hi, where can I find good, strong proof of the authenticity of the gospels? I would like accurate dates/historical figures if possible, I haven’t been able to find much information. thank you!

** The Gospels are Historical**

thank you so much, this is exactly what I needed.:slight_smile:

Try this:
“Instruction Concerning the Historical Truth of the Gospels” Pontifical Biblical Commission


What “proof of authenticity” are you looking for? Yes they exist, no we don’t have anything close to an original copy, no, we don’t know for sure who wrote them, and no, we don’t know exactly when they were written. This is a complex and very heavily debated issue - what exactly are you looking for?

There are no “absolute” Church statements on the few comments I made but there is always time for another round on this ever-popular subject.

I am doing a research project on this, and I was dissappointed in the lack of information that I could find on this subject. But thank you for this information, it helps a lot.


The Accuracy of Scripture




[/FONT]The Bible

Just remember that the Church does not take an absolute stand on hardly any of this - everything you read in all the references you receive is opinion - some by recognized scripture scholars and some not so. In addition to the document I already referenced, here are a few more by other recognized Catholic scholars:

The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation - *DEI VERBUM *by Pope Paul VI.

The three volume Rethinking the Historical Jesus series by the Jesuit John Meier (published under the imprimatur).

The encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu by Pope Pius XII.

*An Introduction to the New Testament *
*The Birth of the Messiah *
*An Adult Christ At Christmas *
by the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s Raymond Brown.

And God said What? - the adult ed textbook on scripture analysis and history written Margaret Ralph, a student of Raymond Brown who is also a Catholic director of religious education.

thank you all so much for this information, you have no idea how much it has helped.

There’s a thread called “Why do you believe”, or something like that. I posted a basic outline, tho without any proof, as to how we know the Gospels are reliable. check it out. or if the links already posted are good enough, no worries :thumbsup: :stuck_out_tongue:

Dear Searcher,
You have asked a question, for which no unquestionable answer exists. There are those who do not question, and they are satisfied, but for those who question now, there exists only guesswork and probability.
Who were the putative witnesses?
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Mark, otherwise, John of Jerusalem, was Peter’s scribe, for Peter was an illiterate fisherman.
Luke was Paul’s scribe, Though Paul recovered his sight, it remained too dim for him to write without difficulty. Besides, Paul was not a witness oif the Living Christ. Luke admits to writing a harmony of the various tales that were in common currency at the time.
John: we gather from reading between the lines of his account that he was a spiritual man, and welcome in high places. He could well have been a priest, he was certainly erudite and literate. He clearly gets much of his material from Mary Magdalene, though he sometimes tries to conceal the fact.
Matthew, though is a different story. He is deliberately chosen by Our Lord from the most unlikely of people. But the choice is not without reason. Matthew was a civil servant, a tax collector, and record keeper. Skilled he was in the use of writing, and a form of short-hand was used by these people.
Matthew was Jesu’s record keeper. He scribbled down short-hand notes on the fly, using the Roman wax tablet and stylus, and every night, transferred his notes into longhand on papiri. These notes, he circulated to the rest of the apostles, for use as instructional notes.
So when we see, verbatim texts in Luke and Matthew, there is not copying, one from the other, they are just both using the same set of notes.
These notes never were in the form of a collection, or proto-gospel, they were a diffuse assortment like scribblings on cigarette packets. We cannot of course prove that they ever existed, but we can deduce from common fragments, what they might have contained.
A collection has been assembled and bound and published.
It is called ‘Q’: ‘The Lost Gospel’, ISBN 1-56975-100-5 from Ulysses Press.
That Luke treats this text with deep respect idicates that it is not his work.
That Matthew revises it with some panache indicates that it probably is his.

The “Q” theory is refuted quite well in post #2

Have fun with your research project… but I think you’ve picked too big a topic for a short paper. The problem isn’t that there’s too little information available, but too much.

Just remember, there are more surviving early manuscript copies from the ancient world of the Gospels, than we have of the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid. : )

Hi Buff,
Either you did not read carefully what I said, or you did not read the article you reference closely.
There are verses in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke which are identical. The Markans claim the authors copied from Marks Gospel. They further assert that Matthew and Luke had no knowledge of each other. So where did they obtain their many identical verses that were not present in Marks Gospel? Markans say they copied from a lost document, which they call Q from the German word Quelle (Source).
I specificly said that Q was NOT a unified document, but a disparate assortment of scribblings on ‘cigarette packets’.
Which is preferable to you - that the evangelists plagiarised eachother, or that they referenced an assortment of contempoaneous notes produced by a stenographer, who was in all probability, Matthew?
The former activity to me is questionable, for if the accounts are co-dependant, then they are not independant witnesses. On the other hand, if they are only quoting scratch-pad notes which were common currency, then that is fair game. That the scratch pad notes are no longer extant is no wonder, for once they were incorporated in the Gospels, they were no-longer of any value.

Plagiarize? I didn’t know Jesus copyrighted his teachings. :frowning:

I thought they were in the public domain. My mistake.

Hi, Buff,
I am not concerned here with copyright.
What concerns me, is that if the evangelists plagiarized each-other, then they are not independant witnesses, and so are of less value.
My conjecture, for indeed, that is all any can be, is that they were NOT plagiarizing each-other, but commonly making use of generally circulated notelets, containing ‘analects’ of Our Lord.
This conjecture increases the value of the independance of the witness, and the authority of the ‘analects’.

  1. Jesus probably repeated many of the same stories and sayings at various places where he preached.

  2. People had very good memory back then.

  3. Although it’s likely that written sources existed, oral sources generally tend to condense famous sayings and stories into pithy little punchlines that everybody knows, in practically the same wording, across huge geographical distances. I’ve seen this happen in clubs with worldwide membership, and participated in this kind of oral history myself. Many times, we no longer remembered where a story came from, or exactly who it was about, but everybody knew the pivotal lines of the characters involved by heart. And these were mostly funny stories without much point. People who go to Grateful Dead concerts can remember, in great detail, exactly which songs were played at a given concert back years ago with details of what happened on stage.

If Jesus Christ did something amazing in front of me, I would remember the exact details with a lot more clarity than this kind of trivia.

  1. Most of the written sources probably came from oral sources, anyway. (Though there may have been trial records, etc. – the Romans were great ones for court transcripts.)

I would prefer that at Pentecost they were enlightened by the Holy Spirit - filled in if you will, so that they could go out and preach the good news.

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