Trusting the New Testament

This entry is part 250 of 331 in the series Inquiring Minds
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How can we trust the New Testament when we have no idea who most of its authors are?

There’s only one book in the New Testament we don’t know who the author is. The writer of Hebrews does not give his name anywhere in the letter at all. All of the other books of the New Testament have an assigned author.

Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew, John Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke and Acts. John the apostle, the Elder, wrote five books: Gospel of John, 1-3 John, and Revelation. Paul wrote 13 books: Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. James wrote the book of James. Peter wrote 1-2 Peter, and Jude wrote the book of Jude.

Traditionally throughout church history the church has taken these authors to be the true authors of these New Testament books. There are first-hand accounts from first century Christianity, as well as the second-generation of Christian disciples who were disciples of these original apostles who verify that they wrote these books.

The Church has been meticulous to make sure that all of these 27 books were inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by the hand and a human being, an author, prophet, or someone writing by the eyewitness of one of these in the first century.

It has only been recently, since the late 19th century that anyone has questioned the authorship of these books. All of this has happened since the critical methods from form to textual to literary criticism have come about.

It’s not that these methods don’t have warrant or 6 contribute to theology and exegesis. But they tend to be practiced by unbelieving scholars instead of people trying to understand the New Testament and help the Church apply it.

It’s up to these critical methods and those who propose them to defend their position. The text clearly tells us who the authors are for all but one book. History is on the side of these texts. And if we take away who the text clearly says it was written by, we challenge the inspiration of Scripture.

We can trust the New Testament because we do know who the authors were and we have verification from first century eyewitnesses, as well as second century disciples of the original apostles. We have no need to question these things or challenge what the inspired text has told us about itself.

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