Some years ago when I was on a tour with the publication of my book Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, I appeared on a late-night talk show with host Tom Snyder, who was broadcasting at that time out of a studio in Burbank, California. In the interview I mentioned that the gospels were generally dated between 70 and 100 CE.Although I won't be there, this quote is from the chapter my Sunday school will be discussing tomorrow morning.
Tom, a lapsed Roman Catholic, bestirred himself and said: "Now wait a minute, Bishop. If the gospels were written that late, none of them could have been written by eyewitnesses."
"But that is not what the nuns taught me in parochial school," he said.
"What did they tell you?" I inquired.
"They said that the disciples followed Jesus around and wrote down everything he said, and that is how the gospels came into being."
Amused at how naive an otherwise educated and worldly-wise person could be about religious matters, I asked: "Tom, did the nuns tell you that the disciples used spiral notebooks and ballpoint pens?"
It was wonderful to see a new realization sweep across my host's face.
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