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The sin of Adam

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  • The sin of Adam

    When i agreed to discuss Adam's seven witness thesis, he replied with links to material that he posted elsewhere on the Passion.

    I would prefer that Adam simply respond directly as follows:

    1 - quote something from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, which you believe is first-hand testimony to the resurrection of Jesus.

    2 - explain why you believe it to be first-hand

    3 - Disclose the name of the person you think that testimony comes from.

    4 - Explain why you think that person is responsible for said testimony.

    5 - clarify whether you think your view is so compelling that those who know about it and still reject it are being irrational in such rejection.

    I checked out the earlyChristianwritings link, and none of your postings there get down to actual gospel texts on the resurrection that you believe are first-hand.

    You should also remember that, unless you dispute Mark's authorship of Mark, or Luke's authorship of Luke, their use of identifiably first-hand resurrection testimony does not turn it into first-hand testimony. It is still non-eyewitness Luke or Mark, quoting what somebody else said, and until you can get that testimony away from the mouth of those non-eyewitnesses and into the mouth of an identifiable eyewitness, it will remain hearsay.

    Also, I have to ask what good it does for you to identify certain gospel texts as coming from first-hand accounts, if in fact you cannot do more than speculate on the identity of the original eyewitness giving testimony. If Luke is the one who provides that account to you, then it is hearsay, and the fact that the account ultimately came from an eyewitness does not change its hearsay nature. I think therefore that you need to come up with an apologetic that shows ancient hearsay to be reliable when it meets certain criteria, to supplement your seven witness thesis. Otherwise, identifying seven eyewitness sources behind certain gospel texts is nothing but a purely academic exercise and doesn't show them to be any more presumptively reliable than the hearsay that they continue to be.

    Also, supposing you can prove that something in Luke 24 ultimately comes from an identifiable eyewitness. Do we have enough information about that alleged eyewitness to rationally justify making a confident judgment either way on his or her credibility? Or do you respond as most apologists, and disagree with the standard rules of historiography that permit the investigator to look into the credibility of the eyewitness? After all, eyewitnesses can lie or be decieved, or misquoted, right? This is usually the point where apologists take back their claim that the rules of historiography we normally apply to other ancient documents should be applied to the bible. Josh McDowell's "internal, external, bibliographical" ain't even the tip of the icebox.

    I also take issue with you trying to debate with me what exactly Papias meant by saying "logia" when it appears you attribute to him a corrupted church tradition. How much weight can we attach to Papias' word "logia", if we already agree he is responsible for infusing falsehood into the story behind gospel authorship? Papias, if he can be trusted, would be a major plank in the foundation of the theory that says Mathew's original gospel form was the heretical "Gospel to the Hebrews" that church fathers say was regarded by many in the early church as authentic Matthew. Are you sure we should accord Papias sufficient presumption of accuracy so as to rationally justify going back and forth about "logia"? If Papias can be trusted for "logia", he might also be trustworthy for "matthew wrote the oracles of the Lord in the Hebrew dialect...", which opens pandora's box.

    Also, the gospel of Thomas and Oxyrhynchus papyri are rather solid proofs that the idea of a gospel wholly lacking narrative in the first or second centuries was a normal thing.

    Worst of all, "Gospel" does not mean "sayings + narrative", it means "good news", and sayings of Jesus unaccompanied by narrative can be equally as good news as those sayings infused with narrative. For that reason, if "logia" means "gospel", that doesn't argue that Matthew originally authored the narrative portions. What Papias said about Mark cannot be confidently related to what he said about Matthew, since Eusebius doesn't give context, and for all we know, words Papias used to describe Mark's authorship are in a very different context from words he used when saying Matthew wrote the logia. We cannot just brush aside the cardinal hermeneutic of immediate context just because doing so would make things convenient for apologists. Eusebius didn't provide the immediate context, and this is fatal in the eyes of anybody who thinks it is important to read immediate context in order to extract from the author the precise nuance he intended in some disputed word or phrase.

    I also need to correct something. I said I would quote the New American Commentary to show that scholars agree that "gospel" is not the most natural meaning of Papias's "logia", but the quotation I gave only said the trend is for scholars to discount the historical worth of Papias. Here is the quote I intended:
    Most significant is the debate over the meaning of logia, which does not naturally mean Gospel but sayings.
    Blomberg, C. (2001, c1992). Vol. 22: Matthew (electronic ed.). Logos Library System;
    The New American Commentary (Page 40). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
    Adam also said this commentary or its scholarship was outdated, but "contemporary evangelical scholarship" is how Logos advertises that set at
    https://www.logos.com/product/37667/...mentary-series.
    Last edited by B&H; 08-23-2014, 05:56 PM.

  • #2
    Quite a catchy title, which should help attract attention to this thread, so thank you. The sin may be yours as well as mine, as I'll explain immediately.

    I'll try more generally replying to the OP rather than line-by-line, as there is some confusion here regarding B&H's original thread on the Resurrection
    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...lly-first-hand
    as compared with my subsequent claim that the gospels AS A WHOLE contain seven written eyewitnesses records to Jesus. My sin is I got started on the bigger picture in my Post #14 before I realized (and immediately stated) that the OP was really directed just at the Resurrection. So no, you won't find lots of lists elsewhere on eyewitnesses to the Resurrection--as to the Resurrection itself I clearly announced that three additional eyewitnesses (not among the seven) pertain to the Resurrection, the three women. (Mary Magdalene was the oral source for her parts of John 20, the "other Mary" was the source like information for the first two gospels, and Luke consulted with Joanna to make corrections as to what the angel had really said regarding Galilee.) I do see John Mark, Peter, and perhaps Matthew as writing about the Resurrection, but I'll not try to state here in a sentence or paragraph the complexities of Howard M. Teeple's verse-by-verse analysis that I have started elsewhere (two other websites). Refer mostly to my writings elsewhere for now.

    For a simple illustration of a written eyewitness statement that applies to the Resurrection, the sole simple case is the Walk to Emmaus that I have already been talking about. Luke 24:13-34 is a clear, continuous narrative that gives the name Cleopas as one of the two men who saw Jesus. As the minority text of 24:34 makes it clear that the "Simon" who saw Jesus was the other one of the two, I name Simon the son of Cleopas as the other witness. Being younger and faster he got back to Jerusalem quicker and told them "The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to me!", which got rewritten in the final Luke as "The Lord has indeed risen and appeared to Simon." (NJB) (He didn't need further specification as after 62 A. D. he was the Bishop of Jerusalem.) (I don't deny necessarily that Jesus appeared early to Peter, but I don't particularly incline to it.)

    I still say no good current scholarship holds that "Logion" means sayings alone, necessarily excluding narrative. It does not literally mean "good news", of course, I'm not trying to say it does, but a more general document than just sayings is a better meaning. You too readily try to force us into excluding any of the Triple Tradition from Q, a practice no longer in fashion (see Dennis Ronald MacDonald). Indeed, the long reign of "Q = Double Tradition" just goes back to the failure of the early 20th Century to delimit how much of the Triple Tradition really was from a Q document. Basically the most involved scholars like B. H. Streeter just agreed to define Q as the overlap of Matthew and Luke.

    You still bring in the false analogy of, I guess, "ear-witnesses". If I can identify within the canonical gospels verses that were written by an eyewitness, I'm not up against the problem I acknowledge with the three women who tell about the empty tomb. You're thinking of the usual evangelical picture of Luke interviewing people and writing up what he heard. That wasn't it. He already had written documents in hand, partly in Aramaic and partly in Greek. That's one of the ways I can tell who provided which written document. But that's mostly outside the Resurrection, so I don't want to get too far afield with this my first reply.

    My Thesis states seven written eyewitness sources underlying the canonical gospels. Period. I don't claim that they are necessarily inerrant or even factual. I claim they were written down, including the Discourses by Nicodemus that mislead as shown by his two changes of attitude. Eyewitnesses can lie, but that is another matter beyond my Thesis. A philosophical naturalist will necessarily regard the Signs Source as false as well as other parts of the testimony of Peter and Matthew. I'm not a philosophical naturalist, so I am not required to disbelieve the seven eyewitnesses except for my observations about the nature of the Discourses in the Gospel of John.

    I built my case on internal criticism, not external, so much of your argument does not apply to me.
    Near the Peoples' Republic of Davis, south of the State of Jefferson (Suspended between Left and Right)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam View Post
      Quite a catchy title, which should help attract attention to this thread, so thank you. The sin may be yours as well as mine, as I'll explain immediately.
      thanks, snip.

      For a simple illustration of a written eyewitness statement that applies to the Resurrection, the sole simple case is the Walk to Emmaus that I have already been talking about. Luke 24:13-34 is a clear, continuous narrative that gives the name Cleopas as one of the two men who saw Jesus. As the minority text of 24:34 makes it clear that the "Simon" who saw Jesus was the other one of the two, I name Simon the son of Cleopas as the other witness. Being younger and faster he got back to Jerusalem quicker and told them "The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to me!", which got rewritten in the final Luke as "The Lord has indeed risen and appeared to Simon." (NJB) (He didn't need further specification as after 62 A. D. he was the Bishop of Jerusalem.) (I don't deny necessarily that Jesus appeared early to Peter, but I don't particularly incline to it.)
      Ok.

      I think you'd agree with me that where an ancient historical fact is predicated solely on testimony, that the fact is actually predicated on the credibility of a claimant. For example, if a man goes to trial for rape, and there is no physical evidence of rape whatsoever, the only evidence being the testimony of the alleged female victim, then whether she is being truthful depends in whole on her credibility. Granting for the sake of argument that Simon was the author of the portions of Luke 24 you attribute to him, this testimony lacks just as much physical evidence as does the rape case described above, and for that reason, whether Simon is testifying truthfully turns wholly on his credibility.

      If you know of any evidence that would speak to the issue of Simon's credibility, please name it. Otherwise, you have the other option of directly refuting what I say above, and arguing that sometimes, where a fact rests on eyewitness testimony alone, it can be rational to believe the testimony without considering the credibility of the eyewitness.

      I still say no good current scholarship holds that "Logion" means sayings alone, necessarily excluding narrative. It does not literally mean "good news", of course, I'm not trying to say it does, but a more general document than just sayings is a better meaning. You too readily try to force us into excluding any of the Triple Tradition from Q, a practice no longer in fashion (see Dennis Ronald MacDonald). Indeed, the long reign of "Q = Double Tradition" just goes back to the failure of the early 20th Century to delimit how much of the Triple Tradition really was from a Q document. Basically the most involved scholars like B. H. Streeter just agreed to define Q as the overlap of Matthew and Luke.
      Here is the problem. Both sides agree that logia can mean either "sayings alone" or "sayings + narrative". Gospel of Thomas makes certain that an early first or second sUnfortunately, Eusebius does not supply enough context for the reader to get an idea of which definition of 'logia' Papias intended. For all we know, what Papias said about Matthew and what he said about Mark were separated by several pages, in which case the precise nuance we can detect regarding what he said about Mark would not have sufficient force to increase likelihood of resolving the scholarly disagreement about what he meant when discussing Matthew. For these reasons, I agree with the scholars who find Papias worthless. How can we find him useful as long as we continue saying that an author's original immediate context is very important to finding out what precise meaning he intended his word or phrase to have? Isn't Eusebius' failure to provide Papias' immediate context, fatal to any attempt to resolve this scholarly disagreement?

      snip

      My Thesis states seven written eyewitness sources underlying the canonical gospels. Period. I don't claim that they are necessarily inerrant or even factual. I claim they were written down, including the Discourses by Nicodemus that mislead as shown by his two changes of attitude. Eyewitnesses can lie, but that is another matter beyond my Thesis. A philosophical naturalist will necessarily regard the Signs Source as false as well as other parts of the testimony of Peter and Matthew. I'm not a philosophical naturalist, so I am not required to disbelieve the seven eyewitnesses except for my observations about the nature of the Discourses in the Gospel of John.
      But your thesis doesn't require you to believe the seven sources either. If the bible is correct, you don't believe the resurrection of Jesus because the evidence for it is so good. You believe it for no other reason than the Holy Spirit transforming you.

      I built my case on internal criticism, not external, so much of your argument does not apply to me.
      But your comments that I initially responded to said something about nobody else was able to refute your 7 witness thesis, and that dogmatic type of talk led me to believe that you regard said thesis as a strong apologetic for the resurrection of Jesus. Please clarify whether that is the case.

      Comment


      • #4
        Old Business:
        I had given you a reference on whether Logia implies limited Q, but here's the more extended quote from Bruce Chilton, Profiles of a Rabbi. Synoptic..., 1989:
        Logion, however, is a Greek word with a wide range of meanings, of which one is "revelation", not "saying", so that what Papias says Matthew wrote cannot be identified with "Q" on the basis of its title.
        New Business:
        We're still going around in circles somewhat. You started a thread on Resurrection, and accordingly you keep asking for eyewitnesses of the Resurrection. I have already stated that three women were oral eyewitnesses, but they don't even count among my claimed seven written eyewitness records of Jesus. Notice, "of Jesus", not just of the Resurrection. For the women I showed that each of the three were named in the gospels (Mary Magdalene, the "other Mary" and Joanna) with the particular things each remembered. I suppose their names appear just because they did not themselves write down their accounts. We're lucky enough that the final version of the four gospels were not themselves from any of the eyewitnesses, as that gave more occasion to list names such as Peter, Simon, Andrew, Matthew, and Nicodemus. These men themselves wrote mini-gospels that likely omitted their names, but words like "I" and "me" were replaced by names in the final version.

        As for the Resurrection I focused on Simon the son of Cleopas in accord with your request for an example. That comes out neatly Luke 24:13-34. However, the other three written eyewitness accounts of the Resurrection were edited together in our present gospels, not so neatly exhibited. Peter's name comes up so often because he told what he knew to John Mark who included it within his own eyewitness testimony. (Technically I guess we could call him an oral source for this part of Peter's story. Only the general life of Jesus might count as his written record where he related it to his scribe, presumably John Mark.)

        You keep trying to draw me into external criticism, which I have stated was not the basis for my conclusions. I rely on intuitive insight into the original texts as layed out by Higher Criticism. That what Papias said supports my views on Q and Mark is great, but I go by internal criticism firstly. (To clarify, Papias does not support the scholarly consensus on Q, but he does support my case for a larger Q that yet was not as large as one of our extant gospels.)

        I'm all for the Holy Spirit--I was baptized in the Spirit as a Charismatic in 1977. And that does provide some comfort in proceeding wherever the scholarly path may wind, but I repeat, I go where scholarship dictates, apart from either fideism or skepticism.

        If you want to get deep into the technicalities focusing just on the Resurrection, see my April 20,2014 extraction of the earliest version of John 21. It would presumably go back to John Mark writing down what Peter said, but if early and in Aramaic originally it had gotten translated into the Greek style found in the editorial parts of the Gospel of John.
        http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/v...t=222&start=50
        Last edited by Adam; 08-25-2014, 01:59 PM. Reason: John 21
        Near the Peoples' Republic of Davis, south of the State of Jefferson (Suspended between Left and Right)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam View Post
          You keep trying to draw me into external criticism, which I have stated was not the basis for my conclusions. I rely on intuitive insight into the original texts as layed out by Higher Criticism.
          The problem being that you caused me to misidentify you as a loudmouth fundie in your original post I responded to, wherein you said that nobody had yet answered your 7-witness thesis. I have to wonder why you care. You are not saying your thesis forces skeptics to defend or be irrational for denying the resurrection. I am only interested in beating back extremist fundies who push their case too hard and insist that no thesis is rational except the one that says Jesus' resurrection from the dead is as solidly established as the existence of Rome.

          That what Papias said supports my views on Q and Mark is great, but I go by internal criticism firstly. (To clarify, Papias does not support the scholarly consensus on Q, but he does support my case for a larger Q that yet was not as large as one of our extant gospels.)
          You sure do make a lot of use of Papias. Why? Do you think Papias proves himself to be a reliable reporter? I always viewed him as the second century equal of the The National Enquirer. Do you think Eusebius can be trusted to represent Papias correctly despite his failure to give sufficient context to permit resolution of the meaning of Papias' statements on gospel authorship? Do you believe evidence of their reliability is so great that it make irrational those who know the arguments and remain unpersuaded?

          I'm all for the Holy Spirit--I was baptized in the Spirit as a Charismatic in 1977. And that does provide some comfort in proceeding wherever the scholarly path may wind, but I repeat, I go where scholarship dictates, apart from either fideism or skepticism.
          great.

          If you want to get deep into the technicalities focusing just on the Resurrection, see my April 20,2014 extraction of the earliest version of John 21. It would presumably go back to John Mark writing down what Peter said, but if early and in Aramaic originally it had gotten translated into the Greek style found in the editorial parts of the Gospel of John.
          http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/v...t=222&start=50
          I don't see the point, you are not one of those apologists who insist that your evidence for eyewitness material renders irrational those who know your arguments and remain unpersuaded. I seek only to combat the worst of the loudmouths that have mistaken volume for truth. I though you might be a good contender for the title given how you pompously stated that nobody was able to refute your 7 witness thesis, but now that we've been arguing, its clear you are far less dogmatic in your conclusions than you initially let on. If you aren't calling skepticism of the resurrection of Jesus irrational, we don't have much further to discuss. If you do call it irrational, start a new thread and make your best case. As I said before, because I am a liberal Christian and believe solely by power of the Holy Spirit, there is nothing constraining me to view biblical accounts of anything as sufficient proof. Thus I am entirely free to combat the fundie resurrection 'proofs' as heavily as atheists.

          When I try to point out that your extractions of eyewitness material from the gospels don't mean much given that this material is already credited to a non-eyewitness and thus must retain its status as hearsay regardless of your arguments, you respond you don't want to be pulled into a debate on external criticism. If that be true, you are very far from the type of fundie I intended to combat in this thread.

          Comment


          • #6
            Forgive me for getting personal on the other thread. This website generally goes by kick-boxing rules, so I thought you were open to banter. You'll see much worse if you continue posting here. I'm glad to see that you misunderstood me as one of those "bad guy" Fundamentalists one sees too often on websites such as these.

            I guess it's "You say Bultmann, and I say Bauckham, so let's call the whole thing off." Nevertheless, I may take your challenge to start a thread turning the focus to before the death of Jesus. I havn't invested enough here about the pre-Resurrection Jesus that I have to continue it here and on your first thread (though I was hoping you would continue there). But I already have active threads going on that elsewhere. I originally developed my Thesis here on Theology Web, so members here can tell me if they want to get into all that again here. I didn't receive any helpful correctives here, so I went elsewhere to find refutations, but have basically had to work it up all on my own. It surprises me that no one cares (whether Bauckham was right that we have eyewitness testimony to Jesus--though that's a little less than my claim that the testimony was written by the eyewitnesses).

            So, whose sin did I get blamed for?
            Last edited by Adam; 08-25-2014, 06:33 PM. Reason: bad guys, whose sin
            Near the Peoples' Republic of Davis, south of the State of Jefferson (Suspended between Left and Right)

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