Friday, February 10, 2017

Some Facts About the New Testament

The next time anyone tries to tell you that the New Testament is historically reliable, try to remember the following facts:
  1. The authors of the four canonical gospels are completely anonymous.
  2. All four canonical gospels are translated works.
  3. There does not exist a single first-hand eyewitness account of anything Jesus ever did.
  4. All four canonical gospels were written decades after the fact.
  5. The earliest surviving fragments of the New Testament were all written at least a century after the recorded events.
  6. The four canonical gospels are NOT independent narratives, but actually borrow heavily from each other.
  7. The story of Jesus and the adulteress is almost certainly a forgery.
  8. Miracle stories were commonplace in the ancient world and often garnered large followings of worshipers and devotees.
  9. The further back in time we go, the more divergence there exists between the known manuscripts that have survived for scrutiny to modern times.  
  10. Six out of the fourteen Pauline epistles are widely considered forgeries by modern Biblical scholars.
  11. Early Christianity consisted of many competing denominations with many competing gospels that never made it into the official Biblical cannon.
More to come...

  1. See Yale Courses
  2. The native language of ancient Judea was Aramaic. However, all known manuscripts of the gospels are written in Greek.
  3. The mere fact that they've been translated is already a strong indication of this. However, many of the narratives admit it outright. For example, Luke 1:1-4 and Galatians 1:11-12. We can also point out that Jesus never wrote down a single word of any gospel by himself.
  4. See Dating the Bible.
  5. See Dating the Bible.
  6. This is known as the synoptic problem. Many sections of the gospel are near-verbatim copies of sections from other books. See, for example, Mark 10:38-45. Then compare side-by-side with Matthew 20:22:28. 
  7. See Jesus and the Woman Taken in Adultery.
  8. See Appolonius of Tyana. 
  9. See Misquoting Jesus.
  10. See Authorship of the Pauline Epistles 
  11. See Diversity in Early Christianity. See also Non-canonical Gospels