Prominent Bible Scholar Sounds the Alarm: The Church Craves a ‘Revival’ of the Mind

Renowned biblical scholar anticipates an intellectual renaissance within the Christian community, spurred by a groundbreaking documentary series on the Bible. With the upcoming release of Oracles of God: The Story of the Old Testament on June 5, CBN Films is set to unveil the first installment of a four-part series that delves into the historical and archaeological aspects of the Bible. Focusing specifically on the Old Testament, the initial film will be available on DVD and the CBN Family app.

According to Ben Witherington, a distinguished professor of the New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary and one of the featured biblical experts in the film, this series will ignite active contemplation. In a conversation with Christian Headlines, Witherington emphasized the scarcity of critical thinking in both culture and the church, highlighting the pressing need for a revival that encompasses not only spiritual renewal but also the revival of the mind. This, he believes, entails a deeper engagement with the contextual backdrop and the content of the Bible.

Oracles of God: The Story of the Old Testament presents reenactments and interviews with multiple biblical scholars. It was skillfully written and directed by Erin Zimmerman, a four-time Emmy nominee. >>> BUY NOW ON AMAZON <<<<<

Witherington emphasized that the Bible extends far beyond being a mere inspirational book. He expressed how the film effectively demonstrates the historical foundation upon which the Bible rests. “Your religion is not Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Witherington asserted. “It has a historical basis. And without that, you don’t have Judaism or Christianity.” He emphasized that the Bible is not a tool for self-proclaimed spiritual gurus to extract convenient messages; rather, it is a comprehensive text that encompasses history, theology, and ethics. The Bible unreservedly presents truth about these elements, thus accentuating the significance of history and archaeology. Given the monotheistic nature of the faith, adherents strive for accuracy in understanding and aligning themselves with the one true God.

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Highlighting the extensive manuscript evidence supporting the reliability of the Bible, Witherington challenged skeptics by drawing comparisons with other ancient classics. “Have you ever read Caesar’s Gallic Wars or Homer’s Odyssey or Virgil’s Aeneid and other ancient classics?” he posed. “And did you ever ask the question: I wonder if this is what they actually wrote? The point is: Guess what – we have earlier and better manuscripts of the Bible than for any other ancient classics.” Notably, manuscripts dating back to the first century B.C. and the first century A.D. exist, positioning us in closer proximity to the original authors than with any other ancient texts, be they Greco-Roman, Babylonian, Sumerian, Hittite, or Hivite.

Witherington’s expertise and insights, as well as the comprehensive approach of Oracles of God: The Story of the Old Testament, have the potential to invigorate Christians to explore the historical richness and profound teachings contained within the Bible. By embracing this renewed intellectual engagement, believers can deepen their understanding and appreciation of their faith, fostering a vibrant and informed Christian community.

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