“Remember, Señorita Ché, every scripture we have was written after the fact. For decades the story of Jesus was only spoken. ” - Sister Maria Teresa, p. 128



Sister states a stubborn fact. The first gospels were written decades after Jesus' crucifixion, in a foriegn language by writers who had no direct knowledge of the man from Nazareth. They relied on spoken stories and earwitness accounts of those who knew people who knew people (etc.) who saw, heard, and then told about Jesus. As Professor Ehrman has convincingly illustrated in his latest work, Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories, the gospels' authors depended entirely on human memories, and the science of memory suggests that such accounts would be greatly altered.

Of course, as many Christians answer, divine powers could have intervened to preserve the accuracy of those memories. They cite 2 Timothy 3:16-17 among others: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..."  Science can object to such circular logic, but by definition such axiomatic proofs cannot be impeached.

How do you regard scripture? Are stories about Jesus told from memory unreliable or unimpeachable?