Are the Gospels Reliable?

Not on this issue. There is considerable disagreement over the possible solutions to the synoptic problem. But no serious scholarship that considers all of the Gospels to be reliable and primary sources.

There is, of course, a fair amount of supposed Biblical scholarship that is decidedly not serious.


I would be a bit more specific here because:

  1. Luke is the only Gospel that actually claims authorship, and Luke specifically says he was not an eyewitness, but was writing what was handed down from eye witnesses. I don’t think Christians, generally, specifically claim that Matthew had to have penned the Gospel of Matthew, for instance, only that it was his account.
  2. You may need to cite specific experts here, because it seems like you are claiming that the Gospels couldn’t be the accounts of eye witnesses. My understanding of the field (and I am not an expert at all, hence I would be grateful for citations or specifics) is just that there are questions as to specific authorship, but that it was widely recognized that the trend was towards earlier authorship (at least within a couple generations of the actual events) not away from it.


Anonymous stories written decades after the supposed events are never sufficient to demonstrate that physically impossible things actually happened. We are just applying the same criteria to your claims that you do to every other similar claim that does not involve your personal faith.


I would say that it is not the central issue and doesn’t matter. It is an unnecessary argument, about which being correct has no bearing. JMHO.

So not even remotely primary accounts. As I said.

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So what’s your point? Frankly, I’m going to go with the word of somebody who’s grandpa saw a resurrected Jesus over the expert two thousand years later trying to pick apart every little inconsistency and misses the forest for the trees. I get that others won’t, but I think it’s a far cry from totally unreliable.


There is no good reason we have even that much. Most likely, we just have accounts of stories told by the early Christians about the founder of their faith that eventually got written down.

In any event, even if your claim was true, I would give that exactly as much weight as I would someone who told me their grandfather saw Bigfoot. Ask yourself if you would do the same.

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Do you really believe that? Did Grandpa seeing Bigfoot result in a worldwide faith in just a few generations? Did Grandpa seeing Bigfoot change lives?


How is that relevant?

There are literally thousands of worldwide faiths that have changed lives. They can’t all be true.


Oh, it’s way worse than Bigfoot. Christians claim:

  • Jesus is both God and human
  • Jesus is one person of a triune God that is three-in-one
  • Jesus performed extensive miracles including healing blindness and raising people from the dead
  • Jesus was killed, and then raised from the dead three days later
  • Jesus is still alive today

I don’t think I believe in Jesus just because of the Bible. I think I believe the Bible because it’s the account of Jesus and the people of God, that is accepted by the Church as authoritative.


OK. That does not resemble any form of logical thinking with which I am familiar, but OK.

:stuck_out_tongue: Love it.


@Faizal_Ali this is atheist pseudo history. Have learned much about how Historians actually study this question?

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The NT is considered by consensus to be a record of the beliefs of the early Christians, and nothing more. Just as we could use current documentary evidence to determine what the Scientologists believe. That’s it.

There is massive misinformation on this subject from apologists and proselytizers who claim to be scholars.

Historians do not even consider magical supernatural events. They know they do not have the authority to supersede science. The competent ones do, anyway.

Please cite me a standard university level textbook that states that the resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact.


Again looking for ‘proof’. This may have been discussed before. 487 times ±.

What’s wrong with my request? Are standard university history textbooks not a good source to determine the consensus opinion of historians on a particular question?

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What’s wrong with your request is that it is tantamount to demanding proof. Ain’t gonna happen.

Our courts would probably characterize that as hearsay.


No, they wouldn’t even take it as that. Hearsay would be “I heard someone say that…”

What the Gospels are, are stories that are written down, and we have no idea how much of them was even intended to be taken as accurate records of history, as opposed to hagiography, inspirational tales, or Passion plays.

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I’m not asking for “proof”. Just the standard sort of evidence that is used to verify historical claims.

But you’re right. Ain’t gonna happen. 'Cuz it didn’t happen.

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