Hi All! I’m a cradle Catholic who has recently developed, for the first time, intellectual doubts about my faith. And a lot of it stems for the Bible.
Lately I’ve come to doubt the reliability of the New Testament. The more I read about its composition, the more it seems unlikely that we know what Jesus did and said. Oral tradition, even 40 years after Jesus’s death, seems way too unreliable to accurately portray what really happened. It also doesn’t help to know that the four Gospel authors are different than whose names appear on the books. And I don’t see what evidence there is to say that these accounts were based on eyewitness testimony, other than Luke’s statement at the beginning of his book. The authors’ idea of editing stories to attract their individual audience makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Of course, this has impacted my faith in a huge way. If I question whether or not Jesus was the one who said “on this rock I will build my church,” why would I trust the Church in any matters? And why would I believe in papal infallibility if the Church did not have that concept until a few centuries after Jesus?
Needless to say, a lot of these issues are being raised by the books I am reading. Bart Ehrman seems to have especially impressed me. What makes matters worse is that any of the debates I have seen with him have been from evangelical ministers who tend to philosophize rather than give facts. Ehrman will address the original Greek and give specific examples of “problems” in the Gospels, while his debaters discuss ideas. And any of the books I have read from the Christian side, especially Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, have left me underwhelmed.
Long story short, what are some good books that discuss the factual evidence on Christ’s actions and sayings? I’m not looking for books that discuss what the text means to Christians if they are true, I am looking for books that defend the stance that the New Testament is true, is the Word of God. Any suggestions?
Also, please don’t hesitate to debate with me on here. Believe me, I want to believe in Christ. Any help, including prayers, would be appreciated. Right now, any search I have to find evidence to support my faith seems to be taking me down a different path…