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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent general introduction to the New Testament.
Professor Bruce describes the first edition of this book as his 'literary firstborn'. Since that time it has served as an excellent introduction to the New Testament for both the student and general reader. Providing a treasury of useful material Bruce competently draws upon several disciplines to provide authoritative information on subjects as diverse as literary...
Published on 11 Feb 2001

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written and informative, but ...
The content of this Kindle e-book is scholarly, well written and interesting. However, the text includes many 'typos' which makes the reading experience disjointed and problematical. The text appears to have been scanned and OCR'd but proof-reading has been very cursory. Lots of mis-spellings; some are obvious, but in others the underlying word or number is not clear. A...
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by Sandy Moir


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent general introduction to the New Testament., 11 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Professor Bruce describes the first edition of this book as his 'literary firstborn'. Since that time it has served as an excellent introduction to the New Testament for both the student and general reader. Providing a treasury of useful material Bruce competently draws upon several disciplines to provide authoritative information on subjects as diverse as literary criticism (date, composition and authorship of the New Testament documents), theological interpretation (the miracle stories of the Gospels) and archaeology (in support of the writings of the evangelists and St Paul). As a result this book continues to be a useful resource for the busy reader who is looking for a scholarly, yet brief, introduction to this important subject. The book's title reflects the content well and meets the common assumption of biblical unreliability with an invitation to examine the evidence. The writing is concise, partly because this is Bruce's style and partly because there is a desire to present an overview of a complicated subject in a short space (just over 100 pages). For those who wish to pursue their interest further a useful reading list is included as well as relatively detailed name, subject and scripture index. Given its size this small book contains a wealth of information relative to biblical studies and deserves a place on the bookshelves of scholars, clergy and lay persons alike.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating window into the NT's formation and accuracy, 10 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This is a well-written and important book. Bruce clearly introduces the reader to the wealth of evidence for the historic accuracy of the New Testament. Although the writer certainly believes the NT's historicity, areas of controversy are identified and addressed.
The book is pitched at an accessible level for an interested non-historian (particularly one with a reasonable head for facts, figures and evidence). Bruce is clearly a Christian, but he lets the facts speak for themselves.
Ideal for interested seekers (zero cringe factor!) as well as members of the flock.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly life-changing book!, 13 Nov 2003
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Holly (Chichester, UK) - See all my reviews
I was given this little book last year by a Christian friend of mine as part of his hard slog in telling me the gospel (I was very resistant to evangelism!) I was 30 years old at the time and was an over-opinionated non-Christian. However, most of my objections to the Bible were swiftly quashed by the evidence laid out in this book.
The style is clear and concise, and simple enough for non-scholars but still an academic approach to the manuscripts rather than an emotional defence of the gospel. This makes it ideal for sceptics and seekers as it presents the evidence and allows the facts to speak for themselves. It is equally valuable reading for Christians who want to understand the key arguments for the historical legitimacy of the New Testament documents.
And, importantly for me, a footnote on one of the first pages of the book suggested that readers should have actually read the New Testament documents before trying to assess their reliability. This led me to buy a Bible and start reading it for the first time in my life - and just two weeks later I became a Christian! In today's world of instant gratification, I don't think my attempt to get an answer before reading the full text of the question, as it were, was unique.
This book challenges the sceptic to carry out their investigations seriously and get the real facts rather than rely on their own opinion.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can trust traditional biblical scholarship, 18 Feb 2009
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trini "HWS" (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I have a background in biblical studies, but it was some years since I had considered in detail the topic discussed in this short book (only 124 pages, plus short bibliography, general index and index of biblical references), easily readable in one day. My interest was re-aroused by the attacks on the trustworthiness of the New Testament documents which now frequently appear on some internet discussions.

Although the first edition of this book appeared 65 years ago, its conclusions hardly need altering, since they are based on a preceding century of scholarship in the study of the New Testament documents themselves and the Greek and Latin and Jewish worlds in which they were written. The latest edition is given as the 6th, in 1981, but the latest printing contains a much more recent Foreword by Bishop NT Wright of Durham, and the bibliography lists books published as recently as 2003.

It is an immensely satisfying book, establishing the overwhelming case for the genuineness of the New Testament writings as historical documents, better attested by manuscript evidence than any other writings of the period by Greek or Roman philosophers or historians. Furthermore, the book establishes the internal coherence of the content of the New Testament writings, their record of the person and work of Jesus, claimed to be the Messiah and, for the New Testament writers, justifying that claim by their record of and belief in the resurrection of Jesus.

The author goes carefully through every reference to historical personages mentioned in the New Testament, and through every reference to social customs, political and religious titles, religious beliefs, etc., and shows how they fit into the known wider Near-Eastern Greco-Roman world of the time. Occasionally, the lack of confirming evidence from non-biblical sources (one must remember that the overwhelming mass of the writings of the period were lost without trace) leaves some very few questions still not fully resolved. But these doubts are very few.

As the author constantly points out, confidence in the historical authenticity of the New Testament writings is not the same as divinely inspired faith in the truth of their message. But that divinely inspired faith is solidly founded on historical fact, and to dismiss the Christian claims on the ground that Christianity, and Jesus Christ, have no foundation in history, is simply wrong and unjustified.

It is the solid mainstream scholarship surrounding the New Testament that is to be trusted, not the unfounded guesses of an unsourced 'alternative' anti-Christian view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written and informative, but ..., 24 Feb 2012
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Sandy Moir (Aberdeen, Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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The content of this Kindle e-book is scholarly, well written and interesting. However, the text includes many 'typos' which makes the reading experience disjointed and problematical. The text appears to have been scanned and OCR'd but proof-reading has been very cursory. Lots of mis-spellings; some are obvious, but in others the underlying word or number is not clear. A single letter 'm' replaces the word 'in' on several instances. There is a liberal profusion of 'orphan quotes' e.g a single quote (') at the end of a sentence which is not balanced by an opening quote; most, but not all, are spurious. There is a passage which supposedly contains a section in italics, which the author refers to; perhaps in the printed version, but not in the Kindle one.

This is unfortunate, because the content of the book itself is excellent. I suggest Amazon need to improve their quality control. Perhaps I should buy the printed book in order to discover what the Kindle version should say??
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in Biblical scholarship, 14 Nov 2013
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FF Bruce was one of the leading evangelical scholars in the UK during his academic career. His books help enormously to understand the background to the Bible and to the New Testament in particular.
It is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the Bible more.
Myths which abound on the internet are destroyed by his scholarly work. For example, without his intending to do it, after reading this book, the argument that the New Testament was created after Constantine I is undone.
It includes sections on Archaeological evidence, Paul and Luke's writings, early Jewish and Christian writings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, concise introduction though lacking in detail, 11 July 2011
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S. Meadows (UK) - See all my reviews
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It has to be noted that it is quite a short book (123 pages excluding preface, bibliography, etc.) though it does pretty much what it says on the tin by looking at some of the evidence in support of the reliability of the New Testament. Regardless of whether you agree with Bruce's analysis, it has been a hugely influential book in modern christian thought.

In Bruce's analysis, he does skim on some of the detail which I admit frustrated me a little. For example, in the first chapter, he looks at the date of the authorship of the books of the New Testament. I felt that this was a little too brief and that there could be plenty of arguments posed for dates slightly later than Bruce supposes.

After looking at the dates, he begins to look at the contents of the gospels, the importance of Paul's writings, the historical detail in Luke's writing (in particular, the book of Acts), before going on to look at other evidence outside of the New Testament such as archaeological evidence and other non-christian written sources.

The book serves as a great introduction to the subject of biblical criticism as a defence for its authenticity, though it is by no means a comprehensive survey. The non-canonical writings of the early church and of the gnostics are given extremely little space. But it is nothing more than an introduction. For the open-minded sceptic, who is willing to engage with the evidence and is looking for a comprehensive review, this is not the most convincing case. There are some gems to be found, though most of them lie towards the front of the book.

In the version I have, there is a great preface written by N.T. Wright, in which he sums up quite well the best use for this book: "The [person] who reads Bruce today will want to supplement him by reading judiciously in more recent writers. But he remains an excellent foundation."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Emphatic "Yes", 27 July 2010
In this brilliant little book Professor FF Bruce explains for the ordinary reader why the New Testament documents, particularly the Gospels, should be regarded as historically reliable evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and for the early development of the Christian Church.

Any Christian who has been questioned about the evidence for his/her faith should read this book and offer it to the questioner. I have several times read in reviews of atheistic books some such challenge as, "Christians/faithheads should read this book but, sadly, they won't". I would like to turn this challenge around and say to any atheist or agnostic, "You should read this book. I hope you will."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? (Paperback)
I found this book to be quite good. However there were quite a few printing errors but overall this did not detract from the content and message of the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Speling is still impordant., 9 Jun 2014
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chilliepot (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? (Paperback)
This man's publications are always well researched and make for very informed reading.
However, this particular edition is so full of spelling mistakes that it was quite distracting to this reader. I thought that it was perhaps published or at least printed in China or perhaps some other non English speaking country unaccustomed to western script. It proclaims itself to be the 5th edition. Nowhere can I find the name of the publisher except that on the back page in small print "Printed in the USA".
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The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?
The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? by F. F. Bruce (Paperback - 8 July 2011)
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