Help needed on getting facts straight

Medievalguy
Medievalguy's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: 2007-03-01
User is offlineOffline
Help needed on getting facts straight

Ok, so i'm trying to argue a point on a christian website, and I want to make sure I have my facts striaght.  I know there are (atleast) two historical errors in the nativity story. The ones I'm talking about are Harod's slaughter of all the first borns males, and the time when the census was actually taken. I know it's something like "Harod died 10 years before Jesus was born, and there was a census, but it wasn't national, it was local, and it was 6 years after when the bible claims it to have been." I just can't find where I originally got that from, and I want to be able to cite sources. I thought it was in "The god delusion", but it wasn't, and it wasn't in "The god who wasn't there" movie. Anyone know where I can find this info? Thanks


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Honestly, the nativity

Honestly, the nativity story is just metaphor  anyway. You are wasting your time arguing about it being literal.  Herod was probably in power when Jesus was born, but aspects of the birth narrative are not literl. Instead, they are there to show a larger point.

For example, Matthew wants his readers to know that Jesus is a new a greater Moses. When Herod kills all the first born males, the author of Matthew is drawing off the slaughter of the first-born by the Pharoh in Exodus.

Also in that story, Moses escapes when his mom puts him in the basket on the river. The escape of Jesus to Egypt after his birth is basically a parallel to Moses.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2642
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Wait Wait

Wait Wait Wait.

Christos,

Isn't that begging the question of "Why then cannot the entire story be fiction?" 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
The entire birth narrative

The entire birth narrative probably is allegory. It is just allegory that serves to promote a certain theme. Mark, the first written gospel, does not include a birth narrative. Paul says that Jesus was "born of a woman;" not born of a virgin.

In regards to the entire gospel story, no its not all allegory. Some of the teachings of Jesus are authentic and unique to the real man. (For example, his teachings about gentiles or "turning the other cheek.&quotEye-wink

The real question to ask is: What was so important about Jesus that caused these Jews to wrap their sacred history around him? (Moses, Elijah, Passover, Yom Kippur, etc.) Devoted Jews just don't go around claiming that someone is greater than Moses everyday. 

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Medievalguy wrote: Ok, so

Medievalguy wrote:
Ok, so i'm trying to argue a point on a christian website, and I want to make sure I have my facts striaght. I know there are (atleast) two historical errors in the nativity story. The ones I'm talking about are Harod's slaughter of all the first borns males, and the time when the census was actually taken. I know it's something like "Harod died 10 years before Jesus was born, and there was a census, but it wasn't national, it was local, and it was 6 years after when the bible claims it to have been." . . . . . etc

 

Hi Medievalguy.

Some of the problems surrounding the veracity of the slaughter of the innocents:

1 - Nowhere else in the New Testament is it mentioned.
2 - Nowhere else in the secular sources is it mentioned. One would expect such an atrocious act to have gotten at least a mention somewhere, a blurb, especially since we have record of Herod doing bad things that are way less horrendous than this mass infanticide.
3- It fits the well-attested Mosaic parallel of the gospel. (this really is the clincher for me)

Also . . .
Herod died in 4 B.C.E. which tells us that, if this story was historically feasible, then Jesus must have been born no later than that . . . but how many years before 4 B.C.E . . . . a year? . . . three? . . . . seventeen? . . . who knows?



The main problem with the Census . . .

According to Josephus, Quirinus issued a census somewhere between the years 6 and 9 C.E. A date that most people reject as being too late to coincide with the Matthew's story. If Luke is right, then Jesus was born a decade after Herod the Great had died. If Matthew is right, then Jesus was born a decade before any such census could have happened. . . . . see the problem?


Of course, this is all inconsequential as it is pretty obvious that Christos is right in saying that it's all just metaphor anyway, but I hope it helps to know why the stories don't match.

My suggestion to you, though, is to NOT go arguing about these things in some Christian forum until you have read a book or two detailing these and many other discrepancies in the gospel texts. A good place to start might be something like Asimov's Guide to the Bible (Vol II) which mentions all these things without any hint of proselytizing, i.e. from a POV of simple skeptical inquiry. You can then advance to some more in-depth materials. Do a google search . . . you'll find links to books and articles and sites.

good luck

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
I have consolidated my

I have consolidated my response to two separate posts for the sake of clarity and exposition....

Christos wrote:

Honestly, the nativity story is just metaphor anyway. You are wasting your time arguing about it being literal. Herod was probably in power when Jesus was born, but aspects of the birth narrative are not literl. Instead, they are there to show a larger point.


I agree. It's like trying to come up with theories to explain what the Star of Bethlehem was or formulae to calculate when exactly it appeared. To not see that they are mythic metaphors and instead insist they are historic events is breathtakingly ignorant and/or naive.

Nevertheless, it is important that we point out the many ways that these events are unlikely at best and impossible at worst. We can't just go on hunches . . . can we? Hunches won't dissuade our credulous loved ones from sending some huckster that monthly love-gift. . . . or from buying into some sick megalomaniacal's revelry (I actually know a man who lost half his family at Jonestown).

Still, I dug this answer, . . . but then I happen to believe that the whole thing is mostly metaphor - even the little bit that can be traced back to Jesus.

Christos wrote:


The real question to ask is: What was so important about Jesus that caused these Jews to wrap their sacred history around him? (Moses, Elijah, Passover, Yom Kippur, etc.) Devoted Jews just don't go around claiming that someone is greater than Moses everyday.



Ah, but it wasn't the Jews that were rallying behind this nascent movement at all!
In my reading of the material, I see it spreading like wildfire in its hellenic variation, but, in its original Jewish setting, the community consisted mostly of Law-observing Jews who, though they tolerated greek god-fearers-cum-"christians" being around, did not hold to the missionary standard that these hellenists held to and wished the hellenists would stop messing with their traditions. The initial Jerusalem group headed by Jacob were in fact indistinguishable from their Jewish neighbors because they WERE fellow Jews. Being Jews, they weren't prone to proselytize and therefore did not "spread like wildfire", but rather stayed in Jerusalem and simply continued to be Jews who upheld the memory and teachings of their master, Jesus, and were allowed to, just as those who kept the memory of Rabbi Hillel or of Rabbi Gamaliel were allowed to uphold their respective teachings.

The book we know as the Gospel of Matthew's obvious lifting of the Mosaic parallels and pentaform structure is fascinating in light of this. I think you are right in doubting that a Jew would have written such a text.

But . . . . if you'll allow me an anachronism . . . .
A Jew-for-Jesus could have.

That's what it reminds me of.
To me it seems plausible that it could have been written by a community of hellenist initiates into the Pauline mysteries who were resentful of having been kicked out of the Temple (the dating of this severance - that is, of the decided expulsion from fellowship of those who held to these mysteries - circa 83 C.E., sounds just about right about when Mathew came to being (by current consensus, it is right in the strike zone).

I brought up the Jews-for-Jesus because they serve as a good modern example of a devotional community that has co-opted the traditions (though only superficially) of another pre-existing group to the extent that they view THEMSELVES as the true advocates of the tradition.

I fear that this post might be getting too lengthy, but I hope it is clear what I'm getting at. If you like, I'd like to discuss this some more. I feel that my hypothesis is consistend with the textual evidence. I HAVE thought it out for some time now and this explains to me why the text utilizes elements of Jewish symbolism and metaphor and borrowed forms while. It is no wonder to me that they got kicked out of the temple and synagogues for their views.

 

peace

 

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Quixie. You make some good

Quixie. You make some good points. Matthew was probably written by Jews kicked out of the temple (probably in Antioch).

I actually do think that a Jew wrote Matthew. The textual evidence that the author had deep knowledge of Judasim testifies to that claim.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: Quixie.

Christos wrote:

Quixie. You make some good points. Matthew was probably written by Jews kicked out of the temple (probably in Antioch).

I actually do think that a Jew wrote Matthew. The textual evidence that the author had deep knowledge of Judasim testifies to that claim.

You yourself admit that there's something very "non-Jewish" about proclaiming Jesus as the Übermoses. You are absolutely right in saying that a Pharisee would have been really annoyed by this teaching.

Instead of thinking of it as an anomaly brought about by a miraculous event (the science of history must prefer confessioins of ignorance to invocations of the supernatural, or necessarily fall outside of the scientific paradigm) it seems more plausible to me that it doesn't "sound" Jewish simply because it ISN'T Jewish. The post I made about the better-that-moses theme is a very brief encapsulation of a bigger, more complicated topic. Yes, there is some genuine knowledge of Judaic forms and symbols reflected in Matthew, these were a result of the close contact these proselytes had had for half a century with the Jewish host tradition, but these symbols were co-opted by these outcasts who then proclaimed themselves to be the true, newly-fulfilled Judaism (having bought into the Pauline mysteries necessitated borrowing Abram's Bossom for it to work), yet very quickly (amazingly quick in fact) these symbols were grossly misinterpreted by subsequent initiates.

I think a careful and objective reading of the texts supports my hypotheses. Perhaps I should organize all my thoughts on this into a longish essay . . . .

 

peace

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Quixie, there is not

Quixie, there is not something un-Jewish about the authors of the Gospels (excluding Luke). Matthew especially knows Judaism backwards and forwards. I think a careful analysis of the text supports that claim. You can even see that he is Jewish in his hesitation to overthrow the law (I think its Matthew 4 or 5, right before the Sermon on the Mount). Matthew, Mark and John were beyond a doubt Jews who really believed in the resurrection and Jesus Christ.

I think their writing style to portray Jesus as a greater Moses shows their strong opinions and keeps me intrigued with Christianity. However, at the very least, this evidence supports the existence of Jesus. Considering that Moses was considered to be a real person to a first century Jew, Jesus had to be a real person to recieve such high praise form the Jews.

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: Quixie,

Christos wrote:

Quixie, there is not something un-Jewish about the authors of the Gospels (excluding Luke).

Yup, nothing un-Jewish at all. . . Oh . . . except that little thing about Jesus being the only begotten son of God . . . . who is god in the flesh . . . . . oh . . . and that little thing about him surpassing Moses. You act like it's a minor thing even though you yourself pointed out how angry such teachings would make any Pharisee of the day.

Christos wrote:
Matthew especially knows Judaism backwards and forwards. I think a careful analysis of the text supports that claim. You can even see that he is Jewish in his hesitation to overthrow the law (I think its Matthew 4 or 5, right before the Sermon on the Mount). Matthew, Mark and John were beyond a doubt Jews who really believed in the resurrection and Jesus Christ.

You obviously didn't get my Jews-for-Jesus analogue. Here's another example from our own experience:

The Mormons, in their sacred writings, display a profound understanding of Christianity. No? They freely borrowed the phrasing and symbolism of that religion which they claim to be a splinter of. Indeed, they felt entitled to do this as the true inheritors of the gospel. (Can you deny that this deep understanding of Christianity is evident in their texts?) Oh, yeah . . . except for that bit about Jesus appearing in North America during his three days missing from Jerusalem after his crucifixion, while he was dead (the orthodox church line says he went to hell - the Mormons must think that North America must be hell, then, by logical reasoning). Oh . . . and that little thing about how he was actually a brother of Lucifer . . . . Oh . . . and that little thing about men earning their godhood through piety and righteousness in this life. All considered blasphemous to orthodox Christianity.

Are they Christian? Well . . . their texts reflect a deep understanding and dependence on the New Testament, so . . . by your logic . . . . they MUST be Christians. No?

No. I don't think the mormons are Christian . . . I think they co-opted the sacred texts of the religion which they splintered from and added their own teaching which misinterpreted those texts they co-opted.

And I think this is the kind of thing that happened when hellenist converts convinced themselves that they were the "New Jerusalem".

 

Anyway . . . if you choose to ignore or dismiss my point and continue to hold to the "the gospel writers were all Jewish, except for Luke" (who, incidentally, is believed to also be a converted Jew by some commentators), based solely on what the traditional view is, then go ahead . . . I see HUGE problems with that model.

To hold that those bits that are un-Jewish were adopted because the community was convinced that God had stepped into history to raise Jesus . . . requires a leap. It needs a supernatural intervention for it to work. My model at least attempts to explain the un-Jewishness of the texts in a way that leaves the supernatural out of it. The greek precursor of the concept we now call Ockam's razor was the"think horses" axion. In ancient greece, medical students were exhorted to think horses - not zebras - when they heard the sound of hoofbeats coming. My point being that invoking the supernatural is like thinking zebras.

As far as "studying religion" goes. Do you do it to explore whetever avenues of enquiry may open up in the search? . . . or do you do it to simply memorize and repeat what our mostly-orthodox professors offer up as explanations? To learn? . . or to be learned?

Christos wrote:
I think their writing style to portray Jesus as a greater Moses shows their strong opinions and keeps me intrigued with Christianity. However, at the very least, this evidence supports the existence of Jesus. Considering that Moses was considered to be a real person to a first century Jew, Jesus had to be a real person to recieve such high praise form the Jews.

Like you, I am fascinated with the emergence of this religion. I do lean toward there having been a real historical Jesus as well (though I think it's too late to reconstruct any accurate portrayal of who that might have been). But I must insist that most Jews rejected the claim of his followers that he was the Messiah, except for the small group led by Jacob in Jerusalem. To keep insisting that the early spreading Christianity was comprised of mostly genuine Jews who only blasphemed against their god because miracles compelled them to is to beg a lot of questions.

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Quixie, honestly they were

Quixie, honestly they were written by Jews. I'm sorry that you have a problem, but you are rejecting something that virtually every biblical scholar accepts. Similar to your rejection of Paul's conversion, which is almost completely accepted as 1-5 years after the crucifixion.

Don't get you panties all up in a bunch about widely accepted conclusions.

By the way, I go to a secular university. So I'm not getting learning from Jerry Falwell. I'm learning from people with phd's in Hisotry and Relgion rather than accepting biblical analysis from a person with an engineering degree.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote:

Christos wrote:

Quixie, honestly they were written by Jews.

Ok, as long as you say so.

Christos wrote:
I'm sorry that you have a problem, but you are rejecting something that virtually every biblical scholar accepts. Similar to your rejection of Paul's conversion, which is almost completely accepted as 1-5 years after the crucifixion.

Virtually every NT scholar accepts that the gospel writers were Jews. I know this.

My "problem" is that (and this thread is a really good example of this) people make assertions based on arguments that have not been settled as though they were concrete facts. This all started when I pointed out that the dating of Paul's conversion is not such "given" as you say it is.

Reminds me of a recent argument I had about Judas Iscariot. It turns out that neither Paul, nor Mark, nor Matthew, nor even John actually uses the word "to betray" in their respective mentions of Judas. Whereas Matthew didn't see fit to promote him to the status of "betrayer", Luke actually uses the word for the first time, but neither Mark nor Paul has heard of a "betrayal". Nevertheless, 2000 years of cultural and emotional attachment to those evolving traditions make it hard to shake off the "given" that Judas "betrayed" Jesus.

But it's not in the text. We just act like it's obvious.

"Everybody knows it," is not a good counter-argument, especially when confronted by textual evidence.

 

It's funny, but I am not even arguing for a date of Paul's conversion. I think that Harnack's tracing it to approximately 35 C.E. is probable. No big deal. But . . .

and this is ALL i wanted to point out (and which I'll continue to point out whenever anybody makes an "everybody knows THAT" argument that's not proven)

. . . for the dating of Paul's conversion, people use Paul's account in Galatians to count back fourteen years, I know the calculation (and so do you). But we don't actually know with certainty when that epistle was written. There has been a complex and heated debate between scholars who think it was written by Paul in Antioch somewhere around 49 C.E. on the one hand, and those who think that it came from Paul's third journey and was written from Ephesus in about 54 C.E. on the other. Which side of the debate I hold to is not the issue here. The issue is that the first position is not as universally accepted as you claim. Not only that, whether we date Paul's Damascus experience to within 5 years or 10 years of Jesus' death assumes that we have any concrete dating of the crucifixion as well. So . . . here we have two tentative dates on a floating timescale by which to mark our chronology, neither one of which is historically certain and you want me to just accept that Paul's vision happened just a few months after Jesus was killed. Just because "everybody knows that".

I'm reminded of an N.T Wright lecture I saw once (not my favorite writer in the field, but this was classic) . . . he suggested that all NT scholars wake up in the morning and repeat the phrase, "we don't know when these books were written" over and over again like a mantra. I thought that was a very good point to make.

Christos wrote:
Don't get you panties all up in a bunch . . .
Never.

I go commando most summer days. Cool

Christos wrote:
By the way, I go to a secular university. So I'm not getting learning from Jerry Falwell. I'm learning from people with phd's in Hisotry and Relgion rather than accepting biblical analysis from a person with an engineering degree.

Dude, I don't think you are being taught by yokels. Relax.

But I wouldn't presume that an engineer can't have an informed opinion on these matters (an engineer no longer, I make my living as an artist these days). Who knows, perhaps my lack of emotional attachment to "givens" might even be an advantage in taking in the big picture. I am delighted to see non-Christians enter into the field of NT scholarship in recent years.

Finally, while I would never doubt the credentials of those who are teaching you, the tenor of your posts suggest to me that you are maybe a sophmore undergrad ( ? - nothing wrong with that - we all were at some point) and are essentially new to the materials. That's ok. We all have to start somewhere and I commend you for your commitment to learn.

It's a little condescending to imply that you are somehow in a better position to comment on the materials than I am because you are a religion major, though. I suspect that I have already read most of the scholarly works that they are going to make you read in the next few semesters. I say this not to boast erudition but to hopefully get you to chill on thinking you somehow have a better perch than I do. You may be enrolled, but I have a head start on the reading. I've been at it for over ten years now.

My eyes are not better than yours . . . but

I do have eyes to see, sir.

peace

 

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
I came upon this site

I came upon this site relating to the question which opened the thread. It's a good one.

http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/jesus/quirinius.htm

 

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: 2 - Nowhere

I Quixie wrote:
2 - Nowhere else in the secular sources is it mentioned. One would expect such an atrocious act to have gotten at least a mention somewhere, a blurb, especially since we have record of Herod doing bad things that are way less horrendous than this mass infanticide.

Bethlehem was a samll community, with the number og males under two years probably in the neighborhood of twenty.  Contemporary historians mention the purges that Herod carried out in his own family and household.  It may be that the purges conducted were on such a scale that the killing of twenty children in a remote town escaped the notice of non-Christian historians.

I Quixie wrote:

According to Josephus, Quirinus issued a census somewhere between the years 6 and 9 C.E. A date that most people reject as being too late to coincide with the Matthew's story. If Luke is right, then Jesus was born a decade after Herod the Great had died. If Matthew is right, then Jesus was born a decade before any such census could have happened. . . . . see the problem?

Knowledge of Roman adminstrative procedures of this period are very scetchy.  Roman census didn't take place at the same time throughout the Empire, and could be dragged out over a period of years.  Since Luke mentions a "first enrollment", it would seem that he was presuming that contemporaries would know of at least one other later one.  Why would Luke leave himself so open to criticsim by those who knew first hand of the census by attempting such precision?

Further, Luke was writing in a time when records would have been available both locally and in Rome.  In fact, Justin Martyr pointed that fact out to Emperor Antonius Pius, telling him of the registration of Jesus' family in the census, adding that details of this can be found in official Roman archives.  It is significant that no Roman, pagan, Jewish or heretical Christian opponent challenges Luke on this account.


 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


Piper2000ca
Piper2000ca's picture
Posts: 138
Joined: 2006-12-27
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus

totus_tuus wrote:

Bethlehem was a samll community, with the number og males under two years probably in the neighborhood of twenty. Contemporary historians mention the purges that Herod carried out in his own family and household. It may be that the purges conducted were on such a scale that the killing of twenty children in a remote town escaped the notice of non-Christian historians.

    You made a really good point here.  If the scale of the massacre was only about 20 children, it could have gone unnoticed.  However, I did some research after I read this.  At the beginning of the first century, Bethlehem wasn't a small community.  I checked with the "Antiquities of the Jews" (one of the main works of Josephus Flavius, and the one often used to support the existence of Jesus), and Josephus mentions Bethlehem quite often, and often refers to it as a city, never as a town or anything smaller.  Also, from the amount of references he makes to the city, it is clear that at the time, it was very politically important.  So just based on the importance of the city, something like a massacre of the innocents would have been noticed and recorded by someone.  Also, your numbers don't work out.  A city of that time would have had a population around 2,000 to 10,000 people (comparable to a small modern town), and that's on the small side.  On average, male children under the age of 2 would have made up about 6% of the population*.  This would give a range of around 120-600 male children under the age of two.  Even on the low end of that, a massacre of more then a hundred infants (especially males) would definitely have been noticed by many.

* - This number is based on modern nations that have low life expectancies, and high infant mortality rates.  However, even in countries like this, modern life expectancy is still higher, and infant mortality still lower, so it is very conceivable that the number would actually be higher, around 8-9%.  But, for the sake of argument, I've used the lower number.

totus_tuus wrote:

Knowledge of Roman adminstrative procedures of this period are very scetchy.

    Huh?  On the contrary, we actually know quite a bit about Roman administrative procedures.  In fact, they are some of the best well known simply for the fact that they liked to document virtually everything they did.

totus_tuus wrote:

Roman census didn't take place at the same time throughout the Empire, and could be dragged out over a period of years. Since Luke mentions a "first enrollment", it would seem that he was presuming that contemporaries would know of at least one other later one. Why would Luke leave himself so open to criticsim by those who knew first hand of the census by attempting such precision?

    While yes, a census taking place throughout the empire would drag on for years, this census was only for the Iudaea Province, and would have progressed rather quickly.  As for Luke calling this the first census, he is simply referring to the fact that this was the first census to occur in Judea.  If he is saying it because he knew of others after it, it simply points to a later date for the gospel.  However, he may of simply have called it the first, because no one had ever done such a census before, just as someone today would describe something as "the first time this think has happened" right after the event (in other words, there isn't anything to criticize).

totus_tuus wrote:

Further, Luke was writing in a time when records would have been available both locally and in Rome. In fact, Justin Martyr pointed that fact out to Emperor Antonius Pius, telling him of the registration of Jesus' family in the census, adding that details of this can be found in official Roman archives. It is significant that no Roman, pagan, Jewish or heretical Christian opponent challenges Luke on this account.

    Yes, Justin Martyr in about 150-160CE did say something like this in his first apology:

    "...Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius [or Quirinius], your first procurator in Judaea" Chapter 34.

    As for nobody challenging Justin Martyr or Luke on this account, firstly, by the time Luke was written (let alone Justin Martyrs First Apology), it is doubtful that the Romans would have kept those records for so long (I'm actually surprised that Justin Martyr even bothered stating that).  Also, and more simply, even if they had, they would only have had reference to Joseph (as Mary would not have been counted, being his wife, and same with Jesus who would have been a newborn).  Naturally, there were tons of people named Joseph at that time (it was a very popular name), so there wouldn't have been a point to argue.  Also, it is possible that people did challenge Luke on this, but we simply don't have anything surviving, after all, we don't have any replies (if any were written) from any of the people that he was addressing in his First Apology (I should say that as I know of, if you know of any replies, I'd love to see them).  Remember, much of what we know from that time we have because scribes copied and kept only the sources that they wanted to keep, which was sadly very one sided (this is why we have so few Gnostic and heretical works from this time).


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Hi totus;

Hi totus;

Though you are obviously better-read than most of the apologists who contribute to these forums, still I find several fallacies in your post.

I Quixie wrote:
2 - Nowhere else in the secular sources is it mentioned. One would expect such an atrocious act to have gotten at least a mention somewhere, a blurb, especially since we have record of Herod doing bad things that are way less horrendous than this mass infanticide.


totus_tuus wrote:
Bethlehem was a samll community, with the number og males under two years probably in the neighborhood of twenty. Contemporary historians mention the purges that Herod carried out in his own family and household. It may be that the purges conducted were on such a scale that the killing of twenty children in a remote town escaped the notice of non-Christian historians.


Yes, as you rightly point out, Beth'Lehem in the late first century B.C.E. was a small village with a population (by modern archeological estimations) of somewhere between a thousand people and forty-five hundred at most, which would mean that the number of children supposedly killed was not in fact 16,000, as the Greek Orthodox church believes (or even 144,000 - as the Syrian church holds to), but would have been a much smaller number, as you say. This would mean the slaughter was of between twenty and a hundred boys. That's still a significant number of murders to have gone unreported.

You also correctly point out that the atrocities he committed on his own kin and people were documented and historically preserved. However, our only extant sources for information about these are Josephus' "War" and his "Antiquities", in which he reveals as his main contemporary source on Herod's reign to be Nicolas of Damascus. To claim a multiplicity of attestation to these crimes by contemporary historians (plural) is thus an historically unsupported claim, first of all.

Secondly, Nicolas of Damascus was not merely a detached historian. He was in fact Herod's prime minister as well as his court historian. As such, he was privy to very intimate details regarding Herod's deeds, motivations, and even psychology. In light of this fact, I find your assertion that "the killing of twenty children in a remote town escaped the notice of non-Christian historians" to be unfounded. It is very difficult for me to accept the assertion that his own prime minister never heard of this slaughter of innocents in Beth'Lehem. Even if it was only twenty children, as you posit.

Not only that, it is amazing to me that such an atrocity didn't make it into the common Christian oral tradition.

I mean, even if gentile opponents had never heard of such a thing, one would think it would have been mentioned by those who knew of it "first hand" (to use your own phrase regarding the census below), not necessarily textually, but at least in oral form.

The silence is deafening on this, however.

Moreover, the fact that you refer to "non-Christian" historians in your assertion implies that there were "Christian" historians at a time when Jesus was busy being born. I must say that I find this somewhat humorous. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume that by "Christian" historians, you mean Matthew, which is the ONLY place where this supposed slaughter is described - in only a single verse, no less - (which is still an anachronism, as that particular gospel was not composed until nearly a century after Herod's death, and is thus not a contemporary text). Even this is an interesting fallacy in light of the fact that Luke is usually the evangelist that is considered a bonified "historian" by the evangelical set. Even Richard Bauckham (whose "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" I just read recently - painfully, I might add, so full of groundless assertions did i find it) focuses on Luke only in this way, not on Matthew.

Further, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone in today's scholarly community (or even in the twentieth century) who considers either one of the nativity stories to be a literal telling of "historical" events. Invariably, anyone holding to this interpretation is an evangelical committed to the doctrine of biblical infallibility (i.e. - literalists).

Are you such a one?

If so . . . why? (this would really surprise me if you are in fact a Catholic -which your signature quoting of JPII leads me to decuce - Catholics are NOT literalists)

If not . . . what do you think the limit of this literalness might be? (perhaps in the description of the Magi's "dreams"? - who would be privy to those dreams? - i'm truly curious to know where you draw the line)

All that aside, to my eyes, the smoking gun which ultimately relegates Matthew's infancy narrative to the category of a christological and mythical contruction is the fact that it perfectly follows Matthew's well-attested method of portraying Jesus as an Übermoses in this gospel. It is a very carefully constructed text, composed in five sections to echo the Torah's five books. The stories of the slaughter of the innocents and of the flight to Egypt clearly reflect Matthew's intentions to this end.

I Quixie wrote:


According to Josephus, Quirinus issued a census somewhere between the years 6 and 9 C.E. A date that most people reject as being too late to coincide with Matthew's story. If Luke is right, then Jesus was born a decade after Herod the Great had died. If Matthew is right, then Jesus was born a decade before any such census could have happened. . . . . see the problem?


totus_tuus wrote:
Knowledge of Roman adminstrative procedures of this period are very scetchy.


No shit?

totus_tuus wrote:
Roman census didn't take place at the same time throughout the Empire, and could be dragged out over a period of years. Since Luke mentions a "first enrollment", it would seem that he was presuming that contemporaries would know of at least one other later one.


Actually, while you are correct in pointing out the phrase protê egeneto (sorry, but I don't have a Greek font installed on this machine) in Luke 2:2, that doesn't make a bit of difference to the point at hand, however, for it doesn't change the fact that Josephus (in Antiquities book 17) says that Quirinus "initiated" this census during his second term, which spanned from 6-7 C.E. This is explicitly stated.

Hence, the dating inconsistencies between Luke's and Matthew's accounts still stand. To pretend there is no inconsistency there is either dishonest or misinformed or delusional. Take your pick.

totus_tuus wrote:
Why would Luke leave himself so open to criticsim by those who knew first hand of the census by attempting such precision?


It is a quite a stretch to presume that by the time the author of the gospel we know as Luke wrote his work (the current consensus favors the ninth decade of the common era, at the earliest), there were people around who "knew first hand" of this census. Everyone was dead by then.

But even if their survivors vaguely knew of this census (also, remember that there were no calendars as we know them back then, so only a vague recollection by survivors of anyone who might have lived through it is feasible), what does that have to do with the fact that the two gospel dating schemes (for the nativity) do not match?

The criticism would come centuries later, long after Luke had estimated (erroneously, obviously) the date of Jesus' birth in this way, long after Luke was dead.

totus_tuus wrote:
Further, Luke was writing in a time when records would have been available both locally and in Rome. In fact, Justin Martyr pointed that fact out to Emperor Antonius Pius, telling him of the registration of Jesus' family in the census, adding that details of this can be found in official Roman archives. It is significant that no Roman, pagan, Jewish or heretical Christian opponent challenges Luke on this account.



Yes . . . . Justin, in his 1st Apology (section 34) does briefly refer the emperor to records of Quirinus' census. What this proves is that Justin was familiar with Luke's gospel. Nothing more.

But, in light of all the above, that is, in light of the fact that the actual census had taken place over a decade AFTER Jesus had been born (according to Luke), even if there was such an archive in Rome, such a record would NOT have reconciled the two datings of Jesus' birth found in the gospels.

As such . . . it is completely insignificant and irrelevant to the argument at hand . . . which is . . . . "Are the two gospel datings of J's birth consistent?"

The answer to this question which opens this thread, I continue to insist, is a resounding NO.

peace be with you

Ó

 



"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie, Thanks for

I Quixie,

Thanks for responding.  This has the beginnings of a great exchange.

As you noted above, I am indeed Catholic.  Thanks too for noting a difference between Scriptural literalists, and those who interpet Scripture literally.

I'm a bit pressed for tim this morning, so I can only respond to a part of your post here, and thought it's be best to start by answering this question:

I Quixie wrote:

Further, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone in today's scholarly community (or even in the twentieth century) who considers either one of the nativity stories to be a literal telling of "historical" events. Invariably, anyone holding to this interpretation is an evangelical committed to the doctrine of biblical infallibility (i.e. - literalists).

Are you such a one?

If so . . . why? (this would really surprise me if you are in fact a Catholic -which your signature quoting of JPII leads me to decuce - Catholics are NOT literalists)

If not . . . what do you think the limit of this literalness might be? (perhaps in the description of the Magi's "dreams"? - who would be privy to those dreams? - i'm truly curious to know where you draw the line)

I am indeed not a Bible literalist.  And I pretty much draw the line at the Old Testament (with a couple of exceptions).

Further, I acknowledge the infallibilty of the Bible in matters of faith and morals.  I believe that the Old Testament is the revealed word of God, but the OT understanding of the message conveyed to them by God was, in the words of Dei Verbum, imperfect and provisional.

Additionally, I need to point out a further problem we'll probably have in any discussion of the Gospels, which is our difference in the order in which they written, and the dating of their writing.  You are obviously adhering to the theory of Markan priority (ie, the idea that Mark was the first Gospel, upon which Matthew and Luke were based), while I subscribe to the idea of Matthean priority (ie Matthew, Luke, Mark, John).

As far as dating, I believe that Matthew wrote in the late 30's to early 40's AD, Luke in the late 40's to early 50's, Mark in the mid 50's, and John in the mid-60's appending the final chapter to his Gospel in the Mid 90's. 

This is going to cause us some obvious problems in any discussion of the historicity of the birth narratives, but we can try.  I'll try to post some more this afternon, but I gotta run right now.  Just wanted to let you know wherer I was coming from up front.

Happy Independence Day!

Tchuss! 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Hi totus;

Hi totus;

totus_tuus wrote:


Thanks too for noting a difference between Scriptural literalists, and those who interpet Scripture literally . . . I am indeed not a Bible literalist . . .


Yet you firmly hold to the literal historicity of the birth narratives, despite their indisputable mythical character.

Interesting.

Would you care to elaborate on what you think the difference between these two terms above might be? And what exactly makes you NOT a literalist?

totus_tuus wrote:
And I pretty much draw the line at the Old Testament (with a couple of exceptions).


If you take the New Testament as literally accurate yet do not accept the literalness of the Tanach, by what objective criteria do you make such a distinction.

I purposefully refrain from using the title of "Old Testament" because I detest the use of that phrase to denote the Hebrew scriptures. I think it is highly insulting because it is essentially an expression of endemic bigotry (e.g. - our is "new and improved" . . . theirs is "old and obsolete" ) - I realize that in most cases this is just a habitual convention of nomenclature, but I think it's about time we made a conscious effort to dispense with such bigotry, even if unintentional.

I'd also like to know which "couple of exceptions" in the Tanach you refer to as being literal, and the specific reasons for holding to that opinion.

totus_tuus wrote:
I believe that the Old Testament is the revealed word of God, but the OT understanding of the message conveyed to them by God was, in the words of Dei Verbum, imperfect and provisional.


Again, this tells me that you have not risen above the instrinsically bigotted traditional need to relegate the Hebrew scriptures to a role that is subordinate to their co-option by the early Christians. Judging from the tenor of your posts, I think you are a very friendly and courteous and pious person who doesn't realize he's using quasi-racist language unintentionally, but this is precisely what you are doing.

Old habits die hard, especially when people don't realize they are bad habits.

totus_tuus wrote:
Additionally, I need to point out a further problem we'll probably have in any discussion of the Gospels, which is our difference in the order in which they written, and the dating of their writing. You are obviously adhering to the theory of Markan priority (ie, the idea that Mark was the first Gospel, upon which Matthew and Luke were based), while I subscribe to the idea of Matthean priority (ie Matthew, Luke, Mark, John).


This is a bigger problem than you intimate.

I have spent many years in the study of these matters and am quite familiar with what is called the synoptic problem and with its various proposed solutions. I'm sure that you realize that a position of Markan priority is almost universally accepted by scholars since historical-critical method was developed as a tool for hermeneutical analysis.

The reason for this is that the evidence for it is overwhelmingly in favor of it.

If you subscribe to Matthean priority, despite this overwhelming evidence, it is probably because of your partisan desire to defend Catholic tradition and could not be based on any logical empirical analysis. That's ok, you can accept that if you like (it's your life), but you will have a very difficult time trying to convince anyone who is familiar with critical method to adopt your position.

I won't waste time or energy defending markan priority to a staunch traditionalist here. Time and experience has taught me that it would be tantamount to describing the horizon to one who is looking out through a vertical slit in a box. A modern-day Plato's cave.

totus_tuus wrote:
As far as dating, I believe that Matthew wrote in the late 30's to early 40's AD, Luke in the late 40's to early 50's, Mark in the mid 50's, and John in the mid-60's appending the final chapter to his Gospel in the Mid 90's . . . . This is going to cause us some obvious problems in any discussion of the historicity of the birth narratives, but we can try.


Yup. Huge problem.

Forgive me, but I find your assertion that three of the gospels were written before Paul wrote his authentic epistles (though I suspect you'll insist that they are ALL authentic) quite laughable for many reasons.

Finally, I doubt this exchange could be very productive, in light of my opinion that your position on the chronological ordering and dating of the gospels is based on nothing but a partisan need, and not on rational analysis of the materials. Such an approach has a tendency to make one defend historicity by means of smoke screens or other desultory devices.

This is illustrated in your penultimate post, for instance:

I was highlighting the reasons why the two gospel narratives don't agree on the dating of Jesus' birth based on the clearly irreconcilable disjunction between Matthew's "at the time of Herod" and Luke's "during Quirinius' census".

You instead proceeded in a roundabout way to try to show that such a census DID in fact occur (citing Justin etc.), which was not the point in question at all (and I never doubted that a census occured). Yours was a digression from the point.

Yes . . . Such a census DID occur, the trouble is . . . it happened about twelve years AFTER Herod had died.

THAT was the point. (and one which you have yet to concede, I might add Smiling )

Anyway, I won't get too harsh on you, as I think that you are probably one of the only apologists around here with a sense of humility and decorum.

peace be with you

 

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: As far

totus_tuus wrote:

As far as dating, I believe that Matthew wrote in the late 30's to early 40's AD, Luke in the late 40's to early 50's, Mark in the mid 50's, and John in the mid-60's appending the final chapter to his Gospel in the Mid 90's.

Hey Totus. As Quixie pointed out, this is a huge problem. Your dating of the gospels is too early and not in the correct order.  I see that you hold to a Matthean priority. Although a case can be made for that, Mark was most likely the first written Gospel. The dating mainly comes from the discussion in the gospels of the Temple destruction in Jerusalem in 70 AD. You can see in Mark 13 that the author treats the temple destruction as if it’s occurring in his time. This has lead the vast majority of biblical scholar to date Mark's gospel from 70-75 AD. 

Furthermore, we can see that Matthew and Luke draw heavily (sometimes word for word) from Mark. Obviously this means that they were written after Mark. The gospel of Mark would have needed time to circulate in order for the authors of Matt and Luke to use it as a source. Thus the normal dating for Matt and Luke is 80-90 AD. Rook holds that Luke wasn't written until the mid 2nd century. Although this could be true, Marcon does use a modified version of Luke in the mid 2nd century, so I'm not sure if Luke was written that late. 

Finally, John was probably written 90-130 AD. We could actually have part of the original copy (P52). This copy (only the size of a credit card) is carbon dated from 125-150 AD, although the date could be earlier. However, you do make a correct point that John could have been written earlier in the 1st century and edited decades later.   

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: Would you

I Quixie wrote:

Would you care to elaborate on what you think the difference between these two terms above might be? And what exactly makes you NOT a literalist?

Sure, I'd be happy to.  Let's use the Creation narrative from Genesis as an example.  From the standpoint of the Bible literalist, God created everything in seven calendar days.  I think that God indeed created the heavens and the earth.  And while I believe He could have done so in seven days if He had wanted, that's not what happened. 

Remembering that Genesis was written, for the most part, for an audience lucky to be able to count to 100, a billion years would have been quite beyond the ken of a typical herdsman of the time.  The time scale was hugely compressed in order to keep the story understandable.  Genesis' main point is that there was indeed a God behind the Creation.  Even faith only goes so far, and throwing the number billion into the mix would have been quite detrimental to the acceptance of God.

I Quixie wrote:

If you take the New Testament as literally accurate yet do not accept the literalness of the Tanach, by what objective criteria do you make such a distinction.

I purposefully refrain from using the title of "Old Testament" because I detest the use of that phrase to denote the Hebrew scriptures. I think it is highly insulting because it is essentially an expression of endemic bigotry (e.g. - our is "new and improved" . . . theirs is "old and obsolete" ) - I realize that in most cases this is just a habitual convention of nomenclature, but I think it's about time we made a conscious effort to dispense with such bigotry, even if unintentional.

I'd also like to know which "couple of exceptions" in the Tanach you refer to as being literal, and the specific reasons for holding to that opinion.

My apologies if I offered insult, truly it was unintentional.  If there are other terms we coul use to differentiate between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christain Scriptures, please feel free to suggest them.

I either miswrote, or you misread my post.  My statement was, or at any rate should have been that I accept the Bible literally, with a few exceptions.  The notable exceptions being parts of Genesis (mostly the Adama and Eve part), and the Book of Job (which I believe is a morality poem).

I Quixie wrote:

Again, this tells me that you have not risen above the instrinsically bigotted traditional need to relegate the Hebrew scriptures to a role that is subordinate to their co-option by the early Christians. Judging from the tenor of your posts, I think you are a very friendly and courteous and pious person who doesn't realize he's using quasi-racist language unintentionally, but this is precisely what you are doing.

Old habits die hard, especially when people don't realize they are bad habits.

Once again, it's not my intention to offer insult.  I don't view the Covenant of Abraham as being "old and obsolete".  Indeed it's the foundation of Christain faith.  Salvation comes from the Jews.  Nor is the Covenant of Jesus Christ "new and improved", but rather is the completion, the fulfillment of the Covenant of Abraham.  Jesus Himself states that the esablishment of the New Covenant does not supersede the Old.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: . . . .

totus_tuus wrote:
. . . . Nor is the Covenant of Jesus Christ "new and improved", but rather is the completion, the fulfillment of the Covenant of Abraham . . .

Quixie sighs . . . (why do I bother?)

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: totus_tuus

I Quixie wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
. . . . Nor is the Covenant of Jesus Christ "new and improved", but rather is the completion, the fulfillment of the Covenant of Abraham . . .

Quixie sighs . . . (why do I bother?)

Sorry. 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: Hey Totus.

Christos wrote:
Hey Totus. As Quixie pointed out, this is a huge problem. Your dating of the gospels is too early and not in the correct order.  I see that you hold to a Matthean priority. Although a case can be made for that, Mark was most likely the first written Gospel. The dating mainly comes from the discussion in the gospels of the Temple destruction in Jerusalem in 70 AD. You can see in Mark 13 that the author treats the temple destruction as if it’s occurring in his time. This has lead the vast majority of biblical scholar to date Mark's gospel from 70-75 AD.

Hiya Christos!

The theory of Markan priority was put forward originally in the late 1600's and was never considered a serious theory until embraced by the state sponsored German university system in Germany under Bismark.  The Iron Chancellor encouraged this view in an effort to cast an ill light on Catholicism, and discredit German Catholic political party opposition.  It was quickly seized upon by "liberal" Christianity as a means to foil the rise of Christian Fundamentalism.

 Markan priority rests on the existence of a common source document, 'Q', of which no trace has ever been found. It seems odd to me that the first written record of Jesus Christ existed only in two far-flung Christian communities.  It is also strange that such a precious document was never copied and distributed more widely, was never mentioned in the writings of the early fathers, and was allowed to be lost or destroyed.

Further, Markan priority flies in the face of the testimony of the earliest Church fathers.  In the interest of space, I won't provide full quotes here, but I can if you'd like to see them:

Papias (c60-139) quotes John the Apostl defending Mark's Gospel as an eyewitness acoount of Peter, written by his emanuensis (scribe) Mark.  Which places the date for Mark prior to Peter's death in 65 AD.

Justin Martyr (100-165) in Dialogue with Trypho quotes from Matthew and Luke, describing them as "teachers who have recorded all that concern our Savior Jesus Christ".  He also refers to the "memoirs of the Apostles and others who followed him", and so accepts that at least two of the Gospels were written by Apostles.

Irenaeus (c120-c180) Adversus Haereses writes of the Apostles preaching the Gospel orally, and the goes on "Matthew also brought out a Gospel among the Jews in their own tongue...Mark himself a disciple and recorder of Peter, has also handed on to us in writing what had been proclaimed by Peter.  And Luke, too, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the Gospel which was beig preached by him.  Later on, too, John, the disciple of the Lord...he too brpought out a Gospel while he was dwelling in Ephesus of Asia".

The Muratorian Fragment, written about 150, perhaps by Hippolytus.  Written in awful latin, it is also not always correct.  The author indicates a specific event at which Mark was present "...at which he was present and thus related.  In third place we have the Gospels of Luke...when Paul had taken him to be his follower...wrote from report, since he himself notwithstanding had not seen the Lord in the flesh..."

"The fourth of the Gospels is John's, one of the Disciples."

Clement of Alexandria (c150-215) must be quoted at length because of the importance of his testimony to this subject.  The following excerpts are quoted by Eusebius from "Adumbrationes in Epistolas Canonicas".

"So greatly then did the brightness of true religion light up the minds of Peter`s hearers that they were not satisfied to have a once-for-all hearing nor with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with appeals of every kind begged Mark, the follower of Peter, whose gospel we have, to leave them too a memorial in writing of the teaching given them by word of mouth. Nor did they cease until they had persuaded the man, and in this way became the cause of the written gospel according to Mark. And it is said that the Apostle, when the fact became known to him through the revelation of the Spirit, was pleased with the eagerness of the men and approved [or ratified] the writing for use in the churches."

Eusebius again quoting Clement:

"And again in the same books, Clement states a tradition of the very earliest presbyters about the order of the gospels; and it had this form. He used to say that the first written of the gospels were those having the genealogies.  And that the Gospel of Mark had this formation.  While Peter was publicly preaching the Word in Rome and proclaiming the gospel by the spirit, the audience which was numerous, begged Mark as one who had followed him for a long time and remembered what had been said, to write down the things he had said."

"And he did so, handing over the Gospel to those who had asked for it. And when Peter got to know about it, he exerted no pressure either to forbid it or to promote it … But John, last of all, being conscious that the exterior facts had been set forth in the [other] Gospels, after he had been urged by his friends and divinely moved by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel."

I could go on for a bit more, quoting Tertullian, Origen, the Anti-Marcionite Prologues, Eusebius, St Jerome, Ambrosiaster, and St Augustine.  But I think you get the point.

Matthean priority, and the fact that the Gospels were at the very least approved by first hand eyewitnesses of Christ's ministry is supported by the earliest witnesses, and does not require the existence of a non-existent source to make sense.

As anecdotal evidence, let me leave you with this question.  If these Gospels were written so late, why append the name of relative "nobody's" to them?  Why not name them after the heavy hitters (ie, Peter, James, Thomas)?  Indeed Gospels were written in their names, but not until much, much later.  But Matthew-Levi ( a tax collector), Mark (Peter's Secretary), Luke (the secretary of Paul, a man who never met Christ in the flesh), why?

 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Totus, you makes some good

Totus, you makes some good points when you quote early Christians. However, I think you make a mistake in rejecting the existence of Q. We can see the parallels between Matthew and Luke in their recordings of the sayings of Jesus. If you think that its unllikely that a book of sayings would be written, just look at the 2nd Century Gospel of Thomas (114 sayings of Jesus, some of which can be found in the Gospels.)

Finally, I would like you to answer this question: Why would eyewitnesses need to draw off sources to write their gospels. Its obvious that Matt and Luke drew heavily off Mark in their writings. Why would they need to do that?

And to address your question, it is interesting that Peter never got a gospel named after him...Oh wait, he did. Hence, the Gospel of Peter.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


Loucks
Loucks's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote:I

I Quixie wrote:
I purposefully refrain from using the title of "Old Testament" because I detest the use of that phrase to denote the Hebrew scriptures. I think it is highly insulting because it is essentially an expression of endemic bigotry (e.g. - our is "new and improved" . . . theirs is "old and obsolete" ) - I realize that in most cases this is just a habitual convention of nomenclature, but I think it's about time we made a conscious effort to dispense with such bigotry, even if unintentional.

 

Thank you for this bit of humor. It made for a wonderful start to my morning. Are you one of those sorts who is upset by everything that could possibly be construed as offensive? Do you use the word "womyn" or furrow your brow when you hear someone say "niggardly?"

I Quixie wrote:
Quixie sighs . . . (why do I bother?)

In an ideal world you'd bother because you both respect that others have differing viewpoints on matters that you hold dear and seek to hold a rational debate/discussion.

But clearly this is not the case.

Details of my timeout are posted here.


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: Totus, you

Christos wrote:
Totus, you makes some good points when you quote early Christians.

Thanks.

Christos wrote:
However, I think you make a mistake in rejecting the existence of Q.We can see the parallels between Matthew and Luke in their recordings of the sayings of Jesus. If you think that its unllikely that a book of sayings would be written, just look at the 2nd Century Gospel of Thomas (114 sayings of Jesus, some of which can be found in the Gospels.)

Yeah, Christos.  But I own a copy of the Gospel of Thomas.  Where can I get a copy of 'Q'?  Where can I read early Christians, heretics or pagan or Jewish detractors reference it?

Christos wrote:
Why would eyewitnesses need to draw off sources to write their gospels. Its obvious that Matt and Luke drew heavily off Mark in their writings. Why would they need to do that?

If we take the word of the testimony of those closest to the writings of the Gospels as the truth (which in history we must, unless there is strong evidance to the contrary) then the actual evidence would indicate that the Gospel of Mark is probably a conflation of Matthew and Luke.

Allow me to summarize here the "Fourfold Gospel Hypothesis" of Bernard Orchard here.  Orchard contends that Matthew wrote for Jews in Plaestine about 45 AD.  Luke (a non-eyewitness), using Matthew, wrote about 60AD for the Gentiles.  Then at the request of Paul, Peter gave a series of talks to endorse the Gospel of Luke.  Mark's verbatim record of those lectures became the third Gospel.  Jahn then supplemented and clarified the other three. 

 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Loucks wrote: Thank you for

Loucks wrote:
Thank you for this bit of humor. It made for a wonderful start to my morning. Are you one of those sorts who is upset by everything that could possibly be construed as offensive? Do you use the word "womyn" or furrow your brow when you hear someone say "niggardly?"

Nope. I even say the word "booger" from time to time, tough guy. &quotEye-wink

 

Read the post again, while I did reveal a dislike for that OT name, I explicitly said that I realize it's just an old bad habit. It wasn't until he started in with his litany on fulfillment theology that I got offended.

I find fulfillment theology to be supremely offensive. Would you care to rationally discuss it? Smiling

I Quixie wrote:
Quixie sighs . . . (why do I bother?)

Loucks wrote:
In an ideal world you'd bother because you both respect that others have differing viewpoints on matters that you hold dear and seek to hold a rational debate/discussion.

But clearly this is not the case.

 

I confess, that post might have been a tad dramatic in its economy.

I guess you didn't like it . . . hmm. . . oh well . . . what say we chalk it up to a bad hair day

. . . eh?

Anyway, . . .

the point stands. dogmatic professions are not rational discussion. As such, they are open to direct critique. If you offer something as scientifically or as historically valid and, instead of offering defensible evidence, you keep coughing up orthodox credal phrases, someone needs to show you the difference between history and wednesday-night bible study.

But then again . . . I could be wrong . . . . no?

btw . . . sorry i offended you

Smiling

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
I promise, this is my last

[MOD EDIT - duplicate post removed]


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
I promise, this is my last

I promise, this is my last long post. (laughs)

I hope you find it enjoyable.

As a kind of explanatory preface, lemme say, totus, that i am not angry at you in the least. You are just a carrier of the meme . . . not the meme itself. How is it that you guys put it . . . . "hate the sin and not the sinner" ??

Rook's method of responding to posts sentence-by-sentence will come in handy here (smiles impishly):

totus_tuus wrote:
I either miswrote, or you misread my post.


No, you didn't miswrite, and I didn't misread.
You used traditional fulfillement-theology language. You accurately cited the party line, just as you intended to.
I in turn pointed out that such language is intrinsically anti-semitic and, as such, essentially malevolent in nature. I recognize that you don't have any idea that this language is an expression of bigotry, but it nevertheless is.

totus_tuus wrote:
My apologies if I offered insult, truly it was unintentional.


Yes, I know it was unintentional.
However, though your feeling sorry is a good start, I'd like to remind you of the teachings on repentance that your own church holds to for a moment. True repentance is a radical and deliberate turn that results in a moral and ethical change in action. Having realized that one has erred, one accepts responsibility, and one then corrects one's behavior. The biblical term for repentance, metanoia, means "to turn, or change". It does NOT mean "to apologize". Saying one is sorry and then continuing to engage in the sin is a worthless enterprise.

In other words, don't apologize and then defend your error.

I'll paraphrase your semantic smokescreen:

"Oh . . . I didn't say that the OT was outdated and obsolete (using actively caustic synonyms) . . .
no no no . . . I said that it is outdated and obsolete (using more passive synonyms - ones endorsed by church teaching) . . . . see the difference?"

No . . . I don't see the difference.

totus_tuus wrote:
If there are other terms we coul(d) use to differentiate between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christain Scriptures, please feel free to suggest them.

I already suggested one . . . and you yourself use one directly above (i.e. - "Hebrew Scriptures" will do just fine).

totus_tuus wrote:
My statement was, or at any rate should have been that I accept the Bible literally, with a few exceptions. The notable exceptions being parts of Genesis (mostly the Adama and Eve part), and the Book of Job (which I believe is a morality poem).


Ah . . . so you ARE a literalist, then . . . .but . . . I am very puzzled now . . . why did you deny being one in your previous post in the first place if you in fact do hold to a literalist position?

This is very fascinating. Do you realize that by holding to this literalism, you actually are in direct opposition to what the Catholic church actually teaches regarding biblical interpretation?

Allow me to refer you to a work which was personally comissioned by your own personal hero, John Paul II, which should suffice to prove my point (if you should bother to read it) :

http://www.bible-researcher.com/catholic-interpretation.html

In it, you'll see that a literalist interpretation of scripture such as yours is actually discouraged by the church you profess to belong to.

This was the reason why I asked if you were Catholic several posts ago. By their own tenets and self-definition, Catholics are NOT literalists.

totus_tuus wrote:
Once again, it's not my intention to offer insult. I don't view the Covenant of Abraham as being "old and obsolete". Indeed it's the foundation of Christain faith. Salvation comes from the Jews. Nor is the Covenant of Jesus Christ "new and improved", but rather is the completion, the fulfillment of the Covenant of Abraham. Jesus Himself states that the esablishment of the New Covenant does not supersede the Old.


Really, . . . why do YOU, then ?

You even quoted Dei Verbum . . . . "imperfect and provisional", you said.

Oh, and while you're at it . . . why does the church itself defend this supersession? . . . if it's in direct opposition to this verse you yourself refer to above. It certainly seem to be contary to what Jesu said in Matt, no? (in the interest of saving you the trouble of attempting to answer this last bit . . . don't . . . it is rhetorical)

totus_tuus wrote:

The theory of Markan priority was put forward originally in the late 1600's . . .


Really? The earliest reference to Markan priority that I can find is from Karl Lachmann in 1835. Please provide a citation for a 17th century proponent of Markan priority. I am always looking to learn new things.

totus_tuus wrote:
. . . and was never considered a serious theory until embraced by the state sponsored German university system in Germany under Bismark. The Iron Chancellor encouraged this view in an effort to cast an ill light on Catholicism, and discredit German Catholic political party opposition. It was quickly seized upon by "liberal" Christianity as a means to foil the rise of Christian Fundamentalism . . .


Here, you are implying that the discovery of Markan priority as a solution to the synoptic problem is based on a desire to undermine and usurp traditional church teaching, and that it is not in fact based on a careful systematic analysis of the texts. This is simply a form of ecclesiatical paranoia that is shameful in its partisan glossing over of the evidence posited by good men and scholars whose motive was the search for truth . . . . NOT malice.

totus_tuus wrote:
Markan priority rests on the existence of a common source document, 'Q' . . . .


Really?

In fact, the earliest postulation of a theoretical source (finally named "Q" - for "quelle"or "source" by Johannes Weiss in 1890) text for the material common to Matt and Luke that was not in Mark, didn't come until 1838.
You are putting the cart before the horse, reversing cause and effect, making feet to service the shoe industry, if you will.

The earliest claim of Markan priority that I know of is three years earlier than the earliest postulation of a source Gospel for Matt/Luke. And that just the earliest that I know of.
Once you show me a 16th century Markan priorist, the gap will be even bigger!

Besides your chronological blunder, there is also the little fact that there are today Markan priorists who don't necessarily hold to the Q theory. Therefore, your statement that Markan priority "rests on" Q is simply false, sir.

totus_tuus wrote:
. . . of which no trace has ever been found . . . . . . . . It is also strange that such a precious document was never copied and distributed more widely . . .


"Such a precious document" was at first just an attempt to write down the evolving oral traditions about Jesus' sayings. It wasn't "scripture" yet, and thus the text was not idolized like later gospels and letters would be, once the Christians got kicked out of the synagogue and needed scriptures of their own to worship (but that's for a later post). You are so used to what I call "churchianity" that you anachronistically imagine a list of sayings to be venerated as divine in and of itself way back in the 50's. That came some time later, dude.

totus_tuus wrote:
. . . was never mentioned in the writings of the early fathers, and was allowed to be lost or destroyed


OK, since you like patristic quotes so much . . .

How about Luke 1: 1?
"Since so many have attempted to compile an orderly narrative of the events that have run their course among us . . . ."

Could one of the "so many" have been what we know as Q?
Seems probable to me. More than probable, in fact, in light of the fact that Luke DOES in fact use that very source enough for us to see the very distinct influence it had on both his gospel and the one we call Matthew.

or how about Papias? . . .
"Matthew made a collection of sayings in the Hebrew tongue, but everyone translated them as he could".

Can you imagine that? . . . me using Papias against your argument . . . smiles . . I can do this because, after all, what Papias describes here is clearly not the same gospel that we now posses and call Matthew. There are various reasons for doubting that he's talking about our Matthew. Two will suffice for now:

1 - Using methods developed for historiographical exegesis (i.e.- literary criticism, textual criticism, and form criticism), we can with a high degree of certainty postulate that the gospel we call Matthew is not a translation, but was in fact composed in the original greek we inherited it in.

2 - The gospel we call Matthew today is far from "a collection of sayings". It is a carefully constructed pentaform narrative suite of quasi-Jewish liturgical allusions and allegory.

So . . . . if Papias was talking about some other text, some collection of logia in Hebrew (or Aramaic) which he attributed to Matthew, then . . . . what text WAS that?

Now, I don't know that the book he's talking about was what we now call Q, but you don't know that it wasn't. If it was, then maybe Papias is mentioning it right there. If it isn't, then I guess he isn't.

But, we don't know, do we?

smiles

totus_tuus wrote:
Papias (c60-139) quotes John the Apostl defending Mark's Gospel as an eyewitness acoount of Peter, written by his emanuensis (scribe) Mark. Which places the date for Mark prior to Peter's death in 65 AD.


This is nonesense.
Why do you insist that Mark wrote "Peter's Memoirs" while Peter was still alive? . . . when in fact, rather than implying that he took dictation, Papias instead explicitly states that Mark wrote "what he remembered" - not 'what was being dictated to him'. Go look up your Papias quote.

Seems to me that Mark was writing later.

totus_tuus wrote:
Justin Martyr (100-165) in Dialogue with Trypho quotes from Matthew and Luke, describing them as "teachers who have recorded all that concern our Savior Jesus Christ". He also refers to the "memoirs of the Apostles and others who followed him", and so accepts that at least two of the Gospels were written by Apostles.


Sure, he quotes from Matt and from Luke. That's cool.

(quizzically) So . . . what does that have to do with proving Markan priority, again?

Also, why do you single out the "gospel" as though it was somehow the only literary genre that possibly fits the description of "memoirs of the apostles"? Wouldn't something like the Didache also fit this description? Wouldn't what Papias describes in my quotation of him above also fit this description (being that it's not the GºMatt we know)?

Just a thought.


totus_tuus wrote:
Irenaeus (c120-c180) Adversus Haereses writes of the Apostles preaching the Gospel orally, and the goes on "Matthew also brought out a Gospel among the Jews in their own tongue...Mark himself a disciple and recorder of Peter, has also handed on to us in writing what had been proclaimed by Peter. And Luke, too, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the Gospel which was beig preached by him. Later on, too, John, the disciple of the Lord...he too brpought out a Gospel while he was dwelling in Ephesus of Asia".


First of all . . . . Has it ever occured to you that the reason that the wording of Ireneus is so similar to that of Papias might be due to the fact that he might be getting this information from him and inserting it into his own polemic?

and secondly (and more importantly) . . .
What does this have to do with proving Markan priority?


totus_tuus wrote:
The Muratorian Fragment, written about 150, perhaps by Hippolytus. Written in awful latin, it is also not always correct. The author indicates a specific event at which Mark was present "...at which he was present and thus related. In third place we have the Gospels of Luke...when Paul had taken him to be his follower...wrote from report, since he himself notwithstanding had not seen the Lord in the flesh..."


again . . . Relevance to proff of Markan priority, please!

totus_tuus wrote:
]"The fourth of the Gospels is John's, one of the Disciples."


How nice.
Relevance to Markan priority?

totus_tuus wrote:
Clement of Alexandria (c150-215) must be quoted at length because of the importance of his testimony to this subject. The following excerpts are quoted by Eusebius from "Adumbrationes in Epistolas Canonicas".

"So greatly then did the brightness of true religion light up the minds of Peter`s hearers that they were not satisfied to have a once-for-all hearing nor with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with appeals of every kind begged Mark, the follower of Peter, whose gospel we have, to leave them too a memorial in writing of the teaching given them by word of mouth. Nor did they cease until they had persuaded the man, and in this way became the cause of the written gospel according to Mark. And it is said that the Apostle, when the fact became known to him through the revelation of the Spirit, was pleased with the eagerness of the men and approved [or ratified] the writing for use in the churches."


This is funny, because you actually show evidence here that mark came first, according to Clement.

". . . . they were not satisfied to have a once-for-all hearing nor with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with appeals of every kind begged Mark, the follower of Peter . . . . " (from the above)

In other words, there were no other written gospels before Mark's, according to this quote. It also strongly suggests that Mark was "begged" to write a "memorial" of the master. This language suggests that their master Peter was dead (recently? - who knows).

So, instead of serving your own argument, you actually inadventently provide more evidence to defeat your claim that he had to have written it before 65 . . . above.

totus_tuus wrote:
Eusebius again quoting Clement:

"And again in the same books, Clement states a tradition of the very earliest presbyters about the order of the gospels; and it had this form. He used to say that the first written of the gospels were those having the genealogies. And that the Gospel of Mark had this formation. While Peter was publicly preaching the Word in Rome and proclaiming the gospel by the spirit, the audience which was numerous, begged Mark as one who had followed him for a long time and remembered what had been said, to write down the things he had said."


As is shown by all manner of historical/critical methods, Clement was wrong. You can't blame the guy too much . . . I mean . . . what did HE know of three-columned synopses or of historiography?

Isn't it a bit peculiar that , in his chronological listing, he lumps Matthew and Luke together ?(" . . . the first written of the gospels were those having the genealogies . . .&quotEye-wink
It's peculiar to me that he doesn't tell us which was the first in what purports to be a chronological list.
Very peculiar. It suggests to me that maybe Clement has no idea which book came first and was maybe listing them in a way that was not favoring either Matthew or Luke. We all know Matthew's gospel would eventually gain favor as a model for the liturgical and hiearchical structure of future communities of Christians (i.e. - the Roman variety of the cult, by virtue of being the most organized, was the only one that could hope to last, and it has always echoed Matthew most ) but back in Clement's day, Rome didn't have such a slam-dunk monopoly on Christendom as you think. That was the time of Marcion. Many commentarors believe that the gospel that Marcion used was a slightly modified edition of Luke's gospel. Makes one wonder if the vagueness with which Clement chronologically lists the gospels is related to this Marcionite influence. Thanks for helping in pointing this out to me . . . I'll do some further reading on it.

totus_tuus wrote:
I could go on for a bit more, quoting Tertullian, Origen, the Anti-Marcionite Prologues, Eusebius, St Jerome, Ambrosiaster, and St Augustine.

If these patristic quotes are going to be generally as useless in disproving Markan priority . . . please don't.
You are presenting arguments for apostolic provenance for some of the gospels as though these arguments somehow disprove Markan priority. AND!!! . . . If that wasn't bad enough . . . In the only place where something you quote is actually relevant to Markan priority, you wind up hurting your own argument.

totus_tuus wrote:
As anecdotal evidence, let me leave you with this question. If these Gospels were written so late, why append the name of relative "nobody's" to them? Why not name them after the heavy hitters (ie, Peter, James, Thomas)? Indeed Gospels were written in their names, but not until much, much later. But Matthew-Levi ( a tax collector), Mark (Peter's Secretary), Luke (the secretary of Paul, a man who never met Christ in the flesh), why?


Dude! . . . when you are defending or refuting Markan priority . . . stay on Markan priority, please . . . . . stop digressing, throwing dust up in the air to evade the point.

totus_tuus wrote:
Matthean priority, and the fact that the Gospels were at the very least approved by first hand eyewitnesses of Christ's ministry is supported by the earliest witnesses, and does not require the existence of a non-existent source to make sense.



totus_tuus wrote:
If we take the word of the testimony of those closest to the writings of the Gospels as the truth (which in history we must, unless there is strong evidance to the contrary)


I'm here to tell you, dude . . . . There is strong evidence to the contrary. Smiling

I wonder if anyone here reading remembers an episode of The Flintsones in which the little martian guy (what was his name? . . . The Grand Kazoo, or something like that? . . . hmm) cloned Fred Flintstone into hundreds and hundreds of robotic Fred Flinstones. These legions of empty-eyed clones (memes, anyone?) walked around and stiffly and all monotone-like uttered the phrase "yabba . . . . dabba . . . . doo" . . . . . . . . .
"yabba . . . . dabba . . . . doo" . . . . . . . . .
"yabba . . . . dabba . . . . doo" . . . . . . . . .
"yabba . . . . dabba . . . . doo" . . . . . . . . .
"yabba . . . . dabba . . . . doo" . . . . . . . . .
over and over again . . .


peace be with you
I mean that sincerely

Ó

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quote]

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
My apologies for the last

My apologies for the last post being posted twice . . . I don't know how that happened.

Ó 


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote:

Christos wrote:

Totus, you makes some good points when you quote early Christians.

No he doesn't, Christos . . . you are a student of early christianity . . . . look at every one of his quotes . . . and tell me . . . which one provided disproof ( or even any evidence against) Markan priority?

I'm dead serious, dude . . . parse the quotes . . . they are all arguments for apostolic provenance . . . and not one of them is an argument against Markan priority (well . . . except the one that damages his chronology).

I don't doubt that our friend totus is a kind and a good gentleman, but a consistent apologist, he is not.

By the way, Christo . . . I noticed that we signed on to this merry-go-round on the same day . . . . cheers!

 

Ó

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Loucks
Loucks's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote:Nope. I

I Quixie wrote:

Nope. I even say the word "booger" from time to time, tough guy. &quotEye-wink

Read the post again, while I did reveal a dislike for that OT name, I explicitly said that I realize it's just an old bad habit. It wasn't until he started in with his litany on fulfillment theology that I got offended.

I find fulfillment theology to be supremely offensive. Would you care to rationally discuss it? Smiling

 I read the post. I objected to your characterization of the term "Old Testament" as somehow bigoted. My post was intended as a criticism of your misguided crusade against "bigotry." You appear to have ignored my post, however, given that you then proceeded to post this: 

I Quixie wrote:
I in turn pointed out that such language is intrinsically anti-semitic and, as such, essentially malevolent in nature. I recognize that you don't have any idea that this language is an expression of bigotry, but it nevertheless is.
 

 Good luck with changing the world to suit your persecution complex. Perhaps your thesaurus will be sufficient company on your mission.

I Quixie wrote:

I confess, that post might have been a tad dramatic in its economy.

"Economy?" When a post contributes nothing whatsoever to the thread it can hardly be considered economical. No, that post was pure forum drama. It also smacked of smug superiority. If you're going to create forum drama, at least be creative about it.

 

Edit:

I Quixie wrote:
My apologies for the last post being posted twice . . . I don't know how that happened.

There is an "edit" button at the bottom of your post. Learn it. Know it. Use it.

Details of my timeout are posted here.


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Loucks wrote: I Quixie

Loucks wrote:
I Quixie wrote:

Nope. I even say the word "booger" from time to time, tough guy. &quotEye-wink

Read the post again, while I did reveal a dislike for that OT name, I explicitly said that I realize it's just an old bad habit. It wasn't until he started in with his litany on fulfillment theology that I got offended.

I find fulfillment theology to be supremely offensive. Would you care to rationally discuss it? Smiling

I read the post. I objected to your characterization of the term "Old Testament" as somehow bigoted. My post was intended as a criticism of your misguided crusade against "bigotry." You appear to have ignored my post, however, given that you then proceeded to post this:

I Quixie wrote:
I in turn pointed out that such language is intrinsically anti-semitic and, as such, essentially malevolent in nature. I recognize that you don't have any idea that this language is an expression of bigotry, but it nevertheless is.

Good luck with changing the world to suit your persecution complex. Perhaps your thesaurus will be sufficient company on your mission.

I Quixie wrote:

I confess, that post might have been a tad dramatic in its economy.

"Economy?" When a post contributes nothing whatsoever to the thread it can hardly be considered economical. No, that post was pure forum drama. It also smacked of smug superiority. If you're going to create forum drama, at least be creative about it.

 

Edit:

I Quixie wrote:
My apologies for the last post being posted twice . . . I don't know how that happened.

There is an "edit" button at the bottom of your post. Learn it. Know it. Use it.

 

Aww . . . i think somebody is projecting . . .

 

p.s. argh

Smiling 

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Loucks
Loucks's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: Aww . . .

I Quixie wrote:

Aww . . . i think somebody is projecting . . .

 

p.s. argh

Smiling

 

I'm glad to see that you're making progress in one area at least. Psychobabble is certainly an improvement over accusations of bigotry. Perhaps you'll also find time to work on that whole "economy" thing we discussed. Keep it up!

Details of my timeout are posted here.


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Loucks wrote:

Loucks wrote:
I read the post. I objected to your characterization of the term "Old Testament" as somehow bigoted.

It IS bigoted. And furthermore, until you have a argument other than "you are on some misguided crusade!" to show that it is not bigoted, you are just grunting and throwing branches and sticks up into the air, like some self-proclaimed alpha silberback, who is clearly engaging precisely in the conduct that he is accusing ME of.

Loucks wrote:
My post was intended as a criticism of your misguided crusade against "bigotry." You appear to have ignored my post, however, given that you then proceeded to post this:

I Quixie wrote:
I in turn pointed out that such language is intrinsically anti-semitic and, as such, essentially malevolent in nature. I recognize that you don't have any idea that this language is an expression of bigotry, but it nevertheless is.

Good luck with changing the world to suit your persecution complex. Perhaps your thesaurus will be sufficient company on your mission.

First. I did not ignore it completely. I addressed your point. You did not find to your satisfaction my insistence that I was not angry at him when he used the OT term. Get over it! A corrective need not be angry. I promise I had forgiven him the blunder I was pointing out at that point . . . cross my heart and hope to die.

Second, I don't think anyone is persecuting me . . . honest.

It's all in your head, dude.

I Quixie wrote:

I confess, that post might have been a tad dramatic in its economy.

Loucks wrote:
"Economy?" When a post contributes nothing whatsoever to the thread it can hardly be considered economical. No, that post was pure forum drama. It also smacked of smug superiority. If you're going to create forum drama, at least be creative about it.

As creative as you, you mean?

Nah, I could never hope to rise to that level, being a worm like I am and all, but I'll strive to be more clever. Just for you. thumbs up

But I'll draw your attention to the fact that you have contributed even less to the thread by your ad hominem rant, using forty-six times the number of words that I wasted on mine. The sigh you hated so much was useful in expressing my frustration at the person who I was addressing who was just serving up more doctrinal utterances instead of real evidence. I was in the middle of conversation when I sighed. There was a context for it. You instead are just an angry disruptive interloper who has taken a liking for me now. Great . . . I never had a stalker obsess over me before. I always wondered what they were like.

So far . . . I don't have a very good opinion of them. 

You were saying something about drama?

I Quixie wrote:
My apologies for the last post being posted twice . . . I don't know how that happened.

Loucks wrote:
There is an "edit" button at the bottom of your post. Learn it. Know it. Use it.

Ok tough, guy. That last touch was especially menacing. Could you sense my sheer dread?

Smiling

 

At this point, I'd like to request that we get back on track of what we were discussing, if it's okay with everyone else.

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: No, you

I Quixie wrote:

No, you didn't miswrite, and I didn't misread.
You used traditional fulfillement-theology language. You accurately cited the party line, just as you intended to.
I in turn pointed out that such language is intrinsically anti-semitic and, as such, essentially malevolent in nature. I recognize that you don't have any idea that this language is an expression of bigotry, but it nevertheless is.

totus_tuus wrote:
My apologies if I offered insult, truly it was unintentional.

 

Yes, I know it was unintentional.
However, though your feeling sorry is a good start, I'd like to remind you of the teachings on repentance that your own church holds to for a moment. True repentance is a radical and deliberate turn that results in a moral and ethical change in action. Having realized that one has erred, one accepts responsibility, and one then corrects one's behavior. The biblical term for repentance, metanoia, means "to turn, or change". It does NOT mean "to apologize". Saying one is sorry and then continuing to engage in the sin is a worthless enterprise.

In other words, don't apologize and then defend your error.

I'll paraphrase your semantic smokescreen:

"Oh . . . I didn't say that the OT was outdated and obsolete (using actively caustic synonyms) . . .
no no no . . . I said that it is outdated and obsolete (using more passive synonyms - ones endorsed by church teaching) . . . . see the difference?"

No . . . I don't see the difference.

Then a bigot I am.

I Quixie wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
If there are other terms we coul(d) use to differentiate between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christain Scriptures, please feel free to suggest them.

 

I already suggested one . . . and you yourself use one directly above (i.e. - "Hebrew Scriptures" will do just fine).

Hebrew scriptures of Tanach and Christian scripture it is then, except for quotes.

I Quixie wrote:

Ah . . . so you ARE a literalist, then . . . .but . . . I am very puzzled now . . . why did you deny being one in your previous post in the first place if you in fact do hold to a literalist position?

This is very fascinating. Do you realize that by holding to this literalism, you actually are in direct opposition to what the Catholic church actually teaches regarding biblical interpretation?

Allow me to refer you to a work which was personally comissioned by your own personal hero, John Paul II, which should suffice to prove my point (if you should bother to read it) :

http://www.bible-researcher.com/catholic-interpretation.html

In it, you'll see that a literalist interpretation of scripture such as yours is actually discouraged by the church you profess to belong to.

This was the reason why I asked if you were Catholic several posts ago. By their own tenets and self-definition, Catholics are NOT literalists.

Not so.  From The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

122 Indeed, "the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men." "Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional," the books of the Old Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God's saving love: these writings "are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way."

123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).

As fo the Christian Scriptures:

126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels:

1. The life and teaching of Jesus. The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."

 2. The oral tradition. "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."

 3. The written Gospels. "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus."

I Quixie wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
The theory of Markan priority was put forward originally in the late 1600's . . .

 

Really? The earliest reference to Markan priority that I can find is from Karl Lachmann in 1835. Please provide a citation for a 17th century proponent of Markan priority. I am always looking to learn new things.

My mistake.  The earliest reference I have to Markan priority is Gustav Christian Storr in 1786.  I misread, no deceit intended.

I Quixie wrote:
 

Really?

In fact, the earliest postulation of a theoretical source (finally named "Q" - for "quelle"or "source" by Johannes Weiss in 1890) text for the material common to Matt and Luke that was not in Mark, didn't come until 1838.
You are putting the cart before the horse, reversing cause and effect, making feet to service the shoe industry, if you will.

The earliest claim of Markan priority that I know of is three years earlier than the earliest postulation of a source Gospel for Matt/Luke. And that just the earliest that I know of.
Once you show me a 16th century Markan priorist, the gap will be even bigger!

Besides your chronological blunder, there is also the little fact that there are today Markan priorists who don't necessarily hold to the Q theory. Therefore, your statement that Markan priority "rests on" Q is simply false, sir.

The earliest rference I have for the existence of such a document in Herbert Marsh, in 1801.  The vast majority of Markan priorist however, must hold to the existence of a common document to explain the coincidences in the Gospels.

I Quixie wrote:

OK, since you like patristic quotes so much . . .

How about Luke 1: 1?
"Since so many have attempted to compile an orderly narrative of the events that have run their course among us . . . ."

The compilation of narratives could refer to many things, certainly among them the Hebrew or Aramaic and Greek versions of Matthew, oral accounts, inaccurate or heretical texts.  Not that Luke continues by affirming to Theophilus that the information he has collected was "delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past to write an orderly account...that you may know the truth..."

Luke's concern seems to be the  veracity of the accounts in existence (whether written or oral), the reliability of the sources used, and their orderliness. 

His sources, rather than 'Q' are Matthew and the oral teachings he recieved from eyewitnesses while travelling with Paul.

Nap time for me now.  Gotta run.  Hope to be able to post more later this evening.

Tchuss!

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
By my quoting the old

By my quoting the old Christian platitude which teaches that we should hate the sin and not the sinner, I was very clear in expressing my opinion that it is the teaching that is bigoted, not necessarily you personally. I don't wish to call you a bigot. But I strongly feel that a theological outlook which holds that the Christian additions to the Hebrew scriptures somehow supercede them is repugnant (fulfillment? . . . . "It's okay fellows, the texts that you've held to be holy and divinely true for fifteen hundred years ? . . . . we'll take it from here . . . we've just fulfilled them with this guy we think was messiah, even though we don't really understand what your concept of a messiah is really for . . . etc . . . etc . . . thanks for your scriptures to put in the front of ours . . . they sure make our books seem so much more weighty . . . . we'll take it from here, though . . . . )

That's not fulfillement . . . that's co-option . . . this magically promotes the decidedly heretic offshoot to the position of THE orthodox ("right belief" in greek). It is one of the most shameful aspects of Christian history, as far as I'm concerned, being one of the teachings directly responsible for much tragedy and suffering during the Inquisition and the Shoah and other equally grossly unjust and murderous atrociticies though the centuries.

totus_tuus wrote:
Then a bigot I am.

Does this mean that you don't mean to correct your conduct but instead accept this injustice as normative and intend to continue promulgating that which has been shown to you to be unjust by definition?

Stated differently . . . is it okay to be a bigot, as long as it's in favor of the home team? I'll leave that between you and your g-shidea.

totus_tuus wrote:
Not so. From The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

122 Indeed, "the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men." "Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional," the books of the Old Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God's saving love: these writings "are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way."

123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).

As fo the Christian Scriptures:

126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels:

1. The life and teaching of Jesus. The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."

2. The oral tradition. "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."

3. The written Gospels. "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus."

You didn't read it, did you?

It was comissioned by the pope in the ealry 90s because the church's criteria for interpretation, as you demonstrated in your citing the Catechism, was vague at best and left some things undefined. Even so, that which you quote from in fact only supports my point that the church doesn't accept a literalist reading . . .

" . . . The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus."

let me focus on the pertinent phrase here:

" . . . others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, while sustaining the form of preaching . . ."

Please, read the document I gave you a link to. It was written to elucidate the teachings within the catechism you cite from. It is a Catholic document written in language that is very dense and somewhat technical, but it's nothing you can't handle.

Further, I don't deny that there is truth in there (i.e.- the gospels - even I find inspiration in some of the teachings contained therein - but that's not the point here). I only deny there is a literal historical record there. Something can be "true", yet not historically literal, as you yourself point out in your admission that the Eden and Job stories aren't literal. Poetry is truth too.

Also, it goes to show that, while it doesn't forbid such literalist interpretation outright . . . the church strongly discourages that viewpoint.

totus_tuus wrote:
My mistake. The earliest reference I have to Markan priority is Gustav Christian Storr in 1786. I misread, no deceit intended.

I'm looking at my sources and cannot find this mentioned. I'll certainly research this further the next time i visit the university's library. It would help me greatly if you told me where you got this citation from (the actual published volume, please), to save me some time. I would sincerely appreciate that. Right now, I doubt that it might be relevant to Markan priority, basing my doubt on the fact that of all of the quotes you offered so far to deny Markan priority, only one actually had anything to do with Markan priority at all.

 

totus_tuus wrote:
The earliest rference I have for the existence of such a document in Herbert Marsh, in 1801.

Again . . . I ask for a citation here.

 

Moreover, even if you provided these citations that I ask of you, the dates you give them only show that my original point was correct, that a postulation of Markan priority preceded a postulation of Q as a source. This continues to defeat your own position that Markan priority "rests" on Q.

 

totus_tuus wrote:
The vast majority of Markan priorist however, must hold to the existence of a common document to explain the coincidences in the Gospels.

So . . . . first you implied that acceptance of Q is a pre-requisite for Markan priority, now you say that "the vast majority" of Markan priorists use Q as a proof for it (for which statement you provide no evidence). If I provided you with a short list of scholars who don't accept Q but accept Markan priority (I can if you like - the two-source model is not the onlt defense of Markan priority), then maybe you'll like to change this to "most of them accept it".

The truth is . . . You don't really know what percentage of scholars who accept Markan priority accept Q as a source, do you?

The bottom line point, though, is that a postulation of Markan priority does not "rest" on a postulation of Q. Q is a result of the conclusions derived from Markan priority . . . . NOT the other way around.

totus_tuus wrote:
The compilation of narratives could refer to many things, certainly among them the Hebrew or Aramaic and Greek versions of Matthew, oral accounts, inaccurate or heretical texts. . .

. . . Luke's concern seems to be the veracity of the accounts in existence (whether written or oral), the reliability of the sources used, and their orderliness.

His sources, rather than 'Q' are Matthew and the oral teachings he recieved from eyewitnesses while travelling with Paul.

Well . . . the gospel that bears Luke's name says that "many compiled an orderly narrative". This is NOT describing oral tradition, this implies textual sources. Oral traditions are not "compiled" yet. THAT is what makes them "oral". Once compiled, they are textual sources.

Your positing of only Matthew and this oral tradition as Luke's only sources begs several questions. The first of which is:

By which criteria can you specifically single out these sources and reject all other possibilities.

Finally, you bring up arguments for a harmonization of the dating of Jesus' birth according to Matt and to Luke. I show you that such a harmonization is untenable when one examines the evidence objectively. You just dropped it at that point.

Then you intimate that Markan priority is indefensible, but all of the quotes you provide as evidence for that not only DON't disprove the priority of Mark, but they don't even have anything at all to do with Markan priority.

Unless you can stick to the subject at hand and stop digressing, it will become progressively difficult to engage you in any kind of serious debate on these issues.

Stay on track when you debate, please.

peace to you

 

Ó

 

 

 

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: or how

I Quixie wrote:

or how about Papias? . . .
"Matthew made a collection of sayings in the Hebrew tongue, but everyone translated them as he could".

If they were originally written in Greek, Why would they require translation?  Because they weren't written in Greek, they were in Hebrew.

I Quixie wrote:

Can you imagine that? . . . me using Papias against your argument . . . smiles . . I can do this because, after all, what Papias describes here is clearly not the same gospel that we now posses and call Matthew. There are various reasons for doubting that he's talking about our Matthew. Two will suffice for now:

1 - Using methods developed for historiographical exegesis (i.e.- literary criticism, textual criticism, and form criticism), we can with a high degree of certainty postulate that the gospel we call Matthew is not a translation, but was in fact composed in the original greek we inherited it in.

2 - The gospel we call Matthew today is far from "a collection of sayings". It is a carefully constructed pentaform narrative suite of quasi-Jewish liturgical allusions and allegory.

So . . . . if Papias was talking about some other text, some collection of logia in Hebrew (or Aramaic) which he attributed to Matthew, then . . . . what text WAS that?

1 - Oh, no!  Patristic citations again.  Eusebius quoting Papias in his Ecclesial History,"Matthew collected the oracles (logia or sayings) in Hebrew language/style."

Eusebius quoting Irenaeus,"Now Matthew published among the Hebrews a written Gospel also in their own tongue/dialect."

Further, two French scholars have demonstrated the ease with which Matthew could be "back-translated" from Greek into Hebrew.  Jean Carmignac did so in 1963, and was "absolutely dumbfounded" to find how easy it was.  He condcuted a brief search in European monastic libraries and uncovered sixty translations of the Gospels, or portions of them into Hebrew, either by Jewish converts to Christianity, or by Rabbis wishing to dispute Christianity with Christians.  He concluded that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew.  Althought he continued to hold to the view that Mark had written first (he presumed there must have been an original Hebrew Mark), he held the order of the Gospels to be Hebrew Matthew, Greek Luke, Greek Mark.  If we ignore his presumption, his findings coincide nicely with the Clementine tradition od Matthew-Luke-Mark.  He dates Greek mark pre-70 AD, hence Matthew and Luke even earlier.

Claude Tesmontant, a Hebrew scholar, likewise was amazed at the ease with which  the Gospels could be back tanslated into Hebrew.  In his 1980 work, The Hebrew Christ, he opines that both versions of Matthew could be dated soon after the Ressurection, Luke between 40-60AD, Mark between 40-60 AD.

Both detected strong Hebrew substructures in the Gospels, esp Matthew, the Hebrew penchant for word play to assist memorization, the possibility of copyists' errors accounting for word changes,  and Hebrew theological concepts which would have been foreign to Greek thought, ie, Beelzebub, woe, flesh and blood, deliver into the hands, hardness of heart, to set one's face, none of which are used by Luke or Mark.

2 - Matthew's Gospel does indeed smack of a liturgy, because that's exactly what it is, a lectionary for use in early Christian churches by converted Jews.  Luiz Ruscillo, in the January 2002 issue of Faith Magazine, wrote the following analysis of Matthew:

Chapter   Type        Subject

1-4          Narrative  Birth and blessing                             

5-7          Sermon    Bessings, entering the Kingdom

8-9          Narrative  Authority and Invitation

10-          Sermon    Mission discourse

11-12       Narrative  Rejection

13           Sermon     Parables on the Kingdom

14-17       Narrative   Recognition by the disciples

18           Sermon     Community discourse

19-22       Narrative   Authority and invitation

23-25       Sermon     Woes, Coming of the Kingdom

26            Narrative   Death and Ressurection

Noting the fact that Matthew alternates between narrative and sermon, calling this Gospel a collection of sayings is not incorrect.

I Quixie wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
Papias (c60-139) quotes John the Apostl defending Mark's Gospel as an eyewitness acoount of Peter, written by his emanuensis (scribe) Mark. Which places the date for Mark prior to Peter's death in 65 AD.

 

This is nonesense.
Why do you insist that Mark wrote "Peter's Memoirs" while Peter was still alive? . . . when in fact, rather than implying that he took dictation, Papias instead explicitly states that Mark wrote "what he remembered" - not 'what was being dictated to him'. Go look up your Papias quote.

Seems to me that Mark was writing later.

Allow me to repost the full text of Eusebius quoting Papias recalling the words of John:

"And this the Presbyter (John) used to say:  'Mark, being the recorder of Peter, wrote accurately but not in order whatever he (Peter) remembered of the things either said or done by the Lord; for he (Mark) had neither heard the Lord, nor followed him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to make teachings according to the cheias but not making as it were a systematic composition of the Lord's sayings; so that Mark did not err at all when he wrote certain things just as he (?) had recalled.  For he (?) had but one intention, not to leave out anything he had heard, not to falsify anything in them.'"

Notice that the use of pronouns here is certainly not stellar.  Whatever else they may have been, neither Papias or Eusebius were grammarians.  The "he"s floowed by question marks are ambiguous at best and could well refer to Peter.

Clement of Alexandria, as quoted by Eusebius, is quite clear that the publication of the Gospel of Mark took place while Peter was actively preaching:

"Mark, the follower of Peter, while Peter was publicly preaching the Gospel at Rome in the presnce of some of Caesar's knights...being begged by them that they should be able to record what was said, wrote the Gospel which is called the Gospel of Mark, from the things said by Peter..."

"And that the Gospel of Mark had this formation.  While Peter was publicly preaching the Word in Rome and proclaiming the Gospel by the spirit, the audience, which was numerous, begged Mark, as one who had followed him for a long time and remembered what had been said, to write down the things he had said."

Both accounts make it obvious that Mark wrote while Peter preached.

If the Gospel of Mark is viewed as a transcription of talks given by Peter, in order to validate Luke's new account, it accounts for the poor Greek of Mark.  It also accounts for the Hebrew Scripture misquotes by Peter not being edited.  It's easy to see howm by referring to Matthew and Luke alternately, the two get blended into the Gospel of Mark.  It explains the numerous sentences, beginning with "and", as Peter, a non-native speaker of Greek, i an impromptu speech, fumbles with the language.  It explains numerous small details present in Mark, as reading the accouts of Matthew and Luke stir his memory. 

I quixie wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
Justin Martyr (100-165) in Dialogue with Trypho quotes from Matthew and Luke, describing them as "teachers who have recorded all that concern our Savior Jesus Christ". He also refers to the "memoirs of the Apostles and others who followed him", and so accepts that at least two of the Gospels were written by Apostles.

 

Sure, he quotes from Matt and from Luke. That's cool.

(quizzically) So . . . what does that have to do with proving Markan priority, again?

Also, why do you single out the "gospel" as though it was somehow the only literary genre that possibly fits the description of "memoirs of the apostles"? Wouldn't something like the Didache also fit this description? Wouldn't what Papias describes in my quotation of him above also fit this description (being that it's not the GºMatt we know)?

Just a thought.

It clearly shows that, by referring to the "memoirs of the Apostles" in the plural, that more than one Gospel was an eyewirness account of the ministry of Jesus.

The Didache is a liturgical instruction manual, not an account of Jesus ministry.  As such, it'd be an epistle, not a Gospel, but if and only if it'd been of Apostolic origin.  It was written too late to have been accomplished by the Apostles.

Surely something 'Q' like would qualify.  Where is it?

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:
I Quixie wrote:


or how about Papias? . . .
"Matthew made a collection of sayings in the Hebrew tongue, but everyone translated them as he could".


If they were originally written in Greek, Why would they require translation? Because they weren't written in Greek, they were in Hebrew.


Yes . . . . Papias says that Matthew wrote a collection of logia -sayings - in Aramaic (what he likely meant by the Hebrew tongue). I don't think Matthew fits his description.
So . . . if what he's talking about isn't the Matthew we have, I'm left wondering what that document he was talking about. I'm not saying that it is necessarily Q, but I will say that it is NOT the gospel of Matthew that we know and love.

To call Matthew a collection of "logia" is an inadequate understatement and serves only to uphold the "historicity" of Papias' witness to GºMatthew via Eusebius.

Continued irrelevant patristic quotations only "seem" to strengthen one's argument. They don't, especially when they don't have anything to do with the subject at hand. I realize that the illusion of weightiness is important to the orthodox take on this, but in the end, it's best to call it what it is . . . . a smokescreen.

On a tangential note, I find the fact that Eusebius called Papias an idiot in his "History of the Church" ("a man of exceedingly small intelligence" - to be more precise) sort of amusing.


Also . . . . since you require a copy of Q handed to you before you'll consider its existence, should I in turn demand a copy of the book mentioned by Papias?

To use your own question: Where is it?

And while you are at it.

Where was the Gospel of Thomas before 1947? Where was it before we found that tiny fragment in 1898 (and didn't know what it was)?

You are really good at presenting the Catholic answers to the problems raised (even though you go one step further and became a literalist - something which the church explicitly discourages).

Fortunately, the historical research continues and contradicts this teaching you keep defending. I'm not going to play the "let's exchange authorities" game on this. I can quote as many frenchmen to oppose your "Hebrew Matthew" assertion . . . and i can even raise you a German or two . . . Sombrero

One of my favorite sayings attributed to Jesus says something like, "bring things from shadow into the light so that you may see them" . . . or something like that.

Evidence trumps authority. Evidence trumps tradition.

Every time.

You'll be happy to hear that I'm going to drop the thread now (laughs). I have reviewed the slight evidence for Matthean priority and have contrasted it to the evidence for Markan priority and conclude that the latter is much more compelling, not because I wish to usurp church teaching, but because it makes more sense of many of the peculiarities of form and content and similarities between these decidedly inter-related texts, the most important of which (for my position) is Mark's copious use of chiasmi to wrap around his pericopes . . . . that's the smoking gun for me . . . . Matthean priority does not even begin to explain these to me . . . . Markan priority simply makes more sense . . . . rationally, historically, logically, etc. It's no surprise that it is almost universally accepted, even by the most conservative of scholars.

This isn't the first time that someone feebly defends Matthean priority to me. It IS, however, the first time that someone has argued for it citing a bunch of patristic fathers, of which only one citation has anything to do with priority at all. It gets old.

Oh, and by the way . . . . as I pointed out to you, Clement of Alexandria (who incidentally was writing around 150 and therefore is a remote first-mention of the order of the gospels) gives a non-committed listing, placing equal claim to primacy to the "two geneology" gospels. This might be a significant evasion on his part, n'est c'est pas? Your misquoting him as listing Matthew first is more indication (as if there isn't enough already) that your positions are ones based on a biased need for reality to coincide with church teaching.

Besides all this . . . . . . I thought this was about Quirinius and Herod . . . . Eye-wink

peace out . . . .

Ó
(walks away whistling the Ockam's Razor Blues. . .)

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


I Quixie
I Quixie's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: Clement

totus_tuus wrote:

Clement of Alexandria, as quoted by Eusebius, is quite clear that the publication of the Gospel of Mark took place while Peter was actively preaching:

I'll concede this point.

 

But . . . though in 150 or so, Clement said that Mark wrote Peter's memoirs, he was talking about things he did not know about. The four gospels were just beginning to be seen as a kind of quartet at this time (Iraneus was just kid then - an the muratonian canon was still to come). By the time Clement and Marcion and Justin and the rest of the boys were writing, nobody really knew their order . . . . before then, most people had been converted by one or another of the gospels, read to them in greek. They had no idea which of the four, finally compiled into the Divine Quartet, came first. To my eyes, he was wrong about the order he listed them chronologically, as is very easily demonstrable using historiographical methodology. This in turn suggests to me that he probably had no IDEA when these books were written. He's probably being pressed to make a pronouncement as one of the eminent Christians of his day. He was taking a guess that Mark was an abbreviation of Matthew, which he favored as THE liturgical gospel (as Rome always has).

He was demonstrably wrong.

 

Ok . . .

 

for reals now . . . .

 

Peace

 

 

"Theology is that science which treats of the unknowable with infinitesimal exactitude." - Anatole France


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
I Quixie wrote: No he

I Quixie wrote:

No he doesn't, Christos . . . you are a student of early christianity . . . . look at every one of his quotes . . . and tell me . . . which one provided disproof ( or even any evidence against) Markan priority?

 

None of the early Christians disprove the Markan priority. I was just trying to be courteous. Intellectual snobbery gets you nowhere.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: If they

totus_tuus wrote:

If they were originally written in Greek, Why would they require translation? Because they weren't written in Greek, they were in Hebrew.


 

Totus, this assertion conflicts with all the evidence. Tell me one manuscript of the Gospels or Paul's Letters written in Hebrew. You cant because they do not exist. All the earilest copies we have were written in Koine Greek.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


totus_tuus
Theist
totus_tuus's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: 2007-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: Totus,

Christos wrote:

Totus, this assertion conflicts with all the evidence. Tell me one manuscript of the Gospels or Paul's Letters written in Hebrew. You cant because they do not exist. All the earilest copies we have were written in Koine Greek.  

Quite so for Paul.  But my assertion was that the original Gospel of Matthew, which I contend was the first Gospel written, was written in Hebrew.  I never mentioned Paul.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
totus_tuus wrote: Quite so

totus_tuus wrote:

Quite so for Paul. But my assertion was that the original Gospel of Matthew, which I contend was the first Gospel written, was written in Hebrew. I never mentioned Paul.

You gotta show some evidence for this. There are no copies of Matthew in Hebrew. If Matthew was translated from Hebrew into Koine Greek, then Matthew would have been written with a Hebrew voice (the author thinks in Hebrew, and translates the work into Koine Greek.)

Mark was actually written with a Aramaic voice (according to the textual critics I've talked to). So if you want, you could claim that Mark (the 1st gospel written) was actually written earlier in an aramaic text.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)


Piper2000ca
Piper2000ca's picture
Posts: 138
Joined: 2006-12-27
User is offlineOffline
Christos wrote: Mark was

Christos wrote:

Mark was actually written with a Aramaic voice (according to the textual critics I've talked to). So if you want, you could claim that Mark (the 1st gospel written) was actually written earlier in an aramaic text.

Would you be able to pass on which textual critics and perhaps any online articles on this?  It's the first time I've ever heard this and it sounds interesting.


Christos
Theist
Christos's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: 2007-06-05
User is offlineOffline
Piper2000ca wrote: Would

Piper2000ca wrote:

Would you be able to pass on which textual critics and perhaps any online articles on this? It's the first time I've ever heard this and it sounds interesting.

Hey Piper. The textual critic I'm referencing is Ken Pomykala from Calvin College.  

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." (CS Lewis)

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading." (CS Lewis)