id The gospels: quick ideas about gospels. Reasons that support the Gospels as historical. Conservation of the Gospels. Manuscripts.
evangelhos(por) vangeli(it) Úvangiles(fr) evangelios(esp)
  • A. Conservation of original text.
  • B. The Gospels, historical texts.

1. Does the current text of the Gospels match the original? We can be sure that the current text matches the original for the abundant and ancient manuscripts that are preserved. Especially when compared with other ancient texts.

2. Examples of ancient texts? Let's look at four well-known authors before Jesus Christ:

  • Homer (Iliad, Odyssey) .- The oldest manuscript available to us is from the eleventh century.
  • Plato .- His works that have been preserved date from the ninth century.
  • Julius Caesar .- We have 10 manuscripts of the tenth century.
  • Horacio .- We have 250 manuscripts. The oldest of the eighth century.
3. Which manuscripts are preserved from the Gospels? In 1968 he made a list of 5262 Greek manuscripts (original language). Of these, 81 are older than the fourth century. While found in faraway places apart can have a huge overlap in the content, so ensuring their fidelity to the original. As for translations, some 40,000 manuscripts preserved in various languages. These translations also guarantee that the current text matches the original gospels.

4. Wich manuscripts are the most important? May include the following:

  • Bodmer Papyrus.- From the early third century. One contains the gospels of Luke and John, and is preserved in the Vatican. Another with the Gospel of St. John is in Geneva.
  • Chester Beatty Papyrus.- From the early third century. Contains the four gospels and other New Testament texts. They are in Princeton.
  • The Vaticanus codex.- From the fourth century. Contains the entire Bible. It's in the Vatican.

1. Are the Gospels historical texts? They are not books of history, but historical texts. The authors recount events that really happened, but do not attempt to make a treaty.

2. Who wrote the Gospels? The Gospel writers are well known. Were, with God's help, Luke, a disciple of St. Paul, St. Mark, a disciple of St. Peter, St. Matthew and St. John two of the Apostles. Thus all the documents cited.

3. When the Gospels were written? Saint John wrote between year 98 and 100. The other three Gospels were written before the year 70. For example, mention Israeli customs and institutions as present, and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 changed all that.

4. Some reasons that support the Gospels as historical.- We comment on two groups:
Internal reasons (the text itself).-

  • The style is realistic, not fanciful or fictionalized. It notes that the authors were well aware of the events.
  • They tell facts that a Christian conceal. For example, Peter's denial, cowardice and lack of faith of the apostles, the fear of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Judas, chosen by Christ. If these facts are written, is simply because it happened.
  • Narrate the miracles unadorned: just the facts. If the authors wish to fantasy, devote many pages to every miracle.
External reasons.-
  • When the gospels were written, still there were many protagonists of the story and approved the texts.
  • There are other books that narrate events of Jesus that have not been accepted as real, and are called apocrypha.
  • The authors of the gospels were martyred defending the faith in Christ. That is, they were sure they witnessed and wrote real facts.
  • Throughout the centuries there have been many heresies contrary to the Catholic faith, some with real hatred to the pope. All these new religions have accepted the Gospels as historical, but then interpret in their own way.
5. Do the Gospels narrate all the facts of Jesus? St. John warns us that it is impossible to write all the details. But the evangelists, with God's help, put the greatest care to tell exactly what happened (Luke says so). They wanted to leave a testimony to the life of Christ as faithfully as possible to reality.

6. Do the Gospels are hiding something important? It was not possible, because Jesus Christ was a public person, continually harassed by the Jewish leaders who were seeking to find a failure to have something where they accuse him. But Jesus is God and did everything well, so that all could be counted and that was what the christians wanted.