Friday, January 15, 2010

Are the Gospel's historically reliable?

George Hunsinger has a helpful guest post, on the historical reliability of the Gospels on Ben Myer's blog. To motivate you to read the whole post here are a few snippets:

a strong historical case can indeed be made in favor of Christ's resurrection, for example, but not one that I think is beyond "reasonable" doubt. Reason, in any case, reaches its categorical limit here. Affirming or denying Christ's resurrection — or better, affirming or denying the Risen Christ — is well beyond the competency of mere reason.....

Knock-down arguments in this world are rare. The point is rather that the historical claims of the gospel are susceptible to a respectable defense. Again, however, I think that in the end these kinds of considerations are only secondary, and are at best merely preliminary.

The Christian faith is far more a matter of radical conversion than it is of rational persuasion. The claim that a marginal Jew who was put to death on a cross should have been raised from the dead so that he now reigns as Lord and Savior is never going to be plausible to rational or evidential considerations.

It is finally not we who read the NT, but the NT that reads us. It calls us and our detached role as would-be authoritative, evidence-weighing spectators radically into question. That is why it is so dangerous.

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