As I mentioned on the DL last week, I see a strong need for me to press forward with the studies I did in preparation for the debate in the production of a book. I covered a much wider range of topics in my preparation than came up in the debate, including Synoptic issues, inspiration issues, allegations of contradiction, etc. And as I have been speaking on the cruise since then, I see that for most believers, the textual questions always lead to questions about canon, Synoptics, authorship, etc. The entire range of attacks upon the reliability of the New Testament come into play. Of course, for those working in the Islamic field, you well know how central these issues are as well.
So I wish to maintain the momentum I have in my studies by diving directly into this work as soon as I return to Phoenix. Though I will have to set aside time to press forward in Arabic and, Lord willing, work toward some very important future debates (yes, still working on them, please pray that the Lord will open these doors!), I need to keep this as my first priority. I know in light of the economic situation that this will be difficult to do. I am praying the Lord will provide sufficient support for me to concentrate on this project. I know many folks get excited when there is a debate up coming, but the fact is, support is just as important during periods of writing and research.
One way for folks to let me know you want me to pursue a major published work on the authorship, text, and transmission of the NT, along with focus upon Synoptic issues, takes us back to that ministry resource list. I’ve added a series of resources for such a project at the top of the list, mainly works on Synoptic and Q issues. If I see those disappearing from the list, I’ll know folks out there want me to put in the effort to produce this work on these vital issues. I have been tremendously encouraged by the response to these requests, and I again wish to thank everyone who has helped in this way. It sure was a great aid in the debate! But I need to know the people of God will stand with me during the months it will take to write such a major and in-depth work.
UPDATE: Thanks to all who have sent some of those resources my way. I will keep that list active as I am doing the work. As you know, when you begin to reference, footnote, etc., you run across hidden gems that you need to verify and document, etc. Rich folks, or tenured professors, can send folks off to libraries, but assistant-less apologists multi-tasking on multiple topics at the same time don’t have that luxury (let alone any decent theological libraries nearby). So thanks yet again!