Monday, March 18, 2013
Relying on the Gospels
I do love it when apologists pretend to be experts on information sources, as Eric Metaxas did in a recent Christian Post article. For the record, it's unclear whether Metaxas is an expert in anything, since the bio page on his website fails to mention his degree.
In his article, Metaxas meekly tries to provide support for the idea that the Gospels are reliable sources. His whole piece is based on a false premise, and he offers exactly two arguments to back himself up:
"But what if the Gospels are indeed what they claim to be? Eyewitness accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth?"
False premise. They never claim to be that. They aren't written in the first person, and even if you believe every word of them, they describe numerous events that the author could not have been present for, like the temptation of Jesus in the desert, as well as the resurrection itself. So Metaxas is defending the idea that they are something that they aren't, even with the most literal reading.
Here is the entirety of his support:
"If the young church wanted to make up a rosy propaganda piece about its leaders, they would not have painted the picture of Peter as a coward and the other disciples as consistently clueless!"
False dichotomy. He's saying that if they aren't propaganda, then they're true. And the best he can do to argue against their being propaganda is to suggest that he'd have written them differently if they were?
"Or take the role of women in the Gospel of Mark. They were the first to discover the empty tomb. But in the Jewish and Roman worlds, women couldn't serve as witnesses in court! So there's no way Mark or any of the gospels would rely on their testimony-unless, of course, the women really were eyewitnesses and what they said really happened."
But if the Gospel authors wouldn't have relied on their testimony, then it wouldn't matter whether that testimony was true or not!
Apologists everywhere are going to have to do a lot better than that if they want to convince those of who really are experts on the reliability of sources.