Dr. Daniel Wallace is a Textual Criticism scholar, and has written on the issue of the reliability of the Bible, evidence in ancient manuscripts, and what all that means for us today. I’ve been following his works for some time now, and I’m so grateful for him in helping me formulate an informed view of inerrancy, textual criticism, and theology, and how it all pertains to my life.
I like this quote because it is a call for “hands-off” evangelicals to be better informed, and realize that our book has a wealth of evidence, which reinforces the pillars of our faith.
If Christ is at the core of our beliefs, then the incarnation has to loom large in our thinking about the faith. When God became man and invaded space-time history, this served notice that we dare not treat the Bible with kid gloves. The incarnation not only invites us to examine the evidence, it requires us to do so. The fact that our religion is the only major religion in the world that is subject to historical verification is no accident: it’s part of God’s design. Jesus performed miracles and healings in specific towns, at specific times, on specific people. The Gospels don’t often speak in generalities. And Paul mentioned that 500 believers saw the risen Christ at one time, then added that most of these folks were still alive. These kinds of statements are the stuff of history; they beg the reader to investigate. Too often modern evangelicals take a hands-off attitude toward the Bible because of a prior commitment to inerrancy. But it is precisely because I ground my bibliology in Christology rather than the other way around that I cannot do that. I believe it is disrespectful to my Lord to not ask the Bible the tough questions that every thinking non-Christian is already asking it.
Dr. Daniel Wallace
You can find more information on Textual Criticism, issues about the Bible, or if you want to read 2nd or 3rd century Greek manuscripts for yourself online, you can visit his website here, at the Center for New Testament Manuscripts.