In the United States, Bart Ehrman misleads many, suggesting that the text and canon of Scripture cannot be trusted. In Albanian , a translation that acknowledges any variations at all among the ancient manuscripts has yet to be created. In the United States, some individuals cast aspersions on certain approaches to translating the Bible, while numerous people in the world have yet to receive a Bible in their first language at all.
Throughout the world, people accept or reject the inerrancy of Scripture, remaining unaware of ancient standards of trustworthiness while thinking that inerrancy must mean that the Bible conforms to modern standards of precision in reporting. Few wrestle with what inerrancy means for literary genres besides history or biography, but many insist that all narrative genres must report nonfictional events.
Many atheists deny a priori that miracles could ever happen, while some Christians require biblical miracles to satisfy less stringent criteria for credibility than the criteria that they apply to any nonbiblical accounts of the miraculous. John MacArthur has recently revived the nearly defunct case for cessationism (at least among scholars) and borders on demonizing all the supernatural gifts.
For these and related reasons, I have written Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions, to be published by Brazos Press in April. Its main claim is that the Bible very much can be trusted, even in light of the kinds of skepticism sketched out here. But an important second purpose is to stress that in articulating a case for Scripture’s reliability and even its inerrancy, we dare not swing the pendulum to fundamentalist extremes.
I hope that this book will help those who wrestle with these recent sustained challenges to evangelical faith in ways that remain responsible in dealing with the texts that actually exist rather than those we might wish existed.
Craig L. Blomberg (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, where he has taught for more than twenty-five years. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis, Jesus and the Gospels, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, Preaching the Parables, Making Sense of the New Testament, and commentaries on Matthew, 1 Corinthians, and James.
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