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Featured How useful are the Gospels in regards historical information?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The historical reliability of the Gospels refers to the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents. While all four canonical gospels contain some sayings and events which may meet one or more of the five criteria for historical reliability used in biblical studies,the assessment and evaluation of these elements is a matter of ongoing debate.Almost all scholars of antiquity agree that a human Jesus existed,but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus,and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the Nativity of Jesus, the miraculous events including the resurrection, and certain details about the crucifixion.

    Historical reliability of the Gospels - Wikipedia

    What are your thoughts about the usefulness of the Gospels as a source of historical information and why?
     
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  2. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Mark begins with Jesus meeting and being baptized by John the Baptist. Read it and say to yourself, "that really happened." Go ahead, I dare you.
     
  3. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
    As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
    The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
    John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
    And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
    And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
    And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
    I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
    And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.


    Mark 1:1-9

    That really happened.
     
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  4. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

    Yeah, that really happened. Convenient that you left that out.
     
  5. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    What form of criticism do you agree or accept. All or do you have certain preferences?
     
  6. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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  7. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Your method is the method of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Invalid. I can easily say its just bias. If you need explanation why just ask. ;)
     
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  8. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I would consider any approaches of reputable modern biblical scholars. For example the methods and five criteria are listed in the Wikipedia article provided.

    In evaluating the historical reliability of the Gospels, scholars consider authorship and date of composition, intention and genre, gospel sources and oral tradition, textual criticism, and historical authenticity of specific sayings and narrative events.

    Critical scholars have developed a number of criteria to evaluate the probability, or historical authenticity, of an attested event or saying represented in the gospels. These criteria are the criterion of dissimilarity; the criterion of embarrassment; the criterion of multiple attestation; the criterion of cultural and historical congruency; the criterion of "Aramaisms". They are applied to the sayings and events as described in the Gospels, in order to evaluate their historical reliability.


    Historical reliability of the Gospels - Wikipedia
     
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  9. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    The four gospels all contain high value info about Jesus and his mission. Many details are unhelpful to the Christian cause but offer value to the student of HJ.

    Example of an item (out of hundreds!) unhelpful for Christians but helpful value for history...?

    John {6:71} He spake of Judas Iscariot [the
    son] of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

    This apparently unimportant sentence adds to the info about Judas, and with other bible verses, plus info in Origen's letter (against Celcus) helps us to build up a formal name for Judas, discover the reason for his nickname and to decide whether he might have been a Levite (!!) or a peasant, which alters his formal name somewhat, and helps to suggest two of his previous employments.
    in the gospels mean so much more to students of history, and there are hundreds and hundreds of these.

    Most valuable....... and no agenda for them to be lies.
    Thus it can be seen that innocuous and harmless verses add to HJ studies.
     
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  10. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Easy.....
    You won't dare follow me, I expect, but let's see....

    G-Mark begins with the Baptist, living out in the wastes, self-subsisting for all his needs. True?
    YES/NO

    The Baptist thought that the Temple and its priesthood were a bunch of viperous villains. True?
    YES/NO

    Now if you can answer the above we can discuss what was happening at that time in the Temple and scrutinize the Temple coinage of the day. I'll bet you've never even looked at a Temple coin of that day.... true? You'll be shocked, I expect. I was. So let's enter G-Mark step by step.

    Oh!.... and I am not a Christian.
     
  11. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    I'm not throwing anything out, I read the NT for what it is; theology.
     
  12. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    I did not ask about the criteria for authenticity brother. I asked about criticism, like form, redaction, source, narrative.

    Also, your question is actually cloven from the criteria you are speaking of. The criteria is for the New Testament and within the New Testament Gospels, not general historicity. For example it assumes ipsissima vox originally so new arguments are coming out. As an example there are scholars who argue against the criteria of dissimilarity and even go to the length of proposing criteria of continuity. If you go through the criteria of dissimilarity or double dissimilarity going back in history of the synoptic tradition you would see it originated by scholars who formed theories like it does not make sense to make historical analysis of the Gospels, its useless and utterly unnecessary. Thats not me, but Bible scholars.

    Think about this, if the synoptic tradition is also valid study of the Bible, and the criteria of authenticity is applied, of course there is a clash of authenticity already. What do you have to say about that?
     
  13. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    That means you have not even made a two second attempt at answering the question either because your have no clue of what you are talking about or you just don't care about anything but to dismiss everything that you wish to. This type of approach cannot be even called a researchers bias because at least in that case the person has made an attempt and done a full study while you have not even begun. Thats why you cannot respond to anything specifically.

    It says a lot, and it says its a useless discourse. Have a great day.
     
  14. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    At the least, the gospels act as fan fiction. So we can learn a lot about places, people and culture of the time from the gospels. Regarding the specific narrative, it is a very tricky thing.
     
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  15. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    BTW, why did the voice had to announce that. The father and son are the same. Father, son and the Holy Spirit, it is all the same. Was Jesus without the spirit before the dove descended? God announced that in Galilee, people elsewhere did not hear it. Why did not he make it a general announcement for all humanity to hear. And the spirit immediate drove Jesus to the wilderness as if he was a cow or a goat? Why would a God need to go to the wilderness? Sages go there for contemplation. God too requires contemplation? If it really happened that way, kindly tell me why did it happen that way?
    Scriptures have their utility. For example, if any one reads Kitab-i-Iqan, one can straight way say that science was not taught in that region and in that age.
     
    #15 Aupmanyav, Jun 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  16. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    This is called Adoptionist Christology. That would answer your question specifically.

    But what is strange is, why would you bring kithab I iqan into this discussion which is completely irrelevant! Are you targeting something? Please do explain for clarity.
     
  17. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    There are rich traditions of Biblical criticism whose roots go back to the Enlightenment period. They have opened the door to new ways of thinking about and analysis of the Bible. Although I’ve been exploring the Bible on/off for the last 25 years its really about having a better understanding of the Life and Teachings of Jesus. That is the primary focus and its always useful to have discussions with those who share that interest. The sharing of knowledge and insights is invaluable. I do not claim to have any qualifications or expertise in this area.

    An example of practical application of Biblical criticism is considering the questions of key events in the Life of Jesus such as His Birth, Baptism, Ministry, Crucifixion and Resurrection. The Gospel accounts have special emphasis on all five of these aspects of Christ’s life but we really need some of the learnings from the last two centuries of biblical criticism to have a more informed narrative than biblical literalism.

    I hope that makes sense.
     
  18. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    This thread is not about the Baha’i Faith or its Writings.

    The Gospel narrative is certainly challenging. In my experience as a Christian, agnostic, atheist and Baha’i is the necessity of finding a meaningful narrative that resonates. Do you feel you have that covered?
     
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  19. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Brother. With all due respect, it doesn't make sense because I asked you a very specific question on what you have to say about a specific issue I raised based on your own post. Unless of course you have another specific interest and everything else is irrelevant, the case you should cite specifically if so.

    I appreciate your comment and of course I agree with this comment I am replying to right now. Anyone interested in the subject must explore, but its just a general comment which is irrelevant to the comment you are responding to of mine. If that is the case one cannot have a discourse. Unless otherwise as I stated you have a different interest that you have not stipulated in the OP.
     
  20. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    They are not historical documents. They are not intended to depict historical events. They are intended to convey theological ideology. As such, their relation to actual events is not of significant importance.
     
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