How do we know that the gospels weren't corrupted by paul since he pre-dated the gospels?

Since the gospels were after paul, couldn't they easily have borrowed from his writings?

21 Answers

  • d.k.
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Wow. Not up on the Book of Acts? Not good with geography, maybe?

    Paul was only in Jerusalem twice after his conversion to Christianity, both times for just days. The rest of his life he was preaching on the road far from Jerusalem up until the point of his arrest.

    Matthew (aka Levi) was in Jerusalem, presumably his Gospel was written there.

    Mark (aka John Mark, so it is believed) was with Barnabas traveling far in the opposite direction from Paul. Now, given the primitive nature of his Gospel, it may have been written while on the road, but, he was on the road with Barnabas because Paul wouldn't have him, not trusting that Mark was steady enough to do the work, but with his uncle Barnabas, John Mark seems to have done just fine. Maybe he found Paul a bit intense, and intimidating-- but we don't know for sure, except that Paul was antagonistic towards John Mark.

    Doubtful that Paul would have been much impressed with Mark's simple Gospel, with his education and in depth writing style. Doubt he could have left it in that "sad" condition, if he had the opportunity to change it. It seems likely that Paul never had the opportunity.

    The Apostle John (the Beloved), writer of the fourth of the New Testament Gospels , was in Jerusalem as well, and his interaction with Paul was as limited as the first two Gospel writers, since as mentioned, Paul only had the 2 brief visits to Jerusalem, and was promptly spirited out of it after his arrest within just days to Caesarea, where he was kept prisoner for more than 2 years, and was transported from there to Rome, and held in custody 2 more years in Rome until he was executed there.

    John the Beloved outlived just about everybody else, so it appears; was arrested at some point most when he was likely already aged, probably after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and died while in exile on the Isle of Patmos--- where he did write the Revelation, but was his Gospel also written there? We don't know. If it was, though, Paul was long dead by that time.

    That just leaves Luke, author of the third of the New Testament Gospels. Now, we know Luke traveled with Paul, that's for certain, and scribed for Paul, very likely, especially in Paul's later years. It is clear from the book of Acts and from Paul's epistles, that Paul's eyesight was going dim pretty steadily.

    Luke was an adept writer, and while it's possible Luke MAY have written his own gospel at some point while he was traveling with Paul, it's much more likely, at least IMHO, that he wrote it even BEFORE Paul's first visit to Jerusalem.

    The reason I believe this is so, is that Luke obviously had significant access to the 12 Apostles in Jerusalem, and many of the other disciples, including Mary, Jesus' mother and James, the Lord's brother, and many other of the eyewitnesses to Christ's life and deeds, while they were still living. He gives far more detail than the other Gospels of Christ's ENTIRE life.

    Luke took up with Paul and Silas on their journeys, and it seems he may also have been transported to Rome with Paul (possibly even voluntarily accompanied him to Rome), and more than likely he even died with Paul in Rome as well.

    What all this means is that of the Gospel writers, Matthew and John the Beloved probably only met Paul twice, and very briefly, after his conversion--- IF they met him then.

    Before his conversion, I'm sure they all stayed as far out of rampaging "Saul's" way--- as was far as possible, anyway, and "Saul" certainly wasn't interested in "playing editor" for the apostle's stories of Christ during that time prior to his own conversion, just eliminating them----and it doesn't appear that he had much opporturnity to edit them later either.

    You need another scapegoat.

  • J.
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No because there are four other writers: James, John, Jude and Peter. If you look at these writers, you will see a different view of the Christian message within the Jewish community. It is not Pauline theology but a branch Judaism.

    The Acts of the Apostles talks about the early Christian church as a branch of Judaism. Membership in the early church required conversion to Judaism. To be a Christian you had to be a Jew. This branch of Judaism ended when the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans.

    The Acts of the Apostles presents two key points: Saul prosecuted the early Christian Jews and Saul now Paul received instruction by the early Christian Jews. What did Saul prosecute? What instruction did Paul receive? It starts with Peter’s teaching found in Acts 2:14-40.

    Now examine the Gospel of John and the letters of James, John, Jude and Peter. Compare those writings with the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Is this Paul Theology or it is the foundation that Pauline theology builds on?

    Source(s): TNIV Study Bible
  • 4 years ago

    No considering the fact that there are four unique writers: James, John, Jude and Peter. If you look at the ones writers, you're going to peer a different view of the Christian message within the Jewish institution. It is not Pauline theology nonetheless a division Judaism. The Acts of the Apostles talks roughly the early Christian church as a division of Judaism. Membership inside the early church required conversion to Judaism. To be a Christian you had to be a Jew. This division of Judaism ended at the same time the temple was once destroyed in 70 A.D. via the Romans. The Acts of the Apostles presents two key aspects: Saul prosecuted the early Christian Jews and Saul now Paul acquired tenet via the early Christian Jews. What did Saul prosecute? What tenet did Paul obtain? It starts with Peter’s educating placed in Acts 2:14-40. Now examine the Gospel of John and the letters of James, John, Jude and Peter. Compare those writings with the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Is this Paul Theology or it is the foundation that Pauline theology builds on?

  • How so, when they were on completely different subjects? Paul was writing on Christian living. The gospels were written on Christian beliefs. Paul hardly even mentions any of the stuff in the gospels, and the gospels don't mention hardly anything that Paul wrote about.

    Also, we don't know exactly when any of the books of the NT were written, only that they were complete sometime by the end of the 1st century/beginning of the 2nd. The truth is, for all we know the gospels may have been written around the same time as Paul's epistles.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    It's not Paul that corrupted the gospels or any part of the Bible. It's the Catholic Church, formed by a pagan Constantine with no right or authority, who corrupted the Bible, removing that which was most precious, just to fit in with his own agenda. Over the decades and centuries since, the Catholic Church has corrupted the Bible to fit in with their own motives. Today there are so many versions of the Bible, each a little different from the other, causing much confusion between different Christian denominations. I sometimes wonder if we worship the same God, so varying are the beliefs in God, Christ and the Holy Ghost!

    The Book of Mormon, delivered by God for the benefit of his children in our day, makes known the plain and precious truths removed from the Bible and deepens our understanding of Christ's infinite atonement on our behalf, in addition to clarifying the true nature of the Godhead. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and am grateful that it helps me to understand the Bible with much more clarity.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You should know that the best evidence we have concerning the writings of Paul and the writings of the Gospels is that they are all without significant corruption. It is pure prejudicial speculation to think that the Apostle Paul changed anything. Remember, Luke (a Gospel writer) and Paul were good friends.

    Reality shows that Paul agreed with Jesus 100% and Jesus agreed with Moses 100%. But, that is just the objective evidence. Critics always seem to have a redactor or two up their pejorative sleeves.

  • 1 decade ago

    Another straw man based on either inaccurate data, or deliberate lies!

    And since Luke, who wrote one of the gospels, also wrote about Paul's experience on the road to Damascus, Luke MUST have written before Paul got saved!

    And why would you even think that the Gospels were corrupted in the first place, unless you were a mocker and a scoffer, and wanted to discredit the Bible?

  • 1 decade ago

    Is Our Copy of the Bible a Reliable Copy of the Original?

    by Rich Deem

    Thousands of early Christian writings and lexionaries (first and second century) cite verses from the New Testament. In fact, it is nearly possible to put together the entire New Testament just from early Christian writings. For example, the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (dated 95 A.D.) cites verses from the Gospels, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Titus, Hebrews, and 1 Peter. The letters of Ignatius (dated 115 A.D.) were written to several churches in Asia Minor and cites verses from Matthew, John, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. These letters indicate that the entire New Testament was written in the first century A.D. In addition, there is internal evidence for a first century date for the writing of the New Testament. The book of Acts ends abruptly with Paul in prison, awaiting trial (Acts 28:30-31 (1)). It is likely that Luke wrote Acts during this time, before Paul finally appeared before Nero. This would be about 62-63 A.D., meaning that Acts and Luke were written within thirty years of ministry and death of Jesus. Another internal evidence is that there is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Although Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesus' prophecy that the temple and city would be destroyed within that generation (Matthew 24:1-2 (2),Mark 13:1-2 (3), Luke 21:5-9,20-24,32(4)), no New Testament book refers to this event as having happened. If they had been written after 70 A.D., it is likely that letters written after 70 A.D. would have mentioned the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy. As stated by Nelson Glueck, former president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and renowned Jewish archaeologist, "In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written between the forties and eighties of the first century A.D."

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    We don't, the fact that the early founders of Christianity not only had to leave the country where the events happened but the continent as well in order to find converts suggests that they were trying to make sure no eye witnesses could come forward to dispute their version of events. Given the numerous internal contradictions and complete lack of contemporary corroboration we can never know with any certainty if anything in the Bible is actually true, all we can do is accept it on faith or not as our own hearts and spirits guide us.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In fact they were corrupted by Paul. Paul corrupted just about everything he could get his reprobate hands on.


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.