Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes guest Dr. Peter J. Williams, the principal of Tyndale House Cambridge. The aim of the organization is to make biblical scholarship broadly available. Tyndale House is committed to making research findings accessible at a non-academic level, equipping the churchgoing and non-churchgoing public to better understand the Bible.
Peter and Jeremiah discuss the reliability of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
“If people are wanting to know about the person of Jesus, the thing you most need to establish is, ‘Are these four accounts of Jesus things you can basically trust?’ We have solid evidence that we can trust the Gospels.”
These New Testament writers prove their familiarity with the time and place in which they lived, Peter says.
“There’s lots of evidence of authenticity. The knowledge they show is the kind of thing we would expect if it’s Matthew, Mark, Luke and John writing them.”
Peter explores questions of credibility and relevance in his book Can We Trust the Gospels?. He explains that the church reformers relied on 12th century manuscripts, while modern scholars have access to second and third century manuscripts.
“It shows (the reformers’) trust was entirely rational.”
While the Gospel writers’ accounts of life, crucifixion and resurrection vary, the important thing is that they are congruent.
“There is so much to discover about the Bible – it’s a deep well. There are treasures to draw out and depths to plumb. The Bible doesn’t just belong to Christians; it is for everyone.”
When it comes to one’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ, Peter says,
“In life, it’s really important that we recognize we are all simple and needy before God. We need to come to Him afresh to be filled with His grace and spirit. God’s got infinite knowledge and we have tiny knowledge – and that means that there is an infinite number of questions to ask God. I’m meant to be mortal and finite. I’m meant to be what God made me. That’s fine – I can celebrate the fact that I serve an infinite and all-knowing God. When you find your place, you can celebrate all the gifts He’s giving you within that framework.”
Dr. Peter J. Williams is principal of Tyndale House Cambridge. He is the author of Can We Trust the Gospels?. As both a biblical and a linguistic scholar, Williams helps bring the Bible to a new generation.