I don't think you are being very fair here. I never pretended to have all of the answers to every one of your and Narkissos' questions right at my finger tips and sitting there in my brain just waiting to pop out whenever you ask a question? If I have to do a little digging, so what! That doesn't mean there isn't a good answer, and it doesn't imply that you are right and I and everyone else is wrong. So let's get a little bit real here.
Wait a little bit!.... Just hang on a bit!.... You betcha. What's wrong with that? I have not tried to ignore any one of your questions, nor Narkissos', and I have been dealing with them point-by-pont-by point, very methodically. Just because I haven't answered them all yet, just because some of this is a work-in-process, does not mean that I've got my "dinger in a wringer". I think you got some answering to do too, Gumby. Maybe I should start peppering you with a bunch of questions, like a sniper waiting in the bushes for the first opportunity, and then shoot the hell out of you whenever I get the chance. Then if you take a while to get back to me, I can start accusing you of having your "dinger in a wringer"!
Now, tell me about these "wild maybe's" in my posts. Show me. I have tried to show YOU from the gospels that the so-called contradictions you claim are in there are NOT really there, and this was done with geography, with chronology, with comparisons, and with reasoning as to context and cause and effect, and so on. You, on the other hand, seem bent on pushing your agenda that the Gospel accounts are bogus at any cost! Well that's easy for you to say, but you certainly have not yet (there's that word again) demonstrated to me or anyone else here that you found a "big ol' fat lie in there again". So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Gumby!
Yes, I most certainly HAVE considered the question as to whether the Gospel accounts are real or bogus. In spades! I had a gejillion questions and doubts along the way, and I still have a pile of unanswered questions, and probably will till I die. I'm sure we all do. Look at science- the more questions they answer, the more new ones crop up. It is a never ending pursuit. But just because we don't have all the answers does not negate everything. You don't see scientists abandoning their fields just because there are unanswered questions, and even experimental results that often contradict one another. That does not make them blind or stupid or gullible.
I have a "core belief" from the depth of my being, and that is that there is a God. I also believe that there is evidence all around us today, as well as in history, and yes, even in the Bible, that God is part of the overall equation of Reality and the Universe. And I am also in tune with a lot of the descriptors offered by the Gnostics, even though I don't agree with a lot of what they say. I also told you that I do have a lot of problems with the Bible. It's just that I think you have been erecting some "straw men" respecting the gospel accounts, and that is where I get off. There are a lot more serious questions to be concerned with than the ones you have brought up, and that is my point also.
With regard to the epistles. Most of these letters written to various Christian congregations were by the Apostle Paul. (And let me tell you, I have some real questions and problems about him which I won't get into right now.) But the accounts about the life of Jesus were already out there in circulation. How do you think there were converts to the Christian churches of Paul's day? Now why should the epistles have to necessarily be yet another account of the life of Jesus. They simply had another purpose, and a biography of Jesus was not one of them. Another thing, a number of Apostles in Paul's day were still alive. They headquartered in Jerusalem, but also travelled around the country preaching the gospel, and testified of Jesus. They were living testimonials of Jesus Christ, rather than historical monuments written up in a book, since they were with Jesus during his ministries and were therefore eyewitnesses. Paul was the only Apostle who was not there with Jesus during his ministries, but did encounter him on the road to Damascus. If you were Paul, and you were visiting different churches in different locations, would you be writing the life of Jesus every time you wrote them a letter? Of course not. But Paul did have a lot to say about Jesus as the Messiah, and his fulfillment of prophesy, and the meaning of his death and resurrection, and faith and works, and love, etc. etc. etc. He did not necessarily have to write another account of the life of Jesus. Also, there were a lot of sayings of Jesus that different people had remembered when Jesus spoke to them, and they were written down. There were so many letters and documents being circulated, that what started to happen is that one guy would start saying this teaching or that doctrine, while another one was saying a teaching that contradicted the other guy. And so what you had was a lot of confusion in circulation, which needed to be straightened out. Eventually, councils were convened, and bishops gave rulings as to what was authentic or accurate or doctrinally consistent with Jesus' teachings, and what was not. And then we get into that whole vast subject of what became included in the bible canon, and what did not. The point is, though, there was undoubtedly a lot of written material on the Life of Jesus Christ that was already available to the believers of those days. And so the fact that the epistles do not deliver another account of the Life of Jesus like the Gospels do does not bother me in the least, and most certainly does not provide evidence that the Gospel accounts are all bogus.
Why don't you sit down and write us all a nice post that explains exactly how and why and when and by who this whole Gospel account thing is all bogus? That oughta be a good one. Oh, and don't mind if I take a few pot shots at the things you say. It might even be fun to sit and watch you squirm a bit, or even duck once in a while.
Yes, I know that in the final analysis, it all boils down to a matter of faith, and the choices we make.