Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
New Testament Documents
He first demonstrates that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that the events described in the New Testament actually occurred. They were not fabricated by early believers. He then looks at the dating of these documents and convincingly argues in favor of an early date.
One of the chapters is central to our Catholic understanding of
scripture is on the canon of the scriptures. The author clearly shows
us that it was the Early Church that decided which texts are inspired
and which are not.
In his discussion on the contents of the Gospels, Bruce places a great
emphasis on the Letters of Paul. In good measure, this is because
Paul's Letters are the earliest Christian documents we have. He also
argues that Luke is a very reliable historian. It is also noted that
when we examine the writings of a non-Christian like Josephus, nothing
he says contradicts what is written in the New Testament. There are
also more New Testament texts close to the original time of writing in
existence today than any other works of the period, the works of
Caesar, for example.
The chapter on miracles is brief but good. We need to view the miracles
in the light of the person of Christ, says Bruce.
Like many biblical scholars, Bruce writes in favor of the Markan priority and Q. As an aside, I corresponded with the great Benedictine biblical scholar Bernard Orchard in the eighties. He gave good reasons in favor of the traditional teaching: Matthew first.
Bruce has given us good arguments supporting the reliability of the New