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the gospels are 4 crossreferencing historical artifacts that say the same thing!
"49 When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him."
This makes perfect sense in the perspective of Two Source Hypothesis and Markan Priority.
Imagine yourself as a 1st century Christian, 400 years before the biblical 'canon' was collected and the New Testament was formed. The Markan Gospel and any oral traditions sourcing it have reached your ears. This looks horrible: One of Jesus's disciples, the 'rock' of the Church none the less, has struck half-deafened the high priest's slave to defend Jesus? Isn't this new fangled religion supposed to be about peace and love and martyrship? Especially since the Gospels were almost definitely written after Paul wrote Romans, instructing the Christians to submit themselves peacefully to the Roman authorities? (Incase you didn't know, almost all biblical scholars, secular and nonsecular, agree the Gospels were written AFTER most or all of the Pauline epistles, even though chronologically the Gospels took place beforehand. As far as oral traditions sourcing the Gospels, not so much, but that's a different debate (and one I am more than happy to take the liberal position on, if anybody's interested).).
So, with all of this in mind, what is the best way to interpret the additions to the story Matthew and Luke have made?
Matthew's bit seems to be in line with one of Matthew's motif. Matthew collectively is best interpreted as a biography of Jesus that uses Jewish Messianic traditions to establish a higher Christology of Jesus. Everything is always 'to fulfill the Scripture'.
Now, examining Matthew's addition, he immediately makes a murky reference to the role of the Messiah, by referencing that Jesus could call upon the angels of God as his army. He then makes the black and white reference that this fulfills Scripture. It's existence as a addition to the story rather than extra information known only to Matthew seems clear to me; it punchesmassive holes in Markan authorship, completely destroying the "Embarrassed Peter" theory apologists came up with.
Moving on to Luke, we see even a more baked in the oven story. Luke says that Jesus just picked up the ear and put it right back on the soldier! Wowzers!
Alright, so as most everyone agrees (Even William Lane Craig, for crying out loud), Luke has a passion theme; Luke shows a passionate, super loving Jesus. Parts in Mark where Jesus is depicted as angry, Luke describes him as calm and happy. Where the Markan Jesus scolds, Luke's simply lectures and lets bygones be bygones.
But Luke obviously didn't proofread his addition. Afterall, apparently the disciples asked Jesus permission to strike with the sword, then went ahead and did it without a reply.
He did catch one thing though. He has Jesus touch the ear of the slave and healed him. But to do that he can't have Jesus in custody yet. So, he delays the actual arrest until after Jesus gave his little "Have you come out with swords and clubs" speech. Yet in both Matthew and Mark, Jesus gave that speech after "they laid hands on him and arrested him". Luke wasn't completely oblivious, afterall, but I suppose he never imagine people might be reading both his material AND his source's, when you think about the Greco-Roman culture and context, where he had no reason to think both traditions would be preserved. So his edit got caught red handed.
The dissimilarity criterion is satisfied entirely, this explanation makes the least amount of assumptions with the data than any other explanation. I believe not only is a "This miracle definitely did not happen" position viable, but that it is the only position to take in regards to this miracle, no naturalism presuppositions necessary.
Other stories just as self-evident include the story of the Leper, which has the exact same syntax and nearly the same diction in all 3 passages. But an interesting particularity is the emotional adjective describing Jesus. It is absent in Luke/Matt. But in Mark some of our manuscripts say "Origithesis" (Angry/Indignant) while others say "Splangithesis" (compassion/love). Well, it makes no sense for a scribe to change from love to angry, or for a scribe to omit the love adjective. the reversal, that, origithesis, is a single premise that explains all of it, not only fitting in with other instances of Jesus being angry in Mark but also fitting the dissimilarity criterion in all directions and its removal fitting Luke's 'passion' Jesus. You can see the same exact problem arise once more when Jesus rebukes the close mindedness of the group in Mark 10. this passage has similar verbiage and even more similar syntax in all 3 Synoptic Gospels, but only in Mark is Jesus angry with the disciples over it.
take Luke 6:10. the entirety of this chapter has the same syntax and very identical verbiage to Mark's relaying of the passage. In 6:10, it is the same freaking sentence as Mark 3:5 except the part with Jesus being displeased is removed.
The problems with this passage should be obvious to anyone with even a casual knowledge of Josephus.... He was thoroughly and ineluctably Jewish and certainly never converted to be a follower of Jesus. But this passage contains comments that only a Christian would make: that Jesus was more than a man, that he was the messiah, and that he arose from the dead in fulfillment of the scriptures. In the judgment of most scholars, there is simply no way Josephus the Jew would or could have written such things. So how did these comments get into his writings?
I understand that the topic has been derailed already, but I still think it's appropriate to respond to this.
That is a reference to ONE passage in Josephus's writing that some scholars do not believe to be authentic. There is minimal dispute on the other two references to Jesus in Josephus's work.
There's also reference to Jesus by the Roman historian Tacitus, who, as an ardent follower of the Roman religion, could not have been less sympathetic to the Christian cause.
There are some others in the Talmud, apparently, but I haven't looked into those at all.
TL;DR version - pretty much no historian or religious scholar of any faith background gives any weight whatsoever to the idea that Jesus did not exist in some way.
Not changing this sig until the Knicks win the NBA Championship! Started...4/23/2011? Or was it 2010?
Except that it is no controversy that the person of Jesus Christ was a heretic to the Jews then living in Jerusalem,
This doesn't answer the question "How does NT referencing OT establish biblical consistency?" I had posed.
But in re: John pre-70 AD
John probably was started pre-70 AD, but it didn't reach complete form until around 100 AD based on the Jesus's descriptions of his divinity within. That whomever finished writing it didn't change the verb tense in places does not infer the entirety was completed before 70 AD. Later writers could easily have placed more recent events and made ties showing destiny "fulfilled." Honestly, naming someone as your successor to carry on a new faith all but guarantees that life is next on the chopping block. It happens to be crucifixion because, you know, Rome.
Every once in a while I realize the human race may be worth saving. Of course, then I come back here, but still, those are good moments. -Readyman
Bump, for continuity's sake.
So, for time's sake just a snippet.
This is why I said that it is important that no book in the authorized Bible are separated from one another, otherwise these details won't be established with any certainty.
2Timothy 4:11 "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry."
That cites the two evangelists, and this single and simple verse is very important because it establishes that all the Disciples had direct communication with one another*, and so it confirms what Luke himself writes in 1:3 "It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,"
Paul knew Luke and Mark in the flesh. Who else? Acts 1:13&14
"And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."
We know that John the disciple, Jesus' loved, was the author of the gospel of John, and also the same one that wrote the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, because of the peculiar way John has of signifying himself:
John 21:24 "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true."
Rev. 22: 8&20 "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things." - "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
*Of key importance particularly, because it debunks that ANY of the 4 gospels were written by Johnny-come-latelies that either lived after the Disciples' time, or had no direct contact with the main group of 12 Disciples, or that they got it from a secondary and distant source such as in Alexandria.
(A lot I have to cover and with regard to giving proper attention to all that you and Jon have already addressed, respectfully.)
And I will continue to argue my point to you, that God, which is the ultimate author of any of the 4 gospels, binding all 4 gospels to be read as a unit, did not make it a priority to cover certain points that were already covered elsewhere, except to establish doctrine where necessary.
Am I just making this up? Or does God take priority?
John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease." This part, which is something said by John the Baptist, concerning Jesus, John is stating that though some would have liked to elevate John's status further, that was not God's will, instead, John fulfilled his part, and instead the focus was to be now put wholly on Jesus Christ.
This same thing, concerning priority, is what God does throughout the Bible, but in this case here, in relation to the 4 evangelists, he set some to cover some sides specifically, while leaving others out.
God's method to establish any matter, is to have 2 or 3 witnesses, as the Old Testament testifies:
Deut. 19:15 "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."
And which the New Testament affirms - 2Cor. 13:1 "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
God purposefully divided the Gospel into 4 parts, so that there would be a surplus of witnesses (4). In the Old Testament, likewise, this is what God intends, which is why information covered in 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles & 2 Chronicles coincide with each other, yet they individually have exclusive information, but even in the book of Kings, we see God re-affirms his word elsewhere in the Bible, such as in 2Kings 19, which is the same testimony found in Isaiah chapter 37.
Some things God mentions again, to show a pattern, that his word can be trusted, according to what I mentioned in one of my previous posts, that once the reliability of one witness is confirmed, it need not be put in question what they affirm about "minor" details.
Psalms 62:11 "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God."
Again, am I making it up? Or does the Word of God confirm the same?
Sirach 32:7-8 "Speak, young man, if there be need of thee: and yet scarcely when thou art twice asked.
Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words; be as one that knoweth and yet holdeth his tongue."
Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."
So, some things he conceals, some things he declares, which is what makes scholars insane when they try to find out about Jesus' supposed "hidden years" and why they were not covered anywhere in the gospels or in the rest of the New Testament.
So as per what I just wrote about, God didn't set the importance on Matthew, just like he didn't on John the Baptist, he set it on Jesus Christ.
And again, concerning this point, and the same that I keep affirming that God is the one who published the same words in the 4 gospels, the text keeps with having this commonality, while still having their own uniqueness, just as mentioned previously each living creature had four faces.
Here is such a sample of what you describe -
And we know that Angel of the Lord was the one that dictated the words for each evangelist, and likewise to Paul, but what, am I also making this up?
No -> Rev. 1:1 "...and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:"
Acts 27:23-24 "For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee."
Acts 8:26 "And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert."
Luke: My main argument on this is that I think Acts contradicts Paul on a lot of theological and historical issues and so probably wasn't written by a companion of Paul. If I expand on this it will most likely become a separate debate in itself and add several posts per response for each of us, would you agree to saving this bit until we come to an agreement/impasse later on?
If you so wish, I even referred to previously that christians and non-christians alike see contentions with doctrine in regards to the gospels and Paul, which I would insist is not the case.
John: The logos theology in 1:1 is clearly an advancement of the early Church's thoughts on Philo's logos, giving it a later date. Your Jerusalem prooftext is rather naive because any text based on oral tradition is likely to have little historical timestamps like that.
Jesus Christ being the Word of God was not any new christian concoction, it is the same thing declared since the time of Solomon himself. and his father David in the Old Testament:
Prov. 30:4 "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?"
Wisdom 18:17 "Thine Almighty word leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war into the midst of a land of destruction,"
Pss. 33:6 "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth."
So what's the answer to the question being asked in Proverbs? (As I keep saying, no book in the Bible can be divorced from the other) What is his name? The same John we're talking about gives the answer.
Rev. 19:13 "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."
John being written later removed all of this. It also contradicts the whole "only an adulterous generation would ask for a sign" thing.
Not quite, in John 8:24 Jesus says to that generation - "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
They did indeed die in their sins under Titus, and they received the same scourge that the Israelites who witnessed everything that went down in Egypt did, that generation did not enter into the promised land.
Christ's crucifixion was the signal sent out to all nations that end had come, the end of what, though? That is what the entire book of Revelation deals with, in a mystery, but it is under a veil to those who do not take the whole Bible as one unit.
In Hebrews 9:26, we read "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
The moment Christ died on the cross, the judgment began on the world, am I making it up?
John 12:31-33 "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die."
This is the purpose why Christ first came to begin with, 1Cor. 10:11 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
The Book of Revelation is a chronology of how the Judgment of God began with Christ's death, and how it is STILL being carried out, but... am I making it up?
1Peter 4:17 "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
Rev. 14:7 "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
And Revelation indicates the period of time - Rev. 11:2 "...and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." Rev. 12:14 "...for a time, and times, and half a time,..." Rev. 11:9 "...three days and an half,..." which is the same language used in Daniel, (and I'm running out of space in this post to cover it all) where months, and days, and years are of equal measure but signified in another form other than what they are.
But again, according to the time of judgment God first declared in the Old Testament -
Jer. 23:5 "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth."
Jer. 48:47 "Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab."
Ezek. 39:21-22 "And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward."
You have to go into the Bible to know what it is talking about, you can't be as Satan (as he does in Matthew) that wants to narrow the Word of God into either one book, one verse, or one subject.
The historical record knows when Claudius reigned, and Acts says about that time - "And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."
So Acts, at least, had to follow Claudius' reign since it once again speaks in the past tense, so according to common dating, this has to be after 54AD, and scholars are of the same agreement that it had to be written before the destruction of Jerusalem since Acts would have at the very least allured to it if it had already taken place.
Your assumption that Mark was only some years prior to Jerusalem's destruction, and thus not being an act of clairvoyance to predict it coming up ahead, is neither here nor there to argue for anything, since by that standard Isaiah's warnings in his own time would have been seen as dismissive just immediately after, since Jerusalem was already a target by Babylon.
This is not sound reasoning, just a few weeks ago some news commentator could have already said that the US would be in War with Syria come October 1st, because the events weeks ago seemed like there was no resolution for peace, and if someone were to come out and "predict" war, that would be seen as obvious to anyone on October 2nd? That would be putting a lot of stock into self-confidence to those Jews who took such a gamble. Things can not be so certain, even if they look inevitable.
Also, John almost definitely had a second forged end. John 20 ends rather conclusively "
This is still in keeping up with the format of the Old Testament, whereas Genesis Chapter 10 mentions how the nations were divided, and according to their tongue, but Chapter 11 reintroduces how the world still had one language, and how the people's tongues were divided. That is allowed, that is permissible within Biblical writing, there's no taboo about altogether leaving a subject once it's covered at the zenith of its narrative or dialogue, and then coming back to add something further.
It's this same simplicity in argument where modern geniuses attribute the cliched "2 separate creation accounts = contradictory accounts in Genesis" and from which they go on to make many an-intelligence-insulting topic, because they have a mental block accepting that something can be first stated, and then revisited, and not to insult you bringing it up, but rather this is the error that most critiques fall into, of simply creating barriers in a writing or by an author, that they never restricted themselves to.
Well, this sounds like Thomas Jefferson's old beef with the gospels that fanciful feats were added to an otherwise down-to-earth collection of moral sayings by Jesus that sought to give an otherwise normal human being, god-like qualities, by intoxicated fans.
All 4 gospels are uniform in how they address angels, so none of them were written by Sadducees, as Acts describes "For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both."
So it wouldn't make sense for one gospel writer to be timid about including an embarrassing detail that clashed with their beliefs, and thus leaving it out, but then to go on to acknowledge the same heavenly host as being active in other things. I repeat, the 4 gospels confirm and establish one another, not all of them have to mention the same details, because it is already expected of the intended audience to take all 4 gospels as a unit, and not that any of them should stand alone.
Herod is not mentioned by name anywhere in the gospel of John, how then can one know what the name of the tetrarch was? They can't from John's gospel alone, they need the others to find out.
Matthew nor Mark establish that Herod's brother Philip was tetrarch of Ituraea, that exclusive detail is found only in Luke. God wants people to search the Scriptures, that's how these details that come in handy later, are found.
Otherwise, one better have a real good and consistent explanation of how the synoptic gospels drop in these exclusive details in one place, but not the other, and the conspiracies will need ever new conspiracies to explain the rest; what, they did so because adding them gave the text more credibility? Someone pointed out it wasn't elsewhere and so they added it later? They made it up or thought it added an extra needed punch or kick to it?
It ends up with endless absurdities, just as I say about the critics who can't make up their minds year by year if Christ wasn't crucified, but he was giving a sleeping sauce, and then woke up later, or if he did die, but maybe he had a secret twin, or maybe he ran away and escaped before he was crucified (the Simon the Cyrenian excuse) and then showed up to his Disciples as if he was killed, or maybe he never existed, but perhaps he did but he was a magician who used tricks like Hercule, or he died but his followers buried the body, ad-infinitum.
The gospels as a whole are rather short, but they cover so much information in them, that no scholar, thinking to be an expert, can ever bring all the minute details together under one observational study, because they neither know what to look for, nor suspect that the information is there.