The Historical Reliability of the New Testament by Darren Hewer seeks to answer these questions and more. This is a free e-book brought to you by Why Faith.
Obviously this topic is important since the New Testament documents are what Christians base their beliefs, teachings, and knowledge of the life of Christ. Skeptics often attack the New Testament in hopes of undermining the Christian worldview. Cults and false religions attack the New Testament because their own beliefs cannot be found within it and they must tear down the Bible in order to erect their own religious system in its place. Regardless of the motivation behind these attacks, Christians need to know why we can trust what we read.
Excerpt from The Historical Reliability of the New Testament:
Our primary record of the Christian faith is the New Testament; the New Testament texts serve as the foundation for accurate knowledge and belief about Jesus. The authors of the New Testament claimed to be writing true accounts of the life of Jesus, and the historical reliability of their writings is important because it protects the Christian faith from modern revisionism. Our duty, then, is to investigate whether or not the New Testament documents are in fact accurate, and it is the intent of this analysis to demonstrate why we can be confident that the New Testament is historically reliable, that is, accurately preserved according to the original documents and reliable according to the sort of traditional tests applied to historical documents.
The question we are seeking to answer is Can we have confidence that the New Testament was accurately recorded and transmitted to us, and that what it contains is the product of early and eyewitness testimony?
The e-book is available for download here!
You may also want to check out Daniel B. Wallace's talk Is What We Have Now What They Had Then? A great presentation.
Full MP3 audio here.
Also, check out this page at Apologetics315 for more audio and info.
If this short e-book has wet your appetite for information regarding the historical reliability of the New Testament, you may want to also check out the following books:
The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? by F.F. Bruce
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham