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Auckland Event: The Authenticity of the Gospels with Dirk Jongkind

Next month, Laidlaw College will be hosting Biblical Scholar, Dr Dirk Jongkind (Research Fellow in New Testament Text and Language at Tyndale House, Cambridge) for two lectures on the accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts and the make-up of the New Testament canon. Dr Jongkind is an international expert on New Testament manuscripts and both events should be well worth your time.

‘Original’ Text of the New Testament: A Comedy of Errors?
Tuesday 20 March | 7.30 – 9.00 pm | Followed by a light supper

Before the time of printed books, the New Testament was copied by hand. Errors are easily made and may even undermine the reliability of a text. What sort of things did go wrong in the copying of the Bible? How much deliberate editing was going on? And are the conspiracy theories right this time? We will think about the earliest evidence, look at some of the arguments made by every side, and get an overview of what sort of discussions are currently going on regarding the Greek text of the New Testament. No need to know any Greek.

The Gospels: Which Ones?
Thursday 22 March | 7:30 – 9.00 pm | Followed by a light supper

We have not only the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we have also some other gospels, which are not part of the Christian New Testament. Among these are the Gospel of Thomas, of Mary, and even the Gospel of Judas. The last one was only re-discovered a few years back. What is there in these gospels, and why do they not form a part of the books the church uses?

Attendance is free but for catering purposes, please RSVP to Anne Segedin (asegedin@laidlaw.ac.nz) by Monday 19 March 2012.

For more info about about Dirk Jongkind, go here.

HT: Stuart

 

Have we got it right? New DVD on Jesus, history and the NT

Earlier this year, the Tyndale House sponsored a conference at the Westminister Chapel, in London, to both address contemporary objections to the historicity of the New Testament and show why the Bible can be trusted. With the goal in training Christians to be able to share their faith with confidence, the conference brought together some of the foremost evangelical scholars around today. The DVD of the sessions has now become available. You can purchase it online here.

Information about the three lectures included on the DVD, from the Bible and Church website:

Have we got the history right? Dr. Peter J. Williams

A widely held idea is that Christian beliefs arose over a long period of time through a mixture of gullibility and conspiracy. Early Christian records are held to be legend, myth or fabrication.

However, when we consider the earliest accounts of Christianity by non-Christian writers we see that Christians were never in a position to fabricate the accounts of Jesus, and that the core Christian beliefs must have been held very early

Dr Peter (P.J.) Williams is the Warden of Tyndale House. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he received his MA, MPhil and PhD, in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible.

Have we got the text right? Dr. Dirk Jongkind

Another popular idea is that the Bible has been corrupted, either by deliberate falsification or simply lost through passage of time. Such ideas are promoted in the British media.
This session will explain what New Testament manuscripts are and compare the manuscripts we have of the New Testament with what we have for other ancient writings.

It will also show how little evidence there is for deliberate change within New Testament manuscripts. The scribes of the New Testament manuscripts would not have been good conspirators because they were interested in copying not in changing.

Dr Dirk Jongkind is a Dutch biblical scholar who finished his PhD at Cambridge University on Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.

Have we got Jesus right? Dr Simon J. Gathercole

Probably the most popular idea in relation to the Bible is that books have been missed out or put in due to political pressure and various media have been full of talk about ‘other gospels’.

Here some of the most famous ‘other gospels’ are considered: the gospels of Thomas, Judas and Mary. But first it is important to establish two facts about the very earliest Christians and their beliefs:

* they believed that Jesus had died as a ransom for our sins.
* they believed that Jesus had fulfilled the Old Testament.

It is found that while Matthew, Mark, Luke and John agree with these two Christian beliefs, the apocryphal gospels generally do not. They do not fit the pattern of earliest Christian belief precisely because they were written later.

They are less reliable than the canonical gospels both in their picture of history and in their picture of Jesus’ message. For real pictures of Jesus, based on eyewitness testimony, you need to read the New Testament.

Dr Simon Gathercole is Editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Having studied Classics and Theology at Cambridge University.

(Source: Justin Taylor)