Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Credibility Of John's Gospel As A Resurrection Witness

It's common today to assign little credibility to the gospel of John on resurrection issues (and other subjects). That's a mistake, as we've argued in many posts. Or read Lydia McGrew's The Eye Of The Beholder (Tampa, Florida: DeWard Publishing, 2021), for example.

Shortly after Easter last year, I posted an article about how problematic the early Ephesian church is for Christianity's critics. You can read the article to get all of the details, but it's largely about the evidence for John's relationship with Ephesus. That adds a lot of credibility to the widespread early attributions of the fourth gospel to John, including in Ephesus and among people influenced by Ephesus. And, as my article just linked discusses, the early Ephesian church was highly influenced not only by John, but also by Paul. That underscores how problematic it is to do things like setting Pauline Christianity against Johannine Christianity, as modern critics often do.

Keep in mind, also, that it's not enough for critics to propose other interpretations of John 19:35 and 21:24 when trying to avoid the conclusion that the author of the fourth gospel claimed to be an eyewitness of the resurrection. 1 John has language and themes that are highly similar to those in the fourth gospel, and there's widespread agreement among the early external sources that 1 John was written by the same person who wrote the fourth gospel. 1 John 1:1-3 identifies the author as an eyewitness of Jesus.

See here for a discussion of the best and earliest evidence for the authorship of the gospels. And the post here addresses how John aligns better with the Synoptics than modern critics typically suggest.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Sunday, March 26, 2023

James' Influence On Luke's Resurrection Material

Last Christmas season, I posted an article about how Jesus' relatives influenced our view of his childhood. In that article, I provided several lines of evidence that Luke consulted Jesus' brother James as a source. Part of that article discussed a potential reason why Luke didn't narrate Jesus' resurrection appearance to James. You can read the article, or the relevant portion of it, if you're interested in that issue. But a larger point should be made as well. Luke's use of James as a source means that he was in contact with a pre-Pauline resurrection witness, even with one who had grown up with Jesus and lived with him for a long time. Though Luke was influenced by Paul, we should keep in mind that Paul wasn't the only influence in Luke's life. The influence of figures like James gives us more reason to think Luke's highly physical, highly evidential view of the resurrection and the resurrection appearances is pre-Pauline and historical.