Pentecostal views of Text Criticism in the Gospels

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Ricky Grimsley |


When you read the gospels, do you takes the accounts and make one giant narrative where everything is true or do you assume that different writers saw things from different perspectives or perhaps misremembered events or relied on the accounts of others if they werent there?

Corey Forsyth [01/20/2016 8:10 PM]
I have always read it as different perspectives from different authors. If 4 people view the same events or follow the same story, they would tend to remember or perceive different aspects of those events.
On the other hand, I have been challenged by a friend who has done almost a complete 180 away from Christianity because he claims to have discovered the gospel of Luke was written long after Jesus’ time.
Just for the sake of clarity, I am giving my opinion. I have not researched these timelines so I do not know how factual the claims are.

John Kissinger [01/20/2016 8:11 PM]
Do you mean just the Synoptics or all 4?

Steve Webb [01/20/2016 8:25 PM]
I think each was written through a particular lens. Each an ancient biography, but perhaps to/for a particular group. As for truth of each…yes, I believe each is true. But each through its own lens with awareness of other accounts (except possibly Mark, though he was certainly aware of other oral accounts).
Of course this is all personal opinion.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 6:24 AM]
Corey Forsyth The 4th Gospel naturally tells the story its own way, while the Synoptics try to stay together. Ricky Grimsley for questions of this sort DAKE and others give good explanations. If you dont like you have to accept at least some text criticism like Glynn Brown have pointed out before

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 9:29 AM]
I have answered all my questions personally and i agree with dake. I presented this question because i feel that it makes a difference in eschatology among other places. Take for instance matthew 24, luke 21, and mark 13. Are they the same event and conversation. I say no. Mark and matthew happen outside the temple and luke happens in the temple and notice the difference between
Luke 21:12 KJVS
[12] But BEFORE all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you , delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Matthew 24:8 KJVS
[8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Personally i feel that luke 21 includes the fall of jerusalem in 70 ad while matthew and mark do not.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 9:32 AM]
So do you have a specific verse/passage in mind to discuss or is this a general question?

Alan N Carla Smith [01/21/2016 9:36 AM]
I assume NOTHING and ask GOD to open give me Godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding that what is written in the Gospels can be displayed in me and through me.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 9:42 AM]
Yes, we discussed the role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical hermeneutics with David M. Hinsen back in the day


John Kissinger [01/21/2016 9:44 AM]
However if you are going to harmonize the Gospel accounts, you cannot ignore textual criticism and Glynn Brown has made a strong case for that

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 10:27 AM]
Compare. Luke 23:39-40 KJVS
[39] And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. [40] But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
Matthew 27:43-44 KJVS
[43] He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. [44] The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
So was it just two thieves and both railed on him and later ine changes his mind or was it more than two thieves or was it just different accounts with different details that really dont matter as long as we get the basic message?

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 10:29 AM]
Ricky Grimsley if you have a specific passage it will be best to place it another topic like you did with the Lords Day. I have to agree with Stan Wayne that that’s the only way to look at the passage(s) in a complete way in order to do proper #HERMENEUTICS

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 10:48 AM]
Two different stories or differing accounts of same story. Mark 6:44 KJVS
[44] And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
Matthew 16:10 KJVS
[10] Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 10:53 AM]
Easily resolvable with TextCom. Here’s Metzger: “6.44 [???? ??????] {C} External evidence is evenly divided between the witnesses that include the words ???? ?????? and those that omit them. Moreover, several witnesses (such as D W syr) that frequently have the longer reading, here have the shorter reading. From the point of view of transcriptional probabilities, it is more likely that copyists were tempted to delete than to add ???? ??????, for the presence of these words raises awkward questions why “loaves” should be singled out with no mention of the fish (the Old Latin ms. c reads both). In view of these conflicting considerations the Committee thought it best to retain the words but to enclose them within square brackets.” Again, a separate topic per each passage would help, but oh well…

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 11:12 AM]
Look at matthew 24 and luke 21 again. In matthew 24 jesus gives the signs of the end in a sequence but in luke 21 he gives those same starting events and the says “but before all this”.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 11:22 AM]

Stan Wayne [01/21/2016 11:24 AM]
Ricky – I agree they are different – this is discussed in a lot of places – my take on it like all synoptic parallel accounts of that the writer is not writing word for word quotations but is summarizing in two pages here what was one hundred pages of discourse.

After all they had a LOT of time to spend with Jesus.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 11:25 AM]
Stan Wayne Luke “had a LOT of time to spend with Jesus”?

Jim Price [01/21/2016 12:51 PM]
John 21: 25 comes to mind; “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, and which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” Here we see an important statement ending with hyperbole. Since Jesus had a very short ministry, all his deeds and words could have been contained in the Lee University Library, so here the writer was making an exaggerated statement and never meant to be taken literally. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit to teach us in all things and to give us discernment to rightly divide the word of truth.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 1:17 PM]
Good point Jim Price That’s why I asked initially if we are talking about the synoptic only or all 4 Gospels. This is indeed John’s purpose. Opposite to what Stan Wayne said, Luke has quite a different approach since he was not among the apostles and had only heard the stories. Therefore, he resources to testimonies and narratives called by the NIV consecutive “(former) book(s)” in Acts 1:1. Per Luke 21:12 as referring to the Jews, Luke is trying to align his Gospel narrative with what he will be telling us in Acts about persecutions in those first days of the Early Church. Gill’s Exposition commentary event points out how the mentioned by Luke prior persecutions refer specifically to Acts 4:1, 8:1, 4:6 and 4:3 A case post-Trib will be difficult if not impossible to argue from Luke 21:12 alone…

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 1:31 PM]
What difference does it make about writing styles or whether eye witnesses or not… it inspired and true or is it mostly true? Moses didnt witness Genesis but we take his “word” for it right?

Stephen Rhoades [01/21/2016 2:42 PM]
good book that might explain what you looking for

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 3:35 PM]
I have made my peace with what i believe. This conversation was for about insight into how to deal with those who disagree. I feel there are many differences in beliefs that stem from this difference in viewpoint.

Jim Price [01/21/2016 3:43 PM]
Matt. 13:34 ” Without a parable spake He not unto them.” so it was Jesus’ way of sharing truth V 35, yet can we say that each parable was true or just an illustration of a larger and general truth?

Ricky Grimsley [01/21/2016 3:53 PM]
The fact that jesus told the parable is true. And jesus explained several of them for us.

John Kissinger [01/21/2016 3:58 PM]
And what about when Mark quotes Jesus naming Abiathar a high priest, when it should have been Ahimelech? Even text criticism cannot help you there 🙂 Did Jesus now know his OT?


  • Mike Stidham
    Reply June 5, 2016

    Mike Stidham

    Different writers, different perspectives.

  • Varnel Watson
    Reply June 6, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    I wish it was so easy to say. Text Criticism in the Gospels is becoming a prevalent part of Pentecostal theology today. Just ask any MDiv student and they will tell you all about all text criticisms

  • Reply January 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Here we go Robert Franzen whats your issue with text criticism – and pls speak to the issue @ hand I tire from your focusing on the person and not on the problem

  • Steve Losee
    Reply January 21, 2019

    Steve Losee

    2 Tim. 3:16 settles the whole issue for me. While there are different perspectives, they wer prophesied in the OT passages about “The Branch”. There are NO contradictions.

  • Reply January 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    2 Tim. 3:16 refers to the OT only From ALL NT MSS we have today there may be 4-5% deviations which is very very minor I posted the OP specifically for Robert Franzen after seeing from his comment his knowledge of criticism is merely theoretical I strongly doubt he has ever translated even a single whole book of the Bible – less Philemon 🙂

    • Robert Franzen
      Reply January 21, 2019

      Robert Franzen

      In order to grad from a ATS seminary one has to be able to what with the Greek & Hebrew?

      I translated the entire books of Ephesians & Colosians from yhe Greek ??‍♂️

    • Reply January 22, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      oh WOW Robert Franzen you are now ready to translate Hebrews 🙂 will help you some

  • RichardAnna Boyce
    Reply April 25, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    John is only book written to unbelievers that they may believe in Jesus to be guaranteed everlasting life; with no mention of repentance as condition of believing. Synoptics baptism of repentance was for generation of Jes who murdered God as PREPARATION for believing; but never CONDITION of believing in Jesus to receive eternal life.

  • Reply April 26, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    John is only book THAT SAYS it was written to unbelievers that they may believe in Jesus

  • RichardAnna Boyce
    Reply April 27, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    THAT HOLY SPIRIT SAYS it was written to unbelievers that they may believe in Jesus.

  • RichardAnna Boyce
    Reply April 27, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Any comment on repentance being a condition for saving faith?

  • Reply April 27, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    WHY would other 3 Gospels not be written to unbelievers too ?

    • RichardAnna Boyce
      Reply April 28, 2019

      RichardAnna Boyce

      written to Jewish generation who needed baptism of repentance to PREPARE them to believe in Jesus (but repentance not a CONDITION of believing). But applies to Gentile believers today to show them how to earn rewards in Millennium. Can also apply to Gentile unbelievers today to show them self-righteousness, like Jews, never meets God’s standards; but doesnt give clear Gospel of believing that John continually does IMHO.

    • Reply April 28, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Matthew maybe – but Mark and Luke hardly Nevertheless ALL Gospels were written for salvation

    • RichardAnna Boyce
      Reply April 30, 2019

      RichardAnna Boyce

      Troy Day would Synoptics Baptism Gospel of repentance be a condition for salvation?

    • Reply April 30, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      only you can answer that – who else?

  • Reply April 28, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    why would it be liberal? Philip Williams

  • Link Hudson
    Reply April 29, 2019

    Link Hudson

    Troy Day do you think Paul wrote I Timothy? Do you think Peter wrote II Peter?

  • Reply April 29, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    I am no expert on Pauline literature – I have some expertise on the book of Hebrews but Paul and Peter is more of a stretch I think Mark used much more than just the sermons of Peter (or Paul) if that helps you much Now without being an expert I can say with confidence Paul wrote the Pauline corpus (incl Hebrews) and Peter wrote Peter’s letters and maybe more; Paul wrote a certain 3rd Cor. too or more of a 2.5 Cor. that we dont have today I am aware of 1 Tim internal evidence and I just done buy it Paul wrote much more than what we know today His letter to the Hebrews – though pretty strange and unusual in wording and structure for him has one extraordinary vocabulary that takes a LOT of practice to translate properly Not to mention he uses LXX freely too which did Luke for example but you would expect Paul to use Hebrew version in his letter to the Hebrews Hope this answers your unclear question

  • Philip Williams
    Reply April 30, 2019

    Philip Williams

    Though penned by Luke, the primary author of the book of Hebrews is almost certainly Peter, the only one who could have written to the church in Judea with such authority as this letter contains.

    The occasion was to encourage the church in Judea who, after the martyrdom of James, are having to meet outside the city instead of worshipping at the Temple as they had formerly done.

    The style is most definitely Petrine. Likely, Paul was also present at this writing as was Theophilus, warden of the prison and new convert to the faith. Luke adds a postscript concerning Timothy’s release. Likely, the obscurity of the author was to protect Theophilus.

    Luke probably plans to travel to Judea to bring them the first New Testament, minus the gospel and letters of John and the book of Revelation. Jude probably wrote his little letter on the occasion of the reception of the first New Testament. The church in Judea already had the book of James.

  • Reply April 30, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    naah This is pretty liberal interpretation Luke uses 700 Greek words that no one else uses in the NT It is pretty easy to see none of them is in Hebrews either but this is beyond the point – the point being the Gospels and not the Epistles or general NT criticism

    • Philip Williams
      Reply April 30, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day Didn’t you read? Peter is the author. Have you ever compared with Peter’s letters?

    • Reply April 30, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      I’ve translated Hebrews twice and I can assure you the internal evidence is pretty thin – Peter’s letters are way too simplistic to create the hebreistic grammatical structures we see in the Letter to the Hebrews but yet Again this OP is about the Gospels I will be happy to open a new one on Hebrews if there is interest Obviously no good Catholic believes the author was not the good apostle Paul per Jerome

    • Philip Williams
      Reply April 30, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day I note that you never or rarely address the evidence or arguments that I or others present but simply give opinions, either yours or others. Are you supposing that those opinions should carry some authority? Explain. Otherwise, what is your point in giving opinions about some matter that neither you nor the sources you quote have considered?

      But if I am wrong, have you ever studied the arguments for or against Petrine authorship? If so can you direct me to the papers that you or others have written for or against Petrine authorship of Hebrews?

    • Reply May 1, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      I have studied all arguments through the years and find them unreasonable. The epistle contains Paul’s classic closing greeting, “Grace…be with you…” as he stated explicitly in 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18 and as implied in 1 Corinthians 16:21-24 and Colossians 4:18. This closing greeting is included at the end of each of Paul’s letters. Eusebius wrote that Paul omitted his name because he, the Apostle to the Gentiles, was writing to the Jews – this is more than sufficient evidence Authorship by Peter has weak proof

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