Earlier generations were unwilling to challenge the Bible from a scientific or historical point of view, but now we are willing, and, moreover, we can.
Biblical scholarship has reached a new high in recent decades. New and better evidence has become available for historians, theologians, archaeologists and linguists to scrutinize for factual accuracy and new meanings. They have a better understanding of 1st Century Palestinian society than ever before.
Scholars go back to the earliest possible sources to uncover the influence of the numerous editors and translators. They can discern with a high degree of certainty where sections have been added or where original material has been altered. They examine the style and language of different passages to identify where several authors were at work. They study the context in which the manuscripts were written so they can piece together clues and fill in the gaps.
And yet many Christians continue to insist that the gospels were written by eye witnesses and are 100% reliable testimonies.
Much of what I included in my book, 201 Things About Christianity You Probably Don’t Know (But Ought To) has been known for at least a couple of centuries and taught in seminaries and theological colleges around the world. Some has found a wider platform in the broadcast media and literature, but is rarely communicated to the people in the pews.
It’s about time it was!
Copyright David Lawrence Preston, 23.8.2016
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @David_L_Preston
Balboa Press, 2015