The Bible Holds True Against Attacks From Critics

by Glenn Smith

The synoptic gospels – Matthew, Mark, and Luke – tell the story of Jesus. These books present themselves as eyewitness accounts of historical fact. Critics of the gospels attack the gospels by telling us they are untrustworthy. Common criticisms include:

1. The gospel stories were passed down orally for a long time and therefore are untrustworthy.
2. The gospels copied from each other or from another single source.
3. The writers have accounts so different as to make the whole affair riddled with mistakes. 

For several reasons, I find these criticisms weak at best. First, I do not see how 2 and 3 could both be true. If the accounts copied from each other so much that we can obviously tell that the copying happened, then it is difficult to see how there are so many differences that the accounts are sloppy. It would seem the claims for both of these contradict each other.

Second, it is difficult to see how 1 and 2 could both be true. If the account was passed on orally for long enough to make the account riddled with error, it would take more than one generation, indeed at least two to four generations. The claims of oral corruption are mere surface-level persuasion techniques by the critics with no credible argument behind it. I pose as an example my father, who this year turns 90. He spent his career in parts warehouses, manually stocking shelves and filling orders for parts. To this day he can repeat the inventory numbers for the parts he sold over 50 years ago, and do so with full accuracy…

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The Bible Holds True Against Attacks From Critics | Thomistic Bent