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The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:24 pm

The two main arguments for traditional attribution and early dating is that

A) 4 church fathers attribute the gospels to the traditional names

B) The gospels do not mention the destruction of the temple.

Response to A)

The problem with this argument is that Mark, Matthew and Luke do not identify the author in anyway nor do they tell us their credentials.

The problem is that any text with an unknown author is not particularly reliable as we can all tell from chain letters, anonymous online articles, etc.

As Matthew Ferguson notes

Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War (1:1), which states at the beginning: “Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, as they fought against each other.” The historians Herodotus (1:1), Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1.8.4), and Josephus (BJ 1.3) all likewise include their names in prologues. Sometimes an author’s name can also appear later in the text. In his Life of Otho (10.1), for example, the biographer Suetonius Tranquillus refers to “my father, Suetonius Laetus,” which thus identifies his own family name.
Here is one example

Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].
Josephus, Jewish war 1.3
So We already have evidence against the traditional attribution.

The argument for traditional attribution is that 4 Christians namely Papias, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria make that claim as well.

Firstly, we do not start getting a consensus by Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria until the third century about first century documents which is needless to say beyond useless.

So Let's take about Papias because really it is the only thing that traditional attribution has.

1) Papias writings and claims are all lost. The book where Papias tells us the attribution is called Exposition of the oracles of the Lord and it is lost, we have no manuscripts of it. That passage about attribution is only quoted in the fourth century by a Christian named Eusebius. So in reality, we do not have any early second century evidence since the writings from that time period by Papias were lost but we what we have is fourth century evidence by Eusebius.

2) Papias makes no claims about the authorship of Luke and John. Only Mark and Matthew.

3) Papias was not talking about our canonical gospels. Here is the passage from Eusebius

Let's look at Matthew for example.

Therefore Matthew put the logia in an ordered arrangement in the Hebrew language, but each person interpreted them as best he could.
Eusebius, "History of the Church" 3.39.14-17,
First of all, our Matthew is not a logia. It is a narrative that goes chronologically from nativity to virign birth to ministry to passion, crucifixion and resurrection. It includes not only the sayings of jesus but also his deeds, actions, miracles, what others say about him, the words of his disciples, what Jews said about him (The Guard's report) and etc. And the scholarly consensus is that gMatthew is a Greek document based on a greek document not written in Hebrew.

Not to mention that logion has high connotation as specifically meaning a saying of Jesus that is NOT found in our canonical gospels.

4) Papias was unreliable according to the only source that quotes him.

According to Eusebius, the only man who ever quotes Papias, Papias is a man of "very little intelligence" (Ecclesiastical history of the Church 3.39.13)

5) Papias was gullible

There is a report according to a scholium attributed to Apollinaris of Laodicea, that says

Judas did not die by hanging[50] but lived on, having been cut down before he choked to death. Indeed, the Acts of the Apostles makes this clear: Falling headlong he burst open in the middle and his intestines spilled out.[51] Papias, the disciple of John, recounts this more clearly in the fourth book of the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord, as follows:

Judas was a terrible, walking example of ungodliness in this world, his flesh so bloated that he was not able to pass through a place where a wagon passes easily, not even his bloated head by itself. For his eyelids, they say, were so swollen that he could not see the light at all, and his eyes could not be seen, even by a doctor using an optical instrument, so far had they sunk below the outer surface. His genitals appeared more loathsome and larger than anyone else's, and when he relieved himself there passed through it pus and worms from every part of his body, much to his shame. After much agony and punishment, they say, he finally died in his own place, and because of the stench the area is deserted and uninhabitable even now; in fact, to this day one cannot pass that place without holding one's nose, so great was the discharge from his body, and so far did it spread over the ground.
b) Early dating: The gospels do not mention the destruction of the temple

1) Argument from Silence.

Imagine if Historians 1000 years from now could recover nothing from our period but the state of the union address of Trump. The 2018 state of the union address does not mention 9/11 attacks. Does that mean that 9/11 happened after 2018. Not really. A really good explanation is that the document was written after the destruction of the temple that everybody already knows about it and it would be frivolous to mention something that your audience knows about just like Trump does not talk about 9/11 because everyone knows about it.

2) A lot of extrabiblical writings like the Gospel of Barnabas, Second Treatise of the Great Seth (which has first-hand eyewitness testimony from jesus himself), the second apocalypse of Peter, Gospel of Judas, etc. also do not mention the destruction of the temple yet I doubt Christians would want to date it before 70 AD.

I think these are all the arguments proposed to defend that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses before 70 AD. I am not aware of any others.

Actually.

I won't even delve on the historical errors in the gospels nor reductio ad absurdums nor extra-biblical gospels, I will leave those arguments for other threads.
Noble One
 

Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:44 pm

Evidences for traditional authorship are far more than you give credit for. There are all sorts of other evidences and pieces you haven't referenced. Going through the entire argument would take several posts (each post has a 10,000-character limit). So you're biting off more than we can all chew by lumping it all together under one (inadequate) catch-all.

Just because Thucydides and Josephus signed their works doesn't mean the Gospels are unreliable and illegitimate. Because their works are not anonymous doesn't speak to any authorial attribution of the Gospels.

> So We already have evidence against the traditional attribution.

No it isn't, it's just evidence that the Gospels are anonymous.

> Firstly, we do not start getting a consensus by Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria until the third century about first century documents which is needless to say beyond useless.

This claim is patently untrue. Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria were writing in the end of the 2nd century. Papias was the beginning of the 2nd century. And you have completely neglected to mention Clement of Rome and Ignatius from the end of the 1st century. There was consensus from the beginning. There is no ancient evidence of the authorship of Matthew being contested. There is no ancient evidence against Matthew as author.

> So Let's take about Papias because really it is the only thing that traditional attribution has.

This is not true at all. Here's SOME of the evidence for Matthew as the writer of Matthew:

- The superscription "According to Matthew" is part of the first editions we have of the Gospel (mid-2nd century). It is found on ALL known manuscripts of the book. There is no manuscript without the attribution "According to Matthew" and no evidence contesting Matthean authorship.
- The Church Fathers, not just Papias, were unanimous in attributing it to Matthew.
- It is undeniable that the titles of all four Gospels were unanimously accepted over a large geographical region in the 2nd century. Because travelers networked early Christian assemblies throughout the Empire, early traditions concerning the authors have credibility.
- The author was a conservative-minded Jew, aware of but not inclined to sectarian views. This fits Matthew's profile.
- The interest of the Gospel in the Law, in ecclesiastical matters, in oral interpretation of law and custom, would come most readily from a man trained in the legal disciplines (Matthew, or Levi), or from one who had been in constant touch with men so trained. Matthew fits the bill.
- The preservation of sayings of Jesus about the Law, and about some of its interpreters, would be precisely the kind of interest we might expect from a Levite.
- The Gospel presents a picture of Jesus carefully preserving the true principles of the Mosaic Law. Again, Matthew fits the bill.
- The level of Greek fits a man who was probably tri-lingual, a native Palestinian but who regularly does business in Greek (a tax collector; Matthew fits the bill)
- The archaic expressions, interest in ecclesiastical matters, carefully recorded statements of Jesus about the Law, together with an already dying form of writing, all serve to convince us that we are dealing with an author very much as we would expect Matthew to be, and that the writing was earlier, rather than later.

You can try to discredit the reference to Papias. Fine. Let it go. Let's talk about all the other evidences of Matthean authorship.

And then you want to talk about the date of writing.

> "The gospels do not mention the destruction of the temple" 1) Argument from Silence.

This is only a tidbit of the case. Let's start with Acts, which doesn't mention mention the Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70), Nero’s persecutions (mid-60s), the martyrdoms of James (61), Paul (64), and Peter (65), the Jewish war against Rome from 66 on. It then ends surprisingly abruptly. Sure it's an argument from silence, but the accumulation of silences is deafening. There is good evidence (not only these but many more) that Acts was written in the early 60s. And Luke was written before Acts, and Mark before Luke. There are many other reasons to place Mark, Luke, and even Matthew in the late 50s.

> A lot of extrabiblical writings like the Gospel of Barnabas, Second Treatise of the Great Seth (which has first-hand eyewitness testimony from jesus himself), the second apocalypse of Peter, Gospel of Judas,

- Gospel of Barnabas. Seriously? You bring this to the table? Earliest manuscript in the 16th c. No wonder the author doesn't mention the destruction of Jerusalem.
- Second Treatise of the Great Seth. 3rd century.
- 2nd Apocalypse of Peter. You mean the Apocalypse of Peter? About AD 180? You're kidding, right?
- Gospel of Judas. 3rd century.

This is not evidence, and it's not rebuttal. These are worthless references to the conversation.

> I think these are all the arguments proposed to defend that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses before 70 AD. I am not aware of any others.

Oh my.

MATTHEW

- Matthew's particular parables reflect a consuming interest in the spiritual history of Israel as a chosen people, not a subject of conversation after AD 70.
- The archaic terminology and expressions and interest in ecclesiastical matters give evidence to a date before 70.
- The sharp language about various Jews in the Gospel reflect the kinds of discussions and disputes within Judaism prior to 70.
- It seems that Acts was written in the early 60s, which would put Matthew in the 50s.
- Irenaeus says Matthew was written while Peter and Paul were still preaching in Rome (early 60s).

MARK

- Mark preserves Aramaic expressions, a common practice in the 50s.
- Mark seems to write in an atmosphere where the theological understanding of the ministry and message of Jesus are still in their primitive and elemental forms. Its main concern seems to be Jesus at war with Satan.
- Clement of Alexandria says Mark was written while Peter was alive. (Peter is thought to have been martyred sometime between 64-68).
- Papias wrote that Mark got his information from Peter. Justin Martyr and Eusebius say Peter was in Rome from 55-65 (killed around the mid-60s).
- Some Marcan material seems to stem from a controversy about Gentiles, clearly a concern in the 50s, and a dead issue after 70.

LUKE

- Themes of Gentile inclusion and Jewish rejection. These are themes that indicate pre-70.
- Acts deals with issues especially important before 70. Luke was written before Acts.
- Many expressions in Acts are early and primitive. That puts Luke early.
- Luke doesn't mention anything in Paul's writings, nor any acquaintance with them, and yet he travelled with Paul. It gives evidence of a date of writing before his travels with Paul in the late 50s.
- It is possible that Paul quotes from Luke 10.7 in 1 Tim. 5.18, which was written in the mid-50s.

In other words, there are some very good reasons to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the Gospels. I have only mentioned some; the case for traditional authorship goes much deeper. And there are very good reasons and decent evidences to believe they may have all been written before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

> I won't even delve on the historical errors in the gospels nor reductio ad absurdums nor extra-biblical gospels, I will leave those arguments for other threads.

We should delve into these. You may be just as mistaken and misinformed about these as you are about the authorship and dating issues.

And, by the way, since you are Muslim, you must be aware that the Qur'an affirms that the Bible has not been changed or corrupted. Surah 6:115 affirms the reliability of the "before Scriptures" (the Bible), and in Surah 4:136, Allah teaches all Muslims not to wander from the Scriptures that he revealed before (i.e., the Bible), and that those who disbelieve those Scriptures, the Bible, have wandered far astray.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Me 6 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:22 pm

Synagogues didn't exist in the time of Jesus or before AD 70, so it shows that the Gospels were written later.

The word is Greek and the etymology didn't exist until much later

1125–75; Middle English synagoge < Late Latinsynagōga < Greek synagōgḗ assembly, meeting, equivalent to syn- syn- + agōgḗ, noun use of feminine of agōgós (adj.) gathering, derivative of ágein to bring, lead; akin to Latin agere to drive (The original Greek dates earlier of course)

According to philo the 1st century usage for these buildings was proseukhē, “[a house of] prayer.” the new testament uses a completely different word.

I'm not talking about the existence of buildings.
Me 6
 

Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Nazareth has been found to have had a synagogue at the time of the time of Jesus. So also Capernaum. Japha had a synagogue in the early 1st century that was destroyed by the Romans in 67. A synagogue has been found at Magdala from the time of Jesus. For that matter, nearly 200 ancient synagogues have been found in Palestine, both before and after the Roman destruction of the Temple: Gamla, Chorazim, and so many more. These structures had Torah shrines and mikvot, and served both for community assembly and religious use. Ancient synagogues have also been found in the diaspora as well as in Israel.

It first appears in Greek with Thucydides (400 BC), meaning "gather". Through the centuries it referred to various kinds of societies, guilds, civic gatherings, and religious assembly, even pagan cult gatherings.

Many consider the Jewish synagogue movement to have begun under Ezra (450 BC). Rabbis in the centuries before Christ speak of synagogues as "houses of instruction." The word is used over 200 times in the Septuagint (250 BC) referring to assemblies of many sorts. In the 100s BC the term is used regularly for the assembly of Jewish congregations in small locales. The building was, as you say, sometimes called proseukhē or ho hagia topos, "the holy place," but sometimes sunagogais. It was during this era that the term was evolving from "a gathering of people" to "the place Jewish people gather for Torah instruction." The inscription on a synagogue door from Corinth could just as well come from pre-NT era as from the NT period: it reads "The Synagogue of the Hebrews."A dearth of sources and records make any certainty impossible on much of this information.

> the new testament uses a completely different word.

The NT uses συναγωγαῖς, which we transliterate, obviously, as "synagogue" in English.

Philo used the term once (Omn. Prob. Lib., 81: he describes groups keeping the Sabbath by assembling in their synagogues to study the Law), and Josephus 4 times. There are many archaeological artifacts of inscriptions reading "The Synagogue of...". By the era of the NT, the sense "congregation" and "building" cannot always be easily differentiated.

What we can say for certain is that you cannot date the Gospels by building a case on this term.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:09 pm

>Just because Thucydides and Josephus signed their works doesn't mean the Gospels are unreliable and illegitimate.

Where did I say so? I said that we can trust Thucydides and Josephus because they identify the author and his credentials. The gospels, on the other hand, do not tell us who their authors are nor do they give us their credentials. There is one passage about the author of John in John 21 but that is someone else making a claim about the author.

The author does not tell us who he is nor his identity nor his credentials. It is others who came centuries or an unknown number of years who tell us. Even the "we" in John 21:24 that makes the claim is unknown.

> No it isn't, it's just evidence that the Gospels are anonymous.

And that the author is unknown and does not give his credentials which undermines their reliability.

> Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria were writing in the end of the 2nd century

No Irenaeus is the one writing in the end of the second century. Writers in the third like Clement and Tertullian copy him and you finally get a consensus in the third century when Clement and Tertullian were writing.

> And you have completely neglected to mention Clement of Rome and Ignatius from the end of the 1st century.

These people say absolutely nothing at all about the authorship of the gospels.

In fact, when they quote the gospels, they always say "Jesus said" or "remember what Jesus said" which is not how they referred to written documents contrasted with Paul's letters or the Old Testament where they would say "as it is written" or "as scripture says". This is evidence that the gospels were not in written form until later.

But I will be waiting for where Clement and Ignatius make claims about the authorship of the gospels.

> There was consensus from the beginning.

No there was not. Your consensus comes from the third century. 100 years late. That's beyond useless.

> The superscription "According to Matthew" is part of the first editions we have of the Gospel (mid-2nd century).

No. The oldest complete manuscript with "kata mattheioun" is codex sinaiticus or vaticanus. These are in the fourth century after the attribution. Your argument just got worse. And even if granted, that still tells us nothing about the identity of the author nor his credentials, only his first name.

> The Church Fathers, not just Papias, were unanimous in attributing it to Matthew.

3 Christians in the third century.

> It is undeniable that the titles of all four Gospels were unanimously accepted over a large geographical region in the 2nd century. Because travelers networked early Christian assemblies throughout the Empire, early traditions concerning the authors have credibility.

I deny it. Give me evidence.

> The author was a conservative-minded Jew, aware of but not inclined to sectarian views. This fits Matthew's profile.

No, the author was probably not Jewish. He was definitely trying to appease Jews by pointing out how many OT prophecies Jesus fulfilled but he was not Jewish himself. He thinks the Sanhedrin can meet at night for trials when the Sanhedrin themselves explicitly claim that they have never ever met at night before (Sanhedrin 35a). In Matthew 23, he thinks that it was Zechariah the son of Berechiah was killed by the Jews in the temple when he dies a natural death in the OT and it is Zechariah the son of Jehodiah, who dies in the temple (2 Chronicles)

> The interest of the Gospel in the Law, in ecclesiastical matters, in oral interpretation of law and custom, would come most readily from a man trained in the legal disciplines (Matthew, or Levi), or from one who had been in constant touch with men so trained. Matthew fits the bill.

Affirming the consequent fallacy.

1. If there is no gas in my car, it won't run.
2. My car won't run.
3. Therefore, My car won't run.
4. If Matthew the disciple wrote it, he would be a Jew interested in the Law.
5. He is a Jew interested in the law.
6. Therefore, it is Matthew.

It could be a Jew interested in the Law (no evidence in the former and the explanation for the latter is that his audience is Jewish) without having to be Matthew same way your car could not be running (bad transmission for example) and you could still have a full tank.

> The Gospel presents a picture of Jesus carefully preserving the true principles of the Mosaic Law. Again, Matthew fits the bill.

Again, affirming the consequent.

> The level of Greek fits a man who was probably tri-lingual, a native Palestinian but who regularly does business in Greek (a tax collector; Matthew fits the bill)

And the level of Greek also fits a Greek hellenized author in Corinth. It also fits the level of Greek of an Egyptian aristocrat. It also fits the level of Greek of Josephus.

> The archaic expressions, interest in ecclesiastical matters, carefully recorded statements of Jesus about the Law, together with an already dying form of writing, all serve to convince us that we are dealing with an author very much as we would expect Matthew to be, and that the writing was earlier, rather than later.

You already said this.

> Let's start with Acts, which doesn't mention mention the Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70), Nero’s persecutions (mid-60s), the martyrdoms of James (61), Paul (64), and Peter (65), the Jewish war against Rome from 66 on.

Are you kidding me right now? So I told you that the argument based on the lack of mention of the destruction of the temple is fallacious and commits the argument from silence so you... go and commit more arguments from silence saying that it does not mention the martyrdom of James, etc.

This all assumes that these people were martyred which there is no evidence of.

> It then ends surprisingly abruptly. Sure it's an argument from silence, but the accumulation of silences is deafening

No, it is literally just more argument from silence.

> Gospel of Barnabas. Seriously? You bring this to the table? Earliest manuscript in the 16th c. No wonder the author doesn't mention the destruction of Jerusalem.

Argument from silence again. The so-called Gelasian Decree and the so-called List of Sixty Books both mention the gospel of Barnabas which pushes their composition way before the 4th century.

You also can not play that game. Our earliest reference and manuscript of 2 peter is not until the fourth century.

> Second Treatise of the Great Seth. 3rd century. 2nd Apocalypse of Peter. You mean the Apocalypse of Peter? About AD 180? You're kidding, right? Gospel of Judas. 3rd century.

I see no evidence behind your claims. Do you have any evidence why we should believe you that the Second treatise and Gospel of Judas is 3rd century? and that apocalypse of peter is 180 AD?

I date the gospel of Mark to 130 AD, Matthew and Luke to the year 140 AD and John to 150 AD.

> Matthew's particular parables reflect a consuming interest in the spiritual history of Israel as a chosen people, not a subject of conversation after AD 70.

Why not?

> The archaic terminology and expressions and interest in ecclesiastical matters give evidence to a date before 70.

Read above.

> The sharp language about various Jews in the Gospel reflect the kinds of discussions and disputes within Judaism prior to 70.

How do you know?

> It seems that Acts was written in the early 60s, which would put Matthew in the 50s.

No, Acts is written in the second half of the second century. And even if Acts was written in the 60s, that absolutely has no impact on Matthew.

> Mark preserves Aramaic expressions, a common practice in the 50s.

That means that he records an event that happened in the 50s. Not that Mark was written in the 50s. The earliest extant Biographies about Alexander are written 300 years after the events they record.

> Clement of Alexandria says Mark was written while Peter was alive. (Peter is thought to have been martyred sometime between 64-68).

No he does not. This is getting boring now. They are throwing a mix of non-sequiturs, circumstantial evidence and red herrings and call that "evidence".

> Papias wrote that Mark got his information from Peter.

Papias is already addressed above.

> Some Marcan material seems to stem from a controversy about Gentiles, clearly a concern in the 50s, and a dead issue after 70.

Again, meaning that he was recording events that happened in the 50s not that the gospel itself was composed in the 50s.

> Themes of Gentile inclusion and Jewish rejection. These are themes that indicate pre-70.

There is nothing like that at all and that would only mean that the events he record are pre-70 CE not that the gospel itself was written pre-70 CE. By those measures, literally every document in the world is contemporary to the events it talks about.

> Acts deals with issues especially important before 70. Luke was written before Acts.

Acts Deals with issues* and that is and that would only mean that the events he record are pre-70 CE not that the document itself was written pre-70 CE.

By the Way, even granting all your arguments for authorship, they would only show that they were written by jews not that they were written by eyewitnesses.
Noble One
 

Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:10 pm

> I said that we can trust Thucydides and Josephus because they identify the author and his credentials.

Actually many people don't trust Josephus. As I said, just because the name is on it doesn't make it trustworthy, and just because it's anonymous doesn't make it untrustworthy. If we are going to disregard every anonymous ancient source, we are going to throw out more than 90% of our historical records.

> The gospels, on the other hand, do not tell us who their authors are nor do they give us their credentials.

This is true, but corroborating ancient sources are unanimous and without challenge in their traditional attributions. That counts for something.

> It is others who came centuries or an unknown number of years who tell us.

The earliest attributions of authorship come within decades, not centuries. Ignatius and Clement of Rome, in the 1st century, quote from the Gospels. Hermas, in **The Shepherd** (AD 97) mentions that there are four Gospels. Tatian, in about 170, 1 century after the Gospels, writes a harmony of the 4.

> Even the "we" in John 21:24 that makes the claim is unknown.

"The disciple" of Jn. 21.24 is the one just mentioned in v. 20, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He claims to be an eyewitness in 1.14 and here in 21.24. He uses the present tense, possibly indicating he's still alive. The statement about his having written the book is a definite statement that the Beloved Disciple wrote the book. The "we" speaks of a confessional of sorts for the identification and endorsement of a group of disciples and eyewitnesses who know the author, vouch for his identity, and for the truthfulness of his writing. Greco-Roman and Jewish legal documents often ended with a attestation by witnesses.

> that the author is unknown and does not give his credentials which undermines their reliability.

The only thing that should undermine the reliability is if the account is unreliable. We don't know the identity of the authors of most ancient documents and written artifacts.

> Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian

Irenaeus lived from about 130-202: definitely 2nd century. His writings were in about 180, 2nd century.

Clement of Alexandria was from 150-215. His books were probably written between 195-203. 2nd c. to the very beginning of the 3rd.

Tertullian was around 160-220 or so. His writings date from 196-212. He is more possibly 3rd c., but not necessarily.

> Clement of Rome, Ignatius: "say absolutely nothing at all about the authorship of the gospels."

Clement circulated books throughout the churches. Irenaeus claims Clement knew the apostles. Tertullian says Clement was ordained by Peter. Ignatius mentions a Clement who is a helper of Peter. In his writings he acknowledges the authority of the Gospels by quoting from them, references Paul as a historical figure, writes of Peter's martyrdom, and tells us that the apostles fully believed in the resurrection of Christ. He nowhere contests the authorship of the Gospels (argument from silence, I know, but notable).

Ignatius is said to have been a disciple of the apostle John. Theodoret reports that Peter appointed him to his position. He also nowhere contests the traditional authorship while he quotes from the Gospels.

> This is evidence that the gospels were not in written form until later.

This is not evidence. Clement died in about 100, and Ignatius in 117. No one, but no one, says that Mark, Matthew and Luke were written that late. We have a fragment of John from about 125.

> No there was not. Your consensus comes from the third century.

Wrong again. The Church Fathers consistently and reliably quote from the Gospels as authoritative Scripture, starting at Clement (AD 90), continuing through the 2nd century (Ignatius, Barnabas of Alexandria, Irenaeus, the Diatessaron, Justin Martyr—all 1st & 2nd century.) The Diatessaron all by itself proves my point.

> The oldest complete manuscript with "kata mattheioun" is codex sinaiticus or vaticanus. These are in the fourth century after the attribution.

Of course, but they are not the oldest fragments. P104 (AD 150) has 7 verses of Matthew. P4 (AD 200) is a fragment of a flyleaf with the title "According to Matthew". Irenaeus (180) speaks of Matthew's Gospel. Plus we have 9 fragments from the 3rd c. (P21, 64, 77, 103, 1, 45, 53, 70, and 101). Tertullian, in 207, mentions 4 Gospels written by Mt, Mk, Lk, and Jn.

**But here's the question for you. I have given you evidence of Matthean authorship. Where is your evidence of other authorship?**

> I deny it. Give me evidence.

The source is Craig Keener in his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew.

> No, the author was probably not Jewish.

I beg to differ. As was elaborated, his concern was the Jewish law, Jewish ecclesiastical matters, Jewish prophecies, Jewish religious customs, the place of Moses, David, and Abraham, the history of Israel, and Jewish eschatology. We can safely conclude that the author was Jewish.

> And the level of Greek also fits

So we have to infer the most reasonable conclusion, and an Corinthian or Egyptian author don't fit anything else in the book. Palestinian is the most logical inference.

> > So I told you that the argument based on the lack of mention of the destruction of the temple is fallacious and commits the argument from silence so...

Of course you did, but that doesn't mean you're right. Because you say it doesn't make it so. Remember that part of your "evidence" for your point was writings written from 180 -1600. There's no strength there. The destruction of Jerusalem was the seminal historical event of the 1st century. There's no logical reason to believe it was left out of writings that allegedly came from the 70-80s. And I agreed that it was an argument from silence, but the accumulation of silences is deafening.

> This all assumes that these people were martyred which there is no evidence of.

Of course there's evidence of martyrdoms. Ignatius, Clement, Tertullian, Dionysius and Origen write of Peter's martyrdom. Polycarp, Origen, Eusebius, and Chrysostom confirm Ignatius’s martyrdom. We have written evidence of Justin Martyr's martyrdom (why he is called Justin Martyr).

> Argument from silence again. The so-called Gelasian Decree and the so-called List of Sixty Books both mention the gospel of Barnabas which pushes their composition way before the 4th century.

4th century? "So-called"? This isn't evidence.

> 2 peter is not until the fourth century.

We're not discussing 2 Peter, but rather the Gospels.

> I date the gospel of Mark to 130 AD, Matthew and Luke to the year 140 AD and John to 150 AD.

Evidence?

> No, Acts is written in the second half of the second century.

Evidence?

> That means that he records an event that happened in the 50s. Not that Mark was written in the 50s.

It may mean that, but Mark is quoted by Clement, Ignatius, Polykarp, the Didache, and Justin. I need to see your evidence for Mark being written in 130.

> "Clement of Alexandria says Mark was written while Peter was alive." No he does not. This is getting boring now.

Eusebius is the one who says this, Ecclesiastical History, Chapter 14, sectors 6-7.

> By the Way, even granting all your arguments for authorship, they would only show that they were written by jews not that they were written by eyewitnesses.

We can have this discussion, but this forum doesn't have enough room left to deal with it. We'd have to start another thread.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Noble One » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:14 pm

> Luke doesn't mention anything in Paul's writings, nor any acquaintance with them, and yet he travelled with Paul. It gives evidence of a date of writing before his travels with Paul in the late 50s.

Nor does the authentic Pauline letters mention anything in the gospels so let's date the gospels after him. Stop using the argument from silence already. And You have absolutely no evidence that the author of Luke travelled with paul except from 3 christians saying so in the third century.

> It is possible that Paul quotes from Luke 10.7 in 1 Tim. 5.18, which was written in the mid-50s.

No 1 Timothy 5:18 is apocryphal and disputed. If anything, it is quoting L, M or Q.

> I have only mentioned some; the case for traditional authorship goes much deeper.

Oh boy, even more arguments from silence.

> there are some very good reasons to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the Gospels.

No there are not. If I were to categorize "the Evidence" that you gave, it would be in either categories:

1) Christians living centuries later say so.
2) Even later titles
3) Affirming the Consequent
4) Non-sequitur
5) Irrelevant red herring.

> You may be just as mistaken and misinformed about these as you are about the authorship and dating issues.

LOL! You sure showed me with that evidence. You also think that laundry lists are valuable.

> Surah 6:115 affirms the reliability of the "before Scriptures" (the Bible)

That says that no one can alter Allah's words. When you corrupt the bible, you are not going back and forcing Allah to say something differently.

> Surah 4:136, Allah teaches all Muslims not to wander from the Scriptures that he revealed before (i.e., the Bible)

Right, the original Gospel and Torah, not the corrupted ones we have now.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:29 pm

> Nor does the authentic Pauline letters mention anything in the gospels so let's date the gospels after him.

Sure they do. He speaks often of the death and resurrection of Christ. 1 Cor. 15.3-7 is primo.

In 1 Corinthians 7.10 Paul mentions teachings of Jesus, as he does in 1 Timothy 6.3. He quotes the words of Jesus in 1 Cor. 11.24-25, and he specifies in 1 Cor. 7.12 that what he is saying does NOT belong to the body of Jesus's teachings, indicating he was familiar with that collection.

> No 1 Timothy 5:18 is apocryphal and disputed. If anything, it is quoting L, M or Q.

You can't say it's disputed and then conclude it's apocryphal. If it's disputed, then it isn't necessarily apocryphal, but only deemed as such by some. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. 1 Timothy is filled with so many Pauline terms, phrases, and styles, if it weren't written by Paul, it was written by a pseudepigrapher who "out-Pauled" Paul! The debate rages. It is far from concluded that 1 Timothy is apocryphal.

> "I have only mentioned some; the case for traditional authorship goes much deeper." Oh boy, even more arguments from silence.

Not an argument from silence, but from SPACE. You know there's a 10K character limit on posts? We can easily go into more depth on authorship, but it would need a new thread. Please don't be so derogatory and dismissive. It's not conducive to respectful discussion.

> "Good reasons to believe authors were Mt Mk Lk & Jn." No there are not.

Argument from silence? You don't win the case by saying, "Nope." Evidence is in order.

> Surah 6:115

In Surah 10:94, Allah says that if Mohammed has doubts about his revelations, he should consult those who read the Bible from before Mohammad's life. Surah 5:46, 66 promise that those who read the Torah and Injil will be showered with blessings. This Surah affirms that no one can change the revelation of Allah. So when you say that the Bible has been corrupted, what are you saying about Allah? This Surah says nothing can change his words.

> Surah 4:136

The Gospel we have now is the one Mohammad read. The texts we use for the Scriptures are all pre-7th century. Since Surah 3:50 instructs Muslims to obey Isa, the only way to do that is to read the Injil. But if the Injil have been corrupted, the Qur'an is misleading us.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby Me 6 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:24 pm

I'll concede your point. However nobody has provided evidence for a pre-70 dating, so I'll simply wait.
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Re: The Gospels were not written before 70

Postby jimwalton » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:28 pm

As I wrote a few panels up, there is actually a substantial amount of evidence for pre-70 dating of the Gospels. A short list:

MATTHEW

- Matthew's particular parables reflect a consuming interest in the spiritual history of Israel as a chosen people, not a subject of conversation after AD 70.
- The archaic terminology and expressions and interest in ecclesiastical matters give evidence to a date before 70.
- The sharp language about various Jews in the Gospel reflect the kinds of discussions and disputes within Judaism prior to 70.
- It seems that Acts was written in the early 60s, which would put Matthew in the 50s.
- Irenaeus says Matthew was written while Peter and Paul were still preaching in Rome (early 60s).

MARK

- Mark preserves Aramaic expressions, a common practice in the 50s.
- Mark seems to write in an atmosphere where the theological understanding of the ministry and message of Jesus are still in their primitive and elemental forms. Its main concern seems to be Jesus at war with Satan.
- Clement of Alexandria (according to Eusebius) says Mark was written while Peter was alive. (Peter is thought to have been martyred sometime between 64-68).
- Papias wrote that Mark got his information from Peter. Justin Martyr and Eusebius say Peter was in Rome from 55-65 (killed around the mid-60s).
- Some Marcan material seems to stem from a controversy about Gentiles, clearly a concern in the 50s, and a dead issue after 70.

LUKE

- Themes of Gentile inclusion and Jewish rejection. These are themes that indicate pre-70.
- Acts deals with issues especially important before 70. Luke was written before Acts.
- Many expressions in Acts are early and primitive. That puts Luke early.
- Luke doesn't mention anything in Paul's writings, nor any acquaintance with them, and yet he travelled with Paul. It gives evidence of a date of writing before his travels with Paul in the late 50s.
- It is possible that Paul quotes from Luke 10.7 in 1 Tim. 5.18, which was written in the mid-50s.

In my opinion, this evidence is stronger than the evidence for a post-70 writing.
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