Dating the Gospels
asked this question on 7/11/2000:
Many modern scholars have doubts about the historicity of the gospels and take issue with the Church's dating and interpretation of scripture.
What do you experts think of this position?
mscperu gave this response on 7/14/2000:
While studying theology preparing for ordination I was a great admirer of the modern scholars, especially those of the historical critical category. The radical ones assume that everything that smacks of miracle is a myth. The less radical ones dissect the Scripture like a dead corpse so they find only archeological and linguistic results. I had an intellectual relation with the Bible, God forgive me.
When I read a book many years ago with the title "The Bible is right" I thought my problems were over because the author showed that in many critical instances there was historical prove regarding suspicious elements. But that didn't help me either.
Do you know that the bulk of Greek and Latin works of those before and parallel to Christ have sources that date only from medieval texts conserved by the monks and the convents? But the papyri of the New Testament take us to twenty years after the death of Saint Peter. So the Scripture is no later invention of posterior scribes.
The interpretation has changed too. Catholic and protestant exegetes favor now the diachronic method that takes the whole Scriptures and looks at it as transmitted by the Church. Especially the Gospels are resumes of the Apostles' preaching. So you have to read them in faith as a Word inspired from God. If you want examples of Scripture read with faith you should read the works of the Church fathers. Anyway you should read orthodox Catholic scholars as not to be robbed of Scripture as I have been.
The Catholics have a special guarantee. When the Pope or our bishops interpret the Scripture we know that that is the right interpretation. They don't act just by inspiration. The go back in history and read the interpretation of the orthodox authors until the Apostles. This tradition shows that the Church ever has said the same about a passage. So we look at an inspiration of centuries.
Thank God I met the Fathers of the Church and I recovered Gods' Word as a life giving and transforming force. Life has showed me that you can't trust science without faith.
I hope you too find in the Scripture life and consolation.