Authenticity of the New Testament

The historicity of the New Testament is important! “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ we are to be pitied more than all men!” 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 Critics say the NT books were written after the Apostolic age. They contain legends They are events that are not historical The books were written by church people to develop a particular belief They are not written by the claimed authors They were not sent to the people that supposedly received them Authenticity is. . . the general historicity and reliability of the New Testament documents (Authenticity is not the same as proving inerrancy or inspiration.) It is possible to prove that these books are authentic: They were written when they claim to be They were written by the claimed authors They were received by the claimed recipients Proving the Authenticity of the New Testament Documents 1) Effects must have adequate cause a) 2000 years of Christian history has resulted b) Tremendous impact on world history c) Millions of personal testimonies of changed lives All history must come from written records. When we see Christianity’s written record and also, the powerful effect it has today we can accept the New Testament and its recorded events as authentic. 2) Quality and Quantity of available manuscripts a) No other document form antiquity even begins to approach the number of available manuscripts of the NT. 3) Time elapse a) Time elapse between original manuscript and earliest existing copy of manuscript is comparatively incredible: 50 years 4) Early Translations a) Ancient literature was rarely translated into another language b) The Syria and Latin translations were done about 150 AD 5) Early Church Fathers a) We have letters and writings of men who knew and heard the apostles teach. b) These men quoted the NT documents during the years 70-150 AD in their writings. c) These men would not have: - tolerated a change in the apostles writings or teaching - quoted from a false book - altered or added to the teachings or words Indirect Confirmations to the Authenticity of the New Testament Documents 1. Paul always begins his epistles with his name and claims authorship. 2. Extensive undesigned coincidences running through the NT books proving Paul to be the author. There are references to people, places, situations that align with Acts and other epistles he wrote. 3. Linguistic evidence is consistent with the claimed author. a) Paul’s style and vocabulary remains the same in all his books. b) John’s also remains the same. (example: “word” “light”) 4. Archaeology and anthropology confirms places and customs recorded in the Bible 5. Written in Koine Greek and not Classical Greek. a) Stories/poems/legends were written in Classical Greek b) Koine Greek was discovered in the late 1800’s to be the language of common life. For example: letters, notes, bills, etc. have been found using Koine “The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not arrogated by the critic to himself.” - Aristotle (“arrogated” means “to claim or seize without right; to appropriate to oneself arrogantly; to ascribe or attribute without reason.”) Modern critics are presuming to deny the Bible’s claims simply because of their own anti-super naturalistic philosophic presuppositions. “One must listen to the claims of the document under analysis, and not assume fraud or error unless the author disqualified himself by contradictions or known factual inaccuracies.”