Is bias a problem for the reliability of the Gospels?

Is bias a problem for the reliability of the Gospels?

Is bias a problem for the reliability of the Gospels?

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Skeptics often claim that trusting the Christians who wrote the Gospels is circular reasoning, it is not. Bias comes in all forms. Even the atheist, Richard Dawkins, was biased in what he wrote. Dr. Mike Licona points out that bias is never a judgment of the reliability of a writer while pointing out the one criteria of judgment for a writer’s reliability. 

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36 thoughts on “Is bias a problem for the reliability of the Gospels?

  1. Ч Д F D Д S Д

    Fact: Nothing can disprove the bible. Science supports it.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  2. Some Random

    Can't say I've ever encounter this objection.
    Personal bias shows up in everything. It definitely needs to be considered, but it shouldn't be the deciding factor in disregarding something.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  3. Alex Antal

    Great video, thank you.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  4. Some Random

    Not as big of a problem as the baseless claims, complete lack of evidence or talking donkey.
    Honestly, the talking donkey should be enough to show any adult that this story is fiction.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  5. Desmond Bishop

    What difference does it make what version of a book is being used if ultimately the context is, and traditionally always has been, malleable and will produce the desired message regardless ?

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  6. InfoArtist JK at The Good Info Café

    Dumb Dumb: "You can't trust the Gospels because they're written by Christians". Me to DD: "You're biased, so shut up. Besides, you're dumb."

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  7. Scorpion 40

    If we can't believe anything that is biased then no one would be able to believe anything that is written because it is ingrained in human nature. We are naturally biased towards the things we believe to be true. That's why it is important to know that the bible is Gods word. It transcends human bias because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  8. Greg T

    Some people will look for any excuse to not believe the Bible. If one argument isn't good enough then they'll find another one.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  9. Charlie Wright

    Guys is there a way to ask questions for Frank Turek ? Does he respond on Instagram ?

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  10. LB J

    The New Testament wasn’t written by Christians that is a lie. John was the son of Zakaryahu which was from the tribe Levi, Paul was out the tribe of Benjamin ( Romans 11:1). This guy is a liar. And the holocaust didn’t have Jews , those people was from Poland. None of those people forefathers came Egypt. Y’all people believe everything except the scripture.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  11. rohan s

    I've had doubt abt this….and my faith shrunk a bit abt this…but I prayed….and here it goes. God answers agan…praise the Lord

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  12. Derek Perkins

    This objection to the New Testament is weak, which means refuting it is weak, too. Pointing out that the New Testament is a collection of eye witness accounts is a stronger point to make, especially regarding Luke and Acts.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  13. J Ovesen

    Also.. Bias, not to be conflated with confirmation bias.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  14. colinmatts

    The problem here is that the anonymous authors of the gospels were NOT historians, and, the gospels are NOT history

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  15. J Ovesen

    In the three years I've been having fun with this, not once, not one single time, have I heard this argument from an atheist.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  16. Sam Cotten

    Richard Dawkins just sounds like an angry, bitter man whenever I listen to him talk. I just hear an intelligent man making a bunch of complex, well-thought-out arguments for why it’s better to be pessimistic, cynical, angry, and resentful towards anyone who thinks differently from him. His book doesn’t make atheist out of believers, it just hardens already established atheists.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  17. Rai Zen

    Skeptics would say it is circular logic because we assume what we are trying to prove, that is, we assume the truth of Christianity (by alluding to the New Testament) to prove Christianity itself. While I think there is indeed circularity that's involved, the same circularity exists in trying to defend atheism by alluding to atheistic books like that of Dawkins and Hitchens for example or any atheistic literature for that matter. So yeah the argument cut both ways.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  18. Sierra Clark

    “If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Now is the time to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Obey His commands and repent of your sins because Jesus is coming back soon. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  19. Joel M

    Jesus is alive? Seems pretty dead to me. The book is not evidence. You would have to account for other religions books. That also have no evidence.
    The bible is lie!!

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  20. Jesus Sotelo

    This is why I'm Catholic, because we approach the scripture from a historical lens since it was the church founded by Jesus and it was the church that authorized the canon of scripture.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  21. Paulthored

    If we can't use Christian scribed writings to make a case for Christianity because of biases…
    Then the same thing applies for Atheists & Atheism.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  22. Ben

    Is this an actual argument non believers use? Talk about reaching 😳🤦🏾‍♂️

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  23. MBKKT 90

    The Bible has much bigger problems than bias when it comes to the reliability of the Gospels

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  24. S Baker

    Everything is biased!. Science, history, politics, medicine, relationships, religion, no religion. The only thing that I can think of that's not biased is mathematics. 2+2=4 regardless of what you believe, your background, political views etc..

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  25. Syed Sye

    Islam The Beautiful Religion

    ( Be Just )

    Quran 5:8
    '' O you who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the > HATRED OF OTHERS TO YOU < make you deviate from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that you do. ''

    Quran 4:58
    '' Indeed, God commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which God instructs you. Indeed, God is ever Hearing and Seeing.''

    ( God's The Rules Of War )

    Quran 2:190
    '' Fight in the way of God > THOSE WHO FIGHT YOU < but do not transgress. Indeed. God does not like transgressors. ''

    Quran 2 :193

    '' And fight them on until there is no more oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression. ''

    Quran 4:90
    ''………So if they withdraw from you and cease their hostility and offer you peace, in that case Allah has not granted you permission to fight against them.''

    Quran 8:61
    ''And if they seek peace, then you also seek it, and put your trust in God. He is the Hearer, the Knowledgeable.''

    ( Stand Up For Justice )

    Quran 4 :135
    '' O believers, be you securers of justice, witnesses for God, even though it be against > yourselves <, or your parents and kinsmen, whether the man be rich or poor; God stands closest to either. Then follow not caprice, so as to swerve; for if you twist or turn, God is aware of the things you do.''

    ( Who Are The Good Human Beings? )

    Quran 2.177
    '' Righteousness is "NOT" that you turn your faces ( in worship ) toward the east or the west but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in God, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth,> IN SPITE OF LOVE FOR IT,< to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for > freeing slaves < [and who] establishes prayer and gives charity; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. ''

    ( Freedom To Believe And To Reject )

    Quran 2:256
    '' Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error ''

    Quran 10:99
    '' And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed > all of them entirely < Then would you compel the people in order that they become believers? ''

    ( Tolerance For Other Religions )

    Quran 109: 1- 6

    Say,"O disbelievers,

    I do not worship what you worship.

    Nor are you worshipers of what I worship.

    Nor will I be a worshiper of what you worship.

    Nor will you be worshipers of what I worship.

    For you is your religion, and for me is my religion."

    ( Protection for Idol Worshiper )

    Quran 9:6
    "And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are people who do not know. "

    Quran16:125
    “Call people to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching, and argue with them in the most courteous way”

    Quran7:199 “Be tolerant….”

    ( Friendship With Non Muslims )

    Quran 60:8
    '' God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly. ''

    ( Do Christians And Jews and "OTHER" non-Muslims go to Heaven? )

    Quran 2:62
    '' Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,-> ANY <- who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. '' —> { On Judgement Day }

    ( According to the Quran Christians and Jews worship TRUE God )

    (Quran 3:113-114)
    '' Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book ( Christians and Jews ) are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.''

    Note: According to the Quran that Jesus is not God nevertheless Christians still worship one '' TRUE '' God.

    ( > Allah < Is The Protector Of Monasteries, Churches, Synagogues And The Mosques )

    Quran 22:40
    [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, "Our Lord is Allah ." And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

    ( Why Are There So Many Different Religions In The World ? )

    Quran 5 48
    ''…… If God wanted He could have made all of you a > single nation < But He willed otherwise in order to test you in what He has given you;(scriptures) therefore try to excel one another in good deeds. Ultimately you all shall return to God; then He will show you the truth of those matters in which you > DISPUTE <.''

    NOTE:
    Quran 3:85
    ''If anyone desires a religion other than Islam ( > submission < to God), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (Salvation)''

    My explanation of above verse

    Islam mean > submission < to God

    ( The above verse saying is that God will not accept a religion from the > MUSLIM < and the Non-Muslims but total > submission < to God.)

    Question: How Can Muslim And the > Non-Muslim < > submit < to the God ?

    Answer: Be kind to other human beings and Do not lie, Do not steal, Do not cheat, Do not hurt others, Do not be prideful and Do the charity work.

    ( God Allow Interfaith Marriage And Eat Food From The Christian And Jew And Vice Versa )

    Quran 5;5
    ''This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture ( Christian and Jew) is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture ( Christian and Jew) before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith – his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.''

    ( Kindness Toward Atheists / > APOSTATE < )

    Quran 60:8
    '' As for such [ of the unbelievers ( atheist) ] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, > Allah < does not forbid you to show them > kindness < and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, Allah loves those who act equitably. ''

    ( All The Terrorists / Killers Will Enter Hell Fire )

    Quran 5:32
    "……Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely……"

    ( Turned Your Enemies Into Your Awesome Friends )

    Quran 41:34
    "The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend."

    ( The Husband and The Wife Are > Protecting Friends < One Of Another )

    Quran 9:71
    ''And the believers, men and women, are > Protecting Friends < one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey God and His messenger. As for these, God will have mercy on them. Lo! God is Mighty, Wise.''

    Quran16:97
    “To whoever, male or female, does good deeds and has faith, We shall give a good life and reward them according to the best of their actions.

    Quran 30:21
    “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you > affection and mercy <…”–> { Love }

    The Prophet Muhammad said, “The best among you is the best to his wife”

    ( Human Are One Big family )

    Quran 49:13
    " O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."

    ( All The Racist People Will Enter Hellfire )

    Quran 30:22
    "And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge."

    My conclusion:

    The > BASIC < message of God to the human is that '' YOU '' believe in God and be kind to other human beings / > animals < and in the > RETURNED < God will > REWARD < you with a new life in Paradise.

    * The Quran ONLY guides you how to become a good human being " Nothing Else ".

    * You are a good human being or a bad human being that is YOUR choice.

    * No one can force you to become a good human being.

    * You MUST work HARD to become a good human being.

    * Why should '' YOU '' do good deeds and avoid bad deeds?

    * Do Good – it's for You. Do Bad – It's against you.

    * '' YOUR '' life is a TEST from God that you will choose to do either Good or Bad.

    * Find the excuse to help others and forgive others NOT the other way around.

    * '' YOUR '' final destination is either Hell or Heaven.

    * So work HARD toward choice of YOUR destination.

    Quran 17:7
    If you do good, you will do so for your own good. And if you do evil, it will be to your own loss

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  26. t Ttt

    The Bible is like any other literature? I didn't know that. Is it right, though? Well he's got a PhD in theology so who am I to question him?
    But if so, didn't God forseen that biases, too? So he must have known then he must have inspired them accordingly, too. right? God makes no mistakes.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  27. Born from Above

    So when an innocent person tries to prove his innocence, he is bias therefore you can’t believe him. This argument is so beautiful. Thank you atheists for using logic and rational reasoning.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  28. Thomas B

    God’s word is inspired. That which he inspired he preserved. If we do not believe these two things then we don’t believe the Bible. If we believe the Bible then we are left to conclude that the Critical Texts are not inspired by God.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  29. terminat1

    This is based on a misunderstanding. There can be no bias because God is the author of the Bible. Holy men of God spoke as God the Holy Spirit moved them. It's unfortunate that most people today (even many Christians) don't understand what the Bible says about itself. It's not as though Moses or David or Matthew were so smart or were reliable eyewitnesses or managed to get their facts straight. God gave them the words to write.

    In the original languages of (primarily) Hebrew and Greek, God is the author, not man.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  30. Jacob Ibarra

    Do you have to believe something to make it true? Do you have to believe in gravity to stay on the ground? Do people who don’t believe in gravity float away? No. Your faith doesn’t change a thing about whether or not the Bible is true. The only thing your faith does is it appropriates the content of it to you. It does not change whether or not God exists or whether or not Jesus rose again or whether or not the Bible is true.

    Atheists think we have to assume the Bible is true to make it true. The problem I have with presupposition and the Bible is it’s “circular”. Because it says in order to show the Bible is true, you have to assume it’s true, right? No actually. How does that make any sense? Now I do agree there are certain presuppositions we all have. Like for instance, the laws of logic. And that’s why the book “Stealing from God” says, that when somebody is trying to suggest there is no God, they’re actually stealing from God to argue against Him. Because logic and reason wouldn’t exist unless there’s a mind out there that has endowed reality with those things.

    So to a degree it’s like two sides to the same coin. With the evidential approach you’re starting with neutrality, and saying if you’re a non-believer, you can reason from a neutral standpoint. So what the presuppositionalists are saying like with Romans chapter 1, we suppress the truth in unrighteousness. So if we’re just throwing facts at people who are non believers, it’s in our sinful nature to reject those things. So you have to start with the Bible to be able to understand laws of logic and other things as well.

    But there were thousands of Christians even before the Bible was ever written. So to say that we “need” the Bible in order to get anyone to become saved, would negate all the writers of the Bible. So we instead start with God. And that’s what Paul does on Mars Hill in Acts 17 and he says, “I see you have an alter to an unknown God here. Let me tell you who that unknown God is.”

    But the presuppositional assertion that thry have to “assume the Bible is true” in order to prove it, just seems so circular to me. But maybe I’m missing something. But I do believe Jesus was an evidentiary-person. How do I know? Because when a representative of John the Baptist came to Him and said, “Are you the real Messiah or should we wait for someone else?” Jesus didn’t say “Well just have faith!” Or “Just believe!” What did he say? He said, “Look at the signs, Look at the evidence! Yes, I am the Messiah.”

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  31. Hans De Mos

    Strawman! The only thing skeptics will ask you to do is treat the gospels the same way you treat other ancient documents.
    Listen carefully to what Dr. Licona says, and you will notice that he dismisses the premise of Dr. Turek's question as "nonsense" without ever actually agreeing with him that "nonbelievers" do say that "you can't use any of the New Testament documents for evidence because those were written by Christians, Christians are biased; that's circular reasoning…" It is a pity that Dr. Licona does not stand up to Dr. Turek directly for asking such a tendentious, and dare I say biased, question.
    Now I am sure that there are some "nonbelievers" in the comments who may have said something like this once or twice, but that doesn't mean that this is something that skeptics "often claim", or that it is something that appears in serious books or scholarly treatises on the subject. Because it quite obviously is not.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  32. Eugen

    Jesus never claimed to be the son of God.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  33. Descenter Grade Armor

    I was taught about bias in religion years ago. This type of conversation isn't new to me.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  34. Ted Tuttle

    TRUTH IS NOT BIAS

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  35. Proving Jesus

    Excellent response

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply
  36. mrshankj

    To understand why the gospels were biased, you need to understand the context of their writing. When the gospels were written, there was no internet. It was not possible for people to check facts. They could only rely on word of mouth and oral tradition. They were trying to tell us about what happened in Jesus' life after he died.

    November 21, 2021 at 12:22 am Reply

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