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Wondering What to Believe?

  1. Does Nature Give Proof of God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  2. Can I Hear God's Voice?
    8 Digging Deeper
  3. Who is God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
    8 Digging Deeper
  5. Can I Trust the Bible?
    7 Digging Deeper
  6. Is there a Right and Wrong?
    7 Digging Deeper
  7. Why Does God Allow Evil?
    9 Digging Deeper
  8. Who Am I?
    7 Digging Deeper
  9. What is the Meaning of Life?
    7 Digging Deeper
  10. Does God Love Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 5, Digging Deeper 5
In Progress

Why do you think about the very small (.001) part of critical textual variations found in the New Testament?

This minute, one thousandth part of variations should strengthen our trust in the accuracy and dependability of the remaining 99.9 per cent of the New Testament. No Christian doctrine is affected or in question by any textual variation. The variations are mostly found in the spelling of names or other words, or the omission or addition of a few words here and there that have nothing to do with the meaning of the message.

The Christian faith hinges on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If Jesus rose from the dead, then he is Lord and Savior, his claims are true and we are accountable to obey him. If he did not rise from the dead, then the Christian faith is false and unreliable. Christianity is true because an event happened: the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection produced the New Testament documents, not the other way around. The good news of salvation through Jesus was preached and thousands were saved for at least two decades before any portion of the New Testament was written. Many Christians in the first century never saw any written portion of the documents that came to comprise the New Testament. There is a difference between the fact of the event and the report of the event. The documents are important because (1) they tell us that the event occurred, and (2) they deliver accurate information about the event.

The minute number of slight variations in the manuscripts of the New Testament that were transmitted by non-inspired scribes do not in any way change the message of the New Testament: Jesus is alive and Lord and savior of all those who believe in him. A slight variation in the manuscripts does not mean that the event did not occur.

Some are concerned because certain events in the gospels are recorded by the two, three or four writers with varying details in the event. However, this is no problem. It’s a fact that journalists who are actual eyewitness of the same historical event never describe the event in exactly the same way with exactly the same details. If they did, we would immediately think that they colluded. Varying details in the recoding of an event are actually evidence that the event occurred. The varying details in the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John can be shown to be supplementary and complementary, not contradictory, of one another.