The many sins of Newsweek’s expose on the Bible (COMMENTARY) – Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor, writing for the Religion News Service, adds his critique of Newsweek’s recent article on the Bible to others about which I’ve posted.  He closes with this:

If Eichenwald wants to engage his subject matter with the true intellectual curiosity it deserves, he may discover that he has a far more interesting story to report next Christmas.

(3 min read; 827 words)

The many sins of Newsweek’s expose on the Bible (COMMENTARY) – The Washington Post.

A Christmas Gift from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 2) | Canon Fodder

Here’s how Michael Kruger begins “Part Two” of his critique of Newsweek’s “hit piece” on the Bible.

On Christmas Eve, I wrote part one of my review of Kurt Eichenwald’s piece, and highlighted not only the substantive and inexcusable litany of historical mistakes, but also the overly pejorative and one-sided portrait of Bible-believing Christians…I appreciate that even Kurt Eichenwald joined the discussion in the comments section.

But the problems in the original Newsweek article were so extensive that I could not cover them in a single post. So, now I offer a second (and hopefully final) installment.

(11 min read; 2,794 words)

A Christmas Gift from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 2) | Canon Fodder.

Predictable Christmas fare: Newsweek’s Tirade against the Bible | Daniel B. Wallace

Yesterday I drew attention to Michael Kruger’s scathing criticism of Newsweek’s recent major misrepresentation of the Bible.  Another New Testament scholar, Daniel Wallace was similarly incensed.

Dan Wallace concludes his critique with this:

I applaud Kurt Eichenwald for stirring up Christians to think about what he has written and to reexamine their beliefs and attitudes. But his numerous factual errors and misleading statements, his lack of concern for any semblance of objectivity, his apparent disdain for and lack of interaction with genuine evangelical scholarship, and his über-confidence about more than a few suspect viewpoints, makes me wonder. I wonder why he really wrote this essay, and I wonder what he hoped to accomplish. The article reads like it was written by a political pundit who thought he might try something clever: If he could just link conservative Christianity with conservative politics, and show that Christians’ smugness about being Bible-based believers was both incorrect exegetically and had a poor, self-contradictory foundation (since the Bible is full of errors and contradictions), he could thereby deal a deathblow to both conservative Christianity and conservative politics. I do not wish to defend conservative politics, but simply point out that evangelicals do not fit lock, stock, and barrel under just one ideological tent. Eichenwald’s grasp of conservative Christianity in America as well as his grasp of genuine biblical scholarship are, at best, subpar. And this article is an embarrassment to Newsweek—or should be!

(16 min read; 3,913 words)

Predictable Christmas fare: Newsweek’s Tirade against the Bible | Daniel B. Wallace.

Michael Kruger Addresses Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek

On December 23, 2014, Newsweek published a 9,000-word cover-story by Kurt Eichenwald titled “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.”  Professor Michael J. Kruger of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte gives it its due this first installment of a response.

My own response to this Newsweek “hit” piece can be seen in the following two comments I made to it on the Newsweek site:

I once held a view practically identical to the author of this article. Then I decided to read and study the New Testament for myself. It didn’t take me long to realize that the New Testament documents made more sense than the view I had held of it.

And later:

How does this writer claim to be dealing with the Bible when he fails to deal at all with the central claim of the Bible? That is, the New Testament repeatedly and emphatically declares that Jesus of Nazareth has been made Lord of heaven and earth by virtue of His resurrection from the dead according to the promises of God in the Old Testament. Do you wonder at all why the journalist devotes himself to majoring on minors?

While Dr. Kruger deals with Eichenwald’s errors of commission, I dealt with what I felt was far graver: his error of omitting discussion of the Bible’s central claim.

This Newsweek essay reminds me of how hostile modern culture has become to Jesus Christ.  It also reminds me that half-truths are more pernicious than outright lies.  Anyone who trusts Newsweek’s opinion of the Bible has put themselves in demonstrably unreliable hands.  Do today’s journalists not realize that they have made “journalistic integrity” an oxymoron?

I only recommend that you read Kruger’s critique.  Reading Eichenwald’s article is a punishment no one deserves.

(8 min read; 2,050 words)

A Christmas Present from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 1) | Canon Fodder.

Michael J. Kruger on The DaVinci Code and How We Got the New Testament

Mike Kruger is a distinguished New Testament scholar, whose research interests include Christians origins, and whose PhD. advisor was Larry Hurtado.  Kruger’s specialty is the New Testament canon – that is, the study of how the writings we call the New Testament came to be collected and so labeled.

The DaVinci Code is a mystery-detective novel written by Dan Brown which has sold millions of copies (Wikipedia article on the book).  I have not read it, but apparently it gave many readers the idea that writings we have in the New Testament were chosen by Emperor Constantine or church councils.  Both these ideas are utterly inconsistent with history.  Nonetheless, because the book had a much wider readership than those of New Testament historians, his notion stirred up much angst.  Kruger’s response to that controversy is:

“The DaVinci Code phenomenon said a lot more about Christians than it did about the book. It revealed how little the average Christian knows about the origin of the Bible.”

Kruger’s work shows that the New Testament books were recognized widely believers as authoritative from the time they were written and that subsequent generations merely recognized that authority rather than conferred it.

Michael J. Kruger has written several books.  You can learn more about him and the books at his blog Canon Fodder.

The interview from which this quote was taken can be found at this James White YouTube site.  (h/t John Bugay at this post on Triablogue)  Kruger speaks about the interview in advance at this post on his blog.



How Did the Early Church Recognize the Canonicity of a Book? #6 Post of 2012 by Bill Pratt of Tough Questions Answered

Here’s how Bill starts:

There is a misconception, popularized by books like The Da Vinci Code, that the way the books of the Bible were chosen consisted of politically infused church councils voting on the books they liked, and voting out the books they didn’t like.  However, a careful reading of church history totally disproves this misconception.

via How Did the Early Church Recognize the Canonicity of a Book? #6 Post of 2012 | Tough Questions Answered.

The first criterion Bill mentions, which he takes from Geisler and Nix, (Did the book come from a man of God?) is really all that matters, because the other criteria flow naturally from it.

Are There More Gospels? – Mike Licona (YouTube)

From the YouTube description:

Did Emperor Constantine have anything to do with putting in four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the New Testament? Many skeptics think the church supressed “gospels” outside of the New Testament, so they won’t be in the canon of scripture. But is this true? Mike Licona explores this “Da Vinci Code” like conspiracy.

This presentation includes information-rich powerpoint slides.

This YouTube video lasts 5:09.