Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Easter
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30–31)
Ah, say some, the problem with the New Testament is that it is written by biased authors! Why should we believe anything written by someone who is partisan? The New Testament should not be seen as a series of historical documents, but rather we should view them as articles of faith. We shouldn’t pay attention to them.
At first glance this might make sense, until we realise that everyone is biased. If an atheist makes a claim against Christianity, then he or she is biased too. If we were to rule out the views of anyone who had a bias then the whole task of history would be impossible. Where would you start?!
As an example, consider a court case. There, one one side, the barrister handling the prosecution. On the other side of the court room is the barrister for the defence. Both are biased, but that doesn’t invalidate the evidence which they produce to the judge. Facts, in the end, are facts. From whoever’s lips they fall.
As with some of the other theories, the objection that we should not believe in the resurrection as the authors of the New Testament were biased fails to deal adequately with the fact that they were willing to die for this ‘bias’. It doesn’t account for the empty tomb. No, this ‘bias’ is no reason not to listen. We are all, in the end, biased.