Source for the life of Jesus
“Knowledge of Jesus comes almost entirely from the New Testament. Some letters of Paul, written less than a generation after Jesus’ death are perhaps the earliest sources for the life of Jesus that survive intact from the time of their composition. The fullest source, are the four Gospels, which bear the names of Matthews, Mark, Luke, and John. They are based on oral tradition and, at least in the case of Luke on now-lost written documents.”
“Other New Testament books including the second section of Luke’s work, the Acts of the Apostles also contain important material, outside the New testament there is little more than a brief mention of Jesus by Josephus, a Jewish writer of the later first century, brief references to Jesus also occur in the works of the Roman authors Tacitus, Suelonius, and Pliny the Younger, all written in the second decade of the second century.” We can see why the Set-apart Spirit revealed these words in Mattithyahu/Matthew 11, 25:27: “At that time the Messiah responding, said, “I thank You, Father, Master of the heavens and earth, because You have hidden these matters from clever and learned ones and have revealed them to babes. Yea, Father, because so it was well-pleasing in Your sight. All have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wishes to reveal Himself.” That’s Powerful!
Let us continue. “Some scraps of sayings of uncertain validity come from other sources. There are a number of other early lives of Jesus, the so-called Apochryphal Gospel, but they are usually considered to have little or no value in providing authentic information. Such sources do not permit a “biography” of Jesus as that term is usually understood.They give only slight glimpses of him before his public career, a career that probably lasted no longer than three years and perhaps only about a year.” Precise dates cannot be established, and even the order of events is unclear. Rather, the sources embody what was remembered of Jesus by his first followers and was transmitted by them to early converts in order to instruct them in what was deemed essential if they were to become informed members of the church ……….”
God’s Word Today December 2006 issue page eight states: “…Early readers have questioned its Christian character because it mentions Jesus by name only twice (1:1 and 2:1), and because of its complete silence on Jesus’ public ministry and on his death and resurrection. We had to wait until the fourth century until it became widely accepted in the Christian canon of Scripture. Others like Luther have been very critical towards that letter, for they thought it was anti-Pauline for its position on the relationship between faith and works…..” (Here the author is sharing the fact that the name Jesus was hardly mentioned and that it was not until the fourth century when the Church sent out letters which became widely accepted in the Christian canon of Scripture.”)
Page six (6), same book under the heading “Christianity: Conspiracy or Open Debate?” States: “While some people talk about a vast conspiracy to hide the truth of Christian origins by silencing all alternative voices, why is it that they don’t even care to look at New Testament writings and to acknowledge the great diversity at work in the New Testament? The key word for what we are going to explore this month, the so-called “catholic letters”, is precisely diversity. This smaller collection of seven letters is in fact a block of early Christian letters that were attributed to Church leaders other than Paul,namely Peter, John, James and Jude: These were not marginal figures in the early Church, and, whether or not history can confirm” “authorship dating back to apostolic times, the simple fact that the attribution was made to these figures testifies to the esteem in which they were held by second and third generation Christian communities.”