The dumb question that is really a very good question

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Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship

35 replies

  1. Can some summarise the geographical errors in Mark. I started some research and there is a massive amount of drivel trying to defend these errors which clearly show that none who wrote the scriptures were eye witnesses. It became painful reading so I would be grateful if someone could summarise it.

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  2. Typical Ehrman exaggeration. Nothing to see here. And there’s no geographical error in Mark 7:31.

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    • Typical Christian ad hominem attack with no response to the actual post. Bart’s view is shared by most NT experts. And they have a very good point.

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    • Exactly. No 21st century evangelicalism in sight.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “Most” is an emotive rhetorical tactic – prove it. Highly regarded NT scholars view the Gospels as eyewitness accounts.

      Ehrman’s poor scholarship has been soundly exposed by William Lane Craig, but poor Bart doesn’t have the academic integrity to retract what proven lousy work.

      And just to be clear – you didn’t make a post with a point, so demanding a “response” is completely unreasonable on your part. MAke a point and then people will respond. All you did was post someone else’s twitter exchange.

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    • Bart’s point is there are good historical reasons (he mentions two of them) to think the gospels are not written by eyewitnesses. That is the commonly accepted view amongst critical scholars. If you were familiar with academic research you would know this. Your ignorance is not my problem.

      Question to you: do the gospels claim to be by eyewitnesses?

      Lets start with Matthew. Who wrote that?

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    • Come on, Paul. WHo wrote the quran? Don’t say “allah” wrote it, that would be blasphemy. The gospels record eye witness accounts and there are good reasons to view them as recordings of first hand experiences. As for whether they claim to be eye witness accounts – silly point. Their content provides the context and is self-explanatory.

      As for Bart’s “good historical reasons” – he has been soundly refuted by WLC, but won’t retract his poor scholarship, making him a dubious source for objective information.

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    • “The gospels record eye witness accounts and there are good reasons to view them as recordings of first hand experiences.”

      OK – so back to my question: what are the good historical reasons that Jesus’s disciple Matthew wrote the gospel named after him?

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    • Paul

      Sigh. More rhetoric.

      Like I said, “The gospels record eye witness accounts and there are good reasons to view them as recordings of first hand experiences”.

      Let’s talk about the historicity of the hadith and the authors of the quran? Who wrote the quran and why is it so historically dubious regarding jesus’ life? Why does allah not “reveal” historical details of jesus’ life? Wasn’t he watching? Wasn’t he an eye witness?

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    • Don’t change the subject. You are unwilling or unable to give any reasons why Matthew was written by a disciple.

      Which is it?

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    • The subject is the authenticity of holy scriptures.

      You make yourself look like a fool with your refusal to apply your own objections to christian scriptures to the quran.

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    • “and there is no geographical error in mark:7:31!

      You right! It’s not Just that verse but everywhere…

      https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/bible/geographical-errors-within-the-new-testament/

      Liked by 2 people

    • ouch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kev you have failed to provide any historical evidence for your claims.

    I smell troll.

    Good bye.

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    • Corner them and they always try making it about the Qur’ān… dance trolls, dance! Mwahaha!

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    • No, its just about asking muslims (in this case Paul), to apply to same standard of critical hermeneutics to the Quran. For example, if Paul rejects eyewitness testimony because the gospels don’t claim it, then one can fairly ask him to reject the Quran and/or hadith using the same criteria.

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    • This post is about the lack of credible historical evidence that the apostle Matthew (for instance) wrote the gospel attributed to him. Matthew does not claim to be an eye-witness. This is highly significant. Paulus: what evidence is there that he was? You make that claim do you not?

      The question has nothing to do with the Quran.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Irenaus and papias both record that Matthew was written by the disciple. The gospel was in circulation well before AD 115. But it is hard to know for certain if this tradition is correct.

      One problem with erhman’s assessment is his presupposition that all gospels were first recorded in Greek and that therefore the writers were not disciples. He asserts this often without any documented evidence and actually contrary to what papias writes.

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    • Further, erhman appeals to absence of evidence, but we all know this this type of argument is illogical. And this is precisely where Kev was pushing, for if such an argument is applied to the gospels, then it can also be applied to the Koran and Hadith.

      So of the “two evidences” erhman cites, one is fallacious and one is a presupposition which is actually contrary to what is seen in the earliest Christian traditions, I.e has no historical support.

      While higher criticism has been helpful, erhmans constant overreach and unfounded assertions are precisely the problem.

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    • Paulas you have no idea what your on about… canonical Matthew was not compiled by the disciple Matthew…any credible NT scholar would school you on this matter….

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    • Ok, so on what basis do you reject papias’ testimony?

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    • Paulus

      what is Papias’ testimony exactly? Please quote him and cite the source.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eusebius, “History of the Church” 3.39.14-17, c. 325 CE, Greek text 16: “ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἱστόρηται τῷ Παπίᾳ περὶ τοῦ Μάρκου· περὶ δὲ τοῦ Ματθαῖου ταῦτ’ εἴρηται· Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο, ἡρμήνευσεν δ’ αὐτὰ ὡς ἧν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος. Various English translations published, standard reference translation by Philip Schaff at CCEL: “[C]oncerning Matthew he [Papias] writes as follows: ‘So then(963) Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.'(964)”

      Irenaeus (died c. 202 CE) makes a similar comment, possibly also drawing on Papias, in his Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 1: “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “… and every one interpreted them as he was able.”

      What else is new?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paulas the information you have quoted here appears to be from the same source that also stipulates:

      “The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription “according to Matthew” was added some time in the second century.[14][15] The tradition that the author was the disciple Matthew begins with the early Christian bishop Papias of Hierapolis (c.100-140 CE), who is cited by the Church historian Eusebius (260-340 CE), as follows: “Matthew collected the oracles (logia: sayings of or about Jesus) in the Hebrew language ( Hebraïdi dialektōi), and each one interpreted (hērmēneusen – perhaps “translated”) them as best he could.”[16][Notes 1] On the surface, this has been taken to imply that Matthew’s Gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew’s Greek “reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation.”[17][14] Scholars have put forward several theories to explain Papias: perhaps Matthew wrote two gospels, one, now lost, in Hebrew, the other our Greek version; or perhaps the logia was a collection of sayings rather than the gospel; or by dialektōi Papias may have meant that Matthew wrote in the Jewish style rather than in the Hebrew language.[16]

      ***The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not Aramaic or Hebrew.[18]”***

      In reference to your quote:

      Eusebius, “History of the Church” 3.39.14-17, c. 325 CE, Greek text 16: “ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἱστόρηται τῷ Παπίᾳ περὶ τοῦ Μάρκου· περὶ δὲ τοῦ Ματθαῖου ταῦτ’ εἴρηται· Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο, ἡρμήνευσεν δ’ αὐτὰ ὡς ἧν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος. Various English translations published, standard reference translation by Philip Schaff at CCEL: “[C]oncerning Matthew he [Papias] writes as follows: ‘So then(963) Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.'(964)”

      http://research.omicsgroup.org/index.php/Gospel_of_Matthew

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve seen that before. The author’s cited reference is Bart Erhman in the footnotes, so we’ve basically done a full circle. You will notice that the two arguments presented in that article are exactly the same as PW cited at the top of this thread, 1. The author doesn’t claim to be an eyewitness (fallacious appeal to absence of evidence) and, 2. The Greek seems too polished to be from a disciple (a presupposition with no evidence and contrary to tradition), plus we know Matthew was a tax collector.

      This is how critical scholars operate- they create theories in an honest attempt to deal with the issue and then rely upon each other to bolster their positions. But it is hard to accept when the theories are illogical and contrary to evidence that we actually have. If you were trying to be fair I think you would feel the same rather than just repeating liberal biblical scholarship

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    • It is not ‘fallacious’ to point out that the disciple Matthew does not claim to be the author, not is is irrelevant to point out the the gospel is written in the third person (not the first).
      You have not provided any historical evidence that the highly polished Greek gospel was written by any disciple that knew Jesus.
      Try harder Paulus, you are loosing this debate badly.
      So-called liberal AND conservative scholars alike do not think Mathew wrote Matthew.

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    • Paul, I have you two early historical citations that claim the author was Matthew, which you asked for.

      I’m still waiting for a reason to ignore these traditions?

      Speculation isn’t an argument. It’s just speculation.

      Third person? Allah speaks in the third person in the Koran. I guess you will now say that Allah cannot be the author of the Koran?

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    • You need to read Omar’s comments above.

      ***The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not Aramaic or Hebrew.[18]”***

      You have a fetish for the Quran dear boy. Do you sleep with a copy under your pillow?

      God in the Quran speaks in the first person too, something the author never does in Matthew.

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    • Yes, and if you look at citation 18 it is Bart Erhman as I said.

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    • So do those parts that are third person in the Koran mean Allah didn’t write them?

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    • lol what a time waster. No evidence for your view that the apostle Matthew wrote the gospel in Greek we know today – just compulsive references to other religions. A BIG fail as a missinary apologist!

      [C]oncerning Matthew he [Papias] writes as follows: ‘So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.”

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    • Paulas..im sure there are exceptions..but even conservative biblical NT scholarship declare that canonical Matthew is not what papias was describing in inference to the logia of Matthew…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. Talk about speculation. Matthew was a tax collector. He had to be literate. Perhaps it was dictated to him by Peter.

    The fascinating aspect of Ehrman’s response is that he seems blissfully unaware that there was no such place as fakestine in the 1st century.

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