Monday, November 13, 2006


Two Scientists on the New Testament

In The God Delusion zoologist Richard Dawkins tries his had and New Testament Criticism, and says things like the following:

'Ever since the nineteenth century, scholarly theologians have made an overwhelming case that the gospels are not reliable accounts of what happened in the history of the real world. All were written long after the death of Jesus, and also after the epistles of Paul, which mention almost none of the alleged facts of Jesus’ life. All were then copied and recopied, through many different ‘Chinese Whispers generations’… by fallible scribes who, in any case, had their own religious agendas… The four gospels that made it into the official cannon were chosen, more or less arbitrarily, out of a larger sample of at least a dozen… Nobody knows who the four evangelists were, but they almost certainly never met Jesus personally. Much of what they wrote was in no sense an honest attempt at history… It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all… Although Jesus probably existed, reputable bible scholars do not in general regard the New Testament (and obviously not the Old Testament) as a reliable record of what actually happened in history… - Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 37, 92-93 & 95-97.

In The Language of God, geneticist Francis Collins, head of the human genome project, tries his hand at New Testament Criticism, and says things like the following:

'...the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were put down just a few decades after Christ's death. Their style and content suggests strongly that they are intended to be the record of eyewitnesses (Matthew and John were among the twelve apostles). Concerns about errors creeping in by sucessive copying or bad translations have been mostly laid to rest by discovery of very ancient manuscripts. thus, the evidence for authenticity of the four gospels turns out to be quite strong. Furthermore, non-Christian historians of the first century such as Josephus bear witness to a Jewish prophet who was crucified by Pontius Pilate areound 33 A.D.' - Francis Collins, The Language of God, p. 223.

Of course, Collins is right and Dawkins is wrong.

cf. Recommended Resources on Christianity

Apollos @
Bethinking @
Lee Strobel @

Craig L. Blomberg, ‘In Search of the Historical Jesus’ @
Gary R. Habermas Debates & Lectures @

William lane Craig, ‘The Evidence for Christianity’ @
William Lane Craig, ‘Defending the True Historical Jesus’ @
William Lane Craig vs. John Dominic Crossan, ‘Will the real Jesus please stand up?’ @
William Lane Craig & Gerd Ludemann, ‘Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact or Figment?’ @
William Lane Craig vs. Frank Zindler, ‘Atheism versus Christianity - Where does the evidence point?’ @
J.P. Moreland, ‘The Modern Search for the Historic Jesus’ @
J.P. Moreland, ‘How do we know Christianity is right out of all the religions?’ @

On-Line Papers
Richard Baukham, ‘The Eyewitnesses and the Gospel Traditions’ @
Stephen J. Bedard, ‘Paul and the Historical Jesus: A Case Study in First Corinthians’ @
Craig L. Blomberg, ‘The Historical Reliability of the Gospels’ @
Craig L. Blomberg, ‘The Historical Reliability of John’ @
F.F. Bruce, ‘The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?’ @
Paul Copan, ‘You Can’t Trust the Gospels. They’re Unreliable’ @
Paul Copan, ‘Jesus’ followers fabricated the stories and sayings of Jesus’ @
William Lane Craig, ‘The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality’, @
William Lane Craig, ‘Rediscovering the Historical Jesus: Presuppositions and Pretensions of the Jesus Seminar’ @
William Lane Craig, ‘Rediscovering the Historical Jesus: The Evidence for Jesus @
William Lane Craig, ‘Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus’ @
William Lane Craig, ‘The Problem of Miracles: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective’ @
William Lane Craig & Bart Ehrman, ‘Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?’ @
R.T. France, ‘The Gospels as Historical Sources for Jesus’ @
Norman L. Geisler, ‘The Dating of the New Testament’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Recent Perspectives on the Reliability of the Gospels’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘A Summary Critique: Questioning the Existence of Jesus’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘The Facts Concerning the Resurrection’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Jesus’ Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic (Part I)’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Jesus’ Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic (Part II)’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Explaining Away Jesus’ Resurrection: Hallucination – The Recent Revival of Theories’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Resurrection research from 1975 to the present’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Reinterpretations of the Historical Jesus’ @
Gary R. Habermas, ‘Ancient Non-Christian Sources’ @
Greg Koukl, ‘No Lost Books of the Bible’ @
Peter Kreeft, ‘The Divinity of Christ’ @
Alister McGrath, ‘The Resurrection’ @
J.P. Moreland, ‘Philosophical Apologetics, the Church, and Contemporary Culture’ @
J.P. Moreland, ‘The Historicity of the New Testament’ @
J.P. Moreland, ‘A Legendary Jesus and New Testament Dating’ @
Dallas Willard, ‘Language, Being and God: The Three Stages of Theistic Evidence’ @
Ben Witherington III, ‘The Top 10 New Testament Archaeological Finds of the Last 150 years’ @

Books (most will be available from amazon)
Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, (Eerdmans, 2006)
Craig A. Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, (IVP, 1987)
Craig A. Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel, (Apollos, 2001)
Paul Copan (ed.), Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan, (Baker, 1998)
Paul Copan & Ronald K. Tacelli (ed.’s), Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact or Figment? A debate between William Lane Craig & Gerd Ludemann, (IVP, 2000)
William Lane Craig, The Son Rises, (Wypf & Stock, 2000)
Stephen T. Davies, Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection, (SPCK, 1993)
Norman L. Geisler, Christian Apologetics, (Baker, 1995)
R. Douglas Geivett & Gary R. Habermas, In Defence of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God’s Action in History, (Apollos, 1997)
Douglas Groothuis, On Jesus, (Wadsworth, 2003)
Gary R. Habermas: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus: Historical Records of His Death and Resurrection, (Thomas Nelson, 1984)
Gary R. Habermas and Anthony Flew, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate, (ed.) Terry Miethe, (Harper & Rowe, 1987)
C.S. Lewis, Miracles, second edition, (Fount, 1998)
J.P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City, (Baker, 1987)
Amy Orr-Ewing, Why Trust The Bible? Answers to 10 tough questions, (IVP, 2005)
Randall Price, The Stones Cry Out: What Archaeology Reveals About the Truth of the Bible, (Harvest House, 1997)
Jeffery L. Sheler, Is The Bible True?, (Harper Collins, 2000)
Richard Swinburne, The Resurrection of God Incarnate, (Clarendon Press, 2003)
Peter Walker, The Weekend that Changed the World: The Mystery of Jerusalem’s Empty Tomb, (Marshall Pickering, 1999)
John Wenham, Easter Enigma: Are the resurrection accounts in conflict?, second edition, (Paternoster, 1992)
Michael J. Wilkins and J.P. Moreland (ed.’s), Jesus Under Fire – Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, (Paternoster Press, 1996)
N.T. Wright, Who Was Jesus?, (SPCK, 1992)

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