Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hot News From History

(from the book "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel)

"Are the Gospels rooted in eyewitness testimony or did so much time elapse before it was written down that a mythology developed about Jesus?
The standard scholarly dating, even in very liberal circles has the Gospel of Mark written in the 70 B.C. range,Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90s. That is still within the lifetime of various eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus, including hostile witnesses who would have been served as a corrective if false teachings about Jesus were going around. Consequently, these dates for the Gospels really aren't all that late. In fact, there is a comparison that is very instructive.
The two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written by Arrian and Plutarch more than four hundred years after Alexander's death in 323 B.C., yet historians consider them to be generally trustworthy. Yes, legendary material about Alexander did develop over time, but it was only in the centuries after these two writers. In other words, the first five hundred years kept Alexander's story pretty much intact; legendary material began to emerge over the next five hundred years. So whether the Gospels were written sixty years or thirty years after the life of Jesus, the amount of time is negligible by comparison. It's almost a nonissue."

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