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Eight Levels of Verification for the Gospels


This is a thumb nail summary I did to post on CARM showing the eight levels of verification I've researched for the Gospels and listing the sources I use to back each one up. For the content see my "Historical Validity of the Gospels 1-3."

what's the point? Atheists are too easily dismissing the concept of validity by just declaring that Bible has none and no book has any. they have no tetrameters for what validity means, totally ignore the fact that scholars have scientific rules for establishing validity and taking the Bible out of the picture as though it doesn't exist by just stipulating that it's a pile a crap and not bothering to deal with the huge amazingly immense body of scholarly work surrounding the Gospels. This little thumb-nail is not even scratching the surface. This is just to highlight how ridiculous the atheist position is to simply ignore this whole discipline that's hundreds of years old and well proved.


Eight levels of Verification for Gospels underrigd belief in Res.

This post first saw life as an answer to other arguments I was making on the "other" board. It refers to things I have already documented and the names of the scholars I use to document them.

The argument it backs is this:

(1) There's real strong evidence to suggest that the stories that became the synoptic and John were told in the original community under controlled conditions, where eye witnesses were plentiful and could help keep it all straight.

(2) These stores were first written must 18 years , not 40, not 60 after he events. Still a major source of eye witnesses lived in order to correct the statements should they be wrong.

(3) While this hypothesis can't be proved absolutely the evidence for it is strong enough to foster confidence in the hypothesis: the resurrection is historical validated.

(4) logicians accept placing confidence in a partially proved hypothesis. so when I say that the evidence is strong enough to place confidence that means it's logical to accept the belief, especially if one has modern confirmations.* 

*religious experience lending credence to belief.

Evdience:
the eight levels of verification

8 levels of Verification for Gospels

None of the atheist has answered these levels. A few have tried. Most have not even mentioned them. Most are just asserting they "can't be true" without even considering the facts.

those who have given it a good shot include GS and Elf, maybe a couple of others I can't recall my apologies if I can't.

those who have not even attempted yet asserting I haven't offered any evidence, even though they haven not attempted an answer include "Big thinker"Of course and Maybrick.

following is a summary of the sources I used. most of you were not willing even look at the links.

I list only 6 numberically the other 2 are a and b and c under Pauline.


1) The original pre Mark redaction

Sources of proof include Koester's book Ancient Christian Gospels, Jurgen denker,
John D. Crosson,
Ray Brown,
Hennecke-
Schneemelcher-
Wilson,
Philipp Vielhauer, Geschichte, 646
Peter kirby says its consensus in the field.



(2)the Pauline corups
....(a) what he got form people who were there
Quoting Paul himself: quotes James, the Jerusalem church's creedal formula and hymns.

....(b) his saying source.
Koester documents
synoptic saying source

........(c) the chruch tradition he learned in Jerusalem

(3) extra canonical Gospels such as Peter and Thomas
Koester documents
Hennecke-Schneemelcher-Wilson, NT Apocrypha 1.96

Charles Hendrick and Paul Mirecki

Ron Cameron, ed., The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press 1982), pp. 23-37.)

Peter KIrby's site "Gosepel of Thoams"
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas.html

Stephen J. Patterson, Gospel of Thomas and Jesus

Stevan L. Davies, The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated and Explained (Skylight Paths Pub 2002)


(4) Oral tradition
Papias (from Eusebius)
Robert C. Cully,Oral Tradition and Biblical Studies

(5)The Gospels themselves which reflect the community as a whole, a whole community full of people who were there.

(6) writers who write about their relationships with those who were there.
1 Clement (the source)
Richardson and Fairweather, et al. Early Christian Fathers, New York: MacMillian, 1970 p.45-46).
F.F. Bruce, NT documents
Irenaeus, Agaisnt heresies and missing fragment supplied by Calvin ....college

Eusebius Ecclesiastic histories
Papias, fragments (Peter Kirby, Early Christian Writings, site:http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/papias.html
Schoedel 1967: 91-92;
Kortner 1983: 89-94, 167-72, 225-26).
Documents of the Christian Church, edited by Henry Bettonson, Oxford University press 1963, 27).

Ante-Nicene Fathers vol 1
Calvin College

Iranaeus describes works of Papis

Seteven Carlson's site:http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/...ext/papias.htm


these face statements like "the Gospels have no backing" and telling me I haven't done anything to prove anything, this is not good enough see? It's' an untruth.

Here are three pages on religious A priori that apply the above outline and flesh it out with the actual  quotations.

Comments

Thank you very much for sharing post that will make me able to identify a best verification process for Gospels.
Gary said…
NT scholar, and icon of conservative Christian apologists, NT Wright, is on record saying, "I don't know who the Gospel writers were, nor does anyone else." The fact is that if one does a literature search one will quickly see that the scholarly consensus today is that eyewitnesses most likely did NOT write the Gospels or the Book of Acts. Is it possible that these five books contain eyewitness testimony? Sure. They might.

But the previous conservative Christian assertion that we can trust the Gospels as reliable sources because they were written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses is no longer a position held by most NT scholars. And without eyewitness testimony, the probability that the supernatural claims in the Gospels and Acts are historical facts become much, much less probable.

And what about the claim that eyewitnesses were still alive when the Gospels were written and circulated, and therefore able to serve as proofreaders of the truth claims in these texts? The truth is that Christians cannot provide good evidence that even ONE eyewitness to the crucifixion of Jesus was still alive when the first Gospel, Mark, was written in circa 70 AD.

The majority of scholars believe that Peter and Paul died in the mid to late 60's. Papias claim that he knew a "John" cannot be proven to be John the son of Zebedee. And the same for Polycarp. It is odd that both of these men mention books of Scripture by other men...but never a word from the Gospel of their alleged mentor...John.

For all we know, when the first Gospel was written (in Rome, Antioch, ?) all witnesses to the crucifixion of Jesus were dead or if still alive, living far away in Palestine, unable to proofread the text before they died of old age. It is therefore entirely possible that "Mark's" story of an Empty Tomb was his own invention or the most recent version of the oral Jesus story circulating in his city at the time. And note, there is no mention in the original Gospel of Mark of any post-death appearances by Jesus. The authors of Matthew, Luke, and John may well have added these stories to the Jesus story as well.

Gary said…
You can hear it straight from NT Wright's own mouth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FszDfiERnhk
Joe Hinman said…
But the previous conservative Christian assertion that we can trust the Gospels as reliable sources because they were written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses is no longer a position held by most NT scholars. And without eyewitness testimony, the probability that the supernatural claims in the Gospels and Acts are historical facts become much, much less probable.


I'm not a conservative



And what about the claim that eyewitnesses were still alive when the Gospels were written and circulated, and therefore able to serve as proofreaders of the truth claims in these texts? The truth is that Christians cannot provide good evidence that even ONE eyewitness to the crucifixion of Jesus was still alive when the first Gospel, Mark, was written in circa 70 AD.

yea we don't have to, First of all that is wrong, because there is good evidence that elder John lived into the 90s. But that not important. Due to the pre mark redaction we can know date the early writing of the Gospel at about AD 50. the probability suggests tons of eye witnesses were still alive, Moreover the oral tradition is valid and trust worthy. Several scholars have identified oral forms of speech within the written accounts. Check out my artichokes on this point:

Gospel behind the Gospels part 1

Gospel behind the Gospels part 2





The majority of scholars believe that Peter and Paul died in the mid to late 60's. Papias claim that he knew a "John" cannot be proven to be John the son of Zebedee. And the same for Polycarp. It is odd that both of these men mention books of Scripture by other men...but never a word from the Gospel of their alleged mentor...John.


he does not have to be John the son of Zebadee there is no doctrine making that a necessity. Bauckham in Jesus and the eye witnesses basically proves it was John the elder

For all we know, when the first Gospel was written (in Rome, Antioch, ?) all witnesses to the crucifixion of Jesus were dead or if still alive, living far away in Palestine, unable to proofread the text before they died of old age. It is therefore entirely possible that "Mark's" story of an Empty Tomb was his own invention or the most recent version of the oral Jesus story circulating in his city at the time. And note, there is no mention in the original Gospel of Mark of any post-death appearances by Jesus. The authors of Matthew, Luke, and John may well have added these stories to the Jesus story as well.


we know as a fact it could not have been the invention of one guy, See my article avbove on Gospel behind the Gospekls, also I have posted within the year on the issue did amark invent the empty tojb,.see this blog,

did Mark invent the empty tomb?
Joe Hinman said…
NT scholar, and icon of conservative Christian apologists, NT Wright, is on record saying, "I don't know who the Gospel writers were, nor does anyone else." The fact is that if one does a literature search one will quickly see that the scholarly consensus today is that eyewitnesses most likely did NOT write the Gospels or the Book of Acts. Is it possible that these five books contain eyewitness testimony? Sure. They might.

Modern Bible scholars no longer see the Gospels as products of just one author, it's the community that produces a Gospel, the community as a whole is the witness,\

community as author part 1

community as author part 2




Gary said…
Gospels written in the 50's? That is NOT the consensus position of the majority of NT scholars. The consensus is that the first Gospel, Mark, was written in circa 70 AD.

Yes, it is very probable that some persons who were alive in 30 AD were still alive in 70 AD. But that in no way ensures that any eyewitnesses to the alleged post-death appearances were still alive. It is certainly possible, but since you can't name even one of these witnesses who we can be reasonable certain, based on actual evidence, was still alive, the reliability of the Gospels comes under serious question.

What proof do you have that John the Elder was a witness to the post-death appearances of Jesus? If you say that he was a disciple of one of the apostles, please tell us what this disciple told John the Elder about the post-death appearance of Jesus. Maybe all this disciple told John the Elder is that he had seen a bright light...and just like Paul... thought it was the resurrected Jesus.
Joe Hinman said…
Gospels written in the 50's? That is NOT the consensus position of the majority of NT scholars. The consensus is that the first Gospel, Mark, was written in circa 70 AD.

yes it is you are thinking f the writing of the four canonical Gospels. I'm talking about the pre Mar passion narrative

Yes, it is very probable that some persons who were alive in 30 AD were still alive in 70 AD. But that in no way ensures that any eyewitnesses to the alleged post-death appearances were still alive. It is certainly possible, but since you can't name even one of these witnesses who we can be reasonable certain, based on actual evidence, was still alive, the reliability of the Gospels comes under serious question.


read the link I've given you above,k this is new stuff you are out of date


What proof do you have that John the Elder was a witness to the post-death appearances of Jesus? If you say that he was a disciple of one of the apostles, please tell us what this disciple told John the Elder about the post-death appearance of Jesus. Maybe all this disciple told John the Elder is that he had seen a bright light...and just like Paul... thought it was the resurrected Jesus.


Papias and Polycarp studied with him they knew new they say so. see the book Jesus ahd the eye witnesses, try to liste3n i already said this
Shawn Jasper said…
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