15:14-15: And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.