CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

In my personal You Tube inbox, a user by the name of TheDreamVista (a regular commenter on TektonTV) said that there was a response (on this atheist website aptly named The Church of Truth) to the article I left (from Metacrock’s DOXA) about gospel authorship. First, here is that link:

https://thechurchoftruth.org/

At the bottom of this page, there are comments. A person with the username Atheos wrote a long, rambling diatribe about Joe's article. One mistake he made stands out:

After the apostles, evangelists, and first few generations of Christians had died, there was a dialectic shift of seismic proportions as surviving Christians realized that the second coming of Jesus was not going to happen ‘suddenly’ during their lifetimes as they were taught to believe.

I have seen atheists do similar things before. Next, he challenges Joe’s belief about the gospels being written by eye-witnesses:

However, I have to challenge the basic assumption of the Doxa site that the gospels were written by a community of eye witnesses. How did a community in Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus say, first learn about Jesus of Nazareth from a Jewish Jesus cult in Galilee? Evangelists preaching, like Paul or Apollos say? So the Antiochenes, Romans, Alexandrians, Ephesians and other communities heard the stories about Jesus from the evangelists, and retold them to others. Sometimes, not always, parts of the story would be changed to suit the occasion or emphasize a point. So were any of the eye witnesses from Jerusalem present to oversee each person telling the story of Jesus? No! They were in Jerusalem. So who of the eye witnesses was overseeing the oral tradition of transmission of the gospel story to ensure that the facts were correct in Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus, Macedonia, etc? No one was.
He does make an interesting point, but he makes an absolute statement at the end that he really can’t make because he doesn’t have any evidence for it.

I also wanted to share what Glenn Miller of the Christian Think Tank had to say about this. Here is one of his articles that deal with apostolic authorship. It is a response to James Still, past president of the Internet Infidels (a very prestigious honor :)

 http://www.christianthinktank.com/stil09.html

At the top, Mr. President assumed that Miller believes that the apostles were the gospel authors, but Glenn doesn’t hold to that position.

Staying with the Christian Think Tank, another gospel controversy he dealt with had to do with the miracles of Jesus being invented by the disciples:

http://christianthinktank.com/mq9.html 

In part of the article, Glenn wrote about Joseph Campbell (a guy that Metacrock has wrote about before). He wrote the book called The Hero With a Thousand Faces:

Campbell’s heroes (more mythic than epic, though) were so in the second half of their lives, and his suggested patterns (called ‘overgeneralized’ by Dean Miller in [WR:TEH]) are not confirmed by the data, either:

“Like Rank’s theory, Campbell’s can be faulted on various grounds. As with Rank’s theory, one might gran the pattern by deny the meaning. Or one might question the pattern itself. Since it obviously applies only to myths about heroes in the second half of life, it excludes all of Rank’s hero myths, or at least all of Rank’s portions of them. And, as noted, it partly excludes female heroes. Whether the pattern even fits Campbell’s own examples it is not easy to tell, for Campbell, unlike either Rank or Raglan, provides no set of hero myths to accompany the whole of his pattern"
























10 comments:

I deleted the comment because it was spam for dating site

the quote JB uses:

However, I have to challenge the basic assumption of the Doxa site that the gospels were written by a community of eye witnesses. How did a community in Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus say, first learn about Jesus of Nazareth from a Jewish Jesus cult in Galilee? Evangelists preaching, like Paul or Apollos say? So the Antiochenes, Romans, Alexandrians, Ephesians and other communities heard the stories about Jesus from the evangelists, and retold them to others. Sometimes, not always, parts of the story would be changed to suit the occasion or emphasize a point. So were any of the eye witnesses from Jerusalem present to oversee each person telling the story of Jesus? No! They were in Jerusalem. So who of the eye witnesses was overseeing the oral tradition of transmission of the gospel story to ensure that the facts were correct in Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus, Macedonia, etc? No one was.

None of the four Gospels originated imn any of those places. They all originated in Jerusalem. There was a redaction process of written material going before Mark, Marks was not the first Gospel ever, it was first of the four canonical, it was also based upon prior writings.

some think originated in Syria and some place Matthew there but more likely the UR mark was Jerusalem and the final edition of M ark was from syria.

John was written in Jerusalem and the John community began there. Mark himself wound up in Alexandria but that does not mean he wrote his gospel there, or that he wrote it at all.

JB I tried posting on there and it didn't post

Do you have a Wordpress account? Also, is that person moderating comments?

I also marked the spam comment as "spam" in the comment controls for the dashboard just now, and deleted it from there.

JRP

Back on topic: speaking of "assumptions" (instead of inferences), what's the sceptical assumption up there that no eyewitnesses ever left Jerusalem? That doesn't seem based on any inferences I know of, and the conservative authorship/composition inferences have no problems along that line. Acts, not even counting church tradition, says the eyewitnesses didn't stay in Jerusalem. John Mark is writing wherever Peter is, be that at Rome or somewhere in Syria or Asia minor (though evidently for a partially Latin audience based on some terminology); or he's writing from notes he took from Peter previously, in which case Mark could be writing in Alexandria though Peter never visited there. Matthew is writing wherever Matthew is. John is claiming explicitly to be an eyewitness and he's writing wherever John is. It doesn't matter where Luke is doing his actual composition, what matters is whether he was telling the truth about researching living eyewitnesses of Jesus (called "the Word" notably) for his account -- which the ascribed author would have been in a position to do if he was following Paul around including for Paul's final trip back to Jerusalem. Paul (whom John Mark is also connected to, as well as Luke) meanwhile makes a point of checking in with the leading eyewitnesses, and they make a point of validating whether he's in synch with them; and he invites his readers to check back with Jerusalem central.

Of course there can be communities involved in this -- Mark's unique naming references imply not only a community but one with some eyewitness connections themselves directly or by the previous generation, and the Johannine epilogue seems to imply a community somewhere validating the author's identity. Matthew's little side anecdote about the anti-Christian witness of the tomb guards only makes sense if he's writing for a community in contact with a Jewish community still appealing to the guards' story as having once been promoted by the Sanhedrin itself (which as I argued extensively elsewhere on the Cadre a few years ago opens up an avalanche of historical Jesus confirmation data).

And that doesn't yet even get into a source theory I think highly likely, where the Synoptics are all three largely based (via triple and "Q" traditions) on programmatic proclamation material agreed upon by the apostles and used as written notes to make sure they stay on a more united witness as the official authorities solely authorized to report on the deeds and sayings of Jesus (also thus explaining why Paul keeps quiet on most historical matters, and isn't counted as one of the Twelve: because he can't be an official ambassador for the king in that sense despite his apostolic authority otherwise. Also thus explaining why the Gospels can have early date composition characteristics yet seem to have started being copied for wide distribution only after the second generation has been dying off.) Or a source theory I also think highly likely that John is working from a set of more personal reminisces, providing a function similar to that of John Mark for Peter. (Naturally I like that this weighs in favor of John Mark himself being the collator and author, doing for the Apostle John what he did for Peter, but this isn't a necessary extension of the like-Mark source-compilation theory.)

There are other theories of course, but the point is that there are plenty of ways for the Gospels to be composed at various times and places around the Mediterranean and still be passing along various forms of eyewitness testimony. (Or nominally eyewitness testimony; the Synoptic proclamation source theory I mentioned could be suspected of collusion to deceive or, let's say, upgrade what happened. But the rebuttal suspicion can at least be discussed and evaluated on the merits of the data characteristics.)

JRP

good comments Jason, good analyais

my comment posted but they do it backwards rom bottom to top om new commemt. so my new comment was at the top, retorted.

OK. I thought they posted new comments at the bottom. I saw your comment.

Newsflash: The majority of New Testament scholars no longer believe that eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels. It's not just my opinion, my Christian friends, it is the consensus of scholars.

https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/majority-of-scholars-agree-the-gospels-were-not-written-by-eyewitnesses/

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