God's Plan for Your Salvation
The Historical Jesus
In recent years, there has been a renewed discussion as to who Jesus of
Nazareth was. The general consensus among non evangelical scholars has
been that the Jesus presented in the Bible, and the one who actually walked
on the earth are two distinctly different people. The Bias of the Gospel
and Epistles authors is often cited as the problem.
Was Jesus the Messiah, God in the flesh, Savior, and Son of God as Christians
proclaim Him to be? Or was He just a teacher of wisdom who
lived in first century Palestine? Does Jesus have relevance in our lives
today? Though I am a Christian some would say that this biases
me I will show that my faith, and my fellow believers' faith
in Jesus Christ is rooted in historical fact -- not on mythology.
Past and Present Quests for the Historical
The Old Quest
The Old Quest for the Historical Jesus spanned the years 1778-1906. Samuel
Reimarus (1694-1768) wrote an article entitled "On the Intention
of Jesus and His Disciples", and it was published posthumously, ten
years after his death most probably because the ideas were considered
extremely controversial during his lifetime. On the Intention was one
of the series of articles Reimarus wrote which later came to be known
as the "Wolfenbuttel Fragments". The publication of Reimarus
paper roughly marks the beginning of the Old Quest period. He proposed
a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of Christian
faith was proposed, and was probably one of the first such scholarly distinctions,
modern scholars have since followed suit. Reimarus believed that one could
know Jesus without having to believe in miracles. Reimaurs Jesus
had eschatological or end times convictions, similar to
those represented when Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of God
is at hand." According to Reimarus, Jesus death proved that
he and his lifes work was a total failure, but the disciples didnt
want to accept this because then they would have to go back to their hard
working fishermen jobs as opposed to the life of ease they enjoyed following
after Jesus. They therefore stole Jesus body, and later proclaimed
him to be risen from the dead, inventing stories of his Second Coming
along the way.
Reimarus reconstruction has no historical grounding whatsoever.
His view of Jesus is founded on his presuppositions and what he believes
is rational. This is not history. Jesus disciples did not have an
easy life following him. They were harshly persecuted, often placing their
very lives in danger. Making up stories of Jesus resurrection would
then cause the disciples to suffer for their faith, and not only that,
but to subject their families to torturous deaths as well. Very few people
are willing to suffer for what they know is a lie. "And even if they
didnt have the courage to expose the lie, it is likely that they
would have at least stopped preaching it when the suffering increased.
But they didnt, and Christianity spread like wildfire" (Ingolfsland
David Frederich Strauss (1808-1874) was a student of Georg William Hegel,
who held to a view of history where each historical movement (thesis)
is confronted by a counter-movement (antithesis). The thesis and antithesis
are at some point resolved in a synthesis. This synthesis then becomes
the new thesis, which produces another antithesis, and so on. Strauss
believed that the thesis for Christianity was the tradition that the gospels
were reliable concerning the person of Jesus, and the antithesis was the
idea that the gospels were basically accurate, once the miracle accounts
were removed or otherwise explained. The synthesis was provided by Strauss
theory that the gospel events never happened. He saw the gospels as myths.
"To Strauss, myth was not a bad term. Myth is an idea
expressed in historical form. The important thing was to get beyond the
myth to the idea behind it" (Ingolfsland 7). Strauss believed that
Jesus death caused the disciples to lose their faith entirely. They
therefore returned to their old jobs in Galilee. Their faith was then
revived, so much so that they began having visions of Jesus, and preached
of his resurrection. The book The Life of Jesus Critically Examined written
by Strauss in 1835 further explains his theory. This book was written
at a popular level, and was one of the most influential books up until
that time. Strauss book denied the historicity of the Gospels because
the supernatural events described in the Gospels are judged by Strauss
to be almost entirely mythical. Because the myths permeated the Gospel
texts so thoroughly, the non-mythical portions cannot be trusted either.
There are a few problems with Strauss theory. He places the gospels
in the category of mythology. The gospels fit better into the category
of ancient biography. "While ancient biographies in general may have
contained some mythological elements, they were written to tell the reader
about the subject and cannot simply be dismissed at mythology"
(Ingolfsland 8). Strauss also dates the Gospels to the second century,
contrary to the most critical scholarship. There is also no reason given
for the disciples faith to suddenly return, and this is foundational
for Strauss theory because the revived faith caused the visions.
Up until the 1800s it was widely accepted that Matthew was the first
Gospel account to be written down. That changed in an 1835 essay by Karl
Lachmann, who proposed that Mark wrote the first of the Synoptic Gospels.
In 1838 two scholars C.G. Wilke and C.H. Weisse, took the theory of Markan
priority further, proposing that Mark wrote 1st, and that his gospel was
a common source for both Matthew and Luke. Matthew and Luke also used
another common source Q (Q stands for Quelle, which is a German
word meaning source) according to Johannes Weiss, 1890. Q material is
material common to Matthew and Luke but absent from Mark. The existence
of a Q document is only a hypothesis; no such document has ever been recovered.
The Q hypothesis is one way to explain the synoptic problem the
similarities between the three gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke. Theories
using Q can be more or less elaborate depending on the scholar. One elaborate
Q hypothesis is a triple layered stratification by John S. Kloppenborg.
The earliest stratum according to this theory, is Q-1which contains sapiential
material. Q-2 is slightly later than Q-1, and contains the addition of
chreiai (wisdom sayings added to short narratives). Q-3 is the latest
Q material, and has the temptation story added to it, which further developed
the prevalent tendency toward narrative-biographical material. According
to some more liberal scholars, Q functioned as a full-fledged gospel for
its community, and from it we can derive what the Q community knew
and what they did not know about Jesus.
Bruno Bauer was the most anti-Christianity scholar up to this point in
historical Jesus study. Bauer believed that Mark wrote first, and that
Mark was a purely literary work, and an unreliable one at that. Since
the other Gospel accounts were highly dependent on Mark, there is nothing
historical about any of them. He believed that Christianity originally
met a need within the people of that time, and the gospels had no foundation
in history, Jesus never existed and therefore Christianity was a fairy
tale with no historical foundation. His was by far the most radical viewpoint
of his day. "Baur simply fails to deal with the evidence. There is
simply too much historical evidence to deny Jesus existence. The
only denials today generally come from hard core atheist groups more concerned
with ideology than history or truth" (Ingolfsland 10).
William Wrede (1859-1906) proposed that the Gospel of Mark was not written
by Mark, but was created by the "Markan community" or the church.
The early church gave Jesus His Messiah status. Jesus never claimed to
be the Messiah, and His disciples never thought of Him as the Messiah
either. The early church made up the portions in Mark where Jesus warned
against speaking about Him and the things He had done, especially about
Him being the Messiah. Wrede deemed this the "messianic secret".
After Wredes theory, other liberal scholars started catching on,
and saw the church as being behind the gospels, not the gospels as the
foundation of the church. Evidence for Jesus view of himself will
be presented later in this paper; there is plenty to negate Wredes
attestation that Jesus never thought of himself as the Messiah.
Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) became a pioneer in the use of form criticism,
his methodology was based on existential philosophy, which believes that
man has been thrown into the world, and is approaching death in an otherwise
meaningless existence. He believes that the New Testament has the answer
to mans meaningless existence. We find our meaning in the saving
cross of Christ preached. Bultmann believed that we could be sure that
Jesus existed, and died on the cross, but thats about all we can
know about him. His existence and death are all that are required for
Christian faith. ". . . people are not saved because Jesus died on
the cross to pay for peoples sins. People, according to Bultmann,
are saved because they make an existential decision to die to themselves
and live for Christ (though we cant know much of anything historically
about Christ)" (Ingolfsland 20). Bultmann denied the possibility
of miracles in the sense of the supernatural. Bultmann held to the idea
that the historical Jesus did not matter, this is contrary to Pauls
affirmation that "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching
is vain, your faith also is vain" (I Corinthians 15:14). The person
of Jesus Christ was very important to early church fathers and first generation
Closing out the Old Quest period Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) wrote The
Quest for the Historical Jesus in 1906. This book critiqued previous scholars
theories about Jesus. "He argued that each new Testament scholar
constructed a totally unhistorical view of Jesus, based not on the evidence,
but on the scholars philosophical presuppositions" (Ingolfsland
18). Schwietzer then went on to construct his own theory regarding Jesus
true identity. He believed that Jesus had an inner experience at his baptism,
and after that experience, he began to think of himself as the Messiah.
It wasnt until he was on the cross, that he realized he had been
wrong, and so he cried out, "it is finished" it total, utter
despair. This account does not account for the spread of Christianity
and founding of the church. "The death of a messiah was
usually understood as proof positive that the dead man was not a messiah
at all! The Jesus movement not only continued, but mushroomed because
the people were convinced that he had actually done miracles and had risen
from the dead" (Ingolfsland 19). Jesus of Nazareth was exactly who
He said He was.
After the Old Quest came a brief No Quest period. The dates of these divisions
are not generally agreed upon, and are approximations. According to one
estimate, the No Quest period was from approximately 1892 to the 1950s
where the New Quest began (Boyd 38). The fact remains that there was a
no quest period regardless of the dates associated with that period. Albert
Schweitzer in his above-mentioned book wrote of some reasons why there
may have been a no quest period. The first was that liberal scholars had
a tendency to "find a Jesus after their own image." Much of
the Old Quest was also optimistic in the reliability of Mark, scholars
then moved toward less reliability of Mark, making it more theological
than historical. William Wrede postulated just such a view in "The
Messianic Secret", which describes Mark as a history of dogma, not
historical record. Because Mark was so thoroughly discredited, the Old
Quest was considered hopeless. Also, form criticism (attempts to investigate
oral tradition behind the Gospels) focused on the process of oral transmission
oral Jesus tradition is a mixture of history and early Christian
fabrications and a naturalistic worldview which excludes miracles.
Excluding miracles eliminates a great deal of material about Jesus. There
was some doubt as to whether it was even necessary to have a historical
quest for Jesus.
The New Quest
Despite questions of relevance, there was a second quest for the historical
Jesus called the New Quest for the Historical Jesus (1959-1979). This
second attempt was necessary because the Old Quest didnt produce
much actual historical information about the Jesus of history that scholars
claimed to be searching for. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in
1947 also renewed scholarly interest in the historical person of Jesus,
and thereby became a catalyst for the New Quest. This second significant
quest for the historical Jesus was fairly short lived.
German scholar, Earnst Kasemann who believed that the historical Jesus
could be uncovered by using critical analysis, is generally credited with
inaugurating the New Quest for the historical Jesus. Gunther Borkamm was
another New Quest German scholar, who emphasized the importance of Jesus
words and preaching. Borkamm believed that Jesus "brings people face
to face with God, and therefore confronts them with the necessity of making
an existential decision of what to do about the issue of God in their
lives" (Ingolfsland 21). Then there was Earnst Fuchs, who suggested
that the psychological motives behind Jesus actions be examined.
One of the first products of the New Quest was a 1956 book entitled Jesus
of Nazareth which was heavily dependent on redaction criticism, and attempted
to discern how individual authors of the Gospel accounts influenced how
oral traditions worked into their respective writings. In the United States,
James Robinson published A New Quest for the Historical Jesus in 1959.
He was less concerned with the Jesus of history, and more concerned with
the Christ of faith. The New Quest was founded primarily in the existential
philosophy, and the emphasis of the movement was to have an existential
encounter with the Christ of faith. The Jesus of history and the Christ
of faith were seen as being two distinct people.
We are presently in a Third Quest for the historical Jesus. This began
in about the mid 1980s, and is characterized by a wide diversity
as to who the Jesus of history was. Some scholars say that we can know
little if anything about Jesus, while others say that there is a great
deal about him we can know. "If there is a common denominator, however,
it seems to be that all parties are making a conscious effort to locate
the Jesus of history firmly in his cultural, religious, political and
social environment" (Ingolfsland 23). The present quest can be divided
into two camps, 3rd Questers and post-Bultmannians. Post-Bultmannians
operate under a number of assumptions, outlined by Troeltschs "principle
of analogy", which Third Questers say are defective. The assumptions
are 1) that the universe is a closed system, and 2) the only way to judge
the past is by the present (Boyd 48). Post-Bultmannians are also indebted
to New Quest authenticity criteria, which is heavily existential in orientation.
The Jesus Seminar has dominated the post-Bultmannian search for the historical
Jesus. This group is comprised of mostly post-Bultmannian oriented scholars,
who hold to the stratification of Q and generally deny supernatural elements
of the Gospel accounts. An explanation of the group and their methods
The Jesus Seminar
Goals of the Jesus Seminar
The Jesus Seminar is a group of about thirty scholars founded in 1985
by Robert Funk. Funk has authored a number of books, among them are, The
Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (1993) and The
Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds (1998) (both with the
Jesus Seminar) and Honest to Jesus: Jesus for a New Millennium (1996).
In his inaugurating address on March 24, 1985 in Berkeley California,
Funk proclaimed the mission of the group; "We are about to embark
on a momentous enterprise. We are going to inquire simply, rigorously
after the voice of Jesus, after what he really said. . .Our basic plan
is simple. We intend to examine every fragment of the traditions attached
to the name of Jesus in order to determine what he really saidnot
his literal words, perhaps, but the substance and style of his utterances"
also stated in an article in US News and World Report, that the goal of
the Seminar is "to set Jesus free . . . from the scriptural and creedal
and experiential prisons in which we have incarcerated him" (Sheler
55). The Jesus Seminar Website explains the methods used to rank authenticity
of Jesus sayings. "The scholars of the Seminar analyzed the
likely authenticity of the more than 1,500 sayings attributed to Jesus
in the gospels. The text of the sayings is color-coded red, pink, gray
or black, according to the consensus of the scholars: red (Jesus undoubtedly
said this or something like it), pink (Jesus probably said something like
this), gray (Jesus did not say this, but the ideas are close to his own),
black (Jesus did not say this; it represents the content of a later or
different tradition)" (http://westarinstitute.org/Polebridge/5Gospels/5gospels.html).
Methods and findings of the Jesus Seminar
In 1993 the Jesus Seminar published a book of their findings titled The
Five Gospels: the Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. The four New
Testament canonical Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are included,
as is the apocryphal and heavily Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. The introduction
of this book states plainly "The Christ of creed and dogma, who had
been firmly in place in the Middle Ages, can no longer command the assent
of those who have seen the heavens through Galileo's telescope. The old
deities and demons were swept from the skies by that remarkable glass.
Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo have dismantled the mythological abodes
of the gods and Satan, and bequeathed us secular heavens" (http://westarinstitute.org/Jesus_Seminar/Intro5G/intro5g.html).
After The Five Gospels focus on the sayings of Jesus, the Jesus
Seminar turned their attention to the acts of Jesus. They utilized the
same voting method using different colored beads to determine authenticity.
"For more than ten years, the Jesus Seminar has researched and debated
the life and death of the historical Jesus. They have concluded that the
Jesus of history is very different from the icon of traditional Christianity:
Jesus did not walk on water, feed the multitude, change water into wine,
or raise Lazarus from the dead. He was executed as a public nuisance,
not for claiming to be the Son of God. And in the view of the Seminar,
he did not rise bodily from the dead; the resurrection is based instead
on visionary experiences of Peter, Paul, and Mary." (http://westarinstitute.org/Polebridge/Acts/acts.html).
Regarding Jesus of Nazareth, the Jesus Seminar has concluded 1) that Jesus
was non-apocalyptic, and probably a Hellenized Galilean 2) he taught and
lived "subversive forms of social behavior" 3) he had a quick
aphoristic wit 4) he had no consciousness of being God incarnate, and
he probably didnt think of himself as Messiah 5) his concept of
salvation was to share wisdom and knowledge that could usher one into
the kingdom of God 6) it is clear that he never intended to form a following
7) his death was unfortunate, but neither he nor his followers saw any
particular significance in it (Boyd 62). The Jesus Seminar has concluded
in essence, that the Bibles portrayal of Jesus is wrong. Christians
have been worshipping a lie for 2,000 years.
There are a number of faults in the methods of the Jesus Seminar. One
of the most blaring is that the Seminar begins from a perspective of skepticism.
The Gospels are assumed to be inauthentic, until they can prove themselves
trustworthy at every point. "From the very start, then, we see that
the agenda of the Seminar is not disinterested scholarship, but a social
mission against the way in which the church controls the Bible . . ."
(Johnson 6). Another problem is that the Jesus Seminar do not apply their
own criteria for authenticity consistently. These criteria are multiple
attestation, dissimilarity and embarrassment and only short aphorisms
can accurately be remembered. The Good Samaritan parable received an 81%
approval rating by the Seminar (Johnson 25). This parable is not a short
aphorism, and it is found only in, so two of the three criteria do not
apply to this particular saying of Jesus, yet is judged by a majority
to be authentic. If the Jesus Seminar does not even utilize its own criteria
consistently how can they be trusted to give us an accurate, unbiased
picture of "the real Jesus"?
Prominent Members of the Jesus Seminar examined
Lets examine some of the more outspoken members of the Jesus Seminar
and their respective reconstructions of Jesus. First, John Dominic Crossan.
Crossan concluded in his book The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean
Jewish Peasant, that Jesus was a peasant Jewish Cynic. He believes that
there is a distinction between the real Jesus and the historical Jesus.
The real Jesus is the Jesus of 2000 years of Christian faith, and the
historical Jesus is an attempt to talk about the earthly Jesus, who lived
in 1st century Palestine. Crossan uses metaphorical language to do a great
deal of interpreting in his "scholarship", and he repeatedly
uses non-canonical sources as opposed to canonical sources, consistently
dating the non-canonical sources earlier than the canonical ones. He believes
that the non-canonical sources are independent and early attestations
of Jesus life, while the canonical sources are dependent on these
earlier non-canonical sources. Crossan created a complex methodology to
rate the reliability of a particular text. Similar to the rest of the
Jesus Seminar, a major part of his criteria are date and multiple attestation.
In other words, the earlier a source and the more an event or saying is
attested to in other texts, the more reliable it can be considered. The
problem with all this is that Crossan uses a number of hypothetical sources,
such as Q, Secret Mark and the Cross-Gospel, as the basis for his reconstruction
of Jesus. Crossan divides his sources into three strata classified by
date. The first stratum is from 30-60AD and contains early Gospel of Thomas,
triple redacted Q, Miracles Collection, Apocalyptic scenario, and the
Cross-Gospel. These are all hypothetical sources. Hypothetical sources
are sources for which no actual document has been recovered. The Q document
is an example. The obvious disadvantage of using mainly hypothetical sources
is that there is no original manuscript to refer back to, and there is
little to no multiple attestation of the very existence of the hypothetical
source in question. Crossan also includes 3 obscure fragments of papyrus
texts, the Gospel of the Hebrews, I Thessalonians, Galatians, I Corinthians,
and Romans, to complete his first stratum (Boyd 80). Cutting off the first
strata at 60 AD excludes about half of Pauls writings, Acts, Johns
Gospel, and others. Basically, in order to agree with Crossans reconstruction,
you must accept the existence and give priority to Q and early Gospel
of Thomas and also accept that Paul, Mark and Acts are all unreliable
sources. This is a lot to ask.
Burton Mack spends a great deal of time and effort in trying to expose
that the author of Marks Gospel (which may or may not have been
John Mark as the Bible records) created Christianity as a result of the
myths he created in his gospel. Mack explained this view in his book Myth
of Innocence. After Jesus death, a number of Jesus movements preceded
him, but none saw any particular significance in his death, they certainly
had no resurrection beliefs, and they didnt see Jesus as Lord. Kloppenborgs
triple redacted Q is in full swing as an important part of Macks
theory, except Mack adds a pre Q-1 stage and a post Q-1/pre Q-2 stage.
Once Q moves through to the third redaction, Mark transforms it into his
mythmaking story which is what we know as the Gospel According
to Mark after which Q ceases to exist as an independent document.
For Mack, Mark is an example of high level mythmaking. Mack holds to Markan
priority, so the implications for discrediting Mark should be obvious.
The authorship and credibility of Mark is discussed in the next section
of this paper under the origins of Christianity.
Marcus Borgs reconstruction of Jesus differs somewhat from Crossan
and Mack. Borg believes that Jesus was just a man, a holy man, but just
a man nonetheless. He does not believe in nature miracles, or a literal,
bodily resurrection, yet he regularly attends church with his wife who
is a priest in the Episcopalian church. He believes that Jesus had a deep
relationship with God and invited his followers to have a similar relationship
with Gods Spirit (conversation on historical Jesus with Borg and
Origins of Christianity and the Synoptics
Authorship of Marks Gospel
How do scholars account for the rapid and widespread growth of Christianity,
if not for the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth? First
century manuscript evidence tells us that Christianity spread quickly
throughout the Middle East and even into Rome. What do we really know
about the birth of Christianity from Judaism?
If Marks Gospel is entirely mythical, the other Gospels cannot be
trusted either, since they relied heavily on Mark well, thats
the theory anyway. According to Burton Mack, Mark had to create a new
"myth of origins" to rationalize the social history of the Jesus
movement (Boyd 206). What were Marks motives for doing this? Considering
Marks Jewish background, it seems difficult to believe that he would
do this. We have to remember that the disciples were thoroughly Jewish
and living in a thoroughly Jewish setting. They were deeply monotheistic,
and not easily influenced by mythology. Plus, first century people werent
stupid or gullible. "What is even more difficult to understand, however,
is how this fabrication could have been believed by the Jesus people in
Marks own generation, . . . how could his contemporaries have failed
to recognize this Gospel for being what is was" (Boyd 213-214).
There are some scholars such as John Dominic Crossan and Burton Mack who
believe that it was not John Mark at all who wrote Marks Gospel,
it was an unknown author writing after 70 AD. This would serve to further
discredit the accuracy and reliability of the Gospel of Mark. Establishing
John Marks authorship lends credibility to the gospel that bears
Most obviously, the Gospel contains the title "the Gospel According
to Mark". Titles would have been required in order to establish the
authority of the Gospel, and anonymous Gospels would not have continued
in circulation for long. The Gospels received their titles within a relatively
short period of time after their writing. There are also 2nd century quotations
from Mark in ancient manuscripts, which means that the Gospel would have
had to been well circulated and accepted as authentic so that it could
be quoted. Papias, thought to be a disciple of John, quotes from Mark
in 120 and 130 AD. Papias is confirmed by Justin; Irenaeus, Origen, as
well as by Clement of Alexandria. With such early and widespread acceptance
of the authenticity of Marks Gospel, it is difficult to imagine
such a work being penned by an anonymous author. Also, because Mark was
not one of the original disciples, it seems implausible for anyone other
than Mark himself to claim to write the Gospel bearing his name, after
all, more prestigious, or authoritative persons such as Peter or John,
could have been imitated. If someone was going to make up a Gospel account,
why werent their names invoked?
The authority of Marks Gospel lies in large portion behind the fact
that his writing was largely dependent on Peters preaching and experiences
as an original disciple of Jesus. There is some internal evidence for
this, as Mark mentions Peter 25 times, more than any other Gospel author
mentions him. In Marks Gospel, Peter is constantly portrayed as
being in Jesus inner most circle, yet he is portrayed in a true
to life manner, he is not perfect. For someone wanting to add authority
and credibility to a mythical story, it is also difficult to understand
why Mark would have included accounts of Jesus associating with women,
especially ones with questionable purity and character. As far as mythmaking
goes, the Gospel of Mark is not a prime example.
Dating Marks Gospel
Liberal scholars, if they do accept Marks authorship, will date
his Gospel late, after 70 AD the destruction of Jerusalem
since Jesus could not have predicted this event in advance. If Matthew
and Luke were dependent on Mark, they must be dated ten to twenty years
later, which places them in the 80s to 90s AD.
There is no substantial evidence to support a late date for any of the
Gospels, other than the assumption that Jesus could not have predicted
the fall of Jerusalem prior to its occurrence. One cannot date a text
merely based on personal worldview or presuppositions. It was also entirely
possible that a first century Jewish prophet could have looked back to
Old Testament prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and
apply those prophecies to the present day. The prophecy mentioned in Lukes
Gospel is extremely vague, especially if the author is looking back at
the event in retrospect. Josephus uses a great deal of detail in recounting
the destruction of Jerusalem, whereas Luke does not mention the destruction
at all in Acts. The destruction of Jerusalem also predicted in Marks
Gospel, Mark 13:1 indicates that the temple is still standing at the writing
of the Gospel. Jesus prophecy has been associated with the end times
in Marks Gospel. Why would Mark have made this connection if he
knew that this was not the case, and that Jesus was only speaking about
the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem?
Evidence for an earlier dating of Mark includes references to figures
in authority. He refers to Pilate without stating that he was governor,
and also refers to "the high priest" without naming Caiaphas.
Pilate was the governor until 36AD and Caiaphas was high priest until
37 AD. The fact that Mark did not need to name them indicates that he
is writing very soon after the events have taken place.
Dating the book of Acts
Most scholars agree that Mark and Luke were written prior to Acts, therefore,
assigning Acts with a late date would necessitate assigning late dates
to the other Synoptic Gospels as well. The book of Acts provides us with
a picture of the early church, as having spread throughout the land, into
the Mediterranean, through present day Syria and Turkey, straight into
the heart of the Roman empire. There is simply no evidence to support
a post-70 AD date for Acts. The book should be dated early, at about the
mid to late 60s AD for several reasons. First, there is no mention
of Neros persecution of Christians, the Jewish revolt, Pauls
death, or the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple with it. All four
would be significant to the authors audience, and would be worthy
of inclusion. Perhaps more substantial evidence, is given by Paul in I
Timothy chapter six, who quotes from material found only in Lukes
Gospel, concerning greed and proper use of money. Paul also quotes Luke
verbatim in the Greek in I Timothy 5:18 // Luke 10:7. Paul's use
of Luke makes perfect sense if Luke is in fact a companion of Paul.
Therefore if Luke wrote in the early sixties, it would have been entirely
possible for Paul, who wrote I Timothy in the mid to late sixties, to
quote from Lukes Gospel.
"We" sections in the book of Acts lend credence to the idea
that the book was written by a companion of Paul. "Critics, however
suggest that the "we" sections were simply a literary device
used to liven up the story or to make the story more credible. If the
writer, however, was trying to liven up the story or even the illusion
of presenting a more credible eyewitness one might wonder why he chose
to write himself into the picture in the middle of Pauls second
journey. By that time hes already missed Pentecost, Pauls
presence at the stoning of Stephen, Pauls conversion, his first
missionary journey, the Jerusalem Council and part of the second missionary
journey (Ingolfsland 84)! Pauls conversion is detailed in the book
of Acts, written by Luke. The detail in the account, and the fact that
no other New Testament author except Paul himself mentions
the conversion, leads one to believe that the author of Acts had personal
access to Paul.
The Historicity of the book of Acts
The writer of Acts uses incredible detail to describe places he has visited,
and he records with proven accuracy historical details in the time period
he was to have lived. Sherwin-White, a leading authority on the subject
of Greco-Roman history had this to say about the historical reliability
of Acts, "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming.
Yet Acts is, in simple terms and judged externally, no less of a propaganda
narrative than the Gospels, liable to similar distortions. But any attempt
to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear
absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted" (Sherwin-White
189). Further evidence to support Lukes reliability in the book
of Acts is also evident in his knowledge of rulers in his time and location.
"Among the New Testament writers only Luke ever names a Roman emperor.
His references give us in outline a framework for the events of the Gospels
and Acts. Jesus was born in the time of Augustus (Luke 2:1). The preaching
of John the Baptist (Luke 3:1-2) and the ministry, death, resurrection
and ascension of Jesus happened under Tiberius (AD 14-37). Pauls
journeys occupied much of the reigns of Claudius (AD 41-54; mentioned
in Acts 11:28 and 18:2) and Nero (54-68), the Caesar to whom Paul appealed.
Paul reached Rome about 60 AD" (Hemer 571). Luke briefly refers to
Pontius Pilate in Acts 3:13; 4:27; and 13:28. Pilates existence
also has been confirmed by archaeology. "In 1961 a stone slab was
discovered at Caesarea bearing the name Pontius Pilatus" (Rowden
510). Still more archaeological evidence affirms Lukes credibility
and accent his attention to detail, "The record of Acts notes the
various local institutions with minute correctness: the town clerk
at Ephesus, the politarchs (Authorized Version rulers
of the city) at Thessalonica, the court of Areopagus
or Mars Hill at Athens. The pride of Philippi in its
status as a colony of Roman citizens comes over clearly and
with an ironic humor (Acts 16:12, 20-21, 37-39; compare Philippians 3:20,
Revised Version). The confirmation of many details of this kind is reserved
for us on stone in contemporary inscriptions from these cities" (Hemer
573). The reliability of Acts and with it Luke as an author have both
been firmly established. To call them into question is simply to ignore
all evidence to the contrary.
Differences in Johns theology
Johns Gospel is often set apart from historical Jesus study by scholars.
Because John was written later than the other gospels, probably about
85-90 AD, it is believed that his gospel was too heavily corrupted by
Christian mythologizing and embellishment. Johns Jesus is much bolder
in declaring Himself to be the Messiah, uttering such things as "Before
Abraham was I am" (John 8:58), and I am the way, and the truth, and
the life; no man comes to the Father but through me" (John 14:6).
Additionally, the order of events in Jesus life seems to be contradictory
when compared to the Synoptics, and some of the strongest language referring
to Jesus Deity is used. It is in Johns Gospel that Jesus is
referred to as God in the flesh. "And the Word became flesh, and
dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from
the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). It is because of
this strong supernatural language that scholars all but ignore Johns
Gospel. What accounts for these differences?
Discrepancies between Johns Gospel
and the Synoptics
The Gospel of John emphasizes the last week of Jesus life, which
he presents as chronology of that week. Other than a seemingly bolder
Jesus, there are discrepancies when comparing John that seem to give contradicting
accounts of events. Some of these discrepancies are contradictions in
the chronological order of events when compared to the Synoptics, the
feeding of 4,000 vs. 5,000, differences in the account of Jesus cleansing
the Temple, the hour given for Jesus crucifixion, the day of the
Passover, and the account of Judas death. While these may seem formidable
obstacles to overcome, they are fairly easily dealt with, especially when
examining the text in its proper context.
Now we will examine the chronological order of events in the Gospels.
Unfortunately, the Synoptic Gospels do not contain a great deal of information
regarding chronology in Jesus ministry. Though we live in a very
time-oriented society, the first century world was not like this, the
Synoptic gospel accounts were not meant to be a chronological timeline
of Jesus life, they predominately grouped information topically,
this does not make them inaccurate. Given Johns omission of some
significant events in Jesus life Jesus baptism, the
calling of the 12, transfiguration, and the Lords supper,
and his inclusion of events that are not in the Synoptics Jesus
turning water into wine, Lazarus raising, Jesus early ministry
to Judea and Samaria, and His regular visits to Jerusalem it is
not surprising that we would find John dealing with the events in his
gospel in a different order. The material that John deals with is simply
much different than that covered by the Synoptics, probably due to the
fact that John is writing later than the first three and so would not
repeat much of what has already been said.
Johns Gospel chronicles the feeding of 5,000 people with five loaves
of bread and two fish (John 6:1-14), but then Mark cites the feeding of
four thousand with seven loaves and a few fish Mark 8:1-10. Which was
it, four or five thousand? The other Synoptics seem to confirm that it
was 5,000, not 4,000. (Luke 9:10-17; Matt 14:1-21.) So it appears that
Mark was mistaken. Or does it? Mark records two miraculous feedings, one
with 4,000 present, and one with 5,000 present Mark 6:30-44. So it appears
that there were two distinct feedings, not conflicting accounts of one.
Did Jesus cleanse the Temple twice, or are there conflicting accounts
of one event? "The Synoptists make it clear that Jesus cleansing
the temple proved to be the last straw for the Jewish authorities,
sealing his imminent doom (Mk. 11:18), so a convincing harmonization would
require John to be the evangelist who has relocated the passage. . . .
John 2:13-25 is the only passage in the opening four chapters of John
which is not linked to what precedes or follows it by an explicit reference
to chronological sequence" (Blomberg 171). If this is so, the Synoptics
place the cleansing of the temple at the end of Jesus ministry,
and would see that event as a catalyst for Jesus crucifixion. Johns
idea about Jesus cleansing the temple is different. "In Johns
account the Jews reply with a reference to the rebuilding of the temple
having begun 46 years ago (John 2:20), a figure which places this event
in AD 27 or 28. But Jesus was probably not crucified until at least AD
30, and John would not have invented such an incidental confirmation of
chronology if he were freely reshaping the Synoptic version with little
concern for keeping the facts straight" (Blomberg 173). Gauging crowd
reaction in the differing accounts, it is likely that there were two different
incidents, one at the beginning of Jesus ministry, and then another
at the end, which was a contributing factor in Jesus crucifixion.
In Mark 11:15-18 for instance, the priests begin plotting to destroy Him,
and the whole crowd was amazed at His teaching. In Johns account
(2:14ff), the people ask for a sign of Jesus authority, which would
have been firmly established at the end of His ministry. It does not take
long when comparing the Synoptics account of events to Johns to
conclude that two different events are being recounted.
Exactly what time of day was Jesus crucifixion? "It was the
third hour when they crucified Him" Mark 15:25. "it was about
the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your King"
(John 19:14)! Do John and Mark contradict each other? "When one recognizes
that the widespread lack of precise timekeeping devices in the ancient
world led to the practice of dividing the day into fourths so that people
often did not worry about speaking any more specifically than this, it
becomes plausible to interpret Marks third hour to mean
anywhere between 9.am. and noon. Johns about the sixth hour
would also then refer to sometime before midday, perhaps within an hour
or so" (Blomberg 180). There is enough overlap in the two different
statements so that there is no contradiction. The crucifixion probably
therefore began at sometime between 11 am and 12 noon.
What day did Jesus celebrate the Passover with His disciples? The Synoptic
Gospels recount that the Last Supper was a Passover meal, and that Passover
fell on a Thursday, rather than Friday as Johns Gospel seems to
recount. "Now before the Feast of the Passover, . . ." (John
13:1), and in the next verse, they are eating dinner. The implications
being that the day before the Passover, Passover being on a Friday, they
ate a Passover dinner together. "If Jesus was crucified on the fifteenth
day of the Jewish month Nisan as this reconstruction requires, rather
than on the fourteenth day, before the Passover had been eaten by most
of the Jews, as the other proposed harmonizations require, then the only
year close to the time of Christs ministry in which he could have
been crucified would have been AD 30. In all other years immediately before
and after, 15 Nisan did not fall on a Friday" (Blomberg 178).
How did Judas Iscariot die? "(1) Judas hanged himself (Mt.), but
the rope broke and his body was ruptured by the fall (possibly after he
was already dead and beginning to decompose); (2) What the priests bought
with Judass money (Mt.) could be regarded as his purchase by their
agency (Acts); (3) the field bought by the priests (Mt.) was the one where
Judas died (Acts)" (Blomberg 192).
What can we know about Jesus from Paul?
Many historical Jesus scholars do not give much attention to Pauls
writings as they consider who Jesus of Nazareth was. We must remember
that the Gospels were for the most part in a narrative format, and Pauls
epistles were not meant to tell stories about Jesus life in quite
the same way. They were written with the purpose of teaching or correcting
something that was going on in those to whom Paul was writing. "And
since most, if not all of Pauls letters predate the composition
of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the awareness of these details is a significant
confirmation of the early existence of the traditions that went into the
formation of the gospels" (Blomberg 222). What can we learn about
Jesus from Paul?
Paul provides us with a great deal of biographical information about Jesus.
We know that Jesus was a descendent of Abraham (Galatians 3:16, 29) and
also of the line of David (Romans 1:3). He was a poor man (II Corinthians
8:9) who was born of a woman under the law (Galatians 4:4). Jesus had
a brother, James (Galatians 1:19), and gathered together disciples including
James, Cephas, and John (Galatians 2:9). Jesus, on the night that He was
betrayed instituted the Lords Supper, which was to be done in remembrance
until He returns again (I Corinthians 11:23ff). Jesus was remembered as
a man of outstanding moral character, and led a life which showed this
character (Philippians 2:6-8; Romans 15:3,8; Romans 5:19; I Cor. 11:1;
I Timothy 1:16, 6:3 etc.). He came as a suffering servant II Corinthians
1:5; II Cor. 10:1. Pontius Pilate as Jesus judge is confirmed
in I Timothy 6:13, as is His death by crucifixion under the Romans (I
Corinthians 1:23; I Corinthians 2:2; I Corinthians 2:8; II Corinthians
13:4; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 3:1), but Paul does not exonerate the
Jews of Jesus death (I Thessalonians 2:15). There are also various
details concerning Jesus death, burial, and subsequent resurrection
(I Corinthians 15:4-8).
Paul not only has a great deal of background information about Jesus
life, he also demonstrates a great deal of knowledge regarding the teachings
of Christ, especially in the book of Romans, which has come to be regarded
as a kind of book of Christian doctrine. We can learn a great deal about
Jesus from Pauls writings.
"Romans 12:14 commands one to bless those who persecute you;
bless and do not curse (cf. Lk. 6:27b-28a par.); 12:17, to repay
no evil for evil (cf. Mt. 5:39); and 13:7, to pay tribute to whom
tribute is due, tax to whom tax is due, reverence to whom reverence is
due, honour to whom honour is due (cf. Mk. 12:17 pars.). In 13:8-9
Paul sums up the whole of the Law in the commandment to love ones
neighbour (cf. Gal. 5:14; Mk. 12:31 pars.); in 14:10 he condemns judging
ones brother since all will be judged (cf. Mt. 7:1-2a par.); and
in 14:14 he declares, I am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing
is unclean by itself (cf. Lk. 11:41; Mk. 7:19b). Finally in 16:19
he encourages wisdom concerning the good and innocence as to evil, an
apparent illusion to Matthew 10:16b" (Blomberg 223). Pauls
writings are saturated with Jesus teachings, and often echo His
words as found in the Gospel accounts.
It must have taken something rather dramatic in order for Paul to become
a professing Christian. After all, Paul was a Pharisee who persecuted
Christians. He was on his way to continue doing this when he was miraculously
converted on the road to Damascus. Paul talks about his change in priorities,
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted
as loss for the sake of Christ" (Philippians 3:8).
Who do you say that I am?
What did Jesus say about Himself?
We have looked a great deal at what other people have said about who Jesus
is, but what did Jesus say about Himself during His lifetime? Fortunately
(or unfortunately depending on your view) the New Testament is our best
record of Jesus life, death, and resurrection. The way in which
He spoke about Himself is important, because we must understand what it
was about this first century Jewish man that led some people who saw Him
to believe He was Divine, and some to think that He was worthy of execution
as a criminal. "The resurrection can only be understood as the Divine
vindication of the man that was rejected as a blasphemer" (Craig;
will the real Jesus stand up?). Jesus did make some extraordinary claims
about himself, and He made the issue of His identity a very personal one,
one that we must even ask ourselves today. Jesus asked His disciples,
"But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:13)
One thing many scholars agree on, Jesus used parables a great deal in
his teaching ministry. One particular piece of imagery Jesus came back
to again and again was that of a shepherd. He said, "I am the good
shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" John
10:11(see also verses following through verse 16). He talks of leaving
99 sheep behind to search for one, he tells Peter to feed his sheep, and
so on. Shepherd imagery is prevalent throughout the Gospel accounts, and
even other New Testament authors pick up on it in reference to Jesus (I
Peter 5:4 and Hebrews 13:20 for example).
The significance of the shepherd imagery lies in the parallels between
this imagery Jesus uses of himself as a shepherd, and a prophecy in Ezekiel
34. Verses 11-31 describe the true shepherd as one who will care for the
flock, feed them, bring them together when they are scattered, and judge
between the sheep and the goats. Jesus fits this model perfectly, and
the shepherd imagery he uses does parallel to this Ezekiel passage. The
main significance of the Ezekiel passage is the fact that it is YHWH himself
that is doing all of these things. In Jesus using this imagery, he is
reminding the people that it is Israels God that has been prophesied
to do these things. See also II Samuel 24:17, Zechariah 13:7, I Kings
22:17, Isaiah 44:28, Micah 5:4, and Isaiah 40:11 for similar Old Testament
Jesus places Himself in the position of speaking for God on numerous occasions.
He commonly used the phrase, "You have heard it said to you (and
would then quote from the Old Testament) but I say to you (and would then
add something to His reference). A good example of this is Jesus
preaching on divorce. "It was said, whoever sends his wife
away, let him give her a certificate of divorce; but I say to you
that everyone who divorces His wife, except for the reason of unchastity,
makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits
adultery" (Matthew 5:31-32). This formula places Jesus words
on an equal level with Gods words.
Jesus refers to the things belonging to and referring to God as belonging
and referring to Him. An example is in Matthew 13:41-42, where Jesus says,
"The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather
out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
and will throw them in the furnace of fire; in that place there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth." Jesus equates His kingdom with Gods
kingdom, and His angels with Gods angels.
What do first and second century sources say about
What can we know about Jesus from non-canonical Christian and even non-Christian
sources? First, it is difficult to hold to a view that Jesus of Nazareth
never existed. Even the some of the most liberal scholars have had to
concede that much. Beginning with non-Christian sources, Tacitus, a historian
from ancient Rome, wrote "Annals" in 115 AD,
But neither human resources, nor imperial munificence, nor appeasement
of the gods, eliminated sinister suspicions that the fire had been instigated.
To suppress this rumour, Nero fabricated scapegoats and punished
with every refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were
popularly called). Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius
reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilatus. But in spite of this
temporary setback the deadly superstition had broken out afresh, not only
in Judea (where the mischief had started) but even in Rome. All degraded
and shameful practices collect and flourish in the capital.
First, Nero had self-acknowledged Christians arrested. Then, on their
information, large numbers of others were condemned not so much
for incendiausin as for their anti-social tendencies. Their deaths were
made farcical. Dressed in wild animals skins, they were torn to
pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be ignited after
dark as a substitute for daylight (Grant 365).
Suetonius and Pliny the younger refer to Christians in their respective
writings. "Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances
at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from the city"(Graves
. . . that on a fixed day they were accustomed to come together before
daylight and to sing by turns a hymn to Christ as a god, and that they
bound themselves by oath, not for some crime but that they would not commit
robbery, theft, or adultery, that they would not betray a trust nor deny
a deposit when called upon. After this it was their custom to disperse
and to come together again to partake of food, of an ordinary and harmless
kind. . . (Translations and Reprints . . . 9).
There is enough manuscript evidence to support early Christian gatherings,
as well as Christs central role in worship. And this from non-Christians.
First century Christian sources also confirm early Christian doctrine.
Justin Martyr (100-163 A.D.) for example says that Jesus was, "crucified
under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the times of Tiberius Caesar"
(Donaldson and Roberts 166). Ignatius (50-100 A.D) talks of "God
existing in the flesh", and coming from "both of Mary and of
God" (Donaldson and Roberts 52). This is a very clear statement of
Christs Deity, and it is within the first generation of Christianity.
Such a statement in this early date dispels the idea that Christians over
time mythologized Christ and He became elevated to the position of God
over the centuries. Clement of Rome (writing in the 80s and 90s),
has been linked to Paul through Philippians 4:3 ". . . together with
Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the
book of life". He writes, "the apostles have preached the Gospel
to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God.
Christ therefore was sent forth by God and the apostles by Christ"(Donaldson
and Roberts 16).
There is plenty of evidence to support the idea that Jesus of Nazareth
was other than just a man, and that early Christians were concerned with
the accuracy of their accounts.
Resurrection of Jesus
The last topic to be dealt with is one of the most significant for the
Christian faith; it is the issue concerning Jesus resurrection from
the dead. Was this resurrection literal or spiritual in nature? Pauls
theology, recorded in I Corinthians 15:17 indicates a literal, bodily
resurrection "and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless;
you are still in your sins". Paul affirms the resurrection elsewhere
in his writings as well, (I Thessalonians 4:14, Romans 4:24; 6:4; 10:9
for example). This next section will is indebted to a debate between John
Dominic Crossan and William Lane Craig titled "Will the Real Jesus
Please Stand Up?" in which Dr. Craig presents evidence for a bodily,
literal resurrection while Dr. Crossan argues the liberal position that
has already been discussed thus far.
Dr. Craig based the rest of the debate on two contentions. "1. The
real Jesus rose from the dead in confirmation of his radical personal
claims to divinity. 2. If #1 is false . . . then Christianity is a fairy
tale which no rational person should believe" (Craig, will the real
Jesus please stand up). That is a powerful set of statements which places
a great deal of importance on the facts surrounding the resurrection.
The four basic points he follows with are that Jesus was buried by Joseph
of Aramethia in his own personal tomb, the Sunday following the crucifixion
of Jesus, the tomb was found empty by a group of women followers, multiple
occasions and different individuals and groups saw Jesus alive after His
death, and the original disciples believed that Jesus had risen from the
dead despite the fact that they had every reason not to.
Breaking down each point into sub-points, the burial story is attested
to by Paul in I Corinthians, and is found in old source material used
by Mark. Joseph of Aramethia being a member of the Sandhedrin, which had
condemned Jesus, would be unlikely to have been made up by later Christian
authors. Lastly, quite simply, the story is simple, without legendary
exaggerations, and there is no other burial story.
Regarding the empty tomb, Paul cites this in I Corinthians, and the story
is also part of Marks source material, the empty tomb explanation
is simple and not embellished. Early rationalizations to counter the idea
that Jesus was raised from the dead included stories that the disciples
had stolen Jesus body, which would presuppose that the tomb was
empty. Lastly, women could not even testify in court as a witness, and
so, for them to be the first at the tomb would lead one to believe that
was the way the events actually unfolded.
Multiple attestation of post-crucifixion sightings are listed in Pauls
writings as, appearances to the 500 brethren, Peter, James and the 12
disciples. Jesus was seen by multiple persons, and independently of each
other. The sightings are also placed in proper historical settings; the
disciples are fishing, when Jesus unexpectedly appears to them. Had the
story been made up, further embellishment would be expected.
Probably the most significant part of Craigs argument comes in his
dissection of his last point, which examines the worldview of the disciples
of Jesus. He states that the disciples had every reason NOT to believe
in a resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, yet they were STILL convinced.
First, the Jews did not have a concept of a dying much less risen Messiah.
The fact that having no frame of reference to draw from, they still witnessed
appearances of Jesus. This refutes the idea that the disciples hallucinated
seeing Jesus, because they would not have expected to see Him again. Second,
"according to Jewish law, Jesus execution as a criminal showed
Him out to be a heretic, a man literally under the curse of God."
Why would the disciples believe that a man cursed by God could be then
raised from the dead? This would explain why the disciples went back to
their previous occupations, and were caught off guard when He appeared
to them. Lastly, "Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyones
rising from the dead before the general resurrection at the end of the
world." Plain and simple, the disciples Jewish worldview was
hostile to the idea that Jesus would be raised from the dead. In hindsight,
looking at the events surrounding Jesus death, burial, and resurrection,
Paul and the disciples recognize the importance of this event, but before
it actually happened, they did not understand.
Jesus rose bodily from the dead on the third day, just as he foreshadowed
in the Gospel accounts of His life. This is the simplest explanation and
the one, which takes as much of the evidence as possible into consideration.
This has by no means been an exhaustive study in the historical Jesus.
Such a study would be impossible. Major points of contention have been
addressed, and given various forms of evidence in order to back up a Biblical
portrait of Jesus.
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Intervarsity Press, 1987.
Craig, William Lane and Crossan, John Dominic. Will the Real Jesus Please
Stand Up! Turner-Welninki Publishing.
Borg, Marcus and Wright, N.T. A Conversation on the Historical Jesus.
Part 4. Vancover BC: Regent College.
Boyd, Gregory. Cynic Sage or Son of God. Wheaton: Victor, 1995.
Donaldson, James and Roberts, Alexander. Ante-Nicene Fathers volume I:
The Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus. USA: Hendrickson Publishers,
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Authentic Words of Jesus.
Review of The Five
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Authentic Words of Jesus.
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meeting March 21-24 1985 in Berkeley, California.
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