The problems with knowing what Jesus actually said

A good discussion between Ijaz and Bart Ehrman

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Categories: Bart Ehrman, Beauty, Biblical scholarship, Christianity

8 replies

  1. same thing with oral sayings :

    quote :

    “Second, the claim that Jesus and the disciples would have prevented error from accruing, which is a common evangelical argument, is disproved by the contents of the gospels themselves and contrary to what our expectations would be. In the gospels we’re told that Jesus himself couldn’t prevent listeners from telling tales he didn’t want told. The gospels tell us that false reports concerning Jesus circulated widely and in fact Jesus directed the disciples to not bother correcting them. Making up things was considered pious and acceptable in this culture. Gnostic teaching was accepted widely. Gospel reports indicate erroneous resurrection belief. John the Baptist was thought to be raised but this is a case of mistaken identity. This is proof that this error is easy to make. In the Gospel of John we’re told that Jesus did say he’d destroy the temple in 3 days, but John allegorizes the story. Mark and Matthew tell us that Jesus said no such thing and only false witnesses say he did. Luke says that Steven is reported to have said it. Look at every day experience. What preacher hasn’t been chagrined to learn what others have thought him to have said? Look at the fact that rabbis can’t keep straight who it is that supposedly uttered a statement, attributing the same wise saying to various sages. Why does Mt 10 tell us that Jesus wanted the gospel to go only to the Jews, Mt 28 says he wanted it spread far and wide, and yet at Acts 15 they’re debating whether the gospel should go to Gentiles as if they’ve never heard of the great commission?”

    quote :

    The ability of a few of Jesus’ closest followers to contain the growth of legend would have been further hampered if the legends were growing in several different locales, for in this case they would have had the nearly impossible task of being present everywhere, stamping out all of the unhistorical legends. Eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry may also have viewed the correction of legends and policing of historical accuracy for events that occurred before Jesus’ death as a relatively trivial pursuit if their focus was mainly on Jesus’ future return. In this case, their priority would have been on convincing non-believers and galvanizing believers of the most important thing that they believed was true – that Jesus was the Messiah, had been raised from the dead, and would be back very soon. Any restraint a few firsthand eyewitnesses did provide would have been further diminished as they died off in the decades after Jesus’ death.

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  2. Islam makes a bold historical claim, that prophets were sent to every nation throughout time, and most authentic Hadiths on the matter of their quantity point to a number of 120 000. Reasonably, there should be at least some archeological\scriptural evidence in favor of existence of such simplified monotheistic cults outside the Abrahamic branch. Are they?

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    • ‘Islam makes a bold historical claim’ – actually our belief about this comes from the Quran, which is the Revelation from God Himself. We accept the truth of this by faith.

      There is some evidence of course scattered around the world. Indigenous African religions especially.

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  3. I thought this Ijaz fellow was dead or dying, wasn’t supposed to make it to the first of the year.
    Well I guess we still have a few weeks left.

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  4. That’s an important task for the Islamic case to point at these (African, Chinese, South American, etc.) societies\their sources, which had beliefs alluding to a scheme Prophet-sent by One God-to nation to worship Him through rites. Yet I haven’t seen any of such evidences uncovered and demonstrated by Muslims on their blogs. Also it is expectable to see some posts dedicated to Ebionites (or whichever of those sects were closely monotheistic) that would help demonstrate some living continuity between the prophets, and destroy the sceptics’ notion that the Quranic concept rather represented Muhammad’s wishful thinking to unite all known Prophets of the past under the same banner. Good blog anyway – just my humble and encouraging reader’s advice to write more on this matter 🙂

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