How do we really know how accurate the synoptic gospels are? So many of them were recorded decades after the alleged events in question, often by people who were one, two, or more degrees removed from those events. As someone with legal training, I find this very interesting. We’re trained to be suspicious of people repeating assertions made by others, and with good reason. Why? Because it’s much harder to ascertain the veracity of the assertion if the declarant simply wasn’t there. We can’t “test” them because all they can do is repeat the assertion, and we don’t have the opportunity to see how credible they are when they speak to certain details about the events they are referring to.
I think this applies to the Bible as much as anything else - maybe more so. So when people say that Christ said something in the Bible, aren’t they really saying that someone said that someone said that someone said…that Christ said something in the Bible. I’ve also been intrigued by accounts in the Bible that involve no other witnesses that are still there. (E.g. Jesus being tempted in the desert. How did that come to be in the Bible? Did Jesus later tell someone, “I had the most amazing experience recently…”? Maybe, and I certainly wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s another factor that leads me (and others) to read the Bible with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Or am I alone in this?