Can we trust newly discovered Gospels about Jesus?
In light of recent interest in extra gospels about Jesus not found in the New Testament, some are asking: why are other gospels like the Gospel of Thomas excluded from the Bible and your explanation of who Jesus is? Why shouldnít we trust these as well? The simple answer is that the Gospels of the Bible prove to be the earliest, most reliable and most accurate historical accounts of Jesus Christ. Eyewitnesses of his life wrote these Gospels within 20-50 years after the death of Jesus. In contrast, other gospels written are more than 90 years removed from the death of Jesus long after the lifespan of eyewitnesses to Jesusí life. In these other gospels, we see that the original Gospel accounts are distorted to argue for other philosophies or religious beliefs of their time. Letís use one of the most popular extra gospels, the Gospel of Thomas, as an example. Most scholars believe that the Gospel of Thomas is written at the earliest in 175AD. We know this because the Gospel of Thomas edits verses from the New Testament and uses ideas from that are only found after the middle of the second century. Even from a non-Christian perspective, the best place to understand a historical understanding of Jesus is from eyewitnesses of the event who write soon after the event has occurred. As opposed to other gospels, this is exactly what we find with Gospels of the New Testament.
Did Jesusí Apostles invent Christianity?
The central belief of the Jesusí first Apostles was that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them in person. If one were to claim that this belief was an invention of the first Apostles, we would have to look at why they would make such a claim? What advantage was it to them? The historical evidence overwhelming points out that there was no earthly advantage for the eleven Apostles to invent Jesus and the story about his death and resurrection. All of the eleven Apostles except John were killed for preaching the Gospel. They all paid in blood for their faith in the risen Christ. In fact, they paid in blood many times because they didnít just die as martyrs. They lived as martyrs, enduring persecution, exile, scourging, punishment, abuse, and imprisonment far from their home and far from one another. The skeptic might claim that they came under some type of momentary religious hysteria. And yet, as a group, they held to their faith in the resurrection, but they didnít all suffer death in a group. These eleven men were killed over a period of forty years, hundreds of miles apart from one another, and not a single one renounced the claim that Jesus had actually risen from the dead. What possible motive would they have had for saying Jesus had risen from the dead if they knew he had not? Why would someone die for a lie? The most plausible conclusion is it was not a lie, but the acts of men who had witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus and whose lives would be changed forever by this historical event.
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