HISTORICAL RELIABILITY: Introduction and first three questions
Dr. Craig Blomberg begins by introducing the issue of the historical reliability of the New Testament documents, focusing on Dan Brown and some of the other recent "discoveries." He will cover 12 truths agreed upon except by the most liberal theologians. In this lesson he talks about the authorship and dating of the gospels.
A. Dan Block and The Davinci Code
B. Gospel of Judas
C. Jesus’ family tomb (Discovery Channel)
D. Gospel of Jesus’ Life (was Jesus married?)
E. What does this say about the world in which we live?
PART I: ANSWERING THE CHARGES OF CRITICS
QUESTION 1. QUESTION OF THE ANCIENT TEXTS
A. Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus
1. Large passages (Mark 16; John 8)
2. Smaller places the text was changed
3. Dr. Daniel Wallace
4. Ehrman suggests there are up to 400.000 textual variants, more than there are words in the NT
B. How many manuscripts are those variants distributed among?
1. We have over 5,700 Greek manuscripts of the NT (in part or in whole)
2. If you count non-Greek translations, etc., over 25,000
3. That makes an average of 8 variants per manuscript
C. Are these variants like the two large passages Ehrman refers to?
1. Vast majority are spelling differences
2. Majority have to do with the final “n.”
D. UBS text
E. Modern English translations have about 300-400 footnotes about “ms(s).”
F. How large are these variants?
1. Only 2 are paragraph in length
2. Only two dozen affect a verse or more
3. Less than 1% of the NT is represented in the footnotes of the UBS text
4. No doctrine or ethical mandate or prayer or prophecy depends on any disputed text
G. What does textual criticism prove?
We can reconstruct with a high degree of likelihood what the writer wrote
QUESTION 2. WHO WROTE THE GOSPELS?
A. Who wrote the gospels?
B. Reﬂect on these people
1. Who would you attribute the books to to in order to gain credibility?
2. We actually know the answer
C. Authors attributed to the gospels probably when they started being collected together
QUESTION 3. WHEN WERE THE GOSPELS WRITTEN?
A. First century documents
C. Within 60 years of the events narrated
1. Still a long time for the stories to be altered
2. Ancient culture was oral-based
3. Example of Alexander’s biographers