Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scriptural unreliability

I remember that when I was a kid I used to have one of those bibles that had the so called words of Jesus highlighted in red. But when you come to think of it, if Jesus existed, what were really his words? The reason I ask this question is that for those of us that have taken the time to study the origins and formation of the Bible as a whole and specifically the New Testament, they will immediately begin to question the authenticity of the scriptures.

Most scholars agree that the alleged time of death of Jesus was around 33 or at the latest 35 A.D. but the earliest gospel written is believed to be the gospel of Mark and that is dated from 65 to about 70 A.D. This puts a minimum of 35 to 38 years between the alleged death and the first biography of the life of Jesus. Another thing to note is that none of the gospels namely: Matthew, Mark, and Luke are first hand accounts of the life and times of Jesus Christ. The gospels when they began to make their first appearance were presented as anonymous works whose authors were unknown. It wasn't until the mid second century that the names were later attached to the gospels as they are presented to us today.

Another fact that works against the authenticity of the scriptures is that none of the original documents are extant (exist) today. In other words what we have are copies of copies of the so called original versions of the gospels and other writings included in the N.T. This opens up the possibility of human errors in transcription, not to mention the other problem of translation from one language to the another. Let's not forget that also there is the influence of the beliefs of the scribe himself.

Another issue is the many contradictions of the gospel stories of certain key moments in the life and death of Jesus. For example how can the gospel writers tell us what were the last words of Jesus as he hung on the cross when the gospel accounts state that they all fled? Or how can anyone write about what Jesus was thinking or praying about when he was in the garden on the mount of olives when the gospels state that they were all asleep when he had finished his prayers? The three gospels differ greatly when they recount the resurrection morning scene. Also, there is the manner or method in which the church later decided what books were considered inspired by god or not. The various councils that were utilized to authenticate the scriptures were decided by votes by bishops of the church etc.

One last final thing before I close this post is that many people did not know that one of the requirements for a book to be chosen as inspired was that it had to be written by an apostle of Christ or a disciple of an apostle. It was common practice in those days for people to add the name of someone else to their works in order to give it that sense of authenticity. Because of this many of the writers of the N.T. books are to this day anonymous or unknown.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. ...the gospel "according to" so-and-so...

    They don't point that out to the people sitting in Sunday school, do they?

    Researching how the bible was written is what woke me up from the delusional dream world of fundamentalism. It started when I discovered that the Old Testament stories are rip off's of earlier myths.....eventually I began to see that the Jesus myth was no different.


    (this is duplicated so that it goes to email)

  3. I thought this was an interesting article because when I went to church they also taught me these things. Sorry you went to a bad church but honestly this isn't a reason I think this a flawed argument on two accounts

    1) It's a flawed view of History and archeology Yes the gospels were written 35-38 years after Jesus, but the NT letters were written much earlier and they claim that Jesus died and rose again so you can't discount it on that alone because there are earliest accounts.

    2)38 years is small space of time in terms of recording history from the actual event.

    3) You can't use the argument that because the original copies exist we can't trust the bible. The truth is almost none of the autographs of any historical document exist. All we have is copies. The original Plato, Ceaser and Aristotle do not exist either yet we trust them. Look at this thisIf you are willing to discount the Bible based on the grounds you have mention you must also discount these books for the same reasons:
    Written 427 - 347 BC
    Earliest Copy : 900 AD
    Time Span between original and earliest copy 1200 years
    Number of copies 7

    Aristotle 384 -322 BC
    Earliest Copy: 1, 100 AD
    Time Span: 1400 years

    Ceaser 100 BC - 44 BC
    Earliest Copy: 900 AD
    Time Span 1000 yrs
    Number of copies 10

    40 Ad -100 AD
    Earliest Copy 125 AD
    Time Span 25 Years
    Number of Ancient Copies, 24,000

  4. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

    For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1:7