From Originals To Today. Can We Really Trust The New Testament Transmission?

According to the evangelical tradition the biblical canon is the inerrant word of God; that tradition argues modus ponens that because the canon was divinely inspired it must also have been divinely preserved - so what we now posses (in Greek) is the perfect representation of the inspired original.

History Of The Bible

The Lindisfarne Gospels, penned around 800 CE, has an illustration of Matthew writing his gospel. God is drawing back the curtains of revelation while an angel double checks Matthew’s text against a divine scroll. Such was the ninth century idea of how the bible came to be. Reality is far less tidy[1].

Age of the Earth

According to Ussher's reading of the biblical genealogy the world is  some six thousand years old while multiple independent strands of evidence estimates that the earth is over four billions years old. This evidence includes;


In our modern society we prize objective truth; for only objective things, not metaphysical things can be reliable. But take colour. Although we assume colour is objective it turns out that colour is nothing other than our brain’s subjective rendering of photon frequency. The notes we hear on a piano are also subjective. There are no sounds in the physical world; only vibrating molecules. Equally smell is the interpretation of molecular shape and even the apparent solidness of matter as sensed through touch was discredited by Rutherford’s scattering experiment.

A Defence of Annihilation

Without doubt first century Jews believed in hell for images such as fire, darkness and laments are all too frequently encountered in their literature. One may suppose if Jesus disagreed with the Second Temple idea of hell he would have corrected their belief.

A Defence of Partial Preterism

Central to the Christian thesis is the divinity of Jesus. Little wonder critics such as Bertrand Russell[1] and Signal[2] complain - ‘no amount of Christian theological acrobatics will ever solve the problems engendered by the historical reality that a promised imminent fulfilment made two thousand years ago did not occur as expected by the New Testament. Simply stated, Jesus is never coming back, not then, not now, not ever’.

An Objection From Plurism

I am sitting in a lobby of a busy Chinese hotel. People are coming and going, or meeting to drink Chinese tea. I enjoy being part of the activity; the movement, the laughter. Over the PA Christian songs are playing – which makes me wonder – I know most of the people are not Christian yet they are all demonstrating a remarkable tolerance to this other-religion music.

Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

The early church primarily understood the question; why did Jesus have to die? -  in terms of overcoming the devil. In both the ransom and Christos Victor motif the purpose of the cross was to overcome Satin's lawful hold (because of the fall) over humanity.


According to the apostle Paul, without Christ crucified our faith is worthless (1 Corinthians 15:14). Of central import then is not only the historicity of Jesus, but also his divinity as demonstrated through his resurrection.

Did The Flood Really Happen?

Before the account proper we learn that Tubal-Cain ‘forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron (Genesis 4:22)’. Tubal-Cain’s particular skillset is helpful because it places Noah’s flood after the dawn of the Bronze Age (4000 BCE). The Sumerian King List[1] is even more specific, placing its flood in the Jemdet Nasr Period (2900 BCE).

The Problem with Foreknowledge

The difficulty that God's foreknowledge causes to our finite and presumably free world is well captured by the epistemic argument;

Why Did God Behave So Badly In The Old Testament

Why does the benevolent God of the bible behave so badly in the Old Testament? The hidden assumption behind this objection is that because the bible is a constitution the images and descriptions of God should all be consistently Godlike (whatever that means).

Free Will?

According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory the outcome of physical processes cannot be predicted with certainty because they are not determined with certainty. By this interpretation nature does not dictate but rather allows a number of different eventualities; each with its own probability.

The Problem with Evil

A student was challenged by his professor. ‘Did God create everything?’ ‘Yes’ the student answered. The professor replied, ‘if God created everything then he created evil and according to the principal that our work defines who we are God must be evil.’ The student fell silent.

Do We Have A Soul?

Phineas Gage in 1848 accidently triggered an explosion while leaning over a hole full of explosives. As a result a tamping iron went through his left eye, brain and skull. Damage to his ventral-medial frontal region transformed Gage from a conscientious citizen into a man with serious character flaws. This change in behaviour led De Waal[1] to conclude; ‘what this incident teaches us is that consciousness is not some disembodied concept that can be understood only on the basis of culture and religion’.

The Problem with Adam

Of central import to the discussion of anthropological beginnings is the study of rare mutations evident in the mtDNA code. These markers, uncomplicated by the recombination process that occurs in nuclear DNA represents the bifurcating nodes of maternal human ancestry. If they could be dated then a detailed map of human ancestry could in principle be sketched out.

Seven Days

A plain reading of the Genesis creation account coupled with the Genesis genealogy suggests the earth was created in seven literal days some six thousand years ago. So why does objective evidence past doubting tell such a different story?

Right Sizing The Bible

I was brought up to believe that the biblical story covered the entire history of the cosmos; but by the time I reached university I was keenly aware that this view of the bible was susceptible to some fairly thorny questions-namely why would God take thirteen billion years to create a near infinite universe for what amounts to a few millennia of very finite human existence?