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Outis and Quantum Weirdness discuss the authorship and composition of the Gospels

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  • Outis and Quantum Weirdness discuss the authorship and composition of the Gospels

    TWeb evidently does not have any sub-fora dedicated to solo discussions, so I will ask that the following rules be STRICTLY adhered to.

    1. Anyone is welcome to post. However, NO personal insults, either to those present in the thread or to others not participating.
    2. Read and evaluate the evidence before offering counter-arguments. (That applies to me, too, because I don't always do that.)
    3. If something comes up that anyone doesn't understand, ASK.

    Simple enough?

  • #2
    What I propose to do is to look at the Gospels using the same rules and techniques I would use for any other document of that time (or of other times). Because I am agnostic, however, there are certain things I cannot take on faith. I cannot take inspiration on faith. I have at least some difficulty taking the miracle accounts on faith. And I cannot take prophecy on faith.

    Those deficits in my worldview are, largely, antithetical to conservative Christian thought, therefore I want to make clear that I am not trying to "persuade" anyone to accept my analysis or conclusions to replace their own views or beliefs. Instead, this thread is intended to show how mainstream scholarship has arrived at the conclusions it has arrived at.

    I'm actually going to have to leave things with this post tonight, and I'm going to go slow (mainly due to my physical limitations).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Outis View Post
      TWeb evidently does not have any sub-fora dedicated to solo discussions,
      The Old TWeb used to have sub-fora dedicated to solo/group discussions,as well as sub-fora for debates. You might want to ask a Mod if those sections are coming back.
      "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
      -Unknown

      "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


      I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I support the :
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Irate Canadian View Post
        The Old TWeb used to have sub-fora dedicated to solo/group discussions,as well as sub-fora for debates. You might want to ask a Mod if those sections are coming back.
        Yes eventually. but low on the food chain right now. now back to Outis' topic
        "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
        -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

        Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
        1 Corinthians 16:13

        "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
        -Ben Witherington III

        Comment


        • #5
          I suppose we can start tomorrow (or later today, as in my case) lol

          I'll start about 2:00-3:00p.m. tomorrow
          -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


          • #6
            Thanks, Irate Canadian and Raphael. Yes, if those fora had been set up, I'd have started there, but it's all good. I'm content with working here.

            And thanks, QW, for bearing with my limitations. I'll try to have my first post up tomorrow by noon Eastern time, and we'll work from there.

            Comment


            • #7
              In any discussion of literature, one of the first things to discuss is genre. And as we will discover with many other areas, when it comes to the Gospels, simple questions can have complex, nuanced answers.

              If the genre of the gospels had to be reduced to two words, those words are "biography" and "history." Now, genre cannot be separated from intention. In the case of intention, things get more complex. We can see at least four purposes for the Gospels, and each Gospel has its stronger and weaker areas:
              * Biography: Telling about the life of Jesus
              * History: Telling about specific deeds or events in the context of a period of time
              * Theology: Transmitting theological teachings (this can include making theological assertions to rebut or counter specific claims made by other groups)
              * Religious didacticism: teaching in general (this can include moral teaching, and general religious teaching)

              Those will sound redundant to some degree: they are not, though there is some overlap. Biography tells you about the life of a person. History tells you about the context in which that life was lived. In many respects, "biography" and "history" are the medium: "theology" and "religious teaching" are the intention.

              We must also realize that "biography" and "history" mean different things to us than they did to people at that time. We have other examples of biography and history written at that time, and in these other examples we see elements that would be utterly rejected in modern historiography. We see speeches that never occurred, events that were invented by the authors, and anachronistic elements that are intended to illustrate the intent, rather than to record "just the facts." I'll show some examples from other texts if you like, but that's going to be a slow process.

              So we have to be on the lookout for these types of added elements in the Gospels. And it must be realized that added, non-historical elements in the Gospels does not mean the Gospels are "false"--it simply means that, in many respects, the Gospels are, indeed, comparable to other documents of the time and culture from which these documents originated, and that they must be judged by the same standards, using the same tools.

              Fair enough? Any questions?

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok so we can start by talking about the genres of the gospels.
                No Problem.
                -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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Outis View Post
                  TWeb evidently does not have any sub-fora dedicated to solo discussions, so I will ask that the following rules be STRICTLY adhered to.

                  1. Anyone is welcome to post. However, NO personal insults, either to those present in the thread or to others not participating.
                  2. Read and evaluate the evidence before offering counter-arguments. (That applies to me, too, because I don't always do that.)
                  3. If something comes up that anyone doesn't understand, ASK.

                  Simple enough?
                  Simply personal insults are actually not absolutely prohibited. Seer insults me all the time. Abusive trollish behavior probably would bring the hammer down,
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                    Simply personal insults are actually not absolutely prohibited. Seer insults me all the time. Abusive trollish behavior probably would bring the hammer down,
                    I am not asking that they be prohibited. I am asking that they be refrained from by all participants.

                    I also note, with dismay, that I should have included a request that accusations of other people (even if true) be refrained from. I request that if you wish to discuss Seer's behavior, you do so in another thread.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, let's discuss the distinction between history and biography in Hellenized Jewish and Greco-Roman culture (two cultures that, while separate in some respects, had a tremendous amount of overlap).

                      We have several examples of history writing in this combined culture. From Philo and Josephus, to Herodotus and Xenophon, to the many Roman historiographers from Q. Fabius Pictor to Cato the Elder to Julius Caesar to Tacitus and Suetonius, we have a wide corpus of documents to compare to. Ancient histories concentrated on the examinaton and analysis of political and military affairs, to the exclusion of other topics. There was no such thing as a generalized history, and social and economic history is only briefly and tangentially examined in reference to politics and military action.

                      Modern biography is the writing of the life of a person in the historical context, and most biography is seen as a subset of history. Ancient biographies, on the other hand, made a distinction between the two, with people like Plutarch saying "I am not writing histories, but rather lives." Now, it must be noted that history frequently included elements of biography, and in turn biography included elements of history, but for the most part the corpus of Jewish, Greek, and Roman writings tended to keep the two elements distinct. Each had their own purpose, and those purposes were segregated as much as practical.

                      Any questions?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok
                        Originally posted by Outis View Post
                        First, let's discuss the distinction between history and biography in Hellenized Jewish and Greco-Roman culture (two cultures that, while separate in some respects, had a tremendous amount of overlap).

                        Like what kind of overlap? I'm not disagreeing with you here but I just want to know what kinds of overlap.

                        We have several examples of history writing in this combined culture. From Philo and Josephus, to Herodotus and Xenophon, to the many Roman historiographers from Q. Fabius Pictor to Cato the Elder to Julius Caesar to Tacitus and Suetonius, we have a wide corpus of documents to compare to. Ancient histories concentrated on the examinaton and analysis of political and military affairs, to the exclusion of other topics. There was no such thing as a generalized history, and social and economic history is only briefly and tangentially examined in reference to politics and military action.
                        Ok so ancient History focused more on political and military affairs.

                        Modern biography is the writing of the life of a person in the historical context, and most biography is seen as a subset of history. Ancient biographies, on the other hand, made a distinction between the two, with people like Plutarch saying "I am not writing histories, but rather lives." Now, it must be noted that history frequently included elements of biography, and in turn biography included elements of history, but for the most part the corpus of Jewish, Greek, and Roman writings tended to keep the two elements distinct. Each had their own purpose, and those purposes were segregated as much as practical.
                        As for history and biography being separated, the distinction between them is that one focuses more on events regarding politics and the military while the other focus on a person? (I just want to make sure I am understanding you properly before I misrepresent you)

                        Any questions?
                        See above
                        -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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                          Like what kind of overlap? I'm not disagreeing with you here but I just want to know what kinds of overlap.
                          An exhaustive list would require a book, and you may already feel I've written one my the time this thread is finished.

                          The biggest applicable area here is the similarities in their literary work: the Jews were living in a Greco-Roman world, and thus they used Greco-Roman literary genres and conventions when writing, especially if their audience included (or primarily consisted of) Gentiles. We can see the similarities in comparing the works of Josephus and Philo to the writings of the Greeks and Romans.

                          As for history and biography being separated, the distinction between them is that one focuses more on events regarding politics and the military while the other focus on a person? (I just want to make sure I am understanding you properly before I misrepresent you)
                          Yup! When I'm up to writing a longer passage, the next post will delve into the characteristics of ancient biographies, or bioi.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Outis View Post
                            An exhaustive list would require a book, and you may already feel I've written one my the time this thread is finished.

                            The biggest applicable area here is the similarities in their literary work: the Jews were living in a Greco-Roman world, and thus they used Greco-Roman literary genres and conventions when writing, especially if their audience included (or primarily consisted of) Gentiles. We can see the similarities in comparing the works of Josephus and Philo to the writings of the Greeks and Romans.


                            Ok thanks this makes sense



                            Yup! When I'm up to writing a longer passage, the next post will delve into the characteristics of ancient biographies, or bioi
                            .

                            Whenever you are ready.
                            -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


                            • #15
                              Haven't updated this lately, and I do apologize. Unfortunately, probably not going to happen today (more than a little under the weather). But I'll get back to this as soon as I can.

                              Comment

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