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Is the NT reliable?
Transcript of Is the NT reliable?
First writings about Jesus
Is the NT reliable?
Some steps to climb
Jesus' historical existence?
According to the non-Christian sources, very good.
the information passed on?
How reliable was:
How reliable is:
Tacitus: Roman historian
Nero fastened the guilt ... on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of ... Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome...
Pliny: Roman governor
of Bythinia in Asia Minor
They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food
Lucian: Syrian satyrist
The Christians . . . worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.
Jewish doc written
between A.D. 70 and 200
On the eve of the Passover Yeshu [Jesus] was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy."
Josephus: Jewish apologist
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, ... [he] wrought surprising feats. ... When Pilate ... condemned him to be crucified, those who had ... come to love him did not give up their affection for him. ... And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared.
"[among] New Testament scholars and historians the theory of the non-existence of Jesus remains effectively dead as a scholarly question"
- Robert Van Voorst
c. 760 A.D.
c. 632 A.D.
First writing about Muhammad
~ 130 years
Tacitus writes about Tiberius
First buddhist writings
The writers' knowledge of events?
How reliable is:
How reliably was:
You are here!
"He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time,
most of whom are still alive"
So many manuscripts, do they all agree?
Nope, there are 150,000 'variants'
Over 99% of variants are insignificant (Ie, a spelling error)
Those few real differences do not cloud the meaning of the text
That actually means that >90% of the NT text has NO differences
For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galileans [Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us.
Letter of Emperor Julian
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”