By Diane Howard, Ph.D.
Fragments of Truth comes to U.S. movie theaters April 24 for a special one-night event. New Testament scholar and author Dr. Craig Evans presents new evidence concerning Gospel manuscripts that reinforce the New Testament’s authenticity. The feature content will be followed by an exclusive Q&A with Dr. Craig Evans and director, Reuben Evans. Fathom Events and Faithlife Films present this film, which is narrated by actor John Rhys-Davies (“Indiana Jones,” “Lord of the Rings”).
Craig A. Evans is the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University in Texas. Evans, a well-known scholar, is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. He also serves as the Director of the Christian Thinkers Society Fellows Program and Strategic Studies.\\
Along with countless interviews on radio networks across Canada and the US, Evans has been seen on Dateline NBC, CBC, CTV, Day of Discovery, and many documentaries aired on BBC, The Discovery Channel, History Channel, History Television, and others. He has also served as a consultant for the National Geographic Society and for The Bible miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
Author and editor of more than seventy books and hundreds of articles and reviews, Professor Evans has given lectures at Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, Yale, and other universities, colleges, seminaries, and museums, such as the Field Museum in Chicago, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. He is a Fox News Opinion contributor and also regularly lectures and gives talks at popular conferences and retreats on the historical Jesus, Archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Bible.
Dr. Craig Evans brings a lifetime of firsthand study to the reliability and consistency of the New Testament scriptures. From evidence he presents, it is clear the ancient texts and copies remain consistent. We can trust the scriptures we have today. We can be confident that Jesus has not been misquoted.
Dr. Evans is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College. He received his M.Div. from Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Claremont Graduate University in southern California.
Dr. Evans taught at Trinity Western University in British Columbia for 21 years, where he directed the graduate program in Biblical Studies and founded the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. Evans then taught for 13 years at the Divinity College at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He was also a Visiting Fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He has also been awarded the D.Habil. by the Karoli Gaspar Reformed University in Budapest.
Here’s my recent interview with with Dr. Evans:
DH: What are major factors that have enabled the New Testament scriptures to remain constant and reliable?
CE: Respect for the authority of scriptures is a major factor, because they have been viewed as God’s word. Another factor is that the original texts have lasted a long time and circulated for 100-200 years. There are many copies of these revered documents, which resulted in a very stable text. No one could change the text and get away with it. We have access to many very old copies today.
DH: How do we know that Jesus is quoted reliably?
CE: We have multiple sources. We have the four Gospels. Archaeology has shown that the Gospels exhibit what historians call verisimilitude, that is, they accurately reflect the world of Jesus. Archeologists, including Israeli archeologists, make use of these documents for their work. This would not be the case if the Gospels were fictitious or unreliable.
DH: Where were the ancient New Testament texts found?
CE: The New Testament documents were written in a variety of places in the eastern Mediterranean world, but oldest papyrus copies come from the dry sands and burial caves of Egypt. Other later, but still quite old, leather codices come from Greece and Europe.
DH: How many ancient copies do we have?
CE: We have 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin, and 5,000 in other languages, all dating before the invention of the Gutenberg Press. It is a very impressive record of preservation.
DH: Where are they today?
CE: They are in monasteries, museums, and university libraries in safest keeping. We visited the oldest and best, in places like Oxford, Geneva, and Rome and interviewed the experts.
DH: On what materials were they written?
CE: Papyrus or leather.
DH: Did these materials contribute their longevity?
CE: Yes, because they are durable.
Fathom Events is the leading event cinema distributor with participating theaters in all 100 of the top Designated Market Areas® and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), Fathom Events offers inspirational events such as “Is Genesis History?”, “IN OUR HANDS: The Battle for Jerusalem,” and many more. For more information, visit www.fathomevents.com.
Faithlife Corporation, based in Bellingham, Washington, has been using technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible for more than 25 years. Since 1992, Faithlife has developed multiple tools including church presentation software, academic study resources, ebooks, and Logos Bible Software.
Don’t miss Fragments of Truth , which presents strong scientific, historical, and ongoing evidence to verify the reliability of the New Testament.