Why do some assume that the gospel authors knew Jesus ?

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,222
Today, many people find it easier to justify their faith if they believe the Bible to be historical. It was the same in Luke's day. He claims to be writing history so that people will get the theology correct. I think MG1962 came close when he said the Gospels were theological teaching tools, not history. Luke is attempting to do both, but he did not have to. A theological teaching tool does not have to be historic.

I have earlier described the Gospels as legendary. They're not completely fictional. They are based on something, but the time elapsed between the deeds and their recording is too great for us to believe that the Gospels are an accurate and reliable account of what actually happened.

Luke might even be acknowledging this problem. He wants to get an account down in writing so that the theology can become permanent and stop evolving the way oral traditions do. His references to having "carefully investigated," the need for an "orderly account," and the need to 'know with certainty' all suggest that Luke is aware of confusion among the Christians of his day. The fact that "Many have undertaken to draw up an account" does not deter Luke. He thinks he can do a better job than the others.
I would posit that the standard historical/literary view would be mythical.

o Myths
§ Found in almost all cultures.
§ Used to explain natural phenomena of the world.
§ Used to explain creation.
§ Used to explain origins of people.
§ Sacred or based upon religious belief.
§ Main characters are animals, deities or humans.
§ Greek myths (Zeus and Mt. Olympus); Roman myths (Jupiter), Norse myths (Odin and Citadel of Asgard).
web.mnstate.edu/werrepa/childrenlit/types.doc

I would completely agree with you that they can contain many actual historical references. As you have said, and I agree, they do not rise to the level of primary or secondary evidence.

However, as someone mentioned, as cultural artifacts they can still be of some limited historical use.
 
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Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,222
Precisely. And for anyone to deny that they are historical documents merely displays their own irrational biases.
To be precise, as far as I can tell, no one is claiming that they are not historical "documents."

The issue is how we classify them as historical EVIDENCE.

Primary sources ?

Secondary sources ?
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,756
Blachernai
1. histories in that time were written in quite different way. You know what if you read some of them. Apparently gospels were not histories in that sense. They were gospels, genre in itself.

2. now the question is - does a gospel have to be historic?
Greek bioi would be the closest genre to the gospels, and one could probably make a case that Praxeis bears some resemblance to a Hellenistic romance, with all the sailing and the adventures being had.
 
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Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,222
Greek bioi would be the closest genre to the gospels, and one could probably make a case that Praxeis bears some resemblance to a Hellenistic romance, with all the sailing and the adventures being had.
More bioi than epistles is the context that I usually see the use of that classification in regard to the gospels.

Do you mean Praxeis as in Homeric ?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,385
Exactly. But it was Tomar and Maribat that made the original claims and it was on them to convince us to believe them. All MG and I did was point out holes in their arguments so that they could make better, more complete arguments. So far, they have failed to do so.

I have never argued that Matthew was not a novelist. I do not need evidence to make a case I am not making. You're right, no one had to prove that Matthew was a novelist, but Tomar and Maribat both attempted to do so. So far, their arguments are incomplete.
Tomar made no such claims..... ;) He merely pointed out some inconsistencies
 

Jax

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
6,326
Seattle
Matthew and John were two of the twelve, this has clearly been established. Mark was a disciple of the Apostle Peter and Luke was the personal physician and disciple of the Apostle Paul. Thus the Gospels fit the very definition of primary evidence, as they were either penned by those who knew Jesus directly, or by those who were disciples of the Apostles. In the latter case we can quite logically presume that the Apostles directly related these events to Mark and Luke, and it is likely that of these latter two authors that at least Mark knew Jesus personally.
I'm sorry but nothing about early Christianity has been clearly established. Everything in your statement is in fact just Christian tradition and cannot be verified in any meaningful way.

Were in fact any of this established, scholars in this field would have to find something else to do rather than write paper after paper trying to ascertain what actually happened.
 
Jun 2018
471
New Hampshire
I'm sorry but nothing about early Christianity has been clearly established. Everything in your statement is in fact just Christian tradition and cannot be verified in any meaningful way.

Were in fact any of this established, scholars in this field would have to find something else to do rather than write paper after paper trying to ascertain what actually happened.
The evidence is in the Gospels themselves. John even refers to himself as the Beloved Disciple. He identified himself directly as that disciple who leaned on Jesus at the Last Supper to inquire who would betray Him.
 

Jax

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
6,326
Seattle
The evidence is in the Gospels themselves. John even refers to himself as the Beloved Disciple. He identified himself directly as that disciple who leaned on Jesus at the Last Supper to inquire who would betray Him.
I am sorry, but this is just simply not correct.