Debate: Is the New Testament Reliable?

There is lot I want to say about this debate – it is very good and instructive on what happens when you don’t properly expose someone to the textual variants and history of the NT transmission of the text, and how that historical relates to the doctrine of Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible. One can see and hear Lee Baker’s hurt and frustration over not being told about these things. This is also why King James Onlyism is so dangerous – when people grow up and find out about the textual variants on the internet, they get angry and many times leave the faith altogether or develop an unhealthy dogmatic opinion against the reality of the textual variants.

Dr. White did an excellent job of defending the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures, and at the time dealing with the reality of the history of the textual transmission of the New Testament – that these 2 things are not contradictory to one another. The doctrine of Inerrancy is about the original writings. Manuscripts that we have today are copies. By comparing all the some odd 5,800 manuscript copies, we can have all the information on textual variants and have confidence that we have the infallible, inerrant Word of God.

I will be updating this post as it is very interesting.

At one point, Lee Baker claims that the NT writers / apostles never mentioned the prophesy of Daniel 9:24-27. Yes they did – Matthew 24:15 – “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand. This is a clear pointing back to Daniel 9:24-27 and shows that the destruction of the temple in 70 AD is being talked about (Matthew 24:1-3) and Jesus’ death (“Messiah will be cut off and have nothing” verse 26 – happens before this event, which Jesus predicts

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ [ seventy periods of seven years = 490 years ] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah / Anointed one, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One (Messiah) will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

Daniel 9:24-27

Regarding the Hebrew Word, Almah, in Isaiah 7:14. Genesis 24 uses both Almah (Young maiden of marriageable age) (v. 43) and Betula (virgin) (v. 16) to describe Rebecca, when Eleazar is seeking a godly wife for Isaac. The entire context shows that Almah is intended to communicate that the maiden who is unmarried is assumed to be a virgin, and in verse 16, the inspired writer makes it explicit.

15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

Genesis 24:15-16

43 behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the young unmarried woman who comes out to draw water, and to whom I say, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar”; 44 and she says to me, “You drink, and I will draw for your camels also”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’

Genesis 24:43-44

So the Lxx translation of Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 is correct – parthenos (virgin).

Another thing that Lee Baker said which was rather surprising is that he said the apostles and NT writers and the early church fathers did not mention Isaiah 53 as about Jesus. What?! – Almost every line of Isaiah 52:13-15 to 53:1-12 is either quoted outright or alluded to in the New Testament. For details on that, see here:

I will be adding more details to this post and editing it.

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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