When my wife and I visited Kiev shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union, we heard a standing joke bandied about concerning two of Russia's most prominent newspapers, Pravda and Izvestia. Pravda means "truth" and Izvestia means "news. Some critics allege the same can be said about accurately recounting history: If an author has certain convictions or presuppositions, he can't accurately recount history.
He is merely spewing propaganda. How the Kingdom of God Became Christianitymaintains that "Jesus did not think he was divine," nor
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea he "assert any of the messianic claims that the New Testament attributes to him.
Sheehan argues for these claims in part by saying that because the Gospels are "religious testimonies," they cannot be trusted. On the contrary, holding this view ultimately leads to historical skepticism--because all historians write with a purpose, and Sheehan, though not a historian, is no exception. Purposes extend even to the point of including certain materials and omitting others.
If writing with a goal--whether it be evangelistic, apologetic, or didactic--implies propaganda, then all recorded history is propaganda. But most of us recognize that belief shouldn't be confused with reason for belief. In other words, to hold a belief strongly doesn't necessarily imply that the belief is wrong. Instead, the basis for that
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea should first be explored; a work shouldn't be dismissed simply because of the strong convictions of the writer. Down down down da down
Aren't the Holocaust deniers and revisionists, who can hardly be called dispassionate, the ones who falsify history? Furthermore, this error of Sheehan, Hick, and others fails to distinguish
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea innocuous presuppositions and vicious ones. Innocuous presuppositions don't end up distorting historical evidence.
They don't become the basis of accepting a historical hypothesis. Vicious ones, on the other hand, twist and warp the evidence in a propaganda-like manner. They override the evidence in order to inevitably conclude what was presupposed from the start.
This ends up being a vicious circle. And when it comes to the Gospels, the question must be raised: What actually motivated the evangelists to write what and as they did? A good case can be made that it was their own experience with Jesus. Now when it comes to actually examining the historicity of the Gospels, we see remarkable indications of accuracy.
Take John's Gospel, which often isn't accepted as reliable history because it contains more developed theological reflection than Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Yet this Gospel reveals a first-century Palestinian background rooted in the Old Testament--as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed this through, for instance, their reference "Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea" "sons of light" and "sons of darkness.
John's mention of Jacob's well at Sychar 4: In light of the extensive usage of the "witness" theme in this Gospel, the author's emphasis is clear that the incidents included can be relied upon see John
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea even interested in chronology and specific times 1: John is also familiar with particular cultural understandings such as the relationship between Jews and Samaritans 4: So if the reliability of the Gospels can be shown historically and archaeologically, this can, in part, help defuse skepticism and inspire greater confidence regarding, say, the claims or resurrection of Jesus. More Product Information
When engaging the skeptic, the Christian can offer good reasons for taking the Gospels to be historically reliable. This, then, may provide a platform for speaking about the claims and deeds of Christ. As Craig Blomberg asserts, "Once a historian has proved reliable where verifiable, once apparent errors or contradictions receive plausible solutions, the appropriate approach is to give that writer the "Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea" of the doubt in areas where verification is not possible.
Second, the claim that the early Christian communities read back into Jesus' teachings their own concerns and controversies won't withstand scrutiny.
If such matters were invented and projected backward to Jesus to substantiate them, then why are issues such as spiritual gifts e. These disputes often divided many of the early Christian communities, but we don't find Jesus addressing them.
Rather, the epistles and to some extent the book of Acts--not the teachings of Jesus--inform us of these controversies. So to allege that, in the midst of their disputes and concerns, early Christians fabricated sayings and attributed them to Jesus doesn't square with the New Testament evidence. Third, the Gospels--primarily Mark, Matthew, and Luke--offer a portrait of Jesus within one generation of his death, which tends to ensure the accurate transmission of the Jesus-tradition.
It's taken for granted in New Testament scholarship that Mark's gospel was written first and that Matthew and Luke independently follow Mark as their primary source. Now, a very good case can be
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea for the completing of Acts before a. At the end of Acts, Paul is still under house arrest in Rome.
Luke, who was "Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea" in significant events in early Christianity, such as the martyrdom of prominent Christians e.
The best explanation for Luke's not having mentioned Paul's execution--or, for that matter, the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in a. So Acts was in all likelihood written before a. The early date of these Gospels, besides other factors, gives many conservative scholars confidence that what they recorded is trustworthy. Not only were the Gospel writers interested in recording accurate history see Luke 1: Given 1 the importance of memorization and oral tradition in first-century Palestine, 2 the practice of occasionally writing down and preserving the teachings of rabbis by their disciples,
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea the fact that the vast majority of Jesus' teaching was in poetic and easily memorizable form, 4 the importance and revered status of religious traditions in Palestine, and 5 the presence of apostolic authority in Jerusalem to ensure the accurate transmission of tradition and to check potential heresywe have good reason to believe that the material in the Gospels was carefully and correctly set down.
Another factor that contributes to the conviction that the Gospels are reliable is the data of some of Paul's writings Romans, 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians and James' epistle, all of which pre-date the writing of the Gospels from the late a. Besides his familiarity with Jesus' teaching
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea the Sermon on the Mount for example, in Romans Paul is also familiar with the historical Jesus: What cannot be doubted is that many New Testament critics have approached the Gospels with an utterly unjustified skepticism--a skepticism that wouldn't be considered justified in any other branch of ancient history.
New Testament scholar R. France declares that "at the level of their literary and historical character we have good reason to treat the Gospels as a source of information on the life and teachings of Jesus, and thus on the historical origins of Christianity.
Sherwin-White--evidently not a Christian--claimed: Fourth, the simple, unsophisticated nature of the Gospels attests to their reliability rather than to their
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea fabrications. It isn't unusual to read skeptics who point out alleged contradictions or lack of harmonization in, say, the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection narratives. And even when it appears in John's Gospel that only Mary Magdalene was at the tomb, she implies that she wasn't alone: Now, even if actual discrepancies existed in the Gospels, no good historian rejects a document because of conflicts in secondary matters.
What is beyond doubt is that there is a general core of agreement among the Gospels. In any event, it's clear that the Gospel writers were not plotting or fabricating these stories.
Otherwise, they would have attempted to be more uniform in their accounting. For example, a fabricated account most likely would not have relied on women as the first witnesses of the Resurrection because of their typically lower status in Jewish society.
Main · Videos; Dating 2...
Critics may point to the sudden "shorter" ending of Mark's gospel--at Skeptic Randel Helms calls this "one of the strangest and most unsatisfying moments in all the Bible. While Jesus would warn people, "See that you say nothing to anyone," in order to "Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea" perpetuate misunderstanding, the women ironically "said nothing to anyone" They kept silent when they no longer needed to!
What Mark attempts to do in his gospel is call his audience, by way of pastoral encouragement, to persevere despite past failure and disobedience. So in spite of the failure and fear of the disciples throughout the book--which Mark highlights more than the other Gospel writers--they can derive courage and hope from the promise that Jesus is risen and will meet them in Galilee An important criterion that helps us
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea the authenticity of Jesus' sayings and deeds and thus the reliability of the Gospels is the "criterion of embarrassment"--actions or sayings of Jesus that would have embarrassed or caused difficulty for the early church.
In other words, why would the early church fabricate what it knew to be potentially embarrassing incidents? According to Christian orthodoxy, Jesus, being divine, could have known the date of his return before his death and resurrection, but he voluntarily relinquished this information as part of his earthly mission.
So why would the early church take pains to invent a saying of Jesus that would bring possible embarrassment? We could also add incidents such as Jesus' cursing a fig tree Mark Furthermore, early Jewish Christians wouldn't likely have concocted stories of miracles to defend Jesus' messiahship; it simply wouldn't have helped their case. Most Jews expected the Messiah to be a king, a political deliverer, a shepherd over Israel--not a miracle-worker: Therefore, one should hardly expect early Christians to find it necessary to create such a large number of miracle stories.
This fact--an element of the criterion of embarrassment--could have been viewed, then, as his inability to perform them. At the beginning of this
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea, we argued that the Christian cannot simply say to the skeptic, "But the Gospels say Jesus made unique claims about himself" because the skeptic will no doubt raise questions "Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea" the very reliability of the Gospels.
We have laid out some of the reasons for taking the Gospels to be generally reliable.
Although much more could be said, the Gospels'--and New Testament's--massive manuscript evidence, their historical reliability, the straightforward and simple nature of the Gospel narratives, and other factors allow us to move forward to
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea claims of Jesus of Nazareth.
Having noted the reasonable evidence to accept the Gospel tradition, we can move to issues surrounding Jesus' uniqueness. To say that one writes with an evangelistic or apologetical purpose doesn't mean what is written is unreliable. Passion or zeal--as with the Holocaust survivors--need not entail distortion of data. Point out places where the Gospels show themselves to be reliable historically and archaeologically.
This lends credibility to what cannot be directly verified--Jesus' claims and deeds. Note the case of Acts, which was likely written before Paul's death ca. There is a simplicity to them, making fabrications unlikely. Note the women as witnesses of Jesus' resurrection despite their lower societal status, or the "embarrassing" points that would probably be
Dating 2 thessalonians thomas lea if the Gospel stories or sayings were fabricated--Jesus' baptism by John, his ignorance of the time of his own return, his not doing miracles in some places.
Random House,5. The First Coming, 6. The Jesus Seminar takes a similar approach.
Goetz and Blomberg, "The Burden of Proof," Admittedly, historical and archaeological support provide partial evidence for reliability. In some cases, one may be warranted in arguing for a very restricted reliability claim limited to a specific passage. An Introduction Grand Rapids, Mich.: Mohr, Some conservative scholars, however, would take a later date for certain theological reasons.
Thomas D. Lea, Hayne P. Griffin. organization In several of his Letters (1 Cor ; Gal ; Col ; 2 Thess ) Paul added a statement that he was inserting a line in his own hand. 28Lightfoot, “Date of the Pastoral Epistles,” For instance, Thomas Sheehan, Loyola philosophy professor and author of The they cannot be trusted.2 In the same vein, Hick maintains that "the documents [ the. 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians) and James' epistle, all of which pre-date the.
Thomas D. Lea, "The Reliability of History in John's Gospel," Journal of the.
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