An important feature of much religious literature is a tendency to assume a belief in miracles, and as this is specially the case as regards the early Christian documents, it is desirable that some consideration should be given to the subject. The uncompromising rationalist rejects the orthodox history of early Christianity as a clumsily woven tissue of legends. Those who are unable to believe that the genesis of Christianity was a supernormal event, brought about by divine intervention with a view to reuniting man with God, may criticise but have no very obvious reason for studying. M. Alfred Loisy thinks that all four Gospels are quite unreliable, and were compiled in the first half of the second century, while Paul, who actually wrote portions only of some of the Epistles attributed to him, looked forward to Jesus as the Messiah which was to come.