..in perpetrating a certain view of a story or reality. They would need to be enemies in regards to the context of the crime for that to even be an applicable comparison.
Remember that this is religion we're talking about--everyone has their own little club, nuanced interpretation, or what have you, which
also represents to that person their own individuality. Do you think the hundreds and hundreds of Christian sects extant today are each more concerned with reconciling their own emphases / interpretation with the others, or with having their own island to cling to? Certainly there won't be much squabbling among Protestants over details, but keep in mind also that these divisions would not exist without this individualistic impulse. The same is true of communities 40-200AD that tried to compile details--why would they have known of one another? If they believed their account to be so correct, why would they have cared about the others'?
"they were never isolated"--the authors of the synoptic gospels were not "isolated"? Curious definition you have of "isolated". I'd love evidence that the early schools of Christian thought each knew (or even cared) of the other schools' existence. Otherwise they sound pretty isolated to me.
And even if they were wise enough to care about accumulating other accounts, would that other account or interpretation have behooved their local community the way their existing account did? Recognize also that one's love of Christ's character in the narratives (not just his philosophy) is very often the love of one's own identification with him. Interpretation of said narrative can be more about one's self than it is about Christ.
"There is no loss of the original text"
You talk much of counter-referencing for validity, but all these examples come far after Christianity's crucial development period the first century or two after his death. Within that veiled timeframe, the details are slim. And even today, "secret mark" and the johannine comma are not common in modern bibles. (That wasn't a "loss"?) But wait, there were "multiple lines of transmission"! Well guess what, there's also a huge church that has in its own self interest the perpetration of a brand of christianity that necessitates.. a huge church, among other things. I think around here is the crux of your naivete.
"by every tom joe and harry who had the means to copy them"
And how many toms, joes and harrys were literate in the first century AD? How many of those literate toms, joes and harrys were not greek? How many in Christ's immediate presence do you think could write, let alone read?
Once it came to any among those three dudes, it'd already been transferred orally at least couple times. You probably are thinking I'm saying this to cast doubt on Christ. I'm not. All I'm saying is, contradictions between narrative accounts are not the huge deal you're making them out to be.
"I don't expect a story teller to be explicit about every detail, but apparently you do."
These are your words: "None of them said there were ONLY two". I don't expect them to be that specific. I'm not the one who expects these stories to reconcile so cleanly. I know human stories can change quite a bit over the course of a century because human minds are imperfect media for these things. By this I can't expect all accounts to be reconcilable. Whereas in your case, none of this makes sense UNLESS all the stories can be combined: "The only new stuff in one account is from the other account". To you it's a given that these all even can be combined.
But things are not so simple--all the sacrificial lamb and Passover fullfilment overtones in John are John's alone; to the community that produced John these details would have been extremely important, while the other synoptic communities may have found these details to be a mere distraction. But from your (confused) cumulative view, all the lamb details in John would have utmost importance to the other stories. YOU project from your own modern reckoning what is important or unimportant ONTO these stories in your "harmonization" of them.
And now we have the gospel of judas. If this account were vetted and found to be from before even 200 AD, would you similarly compile its details into the others? What about the gospel of thomas? Are you simply going to discard any validity of these more recently discovered accounts to avoid cognitive dissonance?
I'm glad every day that I wasn't born into a religion which I have to cling to so tightly that any one who questions it must be treated as an enemy or a fool.
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