Why do some assume that the gospel authors knew Jesus ?

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,084
Even 60 years is huge..... Who remembers 60 year old details ? even today in the information age , within days of something happening you see huge distortion.... Can you imagine what the distortion must have been like when there were no information databases and the period of time since the event was dozen of years....
Plus to have a good remembrance of events some 60 years back, the person would have needed to be at least 15 at the time of the alleged events... So they would be 75 by the time the text was circulated.... Given the life expectancy at the time that would be just a handful of people...... And this handful would have needed to actually be there at the time of the events and remember them... The odds are not very good.... And even if some 80 year old came forth and said "hey guys this did not happen", it would be put down to his old age..."he forgot", "he is sick", "he is crazy", "dont listen to the old man" etc...

And how could someone say "I was there" after 60 years, when dates are not clearly referenced and there is no clear understanding of who the Jesus character was... I dont even thing people tracked time that accurately
And they were almost certainly not written in Judea. Even really old people and very few are going to aoound 60 years later, almost all of them are not going to have been form Judea. They were written in Greek. They were aimed at audience without any knwoldege.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,934
Dispargum
I don't agree it;s like your saying thr truth does not matter. A lot of history of secondary sources is based on primay sources and you know there are references ad footnotes. Often these are produced by Historians trying to get to the truth or understanding of what happened.

The Bible is an unsupported secondary sources, yeah maybe they had some stuff maybe they did not. It;s also fundamentally a political/religious work rather than a history. It has a message, values which are those of the writers which they are ascribing to historical figure that none of them knew directly (most likely)

Not all seconadry sources are equal. They must be judged on what they are based on. And the Bible is pretty much unknown, there;s some textual analysis and stuff but it's pretty sketchy.
That's why I put "history" in quotes. The Bible looks and feels like history but as I stated in earlier posts, it is not historical, it's legendary. But the distinctions between history, legend, myth, primary, secondary, and tertiary sources don't really matter to people who want to believe.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,084
That's why I put "history" in quotes. The Bible looks and feels like history but as I stated in earlier posts, it is not historical, it's legendary. But the distinctions between history, legend, myth, primary, secondary, and tertiary sources don't really matter to people who want to believe.
religionm, nationalism makes a lot of bad history in my own opinion. Powerful passions rather than detachment. i always amazed about small children and their versions of history a while ago.
 

Jax

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
6,319
Seattle
Not so far ahead that it doesn't pass a basic "can someone call bs" test. The gospels were all written within range that there would have been people around who would be able to call bs. The furthest ahead is John, where the highest date given if 90-110. That would have been about 60-80 years ahead. While it is unlikely that there would have been many who can say "I was there", there would have been people who would be able to say the story is different from what they were told by those who did see it. While they didn't have modern information storage, they weren't so incompetent that they wouldn't have noticed the stories magically changing so soon after the event. Especially if it were a major event (as presented in the Gospels).

The fact that the Gospels were not immediately shot down (bear in mind that followers would be literally religious in their devotion to the original stories) suggests that their presenting of events weren't so different from the original telling that it drew attention.

Given as it's likely the texts were based off other older, more direct texts, it would have most certainly had a paper trail. If anything were changed, it would have been provable in the age, and the religious communities/opponents would have been quick to point it out.
Actually, dates for the Gospel stories being from 70 to around 90 are not based on anything that can be shown to be true. It is conjectured that "Mark" was written after 70, but when, no one knows.

Quite a bit of modern scholarship tends to lean towards "Mark" possibly being as late as the mid 90's due to the possible reliance on The Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus for background for the story.

"John" is a wild card and seems to have been through numerous drafts and revisions before becoming the text we have now. When these happened and when the proto draft was written are anybody's guess. Also "Mark" seems to show signs of editing and revisions as well.

When? Again, who knows.

Any dates assigned the Gospel stories are really just wishful thinking. All that can be said for sure is that a person named Marcion of Sinope may have had a proto version of what is now called "Luke" in the 140's and that a person named Papias of Hierapolis may have commented on the writings of a Mark and a Matthew, but we don't know if these are the "Mark" and "Matthew" that we have now and further have no real idea of when this Papias actually lived.
A person called Justin Martyr makes reference to "the memoirs of the Apostles" in the middle of the second century, but whether this is referring to the Gospel stories is, again, just a guess.

The earliest date that most scholars are comfortable with as far as mention of the Gospel stories that we might have now is with a person called Irenaeus who might have written about the four Gospels in the 180's.

Anything finer than this is simply not possible with the material that we currently have at our disposal.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,745
I tend to agree with the overall picture that you have proposed.

The Therapueutae and the Essenes are two groups that I wish we had much more information about.
I am not sure, obviously. I would hypothesize that the two groups, along with groups among Greeks and Romans made up what came to be called Christians.
 

Jax

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
6,319
Seattle
I am not sure, obviously. I would hypothesize that the two groups, along with groups among Greeks and Romans made up what came to be called Christians.
Agreed. I very much suspect that Paul was influenced by the Essenes in the area of Damascus and that the Therapueutae are a Hellenized offshoot of the Essenes centered around Alexandria. I have often wondered if the story of Apollos in Acts 18 is a reflection of this.
 
Likes: Theodoric
Jun 2012
7,280
Malaysia
"When we talk to God it's called prayer. When God talks to us it's called schitzophrenia."

When evaluating the credibility of such a divine witness, I would have to consider to method of transmission. I have no experience or credible knowledge of divine inspiration. I've heard claims over the years, but nothing I would take literally or seriously. On the other hand, schitzophrenia is a very credible explanation of why and how people hear voices. Since the divine inspiration is suspect, that's a big IF.
Good point.
 
Jun 2012
7,280
Malaysia
We humans have an amazing ability to comparmentalize our lives. For instance, we behave differently at work than we do at home. A person of faith has already searched for and found his or her answers. During their search for answers they may or may not have considered evidence. This evidence may or may not rise to the level of historical standards. All that the person of faith requires is that the evidence satisfy them. The evidence or non-evidence that leads a person to a religious conclusion does not have to meet anyone else's standards. Historians don't use evidence to convince themselves. They use evidence to convince others. Since a historian only has to convince themselves about their religious beliefs, they don't have to use evidence to reach a religious conclusion. Many scientists believe in Darwin and the Big Bang Monday through Friday, and on Sunday morning they believe Genisis. It's all about comparmentalization.
You have hit it smack bang right on the head. On top of that, it could also be about hedging one's bets, i. e. the 'Plan B' or 'What If' thing. I mean, who doesn't want heaven. If it does really turn out to be out there.😊