Conservative Christian theologian:
[T]he majority of scholars acknowledge that Mark, Matthew, and Luke were all written somewhere around 40 years after the ministry of Jesus, and John around 60 years after the ministry of Jesus.
Given the fact that, as scholars like Rodney Stark estimate, the Christian movement probably totaled only around 10,000 by the end of the first century, and probably only around 5,000 by mid century, we’re not dealing with massive numbers here. So if the Synoptics were written around AD 70, and the entire Christian population was only slightly above 5,000 at that point, that pretty much narrows the possibility for where the source material came from. And therefore, it is by no means a stretch to think that much of the stories about Jesus came from eyewitnesses and the original disciples.
And given that, along with [Craig] Evans’ argument, it is easy to conclude that they [the Gospels] are historically reliable.
“Given the fact that, as scholars like Rodney Stark estimate, the Christian movement probably totaled only around 10,000 by the end of the first century, and probably only around 5,000 by mid century, we’re not dealing with massive numbers here.”
The author of Acts (whom most scholars believe was also the author of the Gospel of Luke) says that within FORTY DAYS of Jesus’ death, the number of Christians was at least 3,120. If this is true, then the conversion rate to Christianity dramatically declined after Pentecost, if twenty years later, at mid century, the total number of Christians was only 5,000.
“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” –the Book of Acts, chapter 2
So either your scholar is wrong, or “Luke” was inflating his numbers. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that “Luke” was a reliable historian!
End of post.