The Humble Skeptic
The Humble Skeptic
Are the Gospels History or Fiction?

Are the Gospels History or Fiction?

Episode 52 • Featuring John Dickson

According to John Dickson, “Christianity is unlike other religions in that it gambles its plausibility on supposed historical events. Christians,” he writes, “don’t merely say otherworldly things like ‘Heaven is open to all,’ but they also say things like, ‘Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate,’ and statements of this kind aren’t immune from historical scrutiny.” So, what are the considerations involved in assessing the historical value of the Gospels? How can we be sure these ancient texts really are what they claim to be? On this episode, Shane talks with Undeceptions host, John Dickson, who received a PhD in the field of ancient history, and who is the author of Is Jesus History?

• The clip in which John Dickson mentioned his openness to an earlier date for the Fourth Gospel appeared on Episode 126 of his Undeceptions podcast.

• The quote from Princeton scholar, James Charlesworth was taken from his book, Jesus As Mirrored in John. You can find additional quotes by Charlesworth and other advocates of an earlier date for John here.

• To read Shane’s recent article mentioned at the end of this episode featuring an archaeological discovery related to Joanna & Theophilus, click here.


Related Books
Is Jesus History? John Dickson
A Doubters Guide to Jesus, John Dickson
A Doubters Guide to the Bible, John Dickson
Can We Trust The Gospels? Peter J. Williams
Redating the New Testament, John A.T. Robinson
Rethinking the Dates of the New Testament, Jonathan Bernier
Jesus & The Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham
Testimonies to the Truth, Lydia McGrew
The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt

Related Articles
Joanna: An Obscure Disciple, or Luke’s Key Witness? Shane Rosenthal
John 5:2 “There is in Jerusalem…”, Shane Rosenthal & others
The Authenticity & Genuineness of the Fourth Gospel, J.B. Lightfoot
Is Luke a Trustworthy Historian, Sir William Ramsay
Authenticating The Fourth Gospel, Shane Rosenthal
Outside The Gospels, What Can We Know About Jesus? Shane Rosenthal
Water Into Wine? Shane Rosenthal
On Faith & History, Shane Rosenthal
Scribes of the New Covenant, Shane Rosenthal
The Identity of the Beloved Disciple, Shane Rosenthal
Can We Trust Luke’s History of the Early Jesus Movement? Shane Rosenthal
Simon of Cyrene: An Intriguing Archaeological Discovery, Shane Rosenthal
The Mormonization of American Christianity, Shane Rosenthal

Other Related Resources
Is John’s Gospel Late & Unreliable? Humble Skeptic #51
The Jesus of History, Humble Skeptic #12
The Gospel Creed, Humble Skeptic # 9
The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony, Humble Skeptic #48
Questioning The Fourth Gospel, Humble Skeptic #49
Faith Founded on Facts (1), Humble Skeptic #15
Faith Founded on Facts (2), Humble Skeptic. #16
Authenticating The Book of Acts, Humble Skeptic #24
New Evidence for the Gospels, Peter J. Williams (video)

SUPPORT The Humble Skeptic

Info & Events
• Some clips from this interview with John Dickson were previously featured on episodes 2, 15 & 16 of The Humble Skeptic podcast.

• If you’re a fan of the show, consider writing a brief review to let others know what you like about it (preferably via the Apple Podcast app since their reviews can be seen in other podcast portals). The more positive reviews we get, the more exposure we get!

• Shane will be speaking at the ReThink315 College Camp which will take place on the campus of St. Louis University, July 16-19, 2024.

• On Wednesday, Sept. 18th, Shane will discuss the question, “Is Faith Blind & Irrational?” at an event in Cedar City, Utah (more details coming soon).

• On Friday, Oct. 18th, Shane will be the keynote speaker at the ReThink315 fundraising dinner, which will take place at the Missouri Athletic Club in Des Peres, Missouri. For more information, or to purchase tickets for this event, click here.

• For more information, or to invite Shane Rosenthal to speak at your next event, send an email to: INFO at HUMBLESKEPTIC dot COM. 

We Need Your Help!
Consider supporting The Humble Skeptic podcast by making a one-time gift or upgrading to a paid subscription via Substack ($5.95 per month, $59 per year). Click here for more information about giving options.

The Humble Skeptic
The Humble Skeptic
Shane Rosenthal was raised in a Jewish home but became an atheist at a very early age. Some years later, however, he ended up losing faith in atheism and converted to Christianity. On this podcast, he talks with people from a wide variety of worldviews and perspectives in order to explore the beliefs and ideas that shape our lives.