Bible authority and Historical accounts

This will be a long one here. First of all how we can be sure that the authors who wrote the bible are indeed the apostles? If multiple people wrote the bible is that for us ,meaning it shows that since a lot of them wrote it they actually saw these events or are the argument is against us? If things got added later in history just because they had the same message and theology, shouldn’t they have been in an extra book rather than the bible? And does it concern us if these things are not based on real events but the message is still there? How could the Jews reject Jesus with the miracles he did? And last but not least why arent some big miracles like in Matthew where the ressurected saints went to the city? Are we gonna read that allegorical again because it seems anything that doesn’t make sense we tend to categorize it . Its anything else but literal


I think that the first important thing to note is that the Bible is a man’s collection of scripture. When Paul says scriptures, he’s referring to mostly the Old Testament books ( and I assume there was more than we currently have based off of scripture mentioning them ) and the historical accounts concerning Christ and epistles of the apostles. We need to test them all to see if they work together.

Also not everyone labels the supernatural as allegorical. Some say everything supernatural is fictional, and some says all of the supernatural is literal and some fall in between.

For me there are several things that I look at to determine if it’s meant to be literal, if it’s meant to fictional truth, or if it’s something they believed as true but was wrong. All of those things exist in the Bible because the Bible is not solely a supernatural creation. It’s a cocreation between God and man. That’s why you don’t see the same writing system and vocabulary throughout the whole Bible as if it’s through a Holy Spirit possession resulting in automatic writing. When God was speaking through prophets who wrote messages the messages were primarily intended for their specific audience. We use those specific messages to create a theology. But that’s not why it was wrote. It was not wrote as a thesis on what God wants for all of humanity for all of eternity.

Take this passage.

1 Timothy 5:23
New American Standard Bible
23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

If we took that verse for all of mankind we would be in era. Paul is not telling you and me to stop drinking water and drink wine if we have stomach problems. Paul is telling Timothy specifically this information.

But that does not mean that information is useless to us. We can use it to show a few things. We can use it to show personally Timothy was having stomach problems. We can historically use it to tell whenever Timothy was at they did not have the cleanest water. We can use it to know that drinking alcohol is ok, just don’t be a drunk. We can use it to show that it’s ok to use substances, such as medicine, to help us.

What we can’t do is use it to reject medicine because paul said to drink wine not take medicine for stomach problems.

The rest of the Bible is the same way. It’s wrote specifically to people and congregations and it was shared then just like it’s shared now because it helps guide us in righteousness.

So when Noah said the whole world was flooded, and future Hebrews who just escaped slavery read it when Moses was preaching it in sermons we know they believed the whole world was flooded. To them, the whole work was flooded. They had no idea about how big the globe is. Same as Paul had no idea when he said the gospel has been heard around the whole world. To Moses the whole world was a tiny part of the world they knew existed. To paul, it was a larger part of the world, but still a fraction of the size we know today. The flood in that area may even be hyperbolic. It could have been a bad flood, but not as terrible as what it says. That’s also perfectly fine.

What we don’t do though typically is allow outlier supernatural events be the standard for science and history.

So I believe 100% that Lazarus resurrected from the dead. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead. I believe in angels as literal beings. What I don’t do is try to force those beliefs as scientific standards for normal life.

For me my standard is will the claim be able to work as a supernatural event or is the claim demanding science to be turned upside down for everyday situations.

In the end it’s all faith. You’ll never be able to scientifically prove Jesus rose from the dead, went to another dimension called heaven, and will eventually cause them to overlap with out and that he will destroy all evil and we don’t even actually know what it means. Will he literally restore the world through supernatural means or will he continually guide humanity through his teachings to being more and more emotionally mature, and ect…

Hi Nick,

That’s a lot in one post. I’ll just say a few general things.

It is going to depend on the particular text in question and the content of that text.

Although having a good idea who an author is can help reinforce a text’s credibility there are other factors to consider as well, like how accurately a text describes the historical context.

I think we actually have some good reasons for believing John Mark wrote GMark, that Luke wrote Luke, and that well known figure named John wrote John.

Richard Bauckham, Joseph Fitzmyer, and Craig Keener are scholars who have argued at length on authorship of those gospels.

GMatthew presents a peculiar problem as far as authorship goes. You point out the mass resurrection, this is only recorded in GMatthew.

Of course other scholars don’t think we really know who wrote the gospels.

One argument has been the idea that the gospels are anonymous. However, Brant Pitre has been one of the first scholars I know of to argue that the gospel titles are original to them. I find his case persuasive.

As far as literal vs figurative each text will have its own characteristics that need to be analyzed. For example, Robert Gundry has argued that GMatthew was intended to be read as a form of midrash not historiography.

I think you bring up important questions.

The writings of the (very) early church leaders accepted the four gospels as valuable and authoritative.

Mark was writing the information provided by Peter. Luke investigated and wrote based on interviews. John wrote near the end of his life and appears to have known of at least some of the other gospels. Matthew stands out a little differently, as its writer or writers appear to have used Mark’s gospel as a source (although some argue for a common source).

I think it is best not to think of these as a unit, but to see them as independent witnesses. John, Peter (through Mark’s gospel and Peter’s own letter), and Luke (after interviewing eyewitnesses) all testify of Jesus.

And, let’s not forget James the brother of Jesus and his becoming a Christian.

As for why only Matthew mentions the resurrection at the time of the crucifixion, I don’t know. Matthew does have that and some other anomalies. I suspect the “Gospel according to Matthew” was written by people Matthew trained after Matthew had passed away. But that is just conjecture.

I feel your pain Nick. Which is a cliched sardonically insincere thing to say. And true.

As in all realisations there comes wave upon wave, loop after loop of cognitive dissonance. As the walls of ignorance come down they reveal an unknown interior. Can you enter? Climb over the rubble? Is there anything that stands out in it?

The most authentic documents are the early letters of Paul, not the gospels. They testify of the thriving Church - which had no documents at all - predicated on the oral story of Jesus within 25 years. Something happened.

The gospel sources are ‘Mark’ feeding nearly a half in to ‘Matthew’ and ‘Luke’ who have Q both a quarter in common [the 3 synoptics], with ‘John’ in parallel.

None of this matters, like the rational fact that God does not intervene otherwise in His creation.

Do you want the story to be true? Do you want to live as if it were?

I want to learn if its true. I mean comon im Christian but who doesnt write things down Jesus feeding so many people or the ressurected saints going to the city. If you were a person in that era seeing a guy feeding hundreds with only a fish and a loaf of bread ,or seeing dead people descending upon your city wouldnt you write it down? How did the Jews not believed if the saints went up to the city after the ressurection?

And the most bogling fact is that pilate Jesus and the apostle’s were historical characters. But these things dont make sense putting them together. We have a bible which writers are claimed to be the apostles yet we have it after their death. Sure they had scribes but. Then we have people adding things up in it just because it fits the theology. Like was there a need to? Couldnt they just leave the events that happened without adding extra sault? These are all some questions to be answered. The early church im sure whould have answered them,they had great apologists who knew how to read the bible. Origen , Tertullian,Cyril etc etc would have answered these questions. But why didnt anyone asked them? I see myself as a child sometimes wanting to learn the truth. But for me the truth is only what matters

Nick, Nick, Nick. Those men knew no more than you. Or anyone else. They couldn’t have answered. It can’t be learned using learning. Only faith. Only this morning I repeated Lord I believe, forgive thou mine unbelief. You’re not alone brother. In being alone. : )


No klax thats blind faith. I cant have faith in something i dont know. I believe in God not only because i feel like life is meaningless but because theres not explanation what happened to Jesus body after death. All the conspiracy theories like"owwww yeah 500 people must have seen hallucinations ,the same one too" are petty. But i cannot believe in an event of dead men walking to the city and no one writing it down. Heck it doesnt even get mentioned in the Talmud, although it mentions Jesus

Sorry if i misunderstanding this. You meant Matthew? Is theGMatthew similar to the “Q” Gospel i have heard? And whats the meaning of midrash. If you could explain it would be helpful to me. Thanks for your answer!!!

All faith is blind. Some is more blind than others.

Matthew 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Many holy people? How many? Holy? How were they recognized? By many people? Never stop asking questions. Assuming this happened, they were recently dead followers of Jesus from the past thousand days. How many followers did He have? Close? ‘Holy’? Tens. Hundreds at most. Order of magnitude we’re talking about 10 people. If it happened at all, it didn’t break the surface; Matthew has previous on this: the Massacre of the Innocents.

This all makes the main claim all, the MORE credible, not less. The fragmentary, broken chain of evidence. That’s real.

They appeared to people. How it didnt broke the surface? Even ten people appearing to at least one person he would have wrote it down. I would have. Wouldnt you?

Who would have written it down? They were illiterate. On what, with what? Parchment and papyrus and ink were for the privileged. If it happened in Port-au-Prince, Haiti or Lagos, Nigeria now, who would ever know in the First World?

Klax comon man. You cant compare the cities of these countrieswith Jerusalem of that era. It was a multicultural centre ,and it had some good trade . It wasnt some remote village in Greece for example. It was like Athens but much smaller

The amount of times i have heard that argument . So what?There wasnt a “privileged” person or someone who could have borrowed these people some papyrus tl write things down?

The catchment area population was a million easily. Nobody ‘borrowed’ valuable commodities, especially as they wouldn’t know what to do with them. Anecdotally Matthew was a tax collector, Luke a doctor, Mark was from a wealthy family. As was John of course. Compared with the masses. And what’s wrong with teeming third and developing world cities? Sao Paulo? Mumbai? Apart from their ghastly inequalities. What if it happened in Shanghai? Cape Town? Mexico City? Moscow even? How would you ever know?

OK, ‘Matthew’ made it up, in good faith, from myths and legends and rumours; Chinese whispers. So what?

[And it was NOTHING like your Athens. Nothing. There was no morgue, no public health records, no newspapers, no department of chariot registration. Nothing. Except for tax purposes.]

Nothing is wrong. I just said that in my opinion Jerusalem was more advanced than these countries for her period of time.

Klax im too silly to understand this . For real i dont. Are you saying that Matthew made up things? If you could explain and expand on this i will be glad

The only reason i compared these two was to show that both were important at their time. Jerusalem was the center of middle east. Athens the center of East ,just east. They both had good trade and were very important to the romans

You’re not silly at all Nick.

They all made stuff up all the time. Look at Jesus. They were making points, not forensic proofs.

1 Like

Klax then the question is raised if the Jesus miracles or even ressurection is made up. But because i still (even though all my questions )do believe in God and i think even though they added up verses ,they wouldnt fake events. I mean sure some added up verses that were correct theologicaly but they had no reason to made up things and events. They early christians and the apostles had no reason to add made up stuff in the bible. If those werent real events they wouldnt have believed in the first place. So they added stuff yes but thats as far as i go. Until you provide proof of them beign made up klax i wont accept it. I cant however provide proof all were real as well. As i stated before theres no historical account of ressurected saints going to the city. And i doubt no one had the papyrus to write it down. But you cant say it didnt happen just because it wasnt recorded . Hense we are left with silence till someone here on the forum knows something better about these events or historical evidence beign discovered

GMatthew=Gospel according to Matthew.

Putting ‘G’ is a convention to differentiate the author from the text itself.

Are all references to the texts.

1 Like

‘Midrash’ is a kind of interpretive commentary. What Robert Gundry means by it is that ‘Matthew’ fictionalized parts of the story of Jesus when he altered the text of GMark.

Why did he do that though?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.