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Historical Reliability Of The Gospels


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#1 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:52 PM

Many skeptics are claiming that the Gospels are historically unreliable and symbolic. For example, it is claimed that the authors got a lot of their material from the Hebrew scriptures and other pagan writings and they point out the parallels between them. They say that the Gospel authors deliberately constructed them with symbolism, intending to hide the fact that a lot of their material came from other sources. They point out the implausibly convenient story structure (or deliberate irony) and other factors in the writings. I'm just wondering what to think of these charges and if anyone had an opinion. This type of argument is briefly presented by Richard Carrier in this debate between William Lane Craig and himself:



Thanks for reading.

#2 MamaElephant

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:19 PM

The Case for Christ is a good documentary to watch/book to read regarding this.

It is obvious that the 4 different authors did not collaborate while writing, yet the 4 accounts all do corroborate the others. As for historocity, if the accounts were of someone else's life no one would think to question them. They are very well substantiated, with copies dating back to soon after the events took place, and copies that show no tampering.

#3 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:51 PM

It is obvious that the 4 different authors did not collaborate while writing, yet the 4 accounts all do corroborate the others.


I'm not sure about this, but I think the majority of scholars think that Matthew and Luke got a lot of their information from Mark and a hypothetical "Q source", with some of the information being original with Matthew and Luke:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_source

But it seems like their are many who dispute this "Q source", so I'll have to do more research. I'm more concerned with the statements about the Gospels being constructed from myths.

They are very well substantiated, with copies dating back to soon after the events took place, and copies that show no tampering.


I don't doubt their dating within the first century, but this same guy would claim that there is a lot of evidence for tampering, but I'd need to buy some books and look into his claims.



#4 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:15 AM

I watched the video.

I'm just wondering what to think of these charges and if anyone had an opinion.


I have yet to hear a reasonable motive to justify the presumption of collusion.

#5 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:07 PM

I watched the video.

I have yet to hear a reasonable motive to justify the presumption of collusion.


You're right and thanks for your opinion. I'd imagine that someone would respond with an ad hoc theory saying that the authors were experiencing cognitive dissonance after Christ died, because they thought he would be the messiah, and so they just looked in the Hebrew scriptures and pagan myths for a way to convince themselves and others that he rose from the dead.

In any case, it seems like you can't just take Dr. Carriers word on everything. Wikipedia says that 'Cleopas' means 'son of a renowned father' and not 'tell all' or 'proclaim'. He also says that the distance from Jerusalem to Emmaus and Alba Longa to Rome is 14 miles, but according to Wikipedia, the distance from Alba Longa to Rome seems to be 12 miles, while the distance from Jerusalam to Emmaus seems to be only 7 miles (or sixty stadia as it says in Luke 24:13).
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