Tuesday, May 11, 2021

One good teacher or more than one?

"In considering whether Jesus said something or not, we should remember that it is simpler to suppose that one genius came up with remarkable teaching than to posit that multiple people had brilliant ideas and all independently attributed them to the same prior teacher….If we want to say that Jesus told none of the parables, we need to have at least three individuals who created different parables in order to explain those unique to each source. This is problematic when we know that soon afterward, parables were not a popular form for early Christian authors to use. If we suppose that Jesus told some of these parables and others were put on his lips by followers, again we have multiple parable tellers at different periods, with parables suddenly going out of fashion among Christians….Some of Jesus's parables, such as the parables of the sower, good Samaritan, and prodigal son, are viewed as masterpieces of composition. It is far simpler to suppose that the founding figure of the new religion was the creative genius for these stories than to suppose that several later creative geniuses all credited their less creative founder with their great compositions." (Peter Williams, Can We Trust The Gospels? [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2018], approximate Kindle locations 1712, 1725)

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