Rabbi Tovia Singer Illustrates that the Gospels Were Not Written by the Apostles or Eyewitnesses

A good summary of some of the reasons scholars do not think the gospels were written by apostles



Categories: Bible, Christianity

36 replies

  1. ehrmans chain of narration :

    The sequence goes like this Jesus (the figure in question) → apostles → elders → companions of the elders → Papias → us. When we listen to Papias, we do not have access directly to Jesus or his apostles. We’re getting it fifth-hand.

    he says,

    “Papias then heard what he heard, he was an earwitness to the earwitnesses of the earwitnesses of the earwitnesses to Jesus.”

    how is anything verifiable?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Heathcliff
    You guys are so silly how on earth did your oral tradition come down? Didnt it come down by someone speaking and another listening…an ear witness.

    Your hadith…didnt Bukhari compile what people heard the prophet say and they told others…they all ear witnesses.

    Stop trying act clever lots of hadith sayings turned out to be nonsense which is why they were not included.

    You guys have a chain of narration too dont you?

    Authenticated by lots of ear witnesses.

    Like

    • quote:
      Your hadith…didnt Bukhari compile what people heard the prophet say and they told others…they all ear witnesses.

      you never addressed the problem ehrman presented

      how did papias know what actually went back to an apostle or jesus?

      what verification method did he adopt?

      what are the methods of receiving the reports?

      did the ear witness directly hear or was it written and transmitted?

      how trustworthy were the companions of the elders?

      did the people in the chain meet each other ? were they contemporaries of one another?
      did direct hearing take place between the teacher and disciple?

      can you tell us what methods papias employ to verify what the COMPANIONS of the elders said ?

      note that you did not address anything ehrman said.

      Like

    • “Stop trying act clever lots of hadith sayings turned out to be nonsense which is why they were not included.”

      what sciences were employed to fish out the fabrications ? what would happen if such sciences are employed on your bible and papias?
      can you tell me what is saheeh , hasan and da3eef in the claims of papias?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thats an islamic invention nobody needs to bow to the islamic inventions of sciences verifying the hadiths.

      You were so clever in quoting Erhman why didnt you ask him what the christian procedure is

      Like

    • Even with a method for grading reliability individual and chains (isnād) of narrators, they don’t have anything like the Qur’ān to use as a criterion (furqān) for text (matn) criticism

      Liked by 2 people

    • abu talha

      are you saying that even if the chains are strong, the story could still be made and they don’t have anything to check the matn ?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bukhari was born in 810 according to Wikipedia, nearly 200 years after Mohammed lived. That’s plenty of time to play with the text. You could say the islamic texts evolved over a 200 year timespan during which they were redacted to produce a uniform text. Nobody can prove otherwise. Hearsay is inadmissible evidence in a court of law. That’s if Uthman didn’t speed things up.

    Like

    • The Hadiths of Sahih Bukhari are remarkably confirmed by early collections. Sahifa of Hammam which was a collection directly from eyewitness Abu Hurairah. Musannaf of Abdurrazak As-sananiy which was a collection of thousands of Hadiths from first century testimonies. Muwatta of Imam Malik which was in most instances a collection direct from earwitnesses such as Imam Nafi’u from eyewitnesses such as Abdullah bn Umar.

      And, this thread is not about Hadiths but about the fact that the New Testament Gospels are far from being eyewitnesses’ testimonies as Rabbi Tovia Singer pointed out in the video.

      This fact refutes the claim of Christianity about these Gospels.

      So, you people should focus on this fact, not just twist to attacking hadiths instead!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Aliyu.
      My comment was in response to Heathcliff talking Papias being a “ear witness” which when compared to those collecting the Hadiths is talking nonsense because the hadiths are collection of what people HEARD.

      His point was that because someone heard something compared to seeing something that makes what they say less reliable.

      Muhammad was an eye witness of nothing in the first century he is an obvious “ear witness” to the gospel message.

      Trying to prove the gospels false and unreliable does make the koran true.

      It claims a gospel given to Jesus but where is the evidence of that you people follow your prophet in trying to change history.

      It claims Muhammad is in the torah and gospel and yet it cannot quote a text to prove that point.

      Do you have any 1st century documents that say Jesus didnt die on the cross?

      In fact do you have anything Hadith that says Jesus didnt die on the cross?

      Its funny how Heathcliff and many other Muslims run to Erhman and the Jewish rabbis thats quite funny

      You run to people that would never agree with you to help you prove your points.

      Like

    • “Do you have any 1st century documents that say Jesus didnt die on the cross?”

      what is your thought on these articles which try to destroy william lane craigs beliefs about dying jesus?

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2015/11/20/response-to-william-lane-craig-index/

      this guy is arguing that you cannot use the gospels to prove that jesus DIED

      after reading the evidences christians started to doubt too

      Like

  4. Hi Heathcliff
    You said this…
    how did papias know what actually went back to an apostle or jesus?

    Yet i ask you how do you know that what Papias said was not true in regards to what the apostles of Jesus said.

    You have to believe what Erhman says because it suits your position and saves your book.

    Like

    • quote:
      how did papias know what actually went back to an apostle or jesus?

      Yet i ask you how do you know that what Papias said was not true in regards to what the apostles of Jesus said.
      end quote

      i don’t need to give you an answer on this because you have probably been answered on this more than a 1000 times

      i’ll just quote :

      Papias said that Judas died because he got so fat he exploded. Do you accept that as reliable? Eusebius called Papias a “man of little intellect.”

      Papias claimed that Jesus himself said the following. Do you believe Jesus really said this?
      “The days will come in which vines shall grow, having each ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in every one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five-and-twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, ‘I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me.’ In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man.”

      quote:

      Irenaeus, around the year 180 CE, claimed that Papias was a companion of the disciple of Jesus, John the Son of Zebedee. But Eusebius, who actually read Papias’s book, claims that this is incorrect. Based on what Papias himself said, Eusebius points out that Papias was not a follower of any of the apostles. He got his information from others. In other words, Irenaeus was trying to make Papias out to be more of an authority than he was. That is very much the tendency in the early Christian tradition (and among conservative Christian scholars today), to claim direct connections with eyewitnesses where there weren’t any.

      quote:

      If scholars are inclined to discount what Papias says in virtually every other instance, why is it that they sometimes appeal to his witness in order to show that we have an early tradition that links Matthew to one of our Gospels, and Mark to another? Why do these scholars accept some of what Papias said but not all of what he said? I suspect it is because they want to have support for their own points of view (Matthew really wrote Matthew) and have decided to trust Papias when he confirms their views, and not trust him when he does not.

      The result of this quick examination of Papias is, I think, that he passes on stories that he has heard, and he attributes them to people who knew other people who said so. But when he can be checked, he appears to be wrong. Can he be trusted in the places that he cannot be checked? If you have a friend who is consistently wrong when he gives directions to places you are familiar with, do you trust him when he gives directions for someplace you’ve never been?
      (Jesus, Interrupted, pp. 109-110)

      quote:

      :
      There is, though, a still further and even more compelling reason for doubting that we can trust Papias . . . . It is that that we cannot really trust him on much of anything. That may sound harsh, but remember that even the early Christians did not appreciate his work very much and the one comment we have about him personally from an educated church father is that he was remarkably unintelligent.

      It is striking that some modern authors want to latch on to Papias for his claims that Matthew and Mark wrote Gospels, assuming, as Bauckham does, that he must be historically accurate, when they completely overlook the other things Papias says, things that even these authors admit are not and cannot be accurate. If Papias is not reliable about anything else he says, why does anyone think he is reliable about our Gospels of Matthew and Mark? The reason is obvious. It is because readers want him to be accurate about Matthew and Mark, even though they know that otherwise you can’t rely on him for a second.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Heathcliff

      Yeah but you muslims believe that Muhamnad said Adam was created 90 feet tall in paradise?

      Do you actually believe that?

      Like

    • What evidence do you have that he was not?

      Liked by 2 people

    • just wanted to ask you about old testament stories
      do you trust every story in the old testament?

      which stories do you doubt?

      what is the gap between moses and the first available manuscript of the CANONISED ot?

      do you use the papias methodology of verification to trust everything in the ot?

      is it simply your belief that unknowns met moses and transmitted from him?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Correct trying to make the gospels out to be false and unreliable DOES NOT make the koran true

    Like

    • We don’t have to TRY and make gospels out to be false and unreliable, your own NT Scholars have done a great job of that already.

      The Qur’an is true, before, after, and always.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Defend Christ,

    My comment was a direct reply to Madmanna, unless you and Madmanna are one being.

    Hadiths are collections of what eyewitnesses saw and heard from the Prophet himself. The early collections are directly from eyewitnesses and earwitnesses, as pointed out above, and these collections confirmed the relatively later ones. On the contrary, the Gospels are not from any known eyewitness or earwitness but from anonymous people that nowhere claim to be writing under divine inspiration.

    You people always claim that the Prophet copied the Gospels without showing any evidence for such a preposterous claim.

    Islam already pointed out that these New Testament Gospels are not the actual Gospel preached by Jesus to his people (in his original Aramaic tongue). These Gospels were written by unknown men that nowhere claimed to have seen or heard Jesus, and in a language foreign to the original Gospel preached by Jesus.

    Do you think that trying to prove Islam false will automatically prove these Gospels true?

    Why not just engage with the facts pointed out by the Rabbi in the video that the Gospels are not really eyewitnesses accounts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • aliyu

      There are no written accounts of mohammed’s deeds dating from his lifetime and certainly nowhere near the thousands of hadith verses that show up by bukhari’s time. For most of those, there is a gap in the chain of transmission from the eyewitnesses of centuries.

      What you are left with are traditions that have are supposedly accurately transmitted orally by anonymous generations of people who never knew the people mentioned in the stories being purveyed.

      Like

    • Hi Aliyu
      No I’m not madmanna but you didnt actually address him by name.

      I didnt say Islam was false and neither do I have to it has already done that for me.

      God does not need to challenge men to find a contradiction in his word.

      God wouldnt set up silly challenges like go and see if you find a text like this.

      I always wonder why people go out of their way to prove their religion is true by trying to discredit that which was from before.

      Try all you want and make as many claims through whatever scholar you want will prove nothing.

      They were not there and neither were you to claim the gospels were written by unknown authors.

      I could say the prophets companions were a bunch of lisrs what does that prove? Nothing.

      Like

    • @bill

      Written account in of itself is no guarantee of “authentic” source of information. Secondly majority of ahadeeth were written down by 2nd generation ( some were written during sahaba’s time as well). Muslim scholars (muhadditheen) didn’t accept “written” material on its own authority, they wanted a witness along with the material to accept any hadeeth.

      indeed there are written material still available from 1st century hijrah. check this out

      http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Hadith/hadith.html

      Christ wants you to speak honestly and deal with people honestly and justly. You don’t have to believe in Islam, but at least for God’s sake try to understand what Muslims are saying and don’t misrepresent their point of view.

      Like

  7. Bill W

    There are records of Prophet Muhammad’s deeds and sayings direct from the lips of eyewitness Abu Hurairah as dictated to his personal disciple Hammam bn Munabbih in the collection titled As Sahifa. The collection known as Al Muwatta by Imam Malik (born in 98AH) is direct from earwitnesses such as Imam Nafi’u from eyewitnesses such as Abdullah bn Umar. The collection known as Al Musannaf by Imam Abdurrazak As-sananiy is a collection from first century testimonies. Many other first century collections. And these first century collections verified the hadiths of Sahih Bukhari and other relatively later canonical hadith collections.

    This fact is a far cry from your assumption:

    “For most of those, there is a gap in the chain of transmission from the eyewitnesses of centuries.”

    And:

    “What you are left with are traditions that have are supposedly accurately transmitted orally by anonymous generations of people who never knew the people mentioned in the stories being purveyed.”

    And, the Post is not about Hadith but about the New Testament Gospels. Rabbi Tovia Singer summarized the facts that showed that these New Testament Gospels are not written by any known eyewitness or earwitness. Why wouldnt you respond to these facts which refuted the claim of Christianity for these Gospels?

    Like

  8. “Hi Heathcliff

    Yeah but you muslims believe that Muhamnad said Adam was created 90 feet tall in paradise?

    Do you actually believe that?”

    “What evidence do you have that he was not?”

    LOL, Gulliver’s ( or Adam’s) Travels

    I guess Eve had to be the same height as well then, otherwise things could have been difficult.

    Otherwise she would have to climb up his leg first.

    I guess they must have shrunk on the way down or on impact.

    Like

    • Says the man who thinks God wrote the Bible in English..

      Liked by 1 person

    • says the man who believes that the mother of his god pushed out two natures from her virgeen

      you people are disgusting

      Like

    • Br HC. Please don’t use foul language. Lady Mary Is simply too holy for us to even remotely say anything that you wrote. This borders disrespect.

      you can state the same thing in a more respectable manner.

      Liked by 1 person

    • brother , i didn’t disrespect mary because i don’t think she birthed a god

      i am disrespecting the christian imagination which says that a woman pushed out two natures.

      i don’t see anything disrespectful here .i am saying that these people need “divine revelation” to say any FILTH about the almighty.

      it is their imagination and filth i am disrespecting.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul Willaims, Here are Prophecies that Destroy Central Christian Doctrines, 7 Minute Video, Please Bring Attention to it, The Video was released 6 HOURS AGO.Christianity’s Biggest Enemy is the Bible itself, the Jewish Bible

    Like

  10. around the 40 second mark, Rabbi Singer says, “these were not Galilean Jews who wrote the Christian bible, the Greek is exquisite; the book of Luke is best, most exquisite . . . ”

    The problem with that is that NO ONE claims Luke was a Galilean Jew, or one of the 12 disciples.

    Luke was a Greek, the only NT writer who was not a Jew. (Singer leaves out these details and gives the impression that Luke was a Galilean Jew). He may not have meant to give that impression (since he later admits that Luke is a companion of Paul); but the way he argued with the silence on who Luke, gives that impression to people who don’t know anything about the details.

    Acts 4:13 – “uneducated” and “untrained” does not mean “completely illiterate”.

    One of the great evidences that corresponds to Acts 4:13 is that Peter is always getting someone else to write for him – “amanuensis” Mark for his gospel, Silvanus for 1 Peter ( 1 Peter 5:12) ; and probably Jude for 2nd Peter.

    amanuensis – a person employed to write or type what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another, and also refers to a person who signs a document on behalf of another under the latter’s authority.

    Paul the apostle also did this in Romans 15:22 – Tertius was his amanuensis for the letter of Romans.

    on page 393, Bauckham, in Jesus and the Eyewitnesses:

    “When ancient historians referred to themselves within their narratives as participating in or observing the events they recount, they commonly referred to themselves in the third person by name, as Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Julius Caesar, or Josephus.”

    So, Singer was wrong on trying to say that (Singer mistakenly says John 21:20, but I think he means John 21:24)

    – Singer is wrong to say that John 21:24 (sic. John 21:20) admits he is not the author, rather, as Bauckham has shown, the beloved disciple is the author of the 4th Gospel and eyewitness and is claiming in John 21:24 that he is the author.

    Eusebius says Papias is “small minded” because Papias believed in a literal millennium (1000 year reign of Christ on earth, based on Revelation 20 and Isaiah 11:6-9 and other OT passages) of the kingdom of God on earth in the future.

    Like

    • quote:

      Was it the scribe or the tax collector who made subtle redactions about Jewish teachings in Mark? Was it the scribe or the tax collector who wove in sayings in the Q Gospel elegantly into the narrative and combined them with the previous Markan material? Was it the scribe or the tax collector who made ample and familiar quotations of the Septuagint? Was it the scribe or the tax collector who performed mimesis of OT episodes, such as modeling Jesus after Moses?

      Let’s say for the Gospel of John that the author or scribe used a Signs Gospel. Was it the rural Galilean fisherman or the scribe who wove in the seven miracles of Jesus as key markers in the narrative? Was it the scribe or a rural Galilean fisherman who composed a complex, multi-chapter final speech of Jesus in John 14-17? Was it the scribe or the rural Galilean fisherman who modeled Jesus as the Lamb of God and drew parallels between his death and the Passover lamb?

      As you can see from just the few problems I listed above, authoring the Gospels was not simple work. Can you provide any examples outside of the New Testament of scribes being used in this way? Can you provide an example were a rural individual of equal status as a fisherman, whose native language was different than the text, who was described as illiterate in outside sources (Acts 4:13), used a scribe to a “help him” author such a work that was then put in his name? Would the fisherman in this case have been considered the actual author by the standards in antiquity?

      Like

    • quote:
      – Singer is wrong to say that John 21:24 (sic. John 21:20) admits he is not the author, rather, as Bauckham has shown, the beloved disciple is the author of the 4th Gospel and eyewitness and is claiming in John 21:24 that he is the author.

      Because he wrote in his own chapter, “We know his testimony is true.”

      ?

      deal done? no more investigation?

      who is “we” ?

      http://ehrmanblog.org/did-the-beloved-disciple-write-the-gospel-of-john/

      Like

  11. The logia λογια of Matthew in Hebrew, that Papias says, may be about the 5 extended discourses (long sections of teaching)

    1. Matthew 5-7 – the sermon on the Mount
    2. Matthew 10
    3. Matthew 13
    4. Matthew 18
    5. Matthew 24-25

    Like

  12. defendchrist,

    I am a Muslim and no I do not believe this hadith about Adam being so tall that after (some 5 or 6 narrators who are now deceased) is attributed to Abu Hurayra.

    The Qur’an does not say anywhere to rely on Abu Hurayra.

    The Qur’an says that God gave us intelligence and that it is our responsibility to use this trust from God.

    So, by using this trust of intelligence from God and following His commandment to use my reason, I do not believe this hadith.

    I do however read hadiths and follow them diligently if they do not contradict the Qur’an and do not contradict clear facts and clear evidence.

    Out of brotherly and sisterly compassion, I ask you to keep an open mind and open heart and read the Qur’an, the final and completely authentic revelation from God Almighty.

    Peace.

    Like

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