Jesus, the Gospel and Abraham Lincoln

Doug Ecks
3 min readAug 24, 2022
Modern Jesus by Doug X with Craiyon

I was listening to a debate between Bart Ehrman and Mike Likona regarding the evidence for the Resurrection in the Gospels and I had some thoughts.

The problem for the pursuit of the Historical Jesus is that there weren’t newspapers and video cameras in 30 BCE. The second problem is that there weren’t books or papyrus scrolls written about Jesus until approximately 35 years after his dead (Mark) and then ten or fifteen years later (Matthew and Luke) and then around 90 C.E. we have the Gospel of John.

And while these gospels report the many sayings of Jesus, a historian reading wonders how many of these sayings were said by the historical Jesus, and how many merely attributed to him.

Since I wasn’t there (and you weren’t there unless you’re a time traveller, and even if you are a time traveller there is an argument you merely went to an alternate quantum universe and not this one, or you went to this one and are now reading this in a different quantum universe written by Doug Y or somesuch…but I digress.

So while we can’t say with authority, we can reason by analogy. How many sayings are attributed to a beloved historical figure like Abraham Lincoln…that he didn’t actually say.

Mentalfloss in 2015 wrote an article collecting just such misattributed quotations of Abraham Lincoln, ie. quotes he didn’t originate. Click on the embedded link to see their full collection, I’m just going to mention some highlights here.

“You can’t fool all the people all the time.”

This quote was attributed to Lincoln in 1886, approx 20 years after his death. This less than the 35 years later we have the gospel of Mark, and this is an age of newspapers. The quote actually goes back to a French protestant in the 17th century, according the article.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Doug Ecks

Doug Ecks, Esq is a lawyer and member of NLG-LA. He is also a stand up comic and author. You can support my writing at