Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of the Quoting of Jesus

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of the Quoting of Jesus

How do we know that the writers of the New Testament wrote the truth and weren’t just making it up? Because they carefully distinguished Jesus’ words from their own. Even though quotation marks were not in use in first century Greek (nor were red letters), the New Testament  writers distinguished Jesus’ words very clearly.  Most Bibles today that have Jesus’ words in red letters are almost identical in that respect, showing how easy the New Testament writers made it to see what Jesus said and what he didn’t say.  Why is that important?, you ask.  We’ll explore that today as we get back to the top ten reasons we know the New Testament writers told the truth.

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What is the Significance?

Why is this important that the New Testament writers clearly distinguished Jesus’ words from their own?  Because it would have been very easy for them to solve first century theological disputes by just putting words in Jesus’ mouth.  Imagine if you were just making up the “Christian story” and trying to pass it off as the truth.  If therefore there came some disputes in this church you started, if some people in the church started arguing for things you didn’t agree with, wouldn’t you simply make up more quotes from Jesus to convince stubborn people to see things your way?

There were disputes in the first century over things like the necessity of circumcision, the obeying of the law of Moses, the practice of speaking in tongues, and the role of women in the church.  Those things may sound familiar as some of them are still disputes today.  So imagine you were a church leader in the first century, a writer of the New Testament, and you had made the whole thing up.  All the saying of Jesus in the gospels you just made up. So think how easy it would have been to end all debate on these controversial issues by just making up more quotes from Jesus.

Paul could have just written in his first letter to the church in Corinth that Jesus said such and such about speaking in tongues.  But neither Paul nor any of the other New Testament writers ever did that.  They stayed true to what Jesus said and didn’t say.  Paul did quote Jesus a few times but not on those controversial issues and on one occasion he went out of his way to explicitly distinguish his own words from those of Jesus (1 Cor 7:10-12).

Ask yourself, Why would the New Testament writers have been so careful about the words of Jesus if they were not telling the truth?

Source: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

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Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Reliable Documents, Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament Writers Told the Truth

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