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The Historicity Of Jesus And Of The New Testament


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#21 de_skudd

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:56 AM

This thread finally started to move!

Good input everyone, and thanks for showing up Arch, Adam,Ron and Scott.

You have some good questions Arch, but some of them seem a bit self serving or condescending. I don't think you mean it to sound this way, so I'll go by thinking its an internet thang.

I think Ron was using the word "ignorant" in the sense that you were making a judgment from an "uninformed" standpoint. That's the way I read it anyway. And, I would agree in the sense that you totally dismiss the Gospel accounts based on nothing more than current opinion.

Even though the information I posted above is somewhat limited, it is plenteous in proving the Historicity of Jesus and His Disciples.

I don’t have enough time to spend on this subject to do it justice, so when I do, I’ll be back.

Dee

#22 Ron

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:12 PM

I'd like to ask another two questions, just to be thorough in this investigation.

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I apologize for previously being abrupt Archie. I should have directed you back to Dee’s paper above to answer the questions, but I thought you had read it.

1. Is there any way we can verify the Apostles were who they said they were?

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Absolutely!

2- Does this proof extend to the writers of the Gospels as real persons?

If you’ve taken note of some writers above, you’ll find that they spoke of the Apostles:

Josephus mentioned James (the brother of Jesus): “and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James”.

Tertulian mentioned the Apostles: “in which the very thrones of the apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read”.

Clement of Rome mentioned the Apostles: “Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ.”

Papias Mentions Peter, Mark and Matthew: "Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements. Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language”.

He (Papias)also mentioned Phillip, Thomas and John: I would inquire for the sayings of the Presbyters, what Andrew said, or what Peter said, or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples, and for the things which other of the Lord's disciples, and for the things which Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying.

Clement of Rome mentions the Apostle Paul: “Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul”.

Hegesippus mentions James: “James, the Lord's brother, succeeds to the government of the Church, in conjunction with the apostles.”

Throughout the correspondence so far, we have seen that the writers of antiquity (be they secular, Jewish or Christian (some vehemently opposed to, indifferent towards or in agreement with the Christian faith) wrote with great frequency about Jesus his disciples and the steadily growing Christian following.

How could this have happened if the biblical characters didn‘t exist? Have all of these ancient writers of historical fact conspired to promulgate such a lie? And what possible reason would they have to do so?

The evidence we have provided thus far is overwhelming and undeniable to the reasonable person. And yet this is just a small percentage of the actual writings. We have only provided a few quotes from these historical writers. Just a small amount of  the Biblical corroborating texts.

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As Dee pointed out, most of these were men who personally knew the disciples, and the disciples personally knew Jesus.

I only clarified it a little more with:

Clement of Rome: He was a disciple (student) of both Paul and Peter, and it is said that he is the Clement mentioned in Phil. 4:3 (of which denial can only be made by opinion and not fact). He was the Bishop of Rome (Catholics refer to him as Pope).  According to Tertullian, Clement was ordained by Peter himself. Origen identifies Clement as Pauls fellow-laborer (Philippians 4:3), and so do Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome. Therefore his relationship is supported by many ancient writers, and only discredited by “modern” so-called writers.

Read his letter to the Corinthians. (I’m not speaking of the so-called 2nd epistle here)

Clement wrote:

"The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge, and being fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God will full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their first fruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe." - Corinthians 42
Ignatius: He was a student of John the Apostle. Ignatius wrote several letters en route to his martyrdom in Rome. He had been condemned to death during Trajan’s persecution of the Christians.

These include his letters to: Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna), the Ephesians, the Romans, the Magnesians, the Trallians, the Philsdelphinas, and the Smyrnaeans.

Ignatius wrote:

"Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth. Who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe in Him." - Trallians

And:

"He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh but Son of God by the Divine will and powered, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch... That He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection." - Smyrneans, 1

And:

"Be ye fully persuaded concerning the birth and the passion and the resurrection, which took place in the time of the governorship of Pontius Pilate. For these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope." -   Magnesians XI
Polycarp of Smyrna: Bishop of Smyrna, was a disciple of John the Apostle, who appointed him to that position.

In the Martyrdom of Polycarp (as recorded by Eusebius) the exchange between the pro-counsel was taking pity on the elderly man and said: "Take the oath and I let you go, revile Christ," Polycarp said: "For eighty and six years have I been his servant, and he has done me no wrong, and how can I blaspheme my King who saved me?"
For the words of Polycarp, read: Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians.

Quadratus of Athens: Bishop of Athens and Christian apologist. Was said, by Eusebius, to be a direct disciple (student) of the Apostles.

Eusebius writes of the apologetic from Quadratus to the Emperor Hadrian:

“After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Aelius Adrian (Hadrian) became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man's understanding and of his apostolic orthodox. 2 He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: "But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:-those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day." Such then was Quadratus.  - Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. IV.3.

Papias: Bishop of Hierapolis, a student of John, and companion of Polycarp. None of the works of Papias’s treatise called “An Exposition of the Lord's Reports” are extant. But, they did survive to be quoted by Irenaeus and  Eusebius (both of whom quoted his works extensively)

All ar attributed to Papias, as quoted from his writings.
“ And of Papias there are five treatises in circulation, and which were entitled, An Exposition of the Lord's Reports. Irenaeus also mentions these as his only writing, using the following words: ‘And these things Papias, who has been a hearer of John and a colleague of Polycarp, an early man, corroborates in writing in the fourth of his books. For there were five books that he composed’.”  -  Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History

“I will not hesitate to add also for you to my interpretations what I formerly learned with care from the Presbyters and have carefully stored in memory, giving assurance of its truth. For I did not take pleasure as the many do in those who speak much, but in those who teach what is true, nor in those who relate foreign precepts, but in those who relate the precepts which were given by the Lord to the faith and came down from the Truth itself. And also if any follower of the Presbyters happened to come, I would inquire for the sayings of the Presbyters, what Andrew said, or what Peter said, or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples, and for the things which other of the Lord's disciples, and for the things which Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For I considered that I should not get so much advantage from matter in books as from the voice which yet lives and remains.” -  Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History
“Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements. Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.”

But whenever someone who had followed the presbyters came along, I would carefully ask about the words of the presbyters, what Andrew or what Peter had said or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the disciples of the Lord, and which Aristion and the presbyter John, disciples of the Lord say too. For I did not assume that whatever comes from books is as helpful to me as what comes from a living and lasting voice.   -  Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History
As you'll notice, there is direct lineage between Jesus, His Apostles, and the above writers.

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2. I may have missed it, but did any of the documents you linked show first hand knowledge of Christ? Or were they just writings about the Apostles who said that Christ existed?

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Yes, but they didn’t need to because they corroborated the Apostles, and the Apostles corroborated Jesus Christ with the Gospels and their letters. The “writings about the Apostles who said that Christ existed” ARE historical documents that can stand alone. But they don’t have to because of all the supporting evidence.

#23 Arch

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:50 PM

This thread finally started to move!
Good input everyone, and thanks for showing up Arch, Adam,Ron and Scott.

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Hey Dee,

I've been hoping you'd hop back on this forum, your input would be most welcome.

You have some good questions Arch, but some of them seem a bit self serving or condescending. I don't think you mean it to sound this way, so I'll go by thinking its an internet thang.

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Oh it's completely self serving :P I've been interested in religious history ever since I can remember (I actually started out studying Greek and Roman mythology).
I'd be really interested in learning more about this for no other reason that I'd like to know more. As for the condescending part that's either unintentional or the internet thang. Sorry if I came off that way.

I think Ron was using the word "ignorant" in the sense that you were making a judgment from an "uninformed" standpoint. That's the way I read it anyway. And, I would agree in the sense that you totally dismiss the Gospel accounts based on nothing more than current opinion.

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My knowledge on Biblical history goes a lot deeper than most, but it's definitely still in its infancy. "uninformed" would probably be a good way to put it.

I'm not dismissing the Gospels based on opinion, but on the evidence provided to far (actually I'm not dismissing anything just yet, just calling into question). But, the evidence so far is quite limited, so there's plenty of room to expand, as Ron has started to do :mellow:

Even though the information I posted above is somewhat limited, it is plenteous in proving the Historicity of Jesus and His Disciples.

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Definitely agree. You've provided a fantastic resource here.

I don’t have enough time to spend on this subject to do it justice, so when I do, I’ll be back.

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I look forward to it :D

Regards,

Arch.

#24 de_skudd

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:43 AM

My knowledge on Biblical history goes a lot deeper than most, but it's definitely still in its infancy. "uninformed" would probably be a good way to put it.

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Arch,

Uninformed and Ignorant,in the classical sense,mean the same thing. :o

Dee

#25 Ron

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:35 PM

Arch,

Uninformed and Ignorant,in the classical sense,mean the same thing.  :huh:

Dee

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Dee, shhhhhh, ignorance can be bliss as well........... When you couple it with the denial of absolute truth!

#26 Arch

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 06:18 PM

Arch,

Uninformed and Ignorant,in the classical sense,mean the same thing.  :huh:

Dee

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I don't know about the classical sense, but today there is a slight difference between the two. Uninformed means you simple don't have the information. Ignorant means you have the information but choose to ignore it. Hence I consider myself uninformed, rather than ignorant.

By the way, I am reading through the stuff you guys have presented and I intend to do a little more looking around as well. Just wanted to let you know I haven't ignored you :( I'll post again when I'm a little less uninformed.

Regards,

Arch.

#27 de_skudd

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:35 AM

I don't know about the classical sense, but today there is a slight difference between the two. Uninformed means you simple don't have the information. Ignorant means you have the information but choose to ignore it. Hence I consider myself uninformed, rather than ignorant.

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That would be incorrect “in the classical sense” Arch. And, as I don’t deal much in the revisionist’s sense, we’ll stick with the classical because the revisionist’s are the reason you hare having issues with this subject (as I see it).

Ignorant - lacking knowledge or education in general or in a specific subject, unaware of something due to a lack of knowledge, or caused by a lack of knowledge, understanding, or experience. Anything else is revisionist or slang.

#28 de_skudd

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:37 AM

Dee, shhhhhh, ignorance can be bliss as well........... When you couple it with the denial of absolute truth!

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That is a bad combination to be sure Ron :D

#29 de_skudd

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:38 AM

As Dee pointed out, most of these were men who personally knew the disciples, and the disciples personally knew Jesus.

I only clarified it a little more with:
Yes, but they didn’t need to because they corroborated the Apostles, and the Apostles corroborated Jesus Christ with the Gospels and their letters. The “writings about the Apostles who said that Christ existed” ARE historical documents that can stand alone. But they don’t have to because of all the supporting evidence.

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All true and on point Ron.

#30 ikester7579

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:00 PM

Okay guys, let's quit playing the little tit for tat game. It keeps the thread stuck in the mud. And if it continues I will close it and give out warnings. Playing these games to make a thread stuck is the same as derailing it.

And by the way. I see no degrees here in theology, so unless someone is going to whip one out I suggest that arguments on who knows more on the subject quits here. And accept a level playing feild or quit posting in this thread.

#31 Ron

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:20 AM

Attached is a fine article by William Lane Craig to corroborate much of what has been said, and to add quite a lot more :mellow:


http://www.reasonabl...&autologin=true

#32 Arch

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:06 PM

Hey guys,

Sorry it's been so long since my last part. There's a great deal of history to go through.

Dee, I've taken the liberty of going through your first post and summarizing all of references, including names, dates and a brief account of what they said/wrote.
When I've got the time I'll go through them again, put them in order and make a timeline from it, which we can then use to compare to other sources.

If you've all got a moment, could you go through this summary and make sure I've taken down everything correctly. Would be much appreciated.

Regards,

Arch.

Flavius Josephus - Jewish historian
A.D. 37-100 (63)
-History of Jewish war
-Jewish antiquities
wrote of Jesus resurection (may have been added at later date)
wrote of James, Jesus' brother



Carius Cornelius Tacitus
A.D. 55-120 (65)
wrote of Christus, the leader of the Christians who suffered under Pilatus.


Suetonius
88 A.D.
refers to Chrestus, who 'instigated' 'Jewish' disturbances.


Pliny the younger
A.D. 61 - ~112
wrote of 'Christians' who defied Christ.


Lucian
No date
wrote of Christians who believed in Christ.


Julius Africanus 
wrote in 221 A.D.
wrote of Thallus who wrote in the 1st or 2nd century about the darkness at Christs crucifixtion. (Thallus clearly wasn't there).


Celsus
lived around 248 A.D.
Wrote 70-80 years later about Christian belief in Jesus.


The Talmud
70-200 A.D.
Spoke of 'Yeshu', who was hanged for sorcery on the eve of passover.


Mara Bar-Serapion
70 A.D.
Wrote to his son speaking of a 'wise king' who was executed by the Jews.


THE THREE BISHOPS OF ANTIOCH

Clement of Rome
95 A.D.
Wrote that the apostles recieved the Gospels from Jesus Christ, and that Christ came from God.


Polycarp of Smyrna
69-155 A.D.
Said to be a disciple of John. Claimed he has served Christ for 86 years and refused to blaspheme against him.


Ignatius of Antioch
35-110 A.D.
Said to be a student of Peter, Paul and John and a martyr.


Quadratus of Athens
~124 A.D.
A disciple of the apostles.
Said that 'our Saviour" healed and raised people from the dead. Claimed the 'dead' were still walking around even after Christ's death.


Eusebius of Caesarea
263-339 A.D.


Hegesippus
110-189 A.D.
Spoke of "James, the Lord's brother" and his connection with the apostles. Called James "The Just".

Papias
~100-150 A.D.
Spoke of most of the Disciples, claiming them to still be alive. Wrote of Mark, who was the interpreter for Peter. Also wrote of Matthew, saying his Gospel was first written in Hebrew, then translated to Greek.


#33 Arch

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:08 PM

While people are checking over my summary and I start making this timeline, does anyone want to address the other point I raised earlier?

If the earliest Christ could have been born was 3BC (-3), and Herod died in 4BC (-4), then Herod was indeed dead before Christ was born by a year. Christ would need to have been born in 4BC or earlier (eg, 5BC) for the dates to work.

Are these dates correct? Herod died in 4BC, and the earliest Christ could have been born was 3BC?


Just something to keep the forum moving :lol:

Regards,

Arch.

#34 Arch

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:34 AM

Hi again,

I've put together a list of the 12(?) Apostles, how they died and when. I'd like to compare these to the other dates we've compiled.

There seems to be some dispute over the 12, and it may be that I've got listed here some who were just Jesus disciples, and not one of the 12, however they are deemed important in Biblical history and there are historical writings about them so I thought it worth including them.

Could people check over these and make sure these facts are correct? Also I'd like to suss out which of these people were the 12 Apostles, and which were just disciples, simply for clarity.

Regards,

Arch.

According to tradition, all of the twelve apostles died as martyrs
during the first century A.D


Judas
Suicided.
~33 A.D.


James the Greater
was beheaded at Jerusalem.
A.D. 44.


Philip
Preached in upper Asia. Martyred under Heliopolis, and crucified.
A.D. 54.


Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.
A.D. 60.


Barnabas, one of the group of seventy disciples, wrote the Epistle of
Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus. Barnabas was stoned
to death at Salamis
A.D. 61.


Andrew: Martyred by crucifixion at Patras.
~50-100 A.D.
Other sources say 62.


Paul was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero
at Rome in A.D. 67.
Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross, according to
church tradition because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to
die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
A.D. 64.


Mark died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through
the streets until he was dead. Wrote his Gospel between 48 and 63 A.D.
68 A.D.


Jude, the brother of Jesus, was killed with arrows when he refused to
deny his faith in Christ.
A.D. 72.


Simon
Crucified in Britain.
A.D. 74.


Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was
stoned and then beheaded.
According to Hippolytus of Rome, Matthias died of old age in Jerusalem.
A.D. 80


Luke was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the
lost. Other's claim he was not martyred.
A.D. 84.


John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil
during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously
delivered from death. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die
peacefully.
~A.D. 100.


James the Just
, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a
hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple. When they
discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death
with a fuller's club.
Died at age 94 (~100 A.D.)



#35 Arch

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:39 AM

While searching for all the above information I read an article on St. Luke which directed me to this:

1.Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
2.just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3.Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4. so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.


I was particularly interested by passage 2. It seems to suggest that Luke is saying he was not witness to the acts of Jesus, and is merely compiling the story was other sources.

Thoughts?

Regards,

Arch.

#36 Ron

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:48 AM

Attached is another fine article by Dr. Craig that points out many flaws in the argumentation of those openly opposed to the historicity of Jesus.

http://www.reasonabl...Article&id=5206

#37 de_skudd

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:02 AM

I would like to make a few points as my time permitts.

It seems to me that some among us here are of the consensus that the New Testament documents were written many years after the events took place, and hence does not contain reliable information. However, the facts provided in the main post above (and elsewhere) indicate that the life of Jesus was written by eyewitnesses OR people who recorded firsthand testimony (See the Gospel of Luke 1:4).

There is also a seeming attempt to contradict the historical evidences by questioning the validity of the authors of the New Testament and their students by using pre-supposed opinion, Johnny-come-lately a priori scholarship references, and shifting of the dates for the lives of Church Fathers (for the correct dates, see the first post in this thread).

In setting the story straight, I will reiterate: The writers (of the New Testament) were all living at the same time these events transpired, and they had personal contact either with the events or with people who witnessed the events. These evidences are corroborated by events of the period, by the writers of the New Testament, by the students of some of the writers of the New Testament, by Historians within the first two centuries, by opponents of the Christians (and therefore opponents of Jesus) during the first two centuries, and by the subsequent Church Fathers of the first two centuries as handed down by their predecessors.

There is also strong internal testimony that the Gospels were written at an early date (contrary to the presupposed opinions of the skeptics). The Book of Acts records the missionary activity of the early Church and was written as a sequel by the same person who wrote the Gospel according to Luke. The Book of Acts ends with the apostle Paul being alive in Rome, his death not yet being recorded. And since all the other major events in Paul’s life were recorded in Acts, this by itself becomes a powerful indicator that Acts was written before Paul died. But, we have good reason to believe that Paul was put to death during Nero’s persecution (64 A.D.), which is also good evidence the Book of Acts was composed before this time.

So, if the Book of Acts was written before 64 A.D., then the Gospel of Luke (preceedant to Acts) had to have been composed some time before that (most likely in the late fifties or early sixties of that century). The death of Christ took place around 30 A.D., which would make the composition of Luke, at the very latest, within thirty years of the events.

The early Church taught that the first Gospel composed was that of Matthew, this was according to the testimony of Eusebius (amongst others), who was an early church writer. Eusebius relates that Matthew wrote down his Gospel as he was about to leave for Ethiopia. His account was largely drawn from his own experience as a disciple of Christ. This would place us still closer to the time of Christ. And these evidences leads us to believe that the first three Gospels were all composed within thirty years from the time these events occurred, a time when unfriendly eyewitnesses could contradict their testimony if it was not accurate.


I also recommend reading I Clement’s "Protepticus" and Origen’s "Against Celsus" for decent reference materials (amongst others).

#38 de_skudd

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:14 AM

While searching for all the above information I read an article on St. Luke which directed me to this:
I was particularly interested by passage 2. It seems to suggest that Luke is saying he was not witness to the acts of Jesus, and is merely compiling the story was other sources.

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This doesn’t suggest he wasn't an eyewitness Arch, it says he carefully investigated and interviewed those eyewitnesses who were there from the beginning to make an orderly account of the life of Jesus and His Apostles. I am not suggesting that Luke was an eyewitness Arch, he never indicated whether he was or wasn’t. And, because of his noted historical acumen, his work as an historian is well respected to this very day. Therefore, whether he was an eye witness has no bearing on the authenticity of the Gospel he authored.

So, at this point, I’m wondering where you are going with this line of thought?

#39 Arch

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

This doesn’t suggest he wasn't an eyewitness Arch, it says he carefully investigated and interviewed those eyewitnesses who were there from the beginning to make an orderly account of the life of Jesus and His Apostles. I am not suggesting that Luke was an eyewitness Arch, he never indicated whether he was or wasn’t.

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This line is hardly conclusive, however to me it certainly suggests he does not include himself as one of the first eye witnesses. I felt this was worth looking into.

EDIT: Currently reading the articles Ron linked previously. The author of the first article agrees that it is unlikely Luke was an eyewitness to Jesus.

And, because of his noted historical acumen, his work as an historian is well respected to this very day. Therefore, whether he was an eye witness has no bearing on the authenticity of the Gospel he authored.

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No doubt he was well respected as an historian, however I'm concerned about his accuracy of dates:

If the earliest Christ could have been born was 3BC (-3), and Herod died in 4BC (-4), then Herod was indeed dead before Christ was born by a year. Christ would need to have been born in 4BC or earlier (eg, 5BC) for the dates to work.

Are these dates correct? Herod died in 4BC, and the earliest Christ could have been born was 3BC?


If these dates are correct, then I'm afraid the authenticity of his Gospel can be called into question.

So, at this point, I’m wondering where you are going with this line of thought?

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There is a general consensus with Church goers that the Apostles wrote the Gospels. Some of the previous study I've done leads me to think this may not be the case. I'd like to explore this.

Regards,

Arch.

#40 de_skudd

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:55 AM

This line is hardly conclusive, however to me it certainly suggests he does not include himself as one of the first eye witnesses. I felt this was worth looking into.

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Although it is far more conclusive than your attempted caricature of reasoning prevalent at this thread Arch, as I stated “it says he carefully investigated and interviewed those eyewitnesses who were there from the beginning to make an orderly account of the life of Jesus and His Apostles”. So, you will need far better evidence to overturn these historical facts of Dr. Luke.


EDIT: Currently reading the articles Ron linked previously. The author of the first article agrees that it is unlikely Luke was an eyewitness to Jesus.
No doubt he was well respected as an historian, however I'm concerned about his accuracy of dates:
If these dates are correct, then I'm afraid the authenticity of his Gospel can be called into question.

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I would be more conserned about the accuracy of your dates Arch. I would also wonder who had a better bead on the acuracy of the dates, you or Dr. Luke...

Question one: Who was on hand to answer the questions you are asking Arch? You, or the eyewitnesses Dr. Luke interviewed?

Question two: Your adopted reference repository http://en.wikipedia....nology_of_Jesus gives the dates of Jesus’ birth between 8 and 6 BC, and the date of Herod’s death at between 5 and 4 BC. The math, according to your Wikipedia fits well, and should satisfy your “thirst for truth”.

But, the grist in the mill is this Arch; those who were there are far more reliable witnesses that any you have yet to conjure up here.

There is a general consensus with Church goers that the Apostles wrote the Gospels. Some of the previous study I've done leads me to think this may not be the case. I'd like to explore this.

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As was pointed out earlier Arch, the sources of your “previous” explorative studies are far less reliable, knowledgeable and antiquity based, to mount any kind of defense for the accusations you are attempting here. They are based on presupposition, circular reasoning, and plain old wantsitnottobetrue! So, you can believe anything you have a desire to (because it will still be faith based and not history based), but eventually you’ll either have to accept the truth on the New Testament’s factual historicity, or tell a lie and say it isn’t historical fact.




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