Sunday, 22 March 2015

Quotes of the Day: On the ahistorical Jesus

"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."

- Dr Merrill C. Tenney, a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible

"Christian apologists claim as evidence for Jesus that there were at least 40 authors who mention Jesus within 150 years of his life: 9 traditional authors of the New Testament; ... 20 early Christian writers outside the New Testament; ...4 heretical writings; ... 9 secular sources ....

"It's not always just what devotees say that is wrong it can often be what they don't say. For example, not a single one of the '42 authors' ever met Jesus while he was alive. The four canonical Gospel writers were all anonymous until the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were added as authors late in the 2nd century. There is no contemporary eyewitness testimony for Jesus at all whatsoever. Nobody ever wrote about Jesus during his lifetime and the canonical gospels didn't exist as we have them today until around 180CE - that is what the literary and historical records show, i.e. evidence that actually exists."

- From Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ, by D.M. Murdock


  1. You would think the bible would cover what he was doing with his time during his teens and 20's, what, was he being a carpenter that whole time??? I'm of the opinion the catholic church knows - they have some of the most extensive archives in the world. It makes me wonder

  2. There is no contemporary eyewitness testimony for Jesus at all whatsoever. Nobody ever wrote about Jesus during his lifetime and the canonical gospels didn't exist as we have them today until around 180CE - that is what the literary and historical records show, i.e. evidence that actually exists.

    This is a nonsense statement. While it is true that Ireneus wrote a list of books that he considered to be scripture in AD180, it is quite obvious from his letter that he was merely noting down something that had long been accepted by Christians. Similarly, the authors of the gospels had long been noted in other early church fathers letters. Even the latest plausible dates for the synoptic gospels place their writing well within living memory of those who had actually met Jesus personally. So even if the writers were not eye witnesses, they were writing to an audience containing eye witnesses.

  3. John and Peter wrote the 4th Gospel and books of the NT, respectively and they were eyewitnesses to jesus' life.

    And the Gospels were completed 65-105AD, and their authorship known, at the same time. Even PBS admits that:

    It always amuses me that so many people try and deny the physical existence and life accounts of Jesus and yet are quite happy to accept Confucius or Plato, which are equally containing of such uncertainty.

  4. Whether Mr Christ existed or not; the important thing is that it's still bollocks...Suzuki

  5. The four gospels in the bible exist because the early church debated the merits of many"gospel" accounts and came to a view that these four were reliable in that they were eye witness accounts rather than someone seeking to fit Christ to his own world view. An example is that Mark's gospel is the effective dictate of Peter. Luke is regularly used by historians because, irrespective of religion, its felt to be accurate.

    Confucious and Plato are easy to accept because they don't require contemplation of being accountable to someone who is not persuaded by philosophical debate. That's why Christianity stands apart and attracts ridicule from those that hope its bollocks.


  6. @DrCP: Ah, no, the authorship of the four gospels is not known -- names are ascribed to them not because of authorship, but simply for convenience (well, let's be honest, for propaganda purposes).
    Lestways, that's what modern scholarship rather than chruch propapganda tells us.

    They do not even appear in their canonical form until the second-half of the second-century, often after many additions and elisions.

    Anonymous, 9:50: The reason those four gospels appear in the bible, and the reason only those four appear, is because when Christianity was first codified as a state religion the other gospels were declared heretical, and had to go, along with anyone espousing them.

    These four however were no more eyewitness accounts of anything than my own first-hand accounts of participating in the Gallipoli landings.

    "Mark"'s gospel, the earliest written and on which "Matthew" and "Luke" are almost certainly based, was not any kind of dictation, but a literary creation based on parables, myths, and passion stories already extant in a desert culture that was the geographical intersection of at least three great historical centres of mythology: Greco-Roman, Egyptian and Persian, leavened perhaps with the sayings of someone collected in a proto-gospel that's been called "Q." But this last, at least, is just speculation.

    @Suzuki: You are indeed correct!

  7. I think you have compiled these quotes from bible. Really good quotes. Thanks for sharing.


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