I learned in college the bible couldn’t be trusted. What’s the truth?

A common liberal assertion

I took a class entitled “The New Testament as Literature” my sophomore year in college. The professor told the class that the historicity
of the person of Jesus was contested, and because of this, scholars
had serious doubts about the accuracy in the transmission of the
New Testament documents. These thoughts came from the
authority in the room. College professors, in my mind, had to know
what they were talking about. They were the experts, so I doubted
the faith I had been handed down. The experience for me was
much like that of my first Old Testament class. Until I began to
research the claims, I wasn’t for sure who to believe.
This worldview of Scripture being inaccurate and purely literary
in its value is not an uncommon one. Author and editor of over
thirty books, Bart D. Ehrman is a New Testament textual critic who
serves as the professor of Religious Studies at the University of
North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is famous for attempting to
discredit the reliability of the New Testament in his books and
debates. Ehrman points out the “discrepancies” in the resurrection
accounts and the New Testament transmission variations, leading
him to conclude that much if not most of the New Testament is not
a reliable historical document. A quick YouTube search will yield
many talks on this subject by Ehrman. It is not difficult to find
scholars quick to contest Ehrman’s assertions. When thinking
through Ehrman’s arguments, it is important to remember how the
New Testament was transmitted to us. Until the invention of
movable type with Guttenberg’s press, a scribe was left to hand copy
an ancient document. Former Professor of New Testament
Language and Literature Bruce Metzger said of the ancient copyist

“One must bear in mind that the act of copying was in itself
arduous and fatiguing, both because of the effort of sustained
attention which it demanded as well as because of the cramped
position of various muscles of the body. Though it seems strange
to us today, in antiquity it was not customary to sit at a table or a
desk while writing. Both literary and artistic evidence suggests that
until the early Middle Ages it was customary for scribes either to
stand (while making relatively brief notes), or to sit on a stool or
bench (or even on the ground), holding their scroll or codex on
their knees. it goes without saying that such a posture was more
tiring than sitting at a desk or writing table — though the latter
must have been tiring enough to scribes thus occupied six hours a
day month after month.”

The truth about the trustworthiness
There are currently over around 5,800 ancient Greek New
Testament texts that have been discovered. No doubt, because of
the difficulties in transmission that I just explained, there are some
copyist errors that crept into the text. No one denies this. However,
what Christians historically agree on is that the scriptures are
inerrant and infallible in their original autographs. Don’t let what I
just said fool you. Although there are some errors in transmission
(the copies), the New Testament’s historical validity is like none
other from the ancient world.

For one to argue that the New Testament is just another piece of
literature is to ignore its unique transmission when compared to
other famous ancient works of literature. Some of the 5,800 Greek
New Testament manuscripts are just portions or fragments of a
letter of Paul or a gospel. But when all the manuscripts are taken
together and translated, it is clear that God kept the authors from
theological error. In fact, the text we have today is nearly 99% accu‐
rate grammatically and 100% accurate theologically. No other book
in antiquity has that volume of transmission copies. This not only
shows how the spread of the Christian message was impacting many
societies but also how God supernaturally preserved the message to
be handed down for Christians in future ages. Again, no other work
has been transmitted so meticulously and carefully in antiquity. The
charts below demonstrate the reliability of the New Testament
when compared to other ancient works.

No ancient literary work stacks up to the Bible!

What do those charts clearly point out? There is no other literary work in history even close to the bible in transmission trustworthiness!

nuff said………..

*Text and charts taken from the book Parenting Tips for the Christian Home by Martin Winslow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.