Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Terminology Tuesday: Quest of the Historical Jesus

Quest of the Historical Jesus: The nineteenth-century movement that sought to separate and distinguish the man Jesus of Nazareth from the Christ of faith as proclaimed by the church. The proponents of this quest concluded that the "historical" (non-supernatural) Jesus never made any messianic claim, never predicted his death or resurrection and never instituted the sacraments now followed by the church. Instead the biblical stories that assign these acts to Jesus are nonhistorical "myths" that, together with certain philosophical and theological claims set forth in the NT documents, were projected onto him by his disciples, the Gospel writers and the early church. The true historical Jesus, in contrast, preached a simple, largely ethical message as capsulized in the dictum of the "fatherhood of God" and the "brotherhood of humankind."1

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 98.

37 comments :

Davitor said...

Yes, and the beauty of this historical non-supernatural Jesus is that he is much more believable than ever before, and can inspire us to live up to his example in a much deeper way as a human can.
And as he said "Only God is good".

Brian said...

So is Jesus good?

Davitor said...

Well I guess it all depends on the standard of who's doing the measuring and when Jesus said only God is good I guess he intended to use God's.

Brian said...

I was asking you if you thought Jesus was good.

Davitor said...

Yes, if I judge him with my human standard he's good.

Paul said...

You maybe attracted this idea of Jesus Davitor because he fits your worldview. The real historical Jesus was far more then an ethical teacher, he made messianic claims and rubbed people the wrong way. Your remaking Jesus to suite you; the quest never fulfilled its objectives.

Davitor said...

Yes Paul, but if I use your logic I can also conclude that since the New Testament was written 50 to 180 years after the death of Jesus the worldview of those who wrote it was totally influenced by at least 10 generations of hand me down storytelling. The storytelling worldview of this Jewish cult needed to make sense of the persecution under their own Jewish people. This story telling needed to have to have worldview of a messianic figure that can rationalize the destruction of the temple by the Romans. The inconsistent accounts surrounding the empty tomb the fact that Jesus could was not be recognized give a credible contention that their worldview may have totally influence their story telling so as to make a credible claim that would defend this belief of him being the messianic figure that the Jewish people were promised long ago.

Adrianna said...

And for a nice collection of scholarly thought on the topic, you might consider The Historical Jesus: Five Views (IVP Academic).

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Probably also helpful (along with the above-mentioned The Historical Jesus) will be Mike Licona's upcoming new book The Resurrection of Jesus.

pds said...

Davitor, where did you get 50-180 years from? Where did you get 10 generations from? The accounts are not the same of course, but then the authors each described Jesus from a slightly different perspective. The Jewish people were NOT expecting a messianic figure like Jesus. They were certainly NOT expecting Jesus to be resurrected. This belief was new, unique, unexpected and unpopular. Why would anyone make it up? For what purpose and what gain? Habermas and NT Wright have done fantastic work in this area. Check them out.

Paul

Davitor said...

Paul, if on your own common sense you can't figure out why they would not want to make it up? or what can they gain from exaggerating on stories. Then I am afraid your world view is getting the way of unbiased analysis.
Paul have you ever pick up a tabloid magazine and wonder what's the point of making up all these stories for?
Paul have you ever wonder why the nightly news on TV is away about "man biting the dog" and not the other way around?

Stevemd said...

No one get's burned alive, flayed, crucified, or beheaded for saying "an alien is my baby's father". The only thing the apostles gained is found in eternity, in this life - and by your woldview the only thing that matters, they gained death.

Russell said...

Davitor,

Do you have an answer as to what the disciples had to gain? Your claim "I am afraid your world view is getting the way of unbiased analysis" doesn't seem to logically follow from your question.

Your example of the the tabloids is flawed on a few levels. For instance, People in the tabloids make a profit for their stories. The disciples were not.
Also, I would point out that the people in these tabloids aren't being faced with death if they hold to their stories. The disciples were.

What is the point of your last sentence?

Davitor said...

Their gain was to believe God has fulfilled their promise of their ancient ancestor’s prophecy of a messiah that will bring the kingdom of God. And as they saw all hope of establishing the kingdom of God destroyed with their tabernacle the only hope was to remember this man that somehow survived a crucifixion something that was impossible to a mortal man. So why exaggerate on rumors and stories because if you don’t all you have is a God who has abandoned you leaving you to die a slow death under an enslavement of a Roman empire who destroyed your only hope of a heaven on earth.

Russell said...

Davitor,

I would argue that the synoptic Gospels predate the destruction of the Temple. There are numerous resources that make this point, but I would simply argue that the destruction would have been mentioned in the Gospels if they were written after the fact. After all, it would make sense to include this fact since it proved Jesus was correct in his prophecy.

I'm interested in your quote "the only hope was to remember this man that somehow survived a crucifixion something that was impossible to a mortal man." Do you concede that Jesus survived the crucifixion? If so, can please elaborate on how you think he survived. (bodily resurrection, swoon theory, etc.)

Davitor said...

There are many criticisms to the swoon hypothesis that I’m sure you will debate, but for me the only hard evidence is what I observe in nature. Nature follow its laws without ever compromising it path for the fancy of men’s wishful philosophy. This type of intelligent design through millions of years does need no hocus pocus for convincing of a miracle.

Russell said...

So do you believe the swoon theory is the answer?

If so, are you able to make a case for it? If not, that would contradict your whole argument.

Where is the intelligent design in the natural law you seem to be advocating?

Davitor said...

Russell no one knows for certain the exact detail of the crucifixions duration and that he may have been helped to survive. In those days anything could be fixed for just with a few coins. All you have as hard evidence of detail is the writings that took place 50 years after the fact of a group that needed to have a super human savior that would explain their plight. So please continue to believe that God needs to break his laws of science just to give meaning to some who fancy a super human that will liberate them, with his supernatural powers, hey nothing wrong with that, I love my marvel comics.

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Davitor:

As far as I can tell, the historical evidence for Jesus' life, death, and resurrection is pretty good, if one allows for the possibility of a God who exists and who sometimes acts in a special way in nature. (For more on the historical evidence for Jesus, see William Lane Craig's book Reasonable Faith, 3rd edition. As I mentioned previously [above], Mike Licona's book The Resurrection of Jesus looks like it will be helpful too.)

Also, it should be kept in mind that a miracle (i.e., a special act or intervention by God into the goings-on in nature) breaks no laws of science. It only breaks the patterns we would expect given no intervention. (A law of nature says something like the following: All so-and-so's do such-and-such, if nothing or nobody interferes. If something or somebody interferes, the law isn't violated. Only our expectations-plus-our-assumption-that-there-isn't-interference is violated.)

Interestingly, if the issue under discussion is whether a miracle such as Jesus' resurrection has occurred, and if one is open to the possibility of a God who might act in history, then we are given neither a non-intervention nor an intervention. It seems to me, then, that to avoid question-begging, the event cannot prior to investigation be ruled out as improbable nor can the event prior to investigation be ruled in as probable. The evidence for the miracle would have to arbitrate. (Again: Take a look at Craig's work on Jesus' resurrection in his book Reasonable Faith, 3rd edition. Or maybe take a look at the relevant chapters in Craig's On Guard.)

I hope that the above is helpful. I encourage you to think carefully about Jesus.

Best regards,
Hendrik

Davitor said...

Logical reasoning would assert that if God needs to intervene his Omniscience is inadequate. And if one accepts Omniscience then an ethical question is at hand.
Hence the need for a historical Jesus without the super powers is of utmost importance.

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Davitor:

With respect, I disagree. It seems to me that careful reasoning tells us that whether or not an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God intervenes is up to this God and, if God does (or doesn't) intervene, then God would have a morally sufficient reason for doing so (or for not doing so), even though we may not be privy to it.

Also, it seems to me that whether it's reasonable to believe that the historical Jesus has supernatural powers or not depends on the evidence for such powers. As far as I can tell, the evidence points to a miraculous resurrection.

Again, I encourage you to take a look at Craig's works. (Or, depending on how serious you are in your investigation, take a look at my PhD dissertation, "Miracle Reports, Moral Philosophy, and Contemporary Science," which can be found here.)

Best regards,
Hendrik

Davitor said...

Thank you Hendrik, I very heard several of Dr Craig's debates and have read several of his articles including "Rediscovering the Historical Jesus. And I have downloaded your thesis and was quickly looking for some of the arguments that I have read in the past. I think debates could be very easily resolved if one can seriously empathize with the opponent way of conceptualizing the meaning behind important word in the discussion. For example an omniscient being would constitute knowing a fixed outcome leaving freedom to do otherwise implausible.
My definition of freedom would mean I can act in none accordance to fixed outcome. If you're definition of freedom implies that you can't then we cannot progress in the discussion without this being resolved in meaning.

Russell said...

Davitor,

I would point you to the "Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. The last section deals heavily with the idea that Jesus survived the cross. The interview with Alexander Metherell is one of my favorites. Even if Jesus somehow managed to survive, I hardly see the disciples following a battered and defeated Jesus.

You are stating that the writings take place 50 years after the fact. Do you mean after the Cross? How do you come to this? Jesus most likely died around 30 A.D. So you are saying the Gospels come from 80 A.D.?

(If I am mistaken, please correct me. It's late, and I don't have my notes with me.)

Paul is said to have died in 64 AD, I believe.

Paul is still alive at the end of Acts. Acts is said to be the second part of Luke. Therefore, Luke must predate Acts. It is also commonly said that Luke borrowed information from Mark. Therefore Mark must have predated Luke. So Mark probably falls in the mid 50's.

These are just the Gospels. Some of Paul's letters can be dated quite earlier than this. Gary Habermas makes a convincing argument that 1 Corinthians 15:3 can be dated in the year Jesus died. If you want me to elaborate, please let me know.

Also, I see no problem with God breaking His own laws of science. They are, after all, His laws. I don't see why this would be an issue, when much of it is prophesied in the Old Testament. In fact, I would argue that it is God's nature to fulfill His plans.

Davitor said...

Hi Russell, I would argue that even 10 years is sufficient time for facts to be overlooked based on a bias description of the actual events that were witnessed. Even today, with all the technology and record keeping abilities our judicial system demands time limits be placed on eye witness accounts due to factors influencing memory.
Again I think is fundamentally our discrepancy is in the meaning behind the use of words “breaking His law”. In my understanding of the meaning of an omniscient being is that every act is in line with an exact outcome, where the use of breaking rules would constitute a deviation from the norm due to un-expected circumstances. Hence this will imply a being who is not omniscient.

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Hello again Davitor,

You are certainly engaged in a multi-facetted discussion here at Apologetics315! Please know that the tone of the discussion is a friendly one (as I'm sure that the others with whom you're talking would agree).

I'm glad you're talking a look at my thesis. The thesis was done at a respectable secular university and in it I had to deal with a large number of objections to the satisfaction of my examining committee (not all of whom were sympathetic). So I hope that you will find some helpful material there.

I agree that for progress to occur in debates we should get clear on one's opponent's way of understanding the meaning of important terms. You mention that, according to you, "an omniscient being would constitute knowing a fixed outcome leaving freedom to do otherwise implausible." It's good to know what you mean here, but I must point out that I'm pretty sure that there's a logically mistake lurking in this understanding of omniscience. William Lane Craig has done much work here to show (successfully as far as I can tell) that an omniscient being's foreknowledge doesn't logically preclude (nor render implausible) human freedom. True, if God foreknows my choice X, then I won't choose otherwise; however, Craig rightly argues, from this it doesn't follow that I necessarily cannot choose otherwise. To think that the latter does follow is to commit a modal fallacy (modal logic has to do with necessity and possibility). It's like arguing: Necessarily, if I am a bachelor, then I'm not married; therefore I'm necessarily not married. The scope of the modal operator is abused here: it applies only to the relationship between the antecedent (the "if…" part) and the consequent (the "then…" part) of the if-then statement, not to the consequent on its own. The proper conclusion is simply: I'm not married. The necessity doesn't apply to the consequent per se, so the freedom to marry remains. Back to the foreknowledge: Necessarily, if God knows I will choose X, then I will choose X; therefore I necessarily will choose X. The conclusion doesn't follow logically because the scope of the modal operator doesn't apply. There is no necessity in the choosing per se; the necessity is only in the relation between the antecedent and consequent of the conditional (if-then) statement. The upshot is that an omniscient being's foreknowledge of human free choices is based on the free choices such that if humans chose differently, then God's foreknowledge would be different. (For more on this topic, see, for starters, Craig's 1987 article "Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb's Paradox.")

In sum, I agree with your definition of freedom, i.e., we have what is sometimes called by philosophers "metaphysical libertarian freedom" (i.e., our choices are up to us, they are not determined or fixed by forces outside of us); however, I disagree that the foreknowledge of an omniscient God rules out such freedom.

But back to Jesus' resurrection: It seems to me that Jesus' resurrection is reasonable to believe because there is pretty good evidence for thinking it actually happened (regardless of what one's views are of omniscience and freedom). Significantly, quite a few experts in legal evidence agree. If such legal reasoning is of interest to you, I encourage you to read (for starters) Ross Clifford's little book Leading Lawyers' Case for the Resurrection which can be found here.

Best regards,
Hendrik

Davitor said...

Thanks Hendrik, its fascinating to me that some can arrive at a conclusion that God is watching a re-run of ending that never exist and never questions the impossibility that this subscribe to.

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

You are welcome, Davitor.

I think that by "subscribe to" you mean implies. If so, I think that many people (myself included) do question the alleged implied impossibility that you mention. That's why arguments such as Craig's are carefully set out and studied. Also, I'm pretty sure that to say (as you say) that "God is watching a re-run of [an] ending that never exist[s]" is mistakenly to attribute a perceptualist model of knowing instead of a conceptualist model of knowing onto an omniscient being.

Davitor, discussions about omniscience, foreknowledge, and free will are interesting, to be sure, but I encourage you not to lose sight of the much greater importance of Jesus' teachings plus His life, death, and resurrection. If He taught that He is God and if He really did resurrect (as many intelligent people believe on the basis of good evidence), then, surely, we have some good reasons to take Him seriously.

I have come to believe that Jesus is God, and so I commend Him to you.

Best regards,
Hendrik

Russell said...

Hi Davitor,

I want to second Hendrik's point. I really appreciate the dialogue we are able to have about these issues.

I think it is important that we factor the significance of the cross into consideration here. We are talking about fulfilled prophecy and numerous miracles being performed. We can debate the validity of this, but in the context of your argument, I have a really hard time believing that such amazing events would be misconstrued in just ten years.

Also, if we are in a ten year span of time after the cross, then we still have all the critics who were alive at the time of the cross to deal with. It would seem impossible for the faith to take off if such critics had a case against the validity of the Gospels.

On a side note, have you ever visited Jim Wallace's website? He is a cold case homicide detective, and uses a more evidential approach to Christianity with his detective skills. You may find his work interesting.

I think I will leave the omniscience topic to Hendrik. He clearly has a wonderful understanding of it.

Davitor said...

Thanks Hendrik and Russell, I have been more intellectually, spiritually and morally rewarded with metaphysical movements like the Christians Science and the Unity movement for quite some time now. I find them much more in line with the teachings of Christ and his emphasis that we should come to believe not by signs or miracle but by the truth it bears fruit to. Of what good is believing in miracles or signs when your life example does not bear fruit to it. I would advise to both of you to seek for the truth that does not need hide behind a dogma or mystery.

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Davitor:

Thanks for advising Russell and me to seek truth that "does not need to hide behind a dogma or mystery." I think that's advice all of us should heed.

Also, I agree that belief in miracles or signs isn't good if one's life doesn't reflect the Truth to whom the miracles point—in fact, I think it would be downright hypocritical. So thanks for that bit too.

Now I'm curious. You talk about Christian Science and the Unity movement being "more in line with the teachings of Christ." The teachings to which you refer are presumably gotten from the New Testament, because those documents are closer to Jesus' time and place than the writings of Christian Science and Unity are. So I'm wondering: Who do you think Jesus is, according to Jesus' teachings as presented to us in the New Testament prior to any spin/ reinterpretation placed onto the NT by Christian Science and Unity?

Academically and personally, I think that it is important to check out the evidence of the Jesus presented in the historical documents (as found in the New Testament) which does not get hidden behind alleged subsequent revelations that occur centuries later.

Best regards,
Hendrik

Russell said...

Davitor,

I have a very hard time understanding why you would dismiss the gospels, which we have established to being within 20 or so years after Jesus’ death, but find Christians Science and the unity movement to align with him. Here are just a few things that Christian Science teaches…

The devil is simply a belief (S&H 584: 17-25)
There is no real Heaven (S&H 587:25-27)
Likewise, there is no Hell (S&H 588:1-4)
It denies Jesus death on the cross (S&H 583:10-11)
Scientific Statement of Being “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.”

How are any of these in line with what Christ taught? Also, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Christian Science deny anything physical? How are you able to have this conversation with us on a computer?

From what I understand, if a Christian Science follower can adhere to the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy then they will not experience sickness or death. If this is the case, what happened to Mary baker Eddy in 1910? In fact, how are you able to follow her teachings at all since Science and Health is a book, and therefore matter?

I provided you with substantial evidence for the validity of the Gospels and teachings of Paul. I don’t see how Christian Science, which was founded in 1879 (over 1800 years after Christ) is more in line with the teachings of Jesus. Perhaps it is you that needs to seek the truth. Not Hendrik or myself.

Davitor said...

Hi Russell, in an effort to stay within the topic I will not address some of the issues you've brought up so forgive me for that. But Hendrik's question "who do you think Jesus is prior to any spin / reinterpretation placed onto the NT is a question that stays within this topic. We can probably debate forever the fact that the length of 20AD-180AD is enough to consider the NT a spin or reinterpretation of a man called Yeshua born from an awfully poor region with a language that was hardly spoken by any of the writers of the bible.
So I will not take that route but try to answer this on a personal level since i am sure that you aware that there are differences even among Christian that belong to the same denomination.
In the history of transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote "Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eyes the mystery of the soul drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man. One man was true to what is in you and in me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of his world."
I am hoping that you both seen a documentary on PBS call "From Jesus to Christ". At the heart of this series was the question of what really propel this unknown man called Yeshua a carpenter to the most revered historical figures of mankind. Was it a resurrection? I wrote a thesis on this very topic and I contend that the main reason was his example in life and death. He lived his life integrated with the truth even to the point of death. Something that totally change the perception of what the people in that era were accustomed to. Jesus introduced a message that lies in all of us that love is unconditional even unto death for how else can we truly manifest God unconditional love for us. I can continue with this topic for ever but i will spare you, but may i suggest a book by Eric Butterworth called Discover the Power Within you. He takes our relationship with Jesus the Christ to a level I have never imagined.
God Bless.

Russell said...

Davitor,
Where are you getting 20AD-180AD? You can’t just throw dates out. What exactly are you giving a date of 180AD for? You still have not answered Hendrik’s question. I understand avoiding my concerns about Christian Science since they don’t apply to our topic, but why not give a straight answer concerning Hendrik’s?

I appreciate the resources you provided us with. However, I think they miss the point. I don’t understand the need to reinterpret Christ’s role on Earth. The New Testament is very clear. Christ did not come to awaken some sort of inner power within us. He came to save us from the eternal separation from God that we are deserving of. I base this off the accounts of his life and the writings from those closest to his message. One of the best examples of this is 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.

“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

I guess I am a bit confused about who the God is that Mr. Butterworth believes in. Does he believe in the death and resurrection? Does he believe that Christ died for our sins? If not, then he obviously doesn’t believe in the God of the Bible. A short description I found of his book states “In this classic work, Eric Butterworth sees the divine within us all to be a hidden and untapped resource of limitless abundance.” The Old Testament is clear that man is not divine (Ex. Isaiah 55:8-9, 1 Samuel 15:29). I don’t see how anyone can believe that Jesus thought man was divine. So why would I accept Mr. Butterworth’s interpretation of Jesus and his message?

I would like to share another quote with you from C.S. Lewis.
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Davitor:

Thanks for the ongoing conversation. I think, though, that I'm going to disengage. I am going on a short holiday and I plan to be electronically out of touch for a while.

But I will leave some closing comments (which, of course, you can respond to if you wish):

1. You hold to a philosophical conception of miracle which is deeply problematic (see your comments of August 1 and 2 wherein you state that a miracle is a "hocus pocus" breaking of a scientific law/ law of nature which is rigid and uncompromising; see too my subsequent reply). You are (unwittingly, I think) following David Hume's faulty argument here, and, by doing so, you begin your investigation of Jesus' resurrection with the conclusion settled—i.e., you presuppose that a miracle is maximally improbable (because that's an implication of breaking a law of science, given no intervention)—and so you are forced philosophically to look for some other, non-supernatural explanation (e.g., such as that of your thesis). But this is to incur the fallacy of question-begging (i.e., the mistake of assuming as established that which is at issue).

For more on Hume's argument, see my articles here and here.

2. You misrepresent my question (of August 5). My question (of August 5) is this: Who do you think Jesus is, according to Jesus' teachings as presented to us in the New Testament prior to any spin/ reinterpretation placed onto the NT by Christian Science and Unity? My question is not (as you wrote on August 6): "who do you think Jesus is prior to any spin / reinterpretation placed onto the NT?" My reason for asking my actual question is that you judged (in your August 5 comment) that Christian Science and Unity are "more in line with the teachings of Christ". Clearly, the making of such a judgment logically implies that we can get reasonable clarity on the teachings of Christ prior to the alleged revelations that Christian Science and Unity received centuries later. So I was hoping that you would notice this implication and adjust your thinking accordingly. But instead you avoid the implication by accusing the New Testament of having spin and interpretation. Well, maybe the NT is guilty of such spin; or not. The point remains that you say Christian Science and Unity have knowledge that's "more in line with the teachings of Christ." In view of the fact that the primary sources concerning the teachings of Christ are the NT documents, it's a reasonable question to ask: What does the NT itself say about Jesus?

3. The New Testament provides us with good historical evidence concerning Jesus' teachings and His physical bodily resurrection—and this evidence provides us with good grounds for believing Jesus is the Christ, i.e., the God of the Bible come to earth as a human being. I'm with Russell on this, so see his critical comments concerning Butterworth (above). For further discussion of the historical evidence concerning Jesus, please see William Lane Craig's books Reasonable Faith (3rd edition) and On Guard. Also, keep your eye open for Michael Licona's The Resurrection of Jesus.

I don't have time to address the PBS series From Jesus to Christ except (a) to say that I'm pretty sure there's some naturalistic question-begging happening there and (b) to direct you to Craig's article on the naturalistic question-begging of the Jesus Seminar's approach to Jesus, "Presuppositions and Pretensions of the Jesus Seminar", which can be found here.

Davitor, I hope my comments are helpful. I wish you and yours all and only the best.

Hendrik

Davitor said...

Thanks Russell and Hendrick, just as i have read Mere Christianity and have listen to Craig's debates and read several of his articles and I am very actively involved in my Catholic Church, I am hoping that you give Discover the Power Within You a read as well. Or listen to any of Unity FM broadcasting of over 30 programs weekly.
God Bless.

Ken Bankston said...

Davitor, it sounds like you have done your homework. However I would ask you to check your sources. The general consensus of the scholars, liberal and conservative, places the gospels in the late fifties to mid sixties. Some scholars claim a slightly earlier date and others a slightly later date. However, there is no credible scholarship that places a date as late as 210 as you have suggested. My gosh the last gospel written was that of John and we have a papyri fragment from John called the John Ryland's papyri that is dated between 90 and 130. Paul's epistles much earlier. All of theae works were supported by an oral tradition that went back to the events in question. Even Bart Ehrman, the prodigious skeptic states that 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, which is a summary of the resurrection of Jesus and several subsequent post mortem appearances dates back to an oral tradition that is no more than 1 year removed from the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Further a generation is generally thought to be at a minimum, 40 years. I am just saying, if we are going to purport to state facts, let's be accurate and honest. Hopefully we are all about truth here.

Thanks--Ken

Ken Bankston said...

Davitor, it sounds like you have done your homework. However I would ask you to check your sources. The general consensus of the scholars, liberal and conservative, places the gospels in the late fifties to mid sixties. Some scholars claim a slightly earlier date and others a slightly later date. However, there is no credible scholarship that places a date as late as 210 as you have suggested. My gosh the last gospel written was that of John and we have a papyri fragment from John called the John Ryland's papyri that is dated between 90 and 130. Paul's epistles much earlier. All of theae works were supported by an oral tradition that went back to the events in question. Even Bart Ehrman, the prodigious skeptic states that 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, which is a summary of the resurrection of Jesus and several subsequent post mortem appearances dates back to an oral tradition that is no more than 1 year removed from the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Further a generation is generally thought to be at a minimum, 40 years. I am just saying, if we are going to purport to state facts, let's be accurate and honest. Hopefully we are all about truth here.
Thanks, Ken

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