Luke 3:1-21; Mark 6:14-29; 10:1-12; Q/Luke 16:18; Matthew 5:31-32 Q/Matthew 11:2-19. Also read Isaiah 62:1-9; Mark 1:9-11; John 1:19-39

Jesus HW #3
Jesus of Nazareth
Paul Fischer
Luke 3:1-21; Mark 6:14-29; 10:1-12; Q/Luke 16:18; Matthew 5:31-32 Q/Matthew 11:2-19. Also read Isaiah 62:1-9; Mark 1:9-11; John 1:19-39
In the time of Jesus Christ, a lot of influence was placed on the significance of the Old Testament in everyday lives. As observant Jews, Jesus, those who lived with him, and his early followers all would have been familiar with the Old Testament and able to quote from it, so making sure that the story of Jesus fits with the prophecies was a central part of convincing believers that Jesus really was the Christ.
Anytime the bible predicts the coming of Christ, as in Luke 3, the grounds for authenticity are quickly challenged. While it is definitely true that John the Baptist taught crowds about various aspects of life, his knowledge of the imminent coming of Christ is dubious. The level of specificity, in the beginning and later in the passage, is very high and adds greatly to the credibility of some of the passage’s information.
Mark, on the other hand, in John the Baptist Beheaded, has a relatively low amount of specificity. His writing seems to serve a point, to tell the tale of Herod executing John for the sake of one of his daughters. There are some details that lend credibility to the source, however, and the subject matter especially makes the passage believable.
The death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod is one of the few verifiable facts of the bible, with a lot of testimony and records. Every version of the story has to check out against one another, so even if small details such as the identity of the girl who demands John’s head change, the general story remains the same. Often the point of view or style will change. For example, where Mark writes a historical account, dry and believable, Matthew’s version of John the Baptist’s story is a fanciful narrative, probably not word perfect, but a conceivable scenario in which discussion with Jesus  explores the consequences of John’s death. It isn’t certain that the tale is completely true, but by checking it against other accounts of the same story we can see which parts are at least historically consistent.
So much of the Bible is consistent, that multiple attestations hardly lend any help to scholars who look at the authenticity of a document. Because of similarities between the books of Matthew, Mark, and John, it is known that a common literary source exists, usually referred to as Q, for the german word, quelle. It is possible that the source contained all of the books, or just the parts that they have in similar. What is not known is to what extent the content was changed by the religious figures who compiled the Bible.

Skip to toolbar