Monday, November 07, 2005

Are the New Testament Gospels Reliable?

WOW. The erudite and readable Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts has completed a 30-part series on the historical reliability of the Gospels. In his closing segment, Robers notes,
I don't believe I've proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the New Testament gospels are historically reliable. I do believe, however, that I've shown it is reasonable to regard these gospels as historically accurate.
I've long argued that proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" - the standard set in criminal law - is not a rational standard to evaluate the historicity of the Gospels. Indeed, theologically it is impossible to do so. If the truth of the Gospels is proven beyond doubt, then there is no room for faith.

"Preponderance of evidence" and "most likely explanation" - the civil legal standard - is a far more reasonable standard to employ.

Lots of reading to do.

1 comment:

Pete-Detroit said...

Annoying co-worker was off on a 'bible is BS' rant, and I just had to shut him up. Pointed out that independant documentatin exists, the Romans kept pretty good records of who they killed when and where.
Besides, it's not exactly the historical accuracy that we're interested in - one case where the 'fake but accurate' standard COULD be said to apply.