Did a historical Jesus exist? The power of faith has so forcefully driven the minds of most believers, and even apologetic scholars, that the question of reliable evidence gets obscured by tradition, religious subterfuge, and outrageous claims. The following gives a brief outlook about the claims of a historical Jesus and why the evidence the Christians present us cannot serve as justification for reliable evidence for a historical Jesus. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, I will use the information and dates to show that even if these sources did not come from interpolations, they could still not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources about Jesus derive from hearsay accounts. Hearsay means information derived from other people rather than on a witness’ own knowledge.
The date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels
Our study group is trying to decipher the sources for the Gospels and wanting to know the order in which the Gospels were composed, who the proposed audiences and major themes as well. Some argue, usually those who accept the salvation predictive element of Matthew, for earlier dating around AD. John’s gospel is written last at about 95 AD and believed to be one of his last writings.
Depedning what view one holds, of whether Luke and Matthew drew on Mark’s gospel as a source, Mark will either be dated prior to the two or after. There is supporting evidence for both views. It is controversial, and is explained more fully with each gospel below.
The “synoptic problem” is the question of the specific literary relationship among the three synoptic gospels—that is, the question as to the source or sources upon which each synoptic gospel depended when it was written.
Vinzent proposed that Marcion of Sinope was the founder of the Gospel genre known to us in the Synoptic literature and therefore the terminus post quem of the Synoptics should be pushed as late as the time of Marcion around CE. This blog post is not a detailed review nor a response but a survey of the ideas that came to my mind while going through it. Vinzent and the Synoptic Problem The book is intensely engaged with scholarly literature and offers a breath of fresh air for some of the topics it is dealing with.
It comes in four chapters; the first and the fourth which is pretty short are for Marcion and his Gospel while the second and the third are for discussing the synoptic problem and the dating or re-dating of the NT Gospels. Of course the reader of these words can now imagine what an overwhelmingly huge task it is to prove his point. To do that in pages Vinzent had to make two major statements that nearly annihilated all the possible barriers on the way to his theory. He had to dismiss: In his new book, Vinzent returned with his arguments and questions as early as F C Baur and his contemporaries cf.
Independent Researcher Introduction The task of bringing out the similarities and differences of the Gospel of John in relation to the synoptic Gospels is a very complex task. Many scholars have undertaken this task and expounded the reasons behind the similarities and differences between the fourth Gospels and synoptic Gospels. Has John depended on the Synoptic Gospels or on any other sources in composing his Gospel?
The first three Gospels are referred to as the “Synoptic Gospels.” The word “ synoptic ” comes from the Greek word synoptikos, which means “able to be seen together.” These Gospels share similarities in how they tell the story of Jesus—often shared in the same order, and even with the same wording.
There is strong internal evidence that Luke had written and was distributing copies of his gospel prior to 56 a. In it Paul wrote that Titus, who had just returned from Corinth with comforting news to the apostle 2Co 7: That Paul by this statement was referring to Luke, who may well have been the brother of Titus, is probable for the following reasons: He then traveled with him to Philippi in Macedonia but did not continue on with him to Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth.
It was in Troas that Paul had so confidently expected to find Titus after leaving Ephesus on his 3rd missionary journey 2Co 2: This indicates a close association between Luke, Titus, Macedonia, and Troas. Thus the evidence Paul had planned to present to the Jewish nation of the veracity of the gospel he preached to the Gentiles was in danger of unraveling. Notice also in Acts Sopater representing the church in Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus representing the Thessalonians, Gaius and Timothy of Derbe representing the churches of Galatia, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia representing the churches around Ephesus where Paul had just ministered for three years.
Timothy was well known among the churches Paul had planted as his helper, but it is clear the brother referred to is distinct from Timothy, who is named in 2Co 1: Since Luke did not enumerate himself in this list but did in fact travel with Paul, it is almost certain that he did so as a representative of the Philippian church and is who Paul refers to in 2Co 8: The book of Acts ends abruptly with Paul under house arrest during his first Roman imprisonment Acts
When were the Synoptic Gospels written?
Scripture Verses 2 Timothy 3: The Gospel parallels provided here also include the Gospel of John for comparison. These first three books have been called the synoptic Gospels since the 18th century and are so called because they give similar accounts of the ministry of Jesus. The term is also applied to apocryphal works of the 2nd century e.
The fourth gospel the gospel according to john uniqueness of is the last gospel and, in many ways, different from the synoptic question in the synoptic gospels concerns the extent to which the divine reality broke into history in jesus coming, and the answers are given in terms of the closeness of the new age.
I handed on to you the facts which had been imparted to me: Then he appeared to over five hundred of our brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, and afterwards to all the apostles. Moreover, not one of the Gospel resurrection appearances is identical to those listed by Paul. Paul did not know the Gospel resurrection stories, for the simple reason that they had not yet been invented, and the four evangelists, who wrote twenty to fifty years after Paul, either did not know his list of appearances or chose to ignore it.
Indeed, he had probably never heard of it; it was a legend that grew up in Christian communities different from his own. It may even have post-dated his death, for Mark wrote almost twenty years after his letter to Corinth. Not only is St Paul apparently unaware of the resurrection narratives recorded in the Gospels, but his own list of appearances is irreconcilable with those of the evangelists written later.
Paul has it that the first appearance of the risen Lord was to Cephas he always calls Peter by his Aramaic name, and apparently knows no stories about him in Greek. The Gospels describe no initial resurrection appearance to Peter some women, the number varying from three to two to one, see him first , though Luke says that Peter did see him. Of course, the most famous of the stories appear in the Gospels. Already in the mid-first century A.
That is to say, Christians had scoured the Old Testament for passages that could, out of context, be interpreted as ancient oracles about the career of Jesus.
The siglum Q derives from the German word “Quelle,” which means “Source. Although the temptation story and the healing of the centurion’s son are usually ascribed to Q, the majority of the material consists of sayings. Some scholars have observed that the Gospel of Thomas and the Q material, as contrasted with the four canonical gospels, are similar in their emphasis on the sayings of Jesus instead of the passion of Jesus.
Such a common order demands a theory that Q at some stage existed in written form. Tuckett comments on the argument that variations between Matthew and Luke are due to variant translations of an Aramaic Q op.
A number of readers have asked about Thomas’s relation to the Synoptic Gospels and the famous Q source — that is, the lost source that both Matthew and Luke used for many of their sayings of Jesus not found in Mark (called Q from the German word Quelle, which means “source”).
Of what value are they in the account of the life of Jesus Christ? To learn how the four Gospel accounts combine to give rock-solid testimony to Jesus Christ as the Messiah, watch this short video presented by Dave Myers, Foundation Institute instructor. Students of the Bible are well aware that there are four Gospels. Interestingly, three of the accounts are similar in their presentation; and one, the Gospel of John, is quite different from the other three.
After all, four men wrote about Jesus , His teachings, His actions and His life on earth. It is important to know not only if they are accurate, but if they provide any help for human beings in the 21st century. What are the synoptic Gospels? Tenney wrote the following regarding the synoptic Gospels: Each writer affords us a special look into the life and teachings of Christ in a different way.
One may provide one detail, and another may provide a detail that adds to the account so that the Bible student is able to receive additional insights. These insights give a more complete picture of what Christ was teaching or give details of an event that help us have greater understanding of the heart and mind of Christ.
When Were the Gospels Written?
When were the Gospels written? Subscribe to our Question of the Week: It is important to understand that the dating of the Gospels and other New Testament books is at best an educated guess and at worst foolish speculation. For example, suggested dates for the writing of the Gospel of Matthew range from as early as A.
The Synoptic Gospels A careful comparison of the four Gospels reveals that Matthew, Mark and Luke are noticeably similar, while John is quite different. The first three Gospels agree extensively in language, in the material they include, and in the order in which events and sayings from the .
Many other solutions have been proposed over the years, but most are variations of one of these three basic theories. The Four-Source Theory the solution accepted by most scholars today: Two-Document Hypothesis, from B. From the mid th century until today, however, most scholars are convinced that Mark is the first and oldest Gospel at least in the final version, as we have it today , and that Matthew and Luke are later expansions of Mark. Mark’s Gospel contains several episodes that are obscure 4: If Matthew was first, it is harder to explain why Mark added these strange episodes; but if Mark was first, it is easy to understand why both Matthew and Luke omitted them.
If Matthew was first and Mark second, it is hard to understand why Luke would have kept the same order for all the material found in both Matthew and Mark, but substantially rearranged all the other material found in Matthew but not in Mark. If Mark was first, however, then it is easy to explain how Matthew and Luke inserted the extra material they have in common from the Q source? Note that scholars who believe Mark was historically first do not suggest that the order of the four Gospels in the New Testament should be changed; there is no reason why the traditional order Matthew, Mark, Luke, John cannot be retained in printed Bibles.
However, in textbooks and academic works, many scholars treat Mark first, followed by Matthew and Luke, with John usually still last. Although this document no longer exists, but was lost to history, it seems to have been mostly a collection of sayings, parables, and other teachings of Jesus, with very few narrative stories of Jesus’ actions; it most likely did not contain a Passion Narrative. For the proposed contents of the Q-source, see either the brief listing on my ” Synoptic Outlines ” webpage or the more extensive listing of the proposals of several other scholars, as compiled by Peter Kirby on his ” Early Christian Writings ” website.
When was the Gospel of John written?
The first three gospels are Matthew, Mark and Luke. No in-depth study is needed to notice these three documents share a lot of common information figure shows these relationships. That means that out of the verses in Matthew, about close to half contain information also found in Mark.
This information can then be used to date the Gospels and epistles comparatively; Mark must precede Matthew and Luke, and Jude must have been written before Peter. A second internal consideration is whether the text makes any reference to a historical event, person, or group.
Here are some common questions: Calculating ancient dates gets complicated for a number of reasons: Jesus celebrated a Passover dinner on Thursday night before his crucifixion, placing his crucifixion the next day, on Friday, Nisan To figure out the year of the crucifixion, we just have to look for years in which Nisan 15 was a Friday. In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus dies the day after Passover. But in John, it seems like he dies on the Passover.
Can these be reconciled? Passover lambs were sacrificed earlier that day, Thursday, Nisan Jesus died the next morning, Friday, Nisan There have been a number of proposals attempting to deal with these two different accounts. Others suggest that John and the Synoptic authors were using different calendars.
The Dirty Little Secret About Dating the Gospels
The reasons for the conclusion that the Gospel of John was written after the letters of Paul, the Synoptic gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke , and many of the later letters, is based on a variety of evidences that when considered collectively suggest a post AD composition. Perhaps the most basic assumption regarding the date of composition of the Gospel of John is its theology in comparison to the other three gospels. Specifically, the fourth gospel emphasizes the divinity of Jesus and his premortal role as deity John 1: Jesus also declares that he is God in the Gospel of John John 8:
The issue of the genre of the Gospels is covered by Craig only thing that could be added to Blomberg’s description is the acknowledgment that there is a difference between the synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John, being that John is focused more on Jesus himself, while the Synoptics are focus more on the historical documentation of the.
Jesus thanks his Father Return of the unclean spirit Discourse against the scribes and Pharisees Lament over Jerusalem Unlike triple-tradition material, double-tradition material is very differently arranged in the two gospels. Matthew’s lengthy Sermon on the Mount , for example, is paralleled by Luke’s shorter Sermon on the Plain , with the remainder of its content scattered throughout Luke. This is consistent with the general pattern of Matthew collecting sayings into large blocks, while Luke does the opposite and intersperses them with narrative.
These are termed the major and minor agreements the distinction is imprecise  . One example is in the passion narrative, where Mark has simply, “Prophesy! The simplest hypothesis is that Luke relied on Matthew’s work or vice versa. But many experts, on various grounds, maintain that neither Matthew nor Luke used the other’s work.
The Lost Sayings Gospel Q
Jesus thanks His Father Return of the unclean spirit Discourse against the scribes and Pharisees Lament over Jerusalem Unlike triple-tradition material, double-tradition material is very differently arranged in the two gospels. Matthew’s lengthy Sermon on the Mount , for example, is paralleled by Luke’s shorter Sermon on the Plain , with the remainder of its content scattered throughout Luke. This is consistent with the general pattern of Matthew collecting sayings into large blocks, while Luke does the opposite and intersperses them with narrative.
These are termed the major and minor agreements the distinction is imprecise  . One example is in the passion narrative, where Mark has simply, “Prophesy! The simplest hypothesis is that Luke relied on Matthew’s work or vice versa.
The relationship of John to the synoptic gospels has been a recurring problem, not only for two centuries of modern critical scholarship, but for Christian the- .
Conflicts between the Gospel of John and the remaining three Synoptic gospels Sponsored link. Almost all of the biblical information about the earthly ministry of Jesus is contained in the four gospels Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. The word “Gospel” is a translation into English of the Greek word “euangelion” which means “good news. Four of them Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were eventually accepted by the early orthodox Christian movement as inspired by God.
They were approved for inclusion in the official canon during the 4th century CE, and are found today in every Bible. All of the original copies of the four gospels in the Christian Scriptures have been lost. We must rely upon hand-written copies which are an unknown number of hand-copied replications removed from the originals. The oldest known surviving part of a gospel dates from about CE. It consists of about 50 lines from the Egerton gospel — one of the 40 or so gospels that never made it into the official canon, and whose author is unknown.
Another portion of an ancient manuscript, containing part of the Gospel of John, is also dated to about CE. The remaining manuscripts date to the second half of the second century CE or later. Differences between John and the Synoptic Gospels: