Some people are happy to trust the New Testament just because it is the christian scriptures. But I believe it is important to first understand the New Testament as history, as neutral scholars understand it, so we can test whether trusting it as scripture is reasonable.
When tested in this way, the New Testament can be seen as a well-preserved set of ancient documents, but with many unanswered questions and problems.
The Old Testament presents greater difficulties to the modern mind – is it legend, is it historical, does it present an attractive portrait of God, or not? A christian is able to sit loosely on many of these questions because our faith is built on the New Testament, not the old, but the problems still worry some believers and present major difficulties for some unbelievers.
This section considers some of the problems that have been raised that cast doubt on the accuracy of the Old and New Testaments, using the consensus views of secular scholars.
New Testament Errors?
In this page I discuss seven of the most commonly raised issues which are said to show the New Testament is inaccurate.
Were Bethlehem and Nazareth real places?
Sceptics have argued that Nazareth and Bethlehem didn’t exist, but several new archaeological discoveries at Nazareth, and one artefact that mentions Bethlehem, provide new evidence.
Can we believe the Old Testament?
There are many stories in the Old testament that are hard for modern people to swallow – Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah, Moses, Joshua, David & Goliath. But are readers meant to believe these stories were historical? Does the Bible make sense if we take a different view?
Did God really order the slaughter of the Canaanites?
The Old Testament of the Bible records the Israelites conquering Canaan, destroying cities and killing all the inhabitants, all in response to God’s commands. How should we understanding this apparent genocide?