The Gospel Without the Gospels
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The Gospel Without the Gospels

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Some 20 to 30 years after the events of the Gospel, Paul confirms many Gospel events in the epistles of Romans, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians. These four works are highlighted because they represent uncontested documents attributed to Paul.[1] This means that if the Gospels accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were forever lost, we would still have a vivid picture of the Gospel from these other biblical sources. Norman Geisler has compiled the following list of 27 confirmations of Gospel events which can be found in a limited look at Paul’s Epistles:[2]

Jesus’ Jewish ancestry (Gal. 3:16)

His Davidic descent (Rom. 1:3)

His virgin birth (Gal. 4:4)

His life under Jewish law (Gal. 4:4)

His brothers (1 Cor. 9:5)

His twelve disciples (1 Cor. 15:7)

One of whom was named James (1 Cor. 15:7)

Some disciples had wives (1 Cor. 9:5)

Paul knew Peter and James (Gal. 1:18-2:16)

Jesus’ poverty (2 Cor. 8:9)

His meekness and gentleness (2 Cor. 10:1)

His abuse by others (Rom. 15:3)

His teachings on divorce and remarriage (1 Cor. 7:10-11)

His view on paying wages of ministers (1 Cor. 9:14)

His view on paying taxes (Rom. 13:6-7)

His command to love one’s neighbors (Rom. 13:9)

On Jewish ceremonial uncleanness (Rom. 14:14)

On Jesus’ titles of deity (Rom. 1:3-4; 10:9)

His institution of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-25)

His sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21)

His death on the cross (Rom. 4:25; 5:8; Gal. 3:13; 1 Cor. 15:3)

Specifically, crucifixion (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20)

His burial (1 Cor. 15:4)

His resurrection on the third day (1 Cor. 15:4)

His post-resurrection appearance to the apostles (1 Cor 15:5-8)

His post-resurrection appearance to others (1 Cor 15:6)

His present position at God’s right hand (Rom. 8:34)

The Bible is reliable both internally and externally. Our knowledge of these Gospel events is not confined to the narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Internal biblical sources confirm these facts decades later.

[1]Ehrman, Bart D. (2003). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford. ISBN 0-19-514183-0.

[2]Norman Geisler,

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