Reflections on Newsweek’s “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin”

The obligatory article on Christianity at Christmastime from Newsweek has been posted, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” This is one of those pieces by a journalist that, if you know your subject matter, convinces you how shallow journalism can be. In this case, the research simply has not been done.

James White takes this on. It is a video of his Dividing Line program. This is red meat to White, and, unfortunately, his animal instincts sometimes (actually a good bit of the time) carry him away. When he knows he is on solid ground and is in an area of his expertise, he’s a tree stump grinder, to change the metaphor a bit. He gets a bit snarky and condescending in tone that makes him irritating, not just to his adversaries but also to those on his side. But if you want to know how far off the Newsweek article is, James White is the guy to go to on this one.

If you listen all the way through, you’ll get some idea of all the work that goes into establishing a reliable text of the New Testament. There are a few technical details that will blow past you, but you’ll get enough of the drift to gain real confidence that the Bible we read today is essentially the original books. Where there might be some uncertainty, the one thing for sure is that there is nothing in textual uncertainty that destabilizes any Christian doctrine. What is in the New Testament is what the Apostles taught.

Michael Kruger does an excellent job of responding, too. Kruger’s specialty is matters of canon, establishing the authority of the New Testament text in the early church.