Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by schuyler
I don't know if I'm going off-topic or engaging in legitimate thread drift, but I'm curious about your statement:
So the answer to the OPs question is: There wasn't that much of a delay in recording it. There was a big delay before Christianity, because of
a political ploy on the part of Constantine, actually was placed in power overnight, and THAT is why I don't understand the "There was a big
delay before Christianity" part.
My fault for typing too fast, I think. I meant to say there was a big delay before Christianity "became big" or perhaps "took over." For the first
couple hundred years it was a smallish cult without much traction and a fair bit of harrassment. Small groups met in people's homes. It wasn't like
there were big churches of worship. Obviously it continued to grow until Constantine pushed it over the top.
My contention is that relatively speaking, there was no appreciable delay in recording Jesus's history. It wasn't as if he had a bunch of reporters
following him around recording his speeches. With a couple of exceptions all we know of what Jesus said is in snippets of quotes, such as are related
in the Gospel of Thomas. And, of course, there is the question of, "Did he really say X?" or was it added on later. One book that tries to come to
grips with this is "The Five Gospels" by the Jesus Seminar The "fifth" gospel is Thomas. They placed his quotes in four categories:
Red text: He said it or something very much like it.
Pink Text: Jesus probably said something like this.
Gray Text: Jesus did not say this, but the ideas contained in it are close to his own.
Black text: Jesus did not say this. It represents the perspective of a different or later tradition.
This is controversial, of course. I mention it to show the method used rather than the accuracy of it. Your mileage may vary. The book is terribly
difficult to use, lacking an index, for example.
So the writers of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were likely talking to people who remembered Jesus as a fellow from the recent past, with all the problems
that entails. It would like be interviewing someone who was "at Woodstock" for their impressions of Jimmi Hendrix's guitar. Of course, many more
people claim to have been at Woodstock than were actually there. We do know John McCain didn't make it because he was "tied up at the time." If we
didn't have the movie and the books it would fast be fading from history.
With John, written much later, it would be like someone today deciding to write a biography of Theodore Roosevelt. No one is alive who was an adult
when he was alive, but there is an established tradition (Matthew, Mark, Luke, Q, Paul's letters, maybe some more) from which to write a more
established and fuller account.
edit on 6/25/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)