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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

It's not always easy to admit that you made a mistake, when you see it copied by others you can't let it go on. At this location on Doxa: [1] I quoted a news paper story that claims that the great Rabbi  Gamaliel (with whom Paul studied) wrote a parody of Matthew's Gospel that winds up in the Talmud. The story dated the work to 72 AD [2]which would have proven an early date for Matthew, (traditional date is 80 according to modern scholars for more a century now). The story doesn't parody the whole Gospels just a couple of passages. It's taking of on the phrase I have come not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. The Story about this Talmudic writing was by Neil Altman and published in the Kansas city star. I quoted it out of a publication called southcoast today,[3]

The problem is I knew better than to trust a non scholarly source, Altmann[4] works the religious beat and I still think there are good reporters who are worthy reporting but I knew I should have gotten the scholarly sources too, most of the time I never take such short cuts, I have a couple of times this is one of them and it did not pay off. Years went buy I finally got around to checking it out. Scholar sources tell me the problem is a mistake i can easily see a reporter making either purposely or not, There was a Parody of Matthew in the Talmiud and it was by Gamaliel, but Gamaliel II grandson of the great Gamaliel, also called Gamaliel of  Yavne[6] He lived in the 90s and the early part of the second century. He absolutely did do this parody and it is in the Talmud but it can't be used as proof of early Matthew because it was done at least as early as 95.[7]

Here is how the parody works. The Rabbi and his sister went before a Christian magistrate. The sister, Imma Shalom, brought a golden lamp. It doesn't say but my sense is the lamp was a bribe because it does say they bribed the judge, The reason they did this was to expose the judge as a taker or bribes because he was a Christian, The sister claimed she wanted to divide her father's estate the brother charged that Torah says where there is a son  the daughter has no inheritance. The judge said the law has been set aside it's no longer in vogue, The next day Gamaliel II brings a donkey and same thing the judge quotes Mathew I have not come to destroy the law but to "add to it." He says ad to, not fulfill.That is as the Rabbi writes it. He also said (Rabbi writes) "the bushel bearer knocks over the lamp." So quoting Matthew light under bushel  but rather than lighting the lamp he knocks it over destroying the law, This is what Gamaliel writes about situation with teh Judge which apparently was a real case,[8] The passage we see in this parody is Matt 5:14-17 starts with light of the world and ends with come not to destroy the law but to filfill. Between the golden lamp and the allusions to scripture this is the passage in question,

No more being content with second rate evidence, I usually don't do that and from now on I will only obtain best evidence or not make the argument. BTW there is a scholar who is used as evidence by Altman kin the original report: An essay written for the book Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times, Israel J. Yuval of Jerusalem's Hebrew University. That offered the promise of a scholarly source but I cannot get hold of it and there is every possibility that Yuval, who is a professor, meant Gamaliel II and Altman either assumed or just turned him into Gamaliel I. But eve so all is not lost. The passage is still useful evidence, 

The date would be most likely before 120 AD. That is about the time Doherty and other mythers assign to the roots of historical Jesus,Some even seeing composition of Gospels as latter, This puts the writing of the Gospels no latter than 80. This is because m Matthew would have to be well known and traveled  for Gamaliel II to be so familiar with it, and he could have written this as early as 90. It also increases the likelihood of Jesus imn the Talmud as him followers and the literature supporting life is alluded to in the Talmud.


[1] Metacrock, "Gospels: Matthew," Doxa Christian thought in the 21st century no date (8/7/16)

I will eventually have this taken out of the article.

[2] Gamaliel I 


Gamaliel the Elder (/ɡəˈmljəl/;[1] also spelled GamlielHebrew: רבן גמליאל הזקן; Greek: Γαμαλιὴλ ὁ Πρεσβύτερος) or Rabban Gamaliel I, was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early 1st century AD. He was the son of Simeon ben Hillel, and grandson of the great Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder, and died twenty years before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD). He fathered a son, whom he called Simeon, after his father,[2] and a daughter, who married a priest named Simon ben Nathanael.[3] In some Christian traditions, he is said to have converted to Christianity and is venerated as a Saint along with his second son, Abibo (also Abibas, Abibus).

[3] This story appeared on Page A6 of The Standard-Times on April 19, 2003.

[4] Neil Altman
Neil Altman is a Philadelphia-based writer who specializes in the Dead Sea Scrolls and religion. He has done graduate work at Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Conwell School of Theology, and Temple University. He has a master's degree in Old Testament from Wheaton Graduate School in Wheaton, Ill., and was an American Studies Fellow at Eastern College. David Crowder is an investigative reporter for the El Paso Times in Texas.

[6] Gamaliel II

Rabban Gamaliel II (also spelled GamlielHebrewרבן גמליאל דיבנה‎‎) was the first person to lead the Sanhedrin as Nasi after the fall of the second temple, which occurred in 70 CE. Gamliel was appointed nasi approximately 10 years later. Gamaliel II was the son of Shimon ben Gamaliel, one of Jerusalem's foremost men in the war against the Romans,[2] and grandson of Gamaliel I. To distinguish him from the latter he is also called Gamliel of Yavne

[7] Burton L. Visotzky, Fathers of The World: Rabbinic and Patristric Literatures. Tubingen: JCB Mohr, 1995, 81-82.

[8] Ibid. 82

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