Men VERY close to the events claimed these gospels were written by the apostles as well as Luke and mark. But that proof is not good enough for some. No proof would be enough, it seems, to those that don't want to believe it. The same tactic could be made of almost any historical figure. "Yeah, they said it, but I find it unlikely." Yet most of this ridiculous skepticism is directed at the bible and it's authors.
Why did the Early Church Accept the Four NT Gospels and Reject the Gnostic Gospels?
Even in my present disbelief, I have found many of these 'fast and loose' Gospel critiques to be deficient. Comparing Gnostic writings with the 4 Gospels is like comparing born agains with Scientology - and that doesn't intend any disrespect for all Gnostic ideas.
What has always puzzled me is how radically different the viewpoints of the Gospel writers were: Matthew (Judaism), Luke (Hellenism), Mark (Roman) and John (whack-ado Proto-Gnostic/ Mystic).
If the 4 gospels were exactly the same people would accuse them of getting together to conspire to make them the same. But the gospels were written with different audiences in mind.
Do we have real proof that some of the ancient Latin and Greek writings are from the purported authors?
In the case of the Gospels, we have early, subsequent writings of those who claim to have known the apostles.
Not really a balanced analogy because the ancient Latin and Greek writers never claimed the only true God was speaking the ideas
they were writing nor did they indicate eternal destruction would be visited upon those who disagreed with them.
The stakes are much higher with Scripture purported to be HOLY.
Which is exactly the point, Terry.
If they were so HOLY, then why did the Lord shroud them in mystery?
In my short reading today the writers were purported to be disciples of Paul, who himself met Jesus after the deed. The canonical claim is about seventy years after the death of Jesus. In the article I quoted, the earliest manuscripts we have date around 120 years after Jesus' death. That's a fifty-year gap. And you are suggesting that these writers were very close to the event in question?
We haven't even passed the fifty-year mark from the assasination of John Kennedy, not to mention 120 years. Have you noticed over the years that authors are ever more confident in identifying the Shooter on the Grassy Knoll? Can an author 120 years after the event claim to have first-hand knowledge of the events in question?
Those may be the earliest manuscripts we have jgnat, but the some of the ante nicene fathers were much closer to the events, and they verify much in the gospels. Some of them were even disciples of th apostles. These men's writings were so thorough that we could a actually piece together the gospels based on their writings alone.
Maybe the word Gospel was easier to pronounce than Gnostic.
Rub a Dub
The Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Gospels were easiest to massage into a "horus-like sun god" myth. Especially John. The other gospels were rounded up in the early Roman church and burned. It was very obvious even in the second century that this weird branch of Judiasm was not going anywhere and was spreading like a virus. 3/4 of the population was slave and this was offering the people a God that valued them as individualis and said everyone counts and can be empowered. This was very scary to the Romans. They had to find a way to elevate Jesus and co-op him into a more aloof deity.
Jesus was just a blank canvas to a lot of people. Ask the Jews who died in the revolt in Jerusalem in 70 CE? Many were waiting on him to return like the calvary.
The Jewish people who thought Jesus was the Messiah soon found themselves at odds with the Paul and the Pauline crowds. Paul was in fact viewed as an Apostate by the Jewish groups who favored James the Just and were Torah observant.