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Bible's Trustworthiness


"The Historic Reliability of the Old Testament" by Josh McDowell, p. 1
"The Historic Reliability of the New Testament" by Josh McDowell, p. 5
"The Canon of the New Testament by F. F. Bruce, p. 7
"The Formation of the New Testament Canon" by Bruce Metzger, p. 10
"Canon: A Moving Target?" by Tom Hobson, p. 12

How was the canon of Scripture formed?   Why were these 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books included in the canon instead of  others?  These may seem like abstruse historical questions, but they are a challenge that Christian hear regularly. Authors in the Jan/Feb issue of Theology Matters carefully follow the history of how the canon was formed.  No council determined the canon and imposed it on the church.  Rather, councils acknowledged the books already being used widely in worship.  This Jan/Feb issue of Theology Matters includes articles by Josh McDowell, F. F. Bruce, Bruce Metzger and Tom Hobson.  Jan/Feb 2014 Theology Matters   Footnotes for McDowell


"The Trustworthiness of Scripture" by Josh McDowell
McDowell looks at:

  • The Wonder of Its Unity
  • The Wonder of Its Historical Accuracy
  • The Wonder of Its Indestructibility
  • The Wonders of Its Scientific Accuracy
  • The Wonder of Its Frankness
  • The Wonder of Its Predictive Prophecy
  • The Wonder of Its Christ-centeredness
  • The Wonder of Its Intellectual Integrity
  • The Wonder of Its Teachings
  • The Wonder of Its Transforming Power

Next McDowell examines the making of the Old Testament books and how they were accurately preserved.    McDowell then looks at the making of the New Testament gospels and epistles, the vast number of existing early manuscripts, and the accuracy with which they were copied.

Finally, McDowell discusses four perspectives on the nature of inspiration.  After examining each, he concludes that the view that Scripture is both divine and human is the one that best fits the evidence.  McDowell explains, “This view reflects the biblical teaching that the Bible itself, in all that it states, is a product of divine revelation, channeled through, but not corrupted by, human agency, by which the unique talents, backgrounds, and perspectives of the authors complement rather than restrict what God intended to reveal.”

Scripture itself claims to be divinely inspired:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.  (2 Timothy 3:16)

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Nov/Dec 2013 Theology Matters, p.1   Footnotes