Did Jesus Really Say That?
*Tuesday = Truth-day* — Some have the idea that Jesus never spoke most of the words attributed to Him in the gospels by using their own set of assumptions and criteria. Are these standards reasonable or appropriate? Or were they created to get the result that was desired?
One example is to assume that the later church put many of Jesus’ sayings into His mouth because of their suspicion of the …gospels, and their belief that the supernatural can’t really happen. But historians usually work with the burden of proof on themselves to prove something to be false, since people aren’t usually compulsive liars, not the other way around. Skeptics have questionable criteria to do this.
One criteria is called “double dissimilarity” – this means they’ll believe Jesus said something if it *doesn’t* sound like something a rabbi or later church would say. Otherwise they’ll assume it was put in from a Jewish or Christian source. The problem is Jesus *was* Jewish and He *founded* the Christian church. Why would it seem suspicious if He sounded like a rabbi or Christian? Skeptics use this to reach a negative conclusion about what Jesus actually said.
Another criteria would be “multiple attestation” – meaning we can only believe Jesus said something if it’s found in more than one source. In other words, if it’s found in only one source, it’s not valid. Even if Jesus’ sayings are found in 2 or 3 independently written gospels, they don’t consider this as multiple sources. But even if we had only one gospel, we must remember that most of ancient history is based on single sources.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear skeptics make the case for their conclusions when their evidence from this kind of criteria was designed to bring about the results they wanted before they began.
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