Posted: Sep 04, 2011 5:08 pm
by willhud9
Ichthus77 wrote:Shrunk and Cito--These are undesigned coincidences because the Gospel authors fill in eachother's missing details without intending to. Now...perhaps God a hand in that, or perhaps he only 'sustained' it (we'll not go on that tangent)...but the primary point is that their not intending to fill in eachother's details is a good test for the authenticity of what they are saying...it shows they did not rely on eachother, that they are independent sources. Historians get excited when you have 2 independent sources for the same recorded saying/event.

willhud9 and Alan B--If they were based off one another, why didn't they copy the missing details, rather than leave them out? Do you think they sat down, anticipated biblical criticism, and concocted a plan to fill in eachother's missing details to make it 'look' authentic? Why didn't the Gnostic gospel authors think of that? They don't have 'any' undesigned coincidences and embellish a lot.

Rational Skepticism...or just...Skepticism for the sake of skepticism? :?


Actually what Onyx8 said is the best possibility and one which is taught in Seminaries across the world. You see Matthew, Mark, and Luke never mind the authorship and dating, we are focusing on potential audiences of each text. If they were meant to be one text, there would have been one conclusive text, but there is not. We have 4 gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are the Semitic Gospels. They share many similarities including text verbatim. Some scholars such as John Wenham place Matthew being written first, but the majority hold to a 2 document hypothesis that Mark was written and was used with an unknown source Q for Matthew and Luke. Okay, that out of the way...audience.

Matthew focused heavily on Jesus' messianic roles and kingship. Relying on verses from the Old Testament Prophets, "Matthew" focused on showing the intended audience that Jesus was the Messiah and Heir of David. His audience was mainly Jewish. The people whom would care to know about it.

Mark, the shortest of the Gospels, focused heavily on Jesus' ministry. Mark did not really care for the birth or childhood of Jesus, nor did he focus heavily on the resurrection. Mark dealt with Jesus' life on earth and how Jesus lived. Mark's audience was a mixture of Gentiles and Jews.

Luke, the longest of the Gospels. focused on Jesus' teaching and miracles, and showed that Jesus was the "perfect man." Luke in an attempt to document the life of Jesus added detail that was in none of the author Gospels. His audience was primarily Gentiles.

Now we get to the Gospel of John. If the church fathers are correct than this Gospel was written by John the Disciple around the end of his very long life in 90 AD. At this point, Matthew, Mark, and Luke should have already been written. Meaning John would have known about them, and many people would be familiar with the texts. So when John decided to write HIS account He added things that the Semitic Gospels did not include and deleted things that were already sufficiently addressed. But he had the other Gospels to work with.

The above is very conservative church history. I find myself in disagreement with it, however, for sake of the purpose of getting the point across, you see that each of the Gospel authors were familiar with each other's text and could base theirs around each other.

Next, oftentimes in that day and age, sayings and speeches were memorized. The story of Jesus' life was common speech back then and all of the disciples and disciples of the disciples knew the story.

However, we can safely conclude that it is not mere coincidence, but the result of human actions via human authorship.