People make pretty wild claims about how the Bible was written and when it was written and how it was recognized as scripture. People make pretty wild claims about the number of errors and contradictions in the Bible. People make pretty wild claims about the errors in copying the Bible. No only are these pretty wild, but they are often stated with absolute conviction — along the lines of: “The sun will rise tomorrow”; “Water flows downhill”; “The Bible is riddled with errors and is contradictory”. When the Bible is determined with such calm confidence it can be unnerving to the Christian. Given that at Messiah, we want to help ordinary people be confident, joyful disciples of Jesus Christ, I thought I would point you in the direction of some resources.
First of all, you need to have some confidence in the Bible and its claims. The English Standard Version Study Bible is a great resource. It discusses the date and composition of individual books and it also has handy, brief overview sections on a wide range of issues. Even if you do not use this as your Bible to read everyday, it is a great response to own.
The books by Lee Strobel are also very helpful. The Case for Christ and The Case for the Real Jesus are easy to read, yet contain very solid scholarship. Each book will introduce you to a wide range of scholars. You can then google them to find other articles or books they have written. Each chapter ends with a very helpful brief biography of good books to read to go deeper into the issue raised in that chapter. I always recommend these two books because they introduce people to good scholars and good books.
Secondly, most people who make wild claims about the Bible do not know that their views are wild and wrong. They hold these views because “everyone knows this”. The best way to deal with this is to have read up on the issue yourself and to pray for the person who makes such claims. More arguments rarely accomplish much, but God may provide a time when you can challenge them to read for themselves and then give a good book!
Under the mercy,