An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions by Craig L. Blomberg
My pastor recently asked me to purchase this book for the church library because he thought there were people in my church who would benefit from it. He also suggested that I review it for the church newsletter. This is the review I wrote. If I had been reviewing it just for my blog, it would have been a different review. For one thing, I would have had no word limit! And the readers of this blog are different than the general membership of my church (and yours, too, probably!). If I had been reviewing for the blog only, I would have mentioned a few places where I disagree with certain remarks Blomberg makes. He’s an egalitarian, for instance, and a bit combative in his approach to the egalitarian/complimentarian issue. But it seemed inappropriate for me to get into those issues in the newsletter, and they have very little bearing on the arguments he makes for the reliability of the Bible, anyway.
I also would have mentioned that this is not an easy read, something I took out of the review because I needed to shorten it.
As you might expect from the title and subtitle, this book addresses several specific recent objections to the reliability of the Bible. You may have seen or read some of these arguments against the Bible’s trustworthiness in television documentaries, magazine articles, or books written by skeptics. In each of the six objections Craig Blomberg tackles, he shows that “new findings, or at least more intense study of slightly older discoveries, have actually strengthened the case for the reliability or trustworthiness of the Scriptures, even while the most publicized opinions in each area have claimed that there are now reasons for greater skepticism!”
The first chapter addresses the reliability of the biblical text we have now, nearly 2000 years after the last of the books of the New Testament were written. Is it true that all we have are hopelessly corrupt copies of the original New Testament writings, copies so full of variants—400,000 is the number some give—that it is impossible to know what the authors originally wrote?