This brings us to today’s question. Do we have now what they wrote then? This is one of the most common objections raised to the bible, particularly by Muslims and skeptics. And the idea is this, that Peter or the other Biblical authors may indeed have written something, yet over the centuries, and indeed very early on, the scriptures were copied, and then they were copied again, and then copied some more, and as they were copied they were corrupted, altered, changed, edited, revised, added to, etc, so the bottom line is that the Bible cannot be trusted as the Word of God. So the question is this, when i hold up the Bible and say, the word of God says, or the apostle Peter wrote … is what we have in our hands really what was written thousands of years ago.
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J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective. That means he investigates murders that were never solved but are then re-opened at a later time. Cold-cases have little or no hard forensic evidence, and so eyewitness statements are particularly important. Whether re-interviewing previous witnesses or identifying and interviewing new witnesses, the analysis of their testimony is critical to the possible closure of the case. Consequently, Jim Wallace was trained in ‘Forensic Statement Analysis’ – that is the scientific analysis of witness statements to determine their truth and reliability. He was used to analysing evidence and in particular knew what to look for in a reliable eyewitness statement.
Who wrote the Bible? Today’s question is not so much the question of the mind behind the Bible - that God wrote the Bible - for we’ll be discussing that matter later in the series. But today we’re going to focus on the question of authorship from the human side of the issue. Are the books of the Bible actually written by the men whose names are attached to them? 2 Peter 1:1 begins “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,” yet many, many scholars, the majority of scholars even, believe that it is impossible that the book we call 2 Peter was actually written by the man we call Simon Peter of Galilee, the disciple and apostle of Jesus Christ. They would claim that this letter, as others in the New Testament, is what we would call today a forgery, that is, a piece of writing written by one person claiming to be someone else.
Bart Ehrman has popularized this debate in the past few years in the book named Forged written in 2011 aimed at the regular reader. “The crucial question is this: Is it possible that any of the early Christian forgeries made it into the New Testament? That some of the books of the New Testament were not written by the apostles whose names are attached to them? That some of Paul’s letters were not actually written by Paul, but by someone claiming to be Paul? That Peter’s letters were not written by Peter? That James and Jude did not write the books that bear their names? Or…that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Scholars for over a hundred years have known that in fact this is the case.” (Ehrman, 10)