Did the Early Church Create the Biblical Jesus?

by Daniel Mann

Were the Four Gospels of the New Testament the creation of the Early Church to promote their new religion or did they represent eyewitness Apostolic accounts of the ministry of Jesus?  There are many considerations that argue that the Church would never have invented such Gospels:

  1. The founders of the faith portrayed themselves as fools and cowards.
  2. Jesus never complemented His disciples.
  3. Jesus’ teachings were perplexing, even undoable.
  4. Jesus consistently insulted the powerful and influential.
  5. The NT writers never recanted, even as they faced martyrdom.
  6. Jesus’ teachings didn’t line up comfortably with the other books of the NT.

I just want to focus on the last point. Jesus had been consistently cryptic about many of the essential teachings of the Gospel – His deity, Messiah-ship, the New Covenant, and even the atonement. His cryptic language even prompted the religious leadership to demand the He reveal Himself in plain language:

  • So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” (John 10:24)

Even when He did reveal Himself, He did so indirectly and then forbade His three Apostles to say anything about what they had seen until…
 

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Did the Early Church Create the Biblical Jesus?