The historical reliability of the Gospels refers to the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents.
Although some claim that all four canonical gospels meet the five criteria for historical reliability, According to the majority viewpoint the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, collectively referred to as the Synoptic Gospels, are the primary sources of historical information about Jesus and of the religious movement he founded.
The fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, differs greatly from the first three gospels.
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Finally, scholars turn to external sources, including the testimony of early church leaders, writers outside the church (mainly Jewish and Greco-Roman historians) who would have been more likely to have criticized the early churches, and to archaeological evidence.
When judging the historical reliability of the gospels, scholars ask if the accounts in the gospels are, when judged using normal standards that historians use on other ancient writings, reliable or not.
The main issues are what are the 'original' gospels, whether the original gospel works were accurate eyewitness accounts, and whether those original versions have been transmitted accurately through the ages to us.
In evaluating the historical reliability of the Gospels, scholars consider a number of factors.
Historians subject the gospels to critical analysis, attempting to differentiate rather authentic, reliable information from possible inventions, exaggerations, and alterations.
scholars use textual criticism to determine which gospel variants could theoretically be taken as 'original'.To answer this question, scholars have to ask who wrote the gospels, when they wrote them, what was their objective in writing them, what sources the authors used, how reliable these sources were, and how far removed in time the sources were from the stories they narrate, or if they were altered later.Scholars can also look into the internal evidence of the documents, to see if, for example, the document is misquoting texts from the Hebrew Tanakh, is making claims about geography that were incorrect, if the author appears to be hiding information, or if the author has made up a certain prophecy.These include authorship and date of composition, The genre of the gospels is essential in understanding the intentions of the authors regarding the historical value of the texts.New Testament scholar Graham Stanton states that "the gospels are now widely considered to be a sub-set of the broad ancient literary genre of biographies." Charles H.Talbert agrees that the gospels should be grouped with the Graeco-Roman biographies, but adds that such biographies included an element of mythology, and that the synoptic gospels also included elements of mythology.