Gary: Is it possible that the authors of the Gospels invented stories about Jesus (a virgin birth, for instance), then tied these invented stories to OT prophecies, all for theological or literary purposes, never meaning for them to be understood as historical facts?
Christian Apologist: Of course it’s possible. Many things are possible. It is also possible that you are an alien posting from Alpha Centari. But again, you don’t even know what my arguments are, yet you set your whole little fleet to attack a position which you haven’t even scouted out yet. Bang! Bang! Whoops! You just blew up a log in the water 40 miles from where my ship is!
Gary: Is it possible that the intricate pattern of fulfillment that you see [in the New Testament] is a purposeful invention; not to deceive anyone, but to “further the Gospel”.”
Christian Apologist: This is so childish.
Gary: No one believes that the authors of the Gospels were writing history texts. They were writing works of religious evangelization, using an ancient Greco-Roman literary genre that allowed for embellishments of the facts. The Gospels are beautiful works of religious literature. They are not history texts. Let’s not hold them to a standard which the authors never intended to meet.
Christian Apologist: This is just confused. They were writing bioi, or Greek biography, as scholars generally do admit now. Of course that’s not history. They make it exceedingly clear that they intend to tell the truth about Jesus’ life: have you never even read the preface to Luke, or the final chapters of John? I demonstrate that dozens of traits within the gospels mark them strongly as historical texts. No doubt you’ll now attack those arguments, as well, without bothering to find out what they are, or what weight they may carry. All too typical.
End of post.