Donor challenge: For only 2 more days, a generous supporter will match your donations 2-to Triple your impact! Dear Internet Archive. Randel Helms’ “Gospel Fictions”: A Critique. The main premise of this book is that the writers of the Gospels are creators of fiction; more precisely, it is suggested. Read the full-text online edition of Gospel Fictions ().

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It is therefore baseless to claim that the Gospel accounts had “not yet been invented” based on what 1 Cor. Helms examines each of the narratives – the language, the sources, the similarities and differences – and shows that their purpose was not so much to describe the past as to affect the present.

The lesser amount of miracles is not “strange” once it is understood that the primary purpose helmz John is as a “resocializing” document.

Languages Svenska Edit links. The art was in its infancy, but the concept of reporting that which was true was in existence; see link for page 24 above 29 — on Mark’s use of Malachi and Isaiah see here.

All in all, only the angel giving strength is any sort of unusual parallel, and that is nought but the typical role of angels in the Jewish paradigm.

But, the most interesting detail they share is that the prophet is met at the gates of the city by the weeping widow. fictiions

Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms

Helms informs the reader of many of the basic facts of New Testament gosprl which are taught in all seminaries and almost never mentioned from the pulpit. An important book for someone interested in understanding early christianity.

We are experiencing technical difficulties. By shaving off elements in bold, we would have Story Two seem like a mere imitation of Story One, never knowing that there was far more in the background unreported.

The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto. They would then look for key phrases that could be taken from the Lincoln bio and used in a Kennedy bio. Helms will need to provide a date of the story, when it is found in manuscripts, and show randl, documented evidence of Buddhist influence in Palestine simply saying there were such missionaries in the area as early as the 2nd century BC, without backup, is insufficient.


Helms was born in Alabama and was educated at the University of California Riverside. For Matthew had grasped Mark’s apparent ignorance that his source for the account of the Triumphal Entry was based on an oracular reading of Zechariah 9: All along in this book I have argued that authors of the New Testament read the Septuagint as a book about Jesus, as a collection of oracles understandable only in the light of the career of Jesus and in Acts of the early church. There is of course a break in the analogy here, since no one does such in-depth study of Oates’ book, or uses it as a manual for life on a daily basis, or recites long portions of it from memory.

For Matthew, like all of the gospel writers, was much less interested in reporting events than in presenting theology; Matthew was not averse to creating theological fiction in order to tell his truth about Jesus. Mark could in no way have conceived of a “resuscitated corpse, who required that the stone be moved” for Jesus to leave, and neither Matthew nor Paul would teach the “spiritual” resurrection Helms hypothesizes — on the tomb guard see here — Helms claims that Matthew has “invented” the instruction by Jesus to go to Galilee, apparently having missed Matthew Rnadel doubt that Mark or anyone else invented ficctions account of Jesus’ baptism by John, so this means that the alleged “dilemma” Helms thinks existed, existed already when Paul wrote his second letter to the Randeel it means that it existed when Peter wrote his first epistle, and it means that it existed before either of these men wrote, and that it probably was part and parcel of Christian catechism from the very beginning, for we can be fairly sure that neither one invented the doctrine on the spot, and certainly not independently of one another.

Gospel Fictions

Mark’s failure to check his sources sometimes involves him in genuine historical error, as in the Sabbath controversy in chapter two. His example of Periktione is not clearly a virgin birth. He treats separately the birth narratives, miracles, passion story, and resurrection appearances, showing how each is often related to the Old Testament in order to lend artificial authority, or derived from pagan myths or contemporary miracle claims.


In this study of the Gospels based upon a demonstrable literary theory, Randel Helms presents the work of the four evangelists as the “supreme fictions” of our culture, self-conscious works of art deliberately composed as the culmination of a long literary and oral tradition.

Thus let us say we have two stories:. Indeed, he had already corrected Mark many times before, often doing so on the basis of what he regarded as his superior understanding of the oracles in the Old Testament. This page was last edited on 30 Augustat He notes that Jesus draws on Daniel 7 in Matthew That What the Christians did, was take the Old Testament and changed it from being a book on Jewish law and history, turned it into a predictive text for Jesus the Messiah.

Thus let us say we have two stories: While John incorporates many of the legends of the synoptic gospels, the book of John is highly theologically evolved and comprehensive, reflecting the evolved theological complexity of the early Church at the turn of the second century and proclaiming the dogma eventually accepted by the Church as orthodox many others gospels failing to reflect this orthodoxy failed to make incorporation into the cannon.

Our own 21st century minds find such demonstrative actions difficult to comprehend – perhaps because we are over-saturated with television advertisements that try to do much the same thing.

Robert Gundry concludes that since it “is supposed that no apostle [like Matthew] would have used the work of a non-apostle [like Mark]”49these wishful thinkers reject the Two-Source Theory and point to Papias, as reported by Eusebius: They may be described as unsuccessful efforts to outgrow Mark’s failed eschatology.

When there is only a matter of a very few words, it is quite possible to take this tactic too far, as Helms has done. The author basically pitches the idea that the books are not historically accurate in some modern sense.