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IF the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses, would you . . . ?

Somerville

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If the Gospels that we have today were not written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses, would you change your beliefs as to the moral value of the stories told in the texts?

This is not an attack on beliefs about the authors; instead, it is meant to bring out the ways in which we view the teachings.

IF the Gospels were written 50 to 100 years after the time of the resurrection, by people who had no personal relationship with the earliest believers in Jesus, would you believe they have less value in teaching us how to live moral lives?

Please don't argue about when and by whom the books were written. This is just about the words we can read today.
 

Good4Nothin

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If the Gospels that we have today were not written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses, would you change your beliefs as to the moral value of the stories told in the texts?

This is not an attack on beliefs about the authors; instead, it is meant to bring out the ways in which we view the teachings.

IF the Gospels were written 50 to 100 years after the time of the resurrection, by people who had no personal relationship with the earliest believers in Jesus, would you believe they have less value in teaching us how to live moral lives?

Please don't argue about when and by whom the books were written. This is just about the words we can read today.

The gospels were never meant for teaching us how to live moral lives. The Old Testament includes all kinds of rules for living a moral life within ancient Hebrew society. Jesus said to follow those rules -- and no one in any modern society follows more than a tiny fraction of them.

Every society has its own version of morality.

Jesus lived in a society where every male absolutely had to be circumcised. Wouldn't he be horrified to know that Christians ignore one of God's most important rules?

And Jesus taught nothing at all about family values, or women's rights, or many of the things we value so much today.

Where did people get the idea that Jesus was mostly teaching about morality? He was teaching how to get into the kingdom of heaven, how to escape this world. Yes you have to be "good," but goodness is hard to define. Most of all you must have absolute faith, no distractions. As in Buddhism, you must detach from this world.
 

ludin

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If the Gospels that we have today were not written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses, would you change your beliefs as to the moral value of the stories told in the texts?

This is not an attack on beliefs about the authors; instead, it is meant to bring out the ways in which we view the teachings.

IF the Gospels were written 50 to 100 years after the time of the resurrection, by people who had no personal relationship with the earliest believers in Jesus, would you believe they have less value in teaching us how to live moral lives?

Please don't argue about when and by whom the books were written. This is just about the words we can read today.

If they were not written by eyewitnesses or by credible sources then i doubt they would carry the weight that they have.
also i doubt they would have been allowed in the bible at all.

without the gospels the new testament would be very much a void of everything. i doubt it would exist at all since all the books in the new testament draw from

those gospels.
 

Elora

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If the Gospels that we have today were not written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses, would you change your beliefs as to the moral value of the stories told in the texts?

This is not an attack on beliefs about the authors; instead, it is meant to bring out the ways in which we view the teachings.

IF the Gospels were written 50 to 100 years after the time of the resurrection, by people who had no personal relationship with the earliest believers in Jesus, would you believe they have less value in teaching us how to live moral lives?

Please don't argue about when and by whom the books were written. This is just about the words we can read today.

The moral weight of the gospels has been tried and tested and proven to work for the betterment of man...I can speak from my own personal experience...it works for a much happier and peaceful life...imo nothing compares...
 

Somerville

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If they were not written by eyewitnesses or by credible sources then i doubt they would carry the weight that they have.
also i doubt they would have been allowed in the bible at all.

without the gospels the new testament would be very much a void of everything. i doubt it would exist at all since all the books in the new testament draw from

those gospels.

The Pauline Epistles were all written years before the Gospels. They cannot have drawn upon texts which didn't exist.
 

ludin

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The Pauline Epistles were all written years before the Gospels. They cannot have drawn upon texts which didn't exist.

Paul was a disciple though.
He knew them directly. he had direct first hand contact with the people that would come later to write the gospels.
he also had direct contact with people that were there and witnessed the events.

some of these events paul witnessed himself afterward.
he was actually one of the causes of the First Martyr.

The ealierst of pauls letters was about 50-60 ad. the gospels were written sometimes before 70 ad.

the reason i say this is that rome sacked the city in 70 ad. and burned the temple just as Christ foretold.
yet no mention of this event was written by any of the gospel writers. this would have been a significant event
more so for Luke and he would have 100% documented something like that.

Most of the disciples were not learned men as well besides John and matthew.
they most likely did not know how to write more so write greek.

The core of pauls letters still draw from 1st sources.

matthew (levi) was one of the 12 disciples. (earliest date of the book is 50-70ad)
Mark not an eyewitness but a disciple of Peter. So he had direct first hand source to events. (date of book is 55-70 ad)
Luke not an eyewitness but a disciple of Paul. So he had direct first hand sources and knowledge of events. one of the more historical novels he is also responsible for the book of Acts.
luke written before (62) acts about (63).

John. give as John the disciple. There is a lot of detail in it about Christ's life in general. not only that but solidifies the deity of christ and who he was in a single book.
dates are 80-135. part of his manuscript was found in Egypt which would have taken a while to get to.

we know paul's letters are happening about the same time as other books are being written as he addresses the disciples in specific situations and sometimes
calls them out for what they are doing.

either way all the sources of all of the books still are consistent among each other because each of the authors had 1st core sources.

The historian Papias mentions that the gospel of Matthew was originally in Aramaic or Hebrew and attributes the gospel to Matthew the apostle.
 

Somerville

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Your answer in post #6 has little connection with the purpose of this thread. You wrote: "without the gospels the new testament would be very much a void of everything." I responded to that statement which I consider to be false -- as I see much of the beliefs about the stories told in the New Testament. However, that is not the subject of this thread.

NOW - would you still view the Gospels as worthy teaching instruments IF they were not written by eyewitnesses?
 

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The gospels were never meant for teaching us how to live moral lives. The Old Testament includes all kinds of rules for living a moral life within ancient Hebrew society. Jesus said to follow those rules -- and no one in any modern society follows more than a tiny fraction of them.

Every society has its own version of morality.

Jesus lived in a society where every male absolutely had to be circumcised. Wouldn't he be horrified to know that Christians ignore one of God's most important rules?

And Jesus taught nothing at all about family values, or women's rights, or many of the things we value so much today.

Where did people get the idea that Jesus was mostly teaching about morality? He was teaching how to get into the kingdom of heaven, how to escape this world. Yes you have to be "good," but goodness is hard to define. Most of all you must have absolute faith, no distractions. As in Buddhism, you must detach from this world.

The Life and Moral Teaching of Jesus
Richard Swinburne (Contributor Webpage)
DOI:10.1093/0199257469.003.0006
Jesus led a morally perfect life, teaching and healing (probably performing miracles), and died as a result of an unjust judicial verdict. He taught the importance of supererogatory love, prayer, and repentance; and that there would be a judgement that would separate the good from the bad. Almost inevitably, there are one or two incidents in the life of Jesus and one or two aspects of his teaching, about the morality of which we have some doubts; but there are so few such incidents and aspects that we reasonably doubt our moral intuitions about them.

Life and Moral Teaching of Jesus - Oxford Scholarship
 

Omega Man

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The moral weight of the gospels has been tried and tested and proven to work for the betterment of man...I can speak from my own personal experience...it works for a much happier and peaceful life...imo nothing compares...

The Gospels have also torn families apart.


OM
 

ataraxia

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If they were not written by eyewitnesses or by credible sources then i doubt they would carry the weight that they have.
also i doubt they would have been allowed in the bible at all.

without the gospels the new testament would be very much a void of everything. i doubt it would exist at all since all the books in the new testament draw from

those gospels.

I think the comfort comes from just thinking that somehow, somewhere in all those stories, is the source of ultimate truth. We may not understand it, we may keep changing our interpretation of what it says. But at least there’s a comfort in knowing somewhere, there is an answer from the uncertainties and anxieties of life.

For many centuries, the vast majority of society was illiterate, and yet they still believed. Why, if not for the above reasons?
 

Omega Man

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As Jesus said it would...Matthew 10:34-37...

Precisely. My point was to counter your inference that the Gospels exclusively promote peace and happiness. They may work for you, but they have indeed torn families asunder for generations.



OM
 

Elora

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Precisely. My point was to counter your inference that the Gospels exclusively promote peace and happiness. They may work for you, but they have indeed torn families asunder for generations.



OM

For all those who accept God's Word as truth, it indeed does work...
 

Omega Man

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For all those who accept God's Word as truth, it indeed does work...

I tried that for 25 years. Not only did it not work, but it turns out it wasn't even based on reality.


OM
 

tosca1

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If the Gospels that we have today were not written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses, would you change your beliefs as to the moral value of the stories told in the texts?

This is not an attack on beliefs about the authors; instead, it is meant to bring out the ways in which we view the teachings.

IF the Gospels were written 50 to 100 years after the time of the resurrection, by people who had no personal relationship with the earliest believers in Jesus, would you believe they have less value in teaching us how to live moral lives?

Please don't argue about when and by whom the books were written. This is just about the words we can read today.

The Bible had proven itself - with or without eye-witnesses.
Just look at some of the scientific discoveries that are compatible, or in some cases accurately written
in the Scriptures.


As an example: were there any eye-witnesses to the stretching universe?
Were there any witnesses of earth in its infancy?
 

bongsaway

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If the Gospels that we have today were not written by eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses, would you change your beliefs as to the moral value of the stories told in the texts?

This is not an attack on beliefs about the authors; instead, it is meant to bring out the ways in which we view the teachings.

IF the Gospels were written 50 to 100 years after the time of the resurrection, by people who had no personal relationship with the earliest believers in Jesus, would you believe they have less value in teaching us how to live moral lives?

Please don't argue about when and by whom the books were written. This is just about the words we can read today.

Whose opinion of moral? The old testament was pretty harsh in its punishment for those who broke the morals of the day. I never took the 'teachings' of jesus to mean how I should live. The key word is teachings. If we weren't told what to believe I still think most folks would know what is right or wrong for them morally. Most believe what they were taught to believe and if we weren't taught to believe in a particular 'god' I'm not so sure many would believe in anything but themselves, or we would each have our own definition of what 'god' is.
 

ludin

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I think the comfort comes from just thinking that somehow, somewhere in all those stories, is the source of ultimate truth. We may not understand it, we may keep changing our interpretation of what it says. But at least there’s a comfort in knowing somewhere, there is an answer from the uncertainties and anxieties of life.

For many centuries, the vast majority of society was illiterate, and yet they still believed. Why, if not for the above reasons?

Actually they have found older and older manuscripts. they are highly accurate. i think 98% accurate.
sure there are some translation issues but that can be accounted for in the change of language.

The Gospel is life the lifeless and hope to the hopeless.
All over Asia and the Middle east there is a resurgence in the gospel being spread.
 

zyzygy

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Actually they have found older and older manuscripts. they are highly accurate. i think 98% accurate.
sure there are some translation issues but that can be accounted for in the change of language.

The Gospel is life the lifeless and hope to the hopeless.
All over Asia and the Middle east there is a resurgence in the gospel being spread.

The Major Religions of Asia
Rank Religion Population (%)
1 Hinduism 25.3
2 Islam 24.3
3 Unaffiliated 21.2
4 Buddhists 11.9
5 Folk Religions 9.0
6 Christian 7.1
7 Other 1.3

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-major-religions-of-asia.html
 

ataraxia

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Actually they have found older and older manuscripts. they are highly accurate. i think 98% accurate.


Biblical scholars would disagree. Here are many of the reasons why.



If you have links to the 98% figure, please provide them.

The Gospel is life the lifeless and hope to the hopeless.
All over Asia and the Middle east there is a resurgence in the gospel being spread.

Now this I would completely agree with. Religion gives people hope and meaning, and always has. Of course that doesn't necessarily make it true. I think even most atheists realize this, and realize that we can't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The bathwater is all the wild superstition, divisiveness, bigotry, closed mindedness, and ensuing stagnation. The baby is the hope and sense of meaning in life.

This guy has some interesting ideas about how we may be able to go forward.

 

ludin

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Biblical scholars would disagree. Here are many of the reasons why.



If you have links to the 98% figure, please provide them.



Now this I would completely agree with. Religion gives people hope and meaning, and always has. Of course that doesn't necessarily make it true. I think even most atheists realize this, and realize that we can't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The bathwater is all the wild superstition, divisiveness, bigotry, closed mindedness, and ensuing stagnation. The baby is the hope and sense of meaning in life.

This guy has some interesting ideas about how we may be able to go forward.


https://www.christianitytoday.com/e...-historical-reliability-of-new-testament.html
i don't usually take what an athiest has to say about religion very seriously.

i feel sorry for him that he feels that this is all there is to life and that this is it.
he is very closed minded in what he says. so he should probably take his own advice.
 

ataraxia

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There are more than 15,000 New Testament manuscripts from the 1st century with several hundreds of thousands of textual variants. Which one do you want to start with?

i don't usually take what an athiest has to say about religion very seriously.

i feel sorry for him that he feels that this is all there is to life and that this is it.
he is very closed minded in what he says. so he should probably take his own advice.


When did feeling good about something mean it must be true? If a kid is happy believing Santa is real, does that make Santa real?
 

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There are more than 15,000 New Testament manuscripts from the 1st century with several hundreds of thousands of textual variants. Which one do you want to start with?
Not on topic BUT

THERE ARE ZERO 1ST CENTURY MANUSCRIPTS. THERE ARE THREE OR FOUR (experts differ) fragments of New Testament books.
 

Omega Man

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i feel sorry for him that he feels that this is all there is to life and that this is it.

Why is that? If he's right, then what precisely is the problem in no longer existing? On a related note, I find the desire to exist "eternally" very odd. That doesn't sound like "heaven" to me... that sounds suspiciously like the other place.



OM
 
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