“The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven,” one of the characters says in The Da Vinci Code. “Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”

Walk into the first class session of World Religions 101 at a university near you, and you’re likely to hear a variation on that theme. The Catholic Church created the Bible to control people. The Bible as we know it didn’t exist until the reign of Constantine. The church decided what belonged in the Bible at the Council of Nicaea.

But according to New Testament scholars Michael Kruger (PhD, University of Edinburgh) and Don Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge), historical evidence does not bear out this narrative. The books of the New Testament were all written in the first century and were in wide use by the early church as early as the second century. Kruger and Carson explain why they don’t believe the Bible’s authority comes from the decision of any man.

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