3 L’s or 4 L’s?

One of the best things about doing RELAY with IFES Ireland is the people! In Munster, I am privileged to work alongside my co-RELAY Worker, who I’ll call “Ledge” and our supervisor, who I’ll call “Shure”. Together, we are Team Munster! As well as working alongside each other from day-to-day, we meet regularly to coordinate our work and build up our spiritual muscle. We have started to explore a book called the Historical Reliability of the Gospels. It sounds heavy and it is! So, why are we stretching our brains with this book?

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels.

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis put forward his famous “trilemma”: based on the claims that Jesus Christ made about himself, he could only have been one of three things: liar, lunatic or Lord. Either his claims were untrue and he knew it or his claims were untrue and he didn’t know it or his claims were true and he knew it. Based on the evidence put forward in the Bible, particularly in the New Testament, I believe that he indeed was who he said he was, the Lord God of the Universe. But wait a minute….

Some have asked whether there should be a fourth ‘L’ added to the list: “Legend”. The above trilemma rests on the premise that what Jesus said about himself he actually said about himself and that the other things that have been recorded (which corroborate his claims) actually happened. Hence, we must ask the question could Jesus have been a legend or at least could the traits that Christians say make him unique in all history be the stuff of legend rather than the stuff of concrete truth? This is an important question. It is to this end that TM are stretching our brains; we are exploring the origin of the Gospels, which together describe this Jesus and the claims he is said to have made. We are looking at how the facts have been handed down – at first, orally and since the middle of the first century, in writing.

While challenging, it is also rewarding, as we consider how the Gospel writers composed their works and reexamine how the startling claims of Jesus Christ arrived in the Bible which so many of us know and cherish today.

I’ll let you know how we get on.

Being stretched in some of the right places,

JcJ