1. Why Was The New Testament Written?
(a) The Epistles – to meet pastoral needs: problems, questions, real-life siuations.
– the authors claimed apostolic authority, Gal 1:8,9; 2 Pet 3:15,16.
(b) The Gospels – John: evangelistic, based on recollection of an eyewitness, 20:31; 21:24.
– Luke: apologetic, based on careful research, 1:1-4.
2. How Did The New Testament Take Shape?
OT was scripture for Jesus and the Apostles. NT was written – later acknowledged and compiled.
The Gospels may have originated as oral tradition – reliability assured by eyewitnesses who were able to challenge error, cf Acts 2:22.
Earlier documents in circulation, cf Luk 1:1.
3. Are the NT Documents Reliable?
Much criticism denies reliability. Often diverts attention from the text itself to how the text was transmitted.
Reliability indicated by (a) documents close in time to the events; (b) based on eyewitness accounts; (c) derive from the Apostolic circle.
Must take into full account pre-authentication by Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, Jn 14:24; 16:18.
4. How Was the Canon Formed?
The books were not selected in any arbitrary way, but rather that their intrinsic authority was recognised by the church.