How Can Anyone Believe the New Testament?

Fact one: the bibliographical test corroboration from textual transmission. The historical accuracy of the New Testament can be proven by subjecting it to three generally accepted tests for determining historical reliability. Such tests are utilized in literary criticism and the study of historical documents in general. These are also discussed by Sanders. The bibliographical test seeks to determine whether we can reconstruct the original manuscript from the extant copies at hand. For the New Testament we have 5, Greek manuscripts and manuscript portions, 10, Latin Vulgate, 9, other versions, plus 36, early A. Few scholars question the general reliability even of ancient classical literature on the basis of the manuscripts we possess.

Dating the New Testament

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This refers to the challenge to the earlier, I think much looser, dating of the New Testament which was around prior to something like the s. The challenge came from J. Robinson Robinson definitely came from the more liberal tradition of Anglicanism, and wrote many things which many of us would not support, however, his redating of the New Testament was, in the opinion of many of us, long overdue and it solved many former problems and questions.

He believed that AD70 was a pivotal year for the early church with the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem and found it quite staggering that that event would have gone unmentioned in those books which had been believed to have been written very late, such as the epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. Indeed, the temple was referred to by the Apostle John in Revelation 11 as though it were still standing.

After much research and analysis, Robinson came up with new proposed dates for the New Testament books which, in my opinion, make far more sense. For example, Galatians was often thought to have been a very early book yet it contains the mature Paul of Romans, so – even many years ago – I believed that Galatians was not a very early epistle at all and must have been written around the same time as the theologically-mature Epistle to the Romans.

Dating the New Testament books

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On the basis that the fall of Jerusalem is never mentioned in the New Testament writings as a past fact, Dr.

This type of evidence has recently led one liberal scholar, John A.T. Robinson, to re-date the New Testament documents much earlier than.

Seventh-day Adventists believe in inspiring those around us to experience a life of wholeness and hope for an eternal future with God. It isn’t often that the liberal critics from the left of Biblical scholarship comfort and support the conservative right. Yet the Anglican cleric John A. Robinson, whose popular book Honest to God scandalized the religious world of two decades past, has turned the weapons of Biblical criticism against the positions of fellow liberals in his new book Redating the New Testament.

His temerarious propositions assert that every book in the New Testament may well have reached its present form before A. Robin son’s backward march sometimes travels more than one hundred years from the positions commonly held in liberal circles. Not that his journey began rashly or unplanned. He describes a developing dissatisfaction with current assumptions regarding the dating of the New Testament books. His intensive explorations in the Gospel of John first led him to believe that he was hearing the voice of Jesus, if not the actual words.

If so, he argued, might not John’s Gospel represent a separate, but contemporary, tradition of the teachings and life of Christ to that of the Synoptic Gospels? Once he was convinced of this possibility, his questionings led him to-challenge the traditional datings of all the New Testament books. He surprised himself by coming out the other side of his studies not only with no absolute reasons for a late dating of any of the New Testament books but with evidences supporting early dates.

What is the “Robinson Redating of the New Testament”?

In letters written between AD, three prominent church fathers [Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp] quoted passages from 25 of the 27 New Testament books. The problem is that the destruction of the temple in 70 AD is not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament books. Jesus Christ prophesies this, yet there is no mention of its fulfillment. How strange it would be to leave out something that helps prove Jesus is who he said he was.

John A. T. Robinson, Re-dater le Nouveau Testament, traduction de Marie de L​’A. les place tous avant cette date, parce qu’il ne trouve aucune trace sûre de.

Along with Harvard theologian Harvey Cox , he spearheaded the field of secular theology and, like William Barclay , he was a believer in universal salvation. Robinson was born on 16 May in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral , England, where his father was a canon. He was educated at Marlborough College , then an all-boys’ independent school in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Robinson was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in and as a priest in Following an invitation from Stockwood, by then the Bishop of Southwark , Robinson became the Bishop of Woolwich in In Robinson served as a witness for the defence in the obscenity trial of Penguin Books for the publication of D.

Lawrence ‘s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Following a ten-year period at Woolwich, Robinson returned to Cambridge in as Fellow and Dean of Chapel at Trinity College , where he did not hold a teaching post but lectured and continued to write. Robinson was diagnosed with terminal cancer in [9] and died on 5 December of that year in Arncliffe, North Yorkshire. Ken R. This is not speculation: it is a statement grounded in the very necessity of God’s nature.

Redating the New Testament

If this were the case then it would be quite natural for Hellenistic thought to have already affected the content of the gospel. But if it transpires that the gospels were put into the Greek form we know today as early as AD and that their background too betrays a Hebrew draft stage, then the content of the gospels also receives a new trustworthiness. In this way the New Testament will present a picture of the “historical Jesus” and will transmit to us much more than “the faith of the early church” and that church’s experience of the “redemption event”.

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls caused a very radical but positive change in the 50’s in the criticism of John’s gospel, as we shall see.

John Robinson has argued,” of a pre date for other New Testament books there are strong arguments for dating the composition of the New Testament.

Perhaps I am a hideliberated apologist, but when I approach dates, I tend to have a bigger range than most. In my Acts, piece, for example, I conclude that Acts was written “somewhere between 62 and 90 A. Sometimes we should be satisfied with a 30 year range and hope for further illumination. As for Robinson, it sounds like you are saying that he engaged in sort of thought experiment and produced arguments accordingly. Even if true, why is it so unreasonable that some find the arguments produced by the thought experiment persuasive?

Most people who find Robinson persuasive refer to the lack of references to the fall of Jerusalem. While this did not convince me that the New Testament books must have been written earlier than 70 AD, it did factor into my decision that the Gospels and Acts might have been written before the event.

John Robinson (bishop of Woolwich)

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Before proceeding, I should acknowledge the book, Redating the New Testament​, by Bishop John Robinson. In addition to the fact that this web site has a very.

I admired the Bishop of Woolwich for his radicalism so it came as a big surprise when he came out in favour or the early dating of much of the New Testament. And my old RE teacher, who argued for the historicity of John was also right. This book read like a detective book. He describes a developing dissatisfaction with current assumptions regarding the dating of the New Testament books. His intensive explorations in the Gospel of John first led him to believe that he was hearing the voice of Jesus, if not the actual words.

Once he was convinced of this possibility, his questionings led him to-challenge the traditional datings of all the New Testament books. He surprised himself by coming out the other side of his studies not only with no absolute reasons for a late dating of any of the New Testament books but with evidences supporting early dates.

More than anything else, the puzzling lack of reference to the fall of Jerusalem in A. D, 70 left him convinced that such an event could not have gone unrecorded if New Testament books postdated that happening. Later noncanonical books refer frequently to the significance of the fall for both Jew and Christian. Robinson questioned how the trauma of this event could have escaped the authors of Hebrews, the pastoral Epistles, 2 Peter, and the Johannine writings if these books had been written at the dates many scholars assert.

4. The Reliability of the New Testament (Authorship & Dating)