The Gospels as a rewriting of the Bible?


I would like to have some ideas to address that arguments from skeptics, and show that in fact it is fulfillment.

THe idea is to say well, as many others before the evangelists did, Matthew Mark Luke and John attempted to write a remake of the biblical stories, updated to their time.

Now, I guess it is possible that rewriting, meaning writing sort of parables which paraphrase the Bible would have been a great learning and Spiritua tool for the Jews.

My opinion on this is that the problem with a mere messianic rewriting of the Bible wouldn’t have shown such a suffering and so to say failing Messiah.

What do you think about this idea of the gospels being a paraphrase, updating, and remaking of the BIble?

Thanks to all of you :knight1:

  1. Jesus truly existed - historians broadly agree on this
  2. why would all of them have gone to their death defending the Resurrection if it were just a mere parable? 11/12 apostles died as martyrs
  3. the fact that Jesus was rejected en masse by the Jewish leaders suggests that He was not merely an extension of Scripture but rather its fulfilment, and one they couldn’t tolerate.


I would ask from what evidence do they make their claim? Like the gospels being a paraphrase. A paraphrase from what? Updating - from what? Remaking of the Bible from what? People can say what they want, but when it comes to proof, they fall short.


I remember I myself heard that it was** customary for jewish scribes to remake**, remix the Scripture to make it simpler for people. Popullar-science like. Or like Jesus’ parables. It is quite probable and would make sense. Now I don’t have the sources and I should check.

Another point would be more easy to address: the parallels between Old and New show the New is a rewriting, almost a plagiarism of the Old.
Well this isn’t a problem to me since it is actually fulfillment that is shown in those parallels, and credit is given to the New since the pattern and typology are the same.


One problem with this theory is that some of the Gospel writers testified before witnesses that their writings were true. John 21:24 says, “This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.”

Luke 1:1-4 says that Luke compiled his gospel based on eyewitness testimony and original sources. 2 Peter 1:16 says, “we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

The skeptic has to explain these passages. Either they made up Jesus and were therefore liars and conspirators who conspired together to make up a story and give up their lives for it for no reason at all, or their testimony is true and Jesus really did the things they said they saw Him do.


The OP may want to check out the work of Thomas L. Brodie, Catholic priest, co-founder and former director of the Dominican Biblical Institute among other scholars in this regard.


You may not be aware, but Catholics are strongly urged by the Church to avoid writings that attempt to spread doubt about the faith unless they are being read with a view toward refuting them. As a result, the OP should avoid the works of Thomas Brodie, who denies that Christ has come in the flesh, which is a characteristic of antichrists.


How does someone know if a work needs to be refuted if it can’t be read?


So if the OP wanted to attempt to refute Brodie’s work, he could read it? While that seems to me an odd way to approach an open-minded investigation, I suppose it’s better than than being outright prohibited.

If you know, who decides in advance if a work is attempting to spread doubt?


Yes, if we intend to defend the faith it is encouraged, when it is to come away from faith, it is not commanded not to read it, but the advise of the Church is to stay away of the writing instead. The Church tells us to be very careful when reading some books. If the faith is already cracking, it would be too dangerous.

I still read what is against my faith, to so to say “know my enemy” . It ends up by strenghening my faith, if you look for answers to the arguments in the book.

And no one can decide in advance about a work, but after a review or a careful read, we can conclude the position of the author.


I just wanted to point out that Brodie had been making his case for parallels between the New and Old Testament for decades without serious objections from the church. It wasn’t until he published his conclusion – that Jesus didn’t exist as a historical person – that he ran into trouble.

There are many other scholars, including some other Catholics, who share his views on bible parallels, but who don’t agree with his conclusion.


Discerning, common sense, balance. That’s all you need. :thumbsup:


I think the argument that was stated is a very weak one. It makes a proposition and then demands a proof that it didn’t happen.

A bit like saying Martians beamed Jesus off the cross so that he didn’t die - prove me wrong and if you can’t then I’m right.

Then with every reference to contradict my assertion, I challenge it as not reliable and demand you share my belief.

Assertions that are made from a position of weakness without evidence are not long lasting and look to be created for the main purpose of mis-using logic to negate someone else’s position.


:rotfl: I just imagine the scene. I agree but it would be nice to have a jewish man or woman who could telll me more aboutthis usage of retelling/remaking the bible stories for pedagogy. Like mishna perhaps a little bit.


Are these sceptics perhaps thinking of the work of Michael D. Goulder on the similarities between the structuring of the Gospel narratives and the Jewish liturgical calendar, with the idea that the material of the Gospels was written so that the new, Christian liturgy would parallel the old, Jewish one?

As a textual argument, it is an interesting one, but it does rather fall into that whole category of ‘historical and therefore unprovable either way’.


They do not really focus on the parallels, but on the fact that in jewish culture there was, as i also heard, a custom of simplify the Scripture to make it accessible to people. The gospel would be that sort of remake of the Bible, in a messianic light.


IN this link is exactly what i meant. GOspels as midrash. Has anyone of you anything about midrash and the gospels? I can’t find a decent text about it.


Yes: Goulder, as mentioned. See his Midrash and Lection in Matthew series.


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