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The eyewitness nature of the four Gospels: a quick overview

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Proverbs 18:17

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English Standard Version (ESV)

17 The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.

Both those who attempt to prove the accuracy of the Biblical accounts and those who try to discredit them have an agenda. There are likely no neutral parties in this debate.

The attempts to discredit the Gospels have been exceptionally thorough, examining every possible flaw or contradiction.

This has forced the Christian Scholars to become extraordinarily detailed in their defense of these scriptures.

Anyone examining these scriptures has both the prosecuting attacks and the defenses to these attacks to examine and determine which argument seems most reasonable.

It is important to realize that there are no new arguments against the authenticity of the New Testament. The arguments that exist are continually rehashed. On the other hand, scholarship and archaeology keep unearthing more and more evidence from the time period in which the Gospels were written that supports their authenticity.

The four Gospels claim to tell the events and teachings of Jesus. In order to trust these accounts, it would have to be shown that they accurately reflect what people witnessed Jesus do and heard Jesus say.

One of the things that supports the idea that the Gospels get their information from eyewitnesses is the consistency of all four gospels. For instance:

· There are not a wide variety of Christ legends from the first century. Simply the four Gospels which all harmonize in the important details

· There are no counter traditions that contradict the Gospels on any major points such as how and where Jesus lived, ministered, died and rose.

· There are no counter Gospels that set the story in other places, or contradict the core theology, or change any of the major characters

· Jesus is consistently surrounded by 12 core disciples, and three close disciples. He always dies in Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans through the machinations of the religious leaders of Israel and is resurrected three days later, etc.

The enormous consistency of the Gospels and the lack of a vast library of “Jesus Legends” cropping up over time belie the liberal claim that Jesus is largely mythologized. Let’s take a look at each particular book.

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