There’s a multitude of factors, experiential, psychological, social etc, that make up my “faith” in Jesus, or “reasons for believing”. Amongst them are the texts of the Old and New Testaments.
It’s healthy I think to step back every now and again, and ask – ‘is it an intellectually honest act to place my trust in these texts – or is this a bit of flimsy wishful thinking, a psychological crutch?’
From time to time over the years I’ve pressed as hard as I’ve known how to on that question.
All I can testify is that as a 13 year old, a 23 year old and a 33 year old – investigating that question honestly has only served to strengthen my faith.
To take one issue – have we actually got “The New Testament” as originally written? Well, we’ve got, relatively speaking, incredibly early copies for an ancient text, almost unbelievable accuracy across the copies, and a staggering number of these copies. Check out this comparative table:
If you don’t take the New Testament as written, you probably have to construct for yourself a whole different way of looking at history – which for me would require much more of a leap of faith. With that kind of criteria Caesar’s Gallic Wars are an extremely unlikely fairytale.
Of course, a plethora of manuscripts doesn’t necessarily lead to belief in what they claim – that’s a separate question, which also needs answering. What I’m saying, disciple, is that truth has no fear of being investigated. If you need to settle some questions for yourself – go for it! Do so vigorously and honestly.
Truth tends to come up well during cross examination.
A podcast on The reliability of the New Testament.
A blog post on the historicity of Jesus, his death and resurrection.