The author of this Gospel made sure he used eyewitness testimony; indeed he was an eyewitness!
Jesus is raised from the dead. Mary Magdalene visits the empty tomb. She reports back to Peter, who visits the tomb, but the beloved disciple gets there first. They depart and Mary returns. She sees two angels in the tomb; then Jesus appears to her outside it. She clutches him, and he tells her to stop because he will not leave permanently at that moment. He commissions her to tell the other disciples. He appears to them and shows them his hands (wrists) and side. He exhales and says for them to receive the Spirit. He appears to Thomas. John lays out the purpose of the book.
Luke researched those who knew Jesus from the “beginning,” his key criterion.
The chief priests and temple officers shout for him to be crucified. They back Pilate into a corner, saying that they have no king but Caesar. He reluctantly orders his crucifixion. The soldiers divide his garments. He hands his mother over to the disciple whom he loved. Jesus dies when he gives up his spirit. His side is pierced. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus work together to bury him.
The evidence suggests that Peter was indeed a portrait painter, but he used words alone. Jesus was his subject.
I really like this creed. I add a commentary, which I hope clarifies it. We the church today ignore it at our peril, particularly the American church.
Centuries ago, the church debated the issue of who Christ was. In today’s church, we like to innovate so much that we become arrogant and can sometimes stomp all over the ancient creeds. But we ignore this creed at our peril.
Jesus is arrested in a garden and brought before the emeritus high priest Annas. Then he is led to the serving high priest Caiaphas. Next, Pilate questions him, finds no basis for an accusation against him, and intends to release him because of a Jewish custom. The Jewish establishment and their allies shout for the insurrectionist Barabbas to be released, instead.
This article rounds a corner from the traditions transmitted before the Gospels were written to the Gospels themselves, as we have them now. Do they enjoy eyewitness testimony at their foundation?
This is Jesus’s long and profound prayer of consecration before going to the cross. He prays for himself, his immediate disciples (the eleven) and the church. He even prays for people in the world. The church is called to live in unity.
This is a question that must be explored. At least twelve scholars say it probably happened. If so, this gives a huge boost to the reliability of the Gospels.
No need to be afraid of this document. If it existed, Matthew and Luke used it. If they weren’t afraid, why should you be?
Jesus tell his disciples that persecution is coming. He teaches on the ministry of the Spirit. The disciples’ sorrow will turn to joy. In the world they will have trouble, but they can take courage, because he has overcome the world.
In this chapter, Jesus says he is the true vine, the Father is the vinedresser, and the branches must dwell or live in the vine. The world hated him, and it will hate his disciples.
We continue the series, and this post is about how the stories and teachings and memories of the deeds of Jesus were transmitted before the first three Gospels were written down.
With this article (Part Five) we turn a corner away from archaeology and non-Christian written references to Gospel persons (the last three articles). Now we discuss the preservation of Jesus’ ministry — his words and activity — after his crucifixion (and resurrection) and up to the time when the Gospels were written.
Jesus is still in the middle of his farewell discourse. He says he is the way, the truth, and the life. He promises the Paraclete or Holy Spirit. He says the ruler of this world has no hold or claim on him.
Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. He predicts Judas’s betrayal. Jesus gives them a new commandment: to love one another. He also predicts Peter’s three denials. Verse 31 begins the Farewell Discourse(s) all the way to 17:26. The chronology between John and the Synoptics and Passover and the crucifixion is also discussed here. They can be harmonized.
If you throw a rock in a pond, does it produce ripples? Did the life of Jesus produce no effects at all? Are the ripples delusions or real? Now let’s study the historical evidence. If you have a son or daughter or a co-worker or husband who challenges you, send him or her to this link.
Part 3 in the series that explains why the Gospels are reliable and lists some discoveries.