Brilliant Defense of the Historicity of the Gospels

Moving Toward Christmas: Showing the Foundations of our Confidence

Dr. Peter WilliamsThe following is a lengthy video but it is well worth it. It is common for non-believers to say things like: “The New Testament was written down two or three generations after the events they describe. We don’t even know for sure if a person named Jesus lived.” Usually, there is no evidence given or if they are a bit more sophisticated they might quote someone like Bart Erhman to try to make their case.

Bart Erhman would be hard pressed to answer these lines of evidence. Dr. Peter Williams is this century’s F.F. Bruce giving a similar but more up to date defense of the reliablity of the New Testament. Bruce’s classic, New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? is still a valuable read but you will love this video.

Home schooling parents, this would be a good video to work into your curriculum. Husbands and wives, turn the TV off and watch this video together. It will strengthen your faith and Dr. Williams even manages to be funny as well as informative.

Lecture by Britisher Dr. Peter Williams at Lanier Theological Library, Houston, TX


2 thoughts on “Brilliant Defense of the Historicity of the Gospels

  1. Calling this video a “Brilliant Defense of the Historicity of the Gospels” only displays your lack of familiarity with the Gospels, their content, their history, and their origins. The apologists in this video had a very bad case of tunnel vision. Dr. Williams was it? Anyway, there are much better explanations for the points the good Dr. brought up. And these explanations don’t need an hour at a podium evincing historical contortions, nor displaying the mental gyrations evident in the above video.

    Originally, every word in the Gospels came from scripture. Period. It is called midrash, but the Gospels themselves are orated stories (from, say, a podium) as generated from that midrash technique. In fact, there is strong evidence that The Gospel According to St. Mark was adapted from a play narrative for a Jewish Graeco-Roman audience (eg. Triumphal March 15:15-19). The Gospels were motivated by the platonic descending-ascending theological explanations expressed by those with a need for a new covenant. This Son of Man theology accorded by the platonic Anointed Savior sects as was communicated by apostolic writers (similar to the likes of Paul/Saul et al.) through the Epistles to the congregations of the Jewish Diaspora, who were dispersed around Europe and Asia Minor from the onset of the Roman conquest and occupation. The Gospels are post hoc prophetic narratives as humanized and historicized from Jewish anointed savior sect’s theological explanations of imagined platonic (spirit world) representation at the right hand of Yahweh, that is, his begotten son. That’s it.

    The oppressed of the Diaspora needed a new mythical hero, so like all religions in such straights, it accommodated them with a spiritual emanation and spiritual mediator for a new covenant with Yahweh whose wrath the Sons of Man (Man being the Fathers) felt they did not deserve, for the old covenant was with and broken by the fathers. Only, they had to stay within there sacred writings, the scriptures, when looking for prophecies.

    The reason the names statistically correlate (besides the obvious fact that the main place to find names for such a study now would be from extant documents, most of which are primarily religious text of the time) is because the Diaspora got their names from the same place the Gospels got theirs, OT scripture, more specifically the Greek Septuagint. This also explains the Sycamore tree, sycomore (Latin) in 8 verses of the KJV, 7 of which are in the OT. This explanation continues to clarify why the cultural centers, villages and place names are used in the Gospels but relative distances and directions are absurdly misrepresented. Such cases as the pigs of Gadarene running more than 11 kilometers to the water, or the itinerary of this Jesus character taking a tact equivalent to Pensacola to Atlanta by way of Tampa, on foot. The absurdity of the nativity narrative in Luke in which a woman, the subject of a different Ruler, is dragged across to 2 provinces on the back of an ass on the eve of the birth of her baby–to do what? To be counted in a city they are not from to pay taxes which there is no historical evidence were ever called for, no. It is for the same reason every word of the Gospels were written. To be post hoc prophecy fulfillment of the scripture to bring about an apocalyptic revenge against, and purging of, the usurpers and occupiers of the homeland of Yahweh. The Gospels even admit as much in many places. Such as, John 19:36,
    “For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, …” . Or, there is the revenge angle, Luke 21:22
    “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” How about a verse that ties the descending-ascending platonic (spirit world) anointed savior theology with OT writings and epistolary expressions thereof (see: Hebrews 1:5 and many others) to the Gospel post hoc fulfillment of scripture: Acts 13:33
    “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”

    By far the best evidence for the scriptural origins of most, if not all, of the details of the Gospels is in the last words of this mythical Jesus characters narrated life, in Matthew 27:46 the words, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” or “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Which is contradictory to the narrative that claims he was sent to be sacrificed and is made to say he knew it. But more to the point, it is, in fact, a quote from the first verse of Psalm 22. No, of course this never happened.

    I hope this puts you off the habit of believing mythology as fact, and misjudging others as incompetent for not sharing in the delusion. Thanks


  2. Beachbum, my new atheist friend …

    I will take a little time to answer some of your ramblings. I stand by my evaluation of Dr. Willimas lecture. And you have actually helped my case. Your missive makes numerous declarations but gives no evidence. For example: saying, as you do in paragraph two, that “the Gospel of Mark was adapted from a play narrative …” doesn’t make it so. You offer no evidence. You simply make a statement. As a point of fact, check almost any biblical journal written in the last ten years, dealing with this once popular theory in theologically liberal circles, and you will find no one who seriously considers this. Your “scholarship” is old and outdated. Same could be said for your supposed and completely hypothetical platonic-anointed savior sect. Where is the documentary evidence for such a sect? There is none.

    Your suggestion that Dr. Williams evidence is explained by the LXX is interesting and certainly, it is plausible that the LXX exerted some influence on place names and names of individuals. But that is hardly a refutation of the preponderance and power of his arguments. As for the Gadarene pigs running 11K, … the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke do not say that they did. Gadara (Modern day Umm Qais) is the major town of the region from which the region derived its name, but the region of the Gadarenes is all that the text requires. Only someone with an ax to grind and a priori assumptions that the text must be in error would place the pigs in the city. Honestly, do you really think that 2000 pigs would be allowed in the city, or is it more likely that they were tended some distance away from Gadara but still in the region? Have you ever smelled the excrement of 2000 pigs? Again, your so-called theories are old and tired.

    As for the Roman census of the infancy narrative … check your history. We now know that the Roman’s conducted regular census on a roughly every 14 year cycle. We even have census data going back into the second and third centuries. Check a more modern commentary than you apparently have at your disposal, on the these accounts.

    My friend, you are the one displaying belief in myths not me. Jesus is no myth and today as he did in the first century he announces to you that his kingdom has come near, repent and believe the gospel. He offers forgiveness of sins, hope, purpose and as a bonus, eternal life. I urge you to trust him. Then we can be more than friends. We can be brothers.


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