The Case for Christ

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by Pharmboy, May 17, 2017 at 5:05 PM.

Are the four gospels reliable eye-witness accounts?

This poll will close on May 24, 2017 at 5:05 PM.
  1. Yes

    75.0%
  2. No

    25.0%
  3. I don't know

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    My wife took me to see The Case for Christ. As a movie, it was engaging and enjoyable. But as far as making a case for the reliability of the gospels, it was horrible. Mainly, because it didn't really address the issue at hand. Are the gospels really eye-witness accounts? Are they reliable in terms of historical content?

    The movie assumes they are eye-witness accounts and calls them that. But are they? The greatest evidence against this view, in my opinion, is the synoptic problem. And a big problem it is. Forget the gospel of John for a moment, and focus on the three synoptics --Matthew, Mark and Luke. Luke says his gospel is not an eye-witness account, but that he compiled his account from others (whom he claims are eye-witnesses). So where did he get his information and what about Matthew and Mark?

    Scholars in New Testament studies have pointed out that Matthew, Mark and Luke share information. They do not just appear similar, the passages in question are so similar that it is accurate to say they were copied (almost verbatim), one from another. So who copied who?

    Scholars further point out that if you lay the three accounts side by side and compare the texts, a pattern emerges. Mark was written in poor Greek (even though it is claimed that it was written first in Hebrew, though no copies of that exist and where Mark does borrow from sources they are always Greek sources, such as the Septuagint and not Hebrew sources). It appears, to scholars, that Matthew and Luke, used Mark as a source because where they agree with Mark (almost verbatim), they also seem to have corrected his poor Greek, each in the writers own unique way.

    This would make Mark the first gospel. But it also discounts Luke and Matthew from being eye-witness accounts. Almost 90% of Mark can be found in Matthew's gospel, and almost 50% in Luke's. Matthew and Luke also appear to have borrowed from another (not Mark) similar source, because Material found in the two gospels, that is not found in Mark, is, again, almost verbatim. This source is what they call Q. And where Matthew and Luke disagree, on original content, they completely disagree. For example, the birth narratives could not be more different.

    So that pretty much leaves us with Mark and John. Could Mark and John be eye-witness accounts? Because Matthew and Luke are most certainly not. Neither do they agree, except when they agree with Mark or Q. They even re-arrange the material in order to make the work appealing to a specific group of people. Matthew to Jews, Luke to educated Romans. So neither can they be reliable historically, leaving us with only two gospels.
     
  2. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Your wife took you? Shows the manhood we are dealing with.

    Ok, pharmboy, the Gospels are the product of the Holy Spirit in using instances in the life of Christ to emphasize certain truths. Matthews emphasis is Christ the King of the kingdom of God. Marks emphasis is Christ the Servant. Luke's emphasis is Christ the Man. And Johns emphasis is Christ the Son of God. Forget your idea of synoptics. And Q is a lie. That is not their purpose. Their purpose is to reveal a certain character of Christ that is real.

    Stranger
     
  3. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    Okay. Not sure why the insult.

    Can you tell me why Q is a lie? And am I to understand that historicity doesn't matter to you? As long as you believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit there need be no actual "proof"?
     
  4. 101G

    101G Member

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    GINOLJC, the gospels are correct. if luke gospel conflict with the other gospel then it's not of God, meaning it's another Gospel. so far I have not found any conflicting testimony. if anyone do please post them.
     
  5. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Present a copy of 'Q'.

    Stranger
     
  6. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    Q is theoretical. Why do they think Q existed? As I said before --there is material shared by Matthew and Luke, matching almost verbatim, that is not the result of Matthew or Luke copying from one another. This common source to Matthew and Luke, which is not Mark (and we have already established Mark as a primary source for both gospels) is known as Q (quelle = unknown). The unknown gospel. This makes sense so I am not sure why it would be a "lie", as opposed to some other theory as to the source of the material, which you have not offered, and which I am asking you for.
     
  7. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Oh, so there is no copy of 'Q'. Just a theory. But we do have Scriptures. That exist. But we are to believe 'Q', of which we have nothing. Strange.

    Stranger
     
  8. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    There are many lost works that are mentioned, or that have been quoted that we do not have. In fact, I believe that was the case for the book of Enoch, which is quoted in the Bible, which was lost until recently, and which is not part of the biblical text. I'm a little curious as to why you even responded to this thread.
     
  9. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Where is the 'book' of Enoch quoted?

    What do you mean lost until recently? We have never had it.

    I responded because I disagree with you. Isn't that apparent?

    Stranger
     
  10. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    Matthew and Luke are completely different when it comes to the birth and infancy of Jesus.

    First off, Mark has no birth or infancy narrative. Jesus just appears. Suddenly. And John is similar to Mark in this respect.

    Matthew has Jesus born in Bethlehem (presumably because Mary and Joseph live there) as there is nothing to suggest they were from anywhere else. The wise men come and inadvertently alert Herod who then sends soldiers to kill the baby (or little boy, depending on what you believe). Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt where they live an undetermined amount of time before returning to Judea and settling in Galilee to avoid Bethlehem.

    Luke has them from Galilee, originally. They end up in Bethlehem because of a census requiring Joseph to go there. Jesus is born, circumcised in Jerusalem on the 8th day according to tradition and they return to Galilee. No harm, no foul. And there they remain.

    These two accounts are about as different as two accounts can be when describing the same people and places.
     
  11. 101G

    101G Member

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    to Pharmboy, first thanks for the response. second, where is the contradiction? I see none. understand an account is not a contradiction, unless the account report the same details that are specifically, and I say again specifically different. just because one person writes on one particular account and another writer, writes on a different account it's no contradiction. let me explain myself so you may see it clearly. I'm sure you have heard of 911 right. what if you got an account from one news agency that reports on that day two building fell, stating that the north and south tower fell, and hundreds of people died in them. and another news agency gave an account that three building fell on that day. is there a contradiction of accounts? no. did two building fall with deaths, yes and did three building fall yes. so is there a contradiction of accounts? again no. only one account focus on the death in the building.

    now what if the bible states by one account that the Lord Jesus took a boat to the other side of the Lake and had dinner with three men. and another account states that the Lord Jesus took a boat to the other side of the lake. but did not mention the dinner with the three men is that's a contradiction? no. what one have is more or less detail of the same account.

    hope this helped.
     
  12. Chase200mph

    Chase200mph New Member

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    ...it would be more like this " one person saw Jesus take a boat across a lake that never existed and another person saw him take a boat across a lake that wasn't there when Jesus was said to have lived".....and neither of these people came forward and said anything, but someone heard them say this generations after that person died and by the way....no one ever got that persons name.

    ....it could also read like this, nothing in the Bible isn't contradicted.
     
  13. Prizm

    Prizm New Member

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    You'd make a horrible detective. There are good reasons and evidence why many scholars believe Q existed. The debate continues for and against, but it's not a theory pulled from thin air.

    Reflecting the love of Jesus right there.

    The book of Enoch is quoted in Jude. You didn't realize your beloved KJV was infected with apocryphal writings?

    The book of Enoch exists, I have a copy.

    Yep, it's true. Apologists attempting to harmonize the two are in fact inventing their own gospel.

    Sure, sure, that old chestnut, "there are no contradictions in the bible".

    Mary Magdalene was a witness to the empty tomb. Let's assume the tradition that the gospel authors knew her in person:
    She tells each of the authors a different story of her experience on resurrection morning:
    She tells Matthew that she went to the tomb with another woman named Mary. She tells John that she went alone, and then ran back to tell Peter. She tells Luke that she went with a whole group of other women. Why is one witness telling a different account to every gospel author? Why can't she keep her story straight?

    "Mary, please tell the court, did you go alone to the tomb?"
    "Yes."
    "Or did you go with a group of women?"
    "Yes."
    "Let me ask again, did you go alone, or did you go with others?"
    "Yes."
    "Was the stone already rolled away when you got there?"
    "Yes."
    "Or was there an earthquake and you watched an angel roll the stone away?"
    "Yes."
    "Please clarify, was the stone already rolled away when you got there, or did you see it get rolled away?"
    "Yes."
    "You told Matthew you saw one angel at the tomb?"
    "Yes."
    "But you told John you saw two angels?"
    "Yes."
    "Ok, but rather than angels, Mark said you saw a *man* sitting in the tomb?"
    "Yes."
    "While Luke advised that that you saw two men *standing*?"
    "Yes."

    If this were a court, the witness would be thrown out.

    The easiest answer is that the gospels are different accounts with different traditions written by different authors.
     
  14. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Of course the empty debate for 'Q' continues. Because you don't have a document and you don't know who the supposed authors or redactors of it were. But one thing they want you to know is Matthew didn't write Matthew. Something that doesn't exist written by some one who doesn't exist, must mean the authors that do exist are not real. Sure.

    Nothing is said in Jude that he quoted from a book of Enoch. It says (14) "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." Jude is writing by the Holy Spirit and quoting what Enoch said. Not what he wrote.

    The book of Enoch doesn't exist in the Scriptures. And neither is it quoted in Jude. Jude was written long before your copy of Enoch. If there is any similarity at all in it to what Jude said in (14), it would be due to the author of Enoch quoting from Jude. Who was that author of Enoch? Probably 'Q'.

    Stranger
     
  15. 101G

    101G Member

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    To Prizm, you said, "Mary Magdalene was a witness to the empty tomb. Let's assume the tradition that the gospel authors knew her in person:
    She tells each of the authors a different story of her experience on resurrection morning:
    She tells Matthew that she went to the tomb with another woman named Mary. She tells John that she went alone, and then ran back to tell Peter. She tells Luke that she went with a whole group of other women. Why is one witness telling a different account to every gospel author? Why can't she keep her story straight?".

    This is just what I'm talking about, no insight by the Holy Spirit. this is very simple to explain. the women went to the tomb very early in the morning, (one account). but seeing the stone in place, they went and got more help in removing the stone, but in returning later at day break (the second account) they discovered the stone rolled away.

    conclusion: no contradiction at all. just a lack of insight by the reader. simple, same account, at different time. they simply went back to get help.
     
  16. Prizm

    Prizm New Member

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    Not even Matthew says he wrote Matthew.

    You're kidding, right?

    Jude 1:14-15 KJV:
    And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,
    "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
    To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly
    among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly
    committed
    , and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners
    have spoken against him
    ."

    Book of Enoch 1:9 (written at least a century before Christ):
    "And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
    To execute judgement upon all
    , and to destroy all the ungodly:
    And to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they
    have ungodly committed
    , and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners
    have spoken against Him
    ."

    No Holy Spirit was needed when Jude appears to have the book of Enoch right in front of him.

    Actually Enoch was written long before Christ, according to scholars.


    You're talking about the account in John - however the stone was already moved the first time she went. Mary didn't go back to get help moving the stone, she went back to get the disciples.

    Here's a problem (among many): In *Mark*, Mary is at the tomb alone and a "young man" tells Mary that Jesus has risen. He specifically tells Mary to go tell Peter and the disciples that Jesus will meet them in Galilee.
    But here in John's gospel, as you mention, Peter is present. So why would the angel tell Mary to pass on a message to Peter if he's going to be at the tomb anyway?

    Back to John's account: Peter and the "other disciple" (traditionally John) don't see anything at the empty tomb, so they go home. Mary stays. Then suddenly two angels appear. Do the angels say anything about meeting Jesus in Galilee? Or giving Peter and John a message? No.
    In fact, Jesus himself appears.
    Mark's gospel said Jesus was "not here" and was already going ahead to Galilee, but here he is, standing face to face with Mary. Why was Mary told that Jesus is on his way to meet the disciples in Galilee, when clearly he's not?

    Oh, I'm sure someone can think up some wormy apologetic for it.

    The gospels were written decades apart by different authors. If the only surviving gospel was Mark, then that would be the only account you would know. You would never know that Jesus saw Mary at the tomb that day.
     
  17. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Prizm

    No, I'm not kidding. Just read it. Jude by the Holy Spirit is saying what Enoch said. Not what he wrote. Again the copy you have of Enoch is later than the book of Jude.

    Whoever wrote Enoch copied from Jude.

    Stranger
     
  18. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    Actually much of the Book of Enoch was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Almost no one doubts it is older than the book of Jude and that Jude quoted from it, believing it to be scripture, or at the very least, having a deep regard for it. So much so that he includes it in his letter as an exhortation.

    But this still does not address the synoptic problem. Matthew and Luke are not eye-witness accounts, but were constructed accounts taken from other written sources, Mark being one of those sources, Q being another. Papias also says that Mark is not an eye-witness account, but was written by Mark who got his account from Peter. However, there are problems with that theory as well. The gospel seems to use several of the stories as it would symbolism. For example, the story of John the Baptist's beheading (as a symbol of Jesus own arrest and crucifixion) and the story that portrays Jesus needing to try more than once to heal a blind man (as a symbol of his disciples inability to see though he tries and tries).

    The gospel of Thomas and the gospel of Peter are both testaments to the existence of "other" source material at or near the time of the writing of the gospels we have preserved today.
     
  19. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    Than we have ths,

    Luk 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs

    Mat 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

    Whos right who copied who. Enoch was before moses so His story is far older than Jude.
     
  20. Pharmboy

    Pharmboy Member

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    The Book of Enoch was not likely written before Moses, it is believed to have been written during the intertestamental period. A time of proliferative writing and revision.