Taking the red pill on the gospels: ‘prophecy historicised’

Red pills prefer the truth, no matter how gritty and painful it may be.

In Jesus: The Complete Guide we read:

‘The Gospels belong to a culture that had a distinctive approach to the recoding of the past. If they were to have a meaning, recent events needed to be set in, and if necessary adapted to, a patten that was set by scriptural precedent, such that ancient prophecies and declarations could now be said to have been definitively “fulfilled” – indeed, a precedent found in the ancient scripture appears sometimes to have been regarded as a prime source of information about a quite recent event.’

‘A large number of sayings or events in the Gospels may be suspected of having been recast, or even created, in response to a precedent laid down centuries before by Scripture.’

Jesus: The Complete Guide; article: Jesus as a Historical Figure by A.E. Harvery, page 440, published in 2006.  


Here is an example of prophecy historicised:

An exact parallel from the crucifixion jumps out in Psalm 22:18:

“They divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

Was this an early prediction of what became history remembered—or were these details from the Psalm woven into a later reconstruction of what Jesus’s death may have been like? Maintaining a “history remembered” perspective becomes increasingly difficult to maintain as one studies example after example of the many places from the Hebrew Bible where exact words, phrases, and sequences were imported into the passion narratives.

Even many theologically orthodox biblical scholars will admit that at least 20% of the stories about the death of Jesus are prophecy historicized, while still maintaining that about 80% are history remembered. But more progressive scholars such as Crossan go much further, convinced that the passion narratives are approximately 80% prophecy historicized and only 20% history remembered.

Extract from the illuminating discussion on prophecy historicised here: Is the Bible “History Remembered” or “Prophecy Historicized?”


So reputable New Testament scholars have estimated that up to 80% of the crucifixion story in the gospels is basically a patchwork of Old Testament verses rather than unvarnished history.


Categories: Bible, Jesus, New Testament scholarship

8 replies

  1. Talk about historicising myths

  2. Then ban his cracker ass and I wont be nasty

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