Gospel Essay

925 words - 4 pages

History of the World’s religion begins tackling the sources that make up the life of Jesus by stating that the New Testament has been more thoroughly searched and questioned by countless people then any other book throughout all of history (398). Though this is the case, academically speaking, the only verdict that truly counts after these extensive examinations, are those made by historian and scholars. On account of this, the next statement made by the authors bares great implication. The authors affirm that the overall verdict reached by historians is that what little the authors of the New Testament did record was both “colored by the preconception of the early Christians and amplified” (398). Overall, it is clear that authentic historical evidence for Jesus and his life is scarce, geographically uncertain, assembled in a confused manner and made up of modified manuscripts. If this is correct then the New Testament is in fact an unreliable historical record based on bias interpretation that has little place for calling itself the most authentic and accurate documentation of the ancient world. In summing up their overview of the lack of historical records for the life of Jesus the authors do modestly add that this view is tentative, and as with all scholar findings it should be “open to change if . . . particular saying or event calls for revision of previous opinions.” With this open minded outlook we shall examine the claims made by the author’s about the Gospels in more detail and see whether their above view might call for a revision, or if in fact, this view is the general consensus of historians and scholars.

When historians are assessing the reliability of a biography they begin by asking if there are multiple sources or manuscripts, if these sources report the same details, and if the sources date near to the person or event in question. Additionally, these sources should corroborate on major points while still being somewhat independent from one another. Lastly, the sources must prove to be authentic and historically accurate. Therefore, the biography of Jesus will be examined against these criteria’s. But before beginning a brief overview of what this entails will be helpful. The biography of Jesus is made up of four books called Gospels. Two of the books were written by men who knew Jesus on a personal level and traveled with him for over three years (Matthew and John); the other two books were written by close associates of Jesus' apostles. The book of Acts that follows these four biographies provides a narrative account of the apostle’s ministry after the death and resurrection of Jesus, in other words, the history of the Apostolic Age. Though this book is not one of the Gospels it is an essential...

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