The Gospels Are Reliable and Jesus is a Historical Person
by Stephen Bedard
I recently came across a post called The Gospels are Unreliable and the Gospel Jesus is Not a Historical Person on a blog named Academic Atheism. The author of the blog does not provide their name but seems to be well educated. The author may be well read in philosophy but the post makes a number of significant mistakes.
In this post, I will address the concerns of the author and attempt to provide some more information.
There is Consensus That the Gospels are Unreliable
The author makes the following claim:
Are the Gospels historically reliable? The answer is a resounding no and this much is admitted by the consensus.
Claiming to be an academic, you would hope for a reference for this claim. The author does provide a reference and it is to a blog post by a classics major. Not a Bible scholar. I have two graduate degrees in biblical studies and I have never heard of this consensus that the Gospels are unreliable. There are scholars who believe the Gospels are completely reliable, a wide range of somewhat reliable and some who see it as completely unreliable. I would say that the majority of biblical scholars would say that the Gospels have some historical value.
As a side note, the only thing like a consensus I have seen among New Testament scholars is that Jesus existed.
Questions About Authorship
The author notes that the canonical Gospels are technically anonymous. By anonymous, what is meant is that none of the Gospels mention the name of the writer in the text.
First, if the Gospels did have names attached to them, they would be accused of being falsely attributed. This is what scholars do with the non-canonical gospels, such as Thomas and others, that make a big deal of who they are written by in order to create some authority.
Secondly, this does nothing to diminish the historical value of the Gospels…
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