the Christian mysteries, none rank as highly as the concept of Christ’s
crucifixion and atoning sacrifice. In
fact, Christians base their salvation on this one tenet of faith. And if it really happened, shouldn’t we all?
really happened, that is.
don’t know about you, but the concept of Jesus Christ having atoned for the
sins of mankind sounds pretty good to me.
And shouldn’t it? I mean, if we
can trust that someone else atoned for all of our sins, and we can go to heaven
on that concept alone, shouldn’t we instantly close on that deal?
really happened, that is.
let’s check this out. We’re told Jesus
Christ was crucified. But then again,
we’re told a lot of things that later prove to be doubtful or even untrue, so
it would be reassuring if we could verify the fact.
let’s ask the witnesses. Let’s ask the
one problem. We don’t know who the
authors were. This is a less popular
Christian mystery (i.e., waaay less popular) – the fact that all four gospels
of the New Testament are anonymous.
Nobody knows who wrote them.
Graham Stanton tells us, “The gospels, unlike most Graeco-Roman
writings, are anonymous. The familiar
headings which give the name of an author (‘The Gospel according to . . .’)
were not part of the original manuscripts, for they were added only early in
the second century.”
in the second century? By whom? Believe it or not, that is anonymous as well.
let’s forget all that. After all, the
four gospels are part of the Bible, so we must respect them as scripture, right?
maybe not. After all, The Interpreter’s
Dictionary of the Bible states, “It is safe to say that there is not one
sentence in the NT in which the MS [manuscript] tradition is wholly
uniform.” Add to that Bart D.
Ehrman’s now famous words, “Possibly it is easiest to put the matter in
comparative terms: there are more differences in our manuscripts than there are
words in the New Testament.”
Whoa. Hard to imagine. On one hand, we have Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John telling us . . . oh, excuse me. I
meant to say, we have Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous and Anonymous telling us
. . . well, what? What do they tell
us? That they can’t even agree on what
Jesus wore, drank, did or said? After
all, Matthew 27:28 tells us the Roman soldiers dressed Jesus with a scarlet
robe. John 19:2 says it was purple. Matthew 27:34 says the Romans gave Jesus sour
wine mingled with gall. Mark 15:23 says
it was mixed with myrrh. Mark 15:25
tells us Jesus was crucified before the third hour, but John 19:14–15 says it
was “about the sixth hour.” Luke 23:46 says Jesus’ last words were “Father,
into Your hands I commit my spirit,” but John 19:30: says they were “It is
wait a minute. Jesus’ righteous
followers would have hung on his every word.
On the other hand, Mark 14:50 tells us that all the disciples deserted
Jesus in the garden
of Gethsemane. But okay, some people – not disciples, I
guess, but some people (anonymous, of course) – hung on his every word, hoping
for some parting words of wisdom, and they heard . . . different things?
it or not, after this point, the gospel records become even more inconsistent.
the alleged resurrection, we hardly find a single issue the four gospels
(Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20) agree upon. For example:
went to the tomb?
“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary”
“Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome”
“The women who had come with him from Galilee”
and “certain other women”
did they go to the tomb?
“To see the tomb”
They “brought spices, that they might come and anoint him”
They “brought spices”
no reason given
there an earthquake (something nobody in the vicinity would be likely to either
miss or forget)?
angel descend? (I mean, come on, guys –
an angel? Are we to believe that three
of you somehow missed this part?)
rolled back the stone?
The angel (the one the other three anonymouses – now, let’s see, would that be
“anonymouses” or “anonymice”? – didn’t
was at the tomb?
“a young man”
The angel was sitting on the stone, outside the tomb.
The young man was in the tomb, “sitting on the right side.”
The two men were inside the tomb, standing beside them.
The two angels were “sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where
the body of Jesus had lain.”
whom and where was Jesus first seen?
Mary Magdalene and the “other Mary,” on the road to tell the disciples.
Mary Magdalene only, no mention where.
Two of the disciples, en route to “a village called Emmaus, which was about
seven miles from Jerusalem.”
Mary Magdalene, outside the tomb.
where does this leave us, if not wondering whose idea of scripture this is?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_e1rB336tA - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_e1rB336tA