After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 15:1
We should carefully trust God in times of prosperity. When we sit under the warm beams of a meridian sun, wash our steps in butter, and our feet in oil, when the candle of the Lord shines on our tabernacle and our lines have fallen out in pleasant places, now is the time to trust in our God. It requires the utmost of faith’s skill to steer the soul handsomely in this serene calm. Faith must fix its eyes on God, the fountain of all its enjoyments. Faith acknowledges every good gift is from above. Since all my enjoyments are of him, all should be to his praise and glory, and faith must willingly surrender them at God’s call. If he sees fir to call in his debts, we must submit to his sovereignty. A gracious heart is pleased to spend its worldly goods for Christ. Mary’s ointment could never have been carried to a better market than it was, when poured so freely on her dear Saviour’s head. A believer’s enjoyments are never so great or precious that they cannot be thrown overboard rather than hazard the wreck of faith or a good conscience (1 Tim. 1:19). These outward enjoyments are sweet, but God, the author of them is infinitely more sweet. I can smile when my corn and wine increase, but alas, without the enjoyment of God, it is nothing. Indeed, what are these to his person and presence? O the light of his countenance! With Esau we might say I these blessings, we have much; but give me him, and with Jacob, I have all. In him are fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore. Only he can satisfy; he is my all-sufficient portion. He is my sun and shield, root and branch, foundation and corner stone, and my sword and shield. He only can answer all my desires and necessities. He is my God, my portion, and my all.
Can we trust the New Testament? Hasn’t it all been disproved? Doesn’t modern scholarship show that it was all made up much later, so that the supposedly historical foundations of Christianity are in fact a figment of the imagination?
This sort of thing is said so often in the media, in some churches, and in public life in general that many people take it for granted that nothing can be said on the other side. But, as so often, this is where careful, accurate historical scholarship of the type in which F.F. Bruce excelled has a quiet, thorough, and complete answer. Yes we can trust the New Testament. For a start, the documents themselves—the manuscripts from which our knowledge of the New Testament comes— are in far, far better shape than the manuscripts of any other work from the ancient world, by a very long way. Examine the New Testament, and you’ll find that our knowledge of it rests on a very large number of manuscripts, several hundred in fact, which go back as far, in some cases, as the early second century, less than a hundred years after the books were first written. There is better evidence for the New Testament than for any other ancient book.
This Modern Classic in the Field of New Testament Studies offers a compelling defense of biblical truth. F. F. Bruce, one of evangelicalism’s most respected scholars, makes a clear case for the historical trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures, drawing on evidence from the New Testament documents themselves as well as extra-biblical sources. Concise chapters explore the canon and dating of the New Testament, the nature of the Gospels (including a look at miracles), the life and writings of Paul, and archaeological and literary evidence. Including here a completely updated bibliography. Bruce’s long-standing affirmation of the New Testament is still as authoritative and engaging as ever.
“Fred Bruce was a tower of strength in the worlds of scholarship and faith, and in particularto those who, like him, were and are determined not to separate the two. There are many recent books which explore the New Testament from a wide variety of angles. But this book is far from being out of date. Indeed, it remains one of the best popular introductions [to the topic of New Testament critical study] available. Enjoy it; think about it; use it as the basis for further exploration.” —N.T. Wright
Paperback; 149 pages