The Gospel is not a historical record

It is a theological record. The Gospels were made after a series of theological reflections… after a crisis.

Wb writes,

Yes, there are times when the word proskuneo is used as โ€˜kneelโ€™, but the context tells us that time and again people worshipped Jesus. More than that, while Jesus corrected Satan, and while others (people and angels) corrected people for trying to worship them, JESUS accepted the worship โ€“ worship which Jesus Himself said was only to be given to God.

This is strong evidence that Jesus recognized His own deity.

Oddly enough, Paul says the opposite – that Jesus had emptied himself of any thing of the divine.

But, why do we take theology as a historical record? Jesus was not worshiped on earth, during his life, and I would most a strong case, not recognized as THE Messiah until long afterwards. Paul has some notion of what it means to be the anointed, that of a sacrifice, I believe but the idea of The Messiah is still a ways off from being developed. As usual, the ultimate Christian idea of the Messiah like most if not all Christian theology comes after a thesis and an antithesis. The Gospel is the synthesis.

To suggest that the Historical Jesus is absolutely reflected in the Gospels is to first create a sort of contradiction with some Pauline elements. Second, it doesn’t mesh well with logic or human history.

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4 Replies to “The Gospel is not a historical record”

  1. I think the difficulty for those, like myself, coming from an evangelical background, is if it isn’t historical it didn’t really happen. And if it didn’t happen, well what is the point. Saying a story is more theological than historical almost sounds like the events are made up. I know that isn’t true. But that is a hang up that I am still working through.

    1. Good point, Nate, but let’s see if we can break the cycle.

      What if we have misunderstood the Gospel writers and they didn’t intend for it to be taken as history? There is a huge gap between made-up and theological interpretations, you know.

  2. Such an absolutist, are you? All black or all white, this is not. Contain much theological reflection, the Gospels do. Contain many historical claims, they also do.

    ‘Jesus went up to Jerusalem’ and ‘Jesus wept’ and ‘He is risen’ are all embedded claims about events which the writers purport to have actually happened. All three statements reflect a mixture of theological and historical content.

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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