Harmonizing the Gospels
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26-08-2015, 12:19 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(25-08-2015 09:51 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  I approach it like this: there are some details that absolutely depend on who you ask but others absolutely will not.
For example: I would not expect for every quote made by Jesus (assuming firsthand accounts) to be exactly the same. I would however, expect everyone to remember the dead rising from the grave and greeting people. That is hardly a minor detail that will be confounded between witnesses.

I would not expect statements made by people who could not have witnessed a particular event (i.e. Jesus in the desert) to be exactly the same. I would however, expect extensive external documentation of a 3 hour eclipse or a large earthquake.

The way I see it, there are some things that shouldn't be identical, but many others that should not be left out. Who the hell leaves out a zombie infestation?

Actually, I came across a compelling explanation for this over five years ago. It showcased how contemporaries might react to someone being exhumed from his natural grave and brought back to life as if it weren't worthy of any great notice. Granted it doesn't make any of the Gospels TRUE, but it thoroughly removes that particular objection.

Link.

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26-08-2015, 12:23 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
Ouch. I wish I was dead.

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26-08-2015, 06:49 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(25-08-2015 04:54 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  My question is this...I also often hear theists say that you have to read the gospels like you are at the scene of an accident. Every witness is going to have a different version of the same story.

I'm not sure which theists say that the Gospels should be read like this, besides perhaps some fundie evangelical types.

Quote: You may even have a person or two who thought that they saw something that they really didn't. Sub-stories may not jive completely but it all adds up to the same basic story-line.

What are your thoughts?

I think they do amount to the same basic story line, but not for the reasons you mentioned, as if the discrepancies between the Gospels writers is accounted for by hazy facts. You can't account for the differences between Mark and John as hazy facts. Their Jesus's speak differently, embody a different tone and demeanor. One possess a very nonchalant attitude to the world, the other a bit more antagonistic. Yet they have the same basic story-line, hence the reason why the four were selected in the first place, because the overall message, the spirit of the Jesus they believed in, is embodied in all three.
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26-08-2015, 07:48 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(26-08-2015 06:49 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think they do amount to the same basic story line, but not for the reasons you mentioned, as if the discrepancies between the Gospels writers is accounted for by hazy facts. You can't account for the differences between Mark and John as hazy facts. Their Jesus's speak differently, embody a different tone and demeanor. One possess a very nonchalant attitude to the world, the other a bit more antagonistic. Yet they have the same basic story-line, hence the reason why the four were selected in the first place, because the overall message, the spirit of the Jesus they believed in, is embodied in all three.

emphasis mine

The fact that certain versions were selected for inclusion because they agreed with the desired message is important. There were other gospels that were even more at odds with each other. I don't see that we have any reason to believe the ones selected were more accurate than any of the others, only more useful to those making the selections.

That there is a basic story line in at least 3 of the 4 gospels could be because they were all based on the same events or because they built on each other. Looking at the writings as a kind of fan fiction makes it all make sense. If the events described actually happened it would be difficult to explain why no outside records survived.

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26-08-2015, 07:59 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(25-08-2015 11:08 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  ..... okay, now I'm imagining Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John as a barbershop quartet.

You don't have to imagine. The Statler brothers already harmonized the gospels like that. Smile

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26-08-2015, 09:17 AM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2015 09:28 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(26-08-2015 07:48 AM)unfogged Wrote:  emphasis mine

The fact that certain versions were selected for inclusion because they agreed with the desired message is important. There were other gospels that were even more at odds with each other. I don't see that we have any reason to believe the ones selected were more accurate than any of the others, only more useful to those making the selections.

Nearly all of these other gospels were composed a great deal later than the four that were selected. The four were also the ones used by a wide variety of christian groups. So there are a reasons as to why they are deemed as more faithful recreations.

Quote:That there is a basic story line in at least 3 of the 4 gospels could be because they were all based on the same events or because they built on each other. Looking at the writings as a kind of fan fiction makes it all make sense. If the events described actually happened it would be difficult to explain why no outside records survived.

They did use similar sources, a wide variety of earlier material in their composition, hence the fidelity between them. Sources that trace back even earlier than the composition of each individual gospel. Where as the later gospels often include saying and events untraceable to any other narrative than their own, and only appearing another 100-200 years after the other four were penned.
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26-08-2015, 09:42 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
We understand that, Tomasia. It doesn't address any of the major objections raised.

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26-08-2015, 10:29 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
Thank you for the responses so far! I think that quite a few follow ups have given me ample food for thought. What I seem to be picking up is that the answer is much more nuanced than what could be presented in the metaphor of the car accident. I tend to agree with this. One other important thing to keep in mind regardless of which side one is arguing for is that metaphors aren't evidence of anything. They are just additional stories to help bridge a gap of understanding and need to be treated as such.

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26-08-2015, 10:31 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(26-08-2015 10:29 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  Thank you for the responses so far! I think that quite a few follow ups have given me ample food for thought. What I seem to be picking up is that the answer is much more nuanced than what could be presented in the metaphor of the car accident. I tend to agree with this. One other important thing to keep in mind regardless of which side one is arguing for is that metaphors aren't evidence of anything. They are just additional stories to help bridge a gap of understanding and need to be treated as such.

Right, but metaphors can sometimes be used to help drag them out of crazyville by putting things in a real world perspective.
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26-08-2015, 10:37 AM
RE: Harmonizing the Gospels
(26-08-2015 10:31 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(26-08-2015 10:29 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  Thank you for the responses so far! I think that quite a few follow ups have given me ample food for thought. What I seem to be picking up is that the answer is much more nuanced than what could be presented in the metaphor of the car accident. I tend to agree with this. One other important thing to keep in mind regardless of which side one is arguing for is that metaphors aren't evidence of anything. They are just additional stories to help bridge a gap of understanding and need to be treated as such.

Right, but metaphors can sometimes be used to help drag them out of crazyville by putting things in a real world perspective.

I agree completely that metaphors are useful...this is why i said:

Quote:They are just additional stories to help bridge a gap of understanding

I think we're on the semantics ground here..."dragging them out of crazyville" is just the "hip" way of saying what I said. I get it JB...you are coolor than me! Bowing Laugh out loadCool

But they still aren't evidence of anything.

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