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Study Limitations We will focus here only on what is directly relevant to the arrest and trial of Jesus, beginning with marginally the intentions of the Jewish leaders and ending with the leading away to the Crucifixion. We will exclude, except where tangently related: The Gospels, of course, are our primary sources for the trials of Jesus.
An immediate objection raised by Skeptics is a simple one - where did the evangelists get their information from? The Apostles were an obvious source: John is noted to have accompanied Peter. But even so, that still leaves the question of sources open.
We consider this to be the most likely answer. Jesus was with the disciples for 40 days after the Resurrection - plenty of time to relate the sundry details of what happened once the more theological stuff was out of the way.
And certainly, Peter would want to know what his Lord had been put through as he was waiting anxiously in the courtyard. More specifically, there is good reason to say that the events of the trial probably were told to the disciples by Jesus -- it would serve perfectly as a vehicle for His teaching.
He was always describing what would happen to Him, and He could very easily have used the historical details as the "I told you so Jesus was big on the fulfillment of prophecy -- cf. In point of fact, the accounts of the Passion, the earliest materials of the gospels probably recorded, contain much of this material.
This pattern of narrative-interspersed-with-theological-explication was adopted by the evangelists as a METHOD, and hence could easily be seen as deriving from Jesus as paradigm-teacher.
If Jesus related His Passion in this way, it would certainly explain how the disciples picked up that practice. And the Passion story, as the earliest, is the closest to the mouth of Jesus, and thus the least susceptible to embellishment. Also, remember that Jesus was consistently explaining His words and actions to the disciples in private afterwards -- so why would He not do it in this case?
To simply dismiss the possibility of Jesus filling in His disciples on the trial afterwards as "fruits that naive faith can yield" [Fric.
CMJ, ] is presumptuous at best and circular reasoning at the worst. Certainly within the Christian paradigm, this cannot be dismissed as a possibility, if indeed as a likelihood.
However, even allowing that Jesus might not have given such an account to his disciples - which we would note as the best, and most parsimonious, explanation - other witnesses were possible, who might also have added to the mix: There may also have been other members of the Sanhedrin who became well-disposed towards Christianity, but these two were really all that were needed.
Skeptics say little against this possibility. DJ, 34; see also Carm. UCO, 87] can only offer in reply that: CMJ, ], only slightly more realistic in his viewpoint, admits to the "possibility" of using Joseph as a source, but objects that Joseph is: He is never cited as a reporter on the trial which would have been a key role and has no significant part in the Gospels.
Ancient writers saw no obligation to reveal their sources; hence we would hardly expect Matthew or Luke to say, "I got this information from Joseph of Arimathea. I would maintain that Nicodemus provided a great deal of information for the Gospel of John. Some may suggest that it is an argument from silence either way as to whether Joe and Nick were at the trial; but actually, since it is indicated by Luke that Joseph did not agree with the course of action taken by the Sanhedrin, it is likely either that he WAS present, or else had someone reporting things to him.
We may suggest any number of people as sources for tidbits of information. NTT, ] suggests gossip from observers of the trials as a source.
Mk, ] suggests servants or assistants of the Sanhedrin. Other possibilities include guards and other prisoners perhaps Barabbas himself?
Wherever the data came from, however, what is more important is: Do the trial scenes reflect reality adequately, which would support the idea that eyewitnesses are in some measure responsible for the Gospel accounts?
Here we get into even meatier issues, and we will enter upon the particulars shortly. Gospel Perspectives It is a habit of some critics to treat the Gospel accounts with an overly critical eye, and make an much over the fact that they do not reveal the information that they desire.
UCO, 92] objects to "the extreme barrenness of the information given" and the "lack of precision" in the trial accounts. It is not so barren, however, that he is unwilling to postulate a "Jesus as revolutionist" scenario based on some rather wild speculations.The following section is designed to provide materials, readings, and approaches to assessment and therapy for speech-language pathologists who work with people who stutter.
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