Bible “Criticisms” and Who Wrote it?

Is the Bible perfect?  Written with God’s breath?

Or did human prophets and editors write and in some cases rewrite the Bible?

Latter-day Saints believe what is true: the latter.  Scholars have manuscripts and can use historical methods to understand the development of and changes to the biblical scriptures.

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Gotta give lots of credit to those over at LDS Perspective Podcasts.  They’ve lined up many wonderful LDS scholars on this and other topics.

The first podcast below — with Ben Spackman — says the following:

“It would be more helpful to approach the Bible as if it were a library that contained books of many different genre instead of being all the

same type of writing. No Christian would presume to label all scripture as parable. Likewise all scripture should not be labeled as history. The Bible contains books of satire, law codes, poetry, parables, myth, conquest narratives, and prophetic revelation among other things.”

Episode 45: Misunderstanding the Bible – Benjamin Spackman

You won’t think of Job the same way after this podcast:

Episode 52: The (Im)patient Job – Michael Austin

An analogy Julie likes to use is that to her, Mark is the stake president in California who lets a homeless family sleep in the cultural hall because he’s not much of a rule-follower kind of a guy; whereas Matthew and Luke work for CES in Salt Lake and wear a suit and would never dream of breaking a rule.

Episode 61: Mark’s Human Portrait of Jesus – Julie M. Smith

In this episode, Dr. Barlow discusses factors in the nineteenth century that changed how scholars interpreted the Bible, including the introduction of historical criticism.

Episode 69: Introduction to Higher Biblical Criticism – Philip Barlow

Who really wrote the first 5 book of the Old Testament, including Genesis?  Moses?  Or a group of editors?

Episode 70: The Documentary Hypothesis – Cory Crawford

In this episode, Ben discusses what many scholars believe the priestly scribes were writing about in the book of Genesis.

Episode 71: Genesis 1 – Benjamin Spackman

James L. Kugel is an orthodox Jew and biblical scholar who became somewhat legendary for revisiting ancient paradigms. When he taught at Harvard, one of Kugel’s students said the professor began a course by offering a disclaimer to the class: “If you come from a religious tradition upholding the literal truth of the Bible, you could find this course disturbing.”

Kugel tells the MIPodcast that isn’t exactly the case—there’s much more to the story. This episode is about religious faith and critical biblical scholarship.

How early Christians interpreted the Bible, with Peter Martens:

Martin Tanner discusses papyrus, the NT manuscripts, and the resurrection below:

When were the four Gospels written?

Dr. Darrell Bock, one of the world’s leading historical Jesus scholars, answers questions about when the Gospels were written.

Who wrote the Gospels:

J. Warner Wallace describes the evidence for the early dating of the Gospels. Why is this issue important to those who are examining the claims of Christianity? How does early dating contribute to the reliability of the Gospel authors as eyewitnesses? What other problem does early dating resolve?

Jim Wallace explains that the Gospels’ differences shouldn’t be a problem.  Apparent contradictions in witness testimony is expected.  Identical accounts are not normal.

Jim Wallace explains the New Testament Chain of Custody — how the  original evidence of the New Testament was preserved.

Who are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?

Matthew:  apostle, tax collector, wrote to the Jews

Mark:  younger than other apostles, his mother was a prominent follower,  likely a teenager when Jesus was in Jerusalem, traveled with the Apostle Paul, later traveled and stayed with Peter when Peter was imprisoned in Rome, known as Peter’s Greek interpreter (Peter, as a fisherman, many not have known Greek fluently); Mark reflects Peter’s interests in spreading the Gospel among the Gentiles

Luke:  didn’t know Jesus personally, but was taught by Paul; left his job of physician and traveled with Paul; though not himself an eyewitness, he spoke to many eyewitnesses (says so at the start of his Gospel)

John: one of the Apostles; probably read the other Gospels before he wrote his own Gospel; wrote to members of the Church who already knew about Jesus;