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Austin Cline

Did Jesus' Disciples Write the Gospels? (Book Notes: Apocalyptic Prophet)

By April 19, 2006

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Who wrote the gospels of the New Testament? It's common for believers to act as though they were written by the disciples whose names appear at the top. To call such a state of affairs 'implausible' would be an understatement, however. The gospels were not written by illiterate fishermen from Galilee, nor were they written to be objective, historical accounts of events that really happened. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet

In Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet, Bart D. Ehrman explains:

[A]ll four Gospels are written in Greek, by authors who were reasonably well educated and literate. In comparison with most other persons in the Roman world, all four authors, in fact, evince a high level of education. Something like 90% percent of the general population was completely illiterate — that is, unable to read and write at all.

To be sure, the Gospels are not among the literary masterpieces of antiquity. Their style, for example, is fairly rough overall (Mark is probably the worst, Luke the best). But it’s not easy to write a book, even for well-educated people today, in our highly literate and markedly literary world...

For someone to pull it off in antiquity required a good deal more than the average amount of literary training. And training of that kind required leisure time and money, since the vast majority of people had to work very long days. [...] In the end, it seems unlikely that the uneducated, lower-class, illiterate disciples of Jesus played the decisive role in the literary compositions that have come down through history under their names.

We can add to this the fact that any disciples would have been quite elderly by the time the gospels were actually written, assuming that they even lived that long — not statistically likely, though not entirely impossible, either. The gospels were written a long, long time after the events they describe were supposed to have happened by people who weren’t there and who only heard the stories second-hand, third-hand, or worse.

The reliability of this material is poor at best, yet so many Christians treat the texts as if what’s written in them should be accepted without hesitation. I’ve actually had a woman write to me saying basically “if it’s written in the text, then of course we should simply accept it as true.” This woman claimed to teach logic, but I shudder at what sorts of things a person like this would teach — not that I can take her claim about herself very seriously. Such an attitude is, I hope, pretty unusual among people who really do teach logic; such an attitude is not unusual among average Christians in America.

This, I think, helps point to just how unfortunate it is that Americans don’t learn about logic, philosophy, skepticism, and critical thinking. Such training doesn’t necessarily prevent one from being a Christian, but it will tend to inoculate one against adopting attitudes like “the Bible is the most reliable book in all of history” and “if it’s in the Bible, we should just automatically accept it is historically true.”

 

Quick Poll: Who wrote the gospels?

  1. Jesus' apostles, who were eyewitnesses to what they describe.
  2. Friends or disciples of Jesus' apostles, who wrote stories they heard told many times.
  3. Christians who collected oral traditions but who had no direct connections to the events described.
  4. I don't know.
  5. I don't care.
Click an option to vote, or View Current Poll Results

 

Read More Book Notes from the Book Reviews on this site.

Comments
April 19, 2006 at 1:30 pm
(1) Kafir says:

It seems from my experience that it isn’t actively taught in the church WHO wrote the gospels or that there is doubt about the disciples themselves writing it. I can’t ever remember the origins of the gospels or any other scriptures ever being discussed–only their moral content is discussed. I suppose it’s an intellectually dishonest approach that serves to leave it up to believers to assume their origins as being from the horse’s mouth, thus adding some sort of validity to them.

March 6, 2008 at 11:37 am
(2) anna says:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
There would be no point in believing bits and pieces of the Bible. You either believe it all or don’t even bother to. That’s why the Bible is so powerful… God breathed the words into the writers. I don’t want to count on man to write the Bible, man makes mistakes. I believe in it because God wrote it. :^)

August 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm
(3) CraigD says:

The “scripture” that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is referring to is the Tanakh (“Old Testament”), since the Gospels, Epistles, etc. of the New Testament weren’t even compiled yet to become the New Testament. It is a grievous case of circular reasoning and a lack of critical thinking to presuppose that this cited passage ‘proves’ as “God-breathed” not only the “new” books that were added on decades later, but the very book (2 Timothy) that contains the cited scripture! Oh, the humanity! Practical reasoning, logic, and rational inquiry mean nothing to those who are dead set on practicing petitio principii (“begging the question”).

August 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm
(4) John Thomson says:

There’s a word for people like you – gullible.

August 28, 2011 at 9:22 am
(5) Ozarklaker says:

Read Misquoting Jesus and several others and you will see Jesus has been misunderstood and ignored by Christians. He said the “The kingdom of God is at hand.” Not convenient for folks two hunderd years later so they changed the message. Gleen the best of the Bible but do you think that the House of David was so prestigious that you should overlook the fact that he crucified his grandchildren? When I say fact consult your old testament.

September 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm
(6) Tom says:

How can Timothy say ALL scripture is God breathed when the “scriptues” as we know them today weren’t put together in book form, the Bible, until many years later? As for me, it is easier for me to believe that a somewhat ordered universe “just happened” rather than a “perfect” being, God, “just happened” and created a somewhat ordered universe.

October 21, 2008 at 11:59 am
(7) DAVID says:

Really a good discussion here. The Methodist Church I attended Teaches that the Gospels were were written long after Jesus died and rose (as we believe). Mark was first at maybe 70 AD. Matthew 90 AD, John after that. After my born again experience at 22, the scripture came alive. His ministry lasted 3 years, many things went untold. To take all scripture literally, misses. Old testament paraphrase, happiness is bashing the head of the Ammonite Children. I don’t think God inspired that scripture. Good luck in your search. I could never build a bridge to understanding. Only by leaping to the other side did I understand. And that old thinking, that old conscious self, died that night, I asked him, to ‘take me’. He is my King. King of Kings. A good shepherd. Best place to start is first corinthians, chapter 13. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not boastful or proud. Love endures all things. Kind of sounds like John Lennon.

August 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm
(8) Seriadh says:

In other words, you gave up on logic and reality, and embraced fantasy.

I like a good f/sf book now and then, but your Bible fails atrociously in that regard.

October 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm
(9) Jeremy says:

DAVID said, “Kind of sounds like John Lennon.”

Possibly. At least until that part about “and no religion, too.”

October 24, 2008 at 3:43 pm
(10) Paul Buchman says:

>His ministry lasted 3 years

Only in John. The synoptics have it at 1 year.

October 25, 2008 at 10:18 am
(11) GeckoRoamin says:

David – If you don’t think your god inspired the Old Testement, what makes you think he inspired the New? And why do you need the 2000 year old teachings of a itinerate rabbi to tell you that “all you need is love?” Why not just follow the teachings of John Lennon. He’s dead and has a huge following, too.

October 27, 2008 at 11:14 am
(12) Mustbcrackers says:

Anna, saying you believe every word in the Bible is ‘god-breathed’ (whatever that means) just makes you sound daft. After all, it is rife with contradictions, events that lack all credibility (e.g. the flood) and downright ungodlike nastiness. At best, bits of it inspire people to behave nicely to others but there are plenty of other writings from other wise people, from many religions and none, that do just that anyway. Best to choose a way of life that you think is generally good for humanity and forget the nonsense that religion promotes as the ‘word of God’.

December 11, 2008 at 9:32 am
(13) Cindy says:

The Bible is BS, and is written by man who heard stories of the account. have you played telephone? i did this experiment with two groups of children ages 5 to 13(2 groups of 14 kids + me). i would say “Jesus Loves You” and each person whispers into the others ear, by the time i got the message it was diffrent “I Like silly Apples”. that is the same with telling stories or events, it gets distorted after several times of being told. that is what happens when the Scolars hear about the events that occured about 40 or so years after Chrit was crucified.
no-one knows what the true events are., unless you have a time machine to see for yourself.
so, the bible is nothing but stories and fables. there is no such thing as demons possesing a person. back then they don’t know what epilepsy was, and things get exagerated to make it interesting.
i never believed in the bible since i was a wee tot. i always had trouble believing in something man created, that is what man wanted is to put fear in people and hope. now i know why more and more people are atheists, because the so called bible paints a picture that God is vengeful and angry, so, no matter what you do he will make sure your going to hell.

I am not agnostic nor atheist nor belong to any institution (insaine asylum, you have to be crazy to believe in a book as the “word”) . i have a basic belief in God and in the trinity.
my philosophy is “treat others as how you want to be treated”.
don’t get angry or hate me just because i see things diffrent. be questionable and dissect the contents and study with eyes wide open not with blinders on.
also, people who says ‘God told me to kill’ is schizophrenic., a mental disorder that is characterized by hearing voices and hallucination, also tumors in the frontal lobe can cause this., even in the so called bible when people said, ‘god told me to kill’. yeah.., they had a mental problem which at that time didn’t understand what it was. back then there were no medicine to ward off diseases, brain viruses and tumors.

December 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm
(14) Jules says:

Hi Guys,

Having watched a number of documentaries over the years, narated by scholars educated in Religious Antiquities, Archeology, and the like, I am given to believe the Life of Jesus as described in the Bible is wide open to question.

For example, I now know there were at least 40 gospels written after Jesus’s death. So why only 4 in the Bible?

Have you read the Gospel according to St Thomas? No mention in there about a ‘resurrection’! Probably why he was left out of the Editor’s compilation of the Bible. First thing a Born Again Christian said to me when I mentioned the Gospel according to St Thomas was, as expected, Thomas was called ‘doubting’ for a reason. I said surely if Thomas had seen Jesus resurrected he would definately have not doubted!

I have also learnt that the Gospel according to St Matthew was written in Greek by an educated Jewish Christian scholar a hundred years after Matthew died and later ascribed to him.

What do you make of this! The Gospel according to St Matthew is the only gospel which mentions the Magi. Strange that, you would have thought Mark, Luke and John would also have known baby Jesus was visited by Three Wise Men and written about it, given its supposed importance.

One of these three ‘kings’ is supposed to be a black man. Funny that, as a black king is not depicted in Christian text until a thousand years after Christ’s demise.

Remember the story of King Herod slaying all the children at the time of Jesus’s birth? That too is only mentioned in the Gospel according to St Mathew and not recorded anywhere else in the archeological remains of Judea.

By now, any normal person with an enquiring mind should must be wondering if someone has pulled the wool over their eyes. After all, aren’t we all supposed to be sheep? Ha!

Seems to me, the more I learn the real truth about Jesus the more I’m inclined to disbelieve Christianity.

Years ago, I saw a documentary which showed a shrine in a cathedral which was alledged to contain the foreskin of Christ. The narator then went on to show the viewer another 12 cathedrals making the same claim! I’m tempted to make a remark here about Christ’s virility. Point is, either the Church is lying or Jesus really was a man’s Man amongst men.

My final fact (nail in the coffin?) Proof has emerged that Jesus not the product of a miraculous virgin birth but was actually the son of a Roman soldier. That’s right! Mary’s pregnancy was simply the outcome of her being raped. At least three times in history reference was made about Jesus son of X. Sorry, I can’t remember the soldier’s name, but I suspect like you, I’m not hot on pronouncing, remembering nor spelling ancient Roman’s names! Suffice to say, the evidence now exists that Jesus was simply the product of a Roman rape, common apparantly in those days of occupation.

All the FACTS above can be verified via Internet or Media sources, after all that’s where I learnt the True Story of Christ and that’s Gospel!

Jules
UK

July 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm
(15) Anthony says:

LOL

“All the FACTS above can be verified via Internet or Media sources”

You can also find proof of aliens on the internet too among many other things. your argument was just thrown out by citing “the internet” as your only source.

August 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm
(16) Dave Y. says:

@ Anthony, Jules said they where able to be VERIFIED on the internet, not that all his info came from it.
And you should get used to te concept that the church ahs kept the truth fromthe people, because they have, the whole purpose of one religion for the Romans was to control their slaves, nothing more, nothing less!

April 13, 2009 at 11:17 am
(17) Terri says:

Wow Jules. That’s pretty sad. You are quick to believe all these stories that dispute the Bible and about a Roman soldier raping Mary (WOW!) but totally unwilling to accept words that can only make you a better person for believing. Like I tell my father-in-law who argues against the validity of parts of the Bible, what do you gain in trying to disprove it. Accepting and following the teachings of Christ only makes you a better human being, and if it ends up that I am wrong in the end, how worse off was I to live a life inspired by Christianity?

August 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(18) dave Y. says:

wow Terri you left out the Baaas’, how else can we tell if your really one of the sheeple trolls with out a Baah?

August 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm
(19) Seriadh says:

Your “Christ” said we are to still uphold the Old Testament law. If we were to do so, there are many children who have to be killed for going against their parents, and of course we all have to die for working on the Sabbath as it’s not only not on a Sunday, but we’ve all exerted ourselves more than would be allowed even if it were…

Never mind that slavery, rape, murder, spouse abuse (wives only, Terri. That means you) and a host of other atrocities are given a gleeful go ahead even by “Jesus” and his apostles…

How does immediately being killed for defying O.T. law which your “Christ” says we should still be upholding make me a better human being again?

August 27, 2011 at 12:34 am
(20) Sally says:

Your ‘Christ’ (a title, not a name, but we’ll let that go for now) also invented the notion that whoesver did not ‘worship’ him – who the f**k did he think he was? – would burn in ‘hell’ for eternity.

What sort of a**hole must this creature have been to have come up with *that* threat?

Certainly not a being worthy of ‘worship’! I’ve scraped better things off the sole of my boot!

April 14, 2009 at 7:35 pm
(21) Victoria says:

Terri,

I am incenesed, as well as others are on this site when you say that I would be a better person if I had Christ in my life. I was a Christian for many years in my life. It was actually very depressing as I thought most Christians were very hypocritical. You are supposed to live a life like Christ and so many Christians seem to only live a life like Christ on Sundays.

Also, I have a huge moral conscience that keeps me on the straight and narrow. I don’t need God and the Bible to keep me on a moral and honest track. In fact, I am brutally honest. Honest to a fault as they say.

Concerning the things that Jules said. I have read some of those things in a book called ‘The Jesus Dynasty’ written by James Tabor. Very interesting read. I must point out that Tabor did NOT make those statements as facts, but as suppositions. It was very intersting.

August 29, 2011 at 9:00 am
(22) al says:

Victoria, it sounds like you have a well developed sense of self-goverened morality, or maybe it could be called self righteousnous.

August 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(23) Victoria says:

No, I am just very honest.

How does my being honest make me self-righteous?

May 24, 2009 at 11:20 pm
(24) Salesi says:

Hi all,
Seeing this as an athiest site i dont know if this will be put forward….but anyway, one of the Gospel writers was Luke (he was a doctor, a physician) I don’t know of many Doctors who cannot write, and in saying this read Luke and he lets you know that all the things he writes were investigated by him…again athiest site this comment may not be displayed

August 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm
(25) runty_cactus says:

Err, why would you think your comment would not be displayed? Most atheists aren’t so insecure in their beliefs that they have to resort to censorship to protect their little worldviews… I’m sorry that you have been used that kind of thing elsewhere.

June 4, 2009 at 9:58 am
(26) Josh says:

To Salesi:
You say that “all the things [Luke] writes were investigated by him” and he gives the most detailed account of Jesus’ birth, however, Jesus’ followers didn’t even meet him until he was 30. How could he have witnessed in such great detail a “virgin birth” that occurred 3 decades before they met?

July 24, 2009 at 3:46 pm
(27) Jack says:

For this author to say what he does without one ounce of facts shows the lenth liberals will go to, to lie about Christianity. Did you research the writings of Josephus and others from that time? What do you base your presumptions on? If God and Jesus can raise the dead, how hard is it for them to give the skills to document the life of Jesus. You say miracles never happened. I experienced a miraculous healing documented by the Albuquerque VA Hospital, the University of New Mexico Med School and the Kirtland Air Force Base medical staff that cannot be explained. I would flunk you from journalism and English class for such poorly researched and written tripe.

August 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm
(28) Seriadh says:

Josephus is discredited as a reliable source. That seems to be the best Christianity has though, as it seems to be the immediate “go to”.

That said, your Christianity fails your own “one ounce of facts” test. What then of your claims that your mythical figures can raise the dead? Other religions have claimed such as well. Does that mean you consider them valid as well and that you pray to Zeus, Odin, Set, et cetera as well?

December 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm
(29) Rohn Johnson says:

Jack, old buddy … Why does god hate amputees? He gets credit for all manner of miraculous healing, including your own experience. But never in history has a missing limb been miraculously restored. NEVER. Right? If I’m wrong, please provide some proof, and I will seriously re-examine my skepticism of organized religion. Since there’s no proof of restoration of a limb, one must conclude that god hates amputees, if one accepts the existence of god.

July 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm
(30) Austin Cline says:

For this author to say what he does without one ounce of facts shows the lenth liberals will go to, to lie about Christianity.  

Feel free to support your accusation.

Did you research the writings of Josephus and others from that time?  

Yes.

What do you base your presumptions on?  

Which presumptions in particular?

If God and Jesus can raise the dead, how hard is it for them to give the skills to document the life of Jesus.

So, your argument is that the gospels fail normal tests of authenticity because they are miracles?

 You say miracles never happened.  I experienced a miraculous healing documented by the Albuquerque VA Hospital, the University of New Mexico Med School and the Kirtland Air Force Base medical staff that cannot be explained.  

OK, provide proof.

I would flunk you from journalism and English class for such poorly researched and written tripe.

Feel free to support these accusations as well, if you can.

August 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm
(31) justin says:

religon has been around for hundreds of thousands of years from irational and uninteligent human beings.religon is nothing more than mans ansere to death.death freaks everyone out and no one knows what happens after you die.you do not know and i do not know.so and for all christans god is supposed to be omnipulent that means he can do anything so saying he is limited to one son only who came here 2 thousand years ago and there is no proof of his exsistence is horribly irational and if you search you can find the truth,so enjoy life,think about now that is what matters.

January 3, 2010 at 9:16 pm
(32) Ryan says:

Believing there is no god takes as much faith as believing Christ is God. It is offensive (which is probably the point) and ignorant to say christians are weak and stupid for believing in a creator. Does believing life has a purpose help people cope with difficulty, at times, yes, but a result of belief hardly disproves anything. Comfort and ease are found in a world view of “nothing matters” as well.
I’m not sure if Justin’s entry is genuine or if his bad grammar and ignorant statements are an attempt to make atheists look bad, either way it is dishonest and inaccurate to the point that I wont justify it by commenting any further.
The laws of science point to the fact that there must be a creator, i.e. matter can neither be created nor destroyed.
Our ability to have this debate is an example of a higher level of intellect in all the animal kingdom, which I believe would be impossible without a God who created us in his image. Evolution, if you prescribe to such a belief, is highly improbable (but not impossible), requires great faith, and does nothing to disprove God or the Christian bible (even Genesis).
To the point of this article, the authors of the gospels are irrelevant if they are “God-breathed”, it takes faith to believe God sanctified this book. Just like it takes faith to believe Alexander the Great ever existed, has anyone here ever met seen him? There are over 25,000 books of antiquity greatly supporting the books of the bible to be authentic. The “gnostic gospels” failed the test when scrutinized at the Council of Nicea, so they were not included. Furthermore, the gospels are all widely believed to have been written in the first century, while the gnostics are believed to have been written much later. (some up to AD 400)
I will answer the question of the article as well as I know:
Matthew-a tax collector date is debated, but may have been as far back as AD 38
Mark-a nephew of Barnabas wrote around AD 60
Luke-not just a physician, Paul’s physician wrote around AD 65
John-a disciple of Christ (the youngest 18 at the time) wrote around AD 90 near the end of his life.
This is who and when I believe the books were written, but my faith doesn’t hinge on this.
As to contradictions in the bible, there are many perceived, if you look for them you will find them, but don’t trust your own understandings, ask someone to explain it to you. You might just get an answer you can accept, that is what this about isn’t it… finding the truth? If we can have a civil discussion we might just eliminate all of our ignorance, christian as well as atheist.
Sorry this got so long.

August 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(33) Dave Y. says:

Well Ryan, I find it offensive when christians CLAIM it takes some knd of FAITH to not be suckered in to a religion whose only claim to validity is that “my mommy says its so”!
It takes NO faith to say ” are you kidding me?”!

Pretending that pretending is some thing more then pretending is NOT the activity of ADULTS that are RATIONAL!

March 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm
(34) Fletcherina says:

All religions have sacred texts and most sacred texts have disputed provenance. The NT Bible as we know it is a series of books originally written by someone in Greek, after the purported fact and then adapted over time through a series of translations which presented a worldview appropriate to the times. The Roman Catholic Church selected books that confirmed the worldview of the Pope at the time and the King James confirmed the worldview of the Protestants at the time. The idea that it is infallible follows the “affirming the consequent” law in logic. In other words, the Bible is infallible because the writer of the Bible claims what he wrote is infallible.

November 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(35) Michel says:

Yes it is true that the bible was compiled into a book form many many years later…in fact to be more precise it happened around year 397-98 under the emperor Constantine. The new testament was then voted on by certain priests as to what to keep, what to take away, and what to add. Anyone who wishes not to believe this is more than welcome to do their own individual research on the topic. One main agreed problem is especially the chapter entitled The Acts – NO ONE knows who wrote this and it is still disputed amongst scholars as the actual text is written in completely different style and most of it was literally signed or left as an anonymous author. Furthermore, not only were gospels FIRST recorded in Greek (most scholars say the first ones were approximately 20 years after Jesus) but they were later translated to hebrew then latin and THEN german, english, spanish and so on….At each level of translation bits and pieces of the texts were changed to modify the language and such. In short….the bible is literally a book written by men which has been changed both in language and textual meaning over and over again. HOWEVER, there is ONE true set of words which truly are the words of God, and this is known as the Quran.
The Quran was not compiled into books or writing to be preserved as the bible or other holy scriptures, the Quran was infact memorized. The preservation of the Quran was literally in the minds of the HUNDREDS of followers during the time of the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. The words from God were revealed to him during a span of 23 years and each bit was memorized by his followers all the time up until today. Today there exists only one Quran. Not only is EVERY single word EXACTLY the same but even the actual recitation (pronunciation) of these words are the same. If a chinese muslim meets a spanish muslim and they are to pray together, they can literally correct each other if the other makes a mistake, even if they cannot even greet one another in their languages. There is only one copy of the Quran in the entire world, and all translations are known to be only ATTEMPTS at translations, nobody has ever translated the Quran and made the claim that their translated version is as authentic as the true arabic one, comparatively to the bible, which seems to keep its authenticity no matter if its in greek, hebrew, latin or any other language. This is what makes the Quran truly authentic and the TRUE word of God, Allah.
Anybody who has read this and feels that i have said something wrong i simply ask you to do the research, find out for yourself. Ask the REAL questions, BE critical, USE your logic, find the truth because you will find Islam is a religion based on logic, reason, science, and most importantly, Truth. May Allah reward you for seeking knowledge and open your hearts and eyes as he has mine (a muslim convert).
And by the way…just to clear up a common misconception, Muslims DO believe in Jesus, peace be upon him, he is mentioned BY NAME in the Quran 25 times, and Mohammed is only mentioned 5. We believe in all prophets, both known and unknown, peace and blessing be upon them all.
Sincerely, Michel. Peace be upon the reader of this message

November 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm
(36) Austin Cline says:

Anybody who has read this and feels that i have said something wrong i simply ask you to do the research, find out for yourself.

I have done the research and what you say about the Qur’an is incorrect.

April 30, 2011 at 9:03 am
(37) Darren says:

Ok. Let us get logical here as I have heard attempts at in the atheistic unfounded beliefs of some comments here. I pray that you will research more of what you speak supposing the truth that is in your mind is actually true. If lets say that there is no God, then the following things have to be true concerning man’s logic: We are not really here having this discussion and you do not really exist, only in your own mind and perception through your senses that came from an accident. There is no reason to continue with a moral code in life or laws to guide us because it will not matter if we self destruct anyway. We are never really here in the first place and have no purpose. NOW if there is a God, and I know without a doubt that there is, then there is going to be a long time to think about it when your spirit that never dies goes to a place God has prepared for those who deny. Not because He chose to send you there but because you chose that for yourself in total unbelief and attack on the Spirit of God. You deny God but you are still scared of the boogey man. Hmmm.

May 11, 2011 at 4:08 am
(38) Zack says:

By all means, feel free to start being logical. Let’s see you construct a syllogism or two. I eagerly await a demonstration of your expertise regarding “man’s logic.”

August 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm
(39) Dave Y. says:

So as far as your concerned, if there is no God, then life is worthless, So please explain where the LOGIC is that your were talking about, or was this sad attempt at circular logic what you meant?
this form of mindless belief is what is the cause of all of our problems in the world?

August 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm
(40) Japa says:

Darren, is it the christian god, muslim god or hindu god you are referring to?

December 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm
(41) Rohn Johnson says:

Science is sooooooooooo hard! The bible is soooooooooooooo easy! Hey! … did you know that the word “science” is not even in the bible? Can’t find the word “logic” either. Or “brain.” So, who needs ‘em? Right? Let’s go with illogical instead. That makes everything fall into place!

July 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm
(42) Anthony says:

First of all I doubt any of the Disciples were illiterate. They were raised in Jewish homes where the first and foremost thing taught was how to read and write in Hebrew. And since everyone at that time mainly spoke Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew I’m sure that they had at least some knowledge of how to speak and write in all three. Even if when Jesus found them they could not read or write which is highly unlikely Jesus would have for sure being a master teacher and preparing them for ministry, taught them to read and write in the language that they were to witness in. So to say that the Gospels could not have been written by “illiterate fisherman” is definitely where you need to brush up on your history.

July 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm
(43) Austin Cline says:

First of all I doubt any of the Disciples were illiterate. They were raised in Jewish homes where the first and foremost thing taught was how to read and write in Hebrew.

OK, cite your evidence that this was the case in that area of the world at that time.

Jesus would have for sure being a master teacher

For sure? Really? OK, cite your evidence.

and preparing them for ministry,

Really? What sort of ministry would it have been if the world was going to end soon?

taught them to read and write in the language that they were to witness in.

You can’t witness orally?

So to say that the Gospels could not have been written by “illiterate fisherman” is definitely where you need to brush up on your history.

Yet you are unable to cite a single historical reference or source.

August 11, 2011 at 5:54 am
(44) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

Anthony:

You say

What history? There were several dozen accomplished historians in and near Palistine who lived during the first century, none of which wrote of a Jesus Christ nor a following of students. The Gospels tend to paint the deciples as not very bright. And besides, it seems from the Apostle Paul’s writings that he, the founder of Christianity, never read the Gospels. Perhaps they had not yet been written. Is that because, before Paul, there was nothing to write?

Your Jesus left no footprints for the historians. If you can find any (outside the Bible), please let us know.

Grandpa

August 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm
(45) Bob says:

According to what I have read about the period 2,000 years ago it was common to use professional scribes to read and write. It was not only in the jewish world but in the Roman world and presumably others. There might have been scribes among the Christians who looked after the written records. As they would have been anonymous their accounts could have been ascribed to the apostles to give them authenticity. This is not greatly different from modern ghost writers compiling a book for well known people who are not writers themselves. I can imagine ordinary people had little reason to write.

I can imagine that 30 to 50 years after Jesus the number of Christian followers was increasing with most having no direct contact with the time of Jesus. It then became essential to record Jesus and his time otherwise the oral tradition would have faded or become unrecognisable. The oral tradition was recorded from the memories of different groups resulting in different gospels. That explains the differences between the versions with rumor, wishful thinking and stories made up causing the now obvious confusions. Diehard Christians refused to admit any confusion declaring every word is absolutely true. As time goes on more and more Christians decline to take the bible absolutely literally claiming it is the spirit of the message which counts not it’s total accuracy.

August 28, 2011 at 9:51 am
(46) James says:

Anyone believing that the Bible is the inerrant, literal Word of God has been terribly deceived. As other commentors have described, the early Christian church Bishops decided which writings would be assembled into the book we now call the “Bible”. Other writings were left out. All of these writings were written by people who were relating the “oral tradition” many years after the fact. If you ever take an Ancient Literature class at university, you will learn how the oral tradition of story telling was used to pass a culture’s history along. Before you know it, an ancient king is said to have walked upon water, slain an entire army on his own, healed the sick and raised the dead. His power seems to grow with every telling of the story. Generations later, the old kings sound like Superman. Christianity can be broken down into pieces that show exactly which culture they were “borrowed” from. Mithras, for example. In other words, Christianity is nothing more than an amalgam of borrowed ideas from many ancient cultures. Anyone can write a book. Just because something has been printed onto paper does not make it true.
“Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origin” is one example of a Christian propaganda high-school text book. The book’s copywright is held by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, which is a Texas-based non-profit organization headed by Jon Buell, an ordained minister and former staffer of the Campus Crusade for Christ. The contents of this appaling tome of disinformation is being taught as FACT to American students. This is just one example of just how out of control this situation is.

January 24, 2012 at 9:26 am
(47) Matt says:

So I guess by your “logic” we shouldn’t accept anything you said as true either?

January 24, 2012 at 10:12 am
(48) Austin Cline says:

So I guess by your “logic” we shouldn’t accept anything you said as true either?

Uh… what? Context, please?

February 21, 2012 at 12:57 am
(49) Keith Browning says:

For some of the history of the compilation look at The Council of Trent and Martin Luther’s translation into German. As for the post above about Acts, I have seen theories about the author of The Acts being the same author of Luke. It was open as to whether it could have been Luke or someone writing his words or even forging, but the styles are similar. Mark is, it is assumed, the earliest of the synoptic gospels and Matthew and Luke were written later. Parts of them possibly lifted directly from Mark. Also, some of the discrepancies could be attempts to force elements into the stories to fulfull OT prophecies after the fact, as in Mark saying Jesus was born in Galilee but Luke saying that Joseph and Mary left Galilee and went to Bethlehem for Quirinius’ Census. Mikah’s prophecy (Micah 5:1) states that the messiah will be born in Bethlehem. Incidentally, Quirinius’ census was taken in the year 6/7 when Quirinius was appointed governor of Syria, during the reign of Emporer Augustus, ten years after the death of Herod the Great. Also, I’d think that someone genuinely rising from the dead and NOT scaring the crap out of everybody in the process would’ve created more buzz in the histories. As far as oral histories go, am I the only one who has heard the same stories told about events that are only five, ten, twenty years old and noticed them ‘enhanced’ and made bigger over the years?

April 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(50) mina gee says:

austin,

“I have done the research and what you say about the Qur’an is incorrect.”

can you elaborate on your answer please?

June 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm
(51) Marshall Krueger says:

It always amazes me that Agnostics and Atheists get so mad at people of faith for using what they see as “half truths” and yet more often than not, the the double A’s themselves use half truths as “logical proofs” against Christianity. Only two of the gospels were written by men who were Jesus’ original disciples. One was Matthew, who was in fact highly literate as he left his job as a tax collector (a Roman tax collector, requiring a high level of education in order to gain the position) and the other was John who was the longest lived of the original 12 thus getting in the way of the “too old or dead” theory you espouse. True John had originally been a fisherman but given that his life was largely supported by faith donations after his appointment as one of the heads of the new group of Messianic believers and that he probably had about 60 years to gain an education – at first perhaps through Mary who had overseen Jesus’ education nonetheless – it’s not unreasonable to assume that he did bother to become literate enough to write one of the most important books of his life. The other two Gospels were written by Luke – the reason he had the highest level of sophistication was because he was a doctor and historian – who says outright he did not witness the events he writes about but instead undertook a scholarly survey in order to attest to what he believed. Mark wrote the other gospel and he was also educated. Nice try as usual, atheists, but if you want to debate properly you need to do better research.

June 18, 2012 at 9:38 am
(52) Austin Cline says:

more often than not, the the double A’s themselves use half truths as “logical proofs” against Christianity.

OK, cite some.

Only two of the gospels were written by men who were Jesus’ original disciples.

And you have evidence of this?

Nice try as usual, atheists, but if you want to debate properly you need to do better research.

And we should just take your word for everything you claim? No thanks.

June 26, 2012 at 3:04 am
(53) J. Scary says:

What is the atheist explanation of origin? Big bang from a tiny point of energy? Where did that energy come from? If you take everything one step back, example; humans from monkeys from single cell from earth created from space debris from the big bang from point of energy from???? You keep going back and back and you are only left with a supreme God. What is the “logical” explanation?

June 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm
(54) John Caleo says:

Whether, the Bible is accurate or not the Spirit has been around since that time. I used to give non-believers the benefit of a doubt they were able to get to heaven on there own works. But 30 years later, they have only proven to me the Spirit exist and they are the most vile pieces of excrement there are, never seen such miserable people in my lives, the Bible may or may not be accurate with is really irrelevant, but non believers only proves the Spirit is alive. This is in no way to say religious people are much better. I have never worked with so many pieces of $hit in my entire life that there getting worse cause they no there time is short before there sentence to Hell. It had my epiphany in the early 80′s and the Spirit put upon my heart not to look past 2020. So far it appears to be right on. Looking forward to Armageddon so the evil will stop and we can get on into the new peaceful World. Religious people are not better than these non-believers. What makes you think the spirit you listen to isn’t from evil. We will soon find out. The Bible be accurate or not, but the Spirit is totally accurate if listen. The spirit which tells you differently is a fool, and always has been. You can play your little mental games in hell, when you see to the Devil and say I listened to this loser. I’ve never met non believer/religious person that wasn’t filled with hatred and tries to take advantage of every honest person they meet thinking that somehow makes them superior and better than everyone else. Judgment day is near.

Thank-God.

The Spirit

July 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm
(55) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

Hello there, J. Scary, loved your comment. Most religionists take many paragraphs to say nothing. You did it in less than 5 lines. Congratulations!

By the way, if you are not too busy, I’d like to know Who? is the atheist you speak of?

Grandpa

July 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm
(56) OZAtheist says:

Yes Grandpa, J Scary’s comment is inspirational stuff but John Caleo’s is even better. His prediction that the judgment day is near has me shaking in my socks. The observations about spirits are a little hard to follow however.

It would seem that John has managed to latch onto the right Spirit, (note capital that illustrates this), but there are some other spirits around that are not the real thing it seems. It would be helpful if John would give us instructions about how to find the right one. I guess you and I are examples of the pieces shit / excrement that he is on about – along with all the others that have been fooled by the phony spirits.

August 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm
(57) Dennis says:

It has always been accepted that if a literate scribe wrote down what he was told from another person, that person (St. Mark, Luke, John, Matthew) was still considered the author, even though they were iliterate and had an educated scribe write on the paper for them. Also, everyone taht accepts the Bible as the word of GOD, knows that the Bible books were INSPIRED by GOD to be accurate to whomever was actually writting the words on paper the first time. You have to accept that on Faith alone, no scienfific proof will ever support iliterate fisherman writing the books of the Bible. They inspired others to write the books through their guidance with the Holy Spirit having complete control of the pen.

August 25, 2013 at 7:12 pm
(58) just a helper says:

You people should read the Quran.

Most of your questions if not all are answered in there….
For a few:
. Who was jesus?
. What did jesus teach, claim?
. Is jesus God/Son of God?
. Is jesus God in 3?

All you need to know about jesus,

I believe some christians have misunderstood Jesus, because there is no proof in the bible itself were jesus himself claims to be any of what they claim for him. Most christians believe what the church teachs them rather than the bible, or jesus.

Read the Quran and see for yourself the pure truth!

October 31, 2013 at 12:35 am
(59) patti says:

I’m comfortable with understanding we have a
creator who set life in motion. what we do with it matters to me for some reason. I don’t need to explore that any further, but the teachings of Christ make pretty good sense don’t they! Gibran’s The Prophet is better reading though

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