John’s Gospel is hopelessly inaccurate (at least when judged by arbitrary naturalistic criteria)

John’s Gospel is hopelessly inaccurate and has virtually nothing to tell us about Jesus’ life – never mind his alleged resurrection from the dead.

Dr James Crossley, Head of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield in 2007 debate on resurrection with William Lane Craig.

(what evidence does he provide?)

John’s Gospel contains inventions such as Thomas’ confession of Jesus’ as ‘My Lord and God’.

This occurs only in John and no other gospel would have omitted something as staggeringly dramatic as this. John’s Gospel is the only gospel where there is the full equation of Jesus and God. And he’s (John is) making it up.

By the standards of conventional historical research then, these stories would be regarded as pieces of creative invention. And I think to argue otherwise would be to abandon a useful historical method and it gets very close to letting blind faith take over.’

Giving the abundant evidence for the resurrection offered by Craig, this last remark seems somewhat baseless.

The claim that John’s Gospel has too high a Christology and, allied to this, the claim that the only historically reliable gospels are the synoptics (and then only partially) must be proven not assumed by Crossley.

All the synoptics have language that makes Christ divine (ability to forgive sins – all the synoptics, the very first verse in Mark’s Gospel and the repeated statement from the demons He is the Son of God etc., Mt. 11.27b “no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” – is very high Christology. To deny these ‘high’ statements are unreliable later inventions is to beg the question as well as to establish an arbitrary (naturalistic in Crossley’s case) criterion of reliable history – namely that Jesus couldn’t possibly have claimed divinity.

Further, He was crucified for blasphemy, not for being a typical Jewish peasant preacher – explicitly in Mt. and Mk – see Mk.14.62 etc..

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