n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The historian and the gospels

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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Over the past two hundred years the has produced whole libraries on the credibility of the four evangelists, with theological and historical opinion ranging from trust in the literal reliability of the gospels to the denial that Jesus ever lived. The following observations concentrate on one aspect which supports the general credibility of the gospels; in their historical milieu, the Roman empire, there were excellent means of communication, so that anyone wishing to convert to the new faith could easily obtain information about Jesus' life and work in Israel before taking this serious step. The evangelists too knew this, and accordingly kept to the historical truth as far as this was possible in a world of oral history. The author has not yet found such considerations in modern literature, although he may not be the first to have raised them; but who indeed is in a position to survey the vast terrain of research on the gospels?

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