Sunday, October 04, 2009

Is the NT reliable? Stock arguments against that I find unconvincing, and why

There are a number of stock arguments circulating among skeptics that target the reliability of the New Testament. I would not ask a skeptic to assume divine inspiration; I simply intend to point out some historical realities in the early Christian church that may not be widely known among skeptics, and how these verifiable historical situations tend to make certain arguments non-starters. These selected arguments are ones that I find glaringly at odds with facts that anyone who took the trouble can easily verify. The remainder of this discussion won't assume anything about the New Testament documents beyond this: that they were in circulation in the early Christian community, that the early Christian community believed them to be honest. That is a fairly minimalist starting point and should allow us to start out on common ground on which both parties agree.

Here are some of the arguments that I intend to review and show why I think they are non-starters. In upcoming posts, I will go into the basic background on each and show why I think that, given the known facts, these arguments are non-starters.

1 comment:

Howard said...

Excellent! I was only musing this morning how such manner of arguments are rarely visited and examined - I look forward to more.