• Josh McDowell’s Lie

    A video has been circulating of Christian apologist Josh Mcdowell giving a lecture in which he claims that he found a piece of the gospel of Mark that dates back to the first century AD. Which is a doubtful claim, but what he says after that is even worse.

    About sixteen minutes into the video, he claims that “where the liberal theologians, all their teachers when you debate them, were saying that none of these could have been written until way at the end of the second century and into the third… One discovery took it all the way back to the first century.” This is malarky. Even the Jesus Seminar, which is widely considered one of the most radical groups in New Testament scholarship, dates the gospel of Mark to 70 AD. A second or third century date for Mark isn’t a widely held view amongst any group of scholars, be they moderate, conservative, or liberal. McDowell can’t be this stupid; anyone who has a deep interest in the history of the new testament ought to have read enough to know better. Why did McDowell say this? My guess is that this is a propaganda technique: he wants his audience to think that a denial of the Bible’s veracity rests on believing that the gospel’s were written in the second or third century, and now that this imaginary dragon (of McDowell’s own creation, I might add) has been slayed, all doubt about the bible is removed. But that ain’t so, either. Anybody who’s been to high school knows that a legend can spread in all of 5 minutes. Moreover, though, the gospels aren’t “CNN live from Ancient Palestine,” that is, they’re not the kind of documents that pass on ‘just the facts, ma’am.” They are documents that intend to convey and promote religious concepts and beliefs. Which means that it is stupid to take everything they say literally (click here for examples). Even worse, the gospels are filled with too many absurdities to be believed, even had they been written the day after Easter morning (As in: Jesus’ ascension to heaven; if that happened then is Jesus is flying through Milky Way galaxy right now?).

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    Article by: Nicholas Covington

    I am an armchair philosopher with interests in Ethics, Epistemology (that's philosophy of knowledge), Philosophy of Religion, Politics and what I call "Optimal Lifestyle Habits."