Christians apologists would have us believe that the disciples of Jesus carefully preserved the sayings and deeds of Jesus and then forty years later sat down with the four evangelists to dictate word for word the historically accurate details of Jesus’ life.
This is yet another assumption in the long list of assumptions that holds together the Christian supernatural tall tale.
The Gospels authors are considered by modern experts to have been skilled, professional writers. For all we know, they just wanted to sell a good book! And to sell a good book, you have to make it interesting. And to make most stories interesting, you have to add some fictional details, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. No one informed the four evangelists that a few centuries later their writings would be pronounced the very Word of God by a council of Catholic bishops!
So even if the four gospel authors did interview eyewitnesses for their books, that is no guarantee that they wrote down exactly what the eyewitnesses described. Imagine this scenario:
The evangelists sit down with a few of the original disciples and hear the details of Jesus’ first resurrection appearance, to Simon Peter:
Disciples: Well, Peter was pretty depressed. Jesus was dead and Peter felt awful about his betrayal. So he started drinking. He REALLY started drinking. We found him one morning half-naked, lying in his own vomit, in a real stupor. He kept mumbling: “Jesus just appeared to me. Jesus just appeared to me. Jesus just appeared to me.” We threw him in a cold shower to sober him up, but he kept mumbling: “Jesus just appeared to me. Jesus just appeared to me.” For the rest of his life, Peter believed that Jesus had appeared to him there in that room.
Gospel authors: Uh. Well. That won’t do. Let’s make some revisions.
Author of Mark: I’m just going to have some guy at the tomb tell the women that Jesus will appear to the disciples in Galilee at some unspecified time in the future. I’m going to skip the appearance to Peter.
Author of Matthew: I’m going to have Jesus first appear to the women in the Garden and then to the male disciples sometime later in Galilee. I’m going to omit any mention of an appearance to Peter altogether. Books about hallucinating drunks do not sell.
Author of Luke: Well, I promised my publisher, Theophilus, that my book will be mostly historical, so I’ll briefly mention that Jesus’ first appearance was to Peter, but I’m not going to give any details. I’ll have Jesus appear to Peter with the other ten disciples that evening when he’s sober.
Author of John: Yea, I think I’ll skip the first appearance too. I’ll wait to discuss Jesus appearing to Peter until a fishing expedition in Galilee. There I’ll clean up Peter’s reputation by claiming that Jesus stated that Peter will be the rock upon which he will build his church. We don’t want our readers thinking Peter, the chief apostle, was a delusional drunk.
Dear Readers: The Gospel authors were not writing history textbooks. They had no idea that their books would later be considered the inerrant words of God in heaven. They were writing books. And most authors just want their books to sell, and to sell, good authors know that their stories must be interesting. Bottom line: We have no idea how much of the stories in their books is fact and how much is literary fiction.
No modern, educated person should believe in the Resurrection.
End of post.