Professors who have taught the same subject for decades often get tired with covering the same material time after time and, as a result, answering the same questions time after time. I’ve had friends who teach New Testament tell me: “If I have to teach the Synoptic Problem ONE MORE TIME I am going to SCREAM….”
I’ve never felt that way. It’s probably just a matter of personality and brain chemistry. For me, teaching someone who doesn’t know something that I’ve taught for many years just means they haven’t had the chance to learn it.
It’s the same outside the classroom with questions/comments I get – the same questions all the time. I’ll admit that often in the first nano-second I sometimes think: Why don’t they just GET IT? But then I remember: Wait a second. This person hasn’t heard the answer….
Here is a question that comes to me all the time. I got it again a few days ago.
I have a brief question. I was a biblical studies major in college and my professors loved to point out the fact that we have so many copies of the New Testament. Their argument would be that due to the amount we have we can prove a good degree of reliability. Furthermore, they would say that to doubt the Bible as a historical text would mean that we should also throw out other historical documents which we have fewer copies of. To be fair my quotes are a summarization of what they taught, but I was curious what your thoughts were. I am also curious as to why we do have so many copies of the NT in comparison to other documents.
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone claim that the New Testament must be reliable because we have so many copies of it, I could buy Twitter.
I never have a problem with a layperson who wonders about it – since they’ve heard “experts” say it all the time — but I have a very serious problem with the professors who have drilled it into their head. What were his professors thinking? Were they thinking? Surely not. It is an argument that literally makes no sense. Either these instructors simply don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’ve never thought about the logic of the claim, or they don’t understand logic in general, or they are being duplicitous. I think those are the choices.
Let me put it like this. Do you gauge the reliability of a book on
Join the Blog and you can read this entire post. Joining is easy and inexpensive; and every nickel you pay goes to help those in need. Click here for membership options