This is a debate I had on April 9, 2016 with Richard J. Bauckham, a well-known and influential British scholar who has written extensively on many of the areas of my own interest, the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the non-canonical literature. He is a fine scholar, and a conservative Christian, and I disagree with him on, well, so many things!
This was the first of a two-part debate that was hosted by Justin Brierley on his weekly radio show “Unbelievable,” aired on UK Premier Christian Radio from the London studio. Our topic was “Are the Gospels Based on Eyewitness Testimony?” My new book, Jesus Before the Gospels, argues that the stories about Jesus would have changed and evolved before they were written down in the Gospels(and that the authors of the Gospels were not eyewitnesses and had no access to the eyewitnesses). Bauckham’s earlier book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, claims that the view that the Gospels were written by those with access to eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ first followers (and that therefore we can trust their historical reliability). Our discussion was, at times, lively…
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