Today … Licona. The “gamekeeper stayed gamekeeper” and his Detailed Response.
“Thus, whatever criteria apply to biographical and historical literature of the period in which the Gospels were written likewise apply to the Gospels when attempting to assess whether they are historically reliable.”
There is a vested interest in the bible being historically accurate (and a vested interest in proving it is not). The “vested interest” is proving / disproving God. And where one finds a vested interest, one finds “comfort zones” and/or “agendas”. And when people pursue an agenda / comfort zone – they can get righteous right quick – on both sides.
(ever noticed that ex-smokers can be most unforgiving of “smokers”?)
“As I offered in my Major Statement, it depends what we mean by “historically reliable.” If we require every detail to be an accurate reflection of how an event actually unfolded, then compression cannot be allowed. But if we require the account to be an accurate gist of how an event actually unfolded, compression can be allowed.”
Except bible study is “study” – of a specific word – a specific event – a piece of this happened like this “documentary”. Because (Christians are taught that) the Word of God is really God – and “an accurate gist” is (in my experience) language Christians use to prove to Christians that the bible is true and reliable and fact.
“Moreover, as I discussed in my Major Statement, we have very good historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead, which adds plausibility to the miracle accounts in the Gospels, including Jesus’s virgin birth. After all, if Jesus rose from the dead, a virgin birth would be child’s play (pun intended). And most scholars hold that Jesus performed deeds that astonished crowds and that both he and his followers regarded as miracles and exorcisms. Although historical investigation may not be able to determine whether these were genuine miracles and exorcisms, that Jesus rose from the dead adds significant plausibility to the conclusion that they were genuine.“
Have I missed the “missing link” of evidence and historical reliability?
The evidence, as I recall (presented by Licona), was of “writing style” (back then) … of “writing” tools (back then) … of others “back then” (who did not write bibles but wrote stuff). The evidence was of “anything” (back then) other than “evidence” (from back then) as we know evidence today.
“If Matthew did not intend for his readers to understand the raised saints in a literal sense, should this “stop us from thinking that other parts are not reliable either?” I’ll rephrase the question: If Matthew did not intend for his readers to understand the raised saints in a literal sense, why should we think he meant for those same readers to understand Jesus’s resurrection in a literal sense?”
So is Jesus’ resurrection now confirmed as “figurative” rather than literal? And I double-checked I had read (and copied) this paragraph correctly.
““Historical reliability” means that a large majority of what is being reported is true to the extent that readers get an accurate gist of what occurred. The account is “true enough.” The Gospels meet this standard. At minimum, they are historically reliable accounts of Jesus … Accordingly, when we think of what we mean by the term “historically reliable,” we must be careful not to define it so tightly that all ancient literature is deemed unreliable. To do so would be to deprive the term of any useful meaning.”
We are not talking about “all ancient literature”. We are talking about one “book of not-literature” which is taught as reliable in fact and in word.
I would not use “the evidence” (presented here by Licona) in a court of law. I have been to court. The repeated insistence that because “other companies” act and behave in a certain way is all the evidence we need to prove “that the defendant here in this very court must be guilty of all charges as stated, m’lord” would only go one way …
M’lord would ask us if that was all the evidence we were bringing to his attention.
We would say yes.
M’lord would thank us.
And find in favour of the “other party”.
(tomorrow is the beginning of “final submissions”)