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The historical claims of the New Testament—that Jesus performed miracles, fulfilled prophecy, died and rose again, and ascended into heaven—come to us as received tradition, and we receive them in faith, trusting that the New Testament is indeed an inspired collection of writings, that it indeed tells us the truth.
Increasingly, the reliability of not just the New Testament but really any document of history is called into question. If everyone writes from a point of view and with an agenda, can we reasonably expect any historical account to be objective—to tell us the truth?
In this newly revised edition of Is the New Testament Reliable? Paul Barnett defends the task of the historian and the concept of history. He then addresses questions about the New Testament of importance to people of faith and skeptics alike:
How close in time are the New Testament documents to the life of Jesus? Why should we believe the writings of "biased" early Christians? Were any of the writers of the New Testament books eyewitnesses to the events it records? How can we know that what was originally written has not been altered through the centuries?
It is no small thing to trust ancient claims, but Barnett shows that we can take confidence in the New Testament, for it tells us the truth.
1. Introduction: Is There History?
2. The Question of Truth
3. Did Jesus Exist? Early Non-Christian References
4. Fixing the Time Frame
5. Is the Transmission Trustworthy?
6. The Two Witnesses
7. Witness One: The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved
8. Witness Two: Peter Through Mark
9. Luke and Matthew
10. The Birth of Jesus
11. Miracles and the Modern World
12. The Resurrection of Jesus
13. Paul and the Historical Jesus
14. The Acts of the Apostles
15. Archaeology and the New Testament: "Hard Copy" from Antiquity
16. Is the New Testament Historically Reliable?
17. Who Is Jesus?
18. Historical Origins of Christianity and Islam