Gospels Not Written By Matthew, Mark, Luke or John

Christians believe that the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were written by those whose names appear in the title of the books. Most also believe that they were written in the same order as they appear in the Bible.

The Truth is …

No Mention of Gospels Until 2nd Century

There are extant writings accredited to the Apostolic Fathers, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp; written, for the most part, early in the second century. These writings contain no mention of the Four Gospels. This also is admitted by Christian scholars. Dr. Dodwell says: “We have at this day certain most authentic ecclesiastical writers of the times, as Clemens Romanus, Barnabas, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, who wrote in the order wherein I have named them, and after all the writers of the New Testament. But in Hermas you will not find one passage or any mention of the New Testament, nor in all the rest is any one of the Evangelists named” (Dissertations upon Irenaeus).

The Four Gospels were unknown to the early Christian Fathers. Justin Martyr, the most eminent of the early Fathers, wrote about the middle of the second century. His writings in proof of the divinity of Christ demanded the use of these Gospels had they existed in his time. He makes more than three hundred quotations from the books of the Old Testament, and nearly one hundred from the Apocryphal books of the New Testament; but none from the Four Gospels. The Rev. Dr. Giles says: “The very names of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are never mentioned by him [Justin] — do not occur once in all his writings” (Christian Records, p. 71).

Even though the Gospels go under the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, they were, in fact, written anonymously. These names first appeared in the second century and were assigned to the anonymous writings  to give the writings apostolic authority. The Gospel of Mark was written before any of the other canonical gospels and was written after the fall of the second temple  which occurred in 70 CE.

Theophilus, who wrote after the middle of the latter half of the second century, mentions the Gospel of John, and Irenaeus, who wrote a little later, mentions all of the Gospels, and makes numerous quotations from them. In the latter half of the second century, then, between the time of Justin and Papias, and the time of Theophilus and Irenaeus, the Four Gospels were undoubtedly written or compiled.

These books are anonymous. They do not purport to have been written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Their titles do not affirm it. They simply imply that they are “according” to the supposed teachings of these Evangelists. As Renan says, “They merely signify that these were the traditions proceeding from each of these Apostles, and claiming their authority.” Concerning their authorship the Rev. Dr. Hooykaas says: “They appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no confidence whatever” (Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 24).

(The previous four paragraphs were shamelessly borrowed from “The Christ” by John E. Remsberg. )

The Gospel According To Mark

The Gospel According to Mark is the most important of the synoptic gospels because it is the primary source for Matthew and Luke. Seventy six percent of Mark is reproduced almost word-for-word in both Matthew and Luke. An additional 18% of Mark is reproduced in Matthew but not in Luke, and an further 3% of Mark is in Luke but not in Matthew. This means that 97% of Mark is reproduced in Matthew and/or Luke.

Matthew contains 606 of Mark’s 661 verses. Luke contains 320 of Mark’s 661 verses. Of the 55 verses of Mark which Matthew does not reproduce, Luke reproduces 31; therefore there are only 24 verses in all of Mark not reproduced somewhere in Matthew or Luke.

Much of what is present  in this section I learned from a Christian with excellent credentials, Ian Bond, who who closes his webpage with “Yours, In Christ”. His web page, “Who Wrote The Synoptic Gospels” is much better and shorter than mine. I encourage you to read what he has to say and then come back. The diagram below is lifted, without permission, from his writings. I hope he is understanding. Clicking on the diagram takes you to his website, so it’s kinda like not copying it.

Relationship_between_synoptic_gospels

Who Wrote Mark and What Were His Sources?

Not even the Bible claims that Mark was an eye witness to Jesus’ ministry. Modern, non Christian biblical  scholars believe that the gospel of Mark was written in Syria by an unknown Christian no earlier than AD 70, using various sources including a passion narrative (probably written), collections of miracles stories (oral or written), apocalyptic traditions (probably written), and disputations and didactic sayings (some possibly written). These stories were in circulation year after year, told in different languages and in different countries from that of Jesus.

That’s it. The source for the gospel of Mark is other peoples’ stories and writings. In other words, all of Mark’s sources were at best, second hand, more likely fifth or sixth hand. What happens to stories that circulate orally for years? Obviously, they come to be changed in the retelling. Thus, the source for much of the synoptic gospels is no more than hearsay.

Apologists dismiss the charge of “hearsay” by pointing to the strength of the “oral tradition”. The simple childhood game of “Telephone” is sufficient to illustrate the point that stories told mouth to mouth for 35 years or more can’t possibly retain their original content.

The Gospel of Mark is the first of the Gospels to proffer quotes allegedly from Jesus. We question how authentic these quotes could possibly be, given the convoluted path from Jesus’ lips to “Marks” writing and the years that passed since the words were allegedly spoken. We have written a treatise on the impossibilities of Jesus’ actual words being accurately recorded 40+ years after they were spoken.

Click HERE  to read more about who wrote the gospel of Mark.

Who Wrote Matthew and What Were The  Sources?

By the end of the 2nd century the tradition of Matthew the tax-collector had become widely accepted, and the line “The Gospel According to Matthew” began to be added to manuscripts. For many reasons scholars today believe otherwise—fifty five percent of the gospel is copied from Mark, and it seems unlikely that an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry would need to rely on others for information about it.  They believe instead that it was written between about 80–90 AD by a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, standing on the boundary between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values.

A widespread theory holds that the author drew on three primary sources, each representing a distinct community: a hypothetical collection, or several collections, of sayings (called “Q“, and shared with Luke); the Gospel of Mark; and material unique to Matthew (called “M”, some of which may have originated with Matthew himself).

He wrote for a Jewish audience: like “Q” and “M”, he stresses the continuing relevance of the Jewish law; unlike Mark he never bothers to explain Jewish customs; and unlike Luke, who traces Jesus’s ancestry back to Adam, father of the human race, he traces it only to Abraham, father of the Jews. The fact that his linage differs significantly from that of Luke is a real problem for those who claim that the Holy Spirit’s hand guided the writers of the gospels.

The content of “M” suggests that the community for which this gospel was written, was stricter than the others in its attitude to keeping the Jewish law, holding that they must exceed the scribes and the Pharisees in “righteousness” (adherence to Jewish law); and of the three only “M” refers to a “church” (ecclesia), an organised group with rules for keeping order. Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100.

Click HERE  to read more about who wrote Matthew.

Who Wrote Luke and What Were the Sources?

Most modern critical scholarship concludes that Luke used the Gospel of Mark for his chronology and a hypothetical sayings source Q document for many of Jesus’ teachings. Luke may also have drawn from independent written records. Traditional Christian scholarship has dated the composition of the gospel to the early 60s, while higher criticism dates it to the later decades of the 1st century. While the traditional view that Paul’s companion Luke authored the gospel is still often put forward, a number of possible contradictions between Acts and Paul’s letters lead many scholars to dispute this account.

Click  HERE to read more about who wrote Luke.

Who Wrote John and What Were the Sources?

John differs significantly from the synoptic gospels in theme, content, time duration, order of events, and style. Only ca. 8% of it is parallel to these other gospels, and even then, no such word-for-word parallelism occurs as we find among the synoptic gospels. The Gospel of John reflects a Christian tradition that is different from that of the other gospels. It was rejected as heretical by many individuals and groups within the early Christian movement. It was used extensively by the Gnostic Christians. But it was ultimately accepted into the official canon, over many objections. It is now the favorite gospel of many conservative Christians, and the gospel least referred to by many liberal Christians.

They have a totally different agenda in mind for their audience than did the authors of the synoptic gospels. The authors of the synoptic gospels were writing to their fellow Jews and trying to convince them that they could accept Jesus as the Messiah and still remain Jewish.  Matthew even indicates that the men should still be circumcised .

John’s teachings , as summed up in John 3:16 are just the opposite of those of the writers of Mark, Matthew and Luke. Whereas John welcomes anyone into the fold, Mark, Matthew and Luke write for and to  Jews only.   They see Jesus as the Jewish Messiah who has come to return Israel to its former glory.

The gospel identifies its author as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” The text does not actually name this disciple, but by the beginning of the 2nd century a tradition began to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus’s innermost circle). Today the majority of scholars do not believe that John or any other eyewitness wrote it and trace it instead to a “Johannine community” which traced its traditions to John; the gospel itself shows signs of having been composed in three “layers”, reaching its final form about 90-100 AD.

Click HERE to read about who really wrote John

 Bottom Line

The canonical gospels upon which the Christian faith is built, the ones which present the words of Jesus are writings by unknown authors writing to buttress the particular points they wished to make. The quotations allegedly from Jesus were most likely, made up by the authors to support their positions.

  • The titles in our English Bibles are later additions; they are not original to the Gospels themselves.
  • The Gospel narratives are always written in the third person.
  • The tradition that they were written by two disciples (Matthew and John) and by two companions of the apostles (Mark and Luke) is first attested in the 2nd century!
  • What we can say for certain about the authors is that they were all highly educated, literate, Greek-speaking Christians of (at least) the second generation, contrast this with the apostles of Jesus, who were uneducated, lower class, illiterate, Aramaic-speaking peasants.

Even IF the gospels had been written by the “eye-witness” apostles, Matthew and John, it is unlikely that they reported everything accurately. Remember that their “testimony” comes thirty years (Matthew) and sixty years (John) after the fact. This would-be “eyewitness” testimony is, at a minimum, 30 years after the events it purports to describe and the authors were in or nearing their dotage. In any event,  recent research has found that eyewitness testimony is not reliable. Read an excerpt from an article entitled “34 Years Later, Supreme Court Will Revisit Eyewitness IDs” By Adam Liptak Published: August 22, 2011, NY Times.

Discrepancies And The Holy Spirit

Irrespective of the above, Christians argue that the authors of the Gospels and in fact the authors of all the books of the Bible, were guided by the Holy Spirit and therefore cannot be in error regardless of who wrote the words. We would like to throw out just a few of the discrepancies that one finds between the same story told by the different authors.

  • For example, the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke are strikingly different from each other.
  • In addition to major discrepancies in Luke’s and Matthew’s versions of the birth of Jesus, and his family’s relocation from Bethlehem to Nazareth, there are historical problems.
    • These include the nature of the miraculous star in Matthew that leads the wise men to the exact location of Jesus’ birth, and the census in Luke that required knowing where one’s ancestors were from. Moreover, this census involved the entire Roman Empire, and there is no account of such a huge census anywhere except in Luke.
  • The genealogy  of Jesus given to us by Matthew is much different that the genealogy given by Luke.
  • John has Jesus teaching for three years; Mark, Matthew and Luke present a one year ministry.
  • Mark and Luke follow this with an account of teaching and healing in Galilee, then a trip to Jerusalem where there is an incident in the Temple climaxing with the crucifixion on the day of the Passover holiday.
  • John, by contrast, puts the Temple incident very early in Jesus’ ministry, has several trips to Jerusalem, and puts the crucifixion immediately before the Passover holiday, on the day when the lambs for the Passover meal were being sacrificed in Temple.
  • And the accounts of Jesus’ death in Mark and Luke are strikingly different.

Additional Proof Can be Found Here

A 606 page treatise entitled The Rejection of Pascal’s Wager completely presents the evidence for the fact that the Books of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were not written by who Christians think they were. The book presents massive evidence from real biblical scholars (those who did not attend Moody Bible College or Dallas Theological Seminary, et. al.) that the authorship of the Gospels is unknown.

 

229 comments on “Gospels Not Written By Matthew, Mark, Luke or John

  1. Yuli says:

    I am Christian, I have read all of the NT and OT provided for general Christians. Yes I had ( and still have) some questions and got various answers but then I think as long as the Books give guidance to be a better person then they are worth reading and following. I am not trying to speak on behalf of majority of Christians, however many Christian fellows think the same way. Anyway, thanks for the writing.

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  3. Rob (Cosmic Gorilla UK) says:

    I just spent about three years, with three friends, studying and reflecting on the gospel of John. I love it. I am changed by it, I am more loving, less dogmatic and clearer about what I believe. I’ve been a Chrustian for 34-years and have often argued against people who I love and respect when I’ve felt that what they say or do is against the love and light that Jesus brought to us. After all of this study and reflection I am convinced that John is a gospel that was compiled (probably 100AD ish) from eyewitness recollections from John. There are clues in the gospel to this, for instance we went through it about 12 verses a week and we found that it is fractal in nature. You can gain sufficient understanding with little exegesis about the person and message of Christ as well as an invitation to believe and follow any number of times (my work is on Vimio Refelections on John from CosmicGorillaUK) I’ve moved on to the epistles now and in my study preparation I am struck by the congruity between the three letters and gospel as presented by John.

    The other three gospels I think draw from a much wider range of sources and were written for different reasons as John so I think I agree with some of what you are saying.

    None of what you write precludes the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the authoring or construction of the current Canon of Scripture and it certainly does not prevent the Holy Spirit for using the gospels to help people understand who Christ is, his work and purpose and to lead people to make a decision for faith in either direction. Thank you for putting this post together I have found it very helpful even though I do not draw the same conclusions as you. I have the perfect right to choose or reject faith as do you. Again, my thanks.

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  5. joy thomas says:

    So long as you do not reveal the contents of other gospels written by other people and do not critically get debated , you are really fooling the faithful.

  6. Fred Weiss says:

    Nothing seems to erode the faith of Bible thumpers for two very obvious reasons. They carry equal weight. These are very weak-minded people with no critical thinking skills who have believed a book that is a polemic against free inquiry and critical thinking. And they’ve been frightened completely out of their minds by the fear of eternal damnation. Now if you believe that nonsense you can be made to believe ANYTHING, talking animals, ANYTHING, dead people coming out of graves, ANYTHING to avoid it. Plus the older they get the more they realize that if they are wrong they have spent their entire life studying and worshiping Bugs Bunny as one Rabbi puts it talking about people who believe Jesus actually existed. Every skeptic knows the New Testament was forged and faked by the early church to compete with other religions for converts, their money and especially their young male children. A religion founded and maintained for 2000 by pedophiles and gays that denounces homosexuality has to be… what can I say, that says it all about the human race, don;t it?

  7. Fred Weiss says:

    “Scientists usually have the conclusion built in their mind already, and construct a model to validate their conclusion.” That is really funny since it’s the Bible thumpers who have the conclusion built in their mind already, and construct a model to validate their conclusion. In fact all theistic arguments have the conclusion already built into the supporting premise and thereby prove nothing at all.

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  9. Parsons says:

    Innovations and discoveries in the various fields of science are eroding the arguments for theistic belief at an increasingly rapid rate. The Drake Equation is now estimating that there is only a one in 10 billion trillion possibility that earth is the only planet to have evolved an intelligent civilization. Throw in the fact that scientists are very close to creating synthisized life forms and I see little room for theists and creationists to maneuver.
    However, facts have never stood in the their way before…..

    • Not so fast says:

      Wait…it’s a possibility that earth is the only planet to have evolved intelligent civilization…Then, you write, “however facts…”

      That’s not a fact. That’s a guess. I laughed at your “discoveries in the various fields of science are eroding the arguments for theistic beliefs…” That’s hardly the case. Science still can’t answer fundamental questions and their ideas are changing, often, causing THEM to come up with new ideas to fill the “gaps.” The conclusion that “innovations and discoveries….eroding the arguments for theistic belief” is a subjective conclusion and not one based on actual fact.

      I’d suggest actually providing real facts instead of conjecture.

  10. benaiah juma says:

    you are the first person that I am hearing this information from.

  11. Cabo says:

    Thanks for answering that fast and thorough.

    My point with asking for evidence, and my point with what I’m about to say, is that you have come to such a complex and elaborate explanation, which you claim is the truth and not even a theory, out of thin air.

    First, you said “the identities of the original authors was lost.” My question to you is: Where is your evidence to say something as bold as that (the identity of the original authors was lost). You have absolutely no evidence for that claim.

    Then you said “Can you name a single church father before the end of the second century AD who named the author whose gospel he was quoting from? No you cannot. ” I am actually surprised you said I could not, and then you went ahead and answered your own question mentioning church fathers that did in fact name the author of the gospels they were talking about before the end of the second century.

    Then you said “Why were these names selected? Rumours within the church. Papias the bishop of Hierapolis provides the earliest external evidence by naming who wrote the gospels of Matthew and Mark, around 130-140 AD. As for the other gospels, John is first named around 140-150 AD by Heracleon who was regarded as a heretic, whilst Luke is first named by Irenaeus in 180 AD.” I say, where is your evidence to claim that this were “rumors” and not KNOWLEDGE (emphasis not yelling) within the church. Did the church fathers say that these were rumors? Nope. Did anyone in the second century say that these claims were rumors? Nope. Do you at least have evidence of anyone disagreeing with any of these claims? Nope.

    Then, you said “Unfortunately, the church has incorrectly assigned the name ‘Ἰωάννου’ – John to the fourth canonical Gospel. for as we already know, according to Acts 4:13 that Peter and John were ἀγράμματοί – ‘Agrammatoi’ meaning ‘without letters’, ‘Illiterate’, so could not have written such educated Greek we find in the fourth canonical gospel.” I think that will probably be your strongest evidence against any of the four names attributed to the gospels. So, I would love for you to say something like this for the other authors. Now, let me respond with two points so you can see this is not enough to claim all the other claims I mentioned you said previously. First, Acts 13 is talking about something that happened the same year Jesus died and the gospel of John, as you said, is believed to have been written sometime in the 90-100. That gives John almost and even more (depending on when exactly the gospel was written) than 60 years for him to become literate. This is completely plausible considering that an apostle like John, was almost required by his position to be the best spokesman of the gospel he could. So, there is no evidence that proves that his love for sharing the gospel and his need to make sure he could explain and provide serious arguments for his faith would make him study to learn how to write and read at that level. Ok. Now, the second point. The title says “Gospel ACCORDING to John”. That means, it is the gospel ACCORDING to John. So, even if he wouldn’t have had the chance to learn how to read and write, that would have not exclude the second option, which is, that he could have dictated his account (this was very common in those days) to any of his more literate disciples willing to help him write his gospel. These are theories, which you have no evidence that prove them wrong and therefore, for you to claim as “church truth” that “the original identity of the authors of the gospels was lost” is simply unfounded.

    Now, you said “Can you provide the evidence and show us, and indeed the whole academic world (your chance to put us all to shame and expose our ignorance), any early manuscript where the actual author names themselves within their alleged text? No you cannot.” I say, you are making the assumption that I would need to have access to such thing in order to logically come to the same conclusion that all the church fathers came to. I think there is no need for such evidence, given the fact that absolutely 100% of all the thousands of copies that we have of the gospels bear the name of their authors in their titles and that there are ZERO manuscripts with the allegedly gospels originally written without these titles. My evidence is internal in that sense. Furthermore, I can rely on the fact that absolutely 100% of all the church fathers agreed that these gospels where written by who the manuscripts themselves claim to have been written. And, by the way, these same church fathers were more than 1,500 years closer to the facts than you and your theory are now.

    I think that it is in fact a possibility that the gospels were first preached by the apostles and thus, there would have been no need for them to write “gospel according to..”. However, to say that the identity of the authors of these gospels were “lost”, as explained before, could be no more than just an unfounded theory with no evidence and yet you have claimed this as “church truth”.

    • Atheos says:

      Hi caro
      Thanks for your equally prompt response and thanks again for going into more detail on some points.

      For starters I never used any term or expression like ‘this is the truth’ or even claimed that this was ‘Church Truth’, so those comments null and void. They had had me a little puzzled, because you have obviously read my post in great detail to go to such lengths to quote me line by line when providing your own critique.

      Also I would not go so far as to call any of my opinions ‘theories’ in the scientific sense, for at best they can only be a ‘working hypothesis’, as we do not have the original autographs to compare, not the authors or any early church fathers available to question about what they knew about the authors. We can only base things on the manuscript evidence we possess, what we know about the early church, cultures in antiquity, manuscript transmission processes, archaeology etc. We then work on what was possible, what was plausible and what was the most probable. That is until we uncover some new finds.

      I have to agree with you from the outset that there is absolutely no manuscript evidence where the titles “According to so-and-so” are missing. As I said, I think you are playing on a technicality here, for you know that we do not have the original autographs, nor the first few generations of copies, so you know that we cannot provide any direct manuscript evidence showing that the titles were omitted. There is plenty of indirect evidence that has lead the majority of scholars to accept that the original autographs did not have the titles naming the author. It is true this could be co-incidental or even circumstantial evidence at best.

      I’m going to play you at your own game. Whilst something might be possible or even plausible like a man learning to master, read and write with eloquence in a foreign language, is there any evidence that this actually happened with John? Or is it more a case of believing that John, an Aramaic speaking Jewish Christian former fisherman turned evangelist wrote it because of a potential Christian myth? It is also equally possible that John, or indeed any author New Testament or anyone in antiquity, could have used the services of a professional scribe or translator, in which case the author is not the apostle and nowhere does the Johannine gospel have any mention that this is being written on behalf of an apostle. Again is there any evidence for the use of a scribe just because it was possible or plausible? From John 21:24 I would say no. I have no reason to doubt that John could have mastered spoken Greek, for Peter was named Cephas so I would expect Peter to have picked up some spoken Greek during his interaction with gentile believers.

      Consider the end of John 21:24, where we find that another author has added an appendix claiming that [24]“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.” In other words this is claiming that the author witnessed the events and wrote them down. Some words trouble me for John was not just a disciple, he was an APOSTLE. There were many disciples, but not so many apostles. I always understood that to be an apostle you had to have witnessed the resurrected Jesus, which is why Paul/Saul could claim that he too was an apostle. If this were indeed the writing of John and if the title was already present “The Gospel according to John” then surely this unknown person who wrote John 21:24 would have played up on the Apostolic authority of John and not used the word disciple but instead called the witness “This apostle”?

      Why would anyone need to add some extra text to add further justification or confidence in the testimony if it were THE John, the former fisherman, come disciple, apostle and Evangelist? Unless the account did not have any title naming the author. If a scribe was used then the disciple did not write the text as this verse claims. Also, if a scribe was used then it is 99% certain that the scribe did not witness the events like this verse claims.

      Why doesn’t this appender mention the author’s name? What a brilliant opportunity to add more confidence that this is not just any reliable witness account, but to name John the son of Zebedee, one of the three members of Jesus’s inner circle of disciples? Would you necessarily say “his testimony is true” if you are talking about ‘The John’? The fact that this unknown later editor has to make an appendage suggests that John the son of Zebedee was not the author. Otherwise you would not dare to even give so much as a hint that this was not the work of The John, former fisherman, disciple, apostle and now evangelist?

      Who on earth is this jumped up little nobody that wrote 21:24, who is so full of himself that he has the audacity to even dare to imply that his opinion on what is true witness testimony carries more authority than the great apostle John the son of Zebedee? Who is this “We”? A committee? So we have a church committee deciding to endorse the written testimony of one of the founders of their very religion?

      This rather suggests that this author and his committee members did not really know who wrote the gospel they dare to add their tuppence comment to at the very end. Do you not think that had John originally added his name and the title that you would have this upstart editor and his committee mates daring to even suggest that they was in any position to validate or repudiate the written testimony of the apostle John?

      To me, John 21:24 clearly suggests that the author of this verse did not know who the writer of of the rest of the gospel was. Verse 24 kind of dates the gospel a bit and suggests that verse 24 was added later when copies were being made, so perhaps 100 to 110 AD for John 21:24 to be added and circulated.

      I realise that neither of us is going to have time to review every manuscript or letter from a church father, so I apologise in advance if I appeared to over play my hand. However, many scholars have gone before us ho have made detailed studies. If you are aware of any then I’d be grateful if you could point me in their direction.

      When I said that “the identities of the original authors was lost.” this is going to be very likely when a gospel, letter, church memo circulates amongst a different Christian community who had not seen or heard the original author. It is estimated that only 10-15% of the population could read or write and that writing with such eloquence was the preserve of the wealthy elite and professional scribes. That literacy figure is going to be even lower in the church if it is made up of mostly lower class people. So a title would have been meaningless, except to those few who could read and write. The gospels were written in different communities who did not have the advanced communications and telephony systems that we have to be able to share their literary works, it was all done manually.

      When the persecutions came, if you were orchestrating the persecution of Christians, who would you take out to quash this upstart religion? The more educated Christians perhaps? The ring leaders? Or those who were illiterate from the lower classes? Yes I am speculating, but I do know that the Romans would go for the heart/HQ of a religion to destroy it and crush the spirits of those who followed it. There was the Menai Massacre where the Romans slaughtered the Druids in about 60-61 AD in Anglesey, where I was born. Let us not forget the first of the three Roman Jewish wars, of 66-74 AD, 115-117 AD and 133-135 AD. They went for the ring leaders, so would it be wrong of me to suggest that those most likely of knowing who actually wrote a gospel written by someone outside their Christian community, would most likely have perished, leaving hardly anyone who would know because they couldn’t read or write Greek? Also allowing the generations of Christians that came and went until we get into the middle of the second century, how many of them do we think would know that a certain gospel was written by a specific person from another community? How many passed this on to the next generation?

      Even Christian apologists like Craig Blomberg readily acknowledge the anonymity of the gospels, as do most Theologians, particularly those working in the field of textual criticism like Bart D Erhman. I can actually think of some very good reasons why the original authors of the canonical gospels decided to remain anonymous. For starters up until the end of the first century AD, most Christians were anticipating the imminent return of Jesus, so would there be any need to name yourself as the author and add titles if your gospel was only going to be in existence for a few year before Jesus returned … any day now people? Humility on the part of the author, wanting the gospel story to take centre stage, would be another reason. There are many more I am sure, but without having the authors present to answer our questions we can never be 100% sure what their motives were for writing in the first place.

      Ireneaus regarded Christians who did not use all four canonical gospels as ‘heretics’. The fact that Tatian wrote a Diatessaron harmonisation of the four canonical gospels show that by the end of the second century the early orthodox Christians were using these 4 books as their gospel books. This suggests that there were quite a lot of ‘Christians’ using maybe the one gospel written in their locality plus a few letters. Would these people know about the existence and authorship of other gospels up until the mid second century AD? Also factor in rivalry between different Christian communities, plus those communities declared as heretical by Ireneaus and others and we have quite a mix.

      Does not the fact that Justin Martyr does not name his source when quoting from the gospels, suggest that the name of the author was unknown to him? I am guilty of being a 21st century, Masters educated westerner with life experiences from Wales, England and Australia, so there are some of my cultural biasses that WILL affect my assumptions. Would you not expect Justin Martyr to name his source to indicate the authority figure responsible for the gospel text he was quoting to emphasise his point more convincingly? The gospel according to Atheos is not going to turn any heads, but a gospel according to a famous apostle (Matthew, John) or famous side kick (Mark, Luke) of a famous apostle (Paul) is going to have a lot more authority behind it than my meagre offering of a gospel ever would.

      What I was trying to suggest was that the identities of the authors of the canonical gospels was not important, until a load of forgers and fraudsters during the mid second century began writing and creating ‘gospels’ trying to pass them off as the works of even more famous apostles, even the brother of Jesus.

      Have you ever considered the linguistics of the titles as evidence within our earliest existing codex and manuscripts?

      • Cabo says:

        Unfortunately most of what you said are just ideas and assumptions without considering the bigger questions. I think the probabilities that this idea of the anonymous gospels could have happened are so low that it is basically impossible.

        First, all the internal and external evidence does not only point to what has been traditionally believed but ALL manuscripts and ALL church fathers UNANIMOUSLY proclaim the same thing about who wrote what gospel. You will not see that with truly anonymous writings.

        Second, when you look at truly anonymous writings of the New Testament like the book of Hebrews, evidently we find what one would expect to find from a true anonymous writing, that is, differences in the titles of the manuscripts (internal evidence) as well as differences of opinion about who was the author (external evidence) within the church fathers. Just in the second century we can find up to five different accounts by the church fathers and one of them being that the book is in fact anonymous and it even says “only God knows who wrote the book of Hebrews”. And guess what. We find the same problem in the titles of all the copies as well. There are all sorts of differences in the titles and the authors they mention and, yes, some say anonymous as title. This is what happens with a real anonymous writing. Nothing of this is found in the canonical gospels.

        Third, the theory that has been presented here, which is the common anonymous theory, states that the titles were added about 100 years later. Let’s think logically what that statement actually entails. It assumes that not only one, not only two, not only three but four different gospels were originally written anonymously. These separate writings then were supposed to have been copied over and over and over and over again by different people, by different communities all over the Roman Empire (so many countries like Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, France, Syria, India, Etc.) for 100 years and all the time completely anonymously and with no evidence of even one person trying to sort this mess yet. And it wasn’t until those 100 years of spreading four different anonymous writings all over the world that out of nowhere the fathers of the Church decided to add authors to make these writings more authoritative. Then, all at once, these hundreds of different anonymous copies spread all over the place were perfectly and identically identified by communities of different people of different traditions and cultures and languages spoken and located in different places and not even able to communicate effectively (no internet or phones here) to have the same authors. All of this was also supposed to be done without evidence of any of this happening. The chances of this happening is basically impossible.

        Forth, there is no evidence of any of this happening at all. No evidence of anybody trying to communicate that this vast and almost impossible project was to be done around the 100 year mark. We do not see anybody arguing about who the authors were. There is no evidence of people talking about how to even identify the copies there were supposed to belong to Mathew, John, etc. Absolutely no evidence of any of this and yet we are still supposed to believe this?

        Fifth, if your theory was correct in claiming the the church fathers added the authors in the titles later to make the writings more authoritative, don’t you think they would have at least try to choose people that were actually apostles or eyewitnesses?? The evidence is that this is exactly what happened with the forged gospels. They selected people like Peter, Mary Magdalene, Judas, Thomas, and even Jesus himself. But two of the four canonical gospels are claimed to be from people who were not even apostles or eyewitnesses to the events they are writing about! Just think about this for a second. If you got to choose who your gospel would be written by, would you not try to choose at least an eyewitness to give it more authority?? And yet half of the canonical gospels have authors that were not eyewitnesses and thus would not really even give much authority like the forged gospels from the apostles and Jesus himself in the first place!

        Six, we know from the very first verses of Luke that, even before he had ever set pen to papyrus, there were already “many” accounts of the life of Jesus circulating. Don’t you think that it would have been necessary to identify his account with a title a little earlier than 100 years later? Even more, if the same communities possessed more than one account by the time Luke was written.

        There are more reasons to think this theory is basically impossible but I think this six would be enough for any logical person to realize this is definitely not the most probable thing that we have here.

      • Atheos says:

        Hi Cabo
        Thanks for your detailed answers, that clearly support the traditional view. Although your approach is also not without assumptions, as it assumes that the early church fathers were basing what they said on solid tradition, and yet how can you be so sure that there was not speculation on part of some Church fathers? You also appear to present a very organised, industrious and unified church, for the second century which is not well supported by the evidence.

        Obviously the biggest reason why most scholars doubt the existence of titles naming the author on the originals is because they are certain that the traditional or alleged authors of the canonical and even non-canonical gospels did not write them, based on the evidence. The overwhelming majority of scholars believe that all four canonical gospels were first written in Greek, and in the case of Matthew was then allegedly translated into Hebrew later. Therefore any title claiming traditional Hebraic/Aramaic authorship of Matthew, as well as the Greek gospels by Mark, Luke and John, must have been attributed at a later date and not when the document originated. If as you say that there is absolutely no evidence, then why do so many scholars accept that the titles were not originally present by studying the internal evidence just as you and I do? To be honest I think that any position has its niggles and problems, nor do I regard any position as absolutely 100% watertight.

        Supporters of the main Matthean Aramaic/Hebrew primacy hypotheses typically cite the medieval Anti-Christian polemic called Even Bohan “Touchstone” by Shem-Tob in 1385 as evidence of a Matthean Hebrew/Aramaic tradition. Scholars like George Howard claim that the Hebrew gospel of Matthew contained in the Even Bohan predates the 14th century and may have even earlier origins. Howard does not claim that the tradition can be traced right back to the first century AD, as some of his critics like W L Petersen falsely accuse of Howard of. Most scholars believe there is an earlier Medieval Latin or Greek manuscript that was translated into Hebrew that served as the source for Even Bohan. The purpose of Even Bohan was to offer polemic against the Catholic Church, rather than continuing a great Jewish Hebrew tradition.

        Firstly, you might need to qualify the ALL church fathers, for a lot of what we know about the early church fathers living during the second century AD comes from the hearsay of Eusebius writing his Ecclesiastical History in the mid fourth century AD. Most church fathers are later than Clement of Rome, Papias, Ignatius, Polycarp of Smyrna, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Ireneaus of Lyons, Tatian of Syria or Tertulian, so how can we be so sure that the later church fathers were not just blindly following the hearsay of these predecessors or that Eusebius was exaggerating somewhat? I merely point out that you place a lot of confidence in the reliability and trustworthiness of some early church fathers coming via the writings and opinion of Eusebius writing several centuries later, with little evidence from elsewhere.

        Augustine had a very different and contradictory opinion to Papias about the source Mark used for his gospel. Was it Peter as Papias stated in about 130-140 AD? or was it Matthew as Augustine stated in his De Consensu Evangelistarum aboout 400 AD? I would not call this unanimous. Augustine appears to be appealing to tradition that was handed down to him, that is clearly different to the tradition that Papias was familiar with. If they cannot agree on a source, how can we then claim that they unanimously knew who wrote something? It seems pretty clear to me that logically, one of these church fathers, or both even, is wrong and represents a false tradition. So the church fathers are not as unanimous and constant as you might claim. There were different traditions formed in the different communities that these church fathers represented. We also seem to talk about the ‘early Church Fathers’ as if they all co-existed and were contemporaries of each other, yet 250 years separates the writings of Papias (according to Eusebius) from Augustine.

        Where Eusebius appears to quote the works of Papias, I and indeed many people, take the view that Papias is describing a ‘logia’ ‘sayings’ gospel written in Hebrew by Matthew, so therefore expect an Aramaic/Hebrew version of something more along the lines of the Gospel of Thomas, or even Q. Yet the version of Matthew that we have is predominantly not a sayings gospel, although it does contain some sayings. Out of all the canonical gospels I would have said that John was more of a sayings or reflective kind of gospel than any of the synoptics. So I’m not sure how we can say that ALL the church fathers were unanimous about the writer of Matthew when it looks like we have 2 different versions of a gospel both allegedly written by a Matthew. Three different versions if you include the gospel of the Hebrews, Four versions if you also include the Gospel of the Ebionites. Five different versions if you include the gospel of Nazareans.

        It appears that Origen knew a Hebrew/Aramaic version of Matthew, but we do not know whether this was the same one that Papias talks. Nor do we know if Papias had seen the Hebrew Matthew that he speaks of, or whether he was just relaying what he had been told about it by others. We cannot be certain that the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew that Papias mentions is the same gospel that either Origen or much later Jerome mentions. My point here is that surely we would not have this uncertainty had the originals had titles naming the authors. I have read your comments about Jerome and the Hebrew/Aramaic version of ‘Matthew’ he claimed he saw, and will address these in another post, suffice to say that he later doubted that it was a Hebrew/Aramaic Matthew as it differed markedly from his Greek copy of Matthew.

        So which gospel version were the church fathers unanimous about? The Hebrew Thomasesque Sayings Gospel that Eusebius claims Papias mentioned? Or is it our Greek version, that according to John Nolland and D A Hagner bears no tell tale signs of being translated from Hebrew into Greek? Or is it the Gospel of the Ebionites/Hebrews/Nazareans that are claimed to be Aramaic/Hebrew Matthew? So, if as you claim I am mistaken in thinking that the original manuscripts lacked their titles naming the author, then how did we end up with this ‘Greek Matthew’ that is clearly not the ‘Hebrew Sayings Matthew’ that Papias mentions? Unless the titles omitted the name or there was a name mix up perhaps? How can we be so sure that Papias had not made an educated guess as to who wrote this Hebrew sayings gospel? We are all human with ambitions and motives including the earliest church fathers.

        Probably the most damning evidence against the existence of any Hebrew Gospel alegedly authored by Matthew is that apart from the reference to Papias made by Eusebius there is no evidence that this Hebrew Matthew document ever existed. No early church father quotes from a Hebraic/Aramaic Matthew. There are no surviving manuscripts of a Hebrew Matthew. There are no surviving translated versions that we have discovered that are based upon a Hebrew/Aramaic text of the gospel of Matthew. I think we have to discount George Howard’s use of the medieval Even Bohan, for even he admitted that the text had been significantly modified. That and the 1385 AD date for the Even Bohan is at least 1300 years after the date that most scholars posit for when Matthew was written in Greek. Most scholars believe that the Even Bohan is based on an earlier medieval Latin or Greek manuscript, with scholars hedging more towards a Latin source.

        F F Bruce claims that when Jerome translated his famous Latin Vulgate of the four gospels in 384 AD he only used Greek manuscripts. The version of Hebrew version of Matthew that you mention Jerome using was not Matthew but the Gospel of the Nazareans/Ebionites/Hebrews, as the few quotes we have demonstrate that they are clearly not from our Greek Matthew. Had this been a genuine Hebrew text by Matthew, Jerome would have used it, assuming he could read Hebrew/Aramaic as he claims.

        All our New Testament documents were written in Greek. Consider this. James and Hebrews were written in Greek not Hebrew. Aramaic/Hebrew was only spoken in Palestine and some parts of the Diaspora.

        Secondly, what would you say was a truly anonymous writing? The letter to the Hebrews was written in some community somewhere, by someone who was well educated and must have been known at one time, so from that perspective can any writing be truly anonymous? OK I could be splitting hairs here. Even some authors from antiquity did not include titles, although we know of them from other sources. This is where I have a problem with the author of Matthew, for Papias is clearly describing a different gospel by Matthew to the one we now have, so how did our version of Matthew get to be called Matthew if there were titles on it. There are some 2 gospel hypotheses that Matthew first wrote a Hebrew gospel, but later on seeing the spread of the gospel amongst the gentiles, wrote a Greek version aimed at gentiles that we now possess. Do we go down this route for an explanation? I’m open to ideas here.

        The different formats for the titles for Hebrews that you identified as evidence for the anonymity of Hebrews, also applies equally to our manuscripts of the gospels. Were you aware of this? Otherwise you appear to be inconsistent in your application of the evidence. There is no one standard formula, which you might expect had titles naming the authors been present on the original autograph. This seems to be one reason why NT scholars accept that the titles naming the author were missing from the original autographs. If you are correct about the titles being present from the original autographs, then would it not be reasonable to expect them to copy the titles verbatim too? Why then do we observe differences in the titles? Does it not seem more likely that the title was missing from a manuscript, so when one community copies it they might add “The Good News according to …”, whilst another copier from a different community might add “According to …” So I don’t think that your traditional defence is quite as cut and dry as you claim. I will assume that you won’t require me to provide title extracts from some manuscripts to support my point. So what was the original title for the Autograph of Matthew? Was it ‘KATA MATTHEW’? Was it ‘EUANGELION KATA MATTHEW’? Which manuscripts have the correct format of the titles or are closest to the original if it was present?

        Regarding the linguistics, Clarence W Mendell comments that our earliest surviving copies of Tacitus use the Genitive (possessive) case ‘Taciti’ of Tacitus to specifically identify Tacitus as the author of the Annals as do other literary works from antiquity. Our earliest surviving gospel manuscripts use the grammatical construction ‘KATA’ “according to” rather than “of” to distance themselves from a specific claim of authorship. If you are so certain that the early church knew who wrote what, why did the copyists use this ‘KATA’ construction and not the Greek genitive case, ‘ΤΟΥ ΜΑΘΘΑΙΟΥ’ ‘Of Matthew’ for example, to explicitly state the authorship?

        Looking at the name Matthew in the Greek titles of surviving manuscripts, there are at least two different Greek spelling versions, depending upon the manuscript and where it originated from, that I’m aware of. I’m more familiar with Codex D Bezae that uses ‘KAT ΜΑΘΘΑΙΟΝ’ (MA TH TH EW) whereas others use ‘KATA ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ’ (MA T TH EW)? If the titles originally named the author, wouldn’t you expect them to also get his name consistently correct when copying? Or why didn’t a later copier correct the incorrect spelling of the name if it was a mistake? Mistakes are easily made as you will note that I addressed you as ‘Caro’ instead of ‘Cabo’ in an earlier post, my apologies.

        Thirdly, you appear to share the view of Martin Hengel here. I did not personally state that the Church fathers added titles 100 years after the gospels were written, or even that we had 5 generations of nameless copies. Our earliest complete manuscript containing all four canonical gospels is P45 Chester Beatty Papyrii dated around 200-250 AD and this text does name the authors in the titles. So I think we do have some agreement here, for as you say the church fathers did not suddenly add titles out of nowhere. I trust we can agree that the gospels were in circulation, some more so than others, at the end of the first century AD. The P52 fragment of John’s gospel in Coptic is dated around 110-140 AD, so again I think we can also agree that even if we took the latest dating of 140 AD, this is evidence that some communities were already translating texts by the early mid second century AD.

        Forth, I would have to agree with you that there is absolutely no evidence for a vast literary copying project going on in the early to mid second century AD, with this great co-ordinated effort of industrious copying to propagate the gospels, overseen by a central administration. I do think that you overestimate the industrious volumes of copies created during this period, for I understand writing materials to be fairly expensive in those days. Additionally, there would be a shortage of potential authors available with the necessary time and literary skills to undertake such a mammoth copying program that you envisage. Rather textual transmission was an uncontrolled and spurious affair, undertaken by churches largely operating under their own local or regional autonomy, promoting their own theology and beliefs, which would explain why we have so many variant readings when we compare manuscripts of the same book from different regions. So to talk of a vast copying project is exaggerating somewhat, more like a cottage industry, when not fighting off pagans, Jews, Romans or rival groups of Christians like Gnostics, Valencians, Marcionites, Ebyionites and who ever else Ireneaus or Tertullian thought had dodgy Christian beliefs. Perhaps we are focusing too much on written gospels and forgetting that there would still have been strong oral traditions promoting the gospels, even during the second century.

        Fifth, my hypothesis isn’t that the church fathers like Ireneus, Clement of Rome, or Justin Martyr etc., added the authors in the titles later to make the writings more authoritative. I hope I’d made it clear that towards the end of the second century the more orthodox Christians were already using the four canonical gospels, for why else would Tatian try to compose his Diatessaron harmony of the four canonical gospels, which was adopted by the Syrian Churches and enjoyed wide circulation for a few centuries.

        I actually agree with you that you would naturally prefer apostles and eyewitnesses as the authors. This is why I have so much respect for Mark, for of all the canonical gospels I find the evidence most convincing that ‘a Mark’ wrote the gospel we call Mark.

        Six, Whilst Luke claims there were “many accounts” available, he does not indicate whether these accounts are written sources, oral testimony or a mixture. He could have been exaggerating the number to impress his audience. The title “Your Excellency” identifies Luke’s sole recipient as a Roman official of at least Proconsul rank, so is this really a gospel or a personal letter? Most scholars (except Butler and Farmer) accept the priority of Mark and that there is a literary dependency of the other two synoptic writers upon Mark. Luke used a significant amount of Markan material, about 56% of Mark, and yet Luke does not even mention this famous source, despite reviewing “many accounts”. Neither does Matthew who used almost all of Mark except for just 31 verses, some 91% of Mark.

        Does that not strike you as odd that neither writer acknowledged, named or even hinted at Mark, who according to Papias was the alleged interpreter for Peter? If the copy of Mark did not have titles and was anonymous about the author, then I could more easily understand why both Matthew and Luke failed to mention or acknowledging their ‘famous’ primary source when composing their own gospels. Wow! What an opportunity! Had Luke known who the author was, for he obviously had access to a copy of Mark, Luke could have said to his Proconsul audience that one of these “many” accounts he reviewed is the testimony from the highest authority, Peter.

        Was personal ambition or professional rivalry to blame for Matthew and Luke to play down their main source as it pre-dated and rivalled their own works? Professional jealousy? Personal embarrassment at the sheer degree of blatant plagiarism? We know that rivalry existed between churches, as Paul’s letters dating from the mid first century attest. There were already several well established rival groups claiming to be Christians during the first and second centuries and that rivalry escalated further over the following centuries and millennia, becoming more acrimonious, leading to accusations of heresy, excommunications, splits, schisms, Crusades, 6 centuries of inquisitions, mass torture, heresy trials, witch hunts, to the existence of more than 3,000 Christian denominations today.

        I could take this further and argue that since both Matthew and Luke are such over-plagiarised works, each containing the majority of Mark, that they are regionalised corruptions of Mark, in the same way that The Gospel of The Hebrews/Nazareans/Ebionites, that Jerome initially thought was a Hebrew/Aramaic copy of Matthew, is/are an alleged corruption of Matthew.

        [+] Mark was originally Mark version 1.0, written/developed by an enthusiastic, self-taught amateur, for a mixed Gentile/Jewish Roman community.

        [+] Matthew version 1.0 is Mark v1.5 or ‘Jewish Mark’ which was Mark v1.0 hacked by a professional, with enhanced sayings material and extra Jewish modules for predominantly Jewish communities living in some part of the Diaspora.

        [+] Luke version 1.0 is Mark v2.0 or ‘Gentile Mark’, written by a member of the highly educated elite classes, which is a complete repackaging of Mark v1.0 with major defects in Mark 1.0 removed, plus the addition of sayings modules and other extended Gentile feature enhancements for the gentile communities on the verge of ditching their Jewish heritage altogether.

        [+] Mark++ Version 1.0 is ‘Super Mark’ an extended version of Mark v1.0 containing extra scenes, however due to the illicit suggestive nature of these scenes and the possibility of rivals deliberately interpreting them in a dodgy suggestive fashion, this release is only available for the spiritual elite, whoever they are/were.

    • Atheos says:

      HI Cabo
      What is your take on Papias regarding his comments that Matthew wrote a ‘sayings’ gospel in Hebrew?

      Our earliest copy of Matthew is written in Greek, not Hebrew and contains more than just sayings. I took this to mean that the Greek copy of Matthew that we now have, is a good example of a new testament text being incorrectly attributed to an author who did not write it. I’m aware of some possibilities as to why this might be so.

      Would this not suggest that the Greek manuscripts of Matthew did not originally have any titles?
      Otherwise it is difficult to see how the Greek gospel of Matthew could have been mistaken for the Hebrew ‘Sayings’ gospel that Papias mentions.

      • Cabo says:

        The early Church Fathers do not only unanimously believed there was a Hebrew gospel of Mathew but they actually had access to it. We would have had evidence of such a calamity if the Greek version in fact would have been confused by the Hebrew gospel of Mathew. But we don’t see any of that. Instead, we find that the Church had access to this version for centuries and had more than enough time to figure out if this would have been a different gospel. In fact, Jerome mentions that in his days there was still copy of the Hebrew gospel of Mathew in “the library of Caesarea”. He actually explains that He did not know who had translated the gospel to the Greek.

  12. Cabo says:

    If you are so sure that the titles were added later, show me the evidence, meaning, show me the earliest manuscripts originally written without the titles “Gospel according to..”. If you can’t find any manuscript that does not posses the titles, you basically have no evidence that the titles were added later.

    • Atheos says:

      Cabo,
      I’m afraid we cannot provide you with any of the earliest manuscripts that do not contain the titles . The earliest complete manuscript copies of the canonical gospels that we possess date from 200 AD onwards, so I’m sure that you are aware that these are going to be 5th or 6th generation copies at best. We do not have the original autographs, so it appears that you are playing upon a technicality.

      Here is my counter challenge for you. Can you provide the evidence and show us, and indeed the whole academic world (your chance to put us all to shame and expose our ignorance), any early manuscript where the actual author names themselves within their alleged text? No you cannot.

      The gospel attributed to Matthew 1:1 opens as follows:
      “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

      The gospel attributed to Mark 1:1 opens as follows:
      “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.”

      The gospel attributed to Luke 1:1-4 opens as follows:
      [1] Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, [2] just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. [3] With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, [4]so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

      The gospel attributed to John 1:1 opens as follows:
      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

      Please note the following:
      Matthew 1:1 does not say “ This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham, that I MATTHEW have been taught.

      Mark 1:1 does not say “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, that was made know to me, MARK.”

      Luke had the perfect opportunity to name himself for he could have written: [3] “ With this in mind, since I, LUKE, have carefully investigated everything from the beginning myself …”

      John 1:1 does not say: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God., as the Holy Spirit revealed to me, JOHN”.

      Nowhere in any of the canonical gospels will you ever find the names of the authors within the actual text itself of any early or late Greek manuscripts.

      This is because the authors chose to write anonymously, which was commonplace when you consider that the vast majority of people were illiterate and could not read or write Greek. If you wanted to get your written work out to a wider, mostly illiterate, audience you had to read your work out loud in public. So now you understand why there was absolutely no need for the author to mention themselves within the text for everyone listening could see who the author was, so knew who they were. The problems came when visitors from a different church community came and heard the author, wanted to take a hand made copy (no photocopying, faxing, printing or email back then) to take back to their own church where this author was unknown or unfamiliar to that particular congregation. Then as these copies circulated without a name attached to them, the identities of the original authors was lost. The gospels were then later associated, either correctly or incorrectly with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      So we have considered the internal evidence of the text and found absolutely no mention of the author’s name. So now we will consider the external evidence, namely whether the early church fathers actually named the author when they were quoting text from a canonical gospel. So here is another challenge for you. Can you name a single church father before the end of the second century AD who named the author whose gospel he was quoting from? No you cannot. Even Justin Martyr writing around 150-160 AD quoted verses from the canonical gospels without naming the actual author or who the gospel was according to. Justin Martyr referred to the collection of gospels as the memoirs of the apostles.

      Ireneaus around 180 AD is the first early church father to name the authors of all four canonical gospels in his 5 volume epic called Verses Heretics, where he establishes that some groups of Christians were heretics because he noted that they only used one of the four and not all four according to his own opinion, as well as those who used numerous non-canonical gospels. During the later parts of the second century AD, many gospels, mostly gnostic, named after leading church figures began to circulate amongst the churches, so it became paramount to assign names to the four canonical gospels to differentiate the false gospels written by forgers pretending to be Peter, Judas, Philip or Thomas etc. Why only four gospels, because this was a Christian ‘marketing decision’ by Heresy Finder General Ireneaus … The gospel of Jesus was spread by the four winds of heaven throughout the four corners of the Earth, so there could only be four gospels and these four were Matthew, Mark ,Luke and John.

      Why were these names selected? Rumours within the church. Papias the bishop of Hierapolis provides the earliest external evidence by naming who wrote the gospels of Matthew and Mark, around 130-140 AD. As for the other gospels, John is first named around 140-150 AD by Heracleon who was regarded as a heretic, whilst Luke is first named by Irenaeus in 180 AD. I’ll just use the Gospel attributed to John for an example of how a text can be mistakenly attributed to the wrong author. According to the text of John, the ‘beloved disciple’ wrote this gospel, so who was this mysterious ‘Beloved Disciple’? The obvious contenders are Jesus closest disciples, Peter, James and John who were there at the start of the ministry of Jesus. Peter is specifically mentioned so it cannot be him and Peter was martyred around 60-64 AD so he cannot be the author because John was written around 90-110AD. James was martyred even earlier so he cannot be the author either. That leaves just John who is alleged to have lived until old age, so you can follow the logic of these late second century church. Unfortunately, the church has incorrectly assigned the name ‘Ἰωάννου’ – John to the fourth canonical Gospel. for as we already know, according to Acts 4:13 that Peter and John were ἀγράμματοί – ‘Agrammatoi’ meaning ‘without letters’, ‘Illiterate’, so could not have written such educated Greek we find in the fourth canonical gospel.

      • John Higgins says:

        Greetings, Atheos:

        Is it not possible, that within the course of 50 years, that Peter and John could, not only have learned how to read and write, but mastered the Greek language? Why must they always remain illiterate? It would seem to me that the very nature of their office would necessitate the acquisition of Greek literacy. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • John Higgins says:

        Atheos:

        You mentioned in your essay that, “…the authors chose to write anonymously, which was commonplace when you consider that the vast majority of people were illiterate and could not read or write Greek.”

        I beg your pardon, but if the vast majority of the population was illiterate, such that, a name became unnecessary, why then would one write a document consisting of thousands of words. Luke, alone, was constructed with nearly 28,000 words, so how is adding one more word (the author’s name) going to upset the proverbial apple cart?

      • Atheos says:

        Hi John

        We might need to qualify your ’50 years’, for if Jesus was crucified in approx 34 AD and Peter was executed/martyred about 30 years later.

        I do not doubt the possibility that both Peter and John could have learned to speak and possibly write some Greek over time, however there is a gulf between writing simple Pidgeon Greek and the eloquent late second century forgeries that are 1 and 2 Peter. Personally, I can read Classical/Koine (NT) Greek, but could never construct any Greek sentences that approached anything like the level of deft and complexity we see in some New Testament texts.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “… the very nature of their office would necessitate the acquisition of Greek literacy”, for this implies an official or political role, like a Bishop for example, that best fits a much later hierarchical church model that emerged during the late 2nd and early third century CE, rather than the immediate followers of the Jesus movement.

        Incidentally I find it completely puzzling that many Christians, not just Roman Catholics, misinterpret Matthew 16:18, where Jesus allegedly says to Peter that “Your name is Peter (πέτρος – petros – stone) and upon this rock (πέτρα petra – rock) I will build my church”, to mean that Jesus was making Peter the leader of the Church. According to Acts the Church was not lead by Peter, as traditionally believed, but by James, a brother of Jesus who does not appear to be named as one of the 12 disciples. So James was the Leader of the Church not Peter, which automatically downgrades the “very nature of” Peter’s “office”.

        One ‘potential’ stumbling block to any hypotheses suggesting that Peter may have learned to write eloquent Greek that we typically find in the NT, comes from Papias about 130 AD who, according to Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, states the following:

        “And the elder used to say this, Mark became Peter’s INTERPRETER and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said and done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had followed him, but later on, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement of the Lord’s oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.”

        I deliberately used the word ‘potential’, for if Papias of Hierapolis is correct about Peter requiring a Greek interpreter, then this confirms that Peter was not sufficiently fluent in Greek to write his own letters and sermons. On the other hand, if Papias is mistaken about Mark being the interpreter for Peter, then we can discount Papias. However whilst this would remove the immediate problem of Peter needing an interpretter, this still does not confirm (or deny) Peter’s ability to master written Greek.

        In the fourth gospel traditionally attributed to John, the author employs many terms and phrases that demonstrate an understanding of Stoic and Platonic concepts that are alien to Judaism, which suggests that the author was familiar with Greek philosophy, and possibly a Hellenised Jew. This does not sit well with the traditional author as John the son of Zebedee, an Aramaic speaking, Judean fisherman from Galilee. This in no way proves that people cannot rise to greatness from humble origins, but suggests that it less likely. The gospel of John and Revelation of John were not accepted in some regions, which is rather odd if the books were supposedly written by John the apostle.

        It is widely accepted by the majority of scholars that the gospel message of was passed by word of mouth for some decades before written accounts became necessary.
        I could speculate and suggest that if the original followers of Jesus genuinely believed that he was going to return quickly during their own lifetimes, any day now, then would they have had any desire to learn or become more fluent in Greek?
        Would learning a language have been regarded as an unnecessary distraction, when their main calling which was to preach the gospel and make disciples?

        I think it is fair to say that it is possible for people to rise above their circumstances, rags to riches if you like, but this is often the exception rather than the rule. It is also worth noting that studies into literacy suggest that illiteracy is typically higher amongst rural populations than urban areas. Had Peter or John used Koine Greek, I’m more inclined to believe that it was more likely spoken Greek than written Greek.

  13. Remeo says:

    additional indications and food for thought: (pardon me my english, it is not native toe me)…

    so it is not clear who wrote the gospels and there are discrepancies. not surprised. lets add something to the BIG Fraud: There are many more gospels, also unknown authors which also are just just legends or moral-preachings or political statements by known and unknown authors. Many of these old legends were orally handed-over and date back from much much more ancient times. you can see clearly see the similarities between the Egyptian, the Sumerian, the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Meso-American, and the Indian (Vedan) traditions, stories about the universe and creation.
    But… the older the more.. elaborate. yes copies from copies fade….
    another thing: the current canon (collection of books who made it in the bible) is not from the year 0, also not from the year 30 or 60 or 90, not even from the 2nd century… this collection is selected in the year 325.. think about that…325 AD… a group of political figures came together. This is known as the concile (council) of Niceae. It is not even a secret. The divided Roman empire noticed the growth of christian sects (note: faith was growing without a bible), there were many splinter groups. The Roman empire decided to use the Christian sects to define ONE truth, ONE Christian faith and to use that to gain power. It is a politically motivated selection, which served the political agenda or those in power of the biggest empire of that time. As if the Rothchilds would publish a bible.
    After this politically motivated selection in 325, the bible has bene translated in many languages in many times by individuals with their own ideas. the bible used in churches today, is a version from the year 1611.. called the King James version, it is ha smany many discrepancies with scripts and texts much older unearthed recently.
    This is your fairytale story book, propaganda’d in your temples. This is where you base your world vision on. What you call truth. What makes idiots like Cruz and Trump justify their crimes.

    stop believing, start thinking.

  14. Gabrielle says:

    When Jesus went to the garden and asked his father is there no other way how did Mathew Mark and Luke mention it in the bible they weren’t any where near Jesus they were a sleep he woke them.His words to them were you couldn’t stay a wake to watch over me.

    • John Higgins says:

      Good point, Gabrielle. Indeed…how would the disciples know about Christ’s prayer to His Father when they were asleep, unless, Yeshua told them about it – just before he was arrested by the mob. It doesn’t seem likely, however.

  15. Don Camp says:

    Re: discrepancies. Matthew and Luke’s family line for Jesus are different. Yes, but the question should be why are they different rather than to immediately going from there to say that the gospels are not inspired.

    Matthew’s purpose is to show that Jesus is in the kingly line of David. Luke’s purpose is to simply show that Jesus was in the family line of David and from there in Abraham’s family line and from there in Adam’s family line. How could the two genealogies be different?

    Both Luke and Matthew declare that Joseph was not Jesus’ natural father. By natural decent through his natural mother, however, Jesus was a son of David. Joseph was, however, Jesus’ adoptive father and within the standards of the first century Jew being adopted incurred all rights of a natural son. Since Joseph was genuinely in the kingly line of David, Jesus was as well.

    So the genealogies differ but are still both accurate.

    The birth narratives in Matthew and Luke differ. No they don’t. There is no birth narrative in Matthew. Matthew records events that lead up to Jesus’ birth but not the birth in Bethlehem. He picks up the story with the Magi after Jesus was born and perhaps as long as a year or two after Jesus was born. Luke ends the birth narrative a week after Jesus’ birth with his parents taking him to the temple for the sacrifice offered for a firstborn male.

    The only possible discrepancy is in Luke 2;39 where the implication is that the family then immediately returned to Nazareth. Matthew,of course, in 2:13 tells us they went to Egypt before returning to Nazareth. But the discrepancy is made up by skeptics. There are many instances in the gospels where the writer condensed the story by skipping parts that do not forward the purpose of the author. The condensing of the ministry of Jesus to events that happened mostly in Galilee, as do the synoptic writers, rather than focus on Jesus’ ministry in Judea, as john does, is another example of a condensing the story. To imply that is a disagreement among the gospels is silly.

  16. Don Camp says:

    Bottom line:
    The titles are later additions. Yes. but not so much later that they should be rejected out of hand.

    The gospels are written in the third person. Yes. But that would only argue against a eyewitness as the author. But on the other hand we are judging by our own age’s style. We value first person accounts. The first century did not so much. In addition, the gospels are not about the author. They are about Jesus. It is not surprising then that th4e author would choose to be anonymous. There are, however, cluers in both Matthew and John that the author is part of the narrative.

    First attestation to authorship was 2nd century. Yes. But there were no contrary attestations earlier. Since the 2nd century is not so distant from the 1st, two generations at most, the attestations that we have should not be dismissed too lightly.

    The quality of the Greek language points to someone other than one of the twelve Apostles. No so fast. I read Greek. John’s Greek is simple. If he was actually writing through a scribe, which is very possible, since even Paul used a scribe, the simple but fairly grammatical language fits with John the Apostle. Matthew’s Greek is considerably better, but that alone does not indicate Matthew the tax collector and apostle could not be the author.

    Remember that Paul spoke Hebrew and yet wrote in good, if somewhat convoluted and complex Greek. Being bi-lingual was common in the first century among educated men, and Greek was the language in common use across the Roman empire. Was Matthew educated and bi-lingual? Almost certainly was. A tax collector in Galilee would have collected tax from people whose language might have been Aramaic or Greek and probably others. Matthew also would have been capable to keeping records, so writing in Greek might be assumed.

    In addition, Matthew’s other name, the name applied to him by Mark and Luke was Levi. That name implies he was of the family of Levi and possibly of the priestly class. These men were educated. (Matthew’s knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures attest to his education, and his use of the Septuagint Greek translation attest to his knowledge of Greek.)These men could read and speak Hebrew )and Aramaic) and certainly could speak and write Greek. Matthew was not an “uneducated, illiterate, … peasant.” And the language of the gospel almost certainly could be something Matthew the Apostle and former tax collector was capable of.

    Matthew’s regular references to the Hebrew scriptures reveal great knowledge but also that he was well conversant with the rabbinic style of reference known as remez. That is a reference to a small passage that implies the meaning of the larger context. Matthew’s use of remez tells us he was very well educated in the Hebrew scriptures and comfortable using the rabbinic style of references. And that means he was thoroughly Hebrew.

    The quotes from Jesus are literal translations into Greek from Hebrew (not Aramaic which uses different idoms). They are full of Hebraism that indicate a Hebrew speaker. Those translated quotes are not particularly good Greek and indicate the author of the gospel values the original and did not rewrite them into the same quality Greek he was using.

    • Anthony says:

      You know your stuff; , I’ll give you that…I gotta ask (& you can always say “ARGO NUNYA” as is your right but) are you a ‘believer’? Because it seems to me that the skeptics are the only ones who believe M+M+L+J aren’t the actual authors (or even care for that matter)….To be fair and even the field a little let me explain that I am a msn with MAJOR God issues who teeters on the fence between believer and agnostic…I’m of the mind that IF they ARE God inspired then it really didn’t matter particularly which human til He used to jot down the stories…but when I read above about “if they ARE then why the discrepancies…why aren’t they exact?” I had to step back and think on that one the Christian cliche `, “hid ways are nut our ways” was never an acceptable answer in my mind…I usually get a quick read on someone’s stance on the subject through their writings; however, yours hit me stumped…usually one almost HAS to be a believer to apply the years of studying the Bible in its original two languages as you obviously have, but I didn’t exactly get the Bible thinker vibe from you LOL…best I could tell you’re a believer (probably even a pair/church elder) who completely omitted those beliefs from the posting to soak to the non believers on an even keel when you argue your point so that you’re not immediately dismissed (as is the practice of many non believers when they find out the msn they’re taking to is a believer) OR you’re a professor of sorts or maybe a student,/teacher of anthropologists whose studies and expertise includes ancient writings, languages, humanities, etc…I know you don’t know Mr from Adam but I gotta say you got me interested.

      • Anthony says:

        Wow that preemptive text got me looking pretty silly and one can’t just edit it here like you do on Facebook ..you can probably infer what I meant there but if you have any trouble let me know and I’ll translate fur you LOL…(& that’s “Bible THUMPER not thinker lol)

    • John Higgins says:

      Greetings, Mr. Camp:

      I think it is a weak argument to say, in so many words, that an apostle of Christ would write an anonymous manuscript, so as not to distract his readers from the life and works of Christ. I just don’t see this as a logical leap or marginal probability.

      When it comes down to it: The character of the writer is all-important. Case in point…I just finished reading an essay by a man who has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University. In his argument, he emphatically declared that what is written in the Gospels is important…not the men who wrote them.

      I beg to differ. In my mind, it is all about credibility. This is to say that I am more apt to cross a bridge that has been erected by the Washington State Army Corps of Engineers, than to cross a bridge erected by the Girl Scouts of America. Worse yet, is when you don’t even know who built the bridge. Is it reliable? What standards were used? What materials went into its construction? What kind of mastery did the builder possess? Was he a master, a student, a hobbyist or a madman? Who knows? The error in judgment, therefore, is directly proportionate to the assumptive leap. I, for one, cannot live that way, and will not accept the musings of anonymous writers, who may have an agenda of their own. I simply cannot know if they render trustworthy dialogs and depictions about God’s precious Son.

      Moreover, with regards to writing in the third person you state, “We value first person accounts. The first century did not so much.” I would argue that the prophets in Scripture wrote mainly in the first person, so I do not know why the writers, hundreds of years on down the line, would adopt a writing style that is more dubious and deceitful. Again, I do not see this as a strong probability.

      Be well – John

    • John Higgins says:

      Hi Don:

      One of the issues I am working with right now is the problem of Matthew 1:22, 23 and Isaiah 7:14. After reading these passages several times and cross referencing this material with 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah 7-9, I am confident that Immanuel was a living soul, most likely one of the sons of Isaiah, who was born as a “sign” near the tail-end of the 8th-century b.c. How the anonymous author of Matthew can say Mary and Jesus fulfilled this prophecy is beyond me.

      In the same likeness, I don’t know how one can rectify the sweet little interchange between the thief and Christ on the cross (in Luke 23:39-43) from the accounts found in Matthew 27:44 and Mark 15:32. Curiously, John is completely silent on the matter, yet he is the one believed to have been there.

      I don’t know, Don, it just seems that if Almighty YHWH wanted to give Planet Earth a “New Testament”, He would have had His Son author a few books and then safeguard them for the ages to come. It just seems sloppy and haphazard to rely upon anonymous second and third-hand hearsay to deliver such an important message, which, in some cases, has been added to, subtracted from, fraudulently penned or lost altogether.

      For instance, Mark 16:9-20 is known to be an interpolation as well as John 7:53 – 8:11. It’s even been said that the author of Luke could have written his entire work early in the late first-century with nothing more than the Book of Matthew and the works of Josephus, since the Book of Luke carries some facts that were unknown to other gospel writers, but were known to Josephus.

      At the end of the day, I am not so sure the “New Testament” is Heaven-sent. I mean, Paul of Tarsus walks out of the desert telling us a conversion story resembling that of Joseph Smith, Jr., and then begins to preach his own gospel, build his own foundation (apart from Christ’s) and wants to “father” his own religious order (like Joseph Smith, Jr.). Fact is, Almighty YHWH never mentioned him, Christ never recruited him, and the Twelve did not know him. Besides all that, his new gospel is a drastic change in direction from the Gospel of Christ, and to make matters worse…he claims to receive secret revelations from the risen Christ (which cannot be verified), and that he went to the 3rd-heaven, but cannot say what he saw and heard there because he will be killed (how convenient). I don’t know, the whole “New Testament” thing is looking more and more like a circus.

  17. […] [9]Gospels not written by Matt Luke or John […]

  18. Larry McCollum says:

    I am interested who wrote math Luke and mark

    • FrankTrevor says:

      Larry: Have you not read any of the posts on here? We are unlikely to ever know who wrote the gospels, they are anonymous. The names were added by the early church to give apostolic tradition. In other words, to add some weight to the writings and to con gullible audiences. Brought up a Catholic, I was taught that M, M, L and J were contemporary disciples of Jesus, which they were not.

    • Atheos says:

      Larry
      We do not know who wrote the gospels originally, we only have some tantalising clues as the external and internal evidence of authorship supports various possibilities.

      Before I attempt to try and answers your question, the first point I will make is that most documents written in antiquity were published anonymously, since most of the population and intended audience were illiterate. The name of the authors were not necessarily written on copies of their works in antiquity. The gospel attributed to Mark is in fact headed “The gospel of Jesus Christ – The Son of God”, but there is no mention of the author’s name. Whilst an author might be commissioned to write or copy documents on behalf of a highly educated wealthy patron, the only way to reach a wider audience was to read you works out aloud in public. In other words most people in the first century churches heard rather than read the contents of a gospel or epistle. When an author, an evangelists say, reads his own work in public there is absolutely no need for him to autograph or sign it, for his audience could see him in the flesh and knew who he was. At first the author was a member of their local Christian community, so was known to the local churches where they read out their own work. However as the work gains authority and a much wider audience, copies were made of the work to be taken and read out loud in other churches and Christian Communities in different parts of the Roman empire.

      My second point is that some documents in antiquity were written pseudonimously where the author pretends to write as someone else. In other words the author was an imposter, writing deceptively … they were forgers writing forgeries. For example all of the catholic epistles and some of the letters claimed to be written by Paul like the Pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus are forgeries, written many decades after the apostle or church authority figure they were impersonating had died, even during the second century. Evangelical Christians do not like the word ‘Forgery’ and instead prefer ‘Pseudopigraphy’ which translates as “Writing inscribed with a lie” as it does not sound as criminal as the word ‘forgery’. The ancients despised forgeries and called forged documents “ΝΑΘΟΣ / ναθος” “Nathos” meaning “Illegitimate” or “bastard”, since the document was not the legitimate issue/writing or literary offspring of the alleged author.

      My final point is that some anonymous documents were attributed to an author, like Hebrews being attributed to Paul, even though Paul did not write it. Some scholars would argue that this is precisely how the gospels were “assigned” authors, based on a mixture of Christian folk lore and hearsay.

      Papias the bishop of Hierapolis provides the earliest external evidence by naming who wrote the gospels of Matthew and Mark, around 140 AD. As for the other gospels, John is first named around 140-150 AD by Heracleon who was regarded as a heretic, whilst Luke is first named by Irenaeus in 180 AD.

      The church historian Eusebius quotes verbatim from Papias on the origins of the Gospels. On Mark, Papias quotes the opinion of John the Elder:

      “ The Elder used to say: Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he recalled from memory—though not in an ordered form—of the things either said or done by the Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to give his teachings in the form of chreiai, but had no intention of providing an ordered arrangement of the logia of the Lord. Consequently Mark did nothing wrong when he wrote down some individual items just as he related them from memory. For he made it his one concern not to omit anything he had heard or to falsify anything.

      A chreia, ‘χρεία’ meaning “use”, is a brief anecdote about someone.

      Eusebius’s excerpt regarding Matthew only says:

      “ Therefore Matthew put the logia in an ordered arrangement in the Hebrew language, but each person interpreted them as best he could.”

      The word logia ‘λόγια’ translates as “Oracles”, although our modern translation is “Sayings”. This in itself causes considerable confusion, since the version of the gospel of Matthew that has survived is not a sayings gospel and is written in Greek. Some scholars are convinced that the Matthew written in Hebrew that Papias mentions is not the same document we now possess and know as the gospel according to Matthew that was written in Greek.

      A “Sayings” gospel immediately suggests a ‘Q’ like document, or something along the lines of the gospel of Thomas that only contains phrases said by Jesus. Although the Gospel of Thomas is not the Q document suggested in B H Streeter’s 4 Document Hypothesis and the 2 Document Hypothesis proposed by Karl Lachmann and reinforced by H J Holtzmann, it does demonstrate that a similar “sayings” gospel/document may have existed that served as a source for the gospel writers.

      All later references regarding the author of the gospel attributed to Mark can be traced back to this single reference by Papias about Mark being “Peter’s interpreter”. Eusebius was convinced that Irenaeus regarded Papias’s testimony as generally reliable, even though Eusebius personally considered Papias to be a retarded individual.

      According to Maurice Casey, it was the later Church Fathers who confused the Hebrew ‘sayings’ gospel of Matthew mentioned by Papias, with our Greek gospel of Matthew, since Matthias/Matthew was a common Jewish name as was Y’shua/Yeshua/Joshua. Mark was also a common name in the ancient world.

      • Don Camp says:

        Atheos, I took some time to think about your remarks about Matthew and Papias’ comment on the ‘λόγια’ which he says Matthew wrote in the Hebrew language. Logia is I am not sure what distinction you are trying to make between “sayings” and “oracles.” But the word logia or logion is understood as the saying of a religious teacher.

        Related to Matthew, I think we have the logia embedded in the gospel as the sayings and deeds of Jesus. The modern view is that Matthew used a source we now call Q. But since Q is likely the teachings of the Apostles (te didache) in Acts 2:42 and the “things delivered unto us” by the “eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” in Luke 1:1,2 they are there in part in at least the synoptic gospels.

        As we look carefully at the pericopae that contain those sayings in the gospels we notice that they are likely rather literal translations from a Hebrew original. They are full of the tropes and schemes common to Hebrew (and not common to Aramaic) and are so literally translated into Greek that many times the meaning is obscured by the Hebrew idiom until they are read through the lens of that idiom. Those sayings evidently were written down since they are repeated in many cases word for word in the several gospels.

        Who better to collect them and write them down than one of the Apostles? And among the Apostles who better than Matthew to write them down. (You can see my argument elsewhere for the apostle Matthew as the author of the gospel and as an educated man capable of writing both the high quality Greek that we find in the gospel and Hebrew.) If so it is not a stretch to see Matthew as the author of the logia in Hebrew as well as the one who wrote the gospel of Matthew, though the gospel is more than a translation of the Hebrew logia. The author placed those sayings in the matrix of a narrative that does not seem to be a part of the Hebrew logia.

      • Atheos says:

        Don
        Hi
        Just to clarify, I was not getting at anything specific about Logia, just that earlier commentators may have translated the word logia as ‘oracles’, but today we understand that as ‘sayings’. I personally prefer the word ‘oracles’ because it does conjure up mental images of a great sage surrounded by students/disciples waiting to hear some great profound statement about the future cosmos or lesson in life.

        From the outset, everything that any of us state about the text is going to be hypothetical, for we do not have the original author or any of the copyists, revisionists, scribes or redactors on hand to ask questions of. Nor do we have the original autographs of Matthew. We only have the text to go on and try to corroborate this from the provenance of those early church fathers who quote or comment on the text and potential authors of the text.

        I certainly share your comment about cultural bias shaping how we interpret the text or what assumptions we make about the sources and the processes adopted to create the gospels. We are all guilty of some form of bias due to us being 2 millennia, languages and an entire culture removed from the time and culture of the author of Matthew.

        Papias mentions Matthew as the author of a sayings gospel a century or so after the events that the gospel narrates. Whilst it is tempting to draw parallels between WWI, which is also a century ago, that great war was experienced by tens of millions of people on a world wide scale, by mostly literate people who often wrote their own accounts, letters back home or memos about events that have survived to us today. So most people have numerous sources and archives to refer to as source material if they wanted to write a history book about the Great War. The same cannot be said for anyone today who wants to write about the authorship of Matthew during the the early Christian religion.

        Being an Aussie, I’ll use the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey as an example. Even though the battle took place 100 years ago. we have wealth of source material of the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) landing at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, on 26 April 1915, from Australian, New Zealand, British and Turkish, in the form of multitudes of eye witness accounts, diaries, poems, letters home, orders, dispatches and various military documents that all provide an overall picture of the events of that fateful landing. Regarding the gospel of Matthew however, we only have a few documents to go on regarding who wrote it, and these are scant and hearsay, with Eusebius quoting papias about 200 years later.

        Even so, though we may learn what Papias thought of Matthew’s gospel via the hearsay of Eusebius (writing almost 200 years after Papias), it is possible that Papias could be mistaken about the authorship of Matthew, and Ireneaus’s support for the credibility of Papias’s testimony could be misplaced.

        I fully agree with you that the authors in antiquity were not as concerned with exact chronology, or verbatim quotes as we are today. For example, we can never be sure what was actually said during Jesus’ interrogation by Pontius Pilate for it is almost certain that some form of interpreter would be required.

        You make quite an intriguing case for the author of Matthew being Matthew the tax collector and disciple of Jesus, as well as suggesting that there may actually have been two ‘gospels’ written by this author. As you may already know from my previous posts I go more or less along with B H Streeter’s 4 Document Hypothesis as the best explanation of the literary relationship between the authors of the Synoptic gospels.

        Are you suggesting, as some scholars have, that Matthew first wrote a sayings gospel first, in Hebrew, then a decade or two later comes across a copy of Mark, so writes a new, bigger gospel in Greek using about 90% of the material in Mark for an outline/framework in which to include material from his Hebrew saying gospel? So do you think that Matthew could be the author of the Q source in the 2 Document and 4 Document hypotheses?

        Personally I’m not so sure about your claim that Matthew wrote in Hebrew and translated into Greek, for two reasons. Firstly according to most scholars Matthew would be more fluent in Aramaic than Hebrew or Greek, and secondly, according to scholars like John Nolland and D A Hagner, there are no tell tale signs that the Greek gospel of Matthew was the result of a translation from Hebrew. As I’m sure you already know, if you have ever translated from other languages into English, there are many places where the translation is stilted due to the source language containing or supporting concepts or linguistic constructs etc that can not easily be transmitted to, or, be supported by the target language.

        Also, there was a great sense of nationalism in Galilee, Zealot/bandit country. Some scholars have demonstrated that there was very little fraternising or assimilation between the Greek communities and their Zealot Jewish ‘neighbours’, as they both mutually kept themselves to themselves. The first Roman Jewish war 66-74 AD/CE was sparked by an escallation between the Greek and Jewish communities. During that war, some zealot forces in Galillee and Jerusalem also executed ‘heretics’ or ‘fifth column’ like Hellenistic Jews and heretical Jewish sects (Christians) for adopting cultural practices and religious concepts that were considered an alien influence that contaminated Jewish life. During the siege of Jerusalem the two main zealot groups often turned on each other, such was the desire to restore the purity of Judaism and the Jewish race, whilst ridding Judeah of all Roman, Greek and non-Jewish influences.

        Without having Papais here to confirm what he meant by “Matthew wrote in Hebrew”, as there are several hypotheses that are contenders for best explanation. Some scholars think that what Papias meant was that Matthew wrote his Greek in a ‘Jewish/Hebrew style’ rather than in the Hebrew language, like Helenistic Jews say. Others contended that Matthew first wrote a sayings gospel in Hebrew that contained material similar to the gospel of Thomas, but when he came across a copy of Mark, he later wrote a second expanded gospel in Greek that incorporated much of his earlier Hebrew sayings gospel, yet this Hebrew sayings gospel has not survived. Others suggest that Papias was not referring to our modern day Greek based copy of the gospel according to Matthew at all, but that he only ever wrote a sayings gospel in Hebrew and so is not the author of the version of Matthew that has survived today.

      • Atheos says:

        OOPS – Just re-read my post and spotted a howler- ANZAC Day is 25th April not 26th – my apologies.- Aussie Citizenship is hereby revoked effective immediate!

    • Atheos says:

      Larry
      Whilst I have studied the synoptic gospels in depth, of the three authors I spent far more time researching the gospel of Mark, so I will limit my answer to addressing the author of the gospel attributed to Mark.

      Regarding the authorship of the gospel of Mark, it is very likely that the author may indeed have been called Mark, since the name Mark is never mentioned as one of the disciples chosen by Jesus, and it is most unlikely that the gospel authorship would be accidentally, or falsely, or incorrectly attributed to a comparatively insignificant person in the Christian story.

      So who was this Mark? Was he an unknown Mark? Or, was he the Mark mentioned in Acts, Paul’s letters, and 1 Peter? That is assuming that these texts are all referring to the same person? Some scholars think there are at least two Marks involved.

      The Mark in Acts is said to be a young man in the Jerusalem church, the nephew of Barnabas and the son of a rich woman called Mary who owned a large property. This Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey but later did a runner that completely pissed Paul off. If this person is the same as the Mark mentioned in Pauls letters. Then Paul’s annoyance was later appeased as the Mark in Paul’s letters was acknowledged to be a very useful member of his team. This has led some scholars to suggest that the Mark mentioned in Acts is a different Mark to the one mentioned in Paul’s letters.

      The reference to a Mark in 1 Peter is dubious since the letters of Peter are, in the words of Robin Lane Fox, “damned by their style and by their references to Paul’s collected letters and pagan persecution”. Whilst Peter may have had a modest grasp of Koine Greek (he travelled to Rome, had contact with gentile Christians and had a Greek surname ‘Cephas’) there is a huge gulf between that and the highly educated style of Greek prose we find in the letters claiming to be written by “Peter, apostle of Christ”. The first letter of Peter presumes that Christians were being persecuted by pagans instead of Jews, which is highly unlikely before 64 AD when Peter was allegedly executed, since you cannot write a letter after your own death. Even if a ‘secretary’ wrote it on Peter’s behalf, they still lied about their true identity and were forgers intent upon deception.

      We do know that there is enough Aramaic in the Greek of Mark to suggest that the author’s first language was Aramaic, which was the language spoken by Jesus and his disciples. Also the Greek is inferior in Mark when compared with Matthew, Luke and John, which further supports the evidence that this author’s first language is not Greek. It is possible that the author is fluent in spoken Greek, but possessed limited Greek literary skills, possibly only having received a little in the way of formal training in reading and writing in Greek. The majority of people were illiterate during the first century AD, so in churches any writings would be undertaken by those ‘most able’, even if their writing skills were limited to stilted phrases or simplistic sentence construction. Anything was better than nothing.

      If the author was the John Mark of Acts, we would expect a sound knowledge of Jewish culture and this generally this is supported by the internal evidence of the gospel of Mark. There are a few things that suggest the author lacks a good knowledge of Palestine, e.g. Mk 5:1, Mk 6:45, Mk 7:2-4. Some scholars take Mk 14:51-52, the reference to the young man in the linen cloth, to be autobiographical, which again would support John Mark. Some scholars have suggested that when John Mark deserted Paul, Mark then returned to Jerusalem where he wrote his gospel and it is this great work that Paul is proud of

      A key factor is the link with Peter. Scholars like C H Turner and W M Barclay claim that the internal evidence of the text does support a Petrine connection citing that Peter is present at important events, especially the transfiguration, and Peter gets a bad rap, which could only have come from Peter himself. However, Peter occupies an even more prominent position in the gospel attributed to Matthew, which would suggest an even stronger Petrine connection between Peter-Matthew than Peter-Mark.

      There is one major objection to the Mark-Peter link … the Augustinian tradition that Mark copied from Matthew. It was an almost universally accepted tradition for about 1600 years that the gospel attributed to Matthew was the first to be written. According to Augustine bishop of Hippo (354-430 AD), in his De Consensu Evangelistarum (c. 400 AD), Matthew wrote first then Mark, and that Mark was an abbreviation of Matthew.

      De Consensu Evangelistarum (c. 400)
      I.3. So these four evangelists … are regarded to have written in this order: first Matthew, then Mark, third Luke, and last John.

      I.4. … For Matthew is understood to have adopted the incarnation of the Lord according to the kingly lineage and his very many deeds and words according to the present life of men. Mark seems to have followed closely after him [Matthew] like someone following on his footsteps and abbreviating him.

      Augustine’s statements proved to be highly influential, since he was a leading Latin Theologian in his day. His statements about Mark and ultimately resulted in the second gospel being overlooked and falling into neglect. We can deduce that this was the case, since Mark is rarely quoted by the early church fathers, and few wrote commentaries on Mark. Matthew’s gospel so completely dominated the scene that it is a surprising fact that Mark has been preserved at all. To be fair to Augustine he was just reiterating the tradition he inherited as his use of the word ‘regarded’ suggests:

      “…these four evangelists … are REGARDED to have written in this order”.

      So Mark, the alleged interpreter for Peter cannot have written the memoirs of Peter as Papias stated, if in fact Mark actually copied and abbreviated what was in Matthew as Augustine alleges. If Mark, the interpreter for Peter had indeed written the memoirs of Peter, then surely this gospel would have taken centre stage as the go-to gospel from the leader of The Church the great Peter “The Rock” himself. This gospel would surely have been greatly revered, especially after the death of the apostles, as the words of the leader of the apostles would have carried far more authority than a gospel allegedly written by a lesser apostle … Matthew a former Tax Collector for the Romans.

      The acceptance of the priority of Mark during the nineteenth century has completely reversed this and today Mark is revered by Christian scholars who regard Mark as the primary authority for knowledge about the historical Jesus. Modern scholars were convinced that the author of Mark wrote the first gospel of our 4 canonical gospels. Which is the more likely? That Matthew wrote first, Mark copied Matthew but in doing so left out half the details about Jesus, completely destroyed the sophisticated Greek prose of Matthew and replaced it with inferior Greek, and stuffed up the chronological order of Matthew? Or that Mark wrote his rough prose gospel in inferior Greek first, then Matthew copied Mark and in doing so tidied up the poor Greek of Mark, better arranged the material in Mark and supplemented Mark’s account with additional details from other sources? The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of Markan priority over Matthew.

      From a literary point of view the author of Mark was the first writer to use a gospel as a vehicle for communicating the gospel message. He was a literary pioneer and showed the way for his more sophisticated successors, the highly educated authors of Matthew, Luke and John. The former two borrowing heavily from the material of Mark, written in inferior Greek to their own.

      So where does all this leave us? Personally very frustrated!

      To Summarise then, the external evidence for the author of our second gospel, according to Papias, the author was called Mark. This could be the John Mark mentioned in both Acts and the Pauline epistles. The internal evidence neither confirms nor opposes this. The Petrine connection mentioned by Papias is far more contentious and therefore very doubtful, but the internal evidence neither confirms nor contradicts this. The main objection appears to be from external evidence, namely Augustine, If our second canonical gospel (Mark) really was dependant upon the apostle Peter it is difficult to account for its comparatively early abandonment in favour of our first canonical gospel (Matthew).

      My own personal opinion is that Papias is correct in this case that the author was called Mark. However I doubt the Petrine connection as mentioned by Papias, for if the gospel of Mark was indeed the authoritative words and memoirs of the ultimate apostle Peter, then this gospel would have been revered above all other texts and would never have been side-lined by the gospel allegedly written by Matthew a lesser apostle. For me this evidence is the most compelling. Therefore I conclude that the author was a ‘Mark’ but not the ‘John Mark’ of Acts or Paul’s letters.

  19. pastor isaac o. adigun says:

    what are the factors responsible for writing the gospels?

    • FrankTrevor says:

      Do you mean what were the supposed events that stimulated the writers? If you can’t work that one out you shouldn’t be a pastor.

  20. Rose Schillings says:

    I have never heard this information before. I have been a born again christian for decades. I educate myself all the time. I think one should know why they believe what they believe. One’s eternal life is at stake. I know that as I read the Bible that it’s words do become “alive” to me. No other book has had that effect.

    • FrankTrevor says:

      You have only educated yourself with information produced by those with an axe (UK spelling) to grind with regard to their beliefs. If you are open-minded and want to find out about the history of Christianity and how its’ writings were forged, interpolated and fabricated by the early church, read some books by authors who have objective views of the subject. For a start, I suggest you read “Jesus Interrupted” by Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      As you love the bible so much, please answer this question: Do you believe the God of the Old Testament is God the Father of Christianity?

    • D. says:

      Rose, do not listen to Frank or others on this site who will try to dissuade you and attack you. They will insist that any documentation you would provide to prove the bible is the infallible word of the one and only God and Creator is not objective. Frank’s suggested books and proofs are not objective. They set out to try and prove that the bible is fabricated and they come up sorely lacking in all respects. I wonder why those who started this site are so interested to prove that something they do not think exists does not exist. You can not prove the nonexistence of something. Frank and others on this site are not open to hear and possibly learn they only want to hear themselves. Because if they would open their hearts and close their mouths they just may hear the Word of God. And I know like you know what a wonderful change that has on our lives! Thanks be to God.

      “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” Romans 1:18-22

      • True… “You cannot prove the nonexistence of something” but it should be easy to prove the existence of God. So where is it?

        All it would take is for something that could only come from God to occur. For example (1 of millions of possibilities), as soon as there are no more birth defects, I will believe there is a God. Christians, get together, pray in faith that God would permit no more birth defects and would immediately cure all those who he imposed this hideous form of punishment (birth defects) on.

        So, you see there are millions of ways we could see evidence of the existence of God, but there are none.

        Why do you quote something from Paul? What is that supposed to prove? Paul tried to undo much of what Jesus taught. Jesus taught that good works and belief in God was necessary and sufficient for salvation. The maverick Paul taught that only belief in the resurrection was necessary and sufficient. You need to read the bible more carefully.

      • D. says:

        “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

        “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
        And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

        Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

        “And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” Luke 16:30-31

        Proof of God’s existence is everywhere but many do not want to see it, even it one was to rise from the dead. I am going to pray for you that before it is to late you will know the truth.

        Check out this website for answers http://www.truelife.org/

      • Eyeconoclastic says:

        The evidence for the truth of God and the divinity of Jesus is terrible and gets worse each day as scholarship undermines traditional beliefs. Of course, your God could fix this with minimal effort but for some reason revels in the worship of the ignorant and credulous (no offense!). He supposedly revealed himself to some illiterate superstitious ignoramuses in a Roman Empire backwater but can’t be bothered to give us some decent evidence?

        I’ll tell you what: when you’re praying, tell Jesus to take the day off from giving cancer to children, float down onto the 50-yard line at the Superbowl, and do some cool magic. Is that really too much to ask?

      • Atheos says:

        D
        It is a bit of a stretch to claim that we are “attacking” Rose or any believer just for pointing out obvious facts about the blatant inaccuracies and corruption of what you now regard as your ‘Bible’. Or have you forgotten about those 603 years between 1232 and 1834 where ‘the church’, that is your church, fellow Christians, instigated the Inquisitions, heresy hunts, devil worship hunts, witchcraft trials, and inventing extreme methods of torture to extract ‘confessions; from men women and children who did not believe what ‘the church’ that is your church D, told them to believe? Anyone who did not believe what ‘the church’ told them to believe was considered a heretic and often tortured to extract a false confession under intense agony only to be sentenced to execution by ‘torture’. Now that is what I would call “attacking”, so if anyone is guilty of “attacking” anyone, you would be better off looking closer to home. Before you claim that this was all done under the Roman Catholic Church and they weren’t ‘real Christians’ I’d hate to point out that they were far more pious and devout than any of our generation could ever aspire to be. Sadly the break away Protestant churches adopted many of the erroneous teachings and rules from the Roman Church, that still persist in evangelical, baptist, presbyterian and pentecostal denominations today, not just the various Lutheran, Anglican and Episcopalian congregations.

        I see we are cherry picking verses from Romans and taking them out of context to threaten divine retribution upon anyone who dares to so much as ask an awkward question or demonstrate that the text contained in the Bible is not the divinely dictated words of an all loving, all powerful, all knowing, perfectly just supreme being or similar deities, but the words of primitive men who have a literalistic superstitious view of the world around them. This passage from Paul is not aimed at Atheists but Pantheists and Pagan religions of the Greco-Roman world.

        Funny how Christians are usually the first people to condemn other human beings to an eternity of torment in hell. I can only assume that the love of Jesus is buried so deep in many judgemental Christians that it will take another 50 years of hard Christian labour for any of it to reach the surface

        So D, please can you show us where the Word of God tells us about DNA? Medicine, Science, Astronomy, the shape of our planet even? Why do cancers mostly inflict benevolent people who put others before themselves, whilst evil dictators are allowed to continue committing atrocities and live long blissful lives whilst openly defying your God and even making themselves gods? I thought your god was supposed to be “a jealous god”? Who throws tantrums and hissy fits when the Israelites worship foreign gods? Yet does zippo when little tin pot dictators or deluded Roman emperors claim that they are gods.

        If your god exists and claims to want to know people why hasn’t he/she/it sent an unambiguous radio signal for the SETI (Search for Extra Terestrial Intelligence) institute to pick up on their Alien Telescope Array. Thomas Pierson and others set up the SETI institute 31 years ago with the aim of scanning the skies with an LNSD (large number of small dishes) for radio signals originating from space indicating the presence of other sentient life. It should be simple for your god to send an unambiguous radio transmission, after all don’t Christians claim that their god(s) created the universe which includes electromagnetic spectrum and radio waves? Sadly, so far no radio transmission has been received. According to the gospel attributed to Matthew 7:7 Jesus promised “Seek and You Shall Find!” Well Thomas Pierson was seeking for contact for 30 years and died of cancer in 2014, so he never found what he was seeking. So much for “Seek and you shall find!”

        So we are left with the following possibilities:
        Either your god(s) exists but does not want to talk to us openly and unambiguously, despite your bible texts alleging that he definitely does want to communicate with us all, so the bible is not his word because the text is lying, in which case Christianity is a false religion.
        Or, your god does not talk to us because it does not exist, so the the bible text is lying, in which case Christianity is a false religion.

        How can you have a relationship with a person who does not even talk to you or introduce themselves?

  21. Js says:

    Just a quick post since I’m on my phone,

    *most* Christians are Catholic and *most* (except ones not taught fully) do not believe the Gospels were written by who they are recorded as being written by. Merely pointing out that if your premise is “most of x people believe thing y and this is how they’re wrong” you should make sure people actually believe thing y.

    You might as well say most Christians don’t believe in evolution. Same flaw, most are Catholics, Catholics believe in it.

    Evidence is awesome, I really enjoyed reading this, it was a great refresher from my Catholic theology classes, Theology 203, Bible as a story and 205, The Gospels.

    • FrankTrevor says:

      Js: Utter nonsense. Most of the Catholics YOU know may be aware that the gospels were not written by Matt, Mark, Luke and John, but the vast majority are not. The majority of Christians, of every denomination, are totally ignorant of the history of their religion and know nothing of the errors, discrepancies and contradictions (and forgeries) that litter the Bible. They also know nothing of competing Christian sects with a variety of different views on Jesus in the 1st and 2nd centuries that were eradicated by what became the “authorised” version. Neither do they know of gospels discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries, very different from those in the canon.

      In virtually every seminary in the western world where priests and ministers are trained, they are taught about the above mentioned; but once ordained, these people never pass on this information to their congregations. Ignorance is bliss.

      • Jack Dorsey says:

        The Gospels were written after Christ left, at least a generation, so if folks have an issue with that in regards to it’s authenticity why are these other gospels discovered in the 19th and 20th century considered valid when the OLDEST of them is written even FURTHER after? By the way, most of those Gospels were written by Gnostics, and Gnostics liked to keep things nice and secret. That was their whole bag, you had to be in the know to get into the club, so of course they didn’t share with others who actually put the Bible together (plus, you know, the whole thing that some of the newly discovered gospels are dated AFTER Constantine called the council to form the Bible).

        My guess is you are going to just go ahead in say, “That’s what the Church wants you to think!” so, there’s not really much point in arguing after that? Right? Unless we discovered some that were actually contemporary and not woefully younger than the four we have. (Even John bothers me as it’s SO far away from Jesus compared to the rest, I doubt Peter’s the oldest in the second century (30-50 years younger than the synoptic so really only contemporary with John), is closer to the Historical Jesus than the Synoptics.

        I hear you about teaching this stuff to kids, but there is teaching grounded in truth, and then there is teaching that border’s on conspiracy. I get the feeling that people think rich white people put the Bible together, and that ain’t nearly the case. I think sometimes we ascribe problems we have with current culture to cultures in the past and it just doesn’t fit that way.

      • Brian Sullivan says:

        I like to think of myself as an enlightened lapsed Catholic (nearly forgot to use a capital C there), but it never occured to me that the gospels were written by anyone other than Matthew, Mark, Luke , and John. I’m shocked and I’m a cynical bugger.

    • Αθεος says:

      JS
      I think it depends where you are in the world, and what your highest level of education is. Here in the UK the main denominations are predominantly Protestant with a growing Charismatic/Pentecostal/Evangelical believer base. As a generalisation it seems to be that the higher educated a person is, the more they know about the true origins of the gospel authors. Whilst Catholic web sites might be very open about such things, at pew level in most churches, not just catholic the majority of believers do think that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the gospels. This is certainly more likely in Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches where they also believe in the “Infallibility of scripture” and that the bible is “the Word of God” or the “revealed will of God for Mankind”,

  22. Adam says:

    By chance I came upon this evangelistic site that is dedicated to standing against religion by proclaiming what is fundamentally a line of thought/belief/religion of it’s own. And the energy with which anyone who presents an opposing view is dispatched is typical of such sites. Claims made citing historical references and literary records that support a point of view while minimizing or proclaiming false any such record or reference that may in fact present a different point of view are expected and obviously present.

    What strikes me the most is that we, in our finite wisdom, representing less than 1/7billionth of the collective intellect of the plant, with a finite lifetime that is a speck on the timeline of reality, could even begin to frame an argument against a supreme being should he exist. It is somewhat like an ant in the depths of the colony working underground for it’s entire existence proclaiming to itself “humans are not real;there is no such thing as the sun; wind does not exist” and then proceeding to convince all of the other ants in the colony that these are truths and must be accepted in order to be free from all shackles and hindrances…thus completely missing the true purpose and intent of its own existence.

    I can acknowledge that there are seeming inconsistencies in the gospels, but would counter that there are inconsistencies in any event in history recorded or told by more than one person. Any that study literature can tell you that point of view has a tremendous impact on the level of detail, presentation and framing of a story. An event witnessed by you and I will invoke different emotions and thoughts… we will notice different details. But I digress…

    I am not one to advocate ignorance and appreciate exhaustive research of the scripture as well as contemporary literature and historical documents to help frame and better understand the subject. In my younger years, I in fact did study multiple religions as I questioned my Judeo-Christian heritage. What I have come to realize is that the purpose of the bible is not control, regulation, inhibition or any other worrisome motive, though it has shamedly been used to do all those things. It is to help us develop a deep and personal relationship with the creator. It is foolish to those who would choose not to believe in God, but to those that would it is wisdom beyond compare.

    I am not going to argue or debate this with anyone further on this site. I know that you would present a strong argument that supports your point of view and feel very comfortable that you had proven me wrong. I also know that I would do the exact same thing with my position and feel the same way. There is no “winning” this argument. My point here is we should accept and realize that there is a very strong probability that one of us is wrong. Now if I am wrong than you get to enjoy the fact that I am living in ignorance and superstition that will only be revealed when I die and fall into the nothingness of blackness. However if you are wrong then it will cost you so much more.

    I only write this because I love you all. And what I “know” is that Jesus did die for us all. And no amount of arrogance, intelligent recourse, sarcasm, vitriol or derogatory commentary to me or to Him will change that. If you choose not to believe, then that illustrates the true love of God…he gives you that choice. Ironic, isn’t it…much like rain on your wedding day. If you choose to believe then talk to Him now and find all of the beautiful things he has in store for you.

    • leechap says:

      What if you’re wrong about Mohamed?

    • Adam,

      No need to “argue or debate this with anyone further”. Just show us the gospels are true by putting hospitals and doctors out of work. Please, please go out and lay hands on the sick and heal them, as Jesus says you can (Matt 16 :18).

      You don’t even have to get back to this website about your success because we will be able to read about it in every newspaper, facebook and twitter account in the world.

      Get on with it now – there are lives you can save.

      • John Higgins says:

        Christ placed His hands on His disciples, thus giving THEM the ability to heal the sick. Yet, contemporary Christians believe everything they read in the Bible pertains to them. So, when Christ said, “This generation will not pass away….”, contemporary Christians think their generation will not pass away before all these things take place.

    • FrankTrevor says:

      “I can acknowledge that there are seeming inconsistencies in the gospels, but would counter that there are inconsistencies in any event in history recorded or told by more than one person. Any that study literature can tell you that point of view has a tremendous impact on the level of detail, presentation and framing of a story. An event witnessed by you and I will invoke different emotions and thoughts… we will notice different details.”

      The difference between the inconsistencies in the records of other historic events and those in the Gospels is that the latter is meant to be “inspired by God” so should be perfect. The story of Jesus is purportedly (to Christians) the most important event in the history of the planet. To have a rag-bag bunch of tales, full of errors, inconsistencies, copy errors and evident forgeries can only allow the rational conclusion that “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is based on hearsay and myth. One would have thought that a wide variety of independent, contemporary authors might have mentioned someone who was raising the dead, healing the sick, etc. etc, – but no such mentions exist.

      “Seeming Inconsistencies”? For two examples, check out the differences between Luke and Matthew’s genealogies of Jesus as well as their Nativity tales. There’s nothing “seeming” about those.

      Interestingly Mark and John knew nothing about Jesus’ birth.

    • Elba says:

      Wow so beautifully said! Thank you! God bless you!

  23. Harvey says:

    Years ago, before the Internet (BI), there wasn’t the ability to have a lengthy accumulation of words as in the above comments. That said, this discussion would not have occurred and if this subject did come up it would only be a passing thought or comment.

    The Bible has been around longer than any other book, PERIOD!

    The basic teachings in the Bible such as love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself has not changed along with the 10 commandments . No matter whether you read it in the New Testament or the Old Testament it doesn’t matter.

    My thoughts are these. Our universe is a specific distance from the sun so that we have the correct amount of light each day to support things that grow and our needs. Our world has a specific gravity so that we don’t fly off into space. All of us have the same components that make up our bodies. The Bible records that GOD created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it. Only a supreme being could be capable of doing that as man CANNOT accomplish that feat.

    Therefore, if a document (the Bible) records this and has been around for thousands of years and no one can create an earth or a human then I am going to believe it.

    • Atheos says:

      Harvey
      I think that you are going to find that the earliest part of the Old Testament was first written around 950 to 850 BC which is a whole millennium AFTER the famous Code of King Hammurabi of ancient Babylon was set in a stone stele in the British Museum. There are two known Sumerian legal documents by Ur-Namma, king of Ur (about. 2100 BC) and Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (about 1930 BC) that precede the Law Code of Hammurabi. The Egyptians also wrote their religious beliefs on the walls of their buildings. So there were already plenty of powerful influences in the Ancient Near east by the time the tribes of Israel first emerged on the scene. I also recall that some Hindu scriptures were written around 1500 BC, again pre-dating Hebrew religious writings.

      Regarding the stele containing Hammurabi’s law codes, at the top is an image of King Hammurabi receiving his laws from the sun god Shamash at the top of a ziggurat/mountain. Sound familiar?? Also the laws are organised into specific categories and the penalties are based upon your class in Summerian society, whereas the laws in the Pentateuch are hap-hazard, often repeated and even contradictory, which demonstrates that later revisionists came along and modified the laws given for nomadic living to allow for city living.

      Also at the British Museum is the papyrus the Book of the Dead of Ani from Thebes in Egypt, that is dated around 1275 BC. The Book of the Dead describes the judgement of the dead (particularly Ani and his wife) in the presence of Osiris, with the well know image of Anubis, the Jackal headed Egyptian god of the afterlife/underworld seen judging the deceased person by weighing the heart of the deceased person against a feather with his scales. If the heart did not balance out against the feather, then the deceased was consumed by ‘the devourer’ a mythical beast part crocodile, part lion and part hippo.

      So at best your earliest New Testament records have been around for 1,960 (assuming 1 Thessalonians was written 48-50 AD), theearliest Hebrew texts have been around for 2,950 years, The Book of the Dead of Ani 3,250 years, Hammurabi’s code for 3,800 years, Lipit-Ishtar of Isin laws 3950 years, Ur-Namma’s laws 4,100 years, and inscriptions inside and around the Great Pyramids depicting the religions of Egypt about 4,500 years.

    • Brian Almeida says:

      Harvey if you are going to make a statement with period written in capitals as though it is an indisputable fact, then get the fact right!! There are several books that are older than the bible and so “have been around longer”. Right now, the book known as the oldest in the world is a several-page-long volume held by the Bulgaria’s National Museum of History. The book is comprised of six pages of beaten 24-carat gold covered with Etruscan script, one of the few writing systems scholars have yet to decipher .
      According to reports, the book, exhibited in 2003, was estimated at about 2,500 years old.

      The rest of your arguments, reference distance from the Sun, Gravity etc is Circular and degenerates into complete nonsense and a complete lack of understanding of Physics and Logic! First off our Universe is not a specific distance from the Sun but rather Our Universe contains lots of Solar systems each with their own Suns and planets, of which our Solar System is just one! The fact that our planet is the right distance from our sun to allow life to develop is not proof that God did it!!!! I suggest you put your fairytale book down and pick up a few educational science text books and educate yourself before you once again display your total lack of knowledge in public!!!

      • Atheos says:

        For Brian:
        Thanks for this info on the golden Etruscan pages, I just had to go and look it up and have a look.
        When people talk about ‘the bible’ Our earliest complete copies of both the Old and New testaments did not materialise until the Fourth century AD, so that is only 1600-1650 years ago that Codex Sinaiticus was written. It wasn’t until comparatively recently that the full canonical list of both Old and New Testament documents was issued by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Florence on 4 Feb 1442, during Session 11, namely the Papal Bull to The Copts. The relvant extract is as follows

        “It professes that one and the same God is the author of the old and the new Testament — that is, the law and the prophets, and the gospel — since the saints of both testaments spoke under the inspiration of the same Spirit. It accepts and venerates their books, whose titles are as follows.

        Five books of Moses, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms of David, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, namely Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; two books of the Maccabees; the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; fourteen letters of Paul, to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two letters of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; Acts of the Apostles; Apocalypse of John.”

        Do you notice some books listed here like Maccabees, Esdras, Ecclesiasticus etc, that are not included in our Protestant bibles, or Eastern Church Bibles?
        So which is the word of God then?
        The 73 books listed here, or the 66 books authorised by The Church of England?

  24. Sean says:

    The only you ask yourself is this: Is the birth, declaration that Jesus is the Son of God, Crucifixion and resurrection disputed in any of these gospels ? Consider that there are over 15000 New testament manuscripts in over 6 languages all done before the 4th century and found over vast geographical expanses and show that most were originals written by someone, up until even 2008 in Albania where 47 were found and 17 of them unknown us. In your writings, your opinions have clouded your judgement so that your search for truth will be difficult. You will most likely confirm your opinion.

    • D. says:

      I agree with you on this. And not only are there many manuscripts from all over written in many languages by different people; but, they all agree with each other. Showing that they are accurate and true. Thank you for bringing this to light.

      • Atheos says:

        Sean I’m afraid if you believe that we have 15,000 New Testmaent manuscripts dating from BEFORE the 4th century then you are gravely mistaken. Any honest scholar specialising in manuscript study will confirm that we currently only have a grand total of about 150 manuscript copies written BEFORE 500 AD/CE and most of these are fragments. We do not have any complete books from the canonical New testament until the 3rd century AD/CE. Only in the 4th century did various New Testament books then get collated as in Codex Sinaiticus (also contains Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas), Codex Vaticanus (Missing 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon and Revelation) and Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (contains most of the 4 canonical gospels and Acts). There are significant differences and variant readings between these manuscripts. We notice more discrepancies and more variant readings the earlier the manuscripts. The earliest surviving manuscript copies are mostly scraps and fragments like P52 the fragment of John 18 that is currently in the John Rylands Library at Manchester University here in the UK dated between 110 and 150 AD/CE. We have since discovered numerous manuscripts containing gospels, acts, church rules and even other non-Christian or pagan works of literature. So the evidence points to a scarecity of early written copies of documents that were later incorporated in our present New Testament.

        Taking the four gospels attributed to Matthew, Mark Luke and John we get very different answers to the simple question “What were the very last words of Jesus before he died on the cross?” Simple logic alone dictates that three accounts, if not all four, are wrong and are therefore incorrect/false/lies. Unless you are going to try an rely on a convoluted ‘Jesian Construct’ as I like to call them, in an attempt to try and harmonise the different phrases spoken as the very last words of Jesus. This is just one example. regarding the ‘Empty Tomb’ accounts, ask as imple question … “How many persons were reportedly seen by the woman/women visiting the tomb and were they Angels or humans?” For I would certainly know exactly how many and what they were if I saw a person with a 12 foot wingspan stood next to a tomb stone. Again we get different answers. Yes Gordon Wenham’s Easter Enigma might create what appears to be a ‘plausible’ reconstruction that appears to harmonise the contradictory accounts, but such a reconstruction is based solely on concoluted constructs and renderings of the Greek text to sort of ‘crow bar’ a fit.

        The evidence is overwhelmignly against such a ‘Plausible’ reconstruciton of events and overlooks one key historical fact. Any person crucified by the Romans was usually left to hang for days so the birds and would animals could scavenge off the dead carcasus.Even if Jesus was spared this humiliation, he would have been burried i a common grave.along with all the other executed prisoners who had transgressed Roman authoirity. There is no way in a million years that any special exception would have been made for a Jewish charismatic preacher who instigated a potential uprising in the temple, for his body to be taken down and given to a ‘Joseph of Arimethia’ for a decent Jewish burial. No persone executed as an enemy of the Roman state would ever be afforded such a luxury.

        That is just a tiny portion of the evidence against the truth and reliability of the gospel accounts, for they were written many decades after the death of Jesus by non-eye witnesses who were not contemporary (alive at the same time) with Jesus.

      • Eyeconoclastic says:

        Atheos, your scholarly exposition is a blessing to us all! I wasn’t sure how much more of this naive “the Gospels are accurate” nonsense I could take. These Christians exist in a fantasy world totally decoupled from actual historical scholarship.

        The Gospels are internally contradictory, historically wrong, scientifically wrong, polemical, late, anachronistic, redacted, interpolated, plagiarized, anonymously authored, N-th person, don’t … This is the best that the omniscient, omnipotent God could inspire? Weak!

        Keep up the good work … and God, keep up the bad work!

    • You can’t be serious – to assert that there are X documents saying the same thing – you think that proves the validity of their contents? Rubbish. Unless the authors of these documents were eye-witnesses to the events they describe, then what they write is hearsay. They all copied from each other; just like Luke and Matthew copied much of their “truths” from Mark.

      And we know that every thing that Mark says is true – Right? OK then, I want you to drink a pint of bleach while playing with a King Cobra snake while laying hands on people with Huntington’s disease so that you can cure them. Mark (16:18) says that you will be able to do all of this. Do it and get back to me.

  25. D. says:

    Actually Christian theologians have deemed it accurate as have some Jewish theologians, I did do my research. There is a version of this that was changed at some point to add the word Messiah, but the one I posted is the original writing of Josephus.

    • Eyeconoclastic says:

      Josephus wrote that around 95 CE, 60 years after God Jr. allegedly took the big dirt nap. Even if legitimate, it just records some Christian beliefs at the time Josephus was writing and provides no historical evidence for the divinity of Jesus. The fact that it was doctored shows us that Christians had no qualms about tendentiously corrupting texts to promote their theology. The Gospels and Epistles show similar massive evidence of polemical redactions and interpolations … in addition to being anonymously or pseudonymously authored.

      This is the most compelling evidence your God could leave us? Your God is, at the very least, an utterly inept communicator. You want proof?: less than a third of the world’s people believe any version of the story, and those who do believe are fractured into 30,000 sects with mutually contradictory beliefs. The more I learn about the historicity of Christian tales, the more incredulous I become that modern people can believe this preposterous rubbish.

      • D. says:

        Although I am positive of the deity of Jesus Christ and salvation through grace and mercy. I was only responding to the post that claimed

        “There is no independent source, written either at the supposed time of Jesus or in the immediate years after his purported death that even mentions a word about him. That is mighty strange, considering that this man was meant to have been healing the sick, raising the dead…”

        As for God giving us more compelling evidence on His existence… He created all things and still you do not believe, He came in human form and showed His love for us by dying a painful, horrible, undeserved death and still you do not believe, HE rose from the dead and took our deserved punishment far away and still you do not believe. And all He asks is that you receive this free gift and still you do not believe. Nothing He could do would make you believe. But it is enough for me.

        Your comments about our Holy God are very hurtful and one day you and I will meet as we both bow before the Lord God Almighty. You may not believe this now but I promise you it will happen. Until then I will pray that God will open your eyes because what I know is in store for those who reject God is not something I want to happen to anyone. I do not know what caused you to feel so much hate for your creator but I am sorry that you do.

      • Eyeconoclastic says:

        60 years after the purported event is not “in the immediate years after” – it’s a very long time after. These were illiterate rubes with a life expectancy of 30 living in a Roman Empire backwater. Josephus was just telling us what some of these benighted rubes believed. So what? This is the best evidence the all-powerful, all-knowing God could provide?

        Your God aborts a third of fetuses (we use the euphemism “miscarriage” for his murders). He afflicts innocent babies and children with horrible congenital defects and diseases. Only in recent history have doctors practicing modern medicine been able to subvert his evil intentions!

        Of course, I don’t actually believe all that evil God stuff but it is the logical conclusion of your belief in an omnipotent, omniscient being. Then you want me to believe that God sacrificed himself to himself to save me from eternal torture by Him because a mythical rib-woman ate an apple?
        Come on, it’s an incoherent and immoral tale in every way.

        Join the rest of us in making this real world a better place. Leave your angry Bronze Age gods behind.

      • Dave says:

        And you, and i am going to write this simple…as not to confuse your intellectual mind. By whose authority have you to determine that my beliefs are false? The God to whom over 3/4 of the world worship. To you i give this question…You are as blind as the rest until you have any light on the subject i would highly suggest not to voice an opinion that has no meat to its existence.

      • Atheos says:

        Dave
        3/4 of this world do not worship the Christian God. Possibly a Billion out of 8 Billion do. That is a frightening statistic because only 1 in 8 people are going to Heaven according to most Christians, who claim to beleive the bible is the word of God. So that means that the reamining 7 billion of us are all going to be tortured for eternity, mostly for being born into the wrong culture and therefore adopting the wrong religion. But hang on a minute! Don’t Christians claim that God creates everyone and has a plan for thier lives? So God deliberately creates people, places them in families, in countries, knowing that Christianity is not the dominant religion.Then sends them to hell for not believing in him, because he loves them so much that his unborn self impreganted a young woman to give birth to him, and offered up his only son as a ‘child sacrifice’, a ‘human sacrifice’ to allow him to forgive himself? Yet according to Chrisitans, in the old testament texts God says he hates and opposes child sacrifices or human sacrifices? Mind you god made no attmept to stop Jephthah from sacrificing his daughter as a burnt offering after promising that if god gave him voctory in battle he would sacrifice the very first thing that came out of his house to meet him. (Judges 11:30-40).

      • Atheos says:

        Dave
        Since when did we suddenly need ‘authority’ to state that the text of the bible is not the word of some divine being?

        Europe suffered millennia of ‘Theocratic rule’ by ‘The Church’ who used their ‘Authority to instigate those infamous 603 years of Inquisitions, heresy hunts, devil worship hunts, witchcraft trials, that I alluded to in an earlier post on this thread.

        By whose ‘authority’ did Pope Gregory IX establish The Inquisition in 1231 as a special court, that lasted 600 years (SIX CENTURIES) until 1834, to curb the spread of heresy?

        By whose ‘authority’ did Pope Innocent IV officially sanction the use of torture to extract ‘the truth’ from suspects in 1252?

        By whose ‘authority’ did the church think it was OK to invent torture devices?

        By whose ‘authority’ did the church encourage the writing of instruction manuals on how to torture and interrogate people? Have you ever
        heard of Tomas Torquemada? The master of Inquisitions in Spain who wrote his Directorium in 1483 that became the ‘Go-To’ text for inquisitors? Or read any of The Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer) written in 1486 that served as the main guide for Inquisitors when interrogating women suspected of committing acts of witchcraft? Or may be the Practica Inquisitionis (Practice of the Inquisition) by grand inquisitor Bernardus Guidonis? Or perhaps the Directorium Inquisitorum (Guideline for Inquisitors) by by grand inquisitor Nicolaus Eymerich?

        By whose ‘authority’ did the church create mock trials and force confessions of heresy, witchcraft or devil worship under duress of torture from innocent citizens who did not believe what the church thought they ought to to believe?.

        By whose authority did the Church decide to introduce the Old Covenant Israelite practice of a tythe on every citizen, regardless of their religious beliefs?

        By whose ‘authority’ did the church decide that it was the sole authority on interpretation of scripture and understanding of the cosmos? Remember Galileo Galilei and his Inquisition trials in 1633 for daring to challenge the church Ptolemaic belief in the sun revolved around the Earth? The Inquisition regarded the Copernican Theory that the Sun is the centre of the solar system and that the Earth revolves around the sun as both erroneous in theology and formally a heresy. The Church’ officially accepted that Galileo might be right in 1983.

        By whose ‘authority’ did the church oppose the use of pain relief for women during childbirth?

        By whose ‘authority’ did the church support female genital mutilation to keep women ‘chaste’? (most people assume it is just just Moslems and Africans that did that! – Do check the Church of England bishops who were in favour of it around the turn of the last century ~1900)

        If we can show you many places where the text has been altered or the text makes incorrect claims then the text is clearly false and the the claims are lies. Therefore any religion or ideology based upon a text that is incorrect/false/lies is a false belief. I would have thought that it logically follows that that any religion based upon incorrect information must be a false religion.

    • Sean says:

      A christian is someone who follows the bible, therefore one either reads or hears the bible. “Christians” don’t believe the gospels were written by Mathew, Marl, Luke or John because it is not written in the bible that they did.

      • D. says:

        Christians are not followers of the bible but followers of Jesus Christ. And I do believe the Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      • Sean says:

        We only know of Jesus because he is written about in the bible, it is the bible that tells us how he behaved. Without it we are totally lost, wrapped up in emotions, people’s charisma. There is no other way to determine truth other than to believe what you saw,someone told you or someone wrote. That’s why when you have 40 different different authors writing about the same thing from 3 different continents, stretching over thousands of years, in many different languages, unknown to each other; then this becomes alarming evidence. As much as science does not publicly state it most of the time, they follow majority. They form scientific consensuses(majority opinion) and then declare it to the world as fact and then we (rest of the earth) take it as truth.

    • Atheos says:

      Well not all Christian Theologians have deemd it accurate. Evangelical Christians no doubt would, but what about other conservative and liberal Christian Theologians? Most of these liberal and even some conservative Christian scholars are only too painfully aware of the glaring problem that the only historical sources we have that mention Y’Shua are the New Testament books – Jesus is an English transliteration of the Greek transliteration Ἰησοῦς (Iesus) of the Hebrew name’ Y’Shua (Joshua in English). Incidentally the English letter ‘J’ only entered usage in the English language during the 14th century. So when you pray to Jesus you are not using his real name. Maybe that is why most Christian prayer fails perhaps? If you were a god called ‘Robert’ would you answer the prayer of lazy primitives who called you ‘OORABEERUHT’ ?. There are absolutely no direct references to J’Shua made by any contemporary Roman, Jewish or Greek historian, that is no one alive at the same time that Jesus was alive. No contemporary eye witnesses..

  26. Nur says:

    Read Quraan, Holly Book of one God and only one. Creator of Universe, Jesus, Moses and all other Prophets. If you believe in one God, you will accept the Quraan and follow His word. Remember, if you don’t accept Quraan, then you are disbelievers. Muslims, believe in Jesus, as Prophet. But we do not accept he is the son of God, because God Himself tells in Quraan he has no son, never had birth and He was not born. We muslims accept and follow everything what God says in Quraan; Learn what means IMAN, and levels of Iman – Belief, and what makes one believer a believer. Those things you can find only on approved Islamic internet portals, or lecturers of Religion. There is many different sources of interpretation. But first check origins of who tells them. Is it official or not. If none finds, read Quraan. Quraan is intact book, since was revealed 1400 yr ago, till today has many translations which gives same meaning. I hope this small introduction would help you solve the puzzle. Why to talk about Jesus is God when he is not, because God already said in last revelation to humans Jesus isn’t god nor His son, but Mesih “Messenger” the chosen one, and he was not crucified. Would you believe in that, if you believe in God? I do.
    So what is the problem?
    Islam is very simple, one God, everyone else is the Messenger.
    Read and study it..
    Good Luck

    • Atheos says:

      Nur, whilst Islam may be a more recent religion than Christianity, the Qur’an also suffers from the same transmission problems that most ancient documents encounter, namely corruptions, either accidental or deliberate. However you do have one thing in your favour … THE oldest surviving fragment of a copy of the Qur’an.

      Birmingham University here in the UK have recently announced that they have the oldest surviving parchment leaves/pages from a copy of the Qur’an, that Oxford University have dated to between 568 and 645 AD/CE. It is therefore, highly likely that these 2 leaves were copied during the lifetime of Mohammed (approx 570-632 AD/CE). I say “highly likely” because as far as I understand events, it is only the parchment material that has been dated, not the ink. So it may transpire that whilst the actual parchment leaves were created during the lifetime of the prophet, the ink may have been written after his lifetime. I’m not sure if anyone is currently analysing the ink to determine the date the ink was applied to the manuscript. This would be the next logical step to take.

      Even if we take the latest date of 645 AD is the actual date this parchment copy was made of the Qur’an, that still places a religious text within 13 years of the death of the founder of that religion. Not quite contemporary, but definitely “near contemporary” imho, which so far is something Christianity lacks when considering the time gap between the death of Y’sua/Yeshua/y’hoshua/Iesus/Jesus, the earliest Christians writings and the earliest surviving manuscript in our possession. One thing I am personally certain of is that who ever wrote this text was definitely alive during the lifetime of the prophet Mohammed, so even if the text itself was not contemporary, the author certainly was! Little wonder that Muhammad Afzal, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, was overcome with emotion when the university told him the news.

  27. mike says:

    As far as the wise men go they were Jewish Astronomers from Babylon, the ones who stayed. They absolutely knew what they were looking for. In October of 7BC there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is the royal star and Saturn is the star the represents Israel. They didn’t follow the star they knew to go to Bethlehem, because that is where the Messiah was supposed to be born, and they were most likely there at the peak of the conjunction when Jesus was born.

    I wasn’t there I didn’t see a thing, just answering a question using good old critical thinking skills.

    • Atheos says:

      There is also another Astronomical alternative to yours, that involves the Retrograde motion of the planet Jupiter and Conjunctions with Regulus the brightest star in the Constellation of Leo. According to Mark Thompson (Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society here in the UK). There were three such “conjunctions” between September 3BC and May 2BC where the planet Jupiter and Regulus passed close to each other in the night sky. Whilst this might not have be a great ‘Astronomical’ event, like the awesome Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) was in 2007, the triple conjunction between Jupiter and Regulus would have been regarded as being of huge ‘Astrological’ significance to Zoroastrian Astronomers, with the King of Planets and King of Stars moving so close to each other three times.

      The Outer planets exhibit retrograde motion by appearing to slow down, ‘stop’ and then move backwards, when our faster orbiting Earth moves between them and the sun, against the background of stars. This ‘stopping’ motion fits the description in Matthew 2:9 describing the ‘star’ moving then stopping. This follows similar logic to the Astrology that you describe about a King Making ‘star’. I’d always assumed the Magi were Zorastrian Astrologers and didn’t even think about the Magi being Jewish Astronomers as that might explain why the Magi were looking for a ‘King of the Jews’. I doubt that the story of the Magi was true, but the Astronomical events both you and I describe definitely did happen, which is why they were mentioned to add a ‘celestial announcement’ to the gospel account and enhance the credibility.

  28. I surely Agree that alot of the gospels have been re-written or over written. The Ebionites who are the oldest branch of Christianity who consisted of jewish-christians known today they believed in Jesus as being simply a man. Not a God or part of a trinity. He was a prophet just like the prophets before him. send the message of God to tell the people about it. actually, the more we go back in history, the more we find out that the Christians didn’t believe in Jesus as God.

    The Catholic Church was created 300 years before the birth of Jesus. Catholic basically means universal and they were a roman chruch that believed in too many different Gods. The Romans after killing so many jewish Christians ended up adding Jesus to their chruch and started making him as if he is a God, or part of a trinity. And started making statues of him and pictures of a blond blue eyed white man. So basically Christians now a days worship idols. Three Gods emerged as one and they got a picture and statue to pray for…no different than any Pegan back then.

    That being said I do not think Jesus did not exist, he surely did. But he was just a prophet send by God to the people of Israel, just like he sent Moses. If Jesus is God and all…then why would God (Jesus) send Moses who is just a prophet to help the Israelite when he could have done it himself?, if he was surely ready to have a state of being a man called Jesus, then why not just be Jesus at all terms of the prophets. Why mark Abraham try and convince the people of one God when he could of easily just sent himself as Jesus in the beginning…and because he is “God” he could have easily stayed alive for the rest of the thousand years.

    If Jesus was really God as Christians see it today….then guess what. A couple of Jews basically came and murdered your God. The God that created the earth and the skies…murdered by jews lol.

    Come on…todays Christianity is just full of holes. Do not know how people would believe in a “holy trinity” when its not even mentioned in any gospel at all.

    That being said again. I am no atheist…I surely believe in a God. An Atheist doesn’t have a reason of why and who, he only has a reason of How only. like How was the universe created. But doesnt ask himself and doesnt want to ask himself why and WHO.

    There has to be a supreme power above the universe who created the Laws of Nature. Saying everything happened by chance is by itself a belief system and even needs more convincing and more of trying to belief that everything is just by “chance”.

    Atleast thats how I see it. Which is just me, no need for anyone to get offended from what I said.

  29. Daisy says:

    Some people say and think they don’t believe in Him. They seek on information but not knowing they are blinded by what they feel cause them to say things against Him. That’s because THEY HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED HIM YET. Or probably they had, but on some point in their lives, things or events may have had happened that pained them, questionning Him to extent of hatred, making them believe of His false existence. I pray for you all, that you would be able to open your hearts and minds for a little while; I do ask you a favor, please just try to read just a short passage everyday. I’m not telling that you’ll be able to understand what Christians are saying in just a single sentence from the bible … but I do know and believe, IT will come to you if you iust open your hearts and not believe on things if you had not seen the POV of Christians. If someday you willl be able to stay on the shoes of a believer, no doubt, you’re life will change just as I did, unbelievably. I once thought that THIS IS SURELY IMPOSSIBLE AND SUCH BULLCRAP … Now, I just feel so guilty for having to think that before. Uh and wait, I’d like to hear from YOU, reader of this. Feel free to email me at kittymckibben@gmail.com. I’m expecting a reply from you ha. Thank you!

    No hate,
    Just a viewer, Daisy.

    • Frank Trevor says:

      Daisy, you’re wrong and sadly, you are deluded. Religious “Experiences” have been proved to be caused by a function of the brain, mainly effected by the parietal and temporal lobes. The explanation of how religious experiences are manifested is far too complex to be related here. I suggest you look it up (Look up “The God Helmet”). Suffice to say that these experiences are common in all religions, so it isn’t just Jesus that is the “HIM” that you think you have experienced.

      Any half intelligent atheist isn’t blinded by anything to do with the belief in a god. The majority of atheists assert there is no evidence that there is a god. Most atheists are highly educated in the history of religion and in this case, Christianity. They understand and accept not only their own research but that of centuries of effort by historians and scholars that proves that the New Testament is a deeply flawed, inconsistent book, full of errors, contradictions, forgeries and downright falsehoods. It is from this nonsense that Christianity has developed through the conditioning of people (mostly from a young age) into believing fairy stories about an all powerful, loving God and telling them that the bible is historical fact. Which it not.

      Religion is a cultural construct, mainly based on the geographical location where you were born. If you had been born in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia of an every day family, you would no doubt be proselytizing a different set of beliefs. You might also be having “experiences” relating to Allah.

      There is no independent source, written either at the supposed time of Jesus or in the immediate years after his purported death that even mentions a word about him. That is mighty strange, considering that this man was meant to have been healing the sick, raising the dead (including himself) along with many other miracles and had audiences of thousands (some of who he fed with a handful of loaves and fishes). In Matt 27:50-54 he describes an earthquake (not recorded anywhere in Roman or any other records) and the dead coming out of their graves and walking the streets when Jesus died. Don’t you think someone might have recorded any of this other than those with an act to grind? It is because of nonsense such as this, that for several centuries, bible historians and scholars have cast doubt on the veracity of these feeble stories meant to be a biography of Jesus, the Son of God.

      Educate yourself by reading books, for example, by Bart Ehrman an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      • D. says:

        Actually you are mistaken there are many extra-biblical writings that speak of Jesus’ and many are not from Christians. One such is Josephus who wrote shortly after Jesus’ death about A.D., 26-36. He was a Jewish historian:

        “At this time there was a wise man called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. Many people among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have reported wonders. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day.” Antiquities 18:63

        I will not bore you with more.

      • Greg says:

        D. The quotes that are attributed to Josephus are known to be forgeries.
        Here is an response from Frank Zindler taken from his book Did Jesus Even Exist?
        There is a lot more documented evidence but I will not bore you with more.

        Now no loyal Pharisee would say Jesus had been the Messiah. That Josephus
        could report that Jesus had been restored to life “on the third day” and not
        be convinced by this astonishing bit of information is beyond belief. Worse
        yet is the fact that the story of Jesus is intrusive in Josephus’ narrative and
        can be seen to be an interpolation even in an English translation of the
        Greek text. Right after the wondrous passage quoted above, Josephus goes
        on to say, “About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into
        disorder…” Josephus had previously been talking about awful things Pilate
        had done to the Jews in general, and one can easily understand why an
        interpolator would have chosen this particular spot. But his ineptitude in not
        changing the wording of the bordering text left a “literary seam” (what
        rhetoricians might term aporia) that sticks out like a pimpled nose.
        The fact that Josephus was not convinced by this or any other Christian
        claim is clear from the statement of the church father Origen (ca. 185-ca.
        154 CE) – who dealt extensively with Josephus – that Josephus did not believe
        in Jesus as the Messiah, i.e., as “the Christ.” Moreover, the disputed passage
        was never cited by early Christian apologists such as Clement of Alexandria
        (ca.150-ca. 215 CE), who certainly would have made use of such ammunition
        had he had it!
        The first person to make mention of this obviously forged interpolation into
        the text of Josephus’ history was the church father Eusebius, in 324 CE. It is
        13
        quite likely that Eusebius himself did some of the forging. As late as 891,
        Photius in his Bibliotheca, which devoted three “Codices” to the works of
        Josephus, shows no awareness of the passage whatsoever even though he
        reviews the sections of the Antiquities in which one would expect the
        disputed passage to be found. Clearly, the testimonial was absent from his
        copy of Antiquities of the Jews. 13 The question can probably be laid to rest
        by noting that as late as the sixteenth century, according to Rylands, 14 a
        scholar named Vossius had a manuscript of Josephus from which the passage
        was wanting.

      • Atheos says:

        Greg
        You are bang onthe mark that no pharisee would ever call Jesus the messiah, because most Christians forget one very important fact about our Josephus – He was Yosef ben Matityahu, the COMMANDER of GALILEAN zealot revolutionaries who opposed Roman occupation and any non-Jewish influences.

        The very first groups of people that the varsious different zealot forces killed were ‘heretics’ amongst the Jewish community, as it was ‘non Jewish’, so Christians from the Jewish church would have been executed as traitors in Jerusalem, as well as Galilee and surrounding areas under the command of Josephus when he engaged Roman legions,. The Jewish nationalist uprisings tried to rid Judea of all foregn and Roman influence. The Galilean Jews had a few flare ups with the Greek community. So now you know why the Jewsih flavour of Christianity never took off as it was snuffed out during the first Jewish War (66-74) and seige of Jerusalem (66-70 AD). This is despite Jesus saying that Peter “was the rock and upon this rock I shall build my church”, Josephuse surrendered to General Vespasian, who later became emperor, and hence Josef became Flavius Josephus as he took on the family name of Vespasian. There was so much in-fighting and civil war between various different Jewsih rebel factions, especially in Jerusalem, that the infamous Monty Python film the Life of Brian so brilliantly portrayed, with the bitter rivalry between The People’s Front of Judea and The Judean People’s Front militias.

    • leechap says:

      I feel the same way except from opposite side of the fence. It is so liberating to be free from the chains of superstition I just wish everyone could experience it in their lifetimes. Unfortunately not everyone is wired to be intellectually and spiritually free.

    • Atheos says:

      Daisy
      That is the problem when you say “I do ask you a favor, please just try to read just a short passage everyday. ” Many of us who do not believe HAVE read the bible several times, studied Theology at a university instead of a bible colleges, asked questions about the text, learned Greek which is the language of the New Testament and Septuagint, actually viewed manuscripts and seen the blatant contradictions between different manuscripts containing the same book, which is why we do not believe that the bible is definitely not the word of God.

      In 1984 Thomas Pierson, founded the SETI Institute, Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence and for the last 31 years researchers have regularly scanned the skies searching for evidence of unambiguous radio signals that could indicate the presence of an intelligent civilisation trying to contact other worlds. To date, the SETI Allen Telescope Array has not detected or received any unambiguous radio signals that could indicate the possible existence of other intelligent species in our universe. No gods have sent any unambiguous radio transmissions indicating their presence to humanity. And here is my problem Daisy, if your god is so keen on having a relationship with me and communicating with me as you claim, then why has he not broadcast a message for the whole world to receive?

      What an opportunity the Christian God missed! According to Christians, God is Omnipotent, that is “all powerful” and can do anything. It would be easy for God to send a radio message indicating that not only was intelligent life out there, but this intelligence was “The way! The Truth! and THE Life!” God himself! Wow. The world news media would go into a frenzy to report on the event, probably causing most of the internet to crash due to the online demand around the world. Everyone would be in absolutely no doubt that humanity was not alone in the universe, because God really wanted to talk to us. God would suddenly be very real for people living on planet Earth. There would be no more doubts about your god’s existence. .

      If god truly wants to communicate with people and have a relationship with humans then why not talk to them in coherent, verifiable and unambiguous ways they can understand? We are deliberately searching for other life using Radio waves so why does God not talk to us through the electromagnetic spectrum?

      But no Daisy ! Your god does not want to communicate in an objective, unambiguous way. What methods of communication does God use? Most Christians claim to hear a voice inside them .. “I felt I heard the Lord say to go for Pink Wall papaer for the living room”, which is not objectively verifiable, so has to be discounted. After all is that not what Peter Sutcliffe, the infamous Yorkshire Ripper claims when he killed women, that voices in his head told him to do it? How do we know that the voice inside us is God and not our subconcious imagination? How do we know that it is not actually Zeus instead of the Christian God? The honest answer is that we do not know and cannot know, so cannot trust them.

    • rob says:

      Regarding Josephus Flavius…the passage you’re referring to is known to be a forgery by Christian theologians. Just a shred of interest in the truth would have prompted the most minuscule amount of research and you would know that but, alas, you are blinded to the truth by your faith.

      • david says:

        Even if these conjunctions can be proven,it does not offer evidence for the birth of a God man or anyone else.

      • Atheos says:

        David
        You are quite right that the astronomical conjunctions both Mike and myself describe do not prove that Jesus or any saviour was born. I thought I had made that point clear in the last line of my post on the conjunction between Jupiter and Regulus,

        “I doubt that the story of the Magi was true, but the Astronomical events … definitely did happen, which is why they were mentioned to add a ‘celestial announcement’ to the gospel account and enhance the credibility.”

        Most demigods or god-men from myth and folk lore have some form of sign in the sky as a ‘celestial announcement’ to declare the birth of a ‘great king/warrior/demigod/god-man. The author of the gospel of Matthew is evidently adopting a similar approach to announce the birth of Jesus the saviour, as it makes the Jesus story appear more credible to the illiterate masses who were already familiar with the mythology of their own pantheons of gods.

        The author is also trying to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus can be born, and so appear to fulfil a prophetic ‘prediction’ lifted from Micah 5:2,4. The opening chapters also quote Hosea 11:1 of out context since “Out of Egypt I called my son’ is a reference to the exodus saga for the ‘son’ in this text is the nation of Israel and not an individual person. The author also desperately tries to apply Jeremiah 31:15 “Rachel weeping for her children” to make it look t like Jesus is fulfilling yet another prophetic prediction, yet again the author has taken the text out of context.

        Personally I regard the classic error the author of Matthew made confusing a Nazarene with a person from Nazareth to be the most conclusive evidence that the birth narratives are false. The birth narratives do not appear in the gospel of Mark our earliest canonical gospel or John our latest canonical gospel, which suggests that they were unknown during the first century. Also the Ebionites allegedly used an early version of Matthew that lacked the birth narratives, which if true, does further support the my personal opinion that the birth narrative was not originally included in Matthew, but was appended at a later date to make the Jesus cult more credible and appealing to a superstitious population believing in myths and legends.

  30. roib says:

    Well that’s kind of the thing…outside the bible and texts that weren’t included in the bible, there are no historical references to Jesus. We know more about Alexander the Great than we do of Jesus and he lived well before Jesus’ time. Additionally, the Jesus story is so similar to other stories told before his supposed time that a thinking person who wasn’t raised to believe the bible as the inerrant word of God naturally questions the authenticity. You can easily point to “it’s all about faith” and I’d agree with that but that doesn’t make it true or historically accurate. Christianity only exists today because some Roman emperor saw the empire crumbling due to warring religious factions and decided to try to unite the it under one religious group. That’s pretty much it. The same bs has been perpetuated throughout the centuries because most religious people can’t cope with their own mortality and are so egocentric that they believe there must be something after this life….meanwhile ignoring that the father just let “satan” into His house of worship to kill 9 “god fearing” people for what? Because it’s “god’s will”? Such a bunch of bs it’s incredible that religion still exists at all. The entire concept is completely flawed and not provable. The pagans’ had it right…oh that’s right the Christians killed them when they wouldn’t convert…such a compassionate bunch… lol

      • rob says:

        Sorry Eric, you got nothing here. The bible is barely a historical document in itself. Theologians know this well.

      • Atheos says:

        Sorry Eric, but the gospels are unreliable and contradcitroy on many key points regarding the life of Jesus and his teachings. It is only duing the later part of the second century that churches began to collect various writings together. Each gospel was written in a different community by a highly educated Greek author, the earliest Mark about 65 AD/CE some 30 years after the death of Jesus, whilst John could have been written as late as the first decade of the 2nd century. As stories about Jesus are told and retold, details get changed to suit the occassion. Even the chonological sequence of Jesus activites differes between the gospels. The numerous contradictions make it near impossible to determine who is telling the truth. Take the last words spoken by Jesus on the cross before he died and we have 4 very different answers as follows:

        Mark 15:34 – And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

        Matthew 27:46 – About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

        Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.

        John 19:30 – When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

        When confronted with these four contradictions between the gospels, I notice that many believers dare not apply the simple logic that three of the contradictions, must inevitably be false, let alone face the possibility that all four contradictions are false. It is fair to say that logic is usually avoided by the believer, for it serves to highlight that there are errors, either intentional or accidental within the very texts that Christians have selected to use and undermines any claims that these texts were divinely inspired and deserving of special status amongst all literature.

        “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?” can also be transalted as “My God, My God, why have you left me behind?” but most Christians deliberately avoid using this translation for it has connotations of Adoptionism, where the Holy Spirit entered the body of Jesus at his baptism and then left him during the crucifixion, thus he was not fully divine.

        Back to our 4 answers,
        Matthew is identical to Mark except that Matthew used Hebrew whilst Mark used Aramaic. Since Mark’s gospel is widely accepted as being the first to be written for 91& of Mark is contained in the later gospel of Matthew, we can conclude that Matthew is merely a plagiarism of Mark. Jesus would have spoken Aramaic so we can therefore discount Matthew’s account. So which of the three remaining answers are the actual words that Jesus said just before he died? At least two answers are incorrect/false/lies. Most scholars would go with Mark’s account since Mark was written maybe 20 years before Luke and some 30 to 40 years before John. However we cannot be sure that this is an accurate and reliabel transcript of the words of Jesus. Therefore it is quite easy to see why most scholars conded that the gospels are unreliabel sources of historical and biographical material about Jesus.

  31. Jesse Elvrom says:

    Y’all need some Jesus. If you want to disprove the bible go and read it and look for holes and contradictions, study it: historically, archeologically and factually. It goes hand in hand with science. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So go read the bible and attempt to find flaws. When you finish it, ask yourself if you disbelieve the bible enough to denounce God: the father, the Spirit and Jesus Christ. Then Do it out loud Verbally and then burn the bible as an action and evidence of your disbelief.

    If you can’t burn it, it’s not out of disrespect, it’s because deep down you know that Jesus is the One True God and you have fear of losing your soul to damnation.

    So then you must ask yourself the question again. Do you believe in The Trinitarian God, or do you disbelieve.

    If you believe, then you must not only believe that Jesus is God in Human form but also that he is the word, and the word was with God and the word was and is God, and the bible is inspired by his spiritual presence upon the thoughts and wording of the writers of each book.

    So now that you know that stuff you must believe the entire bible is true. You can no longer pick and choose what you want to believe in the bible after this revelation. You are saying that God wrote it, but if you don’t believe some of it, you are calling God a lier. And God does not lie.

    Titus 1:2 “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time”

    If A God Lied, then that God cannot be trusted and then you couldn’t even believe anything that that God would say.

    So either believe the bible or go and burn the book and denounce him. Because you will not be saved unless you accept Jesus, as your savior and trust that the bible is completely true and act on what it says, because faith is the action of loving others and God, through selfless deeds.

    You cannot Just Hope the good stuff the bible says to be true, that’s a wishing hope, not a biblical hope of faith which leads to action and complete certainty.

    Burn the Book and concern yourself no more with morality or historical things about Jesus.

    Accept God: The Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit

    • eyeconoclast says:

      Jesse, your infallible bible babble is a house of cards. The bible is clearly wrong on so many scientific and historical issues. It just spews the Bronze and Iron Age ignorance of its time. Any supporting evidence is pathetically weak. You’d think the omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe could do better but apparently his communication skills suck.

      I’m no more compelled to denounce your imaginary gods than Superman, Shrek, or Bigfoot. Why should I burn the bible or any book? Mythology is fun and interesting.

      Snap out of your childish delusions. Join us in the real world and help your fellow sentient beings to thrive rather than obsessing over some imaginary afterlife.

      “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” – -Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Adams, 1823

    • Atheos says:

      Jesse
      Some of us once believed in God and the Bible, until we started reading more of the text, then you notice contradictions, and when you do an academic degree in Theology at a university insteds of a bible college you learn even more errors when you begin to study the text in the original Greek and Hebrew languages, commands to commit genoicde, attempts by you deity to commit Omnicide/Extinction events, slavery, mistreatment of women, forced genital mutilation, scapegoating, animal sacrifices, and at the heart of your Christian religion a human sacrifice-child sacrifice, inconsistent justice.

      As for the doctrine of the Trinity this only really began to be formulated during the 4th century AD some 3oo years or so after the death of the so called founder of Christianity, that you may know as the Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας (Sumbolon ths Nikaias) literally ‘The Nicean Symbol’ – The Nicene Creed formulated in 325 AD by approximately 318 Bishops. This was the first official church attempt at defining an orthodox statement of faith to counter the perceived threat of Arianism, as indicated by the last part of the document that condemns what these bishops considered as heresy. However if God is a trinity, why does it not say so in the bible? Well it actually does in the KingJames Bible (1611), but thanks to Modern Theology, that reference to the trinity is known as the Johannine Coma (1 John 5:7-8). The text was deliberately added by corrupt scribes to support the doctrine of the Trinity. This text does not appear in any Greek manuscripts prior to 11th century AD.

      If God is a Trinity then pleaase can you explain to me why all 13 letters claiming to be written by Paul, that is the 7 genuine letters as well as the 6 forgeries all begin with a greeting in the name of the Father and his son, with absolutely no mention of the Holy Spirit? PLease do go and read the introductions to the Pauline letters and you will see what I mean, By the way, I note that you quoted from Titus 1:2, but this is actually a forgery written during the second century AD, since it and the letters to Timothy indicates a second century AD church,not a first century AD setup. The style of writing, theological concepts, church organisation, word usage, sentence structure in the Greek does not match that of the genuiine letters of Paul. Just like the words and concepts used in the writings of H G Wells are very different from those used by S T Coleridge, which is why we know that H G Wells wrote The War of The Worlds and not S T Coleridge. So your Titus 1:2 quote is from a FORGERY, that is someone pretending to be the apostle Paul, writing at the end of the first century AD or early second century AD, that is some half a century after Paul had died!

      I cannot therefore accept your god because 3 does not equal 1, 1 does not equal 3. If Jesus is God, then please explain why in the gospel attributed to Markl [Mark 15:34] Jesus allegedly says “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?” … “My God!, My God, Why have you left me behind”? How can you be god and call out to god? Also if Jesus was God, then why did he not realise that in Mark 2:26 he got the name of the High Priest wrong! Jesus said that Abiathar was the high priest, yet according to 1 Samuel 21 Ahimelech was the high priest when David ate the bread, not Abiathar. Jesus=God=Omniscient=Omnipotent=Omnipresent=Omnibenevolent forgetting who the high priest was who served him a millennia earlier? unless you are willing to concede that your god makes mistakes and so is not as perfect as you would have us believe?

      Jesus was a man and definintely not a god! He best fits the mould of Charismatic Judaism along with the likes of Elijah, Elishah, Honi The Circle Drawer and Rabbi Ben Dosa, to name but a few examples he would be at home with.

  32. Pastor Emmanuel M. Davies says:

    I am so happy to read the synoptic on your website it help me so much because I study Theology at the Liberia Bapist Theological Seminary.I will really happy to receive messages from u God bless you.

  33. rob says:

    Hey…fascinating thread and great material. Thank you. I do have a question though.. The gospels do not mention the destruction of the temple as prophesized by Jesus. Christians use this as evidence, among other things, that they were written prior to 70AD therefore attributing then to eyewitness accounts. While I consider this a stretch, to anyone, especially supreme truthsayer, what’s the explanation for this fact? Thanks! (Sorry if I missed this info in the comments)

    • Jero Jones says:

      Hi Rob
      Everything we know date wise on about the birth, life, and death of Jesus are unknown, and the Bible is so contradictory on this subject, and all other issues. The eminent Evangelical Christian, and New Testament (NT) scholar, Daniel B. Wallace, states in his blog that Jesus was born no later than 4 BCE.
      [https://bible.org/article/birth-jesus-christ] Other scholar have venture as far as 6 BCE for his birth.
      The gospel of Matthew says that Jesus was 30 years of age (Luke 3:21-23), when he took up his missionary work, which lasted according to the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) at just 1 year or 31/2 years according to the gospel of John. On Jesus’ ministry you take your pick for which ever biblical account you believe! (I have always taken the original/autograph or the oldest source as being the correct or more reliable, the Synoptic gospel of Mark, can be more than three decades older than the Gospel of John, which scholars attest was the last of the canonical gospels to be written.)
      A paper written by a Christian scholar and author, B. L. Cocherell, and headed, The Temple Destroyed, 70 A.D., wrote: …The fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy concerning the destruction of the magnificent temple at Jerusalem not only reveals the year of Christ’s crucifixion, but also ended one phase of God’s plan for the salvation of humanity and ushered in the next phase—Christ’s return to conquer and rule the earth. In 40 B.C., the Roman senate appointed Herod, later known as Herod The Great, as the ruler of Judea. Herod had previously served as the governor of Galilee and was a personal friend of Mark Antony before Antony was defeated by Octavian. Later Herod became a friend of Octavian who became the first Roman emperor as Caesar Augustus. Herod the Great ruled Judea for the next 36 years, during which time he began many huge building projects including the building of a new Temple in Jerusalem for the worship of God. From the beginning of the Temple project in 19 B.C., it took 46 years to complete the main building and another 36 years to finish the entire Temple complex. This was a huge undertaking which required a tremendous amount of labor and money. This new temple was said to be a larger and a more beautiful temple than the one that Solomon built.
      The historian Josephus said that much of the exterior of the Temple was covered with gold that reflected the fiery rays of the sun. Moreover, he said that, from a distance, the Temple appeared like a mountain covered with snow. This was probably because those parts that were not covered with gold were made of white stone. From what is said in many writings about Herod’s Temple, it was indeed a magnificent structure of awesome proportions. However, four years after it’s completion, it was totally destroyed and wiped from the face of the earth. During Jesus’ time, many of the Jews were so awe struck and impressed with the grandeur of the Temple that they replaced the worship of God with respect and reverence for the Temple complex itself. However, Jesus was not impressed with the Temple’s physical structure, because he knew that the Sovereign God was greater than any building that man could construct, no matter how grand and beautiful it was….
      [http://www.bibleresearch.org/articles/a11pws.htm]
      As you can see this author has dated the completion of the renovation of the main Temple to c. 27 CE, and a final completion of the renovated Temple complex in c. 63 CE. This alone contradicts the Bible! The Temple building or refurbishment by all accounts was a massive undertaking, and could have been a complete rebuild* as the Temple itself was increased by sixty cubits* (approx 100 Feet) in height to its former (before 586 BCE) glory, and could not have been completed before the death of Jesus, or at best the Temple was only completed one years before his execution.
      Surely, only Temple hierarchy and priest would have been allowed on a huge building site during the period attested to! We are talking about very large pieces of masonry being moved by labours, as well as hundreds of other artisans doing their bit, with probable thousands of workers on the Temple Mount site! The Jews must have used another, or other Temples for their worship and sacred ceremonies during this period, like the period after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE, to the start of the new Second Temple in 538 BCE, and completed in c. 515 BCE.
      Since the start of Second Temple renovations/rebuild by Herod the Great back in c. 19 BCE, and all are in agreement with its destruction by the Roman in 70 CE. The question is, which Temple or Temples did the Jerusalem Jews use, during this renovation period from its started in c. 19 BCE, and which Jewish Temple is the Bible referring to, as I am sure that the Great Temple of Jerusalem was out of bounds to Jesus or any Jews, owing as I aforesaid to the revamping of the Temple.
      Prophecies are taken to be over several centuries or millennia, not a couple of decades. We know that the Bible has had copyist at work from the earliest times, and alterations done to what is said to be the inspirational work of god, and is infallible. So why the alterations through the centuries, even today we get new translations of the New Testament, which differ from earlier translations.
      Paleographers have dated the canonical gospel of Mark, to 70 CE, and have deduced that the author of the prophecy had clearly made it up after the event.
      */*http://www.mycrandall.ca/courses/ntintro/jerusaltempl4.htm
      Sorry my comment is so long, as I had to get through many sources.

      Jero Jones

  34. Jero Jones says:

    for Ensaturae
    Love is good, love is great, and I believe every human being on earth needs it, well I know I do! I have been reading Church history (Christianity from 164 BCE-present), as well as my own nation’s past (700 BCE – 1485 CE) for more than five decades. One would think I know it all, well I don’t, as I find new information every day, information that would knock the socks off any conservative Christian, if only they (he or she) would take the time to look and listen. I have read the works of great men past and present, from Jewish, Christian to Pagan, radicals and freethinkers, as well as many scholars from around the world. All have one thing in common, once the found truth through knowledge, the love they once knew turned to profound mistrust for the church, who has for millennia been at the centre of deceptions. Below is the love that Christians males showed in their assessment of women, in an male only entry into the kingdom of heaven:
    Simon Peter said to them, “Mary [Magdalene] should leave us, for females are not worthy of life.” Jesus said, “See, I am going to attract her to make her male so that she too might become a living spirit that resembles you males. For every female (element) that makes itself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”[Layton translation of saying 114, of the Gospel of Thomas]. Emphasis [ ] is mine.
    The Gospel of Thomas was written c. 40 -c. 140, with scholars stating that it could be older than any of the canonical gospels. This male dominated society of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, is still prevalent into today’s religious society of the Abrahamic religions, where women are seen as second class citizens. Yes, it is all about Love!
    Jero Jones

  35. Jero Jones says:

    Who Wrote Mark/Matthew/Luke and John
    To start with tax collectors/publicans were seen as the lowest of the low in the eyes of common Jews, or they were seen as collaborators, working for the Romans. They were not that well educated, they could possibly count, and sign their names, probably with a X, but not much more. They certainly were not the scholars as we are led to believe, this goes for all the disciples, be they fishermen, tent-maker or whatever. A clue to their literacy can be found in the New Testament (NT), on Paul: “See with what large letters I am writing you with my own hand” (Gal.6:11). His handwriting, in other words, was larger and probably less professional in appearance than that of the scribe to whom he had dictated the letter. [Bart D. Ehrman (2005), Misquoting Jesus, pp. 58-59, HarperCollins publisher, New York] However, he also could have had eyesight problems, as well as being an epileptic sufferer. (II Cor. xii. 7)
    On John and Peter the NT tells us they were illiterate, it states they were unlearned and were idiots.[The Greek version of Acts 4:13 θεωρουντες δε την του πετρου παρρησιαν και ιωαννου και καταλαβομενοι οτι ανθρωποι αγραμματοι εισιν και ιδιωται [idiotai=idiots] εθαυμαζον επεγινωσκον τε αυτους οτι συν τω ιησου ησαν.[1550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)] emphasis [ ] is mine. However, English translations gloss over and polish their illiteracy by stating: Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.[NIV] This is one of the misleading translations of the NT. In the English translation the become ordinary men, and not idiot as per the original Greek text states!
    Jesus does not fare any better, the NT states: And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?[John 7:15 kjv]
    In my threescore and ten years, I have met many narrow minded blinkered conservative Christians, like Will, who wouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination take the time and look up the truth and the historical facts about their religion, in this age of computer technology. It is the consensus (although it is conjecture by the scholarship, as NO extant manuscript autograph or original is in existence) amongst NT and biblical scholars, on dates for the gospels are very much the same dates as shown on this blog. Proof of the gospel of Mark as being written not before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE, is the verses as quoted in Mark chapter 13, as well as palaeography. Also the consensus for the source for Mark is the hypothetical Quelle (German: for source) or ‘Q’ as it is commonly known. what one should remember is that the time we are discussing, every sect calling itself followers of Jesus or Christ (Christians) were flooding the market so to speak with their own ευαγγελίου (euaggelion) or gospel meaning good news). However the book of John, which probably is the work of a highly skilled Greek scholar, and is again probably an orthodox Christian polemic attack on the gospel of Thomas (c. 40 -c. 140), was written over a period of time in layers, and could well of been completed in the 2nd century. On the authenticity of any of the books of the New Testament (NT), we have no categorical evidence of proof even on the books that have been authenticated. However, we do have documentary evidence that has reached us through the centuries, that forging, interpolations, and pseudepigraphic works were rampant, and copyist were in great demand from the 4th century onwards.
    John Romanides the Greek born American scholar, Greek Orthodox priest, author and professor of Dogmatic Theology, who was writing on the controversy on Justin Martyr and the Gospel of John, wrote: An important part of the problem concerning the authorship of the Fourth Gospel and its use in the primitive church involves the much debated question of whether or not it is known, presupposed, or used by Justin Martyr. The controversy over this question has a long history,….[The ” Greek Orthodox Theological Review,” VOL 4 (1958): pages 115-134] It should be noted that the consensus, including Ehrman and most biblical and New Testament scholars says that the gospels by name are never mentioned, what Ehrman says is that the church-father Justin calls them “Memoirs of the Apostles.” As does this blog when it named and cited the work of the scholar, Dr Henry Dodwell. christians have faith on their side I like other researchers have truth in the form of historicity (historical authenticity).
    Will in his comment uses κατά as meaning the author, it is in err, however, ο συγγραφέας = the author, the adverb κατά = against, or as a preposition it could mean at or on or per or verses, etc.

    • Frank Trevor says:

      Good work Jero.

    • Atheos says:

      FAO Jero Jones – Regarding Acts 4:13 Text ‘ιδιωται’ ‘Idiots’
      Just a few things to be aware of regarding the 1550 Stephanus Greek New Testament Bible and the reference to ιδιωται in Acts 14:3. Although this bible is in Greek it is based on a Latin manuscript, maybe even going back to a Latin Vulgate family of manuscripts, possibly the the same Latin Manuscript used to translate the Latin text into English for the King James Bible that was completed in 1611. As you may be aware I have already highlighted that The KJV is based on a Latin Manuscript that contained the infamous Johannine Coma 1 John 5:7-8 whereby a scribe deliberately inserted text to support the doctrine of the Trinity. Well, as I mentioned in this post, the Stephanus Greek Bible from 1550 also includes the Johannine Coma because that was in the text of the Latin manuscript that was used as the source for translating into Greek. Here it is if you want to find it yourself ans and have a look:

      7 “ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες [[ἐν τ οὐραν , ὁ πατὴρ, ὁ λόγος, καὶ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα· καὶ οὗτοι οἱ τρεῖς ἕν εἰσιν.”
      8 “καὶ τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῇ γῇ]], τὸ πνεῦμα, καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ, καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν.”

      I checked Acts 4:13 in Codex D (Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis) since this is actually a Bi-lingual (Diglot?) manuscript written in both Greek and Latin, so the Greek text is on the left hand page and the Latin translation is on the right hand page so you can view both the Greek and Latin text side by side. However all the comments and marginal notes are in Greek. It contains most of the 4 gospels and Acts as well as part of 3 John, and you will no doubt know that Codex Bezae is one of the 5 main old manuscripts along with Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph), Codex Alexandrinus (A), Codex Vaticanus (B), and Codex Ephraemi (C).

      I’m sorry to report that from my own personal research, Codex D, Folio 427v omits the word ‘ιδιωται’ (‘ΙΔΙΩΤΑΙ’) and some supporting text, as follows, in my transcript from folio 427v where I have maintained the wording per line but separated the words out to aid readability:

      ΘΕΩΡΟΥΝΤΕC ΔΕ ΤΗΝ ΤΟΥ ΠΕΤΡΟΥ ΠΑΡΡΗCΙΑΝ
      ΚΑΙ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΚΑΤΑΛΑΒΟΜΕΝΟΙ
      ΟΤΙ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΙ ΑΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΟΙ ΕΙCΙΝ ΕΘΑΥΜΑΖΟΝ
      ΕΠΕΓΙΝΩCΚΟΝ ΤΕ ΑΥΤΟΥC ΟΤΙ CΥΝ ΤΩ ΙΗΥ ΗCΑ

      Please note the following letter variations in this manuscript:
      The Sigma ‘Σ’ is written as ‘C’ like Russians do for letter ‘S’.
      The Alpha is written like λ with a line across the bottom open upside down ‘V’ part. This looks a bit like a cross between our lowercase letter ‘a’ and a slanted delta ‘δ’ without the line at the top.
      The Omega is written as a large ‘ω’ instead of capital Ω.

      Transcribing into a more familiar readable Greek format …

      θεωρουντες δε την του πετρου παρρησιαν
      και ιωαννου και καταλαβομενοι
      οτι ανθρωποι αγραμματοι εισιν εθαυμαζον
      επεγινωσκον τε αυτους οτι συν τω ιηυ ησα

      or this for consistency with your own format:

      θεωρουντες δε την του πετρου παρρησιαν και ιωαννου και καταλαβομενοι οτι ανθρωποι αγραμματοι εισιν εθαυμαζον επεγινωσκον τε αυτους οτι συν τω ιηυ ησα

      I do note that according to some observers, Acts in Codex D (Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis) does differ from other early manuscripts in ways that suggest the text may be from an earlier version than the others. I am also aware of other variant readings within this manuscript, especially Luke 3:22 that supports an Adoptionist Christology and directly undermines Trinitarian formula and challenges traditional views about the divinity of Jesus. That said this manuscript is dated around 400 AD for its creation so could be late 4th or early 5th century.

      I’m not sure which of us has the variant reading, as I have a feeling that the Greek ‘ιδιωται’ may have come down from Latin manuscripts continaing ‘idiot’, that later got translated back into Greek, just as in the 1550 Stephanus Greek New Testament does. I wonder if the word ‘ιδιωται’ implies not so much ‘stupid’, but ‘laymen’ or ‘plebs’, ‘jumped up jerks’ since the religious tribunal contrasts their open manner (boldness) of speech with the fact that they are ‘illiterate’.

    • Don Camp says:

      Whoa, Jero. I have to comment on your reading of Acts 4:13. ιδιωται does not translate as “idiot” in any of the places where it is found in the New Testament. See 2 Cor. 11:6 where Paul describes himself relative to other more eloquent men as “unskilled’ or “rude” in speech. It does not take a very close reading of Paul’s letters to see that Paul was far from being an “idiot.” What he means is that he was untrained in rhetoric. See also 1 Cor. 14: 16,23,24. There Paul is not describing “idiots” but people who being an unbelievers did not understand or appreciate the gift of speaking in tongues.

      Use a lexicon to find other uses of the word, especially in the gospels, where it meant merely common people or servants. or own place, as in John 16:3.

      Even though idios is the root word for the English “idiot’ that does not mean that it has the same meaning as in modern English.

      Even in the passage to which you refer, Acts 4:13, the context implies that Peter and John had eloquence that exceeded their appearance as common men.

      One more note regarding dating Mark using palaeography. That would require a manuscript written by Mark, and no one claims that such is extant. Palaeography is the study of handwriting, and dating by palaeography is based on the fact that hand writing styles changed over time. It requires that there are accurately dated examples of hand writing to compare with the manuscript in question. To my knowledge there are none that would allow the genuine Marcean manuscript to be compared even if we had Mark’s manuscript. What we actually have are copies of later dates. Anyone claiming that Mark is dated by palaeography is making a claim that is so far over the edge that it brings in question whether the author really knows anything about dating. He is just throwing big words around to make him sound authoritative.

  36. Will says:

    I think your sources are way off unfortunately. Show me where it is indicated outside of a guess that the titles to the Gospels κατα (the author) on the originals. Who put them on in the 2nd century? Not a lot behind that. The Mark as source work is more than likely true but it has to be written before 70 AD. You need to put more sources behind some of your statements and also show the other options. Don’t speech matter of fact because it just causes division. Much love in Christ. (Also I haven’t read any of these comments and don’t plan to so I won’t respond to them – just a helpful note to the author)

    • Frank Trevor says:

      Will: The fact is you don’t want to believe that the Gospels are anonymous because it interferes with your deluded beliefs.

      Bart Ehrman, the James a Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at The University of North Carolina covers this subject at the following link:

      http://ehrmanblog.org/why-are-the-gospels-anonymous/

      That said, in terms of historical fact, it doesn’t matter who wrote the gospels because they are deeply flawed, flimsy stories full of inconsistencies, errors and blatant fabrications that were written by non-eyewitnesses from hearsay between 40 and 70 years after Jesus’ purported death in different places in different Christian* sects. (*The word Christian did not manifest until the 2nd century).

      The claims by some believers that Matthew and John were apostles of Jesus are nonsense. All of the four main gospel stories are written in the third person without any use of the first person. This is hardly the action of someone who was present at the time of Jesus, as they would have wanted to shout it from the rooftops. The author of the gospel of Matthew even reports on the recruitment of (the apostle) Matthew, into Jesus’ twelve apostles, using “Him” as opposed to “I” or “Me”.

      Mark was supposedly the secretary of Peter but gives no mention of this, which would be strange as Peter was, according to the gospels, the lead apostle of Jesus. One would have thought a small mention of being with the great man on a daily basis might have been worked into the story?

      Luke was supposedly a physician and travelling companion of Paul. Interestingly he appeared to know more about Jesus than Paul who didn’t appear to know anything about Jesus’ earthly ministry and contradicts Paul on numerous occasions. Many scholars date Acts of the Apostles after the publication of Josephus’ History of the Jews in 94 CE – especially as “Luke” unashamedly plagiarised large parts of his works.

      Bible scholars maintain that the gospel of John was written by more than one author. If it was written by someone who knew Jesus he must have been pretty ancient at the time of writing.

      Each gospel is entitled “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” (St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John). How many authors would do that when applying authorship to their own works?

      What does work against the authenticity of the gospels is that there is not one contemporary, independent report about Jesus. This is remarkable for someone who was meant to heal the sick, raise people from the dead along with many other miracles. He would surely have attracted some attention outside of his followers. Events such as the Slaughter of the Innocents and an earthquake with dead saints raising from the grave and walking the streets (at the time of Jesus’ death) might also have raised some interest.

      The gospels are myth.

      • Frank….

        Well stated. Can I sign you on as a fellow TruthSayer? I would like to put some of your observations into my text. If I don’t hear back from you in 30 days, I’ll assume silence is consent. That works for me.

      • Don Camp says:

        Frank, the standards of biography (the gospels are not really biographies, but they are biographical) are different today than they were in the first century. We want first person accounts. They were more interested in the subject. Certainly the gospel writers were intent upon telling about Jesus and not themselves.

        Most of the core of the synoptic gospels are quotes from a source placed in the matrix of the larger narratives of the gospels. If those quotes were used without editing, we would expect that they would not reflect the author. For the most part the quotes were not edited. But there are some that were. The calling of Matthew is one pericopae that was edited by Matthew the author.

        The calling of Matthew (Levi) is found in all three of the synoptic gospels. All are essentially the same – suggesting a common source. But Matthew changes the name of Levi to Matthew. Why?

        Did he know Levi personally and so inserted the name Levi became known by? Did his audience know Matthew better than Levi? But if so, Matthew already uses the name Matthew for the Apostle elsewhere.

        Or was Matthew the author actually Levi the tax collector? If so, here is the possible motive for changing the name:

        Levi is a name that carries with it the status of someone who was of the family of Levi and the Levitical priesthood. So what was he doing collecting taxes? That was an occupation no observant Jew would take up. It is like saying “sinner.’

        So maybe Matthew the author is making this his personal testimony. He is not claiming status.
        Like Paul he is saying “the least of all the apostles.” It is his confession of total dependence on God’s grace.

        Maybe, this is Matthew the author’s signature. Possible isn’t it?

    • To Will –
      I did show you where I found much of the information. I pointed you to The Rejection of Pascal’s Wager. You really should read Mr. Treavor’s comment. He responds directly to your observations.

      I admit I don’t do a good job of attributing what I say. Because the bible is obviously and flatly opposed to manifest truth, I figure that what I say is so intuitively obvious, it needs no attribution. But I agree, I could/should do better at attributing my sources. Did you look at my Bibliography – accessible from the top menu line. Every fact I state can be found somewhere in those references. I just didn’t want to take the time to be more specific.

      • Frank Trevor says:

        Be my guest Truthsayer. Use anything of mine, anytime.

      • Goodgulf the Wizard says:

        Wasn’t the gospels really written by the romans? to keep their empire going? Constantine knew the empire was folding, so he relied on the Roman Church to continue the empire.

  37. mark ledain says:

    I love it when all these people on here that were obviously around 2000 years ago can say for sure that the bible IS nothing but here say and nonsense. No one knows for sure what REALLY happened. No Christian can proove what they believe in and no atheist can disprove it. Guess what christians call their belief – faith, Whats faith? Its hope and trust in something that maybe cannot be proved. Christians really don’t care about all this so called irrefutable proof that people come up these days, like it’s new evidence or something, it’s all been said before and Christians still believe…. and have FAITH, so let’s just leave each other alone a?

    • Frank Trevor says:

      Faith: Look it up, the definition is “Belief without evidence.” Atheists do not believe there is a God, they do not say there isn’t one – two different things. However, those that make a claim about something carry the burden of proof. You Mark, evade the issue by being in a netherland of hope and trust. What is the point of having hope and trust in something that cannot be proved? There is absolutely none. It’s irrational to do so.

      • ensnaturae says:

        All talk about the bible and the bible itself, might vanish and be forgotten for ever, but that is not the significant issue…the bible is ‘about’. God/Jesus..it …is not * god him/her self*. Belief with out evidence, faith…would never be enough, by itself, to give everlasting life to the STORY. That everlasting life is in the the real time evidence of life itself, Love itself. If you have never felt the power of love in action for yourself….then certainly…reading a book ..with jesus as its protagonist.might help you to know what it is. Almost everyone, at some time in their lives, will know the reality of the power of that love in their own life or someone else’s. Once having seen and known it..faith is simply unnecessary. The story ceases to be a story…and becomes factual information..Not as a string of incidents, but at its core…a living truth of life.
        Jesus himself offering unconditional love… Is an embodiment of a truth accessible to man.

      • Frank Trevor says:

        To Ensnaturae: There isn’t a Reply button below your post so I’ve hit the one below mine.

        Your whole post is utter gobbledygook. Essentially you are saying amongst all the drivel you are spouting, that the bible is all about Jesus and his unconditional love. Let me put you straight. Firstly, his love is conditional on believing in him. Failing that condition one goes straight to a lake of fire for eternity. What happens to Atheists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews who are good, honest people who don’t believe in him?

        Furthermore, gentle, merciful loving Jesus is not so meek, mild and loving:

        Jesus said: “If any man come to me and hate not his father, his mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 What happened to honour thy father and thy mother?

        “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:49-53 Ahh yes, Peace on earth and goodwill to all men!

        “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12.25 A very loving sentiment.

        “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them…. bring them here and kill them in front of me.” Luke 19:26-27 Thou shalt not kill?

        “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-3 Haye those that love you and love your enemies. That makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

        There is plenty more of Jesus hate filled quotes throughout the NT. As for his teaching, I could demonstrate to you his so-called ethical teachings which were either plagiarised by the gospel writers from ancient pagan religious traditions or copied almost verbatim from the OT, eg: The Beatitudes.

        Problem with you is that you are no different to the majority of christians who cherry pick the bits of the bible they like and forget the rest. Or in your case, you probably didn’t know the stuff I quote anyway.

      • ensnaturae says:

        Frank Trevor! You can see from almost every sentence I wrote, from sentence one….that I do not think of the bible as a very important source of information, about god or Jesus.although large chunks of it are ‘about’ both, as I said….Your use of the bible itself …then….to critique my response, is not likely to be relevant to my POV. I hope you understand that. It would be like telling someone they had gone in a wrong direction, when their destination was quite different than the one you choose to point to, on your own map.
        You have no hope at all, in any attempt to demonstrate that I ought, with that view I hold, refer to its rules as my guide. I’m suggesting that you consider the concept of unconditional love, and that in doing so…you are likely to see a man emerge …who resembles Jesus of Nazareth so nearly…as to make it likely to be one and the same.
        The same man you can see in your own reflection, a part of the spirit? Of Everyman…
        Belief in Jesus as *in any way*….. punitive or rejecting, is a contradiction in terms, so great …as to make it clear you and I are definitely not on the same page…

        All talk about the bible and the bible itself, might vanish and be forgotten for ever, but that is not the significant issue…the bible is ‘about’. God/Jesus..it …is not * god him/her self*. Belief with out evidence, faith…would never be enough, by itself, to give everlasting life to the STORY. That everlasting life is in the the real time evidence of life itself, Love itself. If you have never felt the power of love in action for yourself….then certainly…reading a book ..with jesus as its protagonist.might help you to know what it is. Almost everyone, at some time in their lives, will know the reality of the power of that love in their own life or someone else’s. Once having seen and known it..faith is simply unnecessary. The story ceases to be a story…and becomes factual information..Not as a string of incidents, but at its core…a living truth of life.
        Jesus himself offering unconditional love… Is an embodiment of a truth accessible to man.

      • Frank Trevor says:

        Your post makes no rational sense. It is a lot of meaningless words. You’re right, you and I are not on the same page – I don’t think you’re on any page at all.

        “You can see from almost every sentence I wrote, from sentence one….that I do not think of the bible as a very important source of information, about god or Jesus.although large chunks of it are ‘about’ both, as I said….”

        Your only knowledge of Jesus comes from the bible, nowhere else. It is your ONLY source of information because no one else wrote about him. You cannot possibly make any judgments or assertions about him without the bible, and what he purportedly said.

        Once again, Jesus does not offer unconditional love. Anyone who threatens torture for eternity is a monster.

      • ensnaturae says:

        You make a fundamental error Frank Trevor. You have drawn a wrong conclusion. Along with the fellow who has written discussing the accuracy of the gospels and possibility of the spread of xtianity by word of mouth making comparisons with the childhood game of telephones and whispering…who even doubts that after 35 years, spoken reports, could be accurate. Anyone who offers opinions like these seems to me to be so desperately misguided. A child passing on pretended chatter by whispering, with the inevitable distortions…is an exceptionally weak comparison to how it must have felt to be alive, to witness events, to remember them, discuss them, at the time of the earliest martyrs and from the time Jesus was crucified and no longer teaching.
        Can you not put yourself in the place of the people of Jesus’s time? Can you not imagine how it felt to see as a reality… one lone man, without weapons, without an army, without material support of any kind…..standing against the colossal might of the Roman empire and all the major power groups of the day? Can you not imagine how it felt to be counted among the most degraded, unwanted, of outsiders, deseased/sick rejected…and be found loved treated with respect, by this singular man…can you not imagine anyone now, of your own lifetime…behaving in such a way, or how it would affect you? Can you seriously imagine that in 35 or 65 or 500 or 2000 years …people who were witnesses… who had known and seen those things would not have shared and passed on the mind blowing experfience for all time? Told their children …told their friednds and families….
        More importantly. …with NO WRITTEN WORDS AT ALL… LIVED the changes those experiences brought about in thinking and being…!? With no ability to read or write, people of his time would have been changed, become aware, become different people..As they still do, when touched by this magnificent spirit.
        The truth in the story of Jesus, is not in a book!!
        It is a living breathing reality, in you, in all life…You can see it, know it and feel it as real experience…then…you might read the written accounts…Then …you might say, in truth….yes, I know that man!…
        Jesus is real…and here is some writing about him and his followers.
        Just as you might have lived through terrible events of war or epidemic….
        You think those terrible times …like the profoundly moving life of Jesus…are only remembered as written words?!!!
        If people kept completely silent…can you not see how ‘the very stones would cry out’! I think that’s a bible quote!
        Lives, minds, ways of seeing and thinking…were fundamentally, profoundly affected then, just as they will always be….by Love and its tremendous power.
        One man stands confronting a destructive and cruel world…without fear..and gives a permanent, indestructible
        brilliant example.
        Do you believe that you are capable of doing as much? Of living in such a way? Of loving and caring .for the worlds unwanted children..without violence?
        One man who wrote nothing at all…he simp!y LIVED love, was and remains love…Everyone touched by that experience may be moved and changed by it…
        All written words…like mine….are a tiny minuscule reflection …of the real thing. The bible likewise.
        The spirit, the life of Jesus is out there..making changes, loving and caring, …it is real.

        Frank Trevor! You can see from almost every sentence I wrote, from sentence one….that I do not think of the bible as a very important source of information, about god or Jesus.although large chunks of it are ‘about’ both, as I said….Your use of the bible itself …then….to critique my response, is not likely to be relevant to my POV. I hope you understand that. It would be like telling someone they had gone in a wrong direction, when their destination was quite different than the one you choose to point to, on your own map.
        You have no hope at all, in any attempt to demonstrate that I ought, with that view I hold, refer to its rules as my guide. I’m suggesting that you consider the concept of unconditional love, and that in doing so…you are likely to see a man emerge …who resembles Jesus of Nazareth so nearly…as to make it likely to be one and the same.
        The same man you can see in your own reflection, a part of the spirit? Of Everyman…
        Belief in Jesus as *in any way*….. punitive or rejecting, is a contradiction in terms, so great …as to make it clear you and I are definitely not on the same page…

        All talk about the bible and the bible itself, might vanish and be forgotten for ever, but that is not the significant issue…the bible is ‘about’. God/Jesus..it …is not * god him/her self*. Belief with out evidence, faith…would never be enough, by itself, to give everlasting life to the STORY. That everlasting life is in the the real time evidence of life itself, Love itself. If you have never felt the power of love in action for yourself….then certainly…reading a book ..with jesus as its protagonist.might help you to know what it is. Almost everyone, at some time in their lives, will know the reality of the power of that love in their own life or someone else’s. Once having seen and known it..faith is simply unnecessary. The story ceases to be a story…and becomes factual information..Not as a string of incidents, but at its core…a living truth of life.
        Jesus himself offering unconditional love… Is an embodiment of a truth accessible to man.

      • Frank Trevor says:

        It is delusional to believe that you would know and feel the power of Jesus without Christian teachings. Do some research on the human parietal lobe and how it affects people like you. You are a suitable case for treatment.

        On your more recent response regarding my question about being born in another country you present another meaningless response. If you had been born in one of the two countries I mention would you feel the power of Jesus? There is a 99 % chance you would not. Your disingenuous attempt to justify your inability to address the reality of the question is covered up by some nonsense about free will. If you had been born in Pakistan of an everyday muslim family there would be no free will about believing another religion. Apostasy is punishable by death. You would, like the vast majority of the population, believe in the one true prophet and his teachings and Jesus would be nowhere in your mind.

        If you reply, I will not read it because it is a pointless exercise trying to reason with your ludicrous, irrational views.

      • Musanator says:

        Athesist are on a one-way ticket to hell!!!

        Faith is belief without evidence?

        Not so…God is eternal. No beginning, no end. The only way our universe was caused was through him.

        He has attempted to contact his creation through revealtion. Some accepted, others rejected.
        The only true, original and uncensored version of his words can be found in the Quran.

        The Quran exists. The Quran makes bold claims. The Quran is there to be falsified…

        What are you waiting for..?

        Get to it and disprove GOD!!!

  38. ~ A great book I would recommend to all is “Can We Trust The Gospels” by Mark D Roberts.

    How true is the saying “a little knowledge is dangerous” and I could address much of what you have written but will only address this little gem – “The simple childhood game of “Telephone” is sufficient to illustrate the point that stories told mouth to mouth for 35 years or more can’t possibly retain their original content.”

    Let’s think for a moment beyond ourselves, shall we? The cultural norms of the first century were quite different to our own. Here’s an example of how things change in just a few decades. I know 2 phone numbers by heart these days thanks to smart phones, speed dialling etc. When I was an 8 year old child (way back in 1984) I knew around 10 phone numbers by heart and guess what I still know 6 of them, as unnecessary as that information now is.

    In the first century many young Jewish people knew the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) in their entirety – word for word by heart. Can you even imagine that? Did you know that since the vast majority of people could not read, oral tradition was how they knew scripture and anything else that was necessary to learn.

    Were the accounts of Jesus whispered ear to ear as the game of telephone is? No they were spoken out loud so that any error in transmission was picked up and corrected by those who had also heard and were responsible for the passing of information.

    Imagine how different the game of telephone would be if it was not whispered from ear to ear – I think it would not be worth playing.I don’t know about you, but whenever I played that game I used to love to deliberately change what I heard, I wonder if I am alone?

    Would the 12 and over 300 that Paul says were eyewitnesses, who believed that Jesus was indeed the son of God deliberately change things to suit themselves ~ to get the most fun from a game? Or would they treat the things that were said and done as sacred? After all they had little to gain by their claims and everything to lose – including their lives and in fact they did.

    At the start of a great book called “All In” by Mark Batterson tells of the gruesome end the Apostles faced. The most striking to me is that Phillip was tortured and crucified by the proconsul of Hierapolis as punishment for preaching and converting his wife and yet he continued to preach from the cross – WOW.

    Lastly – did you know that everything we know of Alexander the Great comes from a source written 300 years after his death! 300 YEARS. It is remarkable how much was written and preserved on papyrus and copied again and again from the first century AD. Some may even suggest it must have taken the hand of God to protect and preserve it.

    Have a smashing day everyone.

    PS. The vast majority of modern Theologians and Historians (Christian and Non Christian) think that Mark was written mid 60’s at the very latest.

    • Taylor says:

      Yea, so I’m really confused. Why do you keep saying the Gospels were not Written By Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. No kidding. Everyone knows that. It’s not a debate nor has it ever been a Christian position. Each book is said to be the passed on memoirs of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John as scribed by others. Now you can argue that and that’s fine but your wording is off. And the fact that you think the modern day whispered telephone game is an accurate reflection of oral tradition back the? Fine. I’ve heard arguments on both sides but you are really rude man. I don’t even want to have a discussion with someone who cannot keep calm and avoid character attacks. I get it, you are angry.

      • Frank Trevor says:

        Taylor: Do some studying outside the bible. The names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were added in the second century by the early Church to give these anonymously written documents more import. In western seminaries where priests and pastors are trained for the clergy, the students are taught exactly the above, that no one knows who wrote the gospels. Bible scholars give Mark a date after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Matt and Luke 80 to 90 CE and John (scholars believe written by more than one author) at the turn of the second century. Not one of these people were witnesses or ever knew Jesus. They wrote the gospels in Greek from outside of Palestine from the quaintly over used term “Oral Tradition” which is just hearsay. The earliest written information we have about Jesus is from Paul. Why didn’t he mention Jesus ministry, his miracles, the Virgin Birth, The nativity? Probably because those myths hadn’t been invented at that time.

        It is interesting how someone like you when faced with a challenge that you don’t even want to think about, can only describe the challenger as angry. People such as you are addressing along myself are critical thinkers who have studied the history of Christianity and find nothing that provides evidence that any of it is based on fact.

        One would have thought that independent chroniclers and writers, contemporaneous with Jesus, his miracles, raising the dead, healing the sick would have noticed him and written about him. There is nothing.

        You know nothing about the history of your religion.

        https://adversusapologetica.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/why-scholars-doubt-the-traditional-authors-of-the-gospels/

      • Frank Trevor says:

        Typo: In my response to Taylor it should say “along with myself” as opposed to “along myself.”

    • Frank Trevor says:

      What a naive and totally misleading set of statements in your post.

      “Would the 12 and over 300 that Paul says were eyewitnesses, who believed that Jesus was indeed the son of God deliberately change things to suit themselves ~ to get the most fun from a game?” Not to have most fun, but to elaborate and falsify information to make it more acceptable with aim of supporting his historicity and divinity. The Church has a long history of of this deceit.

      “For if the truth of God hath more abounded by my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also adjudged a sinner?” – St. Paul, Romans 3.7.

      “How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.” Eusebius (Bishop of Emperor Constantine).

      “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.” Eusebius.

      “We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides.” Ignatius Loyola.

      “What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.” Martin Luther.

      There are plenty more of the above.

      The distortion of oral tradition as per the “Telephone Game” is evident throughout the NT and the non-canonical gospels found at Nag Hammadi. Mark and John know nothing of the Nativity. Matt and Luke tell totally opposing tales – Matt brings in the The Star of Bethlehem, The Wise men, Slaughter of the Innocents, (an important fact such as this would have been chronicled by an independent source, would it not?) Flight to Egypt, and return to Nazareth. Luke has the non-existent census of the Whole World, the Shepherds and a return to Nazareth. Matt and Luke have different genealogies of Jesus, which use Joseph’s lineage, to prove the silly prophecy of the messiah emanating from King David, which is totally irrelevant anyway as Joseph was Jesus’ stepfather and no relation. How do you explain Matt’s Sermon on the Mount and Luke’s Sermon on the Plain? Any distortion of oral tradition there?

      How do you explain Matt’s fraudulent use of totally unrelated prophecies and quotes (EG: The Beatitudes) stolen from the Old Testament?

      John has Jesus’ ministry at three years, the others one year, he has Jesus crucified on a different day to the others. There are many differences between the gospels, in relating the same stories, different stories, geography and history. Paul mentions nothing of Jesus ministry, miracles or anything of the earthly Godman. He contradicts Jesus’ teachings on many occasions. It is evident that Paul knew of no gospels or chose to ignore stories of Jesus that he might have got from the apostles when he allegedly visited them for two weeks. Why?

      You are wrong about the consensus on the date of Mark’s gospel. The majority of independent bible scholars assert that it was written after 70 CE. Also, the primary sources we have of Alexander the Great come from contemporaneous sources, people who knew and soldiered with him – not one of the NT writers knew Jesus or anyone that knew him. (Not one of the gospel writers use the first person singular or plural). There is also archaeological evidence as well as coins with Alexander’s image on them. We know he existed, which is more than can be said for Jesus.

    • Eyeconoclast says:

      There’s a whole independent plausibility check. If the Christian hypothesis is true, the story and message of Christ is the most important thing any person can possibly know. The evidence was apparently adequate to convince some uneducated 1st-Century Roman Empire inhabitants unacquainted with rational thought. So what? Miracle-workers and apocalyptic prophets were common and popular in that world.

      However, how could Jesus (or his dad) possibly have concluded that this poor evidence should be adequate to persuade a rational 21st Century person? Even the believers must concede that the skeptics on this site display impressive knowledge of Christian historicity, orders of magnitude beyond that of the typical Christian. The proof is in the pudding: some 2000 years after the alleged events, fewer than a third of humans buy into the Christ story in any form. Among Christians, there are Catholics, 30,000+ Protestant sects, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, … with wildly conflicting theologies and many claiming all the others are going to hell.

      It would be trivially easy for Jesus to convince me of the truth of the scriptures. Jesus could instantly resolve all of the skepticism evinced on this website but I strongly suspect He will remain silent. He is, at the very least, a totally incompetent communicator. This in itself undermines the foundational claims of Christianity. There are, of course, many other lines of evidence that lead to this same conclusion.

      • ensnaturae says:

        “It would be trivially easy for Jesus to convince me of….” Etc. From eyeconoclast.
        This is how it was…forget the magic and trickery, forget all the comp!etely unnecessary mythological trim, that has been around for a few thousand years, no doubt…and think of it like this.
        Around 2000 years ago, one man stood in direct conflict with many of the ideas and beliefs of his time. In doing so…he was fully aware of the likely outcome (torture and death), but he did not want to abandon all the people he knew and loved…that meant, too… all in the world…and the earth itself, to be abandoned to thoughtless barbarity.
        Like me, like you…he was quite alone…a child of ‘god’…whatever that means to you,.and he was free to make choices in the matter. He chose to stick with it..to demonstrate that Love really does change everything.
        His courage in his solitude, his perpetual relationship with the power he is said to have called ‘father’….his humility and closeness to the lowest of societies creatures…his kindness to sick and outcast people….his treatment of women..were never forgotten…

      • Eyeconoclast says:

        To ensnaturae: What are you babbling about? You have addressed nothing that I raised. You repeat the Gospel myths like they’re credible history, which they clearly are not. The entire idea of our scapegoat Jesus taking one for the team is incoherent and immoral. Even if you take your tall tales to be true, Jesus didn’t really die – he just had a bad weekend. When Jesus gives cancer to millions of people (including infants and young children) every year, each of them suffers far more than Jesus doing a few hours of hard time on the cross. Jesus is King … of PR! Peace be upon him!

    • primeheretic says:

      “In the first century many young Jewish people knew the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) in their entirety – word for word by heart.”

      This is a misattribution. What you are talking about is the well-evidenced ‘mishna’ schools of learning. These schools developed rote learning in order to prosecute Torah law code amongst various Jewish communities. In essence, they were developing ‘lawyers’ and ‘notaries’ (of a sort). These laws were used on a daily basis and were the foundation of Jewish ritual and life. Also, note that unlike early Christians, they were using WRITTEN materials (Torah scrolls) and were not memorizing passages from an oral tradition. There is just no evidence that early Christians were doing this.

      Finally, there is no anthropological evidence that suggests that ancient peoples had any better memories than present day peoples. In fact, what the evidence does suggest is that people changed and adapted stories and narratives to their own cultural norms (i.e the Homeric Vulgar Texts as but one example) and were not slavish in some identic talent kind of way.

    • Frank Trevor says:

      musanator: You go ahead and prove God exists. Do not be idiotic enough to say the evidence is in a book written by man/men. He exists only inside your head.

      One might be asked “How can you prove that a god does not exist?” One can only reply that it is scarcely necessary to disprove what has never been proved.” – David A. Spitz

  39. Leigh says:

    I believe the bible to be the word of God. With that understanding I also believe much of the content what is written who really penned these gospels is also true. God gives to man his laws and it is interpreted by man. Because man is imperfect it becomes impure. But enough of the truth comes through for us to improve our selves and become more perfected than if we had not heard any of God’s word.

    • Eyeconoclast says:

      I believe the Christian bible … uh, no, the Koran … uh, no, the Book of Mormon … uh, no, the Bagavad Gita … Your god is a REALLY poor communicator. Why does he expect us to credulously believe anonymous, contradictory, anachronistic, doctored accounts written 1900 years ago? Give me some decent evidence, Big Sky Dude!

      Why didn’t your god tell us that disease is spread by microscopic creatures (BTW, on which day did he create pathogenic bacteria and viruses?), or that slavery is wrong? How much human misery could have been averted with those pearls of wisdom?! But no! Instead, the bible is full of the regressive, ignorant beliefs of the people of the time. Hmmm, if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was just made-up mythology like Christians think everybody else’s holy texts are.

      All of these apologetics are so lame and desperate.

      • Atheos says:

        Eyeconclast
        I wonder if ‘Apologetics’, that is to offer a defence for something, is an accurate word for any of this, since I see no ‘defence’ apart from claiming that Christianity must be true because Christian doctrine or the bible says so. People will continue to believe what they want to believe regardless of any ‘evidence’ to the contrary and often quote Romans 1:18-22 to suggest that anyone showing any inkling of intellectual inquiry into the text and origins of the gospels is a ‘fool’. I wonder how many Christians go and see ‘fools’ who have PhD’s in Medicine when they are seriously ill after their god(s) have not come through with a cure as promised in the gospels. I wonder how many churches use PA systems, the internet, TV, telephony and Satellite technologies invented by ‘fools’ to spread their gospel message?

    • Frank Trevor says:

      If you had been born into an everyday family in Pakistan what would you believe? If you had been born into an everyday family in India, what would you believe? The bible is just one holy book of many. You just happen to have been born in a country that uses the bible as their holy book, which is the only source of your knowledge of God.

      “God gives to man his laws and it is interpreted by man.” The interpretations are so many that there are around 30000 Christian denominations. I suggest that 29999 must be wrong. Are you in the right one? How can you tell?

      • ensnaturae says:

        I never use the word ‘holy’…or other vocabulary of metaphysics…it is completely unnecessary.
        Whatever book of instructions and myths people turn to, it cannot rep!ace free will and personal responsibility.
        Different societies around the world, over hundreds of thousands of years…have come up with wildly different written mythologies.and yet astonishingly similar basic tenets…love one another, treat others as you would like to be treated…yourself. Is a part of all…

  40. vagabond49 says:

    vagabond49 says:

    January 7, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    I must say to the ‘Truthsayer’ that I have read through this thread from the beginning and I find the ‘Truthsayer’ and those of his/her ilk full of anger and hostility in his/her responses. That, in itself is very telling of the hateful and vengeful personality you possess. One cannot prove or disprove the Deity of Jesus Christ. It becomes a matter of Faith. The fact that this supposed fantasy of ‘morons’ has flourished for over 2,000 years should give credence to His claim as the Son of God. With all the attempts to discredit the Bible throughout millennia from those of intellectual standing ending in eventual failure I should think that you would take a step back and reexamine the basis of your argument.

    Regarding how can a loving God allow all the tragedies in a world of hate, greed, anger, and war. Consider that we put so much misplaced emphasis in this mortal body of ours and the very short time we have on this earth. We have created this immoral place we call home. Please try to consider that we may be spiritual beings having a human experience after which time we shed this burdensome body, tent, coat, or whatever you would like to call it, and return to our eternal home. Our pain is but for a short time when compared to eternity. Consider: When our earthly parents have us do something when we are children it may not make any sense at all at the time. But, when we look back, it suddenly all comes together. By the way, as a war veteran at the age 65, I have lived long enough to see my share of unimaginable tragedy.

    To conclude: Science, especially through Quantum Physics, is actually proving that we, and all living things, are made up of energy (the basis for light) in the form of matter. Although energy, by definition, can be directed, converted, and transferred, it cannot be created or destroyed. So, where did it come from? How was it created in the first place? That would bring me back to Genesis 1:3 – God said ‘Let there be Light’ and there was light. Too simplistic? Maybe. But then, Science has yet to come up with a better answer. Is science begrudgingly coming to the conclusion that there is an intelligent life source that we refer to as God? God Forbid!!! You can attack the Bible, you can attack religion, you can attack those who believe in God, but you will ultimately fail in your quest to disprove the existence of God.

    So, my friends, go forth in your journey as you seek out the Truth. The truth will not be found in darkness, but only in the Light. May you find it.

    • Eyeconoclast says:

      Wow, where does one start? This is a bunch of rationalizations and logical fallacies strung together.

      Only a Christian could argue that we’re making too big a deal about the mortal body and this “fallen” world when we point out the horrifying suffering of children with cancer. Your omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving God somehow created a world with immense suffering not just from human misdeeds but from disease and natural disaster. Then he unjustly decided to blame us for the mistake of a (mythical) ancestor Adam. So he sent his son (who is really him) to Earth as a scapegoat, and whose death (actually, just 3 days of chillin’ out) somehow paid for the sins we didn’t commit? And if we commit the thoughtcrime of no believing in him he’ll torture us forever?! It makes no sense on any level and is immoral end-to-end.

      As far as the desirability of faith and its longevity, one could just as easily believe the claims of Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, etc. Why does the all-powerful God expect us to believe anonymously authored, non-eyewitness, anachronistic, massively doctored accounts from 2000 years ago? Why can’t He give us decent evidence so those of us who value truth and rationality can come to the correct conclusion about Him?

      Save the pseudo-scientific quantum mechanics references for your ignorant New Age friends. Some of us have made the effort to actually learn about science and harness the resulting technology to uplift the human condition.

    • david says:

      No amount of faith can take the place of fact.

    • Atheos says:

      For Vagabond 49
      If I am a spiritual being who is returning to heaven, why do I have absolutely no memory of being in heaven before I was born?

      Regarding the creation myth in Genesis 1, science actually does have a better explanation, Edwin Hubble’s Big Bang theory that can be supported by the red shift readings from stars that are accelerating away from our sun as well as the detection of the residual microwave background radiation of that Big Bang by the COBE satellite. Not every astronomer or Cosmologist agrees with Edwin Hubble, since even the late Sir Fred Hoyle adopted the ‘Steady State Model’ of a ‘universe that recycles itself’.

      Granted I cannot disprove the existence of anything so therefore you cannot disprove the existence of the Great Poke of Do, who is the ultimate god of my self made fictional religion called Pokey Do, whose guiding religious text is ‘The Book of Do’ that contains all the wisdom and commands of the Great Poke himself. Nor can we disprove the existence of the Pink Bomboozle (another made up minor deity in my made up Pokey Do religion)who flatulated (farted) the universe into being, unicorns, spaghetti monsters, Zeus, Asteroth, Marduk, Vishnu, Shamash, and any other deity, fictional or mythical creature you care to name, cannot be proven not to exist either.

      Surely it is better to base our understanding of the universe on what we CAN prove, rather than on what we cannot disprove?

      Regarding the myth of the universal flood in Genesis, why are Kangaroos never specifically mentioned in the text? Could it be because the writer of Genesis was only aware of things within a 2 mile radius of where they were writing from? Could it be that Australia and marsupials were unknown to these primitive people in the Middle East? But hang on! Didn’t God write the bible through human authors? So therefore Kangaroos should have been mentioned in the bible because they are such fascinating creatures. So just how did the Kangaroos get from mainland Australia to the Middle East for Noah to load onto the ark and save them from a great deluge that would flood the entire Earth? Did the kangaroos use boats? Swim to Asia then walk the rest of the way to the Middle East on foot? I say this because the land bridge between Asia and Australia had long since disappeared so boats or swimming would have been the only options. When the flood was over, how did the Kangaroos get back to Australia? I am not aware of any fossil evidence of Kangaroos in Asia at around the time of the Great Deluge. Unless god ‘magically’ moved them from Australia to the Middle East and back.The text of Genesis is silent on this.

  41. Tony says:

    Well you sure put a lotta time into your deception here …… but that’s all it is, a deception!

    so good luck with your soul on this one

  42. asdf says:

    No sources or proof of what you believe Mr. Atheist? In that case it is contested, and neither my belief of Christianity can be proven, nor your belief of atheism. Nice try.

    • Eyeconoclast says:

      Listen up here, my logically impaired brother: the burden of proof is upon the person making the positive assertion (that would be the Christian). The atheist doesn’t claim he can prove there’s no God, or that he can prove God didn’t send his son on a suicide mission. The atheist is just asserting that the evidence for Christianity is very weak.

      Let me show why your logic sucks: Prove the Koran is crap. What’s that, you can’t?! Well as-salamu alaykum, my brother!

      Ok, let’s try again: Prove the Book of Mormon is bogus. What’s that, you can’t?! Joseph Smith and Bring-em Young welcome you to the Brotherhood of the Magic Underwear!

      It’s not up to you to disprove the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, or anal probing aliens, and it’s not up to the atheist to disprove your imaginary friend in the sky.

      … and he saw what he had written, and it was good!

    • Ok asdf, you win. No proof! No proof? Not absolute proof but better than the proof you have that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Show me your proof that Jesus was resurrected. And it had better be a lot better than Matthew, Luke and John repeating hearsay from who knows who or how many levels of compound hyperbole. Paul had a “vision” – goodie for him. That proves the resurrection beyond doubt. NOT!

      • Eyeconoclast says:

        Supreme Truthsayer, we can’t fix in a few paragraphs what asdf’s education failed to instill over many years (including, I suspect, several grades twice). His theology is as well thought-out as his username. He needs a qwerty boot in his ass. See ya in Sheol!

  43. A Gift From God says:

    Here are some facts, you breath you live, you don’t breath you die. If I cut you you’ll bleed, if you bleed out you die. Here are some more facts if I clap my hands you hear, if your eardrums work properly. If I punch you in the the jaw you feel pain. Notice I used YOU, why? Because those are experiences YOU feel, not I. What does sound look Like, what does pain feel like? Doesn’t matter if I say that sound you heard or the pain you felt existed, because you experienced it. Doesn’t matter if I try to disprove it with scientifically theories. Fact is you experienced it and nothing I do can disprove that fact. No Hypothesis or theory can change it. So it is futile for me to argue against it, because to you it did happen.

    WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU BABBLING ABOUT?

    Here’s another fact. The Old Testament was passed down orally not written, but no one questions that, well there are those that do but most accounts can be proven historically, even the plagues of Moses, Noah’s Ark, etc.
    NO THEY CANNOT BE PROVEN. SHOW ME THE PROOF
    Ask a Hebrew Jew that doesn’t believe in the New Testament and they’ll tell you they believe all of the Old Testament,
    YOU ARE WRONG ON TWO COUNTS. “BELIEF” ISN’T PROOF AND MANY IF NOT MOST HEBREW JEWS (WHATEVER A HEBREW JEW IS) DO NOT BELIEF THE NONSENSE OF THE OT; THEY LIKE THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF JEWISHNESS
    they even discuss Miracles of God (YWYH) from the Old Testament. “EVEN DISCUSS…” AND YOUR POINT IS? Another fact there was man named Yeshua or Yashua or translated to Yesus which we now know as Jesus, that Hebew Jews will agree existed and was crucified. Josephus gives account to him, and Josephus was not born again or a Christian.
    WELL THERE WE HAVE IT! PROOF AT LAST.
    What Hebrew Jews do not agree with and what we Christians believe is that Yeshua is who he says he was, THE SON OF GOD. Why? Because we’ve experienced him, doesn’t matter if You believe it or not, no hypothesis or theory can explain multiple experiences away. I’m no apologetic, I don’t know scripture and verse, but what I do know and I don’t need the bible to prove is that God the Father exist, God the Son exist and became man in the flesh his name is Yeshua and was sacrificed for my remission of Sin.. When he returned to the Father God the Holy Spirit came in his stead into the Physical Earth Realm. The only way to God is through Yeshua.
    AND JUST HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? BECAUSE YOU WERE INDOCTRINATED IN THE NONSENSE OF THE CHRISTIAN DOGMA. HAD YOU BEEN BORN IN INDIA, YOU WOULD “KNOW” SOME OTHER GIBBERISH.

    Here’s the great part whether you believe this or not is OK with me, we don’t have to argue or have discussions, you believing what you believe does not stop the process of life or change what I know. THAT’S THE ONLY THING YOU GOT RIGHT. I don’t have to hate those who don’t think God exist. I don’t have to avoid you. It’s something you’ll either come to the conclusion of, or not. Now if you don’t and you die, that decision doesn’t bold well for you once your body cease to function. That penalty is separation from God for eternity, whether it be what we call the Lake of Fire or not, you don’t want to be separated from God for eternity, because then everything he is not exist in its fullness.

    I hope that rather than trying to disprove you seek out the TRUTH not doctrine, doctrine of some mans interpretation of what he thinks the Word Of God is saying, but that you seek TRUTH. SAME TO YOU.

    I HAVE SOUGHT TRUTH AND THIS WEBSITE DOCUMENTS MY FINDINGS. YOU, ON THE OTHER HAND READ JUST THE WHOLLY HOLEY BABBLE WITH NO INTELLIGENT REFLECTION ON THE COCKAMAMIE BULLSHIT IT CONTAINS.
    As long as you seek true TRUTH I believe you will find. Continue to knock on the door of TRUTH and all the knowledge it posses will be available to you. DITTO TO YOU Don’t try to disprove facts that is only futile, don’t try to disprove Doctine it is a waste of time. Rather seek Truth and you will never be disappointed. Feel free to comment,disregard, or whatever it is you would like to do. I do not argue TRUTH.
    YOU SURE DO ARGUE TRUTH – WHAT DO YOU CALL THIS MORONIC DIATRIBE?

    • with all that said- are you rambling for rambling sake?

    • david says:

      Do you know what would have happened to Josephus, under Jewish law if he truly made the remarks attributed to him?However we know he never converted and was never removed from his faith as a practicing Jew of his day nor was he charged as an heretic. To believe he made these statements about Jesus is rediculous as he would be severely punished if not killed for this blasphemy. Forget dates or interpolation and all the rest,the truth is right in front of you.

  44. Eyeconoclast says:

    I say Matthew and Luke get an automatic “F” for plagiarizing Mark. Independent eyewitnesses my ass. What lame excuse do you apologists have to explain why independent eyewitnesses would copy somebody else’s account word-for-word rather than telling their own stories?

    All of the Gospel writers get an “F” for: (1) not signing their work; (2) not documenting their sources or methodology; (3) pandering and propagandizing; (4) writing many decades after the purported “facts”; (5) writing tedious drivel pulled from their hiney holes. The fish rots from the head down – control your flunkies, Jesus!

    P.S. John, good job with the crazy antisemitic rants that led to 2000 years of Jewish persecution. Der Fuhrer was a big fan.

    • Guy says:

      Well said that man!

    • Atheos says:

      For Brian:
      Thanks for this info on the golden Etruscan pages, I just had to go and look it up and have a look.
      When people talk about ‘the bible’ Our earliest complete copies of both the Old and New testaments did not materialise until the Fourth century AD, so that is only 1600-1650 years ago that Codex Sinaiticus was written. It wasn’t until comparatively recently that the full canonical list of both Old and New Testament documents was issued by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Florence on 4 Feb 1442, during Session 11, namely the Papal Bull to The Copts. The relevant extract is as follows

      “It professes that one and the same God is the author of the old and the new Testament — that is, the law and the prophets, and the gospel — since the saints of both testaments spoke under the inspiration of the same Spirit. It accepts and venerates their books, whose titles are as follows.

      Five books of Moses, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms of David, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, namely Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; two books of the Maccabees; the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; fourteen letters of Paul, to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two letters of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; Acts of the Apostles; Apocalypse of John.”

      Do you notice some books listed here like Maccabees, Esdras, Ecclesiasticus etc, that are not included in our Protestant bibles, or Eastern Church Bibles?
      So which is the word of God then?
      The 73 books listed here, or the 66 books authorised by The Church of England?
      More intriguingly, what about the books included in earlier lists that do not appear in our modern bibles like The Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, Epistle of Barnabas etc?

  45. Travis says:

    Please pray with me for Him to awaken from his slumber and turn His eyes and mind toward the HELL on Earth being perpetrated by the mind-blowingly powerful “elite” that I was born into. Maybe Creation wore him out and ever since He has been in hibernation. What quake, what heavenly siren could cause a stir?

  46. Chris Hansen says:

    All you propose are theories. YOU APPARENTLY DON’T KNOW THAT IN THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD, A THEORY IS ACCEPTED AS FACT. Among them the inconsistent genealogies. You will find that they are representing both Christ’s mother and father. That is why they are different. They are for two different parents. NO, THEY ARE NOT FOR TWO DIFFERENT PARENTS. If you had read them you’d know this. It says it plainly in both genealogies which must have been included for Jesus to have been a true member of the tribe of Judah. Foreign women producing off spring were not accepted.

    More importantly, what is truth? You take your information on faith just like the rest of us do. Read the stories for yourself and come up with your own thoughts. I DID. I DO NOT TAKE EVOLUTION ON FAITH. IT IS A PROVEN FACT.

    Even the most critical dating theories are still far more supportive for the authenticity of the gospel narratives than can be found for any one single other ancient text. OMG – YOU ARE SO WRONG. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT RADIOMETRIC DATING? I GIVE UP. I bet you have no problem believing what was written about Julius Caesar, or Plato, or Sun Tzu. All of these men have far less historical support for their existence than does Jesus Christ. NO THEY DON’T. Yet you don’t like Jesus offering to do all for you so you can be accepted by God? Why? It’s a free gift. Take it.

    It’s all just theories anyway. Your theories against other theories. You have no absolute proof of anything. THERE IS ABSOLUTE PROOF OF GRAVITY, EVOLUTION, THE BIG BANG, WATER FREEZES AND BOILS, AD INFINITUM. For all you know your dreaming right now. What is that? You say your not? Prove you aren’t? Good luck. You are a man of faith just like myself and everyone in this argument.

    QUIT DRINKING THE CHRISTIAN COOL AID AND THINK.

    • RE: Genealogy – lookee here. You are wrong about the genealogy, you are wrong about everything you said.

      Genealogy of Jesus
      David to Jesus
      Matthew 1:6-16 Luke 3:21-31
      Matthew 1:6-16
      David
      Solomon
      Roboam
      Abia
      Asa
      Josaphat
      Joram
      Ozias
      Joatham
      Achaz
      Ezekias
      Manasses
      Amon
      Josias
      Jechonias
      Salathiel
      Zorobabel
      Abiud
      Eliakim
      Azor
      Sadoc
      Achim
      Eliud
      Eleazar
      Matthan
      Jacob
      Joseph
      Jesus
      Luke 3:21-32
      David
      Nathan
      Mattatha
      Menan
      Melea
      Eliakim
      Jonan
      Joseph
      Juda
      Simeon
      Levi
      Matthat
      Jorim
      Eliezer
      Jose
      Er
      Elmodam
      Cosam
      Addi
      Melchi
      Neri
      Salathiel
      Zorobabel
      Rhesa
      Joanna
      Juda
      Joseph
      Semei
      Mattathias
      Maath
      Nagge
      Esli
      Naum
      Amos
      Mattathias
      Joseph
      Janna
      Melchi
      Levi
      Matthat
      Heli
      Joseph
      Jesus
  47. Young Christian says:

    Well, although I do believe in the fact that time might cause many discrepancies, I also believe that the author of this article has contradicted himself/herself several times. If the books of Luke, Mark and Matthew (as written at the beginning of this article) are almost 98% similar, then how would they describe the most important phases of Jesus Christ’s life, His Birth and His Crucifixion, in a “strikingly dfferent” way? Isn’t this a bit too contradicting?
    Moreover, I have known the accounts of Jesus’s death since forever, and I never saw any huge, shocking differences between that of Mark and that of Luke. Furthermore, I do agree that John’s account is rather different than the others’, yet it not contradictory, and its difference is justifiable: he was the closest to Jesus Christ; he understood him the most and was the only disciple present during Jesus’s

    • Young Christian says:

      Death.
      In a nutshell, it doesn’t matter whether the disciples spoke Aramaic or Greek, where Jesus’s genealogy starts and whom it includes, whether Jesus taught for 3 years or merely one year, where Jesus traveled and taught, if He had biological siblings or not, ect… All of these matters are trivial, they digress from the main topic of Christianity: God’s Love for us. All other historical ideas never changed that Love, and they never will.

      • So where did this idea of “God’s Love for us” come from if not from the Bible which, as you seemingly admit, contains errors and contradictions. The conceit of “God’s Love For Us” is just one more example of errors and contradictions in the Bible. Have you read the Old Testament?
        Have you read the New Testament?

        “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” – Matthew 10.35,36.

        Where’s the love Young Christian?

        Just how does God show his “Love For Us”?
        If God Loves Us, why did he permit Catholic priests to molest their flock?
        Why does he permit young girls all over the planet to be bought and sold for sex?
        Why does this loving God like to give people birth defects.
        If He doesn’t intercede in these situations, what does it take for him to do something.
        In a nutshell, where is the evidence of His love?

    • First, John, the alleged disciple of Jesus did not write “The Book of John” Do some homework.
      Second, IF that John did write “The Book of John”, he would have been a ninety year old man, 60 years removed from the events he relates, most likely suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or at least the loss of memory that afflicts 99% of people who are his age.

      His message is contrary to that of Jesus. John 3:16. Jesus says the way to the promised land is to believe in the Father who sent Him and then a variety of other requirements, none of which are “Believe that I will be crucified to redeem you from your sins”.

      “Moreover, I have known the accounts of Jesus’s death since forever, and I never saw any huge, shocking differences between that of Mark and that of Luke.” Then you haven’t “known” them, you just believed what you were told. Shepherds/Kings vs following a star that was traveling in the wrong direction, etc.

      • Phileepin says:

        If the Gospels were written after 70 AD why did they not mention the destruction of the Temple, a prophecy given by Jesus Himself.

        Did Alzheimer existed at that time, when all the food eaten during that period was not polluted. Also the physical capability of man during that time was stronger than nowadays. They did not have vehicles for their long distance travels.

      • Phileepin says:

        “The conceit of “God’s Love For Us” is just one more example of errors and contradictions in the Bible.”

        Didn’t He show compassion towards Israel? He always brought them back each time they erred.
        And you who are you? It seems that you are the devil’s follower to bring germs of doubt in people’s mind.

        “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father”

        It is obvious that anyone will be at variance with his kindred if one is following the world and the other out of the world. This is found in politics also. A father can be republican and a son liberal, can’t they?

      • vagabond49 says:

        I must say to the ‘Truthsayer’ that I have read through this thread from the beginning and I find the ‘Truthsayer’ and those of his/her ilk full of anger and hostility in his/her responses. That, in itself is very telling of the hateful and vengeful personality you possess. One cannot prove or disprove the Deity of Jesus Christ. It becomes a matter of Faith. The fact that this supposed fantasy of ‘morons’ has flourished for over 2,000 years should give credence to His claim as the Son of God. With all the attempts to discredit the Bible throughout millennia from those of intellectual standing ending in eventual failure I should think that you would take a step back and reexamine the basis of your argument.

        Regarding how can a loving God allow all the tragedies in a world of hate, greed, anger, and war. Consider that we put so much misplaced emphasis in this mortal body of ours and the very short time we have on this earth. We have created this immoral place we call home. Please try to consider that we may be spiritual beings having a human experience after which time we shed this burdensome body, tent, coat, or whatever you would like to call it, and return to our eternal home. Our pain is but for a short time when compared to eternity. Consider: When our earthly parents have us do something when we are children it may not make any sense at all at the time. But, when we look back, it suddenly all comes together. By the way, as a war veteran at the age 65, I have lived long enough to see my share of unimaginable tragedy.

        To conclude: Science, especially through Quantum Physics, is actually proving that we, and all living things, are made up of energy (the basis for light) in the form of matter. Although energy, by definition, can be directed, converted, and transferred, it cannot be created or destroyed. So, where did it come from? How was it created in the first place? That would bring me back to Genesis 1:3 – God said ‘Let there be Light’ and there was light. Too simplistic? Maybe. But then, Science has yet to come up with a better answer. Is science begrudgingly coming to the conclusion that there is an intelligent life source that we refer to as God? God Forbid!!! You can attack the Bible, you can attack religion, you can attack those who believe in God, but you will ultimately fail in your quest to disprove the existence of God.

        So, my friends, go forth in your journey as you seek out the Truth. The truth will not be found in darkness, but only in the Light. May you find it.

  48. […] correcting each other, replacing each other, upending each other, and eventually winnowed down to Four, plus some letters, and some new material added by the new rulers in Rome, to flesh it out and make […]

  49. Richard S. says:

    Isn’t the reign of Nero in Rome evidence that a man named Jesus Christ existed? Nero ruled from 54-68 AD and Jesus Christ was crucified between 30-40 AD. People in Rome were converting to Christianity because those who witnessed the crucification of Jesus was spreading the word of what happened. Nero was killing these Christians by the thousands to suppress the word from further spreading because it threatened his rule. I don’t understand how you get that the earliest gospel was written 68 AD when the events that happened to Jesus were being known by the population before 68 AD.

    • No. Just how is the reign of Nero, proof that a man named Jesus existed? Witnessing a crucifixion means nothing. Thousands were crucified by the Romans, many may have been named Jesus. It was a common name in those days. Anyway how would witnessing a crucifixion make one want to be a Christian? It would have the opposite effect.

      Nero wasn’t killing “thousands of Christians”. There weren’t even a thousand Christians in Rome at the time of Nero, some 35 years after Jesus was allegedly crucified. Nero wasn’t killing “thousands of Christians to suppress the word”; he was killing the few he did kill to cover his ass, pinning Rome’s problems on these troublemakers. Read something besides your Christian dogma pap. Read history.

      How do I get that the earliest gospel was written after 70AD? I read what hundreds of non Christian biblical scholars have to say about the dates of the gospels.

      • Richard S. says:

        I don’t know what it takes to be a Biblical scholar, but I would assume there would be some bias in presenting work if you are a Christian or non-Christian Bible scholar. Anyways, if the earliest gospel was written 68 AD, I wonder why they didn’t mention Nero killing Christians. Roman history says that Nero, in fact, killed thousands of Christians. Since there was no mention of this in the Gospels, one can assume they were written before or during the early years of Nero’s rule.

      • Sica says:

        Nero was known for having captured Christians dipped in oil, and then set on fire in his garden at night as a source of light.- Tacitus Annals XV.44.
        This view is based on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Nero’s reign.
        Suetonius also mentions Nero punishing Christians, though he does so because they are “given to a new and mischievous superstition” and does not connect it with the fire-Suetonius The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero, chapter 16.
        Christian writer Tertullian (c. 155–230) was the first to call Nero the first persecutor of Christians. He wrote, “Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine”.- Tertullian Apologeticum, lost text quoted in [3], Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, II.25.4.
        Lactantius (c. 240–320) also said that Nero “first persecuted the servants of God”-Lactantius, Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died II.
        same as does Sulpicius Severus. in Sulpicius Severus, Chronica II.28

      • I don’t deny that Nero persecuted Christians. He did. So what?

      • Phileepin says:

        LOL to Supreme Falsestaff no argument

      • david says:

        Sorry but he got you on that one

      • Atheos says:

        For Supreme Truthsayer
        Also consider this.
        Everyone crucified by the Romans was regarded as an enemy of the Roman state. Now if some fledgeling religion came along saying that Yeshua of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans, but was resurrected by God, so we believe in him, worship him and follow him, you have just made yourself a viable target for the Roman authorities. Your religious founder/deity is an enemy of the Romans, so you go to Rome and blatantly try and ‘recruit’ supporters for an enemy of Imperial Rome? What do you think the Romans reaction would be towards you for glorifying an enemy of Rome? An enemy of Rome who was executed for posing a potential threat of inciting civil order in Jerusalem and Judea? It does not require a great intellect to realise that this is not going to go down too well in Rome.

        It would be like a new religious group called ‘The Samos’, who worship and glorify Osamo Bin Laden, going to America and trying to spread the ‘good news’ and witness to the American public about how great Osamo Bin Laden is and reading aloud his teachings on street corners. The same Osamo Bin Laden who was executed by US armed forces for acts of terrorism against the citizens of the US and other nations. What do you think the typical reaction from the US government would be? A similar response to Ancient Rome I suspect.

        Little wonder Christians were easy scapegoats for Nero to distract the Roman populace from the realities of his failed policies as Roman Emperor.

  50. How in the heck did comments about evolution and young earth end up on this page?
    CM, I don’t have to research both sides equally. I don’t have the knowledge to research radiometric dating techniques for example… but others do and they have proven that the earth is 4.3 billion years old. I choose to believe the research of millions of persons of science rather than the incredulous “research” of 5-10 creationists few of whom have relevant backgrounds in the fields they pretend expertise.

  51. Cm says:

    What is wrong with genome science? That seems to be extremely irrelevant to the topic of a young earth. Great, we share similar genes. Science is amazing isn’t it? All I’m saying is you find what you search for, and I could almost bet money on the fact you have never really giving opposing viewpoints a chance, which makes for an uninformed stance. Just research both sides equally and take into consideration more than one idea.

  52. Cm says:

    Have you considered the context of what you are “searching” for when you research? Have you honestly taken a good look at both sides? Huston Smith said in one of his famous books, “It is as if the scientist were inside a large plastic balloon, he can shine his torch anywhere on the balloon’s interior but cannot climb outside the balloon to view it as a whole”. It should be equally of interest for you to also consider the stance (very supported, not even closely as funded) of a Young Earth. I appreciate the views and ideas you have explained and I would ask, as you have to us, for you to do the same. Here is a good resource to start at, leading to many other research possibilities: http://creation.mobi/age-of-the-earth. If evolution was the solid truth, it would have been long accepted by now.

    • Rob says:

      Evolution has already been long accepted.

      • Phileepin says:

        Evolution? Can it be proven in the lab?

        If you are so intelligent, why is evolution shown linear? If you don’t understand the term, go ask a true scientist.

      • Atheos says:

        Phileepin
        Have you ever had a cold or flu virus several times? Well viruses mutate because they evolve, which is why you catch a cold or flu virus again,. That is why some bacteria and certain strains of viruses can gain a resistance or tollerance to antibiotics that once used to kill them off. Why do you think vaccinating people against various flu strains can be inefective as a preventative measure? By the time the drug companies have come up with a vaccine to counter a specific strain of flu, the actual flu vurius they are trying to combat has already evolved (mutated) and moved on genetically, so the pharmaceutical product may not work effectively against the newly evolved strain.

        Yes they have done experiments with bacteria in petridishes in the lab

      • Eyeconoclastic says:

        Atheos:

        It’s totally pointless to argue with these evolution deniers. Watch: a denier will say that bacterial and viral evolution is micro-evolution but we have no evidence of macro-evolution. Ignorant, wrong, and absurd, but why let facts get in the way of a good creationist fairy tale?

      • Atheos says:

        Eyeconclast
        You are probably right about most believers and their denial of science and evolution, but the question was asked so I gave an off-the-cuff response.

        The latest evidence from advances in DNA analysis and the Human Genome Project allows us to trace our human ancestory right back to our prehistoric ancestors in Africa, and demonstrate that we share inherited traits with other primates and their predecessors. It seems like the Creationists cherry pick the parts of science that support their creationist models, for example they will interpret evidence of common genetic material between different species as ‘proof’ of intelligent design by claiming that their designer has simply implemented a common design philosophy and reused design features across different biological groups.

        Phileepin asked “If you are so intelligent, why is evolution shown linear?”

        I assume that by “evolution shown linear”, Phileepin is referring to the phylogenetic tree or evolutionary tree that is used to classify animals according to their Phylogeny, that is their physical characteristics and genetic makeup. The phylogenetic tree is a ‘linear’ representation using branching to show the inferred evolutionary relationships between various species. The ‘branching’ is ‘linear’ because it is like a Decision Table of nested IF statements in software programming languages, as it classifies biological species according to specific physical characteristics. When a previously unknown species is discovered, a questionnaire or check list approach is employed to determining where the new species belongs in the tree, based on its physical characteristics.

        In a similar way, textual critics can create a similar phylogenetic-type tree to represent a linear model of all the families of manuscripts and codexes containing the gospels, so we can trace how each gospel has ‘evolved’ over time.

    • Yeah, why isn’t the 6,000 year age of creation accepted? Oh, that’s right there isn’t any evidence for it, is there? I guess those evil scientists just made up that genome story about us sharing 98.5% of the chimpanzee’s genes. If your gasoline was 98.5% water, would you still put it in your tank?

    • Mickey says:

      Here’s an even better resource for you – http://www.talkorigins.org/

      I’ve looked at as many creationist websites as have been given me and not a one has a new argument or even tries to actually understand science. Now if you don’t have confirmation bias or a bad case of cognitive dissonance or even belief perseverance talk origins should help you out a bit.

  53. martin says:

    Who real wrote the gospel of matthew

  54. Courtney says:

    I am curious, for such bold statements to make, where and who are YOUR sources and these “scholars” you speak of?

    • jbecker13 says:

      There is actually an enormous amount of Biblical scholarship these days. Books on the authorship of the gospels can be found in libraries.

      I did feel, however, that the author should have cited his sources and provided evidence for his claims. Additionally, accumulating a healthy knowledge of the culture, writing styles, and expectations that accompany each gospel would be a valuable thing to do.

      There is a lot more complexity to this topic than many realize. The author also resigns to a number of blanket statements that do not apply to all ‘Christians.’ Many of the claims made about what Christians believe are flawed and require additional specificity.

      Christian scholars do know these things – there are always two sides.

      • Too much trouble to cite resources. I have about 50 books, 4 courses from The Great Courses, and my observational powers. Most of my source is the bible and careful reading. But to be specific, here are a couple
        The Rejection of Pacal’s Wager by Paul Tobin
        Who Wrote the New Testament by …. WAIT..
        I will create a “References” page. Come back in a week.

        By the way no statement ever applies to “all whatevers”; so what?

      • I have created a bibliography accessible from the menu bar. It has over 130 references in it. You can click HERE to see it directly.

      • Phileepin says:

        Aren’t these people in search of fame?

  55. Chris Robinson says:

    I was thinking that despite the discrepancies in the detail, all the gospels tell of Jesus as a living person, a person who performed miracles, a person who was crucified and a person who was resurrected. They speak from four different perspectives and probably four different agendas but the basic story is the same. Just like different accounts of a road crash do not alter the fact that the crash happened. I don’t have all the answers (who does) but I know God is real.

    • … despite the discrepancies…” But you believe that the bible is the inerrant word of god and the authors were directed by the holy spirit. Thus there should be NO discrepancies. Why would god give two different versions of the same event?

      These are not “four different perspectives”. What each gospel spews is presented as “fact” and it is contradictory and historically inaccurate as indicated above. How can you dismiss these contradictory statements with just a “despite the discrepancies”?

      • Joseph D. Sloop says:

        No. We believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, not the word of god and the authors were directed by the Holy Spirit, not holy spirit. Thus there is no errors, but their will always be discrepancies because there will always be people (such as yourself) that can’t take anything the Bible says on faith.

        Now, I will be more than happy to address each of YOUR discrepancies that you have with the Bible. We can discuss them ONE at a time. Do not give me a list of a thousand or so. It will take time to debate each point in sufficient detail to cover the matter

        Do I expect you to agree with my point of view? Of course not. This is for the benefit of your audience. Think of it as a way to sharpen your arguments against “ignorant Christians” to give them the real truth. And your audience can see two upstanding people, knowledgeable about their doctrines, debate one another and derive the truth for themselves.

        By the way your church of truth website has an awful lot of doctrine in it. I’d be careful about trying to combat church doctrine with non-church doctrine. Doctrine should be combatted with pure truth when they do not agree with one other. And your site is anything but pure truth.

        It’s a half-truth.

        Just like a certain serpent we know.

      • Wait! You are more than willing to address each of the discrepancies that I have with the bible? OK!… You are on.
        Let’s take the third Truth; the one that deals with the formation of the universe and the earth.
        The bible says God created the heavens and the earth on the first day.

        The truth is, the still expanding universe is 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years The uncertainty of 37 million years has been obtained by the agreement of a number of scientific research projects, such as microwave background radiation measurements by the Planck satellite, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and other probes. Measurements of the cosmic background radiation give the cooling time of the universe since the Big Bang,[2] and measurements of the expansion rate of the universe can be used to calculate its approximate age by extrapolating backwards in time.

        The Earth was formed about 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years ago. This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.

        I, of course, am basing my truth on the research findings of experts. I have about 7 books on the topic and Wikipedia does a nice job of summarizing the knowledge. If you want to challenge the experts’ research findings, you need to learn a lot about astrophysics before you are qualified to discredit what they have discovered. How much do you know about background microwave radiation for starters? Now let’s hear your refutation of radiometric dating. To do so, you have to refute the entire table of periodic elements that gives the half-life of all elements. It is the half-life of Uranium 238 that allows knowledgeable people to determine how old the universe and the earth is/are.

        I eagerly await your refutation of the research of hundreds of thousands of physicists, astronomers, chemists, cosmologists, etc over the last 120 years that have led to what we KNOW about how the heavens and the earth were formed.

      • I take issue with your assertion that my site is anything but pure truth. There is nothing very little in it that is not fact, supported by the findings of many others. I myself did no original research. I read the research results of experts in their respective (scientific, biblical, historical) fields. See my list of references HERE.

      • Joseph D. Sloop says:

        Yeah, just read your last post. First off, you didn’t address your original discrepancy, which was The Bible says that God created the heaven and the earth, and in your tirade of scientific referencing, you addressed a completely different issue, the age of the universe. You never refuted the idea that God created the universe. Your argument I assume is that you disagree with exactly how the Bible illustrates the universe’s formation and the implied age with it.

        First off, let’s talk about science. My father’s a scientist, he has his doctorate’s in organic chemistry, taught at West Point twice in his 26 year military career, and he dismantled nuclear weapons for the U.S. military. In addition, he is the associate head of the chemistry department at a university in Georgia. Likewise, I too have a scientific background, dealing with meteorology in the military for four years, and now with economics in the private sector for four years (which is a social science), so I know about science’s strengths and limitations.

        One such limitation is that science deals primarily with observations of present states and processes; it can only DISCUSS the prehistoric past, much less conclude anything from it.
        Your argument about radiometric dating and background microwave radiation is a valid point, when discussing the universe’s age from a human perspective, but again, science can only discuss the past, never prove it.

        Another limitation is the need to create models based off theories. This is precisely what you have done, whether you realize it or not. Models are extremely flawed and only good for academic arguments or controlled experiments where a variable can be isolated whilst others be held to ceteris parabus. That’s great for a classroom science project, but models suck for dealing with real world scientific processes.

        The last problem is built off the model issue. I found out that human biasness tends to pervade in models. Scientists usually have the conclusion built in their mind already, and construct a model to validate their conclusion. You did this as well. A true scientist is one that is skeptical about such theoretical and hypothetical approaches as they tend to be misleading since the predisposed opinion is already revealed in the supporting evidence used to validate the thesis.

        Let me give you an example. There are several creationist scientific models that explain a young (less than 10,000 year old) universe/earth. And that’s great. But these were constructed based off the already assumed belief that the universe/earth is relatively young. Likewise, there are several secular scientific models that explain an old universe/earth. But again, these were created off the assumed belief that the universe is billions of years old.

        You have knowledge, but you lack wisdom.

        -Joe

      • Sorry, I should’ve stated this earlier, but I’d like to lay down a ground rule for this. Let’s each post twice about a subject, than let the subject change. Otherwise, we’ll be “discussing” the same subject for a thousand posts.

      • I have no clue what you are talking about. How is your father’s background relevant?

        “Likewise, there are several secular scientific models that explain an old universe/earth. But again, these were created off the assumed belief that the universe is billions of years old.”

        It is not an assumed belief that the universe is billions of years old. It is as much a fact as anything can be. I have a Ph. D. in Operations Research; don’t lecture me about models and my wisdom is far deeper than yours. I don’t believe in fairy tales for starters. If you believe in your fairy tale, pray that your God would cease to impose birth defects on all those who will ever be born and heal all those who are now afflicted with birth defects. When I see that happen, I will believe … till then it’s all nonsense.

        Re: my using the age of the universe instead of addressing the assertion that god created the universe… are you going to be so literal that I have to spell out everything? I used the age of the universe as proof that god did not create the universe as the bible says he did. Anyone wishing to discuss this should be able to make that extrapolation. You assumed correctly. Why didn’t you go on with that instead of your second “First off….”

        If you want to reject the age of the universe and the earth based on the logic that “but again, science can only discuss the past, never prove it. ” we are done. That implies you will not accept anything based on science in spite of your background.

        Ah the hell with it. this is futile. Good bye. Don’t write again with the expectation of a response.

      • Che says:

        You are preaching. I have done my own research and when you keep coming across historians who agree that none of these books were actually written by the supposed author you begin to wonder what more has been taught to us in fallacy. The bible is a nice place to start for spiritual knowledge as are other religious texts but isn’t the finality of wisdom and knowledge. When one goes further back in history and understands where most of the bible comes from you get the same answer over and over again ancient africa. It would be wise study the source of where knowledge and wisdom has come from and not the version of the conquerors of those areas.

      • Atheos says:

        For Joseph D Sloop
        I take your point about models, but then if every model is flawed, let me ask you, do you trust the technology around you? At t some point in time someone tried to model what they were observing, that led to establishing conclusions about the observation, which was relied upon as the basis ultimately for the technology around us. If every model was as flawed as you suggest then we would never have made any progress, and human civilisation and scientific knowledge would not be anywhere near the position we are in now.

        Regarding the age of the Earth models that you mention, you appear to be equating the ‘assumed belief’ of religious faith (with no evidence) unfairly with ‘assumed belief based upon conclusions derived from experimentation and observation. Blind faith verses to the best of our knowledge.

  56. HIzbullah says:

    ALLAH WILL KICK YOUR BUTT INTO HELL, BITCH

  57. rocks and salt says:

    You guys are talking about UFO’s and expect me to believe you know anything about the Bible, bunch of satanic followers, praise Jesus and come to know him then walk with the Father then tell me the apostle Paul is a false prophet..Where do you get this, your information is corrupted man giving to you by false information..

    • Where do I get it? I get it from the bible. Paul says Jesus would return in the lifetime of his (Paul’s) audience. Jesus did not return during the lifetime of Paul’s audiences. That makes Paul a false prophet. Simple.

      • just a guy says:

        Aren’t we the audience of the bible? isn’t the bible still printed and aren’t there still bilions of people reading it?

      • No – we are not the audience of the bible. Each of the authors of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were writing to illiterate, uneducated, ignorant Jews and each author had a different agenda.

        Between them, they contain so many inconsistencies “which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

        In spite of this, the bible is still being printed and presented as the word of a perfect god. It has had a good marketing team ever since Constantine permitted it in the Roman Empire (313 CE) up to and including the Catholic Priests, who in the name of God, molested boys. Sunday school for five year olds? In any other venue it would be called brain washing. The Crusades “convinced” a lot of people to become Christians.

        If you are using the fact that “billions” of people still read the bible as evidence for ????, then you lose because five billion do not read the bible.

        Put your thinking cap on, you can do better than this.

    • RichJ says:

      Right on Rock n Salt!

  58. Latino says:

    I hear you, but…I’ll be defending “Yehoshua’s” name, thank you very much.
    I wrestled one of the non-human demon entities, while back, and now I’m on the road to salvation. I have been given a lot of knowledge, but man I feel unworthy. My You Tube site is NOSHEOL TARSUS. I don’t sell dvds, nor do I claim to be special, or seek to be a leader. Shalom

  59. Gwen – You just used this website to rant your own agenda. I think your family should hurry up the process of the Baker Act.

    • Payton says:

      It’s a shame you couldn’t defend your points of view to Joshep D…another seemingly well educated, critical thinker like yourself, who was willing to debate with you…which is why you made this blog right?

      • Belva Hopkins says:

        I have read much of the arguments above, and it seems time for some moderation and tolerance to be interjected. People pretty much believe what they need to believe and can not be blamed for their needs. For example,
        my mind has great difficulty tolerating cognitive dissonance. Thus, I rationally need to believe in evidence driven science. My mind will not tolerate supernatural beings or beliefs and attitudes common before the scientific age. Even when I was 14 years old with only 14 year old knowledge of science and history, I realized that the religion that I had been carefully taught just didn’t coincide with the reality I experienced. Yet when I was 15, it occurred to me that, if there was no God, then I would die into nothingness. This was a very troubling prospect – to surrender an identity not yet fully established. How can you give away what you don’t have? I needed to believe. I prayed to God to reveal himself if he was there. One night, looking at the sky in my prayer, I saw a shooting star and took it to be my sign. Thus I joined a fundamental church and got saved. That lasted about 18 months until my questioning mind could stand it no longer. But everyone doesn’t have such trouble with rational reality. There is, in fact, rational reality and emotional reality. Like religious people and a lot of humanity, I have oceanic feelings of love, good will, awe, reverence and humility before the mysteries of the universe and life itself. I can understand this part of religious people. I take this to be a part of Homo sapiens’ tendency rather than an external intrusion into the brain, but there isn’t a lot of difference in the experience itself.
        O
        About life after death – I am 83 years and love my life. I expect to have at least another decade, but I am right on the edge of the cliff. Long ago I made my peace with not being. Human beings existed for hundreds of thousands of years without my being a single separate being. What is so bad about my surrendering that short identity into the whole as it was before I was conceived?

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