The four Gospels and the book of Acts tell stories of Jesus’ life and the birth of Christianity. Are these stories true history or just religious fiction? Christians accept the stories as true and say that the entire Bible is a reliable communication inspired by God. Against this, non-Christians have argued that the Bible is a book of legends, myths, and historical inaccuracies—just another example of human religious endeavor. In this volume, four world-class New Testament scholars address challenges to the reliability of the Gospels and Acts. In order to identify the most important challenges, the authors drew from the literature of skeptics and New Testament critics, plus they included questions that many Christians ask as well. The result is the most comprehensive defense of the Gospels and Acts that has ever been published.
The primary purpose of the Holman Apologetics Commentary on the Bible is to equip readers to defend the reliability of Scripture and the historic evangelical understanding of its teachings. It is designed for use by general readers, though scholars will find it a probing and welcome resource as well. A secondary purpose is to encourage awareness and discussion of Bible difficulties that are not commonly mentioned from the pulpit or even the seminary lectern.
This is not a verse-by-verse commentary. The authors were provided an index that identified verses known to be relevant to the topics of apologetics and biblical reliability. They restricted their comments to these verses, plus any others that they recognized as germane to the aims of this project. Typically, each commentary note begins by stating the challenge or challenges regarding the text at hand. We attempt to state the case in all its potency, as a critic would state it. This approach takes seriously the critical viewpoint and helps ensure that the reader feels the full weight of the challenge. The contributors take each challenge seriously and seek to describe viable solutions that support faith and align with a high view of Scripture.
Craig A. Evans is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Darrell L. Bock is executive director of Cultural Engagement and senior research professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary.
Andreas J. Köstenberger is senior professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC and director of acquisitions, B&H Academic.