When the New Testament was written is a significant issue, as one assembles the overall argument for Christianity. Confidence in the historical accuracy of these documents depends partly on whether they were written by eyewitnesses and contemporaries to the events described, as the Bible claims. Negative critical scholars strengthen their own views as they separate the actual events from the writings by as much time as possible. For this reason radical scholars argue for late first century, and if possible second century, dates for the autographs [original manuscripts]. By these dates they argue that the New Testament documents, especially the Gospels, contain mythology. The writers created the events contained, rather than reported them.
Why is this a significant issue? Only those who need Scripture to be post-enlightenment historical see this as a serious issue. Why are eyewitness accounts necessary? Does an eyewitness account make it any more valid? Thomas, an eyewitness, was chided and told that those who never saw Jesus would be much more blessed.
Seems to me that Geisler is trying to secure his own faith by casting ad homs about. Seriously… why so serious?
The reporting of historical events is not separated between fiction and non-fiction. All history is interpretation. If the writers were adding stories to the Gospels, remember, they weren’t writing for what we believe we need, but telling a story themselves. Creation of events is a serious charge and doesn’t get at the route the Evangelists took in telling a story.