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The Authenticity Of The Christian Scriptures
Modern American culture has clearly entered a "post-Christian" era, as evidenced by the beliefs of the average American concerning the Bible.(1) In this post-Christian culture, both evangelism among unbelievers and the preservation of Christianity among our children require the removal of cultural barriers. Many Christians have involved themselves in discussions about their faith with their own children or with non-Christians, only to find that they are tongue tied or stumped by various questions or objections.
In part, this has come about because the church has failed to equip believers to contend for the Christian world-view in the face of opposition.
One critical aspect of this failure is that Christians often assume the authority of scripture without adequately establishing why the scriptures ought to be regarded as authoritative.
In 1 Peter 3:15 we are commanded to be ready to give a defense for the hope within us. Are we prepared to defend the authority of scripture, upon which our faith is founded? How can we best ready ourselves for presenting our faith to modern listeners?
To begin with, we must realize that one of the biggest problems we face is the lack of credibility that Christianity often has - - the dominant culture today, as defined by the mainstream media, educators, entertainers, corporate leaders, and artists of all kinds, is fairly consistently negative, and often overtly hostile toward Christianity.
The credibility gap is founded, at least in part, on a rejection of scriptural authority, particularly the New Testament. Any critique of Christianity will somewhere include an overt or covert attack on New Testament authority.
Scriptural authority rests mainly on two historical pillars:
1. Authenticity of modern copies. Are our modern translations of the Bible truly authentic replicas of the original writings as penned by the Bible's original authors? Opponents charge that the scriptures as we know them today are poor facsimiles of the original writings. These objectors claim that over the centuries that have elapsed, the scriptures have been distorted - altered and embellished, rendering the modern Bible a mere collection of myth, legend, and folklore.
2. Reliability of the originals. Were the original writings accurate history of fanciful invention? The true testimony of witnesses or the fabrications and embellishments of opportunists?
My present purpose here is to investigate the authenticity of our modern Bible. Its reliability is also well supported, but I must leave that subject for another time. Go to Page 1 --->