I recently received an advanced reader copy of the new book by Peter J. Williams, Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2018). Peter is the Principal of Tyndale House, a study center (mainly focused on biblical studies) out of Cambridge, England.
Although similar books have been written in the past (curiously Mark Roberts wrote a 2007 volume for Crossway with the exact same title!), this new volume has some excellent features:
– It does not presuppose prior knowledge of the Gospels, even having a chapter entitled, “What are the Four Gospels?” Thus, it would be great to give to a new Christian or a non-Christian.
– There’s an intriguing section on names we find in the Gospels and how those match the most common names we find in first-century Palestine. I’ve seen Pete deliver this material in lecture format, and I am pleased to see it made its way into the book.
– There’s a helpful chapter on the way Jesus’ teachings were recorded, including some discussion on memorization and the relationship between John and the Synoptics.
– And, of course, no book on the Gospels would be complete without a section on transmission and textual variations. This is an area of specialty for Pete, and proves to be a very useful little chapter.
Here’s a further description along with endorsements: [Read more…]