1- Missionary Myths Refuted: The Gospels Are Eyewitness Accounts

The claim (myth) goes as follows:

“The Gospels are 4 eyewitness accounts, 4 accounts written by 4 men who were witnesses to the events that took place in the life of Jesus. These 4 men decided to write 4 of their own accounts concerning the events that took place during the lifetime of Jesus, it’s basically like 4 people who witnessed a baseball game, and telling everybody about what happened during the game in their own unique way”

So let us set the record straight, to begin with, not a single one of the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses. Not one of the Gospels was written in the lifetime of Jesus, the earliest known Gospel recounting the life of Jesus came 30-35 years after his ministry, this being the Gospel of Mark. The last Gospel, the Gospel of John, wasn’t written until the end of the 1st century, or the start of the 2nd century according to which scholarly position you take. So therefore the Gospels were not like 4 eyewitnesses to a baseball game recording what happened. Put it this way, the first Gospel writer wrote about the baseball game 30-35 years after it happened.

More to this point, not only were the Gospels not written by eyewitnesses, they weren’t even written by people who knew Jesus in any capacity, they aren’t even accounts that were dictated by the disciples of Jesus, or the disciples of Jesus’ disciples. Though some Christian tradition states that some of the disciples had a role in recounting the events we find in the Gospels, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim, as the Gospel writers never make that claim in their accounts, for example the Gospel of Mark never writes that I wrote this Gospel based on the disciples recounting of what happened.

The Gospels were basically written decades after Jesus, by unknown authors, we don’t know whom the authors of the Gospels were, they are anonymous writers. Not only do we not know who they are, we don’t know who their sources were, there is no chain of transmission concerning where they got their stories from.

What we do know is that stories concerning Jesus were being passed around and circulated amongst the people, and that’s how the early Gospels were basically written, based on the stories they were hearing. But in specifics, we don’t know who was passing these stories, and we don’t know from whom the Gospel writers got their specific stories.

What we also find amongst the Gospels are stories that are being changed. For instance a story found in the earlier Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, is modified and changed in the Gospel of Matthew and Luke. One example is an incident that takes place in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks Peter to tell him who he thinks he is, Peter responds back by calling Jesus the Messiah. The same story is posted in Matthew, yet Peter adds something else, not only is Jesus the Messiah, but the Son of the Living of God. So we can see how Matthew has modified and evolved the story for Jesus, he is now the Son of the Living God.

Another example is the baptism of Jesus with John the Baptist. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus comes to be baptized by John, yet in Matthew, when Jesus comes to get baptized, John protests and says Jesus must baptize him. So Matthew has once again changed and modified the story to make Jesus look better, or to remove something that might have seemed embarrassing, such as how could Jesus get baptized by John? So he modifies it and puts John’s protest, all of which is missing from the earlier account of Mark.

You can even find modifications concerning the criminals beside Jesus on the cross, according to Mark and Matthew, none of the criminals believe in Jesus, according to Matthew BOTH OF THEM mock Jesus. Yet in Luke, one of the criminals mocks Jesus, while the other becomes a believer who will be in paradise with Jesus. So Luke has taken the two earlier stories, and has put his own modification to portray Jesus in a better light.

What all of this shows is that the Gospel writers were not honest historians truthfully recounting what happened, rather they were actively changing the stories, and evolving the stories to portray Jesus in a better light, as well as to remove any possible embarrassing stories. These modifications show that the writers were theologically driven, and hence they are not simple historical accounts, as evangelicals would have us believe. This makes us ask the next logical question, what else did they decide to change and modify, or perhaps even leave out due to embarrassment?

All of the information I have given are basic facts accepted and taught within academia, and when I say academia, I include Christian academia and scholarship as well.

In conclusion, the 4 Gospels are not 4 eyewitness accounts, they were written decades after Jesus, by people who did not see or know him, and by people who were theologically driven in writing their accounts, i.e. they were not actual historical accounts.


Categories: Christianity, General

16 replies »

  1. Sir Samialathar, The reedy of your being redundant is amusing of how you are fixated on christianty. henceforth you can have concatenation of Jesus as your lord. Goodbye.

    • Basically, you can’t refute any of what I said, so to make yourself feel better, and to enforce your faith, you write a bunch of nonsense, ohhhhh your so obsessed with Christianity, and because of this you have made Jesus your Lord! Erm yeah, whatever you say.

      Btw, stay tuned, I have many more articles coming. That’s just 1 myth we have dealt with, many more myths to address and refute.

  2. Greeting Samialathar, Oho conducting insults of ones faith is what you are doing Samialathar so were is the dialogue and hospitality that you so have. Christianty is an relationship with the Lord Jesus. It’s not religiosity. So reload your mythical weapon. You are scorning Jesus and the Quarn says that Jesus is to be exalted.

  3. Mr Samialathar, If you follow meme you are the heir of that thinking. In saying. But could God become a box. Would be an demonstration of the forth dimension passing on. You can be better than that.

  4. “Christianty is an relationship with the Lord Jesus.”

    you are having a relationship with essence/hypostatis, not with FULLY/COMPLETE/100 percent diety. so basically you are having relationship with FUNCTIONLESS thing, it is only when the 3 persons are glued together do you get trinity and your relationship.

  5. Welcome Dale, Using a perambulator that the creator brought forth in the beinning that is Jesus. Omniscient,Omnipotent,omnipresent. DEITY in one! You are being onerous.

  6. is EACH person in your trinity Omniscient,Omnipotent,omnipresent?
    is EACH person COMPLETE god?
    is EACH person NOT complete god
    when god says ” i am jeolous god” is the I made out of trinitarian ingredients for god i.e hypostatis/nature/essence?

  7. Hi Dale, Please open your retina and use the faculty you have. Stop with being rhetorically whsmsical or on one will take you serious? Henceforth and read all of Genesis chapter 11 in content. Mock-up is your game of the all might?

  8. Two of the biggest assumptions that many Christians make regarding the truth claims of Christianity is that, one, eyewitnesses wrote the four gospels. The problem is, however, that the majority of scholars today do not believe this is true. The second big assumption many Christians make is that it would have been impossible for whoever wrote these four books to have invented details in their books, especially in regards to the Empty Tomb and the Resurrection appearances, due to the fact that eyewitnesses to these events would have still been alive when the gospels were written and distributed.

    But consider this, dear Reader: Most scholars date the writing of the first gospel, Mark, as circa 70 AD. Who of the eyewitnesses to the death of Jesus and the alleged events after his death were still alive in 70 AD? That is four decades after Jesus’ death. During that time period, tens of thousands of people living in Palestine were killed in the Jewish-Roman wars of the mid and late 60’s, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem.

    How do we know that any eyewitness to the death of Jesus in circa 30 AD was still alive when the first gospel was written and distributed in circa 70 AD? How do we know that any eyewitness to the death of Jesus ever had the opportunity to read the Gospel of Mark and proof read it for accuracy?

    I challenge Christians to list in the comment section below, the name of even ONE eyewitness to the death of Jesus who was still alive in 70 AD along with the evidence to support your claim.

    If you can’t list any names, dear Christian, how can you be sure that details such as the Empty Tomb, the detailed resurrection appearances, and the Ascension ever really occurred? How can you be sure that these details were not simply theological hyperbole…or…the exaggerations and embellishments of superstitious, first century, mostly uneducated people, who had retold these stories thousands of times, between thousands of people, from one language to another, from one country to another, over a period of many decades?

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