Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Brand New Proof the Gospels Could Not Have Been Made Up: Either on Purpose or By Accident....
Great stuff by Dr. Peter Williams on the quality of the Gospels as eyewitness materials.
Williams follows three main arguments.
1) Percentage of People with Certain Names in 1st Century Palestine
The percentage of people with certain names is nearly exactly right in all of the gospels, whereas they are very off in books that are forgeries (such as Gnostic gospels). Since all scholars (skeptical and Christian) agree that the gospels were penned in locations other than Palestine, they must have known eyewitnesses who remembered very specific details. Williams notes that it is easy to remember stories, but not so easy to remember names. This is evident in our own lives, where we often forget the name of main characters in movies we watch.
2) Specific and Accurate Geographical Knowledge
The gospels show very specific knowledge of insignificant and small villages in Palestine, whereas the forgery gospels do not.
3) Botany and Climate Details
The gospel writers show knowledge of climate and botany of the area. Luke reports that Zachaeus climbed a Sycamore tree. Sycamore trees only existed in Palestine, upper Egypt, and lower Syria, and nowhere else in the Roman empire. Furthermore, one gospel writer reports that the grass was green at the feeding of the 5000. Research shows that this event took place right after 3 months of the rainiest time of year.
Only Three Options: But Two of Them Don't Work....
Williams says there are only 3 options. 1) They passed on legendary material 2) they purposely lied about Jesus or 3) ordinary people relating eyewitness accounts. Due to the new name frequency research since 2003 (and info about geography, botany, climate, etc.) it is very unlikely that the Gospel writers would be clever enough to purposely misrepresent the details of the Gospels if they have such accuracy with name frequency. Furthermore, people passing on oral traditions or loosely remembered legends would not get such accuracy either.
Have fun he's a funny guy and quite the beast at this sort of stuff........
Posted by David Wilkinson (Eschologizer) at 12:38 AM