Monday, January 31, 2011

Historical Reliability of the Gospels #2

Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions
 The following is an outline of what I consider to be the key sections of an apologetic for the trustworthiness of the Gospels by Kenneth Samples from his book, Without a Doubt.  I encourage you to read this book.  It answers 20 difficult questions of the Christian faith.  

Chapter 7:Important Information Part II

Are the Gospels Myth or Fact?

1.       The Gospels and the external sources that support them were written so closely to the events that they historically record; there isn’t enough time available for myths to have crept into their accounts.  

·         Jesus’ death – 30 to 33 AD
·         The Synoptic Gospels (Matt, Mark, and Luke) – existed by the early 60’s
·         This evidenced by the lack of important events that occurred later, such as the destruction of the Temple (70 AD), martyrdom of Paul, James, or Peter, or persecution under Nero.  

2.       The Gospels as myths is only plausible if several generations existed in-between the death of Jesus and the time they were written down. 

·         Legends can’t replace facts so long as eyewitnesses remain alive. 

3.       The Apostles recognized the difference between myth and fact and because of this they made efforts to make claim that what they were writing as fact!

·         Luke 1:1-4
·         John 19:35
·         1 Cor 15:3-8
·         The Gospels are in the canon because they emerged from within the apostolic circle.

4.       There were other witnesses, both friend and foe, who could have refuted false claims.  Nothing refutes or contradicts the claims of the Gospels.  The Apostles even called upon the testimony of others to be checked (Acts 2:22, Acts 26:25-27)

5.       The Gospels are not written like Greek mythology. 

·         The miracles in Greek mythology are bizarre and frivolous
·         The miracles of Christ are always put into context of His ministry!

6.       The arguments for rejecting the Gospel claims are circular.

·         The Gospels can’t be true, because they say Jesus is God.  Miracles are impossible!
·         The Gospels must be rejected as myth because of this.
·         The Gospels are myths because of miracles!
·         And we’ve come full circle.  


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