Craig KeenerDec 31, 2023
Memory, History, and the Reliability of the Gospels
Are the canonical Gospels historically reliable? The four canonical Gospels are ancient biographies, narratives of Jesus’s life. The authors of these Gospels were intentional in how they handled historical information and sources. Building on recent work in the study of ancient biographies, Craig Keener argues that the writers of the canonical Gospels followed the literary practices of other biographers in their day.
In Christobiography: Memory, History, and the Reliability of the Gospels (Eerdmans, 2019), Keener explores the character of ancient biography and urges students and scholars to appreciate the Gospel writers’ method and degree of accuracy in recounting the life and ministry of Jesus. Keener’s Christobiography has far-reaching implications for the study of the canonical Gospels and historical Jesus research. He concludes that the four canonical Gospels are historically reliable ancient biographies.
Dr. Craig Keener is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of over 30 books, 6 of which have won awards in Christianity Today. Keener is also the New Testament editor for the award-winning NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, and is serving as the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. With more than a million copies of his books in circulation, Keener also serves the global church by teaching and lecturing all over the world.
Jonathan Wright is a PhD student in New Testament at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds an MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a ThM from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @jonrichwright, or jonathanrichardwright.com.