Who Wrote the New Testament?

 (198)
6.52 h 10 min2016ALL
How did a collection of 27 compositions, letters, and narratives come to change the course of history? This feature-length film explores often controversial questions and debates at the heart of modern biblical studies. Who were the people that drove the spread of this seminal Christian text and how do modern scholars interpret the texts and other artifacts at the heart of this mysterious history.
Directors
Caryl EbenezerJ. Mervyn Williams
Genres
Faith and SpiritualityDocumentaryInternational
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English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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MagellanTV
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3.3 out of 5 stars

198 global ratings

  1. 42% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

MannyReviewed in the United States on December 13, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Spoiler alert! Fake news. It’s agonizing to watch
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This documentary may as well be a “mockumentary!” Supposed scholars and archeologists make claims that completely contradict what has already been proven and settled long ago. As has been said, “if it’s new it’s not true and if it’s true then it’s not new.”

A word of warning to those who choose to watch this video -

If you are a follower of Christ take everything that is said with a grain of salt. Most, if not all, of the “scholars” are liberal in their views. And for reasons unknown to me they are fixated on disproving the Bible. They question the authorship of the New Testament letters, claim that there are errors in some of the writings, and shed negative light on Christianity. At best this video will serve to test your biblical knowledge and worst cause you to waiver in your faith.

For those who are not Christian or followers of the Faith I would say that these men do not speak on behalf of Jesus Christ. They are mere men in academia who have chosen to speak on the subject of New Testament authorship. Do not be confused or even persuaded with their claims especially when they say things that leave you frustrated and confused on the subject matter.

God is not the author of confusion and he has made his word plain for all to comprehend. The authors of 26 out of the 27 books that comprise the New Testament have long been settled as accurate. The book of Hebrews is the only NT letter we do not know for certain who authored it.
104 people found this helpful
AnonymiceReviewed in the United States on August 4, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wealth of Information
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I hope that Christians, or anyone, with an open mind (not necessarily contrary to being a believer) will watch this. The information is presented clearly and is backed up by research and archeology. I knew some of this already, but it is good to see what the current knowledge and theories are. There is also a lot of history of the early Christian church, which I did not know. This is an academically based film, and there is a time and place for that, and certainly when religion claims to be THE answer and thus a good reason to pledge 10% of your income, or more, to churches and preachers. We do the proper research when buying stocks or making purchases, yet consider skepticism or critical thinking of religion before contributing, outlandish.

So this film injects some sanity into the subject. True, the Bible should be viewed as a book of faith, not science, but in these times can we reject science so completely? Times were completely different when the church arose. Superstition was high, science was in its infancy, most people were uneducated and illiterate, and visions were "proof", not a symptom of mental illness. If you uncritically believe the Bible and most religions, then what is to stop you from having and writing about "visions from God"? Or declaring yourself the Jewish Messiah (which is what Jesus was)? Oh, wait, we call that crazy... Why were ancient times any different? Did God only truly speak to people then? Where did He go?

This film discusses the current prevailing thinking that Christianity was one of the many rebellious sects of Judaism. People were tired of endless rules and empty ritual and that real religion was for only for the upper classes, so it was a natural development. Jesus, if he existed, was a minor preacher/rabbi, chosen to represent this new religion. The NT is basically an argument, and the books chosen as such, that Jesus spoke the "truth", as the early Christian leaders saw it. And it was then compelling justification upon which to build a new religion.

The "real" Christian Old Testament, of course, is the Torah. Christianity has cherry picked it down to its needs and to differentiate it from Judaism. That this happens at all should prick people's ears and send up red flags. Not that the restrictive and ritually bloated Torah stopped being relevant as times progressed, but that the Word can change so willy-nilly. Of course there are no original scrolls of those who witnessed Jesus or even Jesus himself. Nor was he written about by any historians of the time. Those two facts alone should make people very, very suspicious of what they have been told. But those in religious power have an answer, namely, "The writers were writing the Word of God!". How this flimsy explanation can stand in modern times amazes me. You can still believe and cling to the culture you were born into, without zealously swallowing all the medieval (and earlier) propaganda. If you want to believe in an intelligent creator, then do, just keep it separate from actual science, which most used to do before the rise of the Religious Right in the 80s. We have certainly gone backwards and allowed a then small, extreme sect to take over Protestant Christianity (Pentecostals).

So much has been added to the Bible that is not there. You can see this process now with Creationists, who have recently added dinosaurs to the Bible (after denying they ever existed; guess they couldn't resist the proof forever). I now see the same thing clearly with other myths, beliefs, and additions, and I am dumbfounded. This film talks about a few of these things relevant to the discussion, but most of this is outside the scope of this film. I'll watch it again as there is so much info here. A great discovery, indeed. I was raised a Protestant Christian, but have been an atheist for 50yrs. I try to have respect for all beliefs, as belief is a very personal thing. It is human to seek spiritual truths and answers and I have continued to do so in a philosophical way. This is not contrary to that and people should not be afraid that it is.
91 people found this helpful
Keponoho'IkauaReviewed in the United States on September 16, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
I wonder if Satan himself produced it!!!
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A pathetic stratagem for the clueless to fall away from the faith. It seems as if Satan himself produced it to bring down the legitimacy of the scriptures and its writers. Absurd statements contradicting historical facts. For example, when they mention the Apostle Paul, they eliminate letter after letter saying that it couldn't be written by him; therefore, planting the seed of doubt on the core of the Gospel of Grace. But for anyone with a little curiosity, a simple review of each one of Paul's epistles will suffice to find its author. From Romans to Philemon, they all being with Paul identifying himself. Ridiculous allegations that only serve one purpose; to confuse the unlearned.
87 people found this helpful
pat cReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
very informative. highly recommended
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this documentary is full of learned insights into how, and when, and by whom the new testament scriptures were written. honest historical scholarship is presented in the video about early Christianity, the first 400 years, when there were many different texts being written by many competing sects. it explores how some of these books came to be written and selected as what we call the New Testament. of course, the original authors of most of these texts are not known for sure, which is discussed by the Biblical scholars. records were not kept back then in any reliable way, and very little survives today. the documentary is presented with great music and visuals. highly recommended. very informative.
32 people found this helpful
JosephReviewed in the United States on April 17, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Some good info, unfortunately one sided
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It's hard for me to watch atheist movies like this that don't have anyone rebuking the information in it. As a Bible follower and a believer in Jesus obviously I have strong disagreements with many parts of this film. Giving only the opinion of a Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman maybe the most well known scriptural critic but don't have a Biblical scholar who actual believes in the God. Truth doesn't change even if you don't agree or do agree, truth is truth. This film has half truths and doesn't give the full view, which most may not question. Maybe interviewing Gary Habermas might give a different prospective, yes a PhD scholar in the Bible. You may find out that most/all letters antiquity are not from the original manuscript but copies, in fact there are more manuscripts of the new testament than any other of antiquity. If you're going to be a critic be a fair critic all manuscripts of that time period aren't original, they generally are a copy of a copy. It's 2000 years ago, most modern manuscripts aren't originals either, you're reading a copy 99.99999% of the time.

That being said I love Christian apologetics and admit my bias for Jesus. With Christ I have origin, purpose, morals, and destiny - yes you may feel you have them without Christ but there is no good reason for any of them without God. You don't know where you came from, if you're star dust how can your life have value or morals - or why would you have morals - who and where do you get the morals or values Space, Evolution?? With beliefs like survival of the fittest Hitler becomes a true hero, why not? Didn't he believe in that? - As an atheist you also have no final destiny. What a bankrupt world view, at least I have hope and a reason for life.

Of course the many arguments theist and atheist have, the question for both is would you believe even if the other side proves you are wrong? My answer is without Christ my life is without meaning and no reason for living at all, so how could I ever believe in a faith that is bankrupt as atheism? A true Christian should show love to all, even those who hate us, why reject teachings like that? Even without the truth of the universe(Romans 1:18-32) on our side as a follower of Christ I'd still believe in Christ but the universe and logic is on Jesus's side. Scholars such as Norman Geisler, Willam Lane Craig, Josh McDowell, Gary Habermas, also Isaac Newton, C.S. Lewis and many others agree, yes many of them were atheist and rejected atheism and gave their lives to Christ.

That being said the love of Jesus's believers will turn people to Christ not simply truth claims. Love is something a true atheist shouldn't even believe in. But to a believer in Christ and to 99% human race including atheist it is the most important thing in life. Remember to an atheist, this thing that is so valuable to everyone is only a chemical reactions in your brain, that is sad but a reality to the atheist. I find it hard to believe they actually believe that. To a believer Love is a Person, and that Person is God incarnated, the reason we are here and the why we are here. Why Love?, because He is love. Love is the reason to believe, the most important thing to everyone is love, that is the reason why to believe in Christ. That and all the evidence but mostly Love. And to what is the evidence of that love that evidence is the cross. Love incarnated in Man and Love that is shown on the cross. The action that became living in Christ, Love is a Man and He is Jesus.
33 people found this helpful
ChicagoanReviewed in the United States on April 11, 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Speculations and Falsehoods
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This documentary is largely filled with one sided speculation and falsehoods. Yes, it interviews some liberal scholars but not conservative ones. For example, it states the gospel of Matthew was largely based on that of Mark without providing any evidence. It also states that Mark was the first written gospel and was written between 65AD and 70AD. But in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul refers to scriptures which would have been one of the Gospels. Since 1 Corinthians was written around 59AD and Paul died around 65AD, that means at least one Gospel was written and in distribution before then.

The documentary states that most scholars believe Matthew was written after 70AD, the year Jerusalem was destroyed. What it does not say is that most scholars do not believe Jesus really prophesized. But time and time again, when an Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled, Matthew followed it by phrases like, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying”. In fact, this is the pattern Matthew uses throughout his gospel. He states what happened and then points out the prophecy which is fulfilled. In fact, the word ‘fulfilled’ is used 16 times in his gospel. But when Jesus gave the prophecy of Jerusalem being destroyed in Matthew 24:1-2, Matthew does not follow up saying how it was fulfilled! He writes nothing about the temple’s destruction which happened in 70 AD. This is very, very unlike Matthew – if he had written the gospel after 70 AD – because he always points out when a prophecy is fulfilled. So, Matthew must have written it before 70 AD.

The documentary also incorrectly claims Luke wrote 25% of the New Testament which is inaccurate if one counts books. He wrote 2 of the 27 New Testament books. It also makes the rouge statement that the Gospel of Luke was written as ‘a public relations exercise’ – which is false and conflicts with Luke 1:1-3.

It rejected the authorship of John to St John, claiming Acts 4:13 shows he was ‘unlearned’. However, it is clear that was the opinion of “the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees” because they did not have formal rabbinic education according to the customs and standards of that time. So the documentary is flawed on this point. Thing is, some seminaries have devoted a full semester course covering the topic who wrote John. The documentary only touches on it.

When discussion the question of Jesus’s brothers and sisters, the documentary fails to point out Psalm 69 which contains prophecies of the Messiah, including Mary’s other children.

Yes, parts are interesting. But there are parts where scholars state opinions contrary to what is stated in the bible, and should be ignored.

The documentary also questionedl if all of the epistles attributed to Paul were in fact written by him. They especially questioned 2 Thessalonians. However, in verse 3:17, Paul clearly states it is his. The verse reads, “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.”.

The documentary also falsely claims that there are contradictions in the bible. For the interested reader, one may look for books like “The Big Book of Bible Difficulties” by Norman L. Geisler, Thomas Howe.

The documentary also claims 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus were not written by Paul years after his death. And not evidence is given for these claims. This is despite the fact each of these epistles state in the first few words they were written by Paul. Why would anyone make a bold face lie if Paul were dead?

And again the documentary falsely claims 1 & 2 Peter were not written by Peter, despite the fact in the very first verse of each of them start with the salutation "Peter, an apostle" and "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ". You see, if Peter did not write these epistles, then they both start with a lie. Since all scripture is given by inspiration of God, the documentary is implying God lies, which is blasphemy.

The documentary also talks about an ‘infancy gospel of Thomas’ which is not part of the bible where Jesus was supposed to have done miracles. However, it is clearly untruthful because John 2:11 states Jesus first miracle was at a wedding. Psalm 69 gives some insight into Jesus’s youth. The documentary should never have included that.

The documentary also questioned what books were selected for the New Testament and why, ignoring the work of the Holy Spirit in it.
15 people found this helpful
P AdamsReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Great starting point....
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The Bible is indeed a collection of letters. And yes, the earliest copies we have are INDEED copies of copies.

This is a great STARTING point for those who want to learn more about the New Testament. The next thing I would suggest is learning about the Councils who decided what was in and what was out of the Bible.

I also suggest that one learns about the 4 Bibles that are in existence: The Ethiopian Orthodox Bible which contains 83 books, the Eastern Orthodox Bible, the Catholic Bible, and the smallest one...the Protestant Bible.

I don't understand people who claim to love the Bible, yet don't want to study the History of it, don't want to study the languages, don't want to learn about the different Bibles, etc.

You can't love something, if you don't want to learn about it.
22 people found this helpful
Isabella FennReviewed in the United States on July 28, 2018
2.0 out of 5 stars
Bible bashing, popular false narrative, biased view
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This movie is biased against the NT so if you want truth, you will not find it here. WWNT begins with a false narrative, claiming there are no fragments of the NT from the first century. This is not true, there are over 5000 copies and fragments some dating from as early as the first century. Copies then were meticulously made as the ancient world depended on reliable copies of letter's and government communications. The notion that copies are not reliable from this period in history is a false notion. Copyists were meticulously professional and it was a common practice with many checks for reliability.
63 people found this helpful
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