[quote="tritcher1988, post:1, topic:323120"]
My History professor just talked for about an hour in discrediting the validity of the Gospels. No one was able to defend against his arguments. He said:
"The oldest manuscripts of the bible are only 1000 years old."
False. Many NT copies or fragments are from the II and III century and we have several fragments from the I century itself (albeit small ones)
True we lost 'the originals' but that goes for most of historical documents.
There are over 5000 NT copies and fragments and many of them (I reckon ca. 20 %) are from early centuries.
There are more copied and fragments of the NT than of ANY other ancient document in the world!!! And we have copies and fragments within 1-2 centuries... which is unique!
Many of them as I said come very close to the original documents! Even wikipedia states that.
For many documents regarding Rome and Greece we have accounts written centuries after the facts (while most scholar place the gospels between AD 60 and 80 for the synoptics and about AD 90-100 for John) and the most recent copies of documents about Greece and Rome are FEW ( at best dozens... let alone thousands) and often they date several centureis after they were written.
"The four gospel writers were not eyewitnesses and they
do not claim to be."
Sort of... bu so what? They are people who relied on eyewitnesses and wrote when many eyewitnesses were still alive.
I mean many books today are written by Journalists who do research and interview witnesses... should we dismiss them a priori? I think no.
Moreover, in the past authorship was different than these days.
The 'Gospel according to X', meant the gospel in the ORAL TRADITION of X: i.e. it means that it was written down what the eyewitnesses and preachers told.
In the case of Luke and Mark, Paul and Peter are the main sources.
Were the four evangelists authors in the EXACT sense we mean today? Maybe, maybe not. Many made use of scribes to write down accounts.
This does not mean the Gospels are false... this is understanding how people wrote in the middle east at that time.
"Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not sign their names and therefore we cannot confirm the authorship of the Gospels."
True but we have extra biblical writers (the church Fathers) who as soon as the II century testify the authorship of the Gospels.
Also, John aside, all the 'authors' are not really 'eminent' people. They were disciples of Peter (Mark) and Paul (luke) and Matthew was an apostle but an ex publican ( a Jewish Roman collaborator who helped with tax collecting) hence not the most 'renowned' apostle...
False Gospels like the Gospel of Peter or Gospel of James carry 'important names' to try to pass as true gospels, but they are not as they were written later and church fathers knew that.
"The gospels contain different information and therefore contradict one another."
Not exactly. There are DIFFERENCES, but if you read articles in news papers today that also happens.
The problem would arrive if there were NO differences... Differences means that true eyewitnesses were interviewed and not that they sat down just inventing the same story together.
Also all the so called 'contradictions' are not contradictions at all, just a different way of saying the same thing.
For example, different evangelists mention different women coming to the tomb... but that is not strange. Johns mentions Magdalene and implies others.
The point is: you go somewhere, and when you recall and event there you will rarely mention everyone. You might mention just ONE person even.
You (let's call you Mary) go to a pub and meet your friend Jenny there,
Then you tell your friend Matt: Oh yesterday I went to the pub and Jenny was there.
ok. Jenny says to Peter: I was in the pub and Mary, John, Carla, and Frida were there.
Frida will tell her dad: yesterday I went to the pub and saw loads of people!
Ok are you or Jenny or Frida lying? Is there a contraddiction?
Of course not!
They are just telling the same story but in a different way,, telling the details they tought were relevant.
Can you help me to trust again that the Gospels are not fabricated?
I hope my explanation above is helping.
Also check: ehrmanproject.com/index
also check: FF Bruce: The New Testament Documents - Are They Reliable?
Blomberg: The historical reliability of the gospel
they cover all of the subjexts above.