Blog April 27th “Can We Believe The Gospels?”

“What More Can You Do Lord?” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Precious” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

First I would like to express my sincere thanks to Alex E. Serban who works for the Romanian Christian Cable TV company Credo. Not only did Alex translate the whole of Risen! The Musical into Romanian but he also produced the promo video which is featured today.

Last week I said that I would look at whether or not the Gospels are true or fairy- stories. In fact the blogs of July of 2015 dealt with this subject in some depth drawing in particular on the book “The Case For Christ” written by Lee Strobel, however the main points that I would like to raise are as follows:

  • The traditional view is that it was Matthew, the disciple and ex- tax collector who wrote the Gospel that bears his name.  Mark is believed to largely consist of the preaching of the disciple Peter arranged and shaped by his close associate John Mark who features in the Book of Acts as a companion of Paul and Barnabas. His mother had a house in Jerusalem which served as a place of communion for the disciples (Acts 12:12) Many think he was the young man who fled naked when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:51) Traditionally John’s Gospel has been attributed to the disciple John, brother of James and son of Zebedee who may have been a cousin of Jesus. Luke, the author of the third Gospel was a doctor and historian who had, in his own words, carefully investigated the life of Christ. He was also a close companion of Paul who although not one of the twelve disciples is still regarded as an apostle as he met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus.


  • What would be the purpose of these four writers making it all up- what would they have gained expect perhaps some notoriety? Peter was crucified upside down for his faith, John was exiled into hard labour, Paul was beheaded and tradition has Matthew also martyred. Why would anyone go through such ordeals to uphold a story that they had made up?
  • The Gospel stories are honest – in fairy- tales usually the heroes are made out to be more than they are but for example Peter is shown to be someone who badly let Jesus down – disowning Jesus three times on the night of His arrest. I have made the following point before but it is something that can be easily overlooked – if the Gospels were made up then they would surely have written that Jesus was first seen alive after the crucifixion by a man and not a woman as, at that time in Israel, the testimony of women was considered to be virtually worthless and was not even admissible in court.  In the words of John inRisen!- The Musical  “No there’s only one reason why first appearing to a woman would make any sense and that is if it were true and it is I can assure you there is no pretence.”
  • There were other books written about Jesus and some were indeed fairly – tales written centuries after His life on earth. Over a period of time the Church decided what was “canon” e. what is considered to be authoritative scripture. The word canon comes from the Greek κανών, meaning “rule” or “measuring stick. For it to be “canon” the author had to be an apostle or have apostolic authority? The book could not contradict the Old Testament and the work had to be accepted by the early church.

And there is more – but that’s enough for this week!