I'd tend to stick with phrasing like "the gospels were written anywhere between 40 and 90 years after the crucifixion; in the case of one (John) possibly even a little later." (It's a mistake to seize on the outlying estimate that makes the gospels seem the most unreliable, most estimates I've seen range from 90-120 CE)
The oldest forensically dated scrap of manuscript is a piece of John (ironically because it's the last canonical gospel to be written) dated to the early second century. Which does put an absolute latest date of 150 CE on it.
The bit about Paul maybe not having written the epistles in the bible is interesting, and it will be interesting to see if that becomes generally accepted. (So far, though, I've not run into arguments that Paul didn't exist!) So far as I am aware though historians like Ehrman take them as genuine products of mid-first-century Paul.
I usually keep 3 or 4 pieces going at a time, and it may have been in Ehrman's The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture that I read it.
You and I are both in agreement that the anonymous author of a two-volume work, both the "The Gospel of Luke" and "The Acts," later dubbed "Luke," a Syrian physician who spent time with Paul, though there is no evidence to support this title, copied much of "The Gospel of Mark," as well as taking quotations from the mysterious "Q."
"Mark," or whoever the anonymous author was, who was later dubbed, "Mark," stated unequivocally that Yeshua (if he ever existed) died for the sins of humankind. "Luke," on the other hand, went out of his way not to make that claim - he maintained that Yeshua (if he ever existed) was an innocent man, sent to his death by Jewish theological authorities, and was later vindicated by god by virtue of the resurrection - rather than any universal atonement, his death and resurrection was an indictment of the Jewish religious authorities.
Evidence for this is found throughout, when "Luke" copied "Mark," but altered "Mark's" redemptive verses to say something different, or deleted them entirely, copying what went before and what came after the verse in question, but omitting the one regarding salvation.
I could go through and demonstrate this assertion, but my time and this space is limited. Let me simply point out one small example: Mark 15:39 states that upon Yeshua's giving it up, the Roman centurion, in charge of the execution, said, "Truly, this man was the son of God." Luke 23:47 has him saying, "Truly, this man was innocent." Did this mean that the anonymous author who wrote what is now called, "The Gospel of Luke," doubted Yeshua's divinity?
As I said, there are many other examples, too numerous and complex to go into here, but the point certainly provides - IMO - food for thought.
Hold up, hold up, hold up you are seriously quoting wikipedia about "facts". Dude the only thing you can trust wiki to be accurate for is actors and videogames.
NOW you tell me... ;)
Might be trustworthy for porn too
In that whole wikipedia article, the word miracle is mentioned 4 times.
If Jesus was historically real, his miracles surely weren't and thus, Christianity is a lie and a scam.
I have no problem believing that a man, maybe even a wise teacher, named Jesus actually existed, but existence does not make one divine. It seems to me that if he did exist, Jesus was deified, as mankind is wont to do. Convincing an atheist of Jesus' existence could be the proverbial foot in the door, but otherwise it is irrelevant when it comes to belief in supernatural claims.
Making the leap from "Jesus existed" to "Jesus is God" is untenable for me. When a person or group claim to be the lone possessors of truth about a deity or deities and creation, by virtue of making such a claim, I know I cannot believe it. The only people I have any faith in are those who say they do not know something I believe we cannot know.
So why does it matter if Jesus actually existed or not? It is irrelevant as far as I am concerned.
There is no evidence of the existence of a historical Jesus. Nazareth didn't exist in the first century CE, so he couldn't have come from there - there is no documentary or archaeological evidence for Nazareth at that time at all. http://www.nazarethmyth.info/
The reference to Josephus has been widely debunked and it appears to be a later transcription addition - the passage that refers to Jesus appears out of context and textual analysis strongly indicates that it was not written by him. http://www.freethoughtnation.com/contributing-writers/63-acharya-s/...
I don't understand why scholars like Bart Erhman are so generous on the existence of a historical Jesus. Maybe it has something to do with the fact Erhman was an evangelical Christian as a teen. Maybe he can't let go of it fully.
Anyway, it doesn't matter if Jesus existed or not because he certainty didn't turn water to wine, walk on water or raise from the dead.
Supposing he was real, his name was Yeshua he was of midddle eastern decent. Ok? Cool. Now "his father" said to worship no false profits or no other gods before me. So naturally in most churches he is called Jesus and depicted as a white guy. Whoops you guys might wanna look into that one. How does Yeshua translate to Jesus instead of Joshua?
Talk to the Greeks, Brendan, they're the ones who made the translation - it's all Greek to me. As far as being depicted as a "white guy" is concerned, most Jews ARE "White," but he wouldn't have been the strapping Nordic type so often pictured, he would have had dark hair and topped out at about 5 foot six.
Mediterranean Jews (there wouldn't have been European Jews 2040 years ago) are basically the same genetic stock as Arabs. I heard one geneticist on a NOVA special say that "There isn't a dime's worth of difference between an Arab and a Mediterranean Jew genetically, in my opinion."