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Book Title: The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 355 KB
v The author of the book: F.F. Bruce
Date of issue: April 2nd 2003
ISBN 13: 9780802822192
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?:I picked this one up on Broadway while at U.T.S. in New York studying the Christian Scriptures. F.F. Bruce was unknown to me. The book was cheap.
I quickly discovered that he was a believing Christian--a contemporary believing Christian. I was used to liberal Christians of one sort or another. My professors were mostly of that kind. But, when it got down to it, none of them seemed to believe in miracles. All of them interpreted away the miracle stories of the bible. Bruce, however, is prone to take the biblical texts at face value, as basically factual source material for religious belief.
Now, in high school I had known many evangelicals. The Campus Crusade For Christ was big at Maine Twp. H. S. South. The local coffee house for adolescents was run by something called Coffee House Ministries. Many of my friends got caught up in the Willow Creek Church during its early years when it still met in a rented movie theatre. On the broader, national scene, the Jesus Freaks made Christianity respectable for many identified with the counterculture and the antiwar movement.
Unfortunately, the local fundamentalists were not very good in presenting evidence or answering questions intelligently. Many of them had read a translation of the bible and knew the material well, but few had much background in the history of the period and none any familiarity with the textual histories of the various canonical texts. I enjoyed discussions with them, felt challenged by their passion, but never felt challenged by their arguments.
Then came Grinnell College and an eventual degree in religious studies followed by matriculation into the seminary my favorite teacher, the Rev. Dr. Dennis Haas, had attended. I was becoming a bit of a biblical scholar myself, expert in the higher and the lower criticism, in the art of putting out a grade A exegesis. But, with the exception of two resident advisors who were evangelicals in an existentialist sort of way (credo ut absurdum), all of my Christian teachers and colleagues were liberals, treating the biblical mss. as they would treat, say, Sumerian ones. Their faith(s) referred to the biblical texts, but weren't much based on them.
Bruce came, therefore, as a revelation. Here was an intelligent master of the biblical material who was disposed to take it seriously as historical record. Here was someone who appeared to give the best possible arguments from the fundamentalist standpoint.
Of course, this means that Bruce is no idiot. He knows that the so-called "Greek New Testament" sold in seminary bookstores, the so-called "received text", is in fact an updated edition of Erasmus' very imperfect work. He knows that the hundreds of English bibles are as new as their copyrights, more or less modern editorial creations, not the inerrant word of god. He knows that all we can do is to try to hypothetically reconstruct original texts and that certainty in such efforts is impossible. Still, he takes this task with the utmost seriousness and has very strong, evidentially based, opinions.
If you are a liberal Christian yourself or otherwise wish to be exposed to an educated evangelical's arguments, check out Bruce's work. If you are an evangelical, hold yourself to his standards.
Read information about the authorFrederick Fyvie Bruce FBA was a Biblical scholar who supported the historical reliability of the New Testament. His first book, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (1943), was voted by the American evangelical periodical Christianity Today in 2006 as one of the top 50 books "which had shaped evangelicals".
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