Tag: NewTestament

Were the gospels written a long time after the event?

I was asked recently, in the comments section of another blog, about how long the gospels were written after the time of Jesus’ death. I said it wasn’t long by ancient standards, so I thought it might be worth outlining the facts on this matter.

Jesus: more than a baby!

It’s that time of year, when even non-christians think about Jesus, at least a little. But what do they think? What should they think?

The star of Bethlehem

It’s almost Christmas, so it’s a good time for a look at something interesting but not so serious. What was the star that the wise men followed to lead them to where the baby Jesus was in Bethlehem?

Was the divinity of Jesus a third century invention of the church?

In a recent discussion, a reader commented on a claim by Alvin Boyd Kuhn that “Christianity took a wrong turn during the 3rd century and looked to one man being divine” We can all choose to believe whatever we wish, but is there any historical evidence for this claim?

Books: historical Jesus

I have recently read two very different books about Jesus and history. One was long, one short; one was by a retired academic, the other by a rising star; one was a detailed analysis of all the things we can objectively know about Jesus’ life, the other a postmodern explanation of why our knowledge is […]

Josephus and Jesus

In a discussion on another post (on archaeology at Nazareth), a reader referred to first century Jewish historian, Josephus. He suggested that Josephus had not mentioned Jesus in his history, and that this was “telling”. I felt the comment merited a separate post. Did Josephus refer to Jesus? What is the current consensus of relevant […]

Errors in the New Testament?

You don’t have to read the gospels for long to find things that don’t seem to fit together. Sceptics argue that these prove that the gospel stories can’t be trusted, and probably aren’t true. Is this a reasonable conclusion? Is it the only reasonable conclusion? How do historians deal with these apparent discrepancies?

More on the New Testament documents

A couple of weeks back I posted some information on the surviving documentation for a number of ancient texts including the New Testament (Revised dates for ancient documents). Now, in the comments to that post, I have been asked some more questions about the New Testament documents. So here’s the answers to those questions, as […]

Revised dates for ancient documents

A common theme in the discussion of the reliability of the New Testament documents is the number of copies we have and the dates of these copies, compared to other ancient writings. And of course, the details change as new discoveries are made. Here is an update.

Is there really a consensus of scholars on historical facts about Jesus?

Akhenaten has been attacking statements I have made here, and on my other blog theWay?. The latest comment on Christians and cathedrals questions whether “there exists a scholarly consensus that a reasonable if modest amount of facts about Jesus can be known”. I decided this question required a longer answer … (and I apologise for […]