The Real Jesus: Myth #2 (4 of 10)

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Myth #2: The New Testament was written 100 years after Jesus

Jennings: "There is no reliable evidence about who the authors actually were. It is pretty much agreed that they were not eyewitnesses. In fact, the Gospels were probably written 40 to 100 years after Jesus' death."

Jennings is simply echoing a popular myth: some of the theologians of the Jesus Seminar have suggested that writers pretending to be Matthew, Mark, Luke and John took a historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, and invented a genealogy and added historical references as time went by thus "improving" the authenticity of their story.

There is no evidence that the earliest manuscripts of the Bible were altered to be more "historic." In fact, there is proof that little of the New Testament has been altered.

And what of the charge that the Gospel accounts were written many years after Christ? The higher critics face a huge problem with credibility here. In dating the New Testament in the second century rather than the first, they must ignore the fact that there were a number of late first century and early second century writers who quoted extensively from the New Testament. The Christians of that era already thought of what we know today as the New Testament � as being authoritative � as scripture.

We have already seen that Christian writers named Clement, Barnabas, and Polycarp wrote about Jesus in the first century. There are other documents as well.

� The Didache, a late first century catechism, quotes extensively from the New Testament.

� Ignatius (A.D. 35-110), the Bishop of Antioch, quotes from 16 New Testament books.

� Irenaeus (A.D. 130 -200), the second century Bishop of Lyons, makes 1,819 references to New Testament scriptures.

� Tertullian (A.D. 160 -220) quotes from the New Testament 7,258 times.

The problem for the higher critics and those searching for a "historical Jesus" is th

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