William D. Mounce, who is well known for his work on the language of the New Testament such as Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar and Greek for the Rest of Us: The Essentials of Biblical Greek, has written a fine work of apologetics titled Why
Should I Trust the Bible ?: Answers to the Real Questions and Doubt People Have about the Bible.
I will be honest. I wasn’t looking forward to this book and when it was published, it didn’t seem to be interesting. I mean we already have a slew of books on biblical reliability. For example, we have Can We Trust the Gospels? by Peter J. Williams, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and The Historical Reliability of the New Testament: Countering the Challenges to Evangelical Christian Beliefs by Craig L. Blomberg, and Can We Trust the Gospels? by Mark D. Roberts.
But then I began to think that Mounce, whose expertise is on Greek of the New Testament, might have something to offer that is different because of his immersion into the Greek. What I found was a relatively short (280 pages), engaging, guide by an expert who has more than 40 years of experience as a biblical scholar, pastor, and translator. Mounce, having received a Ph.D. in New Testament at Aberdeen University, has taught Greek at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a professor at Azusa Pacific University. A list of his publication can be found here.
Now, back to his new apologetics book. Mounce has produced a readable book that covers six major concerns of the Bible:
- The Historical Jesus
- Contradictions of the Bible
- The Canon
- Textual Criticism
- The Old Testament
Each section starts with the challenge in which he introduces the topic that is followed by another chapter or two that delves deeper into the content. The beginning of each chapter is a short synopsis of what to expect in that chapter.
One of the unique features of Mounce’s book is after each introductory chapter for the six major concerns, he has successive chapters that dig deeper into each concern. For example, in the second section over Contradictions, he begins with how correctly interpreting the Gospels can solve many of the apparent contradictions of the bible. Following that chapter, he looks at some of the more complicated issues concerning contradictions with a chapter titled “Digging Deeper into Apparent Contradictions.” He does this for many of the sections of concern, digging deeper into each area.
Another added feature that Mounce provides is short video introductions to each chapter that can be found on his website pictured below.
Mounce’s foray into apologetics is a welcome addition to the many books that are coming out, which I will be appraising over the next few weeks.
Bottom Line: Definitely worth the read.
Sean McDowell did a podcast/video interview with Bill Mounce over the book that you might find interesting: