My theist friend and I were having an argument over the validity of the Gospels. My friend believes them word for word, whereas I say he should take them with a grain of salt. He did come up with an excellent point I found hard to counter. Perhaps his source is faulty, but he stated that 11 of the 12 disciples were killed for their beliefs. His point was that why would they die for a lie, if they knew the truth? I still am not convinced, but a comeback would be appreciated.
The easy answer is that perhaps they didn’t know the truth. There were Japanese warriors who gave their lives for an emperor they thought divine, and I assume your friend wouldn’t argue that this was evidence for the emperor’s divinity.
While we’re on the subject, can you ask you friend for me what he means when he says he believes the Gospels “word for word”? Does he mean that he thinks every word is literal truth, or that he thinks no word is an outright lie but you might have to play with it a bit to figure out how it might be true? For example, does “[John ] did eat locusts and wild honey” mean that was all John ate, or that he ate this, and maybe other stuff, too?
Thanks for writing!