10 – Scholarly Scandal: the Truth withheld from Christians

‘This is the BIG ONE. Paul examines why the majority of Christians remain ignorant of their scriptures and what the underlying reasons for this ignorance is. A damning exposure into the two faced nature of the Church.’

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Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity, Scholarship

49 replies

    • Regarding this person’s statement, to be fair, the approach of the Catholic Church (which has never been “Bible only”) can be different from the approaches of Bart Ehrman and (pronounced critic of Catholicism) James White. I’m not sure James White said the story is “not true,” but if he did, I would wonder on what grounds he asserts such. It is one thing to claim a story does not have good extant early manuscript support in favor of it being part of the Biblical text, but it is quite another thing to claim a story is therefore not true.

      For the author of that post to then declare they found Islam, I have to wonder if we have imbalanced scales. How, precisely, would we measure the historicity of statements in, for example, the Gospel of John? Based on whether there is corresponding support in the Synoptics? How would we measure statements about Jesus in the Qur’an (e.g. that He spoke while an infant, or formed a bird from clay, neither of which I claim is untrue)? Also based on whether there is corresponding support in the Synoptics? If we lined up a bunch of secular scholars like Bart Ehrman, and asked them to vote on whether there is good “historical evidence” for whether Jesus spoke as an infant or made a bird from clay, should what the masajid teach be determined by that vote? Or if we took a vote, today, among secular scholars regarding whether there is good historical evidence for the virgin birth, should the churches and masajid likewise agree to kowtow to the decision of that vote, no matter what the outcome?


    • ‘How, precisely, would we measure the historicity of statements in, for example, the Gospel of John?’

      I recommend this solid introduction by a top Oxford NT scholar on this very topic. Incidentally, he is a believing Christian.


      Your other examples concern the supernatural about which historians can say nothing. But the passage at issue is the non miraculous story in John which does not belong in the fourth gospel. No one knows if it is historical. There are other passages like it in today’s Bible. These facts are not taught in churches. Hence the intellectual scandal.


    • I’m familiar with the work. In his ninth chapter, for example, he does open right up with a comparison of John and the Synoptics. But this begs a methodological question: is a presentation of Jesus which lacks corroboration from the Synoptics therefore unhistorical?

      Now I know Tuckett does not boil it down only to content (rather he also gets into differences in overall presentation [which I believe we have discussed in years past]), but the question still remains: is it really the case that historicity should be measured by the degree to which the Synoptics are mirrored?

      I’ll close with this: there is no place in Tuckett’s book where he gives a clear methodology for determining the historicity of any particular statement in John (or the Synoptics for that matter). And this is the case with all scholarly works that might speak generally about historicity (or interpretation, or even, bluntly, fiction) within John.


    • Tuckett does have a very clear and sophisticated methodology for assessing the likely historicity of the gospels.

      Is your position that Jesus actually said the long speeches attributed to him in John? And that he said the ‘I ams’? Or are they as most conservative scholars maintain, fiction?


    • Greetings Paul.

      Paul asked:
      «Is your position that Jesus actually said the long speeches attributed to him in John?»

      Yes, in reality, it is my faith based assumption that everything attributed to Jesus by the Bible was actually uttered by Him. But I think that assumption is irrelevant to my methodological question. Let’s assume this morning I lost my faith, and became an atheist. In this scenario, I’m not even sure there was an historical Jesus, but I’m willing to assume there might’ve been. Even under those conditions, I could say that Tuckett does not present a clear methodology for determining the historicity of any particular statement attributed to Jesus by any Biblical text.

      And, honestly, that thought experiment is not entirely fantastic, as I actually started reading Tuckett before I became a Christian (i.e. his book on Q dates to before I became a Christian, and his book on Christology dates to back when I was still an atheist [perhaps the Q book does as well, but I’m not sure]). So I’ve actually had the very real experience of reading Tuckett as a non-Christian, and while I enjoyed everything I read from him, it is nonetheless the case that I could see the amount of speculation in his approach (and the approach of seemingly every other NT scholar as well).

      Paul wrote:
      «Tuckett does have a very clear and sophisticated methodology for assessing the likely historicity of the gospels.»

      It’s a broad and general methodology (overlapping at times with stuff we have discussed in years past), but it remains the case that he presents no clear methodology for determining whether any particular statement is historical or not. And this is important, because if we cannot say with certainty whether any particular statement is historical or not, then broader declarations about entire corpora (e.g. the Synoptics, John) are more akin to general feelings than something tabulated or calculated.

      Now, mind you, agreeing with my position does not mean Christianity therefore somehow wins by default. As I tried to convey above, I could be an atheist and take the same position regarding the degree to which general speculation is a part of the scholarship of Tuckett and others.


    • “do Christians believe that Jesus was a man? We certainly do”
      Notice that a (man) = a created being.
      Jesus, therefore, is a created being.
      I ask Allaah(sw) refuge from worshipping a created being as christians do.


  1. I have a theory as to why clergy don’t teach these theories concluded by some scholars…they don’t believe them. My priest certainly doesn’t.

    Tonight I’m going to do a post responding to your analysis or the Christology of Acts. I’ll share it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allen fried your argument, you cannot take one part of a sentence and reject the other that contradicts Islam. Surah 4:157 is false; which proves islam and the Qur’an are false.


  3. Allan Ruhl wrote: about Paul Williams comment on Acts 2:22

    “Interestingly, the final words this man are actually first two words of the next verse, verse 23. Why does Williams quote verse 22, then the first two words of verse 23 then stop? Perhaps if we read the rest of verse 23 and then verse 24 we’ll see why Paul Williams stopped where he did. The verse continues here:

    handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

    Does Paul Williams believe in the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus according to the foreknowledge of God? I don’t think he does. This simply shows that the early Christians weren’t Muslims.

    . . .

    First of all, do Christians believe that Jesus was a man? We certainly do. Perhaps if I were a monophysite this argument would carry some weight but the Catholic Church believes in Chalcedonian Christology and the Hypostatic Union. In other words, Jesus is both God and man. In fact, if we keep reading the speech of Peter, we find something interesting. In Acts 3:15 Peter says the following:

    and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

    Peter calls Jesus the Author of life! This is certainly a divine title because only God is the Author of life. This verse shows without a doubt that Jesus Christ is God and that the first Christians were not Muslims. They believed in the crucifixion, death, resurrection and deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul Williams and all other Muslims deny this.

    One last verse for Paul Williams. When Stephen was being stoned in Acts 7, just before he died, he asked his Lord Jesus Christ to receive his spirit. Acts 7:59 reads as follows:

    While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

    When we look at the theology of Peter and the early Church we see clearly that they are Christians and not Muslims. They believed in the crucifixion, death, resurrection and deity of Jesus Christ.”


    I was planning to write a similar response, but Allan beat me to it.
    Good job Allan.


    • “do Christians believe that Jesus was a man? We certainly do”
      Notice that a (man) = a created being.
      Jesus, therefore, is a created being.
      I ask Allaah(sw) refuge from worshipping a created being as christians do.


    • The eternal Son of God (John 17:5), God the Son, (same substance with the Father), the second person of the Trinity, became a man. John 1:1-5; John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8; Luke 1:34-35; Hebrews 10:5 – “a body You have prepared for Me”


    • Why do you ignore the fact that Christian theology teaches that Jesus is both man and God by nature – that He is one person with 2 natures?


    • ken do you worship “fully god” and “fully man” which MAKES up 1 person?
      do you BREAK the person in your worship because you might be doing idolatry with the “fully man” part?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Revelation 19:10
      Revelation 22:8-9
      Matthew 14:33
      John 1:1-5
      John 1:14
      Philippians 2:5-8
      Revelation chapters 4-5
      John 8:56-58
      John 10:30
      John 17:5


    • ken , if a parrot mind took over your mind and you started to think like a parrot, would you be a “bird brain” or “fully human and fully bird” ?

      a human mind taken over by parrot mind can no longer be a human mind unless the human mind FULLY experience the parrot mind.

      a parrot mind taken over by a human mind, can no longer be a parrot mind, unless the parrot fully experience IN its mind a human mind.

      if your person thought like a parrot , then where did the human mind go? did it become PERSONLESS? what i am trying to say is that jesus the person IN his divine mind fully experienced being limited and weak in knowledge, sight and hearing .

      more clarification

      logos/person = A and B

      when logos is thinking like B, where did A go? did it become “logosless” ?


    • lol Ken no one will look up your lazy list. Quote in full. Dont be lazy.


    • “Why do you ignore the fact that Christian theology teaches that Jesus is both man and God by nature – that He is one person with 2 natures?”

      let me try to demonstrate to you something.
      imagine your human mind was able to become fully parrot mind and you started thinking like a parrot. now in the state of thinking like a parrot, your human mind, where did it go? did it become DISCONNECTED to the parrot mind?
      when your human mind became parrot mind, you can be in a THOUSAND different bodies, but you will be IDENTIFIED as a parrot

      if the parrot MIND became human mind, the parrot would be IDENTIFIED as human THINKER.

      now i am trying to tell you christians that the way out of this is for you christians to admit that the human mind fully experience the parrot mind IN its human mind.

      in this way BOTH minds are connected and EXPERIENCE each other.

      so when jesus the man says “i don’t know” this means the mind which says “i don’t know” is fully connected to the mind which says ” i do know” which implies the omniscient mind is experiencing the ignorant mind.

      in this situation the divine mind is not DISCONNECTED mind living in jesus’ body, it has full experience of what it is not to know. OTHERWISE if you says “no , no, no that’s the human mind”

      then you HAVE made the DIVINE mind WITHOUT PERSON.
      SINCE WHEN the person is IGNORANT , where did the divine mind go? has the divine mind become PERSONLESS?


    • quote :
      33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “ you are the fully man and fully god son of god.”

      how much person do you worship ken?


    • Ken Temple

      You said;
      “Why do you ignore the fact that Christian theology teaches that Jesus is both man and God by nature – that He is one person with 2 natures?”

      I say;
      The Bible said that is not possible and not me or any Muslim. If you are prepare not to ignore the fact the other faiths like Hindus, voodoos and most idol worshipers also believe their Gods are both man and God, man and monkey, man and elephant etc. by nature-that their God is none person with 2 natures?

      Then you are on the part of polytheist and or idol worshipers who have added created things like Jesus Christ or Ali, Sai Baba, Haile Selaissie etc. to God. You are the same.

      Denis Giron said he does not believe in the other Gods apart from Jesus Christ but he does not deny the possibility of such gods like monkey God or Sai Baba God existing. Denis is fair but he falls in the trap of idol worshipers who believed it is possible for their gods who is created and uncreated at the same time to exist.

      The Bible said, said the God of Abraham is one, only and alone, nothing is like Him and nothing is besides him. Nothing means nothing including Jesus Christ as far as God oneness is concerned. Unless you believed Jesus Christ is nothing. But Jesus Christ who was seen is something and God cannot be seen accordint to the Bible.

      -“O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20

      -“Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.” Isaiah 43:10

      Yes, we agree with you Jesus the Son was generated/created from eternity(oxymoron), but the body was formed later in the womb of Mary, so the body of Jesus cannot be God and must not be worshiped because it was formed later according the the above verse.

      -“Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” Isaiah 44:8
      Someone who has a Son and the Son is not that Father will not utter the above if he thinks he has other person to be worshiped.

      “Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one [echad]!” Deuteronomy 6:4
      “You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You” 2 Samuel 7:22
      “For who is God, besides Yahweh? And who is a rock, besides our God?” 2 Samuel 22:32
      “Yahweh is God; there is no one else.” 1 Kings 8:60



  4. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 He was in the beginning with God.

    3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

    4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

    5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only unique one from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John 1:1-5, 14

    consistent with Acts 3:15, that Jesus is “the author of life”


    • i think mark writings decades later is telling his gentile audience that jews like peter weren’t promoting a crucified jesus. mark even gives clues when he says “to those on the outside everything is said in parables….”

      Bart December 31, 2014
      I think it’s actually a major point that Mark wants to make. No one during Jesus’ life — not the townsfolk from Nazareth, not the Jewish leaders, not his own family, not even his disciples — understood that he was the messiah who, precisely, had to die. It was only an outsider, the centurion, a pagan, who saw it. That’s the way the Christian mission in Mark’s day was working. Only outside Gentiles were buying it.

      some very interesting comments here that the jewish followers were clearly not promoting crucified jesus


      with all this in mind, is it not possible the author of acts is trying to reconcile the jerusalem church with the beliefs of the gentiles who are promoting a crucified jesus?


  5. Dr. James White regularly equips his congregation (he is one of the elders / pastors of this church) in Textual critical matters, textual variants, and has a whole series on the manuscript of P-45. (now up to 19 messages)



  6. The main reason that believing Pastors don’t share on Sunday mornings/ Sunday evenings, or classes the unbelieving scholarship of skeptic and unbelieving scholars like Bart Ehrman, John D. Crossan, Robert Funk, Marcus Borg, Rudolph Bultmann, Elaine Pagels, Walter and F. C. Bauer, James Tabor, etc.

    is because it is UNBELIEVING scholarship shot full of anti-supernaturalistic presuppositions and other false claims and false theories, speculations, false conclusions.

    But some do talk about how believing scholarship answers those questions and issues that scholarship brings up.


    • ken , imagine that the only gospel you had was mark and the only evidence for a reunion in galilee was mark 14:28. imagine for a moment that the women REALLY did not say anything to anyone .and that it is confirmed that mark 16:7 is an interpolation .

      imagine we discover a fist century gospel which said, “and they went to galilee and find not jesus”

      would you say that 14:28 only says that jesus will go BEFORE them to galilee, not that he will MEET them IN galilee?


    • since we have had all 4 gospels and all 27 books of the NT since 96 AD; your point and hypothetical question is moot and a waste of time. God Himself gave us all those books to form one New Testament, the true Injeel. الانجیل حقیقی


    • ken , where does the gospel of luke say that judas bought a field and then hung himself?


    • Luke clearly intended his Gospel and the book of Acts as a kind of “part 1” and “part 2” – just study Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-11

      “in the first account, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach . . . ”
      The verb form of “began to do and teach” tells us the author’s intention to now say, “I continue to write about what Jesus continues to do and teach, through the Holy Spirit working through the apostles and the church” Acts 1:1-5, etc.

      So, Acts 1:18-19, gives further details with Matthew 27:3-10, that after Judas hanged himself, over a cliff, the rotting corpse/ body fell and burst open.


    • ken , did you hear the breaking news on cnn? saddam hussain did not die by hanging. the rope broke, he fell down and 4 eyewitnesses reported that he was still breathing and struggling. so someone shot him .
      so saddam hussain really died by getting shot.

      why did the media show the hanging bit only ken?

      when matthew says “he hung himself”

      “5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

      the natural assumption is that the readers will assume “hanged” implies death. bible says don’t bear false witnesses, but it is perfectly fine not to reveal all the truth and one talk in DECEPTIVE way, like “hanged himself”


    • Judas hung himself in Matthew 27:3-10 and the rotting corpse broke the tree limb, which was hanging over a cliff, and the rotting corpse fell and burst open – Acts 1:18-19. So there is no contradiction.


    • “Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.”

      it doesn’t say he hung himself and the implication is that he physically paid for the field and died in his own field.
      “there he fell headlong” implies he is still alive while falling.

      ” and the rotting corpse broke the tree limb, which was hanging over a cliff”

      what if it is later revealed that judas hung himself in a house?
      matthew doesn’t say he bought a field and then hung himself. why are the gospel writers deceiving their audiences?


    • ken, were you afraid to go to some place and told your wife “i was afraid to go there” but later she found out you went there anyway . would she trust what you said whenever you said “i was afraid to go to place x” ?


    • “Judas hung himself in Matthew 27:3-10 and the rotting corpse broke the tree limb, which was hanging over a cliff, and the rotting corpse fell and burst open”

      man you even found a rotting corpse. did you invent a new gospel ken? judas was rotting for many days , ken?

      (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong,[a] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.

      i don’t see rotting corpses, the guy seems to have worded his words in such a way that implies one action after the other .


    • Not decomposing for “many days”, but for a few days would qualify.


    • ken, i quote for you the following , please share your thoughts.

      Lets talk about some examples where the “words” don’t CONTRADICT the fact, but we still feel they are duplicitous.

      Jim has been dating Jane for several months. He picks her up one Saturday evening and during their evening casually asks what she did that day. She says,

      “I went to the mall with my sister, Diane. We went to a movie, had lunch and then came right home.”

      What she really did was go to the mall with her sister where they met two guys. Then the four went to a movie together and hung out at a bar for 2 hours. Then Jane and Diane dropped the guys off at the mall, had some lunch and came directly home.

      Did what Jane told Jim contradict what Jane actually did that day? She DID go to the mall with her sister, they did go to the movies, they did have lunch, they did come straight home. When Jim finds out later that Jane and her sister had actually gone to the movies and a bar with some other guys, does Jim have a good reason not to trust Jane?

      Jim visits his doctor, who after diagnosis says you have

      “some and such rare disease.”

      During the course of the visit, the doctor says,

      “There’s a good chance you have 6 months to live.”

      Jim is naturally shaken up and proceeds to get a second opinion. The other doctor provided the same diagnosis, but says that disease has never been known to be fatal. Jim goes back to his original doctor and asks him why he said he only had 6 months to live. His doctor corrects him and says,

      “I only said there is a good chance you have 6 months to live. I said nothing about your dying.”

      Is the first doctor’s prognosis contradicted what the second doctor said? Does Jim have a good basis to change doctors and get his medical advice from someone who talks more precisely?

      On Jim’s first day on the job, his boss explains that Jim “will get paid $10 per hour for making 10 widgets per hour.” Jim works for several months and then finds out that all his co-workers are making $20 per hour by making 15 widgets per hour.

      Did the bosses statement to Jim on his first day contradict the actual pay scale? He was being honest, the company policy is that if you only make 10 widgets per hour, you only get $10 per hour. Does Jim have reason not to trust his boss?

      A teenager and his father are working on a project one Saturday. They need something at the hardware store which is only 15 minutes drive from the house. Junior asks can he go and get the stuff since he just got his drivers license etc. Dad says yes, but says,

      “Come straight home.”

      Junior says,

      “OK, I’ll run to the hardware store and come straight home.”

      Junior gets sidetracked on the way to the hardward store and goes by his girl friends house for a couple of hours, then goes to the hardware store and then drives directly home. When he gets home, his dad asks him why it took so long.

      Junior explains that he went to his girl friends house BEFORE he went to the store and DID come straight home from the store.

      Does dad have reason to think Junior misled him with his statements? Did Juniors promise to run to the store and then come straight home contradict what he actually did? I mean, he did run to the store right after he spent two hours at his girl friends house. Well, whatever you think, I can tell you my dad thought I had misled him. He was an avid believer in the bible where it says thou shalt not bear false witness. Telling half truths, to him, was the same as bearing false witness. But maybe modern christians have a different moral code.

      So, are we to trust the bible to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Or should we be suspicious when accounts don’t match?


    • I am asking , he seems to know what to acquire before he purchases, then he falls in what he purchased. the picture is of a live person , not rotting dead body hanging.

      why describe as if the fall KOED him?


    • Luke knows the Matthew account. (see Luke 1:1-5) – so Luke, in Acts 1, is supplying more details that Matthew left out. No problem.


    • what do you mean supplying more details? Matthew says he hung himself. a rotting body is already dead. you really think Luke was interested in rotting body or LIVE body ? Luke, according to you, knows of rotting body but talks of it as if it is a live body when FELL to its death.


    • You are not honest to the text. You will describe rotting corpse by deceiving people into thinking that it purchased a field and then fell. This is dishonesty and this runs like fault line all throughout Christianity. you should be ashamed bearing false witness.


    • (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong,[a] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.

      he clearly seems to be portraying an unrepentant judas here. his punishment does not seem to be coming from his own hands.


  7. Ken,
    We don’t igonre your nonsense.
    We simply say that if you cannot define Jesus except by saying that he’s fully man( i.e. a created being) & fully god, then you cannot escape from worshiping a created being when you worship Jesus.
    It’s a very simple equation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes Ken can’t avoid idolatry by worshiping a created being.


    • What annoyed me is that, Ken has the audacity to blame Mother Teresa for telling the Hindus to worship their God Man Sai Baba or other Gods that became flesh as he Ken Temple believed God became flesh and can be created and un-created at the same time.

      I as a Muslim cannot say the Jews and the Unitarian Christians are not worshiping the God of Abraham alone if I believe God of Abraham is alone and cannot be un-created.

      Ken and the Hindus, voodoos, idol worshipers share the same views on God becoming flesh i.e. man, monkey, elephant, snake, etc.

      Those Christians who believed God can become flesh have idolatry perception because that is what most idol worshipers think i.e. God can become his creation to love them. The Old Testament said clearly nothing below the earth and in heavens including Jesus must be worshiped except the only one God of Abraham who is alone and not counted in persons like Mormons and Trinity believing Christians worships more than one persons God. That is polytheism punishable in hell fire, if one does not repent.



  8. “They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) to worship none but One Ilah (God – Allah) La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).” (Qur’an 9:31)

    Liked by 1 person

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