2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
My Response to an Atheist’s Claims
Though the Gospels were written decades after the events they record, that hardly diminishes their historical accuracy. They were written during the lifetimes of those who either were a part of the events or were witnesses to the events. So had the Gospel writers attempted to foist a false narrative upon a supposed gullible public, they would have been contradicted by those alive at the time who knew better, and such errant Gospel accounts would not have been received at the time they were written.
The fact that there are differences between or among the Gospel accounts proves their authenticity, for they were not mere copies of a single possibly fabricated story.
Your assessment of the witness of Josephus is rather biased and one-sided.
As for the other pagan writers you name, they do witness to the fact that there were Christians in their day who held regular meetings and who worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ. That certainly is rather unbiased historical evidence to the fact that there were Christian believers at that time.
How do you account for the rise of Christianity without acknowledging the existence of Jesus Christ? How could a supposedly simple carpenter who had a very brief ministry of preaching and healing that lasted less than four years have made such an impact?
The Bible gives the best explanation about what events brought all this to pass.
Those who REALLY know their Bible know the truth.
My Response to an Atheist’s Answer
Thank you for sharing your view of the Bible. Thank you for sharing that your worldview is humanist. Thank you for reading and responding to my replies.
“.the fact the gospels were written long after the fact DOES negate authenticity.”
You will carefully note that I stated the Gospels were written during the lifetimes of those who witnessed the events they report. That serves as a definite check against the Gospel writers to make sure they did not report mistaken memories of what actually happened. Since the Gospels were written so close in time to the events they record there is no time for mythical fabrications of the events to have arisen. Internal evidence for the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) proves they were written before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. The Gospel of John was certainly written before the end of the first century.
Therefore, the evidence I refer to utterly negates your claim of a late date for the Gospels.
“Contradictions do not prove an event to be true, the opposite in fact…if they all recorded the same event it would have MORE creedence not less, this argument is farcicle.”
To the contrary, if the four Gospels reported what they do in exactly the same way and in the same words that would be evidence of collusion, not evidence, as the case stands now, that they are independent witnesses to the facts they record.
As for the presence of so-called contradictions, these often result from readers not reading carefully what is presented in these historical accounts. They sometimes arise by expecting writers of 2000 years ago to adhere to the standards we have developed in our own culture today.
A major source of supposed errors arise from modern readers not knowing how to read properly–some modern readers seem not to know how to distinguish differences from contradictions. It is a known fact that modern readers often fail to exercise the proper inference skills they should have learned in school or college. Forgive my rant, but by profession I was made a reading specialist so I have many years of experience in this field.
“Why am I biased on my assessment of Josephus?”
Your claims regarding Josephus do not agree with the latest scholarship I have read.
“The Jesus as christ figure is an amalgamation of pre existing pagan myths, making it easy to insert a rome centric deity, inserted by the romans under the rule of Verspasian and under the governship of Titus Flavious. Yes the same Flaviens who took in Josephus…”
Either you or your sources have not properly identified the kind of literature the New Testament is. The New Testament is not myth or fable. It is not derived from existing pagan myths. The New Testament contains primary source historical documents regarding the life, words, and actions of our Lord Jesus Christ and the resulting establishment of the Christian religion.
“Early christians followed the stories by faith, not fact, as is true today.”
That may be true of many Christians today, many of whom are not well-taught. But it is not at all true of the first Christians who were there at the time when these things took place. The testimony of Peter in his second letter refutes your claim:
2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.