Fact a Day: June 13th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: June 13th

The Facts on the False Views of Jesus (Harvest House, 1997) pp. 34-35


Are the benefits to the church worth the risk?


The major problem with higher criticism involves not just its cost to society, but also the cost to the church. In either case, the cost/benefit ratio is almost nil. In other words, what we have learned and benefited from higher criticism is virtually nothing compared to what it has negatively wrought in the church in terms of commitment to biblical inerrancy, authority, and study of the Word of God. If the history of higher criticism, from its inception to the present, reveals a revolt against God, then Christians should reject the methodology whose premises are so thoroughly opposed to the God of the Scriptures.

Let’s look at the evangelical use of redaction criticism. Gerhard Maier says redaction criticism is a term that is applied to the most recent development in higher criticism and also a reaction of sorts against form criticism. He points out that redaction criticism accepts that the writers of the Gospels were biased theologians and not historians. “To develop their own respective theologies, they ascribed to Jesus words He never spoke and they credit Him with things He never did. These ‘inventions’ were necessary, according to this theory, in order to have a basis for the theology the writers wanted to develop.” (G. Maier, End of the Historical-Critical Method, p. 108)…

Is it possible for evangelicals to logically claim they believe in biblical inerrancy and simultaneously employ redaction criticism? No. Does their very method, with its faulty presuppositions, undermine a full allegiance to Scripture? Yes.


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