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Don Stewart :: Were the New Testament Writers Qualified as Witnesses?

Don Stewart

There is sufficient evidence that the New Testament writers were qualified to give testimony to the events they recorded. The following points should be made.

1. They Were In A Position To Accurately Judge

The New Testament writers were in a position to accurately judge the events to which they gave testimony. As eyewitnesses, they knew whether or not the facts were correct.

2. They Exhibit An Honest Character

The New Testament writers exhibit an honest character. They do not hesitate to record their own shortcomings. This gives further evidence that their writings were not fraudulent. They do not write like fanatics.

3. They Had Sufficient Intelligence

The writers of the New Testament were intelligent men. Although the education level varies among the authors, they all possessed the ability to intelligently communicate the truth of God to humanity.

4. They Realized The Eternal Consequences

The New Testament writers realized that their accounts had eternal consequences. They did not want to risk their own condemnation by being liars or imposters. They had nothing to gain from dishonesty.

5. Their Narratives Were Not Embellished

The narratives in the New Testament were not embellished with excess details. They are simple, to the point, and believable. We find nothing that would give any hint of a legend.

6. They Appealed To The Senses Of The Readers

The writers of the New Testament were able to appeal to the senses to verify the truth they recorded. John wrote.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life (1 John 1:1)

7. They Had The Tools

The New Testament writers obviously had the ability to read and write. They also had the proper tools-tablets, pen, ink, etc.-to record the words and deeds of Christ. There was nothing hindering them to complete their task.

8. They Had A Precedent In The Old Testament

The disciples had a precedent, the Old Testament, for accurately recording sacred truth. They would have used that as an example in their memorizing and passing on the truth about Jesus.

9. They Had Special Reverence For Jesus

The reverence of the disciples for Jesus as the promised Messiah also encouraged them to memorize carefully and also accurately record His words and deeds. Luke wrote of his meticulous research.

In as much as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught (Luke 1:1-4).

Jesus' words and deeds would have been accurately recorded in order to pass them on to others. Paul wrote:

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).

10. They Were Historically Accurate

The accounts of the New Testament writers match up, as far as we can tell, with secular history. Their narratives fit well into the history of the times.

11. They Were Minutely Accurate

One of the marks of truthfulness is the accuracy in small, insignificant details. We find the gospel writers accurate in areas that had no real significance. This is another indication of the trustworthiness of their entire account.

All of the above facts testify to the trustworthiness of the New Testament writings.

Summary

As we look at the qualifications of the New Testament writers we can make the following conclusions. The writers were in a position to accurately judge the events they recorded. Also they showed themselves to be of honest character. The disciples were of sufficient intelligence to communicate the truth. In addition, they realized the eternal consequences of what they proclaimed. Their narratives were not embellished with excessive details. They had the proper tools to get the job done. Their writings appealed to the senses of their readers. They also had a precedent for recording divine material - the Old Testament. In addition, they exhibited a special reverence for Jesus. Furthermore, they were historically accurate in all that they said. In fact, they were minutely accurate. All these things add up to demonstrate the New Testament can be trusted in the things that it reports.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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