Donor challenge: For only 2 more days, a generous supporter will match your donations 2-to Triple your impact! Dear Internet Archive. Randel Helms’ “Gospel Fictions”: A Critique. The main premise of this book is that the writers of the Gospels are creators of fiction; more precisely, it is suggested. Read the full-text online edition of Gospel Fictions ().

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Helms inserts a “now” in John As the author of the First Letter of John argued, some in his area who regarded themselves as Christians were in fact “antichrists,” since they did not believe that “Jesus Christ came in the flesh” I John 4: But of course it was Cyrus the Persian who conquered Babylon see Ezra 1: The secondary key, and what is commonly offered as a strong proof of fictionalization, is that Greek words found in the Septuagint LXXthe Greek translation of the OT, are also found in the NT stories.

Can we assume that Aramaic was Mark’s native tongue and that he wrote as he did to make the words more intelligible to his readers, rather than hypothesizing psychological constructs of i. And so it is that the sinlessness of Jesus, and the fact that he did not come to baptized because he “needed” it, is clear from the very beginning in Mark to anyone who bothers to read what the text is saying.

Makes a strong case that a lot of them were written with the Old Testament open beside them, as they copied the stories. Remember that in Jerusalem, too, unbelievers said of the Christians who were speaking in tongues of ecstasy, “They have been drinking” Acts 2: Once again, Helms conveniently has his earliest source, Mark, not knowing all the allusions to the OT in the Gethsemane story, while Luke manages to restore what Mark lost.

Helms’ reasons for regarding Mark as “primitive” are false. A Historical Study of the Theater in Tombstone. Fascinating overview of the creation of much of the narratives in the New Testament gospels. To read Mark aright, we must first read Daniel.

Gospel Fictions

If Matthew is using Daniel, it is in ficgions a way that he could use Daniel to report genuine history, as described in our points above.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. This would have been a standard practice of the era and no point against the historicity of the text in and of itself. A later historian examining accounts of the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations could easily presume, based on the number he,ms common words between the descriptions and similarity of themes, goepel much of what is written about Kennedy’s death is a “fiction” designed to link him to Lincoln.


This page was last edited on fictionw Augustat It is more likely that they did not use there stories from Mark because they had other stories they wanted to tell than that there was some conscious effort to remove these sorts of stories. Never considered is the idea that the NT writers had an actual story of Jesus which they proceeded to retell, with skill, using as many allusions to the OT as they could.

Helms analyzes the best-known and the most powerful of these fictions: Both prophets are proclaimed by one of the crowd to be validated by the miracle as a prophet of God. The opening of this story is clearly Luke’s own invention, since there is no such place fospel the “midst of Samaria and Galilee” meson Samarias kai Galilaias ; Luke needs to indicate that the ten lepers are some of them Galilean, some Samaritan. Helms also does not fictionx to explain how the Gospels invented a gosel figure like Joseph and attributed actions to him he did not perform.

Whereas the Providence which has guided our whole existence and which has shown such care and liberality, has brought our life to the peak of perfection in giving to us Augustus Caesar, whom it [Providence] filled with virtue [ arete ] for the welfare of mankind, and who, being sent to us and to our descendants as a savior [ soter ], has put ranxel end to war and has set all things in order; and whereas, having become visible [ phaneisi.

University of Washington, Chairman: This is too much made of such things.

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Helms maintains that the Gospels are self-reflexive; they are not about Jesus so much as they are about the writers’ attitudes concerning Jesus. Helms begs the question of whether the prophecy in Hosea 6: The thirteenth chapter of Mark is the center of this effort; here Jesus is represented as predicting that “Not one stone will be left upon another,” that Jerusalem’s temple would be razed to the ground Mark A conclusion is drawn from minimal evidence, a mere fingerful of words in the body of a text.


Have you never read what David did when he and his men were hungry and had nothing to eat? Thus it ought not surprise the attentive reader of the Book of Daniel that modern critical scholars of the Bible are hekms in their conviction that Daniel “actually comes from the 2nd century B.

Looking for More Great Reads? Thus let us say we have two stories: Some years later Matthew and Luke incorporated virtually all of Mark into their works, editing ffictions adding to Mark to fit their theological mandates and correcting what they saw as egregious errors by the writer of Mark.

Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.

After leaving school, Helms began teaching at a… More about Randel Helms. This relates as well to the ancient prejudice against anything new.

Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms | : Books

When there is only a matter of a very few words, it is quite possible ficions take this tactic too far, as Helms has done. Then, after this, we are to suppose that Matthew’s “community” went on their way, problem solved, while Mark’s “community” apparently didn’t care about the problem and never did anything about it, at least not in writing, but certainly nothing leaving any evidence.

The comparisons to Daniel in the lion’s den are somewhat overdone: For Matthew, like all of the gospel writers, was much less interested in reporting events than in presenting theology; Matthew was not averse to creating theological fiction in order to tell his truth about Jesus.

With regard to the sixth century B. Who could possibly exercise such control over the Holy Spirit as John exercises over water?

Gospel fictions

None-the-less, the take away is that the gospels and Acts are not histories. How Helms gets this as an fictins of “mockery” in Matthew is unknown. Browse Articles By Passage: In some cases, Helms simply overstates his case.

The claim that “modern concepts of historical research did not exist” is simply false. But what about the pre dates we have suggested? More on this issue here.