I was recently researching the historical reliability of the Bible and I got a tiny bit confused. The reason is that the Old Testament seems to be not very reliable (e.g. the Genesis account, many scholars thinking that the books are not written by original authors, ect.), but the New Testament seems to be very reliable and the accounts very historical (after I did some research on them). So I do not know what to think really because the Old Testament is mentioned quite regularly in the NT and by Jesus himself. But if it was an unreliable book then why would Jesus be quoting from it? (although I know he did disagree with some parts of the OT) And if the OT is wrong then so are the prophecies. And if this is the case then why did Jesus come along? Did there happen to be a God who thought that the Jews had the right idea of a God and so decided so send himself incarnate to them and fufill their legends? (because I do believe that we have a God instict because he allowed us to develop one and out of that we try and develop our own image of God). This would help explain why God is so vengeful in the OT despite teaching forgiveness in the NT. What do you think? I would be grateful for a quick reply.


My opinion, based on a LOT of research is that the Old Testament is reliable.  I just taught a class two days on the remarkable reliability of the Old Testament as history.  I will be glad to answer any specific questions you have, but I do not agree that the Old Testament is unreliable.   It is true that we do not know who wrote Genesis.  In fact, it is quite likely that there was more than one original author and that a later editor put the book together in its final form.  In fact, it is also possible that parts of the book were carried as oral tradition before being written down.  The question you might want to ask is not necessarily who wrote it (not that this is completely unimportant, but that it is not the KEY issue), but whether it has signs of being inspired by God.  I believe that the prophecies fulfilled in the New Testament in absolutely astounding ways is clear evidence of this.
In order to really address your thought that the Old Testament is unreliable, I would need to know in what point you feel it is unreliable, so please send along to me your specific questions.  It is fairly likely that I actually address most questions you will have somewhere in my web site, particularly in the question and answer part, so feel free to do a search.  In the mean time, let me make two suggestions.   First, would you please consider getting a copy of my book Reasons for Belief?  I believe it will address pretty much any doubt you have, especially about Genesis.  It is available at   Second, I am attaching a little power point from a presentation I did a couple of days ago which is about some of the prophecies in the OT fulfilled in the NT.  I thought this might be helpful, but I do not know exactly what to send you because I do not yet know your specific questions.
I believe that the Jews were chosen by God because of the faith of Abraham (Romans 4, Genesis 12-15) and that God gave them his revelation, including predictive prophecies because he had in mind all along to send Jesus to the Jews.
John Oakes

Comments are closed.