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Challenge Response: A Real God Would Have Protected the Original Gospel Manuscripts

Welcome back people of the internet.

On Wednesday, we heard this challenge from our comrades at STR:

Christians claim that God directly inspired the authors of the gospel books, even to the point of dictating each word, so as to make the text inerrant. But if God was so concerned about getting the historical record of Jesus’s ministry correct, why would he have allowed those original, and supposedly inerrant manuscripts to be lost for the generations of Christians to come? Why would he not have protected these documents to ensure there would be no ambiguity as to the ultimate truths he was trying to convey. The loss of the original manuscripts is entirely consistent with a human-inspired product, not one overseen by an unlimited deity.

The interesting thing about this challenge, is that it has assumptions about what God would do in a given situation, when those assumptions may be better explained as what the challenger would do in that situation. Additionally, the objection assumes a theory of inspiration which is held by hardly anyone today. Many objections to the truth of Christian Theism begin in this way, failing even before they are finished.

Let’s take a look at how Alan responds to this question.

How do you think Alan did in responding to the challenge? Are there any other things he could have said?

If you liked this video, have a look at www.str.org, and also STR’s YouTube channel.

Stand to Reason (logo)

Challenge: A Real God Would Have Protected the Original Gospel Manuscripts

From our colleagues at Stand To Reason comes this challenge:

Christians claim that God directly inspired the authors of the gospel books, even to the point of dictating each word, so as to make the text inerrant. But if God was so concerned about getting the historical record of Jesus’s ministry correct, why would he have allowed those original, and supposedly inerrant manuscripts to be lost for the generations of Christians to come? Why would he not have protected these documents to ensure there would be no ambiguity as to the ultimate truths he was trying to convey. The loss of the original manuscripts is entirely consistent with a human-inspired product, not one overseen by an unlimited deity.

Is this really the case? Could God have a reason for not wanting us to have the original manuscripts today?

Answer the challenge in the comments below and check back in on Friday to see Alan’s response.

First Issue of Credo Magazine Now Online

The October issue of Credo is out and contains plenty of good reading.

This issue is focused on the authority of Scripture and includes interviews, articles, and reviews by Thomas Schreiner, Gregg Allison, John Frame, Timothy George, Fred Zaspel, Michael A.G. Haykin, Tim Challies, Matthew Barrett, Tony Merida, Owen Strachan, J. V. Fesko, Robert Saucy, and many others.

Read the magazine online or download it as a pdf.

Can the Bible Be Completely Inspired by God and Yet Still Contain Errors?

G. K. Beale has an interesting article in the latest edition of The Westminster Theological Journal on the truthfulness of Scripture. Examining the book of Revelation, he argues that inerrancy is not just a deduction from the doctrine of inspiration, but a doctrine itself clearly taught in Scripture. In his introduction, Beale writes:

[pk_box]I will contend the following: (1) that John is more explicit about the doctrine of inerrancy than many think; (2) that John, in particular, explicitly refers to Christ’s character as “true” and then applies the attribute of “truth” from Christ’s character to the written word of Revelation as being “true.” Thus, I will argue that John repeatedly sees a clear connection between the flawlessness of Christ to that of Scripture in Revelation. In the conclusion, I will reflect on whether this is a unique feature of John’s Apocalypse and other apocalyptic books like Daniel and Ezekiel or whether there are some pointers in Revelation itself that apply John’s notion of the full truth of his book to that of other books of the OT. There will also be comment on the “word/concept” confusion concerning whether or not the actual word “inerrancy” has to be used in Scripture for the concept to be a biblical concept. I will argue that while the precise word “inerrancy” does not appear in Scripture, the concept explicitly does. This does not make the doctrine an implication unless one violates the “word/concept” distinction.[/pk_box]

You can freely download the full article here.

[HT: Joe Fleener]