The Hidden Historicity of the Gospels

If you’re following my Lenten Blobble Study–a Bible study on a blog–you might be interested to learn more about how and why we trust the gospel accounts to be genuine and trustworthy.

Read this long post from the archives, How Do We Know the Gospels are Historical?

Jimmy Akin does some of his usual sharp detective work here. He shows how the seeming inconsistencies in the gospels actually prove their veracity.

Critics of the Gospels therefore tend to focus on lesser matters—various differences among the Gospels on matters of detail.

The charges of contradictions among the Gospels tend to vanish, however, if one reads the texts carefully and if one understands the way ancient narrative texts worked and the freedom that authors had in how they presented their material.

They were, for example, free to paraphrase, they were free to place events in non-chronological order for literary effect, they were permitted to simplify and streamline events to just the main facts, and they were free to draw out different implications.

 

Rehearsed Witnesses?

Defenders of the Gospels sometimes point out that these kinds of differences are what we would expect of Gospels written by eyewitnesses or based on eyewitness testimony.

After all, in a courtroom you expect eyewitnesses to see things from different perspectives, to not all say exactly the same things, to paraphrase, and to alternately overlap and omit detail.

If the witnesses have too much harmony in their testimony—if they all say exactly the same things in exactly the same words, with no variation of detail—then it’s a sign that the witnesses have been rehearsed and their testimony becomes suspect.

Read the the whole article here.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker

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