1. Standard memberMaustrauser
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    13 Apr '05 12:24
    Most Biblical scholars agree that the four canonical gospels were written between 70 and 100 AD.

    Matthew 70 - 100 AD
    Mark 68 - 73 AD
    Luke 80 -100 AD
    John 90 -110 AD

    And with both Matthew and Luke being more or less copies of Mark.

    My question to our RHP Biblical scholars is this. Why do fundamentalists accept testimony written between forty and sixty years after the event (eg Crucifixion) as the literal eye witness truth. No court of law would accept eye witness accounts written forty years after an event.

    If the answer is that these gospels were divinely inspired and therefore inerrant, why are they sometimes contradictory?
  2. Standard memberMaustrauser
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    13 Apr '05 12:36
    I was just talking about the canonical gospels - those that were chosen to be part of the Bible, as opposed to the other gospels which didn't fit with the early Church's desire for uniformity and conformity.
  3. London
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    13 Apr '05 13:36
    Originally posted by Maustrauser
    Most Biblical scholars agree that the four canonical gospels were written between 70 and 100 AD.

    Matthew 70 - 100 AD
    Mark 68 - 73 AD
    Luke 80 -100 AD
    John 90 -110 AD

    And with both Matthew and Luke being more or less copies of Mark.

    My question to our RHP Biblical scholars is this. Why do fundamentalists accept testimony written between forty ...[text shortened]... ese gospels were divinely inspired and therefore inerrant, why are they sometimes contradictory?
    Divinely inspired is not the same as inerrant.
  4. Standard memberorfeo
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    13 Apr '05 14:072 edits
    Originally posted by Maustrauser
    Most Biblical scholars agree that the four canonical gospels were written between 70 and 100 AD.

    Matthew 70 - 100 AD
    Mark 68 - 73 AD
    Luke 80 -100 AD
    John 90 -110 AD

    And with both Matthew and Luke being more or less copies of Ma ...[text shortened]... ired and therefore inerrant, why are they sometimes contradictory?
    The problem with this is "most Biblical scholars". Who are they, exactly?

    I'm not saying I have my own view or evidence on this. I'm just saying that there are sufficient doubts about some of these dates to not take them as a given.

    It certainly IS true that Luke and Matthew incorporated a lot of material from Mark. Matthew is the gospel I have the greatest difficulty with.

    Luke does NOT claim to be an eyewitness account, so a lateish date doesn't matter so much. However, the two sources of information I have (NIV study bible and Encyclopaeida Brittanica) still suggests it was written in 80s at the latest, not as late as 100AD. Where do you get your numbers from?

    Both Luke and John are traditionally supposed to have lived to quite an old age, which is also relevant. Even traditionalists tend to date John's gospel quite late in the century.

    Oh, and Mark doesn't claim to be an eyewitness either.
  5. Standard membergenius
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    13 Apr '05 14:10
    eye-witness refers to whether the person was there when the events happened, not to when the source was written. so as long as they were written by someone who was there, yes they are primary sources. if not they are meerly secondary sources, which you can't rule out either...
  6. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Apr '05 14:23
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Divinely inspired is not the same as inerrant.
    If this is true, then any part of the gospels could very well be wrong. If none of it can be wrong, then it is inerrant.

    ... --- ...
  7. London
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    13 Apr '05 14:39
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    If this is true, then any part of the gospels could very well be wrong. If none of it can be wrong, then it is inerrant.

    ... --- ...
    You're mixing up two concepts here.

    Inerrant: Literally/factually correct.
    Divinely Inspired: Morally correct. May be inerrant as well.

    Dante's Inferno is, IMO, an inspired piece of art - but it isn't literally true. It's an allegory.
  8. Standard memberColetti
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    13 Apr '05 16:241 edit
    Originally posted by Maustrauser
    If the answer is that these gospels were divinely inspired and therefore inerrant, why are they sometimes contradictory?
    I believe they are inerrant in the originals, and that the contents of the originals is fairly well established. Some details are uncertain - but for all intents and purposes - we know what the originals said.

    As far as I know - there are no contradictions that are important to Christian doctrine. Some apparent contradictions are easily resolved - others are minor details. No where are there contradictions that would lead to a restructuring of fundamental Christian doctrine.

    So, could you be more specific about the contradictions.

    Maybe you can state your source of information.
  9. Subscriberno1marauder
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    13 Apr '05 16:37
    Originally posted by Coletti
    I believe they are inerrant in the originals, and that the contents of the originals is fairly well established. Some details are uncertain - but for all intents and purposes - we know what the originals said.

    As far as I know - there are no contradictions that are important to Christian doctrine. Some apparent contradictions are easily resolved - oth ...[text shortened]... be more specific about the contradictions.

    Maybe you can state your source of information.
    There are two easily mentioned as contradictions: John has the Last Supper on a different day than the other Gospels and John has Jesus carrying the cross all the way to Golgotha, whereas the other Gospels have Simon the Cyrene carrying it. Neither is important to Christian doctrine; although I wouldn't exactly call them "minor". They've been discussed at length in other threads and the inerrant's reasons to say they're not really contradictions are pretty lame to say the least. It just seems most probable that John got the day of the Last Supper wrong (he wasn't there) and had Jesus carry the cross himself to stress his suffering.
  10. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Apr '05 20:21
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    You're mixing up two concepts here.

    Inerrant: Literally/factually correct.
    Divinely Inspired: Morally correct. May be inerrant as well.

    Dante's Inferno is, IMO, an inspired piece of art - but it isn't literally true. It's an allegory.
    I don't think I am mixing them up. I'm seeking clarification. Christianity is not a religion of morality; as I have been told so many times, the morality supposedly comes automatically if you accept Christ as your savior. It is the details of the sacrifice, the Passion as it is sometimes called, that are important to the religion. If these details are potentially incorrect it shakes the very foundation of the religion. As it is set up now, Christianity needs at least an inerrant Gospel, if not an inerrant Bible as a whole.

    So, to repeat myself: To say the Gospel is merely inspired suggests the posibility that any detail could be incorrect. This cannot be considered within the bounds of the religion, therefore the Bible, or at least the Gospel, must be inerrant.

    And it's not.

    ... --- ...
  11. Standard memberNemesio
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    13 Apr '05 20:22
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    It just seems most probable that John got the day of the Last Supper wrong (he wasn't there) and had Jesus carry the cross himself to stress his suffering.
    St John's Gospel has the latest date because of its advanced
    theological position. Whereas St Mark's Gospel speaks of things in
    a very matter-of-fact fashion -- Jesus almost seems like a regular guy
    caught in the midst of things at times -- St John's has a very stoic
    Jesus, a man on a mission.

    Why would St John have chosen the day before Passover rather
    than the more likely day of Passover? Theology. St John's Gospel is
    filled with 'I am...' statements (e.g., I am the vine, I am the bread of
    life, I am the resurrection, I am the shepherd). It has more of such
    statements than the Synoptics combined.

    One of the images is the 'Lamb of God,' which is a lovely theological
    image and can be used in a variety of powerful contexts. The Jewish
    people slaughtered a Lamb on the day before Passover and placed its
    blood on their door's lintels. This was to celebrate that God passed
    over
    their house during the Plagues which affected the Egyptians
    during the Captivity (specifically, this tenth and final plague killed the
    first-born son of the household). The blood on the door-frame saved
    the family from a horrible event: the death of the child.

    As such, having Jesus's Crucifixion placed on the day before Passover
    would symbolically represent this same sacrifice. That
    is, Jesus would be the Paschal Lamb, sacrificed for the lives of all
    humanity.

    The author of St John's Gospel didn't just 'get the day wrong;' he
    chose this day for its specific metaphorical implications.

    This is why it shouldn't trouble Christians; the Gospels are not meant
    to be a record of history, they are meant to be a testament of faith.
    Parables, metaphors, creative interpretations are all means of
    developing faith. Understanding Christ's sacrifice on the Cross through
    the metaphor of the Paschal Lamb is a way to educate and support
    faithful belief. Whether it actually happened is immaterial: it is what
    the story signifies that has spiritual meaning.

    Nemesio
  12. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Apr '05 20:22
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    There are two easily mentioned as contradictions: John has the Last Supper on a different day than the other Gospels and John has Jesus carrying the cross all the way to Golgotha, whereas the other Gospels have Simon the Cyrene carrying it. Neither is important to Christian doctrine; although I wouldn't exactly call them "minor". They've b ...[text shortened]... Supper wrong (he wasn't there) and had Jesus carry the cross himself to stress his suffering.
    I've always been bothered by the two distinctly different geneologies of Jesus myself, and that one actually is important to the Christian doctrine.

    ... --- ...
  13. Subscriberno1marauder
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    13 Apr '05 20:28
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    St John's Gospel has the latest date because of its advanced
    theological position. Whereas St Mark's Gospel speaks of things in
    a very matter-of-fact fashion -- Jesus almost seems like a regular guy
    caught in the midst of things at times -- St John's has a very stoic
    Jesus, a man on a mission.

    Why would St John have chosen the day before P ...[text shortened]... y happened is immaterial: it is what
    the story signifies that has spiritual meaning.

    Nemesio
    I stand corrected, thank you.
  14. Standard memberNemesio
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    13 Apr '05 20:29
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    To say the Gospel is merely inspired suggests the posibility that any detail could be incorrect. This cannot be considered within the bounds of the religion, therefore the Bible, or at least the Gospel, must be inerrant.
    Absolutely false.

    Factual truth is about this world.

    Spiritual truth is about the hereafter.

    Which does religion focus on?

    Read what I wrote above a possible explanation for St John's use of
    a different day on the Synoptics?

    Obviously, either St John or the Synoptics are wrong since the 'day of'
    and the 'day before' Passover are mutually exclusive. The Synoptics
    probably reported what they understood to be the correct day, but St
    John got an idea about creating a more meaningful spiritual message
    through the use of metaphor.

    That Jesus was or wasn't Crucified on Passover is not really
    instrumental to faith; what his Crucifixion signified most certainly is.
    As such, St John's Gospel provides his take on that significance,
    communicating a spiritual message in his Gospel text.

    Nemesio
  15. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Apr '05 20:49
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Absolutely false.

    Factual truth is about this world.

    Spiritual truth is about the hereafter.

    Which does religion focus on?

    Read what I wrote above a possible explanation for St John's use of
    a different day on the Synoptics?

    Obviously, either St John or the Synoptics are wrong since the 'day of'
    and the 'day before' Passover are mutuall ...[text shortened]... on that significance,
    communicating a spiritual message in his Gospel text.

    Nemesio
    I must apologise in advance for arguing with you. I agree totally with what you say, that it is the symbolism of the act that is important. I'm not entirely sure I agree with that symbolism, but that is neither here nor there. So: I'm sorry.

    But. The modern Christian religion is not set up around the symbolism, but around the actual, supposedly factual, events in the Bible. Sure, there are some individuals who can actually, and are willing to, think that agree basically with what you say, and even an occasional church more or less does as well. However, even the most liberal of the organized Christian bodies still seem to adhere to at least a partial factual basis to their religion (a wishy-washy pick-and-choose stance to say the least). This factual. historically based religion is the one which needs an inerrant Gospel, a Gospel that does not exist.

    ... --- ...
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