Friday, March 09, 2018

The Significance Of Not Having Sources On Jesus During His Lifetime

A common objection to Christianity that's highly relevant to the Easter season is that we don't have any records of Jesus' life that were written before he died. I've addressed that objection at length in another post. What I want to do here is cite a comment Richard Burridge made last year that's relevant to the topic. Burridge is one of the foremost scholars in the world on the genre of the gospels. During the June 17, 2017 Unbelievable? radio program, he commented (around one and a half minutes into the second hour) that ancient biographies were written after the figure died, since only then could a final analysis of the person's life be given. When the gospels and other early documents were written after Jesus' death, they were following common (though not universal) practice. For other reasons why the post-death timing of the early sources on Jesus isn't as problematic as critics suggest, see my post linked above.

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