I enjoyed today’s book discussion on Scribes and Scriptures by John D. Meade and Peter J. Gurry. Scribes and Scriptures is an informative book that balances the material well and presents it a logical order.

On page 266, they state the popular thesis against the Bible well: Detractors claim “the Bible is just too human to be trusted: the text is too fluid, the canon too subjective, and translations too biased.” Meade and Gurry show how this claim isn’t true through a careful accounting of how the Bible came into being with regard to text, canon, and translation.

During the discussion I mentioned a few other resources worth looking into if you want to read more.

If you had trouble getting through the text and canon sections of Scribes and Scriptures because of the amount of unfamiliar material, try Know How We Got Our Bible by Michael M. Reeves and Charles E. Hill. It’s an similar book that is less dense on these topics and has a little more to share on the history of the English Bible.

Can We Trust the Gospels? by Peter J. Williams is a small volume that focuses on Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He deals with transmission (chapter 5) and authorship (chapter 2), but addresses other questions such as “Do we have Jesus’ actual words?” and, “What about contradictions?” He also helps the reader connect the dots between the historical data and the implications for one’s own belief. This is a very good book.

For a thorough treatment of issues regarding canonicity—New Testament in particular— try Canon Revisited: Establish the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books and The Question of Canon by Michael J. Kruger. Free video lectures, audio lectures and a blog are available.

If you found the Protestant-Roman Catholic canon history fascinating—Luther and Cardinal Cajetan agreed about the boundaries of the Old Testament canon(!)—and would like to do a deep dive in a primary source, try Disputations on Holy Scripture by William Whitaker (1546-1596). Meade and Gurry cite this book at least once. Whitaker explains and refutes the post-Trent Roman Catholic arguments with deep insight and learning.

Finally, try Paul and First-Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition and Collection by E. Randolf Richards to learn more about the writing and distribution processes of the epistles.

Happy reading.