Jesus’ Followers Look Bad
Aside from history and archaeology, there are other reasons the Bible’s manuscripts are worth trusting. One of the most obvious is the way that the Bible is written. Early church leaders, who could have edited or destroyed the originals, left glaring accounts of their weaknesses untouched. The writings also use witnesses and proofs that the culture at large would not have accepted. The only reason for any of those to have been written, and remained intact, is that they are exactly what happened.
The apostles, especially Peter, are frequently portrayed in a poor light in the Gospel accounts. None of the disciples seemed to understand who Jesus was or what He was about. They tried doing things on their own and failed because of a lack of faith and poor spiritual discipline, they got into an argument on which one of them was the greatest, had hard hearts, tried to stop people from doing good works, ran children off for trying to see Jesus, abandoned Jesus at His time of greatest need, and doubted that He came back from death. Some of them even doubted His resurrection as they looked at His resurrected body and listened to Him talk.
It didn’t matter how close they were to Jesus, they still didn’t understand Him. His top three disciples once tried to set up camp on a hilltop, instead of going on the mission He was about to send them on and two of them asked for a promotion they didn’t deserve. Even when Jesus was under tremendous duress and needed some friends to pray for Him, they fell asleep instead. Peter, one of the three, rebuked Jesus to His face. He told Jesus that He was wrong when He said He was going to die, was violent when Jesus was peaceful, complained about the way Jesus said he would die, and pretended like He didn’t know Him when strangers asked – simply because he was afraid.
Jesus’ 12 disciples weren’t the only ones with less than exemplary records. For example, Mark, who wrote the gospel of Mark, got an early opportunity to be a missionary with Paul and Barnabus. For some reason, he bailed out on Paul and Barnabus. Later on, he wanted to rejoin their mission. Barnabus wanted to let him back in and Paul didn’t. The argument got so heated that Paul and Barnabus stopped working together.Mark, a biblical author, could have influenced the record of himself in Acts. He could have complained that Luke wrote about his flaws – but he didn’t.