The entire New Testament was completed within 70 years of the crucifixion of Christ. That being said, you are missing an obvious but important piece to what you said. This is plenty of time for anyone who was around (including an eyewitness to the works of Christ) to contest or challenge the validity of New Testament writings. Surely one person out of thousands would have stepped up and argued against the credibility of the writings. Curiously, not one ancient manuscript or text ever records a challenge as to the validity of the New Testament writings. You have to also keep in mind that many early Christians died horrible deaths for what they believed... I would not die for sketchy information, would you?I think it is necessary, since most everyone uses the Bible extensively as their support for arguments, to examine the Bible's validity and reliability.
What we have to remember is that Jesus taught his disciples orally; Jesus wrote nothing himself. It follows that traditions about Jesus were circulated by word of mouth, because they were not committed to writing until at least two decades after his death.
Word of mouth is highly volatile.
It was around 40 years after his death until the first canonical gospel was composed, the Gospel of Mark. Mark was not an eyewitness to the events he reports.
You challenge the validity of the New Testament, yet would you ever question the writings of Homer, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato or any other ancient writing? Probably not... yet these writings pale in comparison to the manuscriptual evidence for the New Testament. As an example, there are approximately 5,600 Greek manuscripts in existence for the New Testament. What about Homer's Iliad? A mere 643 manuscripts... And this is best case scenario. The other writings I mentioned have far less support.
If you are willing to accept these other ancient writings, you must on the basis of accuracy and supporting manuscripts accept the historicity and validity of the New Testament. If on the other hand you reject the New Testament, you must also reject the credibility of virtually all ancient texts.
You fail to mention that the Gospel of Q is hypothetical and nothing more. There is no proof that it ever existed. Two things here... even if the Gospel of Q existed and was used as a reference of other New Testament documents, it does not invalidate Godly inspiration. If one copies from a reliable source, is it not inspired? Copying from an earlier source (Q) does not invalidate New Testament historicity; if anything, it lessens the time interval between when the events happened and when they were actually recorded.Another thing is between the gospels of Matthew and Luke, they incorporate nearly all of Mark's gospel into their own gospels, often almost word for word (Markan Priority). In addition, Matthew and Luke make use of a presumed "lost gospel" called "Q" which is a "sayings" gospel (with no narrative framework) almost word for word. Finally, Matthew and Luke make use of information that is unknown to each other, Mark, and "Q."
As far as Mark being used as a source for Matthew and Luke... there is no problem. Mark was a disciple of Peter, who was a direct eyewitness and essentially the father of the early church. Furthermore, Matthew, who was a disciple of Jesus, agrees with the writings in Mark. Based on literary credibility and the concept of eyewitnesses, your 'blow' to New Testament credibility falls far short of the mark.
No, it doesn't.This implies that the New Testament is not reliable at all as a source.
I know you probably have good intentions... so please do not take offense to this. Your intent of informing has done just the opposite; it has misinformed, which is the very reason why I have been posting on this thread. That is, an abundance of faulty information and a great lack of truth.Basically I just wanted to inform--this applies to the New Testament only--you guys about these "quirks" of the New Testament.