But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” John 4:32
Believers have comfort to live upon that the world knows nothing about. We have the comfort of God’s promises. And what do you think is best, to live upon earthly pleasures, or upon the promises of God? The earthly are yes and no, but the promises are yes and amen. The earthly are deceitful, but the promises are sure and faithful. The earthly feed but sense, but the promises fill the soul. He that lives upon the promises, lives by faith, and the life of faith is the only safe and true life in the world. As the weak ivy secures itself by twisting about the great oak, so we are secure by cleaving to the great God. The life of sense is full of disappointments like a deceitful brook. To live on the promises of God is the only quiet life. The life of sense is full of distracting cares and vexations, but the soul that lives by faith becomes a calm. The scientist tells us that in the upper atmosphere there are no storms or tempests. These are found only in the lower region. Sense lives in the lower region with nothing but storms and vexations. By faith we can live in the upper region resting in the Lord Jesus Christ. There we might enjoy a perpetual calm (John 16:33). This life is the only sweet and comfortable life. Sense is like a smoking chimney that makes our eyes water. When we live by faith, the fire burns clear. It is a sweet life to fetch our water from this fountain. Sense drinks out of the muddy channel, but faith out of the fountainhead. Faith fixes the soul upon God, and is safe. We are free from the burdens of sin and trouble. Faith rests upon Christ’s righteousness, and takes off the burden of care by resting upon God’s providence. Ah, my beloved, there is no comfort to be compared to the life of faith. The life of faith proceeds from god and his never changing promises. Our comforts may change, but Christ never changes.
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
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 particular to 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