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Harmony of the Gospels

wondering

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Truly, I have no idea what you are talking about. You are most certainly sowing confusion.

Because the day of the Crucifixion is not clearly specified, this renders the Biblical account "un-historical" in your mind? Because only the Apostles provided accounts of the Resurrection, this renders the accounts "un-historical" in your mind?

The Resurrection is presented in the Bible, first and foremost, as a literal, historical event. Paul clearly recognized this fact in 1 Corinthians 15. The meaning of the Resurrection, which the Bible likewise presents, is a matter of faith. But without the literal, historical event, the meaning of the Resurrection is: precisely nothing.

The historical reliability of the Gospels may be open for discussion, but they are indeed historical accounts. (And the trend of the discussion is toward them being reliable historical accounts. See Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Eyewitnesses-Gospels-Eyewitness-Testimony/dp/0802863906.)

Perhaps you are confused about the distinction between "secular history" and "sacred history." The Bible is obviously not secular history. But more than any other religion, Christianity hinges on the historical reality of its claims.
Please tell me why I would want to read a book on eyewitnesses when Jesus presented Himself to me many years ago.

I don't read the bible for history.
I read it because I love the person it has been written about.
 

Papa Zoom

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It's inescapable to read the Bible apart from its historical narrative. Jesus is presented in the context of history by eye witnesses. I'm a bit unclear on what the issue is regarding the historicity of the Bible. That said, the Bible contains books of history (speaking genres now). Right? For example:
Then add poetry, wisdom, prophecy books, the gospels, the letters, the Acts, Revelation (not to forget the Pentateuch and for many, The Apocrypha)

I'm not trying to teach or correct here in any way. Just trying to add my .02 to the conversation. I'd much rather stay here and chat as this is an interesting topic but alas I must get off my chair and go to work. :/ 60 days left to retirement. ~sigh~ I'm feeling the pinch.
 

wondering

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It's inescapable to read the Bible apart from its historical narrative. Jesus is presented in the context of history by eye witnesses. I'm a bit unclear on what the issue is regarding the historicity of the Bible. That said, the Bible contains books of history (speaking genres now). Right? For example:
Then add poetry, wisdom, prophecy books, the gospels, the letters, the Acts, Revelation (not to forget the Pentateuch and for many, The Apocrypha)

I'm not trying to teach or correct here in any way. Just trying to add my .02 to the conversation. I'd much rather stay here and chat as this is an interesting topic but alas I must get off my chair and go to work. :/ 60 days left to retirement. ~sigh~ I'm feeling the pinch.
Retirement.
Well, again I ask:
Should I congratulate you
or pray for you!!

Listen to me Papa Zoom,
When someone doesn't understand your point after a few posts...

It's time to give up!!

Forget about history.
Tell me this:

WHY WAS THE BIBLE PUT TOGETHER??
That's my point.
If it's not understood, then so be it.
BTW, this is not my idea, but an accepted fact.

The bible is the study of God.
Not the study of history.

Seems pretty clear to me.
But that's me.
 

By Grace

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Please tell me why I would want to read a book on eyewitnesses when Jesus presented Himself to me many years ago.

I don't read the bible for history.
I read it because I love the person it has been written about.
There will always be those (especially in forms such as this labeled "Apologetics) (NOT TROLLING, MODS!) who have a low view of the gospels, and uniformly, their viewpoint is from the "high skeptic viewpoint".

One thing that they seem not to understand is that the reliability of the account of the Gospel account has been proved to exceed the requirement for the admission of evidence on the federal level (which is a higher standard than that of ordinary courts, or that of TV shows or that of the "OJ Simpson trial"

Testimony of the Evangelists by Simon Greenleaf is available in pdf. http://www.godrules.net/articles/simon-greenleaf-examination-testimony-gospels-pdf.pdf Greenleaf was one of the founders of Harvard University's School of Law, (1843) he was author of many books on Federal Law, and his books remain the standards for anything to be considered evidence in Federal Courts of Law.

Therefore those who wish to consider themselves to be apologists of the Christian faith will do well to read this, and apply this to their "apologetic arsenal".
 

Papa Zoom

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Retirement.
Well, again I ask:
Should I congratulate you
or pray for you!!

Listen to me Papa Zoom,
When someone doesn't understand your point after a few posts...

It's time to give up!!

Forget about history.
Tell me this:

WHY WAS THE BIBLE PUT TOGETHER??
That's my point.
If it's not understood, then so be it.
BTW, this is not my idea, but an accepted fact.

The bible is the study of God.
Not the study of history.

Seems pretty clear to me.
But that's me.

In our current sermon series, we're leaning of the Bible as history. But it's Spelled like this: His Story. I like that.
 

wondering

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There will always be those (especially in forms such as this labeled "Apologetics) (NOT TROLLING, MODS!) who have a low view of the gospels, and uniformly, their viewpoint is from the "high skeptic viewpoint".

One thing that they seem not to understand is that the reliability of the account of the Gospel account has been proved to exceed the requirement for the admission of evidence on the federal level (which is a higher standard than that of ordinary courts, or that of TV shows or that of the "OJ Simpson trial"

Testimony of the Evangelists by Simon Greenleaf is available in pdf. http://www.godrules.net/articles/simon-greenleaf-examination-testimony-gospels-pdf.pdf Greenleaf was one of the founders of Harvard University's School of Law, (1843) he was author of many books on Federal Law, and his books remain the standards for anything to be considered evidence in Federal Courts of Law.

Therefore those who wish to consider themselves to be apologists of the Christian faith will do well to read this, and apply this to their "apologetic arsenal".
Hi By Grace

Fear not.
I know why I believe - in concrete apologetic form.
I have several reasons which have nothing to do with personal experience since that alone may be accepted, but most probably would not be.

I don't intend to belittle books or reading...
Just saying this doesn't work for me anymore but it's not a problem for me.
And BTW, this could be a bit dangerous, but I venture to guess what the book is about and the concept is already in my arsenal!
 

wondering

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In our current sermon series, we're leaning of the Bible as history. But it's Spelled like this: His Story. I like that.
I'll bet that you know that the word history comes from persons retelling his story, thus,,, history.

But OK. Yes. This is what I mean.
When witnessing , one must concentrate on the missing spirit in a non-believer. They do not have the spirit of God.

When they desire to know God better and learn of His Story, then it's good to get into history and enrich that belief. I know persons who have a lot of faith and know NO history!

But I stick to my guns...
The Bible was not meant to be a historical book, but was written to show how God wanted to create a family for Himself.
 

Cyberseeker

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wondering said:
When witnessing , one must concentrate on the missing spirit in a non-believer.
What if you are witnessing to a historian? Not only does he have a "missing spirit" but he is handicapped by being asked to believe a gospel narrative that appears to contain contradictions.
 

wondering

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What if you are witnessing to a historian? Not only does he have a "missing spirit" but he is handicapped by being asked to believe a gospel narrative that appears to contain contradictions.
Hi Cyberseeker,
I reread the O.P. and I think the way you worded it made it seem to me like you were questioning the verocity of the N.T.

Now, instead, it seems to me that you're questioning why the gospels don't
harmonize.

I replied to this in my post no. 11.
It would be more bothersome to me if they DID harmonize.

If you search for chonologically ordered events in Jesus' Ministry, you'll find several. They don't agree with each other. For the reasons I stated in my post no. 11.

Two observations:

You put "missing spirit" in quotes. A person is made up of body, soul and spirit.
An unbeliever does not have the spirit of God. He indeed is missing the Spirit. No quotes necessary.

The only problem I personally have ever found with the N.T. is the census.
I had studied this a bit about two years ago. I don't remember too much. It was the timing that was off with the mentioned governor of Syria, Quirinius.
Luke 2:1-3

There is doubt that this census ever took place. If anyone cares to comment on this, it might be interesting. I have decided to let it go since it has nothing to do with my faith.

Other than that, as I also asked you, it's quite a topic to go through unless you have a specific contradiction.

§There are passages that APPEAR to be contradictory but have very plausible explanations. One I remember just off hand has to do with a miracle - I believe of a blind man. One gospel writer mentions that one, the blind man, went to tell the pharisees. The other gospel writer mentions that there were 10 men present.
So... One mentions ALL present, and one mentions ONLY the one cured.
Sorry, I can't look this up right now. This is just an example.

I have a book titled "Alleged Bible Discrepancies".
ALLEGED.

If anyone wants history, I have history -- no problem.
I don't find this to be the case when witnessing. Most people don't believe God even exists or they believe in a different God that doesn't mind sin, etc.

The most important event we need to believe in is the resurrection.
If that's true, everything is true,
if that's NOT true, nothing is true.
 

By Grace

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Hi By Grace

Fear not.
I know why I believe - in concrete apologetic form.
I have several reasons which have nothing to do with personal experience since that alone may be accepted, but most probably would not be.

I don't intend to belittle books or reading...
Just saying this doesn't work for me anymore but it's not a problem for me.
And BTW, this could be a bit dangerous, but I venture to guess what the book is about and the concept is already in my arsenal!

I neglected to state this, due to the fact that my severe allergies sometimes cause my head to spin............

The book Testimony of the Evangelists is a forerunner ofr Josh McDowell's Evidence that Deserves a Verdict, and it was begun with the same premise, prove that the Bible (in this case specifically the Gospels) was incorrect, and Christians were fools. Therefore it is certain that you do have the framework in other evidence-based books in your library. But the importance of this is that it speaks to lawyers, and anyone concerned with rules of admissibility of evidence into Federal Court, which has a higher threshold to overcome
 

wondering

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I neglected to state this, due to the fact that my severe allergies sometimes cause my head to spin............

The book Testimony of the Evangelists is a forerunner ofr Josh McDowell's Evidence that Deserves a Verdict, and it was begun with the same premise, prove that the Bible (in this case specifically the Gospels) was incorrect, and Christians were fools. Therefore it is certain that you do have the framework in other evidence-based books in your library. But the importance of this is that it speaks to lawyers, and anyone concerned with rules of admissibility of evidence into Federal Court, which has a higher threshold to overcome
I know Josh McDowell. He wrote a couple of books that I have.
One is Evidence .......

Another important concept is the reliability and honesty of the Apostles.
Another one would be the change in the Apostles within the week after Jesus' death.
One more would be why the tomb was found empty - and how it could have happened.

There are many.

All the above are reasons why I don't believe that harmonizing the gospels is so important. There are more important concepts to be understood.

I believe JM also wrote a book having to do with discrepancies - not sure and I'm too tired to go check.

But I will say this: Everyone should do whatever they feel is necessary to strengthen their faith since we, as humans, tend to doubt a lot.

Mark 12:30
Jesus said to love God with your heart, soul and mind.
Mind is knowledge. We must knowingly love God.
 

Papa Zoom

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Cyberseeker

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What contradictions?

Did you see the example I gave to Oz in post #4?

Another example is how the synoptic gospels puts the cleansing of the temple at the end of Christs ministry, just before his death. John places the temple cleansing at the beginning of his ministry, 3 years earlier. How do you explain that? I know how I explain it, but how does the breezy "what me worry" Christian explain it?
 

By Grace

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I know how I explain it, but how does the breezy "what me worry" Christian explain it?

Seriously, are you attempting to make classifications of Christians? I hope not.
I ask because one poster stated very clearly that the "order of the harmonies" is inconsequential, but you are seemingly taking issue with that approach. Therefore as a way to enlighten us about your intentions and beliefs, could you please explain to us why your belief in the orders of one harmony is so important?

Are you aware that the event happened twice, and that is the reason for your "discrepancy"?
 

Cyberseeker

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By Grace said:
Are you aware that the event happened twice, and that is the reason for your "discrepancy"?

Yes, 2 temple cleansings is how I would explain it. Here is my full article on the subject:

And, it is not "my" discrepancy; it is my example of how Bible critics call it a discrepancy. I am posting as an apologist - not as a critic. That is why I posted in this Apologetics forum.
 
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Jim Parker

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Another example is how the synoptic gospels puts the cleansing of the temple at the end of Christs ministry, just before his death. John places the temple cleansing at the beginning of his ministry, 3 years earlier. How do you explain that?
(1) Gospels are not history by today's definition.
(2) John placed the incident at a different time than the Synoptics because that's where he wanted it in his narrative.
(3) The purpose of each Gospel is to tell about Jesus death and resurrection, not to provide an exact chronology of His life.
Therefore: No "explanation" is necessary.
how does the breezy "what me worry" Christian explain it?
I have no idea.
I have no idea what you imagine a "breezy "what me worry" Christian" might be.
Sounds like some kind of cheap shot.
As for where the disciples were called (Jordan of Galilee), it is not important WHERE the disciples were called. What is important is THAT they were called.

You can find all kinds of "discrepancies" in the Bible when misapplying the modern, western notion of History to a document that is not, for the most part, a history.

So if you're looking for excuses not to believe in Jesus, there are plenty of them all over the place.
But they're just excuses, not reasons.

iakov the fool
 

By Grace

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Yes, 2 temple cleansings is how I would explain it. Here is my full article on the subject:

And, it is not "my" discrepancy; it is my example of how Bible critics call it a discrepancy. I am posting as an apologist - not as a critic. That is why I posted in this Apologetics forum.
Your post confuses me, along with your username and avatar.

  • Please if you consider yourself a Christian, or a "seeker" of some sort.
  • If you consider yourself a "seeker" what exactly is it that you seek?
  • You also call yourself an "apologist". Exactly whom or what is your intended audience for your "apologetics"?

I skimmed over your article on your website, and my reaction is "What exactly is your point?" No, I am not being argumentative, but I am seeking to understand your position. Therefore, I ask pointed questions. It is not personal.
 
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