How did the New Testament actually come together? Some have argued that is a “chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents” that has been revised and ‘improved’ over centuries. Others have argued it is a deeply political document, created to quell rebellions and placate a growing and agitated movement.
Millions of people put their trust in the New Testament. It’s time to get to the bottom of how it was created.
This episode of Undeceptions is brought to you by Zondervan Academic, publishers of 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity by John Lennox.
- Find out more about our guest Dr Chris Forbes, who has actually just retired from Macquarie University.
- Find out more about Dr Michael Bird from Ridley College.
- And check out Michael’s latest book The New Testament in It’s World (with N.T. Wright)
- Producer Kaley is actually the one who likes Survivor. She thinks you should watch it, too.
- Richard Dawkin’s quote about the Bible being a cobbled-together anthology was from The God Delusion.
- If you really have to, you can read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown or watch the movie.
- But then listen to this 5-part series with John Dickson on Hope 103.2FM (Sydney Christian radio station), Why the Da Vinci Code is a very novel history
- Watch John Dickson talk about the conversion of Constantine the Great from this clip from the Centre For Public Christianity’s documentary For the Love of God
- Learn more about Justin Martyr, the first Christian apologist.
- What’s with the ending in the gospel of Mark? Check out this article from The Gospel Coalition, written by Elijah Hixson from Tyndale House in Cambridge: Was Mark 16:9-20 originally part of Mark’s Gospel?
- Get to know Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon
- More on the Muratorian Canon
- Here is John’s beloved copy of The Apostolic Fathers
- Read the New York Times report on the discovery of the Gospel of Judas, from 2006
- Read more about the Gospel of Judas in this article by John Dickson in 2008 from The Centre for Public Christianity
- For more on the Gnostic Gospels, get your hands on The Christ Files, a documentary with John Dickson. Here’s a preview.
- You can have a look for yourself at the beautiful Codex Sinaiticus at this link. You can scroll through the pages online — so go check out the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas at the back!
- Get to know Eusebius of Caesarea
- And read his Ecclesiastical History too.
Meet our guests
Dr Chris Forbes is an Associate Senior Lecturer in Ancient History. His fields of research and teaching focus on New Testament history, Alexander the Great and Hellenistic history, Graeco-Roman History of Ideas and the intersection of early Christianity and Graeco-Roman culture.
His current research is in the field of the relationship between religion and philosophy in Graeco-Roman thought. He gained his BA (Hons I) Dip.Ed. in Ancient History at Macquarie in 1978, and his PhD in Ancient History in 1987. He taught at Macquarie in various positions since 1985, full time since 1987, and was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2001.
Michael grew up in Brisbane before joining the Army and serving as a paratrooper, intelligence operator, and then chaplains assistant. It was during his time in the military that he came to faith from a non-Christian background, and soon after felt a call to ministry.
He graduated with a BMin from Malyon College (2001) and Honours and PhD from the University of Queensland (2002, 2005). Michael taught New Testament at the Highland Theological College in Scotland (2005-9) before joining Brisbane School of Theology as lecturer in Theology (2010-12). He joined the faculty at Ridley as lecturer in Theology in 2013.