Thursday, May 26, 2011

Evidences the Gospels were Based on Eyewitness Accounts

In this talk provided by Lanier Theological Library, Dr. Peter J. Williams presents New Evidences the Gospels were Based on Eyewitness Accounts. As well as answering some common objections (by the likes of Bart Ehrman), Williams points out a number of lines of evidence that build a case for eyewitness accounts. (Includes some undesigned coincidences.) Check out the video (with powerpoint slides) on vimeo here. Or listen to the audio below. Featured at the excellent BeThinking website.

Full MP3 Audio here. (1 hr)



Eyo said...

This was an amazing lecture and I wish it could be spread more

Brian Auten said...

I loved this talk too.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Yes, I'd like to see this lecture spread more, on toast, and eaten by the nearly 1500 pages of Strauss' Life of Jesus Critically Examined, including all the ways the Gospel authors didn't agree or felt free to alter each others stories and sayings of Jesus, subtract some, add others, edit the rest, and the way some interpolations and harmonizations also became part of the Gospels before they were "canonized." In fact, pious believers founded conservative seminaries, only to see further study of the Bible lead to more questions, not more answers. Harvard was founded as a conservative seminary, then someone founded Yale because of Harvard's "theological excesses," now look at Yale. Attracting the best professors and students who interact with the knowledge and questions of their day continues to lead to further concessions in the inerrantistic Evangelical world. One current controversy is over an historical Adam, true or not? Evangelicals can't agree, and there's whole series of books by three Evangelical publishing houses that examine contested interpretations of Scripture among Evangelicals, from Genesis to Revelation.

Are the Gospels based on "eyewitness" accounts? When all is said and done the differences and changes from Gospel to Gospel count as far more evidence than the so-called "undesigned coincidences." Strauss' three volumes are all online, under 1500 pages worth of differences, enough to make his original English translator "Strauss-sick."

I also wish that the current promulgator of the "undesigned coincidences" argument, Tim McGrew, would check out commentaries to see what they have to say about the verses in question. A lot has indeed been remarked upon concerning the inclusion or exclusion of this or that feature in the narrative, a lot, over the past 150 to 200 years since the undesigned coincidences argument was first promulgated by Paley and then Blunt.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Also, if the author of this talk has not read the many criticism of Bauckham's hypotheses in the theological literature, then he ought to do so. Or at least share with his reader's the knolwedge that there is a database called ATLA via which they can find reviews of Bauckham's work, and read for themselves the pros and cons of it by biblical scholars.

There is also a growing number of bloggers on biblical subjects, called bibliobloggers, who produce a monthly Biblical Studies Carnival and who are listed on a biblioblogger's website. These often include professors with expertise in biblical studies, and they talk about a wide range of biblical topics. There is also the New Testament Gateway and link galore to scholarly discussions of the Bible. One need not rely on "apologetics" websites to learn about the Bible.

Neil Shenvi said...

What do you think were the best objections to the data Dr. Williams presented in this talk? I'd be very interested to hear. Just pick out one or two of the pieces of information that you think are the most amenable to criticism. Or if there is a good essay that you can recommend, post a link.

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