Since the Jewish tradition about a travelling rock is clearly a legend—a legend that Paul apparently took to be fact—then we have a real problem, says Enns, for the evangelical view of biblical authority. He puts it bluntly, “no rock moved in the Old Testament, but Paul said one did.”
We might be tempted to despair and think that the church is entering into dark days. But a little historical perspective might be useful here. Truth be told, this is not the first time Christians have received such labels.
Early Christians drew a sharp line between their worship of Jesus and all the other pagan gods of the Greco-Roman world. Jesus was not simply a new addition to a pantheon of gods they already believed in, but was considered to be the only God rightly deserving of worship.
When ancient authors put quill to papyrus (or parchment), we need to remember that they had a limited amount of space, a limited amount of time, a limited number of goals, and often a very specific purpose for which they wrote.
Some students decide (very early on) that the biblical languages are just something to be endured. But behind this “take your medicine” approach to the biblical languages are a couple of assumptions that need to be challenged.
The Christian commitment to the Bible as the word of God is a confusing concept for non-Christians. They see it as a strange, antiquated, quasi-idolatrous devotion that is out of sync with the modern world.
The church fathers teach us a very important truth. The NT canon we possess today is not due to the machinations of later church leaders, or to the political influence of Constantine, but due to the fact that these books imposed themselves on the church through their internal qualities.