Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Friday, January 04, 2008

    Lee Strobel Responds to Bart Erhman's book "Misquoting Jesus"

    I thought this was an excellent response that defends the Lord's preserving work on His Word through His people.


    Vinny said...

    Lee Strobel calls Misquoting Jesus a “one-sided, overblown, terribly misleading account of the text that we have of the New Testament of the Bible.” Lee Strobel’s approved expert on textual criticism, Daniel Wallace, says “Most of the book (chs. 1–4) is basically a popular introduction to the field [of textual criticism], and a very good one at that.” Strobel is the one who is being misleading.

    swordbearer said...

    Textual criticism is a recurring issue the church deals with both on the level of ignorance (those unfamiliar with history/scholarship) as well as defending against new attacks.

    Lee Strobel's arguments are great, and the student who delves deeper into more scholarly research and study of textual analysis/criticism will find overwhelming evidence on the side of the church...everything from the internal and external evidences, including the internal testimonies of Jesus and the apostles, the numerous extra-biblical quotations - references - discussions, the historical methods of communications/propagation, the geographical distribution of the witnesses, the etc. As one put it concerning the text of the gospels: "though on minor points of reading absolute certainty may often be unattainable, a text of the Gospels can be reached, the freedom of which from serious modification or interpolation is guaranteed by the concurrence of different lines of ancient and independent evidence."

    To put it in laymen terms, just compare the difference between the evidence concerning the Scriptures and the evidence concerning the writings of Shakespeare, and who do you ever hear questioning whether what we have is the writing of Shakespeare or not?

    This is certainly one area among many the church can speak with confidence and great weight.

    What's so beautiful is not only the wisdom God has shown in the preservation of his Word, but the way he has done it as well, for even the accusations and debates have been used of God throughout history (and especially in the early centuries) providing even greater assurance through the care and process, not only to ensure the identification and proper preserving of the text, but the adequate care and guarding of the text as well! It's just another area where the glory of God is revealed through all things that take place!

    irqconflict said...

    My faith was tested not too long ago, I wasn't aware of any textual 'errors' in the KJV and was a little disturbed by this until I realized that inerrancy has more to do with doctrine and Truth than whether or not all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.

    A hint of the possibility this could happen is found at the end of revelations:

    Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    yknot said...

    I agree with vinny. Having read "Misquoting Jesus" myself Bart takes a straightforward and honest approach to the problem. You will notice in Lee's video that he never actually points out anything that Bart said that was incorrect, not one thing. Saying that something is one-sided, misleading, and terribly overblown requires that Lee would have to disagree on some point with Bart. Instead we find Lee repeatedly saying that Bart is right about this or that all the way through the video clip. If Lee can't even produce an argument on any point in Bart's book then he shouldn't do these type's of rebuttals, maybe he better leave the scholarship to the scholars.
    On swordbearer's comments, about writings of Shakespeare I really don't see how this is related. No one's eternal destiny depends on the writings of Shakespeare, so if Shakespeare has been corrupted from it's original version then who really cares?
    It seems to me that the only people who are upset about Bart's book are those whose faith depends on the doctrine of inerrancy. If someone believes the Bible to be inerrant, they they really haven't read it very closely and I would suggest they read it again with eyes wide open this time. Christianity does not rely on whether or not the Bible is true or not, it only relies on whether you believe it or not, this is called faith. When you come across contradictions, errors, failed prophecies, etc in the Bible and you ask your pastor/minister about it, then he will tell you that all you need is faith.