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Why did it take so long for accounts of Jesus to be written?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Phil4987, Apr 3, 2007.

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  1. Phil4987

    Phil4987 Regular Member

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    I've heard the answer, but I forget, so why is it that the first accounts came 70 years after Jesus' Resurrection? I heard writing was very common at the time.
     
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  2. KTatis

    KTatis Well-Known Member

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    Good Question. Hopfuly we'll get a good answer :)
     
  3. Phil4987

    Phil4987 Regular Member

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    Yea, I think we will. Also, I meant to say, "I heard writing was very common at the time when Jesus lived."
     
  4. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    first account is much earlier than 70 yrs later. Mark is from like the 60s at the latest, and Paul's letters begin in the late 40s if i recall correctly.
     
  5. Phil4987

    Phil4987 Regular Member

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    10 years isnt that much earlier. I'm wondering why accounts werent written during Jesus's time when writing was commoin.
     
  6. LadyGarnetRose

    LadyGarnetRose Frum Reconstructionist (pm me for details)

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    Matthew is believed to have been written before he left for lands outside what was called Palestine by the Romans to preach. This would have been between 40 and 55 AD there abouts. Being the Resurection was about 28-34 AD....

    The first Gospel was not penned 70 years later, but about 12 years later.
     
  7. Phil4987

    Phil4987 Regular Member

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    ^ I can't find a credible article that supports what you said. I mostly find atheist sites saying that the Resurrection is a myth. I did find this one about evidence and it says the Gospel writers have a "proven track record," but I didn;t find dates. Can yo uplease show me a good one?
    http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/rediscover2.html
     
  8. TrevorL

    TrevorL Regular Member

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    Greetings Phil4987,

    The following passage indicates that many had written accounts of the events surrounding the life, words, works of Jesus, and these would have been written before Luke's account.
    Luke 1:1-4 (KJV): "1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
    Now Luke's gospel account appears to be written a few years before Acts, and Acts is the account of an eyewitness and participant, the "we" occurrences in Acts. The book of Acts ends with Paul's first imprisonment, and it appears that the Acts was written shortly before Paul's release AD60? We cannot be sure if Matthew, Mark or John were part of the many written before Luke's gospel record, but possibly.

    So yes, writing was common, but only four major accounts have survived.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  9. Keenan

    Keenan Member

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    People thought the endtimes were very close to transpiring then and after a good many years thought, "Hey.. Maybe we should be writing all this down just in case people have to know this stuff some time from now...":scratch: Simple, but logical..
     
  10. KTatis

    KTatis Well-Known Member

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    Nice. But I think just maybe since the Romans had conqured the land of Israel the Jews didn't know how to write. They would be forced to write in roman but Israel probably wasn't Romanized yet and was unable to write in Italian. They really couldn't write in their old language Hebrew because Ancient Romans disliked this you were more likely talk about things you have seen rather than record them on paper and stone at the time. Well anyway after after the ressurection These men knew they had to get the word out so they spread out all over the known Ancient world and began to spread the teachings of Jesus. Many would go furthur west towards Rome and Greece (the center of learning at the time) to be educated in writing. Later When they would know how to write they would spread the word quicker and more easily.
     
  11. Phil4987

    Phil4987 Regular Member

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    Shouldn't there be a huge welath of writing dating back to the time? I mean, c'mon, the Son of God is in town and you're not going to write about the amazing things He's done? I read that people wrote letters back then, drew pictures/sketches, historians wrote commentary on historical events. It's a shame more didn;t survive. I can see why Jews believe Jesus was a prophet.
     
  12. mysterychristian

    mysterychristian Member

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    The word is God inspired it did not come by mans will so when God decided to inspire someone to write it He did, it is that simple.
     
  13. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    Paul's letters were written earlier than 70 years after Jesus' death. Paul died in 64 AD, and I think most of his letters were written in about the 50's. This is about 20 years after Jesus died. The account of the Lord's supper in 1 Corinthians 11 is the earliest account of this event that we have, preceding that of the Gospels.

    I agree with a previous poster. The disciples believed that Jesus would return in their lifetime. I think they probably decided to write accounts of his life and teaching only when they were in their old age, or some had died, or were dying, due to persecution. John's Gospel was probably the last Biblical book to be written, in 90-100 AD. There was a very strong word of mouth tradition in those days, and people would have talked about Jesus and repeated his words and teachings before they wrote them down.

    But 70 years isn't really that long anyway. I heard once that the first accounts of Julius Ceasar's life were written about 300 years after he died. Even today, someone may decide to research and write a biography of someone who lived in the middle ages, or whatever.
     
  14. S Walch

    S Walch -

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    There aren't many manuscripts of contemporary writings during the first Century CE.

    Why does their need to be more manuscripts of the Gospels compared to the other writers of the time?

    Let's take Flavius Josephus as an example. He wrote his work, the antiquities of the Jews at around 90 CE.

    The only manuscripts we have of it (disregarding Eusibus' account in his Historia Ecclesia) is from the 10th Century CE.

    Quite a bit of a gap compared to the manuscripts we have of all the books of the Bible.
     
  15. billychum

    billychum Regular Member

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    some of the early christians might have been more concerned with staying alive than writing.

    Billy <><
     
  16. GorrionGris

    GorrionGris ...but the greatest of these is Love

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  17. GorrionGris

    GorrionGris ...but the greatest of these is Love

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    Well what if I told you that we have lost most of Plato teachings, because he, like Socrates was skeptic of the value of writing?

    What if I told you that 99% of anything writing at that time is lost for ever? (Most probably in the stomach of mice)

    In the early times there was no such a huge need to write a formal book about Jesus to begin with, since they were speaking to people who already knew the events. When they started to write, they wrote in koine (common) Greek not in aramaic, which was what the people in Israel spoke, but Greek the language most people spoke in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.
     
  18. mysterychristian

    mysterychristian Member

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    FROM THE WILL OF GOD NOT MAN'S WILL

    How We Got the Word of God

    If the Bible is, as it declares itself to be, God's Word to mankind, how did we get the Word of God from God? Several verses in the New Testament tell us how the Word of God, the Bible, came into existence:

    II Timothy 3:16
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God[theopneustos - God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

    Matthew 4:4
    But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.


    The Word of God came out of the mouth of God. He breathed out the scripture. God is the source of His Word. So it came from God. But how did it get to man?

    II Peter 1:21
    For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    This verse tells us two things.

    It tells us how the Word of God came to man.

    It also tells us how it did NOT come.

    It did not come by the will of man.

    Some person did not just decide to write his ideas and call it God's Word. A person did not think it up. It did not come from some man trying to tell about his experiences with God. Man did not decide to write the Word of God. It did not come by the will of man!

    The Word of God came to men of God who spake or wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost -

    The Holy Spirit - GOD.

    In other Words, God, who is Spirit, gave His word to holy men, men who believed God, and they wrote that which He revealed to them.

    This truth is stated in other words in two other verses:


    Galatians 1:11-12
    But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me [the Apostle Paul] is not after man.
    For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ.


    Once again, God tells us how the Word of God came to man and He tells us how it did NOT come.

    The Word of God was not after man.

    It was not some idea that Paul thought up! Paul also did NOT receive the Word of God from another man. He was not taught it! Paul was a holy man of God. God revealed His Word to Paul by revelation of [or from] Jesus Christ. It was revealed to Paul.

    The word "revealed" means to uncover or show forth. God showed His Word to Paul.

    To understand how this process worked, you must understand that God is Spirit (John 4:24).

    In the Old Testament God would take of His Spirit and place it upon holy men who believed His Word.

    Then speaking Spirit to spirit He revealed His Word to those holy men:

    Numbers 11:16-17
    And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel . . .
    And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; . . .


    Deuteronomy 34:9
    And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.


    Every man (or woman) to whom God revealed His Word, were holy men and women that had the spirit from God upon them.

    In the New Testament, after the day of Pentecost, it became available for the spirit to be born in men and women. But the process is the same. God, who is Spirit, reveals His Word to the spirit in a holy man or woman.

    There is only one source of the Word of God and that is God. He is the author of His Word. Many men and women wrote or spoke that which God revealed to them, but God is the author of His Word.


    Jeremiah was a holy man of God in the Old Testament to whom God revealed His Word. God was the author of the book of Jeremiah, but Jeremiah was the holy man of God who spoke forth that which was revealed to him. And Jeremiah had a scribe, named Baruch, who actually wrote the words down. There are many writers and speakers of the Word of God, but God is the one and only author of His Word. Take a look at how this process worked:

    Jeremiah 36:1
    And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,


    The word of God came from the Lord unto Jeremiah.

    Jeremiah 36:2
    Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee . . .


    God spoke to Jeremiah and told him to write the Word of God.

    Jeremiah 36:4
    Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.


    Jeremiah listened to God and spoke exactly what God had revealed to him. Then Baruch the scribe wrote the words - word for word - in a scroll as Jeremiah spoke.

    That is how we got God's Word!

    Now when the king, Jehoiakim, heard the Word of God spoken by Jeremiah and written by Baruch he was not too happy.

    The Word of God revealed that Jehoiakim was outside of God's will, so he was not very pleased to hear what was written in the scroll:

    Jeremiah 36:22-23
    Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
    And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves [columns], he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.


    Jehoiakim thought that he could just cut up God's Word and burn it in the fire and that would get rid of it. But burning the scroll did not get rid of the author of the Word. God simply gave the Word to Jeremiah again:

    Jeremiah 36:27-28
    Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,
    Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.


    Jeremiah 36:32
    Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim the King of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.


    God protects and cares for His Word. It is very important to Him.

    It is His Will for man.

    It is the way He has chosen to reveal His Will to us.

    Jehoiakim could not get rid of the Word of God because Jehoiakim could not get rid of God. God revealed the same exact words to Jeremiah and Jeremiah spoke them to Baruch who wrote them down a second time. And then God gave Jeremiah some added revelation and more like words were added to the scroll.
    The Bible is God's revealed Word. You cannot know God's Will without knowing His Word. God's Word is His Will. He has taken great care to preserve it and make it available to us.

    Many people ask, pray, plead, even beg for God to make known His will unto them. They read books and articles about the Bible. They ask other people what the Bible says. They look for signs from God. They guess about what God might want them to know. They do everything but read that which God has already made known. The Bible is just as much God talking now as it was God talking when He originally revealed it.

    God has guaranteed His Word.

    I don't know much about how God works with individual believers.

    I don't know why, by God's grace, He goes beyond that which is promised in His Word. But I do know that the Bible is revelation from God. And I know God's Word works today with the same power and authority as it did when God first gave it.

    Just think how great our lives would be and how much God would bless us if we could just get to the place in our walk where we believe and act on that which He has already revealed in His written Word.
     
  19. Phil4987

    Phil4987 Regular Member

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