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Date and Reliability of the Gospels.

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  • Date and Reliability of the Gospels.

    From an FB post (though slightly altered):

    I think that the gospels are reliable sources. The main reason I think this is due to their authorships and dates:
    see
    https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew...nt-and-outline
    https://bible.org/seriespage/mark-in...nt-and-outline
    https://bible.org/seriespage/luke-in...e-and-argument
    https://bible.org/seriespage/gospel-...gument-outline

    and
    http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/mattdef.html
    http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/markdef.html
    http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/johndef.html
    (the article was not available for luke-acts)

    and finally, vids,
    Matthew
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBzCZ...BDA389&index=8

    Mark
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvPy...7F8B8B8DBDA389

    Luke (and Acts)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSFS3...7F8B8B8DBDA389

    John
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7XEF...7F8B8B8DBDA389

    Miscellaneous argument

    -It may be argued (although I am not so sure it is ever argued) that since the gospels claim that miracles occurred, they would not be eyewitness accounts and would also be unreliable. Aside from begging the question of miracles in the first place, this fails to account for the fact that we do have people who claim to see miracles.
    (e.g. http://danielkolenda.com/2013/12/14/4430/ ). Note: I am not arguing for the actual occurrences of these events, just that people can and do claim to see them.

    If you think that the Gospels are Late documents or not by the Apostles (or both), why do you think so? What are the arguments in favor of your position?
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
    Sir James Jeans

    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
    Sir Isaac Newton

  • #2
    Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
    If you think that the Gospels are Late documents or not by the Apostles (or both), why do you think so? What are the arguments in favor of your position?
    Two of the Gospels are traditionally by non-Apostles (Mark and Luke).

    Mark was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem. The "Little Apocalypse" is itself a literary genre, not a genre of speech, from Greek literature. The phrase "Let the reader understand" (Mark 13:14) also gives a good indication that this was composed for reading, not the transcription of a speech.

    The presence of (among other things) editorial fatigue, the naming of specific eyewitnesses, and the so-called "hard readings," gives strong indication that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source.

    The above does not account for John, but John is widely counted--even among traditional sources--to be of late date.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
      From an FB post (though slightly altered):

      I think that the gospels are reliable sources. The main reason I think this is due to their authorships and dates:
      see
      https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew...nt-and-outline
      ...
      From the article on Matthew:

      "... The best option, in our view, is that Papias was referring to a sayings source which Matthew wrote. If so, then Matthew in all probability incorporated this source into his gospel, after rearranging it. ..."

      This is quite a leap. Sure, we have evidence Matthew wrote a sayings source in Aramaic. To claim that he "in all probability" therefore wrote a gospel, combining that with Mark, in Greek is pure supposition (I appreciate there is other evidence, but is is poor indeed).

      I suggest that the author had already decided Matthew was the author, and was merely seeking evidence to support his "conclusion".
      My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
        Sure, we have evidence Matthew wrote a sayings source in Aramaic. To claim that he "in all probability" therefore wrote a gospel, combining that with Mark, in Greek is pure supposition (I appreciate there is other evidence, but is is poor indeed).
        What other evidence in favor of Matthew being the author of the surviving gospel do you know of?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
          If you think that the Gospels are Late documents or not by the Apostles (or both), why do you think so? What are the arguments in favor of your position?
          All known texts are dated after the destruction of the temple, and not originally autographed by apostles. All references to the authorship of the gospels are later. They are related and edited documents, and not independent, except for John.
          Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-08-2014, 02:25 PM.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            All known texts are dated after the destruction of the temple, and not originally autographed by apostles. All references to the authorship of the gospels are later.
            That is the general majority scholarly conclusion, but without supporting the statement with arguments, the post becomes a simple argument by assertion. While I happen to agree with the assertion, more support is necessary to make the argument persuasive.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Outis View Post
              That is the general majority scholarly conclusion, but without supporting the statement with arguments, the post becomes a simple argument by assertion. While I happen to agree with the assertion, more support is necessary to make the argument persuasive.
              I was only introducing the argument. This has been covered numerous times in the old Tweb. The question was what are your reasons for considering the gospels as late, and I gave them. I will follow up with sources, but they will be the same academic sources cited before in the old Tweb.
              Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-08-2014, 03:29 PM.
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                I was only introducing the argument. This has been covered numerous times in the old Tweb. The question was what are your reasons for considering the gospels as late, and I gave them. I will follow up with sources.
                Evidently, it has not been covered persuasively. But I thank you for taking the time to amplify your statements as time allows.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Outis View Post
                  Two of the Gospels are traditionally by non-Apostles (Mark and Luke).

                  Mark is the testimony of St. Peter and Luke used eyewitnesses according to his own testimony (Luke 1)

                  Originally posted by Outis View Post
                  Mark was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem. The "Little Apocalypse" is itself a literary genre, not a genre of speech, from Greek literature. The phrase "Let the reader understand" (Mark 13:14) also gives a good indication that this was composed for reading, not the transcription of a speech.

                  I think that it is more related to Hebrew Literature (Perhaps Hellenistic Jews). Can you give a source for your claim? Thanks.

                  Originally posted by Outis View Post
                  The presence of (among other things) editorial fatigue, the naming of specific eyewitnesses, and the so-called "hard readings," gives strong indication that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source.

                  My own opinion is that Matthew wrote something in Aramaic [EDIT: I think it is either Aramaic or Hebrew but lean towards Hebrew] and then translated it into Greek. Mark used St Peter to compile his Gospel but St Peter depended on Matthew's account (St Peter in his two possible epistles [1 and 2 Peter] was clearly dependent on other sources.). I think that this covers the patristic fathers better than "Q"

                  Originally posted by Outis View Post
                  The above does not account for John, but John is widely counted--even among traditional sources--to be of late date.
                  I think that Wallace answered this under the section:
                  B. Date
                  Last edited by Quantum Weirdness; 02-09-2014, 12:33 PM.
                  -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                  Sir James Jeans

                  -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                  Sir Isaac Newton

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                    From the article on Matthew:

                    "... The best option, in our view, is that Papias was referring to a sayings source which Matthew wrote. If so, then Matthew in all probability incorporated this source into his gospel, after rearranging it. ..."

                    This is quite a leap. Sure, we have evidence Matthew wrote a sayings source in Aramaic. To claim that he "in all probability" therefore wrote a gospel, combining that with Mark, in Greek is pure supposition (I appreciate there is other evidence, but is is poor indeed).

                    Wallace does list other arguments though as to why he thinks that Matthew wrote the Gospel. What's poor about the other evidence?

                    Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                    I suggest that the author had already decided Matthew was the author, and was merely seeking evidence to support his "conclusion".
                    Well, I dunno about that.
                    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                    Sir James Jeans

                    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                    Sir Isaac Newton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                      All known texts are dated after the destruction of the temple, and not originally autographed by apostles. All references to the authorship of the gospels are later. They are related and edited documents, and not independent, except for John.
                      Yeah but they still are external evidence. This alone cannot be a good case for dating the Gospels late.
                      -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                      Sir James Jeans

                      -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                      Sir Isaac Newton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                        Mark is the testimony of St. Peter
                        That is the traditional assertion, however, the date of the Gospel of Mark (after the destruction of Jerusalem, therefore after the traditional date of death for Peter) makes that difficult. I am more than willing to accept that Mark wrote based from Peter's teachings, but such things as the Little Apocalypse itself indicate that he added to those teachings. (Of course, we should both disregard the "Long Ending" of Mark, widely accepted as being an interpolation.)

                        and Luke used eyewitnesses according to his own testimony (Luke 1)
                        Luke does not assert that he checked with the eyewitnesses, merely that what was handed down was handed down from them first. Luke's assertion that he "carefully investigated" is not unambiguous: "carefully investigated" can (and considering the date, most likely does) refer to checking with authoritative accounts, either oral or written. We have copious evidence that he used Mark as a source, and may have used either Matthew or the purported Q. (I should note that I am skeptical about the existence of Q.)

                        I think that it is more related to Hebrew Literature (Perhaps Hellenistic Jews). Can you give a source for your claim? Thanks.
                        I can agree with apocalyptic literature being a genre that originated amongst Hellenized Jews, rather than amongst the Greeks specifically. While there are several examples amongst Greek Christians, most of these are non-canonical, but they do borrow from the Judeo-Christian literary milieu, so your point is valid.

                        Apocalyptic literature differs from prophetic literature in several respects, the most significant being message. Prophetic literature deals with coming to God via repentance, or else dire consequences will ensue. Apocalyptic literature deals with standing fast in the face of troubles, said troubles frequently being expressed in metaphoric terms. Prophecy warns the audience to turn to God, apocalypse encourages the audience to remain faithful.

                        My own opinion is that Matthew wrote something in Aramaic and then translated it into Greek.
                        A common assertion, but completely unsupported, and flatly contradicted by Papias. What is worse, the current Gospel of Matthew that we have shows no sign of being translated from Aramaic or from Hebrew. More to the point, if Matthew was written by an eyewitness, why would an eyewitness copy so extensively from Mark, which was written by a non-eyewitness?

                        Mark used St Peter to compile his Gospel but St Peter depended on Matthew's account (St Peter in his two possible epistles [1 and 2 Peter] was clearly dependent on other sources.).
                        The presence of editorial fatigue (starting a passage with a paraphrase, but ending with an exact word-for-word copy) largely disputes the view that Matthew copied from Mark.

                        I think that Wallace answered this under the section:
                        B. Date
                        I am far more interested in hearing your thoughts. I can re-read the article at any time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          That is the traditional assertion, however, the date of the Gospel of Mark (after the destruction of Jerusalem, therefore after the traditional date of death for Peter) makes that difficult. I am more than willing to accept that Mark wrote based from Peter's teachings, but such things as the Little Apocalypse itself indicate that he added to those teachings. (Of course, we should both disregard the "Long Ending" of Mark, widely accepted as being an interpolation.)

                          How do we know that Mark is to be dated later than 70 C.E.? The best way to interpret the external evidence (in my opinion) is that Mark wrote down his Gospel while St Peter was alive (Per Papias) and published it (Per Irenaeus ) after St Peter's death.
                          [ In my opinion, the Olivet discourse is quite vague about what will happen and also just repeats OT prophecy typologically]. The thing neither vague nor repeating OT prophecy is the time frame (this generation) but even then, sometimes people make true predictions.

                          As for the temple prediction, I think Ben Ananias made a similar prediction about the city of Jerusalem before it happened.

                          And, as far as I know, the Church has always taught (after 70 C.E.) that Christ's return would be in the future and could happen any minute. This was more or less, the consensus for the Early Church fathers. What was the point in writing Gospels saying that "This generation will not pass until all has been fulfilled" after the generation had passed (the generation references the Jews who persecuted Christians who were more or less, dead by 71 C.E.). And I doubt it can be denied that that these Gospels were written during the lifetime of the Apostles Matt 16:28.

                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          Luke does not assert that he checked with the eyewitnesses, merely that what was handed down was handed down from them first. Luke's assertion that he "carefully investigated" is not unambiguous: "carefully investigated" can (and considering the date, most likely does) refer to checking with authoritative accounts, either oral or written. We have copious evidence that he used Mark as a source, and may have used either Matthew or the purported Q. (I should note that I am skeptical about the existence of Q.)
                          Luke is reporting what the eyewitnesses said and I doubt the date is late (1 Timothy quotes Luke and there is no reason to put that letter late
                          see https://bible.org/seriespage/1-timot...gument-outline).

                          See here. for a look on the idea that Luke (and Matthew) borrowed from Mark.

                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          I can agree with apocalyptic literature being a genre that originated amongst Hellenized Jews, rather than amongst the Greeks specifically. While there are several examples amongst Greek Christians, most of these are non-canonical, but they do borrow from the Judeo-Christian literary milieu, so your point is valid.

                          Apocalyptic literature differs from prophetic literature in several respects, the most significant being message. Prophetic literature deals with coming to God via repentance, or else dire consequences will ensue. Apocalyptic literature deals with standing fast in the face of troubles, said troubles frequently being expressed in metaphoric terms. Prophecy warns the audience to turn to God, apocalypse encourages the audience to remain faithful.

                          Nothing there I disagree with


                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          A common assertion, but completely unsupported, and flatly contradicted by Papias.

                          How?

                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          What is worse, the current Gospel of Matthew that we have shows no sign of being translated from Aramaic or from Hebrew.

                          That is not necessarily true (see http://www.scribd.com/doc/62926694/G...-George-Howard between pages 194-201). The puns alliterations etc don't seem to be made up. I would also add that Matt 2:23 makes more sense in Hebrew than Greek (same with Matt 1:21). Given the external evidence, I think that it is safe to think that Matthew was originally Hebrew. Even if it was true, Quote " Blomberg points out, "Jewish authors like Josephus, writing in Greek while at times translating Hebrew materials, often leave no linguistic clues to betray their Semitic sources."
                          http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/mattdef.php
                          I do disagree with JPH that the Greek gospel was one from "scratch" but this point is still relevant.

                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          More to the point, if Matthew was written by an eyewitness, why would an eyewitness copy so extensively from Mark, which was written by a non-eyewitness?

                          I don't think Matt copied from Mark (I disagree with Wallace here)

                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          The presence of editorial fatigue (starting a passage with a paraphrase, but ending with an exact word-for-word copy) largely disputes the view that Matthew copied from Mark.
                          Umm ok I agree?

                          Originally posted by Outis View Post
                          I am far more interested in hearing your thoughts. I can re-read the article at any time.
                          Personally, I find the arguments suited better to a 60's date. I don't think anybody has been able to respond to Wallace about John 5:2 and the date of the Gospel of John. The other arguments are ok for the 60's date though. Non-Johannine theories about the Gospel of John don't work all that well in my view.
                          -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                          Sir James Jeans

                          -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                          Sir Isaac Newton

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                            How do we know that Mark is to be dated later than 70 C.E.?
                            For exactly the same reason we know that Daniel 11 was written between 167 bce and 163 bce--because the "prophecies" (actually, another example of apocalyptic literature) are only accurate for the events that have already occurred. In Daniel 11, the author accurately writes about the desecration, but completely fumbles the end of Antiochus' reign and his death. In Mark, the author accurately discusses the "abomination that causes desolation," but the predicted return where Jesus is seen in the clouds and gathers his elect does not occur.

                            (And yes, I am quite aware of the historicist, preterist, and futurist interpretations of the passages. As you can see, I do not accept any of those interpretations.)

                            As for the temple prediction, I think Ben Ananias made a similar prediction about the city of Jerusalem before it happened.
                            I am aware of Josephus' discussion regarding Jesus Ben Ananias. I am also aware that Josephus' math is a little funky, as Josephus has him starting his prophecy four years before the war started, yet says he continued "seven years and five months," which means he died some three years after Jerusalem fell, yet purportedly Ben Ananias died in the siege. Ah well. I should note that I find Josephus to be illustrative, but do not accept him as a "perfect" source (as I doubt that you do).

                            And, as far as I know, the Church has always taught (after 70 C.E.) that Christ's return would be in the future and could happen any minute.
                            They taught that from the very beginning, as the writings of Paul in 1 Thes. clearly demonstrate. It was not until after the fall of Jerusalem, when Jesus did not come back on the expected time schedule, that they started back-pedaling on the assertion--as the writings in the pseudo-Pauline 2 Thes. demonstrate.

                            And I doubt it can be denied that that these Gospels were written during the lifetime of the Apostles Matt 16:28.
                            Quantum, you accept the Gospels as true, and that is foundational to your worldview. I do not, and thus have no problem accepting that as a broken prophecy (more likely as a later claim made by the author of Matthew, not words that Jesus said). Either way, I cannot base my evaluations on your assumptions. That simply will not work.

                            Luke is reporting what the eyewitnesses
                            Luke is reporting what he learned in his investigation. Whether or not he spoke with an eyewitness is not something he claims. (And 1 Timothy is pseudonymous.)

                            How?
                            Papias does not say that Matthew translated the text, but that "everybody translated/interpreted it the best they could."

                            Anyway, I'm headed off to bed fairly shortly. I can finish my reply later, if you wish.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              For exactly the same reason we know that Daniel 11 was written between 167 bce and 163 bce--because the "prophecies" (actually, another example of apocalyptic literature) are only accurate for the events that have already occurred. In Daniel 11, the author accurately writes about the desecration, but completely fumbles the end of Antiochus' reign and his death.
                              All of this is debatable but I'll not debate it here.

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              In Mark, the author accurately discusses the "abomination that causes desolation," but the predicted return where Jesus is seen in the clouds and gathers his elect does not occur.
                              Which was supposed to happen during "this generation". Why would Mark preserve something like this after 70 C.E. if it was clearly false? At the very least, maybe Mark could've written the language a different way so as to noyt imply imminence.

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              (And yes, I am quite aware of the historicist, preterist, and futurist interpretations of the passages. As you can see, I do not accept any of those interpretations.)
                              Great

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              I am aware of Josephus' discussion regarding Jesus Ben Ananias. I am also aware that Josephus' math is a little funky, as Josephus has him starting his prophecy four years before the war started, yet says he continued "seven years and five months," which means he died some three years after Jerusalem fell, yet purportedly Ben Ananias died in the siege. Ah well. I should note that I find Josephus to be illustrative, but do not accept him as a "perfect" source (as I doubt that you do).
                              You sure this isn't evidence of textual corruption?

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              They taught that from the very beginning, as the writings of Paul in 1 Thes. clearly demonstrate. It was not until after the fall of Jerusalem, when Jesus did not come back on the expected time schedule, that they started back-pedaling on the assertion--as the writings in the pseudo-Pauline 2 Thes. demonstrate.
                              Great.
                              2nd Thessalonians isn't exactly pseudo-Pauline

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              Quantum, you accept the Gospels as true, and that is foundational to your worldview. I do not, and thus have no problem accepting that as a broken prophecy (more likely as a later claim made by the author of Matthew, not words that Jesus said). Either way, I cannot base my evaluations on your assumptions. That simply will not work.
                              The question is:
                              Why would anybody preserve this information after the generation had gone (and the apostles had died) in this format? Why not make it not so imminent?

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              Luke is reporting what he learned in his investigation. Whether or not he spoke with an eyewitness is not something he claims. (And 1 Timothy is pseudonymous.)

                              The traditions Luke learned were handed down by eyewitnesses to him. So its clear that he got his information from eyewitnesses.
                              Did you even check my link on 1 Timothy?

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              Papias does not say that Matthew translated the text, but that "everybody translated/interpreted it the best they could."
                              That seems to be an argument from silence. The fact that Papias doesn't mention Matthew translating the text doesn't mean that he didn't.

                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              Anyway, I'm headed off to bed fairly shortly. I can finish my reply later, if you wish.
                              Ok go ahead.
                              -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                              Sir James Jeans

                              -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                              Sir Isaac Newton

                              Comment

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