Class: Investigating and Defending the Gospels #12 and #13


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Investigating and Defending the Gospels #12

Were They Confirmed?

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 10, In the year of our Lord, 2016

  1. As Witnesses, the Gospel Writers Gave Unintentional Support
    1. One writer may have left out a detail, but another writer provides it.
      1. Did they conspire? Or,
      2. did they truly witness that which they describe?
        1. How does testimony from witnesses at a trial compare?
          1. The witnesses do not say the same thing.
          2. If they did, we would rightly question whether they had witnessed the event.
        2. How do investigators handle any apparent discrepancies between witnesses?
    2. Jim Wallace refers to “unintentional support.”
      1. He has experienced this in the cold case murders he investigates.
      2. The Gospel Accounts also provide “unintentional support.”
        1. Matt 8.16
          1. Why did they wait until evening?
          2. It was the Sabbath
            1. Mark 1.21–34
            2. Luke 4.31
        2. Matt 14.1–2
          1. Why did Herod speak to his servants that he believed Jesus was a resurrected John the Baptist?
          2. Jesus had followers among Herod’s people
            1. Luke 8.3
            2. Acts 13.1
        3. Luke 23.1–4
          1. Why did Pilate not indict Jesus as a king in rebellion against Rome?
          2. Jesus explained the nature of His kingdom.
            1. John 18.33–38
        4. Matt 4.18–22
          1. Did the apostles follow Jesus as easily as this passage indicates?
          2. They had already heard Him preach
            1. Matt 4.17
            2. Luke 5.1–11
        5. Matt 26.67–68
          1. Why did they ask Jesus who struck Him?
          2. They blindfolded Him or put something over His head
            1. Luke 22.63–65
        6. Matt 26.71
          1. Why did the woman question Peter?
          2. She let him into the court area
            1. John 18.16
        7. Mark 15.43
          1. What is so significant that Joseph acted courageously in taking the body of Jesus?
          2. Previously Joseph had been a secret follower of Jesus
            1. John 19.38
        8. There are many more examples.
          1. Consider a book that I bought recently
          2. Learn to compare the different Gospel Accounts and remember that they served as eyewitnesses.
          3. Therefore, treat them as such.
  2. The Writers Used Common Names
    1. Popularity of Palestinian Names of the Day
      1. 15.6% – Simon or Joseph
        1. 41.5% – of men had one of the 9 most popular names
        2. 7.9% – had a name no one else had
      2. 28.6% – Mary or Salome
        1. 49.7% – of women had one of the 9 most popular names
        2. 9.6% – had a name no one else had
    2. Popularity of New Testament Names
      1. 18.2% – Simon or Joseph
        1. 40.3% – of men had one of the 9 most popular names
        2. 3.9% – had a name no one else had
      2. 38.9% – Mary or Salome
        1. 61.1% – of women had one of the 9 most popular names
        2. 2.5% – had a name no one else had
  3. Archaeology Confirms the Gospels
    1. Luke 2.1–3 – Quirinius was governor of Syria
      1. Josephus recorded this governorship from ad 5 to ad 6
      2. Could there be more than one governor with this name?
        1. Archaeology in the 19th century discovered that Quirinius was governor of Syria from 11 bc to Herod’s death.
        2. Also a coin and a statue bearing his name have been found.
    2. Luke 3.1–2 – Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene
      1. Skeptics said this men ruled from 40 to 36 bc.
      2. We discovered two inscriptions, one of which dates from ad 14 to 37.
    3. John 5.1–9 – The pool of Bethesda
      1. Skeptics said it did not exist because archaeologists had not found it.
      2. Then under St. Anne’s Church we discovered it.
    4. The same can be said of
      1. The Pool of Siloam,
      2. Pontius Pilate,

the crucifixion and others.

Three separate lines leading to the Council of Laodicea.
Three separate lines leading to the Codex Sinaiticus.
The Books of the New Testament had already been established.
No council put together the New Testament, nor did they corrupt it, but only acknowledged what had already been acknowledged in the church.
What one generation received, they gave to the next generation.
Their meticulous copying (see the reverse side), guaranteed that we would have what the Lord wanted us to have.
Early Christians would have checked the facts.
Would people devoted to Scripture, change it?
It is hard to repeat a lie repeatedly and be consistent.


The Masoretes did not write Codex Sinaiticus, but their copying traditions are legendary, but they demonstrate the great care used by people who made copies of Scripture.
The early Christians, preachers, et al., came out of that tradition.
Believing the Gospels (and the rest of the NT as the word of God), they would have carried exacting copying methods.
The Masoretes kept meticulous records:
Noted obvious errors to fix.
They were so meticulous, they knew the following about the Torah:
Middle verse: Lev 8.8
Middle word: Darash, Lev 10.16
Middle letter: Waw, Lev 11.42
End of each book:
Total number of verses
Total number of words
Total number of letters
Why did they need to know this information?