In the YouTube podcast “I Don’t Get The Bible,” the hosts discuss the New Testament’s origins and purpose. They explain that the New Testament emerged from ancient Jewish writings, later distinguished from the Old Testament. They highlight debates about the timeline of the New Testament’s composition and emphasize that its true meaning lies in personal transformation rather than a set of universal rules.
In this episode of the YouTube podcast titled “I Don’t Get The Bible,” the hosts embark on a discussion about the New Testament. They begin by acknowledging that Christianity is rooted in Judaism and that the ancient Jewish writings were referred to as scripture or the Tanakh. However, when Christianity emerged, these writings became known as the Old Testament. The hosts explain that the New Testament comprises writings from Jesus’ apostles and a figure named Tertullian, who suggested the name “New Testament” for this collection.
The hosts delve into the timeline of when these documents were written. They mention that there is some debate among scholars regarding the exact dates, with some asserting that most New Testament writings were composed before 70 A.D. They mention a scholar named Bart Ehrman, who disagrees and argues that they were written later. Another well-known scholar, Wallace, supports the idea that the writings were composed before 70 A.D. The hosts explain that while these writings were being produced, other individuals were writing false accounts called pseudopigraphal accounts. It took a considerable amount of time, until around 390 A.D., for the collection of books that make up the New Testament to be agreed upon by the church and believers.
A significant point emphasized in the discussion is that God refers to the New Testament in the Tanakh and the Old Testament. According to Jeremiah, God describes the New Testament as a time when He will write His laws on the hearts and minds of individuals. The hosts suggest that the New Testament, as called by Tertullian, caused people to treat the writings as a law, similar to how the Jews regarded the Old Testament.
The hosts clarify that they don’t view the New Testament books as a manual of musts, as other churches might. Instead, they see these writings as insights into what has happened. They argue that the real New Testament occurs when individuals from various religious backgrounds or beliefs, such as Muslims, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, or Mormons, are touched in the heart by God, who writes His laws on them. They study the New Testament to learn about God and gain insights but consider the transformative experience of individuals as the true New Testament.
When questioned about the purpose of writing down the New Testament during that time, the hosts explain that the apostles primarily wrote to provide apostolic instructions to the believers of that day. The letters were meant to prepare them as believers before Jesus’ return. Notably, none of the letters, gospels, histories, or revelations in the New Testament explicitly state that they are written for believers in later times. The hosts mention a few instances where the letters address believers beyond a specific location but highlight that such cases are rare.
The hosts briefly touch on the subject of denominational divisions. They suggest that interpretations of the content within the New Testament are what generally lead to denominational differences, rather than specific letters applying to certain groups. They mention that some Christians believe that everything in the New Testament applies to all Christians for all time, while overlooking the fact that the writings were originally intended for specific people in a particular era.
Towards the end, the hosts briefly introduce their affiliation with “cult.love,” which they describe as a supplement to the mainstream church experience. They offer learning tools and an educational platform for individuals to enhance their faith journey and grow in love. With this, the episode concludes, leaving room for further exploration of the subject in subsequent episodes.