Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 7

Historicity of 
the New Testament

part 7

Other amazing demonstrations of validity of the New Testament rendering of Christ are also revealed in the historical vindication of statements made by Christ himself.

In John 18, Jesus identifies himself as the “light of the world.” This seems on the surface as megalomania gone awry. If someone said that today, they would be ushered to the funny farm post haste, especially if they were a world leader or someone with position and power. Jesus, however, was nothing at the time except a lowly carpenter with a rag tag crew of followers.

Yet this insane assertion, made either by the carpenter’s son himself or perhaps by the writer for the fictional character he was creating, has been remarkably fulfilled for two thousand years as  directed prophesy. The world’s greatest paintings, most beautiful music and literature have all been influenced by the person of Jesus Christ.

Think about the man who lived by the pool for 38 years while people came and went for healing of their bodies. Every time the waters would stir, someone would beat him to it. He believed he could not get himself there to be healed. Where was the Peace Corps? Where was the Christian Children’s fund? Can you think of ANY historically recorded charity from the past, even in the Roman Empire, who made an impact for the poor and down trodden? Where is the “Mother Teresa” of the past? They don’t exist.

Most of the world’s Hospitals, great educational institutions and charitable organizations have been created in His name. This is also true of social reforms such as the abolition of slavery. There have been millions over the last two centuries who have found that following Jesus affords them the opportunity to receive the light of life.

Realistically, instead of the ravings of some ego maniac, or philosophizing fictional character, the words of Christ have been proven, by historical revelation, to have been the sanest and truest words ever spoken.

Christ also says, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but not one word, not one stroke of a pen of my word shall ever pass away.” Who would he be to think that an obscure carpenter’s son, from some despised nation with only a few close allies who really knew him, would have anything to say that wold interest the entire world? We’d tell him to get a life.

And yet, for two thousand years, his words have NOT passed away. They have been heard and read and loved by more people in more nations all over the world than any other person who has ever lived.

As I have said, the Romans had no charities, and condemned criminals where slowly tortured to death on a cross for crimes against the state. Jesus told his followers that he too would be killed in this way. This certainly doesn’t bring anyone a vision of something to be looked forward to. In fact just the opposite is true, this kind of death was best not to be witnessed at all and quickly forgotten.

Christ told his followers that if he be lifted up on the cross, that he would draw all men to himself. Sure enough, grave yards are full of crosses over tombs all over the world. People from every walk of life, every nation, every level of education, every age, every level of wealth, have been drawn to the cross. Who could have predicted such a thing within human reason??? But there it is, littered across the landscape of history all over the world.

Jesus also said; “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” This is an impossible claim that also has been fulfilled in history. That a group of followers lead by an ignorant and impulsive fisherman (Peter), would be perpetuated and multiplied despite opposition and intense persecution  from all sides, is a pipe dream at best. Even more ridiculous is the notion that this church would be built upon Peter’s belief the Jesus was the Son of God.  But the dream continues even to this day.

Jesus also predicted that knowledge of him would reach the “ends of the Earth”. This too would seem a lunatic’s rhetoric given the times and impossibility of the notion during that time. But today, tech developments have seen to it that this same Word from an obscure carpenter are heard all over the known world, and still this continues.

Amazingly, there is nothing that has been said in Christ’s name that has NOT come true. Some things have yet to manifest, but there is NO record of something having failed.

Ezekiel 11:19
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

One need only read of the outlandish human rights tragedies that are common place in the Old Testament to see that indeed something else has happened to mankind since the life of Christ  graced the Earth.

Just a few outrageous examples, or at least ones WE would call outrageous: Samson has a first wife whom he at first likes, then she gives him trouble. He has her burned as a result, or set on fire, if you will. Jezebel is a woman who seeks power where there is none for her, she is killed, and her body thrown to the dogs. All they find left of her is her hands and her head. A king has 70 sons, or  princes, and when he is disposed, all the sons are killed, then beheaded, and the skulls are separated into two bags and brought to the gates of the city and placed into two piles at the doors. These were probably kids, too. When Joshua was told to invade the land of Canaan, he was told to slaughter even the women and children, and then burn everything.

Ask yourself a question: If God the Father told YOU to run down helpless women and children with a sword and slaughter them, could you do it? Joshua was obedient of course, but had no problem with it. This is the way the world was. People back then knew no human rights, no social reforms, no charity. Yet today, our answer to God would probably be “No, I won’t slaughter children, even for greater reasons God may have.” Because, you know, Jesus would never ask you to do that. The world of that day also did not have the Holy Spirit raining down on them. Today you have a heart of flesh that those people did not know of, they only knew a heart of stone and had to be dealt with accordingly.
Ezekiel 11:19
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Where did you get that heart of flesh?

All these things we have reviewed have no rational explanation if Jesus was not who He said he was, God come in the Flesh. You can’t get away with the assertion that the writers exaggerated his claims or miss quoted him. The writers were not idiots, they would have been shocked by the lunatic fringe rhetoric they were hearing, and they would have softened things up a bit to make Jesus’ words more acceptable. The claims have been fulfilled, whether Jesus said them or not. You can’t charge the now dead writer’s with manufacturing the fulfillments. If Christianity were false, and incorrectly represented as is claimed by many all over the world, then this is a greater miracle than if we were just reviewing the Words of Christ and the resulting truths of reality that follow, all on thier own.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 6

Historicity of 
the New Testament

part 6

In the other parts of this post we have seen that the New Testament writings are indeed authentic, written around the middle of the first century by men who were intelligent, stable and sincere in what they wrote about. They had full access to the facts that they were reporting and they were firmly convinced that the one about whom they wrote was God in the flesh. His words were uniquely perfect, the first time, and he performed mighty miracles, not the least of which was his victory over death by his own bodily resurrection. 

Now if none of this were true, then the only other explanation that fits is that Jesus himself was a great deceiver who so baffled them with bull that they believed he was perfect in word and deed. He also fooled them into believing he had walked on water, gave sight to the blind and raised Lazarus from the dead. He then concocted the “Passover plot” and fooled them into thinking he had been crucified, buried and then rose again from the dead. Then, outdoing David Copperfield’s best work, he rose from Earth into heaven. 

This is, of course, absurd on so many levels. If such great deceptions are really the way things happened, then Jesus is even MORE marvelous than what the disciples reported of him. Make no bones about it, if we are talking about deception here, then Christ was indeed the greatest charlatan and deceiver in all history. 

The truth is however, that even those who refuse to acknowledge his deity report him to have been one of the greatest teachers, by word and deed that the world has ever known. The “paper trail” that Christ has left us has been the greatest force for good that the world has ever known. Unless his character is exactly what is reported in the New Testament, then there is no way to find truth in this world. Life is devoid of meaning and God is truly dead if scripture is all a big put on. 

Christian churches everywhere practice two important ceremonies. These are the ordinance of baptism and the remembrance of the Last Supper. Baptism being a part of Christ’s integral great commission which is conferred upon all new believers, and the Lord’s Supper commemorates his sacrificial death. 

Down through the ages the churches have always practiced these two instructions. The New Testament authorizes this. These two have a particular witness of their own, not shared by other events recorded in the New Testament. These two practices actually come BEFORE the writing down of the New Testament, and are recorded historically, mostly due to the fact that Christ himself initiated their practice. 

Let’s just say for instance you and I are the church at Phillipi, the Philippians, if you will. This church existed for about 20 years after its founding before it began to receive epistles from Paul, and it would be another ten years before it received a copy of one of the Gospels. 

During this time it was guided by the teachings of its founder, and also by other teachers that God had sent their way as those who would feed his sheep. These teachings included baptism and also the remembrance of the Last Supper. Philip would have of course stressed the importance of following these decrees and then when they received epistles and then Gospels, they would have become even more resolute in their faith. 

However, let’s say that this was NOT the case, they had NOT been lead all this time to observe these two ordinances by the leadership of the church. Suddenly, they receive the Gospel of Matthew, or Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Their response would of course be to perceive the Gospel and epistle as fake and a fraud and reject them right out. These two ceremonies would NOT have been known ahead of time as something that had been established by Christ himself, and therefore would have appeared as fiction writing ever since. 

Authenticity of any writings about Christ could never have been accepted at all by any church from the beginning, and we would never have known the Bible we know today. There is no other way to have documented the practice of these two ordinances except as they are described in the New Testament. The churches would never have been persuaded to begin practicing these two ordinances by books or teachers who told them they had already been practicing them since the days of Christ, if in fact they knew that was not so. Therefore, the ordinances WERE established by Christ himself, and the New Testament writings which tell about them are indeed authentic. 

But what about the demonstration of truth in history itself? More on this in part 7. Oo! Seven! I like that number. ;-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 5

Historicity of 
the New Testament

Part 5

When we consider the things that we have already covered, then the authenticity and the authorship of the New Testament can be considered firmly established. General accuracy can also be established as well as their internal consistency as confirmed by linguistic and archeological studies. This CAN and HAS been done by intelligent and considered studies.

Skeptics and those who choose to be atheists have however, sought to escape the impact of these studies by charging the writers with fraud, and the text with muddy antiquity, that is to say, they have thrown their hands up in surrender as to any truth being retained based solely on the number of years that have past since the writer’s inception. Their contention is that the writers were interested in being the leaders of some new religious and/or political movement and they conspired to create a type of “Superman” who would fulfill the Savior and Messiah position that was promised for hundreds of years by their ancestral writings. As representatives, the main proponents would then exercise authority and power of the one they supported.

Such a supposition, however, belongs to the school of straw grasping and pandering to those with the weakest intellectual ability to direct for themselves any cognitive investigations independent of so called “outside expertise”. 

Let’s take a look at discrediting these notions.

1) The conspiracy involves such a large number of people, of such diverse backgrounds, that a collusion on the part of all concerned is not even remotely possible. There were at the least eight different writers involved, not to mention a great deal of associated colleagues, and these wrote and lived at widely scattered times and places over a period of about 1500 years. (Considering all texts, not just the New Testament.) Watergate WAS a conspiracy, and look how quickly the whole thing fell apart.

2) Evidences of collusion are noticeably absent in the writings. Each writer gives his own independent witness, writing from his own perspective. On the surface, they often appear to contradict each other, and these contradictions are resolved by close study and cross examination of the testimonies. Many would point to this a evidence of irrelevance, but one cannot find the truth in these testimonies without following the course of rigourous testimonial investigation. To simply pass a casual judgement is to treat the subject with less than it requires and will ultimately say more about the investigatior’s own desire to know the truth than it does about the truth contained within the various testimonies themselves. 

3) Rather than containing their writings to generalities or perhaps only to individual experiences, a practice that would sufficiently evade long term investigation, the records instead team with public events and dates and places well known by the world at the time. 

4) An honest and candid reading of the New Testament texts does not lead one to fraudulent conclusions. The very atmosphere of the writings is drenched in the sincerity of the writers. If any of the writings are merely a wicked deception, then they are the texts of the greatest con men ever born to Earth. Con men who were eventually executed, almost to the man, for what they knew was really a lie, or perhaps as a result of their own mental instability, despite the absence of insanity that mad men usually display. Quite the feat to accomplish for what appears on the humanistic surface to have been all in vain. 

5) This willingness for the authors to suffer and die for what they knew is crowning proof. For they killed no one in some public outrage against the machine, but charged forward for the betterment of mankind itself while causing no harm, only to find martyrdom at the end of their ministries. John, of course, outlived them all, as was hinted at in the very scripture words of Christ himself, but he too found exile, if not martyrdom at the end of his life. Men die for unworthy causes that are a lie all the time, Nazi Germany being a prime example, but none of those men would have admitted they they knew it was all a lie. Those that did, either extracted themselves or they fought the cause. Unstable people fighting for a cause have an unfortunate habit of taking innocents with them in their drive to prove or defend their cause. It simply is not realistically possible, nor logically possible, that all these men would have sacrificed their lives, both the life itself and also their one and only voyage of life upon this Earth, for some grand illusion. 

The writers of the New Testament were sincere, intelligent men, firmly convinced of what they wrote. But were they just wrong? Were they victims of mass delusion? Were they unstable, easily convinced of their own emotional perceptions? Were they the biggest suckers since the audiences of P.T. Barnum?  Were miracles that they reported about simply a mass hallucination or mass suggestion? Were their minds just playing tricks on them?

One has to consider that the events were:

1) In the open. Crowds of people often surrounded them, and only a few miracles were done in hidden privacy. The feeding of the five thousand is reported in all four Gospels. 

2) Reported in a great variety of times and places, by many different people of diverse backgrounds. Mass delusion is never reported in this way.

3) Written up by men not regularly associated with hallucinations or a lack of credibility. Paul was a highly educated Levite, with a careful and  articulate mind. His writings bear this out. Luke was a physician and detail oriented historian. Matthew was a politician and tax assessor. James was the leader of the early church in Jerusalem. 

4) Accepted by great numbers of people who, due to the intense persecution of their faith, would have been highly motivated to make every effort to make sure the claims of the early Apostles about the person of Christ were accurate. If the Apostles had been nothing more than deluded fanatics, you and I would have never been sitting here discussing this today. When everyone died, that would have been the end of it. 

So what about the character of Christ himself?  Was he the greatest deceiver ever known?  More in Part 6.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 4

Historicity of 
the New Testament

Once it has been established that the writings of the New Testament are authentic historical documents, written by contemporaries and often eye-witnesses of the events described therein, we can then examine the persons and events with confidence so that the real nature and purpose can be ascertained. This is not the time for examination of elusive theological or philosophical questions, but the point of inquiry that deals with facts determined by objective investigation.

At this point, divine inspiration is a question for another time. The concern at this point is rather, whether or not the New Testament presents Christ as divine in origin and essence, or perhaps instead, as truly and only human.

If we find in the writings that he is indeed shown  to be deity, then there are a few options that need to be considered. Was this all just a big plot? Were the writers involved in a long term subterfuge to enable themselves to be leaders in some new religious movement? Or were they under the influence of some mass delusion? Did they think Christ was God only because they needed and wanted to believe and were experiencing a kind of group mental aphasia? If they were deceived, did Christ intentionally deceive them? Or perhaps he too was under a deception, either by the persuasion of others or from his own suffering at the hands of some mental illness that we can only guess about. We can study these possibilities within the writings themselves, once they have been found to be verified with authentic dates and authorship. Therefore, armed with intelligence and not just blind hope, we can decide objectively whether or not Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God and the only way to salvation, as Christians believe. 

It is, of course, not possible to free oneself from  subjective factors on an issue like this. Even though we may be able to prove that all the witnesses to stated events agree on the ground floor concept behind the deity of Christ, one can still choose on his own initiative not to believe it. And ultimately, even with glaring evidences on both sides of this kind of issue, it is always a final decision for the person as to whom they are going to believe.

To any argument, a further question or objection can always be devised, if a person is clever enough, and there are many clever ones out there. Even though we can back an objector into a corner from which there is no escape, the person can always become emotional and avoid the issue anyhow, or perhaps delay a decision until further thought can be applied. They can also take a kind of refuge and satisfaction in the position of many who do not believe also, or perhaps simply stand on an issue of relevance. On the other hand, if you are a person who is interested in solid Christian evidence on this subject, there is plenty to go around for everyone who will lend an ear. 

So let’s get started next time in part 5.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 3

Historicity of 
the New Testament

Part 3

Authenticity of the events of the New Testament have been verified by the close examination of the internal consistencies of the writings and also by external investigations into the history and archaeology of the time. The books often make claims concerning their own authorship and it is a bit presumptuous of critics to deny these claims due solely to their own position against the supernatural. Paul, for instance, always begins his letters with his own name, and each epistle contains many incidental allusions which support this claim. William Pauley’s : Horae Paulinea, is an example of a classic book that has taken great pains to correlate the many incidental occurrences which prove Paul to be the author of his own writings. 

Likewise such studies on the writings of Peter and John and others, also prove those authors to be the actual writers. Epistle events often tie in with earlier historical records of the lives of these men as recorded in the Gospels and Acts. Peter’s experience at the Mount of Transfiguration and Paul’s stoning at Lystra, are two excellent examples of this sort of connection among Biblical books. Linguistic evidence also matches author with writing, as is evident in the writings of John. The Gospel of John, the epistles and Revelation all have the same striking vocabulary use which points to John as author.

Archaeological evidence also plays a huge part in solidifying the confirmation of New testament authorship. The book of Acts is a big influence on this avenue of discovery as it deals with the spread of the Gospel in the first 30 years after the Resurrection of Christ. It mentions places, customs, events and times of the Roman, Greek and Jewish worlds of the day. If the book were a compilation of uncertain traditions brought together long after the actual events, or even if, let’s say, Luke was a sloppy writer, there would be an abundance of factual mistakes in the book. 

The opposite is so incredibly true that archeologists have found themselves amazed as to Luke’s specificity in his writings. Archaeologist, Sir William Ramsey, who has done extensive research into the historic plausibility of the Gospels has been quoted as saying: “Luke is an historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense... In short, this author should be placed among the very greatest of historians.”

1 William Ramsey, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953) p. 80

Not to be missed is the fact that this same author, Luke, is also the major contributor of the fullest account of the virgin birth and resurrection of Christ.

The other books of the New Testament do not lend themselves as readily to archaeological investigations as does the book of Acts, however, descriptions of Jerusalem, Judea and Sumeria, and also references to customs and political situations, are frequently confirmed by scientific and historical research. There is in fact, NO statement in the New Testament that has been unequivocally refuted by the studies of history or science, even after all this time. This fact in and of itself, is darn near amazing.

So what does all this imply? What does it all mean for you and me? More on this next time in part 4.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 2

Historicity of 
the New Testament

Part 2

When something big happens, something that has lasting consequences over a long period of time, through many generations, it must have adequate causes. If one takes a look at the span of almost 2,000 years that the history of Christianity has had its effect on mankind, this itself is proof of some major event that had a big impact on the continuing history of mankind.

It matters little what one thinks of the New Testament itself when you also consider that the history of Christianity itself is intricately linked with it. Its very beginnings are the stuff of the New Testament, and the reality of both the existence of Christians and also Jewish peoples and their origins can only be understood in light of the ancient text. No one alive today has ever seen Jesus or the Apostles, and understanding of their existence must come from the information contained within the ancient writings. The same is also true of ANY other figures of history. Who among us has actually witnessed the presence of Aristotle, Ghengis Kahn or even George Washington?

Once we realize this point, we can now see how incredibly strong the evidence is for persons and events referred to in the ancient writings. The amount of available texts that exist for the seminal existence of scripture far out weighs the writings about any other figures of history, before the invention of printing. No one ever casts any doubt on the past historical reality of Julius Caesar, but the written evidence of his existence is dwarfed by the volume of manuscript evidence of Biblical scripture. 

Before the printing press, manuscripts had to be copied by hand. Those that were used frequently wore out and had to be re-copied again and again. The copies of the New Testament that are still around today from those ancient times, are quite numerous, and conspicuously consistent. Some of these copies are on papyrus fragments that date all the way back to the second century. We have today about 5,000 copies of manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek and around 15,000 more in other languages. Nothing in any other historical writing even compares to this. These writings were also done by those who had a deep respect  for and deep belief in the concept that they were handling the actual Word of God. If we can dump the “aliens from outer space built the pyramids“ idea, and give credit to the  development of the human ability, even in ancient Egypt, why not have the same respect for those who were professional scripture copiers, much like the professional pyramid builders.

Sir Frederick G. Kenyon, Director of the British museum, was one of the greatest New Testament scholars of our generation. He did not believe in the infallibility of scripture and its inspired transmission, but after reviewing the manuscripts over a number of years he was quoted as saying:

“ is reassuring at the end to find the general result of all these discoveries and all this study  is to strengthen the proof of the authenticity of the scriptures, and our conviction that we have in our hands, in substantial integrity, the veritable Word of God.”1

1 The Story of the Bible, (Special U. S. Edition, Grand Rapids: Eardmans company, 1967, p. 133)

True enough there are many individual differences in these 20,000 manuscripts, however the very number of them provides a powerful means of checking and tracing the origin of the variant readings and therefore coming to a conclusion as to the original text. Furthermore, any discrepancies, whether the result of careless copying or by direct manipulation, are usually quite trivial and effect no major points of doctrine. Amazingly, the work of Christ has no existing variation in the available texts, and that includes all 20,000 manuscripts collected from the beginning. Not only do we have a store house of historical writings of the biblical text, but we have several times that number of Christian writings by those of the early church who quoted much of the scriptures we know today. These Apostalic Fathers, who wrote from around 90 AD to 160 AD, had an amazing grasp of the New Testament and its content. In fact, had the New Testament been lost completely, it would have been possible to reconstruct the books merely from the writings of these men. 

Since these men lived in the time just following the era of the original Apostles, and some even over lap, having lived during those times, there can be no doubt that the New Testament that we have today is a strong representative of the books that those men had in their own day. The interval then, between original composition, and the earliest extant evidence becomes practically negligible. The origin point of scriptural writing and its preservation for future mankind becomes an unbroken cord of continual existence, by those with respect and honor towards the initial purpose of scripture. Those without that paradigm, would have to be immensely filled with an unusual kind of hate and revenge for God to place as much energy as would be needed into the falsifying of scripture and still get away with it under the nose of the caretaker throng of history. 

But lets say, for the sake of argument, that considerable changes HAVE taken place within the written text since the original writings. This still does not manage to change the person of Christ himself. The Roman world of the first century was one of education, philosophy and modern civilization, heavily influenced by the Greeks and those whom had been absorbed by Alexander’s conquests. This was not a world of cave men types who lived in a stone age. To believe that the acts and words of Christ himself is a tale of collected myths and editorial additions, as is often stated by so called progressive liberals, is actually naive at best.

Believing that scripture is today in essentially the same form it was from the beginning can be backed by research and investigation, not merely by wishing on a star that it was so. As Biblical archaeologist, William F. Albright states: “ ...every book of the New Testament was written by a Baptized Jew between the forties and eighties of the first century.”2 

2 William F. Albright, Christianity Today, January 18, 1963

But, what about indirect confirmations, you might ask. More on this next time in part 3. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament

Historicity of 
the New Testament

Recently I read a letter to an advice column about a person who had a Jewish friend who believed themselves to be an agnostic Jew. Knowing what we know about genetics and the DNA stamp that the Jewish people have that sets them apart as a people rather than a religion, we know that there is no such thing as an agnostic Jew. The letter went on to say that this person was convinced that nothing that happens in the Bible is real and ever really happened and Christians are stupid for believing so. Well, I just had to answer that  comment with this next series.

The Importance of Historicity

An important aspect of the uniqueness of Christianity is the fact that it is founded on the basis of historical events rather than merely on ethical teaching. If the events surrounding the life of Christ, i.e. the virgin birth, the resurrection, the miracles are in fact not true events, then the whole thing is just one big lie. As it says in Corinthians, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then your faith is in vain.

The same can be said of the early church and its development, as related to in the book of Acts and the epistles. Critics have tried for some time now to convince the public that the New Testament was written long after any actual events delineated and therefore contain lots of “fairy tale” type writing, especially when writing about those things involved with miracles. So much of this destructive criticism has been successful enough that major schools of learning which teach Bible “history and truth” have actually eroded the faith of many a borderline Christian.

However, if it can be shown that the New Testament documents are authentic, written by the traditional authors, then the evidence for the truth of Christianity is overwhelming. This is because the writings, when examined carefully, give indisputable evidence of sincerity and accuracy in such high degree that there is no reasonable doubt that all the actions and words of Christ and the apostles, really and truly happened.

This concept and its inevitable conclusions are not dependent upon the inquiry of whether or not the documents are divinely inspired or verbally without error. I do believe in the importance of plenary verbal inspiration, however, the genuineness of the work and the infallibility of Christ can be established without the need to fall back on divine inspiration as ultimate proof. We must then, of course, accept that the New Testament writings are as valid as any other historical writings.

Therefore,we must first establish the historicity of the New Testament documents as is required by all historical documents. Once this takes place, then the genuineness of the portrait of Christ revealed in the writings can be established. When he is acknowledged as true God and only Savior, then he himself becomes sufficient proof for authenticity. 

Next time we’ll look at the authenticity of the documents. 

Escape The Hezbollah