Thursday, February 19, 2015

Newsweek’s Latest Story about the Bible

Newsweek Kurt Eichenwald Bible New Testament Canon Manuscripts

2014_12_26_Cover_600 x 800
 
 
People with different perspectives are a lot like two ships passing on a foggy night, moving in different directions, not able to see the other. Except for a few flashing lights, the roar of massive engines, and the blast of a loud horn, it’s as if they were in the deep all alone. A collision is always a threat.[2]

Chuck Swindoll


Our job, is to faithfully give the best arguments possible from the purest heart possible.” [3]

Douglas Groouthuis, Christian Apologetics




Introduction

A day before Christmas Eve 2014, professional journalist Kurt Eichenwald wrote a lambasting cover story in Newsweek criticizing Christian leaders, politicians, and some pastors over certain claims they make about the Bible.[4]


Before this article, I had not heard of Eichenwald. Nonetheless, after a simple Google search, I had the chance to observe him on a past C-SPAN interview in the middle of 2014 in a segment called The Washington Journal. Here, he was countering conspiracy theorists (i.e. U.N. is taking over the USA) that have very little to no substantive evidence to go on.[5] For instance, he references that conspiracy theories in of themselves are not innately evil. For example, we have a robbery at the Watergate hotel with one of the accused has connections to the committee to re-elect the president.[6] However, he says other theories, with little to no valid proof, are so out there, they affect innocent people’s lives.[7] Overall, I totally affirm this, praying for soundly evidenced assertions moving beyond mere opinion, avoiding what Eichenwald calls “suppositions.” [8]

With that said, the recent Newsweek cover story named The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin, composed by Eichenwald, hugs or drives over the solid white line separating good and bad argumentation. Moreover, intentional or not, Eichenwald has many suppositions – the very thing he calls for us to avoid.[9] Of course, to avoid them myself, I will have to back up the claim I just made. In order to do so, I will offer a respectful critique of Eichenwald’s suppositions and conclusions, although I am not the only evangelical respondent.

From what I have seen so far, evangelical Christians from a wide variety of backgrounds (not on the same side on other issues) have been respectful with some being in-depth scholarly review’s well worth reading and citing.
[10] Further, Newsweek has posted on their own website a well-evidenced response by scholar Dr. Michael Brown.[11] However, Brown’s critique has not received the same amount of exposure. How?

While out and about one day with my kids, I heard Brown’s critique was posted on the Newsweek’s actual site.[12]  Curious to see if it was in print, on the way home we stopped by Barnes and Nobel. We made our way to the Current Events magazine section. I picked up the latest Newsweek, and checked the table of contents in the most-recent Newsweek.[13] Regrettably, Brown’s article was nowhere. Even though Brown’s reply in the internet edition is a good start, and Brown received considerable space, it is not receiving the same double exposure compared to Eichenwald’s contribution to the web and national printed editions. CNN Money reports that Newsweek’s Editor-in-chief Jim Impoco concluded, “Early and conservative estimates show that the Bible issue will end up as the magazines bestselling cover of 2014” and also “racked up 500,000 hits online.”[14]
Because of these stats, it is concerning evangelicals do not receive the same amount of press time. It is also disappointing that there is room for a printed story about Putin, then a follow-up a couple of weeks later, but no room for a printed response to Eichenwald?[15] It could be in the works to include Brown’s or someone else’s response in a forthcoming newstand edition – hopefully.

Regardless, Brown’s and other critiques lack a few essentials, some of which others have mentioned in the comment sections under these critiques that I will leave unnamed.
[16] One is the inclusion of footnotes. Although the nature of blog posts may be taken as not requiring footnotes, yet footnote citation is more of an asset than a liability.[17] In doing so, I think they free up the body of the text from the clutter of in-text citation(i.e. Name Of Book Here Then Page Number 123).  Second, I will be examining the Newsweek piece in areas where it has not been evaluated at all or other review’s lack depth, intentional or not, in a specific area or two. Of course, some will think and feel the same way about my approach, which I welcome in the spirit of respectful peer-review.

In this evaluation, I take a look at Eichenwald’s suppositions and conclusions about the following. First, I will lay out that evangelicalism and fundamentalism are not synonymous. Second, respond to critiques about the reliability of the study on the manuscript transmission process called textual criticism. Thirdly, I will offer counter arguments about questions surrounding the authenticity about past and current Bible translations.
[18] With that to the side, let’s get to it. 

Take a Look #1

Fundamentalist = Evangelical?


The other day, our kids were continuing their quest to learn how to ride a bike, but to no avail. Frustrated, I watched a few YouTube videos on the subject. For those in similar situations, bike enthusiasts recommended taking off the pedals, concentrate on the balancing first and tackling the pedaling later. Delighted and armed with new info, I gathered my tools and headed to complete the task. Then I realized I did not look up on how to take them off. At face value, defining on what is the correct way to loosen each pedal seems straightforward. Overall, both pedals look alike and essentially have similar functions. However, a different bike expert video distinctly said that one of the two pedals was not how one loosens your everyday bolt or screw. One is reverse thread loosening to the right and the other the left-handed direction. Thankful I gained this info; the removal process went more smoothly than if I hadn’t. I would have defined in my mind, mistakenly; the process would be the same since they appear to be identical. This analogy is equivalent with evangelicalism and fundamentalism. Eichenwald, explicitly or implicitly, indicates they are the same. [19] However, at face value, like the removal process with bike pedals, it is not that clear.[20]


Definitions

Defining a movement can have an essential core, which is no different for evangelicalism. For American Evangelicalism, that core is, as Douglas Sweeney writes, “Evangelicals are a gospel people. On this nearly all agree. We are people of the Great Commission...”[21] Moreover, Jonathan Yeager reveals that within the British context “Those who shared convictions on the Bible, the need for conversion, Christ’s death on the cross, and a desire to see the gospel proclaimed…” have been considered evangelical.[22] However, how is it different from Fundamentalism? In the 20th century, there was a movement by some to define and distinct themselves from their fundamentalist roots. These ties often led believers to be insulated from many parts of everyday culture and led the mind to be intellectually shallow. [23] Historical theologian Albert Mohler points out:
After World War II ended, a movement of young leaders, pastors, theologians, evangelists, and organizers came together to create a new conservative alternative to fundamentalism. They were, in fact, the founding fathers of modern evangelicalism— men such as Billy Graham, Harold John Ockenga, Carl F. H. Henry, and Charles Fuller. Some, including Henry, E. J. Carnell, Gleason Archer, and Kenneth Kantzer, pursued doctoral degrees at prestigious universities to gain access to the larger intellectual conversation. These ‘New Evangelicals,’ as they styled themselves, were determined to maintain a clear and unquestioned commitment to theological orthodoxy and to oppose theological liberalism in all its forms. Yet they also wanted to distinguish themselves and their movement from theological engagement, a withdrawal from social responsibility, and an eccentric list of theological preoccupations.[24] (emphasis mine)

Many would deflect this and claim that Mohler is a fundamentalist anyway because he promotes conservative values on major TV networks and is president of a Southern Baptist Seminary.[25] However, self-proclaimed fundamentalist Kevin Bauder, says Mohler is not really a, “fundamentalist in the proper sense of the term. Genuine differences remain between historic fundamentalism and his version of confessional evangelicalism.”[26] Roger Olson, though rejecting Mohler’s “narrower” view of defining orthodox evangelicalism, in the end does not categorize Mohler as carrying the fundamentalist flag. More importantly, Mohler himself strives to shake off fundamentalist labels. When he was in seminary, he strived to avoid fundamentalist thinking. He searched for an alternative that engaged the culture, that did not stray over into liberalism.[27] On doctrines such as biblical inerrancy, he shoots for a position that is not within mainline Protestantism, but is engaging others outside one’s realm of thinking. These interacting actions, to a great degree, counter the overall fundamentalist ethic.[28]

Admittedly, some hearing theologians, such as Mohler, can come away with the perception that they are fundamentalists. Partly, this is because their beliefs on the essentials that make headlines are similar like on the bodily resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:12-20) and the Trinity (Matt 28:18).
[29] In addition, both hold, in their own way, a high-view of the Scripture.

On the other hand, I stress again; the pedals are different in distinctive ways. David Dockery has classified four sub-groups within probably the largest North American Protestant denomination,
[30] the Southern Baptist Convention: fundamentalist,[31] conservative evangelicals, moderates, and liberals.[32] This is not surprising since I have read elsewhere and experienced that Southern Baptists churches, while connected, it is like a herd of cats – each going in their own direction. Put another way, though they have continuity, each SBC affiliated church has a great deal of autonomy. Because of this and more, Eichenwald’s over generalizations should be curbed in future publications and possible retractions about painting fundamentalism and evangelicalism as being equal.


The pendulum (illustration below) is swinging toward a more, I and other evangelicals contend, biblical outlook on the role of intellect in a believer’s life. Robert Walton’s illustrates:



Even though Robert Walton’s chart does not mention fundamentalism, specifically, it does depict where the church, when it came to the life mind, was moving entering the 20th century.[33] Similar, Mohler, as alluded to before, distinctly advocates moving away from anti-intellectualism and, instead, staying engaged in the culture. One of the major signs of this is looking at key evangelical schools that are leading the way by example of a life of the mind. Jerry Falwell founded Liberty University is one of the biggest online universities and the largest Christian school. They offer many undergraduate and graduate programs. In doing so, they strive not to compromise quality of the education for a large quantity in attendance.[34] Biola University in California and Houston Baptist University also offer great programs in philosophy, science, and theology urging their students to maintain the two greatest commandments even beyond graduation (Matt 22:37-39).[35]

For evangelicals, as the pendulum swings from the intellectual shallowness of fundamentalism, sadly, they have not aided their own image.[36] To varying degree, evangelicals can definitely improve on how we make proposals in video, audio, and written forms.[37] Namely, stating that even though the bike pedals may seem to be the same in many significant ways (fundamentalism = evangelicalism), in many unknown distinct ways they are not. Stated in another way, can they be approximately equal (E ≈ F) in the area of doctrine? Yes. Even so, what about their approach to engaging culture?[38] No. That is the difference, as what Mohler would contend, is the difference Eichenwald fails to see and portray.[39] Recently, my wife and I can watch our kids now pedal their bikes with success. In the future, Eichenwald, by stating these distinctions, can have success too.




Take a Look #2
We Were Duped?

In the first Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movie, the main agent, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) was trying to figure out how to get in contact with an undercover source.[40] To fulfill this task, he had to discern what “Job 314” means.[41] Pondering, he looked across the room in the direction of the book shelf, saw a Bible, and concluded it was referring to “Job 3:14.”[42] He darted across the room, thumbed through the pages, and read “with kings and counselors of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins” (NIV84).[43] He used this information to further his investigation in this action thriller. Even so, were these words actually what the writer of Job really wrote?[44] For better or worse, audiences observing the Mission Impossible film (and elsewhere) would assume so. Nevertheless, were we duped and are not actually reading what was written?

According to Eichenwald, we at best read, “a bad translation of translations of hand-copied copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.” [45] Much of this is true as there are thousands of copies of manuscripts in many diverse languages. It is also correct that there are many english translations that are more literal than others. However, portraying what we have now as “bad” or is at least moderately accurate, or worse we got the table scraps of what was originally written, is a misrepresentation of how the process works. Gratefully, even if they are not plausible, Eichenwald does give reasons for these assertions.


“About 400 years passed the writing of the first Christian manuscripts” Eichenwald writes, “and their compilation into the New Testament.” He may not have cited what he meant here because of space limitations. Despite this, he is probably referring to when Paul writes his letters in the early 50s to when the 27 books of the New Testament were mostly agreed upon at the end of the 4th century at the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397).[46] If this is what he means, then that would be closer to about 300 to 350 years vs. the claimed 400. A bigger issue is that there were compilations before 393. These included most of the 27 NT books that we now find in most Bibles sitting, like Ethan Hunt character, on bookshelves today


When Eichenwald refers to the “first Christian manuscripts” he is alluding to what is called the autographs. This basically means what the author or one of their secretaries (more on this below) originally wrote down. [48] We no longer possess these documents that were probably worn out through continuous use.[49] Nevertheless, this is common dealing with any records in antiquity (the past). [50]

However, is all hope lost of having a general precise idea what the autographs said? No, for the discipline of textual criticism is applied; namely, comparing all the surviving manuscripts and sources that were copied or cited to get an accurate picture as to what the autographs contained. Again, this is a common practice when dealing with historical writings. Theologians Norman Geisler and Frank Turek comment on this commonality stating, “All significant literature from the ancient world is reconstructed into its original form by comparing the manuscripts that survive.” [51] NT Textual Scholar, Eldon Jay Epp, essential agrees stating that in many ways, “New Testament textual criticism is no different from that applied to other ancient literature.” [52]

The autographs are lost. Conversely, we practice the discipline of textual criticism, commonly used with other ancient literature, to reach what autographs originally said.[53] But how does it work? First, in includes alot of sub-disciplines and, as will many areas of study, truck loads of data to analyze. Bart Ehrman, who Eichenwald quoted, and Michael Holmes write:

New Testament textual criticism involves a complicated set of disciplines, many of them in rapid transition. Little in the field is prone to stagnation. Indeed, discoveries of new manuscripts and developments of new methodologies make it difficult (if not impossible) for anyone, even the true expert in the field, to keep abreast of all the advances. Moreover, for the nonexpert, whether professional academician or beginning graduate student, few resources exist that adequately explain recent discoveries and developments. [54] (my emphasis)
Eichenwald, to his benefit, should forthrightly state his own non-expertise in this area in a subsequent edition, but he might have, and I missed it. I understand that some of the force behind his proposals is to let fundamentalists, who act like the Bible fell out of the sky, that these textual problems exist thus maybe prompting more interpretive humility. [55] However, in future articles, like the social sciences; textual criticism area continues to make progress. Scholars are making new discoveries all the time (1st century manuscript of Mark?),[56] but there many issues unsolved (essential doctrines unaffected).[57] The data that they have to work with, Ehrman and Holmes state is wide in variety. I will quote them at length so we can get a glimpse at the abundant and quality of evidence textual critics work with which includes:
Greek manuscripts …the early versions (Diatessaron, Syriac, Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Georgian), patristic citations (Greek, Latin, and Syriac), studies of scribal habits, approaches to manuscript classification, the use of computers for textual criticism, recent apparatuses and critical editions, methods for evaluating variant readings (the Majority text theory, thoroughgoing eclecticism, and reasoned eclecticism), and the use of textual data for early Christian social history.[58]
Beyond this mountain of data, Eichenwald brings a common objection. He directly quotes Bart Ehrman saying that we have more variations between the different manuscripts than “there are words in the New Testament.” [59] However, “most of these discrepancies” Eichenwald points out “are little more than handwritten equivalent of a typo, but the error was then included by future scribes.” [60]

He is right that there are more variants than words in the Bible. More specifically, 300,000 to 400,000 variants vs. around 138,000 words in the Greek New Testament are what textual scholars have concluded.[61] Moreover, he is also right that most of these differences are minor. [62] For example, there are spelling discrepancies like there are two ways of spelling “John” in NT Greek.[63] This chart’s format is from the book Reinventing Jesus, roughly shows the percentages and categories of the different variants.



 Reinventing Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal, 2006 KindleLocations 479-480 [64]

Not all these variants, type 4, can be simply explained. Though his comments are somewhat aimed at Pentecostals, Eichenwald shines a negative light on the last twelve verses of Mark (16:9-21) that are in most modern New Testaments. He contends they are nowhere to be found in the oldest and more reliable manuscript tradition.[65] Respectfully, it is not that straight forward. In a multi-essay publication wrestling with the tension these textual variants place on scholars, Darrell Bock, though favoring the shorter-ending of Mark, he still believes, “The problem with Mark’s ending is complex. All the elements in textual criticism are at play.”[66] Thus, as Eichenwald may agree though did not make clear, there is more work to be done within textual criticism over the issue of the ending of Mark.[67] No essential doctrine is affected.[68]

On the issue of 1st John 5:7, this can be reasonable reconciled through a lesson from church history and not so much textual criticism. What sounds like a bad situation of personal social pressure, notable fifteenth-century Greek scholar, Erasmus was under fire from Englishman E. Lee.[69] Commentator Daniel Akin recalls that Lee was pressuring Erasmus to include what was called the “Johannine Comma” in his Greek New Testament called the Textus Receptus (TR). Erasmus excluded it in his first two editions (1516, 1519).[70] He pointed out to Lee that he was not able to find at manuscripts with this reading in it, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” [71] Lee, sometime later, communicated to Erasmus that he negated to consider some other manuscripts and which he had; this whole situation could have been avoided.[72] What seems to be a “have you gone mad man?” ring to it, Erasmus penned the following addressed indirectly to Lee:

“What sort of indolence is that, if I did not consult manuscripts which I could not manage to have? At least, I collected as many as I could. Let Lee produce a Greek manuscript in which is written the words lacking in my edition, and let him prove that I had access to this manuscript, and then let him accuse me of indolence.”[73]
Well, Lee came up with one, and it was shown to Erasmus. The genuineness of this evidence was under question, but he included the Trinitarian passage anyway in his third edition of the TR, though omitted it in subsequent ones. [74] Nonetheless, the damage was done, and it was at the time the widely accepted as what John actually wrote in the first century.[75] However, most modern translations such as the NIV, NASB, and ESV exclude the passage from the main body. Though fixed like other issues in church history (i.e. Acts 6:1-7), these types of events are unfortunate and taint the very message of the gospel.


Example: Faithful Oral and Written Transmission

With these difficulties in mind, I have confidence that the gospel has been retained. More specifically, through an early Christian tradition that was passed onto Paul before wrote his first letter to the church of Corinth. Before answering questions about the resurrected body, he writes down around 55 A.D. this oral tradition saying:

I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also (1 Cor 15:3-8)[76]


NT scholar and philosopher Gary Habermas lays out 5 detailed arguments as to why these verses are an early oral creed that Paul received before he wrote 1st Corinthians. I detail out below in my “After Thoughts” section as to what those are. Until then, it is suffice to say that Paul probably got this oral information from Peter and James, Jesus’ half brother, around 5 years after Jesus’ death (Gal 1:19-20).

Commenting on 1 Cor 15:3-8, Resurrection scholar N.T. Wright concludes: [77]
This is the kind of foundation-story with which a community is not at liberty to tamper. It was probably formulated within the first two or three years after Easter itself, since it was already in formulaic form when Paul ‘received’ it. We are here in touch with the earliest Christian tradition, with something that was being said two decades or more before Paul wrote this letter.[78]
Orally, this was passed along faithfully. Even so, what about scribe to scribe accuracy? I went to commonly used Bible software called Logos, to show the scribal accuracy of this passage in its original language. Looking at the percentage differences, between these different Greek apparatuses, there is a across the board agreement of nearly 90%.[79]


Text Comparison - 1 Corinthians 15:3–8 


The New Testament in the Original Greek (Westcott and Hort)The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005Cambridge Greek Testament: Greek Text

Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition



10.8% difference

3.7% difference

5.7% difference

1 Co 15:3
παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,
1 Co 15:3
παρέδωκαΠαρέδωκα‌ γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸςχριστὸς‌ ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,·

1 Co 15:3
παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,

1 Co 15:3
παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,γραφὰς

4 καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη, καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,
4 καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη,·‌ καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ‌τρίτῃ‌ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ‌κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,·

4 καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη, καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,

4 καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη ,‌καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ κατὰ τὰς γραφάς,γραφὰς

5 καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ, εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα·
5 καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ, εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα·

5 καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ, εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα·.

5 καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ ,‌εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα·

6 ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ, ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι, τινὲς δὲ ἐκοιμήθησαν·
6 ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ, ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονεςπλείους‌ μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι, τινὲς δὲ ‌καὶ‌ ἐκοιμήθησαν·

6 ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ, ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι, τινὲς δὲ ἐκοιμήθησαν·.

6 ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ, ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι, τινὲς δὲ ἐκοιμήθησαν·

7 ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ, εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν·
7 ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ, εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν·

7 ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ, εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν·.

7 ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ ,‌εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν·

8 ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί.

8 ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων‌,‌ ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι‌,‌ ὤφθη κἀμοί.

8 ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί.

8 ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί. 

 [80]


 
There is a percentage of difference that has yet to be figured out. Yet, pulling all the evidence together the variants are minor.[81] In other words, the gospel that evangelical’s share is historically credible and verifiable. With the Christian faith hinging on the historical truthfulness of Jesus dying and rising on the third day (1 Cor 15:12-20), it is a vote of confidence in the preservation of this central doctrine.

Consequently, what can we conclude about the state of where textual criticism is when dealing with the NT? Eichewald’s quoted scholar, Bart Ehrman, and Michael Holmes conclude:

What, in conclusion, can one say about the utility of the MS tradition of the NT for the scholar of Christian antiquity? Textual scholars have enjoyed reasonable success at establishing, to the best of their abilities, the original text of the NT. [82]
However:
…Much more, however, is left to be done…as we move beyond a narrow concern for the autographs to an interest in the history of their transmission, a history that can serve as a window into the social world of early Christianity.[83]
In sum, we have a good idea of what the originals said, and the work on textual criticism continues to improve building on the work from the past. Therefore, what can we conclude about Eichenwald’s claims? A form of what Daniel Wallace has said in many venues, “an ounce of evidence, outweighs a pound of supposition.” In the end, Eichenwald’s level of despair that the copies of the copies of the copies led to have little to very little of an idea of what the autographs says is inflated. Maybe he will write on this in the future further explaining his view, especially in light of Ehrman’s conclusions elsewhere.

As we end this Take A Look #2, I conclude by stating I empathize with Eichenwald’s frustration. For the main thrust of his article is against biblical illiteracy and the misuse of the Text. Forthrightly, again, I will mention, some evangelical leaders and pastors bite off more than they can chew with their interpretive conclusions. Some of which have been built on sand when the wind comes their way it is easily blown down by mediocre counterarguments. This is what a majority of the world see. This mistakenly equates the anti-intellectual tendencies of fundamentalism with reasoned conservatism that seasoned evangelicals practice.[84] Hopefully, we can move away from this.


Partly echoing Augustine,[85] the late John Wenham’s words are sobering and inquire deep reflection about the transmission and the canonical process of Scripture:


An uncertainty fringe of text and Canon may be a positive blessing, if it forces us to focus our attention upon the central truths of revelation. The guidance of revelation is sufficiently clear on vital matters, even if not entirely clear on less important matters. 
We must hold, on the one hand, to absolute truth of the direct divine utterance. God does not approximately speak truth. Human exposition of what God has said, on the other hand, do approximate to truth, and one can speak meaningfully of different degrees of approximation….We know to a close approximation the nature of the tiny textual alterations. The bottle, as it were, plainly labeled: ‘This mixture is guaranteed to contain less than 0.01 impurities.’ And out Lord himself (in the case of the Old Testament) has set us an example by taking his own medicine. A man’s last will and testament is not invalidated by superficial scribal errors; no more are the divine testaments of the Bible. [86]


Take a Look #3
 
Devastation of Translation?


Professor at Princeton, the late Bruce Metzger, who Ehrman studied under, wrote a book on translations in 2001. Here, he comments on why so many translations have sprung up and what seems to be an endless difference between them. “An obvious reason why English versions differ from one another is the slow, ongoing modification of the English language.” Metzger continues, “Another is the adoption of a particular style and level of English diction suited to a particular age-group or reading public.”[87]

Metzger does, however, concede that there are issues that translating committees do run into that can be very difficult to overcome. Even so, he ends with this thought.


Despite all of the difficulties…readers of the several translations described in this volume ought to consider what the translators of the King James Bible declared in their statement to the reader: ‘We affirm and avow, that the very meanest [in modern English = ‘worst’] translation of the Bible in English … containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: as the King’s speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where.’[88] (emphasis original)
Though in old English, the KJV committee’s affirmations are verified as being true by Metzger himself. Yes, as we saw with textual criticism, there are difficulties to overcome. Despite this, Metzger held we have the word of God in the KJV and modern translations. [89] This conclusion comes from a scholar many modern textual critics, including Ehrman (who Eichenwald quotes), hold in high regard. So high, Ehrman and Holmes reveal this about their mentor:

Raymond Brown has rightly said that Professor Metzger is ‘probably the greatest textual specialist that America has produced.’…Professor Metzger’s own work spans the fifty years covered by these essays; in an astonishing number of instances his scholarship has set the agenda for the discussions that have transpired throughout the period, not only in the United States but everywhere in the world where New Testament textual criticism is practiced. Remarkably, he has at the same time proved adept in making the balanced results of scholarship available to laypersons. As a scholar, mentor, and Christian gentleman, he continues to inspire awe and respect in his colleagues...[90]  

Because of this, scholar and nonprofessionals should consider Metzger’s reasoned conclusions carefully about the state of Bible translations.

Conversely, unlike Metzger, Eichenwald goes a different way. For instance, Jason David Beduhn, Eichenwald’s second scholar quoted, view of the current and past translations seems to be overly critical. Moreover, painting a picture to Newsweek’s readership that translation committees are lost as they navigate which words to choose to bridge from one language to another. The King James Version translating committee, Beduhn states, had a hard time finding, “the correct English words. The committee sometimes compared Latin translations with the earlier Greek copies, found discrepancies and decided on the Latin versions – the later version – was correct and the earlier Greek manuscripts were wrong.” [91]


Still, other NT Greek Scholars, like Daniel Wallace, and biblical scholars, such as the late John Wenham, warn against (or portraying) analyzing scriptural evidence with total despair.[92] Moreover, other experts are not leaning heavily in the direction of hopelessness. For instance, the translating committee members, such as those from the New Revised Standard Version, have reasonable certainty of the translation process. Furthermore, they are not from fundamentalist seminaries either. They are distinguished professors at academic institutions like Harvard Divinity, Duke Divinity, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, and Princeton Theological Seminary. If these learned men and women had the level of doubt that Eichenwald and Beduhn have, why would they be involved in the process of taking a message from one language to another?


Elsewhere, Beduhn can make reasonable conclusions about other historical matters and figures. For example, about Augustine, he writes, “From all of the evidence available to us, Augustine first…” going into some conclusions that are more plausible than their negations. [93] To be clear, Bedhuhn’s conclusions regarding the state of Bible translations are not suppositional, for his case is grounded in evidence.[94] Metzger’s approach, however, is more balanced, including his analysis of the King James Version (KJV). On a side note, above, to save time for some, I wanted to state Metzger’s conclusions upfront before I covered more details. For others to be convinced, it might take more evidence. The following is about the KJV and more responses to Eichenwald on translations.


More Responses: KJV and Modern Translations

Bruce Metzger reveals the King James Version translation process set out before the fifty “learned men” (some from Oxford) in 1604. These men had some procedures to follow, two being 1) to follow the Bishops’ Bible (1568) as much as possible unless Metzger writes, “that certain other translations should be used where they agreed better with the text.”[95] 2) That no marginal notes would be added except “for necessary explanation of Hebrew or Greek words.”[96] They, as do other committees, followed these guidelines and more until the finished product in 1611.

The Newsweek article points out a number of translation examples that are proposed to be deceptive. [97] Moreover, it is further accused that the modern translator has an axe to grind when translating certain passages in order to promote their theological agenda. Again, but for those metric system fans, a gram of evidence, outweighs a kilogram of presumption.


Eichenwald writes that post 1611 King James English translations, “were often converted into phrases that most closely fitted the preconceptions of even more translators. In other words, religious convictions determined translation choices.” [98] Rightly said, that the translations have changed, but wrong on the motive. Translators are, in part, reacting to what the public wants just like the public did around 1611 because who wanted to read or hear the Latin Vulgate anymore? [99] Noting what the public wants, Professor of Biblical Studies Adele Berlin at University of Maryland, states, “The magnificence of the King James no longer resonates with many readers, although some still prefer it. What they prefer, however, is not actually the original King James Version, but an updated version that is easier for the modern English reader.”[100] The KJV is a classic that is one of many valid translations, not the translation as some make it out to be.


However, full disclosure, publishers will and do fund the translating committees to take into account the latest textual criticism research, as alluded to above, when going through the translation process. Some of them are non-profit organizations like the multi-denominational Lockman Foundation, which is behind the New American Standard Bible (NASB).[101] On the other side of the coin, there are for-profit companies, like Zondervan, that is behind the New International Version.[102] One would meet with skepticism either one, but in both, they are up front, usually in the preface, about their methodology. The NIV states:


The goal of the New International Version (NIV) is to enable English-speaking people from around the world to read and hear God’s eternal Word in their own language. Our work as translators is motivated by our conviction that the Bible is God’s Word in written form....Out of these deep convictions, we have sought to recreate as far as possible the experience of the original audience-blending transparency to the original text with accessibility for the millions of English speakers around the world. We have prioritized accuracy, clarity and literary quality with the goal of creating a translation suitable for public and private reading, evangelism, teaching, preaching, memorizing and liturgical use. We have also sought to preserve a measure of continuity with the long tradition of translating the Scriptures into English.[103]
It goes further to state their translation method, how gender sensitivity is taken into account, avoiding overly used American style of language since English is spoken elsewhere, and so forth. [104] There is no hidden agenda, except maybe for the Jehovah Witness version called the New World Translation (NWT).[105]

That said, publishers have flooded the market with every type of study Bible you can think of like the “Duck Tape Bible” for guys and “Mom Study Bible’s.” These are not unique translations in their own right; it is confusing for the everyday reader to appear that the Bible has been changed. [106] Even so, translating committees strive to produce a Bible that suits the purposes laid out in the preface, but most likely remains faithful to what the biblical author intended.

Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, one could say that the translators had an agenda to translate the Bible in ways that suits there theologically bias. By doing so, they arbitrarily impose on the masses of believer’s their one-sided rendering of what they want the text to say. However, respectfully, to take this path without substantive proof is a supposition, or worse, fallacious (genetic fallacy). Still, Eichenwald does point out some specific instances where words have changed. This is what I will review two of them next.


1. Paul’s usage and the word “form” in Philippians: Eichenwald states:
In Philippians, the King James Version translate some words to designate Jesus as ‘being in the form of God.’ The Greek word for form could simply mean Jesus was in the image of God. But the publishers of some Bibles decided to insert their beliefs into translations that had nothing to do with the Greek. (emphasis original)
The specific text that he is referring to is Philippians 2:6 which states in the King James
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:[107] (my emphasis)
This phrase in the Greek for the KJV “the form” is morphē (μορφή). NT scholar Richard R. Melick makes known, “Commentators have debated hotly the meaning of the word” Eichenwald calls into question.[108] Even though the explanation is well past the enunciation “tomato” or whatever they say, it is not beyond comprehension.

In part, Eichenwald is spot on. Some translations do change the KJV “being in the form of God” such as the commonly used New International Version (NIV). It says, “Who, being in very nature God.” Nevertheless, many scholars give the NIV praise for doing so as New Zealand NT scholar, the late Francis Foulkes says, “Powerful words are used here. The participle being comes from a stronger verb in the Greek than the normal verb ‘to be’; this is followed by a noun that is well translated by the niv as in very nature.”[109] Additionally, Richard Melik, counter to Eichenwald’s claim, mentions that this text does have to do with the Greek. He writes:

In the Greek text, the phrase is introduced with an article so that it should read “the equality with God,” referring back to something already identified as equality. Thus “form of God” and “equality with God” refer to the same state of existence. [110]
In sum, NT scholars Foulkes and Melik, along with others, offer explanations as to why the KJV was changed, even from the Greek bringing doubt to Eichenwald’s claims

2. Sketchy word exchanges dealing with who and what to worship: Briefly, I will comment on claims that the word “worship” is used in the KJV has been altered significantly from the KJV to modern translations. Eichenwald prefaces this portion with stating saying that this “kind of manipulation occurs many times” then laying out in more detail says:


When the King James Bible was written, “worship” could be used to describe both exhibiting reverence for God and prostrating oneself. While not perfect, it’s a decent translation….But English Bibles adopted later—the New International Bible, the New American Standard Bible, the Living Bible and so on—dropped the word worship when it referenced anyone other than God or Jesus. And so each time προσκυνέω appeared in the Greek manuscript regarding Jesus, in these newer Bibles he is worshipped, but when applied to someone else, the exact same word is translated as “bow” or something similar. By translating the same word different ways, these modern Bibles are adding a bit of linguistic support to the idea that the people who knew Jesus understood him to be God.[111]


Eichenwald then states, “In other words, with a little translational trickery, a fundamental tenet of Christianity—that Jesus is God—was reinforced in the Bible, even in places where it directly contradicts the rest of the verse.”[112] Although, how much of a change has there been with προσκυνέω? Using Logo’s Bible Software again, we can compare the differences between the King James, New American Standard, and New International Versions. The Greek word under anaylisis is used 54 times in the NT. προσκυνέω, as translated in the KJV, is represented by dark blue. The other colors are the different forms translated into in the NIV, NASB, and NKJV.



As you can see, according to Logos, the use of προσκυνέω for the word for “worship” though different between the distinct versions, it is not to the degree Eichenwald seems to be claiming. The KJV a majority of the time is still in agreement with the NIV and NASB. If Eichenwald wants to lead his readership for a modern translation that has the greatest parrell to the KJV in this regard, the NKJV, as shown, is the most inline.

The Living Bible: Since Eichenwald does mention The Living Bible implying it can be paralleled along with the KJV, NASB and NIV, I will offer this. The 1971 Living Bible, authored by Kenneth Taylor, was written for the purpose to make the Bible more understandable. It acknowledges in the preface that it is a paraphrase. Taylor writes, “A word should be said here about paraphrases. What are they? To paraphrase is to restate something in different words than the author used normally with the goal of clarifying the meaning of what was originally communicated.” Taylor’s intention to clean up the meaning seems to have led to additions and deletions that were unnecessary as Metzger states, “Although the language for the most part is clear and easy to understand, unfortunately sometimes the text is expanded at length with imaginative details for which there is no warrant in the original.”[113]

According to Meztger, a “clear” example of an addition is the beginning words of the Old Testament book of Amos.[114] In the table below, compared against the literal American Standard Version (ASV), one can see the unnecessary colorfulness added by Taylor.

ASV
The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, [115]
The Living Bible
Amos was a herdsman living in the village of Tekoa. All day long he sat on the hillsides watching the sheep, keeping them from straying. [116]


In short, The Living Bible is not a credible translation, but can serve as a paraphrase. Just as the contemporary paraphrase Bible called The Message states, “It is not intended to replace the excellent study Bibles that are available.[117] Same goes for Taylor’s rendition.

So where does this leave us? Translating is a difficult process that not only one academic discipline is involved. Y.C. Whang contends that the development of translation is interdisciplinary and the “….semantic procedure of translation is at the same time sociological and cultural.”[118] Moreover, there are other issues to tend too. Metzger and Robert C. Dentan, and Walter Harrelson openly admit, “several kinds of recurring problems involving the translation process—textual, lexical, and literary.” [119] With that said, the situation is not hopeless.

In the past, jokingly some have said that if you have everyone read out loud, a translation from their Bible’s on a Sunday morning it would seem like on the day of Pentecost; different languages were being spoken (Acts 2:4). However, is the translation process a devastation that is linguistically unrecoverable, culturally non-transferable, and conversationally unattainable? No, for it takes work that is being molded all the time. It is detailed, laboring, and can be a double-edged sword, as Robert Thomas describes, “The existence of many versions is advantageous in making the gospel known more widely, but it is disadvantageous because a choice of the ‘best’ translation for regular use becomes more complex.”[120]

I say we embrace the complexity with the best reading, translation or otherwise, that is more plausible than its negations, setting aside the chains of unreasonable certainty that is epistemologically impossible to attain. [121] In essence, we can conclude that it is notthe devastation of the translation, but as Craig Blomberg lays out:

Except for aberrant translations produced by sects or cults to promote their distinctive doctrines, every Bible on the market today is sufficiently faithful in its translation so that its readers can learn all of the fundamental truths of Christianity accurately.[122]


Conclusions to the Suppositions

Eichenwald, again, is a professional journalist. Furthermore, he has covered in a balanced way, other subjects such as modern-day conspiracy theories. However, his critique falls in the lane of what NT scholar Craig Evans calls “hypercriticism.” [123] Herein, I was unable to cover all of Eichenwald’s claims. Though I do not believe much of what he said, it is not my purpose to cover it all a medium to in-depth way. For the sake of argument, I will leave certain conclusions standing. In contrast, Eichenwald’s conclusions on the three areas I did cover I have shown are suppositions. That is, evangelicalism is not the same as fundamentalism. Moreover, there is not total despair that the textual transmission of the text was so tainted by scribes, we do not have anything close to what was initially written by Paul, Luke, and other NT authors. Lastly, though translations are not the exact words of God as originally written on the autographs, they can be consider God’s word that we can read, exegete, interpret, and apply in our lives. More importantly, the central message has been retained. As Craig Evans words spell out, undergirded by Peter’s sermon at Pentecost,[124] on what the Scriptures are ultimately about, I have optimism that Eichenwald will consider:
The message that runs throughout the New Testament writings and the earliest Christian communities was that God had raised Jesus, to which Peter and many others (including one or two noncommitted persons, such as Jesus’ brothers James and perhaps Jude, and at least one opponent, Paul) bore witness. It was the reality of the resurrection and its impact on those who heard and responded to it in faith that propelled the new movement forward, not ‘mistake-free’ Scripture.[125]





After Thoughts

Although I wrote about this in footnote, the definition of biblical inerrancy must be briefly touched upon. Eichenwald mentioned it several times in a recent radio interview (01/21/2015) on the Line of Fire with biblical scholar Michael Brown.[126] In that interview, Eichenwald said he could not hold to biblical inerrancy as it has been defined to him. Moreover, this is a human teaching and not directly from the Bible itself.[127] In response, I think that if Eichenwald saw a few recognized definitions of what inerrancy means within evangelical scholarship, I think this might clear at least some misunderstandings.[128]

Even so, first I must address Eichewald’s assertion that since, “No where in the Gospels or Acts or Epistles or Apocalypses does the New Testament say it is the inerrant word of God.” [129] He is right that the doctrine is not a dogma, or a direct teaching from Scripture. However, it is an inferred. Similarly, the word “Bible” is an inferred word, starting in the 3rd century, that evangelicals accept it to mean the 66 books from Genesis to Revelations.[130] With little hesitation, Eichenwald uses the word to mean at least some sort of collection of books that Christians recognize as authoritative. Why not have some flexibility with defining what inerrancy, or that the Bible is truthful in all that it affirms, actually means for evangelicals?

Broadly speaking, Kevin Vanhoozer says, “inerrancy means that God’s authoritative Word is wholly true and trustworthy in everything it claims about what was, what is, and what will be.[131] Overall, echoing Vanhoozer, J.I. Packer articulates, “inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.” [132] Moreover, Packer states elsewhere, “Inerrancy signifies the total truthfulness of a source of information that contains no mistakes. [133]

Somewhat more focused in, Paul Feinberg says inerrancy is “when all facts are known, The Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they affirm, whether that has to with doctrine or morality or with the social, physical, or life sciences.”[134]

Exhaustive definitions have been formed, such as the 1970’s Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy. Systematic theologian Wayne Grudem summarizes the history of this statement. He writes that a body of 300 scholars and pastors, “drafted the ‘Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy’ in 1978 that affirmed the inerrancy of Scripture and defined what most evangelicals understand by the term inerrancy”[135] (emphasis original). The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) adopted this statement as its guide to the definition of inerrancy. However, a detailed critique of this statement is beyond the bounds of our purposes here. It is suffice to say that the affirmations and denials of the Chicago Statement are edifying for evangelicals, but they are not creedal. In fact, there is room for improvement.[136]

With that said, David Dockery’s definition is sober and in fact, personally, very freeing.

Inerrancy defined is:
When all the facts are known, the Bible (in its original writings) properly interpreted in light of which culture and communication means had developed by the time of its compositin will be shown to be completely true (and therefore not false) in all that it affirms, to the degree of precision intended by the author, in all matters relating to God and his creation.”[137]
This definition states that Scripture is truthful it all it affirms, but we must not view God’s words through human authorship as being authored in modern times. Preciseness then is not what preciseness is now. If Webster was published in the 1st century, though with much overlap, it would look distinctly different from what we pick up today. However, these can be overcome without compromising biblical inerrancy as defined by Dockery and others. [138]

However, I want to end with an affirmation. Partly, Eichenwald’s intention, from what I gather, was to push the Christian that espouses proof text after proof text at someone else without applying the truthful word of God into one’s own life, is hypocritical and a major turn off to all. Wayne Grudem, while defining what inerrancy is, goes further

To say that Scripture is truthful in everything it says is to say that it is ‘inerrant’; it does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.

Certainly, truthfulness is not the only characteristic of Scripture associated with its divine authorship. It is also powerful and beautiful and necessary for awakening and sustaining our spiritual life. We are to tremble at its warnings, rejoice in its promises, receive with faith the salvation it offers, and speak the praises it contains.[139]

Amen

Eichenwald’s Canon Compilation Time Line

Above, I briefly mentioned that Eichenwald said that 400 years passed before between when the books were actually written and their “compilation into the New Testament.” [140] I also mentioned that it is more like 300 to 350 years till the 27 were decided on, especially in the Western church. However, before the council of Hippo and Carthage, we have information far earlier as to what was considered a part of the NT canon (meaning standard).[141]

Scriptural Clues: In the first century, an unknown amount of Paul’s letters in 2 Peter 3:15-16 is inferred as being “Scripture.”

Heretics: If enemies agree on something, that is worth taking notice for there is no plausible axe to grind. The second century heretic, Marcion, affirmed 10 out of 13 of Paul’s letters and the gospel, though his edited version, the gospel of Luke. F.F. Bruce outlines out that Marcion’s order for the Pauline books: Galatians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Romans, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, Ephesians (he named it “Laodiceans”), Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon.[142] As far as 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus, Bruce suggests, “this could be the result of his deliberately leaving them out, but more probably the copy of the Pauline corpus which he used as the basis of his edition lacked them, as the Chester Beatty codex of Paul’s letters (P46) evidently did.”[143] Another 2nd century heretic named Valentinus, according to Bruce, wrote some treatises where he quotes the books of, “Matthew and Luke (possibly with Acts), the gospel and first letter of John, the Pauline letters (except the Pastorals), Hebrews and Revelation” as if they were authoritative.[144]

Muratorian Fragment: More signs as to what was considered canonical come from the Muratorian Fragment. Though some arguments against this conclusion, it has commonly been dated to somewhere in the late second century. [145] Whatever the dating, the most important thing according to critical NT scholars Luke Timothy Johnson and Todd C. Penner is not so much the dating (late 2nd vs 4th century), but it gives us a glimpse of how the canization process worked.[146] They point out:

The document is both fascinating and confusing. In it, we find listed most of the writings of the present canon: the four Gospels and Acts; the letters of Paul, including the Pastorals; two letters of John (1 and 2); the letter of Jude; and the Apocalypse of John—twenty-two of the twenty-seven writings. More interesting are the variations. There is no mention of a third letter of John, Hebrews, James, or—and this seems strange for a Western provenance—any letters of Peter. None of these documents is necessarily rejected; they are simply not listed. [147]

Irenaeus: Many of the church’s leaders and key thinkers past the time of the apostles mention certain books as Scripture.[148] Symbolically, in the second century Irenaeus (120-202) speaks of a four gospel tradition about Jesus Christ and specifically quoting John 1:1. [149] Moreover, Irenaeus accepts all 13 of Paul’s epistles and most likely Acts, 1st Peter, 1 and 2nd John, and Revelations. [150]

There is more evidence. However, for our purposes here, it is suffice to say there are signs the canonical books of what we now call the New Testament were coming together if not the first century, at least by the second. Way before Eichenwald’s fourth century dating.

1 Cor 15:3-8: Early Church Tradition

How do we know 1 Cor 15:3-8 is a early church creed that Paul received from someone else? Gary Habermas lays out 5 arguments: First, Paul uses unique terms that mean he was passing on information that was given to him prior to writing 1 Corinthians (55 A.D). These terms are “delivered” or “passed” (NIV84) and “received.” Transliterated from the Greek: paradidōmi for “delivered”[151] and paralambanō for “received”[152] NT Commentator Anthony C. Thiselton concurs with Habermas noting that these words, “…handing on and receiving which constitutes, in effect, an early creed which declares the absolute fundamentals of Christian faith and on which… Christian identity is built.”[153] Second, there are many non-Pauline terms used. Habermas writes that some of these terms not used by Paul elsewhere are, “for our sins” (v. 3); “according to the scriptures” (vv. 3–4); “he has been raised” (v. 4); the “third day” (v. 4); “he was seen” (vv. 5–8); and “the twelve” (v. 5).”[154] The Dictionary of Paul and His Letters agrees with this assessment contending, “The vocabulary in these verses is full of rare terms and expressions Paul never uses in other places.”[155] Third, Habermas says the creed is probably, “…organized in a stylized, parallel form.”[156] Due to this, it shows further signs of being an “oral and confessional” type of material formed before Paul.[157] Fourth, since Paul uses the word “Cephas” this suggests there is an earlier Semantic source Paul is using before, “Paul’s Greek translation.”[158] Fifth, since Paul uses three times the words “and that” and twice alludes to “according to the Scriptures” gives further signals that this is, according to Habermas, “..ancient Hebrew narration.”[159]

Now that we can reasonably see that Paul received this from somewhere else we have to consider where he got it. Most NT scholars agree that Paul received this early kerygma from Peter and James, the half brother of Jesus, in Jerusalem less than 5 years after Jesus’ death.”[160] How they get to this conclusion is based on the following:

In Galatians Paul writes that, “18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. (Gal 1:18-19 NIV84). If one dates Paul’s conversion at about 2 years after the death of Jesus, then he writes in verse 18 that three years after that he went to Jerusalem to “get acquainted” with Peter. He said he did not see anyone else in verse 19 but James, the Lords brother. When Paul wrote “get acquainted” the Greek word he uses here is historeō (ἱστορέω) which is where we get our word “history” from. [161] More importantly, historeō (ἱστορέω) means according to the LSJ“…visit a person for the purpose of inquiry,” the BDAG [162] “…visit (for the purpose of coming to know someone or something,”[163] and Lown-Nida ”visit and get information” [164] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) expands the explanation to what historeō (ἱστορέω) means in Gal 1:18 espousing, “… but he had nothing in common with Greek historical writing, though he does use ἱστορέω at Gl. 1:18—the only occurrence in the NT—in the common Hellenistic sense of “visit in order to get to know.”[165] As the TDNT says, this is the only occurrence in the NT this word is used which adds even more significance that Paul was inquiring about information about what Peter(also probably James) saw and knew about Jesus of Nazareth after his crucifixion. It appears that Paul was not going down to “get acquainted” (NIV84) with Peter’s favorite color or to hang out to be guys. He wanted to know what Peter knew about Jesus and also James, the Lord Brother (Gal 1:18-19). Since Peter (Cephas in 1 Cor 15:4) and James (1 Cor 15:7) are listed in the early creed that has been in discussion in this paper, there is good indication that Paul received the historical early account from these two apostles especially Peter who was a part of the inner circle.[166] Habermas lists many NT scholars who agree with this general framework outlined above.[167]

What add’s authenticity to Paul’s account of what gospel he had received in a divine sense (Gal 1:12, 16) and he got to know what Peter (probably James) knew was well (Gal 1:18-19) as we laid out above. Around 14 years later Paul met with some of the Jerusalem leaders. Paul writes, “As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message.[168] Basically, Paul is saying that they said he was preaching the same thing he was as he said in 1 Cor 15:12 that we covered earlier. They essentially were peer reviewing each other that they were preaching the same gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4).

Ehrman on Amanuensis

When the NT was composed much of time they used secretaries or, more specifically, amanuensis.[169] Paul indicated this when he was writing, like in 2 Thes 3:17 he pens, “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.” (NASB) Also in 1 Cor 16:21, “The greeting is in my own hand—Paul (see also Col 4:18).[170] Moreover, in the letter to the church of Rome, the amanuensis names himself writing, “I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.”[171]

NT Scholar Richard Longenecker, on the subject of amanuensis first states that holding to a, “high view of New Testament authority does not demand that everything was actually written by an apostolic man himself. Secondly, nor does, “the recognition of an amanuensis at work in a writing diminish our access to the mind of the writer or lessen our confidence in its message.”[172] He also holds that this does not change the historicity or theological teaching in the NT, nor, I would contend, the OT.[173] The believer, who is called to honor God with his or her mind (Matt 22:37), can in one way avoid misunderstanding Scripture (Matt 22:29) by doing what Longenecker suggests. By being “sensitive to the methods used in the writing of canonical letters, we gain a new appreciation for their message, for we are able to interpret a message better by understanding not only its linguistic features and historical context but also its literary conventions.”[174] Not only does it aide all believers in biblical interpretation – it also leads to sounder doctrinal conclusions about the Bible, mainly inerrancy. [175]

That said, Ehrman has published on the use of amanuensis (secretaries) by Paul and others. . In a review of E. Randalph Richards 1991 published worked called The Secretary in the Letters of Paul, Ehrman admits in 2011 that Richard’s is right, “there is no doubt that the apostle Paul used a secretary occasion.”[176] He cites, as we saw earlier, instances in Paul’s letters where we can tell either at face value or it is implied that someone was dictating the letter (see Rom 16:22, Gals 6:11). Richards and Ehrman on the same page that, what Ehrman says, secretaries, “simply recorded what the author dictated to him, either slowly, syllable by syllable; in some kind of shorthand while the author spoke at natural speed; or something in between.” However, Ehrman has great hesitations that a secretary could 1) correct grammar/stylistic changes 2) coauthored a letter inserting their own views 3) with the author’s consent; compose the entire letter, wording and all, on their own.[177]

Ehrman hesitations are he contends that the very evidence itself does not support these categories. He points out the known examples of secretaries taking such a role are from the upper class in that society. Ehrman goes on to say, “the papyri – that is, the surviving private letters that were written by regular folk instead of the elite of society – do not give us any help in knowing about these other three categories.”[178] Moreover, other letters that have secretarial changes are much shorter thus cannot be compared to the Paul or Peter’s epistles. [179] Lastly, Richard’s evidential presentation citing Cicero and his secretary Tiro as a co-author is contradictory. [180] I will offer one major response.

The major problem with all of this is Ehrman is not dealing with Richards’s latest work. Ehrman is interacting, with Richards 1991 published work.[181] More recently, Richards has a 2004 publication, through InterVarsity, about this very topic. Because of this, Ehrman is not laying out the whole story. Richards is not drawing a direct parallel between the rich Cierco Paul’s epistles. Rather, Richards states in 2004:
In this book, I will not argue that the letters of Cicero, Seneca and their peers are analogous to Paul’s. Rather I will show that the basic mechanics of letter writing were a part of the culture, for we find evidence for various customs across the literary spectrum, in Cicero (and his friends) as well as in the papyri.[182]
After making the case, that in ministry Paul regularly worked with others (Acts 15:36–41) and there are co-authors (1 Cor 1:1) mentioned when Paul and others are identifying themselves at the beginning of 6 different epistles[183] Richards elsewhere, along with Brandon O’Brien, states this about Paul’s process of compose his letters:

It is very natural, then, that just as partnership was assumed in ministry, so also it was assumed in composing a letter. When it was time to write back to the church in Corinth, Paul most likely gathered his beloved team members around him to discuss the needs in the Corinthian church and what they should say to them. After discussing the sticky issues at length, it was time to start the letter, with a secretary (probably hired from the market) and stacks of wax tablets. The resulting letter would have been a collaborative effort.[184]
Other experts virtually agree with biblical scholars Richards and O’Brien. NT Greek scholar Daniel Wallace, commenting on Ehrman’s views, states:
Paul apparently never authorized a secretary to compose a letter in his name that he did not see, but he did employ secretaries as editors and virtual coauthors. That he would write something at the end of all his letters would be proof that the letter was genuine, and it would indicate that Paul had authorized its contents.(emphasis original) [185]
I will wrap up this after thought with this. After critiquing Ehrman’s findings and complementing its readability, NT historian Michael Licona concludes:
Ehrman’s treatment of Paul’s use of secretaries is both weak and problematic. If secretaries were involved with the traditional New Testament authors in the editing and composition of their letters, most of the arguments used against the traditional authorship of this literature lose their force and, as an old friend of mine would say, Ehrman is left with a firm grasp on an empty sack.[186]

The Textual Accuracy of the Last Verse Eichenwald Quotes as Authoritative

In the article, Eichenwald ends with we should, “embrace what modern Bible experts know to be the true sections of the New Testament. Jesus said, Don’t judge. He condones those who pointed out the faults of others while ignoring their own. A he proclaimed, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ That is a good place to start.” Although I embrace his hermeneutic and believe this passage is God’s word, it not as accurate at this time from the apparatuses used above for 1 Cor 15:3-8.

This passage does occur in all three synoptic gospels. However, I would not put their textual transmissional veracity as what “modern Bible experts know to be the true sections of the New Testament.” [187] I offer the text comparisons below (commonly used Westcott and Hort as the base text), and you can judge for yourself if Eichenwald is attacking the heart of the gospel (i.e. 1 Cor 15:12-20, Acts 1:22) or peripheral details?


Text Comparison - Matthew 22:38–39

The New Testament in the Original Greek (Westcott and Hort)

The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005

Cambridge Greek Testament: Greek Text

Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition



35.1% difference

10.5% difference

15.8% difference

Mt 22:38 αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μεγάλη καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή.

Mt 22:38 αὕτηΑὕτη‌ ἐστὶν πρώτη καὶ‌ μεγάλη καὶ πρώτη‌ἐντολή.

Mt 22:38 αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μεγάλη καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή.

Mt 22:38 αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μεγάλη καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή.

39 δευτέρα ὁμοία αὕτη Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

39 δευτέραΔευτέρα δὲ‌ ὁμοία αὕτηαὐτῇ,‌ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

39 δευτέρα ‌δὲ‌ ὁμοία αὕτηαὐτῇ,‌ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

39 δευτέρα ‌δὲ‌ ὁμοία αὕτη Ἀγαπήσειςαὐτῇ· ἀγαπήσεις‌ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.


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Text Comparison - Luke 10:27

The New Testament in the Original Greek (Westcott and Hort)

The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005

Cambridge Greek Testament: Greek Text

Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition



42.9% difference

7.5% difference

12.2% difference

Lk 10:27 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης καρδίας σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύι σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου, καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

Lk 10:27 ‌ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν‌,‌ Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριονκύριον‌ τὸν θεόν σου‌,‌ ἐξ ὅλης ‌τῆς‌ καρδίας σου‌,‌ καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς‌ σου‌,‌ καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύιἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος‌ σου‌,‌ καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας‌ σου,·‌ καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

Lk 10:27 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν‌,‌ Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριονκύριον‌ τὸν θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης ‌τῆς‌ καρδίας σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύιἰσχύϊ‌ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου, καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

Lk 10:27 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπενἈγαπήσεις Κύριον· ἀγαπήσεις κύριον‌ τὸν θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης ‌[τῆς]‌ καρδίας σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύιἰσχύϊ‌ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου, καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.





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Mark 12:31

The New Testament in the Original Greek (Westcott and Hort)

The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005

Cambridge Greek Testament: Greek Text

Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, 27th Edition



14.3% difference

3% difference

9.1% difference

Mk 12:31 δευτέρα αὕτη Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. μείζων τούτων ἄλλη ἐντολὴ οὐκ ἔστιν.

Mk 12:31Καὶ‌ δευτέρα ‌ὁμοία‌ αὕτη‌,‌ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. μείζωνΜείζων‌ τούτων ἄλλη ἐντολὴ οὐκ ἔστιν.

Mk 12:31 δευτέρα αὕτη‌,‌ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. μείζων τούτων ἄλλη ἐντολὴ οὐκ ἔστιν.

Mk 12:31 δευτέρα αὕτηἈγαπήσεις· ἀγαπήσεις‌ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. μείζων τούτων ἄλλη ἐντολὴ οὐκ ἔστιν.


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Footnotes: 

[1] This is a semi-formal draft. I stand by the content, though there are probable grammar, spelling, and format changes that need to be made.

[2] Chuck Swindoll, “Toward Better Board Relationships,” in Leading Your Church through Conflict and Reconciliation: 30 Strategies to Transform Your Ministry, ed. Marshall Shelley, vol. 1, Library of Leadership Development (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1997), 126.

[3] Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Apollos, 2011), 71.

[5] Any pics used are for educational purposes. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html (accessed 01/2015). http://www.teachingcopyright.org/handout/fair-use-faq

[6] James McCord was a security guard for the committee to reelect President Nixon. For more info see: http://www.history.com/topics/watergate (accessed 01/2015).

[7] I read some (though not all) other parts of the early January Newsweek, under review herein, revealing a balanced read. For example, Russian’s President Putin is really running that country into the ground economically. According to Newsweek, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says this is not to affect the US on a large scale, but the Newsweek reporter writes, “other nations are not so immune.” Putin policies, though this is not new, suppress civil free speech as well. Newsweek, p. 18-19; Also see how the article over how the Federal Reserve of New York is reported by Newsweek bending the rules for Citibank. Newsweek, p. 20-22.

[8] 16:30 minutes through 17:20 http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4505667/kurt-eichenwald (accessed 01/2015)

[9] Though his comments were about conspiracy theorists about modern historical events, I think it is fair to apply this standard to theories about events in antiquity.

[10] NT Textual scholar Daniel Wallace affirmations of Eichenwald’s conclusions and in-depth criticisms be found here: http://danielbwallace.com/2014/12/28/predictable-christmas-fare-newsweeks-tirade-against-the-bible/ (accessed 01/2015); Albert Mohler’s response, in quality, is nothing like this printed works. Though, as suggested before, this may be the nature of blog posts. Even so, one has to remember that the art of blogging is relatively new and what counts as good scholarly non-fiction content is still being molded. I mean, consider the art of writing in general is an art that has different techniques, editing emphasis, and debates over footnotes should be endnotes or vice-versa. There is grace here, which is also extended to Eichewald within the blogosphere (definite grace elsewhere too, but this does not mean a judgment can be pasted on his positions under review herein). For Mohler’s review go to: http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/12/29/newsweek-on-the-bible-so-misrepresented-its-a-sin/ (accessed 01/2015) For a critique of Mohler see : http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/2015/01/bed398008.shtmlshould (accessed 01/2015)


[11] http://www.newsweek.com/response-newsweek-bible-299440 (accessed 01/2015) Brown was interviewed by Lee Strobel in The Case for the Real Jesus put out by Zondervan.

[12] Ibid

[13] As of the end of January. Though, I searched the Newsweek website and was unable to find a reference to a printed response.

[14] http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/29/media/newsweek-bible-issue-best-seller-2014/ (accessed 02/2015)

[15]Though a different sub-topic this time, the same overall topic of Putin’s policies with the media is expanded the latest (Jan 23rd) edition from the same one Eichenwald’s article under review is in (Jan 01-09). Newsweek, 01/23/2015, p. 18-19.

[16] I am leaving them unnamed out of respect for my brothers and sisters in Christ. For me, this is a case by case basis for mentioning names or not. When appropriate, I will contact fellow believers letting them know I will critique their position, before mentioning them. However, it depends upon the situation.

[17] Also, Newsweek and other blogs maybe frown upon them because it does take extra editing, can be confusing for some readers, and such.

[18] Counting how many scholars from different worldviews within their respective disciplines that agrees on certain truths, does not necessarily mean that is the basis for those truths being factual. It is the facts themselves that have enough evidential weight to convince the experts they are true no matter their bias. This is establishing a common ground like Paul did with the Greeks in Acts 17. Others have spoken out against the effectiveness about such a apologetic method as NT scholar Robert Price combats, “..the evidentialist apologetic with its common-ground approach finally backfires. A really inductive approach to this-worldly evidence can lead one only to this-worldly (that is, nonrevealed) religion.” However, if an evidential case is outlined in a cumulative sense that does not just address the historical and philosophical concerns, but the existential ones then the case is better-rounded. In a pastoral sense the deep inner questions are best left to those trained; hence, pastors and counselors. Robert M. Price. Inerrant the Wind: The Evangelical Crisis in Biblical Authority (Kindle Locations 2962-2963). Kindle Edition; Douglas Groothuis’s wholesome approach offers a response to Price’s hesitation. Groothuis contends, “I will neither presuppose Christianity is true apart from the need for positive evidence (fideism, presuppositionalism or Reformed epistemology) or suppose that by amassing legions of historical facts we can convince someone of Christian truth (evidentialism). Rather, I will offer a variety of arguments that verify or confirm the Christian worldview as superior to its rivals, thus showing that Christianity alone makes the most sense of the things that matter most.” Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Apollos, 2011), 72.

[19] Even one of Eichenwald’s supporters, Jason David BeDuhn (Northern Arizona University), suggests that he brushes with two wide of a stroke when defining who and who is not an evangelical. See http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/2015/01/bed398008.shtml (accessed 01/2015)

[20]This is the pattern through much of the article. For example, “fundamentalists” and “political opportunists” and “biblical illiteralist” are equivocated with “evangelicals” on p.26 in Kurt Eichenwald, “The Bible. So Misunderstood It’s A Sin” in Newsweek (January 02-09, 2015), p.26

[21] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005)

[22] Jonathan M. Yeager, Early Evangelicalism: A Reader (New York, NY: Oxford Press, 2013)

[23] I exclude personal convictions (Romans 14:26) or general principles that are pretty clear in Scrpture (i.e. 1 Cor 6:9-10)

[24] Naselli, Andrew David; Hansen, Collin; Bauder, Kevin; Mohler, Jr., R. Albert; Stackhouse, Jr., John G.; Olson, Roger E. (2011-10-04). Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (Kindle Locations 1142-1149). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

[25] Surface level conclusions about evangelicals and others happen all the time in our sound bite information age. I know because I have lived it! Writing a, to some, a lengthy, hopefully substantive, and striving to be accurate review such as this is grueling, joyful, taxing, and worth it. Despite this inwardly confliction, striving to move beyond what I can see and understand initially, at least in research, seems to save allot of missteps from ending up in the semi-final presentation on a blog or what have you.

[26] Naselli, Andrew David; Hansen, Collin; Bauder, Kevin; Mohler, Jr., R. Albert; Stackhouse, Jr., John G.; Olson, Roger E. (2011-10-04). Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (Kindle Locations 1564-1565). Zondervan. Kindle Edition; Kevin Bauder, according to logos.com, is “a North American, Baptist theologian and writer whose areas of academic pursuit include ecclesiology, Baptist history and polity, and the study of American fundamentalism and evangelicalism. From 2003-2011 Bauder served as president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis in Plymouth, Minnesota. In July 2011 he assumed the role of Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Central Seminary to enable a greater focus on research and writing.” https://www.logos.com/products/search?q=Kevin+T.+Bauder&Author=9915%7cKevin+T.+Bauder&redirecttoauthor=true (accessed 12/2014)

[27] Mohler reflects, “I didn’t want any part of that spirit, the tendency to elevate peripheral matters as central concerns, the anti-intellectualism, the KJV-onlyism, and the cultural awkwardness.”Naselli, Andrew David; Hansen, Collin; Bauder, Kevin; Mohler, Jr., R. Albert; Stackhouse, Jr., John G.; Olson, Roger E. (2011-10-04). Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (Kindle Locations 708-709). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. Mohler’s response to Kevin Bauder essay.

[28] Mohler declares to steer clear of the, “intellectual separatism of fundamentalism.” Zondervan (2013-12-10). Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (Kindle Location 413). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

[29] About the Trinity, renown European theologian J.I. Packer lays out“The historic formulation of the Trinity (derived from the Latin word trinitas, meaning ‘threeness’) seeks to circumscribe and safeguard this mystery (not explain it; that is beyond us), and it confronts us with perhaps the most difficult thought that the human mind has ever been asked to handle. It is not easy; but it is true.” His explanation is very succinit and can be purchased on Amazon here under fifteent dollars. J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993) entry under “Trinity: God One in Three.”

[30]The Dictionary of Christianity in America states, “The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is comprised of fifteen million baptized believers in about thirty-eight thousand churches in all fifty states of the U.S., making it the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Approximately half of all Baptists in the U.S. belong to churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.” Daniel G. Reid et al., Dictionary of Christianity in America (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990); That was in 1990. This figure is up to over 16 million today: See http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/04/the-largest-protestant-denominations/ (accessed 01/2015)

[31] Fundamentalist here does not mean in the sense that Mohler and others are avoiding. These are more culturally engaged, but their inspirational views of the Bible have more of a dictation theory ring to it which diminishes the human’s role during the authorship of Scripture.

[32] David S. Dockery, Christian Scripture: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority, and Interpretation (Eugene, OR: Wimpf and Stock Publishers, 1995), 182-186.

[33] The move from anti-inellectualism is somewhat of a cultural phenomon as well as Richard Hofstadter announces in the intro of his book about the state of the American mind, ”ALTHOUGH this book deals mainly with certain aspects of the remoter American past, it was conceived in response to the political and intellectual conditions of the 1950’s. During that decade the term anti-intellectualism, only rarely heard before, became a familiar part of our national vocabulary of self-recrimination and intramural abuse. In the past, American intellectuals were often discouraged or embittered by the national disrespect for mind, but it is hard to recall a time when large numbers of people outside the intellectual community shared their concern, or when self-criticism on this count took on the character of a nation-wide movement.” Hofstadter, Richard (2012-01-04). Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (Vintage) (p. 3). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[34] I speak from personal experience. Browse their website for more info. http://www.liberty.edu/ (accessed 02/2015)

[35] In most introduction classes when entering seminary, you have to consider different character building aspects that one will encounter no matter the ministry. However, for apologists, one has to, for example, make sure you do not logic chop every person’s argument they make by pointing out different fallacies they have committed.

[36] Christians are not viewed for being critical thinkers. Kinnaman and Lyons write, “The vast majority of outsiders reject the idea that Christianity ‘makes sense’ or is ‘relevant to their life.’ So part of the sheltered perception is that Christians are not thinkers.” David Kinnaman; Gabe Lyons. unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters (Kindle Locations 1327-1329). Kindle Edition.

[37] In my own walk, I have strived to watch how I portray what I am writing, verbally saying, or acting especially toward fellow brothers (i.e. 1 Tim 5:1) since, enough the time to mention here, any endeavor can become competitive in a bad way.

[38] Often, how evangelical leaders go about defending their views portrays a lack of interpretive humbleness. Philosopher Douglas Groothuis, out of Denver Seminary, lays out some words that all politicians should consider. “After the dust of a good argument settles, we may err by either understating or overstating the force of our conclusions. If we understate, we are not being humble but timid. If we overstate, we may be too proud to admit the limits and weakness of the argument. The ideal is neither timidity nor grandiosity. Honest and rational truth seeking should set the agenda….Certainty is no vice, as long as it is grounded in clear and cogent arguments, is held with grace, and is willing to entertain counterarguments sincerely.” Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Apollos, 2011), 148-149.

[39] Maybe not intentionally, but one cannot write a piece on health care needs for the mentally ill and say psychologists are the same as psychiatrist in their approach to mental health. Sure, they have overlap and can be unbrellaed under a term such as “mental health workers” or “experts” but not interchanged. To do so lacks specifics in writing a non-fiction piece that, especially after being brought to ones attention, is disingenuous and poor use of wording. Also, evangelicals should and do, at least more often than fundamentalist, appropriately mention when they have common ground with others with different worldviews on issues of right and wrong. For example, I think the rational atheist would agree with a thoughtful evangelical that wearing seat belts down modern interstates is the right thing to do http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-motor-vehicle-crash.aspx (accessed 12/2014) Fundamentalists, or who claim to be, may do this as well. However, my limited but not insignificant experience has led me to believe overall, they do not. Intellectual common ground, in a genuine way, builds a two way rapport and trust to talk about deeper issues if they come up, prompted or not.

[40] I skipped through certain portions of the movie striving to adhere to Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5:28 on males staying pure with their eyes and mind. With Netflix is great in this area because skipping through explicit scenes is easier than with DVD players; for more on this see the book Every Man’s Battle by Steve Arterburn and Fred Stroker. For more info go to http://www.newlife.com

[41]Netflix Version: Starting at 35:00 mins into the film (accessed 01/2015) . Mission Impossible 1 (1996) directed by Brian DePalma. More info: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mission_impossible/ (accessed 01/2015)

[42] Ibid

[43] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Job 3:14.

[44] The authorship of Job is essentially anonymous. Robert L. Alden writes, “Scripture does not supply the answer...we must not presume to know more than we are told. Unlike the Epistle to the Hebrews, there are not even any candidates.“ Robert L. Alden, Job, vol. 11, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 28.

[45]Kurt Eichenwald, “The Bible. So Misunderstood It’s A Sin” in Newsweek (January 02-09, 2015), p.27.

[46] F.F. Bruce writes, “The Council of Hippo (393) was probably the first church council to lay down the limits of the canon of scripture: its enactments are not extant, but its statement on the canon was repeated as Canon 47 of the Third Council of Carthage (397). F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1988), 232–233.

[47] http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2014/12/07/visual-storytelling-is-that-all/ (accessed 01/2015)

[48] Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black define autograph as meaning the, “Original texts of the New Testament” Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black, The New Testament: Its Background and Message, 2nd ed. (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 638.

[49] Ibid

[50] We do not have the autographs of other writing in the Bible times like 1st century Jewish historian Josephus’ records.

[51] Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004), 225.

[52] Eldon Jay Epp, “Textual Criticism in the Exegesis of the New Testament, with an Excursus on Canon,” in Handbook to Exegesis of the New Testament, vol. 25, New Testament Tools and Studies (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1997), 52.

[53] We all can practice this discipline at a skill like level using the tools that scholars develop. I can know some about how a car operates, but not exhaustive knowledge about its function before I have the skill knowledge to drive it.

[54] Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research : Essays on the Status Quaestionis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), x.

[55]For instance, it may be a issue for someone who holds to a wooden description as to what biblical inerrancy actually means. If so, their view of the Bible usually comes crumbling down when seemly irresolvable with the difficulties arrive. See below in the section called “After Thoughts.” Difficulties that might be resolved later as leading Christian philiosopher and theologian William Lane Craig says, “example after example could be given of supposed biblical errors identified by previous generations which have now been resolved in light of more recent discoveries. One of my favorite examples is Sargon II, an Assyrian king mentioned in Isa. 20:1. Earlier critics claimed that the reference to Sargon was an error because there was absolutely no evidence that an Assyrian king named Sargon II ever even existed—until, that is, archaeologists digging in the region of Khorsabad unearthed the palace of one Sargon II! We now have more information about Sargon than about any other ancient Assyrian king.” Craig, William Lane; Gorra, Joe (2013-09-01). A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible (p. 107). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[56] Craig Evans and Daniel Wallace have alluded to a possible first century papyrus of the gospel of Mark that is dated in the 80’s. In a forthcoming peer-reviewed section of the journal named Brill, the evidence will be released about this papyri, other NT papyri, and other works in antiquity hopefully will be available for reading this year (2015). In a personal email correpondance with Daniel Wallace from my liberty.edu email address, he said he could not release more info due to signing a non-disclosure agreement. For more info see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2015/01/20/earliest-fragment-of-marks-gospel-apparently-found/ (accessed 01/2015)

[57] What I mean by essential is the doctrines affirmed by evangelicals at the 1989 conference at Trinity Divinity School sponsored in part by the National Evangelical Association. 600 scholars, some from Europe, attended the meetings, presented academic papers following a response from a peer. Following that conference, a book was put out by Zondervan where there are Evangelical Affirmations in their laid out by the great Carl Henry. You can find this for free online pages 30-38. http://www.ccel.us/EV.ch1.html (accessed 01/2015). See also the Lausanne Statement for other essential evangelical views. http://www.lausanne.org/content/covenant/lausanne-covenant (accessed 01/2015); I will also note that Wallace pointed out that Ehrman, though really doubting the authenticity of the NT, Ehrman does admit that the variants do not affect primary Christian doctrines. Wallace writes, “And in the appendix to the paperback edition of his book Ehrman says, ‘Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.’” http://danielbwallace.com/2014/12/28/predictable-christmas-fare-newsweeks-tirade-against-the-bible/ (accessed (01/2015)

[58] Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research : Essays on the Status Quaestionis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), x–xi.

[59] Eichenwald, Newsweek, 28

[60] Ibid

[61] J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace, Reinventing Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal, 2006), 55: NT textual scholar Daniel Wallace, who is currently going around with his scholarly team taking digital photographs of existing NT papyri, codices, etc, points out there are, “approximately 138,000 words in the Greek New Testament have as many as 400,000 textual variants in the manuscripts. Daniel B. Wallace, “Textual Criticism of the New Testament,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2013, 2014).

[62] Ibid

[63] See J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace, Reinventing Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal, 2006 KindleLocations479-480);http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Jesus-J-Ed Komoszewski/dp/082542982X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423755227&sr=8-1&keywords=Reinventing+Jesus

[64] Ibid,

[65] Eichenwald, 28; The closer a manuscript is dated to the original is one important indicator of the reliability of the manuscript reading, though not the final test on authenticating a certain reading over another. The Alexandrian Text Type (i.e. Egypt) are usually the earliest over two other text types, Western and Byzantine (which KJV-onlyism favors). Nevertheless, David Allan Black’s method of discerning variants called “Reasoned Conservatism” between these different manuscript trails seems to due justice to all of them. He argues that at minimum, “(1) no single text type is infallible or to be preferred because of its supposed superior authority; (2) each reading must be examined on its own merits; and (3) readings that best explain other variants merit our preference. In short, since no hypothesis thus far proposed to explain the history of the text has gained general assent, in order to arrive at the original text the critic must compare readings on a case by case basis, and in each case select the reading that commends itself in the light of both external and internal evidence. David Alan Black, New Testament Textual Criticism : A Concise Guide (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994), 41.

[66] Darrell Bock “The Ending of Mark: A Reponse To the Essays” in Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: 4 Views ed. David Allan Black (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Press, 2008), 140.


[67] In the preface of the free apparatus from the Society of Biblical Literature, edited by Micheal Holmes, warns “The standard text is viewed by some of those who use it as a ‘final’ text to be passively accepted rather than a ‘working’ text subject to verification and improvement. For example, the exegetical habits of some scholars and students seem to reflect a belief that all the important text-critical work has already been completed, that one can more or less equate the standard Greek New Testament with the ‘original’ text.” Michael W. Holmes, Apparatus for the Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (Logos Bible Software, 2010).

[68] I defined what essential doctrines in a footnote above.

[69] Daniel L. Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, vol. 38, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 199.

[70]Ibid

[71] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), 1 Jn 5:7.

[72] Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, vol. 38, The New American Commentary, 199.

[73] Quoted from Daniel L. Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, vol. 38, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 199.

[74] Ibid

[75] I am accepting the conclusion that the apostle John wrote the first epistle that shares his name. Colin G. Kruse out of the Melbourne School of Theology, states, “Although there is, as we have seen above, a reluctance on the part of modern scholars to accept this testimony, it does seem to be the fairest way to read the evidence” that apostle John wrote the gospel. Colin G. Kruse, The Letters of John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans Pub.; Apollos, 2000), 14.

[76] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), 1 Co 15:3–8.

[77] Christianity Today recently reported that, in some ways Wright is, “the most important apologist for the Christian faith since C. S. Lewis” concludes: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/april/surprised-by-n-t-wright.html?paging=off (accessed 07/2014)

[78] N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2003), 319.

[79] Posted the Greek so one can see the differences and verify for themselves. On another note, I used the Westcott and Hort text as a comparative base. The numbers were similar for the Cambridge and NA27 being the base, where as the Byzantine the numbers were slightly higher. However, the similarities were at 85% no matter which apparatus was the standard to measure from.

[80] Page . Exported from Logos Bible Software, 8:35 PM January 29, 2015.

[81] Textual criticism is essential in biblical study before any of the other criticism like redaction. Evangelical scholar Craig Blomberg recognizes this arguing, “Obviously, lower or textual criticism has to be foundational, even among the historical methods. If we lack the confidence that we have anything close to what an original document contained, there is little point in engaging in theological or literary analyses except to shed light on what a group of people at one given time or place in the past may have believed about a text and their resulting application of it.” Stanley E. Porter; Beth M. Stovell. Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views (Kindle Locations 205-208). Kindle Edition.

[82]In the New Bible Commentary, it says that this portion of Mark, “cannot be said to be part of the Scriptures (like the rest of the gospel), but they are an honest attempt to ‘complete’ the story of Jesus.” Vs 9–18, largely D. A. Carson et al., eds., New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 977.

[83] Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research : Essays on the Status Quaestionis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), 375.

[84] One example of this is the Evangelical Philisophical Society(EPS) that publishes a peer-reviewed journal called Philiosohphi Christi. EPS has a annual meeting where papers are presented and sometimes with respondants to test everything and hold onto what is good (1 Thes 5:35

[85]Augustine wrote, “Accordingly, among the canonical Scriptures he will judge according to the following standard: to prefer those that are received by all the catholic churches to those which some do not receive. Among those, again, which are not received by all, he will prefer such as have the sanction of the greater number and those of greater authority, to such as are held by the smaller number and those of less authority. If, however, he shall find that some books are held by the greater number of churches, and others by the churches of greater authority (though this is not a very likely thing to happen), I think that in such a case the authority on the two sides is to be looked upon as equal.” Augustine of Hippo, “On Christian Doctrine,” in St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. J. F. Shaw, vol. 2, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 538.

[86] John Wenham, Christ and the Bible: Third Edition (Eugene, OR, Wipf and Stock, 2009), 193-194.

[87] Bruce Manning Metzger, The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 186.

[88] Bruce Manning Metzger, The Bible in Translation, 189–190; Witherington adds that we have new translations come out because, “since the late nineteenth century, we have discovered literally thousands of manuscripts of various parts of the Bible that help us to get closer to the original text of both the OT and the NT.” Witherington, essentially agreeing with Metzger, also states that English is a changing language so translations need to be updated to reflect these changes. For instance, the word “prick” (Acts 26:14) in 1611 does not mean the same thing today. In the end, he states, “Thus we see that the pressure for new translations comes both from archaeological discoveries and because English is a moving target-a living and developing language.” Witherington, Ben, III. The Living Word of God: Rethinking the Theology of the Bible (Kindle Locations 1731-1732). Kindle Edition.

[89] Ibid

[90] Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research : Essays on the Status Quaestionis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), xi.

[91] Eichenwald, Newsweek, 29.

[92] The translation committees are usually made up of many different individuals from many different schools representing the greatest minds in translation. For instance, for the New Revised Standard Version, the following scholars were participants. “William A. Beardslee (Emeritus, Emory Unversity), Phyllis A. Bird (Garrett-Evangelical heological Seminary), George W. Coats (Lexington Theological Seminary), Demetrios J. Constantellos (Stockton State College, New Jersey), Robert C. Dentan (Emeritus, General Theological Seminary), Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M. (Catholic University of America), J. Cheryl Exum (Boston College), Reginald H. Fuller (Emeritus, Virginia Theological Seminary), Paul D. Hanson (Harvard Divinity School), Walter Harrelson (Emeritus, Divinity School, Vanderbilt University), William L. Holladay (Andover Newton Theological School), Sherman E. Johnson (Emeritus, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Robert A. Kraft (University of Pennsylvania), George M. Landes (Union Theological Seminary, New York), Conread E. L’ Heureux (University of Dayton), S. Dean McBride, Jr. (Union Theological Seminary, Virginia), Bruce Metzger (Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary), Patrick D. Miller, Jr (Princeton Theological Seminary), Paul S. Minear (Emeritus, Yale Divinity School), Lucetta Mowry (Emerita, Wellesley College), Roland Murphy, O.Carm (Emeritus, Duke Divinity School), Harry M. Orlinsky (Hebrew Union College), Marvin H. Pope (Emeritus, Yale University), J.J.M.Roberts (Princeton Theological Seminary), Alfred Von Rohr Sauer (Emeritus, Christ Seminary—Seminex), J. J. M. Roberts (Princeton Theological Seminary), Katherine D. Sakenfeld (Princeton), James A Sanders (School of Theology at Claremont), Gene Tucker (Cadler School of Theology, Emory University), Eugene C. Ulrich (Notre Dame), Allen Wikgren (Emeritus, University of Chicago).”

List taken from: Bruce M. Metzger, Robert C. Dentan, and Walter Harrelson, The Making of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991), 85–87.

[93] BeDuhn, Jason D. "'Not to depart from Christ': Augustine between 'Manichaean' and 'Catholic' Christianity." HTS Teologiese Studies 69.1 (2013). Academic OneFile. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.

[94]See Beduhn’s academic work: http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Translation-Accuracy-Translations-Testament/dp/0761825568 ; Through my university’s academic search portal that looks for articles are peer-reviewed journals, I was unable to find Beduhn’s published conclusions. I was able to find a piece on Augustine and “BeDuhn, Jason D. The Manichaean Body: In Discipline and Ritual. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.” However, he has, as mentioned, about Eichenwald’s conclusions here : http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/2015/01/bed398008.shtml (accessed 01/2015)

[95] Skilton and Ellingsworth, about the history of the Bishops’ Bible, that the, “Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker, promoted a revision of the Great Bible, with much of the work done by bishops. This revision, of varying merit and at points considerably influenced by the Geneva Bible, was published in a folio edition in 1568. It came to be known as the Bishops’ Bible, and received ecclesiastical authorization.” J. H. Skilton, Ellingsworth P., “English Versions of the Bible,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 321.

[96] Bruce Manning Metzger, The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 71.

[97] Eichenwald, Newsweek, 30.

[98] Eichenwald, 30.

[99] Another piece of the translation process is dealing with the change in language itself, what words mean in one time period v.s. the next, and spelling changes. Etymology, simply put, is what I just described, but Philip Durkin offers more detail, “Etymology is the investigation of word histories. It has traditionally been concerned most especially with those word histories in which the facts are not certain, and where a hypothesis has to be constructed to account either for a word’s origin or for a stage in its history. That might be a stage in its meaning history, or in its formal history, or in the history of its spread from one language to another or from one group of speakers to another.” Durkin also says in a more broad sense the discipline of etymology is used to , “describe the whole endeavour of attempting to provide a coherent account of a word’s history (or pre-history).”Philip Durkin (2009-07-23). The Oxford Guide to Etymology (pp. 1-2). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

[100] Athalya Brenner and Jan Willem van Henten, eds., Bible Translation on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century: Authority, Reception, Culture, and Religion, vol. 353, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (London; New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), 177.

[101] http://www.lockman.org/tlf/tlfabout.php (accessed 02/2015)

[102] http://www.harpercollinschristian.com/zondervan/ (accessed 02/2015)

[103] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Preface.

[104] Ibid

[105] Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard exclaim, “The New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is widely known because of its unjustifiable translations of passages that teach Christ’s deity or the personality of the Holy Spirit (both of which the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny).” William W. Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 130 footnote 102.

[106] Evangelical NT scholar Craig Blomberg states “Even Bible publishers must shoulder some of the blame for the translational confusion. Blomberg, Craig (2014-04-01). Can We Still Believe the Bible?: An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions (Kindle Location 1803). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[107] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Php 2:6.

[108] Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, vol. 32, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 101.

[109] D. A. Carson et al., eds., New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 1253.

[110]. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, vol. 32, 101–102.

[111]Eichenwald, 30.

[112]Ibid

[113] Bruce Manning Metzger, The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 180.

[114] Ibid

[115] American Standard Version (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Am 1:1.

[116] Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor, The Living Bible, Paraphrased (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1997), Am 1:1.

[117] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005).

[118] Y.C. Whang, “To Whom Is a Translator Responsible—Reader or Author?,” in Translating the Bible: Problems and Prospects, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Richard S. Hess, vol. 173, Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999), 49;

[119] Bruce M. Metzger, Robert C. Dentan, and Walter Harrelson, The Making of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991), 51–52.

[120] Robert L. Thomas, How to Choose a Bible Version: An Introductory Guide to English Translations (Fearn, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 2000), 7.

[121] What I mean by “beyond a reasonable doubt” is what Roderick Chisholm, out of Brown University, defines as . A note should be stated about that plausibility of a argument and humans that judge if they are true or not. Philosophers J.P Moreland and William Lane Craig feasibly state, “Now plausibility is to a great extent a person-dependent notion. Some people may find a premise plausible and others not. Accordingly, some people will agree that a particular argument is a good one, while others will say that it is a bad argument. Given our diverse backgrounds and biases, we should expect such disagreements. Obviously, the most persuasive arguments will be those that are based on premises which enjoy the support of widely accepted evidence or seem intuitively to be true. But in cases of disagreement we simply have to dig deeper and ask what reasons we each have for thinking a premise to be true or false. When we do so, we may discover that it is we who have made the mistake. After all, one can present bad arguments for a true conclusion! But we might find instead that our interlocutor has no good reason for rejecting our premise or that his rejection is based on misinformation, or ignorance of the evidence, or a fallacious objection. In such a case we may persuade him by giving him better information or evidence or by gently correcting his error. Or we may find that the reason he denies our premise is that he does not like the conclusion it is leading to, and so to avoid that conclusion he denies a premise which he really ought to find quite plausible. Ironically, it is thus possible, as Plantinga has observed, to move someone from knowledge to ignorance by presenting him with a valid argument based on premises he knows to be true!” Moreland, James Porter; William Lane Craig (2009-11-08). Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (p. 59). Intervarsity Press - A. Kindle Edition.

[122] Craig Blomberg, (2014-04-01). Can We Still Believe the Bible?: An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions (Kindle Locations 1811-1813). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[123] These words are about Bart Ehrman and other scholars, but Eichenwald pitches his tent in this camp as well. Craig A. Evans, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2006), 21.

[124] Acts 2:22-24; Acts 1:22 talks about the main criterion for the replacement for Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was not adhering to the innerancy of Scripture (though important), but if they had seen the bodily resurrection of Jesus. See also 1 Cor 15:12-20 where Paul outlines that the Christian faith rises or falls on the basis of if the bodily resurrection of Jesus did not happen, the Christian faith is a lie. Paul does not allude to this, but the NT would become more of an edifying text and we would refer back to the Old Testament again. A form of Judaism, but this conclusion needs further study.

[125] Ibid, 29; Now for my evangelical brothers and sisters, I want to be clear. I do believe in biblical inerrancy as laid out by conservatives such as David Dockery and John Wenham. However, what does it mean and how do we get there is up for debate. How we get there, I adhere to William Lane Craig’s approach. His logical argument goes like this:

1. Whatever God teaches is true.

2. Historical, prophetic, and other evidences show that Jesus is God.

3. Therefore, whatever Jesus teaches is true.

4. Whatever Jesus teaches is true.

5. Jesus taught that the Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

6. Therefore, the Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

William Lane Craig and Joe Gorra (2013-09-01). A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible (p. 106). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition; See also David Dockery Derek James Brown "A Theological Reassessment and Reformulation of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in Light of Contemporary Developments." The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014. Brown, Derek James. "A Theological Reassessment and Reformulation of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in Light of Contemporary Developments." Order No. 3620776, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014. Page 275.Brown, Derek James. "A Theological Reassessment and Reformulation of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in Light of Contemporary Developments." Order No. 3620776, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014. Page 275.

[126]http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2015/01/21/dr-brown-interviews-newsweek-journalist-kurt-eichenwald/ (accessed 01/2015)

[127] Ibid

[128] Scholars and seminary students are not the only ones that have access to these. Amazon has these for purchase in print, in kindle form or one can buy a used copy for a more exhaustive study.

[129] Eichenwald, 41.

[130] The Online Etymology Dictionary lays out, “The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c.223. Bible replaced Old English biblioðece (see bibliothek ) as the ordinary word for ‘the Scriptures.’ Figurative sense of ‘any authoritative book’ is from 1804.” bible. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bible (accessed: February 02, 2015).

[131] Zondervan (2013-12-10). Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (Kindle Locations 3470-3471). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

[132]Here, he is referring to the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy 1978. J.I. Packer, God Has Spoken (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1988), 152.

[133] Sinclair B. Ferguson and J.I. Packer, New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 337.

[134] Paul Feinberg “The Meaning of Inerrancy” in Inerrancy ed. By Norman Geisler (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1980), 294.

[135] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 1244.

[136] Brown, Derek James. "A Theological Reassessment and Reformulation of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in Light of Contemporary Developments." Order No. 3620776, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014.

[137] David S. Dockery, Christian Scripture: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority, and Interpretation (Eugene, OR: Wimpf and Stock Publishers, 1995), 64. See all of 63-66; Packer, though not directly linking this to inerrancy, does affirm what Dockery lays out. That is, being conscious of the author’s literary style, the historical setting, and cultural background is very important in interpretation. Packer states, “Each book was written not in code but in a way that could be understood by the readership to which it was addressed. This is true even of the books that primarily use symbolism: Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation. The main thrust is always clear, even if details are clouded. So when we understand the words used, the historical background, and the cultural conventions of the writer and his readers, we are well on the way to grasping the thoughts that are being conveyed. J. I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993).

[138] Ben Witherington concludes that the gospels themselves are of a genre of biography. He writes, “We begin the New Testament with five narratives, with three of the Gospels reflecting the conventions of ancient biographies, and one of them, Luke-Acts, reflecting the conventions of ancient historical monographs.” Witherington, Ben, III. The Living Word of God: Rethinking the Theology of the Bible (Kindle Locations 745-746). Kindle Edition.

[139] D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, Scripture and Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992), 58.

[140] Eichenwald, Newsweek, 27.

[141] B.B. Warfield defines canon as, “a collection of books given of God to be the authoritative rule of faith and practice.” Benjamin B. Warfield, The Canon of the New Testament: How and When Formed (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1892), 3.

[142] F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1988), 139.

[143] Ibid, 138–139.

[144] F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1988), 147.

[145] Arthur Patzia writes in 1993 that, “ Historically, the Fragment was considered to be the product of the western church (Rome?) near the end of the second century.” This has been met with doubt in recent debates. Patzia concludes, “The enthusiasm for the value of the Fragment has been challenged in recent scholarship. A. C. Sundberg’s detailed analysis led him to propose a fourth-century date and an Eastern setting… Among Sundberg’s objections to an early date for the Fragment are its attitude toward the Shepherd of Hermas and the fact that there are no similar lists until the time of Eusebius in the fourth century. Not everyone, however, has been persuaded by Sundberg’s critique. Both Bruce (158 n.2) and Metzger (1987, 191) are confident that E. Ferguson has adequately refuted Sundberg’s arguments against an early date. Thus, in some circles at least, the Fragment is regarded as an authoritative list of NT books in the Roman church by the end of the second century.” Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid, eds., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 89;

[146] Luke Timothy Johnson and Todd C. Penner, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, Rev. ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1999), 600–601.

[147]Ibid, 601.

[148] Robertts, Donaldson, and Coxe say the Apostolic Fathers are the, “primary evidences of the Canon and the credibility of the New Testament.” Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds., The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), vii.

[149] Irenaeus of Lyons, “Irenæus against Heresies,” in The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 428.

[150]Bruce contends, “He does not list the letters of Paul, but he evidently accepted the whole corpus of thirteen letters (the Pastorals included); the only letter he does not mention is the short letter to Philemon, which he had no occasion to cite.” F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1988), 176.

[151] BDAG says that paradidōmi (παραδίδωμι)means,” to pass on to another what one knows, of oral or written tradition, hand down, pass on, transmit, relate, teach.” William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 762; LSJ says that paradidōmi (παραδίδωμι) means,” “hand down legends, opinions, etc... by tradition, according to tradition...teach doctrine,” though what Paul is reporting here because of the immediate and remote context in the NT and the evidence from outside the NT it seems Paul is not transmitting legend but a early tradition about actual people and events in history. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 1308; TDNT says paradidōmi (παραδίδωμι )means, “… ‘tradition’ …only in the sense of what is transmitted, not of transmission.” , vol. 2, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-), 172.

[152] In the BDAG is says paralambanō (παραλαμβάνω) means in 1 Cor 15:3,” to gain control of or receive jurisdiction over, take over, receive.” William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 768; The Greek word paralambanō (παραλαμβάνω) is used by 1st century Jewish historian Josephus in one of his works called The Antiquities. He writes that one individual received (paralambanō; παραλαμβάνω) information from another that was being passed on. The situation that Josephus reports may seem odd to our 21st century eyes, but the point is a credible historian(who is not a Christian) outside of the Bible is using παραλαμβάνω in a sense that information was received from another which Paul is conveying in 1 Cor 15:3. Josephus writes, “But when Cherea received the watchword from him, he had indignation at it, but had greater indignation at the delivery of it to others, as being laughed at by those that received it.”(my emphasis) Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987); Barclay Greek dictionary says that paralambanō (παραλαμβάνω) means in 1 Cor 15:3 “take, take along; receive, accept (often of a tradition); learn,“ Barclay M. Newman, Jr., A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament. (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; United Bible Societies, 1993), 133.

[153] Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 1186; NT Commentators T. Desmond Alexander and Brian S. Rosner agree writing, “In 1 Cornithians…15:3 he used Jewish terminology for the ‘delivering’ (paradidomai) and ‘receiving’ (paralambanein) of a tradition, terminology found also in the Mishnah, the first official written collection of the rabbinic oral laws. This shows that with respect to their tradition the early Christians used common Jewish methods, as Jesus had done.” New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. T. Desmond Alexander and Brian S. Rosner, electronic ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001).

[154] Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 1996), 153-54.

[155] Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 191.

[156] Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, 153-54.

[157] Ibid

[158] Ibid

[159] Ibid;
These are commentators(some libereal, moderate, and conservative on the theological spectrum. Scholarly and popular works cited) I have researched since early July 2012 on what is, specifically 1 Cor 15:3-5? (some include 4-8) Did Paul receive it? Some comment on where and who he might have received it from. Reasons are given in the body of this paper as to where and who that probably was. They comment not only that Paul received the information from someone else, but that the information is very early. James DG Dunn writes that,”…here we have a first-hand account… of what the gospel was and how it was being formulated already within two or three years of Christianity’s beginnings.” James D. G. Dunn, 1 Corinthians (London; New York: T&T Clark, 1999), 102-03; Anthony C. Thiselton writes that 1 Cor 15:3-5 is a ,” pre-Pauline tradition which both proclaims the death and resurrection of Christ.” Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 1184-85; In the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, it comments that 1 Cor 15:3-5 is one of the “earliest kerygma” on the burial of Jesus. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, ed. Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight and I. Howard Marshall (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 88; Grant R. Osborne labels 1 Cor 15:3-5 as a “canonical creed.” Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Rev. and expanded, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 453; Johnson writes, “This is the earliest creedal formulation the church possesses.” Alan F. Johnson, vol. 7, 1 Corinthians, The IVP New Testament commentary series (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 284; John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck view this is a, “early confession.” John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-), 1 Co 15:3–5; Robert Jamieson and A. R. Fausset espouse it is a “short creed” that probably already existed at the time of Paul penning 1 Cor.” Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset et al., A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 1 Co 15:3; Richard L. Pratt, Jr says the terminology “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance” (1 Cor 15:3 NIV84) indicates a “authoritve religious teaching.” Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset et al., A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 1 Co 15:3; Larry Richards and Lawrence O. Richards say that this part of 1 Cor is not “mythical” in nature and shares the same message as they preached in Acts. Larry Richards and Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher's Commentary (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1987), 870; James Luther Mays refers to 1 Cor 15:3-5 as a “traditional creedal formula” that Paul expands on in verses 6-8. James Luther Mays, Publishers Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature, Harper's Bible Commentary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1996); Luke Timothy Johnson and Todd C. Penner say 1 Cor 15:3-4 is part of the fundamentals of the faith. They also acknowledges that these are “historical facts” being recalled. Luke Timothy Johnson and Todd C. Penner, The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation, Rev. ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999), 311; Dianne Bergant and Robert J. Karris think verses 3-5 is a “existing creed” that Paul “borrows” when composing this epistle. Dianne Bergant and Robert J. Karris, The Collegeville Bible Commentary : Based on the New American Bible With Revised New Testament (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1989), 1129; Andrew Knowles thinks Paul actually did hear this story from “their own lip” referring Peter and James, half brother of Jesus. He also affirms that this information is something that Paul had received and handed on carefully. Andrew Knowles, The Bible Guide, 1st Augsburg books ed. (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001), 589-90; Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer believes this is a historical tradition (1 Cor 15:3-5) that Paul is passing on not divine revelation (though what is being revealed is God’s miracle and it is His will that it is being passed on), but from who he got the tradition from they do not know. Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, ed. William P. Dickson, trans. D. Douglas Bannerman and David Hunter, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1879), 42; C. K. Barrett says that 1 Cor 15 “represents a tradition earlier than any of the gospels.” C. K. Barrett, Black’s New Testament Commentary: The First Epistle to the Corinthians (London: Continuum, 1968), 339; Anglican NT Historican Paul Barnett dates 1 Cor 15:3-5 15 years before any of Paul’s letters. Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, E. Ray Clendenen et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 1730. 1 Corinthians commentary notes by Anglican NT Historian Paul Barnett; David S. Dockery, Trent C. Butler, and Christopher L. Church affirm that 1 Cor 15:3-8 was the, “consistent testimony of the church…that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and appeared to numerous witnesses.” David S. Dockery, Trent C. Butler, Christopher L. Church et al., Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 693; Dwight Hunt states this is either a, “direct revelation or from drawing on an earlier recorded document that predated the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. The historical facts of the death, burial, resurrection, and post-resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ validate His offer of eternal life to anyone who believes in Him for it. Without those supportable facts, His offer is meaningless.” (emphasis mine) Dwight L. Hunt, “The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians,” in The Grace New Testament Commentary, ed. Robert N. Wilkin (Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010), 758; Walter Ewell argues, “The content of Paul’s preaching is now crystallized in a credal form that is introduced with the same technical terms for the careful transmission of tradition as were used before to demonstrate a link between Paul and others who provided sure access as witnesses to the events that are now described.” Ewell dates, in general terms, the information as a “very early creed.” Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 1 Co 15:1.

[160] James D.G. Dunn thinks Paul received at least 1 Cor 15:3 within 2-3 years of Christ’s death. He writes, “1 Corinthians 15:3—generally reckoned to be an account of the faith that Paul received when he was converted, that is, within two or three years of the putative events—‘that Christ died.’ “ Eddy, Paul Rhodes (2009-11-24). The Historical Jesus: Five Views (p. 96). James DG Dunn’s response to Robert Price. Intervarsity Press - A. Kindle Edition.

[161] Collins English Dictionary says the etymology behind the word history is from the Latin and Greek. For the Greek it means “enquiry.” It says.”… Latin hi.storia, from Greek: enquiry, from historein tonarrate, from histōr judge.” history. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition; Webster Dictionary says the English word history comes from a few sources one of them being Greek whuch means “inquiry” or “to know.” It says,” Middle English histoire, historie, from Anglo-French estoire, histoire, from Latin historia, from Greek, inquiry, history, from histōr, istōr knowing, learned; akin to Greek eidenai to know.” Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary., Eleventh ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

[162] Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 842.

[163] William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 483.

[164] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 2, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 125.

[165] , vol. 3, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-), 396.

[166] Peter had a benefit of being a part of Jesus’ inner circle. He was one of the prominate disciples as Wood and Marshall explain, “Peter was one of the first disciples called; he always stands first in the lists of disciples; he was also one of the three who formed an inner circle…”D. R. W. Wood and I. Howard Marshall, New Bible Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 906.

[167] Habermas lists some of the following NT Scholars as agreeing that Paul received this material from Peter within about 5 years after Jesus’ death. “A couple differ on where he received it (i.e. Damascus instead of Jerusalem), but they all generally agree he got it from Peter and probably James, the Lord’s brother. He lists NT scholars and their works like, “Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962), p. 96; Leonard Goppelt, “The Easter Kerygma in the New Testament,” The Easter Message Today transl. by Salvator Attanasio and Darrell Likens Guder (New York: Nelson, 1964), p. 36; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986), pp. 110, 118; Cullmann, The Early Church, pp. 65–66; Pannenberg, Jesus, p. 90; Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 16; Hunter, Jesus, p. 100; Brown, Bodily Resurrection, p. 81; Fuller, Foundations, pp. 142, 161; Resurrection Narratives, pp. 10, 14, 28, 48; Ladd, I Believe, p. 105.” “This is from and more information can be found in Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 1996), 154-55 footnote 53 and 55.

[168] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Ga 2:6.

[169] S.F. Hunter writes, “Paul seems to have dictated his letters to an amanuensis, adding by his own hand merely the concluding sentences as ‘the token in every epistle.’” S. F. Hunter, “Tertius,” ed. James Orr et al., The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915), 2949.

[170] Unless indicated differently, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

[171] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Ro 16:22.

[172] D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, Scripture and Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992), 109.

[173] Ibid.

[174] Ibid.

[175] Modern church history has shown that when it comes to doctrinal discussions about inerrancy, so many miscommunications and misunderstandings can happen. So, one way to stay clear of this, what I mean by inerrancy is what can be found in the theological textbook called Theology for the Church, edited by Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (a SBC seminary). Contributors David Dockery and David Nelson express, “Inerrancy affirms that ‘when all the facts are known, the Bible (in its original writings), properly interpreted in light of the culture and communication means that had developed by the time of its composition, will be shown to be completely true (and therefore not false) in all that it affirms, to the degree of precision intended by the author, in all matters relating to God and his creation.’” Daniel L. Akin (2014-06-01). A Theology for the Church (Kindle Locations 4867-4870). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[176] Bart Ehrman, Forged (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2011), 134

[177] Ibid, 135.

[178] Ibid, 136.

[179] Ibid

[180] Ibid, 137-138.

[181] Ibid 282.

[182] E. Randolph Richards, Paul and First-Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition and Collection (Downers Grove, IL; Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press; Apollos, 2004), 15.

[183] “Paul, an apostle….and all the brethren are with me” Galatians 1:1-2. These are examples from E. Randolph Richards and Brandon O’Brien proposing that the letter is alluding to co-authors (1 Cor 1:1; 2 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1–2; Phil 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1) E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 102.

[184] E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 102.

[185] http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/08/book-review-of-bart-d-ehrman%E2%80%99s-forged-part-3/ (accessed 02/2015)

[186] http://www.risenjesus.com/review-of-bart-ehrmans-book-forged-writing-in-the-name-of-god (accessed 02/2015)

[187] Though, to be clear, I believe they are, but I am striving to show that Eichenwald is inconsistent in when he is critical or overly critical of the textual variants.

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