Memories of Jesus – or were they?

So, as I had mentioned, the gospels were very likely written decades after Jesus’ death.  How long?  30 to 100 or more years, depending on who you ask.

Quick reference link:

Let me ask you this, how well do you remember events from 30 years ago?  Ok, that might be a bit far for some of us.  Can you remember, in detail, events from 10 years ago?

How about a specific event in your life from a couple of years ago – without the help of photos or written reminders?

For most of us, memories become more vague with time, and fairly quickly.  That’s why we like to record events with photos, videos and souvenirs.  If we could easily remember things, why would we need reminders of our memories?

… and the gospels weren’t first-hand experiences.

Do you remember the childhood game “telephone” where children sit in a circle and a secret message is passed around the circle from one person to the next?  Do you remember how jumbled the message always was by the time it made it all the way around the circle of children?

Now imagine the story of Jesus being passed along for 30 or more years before the information is gathered and written down.  How accurate do you think it would be?

My inspiration for this entry?  A TED Talk about how volatile human memory is.  We can be given false memories, and we can easily remember events falsely.  There are many people who have been falsely charged for crimes because of a witness’ false memory.  Later DNA evidence proved otherwise.

TED Talk link (The Fiction of Memory):

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2 Responses to Memories of Jesus – or were they?

  1. chialphagirl says:

    I think many Christians overcome this challenge by trusting that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers to remember and to write the truth. If one truly believes that the Bible is the word of God then generally they trust that God was powerful enough to make sure that it was written correctly.

  2. jasonjshaw says:

    I believe that they did write what they felt was true. I didn’t notice any deceptive intent in the New Testament. Much like how you are shining new perspective on Old Testament events in your blog, I am bringing forth a new perspective on the story of Jesus that better fits with God’s laws of the universe.

    Many Christians do just believe it all as cold hard facts, even though the information in the Gospels varies between them, and the Gospel of John includes more dramatic supernatural events than the others.

    I worry that believing without contextualizing with the workings of the world sets an unhealthy precedent that leads to Christians more easily believing what they are told by others. “Conservative” politicians, for example, interweave Christian beliefs with their own agendas because some Christians use the Bible as their sole contextualization point and have difficulty understanding ideas outside of that. The result is that these politicians are able to be more controlling without their core supporters really questioning what they are doing – a topic I touched on in earlier posts.

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