Aren’t the NT manuscripts just political propaganda?

I received a question from someone wondering how we know that any of the translations are accurate, why not think they have been interpreted according to political norms of their day?

My response is below:

There are three considerations I would have here.

1) Whenever anyone makes a claim, they bear the burden of supporting that claim.  If someone wants to argue that the documents were forged for political purposes, they would need to give us good reason to think so.  If they have no reason for coming to that conclusion, then we have no reason to take the claim seriously.

2) The documents in the original languages are available today with copies and fragments having survived from the first century.  It is hard to believe that a translation into English could be intentionally falsified while the source documents are still available.

3) The earliest manuscripts we have come from a period when Christianity was still being persecuted by the Roman authorities.  There were no political gains to be had from identifying with such a movement.

Matt Bilyeu

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