real people and real events?
- At 05:48 PM 9/7/00 -0400, Richard Mallett wrote:
This raises the question that is often raised as a challenge by 'infidels' to believers : how can we know that the books of the Bible (or,
specifically here, the gospels) describe real people and real events and
sayings ? Just because they mention Herod, Pilate, Caiaphas etc. does not
of itself mean that the events really happened as they are described in the gospels.
The answer would be the same as for any people and events in any ancient source, at least for the purposes of this list. So whatever means any such "infidels" would find acceptable for any other people and events of ancient history should also be acceptable when working with our sources.
Sometimes in questions such as the one you raise, there is an implicit contention that the Gospels are to be considered as *less* reliable witnesses than other ancient texts because they are held to be more "biased." But most of our other sources on the ancient world are biased, too (albeit in different ways). And how does one measure degrees of bias? So a truly neutral, objective scholar, infidel or not, would not consider our sources any more or less reliable, a priori, than any other equivalent ancient sources.