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Quantum Weirdness
02-08-2014, 08:54 AM
From an FB post (though slightly altered):

I think that the gospels are reliable sources. The main reason I think this is due to their authorships and dates:
see
https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew-introduction-argument-and-outline
https://bible.org/seriespage/mark-introduction-argument-and-outline
https://bible.org/seriespage/luke-introduction-outline-and-argument
https://bible.org/seriespage/gospel-john-introduction-argument-outline

and
http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/mattdef.html
http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/markdef.html
http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/johndef.html
(the article was not available for luke-acts)

and finally, vids,
Matthew
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBzCZ4vP2sQ&list=PL097F8B8B8DBDA389&index=8

Mark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvPyIjC1Is&list=PL097F8B8B8DBDA389

Luke (and Acts)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSFS3M_i3Lg&list=PL097F8B8B8DBDA389

John
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7XEFvAfMBU&list=PL097F8B8B8DBDA389

Miscellaneous argument

-It may be argued (although I am not so sure it is ever argued) that since the gospels claim that miracles occurred, they would not be eyewitness accounts and would also be unreliable. Aside from begging the question of miracles in the first place, this fails to account for the fact that we do have people who claim to see miracles.
(e.g. http://danielkolenda.com/2013/12/14/4430/ ). Note: I am not arguing for the actual occurrences of these events, just that people can and do claim to see them.

If you think that the Gospels are Late documents or not by the Apostles (or both), why do you think so? What are the arguments in favor of your position?

Outis
02-08-2014, 10:14 AM
If you think that the Gospels are Late documents or not by the Apostles (or both), why do you think so? What are the arguments in favor of your position?

Two of the Gospels are traditionally by non-Apostles (Mark and Luke).

Mark was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem. The "Little Apocalypse" is itself a literary genre, not a genre of speech, from Greek literature. The phrase "Let the reader understand" (Mark 13:14) also gives a good indication that this was composed for reading, not the transcription of a speech.

The presence of (among other things) editorial fatigue, the naming of specific eyewitnesses, and the so-called "hard readings," gives strong indication that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source.

The above does not account for John, but John is widely counted--even among traditional sources--to be of late date.

The Pixie
02-08-2014, 10:59 AM
From an FB post (though slightly altered):

I think that the gospels are reliable sources. The main reason I think this is due to their authorships and dates:
see
https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew-introduction-argument-and-outline
...
From the article on Matthew:

"... The best option, in our view, is that Papias was referring to a sayings source which Matthew wrote. If so, then Matthew in all probability incorporated this source into his gospel, after rearranging it. ..."

This is quite a leap. Sure, we have evidence Matthew wrote a sayings source in Aramaic. To claim that he "in all probability" therefore wrote a gospel, combining that with Mark, in Greek is pure supposition (I appreciate there is other evidence, but is is poor indeed).

I suggest that the author had already decided Matthew was the author, and was merely seeking evidence to support his "conclusion".

Outis
02-08-2014, 11:06 AM
Sure, we have evidence Matthew wrote a sayings source in Aramaic. To claim that he "in all probability" therefore wrote a gospel, combining that with Mark, in Greek is pure supposition (I appreciate there is other evidence, but is is poor indeed).

What other evidence in favor of Matthew being the author of the surviving gospel do you know of?

shunyadragon
02-08-2014, 11:17 AM
If you think that the Gospels are Late documents or not by the Apostles (or both), why do you think so? What are the arguments in favor of your position?

All known texts are dated after the destruction of the temple, and not originally autographed by apostles. All references to the authorship of the gospels are later. They are related and edited documents, and not independent, except for John.

Outis
02-08-2014, 11:22 AM
All known texts are dated after the destruction of the temple, and not originally autographed by apostles. All references to the authorship of the gospels are later.

That is the general majority scholarly conclusion, but without supporting the statement with arguments, the post becomes a simple argument by assertion. While I happen to agree with the assertion, more support is necessary to make the argument persuasive.

shunyadragon
02-08-2014, 11:27 AM
That is the general majority scholarly conclusion, but without supporting the statement with arguments, the post becomes a simple argument by assertion. While I happen to agree with the assertion, more support is necessary to make the argument persuasive.

I was only introducing the argument. This has been covered numerous times in the old Tweb. The question was what are your reasons for considering the gospels as late, and I gave them. I will follow up with sources, but they will be the same academic sources cited before in the old Tweb.

Outis
02-08-2014, 11:29 AM
I was only introducing the argument. This has been covered numerous times in the old Tweb. The question was what are your reasons for considering the gospels as late, and I gave them. I will follow up with sources.
Evidently, it has not been covered persuasively. But I thank you for taking the time to amplify your statements as time allows.

Quantum Weirdness
02-08-2014, 12:55 PM
Two of the Gospels are traditionally by non-Apostles (Mark and Luke).


Mark is the testimony of St. Peter and Luke used eyewitnesses according to his own testimony (Luke 1)



Mark was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem. The "Little Apocalypse" is itself a literary genre, not a genre of speech, from Greek literature. The phrase "Let the reader understand" (Mark 13:14) also gives a good indication that this was composed for reading, not the transcription of a speech.


I think that it is more related to Hebrew Literature (Perhaps Hellenistic Jews). Can you give a source for your claim? Thanks.



The presence of (among other things) editorial fatigue, the naming of specific eyewitnesses, and the so-called "hard readings," gives strong indication that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source.


My own opinion is that Matthew wrote something in Aramaic [EDIT: I think it is either Aramaic or Hebrew but lean towards Hebrew] and then translated it into Greek. Mark used St Peter to compile his Gospel but St Peter depended on Matthew's account (St Peter in his two possible epistles [1 and 2 Peter] was clearly dependent on other sources.). I think that this covers the patristic fathers better than "Q"



The above does not account for John, but John is widely counted--even among traditional sources--to be of late date.

I think that Wallace answered this under the section:
B. Date

Quantum Weirdness
02-08-2014, 01:08 PM
From the article on Matthew:

"... The best option, in our view, is that Papias was referring to a sayings source which Matthew wrote. If so, then Matthew in all probability incorporated this source into his gospel, after rearranging it. ..."

This is quite a leap. Sure, we have evidence Matthew wrote a sayings source in Aramaic. To claim that he "in all probability" therefore wrote a gospel, combining that with Mark, in Greek is pure supposition (I appreciate there is other evidence, but is is poor indeed).


Wallace does list other arguments though as to why he thinks that Matthew wrote the Gospel. What's poor about the other evidence?



I suggest that the author had already decided Matthew was the author, and was merely seeking evidence to support his "conclusion".

Well, I dunno about that.

Quantum Weirdness
02-08-2014, 01:10 PM
All known texts are dated after the destruction of the temple, and not originally autographed by apostles. All references to the authorship of the gospels are later. They are related and edited documents, and not independent, except for John.

Yeah but they still are external evidence. This alone cannot be a good case for dating the Gospels late.

Outis
02-08-2014, 01:31 PM
Mark is the testimony of St. Peter

That is the traditional assertion, however, the date of the Gospel of Mark (after the destruction of Jerusalem, therefore after the traditional date of death for Peter) makes that difficult. I am more than willing to accept that Mark wrote based from Peter's teachings, but such things as the Little Apocalypse itself indicate that he added to those teachings. (Of course, we should both disregard the "Long Ending" of Mark, widely accepted as being an interpolation.)


and Luke used eyewitnesses according to his own testimony (Luke 1)

Luke does not assert that he checked with the eyewitnesses, merely that what was handed down was handed down from them first. Luke's assertion that he "carefully investigated" is not unambiguous: "carefully investigated" can (and considering the date, most likely does) refer to checking with authoritative accounts, either oral or written. We have copious evidence that he used Mark as a source, and may have used either Matthew or the purported Q. (I should note that I am skeptical about the existence of Q.)


I think that it is more related to Hebrew Literature (Perhaps Hellenistic Jews). Can you give a source for your claim? Thanks.

I can agree with apocalyptic literature being a genre that originated amongst Hellenized Jews, rather than amongst the Greeks specifically. While there are several examples amongst Greek Christians, most of these are non-canonical, but they do borrow from the Judeo-Christian literary milieu, so your point is valid.

Apocalyptic literature differs from prophetic literature in several respects, the most significant being message. Prophetic literature deals with coming to God via repentance, or else dire consequences will ensue. Apocalyptic literature deals with standing fast in the face of troubles, said troubles frequently being expressed in metaphoric terms. Prophecy warns the audience to turn to God, apocalypse encourages the audience to remain faithful.


My own opinion is that Matthew wrote something in Aramaic and then translated it into Greek.

A common assertion, but completely unsupported, and flatly contradicted by Papias. What is worse, the current Gospel of Matthew that we have shows no sign of being translated from Aramaic or from Hebrew. More to the point, if Matthew was written by an eyewitness, why would an eyewitness copy so extensively from Mark, which was written by a non-eyewitness?


Mark used St Peter to compile his Gospel but St Peter depended on Matthew's account (St Peter in his two possible epistles [1 and 2 Peter] was clearly dependent on other sources.).

The presence of editorial fatigue (starting a passage with a paraphrase, but ending with an exact word-for-word copy) largely disputes the view that Matthew copied from Mark.


I think that Wallace answered this under the section:
B. Date

I am far more interested in hearing your thoughts. I can re-read the article at any time.

Quantum Weirdness
02-08-2014, 08:55 PM
That is the traditional assertion, however, the date of the Gospel of Mark (after the destruction of Jerusalem, therefore after the traditional date of death for Peter) makes that difficult. I am more than willing to accept that Mark wrote based from Peter's teachings, but such things as the Little Apocalypse itself indicate that he added to those teachings. (Of course, we should both disregard the "Long Ending" of Mark, widely accepted as being an interpolation.)


How do we know that Mark is to be dated later than 70 C.E.? The best way to interpret the external evidence (in my opinion) is that Mark wrote down his Gospel while St Peter was alive (Per Papias) and published it (Per Irenaeus ) after St Peter's death.
[ In my opinion, the Olivet discourse is quite vague about what will happen and also just repeats OT prophecy typologically]. The thing neither vague nor repeating OT prophecy is the time frame (this generation) but even then, sometimes people make true predictions.

As for the temple prediction, I think Ben Ananias made a similar prediction about the city of Jerusalem before it happened.

And, as far as I know, the Church has always taught (after 70 C.E.) that Christ's return would be in the future and could happen any minute. This was more or less, the consensus for the Early Church fathers. What was the point in writing Gospels saying that "This generation will not pass until all has been fulfilled" after the generation had passed (the generation references the Jews who persecuted Christians who were more or less, dead by 71 C.E.). And I doubt it can be denied that that these Gospels were written during the lifetime of the Apostles Matt 16:28.



Luke does not assert that he checked with the eyewitnesses, merely that what was handed down was handed down from them first. Luke's assertion that he "carefully investigated" is not unambiguous: "carefully investigated" can (and considering the date, most likely does) refer to checking with authoritative accounts, either oral or written. We have copious evidence that he used Mark as a source, and may have used either Matthew or the purported Q. (I should note that I am skeptical about the existence of Q.)


Luke is reporting what the eyewitnesses said and I doubt the date is late (1 Timothy quotes Luke and there is no reason to put that letter late
see https://bible.org/seriespage/1-timothy-introduction-argument-outline).

See here. (http://www.christianthinktank.com/litdep2.html) for a look on the idea that Luke (and Matthew) borrowed from Mark.



I can agree with apocalyptic literature being a genre that originated amongst Hellenized Jews, rather than amongst the Greeks specifically. While there are several examples amongst Greek Christians, most of these are non-canonical, but they do borrow from the Judeo-Christian literary milieu, so your point is valid.

Apocalyptic literature differs from prophetic literature in several respects, the most significant being message. Prophetic literature deals with coming to God via repentance, or else dire consequences will ensue. Apocalyptic literature deals with standing fast in the face of troubles, said troubles frequently being expressed in metaphoric terms. Prophecy warns the audience to turn to God, apocalypse encourages the audience to remain faithful.


Nothing there I disagree with




A common assertion, but completely unsupported, and flatly contradicted by Papias.


How?



What is worse, the current Gospel of Matthew that we have shows no sign of being translated from Aramaic or from Hebrew.


That is not necessarily true (see http://www.scribd.com/doc/62926694/Gospel-of-Matthew-According-to-a-Primitive-Hebrew-Text-by-George-Howard between pages 194-201). The puns alliterations etc don't seem to be made up. I would also add that Matt 2:23 makes more sense in Hebrew than Greek (same with Matt 1:21). Given the external evidence, I think that it is safe to think that Matthew was originally Hebrew. Even if it was true, Quote " Blomberg points out, "Jewish authors like Josephus, writing in Greek while at times translating Hebrew materials, often leave no linguistic clues to betray their Semitic sources."
http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/mattdef.php
I do disagree with JPH that the Greek gospel was one from "scratch" but this point is still relevant.



More to the point, if Matthew was written by an eyewitness, why would an eyewitness copy so extensively from Mark, which was written by a non-eyewitness?


I don't think Matt copied from Mark (I disagree with Wallace here)



The presence of editorial fatigue (starting a passage with a paraphrase, but ending with an exact word-for-word copy) largely disputes the view that Matthew copied from Mark.


Umm ok I agree?



I am far more interested in hearing your thoughts. I can re-read the article at any time.

Personally, I find the arguments suited better to a 60's date. I don't think anybody has been able to respond to Wallace about John 5:2 and the date of the Gospel of John. The other arguments are ok for the 60's date though. Non-Johannine theories about the Gospel of John don't work all that well in my view.

Outis
02-08-2014, 09:49 PM
How do we know that Mark is to be dated later than 70 C.E.?

For exactly the same reason we know that Daniel 11 was written between 167 bce and 163 bce--because the "prophecies" (actually, another example of apocalyptic literature) are only accurate for the events that have already occurred. In Daniel 11, the author accurately writes about the desecration, but completely fumbles the end of Antiochus' reign and his death. In Mark, the author accurately discusses the "abomination that causes desolation," but the predicted return where Jesus is seen in the clouds and gathers his elect does not occur.

(And yes, I am quite aware of the historicist, preterist, and futurist interpretations of the passages. As you can see, I do not accept any of those interpretations.)


As for the temple prediction, I think Ben Ananias made a similar prediction about the city of Jerusalem before it happened.

I am aware of Josephus' discussion regarding Jesus Ben Ananias. I am also aware that Josephus' math is a little funky, as Josephus has him starting his prophecy four years before the war started, yet says he continued "seven years and five months," which means he died some three years after Jerusalem fell, yet purportedly Ben Ananias died in the siege. Ah well. I should note that I find Josephus to be illustrative, but do not accept him as a "perfect" source (as I doubt that you do).


And, as far as I know, the Church has always taught (after 70 C.E.) that Christ's return would be in the future and could happen any minute.

They taught that from the very beginning, as the writings of Paul in 1 Thes. clearly demonstrate. It was not until after the fall of Jerusalem, when Jesus did not come back on the expected time schedule, that they started back-pedaling on the assertion--as the writings in the pseudo-Pauline 2 Thes. demonstrate.


And I doubt it can be denied that that these Gospels were written during the lifetime of the Apostles Matt 16:28.

Quantum, you accept the Gospels as true, and that is foundational to your worldview. I do not, and thus have no problem accepting that as a broken prophecy (more likely as a later claim made by the author of Matthew, not words that Jesus said). Either way, I cannot base my evaluations on your assumptions. That simply will not work.


Luke is reporting what the eyewitnesses

Luke is reporting what he learned in his investigation. Whether or not he spoke with an eyewitness is not something he claims. (And 1 Timothy is pseudonymous.)


How?

Papias does not say that Matthew translated the text, but that "everybody translated/interpreted it the best they could."

Anyway, I'm headed off to bed fairly shortly. I can finish my reply later, if you wish.

Quantum Weirdness
02-08-2014, 10:22 PM
For exactly the same reason we know that Daniel 11 was written between 167 bce and 163 bce--because the "prophecies" (actually, another example of apocalyptic literature) are only accurate for the events that have already occurred. In Daniel 11, the author accurately writes about the desecration, but completely fumbles the end of Antiochus' reign and his death.

All of this is debatable but I'll not debate it here.



In Mark, the author accurately discusses the "abomination that causes desolation," but the predicted return where Jesus is seen in the clouds and gathers his elect does not occur.

Which was supposed to happen during "this generation". Why would Mark preserve something like this after 70 C.E. if it was clearly false? At the very least, maybe Mark could've written the language a different way so as to noyt imply imminence.



(And yes, I am quite aware of the historicist, preterist, and futurist interpretations of the passages. As you can see, I do not accept any of those interpretations.)

Great



I am aware of Josephus' discussion regarding Jesus Ben Ananias. I am also aware that Josephus' math is a little funky, as Josephus has him starting his prophecy four years before the war started, yet says he continued "seven years and five months," which means he died some three years after Jerusalem fell, yet purportedly Ben Ananias died in the siege. Ah well. I should note that I find Josephus to be illustrative, but do not accept him as a "perfect" source (as I doubt that you do).

You sure this isn't evidence of textual corruption?



They taught that from the very beginning, as the writings of Paul in 1 Thes. clearly demonstrate. It was not until after the fall of Jerusalem, when Jesus did not come back on the expected time schedule, that they started back-pedaling on the assertion--as the writings in the pseudo-Pauline 2 Thes. demonstrate.

Great.
2nd Thessalonians isn't exactly pseudo-Pauline (https://bible.org/seriespage/2-thessalonians-introduction-argument-outline)



Quantum, you accept the Gospels as true, and that is foundational to your worldview. I do not, and thus have no problem accepting that as a broken prophecy (more likely as a later claim made by the author of Matthew, not words that Jesus said). Either way, I cannot base my evaluations on your assumptions. That simply will not work.

The question is:
Why would anybody preserve this information after the generation had gone (and the apostles had died) in this format? Why not make it not so imminent?



Luke is reporting what he learned in his investigation. Whether or not he spoke with an eyewitness is not something he claims. (And 1 Timothy is pseudonymous.)


The traditions Luke learned were handed down by eyewitnesses to him. So its clear that he got his information from eyewitnesses.
Did you even check my link on 1 Timothy?



Papias does not say that Matthew translated the text, but that "everybody translated/interpreted it the best they could."
That seems to be an argument from silence. The fact that Papias doesn't mention Matthew translating the text doesn't mean that he didn't.



Anyway, I'm headed off to bed fairly shortly. I can finish my reply later, if you wish.

Ok go ahead.

The Pixie
02-09-2014, 05:01 AM
Wallace does list other arguments though as to why he thinks that Matthew wrote the Gospel. What's poor about the other evidence?
Wallace cites the folowing internal evidence:

Familiarity with the Nation

This is hardly unique to the apostle Matthew, indeed, Wallace concludes: " The evidence is quite strong for authorship by a Jew."

Hints of Semitisms in his Language

All Wallace concludes is a Jewish author: "... it is more reasonable to suppose that the author was himself a Jew."

His Use of Scripture

He says: "If so, then the author most probably is a Jew. Further, he shows great familiarity with contemporary Jewish exegesis in how he uses the scriptures."

So far, all Wallace has shown was the author was Jewish. Nothing at all that point to Matthew.

Attack on Pharisees

As he says himself: "Not much can be made of this however."

Frequent Use of Numbers and His Mention of Money

Seriously? He is probably a tax collector because he uses numbers and mention money a lot?

The Calling of Levi

"The most logical reason that the writer felt such liberty with his Markan source was because he knew of the identification personally."

In reality the author of Matthew took a shed load of liberties with Mark, and fully a fifth of the gospel is unique to it. Wallace may assert this is the most logical reason (what does that even mean, either a reason is logical or not), but the reality is that other reasons are also possible.

And most damning of all, Wallace is not claiming it was Matthew, but someone who knew Matthew personally!

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 05:51 AM
Wallace cites the folowing internal evidence:

Familiarity with the Nation

This is hardly unique to the apostle Matthew, indeed, Wallace concludes: " The evidence is quite strong for authorship by a Jew."

Hints of Semitisms in his Language

All Wallace concludes is a Jewish author: "... it is more reasonable to suppose that the author was himself a Jew."

His Use of Scripture

He says: "If so, then the author most probably is a Jew. Further, he shows great familiarity with contemporary Jewish exegesis in how he uses the scriptures."

So far, all Wallace has shown was the author was Jewish. Nothing at all that point to Matthew.

Attack on Pharisees

As he says himself: "Not much can be made of this however."

Frequent Use of Numbers and His Mention of Money

Seriously? He is probably a tax collector because he uses numbers and mention money a lot?

He also uses technical terminology for money. I do agree with Wallace that this suggests someone familiar with money



The Calling of Levi

"The most logical reason that the writer felt such liberty with his Markan source was because he knew of the identification personally."

In reality the author of Matthew took a shed load of liberties with Mark, and fully a fifth of the gospel is unique to it. Wallace may assert this is the most logical reason (what does that even mean, either a reason is logical or not), but the reality is that other reasons are also possible.


Ok Wallace lists arguments for a Jew who knew about money from the internal evidence and since the external evidence suggests Matthew, I don't think we have good reasons for doubting Matthean authorship.



And most damning of all, Wallace is not claiming it was Matthew, but someone who knew Matthew personally!
Uhhh
Quote
"Although there are some difficulties with Matthean authorship, none of them presents major obstacles, in spite of some scholars calling Matthean authorship “impossible.” On the positive side, the universal external evidence which seems to lack motivation for the choice of Matthew (as opposed to any other apostle), coupled with the subtle internal evidence, makes the traditional view still the most plausible one."

Outis
02-09-2014, 06:31 AM
That is not necessarily true (see http://www.scribd.com/doc/62926694/Gospel-of-Matthew-According-to-a-Primitive-Hebrew-Text-by-George-Howard between pages 194-201).

George Howard's views represent a very small minority within scholarship. While he notes elements that do sound like they were translated from Aramaic or Hebrew, he ignores the evidence that the Gospel was originally written in Greek--selectively assessing the supporting evidence while ignoring the contradictory evidence is poor scholarship, at best. The mainstream view is that Matthew was written in Greek. (Cite (http://books.google.com/books?id=Zkla5Gl_66oC&pg=PA281&lpg=PA281&dq=%22Almost+all+scholars+agree+that+our+Gospel+of +Matthew+was+originally+written%22&source=bl&ots=o2ciOQZev4&sig=qLYETGY0sj2tdFewW9JkBv8jizc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=co33UsKaJ8K0yAGS64DoBA&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Almost%20all%20scholars%20agree%20that%20our% 20Gospel%20of%20Matthew%20was%20originally%20writt en%22&f=false))



I don't think Matt copied from Mark (I disagree with Wallace here)

Then you're in disagreement with not just scholarship, but the vast majority of scholarship. Matthew Williams "Two Gospels from One" gives a good analysis of the various theories.


I find the arguments suited better to a 60's date.

What arguments? You've thrown several links out, but as I've noted, you're picking minority viewpoints without telling me why, specifically, these viewpoints? I'm not concerned with what you "find better suited"--that's all very nice, but it doesn't explain anything. Tell me why it better explains the evidence.

The Pixie
02-09-2014, 06:36 AM
He also uses technical terminology for money. I do agree with Wallace that this suggests someone familiar with money
Okay. But that is a long way short of a specific individual.

Ok Wallace lists arguments for a Jew who knew about money from the internal evidence and since the external evidence suggests Matthew, I don't think we have good reasons for doubting Matthean authorship.
Listen to yourself. It was a Jew who was familiar with money, therefore it was Matthew. How many Jews do you think there were in the ancient middle east who were familiar with money.

"Although there are some difficulties with Matthean authorship, none of them presents major obstacles, in spite of some scholars calling Matthean authorship “impossible.” On the positive side, the universal external evidence which seems to lack motivation for the choice of Matthew (as opposed to any other apostle), coupled with the subtle internal evidence, makes the traditional view still the most plausible one."
Sure, he has his axe to grind, and so concludes from the scant evidence that Matthew was the author. However, as I showed, that evidence merely points to a Jew who knew about money, not to Matthew.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 07:42 AM
George Howard's views represent a very small minority within scholarship. While he notes elements that do sound like they were translated from Aramaic or Hebrew, he ignores the evidence that the Gospel was originally written in Greek--selectively assessing the supporting evidence while ignoring the contradictory evidence is poor scholarship, at best. The mainstream view is that Matthew was written in Greek. (Cite (http://books.google.com/books?id=Zkla5Gl_66oC&pg=PA281&lpg=PA281&dq=%22Almost+all+scholars+agree+that+our+Gospel+of +Matthew+was+originally+written%22&source=bl&ots=o2ciOQZev4&sig=qLYETGY0sj2tdFewW9JkBv8jizc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=co33UsKaJ8K0yAGS64DoBA&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Almost%20all%20scholars%20agree%20that%20our% 20Gospel%20of%20Matthew%20was%20originally%20writt en%22&f=false))


Yes I know it is a minority viewpoint but I think that it is a quite good argument in favor of a Hebrew Matthew that hasn't been addressed adequately.





Then you're in disagreement with not just scholarship, but the vast majority of scholarship. Matthew Williams "Two Gospels from One" gives a good analysis of the various theories.


I know but once again, I don't think that this argument has been addressed.



What arguments? You've thrown several links out, but as I've noted, you're picking minority viewpoints without telling me why, specifically, these viewpoints? I'm not concerned with what you "find better suited"--that's all very nice, but it doesn't explain anything. Tell me why it better explains the evidence.

Quote
"There are a number of data which strongly suggest a date in the 60s, chief among them are the following.

(1) The destruction of Jerusalem is not mentioned. This fits extremely well with a date before 66 CE.

(2) The topographical accuracy of pre-70 Palestine argues that at least some of the material embedded in the gospel comes from before the Jewish War.

(3) There is much primitive terminology used in this gospel. E.g., Jesus’ followers are called “disciples” in John, not apostles.

(4) The conceptual and verbal parallels with Qumran argue strongly for an overtly Jewish document which fits well within the first century milieu.

(5) The date of P52 at c. 100-150, coupled with the date of Papyrus Egerton 2 at about the same time—a document which employed both John and the synoptics—is almost inconceivable if John is to be dated in the 90s.

(6) John’s literary independence from and apparent lack of awareness of the synoptic gospels argue quite strongly for an early date. Indeed, this independence/ignorance argues that all the gospels were written within a relatively short period of time, with Matthew and Luke having the good fortune of seeing and using Mark in their composition.

(7) Finally, there is a strong piece of internal evidence for an early date. In John 5:2 the author says that “there is in Jerusalem, by the sheep-gate, a pool (the one called Bethesda in Hebrew) which has five porticoes.” Without discussing all the interpretations possible for this verse suffice it to say that (a) the verb “is” (ἐστιν) cannot be a historical present, and (b) the pool was destroyed in 70 CE. By far the most plausible conclusion is that this gospel was written before 70 CE.

I find argument 7 compelling because:
-Wallace is an expert in Greek grammar
-Nobody has been able to rebut this argument well (Andreas Kostenberger attempted a response but I don't think it is valid see http://www.biblicalfoundations.org/was-john%e2%80%99s-gospel-written-prior-to-ad-70/. In neither case does the verb in question have to be a historical present.)

The other arguments are good supporting data and there isn't as strong evidence for the 90's view.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 07:52 AM
Okay. But that is a long way short of a specific individual.

Listen to yourself. It was a Jew who was familiar with money, therefore it was Matthew.

I'm arguing what is in bold + the external testimony. They both converge on Matthew being the author.



How many Jews do you think there were in the ancient middle east who were familiar with money.

Many but Matthew satisfies both external and internal evidence better. BTW I think its Near east.




Sure, he has his axe to grind, and so concludes from the scant evidence that Matthew was the author. However, as I showed, that evidence merely points to a Jew who knew about money, not to Matthew.

I was responding to the claim that Wallace "was not claiming it was Matthew, but someone who knew Matthew personally."

Outis
02-09-2014, 07:58 AM
Yes I know it is a minority viewpoint but I think that it is a quite good argument in favor of a Hebrew Matthew that hasn't been addressed adequately.

I need something more than "I think it's a good opinion." Why does that opinion only take into account the evidence that supports the argument, and not all the evidence? The puns in Greek don't work in Hebrew or Aramaic.

That's where it comes down to brass tacks. You are not looking at all the evidence ... just at the evidence that supports your views. You are ignoring the rest. Why?

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 08:17 AM
I need something more than "I think it's a good opinion." Why does that opinion only take into account the evidence that supports the argument, and not all the evidence? The puns in Greek don't work in Hebrew or Aramaic.

That's where it comes down to brass tacks. You are not looking at all the evidence ... just at the evidence that supports your views. You are ignoring the rest. Why?

I know of one pun in the Greek Matthew (16:18) but this is pun repeated in the Hebrew. I don't think it is evidence either way. Any other puns in Greek?
As for the Aramaic, these seem to be limited to Jesus' sayings (unlike the Hebrew). And since Aramaic and Hebrew are related, couldn't the Aramaic puns be puns in Hebrew as well?

I honestly don't think I'm ignoring evidence. I knew about the Greek pun before hand and the Aramaic sayings of Jesus, I just didn't think that mentioning the Greek as necessary since Howard shows that there was a pun in the Hebrew of Shem Tov as well.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 08:21 AM
The question is:
Why would anybody preserve this information after the generation had gone (and the apostles had died) in this format? Why not make it not so imminent? Probably the majority opinion among critical scholars is that Mark still expected the end to occur in the not too distant future, within his own generation perhaps. A minority view is that the 'cosmological signs in the heavens' were understood figuratively, exactly how they were understood in the scriptures quoted and alluded to here by Mark. I think the answer may be somewhere in between these views, ie, that he believed the end may be near but was but also cautioned against those who pretended to know precise details and he was more focused on the need to first preach the gospel to the whole world.

The Pixie
02-09-2014, 08:28 AM
Yes I know it is a minority viewpoint but I think that it is a quite good argument in favor of a Hebrew Matthew that hasn't been addressed adequately.
There is an argument for a Hebrew Matthew, such as mentioned by Papias, but the evidence points to the Matthew we have as being originally written in Greek. It is quite possible that our Matthew draws on the Hebrew Matthew, just as it draws on Mark, but they are two distinct texts.

I'm arguing what is in bold + the external testimony. They both converge on Matthew being the author.
But the external evidence is based on Papias (and tradition, which is in turn based on Papias), which we know is about a diferent text. Without the external evidence, the internal evidence does not add up to much at all. as I said originally.

Many but Matthew satisfies both external and internal evidence better. BTW I think its Near east.
An anonymous Jew drawing on Mark and a Hebrew Matthew satisfies the evidence rather better.

I was responding to the claim that Wallace "was not claiming it was Matthew, but someone who knew Matthew personally."
Sorry, rereadng it, yes Wallace is claiming it was Matthew, not someone who knew him. However, his argument can as readily be applied to an assocuiate of Matthew or a later family member. Wallace is directing his reader down a very closed road with little justification.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 08:39 AM
Probably the majority opinion among critical scholars is that Mark still expected the end to occur in the not too distant future, within his own generation perhaps. A minority view is that the 'cosmological signs in the heavens' were understood figuratively, exactly how they were understood in the scriptures quoted and alluded to here by Mark. I think the answer may be somewhere in between these views, ie, that he believed the end may be near but was but also cautioned against those who pretended to know more precise details and he was more focused on the nead to first preach the gospel to the whole world.

The generation referenced seems to be that of the wicked Jews (see http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/gwview.cgi?n=1074 for the uses of generation) and as far as I know, that passed away in 70 C.E.

Outis
02-09-2014, 08:59 AM
And since Aramaic and Hebrew are related, couldn't the Aramaic puns be puns in Hebrew as well?

Not necessarily. There are two puns that work in Galilean Aramaic that don't work in Syriac Aramaic (used in the Peshitta) or in Hebrew. There are some puns that work in Syriac Aramaic that don't work in Hebrew or in Galilean. There are four puns in Hebrew that don't work in either form of Aramaic. There's one pun in Greek that works in the other languages. That's my point--the puns prove nothing. The arguments that rely on puns look at one small part of the available evidence, and ignore the rest of the book.

The major arguments against an Aramaic or Hebrew Matthew are thus:
* Matthew Copies from Mark (Yes, I know you don't accept that.)
* OT quotes in Matthew are from the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew or from Aramaic. (Yes, there are differences.)
* The assertion that Matthew wrote in Hebrew comes from Papias via Irenaeus and Eusebius, both of which are problematic.
* The text shows no signs of being translated--and a text written in Hebrew or Aramaic and translated to Greek will have distinctive differences from texts written originally in Greek.

Quantum, do you read any Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic?

The Pixie
02-09-2014, 09:05 AM
Probably the majority opinion among critical scholars is that Mark still expected the end to occur in the not too distant future, within his own generation perhaps. A minority view is that the 'cosmological signs in the heavens' were understood figuratively, exactly how they were understood in the scriptures quoted and alluded to here by Mark. I think the answer may be somewhere in between these views, ie, that he believed the end may be near but was but also cautioned against those who pretended to know precise details and he was more focused on the need to first preach the gospel to the whole world.
Can you support this claim? It seems to me that Mark was probably written when it was realised the apocolypse was not imminent. Why bother to write it all down if the world will end in a few years? If it looks like the world will still be here in a few decades, it is worthwhile writing things down for future generations.

Outis
02-09-2014, 09:16 AM
It seems to me that Mark was probably written when it was realised the apocolypse was not imminent.

What leads you to that conclusion?

This was the entire purpose of apocalyptic literature in general, and of passages like the Little Apocalypse in particular. Mark had just heard of a terrible calamity, and was writing to people urging them to hold fast to the faith, because their reward was just around the corner if they held on. He clearly expects Jesus to come back quickly, before the generation in which his audience lives passes away. (Mk 13:30)

Paprika
02-09-2014, 09:17 AM
* OT quotes in Matthew are from the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew or from Aramaic. (Yes, there are differences.)
How is this a major argument? Assuming a translation of the Gospel from Hebrew to Greek, the two main choices are to either attempt one's own fresh translation of Holy Scripture - a task no Jew would casually undertake - or choose a translation already in use, and if the latter, the Septugaint is a natural choice, since it would likely be familiar to the audience.

Outis
02-09-2014, 09:21 AM
How is this a major argument? Assuming a translation of the Gospel from Hebrew to Greek, the two main choices are to either attempt one's own fresh translation of Holy Scripture - a task no Jew would casually undertake - or choose a translation already in use, and if the latter, the Septugaint is a natural choice, since it would likely be familiar to the audience.
An interesting question. Why do you assume no Jew would "casually" undertake such a task? What makes you think anything about writing the Gospels was undertaken casually? While I agree that the Septuagint would have been a natural choice, assuming a translation, it is not necessarily the best choice.

Paprika
02-09-2014, 09:24 AM
An interesting question. Why do you assume no Jew would "casually" undertake such a task?
Because of the general reverence with which they treat their Scriptures?


While I agree that the Septuagint would have been a natural choice, assuming a translation, it is not necessarily the best choice.
It does not need to be the best choice. It just suffices that for translation from Hebrew to Greek, it would be a natural choice, thus making the Septugaint objection into a weak counterargument against Hebrew or Aramaic Matthew.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 09:27 AM
Not necessarily. There are two puns that work in Galilean Aramaic that don't work in Syriac Aramaic (used in the Peshitta) or in Hebrew. There are some puns that work in Syriac Aramaic that don't work in Hebrew or in Galilean. There are four puns in Hebrew that don't work in either form of Aramaic. There's one pun in Greek that works in the other languages. That's my point--the puns prove nothing. The arguments that rely on puns look at one small part of the available evidence, and ignore the rest of the book.


The problem is that the puns, alliterations etc are plentiful in the text. I honestly doubt that this is a coincidence. Nice to know that about the Aramaic puns.


The major arguments against an Aramaic or Hebrew Matthew are thus:
Matthew Copies from Mark (Yes, I know you don't accept that.)


And given the external testimony and my theory, I don't think that there are good reasons for accepting this.



OT quotes in Matthew are from the Septuagint, not from the Hebrew or from Aramaic. (Yes, there are differences.)

Which suggests that (according to my theory) Matthew was influenced by the Septuagint when translating the Hebrew. The fact that there are differences suggests this



The assertion that Matthew wrote in Hebrew comes from Papias via Irenaeus and Eusebius, both of which are problematic.


How is this an argument against the idea of Matthew writing in Hebrew?



The text shows no signs of being translated--and a text written in Hebrew or Aramaic and translated to Greek will have distinctive differences from texts written originally in Greek.

Not necessarily. Josephus shows no sign of being translated into Greek either but he did translate Hebrew material. The amount of puns, alliterations etc as well as Matt 2:23 suggest that it was written in Hebrew. (The Greek is a translated, modified version of the Hebrew in my mind)



Quantum, do you read any Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic?

The answer is unfortunately, no.

Outis
02-09-2014, 09:29 AM
Because of the general reverence with which they treat their Scriptures?

You did not address what I considered to be my most important question: What makes you think anything about writing the Gospels was undertaken casually?


It does not need to be the best choice. It just suffices that for translation from Hebrew to Greek, it would be a natural choice, thus making the Septugaint objection into a weak counterargument against Hebrew or Aramaic Matthew.

I disagree, for the same reasons I re-asked the question. This was not a casual enterprise.

Paprika
02-09-2014, 09:33 AM
Quantum Weirdness: What do you think of the possibility that Matthew collected the sayings in Aramaic and translated them into Greek while fashioning the narrative in Greek?

robrecht
02-09-2014, 09:38 AM
The generation referenced seems to be that of the wicked Jews (see http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/gwview.cgi?n=1074 for the uses of generation) and as far as I know, that passed away in 70 C.E.
Can you support this claim? It seems to me that Mark was probably written when it was realised the apocolypse was not imminent. Why bother to write it all down if the world will end in a few years? If it looks like the world will still be here in a few decades, it is worthwhile writing things down for future generations.
There are numerous ways to interpret the time frame, none of which can be proven. Mk 13,19 refers to a future 'those days', and then 13,24 refers again to 'in those days, after that tribulation', and finally 13,30 refers to 'this generation'. Many scholars, and myself as well, think 'this generation' is the generation alive during and just after the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, ie, Mark's generation. The apocalyptic discourse ends with Jesus speaking not only to Peter, James, John, and Andrew, but to all, 'stay awake'. I don't think Mark necessarily believed the end would come 'in a few years', and cautions against some claims, but there is no real indication that he was writing for far distant future generations either.

Paprika
02-09-2014, 09:38 AM
You did not address what I considered to be my most important question: What makes you think anything about writing the Gospels was undertaken casually?
Because I considered it hardly important. It could be casual and not affect my main point.

It suffices to show that using the Septugaint was a natural choice for Matthew. Another possible reason why he may have done so is that it would very likely have taken less effort than to do the translation himself.

If you want to use the quotations from the Septugaint as a 'major argument' against a translated Matthew, you have to show at least that he would probably not have used it. Currently, you have not provided that burden of proof.

Outis
02-09-2014, 09:41 AM
The problem is that the puns, alliterations etc are plentiful in the text. I honestly doubt that this is a coincidence. Nice to know that about the Aramaic puns.

Since there are exclusive puns that work in several ways, the presence of puns indicates nothing, I fear. Some of that is down to the skill of the translator, no matter which direction the translation goes.


And given the external testimony and my theory, I don't think that there are good reasons for accepting this.

The external testimony is weak (I'll go into that in a moment), and your theory, as you don't speak the languages and cannot see the differences, is (I do not mean this as an insult) speaking outside of your expertise. Don't worry--if I were asserting this on my own authority, I would also be speaking out of my expertise.

Fundamentally speaking, you're trying to overturn a fairly substantial body of scholarship. To do so, you need a fairly substantial body of evidence ... and you don't have it.


Which suggests that (according to my theory) Matthew was influenced by the Septuagint when translating the Hebrew. The fact that there are differences suggests this

Quantum, at this point, you're attempting to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat. You cannot even tell me what differences exist, much less what those differences indicate. I can tell you. What's more, I can point you to scholars who will do more than tell you, they will overwhelm you with those differences and what they mean.


How is this an argument against the idea of Matthew writing in Hebrew?

It is an argument against the strength of the "external witness." While this is not a scholarly or in-depth article, I invite you to read the following: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/2001/issue72/1.8.html


Not necessarily. Josephus shows no sign of being translated into Greek either but he did translate Hebrew material.

Please point me to something Josephus translated from Hebrew.


The answer is unfortunately, no.

I do, a little, and know who to reference to cover the gaps (and I do a lot more working from reference than I do from my own knowledge).

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 09:41 AM
There is an argument for a Hebrew Matthew, such as mentioned by Papias, but the evidence points to the Matthew we have as being originally written in Greek. It is quite possible that our Matthew draws on the Hebrew Matthew, just as it draws on Mark, but they are two distinct texts.


What evidence is that?



But the external evidence is based on Papias (and tradition, which is in turn based on Papias), which we know is about a diferent text. Without the external evidence, the internal evidence does not add up to much at all. as I said originally.


How do we know it is about a different text?



An anonymous Jew drawing on Mark and a Hebrew Matthew satisfies the evidence rather better.


I doubt.



Sorry, rereadng it, yes Wallace is claiming it was Matthew, not someone who knew him. However, his argument can as readily be applied to an assocuiate of Matthew or a later family member. Wallace is directing his reader down a very closed road with little justification.

Except for the external testimony by Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius etc.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 09:44 AM
And given the external testimony and my theory, I don't think that there are good reasons for accepting this.But the very great majority of scholars do not accept your theory.

Outis
02-09-2014, 09:44 AM
Because I considered it hardly important. It could be casual and not affect my main point.

If it was casual, then evidently the early Christians did not consider what they were writing down as being as important as the OT. An interesting diversion, but logically inconsistant on your part.

Paprika
02-09-2014, 09:54 AM
If it was casual, then evidently the early Christians did not consider what they were writing down as being as important as the OT. An interesting diversion, but logically inconsistant on your part.
As you say, it is a diversion, not least because I agree with you that the writing of the Gospel was not casual.

Let us then return to the main point, and the fact that you have not even demonstrated why it is a "major" counterargument against the Gospel being translated. I'm all ears.

Outis
02-09-2014, 10:06 AM
As you say, it is a diversion, since I agree with you that the writing of the Gospel was not casual.

Let us then return to the main point, and the fact that you have not even demonstrated why it is a "major" counterargument against the Gospel being translated. I'm all ears.

I do not make the claim that it is a "major" argument under my own authority. I suggest you start by taking the issue up with the editors of the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Unfortunately, the editor, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, passed away in 2009, but you can contact the Eerdman Publishing Company and see if anyone else has taken up the project.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 11:16 AM
Since there are exclusive puns that work in several ways, the presence of puns indicates nothing, I fear. Some of that is down to the skill of the translator, no matter which direction the translation goes.


There is only one in the Greek (as far as I know) and it corresponds to one in the Hebrew. This one doesn't go either way. If I had to speculate why a pun occurs in both verses, I would say that Matthew saw the opportunity of a pun in the Greek and put it in, The puns in Aramaic happen only when Jesus is speaking (again, as far as I know). The Hebrew occurs more (including places that Jesus is speaking) suggesting that Greek Matthew has a Semitic source. Also, Matt 2:23 makes more sense in Hebrew than Greek (as a wordplay on Isaiah 11:1)



The external testimony is weak (I'll go into that in a moment), and your theory, as you don't speak the languages and cannot see the differences, is (I do not mean this as an insult) speaking outside of your expertise. Don't worry--if I were asserting this on my own authority, I would also be speaking out of my expertise.


What are the differences? I know that, for instance Matt 2:15 doesn't follow the Septuagint.



Fundamentally speaking, you're trying to overturn a fairly substantial body of scholarship. To do so, you need a fairly substantial body of evidence ... and you don't have it.


No. I need evidence of Hebrew influence in Matthew's gospel............. and of that, I do.



Quantum, at this point, you're attempting to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat. You cannot even tell me what differences exist, much less what those differences indicate. I can tell you. What's more, I can point you to scholars who will do more than tell you, they will overwhelm you with those differences and what they mean.


So tell me what the differences are? And please point me to the scholars. I would like to see their arguments.



It is an argument against the strength of the "external witness." While this is not a scholarly or in-depth article, I invite you to read the following: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/2001/issue72/1.8.html


What is Eusebius' careless use of sources specifically? And what about Irenaeus?



Please point me to something Josephus translated from Hebrew.


Sorry it was Aramaic apparently.
Josephus says it himself here
Quote
"1. (1) WHEREAS the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; (2) Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].
http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/war-pref.htm



I do, a little, and know who to reference to cover the gaps (and I do a lot more working from reference than I do from my own knowledge).

Ok nice

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 11:18 AM
But the very great majority of scholars do not accept your theory.

I already noted that. I want to see arguments. There was also a time when scholars accepted the Jesus myth hypothesis as well.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 11:38 AM
I already noted that. I want to see arguments. There was also a time when scholars accepted the Jesus myth hypothesis as well.The Jesus myth hypothesis has never ever been a consensus or majority position, not even a significant minority position. There have been very, very few scholars (and I use the term as loosely as possible) who have ever supported that position.

As for arguments, this has been a consensus developing from the early part of the 19th century. Very few have even bothered to oppose it, except by arguments from authority, eg, up until the 1960s Roman Catholic scholars were required to hold to Matthean priority but they never convinced anyone. As for arguments, it is practically obvious to anyone who reads the texts in Greek that everywhere Matthew is making minor stylistic (and other) improvements on the Greek text of Mark. In a Greek synopsis, this can be seen on almost every page of the triple tradition. Pick a passage, and I will show you in the Greek, if you like. If you do not have access to a Greek synopsis, I can help out when I return from my current business trip.

Outis
02-09-2014, 11:41 AM
I already noted that. I want to see arguments. There was also a time when scholars accepted the Jesus myth hypothesis as well.

The Jesus Myth has always been "fringe scholarship" at best, and has until late been considered little more than foolishness. Much like Peshitta primacy, It has never been widely accepted.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 12:45 PM
The Jesus Myth has always been "fringe scholarship" at best, and has until late been considered little more than foolishness. Much like Peshitta primacy, It has never been widely accepted.


The Jesus myth hypothesis has never ever been a consensus or majority position, not even a significant minority position. There have been very, very few scholars (and I use the term as loosely as possible) who have ever supported that position.

As for arguments, this has been a consensus developing from the early part of the 19th century. Very few have even bothered to oppose it, except by arguments from authority, eg, up until the 1960s Roman Catholic scholars were required to hold to Matthean priority but they never convinced anyone. As for arguments, it is practically obvious to anyone who reads the texts in Greek that everywhere Matthew is making minor stylistic (and other) improvements on the Greek text of Mark. In a Greek synopsis, this can be seen on almost every page of the triple tradition. Pick a passage, and I will show you in the Greek, if you like. If you do not have access to a Greek synopsis, I can help out when I return from my current business trip.

Seems you all are right on this.
Ok what about the "Dying and Rising gods" thing?

Quote

""Still others suggest that Paul's conception is related to ideas of union with a dying and rising god that was popular in Hellenistic 'mystery religions.' These 'mystery religions,' a group of religions very popular in the Hellenistic world, featured secret initiations and promised their adherents 'salvation,' often by participation in a cultic act that was held to bring the initiate into union with a god. Under the impulse of the history-of-religions movement early in this century, many scholars attributed various doctrines of Paul to dependence on these religions. But direct dependence of Paul on these religions is now widely discounted. More popular is the view that Paul’s Hellenistic churches interpreted their experience of Christ in the light of these religions and that Paul’s teaching demonstrates point of contact with, and corrections of, this existing tradition…The mystical and repeated ‘dying and rising’ of a mystery religion adherent with a nature god like Osiris or Attis has little to do with Paul’s focus on the Christian's participation in the historical events of Christ's life.”
http://www.christianthinktank.com/copycat.html#dying

And robrecht, I do think that the data is accounted for in my theory. I know where I can get the Greek (Interlinear bibles side by side). Some cases, I found quite good similarities and in some, I found things looking not so similar (but basically the same event).

Outis
02-09-2014, 12:52 PM
Seems you all are right on this.
Ok what about the "Dying and Rising gods" thing?
Depending on what specific article you're speaking of, it's either idiotic rubbish (the copies) or deliberately dishonest rubbish (the original). Same with the "six dozen copycat Christs" or however many they're claiming now.

For most of these things, scholars don't even bother to refute them, because they're not just wrong, they're blatantly dishonest.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 01:03 PM
Seems you all are right on this.
Ok what about the "Dying and Rising gods" thing?

Quote

""Still others suggest that Paul's conception is related to ideas of union with a dying and rising god that was popular in Hellenistic 'mystery religions.' These 'mystery religions,' a group of religions very popular in the Hellenistic world, featured secret initiations and promised their adherents 'salvation,' often by participation in a cultic act that was held to bring the initiate into union with a god. Under the impulse of the history-of-religions movement early in this century, many scholars attributed various doctrines of Paul to dependence on these religions. But direct dependence of Paul on these religions is now widely discounted. More popular is the view that Paul’s Hellenistic churches interpreted their experience of Christ in the light of these religions and that Paul’s teaching demonstrates point of contact with, and corrections of, this existing tradition…The mystical and repeated ‘dying and rising’ of a mystery religion adherent with a nature god like Osiris or Attis has little to do with Paul’s focus on the Christian's participation in the historical events of Christ's life.”
http://www.christianthinktank.com/copycat.html#dying Yes, it was much more commonly thought in the early part of this century to attribute much of Paul's high christology to Hellenistic mystery religions, but this was not used in support of a mythicist position. The most important scholar was Wilhelm Bousset. He was not a mythicist, but it is true that some mythicists take Bousset's work to a much more radical conclusion, but these mythicists were very few in number. The best recent appreciation and critique of Bousset's work has been done by Larry Hurtado.


And robrecht, I do think that the data is accounted for in my theory. I know where I can get the Greek (Interlinear bibles side by side). Some cases, I found quite good similarities and in some, I found things looking not so similar (but basically the same event). Pick whatever passage you feel best supports your case, and I'll gladly take a look. But I must say that it is hard to take your word for your theory (better?) accounting for the data since all of the data is in Greek and I think you said above that you do not read Greek, right?

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 01:12 PM
Depending on what specific article you're speaking of, it's either idiotic rubbish (the copies) or deliberately dishonest rubbish (the original). Same with the "six dozen copycat Christs" or however many they're claiming now.

For most of these things, scholars don't even bother to refute them, because they're not just wrong, they're blatantly dishonest.

My point was that scholars once accepted this as well but it has been abandoned.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 01:22 PM
My point was that scholars once accepted this as well but it has been abandoned.Depends on what you now mean by "this". Previously you were speaking of the Jesus mythicist position. What are you now referring to by "this"?

Outis
02-09-2014, 01:31 PM
My point was that scholars once accepted this as well but it has been abandoned.

Incorrect. The original "Copycat Christ" article was based on a series of forgeries and deliberate misinterpretations (sometime back on the early 1900s, iirc), and immediately got blasted out of the water like the garbage it actually was. The only folks who accepted it were wing-nuts who wanted to "disprove" Christianity--and they are most definitely not scholars.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 01:33 PM
Yes, it was much more commonly thought in the early part of this century to attribute much of Paul's high christology to Hellenistic mystery religions, but this was not used in support of a mythicist position. The most important scholar was William Bousset. He was not a mythicist, but it is true that some mythicists take Bousset's work to a much more radical conclusion, but these mythicists were very few in number. The best recent appreciation and critique of Bousset's work has been done by Larry Hurtado.


My point was that scholars changed their opinions.



Pick whatever passage you feel best supports your case, and I'll gladly take a look. But I must say that it is hard to take your word for your theory (better?) accounting for the data since all of the data is in Greek and I think you said above that you do not read Greek, right?

Well what case is it? The case against Markan priority (which I think is accounted for by Peter being dependent on Matthew to an extent) or the case of Matthew in Hebrew. For the latter, the best passage I can think of is Matt 2:23 which doesn't make sense to a Greek reader but more to a Hebrew reader. For the puns, alliterations etc I suppose Matt 9:8 and 11:8-10 would be the best.

I can definitely understand not taking my word for it but I do think that the hypothesis that Peter was dependent on a Greek Matthew does merit some consideration (Especially since the purported letters of St. Peter appear to be literarily dependent on other sources)

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 01:36 PM
Depends on what you now mean by "this". Previously you were speaking of the Jesus mythicist position. What are you now referring to by "this"?

I was wrong on the Jesus mythicist position being accepted by a majority of scholars. "This" references the dying and rising gods thing.
Sorry for the confusion.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 01:39 PM
Incorrect. The original "Copycat Christ" article was based on a series of forgeries and deliberate misinterpretations (sometime back on the early 1900s, iirc), and immediately got blasted out of the water like the garbage it actually was. The only folks who accepted it were wing-nuts who wanted to "disprove" Christianity--and they are most definitely not scholars.

Is this referencing the dying and rising gods thing?

Outis
02-09-2014, 01:42 PM
Is this referencing the dying and rising gods thing?
They're both the same theory, Quantum--both propagated by the same group of nutters. Indeed, today's Christ-mythers use the so-called "Copy-cat Christ thesis" to support their "arguments" ... such as they are.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 01:46 PM
They're both the same theory, Quantum--both propagated by the same group of nutters. Indeed, today's Christ-mythers use the so-called "Copy-cat Christ thesis" to support their "arguments" ... such as they are.

Well, according to the New International Commentary on the New Testament (where Miller quotes from), many scholars did support the theory.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 01:49 PM
My point was that scholars changed their opinions.If you're speaking of Bousset, that's way too simplistic. There were and are still differences of opinion. Johannes Weiss, a contemporary member of the same history of religions school, was practically diametrically opposed to Bousset. While Hurtado is both appreciative and critical of Bousset's work, there are still many who disagree fundamentally with Hurtado.


Well what case is it? The case against Markan priority (which I think is accounted for by Peter being dependent on Matthew to an extent) or the case of Matthew in Hebrew. Both are intimately related. If Matthew was largely dependent upon Mark's Greek, then he did not compose his text in Hebrew.


For the latter, the best passage I can think of is Matt 2:23 which doesn't make sense to a Greek reader but more to a Hebrew reader. For the puns, alliterations etc I suppose Matt 9:8 and 11:8-10 would be the best. Neither Mt 2,23 nor 11,8-10 is part of the triple tradition so they are both irrelevant to this discussion. You'll have to explain your view of how Mt 9,7 demonstrates dependence upon a Hebrew source rather than upon Mark's Greek text.


I can definitely understand not taking my word for it but I do think that the hypothesis that Peter was dependent on a Greek Matthew does merit some consideration (Especially since the purported letters of St. Peter appear to be literarily dependent on other sources) I'm confused by what position you are trying to defend. You are no longer following Papias' view? Peter was dependent upon a Greek Matthew? Where do you get that?

Outis
02-09-2014, 01:58 PM
Well, according to the New International Commentary on the New Testament (where Miller quotes from), many scholars did support the theory.

The Commentary is wrong. In the 1700s, you had Volney and Dupuis. In the 1800s, you had Bauer and the Radical Dutch school, which was basically four people. In the 20th century, you had half-a-dozen or so people, some of them owners of their own publishing houses (because they couldn't get their crap published anywhere reputable). In the 21st century, you've got a dozen or so. The Christ-Myth crowd is a tiny sliver of historical-critical Biblical scholarship, and most of them are laughingstocks.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 03:17 PM
There are numerous ways to interpret the time frame, none of which can be proven. Mk 13,19 refers to a future 'those days', and then 13,24 refers again to 'in those days, after that tribulation', and finally 13,30 refers to 'this generation'. Many scholars, and myself as well, think 'this generation' is the generation alive during and just after the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, ie, Mark's generation. The apocalyptic discourse ends with Jesus speaking not only to Peter, James, John, and Andrew, but to all, 'stay awake'. I don't think Mark necessarily believed the end would come 'in a few years', and cautions against some claims, but there is no real indication that he was writing for far distant future generations either.

I know that there are numerous ways but it seems that it references the wicked Jews (or perhaps, Judeans) who lived at the time of Christ (Matt 23:36). As far as I know, they were pretty much dead by 71C.E.

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 03:33 PM
Quantum Weirdness: What do you think of the possibility that Matthew collected the sayings in Aramaic and translated them into Greek while fashioning the narrative in Greek?

Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

I think it is possible but in light of the puns, alliterations etc in Matt's Gospel where Jesus doesn't speak, I don't think it should be preferred to the idea of a Hebrew gospel.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 03:51 PM
OK, Quantum Weirdness, is this the position you are defending? Matthew wrote his gospel first in Hebrew, then Matthew translated his gospel into Greek. Then Peter depended upon Matthew's Greek translation when preaching in Rome. Then Mark, Peter's translator, translated Peter's Greek usage of Matthew's Greek into a less refined Greek of his own gospel? This is worthy of your name. But how do you refute the almost universal impression of scholars that Matthew's Greek gospel is refining and 'improving' upon Mark's Greek gospel?

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 04:20 PM
Ok robrecht,
Let me tell you what my theory is before we go further.
My theory is that:
-Matt composed a Gospel in Hebrew and then translated it into Greek (perhaps with input from Peter and the other apostles)
-Peter used Greek Matthew to help himself preach and to talk about the stories of Jesus in a consistent manner. If Mark wanted to know extra things about Jesus, he would ask Peter who would use Matthew to help him out.
-Mark later wrote down everything he remembered from Peter (so Mark would sound a lot like Matt) in his own style.

That being said,


If you're speaking of Bousset, that's way too simplistic. There were and are still differences of opinion. Johannes Weiss, a contemporary member of the same history of religions school, was practically diametrically opposed to Bousset. While Hurtado is both appreciative and critical of Bousset's work, there are still many who disagree fundamentally with Hurtado.


When I referenced the dying and rising gods thing, I meant this
Quote
"Still others suggest that Paul's conception is related to ideas of union with a dying and rising god that was popular in Hellenistic 'mystery religions.' ". The reason I bolded the other stuff is to show that this position is no longer held but once was. I'm sorry if confusion occurred.



Both are intimately related. If Matthew was largely dependent upon Mark's Greek, then he did not compose his text in Hebrew.


Ok then



Neither Mt 2,23 nor 11,8-10 is part of the triple tradition so they are both irrelevant to this discussion. You'll have to explain your view of how Mt 9,7 demonstrates dependence upon a Hebrew source rather than upon Mark's Greek text.


They are, however relevant to the language Matt wrote in. Matt 9:8 is an alliteration in Hebrew (see pg 200 of http://www.scribd.com/doc/62926694/Gospel-of-Matthew-According-to-a-Primitive-Hebrew-Text-by-George-Howard)



I'm confused by what position you are trying to defend. You are no longer following Papias' view? Peter was dependent upon a Greek Matthew? Where do you get that?

Explained above

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 04:37 PM
OK, Quantum Weirdness, is this the position you are defending? Matthew wrote his gospel first in Hebrew, then Matthew translated his gospel into Greek. Then Peter depended upon Matthew's Greek translation when preaching in Rome. Then Papias, Peter's translator, translated Peter's Greek usage of Matthew's Greek into a less refined Greek of his own gospel? This is worthy of your name. But how do you refute the almost universal impression of scholars that Matthew's Greek gospel is refining and 'improving' upon Mark's Greek gospel?

You have up to the bolded correct. But
-Papias wasn't Peter's translator in my view. (I assume you meant Mark?)
-The Greek is different due to the different communities being addressed

I don't think that the Greek of Mark being less refined amounts to Markan Priority
Quote
"Choppy writing style.

Let it be definitively said: Awkwardness and choppiness, in a literary view, is NOT reason to suppose priority, and if anything, is good reason to suppose a later writing, since it is usually the case that better forms of a work are issued first. Moreover, the brevity and choppiness are better explained by seeing Mark's Gospel as Papias did - as a record of the preaching of Peter. [Reic.Root, 46, 57]

Also, Mark's brevity can be considered a device of rhetorical style -- Mark was an Hellenistic Jew, and demonstrates a close affinity to Greek tragedy style in the gospel. Oral tradition specialist Albert Lord [Walk.ID, 42f.] also notes oral narrative parallels of texts that tell the same story in a longer and shorter variation, which show that "shorter" is not necessarily "earlier" and may in fact be the result of more practical constraints.

In addition, Sanders and Davies [Sand.SSG, 72] make a pertinent point about those who claim, "Mark would not have messed up Matthew's or Luke's good grammar" as a point to Marcan priority (though this would not affect our thesis of Marcan and Matthean independence):

In fact, however, the entire notion of 'improvement' or its reverse is very shaky. People who rewrote material rewrote it in their own style. If a later author liked elegance and knew how to achieve it, the product would be more elegant. But the reverse could and often did happen. Many of the apocryphal gospels of the second and subsequent centuries are written in 'worse' Greek than Mark -- that is, worse by the Attic standard. Many authors, and no dount many readers and hearers, preferred more colloquial and less elegant prose. One can imagine many modern analogies. A sermon or lecture directed to a university audience might not go down very well if given before another audience.


Thus a common argument for Markan priority is a failure in reality."
http://www.tektonics.org/qm/qmhub.php
End Quote

Quantum Weirdness
02-09-2014, 04:46 PM
The Commentary is wrong. In the 1700s, you had Volney and Dupuis. In the 1800s, you had Bauer and the Radical Dutch school, which was basically four people. In the 20th century, you had half-a-dozen or so people, some of them owners of their own publishing houses (because they couldn't get their crap published anywhere reputable). In the 21st century, you've got a dozen or so. The Christ-Myth crowd is a tiny sliver of historical-critical Biblical scholarship, and most of them are laughingstocks.

Ok but more than one commentary suppose this to be the case (eg BBC)
Quote
""Ancient Near Eastern religions had long had traditions of dying-and-rising gods, general vegetation deities renewed annually in the spring. Some ancient sources, especially early Christian interpretations of these religions, suggest that initiates into various mystery cults “died and rose with” the deity. Scholars early in the twentieth century naturally saw in this tradition the background for Paul’s language here. Although the evidence is still disputed, it is not certain that the mysteries saw a once-for-all dying-and-rising in baptism, as in Paul, until after Christianity became a widespread religious force in the Roman Empire that some other religious groups imitated. More important, the early Christian view of resurrection is certainly derived from the Jewish doctrine rather than from the seasonal revivification of Greek cults."
http://christianthinktank.com/copycat.html#dying

Are they wrong as well?
Could you provide some documentation for your claim? Thanks.

Outis
02-09-2014, 05:22 PM
Ok but more than one commentary suppose this to be the case (eg BBC)
Quote
""Ancient Near Eastern religions had long had traditions of dying-and-rising gods, general vegetation deities renewed annually in the spring. Some ancient sources, especially early Christian interpretations of these religions, suggest that initiates into various mystery cults “died and rose with” the deity. Scholars early in the twentieth century naturally saw in this tradition the background for Paul’s language here. Although the evidence is still disputed, it is not certain that the mysteries saw a once-for-all dying-and-rising in baptism, as in Paul, until after Christianity became a widespread religious force in the Roman Empire that some other religious groups imitated. More important, the early Christian view of resurrection is certainly derived from the Jewish doctrine rather than from the seasonal revivification of Greek cults."
http://christianthinktank.com/copycat.html#dying

Are they wrong as well?
Could you provide some documentation for your claim? Thanks.

Actually, yes--because your sources are older (or are relying on older sources themselves), they are using outdated information.

The concept of the "dying and reborn god" was frequently debated in the late 19th and through the 20th centuries, but was largely put down near the end of the 20th century. It's still a really popular idea on the Internet, so it's really easy to find on internet sites, but yes, it's wrong.

One good, introductory source to look at, which may be available near you if you have a good library, is "Archetypes and Motifs in Folklore and Literature," by Jane Garry. It came out in ... I want to say 2005 or there abouts. It is NOT an easy read, and most of it will be stuff that doesn't directly relate to this topic. The dismissal of the "dying and reborn god," and the reasons for that dismissal, are somewhere in the first ... fifty pages? I don't remember for sure ... as you can tell, it's been a while since I read it.

If you don't have access to a good library, or if your library doesn't have it, you may be able to preview it on Amazon or Google Books.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 05:23 PM
You have up to the bolded correct. But
-Papias wasn't Peter's translator in my view. (I assume you meant Mark?)Yes, sorry about that. I have corrected it above.


-The Greek is different due to the different communities being addressed

I don't think that the Greek of Mark being less refined amounts to Markan Priority
Quote
"Choppy writing style.

Let it be definitively said: Awkwardness and choppiness, in a literary view, is NOT reason to suppose priority, and if anything, is good reason to suppose a later writing, since it is usually the case that better forms of a work are issued first. Moreover, the brevity and choppiness are better explained by seeing Mark's Gospel as Papias did - as a record of the preaching of Peter. [Reic.Root, 46, 57]

Also, Mark's brevity can be considered a device of rhetorical style -- Mark was an Hellenistic Jew, and demonstrates a close affinity to Greek tragedy style in the gospel. Oral tradition specialist Albert Lord [Walk.ID, 42f.] also notes oral narrative parallels of texts that tell the same story in a longer and shorter variation, which show that "shorter" is not necessarily "earlier" and may in fact be the result of more practical constraints.

In addition, Sanders and Davies [Sand.SSG, 72] make a pertinent point about those who claim, "Mark would not have messed up Matthew's or Luke's good grammar" as a point to Marcan priority (though this would not affect our thesis of Marcan and Matthean independence):

In fact, however, the entire notion of 'improvement' or its reverse is very shaky. People who rewrote material rewrote it in their own style. If a later author liked elegance and knew how to achieve it, the product would be more elegant. But the reverse could and often did happen. Many of the apocryphal gospels of the second and subsequent centuries are written in 'worse' Greek than Mark -- that is, worse by the Attic standard. Many authors, and no dount many readers and hearers, preferred more colloquial and less elegant prose. One can imagine many modern analogies. A sermon or lecture directed to a university audience might not go down very well if given before another audience.


Thus a common argument for Markan priority is a failure in reality."
http://www.tektonics.org/qm/qmhub.php
End Quote
You are citing someone who does not actually agree with you. Case in point: "2.Greek Matthew is a post-Markan product" This is virtually impossible to deny, yet you deny it.

You are also citing someone who misunderstands Papias as claiming Matthew wrote prior to Mark. Papias speaks first of Mark translating Peter's preaching in an unordered manner and then of Mathew creating a well-ordered text.

Your source's theory, that Luke was dependent upon Aramaic Matthew, also cannot account for the Greek verbal agreement in much of the double tradition.

Accordingly, he is ignorant of the reason why scholars consider the hypothetical Q source to have been in Greek.

He mischaracterizes the argument from order and completely misses the point.

He does not appear to be conversant in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. You should use better sources for your information. Better yet, just learn the languages yourself.

robrecht
02-09-2014, 05:53 PM
... They are, however relevant to the language Matt wrote in. Matt 9:8 is an alliteration in Hebrew (see pg 200 of http://www.scribd.com/doc/62926694/Gospel-of-Matthew-According-to-a-Primitive-Hebrew-Text-by-George-Howard) You're also misusing Howard's position. Note on p. 181 that he does not prefer the view that Matthew Greek is a translation of Matthew Hebrew. While he does prefer the view that one served as a literary model for the other, he does not take a position on which one served as the literary model of the other.

Paprika
02-09-2014, 06:21 PM
I do not make the claim that it is a "major" argument under my own authority. I suggest you start by taking the issue up with the editors of the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Unfortunately, the editor, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, passed away in 2009, but you can contact the Eerdman Publishing Company and see if anyone else has taken up the project.
:lol: :chicken:

Outis
02-09-2014, 06:35 PM
:lol: :chicken:

Would you have me defend an argument I did not originate? Or is winning a debate more important than finding out the facts?

Paprika
02-09-2014, 08:22 PM
Would you have me defend an argument I did not originate? Or is winning a debate more important than finding out the facts?
I would expect you to defend an argument you introduce, rather than trying to escape the burden of proof.

Outis
02-09-2014, 08:26 PM
I would expect you to defend an argument you introduce, rather than trying to escape the burden of proof.

Fair enough. However, my best way of defending that argument is to refer you to the experts. I have the feeling that doing so will not satisfy you. I therefore withdraw the appellation of "major" from that argument.

Paprika
02-09-2014, 08:36 PM
Fair enough. However, my best way of defending that argument is to refer you to the experts. I have the feeling that doing so will not satisfy you. I therefore withdraw the appellation of "major" from that argument.
Thank you.

The Pixie
02-10-2014, 03:46 AM
What evidence is that?
Not exactly sure what you are refering to, but most scholars are agree the gospel we have was originally in Greek.

Some quotes and links (I believe these are all by Christian authors, by the way):

"Almost all scholars agree that our Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Greek and is not a transated document. Matthew's Greek reveals none of the telltale marks of translation. Furthermore, Matthew's OT quotations are derived from the LXX rather than the Hebrew text..."
http://books.google.de/books?id=Zkla5Gl_66oC&pg=PA280#v=onepage&q&f=false

"The main reason for this lies in the fact, now generally accepted, that the first gospel is not a translation from the Aramaic, but was composed originally in Greek on the basis of at least two written Greek sources, Mark and Q."
http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=531&C=552

"The majority of scholars believe the original was in Greek, not Aramaic which was presumably Matthew’s first language."
https://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/did-the-apostle-matthew-write-the-gospel-of-matthew-and-when-can-we-assert-he-wrote-it/

"On the other hand, most scholars insist that Matthew was originally written in Greek because many parts of the Gospel are extremely (if not identically) similar to Mark's, which was indubitably written in Greek."
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/matthew.cfm

http://www.bible.ca/jw-YHWH-hebrew-matthew.htm
http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/14769/in-what-language-was-the-book-of-matthew-written
http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2008/04-21.html

How do we know it is about a different text?
Well, the gospel we have was first written in Greek, the gospel Papias talks about was in Hebrew.

Except for the external testimony by Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius etc.
These appear to all go back to the comment of Papias, which would seem to be another text.

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 11:42 AM
Yes, sorry about that. I have corrected it above.


You are citing someone who does not actually agree with you. Case in point: "2.Greek Matthew is a post-Markan product" This is virtually impossible to deny, yet you deny it.


Okkkkkkk...................



You are also citing someone who misunderstands Papias as claiming Matthew wrote prior to Mark. Papias speaks first of Mark translating Peter's preaching in an unordered manner and then of Mathew creating a well-ordered text.

Your source's theory, that Luke was dependent upon Aramaic Matthew, also cannot account for the Greek verbal agreement in much of the double tradition.

Which is why I have my own. BTW, why not bring this up in the tektonics forum and see if JPH defends it well there?

Yeah he doesn't agree with me. But I do think the argument is valid. Even if his other arguments are wrong. I think this argument is valid because different people tend to write things in their varied writing styles. And Sanders (and Davies) do support the idea that "Mark messing up Matt's Grammar" is not a good way to show Markan priority.
What evidence do you have against their position though?



Accordingly, he is ignorant of the reason why scholars consider the hypothetical Q source to have been in Greek.


Ok then.
He mischaracterizes the argument from order and completely misses the point.[/QUOTE]


What is the argument from order then?



He does not appear to be conversant in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. You should use better sources for your information. Better yet, just learn the languages yourself.

But he can read and use scholarship to compare the arguments and arrive at a conclusion.


You're also misusing Howard's position. Note on p. 181 that he does not prefer the view that Matthew Greek is a translation of Matthew Hebrew. While he does prefer the view that one served as a literary model for the other, he does not take a position on which one served as the literary model of the other.

This is in reference to Shem Tov's text (which I agree wasn't the original Matthew due to blatant corruptions of the text). If I ever implied that I thought Shem Tov's Hebrew was the original, then I am sorry. The puns hold because they appear to not be interpolations but to be parallel with the Greek text that we have.

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 11:44 AM
Actually, yes--because your sources are older (or are relying on older sources themselves), they are using outdated information.

The concept of the "dying and reborn god" was frequently debated in the late 19th and through the 20th centuries, but was largely put down near the end of the 20th century. It's still a really popular idea on the Internet, so it's really easy to find on internet sites, but yes, it's wrong.

One good, introductory source to look at, which may be available near you if you have a good library, is "Archetypes and Motifs in Folklore and Literature," by Jane Garry. It came out in ... I want to say 2005 or there abouts. It is NOT an easy read, and most of it will be stuff that doesn't directly relate to this topic. The dismissal of the "dying and reborn god," and the reasons for that dismissal, are somewhere in the first ... fifty pages? I don't remember for sure ... as you can tell, it's been a while since I read it.

If you don't have access to a good library, or if your library doesn't have it, you may be able to preview it on Amazon or Google Books.

Thanks. One more question. Do you think that major shifts in scholarly thinking exist?

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 12:02 PM
Not exactly sure what you are refering to, but most scholars are agree the gospel we have was originally in Greek.

Some quotes and links (I believe these are all by Christian authors, by the way):

"Almost all scholars agree that our Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Greek and is not a transated document. Matthew's Greek reveals none of the telltale marks of translation. Furthermore, Matthew's OT quotations are derived from the LXX rather than the Hebrew text..."
http://books.google.de/books?id=Zkla5Gl_66oC&pg=PA280#v=onepage&q&f=false

"The main reason for this lies in the fact, now generally accepted, that the first gospel is not a translation from the Aramaic, but was composed originally in Greek on the basis of at least two written Greek sources, Mark and Q."
http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=531&C=552

"The majority of scholars believe the original was in Greek, not Aramaic which was presumably Matthew’s first language."
https://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/did-the-apostle-matthew-write-the-gospel-of-matthew-and-when-can-we-assert-he-wrote-it/

"On the other hand, most scholars insist that Matthew was originally written in Greek because many parts of the Gospel are extremely (if not identically) similar to Mark's, which was indubitably written in Greek."
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/matthew.cfm

http://www.bible.ca/jw-YHWH-hebrew-matthew.htm
http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/14769/in-what-language-was-the-book-of-matthew-written
http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2008/04-21.html


Well, the gospel we have was first written in Greek, the gospel Papias talks about was in Hebrew.

I think the reason they hold to this position is that they see no evidence of Matthew being translated into Greek. But others (e.g. Josephus' Wars of the Jews also show no signs of translation yet Josephus says that he translated the Aramaic into Greek see the first paragraph here (http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/war-pref.htm).



These appear to all go back to the comment of Papias, which would seem to be another text.

Ok then.

Outis
02-10-2014, 12:57 PM
Thanks. One more question. Do you think that major shifts in scholarly thinking exist?

Just on a general basis, or for this issue specifically? Yes in both cases, preferrably driven by the evidence.

robrecht
02-10-2014, 01:00 PM
Okkkkkkk...................

Which is why I have my own. BTW, why not bring this up in the tektonics forum and see if JPH defends it well there? I don't get involved in many apologetic debates


Yeah he doesn't agree with me. But I do think the argument is valid. Even if his other arguments are wrong. I think this argument is valid because different people tend to write things in their varied writing styles. And Sanders (and Davies) do support the idea that "Mark messing up Matt's Grammar" is not a good way to show Markan priority.
What evidence do you have against their position though? I do not oppose their position because they both hold to Markan priority so while they may value some arguments more or less than other arguments, they arrive at the same place. It is not just a matter of grammar. I defend Mark's grammar and style as effective and not as bad as is sometimes claimed, but presuming Markan priority allows one to very frequently see how Matthew and Luke made sensible and understandable improvements to make Mark's text less problematic. The changes just do not work as well in the other direction. Allison clearly believes in the overall pattern of Matthew improving upon Mark.


What is the argument from order then? The argument from order as it is used by contemporary exegetes, at least those that are competent does not prove Markan priority. But assuming Markan priority, it is one indication that Matthew and Luke may have redacted Mark independently. Thus, none of Matthew's changes of Mark's order are found in Luke, so one cannot easily say that Luke must have relied on Matthew in this respect. Likewise, none of Luke's changes to Mark's order are also found in Matthew. One could just as easily assume Matthean priority and say that Luke may have also known Mark (in addition to Luke) because he includes apparent changes in order made by Mark. Or one could assume Lukan priority and assert the liklihood that Matthew was dependent upon Mark (in addition to Luke) because Matthew includes Markan changes to Luke's order.


But he can read and use scholarship to compare the arguments and arrive at a conclusion. It is difficult to evaluate for oneself the quality of an argument without familiarity with the actual data.


This is in reference to Shem Tov's text (which I agree wasn't the original Matthew due to blatant corruptions of the text). If I ever implied that I thought Shem Tov's Hebrew was the original, then I am sorry. The puns hold because they appear to not be interpolations but to be parallel with the Greek text that we have. Not quite. Howard also agrees that the corruptions in the text make it certain that Shem Tov's text is not the original, but he tries to uncover indications that it dates back to an older independent Hebrew exemplar. And having uncovered those indications, he nonetheless does not assert that they demonstrate that that original Hebrew exemplar to the extent that it can be reconstructed was a basis for translation into Greek Matthew. The puns and aliteration simply do not carry the weight that you give them. They might indicate a certain style of the author or translator but they rarely make a strong case for translation. For example, one of his examples of aliteration in Hebrew actually contains a greater degree of aliteration in the Greek. One looks for interference of the source language with the target language, but even when that is hypothesized, it is rarely decisive. Thus, Carmignac can argue that Mark was translated from Hebrew and Casey, using different examples, can argue that extensive sections of Mark were translated from Aramaic. They never rise beyond the level of hypotheses and neither of these hypothetical reconstructions have convinced many scholars.

Outis
02-10-2014, 01:06 PM
But others (e.g. Josephus' Wars of the Jews also show no signs of translation yet Josephus says that he translated the Aramaic into Greek see the first paragraph here (http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/war-pref.htm).

Joseph is here seems to be referring to works that he originally translated to Greek, but that have not survived. His three surviving works (Antiquities, Jewish War, and Against Apion) were all written after he went to Rome.

The Pixie
02-10-2014, 02:41 PM
I think the reason they hold to this position is that they see no evidence of Matthew being translated into Greek. But others (e.g. Josephus' Wars of the Jews also show no signs of translation yet Josephus says that he translated the Aramaic into Greek see the first paragraph here (http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/war-pref.htm).
I am going to guess that Biblical scholars have thought about it a bit more deeply than you give them credit for.

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 02:54 PM
I don't get involved in many apologetic debates


Ok


I do not oppose their position because they both hold to Markan priority so while they may value some arguments more or less than other arguments, they arrive at the same place. It is not just a matter of grammar. I defend Mark's grammar and style as effective and not as bad as is sometimes claimed, but presuming Markan priority allows one to very frequently see how Matthew and Luke made sensible and understandable improvements to make Mark's text less problematic. The changes just do not work as well in the other direction. Allison clearly believes in the overall pattern of Matthew improving upon Mark.


They seem to think that it is a weak argument (which I agree with). Other arguments need to be provided to show Markan priority.



The argument from order as it is used by contemporary exegetes, at least those that are competent does not prove Markan priority. But assuming Markan priority, it is one indication that Matthew and Luke may have redacted Mark independently. Thus, none of Matthew's changes of Mark's order are found in Luke, so one cannot easily say that Luke must have relied on Matthew in this respect. Likewise, none of Luke's changes to Mark's order are also found in Matthew. One could just as easily assume Matthean priority and say that Luke may have also known Mark (in addition to Luke) because he includes apparent changes in order made by Mark. Or one could assume Lukan priority and assert the liklihood that Matthew was dependent upon Mark (in addition to Luke) because Matthew includes Markan changes to Luke's order.


Or you could go with my theory.



It is difficult to evaluate for oneself the quality of an argument without familiarity with the actual data.


But you can evaluate their arguments and see which are the best. Usually, bad arguments are called out by other scholars and it appears that JPH has read a lot of scholars.



Not quite. Howard also agrees that the corruptions in the text make it certain that Shem Tov's text is not the original, but he tries to uncover indications that it dates back to an older independent Hebrew exemplar. And having uncovered those indications, he nonetheless does not assert that they demonstrate that that original Hebrew exemplar to the extent that it can be reconstructed was a basis for translation into Greek Matthew. The puns and aliteration simply do not carry the weight that you give them. They might indicate a certain style of the author or translator but they rarely make a strong case for translation.


Some like 11:8,10 , 12:13,15 and 12:24 suppose a one to one correspondence and not translators (King and messenger are very similar in Hebrew). There is also the fact that Matt 2:23 make more sense to a Hebrew reader (as an allusion to Isaiah 11:1) and the external testimony of Irenaeus etc who asserts that he wrote the gospel in Hebrew and adds some information about Rome. These combined with the fact that Matthew was likely bilingual (could a Jewish tax-collector not speak Greek and work?) and others left left no trace of Semitism when translating their material (though from Aramaic) eg Josephus suggest that the traditional idea of Matthew authoring the Gospel in Hebrew should not be abandoned.



For example, one of his examples of aliteration in Hebrew actually contains a greater degree of aliteration in the Greek.


Which one?



One looks for interference of the source language with the target language, but even when that is hypothesized, it is rarely decisive. Thus, Carmignac can argue that Mark was translated from Hebrew and Casey, using different examples, can argue that extensive sections of Mark were translated from Aramaic. They never rise beyond the level of hypotheses and neither of these hypothetical reconstructions have convinced many scholars.

It could be due to external evidence (Mark wasn't traditionally said to be written in Hebrew or Aramaic) but I do think Mark shows sign of Aramaic sources in his gospel.

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 02:55 PM
I am going to guess that Biblical scholars have thought about it a bit more deeply than you give them credit for.

Well what reasons do they cite besides that one?

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 03:02 PM
Joseph is here seems to be referring to works that he originally translated to Greek, but that have not survived. His three surviving works (Antiquities, Jewish War, and Against Apion) were all written after he went to Rome.

Yep he translated them to Greek yet, (according to Blomberg) left no linguistic clues of using Aramaic

Outis
02-10-2014, 03:53 PM
Yep he translated them to Greek yet, (according to Blomberg) left no linguistic clues of using Aramaic

Josephus did not translate _The Jewish War_ by himself: see http://books.google.com/books?id=YVBx3ycOTBsC&pg=PA838&lpg=PA838&dq=%22the+aid+given+by+josephus%27+assistants%22&source=bl&ots=uPKbgJUC6d&sig=wNv0Yqr2GSAIdT-30Fz_ZTjx-9Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OGb5UvOHHOzD0AH1o4GAAg&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22the%20aid%20given%20by%20josephus%27%20assist ants%22&f=false

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 04:37 PM
Josephus did not translate _The Jewish War_ by himself: see http://books.google.com/books?id=YVBx3ycOTBsC&pg=PA838&lpg=PA838&dq=%22the+aid+given+by+josephus%27+assistants%22&source=bl&ots=uPKbgJUC6d&sig=wNv0Yqr2GSAIdT-30Fz_ZTjx-9Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OGb5UvOHHOzD0AH1o4GAAg&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22the%20aid%20given%20by%20josephus%27%20assist ants%22&f=false

Cant read much on that book (Pg unavailable) Can you quote the relevant parts? What kind of help would he have received regarding the Aramaic?

In any case, Matt (according to his own gospel) was a tax collector and as Wallace notes:

Quote
"There are relatively few Semitic traces in Matthew, though one might note the heavy use of τότε (89 times), as compared with Mark (6) and Luke (15), perhaps harking back to the Hebrew אז.12 Beyond this, there is the occasional asyndeton (a mark of Aramaic influence), use of the indefinite plural (1:23; 7:16), etc. Although Matthew’s Greek is less Semitic than Mark’s, it does betray traces of Semitisms at times—even where none exists in the Markan parallel. If Matthew did write this gospel, one might not expect many Semitisms since Matthew was a tax-collector and would therefore have to be conversant in Greek as well as Hebrew/Aramaic. But the fact of some Semitisms suggests either that the writer was a Jew or that his sources were Semitic. Yet, some of these are so much a part of the fabric of his gospel (e.g., τότε) that it is more reasonable to suppose that the author was himself a Jew.
https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew-introduction-argument-and-outline

NB Wallace agrees with Q and Markan Priority and thus, disagrees with my theory but I think this is relevant since it suggests that there is some Semitic touch in the Gospel. There is also Matt 2:23 which is better explained by the Hebrew wordplay or Nazareth and branch (in Hebrew)

Outis
02-10-2014, 05:19 PM
Cant read much on that book (Pg unavailable) Can you quote the relevant parts?

"And yet, so thorough was the aid given by Josephus' assistants that few Aramaisms or Hebraisms are evident behind the text of the 'War'. After composing the work in his ancestral language, Josephus then, with the help of his assistants, as he himself admits (Against Apion 1.50), translated it into Greek."


What kind of help would he have received regarding the Aramaic?

From _Contra Apion_ 1.8: "Afterward I got leisure at Rome; and when all my materials were prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in learning the Greek tongue, and by these means I composed the history of those transactions." (In this case, "those transactions" refers to the assault and destruction of Judea and Jerusalem.)

So Josephus' assistants were language teachers--not just proficient in the regular usage of the language, but rhetoreticians (because, from other sources, we know that rhetoreticians commanded high prices, and Josephus was a member of the Emperor's household).

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 05:54 PM
"And yet, so thorough was the aid given by Josephus' assistants that few Aramaisms or Hebraisms are evident behind the text of the 'War'. After composing the work in his ancestral language, Josephus then, with the help of his assistants, as he himself admits (Against Apion 1.50), translated it into Greek."


Do they give any examples of these Aramaisms or Hebraisms behind Josephus?




From _Contra Apion_ 1.8: "Afterward I got leisure at Rome; and when all my materials were prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in learning the Greek tongue, and by these means I composed the history of those transactions." (In this case, "those transactions" refers to the assault and destruction of Judea and Jerusalem.)

So Josephus' assistants were language teachers--not just proficient in the regular usage of the language, but rhetoreticians (because, from other sources, we know that rhetoreticians commanded high prices, and Josephus was a member of the Emperor's household).

So Josephus learned Greek and translated them?

Outis
02-10-2014, 05:59 PM
Do they give any examples of these Aramaisms or Hebraisms behind Josephus?

Not in that source.


So Josephus learned Greek and translated them?

According to the text, the assistants also helped translate. As they were teachers and "professional" speakers, one can safely assume that Hebraisms or Aramaicisms were greatly reduced. There's a reason for that: Josephus was writing to persuade a Greek-speaking audience, and at that time "barbarian" or "provincial" speech was looked down upon. Having more eyes (especially from people who make their living by their use of the language) would mean a far more professional translation than normal.

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 06:08 PM
Not in that source.


Can you cite some specific ones then? If you can't, can you tell me where to find those Aramaisms or Hebraisms ? (as in a source?)



According to the text, the assistants also helped translate. As they were teachers and "professional" speakers, one can safely assume that Hebraisms or Aramaicisms were greatly reduced. There's a reason for that: Josephus was writing to persuade a Greek-speaking audience, and at that time "barbarian" or "provincial" speech was looked down upon. Having more eyes (especially from people who make their living by their use of the language) would mean a far more professional translation than normal.

Not so sure about that. He says he learned the language from them. What are "these means"? Them, or them helping him to learn the language?

Outis
02-10-2014, 06:12 PM
Can you cite some specific ones then? If you can't, can you tell me where to find those Aramaisms or Hebraisms ? (as in a source?)

Not off the top of my head. As I've noted before, I have barely any of the requisite languages.


Not so sure about that. He says he learned the language from them. What are "these means"? Them, or them helping him to learn the language?

The sentence seems fairly clear to me.

Quantum Weirdness
02-10-2014, 07:04 PM
Not off the top of my head. As I've noted before, I have barely any of the requisite languages.



The sentence seems fairly clear to me.

Ok now that I checked another translation, it seems legit.

Outis
02-10-2014, 07:11 PM
Ok now that I checked another translation, it seems legit.

Fair enough.

So, to sum it all up. You have the vast majority of scholars who hold to Greek for the original text of Matthew. These are the folks who (unlike you or I) have enough of a command of the language to be able to analyze the text to a far greater degree than we can do. These scholars are of multiple religious backgrounds, with most being Christians of one stripe or another.

Against that, you have a small minority who feel that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic.

Having had at least some of your questions answered, and at least some of your objections responded to, which way do you choose, and why? What evidence do you base your assessment on?

The Pixie
02-11-2014, 02:17 AM
Well what reasons do they cite besides that one?
I have to admit to struggling to find much. This is what I found:

soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/matthew.pdf‎
If Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Aramaic, it is difficult to explain why he sometimes, but not always, quoted from a Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. The Hebrew Old Testament would have been the normal text
for a Hebrew or Aramaic author to use. A Greek translator might have used the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) to save himself some work, but if he did so—why did he not use it consistently?


http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/goodspeed/ch11.html
This cannot possibly mean our Gospel of Matthew, for the identities of Greek expression between it and Mark and Luke cannot be reconciled with the idea that it is a translation; the Greek relationship between the three must have come through Greek and could not have survived independent translation, which always breeds variation in abundance.


http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/info/matthew-cathen.html
These peculiarities of language, especially the repetition of the same words and expressions, would indicate that the Greek Gospel was an original rather than a translation, and this is confirmed by the paronomasiæ (battologein, polulogia; kophontai kai ophontai, etc.), which ought not to have been found in the Aramaic, by the employment of the genitive absolute, and, above all, by the linking of clauses through the use of men . . . oe, a construction that is peculiarly Greek.


http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1116&C=1229
Against Papias, it has been claimed, however, that Matthew cannot be a translation from Hebrew or Aramaic (even though some of the Old Testament quotations seem to have come from the Hebrew Bible), especially since it is written in a clear Greek which reflects an advance over Mark’s style and language; there is a play on the Greek words ‘kopsontai’ and ‘opsontai’ in Matthew 24:30. This claim neglects the wide variety to be found in the work of translators, and the play on Greek words can be balanced by Matthew 1:21: ‘you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins -- ‘Jesus’ and ‘save’ are related in Hebrew (‘ieshua’ -- ‘ieshoa’).

Paprika
02-11-2014, 04:02 AM
I have to admit to struggling to find much. This is what I found:

I do not have the capability to evaluate the other points. But for the first, the following question naturally arises: if Matthew was not a translation, then why did he not quote consistently from the Septugaint? That point cuts both ways. (The link is broken so I can't check to see what might have been said to address these points).

Quantum Weirdness
02-11-2014, 05:20 AM
Fair enough.

So, to sum it all up. You have the vast majority of scholars who hold to Greek for the original text of Matthew. These are the folks who (unlike you or I) have enough of a command of the language to be able to analyze the text to a far greater degree than we can do. These scholars are of multiple religious backgrounds, with most being Christians of one stripe or another.

Against that, you have a small minority who feel that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic.

Having had at least some of your questions answered, and at least some of your objections responded to, which way do you choose, and why? What evidence do you base your assessment on?

The objections that weren't answered still suggest to me that the Gospel was written in Hebrew. Nice talking with you though.

Quantum Weirdness
02-11-2014, 05:59 AM
I have to admit to struggling to find much. This is what I found:

soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/matthew.pdf‎
If Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Aramaic, it is difficult to explain why he sometimes, but not always, quoted from a Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. The Hebrew Old Testament would have been the normal text
for a Hebrew or Aramaic author to use. A Greek translator might have used the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) to save himself some work, but if he did so—why did he not use it consistently?



He was influenced by the Septuagint? The culture that they lived in was more oral anyways (which would account for him using the Septuagint well)



http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/goodspeed/ch11.html
This cannot possibly mean our Gospel of Matthew, for the identities of Greek expression between it and Mark and Luke cannot be reconciled with the idea that it is a translation; the Greek relationship between the three must have come through Greek and could not have survived independent translation, which always breeds variation in abundance.



Greek Matthew was translated once from Hebrew and this was what was then copied in my view.



http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/info/matthew-cathen.html
These peculiarities of language, especially the repetition of the same words and expressions, would indicate that the Greek Gospel was an original rather than a translation, and this is confirmed by the paronomasiæ (battologein, polulogia; kophontai kai ophontai, etc.), which ought not to have been found in the Aramaic, by the employment of the genitive absolute, and, above all, by the linking of clauses through the use of men . . . oe, a construction that is peculiarly Greek.




I think that the Greek was a modified version of the Hebrew (to an extent). How does the repetition of same words and expressions indicate that it was originally Greek?



http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1116&C=1229
Against Papias, it has been claimed, however, that Matthew cannot be a translation from Hebrew or Aramaic (even though some of the Old Testament quotations seem to have come from the Hebrew Bible), especially since it is written in a clear Greek which reflects an advance over Mark’s style and language; there is a play on the Greek words ‘kopsontai’ and ‘opsontai’ in Matthew 24:30. This claim neglects the wide variety to be found in the work of translators, and the play on Greek words can be balanced by Matthew 1:21: ‘you shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who will save his people from their sins -- ‘Jesus’ and ‘save’ are related in Hebrew (‘ieshua’ -- ‘ieshoa’).

Are the puns as prevalent as in the Hebrew? If they are, then I will reconsider my position. My opinion here is that Matthew saw the opportunity for a pun and used it. I don't think it balances 1:21 though which I think suggests some sort of linguistic relationship (i.e. call his name Jesus because??)

Outis
02-11-2014, 06:13 AM
The objections that weren't answered still suggest to me that the Gospel was written in Hebrew. Nice talking with you though.

Which objections are still unanswered? At this point, I'm not trying to argue you out of them, I just want to see what you're placing on the scale that outweighs the majority scholarship position.

The Pixie
02-11-2014, 06:38 AM
I do not have the capability to evaluate the other points. But for the first, the following question naturally arises: if Matthew was not a translation, then why did he not quote consistently from the Septugaint? That point cuts both ways. (The link is broken so I can't check to see what might have been said to address these points).
There is something weird about the URL, but do a Google search for "Dr. Constable's Notes on Matthew", it is the first link, at Sonic Light.

The article offers no reason, but a possibility springs to my mind. The Hebrew Bible is the original, so it may be that the author referred to this one when he was able to or felt it was more important to. He used the LXX at other times just because that was the one he was familiar with and had to hand. If the Hebrew version was readily to hand, I would expect him to use that exclusively.

Outis
02-11-2014, 07:21 AM
There is something weird about the URL

For some reason, there are a few extra characters at the end. Delete those characters, and it comes right up.


The Hebrew Bible is the original, so it may be that the author referred to this one when he was able to or felt it was more important to. He used the LXX at other times just because that was the one he was familiar with and had to hand. If the Hebrew version was readily to hand, I would expect him to use that exclusively.

A better reason, IMO: most of the citations are from the LXX, some are closer to the Hebrew, but there is a third category. Some of the citations are freely quoted, omitting or changing words to suit the interests or theological point the author was trying to make. The variance is easiest explained by one phrase: the author used what suited his interests.

Paprika
02-11-2014, 08:33 AM
A better reason, IMO: most of the citations are from the LXX, some are closer to the Hebrew, but there is a third category. Some of the citations are freely quoted, omitting or changing words to suit the interests or theological point the author was trying to make. The variance is easiest explained by one phrase: the author used what suited his interests.
This explanation also works for a translated Matthew.

Quantum Weirdness
02-11-2014, 03:11 PM
Which objections are still unanswered? At this point, I'm not trying to argue you out of them, I just want to see what you're placing on the scale that outweighs the majority scholarship position.

The ones about Matt 1:21 and 2:23. I don't think that the puns one was answered well. 1 or 2 puns definitely don't make a good case but when they are about 5-6 and beyond, it does begin to make me think.

Quantum Weirdness
02-11-2014, 03:11 PM
For some reason, there are a few extra characters at the end. Delete those characters, and it comes right up.



A better reason, IMO: most of the citations are from the LXX, some are closer to the Hebrew, but there is a third category. Some of the citations are freely quoted, omitting or changing words to suit the interests or theological point the author was trying to make. The variance is easiest explained by one phrase: the author used what suited his interests.

That seems to be correct.

Quantum Weirdness
02-11-2014, 07:35 PM
One more thing I would like to note Outis. There was still a translation of Aramaic material (War) to Greek which left little linguistic evidence of translation regardless of whether or not it was translated by more than one person.

Outis
02-11-2014, 08:01 PM
One more thing I would like to note Outis. There was still a translation of Aramaic material (War) to Greek which left little linguistic evidence of translation regardless of whether or not it was translated by more than one person.

Translated, as I noted before, by professional users of the language--folks who made their living by being eloquent in an environment where a provincial accent or vocabulary would destroy any attempt to persuade. I simply cannot accept it as a straight translation without re-working.

On the other hand, it must be noted that _if_ there was an Aramaic original, it was lost after only one translation--ALL texts that are dependent upon Matthew (which includes a considerable body of the work of the "early fathers") use the Greek as a source. None used any putative Aramaic source.

But as I said, I'm not attempting to persuade. Simply noting the evidence.

Quantum Weirdness
02-11-2014, 09:05 PM
Translated, as I noted before, by professional users of the language--folks who made their living by being eloquent in an environment where a provincial accent or vocabulary would destroy any attempt to persuade. I simply cannot accept it as a straight translation without re-working.

Point remains that there is a translation from Aramaic to Greek with little linguistic clues as to the origin. And Matthew probably had good Greek as well according to Wallace:
Quote
"The high quality of the Greek is hardly an argument against Matthean authorship, for Matthew would have to have known both Aramaic and Greek in order to collect taxes from the Jews and work for the Romans. Further, there is a growing consensus that Galilee of the first century was thoroughly bilingual—so much so that Greek was probably the native tongue of most Jews.
https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew-introduction-argument-and-outline
So I don't see this argument as having much weight since Matt was likely a bilingual and would be able to translate quite well.



On the other hand, it must be noted that _if_ there was an Aramaic original, it was lost after only one translation--ALL texts that are dependent upon Matthew (which includes a considerable body of the work of the "early fathers") use the Greek as a source. None used any putative Aramaic source.

I don't know about lost (Jerome claims to have translated Hebrew Matthew and Eusebius claims that someone around 180C.E went to India and people there knew about Hebrew Matthew) but this is to be expected somewhat. Greek was more or less, the language of the Empire. Once a translation was made, this was more likely to be copied for usage as compared to the Hebrew.

Doug Shaver
02-11-2014, 11:50 PM
This has been covered numerous times in the old Tweb.

Evidently, it has not been covered persuasively.
The Christians here were not persuaded, if that's what you mean.

Outis
02-12-2014, 12:09 AM
The Christians here were not persuaded, if that's what you mean.

Seems to be quite a bit of that on both sides around here. Both parties are thoroughly entrenched. Neither side listens to the other. Many in both parties seem to have a great deal of disrespect for those they do not agree with. I wonder if I've entered the internet equivalent of Congress.

Doug Shaver
02-12-2014, 12:48 AM
Seems to be quite a bit of that on both sides around here. Both parties are thoroughly entrenched.
I have no argument with that.


Neither side listens to the other. Many in both parties seem to have a great deal of disrespect for those they do not agree with.
In general, yes, but I think I've noticed an occasional exception.


I wonder if I've entered the internet equivalent of Congress
There does seem to be a current similarity. I've been hanging around the Internet for almost 15 years, and forums like this seem to have always been this way. Congress has not always been this way, or so I've heard from people who have been there a long time.

robrecht
02-12-2014, 04:09 PM
They seem to think that it is a weak argument (which I agree with). Other arguments need to be provided to show Markan priority. Pretty much all arguments used in the humanities are weak. History and literary analysis are not hard science, nor are they axiomatic disciplines that follow pure logic or deductive reasoning. That's just the way it is. It takes experience and judgment to fallibly weigh evidence, hypotheses, arguments, and interpretations. The more experience and mature judgment, the better. If you want to know which arguments Sanders and Davies personally consider stronger, simply read their book and report back. Otherwise, you’re just picking one statement out of context and ignoring the scholarly context that you do not want to agree with.


Or you could go with my theory. Please do not take offense, but you have not made a good case. That's not your fault, of course. If there were a strong case to be made for your position, it would have been made and more scholars would be convinced and adopt this position.


But you can evaluate their arguments and see which are the best. Usually, bad arguments are called out by other scholars and it appears that JPH has read a lot of scholars. He has not read some of the most important scholars in this area. And he does not seem to have the training, skills, and experience to develop the necessary judgment to evaluate the arguments properly. For example, he 'parts ways with Kloppenborg in his assertion that Q had to be in Greek because he offers no justification for this.' Anyone who can read a synopsis in Greek would already know that Kloppenborg need not present a justification for this assertion. If I were to review many scientific articles on quantum mechanics or genetics and attempt to formulate arguments for a position or theory of my own or defend a discredited theory it would be so obvious to anyone trained in this area that I was way out of my depth, that I was obviously not properly grasping nuances and ignoring fundamentals in which I did not have proper training.


Some like 11:8,10 , 12:13,15 and 12:24 suppose a one to one correspondence and not translators (King and messenger are very similar in Hebrew). You are still missing the point. You think these are strong arguments for your position, but they are not. You're taking these arguments from someone else who knows full well that they do not prove what you think they prove and therefore does not hold your position. Again, taking arguments out of context is not advised unless you present truly good reasons for why you reject the conclusions of the person who made the arguments in the first place. Mt 11,8.12 12,24 are irrelevant to the question of Matthean priority and translation because it is part of the double tradition. Mt 12,13.15 are irrelevant to the question of Matthean priority and translation because the verb in question is identical in Matthew and Mark. Obviously, this is, in part, why Howard does not feel his findings can have an impact on the synoptic problem.


There is also the fact that Matt 2:23 make more sense to a Hebrew reader (as an allusion to Isaiah 11:1) ... Yes, this could be a pun based on a (purposeful?) misunderstanding of the Hebrew text, but does it prove Matthew wrote in Hebrew or merely that he was able to read some Hebrew? Was this play on words original to Matthew? We know that prior to Matthew Paul had already applied this verse to Jesus (Rom 15,12) and other Christian groups also used this verse (Rev 5,5). Was the Greek version of Matthew a translation of this lost Hebrew version, vice versa, or did one merely serve as a literary model for the other, and which one? Howard wisely does not believe that his arguments can answer these questions. But all of these suppositions are completely irrelevant to the synoptic problem because this is special Matthean material and not double or triple tradition.


… and the external testimony of Irenaeus etc who asserts that he wrote the gospel in Hebrew and adds some information about Rome. Irenaeus is merely dependent upon Papias, who very well may have been referring to a sayings source and not the gospel of Matthew that we have now.


These combined with the fact that Matthew was likely bilingual (could a Jewish tax-collector not speak Greek and work?) and others left left no trace of Semitism when translating their material (though from Aramaic) eg Josephus suggest that the traditional idea of Matthew authoring the Gospel in Hebrew should not be abandoned. I have no objection to the idea that ‘Matthew’ might have been bilingual. The rest of your argument here seems somewhat confused. You seem to argue that the presence of Hebraisms argue for Matthew Greek being a translation from Matthew Hebrew but then also bring in the lack of Aramaiisms in the Greek version the Jewish War by Josephus.


Which one? Mt 7,2


It could be due to external evidence (Mark wasn't traditionally said to be written in Hebrew or Aramaic) but I do think Mark shows sign of Aramaic sources in his gospel. So now you add yet another hypothetical element into your theory. Mark was indirectly (through Peter) dependent on Matthew Greek but Mark also relied on Aramaic sources. What parts of Mark do you think were dependent upon Aramaic sources?

robrecht
02-12-2014, 05:48 PM
The Christians here were not persuaded, if that's what you mean.Hey, Doug. How have you been? Plenty of Christians embrace historico-critical and literary methods in studying the bible and have no difficulty whatsoever dating the gospels post 70 CE. But plenty do not, that's true too.

Quantum Weirdness
02-12-2014, 09:42 PM
Hi, Quantum Weirdness. I’m travelling on business and I will not have time to address all your verse examples for several days, but I can give you some initial thoughts.

Pretty much all arguments used in the humanities are weak. It is not hard science, nor is it axiomatic following pure logic. That's just the way it is. It takes experience and judgment to fallibly weigh evidence, hypotheses, arguments, and interpretations. The more experience and mature judgment, the better. If you want to know which arguments they personally consider stronger arguments, simply read their book and report back. Otherwise, you’re just picking one statement out of context and ignoring the scholarly context that you do not want to agree with.

It will be nice talking with you when you are ready.
So they why bother with them if they are weak? I'm not so sure I can get the book. But from what I've seen from Wallace:

-The argument from shortness is also explained by Mark remembering some of the Gospel of Matt and information from Peter
-colloquialisms and poor grammar are explained by literary style and Petrine influence. The Petrine influence accounts for the Aramaisms in Mark.
-Harder readings are explained by literary style (are they really harder?)
-The Lack of Matthew-Luke Agreements Against Mark is explained by Mark using Matt (though Peter) and Luke using Mark as one of his sources.
-I'll refer to Linnemann here
Quote:
"In sum, for the entire Gospel of Matthew, the common narrative sequence-according to the actual count of sections-is less than half."

""Anyone who champions the view that Mathew and Luke used Mark's narrative thread as their basis must answer the questions: why did the original authors not follow Mark's account in between 25 percent and 30 percent of the sections of the original narrative order? Is it possible to maintain that Mark furnished the framework for Matthew and Luke when in Matthew the sections reflecting common narrative sequence with Mark amount to only 48.88 percent, in Luke only 43.55 percent?"
http://www.christianthinktank.com/litdep2.html
The order is also explained by Mark using Matt (though Peter) and Luke using Mark as one of his sources. (as above)
-Can you explain the argument from Literary agreements? I cant make it out from the little Wallace says from it.
-Matthew uses the term "Son of David" because his is a gospel primarily to the Jews (who would have valued the title more). Mark uses it less because he is writing to more Gentile Christians than Jews
For fulfillment motif, Mark uses different formulae because people write things in their own style.
For the words "Immediately" and "For", this is explained by Mark being influenced by Matthew and his own literary style
For the Historical present argument, this is explained by literary style.
-Primitive theology? Really? Isnt it likely that literary style and audience played a part here?




You do not make a good case. If there were a strong case for your position, more scholars would be convinced and adopt this position.


Have they ever heard of my position (specifically my way of Matthew being the first gospel)



He has not read some of the most important scholars in this area. And he does not seem to have the training, skills, and experience to develop the necessary judgment to evaluate the arguments properly. For example, he 'parts ways with Kloppenborg in his assertion that Q had to be in Greek because he offers no justification for this.' Anyone who can read a synopsis in Greek would already know that Kloppenborg need not present a justification for this assertion. If I were to review scientific articles on quantum mechanics or genetics and attempt to formulate arguments for a position or theory of my own, or defend a discredited theory it would be so obvious to anyone trained in this area that I was way out of my depth, that I was obviously not properly grasping nuances and ignoring fundamentals in which I did not have any training.


You should probably talk over this with JPH. He would probably defend himself better than I can. Anyways, why does Q have to be Greek? (if it existed) Isnt it just a sayings list that Matt and Luke (supposedly) used? Orality was important and that would have influenced translation as well.
Is this as complicated as QM or genetics?



You are still missing the point. You think these are strong arguments for your position, but they are not. You're taking these arguments from someone else who knows full well that they do not prove what you think they prove and therefore does not hold your position. Again, taking arguments out of context is not advised unless you present truly good reasons for why you reject the conclusions of the person who made the arguments in the first place. I will take a look at these verses when time permits.


I'm making an inference from his data. He thinks that one served as a model for the other and in light of direct correspondence (a fair bit) of the Hebrew to the Greek, I think Matt freely translated the Hebrew into the Greek and added some editorial material (perhaps non-direct translations but I am not so sure about this)



Yes, this could be a pun based on a (purposeful?) misunderstanding of the Hebrew text, but does it prove Matthew wrote in Hebrew or merely that he was able to read some Hebrew? Was this play on words original to Matthew? We know that prior to Matthew Paul had already applied this verse to Jesus (Rom 15,12) and other Christian groups also used this verse (Rev 5,5). Was the Greek version of Matthew a translation of this lost Hebrew version, vice versa, or did one merely serve as a literary model for the other, and which one? Howard wisely does not believe that his arguments can answer these questions. But all of these suppositions are completely irrelevant to the synoptic problem because this is special Matthean material and not double or triple tradition.


What's the point for his intended audience who wouldn't catch the pun in Greek? Yeah we know that St. Paul and St. John applied the concept of the branch to him but there is no pun to catch in those verses and it isn't required for it to be in Hebrew for a person to catch the allusion there. To catch the pun, it would have to be written in Hebrew.
I'm discussing authorship of Matthew, not the double or triple tradition.



Irenaeus is merely dependent upon Papias, who very well may have been referring to a sayings source and not the gospel of Matthew that we have now.


Irenaeus adds extra information (such as the time period of the writing) and leaves out the part about the "oracles" so I don't think he is "merely dependent on Papias". Besides, this seems to assert that Irenaeus operated in something akin to a vacuum without input from others. And Eusebius cites Papias in the context of the origin of Matt's gospel. I think Eusebius would have known the context better than us.



I have no objection to the idea that ‘Matthew’ might have been bilingual. The rest of your argument here seems somewhat confused. You seem to argue that the presence of Hebraisms argue for Matthew Greek being a translation from Matthew Hebrew but then also bring in the lack of Aramaiisms in the Greek version the Jewish War by Josephus.



The argument was that even if Matt showed no signs of being translated into Greek, it would still not be conclusive that it was originally written in Greek



Mt 7,2


I checked the Hebrew version and the Greek. You're right about there being a pun in the Greek but I don't think it is stronger than the Hebrew

Transliteration of Hebrew
din tidonu uv'eze midah tamodu y moded lakhem (from his text)
din and tidonu sound similar
tidonu and tamodu sound similar
midah and tamodu and moded sound similar

Greek

Matthew 7:2 - WH – εν ω γαρ κριματι κρινετε (5719) κριθησεσθε (5701) και εν ω μετρω μετρειτε (5719) μετρηθησεται (5701) υμιν
(Sorry I couldn't transliterate)

The way Matt 7:2 is structured, it would be a pun in most languages. (By the judgment you judge you will be judged and by the measure you measure you will be measured?). What's interesting is that the Hebrew connects tidonu (judged) and tamodo (measured) while the Greek doesn't have this connection (krino and meteros or variants thereof). I don't think the Greek is stronger than the Hebrew.



So now you add yet another hypothetical element into your theory. Mark was indirectly (through Peter) dependent on Matthew Greek but Mark also relied on Aramaic sources. What parts of Mark do you think were dependent upon Aramaic sources?

The parts where Jesus talked I think.

robrecht
02-12-2014, 11:26 PM
It will be nice talking with you when you are ready. Unfortunately for me, but lucky for you, my flight was canceled and I had some extra time and already completed my response to you before you responded so you should take a look at my augmented response above.


So they why bother with them if they are weak? Why not? The alternative would be not to engage in any historical or literary enquiry at all. I think God gave us intelligence for us to use it for his glory.


I'm not so sure I can get the book. But from what I've seen from Wallace:

-The argument from shortness is also explained by Mark remembering some of the Gospel of Matt and information from Peter
-colloquialisms and poor grammar are explained by literary style and Petrine influence. The Petrine influence accounts for the Aramaisms in Mark.
-Harder readings are explained by literary style (are they really harder?)
-The Lack of Matthew-Luke Agreements Against Mark is explained by Mark using Matt (though Peter) and Luke using Mark as one of his sources.
-I'll refer to Linnemann here
Quote:
"In sum, for the entire Gospel of Matthew, the common narrative sequence-according to the actual count of sections-is less than half."

""Anyone who champions the view that Mathew and Luke used Mark's narrative thread as their basis must answer the questions: why did the original authors not follow Mark's account in between 25 percent and 30 percent of the sections of the original narrative order? Is it possible to maintain that Mark furnished the framework for Matthew and Luke when in Matthew the sections reflecting common narrative sequence with Mark amount to only 48.88 percent, in Luke only 43.55 percent?"
http://www.christianthinktank.com/litdep2.html
The order is also explained by Mark using Matt (though Peter) and Luke using Mark as one of his sources. (as above)
-Can you explain the argument from Literary agreements? I cant make it out from the little Wallace says from it.
-Matthew uses the term "Son of David" because his is a gospel primarily to the Jews (who would have valued the title more). Mark uses it less because he is writing to more Gentile Christians than Jews
For fulfillment motif, Mark uses different formulae because people write things in their own style.
For the words "Immediately" and "For", this is explained by Mark being influenced by Matthew and his own literary style
For the Historical present argument, this is explained by literary style.
-Primitive theology? Really? Isnt it likely that literary style and audience played a part here? It seems like you've misunderstood the point Wallace was making. Do you have a link to his treatment so I can verify. I suggest we start there. The jumble of quotes from Glenn Miller is confusing and he is not a NT scholar, but an IT executive. If you want to discuss one issue at a time from him, I would be willing to do so, but I strongly suggest that you start with one good scholar, learn what you need to really understand his or her position, and only then begin to weigh the criticisms. The very best, relatively brief treatment of the synoptic problem is an entry by Frans Neirynck in the 2nd edition of the Jerome Biblical Commentary. If there is an academic or theology library near you, they should have it. It might be a little bit too advanced for you at first, but I am willing to help you master it first and that would be my recommendation.


Have they ever heard of my position (specifically my way of Matthew being the first gospel) The basic position of Matthew or Matthew Hebrew being the first gospel is known, was once mandated by the Catholic church, but has not been successful in gaining adherence from scholars. Your particular twist on this basic position is a more implausible in my opinion and I have never heard of anyone who defends it exactly.


You should probably talk over this with JPH. He would probably defend himself better than I can. From the very little I've seen of his interactions, he does not seem to be a very pleasant person. If he wants to engage me, I will try to help in Christian charity, but I really have no need to understand his position better.


Anyways, why does Q have to be Greek? (if it existed) Isnt it just a sayings list that Matt and Luke (supposedly) used? Orality was important and that would have influenced translation as well. Parts of Q have extreme Greek verbal agreement that cannot be explained by independent translations of Aramaic or Hebrew. Such extreme verbal agreement of a common oral tradition is also very unlikely. If you posit an oral culture maintaining such extreme verbal agreement of an authoritative tradition, then it becomes very difficult to understand why other parts of Q were used very differently by Matthew and Luke with very little verbal agreement. [/quote]


Is this as complicated as QM or genetics? Yes and no. Personally, I don't think it is as difficult but I've studied and read Greek for some 35 years, not to mention Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and a smattering of a few other ancient languages. All of the best scholars who discuss these issues on a scholarly level have comparable training and even more intense experience studying and debating these specialized issues. If you were to ask Werner Heisenberg to interact in this scholarly discipline, he would be the first to recognize the need for some training and experience.


I'm making an inference from his data. He thinks that one served as a model for the other and in light of direct correspondence (a fair bit) of the Hebrew to the Greek, I think Matt freely translated the Hebrew into the Greek and added some editorial material (perhaps non-direct translations but I am not so sure about this) While you feel justified in making this inference, he knows that he cannot defend such an inference.


What's the point for his intended audience who wouldn't catch the pun in Greek? Yeah we know that St. Paul and St. John applied the concept of the branch to him but there is no pun to catch in those verses and it isn't required for it to be in Hebrew for a person to catch the allusion there. To catch the pun, it would have to be written in Hebrew.
I'm discussing authorship of Matthew, not the double or triple tradition. Most pepole would assume that within 'Matthew's' community, there would be accumulated tradition and experience so that the background of this allusion would be understood, at least by some. Certainly 'Matthew' would be able to explain it to anyone who wanted to understand it better. But first it would be true for Matthew or his source(s) and that is all that is required for such a pun to originate. You don't realize it but you are indeed discussing double, triple, and special traditions, not to mention redaction. This is one of the reasons why it would be helpful for you to first master an introductory approach to these issues.


Irenaeus adds extra information (such as the time period of the writing) and leaves out the part about the "oracles" so I don't think he is "merely dependent on Papias". Besides, this seems to assert that Irenaeus operated in something akin to a vacuum without input from others. And Eusebius cites Papias in the context of the origin of Matt's gospel. I think Eusebius would have known the context better than us. I am not saying that Irenaeus was isolated in a vacuum, but Irenaeus got his knowledge of Matthew's authorship from Papias. His use of the word 'gospel' instead of 'oracles' merely means that he knew the gospel of Matthew, whereas we cannot be sure that Papias knew the gospel of Matthew. Likewise Eusebius.

robrecht
02-12-2014, 11:37 PM
The argument was that even if Matt showed no signs of being translated into Greek, it would still not be conclusive that it was originally written in Greek. Yes, of course not. An argument for that position is not necessary.


I checked the Hebrew version and the Greek. You're right about there being a pun in the Greek but I don't think it is stronger than the Hebrew

Transliteration of Hebrew
din tidonu uv'eze midah tamodu y moded lakhem (from his text)
din and tidonu sound similar
tidonu and tamodu sound similar
midah and tamodu and moded sound similar

Greek

Matthew 7:2 - WH – εν ω γαρ κριματι κρινετε (5719) κριθησεσθε (5701) και εν ω μετρω μετρειτε (5719) μετρηθησεται (5701) υμιν
(Sorry I couldn't transliterate)

The way Matt 7:2 is structured, it would be a pun in most languages. (By the judgment you judge you will be judged and by the measure you measure you will be measured?). What's interesting is that the Hebrew connects tidonu (judged) and tamodo (measured) while the Greek doesn't have this connection (krino and meteros or variants thereof). I don't think the Greek is stronger than the Hebrew. Howard does not present this as a possible pun, but rather as an example of alliteration and there is more alliteration in the Greek. You left out part of the Greek alliteration. But yes, there would be alliteration in any language, which is why this is evidence of nothing.


The parts where Jesus talked I think. Oh my, this is where your theory goes kaboom. Your best case is for some form of Matthean priority is with elements of an Aramaic (perhaps even Hebrew) substratum in the sayings of Jesus. You may look for this in Mark as well, of course, but then, whether you realize it or not, you're essentially capitulating to the mainstream two source theory of Mark and Q.

QED, no pun intended.

Doug Shaver
02-13-2014, 05:48 AM
Hey, Doug. How have you been?
Still doing well, all things considered. Thanks for asking.


Plenty of Christians embrace historico-critical and literary methods in studying the bible and have no difficulty whatsoever dating the gospels post 70 CE. But plenty do not, that's true too.
One thing I like about TWEB, compared with most other apologetics forums I have seen, is how many of its Christian members give serious credence to real scholarship.

Quantum Weirdness
02-13-2014, 05:50 PM
Unfortunately for me, but lucky for you, my flight was canceled and I had some extra time and already completed my response to you before you responded so you should take a look at my augmented response above.


Why not? The alternative would be not to engage in any historical or literary enquiry at all. I think God gave us intelligence for us to use it for his glory.

Well if they are weak then..........
And I don't think that every argument from a historical or literary is necessarily weak.
One thing again. Don't critical scholars suppose that 2 Peter (bad greek) is dependent on Jude (better Greek)?
If so, then I don't think it can be argued that Bad greek is a reason to suppose priority.




It seems like you've misunderstood the point Wallace was making. Do you have a link to his treatment so I can verify. I suggest we start there. The jumble of quotes from Glenn Miller is confusing and he is not a NT scholar, but an IT executive. If you want to discuss one issue at a time from him, I would be willing to do so, but I strongly suggest that you start with one good scholar, learn what you need to really understand his or her position, and only then begin to weigh the criticisms. The very best, relatively brief treatment of the synoptic problem is an entry by Frans Neirynck in the 2nd edition of the Jerome Biblical Commentary. If there is an academic or theology library near you, they should have it. It might be a little bit too advanced for you at first, but I am willing to help you master it first and that would be my recommendation.


Well Miller quotes Linnemann who is a scholar as far as I am aware.



The basic position of Matthew or Matthew Hebrew being the first gospel is known, was once mandated by the Catholic church, but has not been successful in gaining adherence from scholars. Your particular twist on this basic position is a more implausible in my opinion and I have never heard of anyone who defends it exactly.


Well the positions that have been advanced so far for Matthean priority all have some good arguments against them. Wallace critiques the Neo-Griesbach hypothesis for instance.



From the very little I've seen of his interactions, he does not seem to be a very pleasant person. If he wants to engage me, I will try to help in Christian charity, but I really have no need to understand his position better.


ok then



Parts of Q have extreme Greek verbal agreement that cannot be explained by independent translations of Aramaic or Hebrew. Such extreme verbal agreement of a common oral tradition is also very unlikely. If you posit an oral culture maintaining such extreme verbal agreement of an authoritative tradition, then it becomes very difficult to understand why other parts of Q were used very differently by Matthew and Luke with very little verbal agreement. [/QUOTE]


The verbal agreement may have to do with the sayings of Jesus being preached in a consistent manner in Greek when the Church was evangelizing people and otherwise. I would also think that Peter would have had influence.



Yes and no. Personally, I don't think it is as difficult but I've studied and read Greek for some 35 years, not to mention Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and a smattering of a few other ancient languages. All of the best scholars who discuss these issues on a scholarly level have comparable training and even more intense experience studying and debating these specialized issues. If you were to ask Werner Heisenberg to interact in this scholarly discipline, he would be the first to recognize the need for some training and experience.



Yeah but I think it is easier to learn about literary criticism than go into QM (Which is very weird, hence my name)



While you feel justified in making this inference, he knows that he cannot defend such an inference.


Ok it doesn't appear to him to be a translation but a rewriting of the text (Similar to that of Josephus according to him). This does make sense, however. The texts seem related and Matt would have taken the structure of the Hebrew and reworked it. Some of the puns in George Howard's text seem to correspond to the Greek which is why I thought it to be a translation.



Most pepole would assume that within 'Matthew's' community, there would be accumulated tradition and experience so that the background of this allusion would be understood, at least by some. Certainly 'Matthew' would be able to explain it to anyone who wanted to understand it better. But first it would be true for Matthew or his source(s) and that is all that is required for such a pun to originate. You don't realize it but you are indeed discussing double, triple, and special traditions, not to mention redaction. This is one of the reasons why it would be helpful for you to first master an introductory approach to these issues.


Yep his source would have the pun. Ok but I do think that it makes more sense for him to write it in Hebrew (because it makes more sense in the Hebrew language) although I will say that the argument is a bit weaker.



I am not saying that Irenaeus was isolated in a vacuum, but Irenaeus got his knowledge of Matthew's authorship from Papias. His use of the word 'gospel' instead of 'oracles' merely means that he knew the gospel of Matthew, whereas we cannot be sure that Papias knew the gospel of Matthew. Likewise Eusebius.

Eusebius however, would have known the context of Papias' statements. Irenaeus apparently heard Papias preach as well (although he was a child to be fair). If Matthew was originally written in Greek, then it is indeed strange that there was no alternate tradition that survived about Matthew and all that we have supposes that Matt wrote something in Hebrew. The later authors identify this with the Gospel and Papias is ambiguous. Given that Eusebius would have known the context of Papias' statements and Irenaeus heard Papias preach (though he was a child) and no alternative tradition survived in the church, I think that it is likely that Papias was referencing the Gospel.

Quantum Weirdness
02-13-2014, 05:54 PM
Yes, of course not. An argument for that position is not necessary.

Howard does not present this as a possible pun, but rather as an example of alliteration and there is more alliteration in the Greek. You left out part of the Greek alliteration. But yes, there would be alliteration in any language, which is why this is evidence of nothing.


I couldn't transliterate it. And yeah, it was an alliteration. This pun certainly isn't evidence of much (although the Hebrew seems to connect measured and judged while the Greek doesn't)




Oh my, this is where your theory goes kaboom. Your best case is for some form of Matthean priority is with elements of an Aramaic (perhaps even Hebrew) substratum in the sayings of Jesus. You may look for this in Mark as well, of course, but then, whether you realize it or not, you're essentially capitulating to the mainstream two source theory of Mark and Q.


QED, no pun intended.

The Markan Aramaic would have come from Peter.

Outis
02-13-2014, 06:07 PM
Don't critical scholars suppose that 2 Peter (bad greek) is dependent on Jude (better Greek)?
If so, then I don't think it can be argued that Bad greek is a reason to suppose priority.

In the dependency between Jude and 2 Peter, dependency is not argued based on the quality of the Greek. Problem is, the arguments for dependency are intricate, technical, and absolutely require knowledge of the original language. With the limited Greek I have, I have some ability to evaluate the merits of the argument, but most of it goes well over my understanding.


Well Miller quotes Linnemann who is a scholar as far as I am aware.

QW, this is an important point: the _presence_ of a scholar in an argument does nothing to validate the _strength_ of the argument.


Well the positions that have been advanced so far for Matthean priority all have some good arguments against them. Wallace critiques the Neo-Griesbach hypothesis for instance.

Good, in your opinion, or good because you have evaluated them?

QW, the above question is rhetorical, for I already know the answer. You have neither the training, the tools, nor a sufficient understanding of the question to evaluate the arguments Miller represents (and occasionally misrepresents). This would be just like me criticizing quantum mechanics because I like the phrase "God does not play dice." I don't have the training, the tools, or even a sufficient understanding of the issues to offer an opinion, much less to evaluate the arguments.

If you want to cone right down to it, the basic, and brutal, fact of the matter is this: with you and NT scholarship, or with me and quantum mechanics, you can pretty much bet that any argument that we can understand is _already wrong_.

Quantum Weirdness
02-13-2014, 06:31 PM
In the dependency between Jude and 2 Peter, dependency is not argued based on the quality of the Greek. Problem is, the arguments for dependency are intricate, technical, and absolutely require knowledge of the original language. With the limited Greek I have, I have some ability to evaluate the merits of the argument, but most of it goes well over my understanding.


Point is that there is dependency and the one with the better Greek is considered to be the one used. That's all I was saying.



QW, this is an important point: the _presence_ of a scholar in an argument does nothing to validate the _strength_ of the argument.



Really? It supposes a good authority behind it. I know that my own authority isn't enough to convince others here (since I have none). All I do is look at the data and see where it leads me. If I think an argument isn't good, even if it is by a scholar, I would reject it. It does seem, however, that Linnemann is correct in at least a couple of respects.



Good, in your opinion, or good because you have evaluated them?

QW, the above question is rhetorical, for I already know the answer. You have neither the training, the tools, nor a sufficient understanding of the question to evaluate the arguments Miller represents (and occasionally misrepresents). This would be just like me criticizing quantum mechanics because I like the phrase "God does not play dice." I don't have the training, the tools, or even a sufficient understanding of the issues to offer an opinion, much less to evaluate the arguments.



I look at things from how they argue it (eg Wallace) and see if the logic holds. If it doesn't, then I reject it. I look more at the arguments and how they are presented. Although I will say that the scholarly consensus is by far towards Markan Priority and Q and against Matthean priority, I don't think that my position has ever been represented in debate and I don't think its because the theory is silly (I think it at least explains the data)
On a different note, Where does Miller misrepresent data?



If you want to cone right down to it, the basic, and brutal, fact of the matter is this: with you and NT scholarship, or with me and quantum mechanics, you can pretty much bet that any argument that we can understand is _already wrong_.

Why is that? I would think this is more the case regarding things like grammar, semantics etc.?

Outis
02-13-2014, 06:51 PM
Point is that there is dependency and the one with the better Greek is considered to be the one used. That's all I was saying.

In this case, however, you are comparing apples with coconuts.

Really? It supposes a good authority behind it.

That's one of the classical fallacies: argumentum ab auctoritate, or "Argument by authority." To just say "So and so is an authority, therefore the argument is true." Wikipedia has a good introductory article on why it's a fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority


If I think an argument isn't good, even if it is by a scholar, I would reject it.

Here's an important question: what criteria do you use to evaluate an argument? What makes an argument "bad" or "good"?


I look at things from how they argue it (eg Wallace) and see if the logic holds. If it doesn't, then I reject it. I look more at the arguments and how they are presented. Although I will say that the scholarly consensus is by far towards Markan Priority and Q and against Matthean priority, I don't think that my position has ever been represented in debate and I don't think its because the theory is silly (I think it at least explains the data)



On a different note, Where does Miller misrepresent data?

One huge area: he makes much of the disintegration of the JEPD hypothesis, and thus argues for a unity of authorship[ for the Tanakh, while deliberately omitting that the reason the JEDP hypothesis has fallen apart is because the Tanakh has _far more_ than four sources. All of the scholarly sources that he uses clearly state the reason for the rejection of the JEDP hypothesis is that it was overly simplistic, yet he selectively cherry-picks the quotes to argue a completely different conclusion.

Were a gun put to my head, and were I then asked to evaluate Miller's honesty as an apologist, I could not in good conscience say that I felt he was anything but blatantly dishonest. As it is, I cannot tell if he is deliberately distorting the information from the sources he cites, or if he simply cannot accept the information that they present, or if he does not understand the information and thus grabs the "shiny bits" that sound like "good arguments" to him.


Why is that? I would think this is more the case regarding things like grammar, semantics etc.?

Because you don't understand Greek grammar or semantics, and therefore cannot evaluate if the argument is valid, or hogwash.

When it comes to QM, I (vaguely) understand that on the quantum scale, you cannot measure both the speed and the location of a quantum particle. I don't know why that is true, but somebody says it, so I have to just shrug and go on. QW, I say this with absolutely no insult to you, but you are even less qualified to discuss textual criticism than I am to discuss QM.

shunyadragon
02-13-2014, 06:55 PM
Still doing well, all things considered. Thanks for asking.


One thing I like about TWEB, compared with most other apologetics forums I have seen, is how many of its Christian members give serious credence to real scholarship.

I agree and threads like this I read more then write. I have a lot of respect for robrecht, and follow him closely. I am often surprised at his patience and articulate responses with most posters. It is like attended a great class.

robrecht
02-13-2014, 11:28 PM
Well if they are weak then..........
And I don't think that every argument from a historical or literary is necessarily weak. Weak compared with physical sciences or axiomatic logical systems. But, yes, it's true, also in the humanities, that some things are more easily known than other things so there is a continuum. In the more difficult cases, informed judgment and reasonable speculation cannot be verified by replicated experimental method nor is it pure deductive reasoning. It oftentimes works something like this. A scholar weighs ambiguous evidence, humbly (sometimes) makes a judgment call based on experience, intuition, and common sense, and presents an informed opinion to be considered as one option among many other proposals. Then along comes a would be expert who takes one element of the scholar's reasoning and says, well that's not necessarily or always true, so I'm going to reject his whole opinion because I have found a gaping hole in his logic. But the scholar was not doing a geometry proof and never would have claimed that one element in his approach was axiomatic.


One thing again. Don't critical scholars suppose that 2 Peter (bad greek) is dependent on Jude (better Greek)?
If so, then I don't think it can be argued that Bad greek is a reason to suppose priority. In and of itself, no. It is not an axiom upon which one can proceed with pure deductive reasoning. And, recall that I do not think Mark has 'bad Greek'. Some of the improvements that Matthew and Luke make are grammatical in nature or, in the case of Luke, more sophisticated vocabulary and syntax, but the more convincing improvements have to do with fixing something in the text that might seem problematic to them, eg, why would Jesus be baptized by John the Baptizer? Matthew creates a dialogue to deal with this issue. Luke and John even moreso minimize the focus of the narrative on the actual baptism. Or, Mark ends the narrative without a resurrection appearance, but all the subsequent gospels focus progressively more attention on actually narrating resurrection appearances. Mark has Jesus sit down in the Lake, meaning he sits down (in the boat which is) in the lake. Matthew makes it just a little bit clearer that Jesus sits down in the boat. In Mark, Jesus performs a healing with spittle in successive stages, others omit some such details or the whole story that some might find a little embarrassing or distracting. The disciples are incredibly dense at times in Mark, but rehabilitated somewhat in later accounts. Matthew makes a point of mentioning Jesus' healing ministry before people are brought to Jesus for him to heal them at the end of first Sabbath, spent at Peter's house in Capernaum, as in Mark. Contrast Mk 1,32.34 with Mt 4,23 8,14. There's so many little examples like these where the improvements always seems to make more sense in the direction of Matthew and/or Luke ameliorating Mark's presentation here or there. It's not just grammar, 'though sometimes it is, but more a matter of making things a little clearer or better that otherwise might be misunderstood or distracting.


Well Miller quotes Linnemann who is a scholar as far as I am aware. But I am trying to encourage you to focus your attention on a comprehensive approach of a single scholar to make sure that you really understand their position and its strengths and weaknesses and then move to other positions, likewise with their own strengths and weaknesses. Don't just jump into the fray thinking you can find a logical error here or there, take arguments out of context, and come up with a supposedly better theory without first understanding who has gone down those roads before.


Well the positions that have been advanced so far for Matthean priority all have some good arguments against them. Wallace critiques the Neo-Griesbach hypothesis for instance. Good, so accept that there are indeed weaknesses in Matthean priority positions. There are also better ways to investigate the strengths of some types of primitive Matthean material. Howard's approach is much more convincing than yours. It also has a fundamental weakness, as well as merits, but he is clearly aware of the weaknesses and therefore makes a good contribution by respecting the weakness. Mark Goodacre's approach to 'Matthean Q' also has very persuasive strengths. Maurice Casey as well has a good approach to hypothetical primitive Aramaic source material in Mark. He has a disciplined methodology to try and minimize the weaknesses of his approach.


ok then

The verbal agreement may have to do with the sayings of Jesus being preached in a consistent manner in Greek when the Church was evangelizing people and otherwise. I would also think that Peter would have had influence. But one must account for agreement and disagreement in the way that Matthew and Luke deal with the double tradition.


Yeah but I think it is easier to learn about literary criticism than go into QM (Which is very weird, hence my name) And it is even easier to do it well if you learn the languages of the literature you would like to study.


Ok it doesn't appear to him to be a translation but a rewriting of the text (Similar to that of Josephus according to him). This does make sense, however. The texts seem related and Matt would have taken the structure of the Hebrew and reworked it. Some of the puns in George Howard's text seem to correspond to the Greek which is why I thought it to be a translation. A more plausible approach that takes into account the strengths of the two source consensus would go something like this. 'Matthew's community inherited logia material which it translated into Greek and added it to Mark's Greek text, which was revised in the process. At some point a Hebrew translation was made of this combination. Which came first, the Hebrew version of Matthew or the Greek version? Both, in some sense, but the Hebrew text continued to be modified within the first few centuries, which accounts for the clearly secondary character of patristic quotes from the Gospel Matthew in Hebrew, the Gospel of the Hebrews, of the Nazoreans, and of the Ebionites. Howard draws attention to some of the primitive elements of the Shem Tov's Medieval version, but there are also primitive elements that are not well accounted for by the continuing assimilation to the standard Greek and Latin texts of Matthew. I noted a couple of Greek loan words in Hebrew script that also could point toward the Hebrew being a translation from the Greek text. Howard may not draw attention to these, but I'm sure he saw them as well, which well explains his reserve.


Yep his source would have the pun. Ok but I do think that it makes more sense for him to write it in Hebrew (because it makes more sense in the Hebrew language) although I will say that the argument is a bit weaker. It only implies he (and at least some in his community) were aware of the Hebrew text of Isaiah. It does not necessarily imply that Mt 2,23 was originally composed in Hebrew.


Eusebius however, would have known the context of Papias' statements. Irenaeus apparently heard Papias preach as well (although he was a child to be fair). If Matthew was originally written in Greek, then it is indeed strange that there was no alternate tradition that survived about Matthew and all that we have supposes that Matt wrote something in Hebrew. The later authors identify this with the Gospel and Papias is ambiguous. Given that Eusebius would have known the context of Papias' statements and Irenaeus heard Papias preach (though he was a child) and no alternative tradition survived in the church, I think that it is likely that Papias was referencing the Gospel. Many scholars do not agree with you. You should wonder why.

robrecht
02-13-2014, 11:32 PM
I couldn't transliterate it. And yeah, it was an alliteration. This pun certainly isn't evidence of much (although the Hebrew seems to connect measured and judged while the Greek doesn't) Learn Greek and you will see the Greek alliteration that you missed.


The Markan Aramaic would have come from Peter. It could have come from many sources. Learn the method that Casey employs for a disciplined approach to this.

robrecht
02-13-2014, 11:33 PM
I agree and threads like this I read more then write. I have a lot of respect for robrecht, and follow him closely. I am often surprised at his patience and articulate responses with most posters. It is like attended a great class. Thanks for the kind words, Frank!

OingoBoingo
02-14-2014, 08:39 AM
In this case, however, you are comparing apples with coconuts.

You're nitpicking. QW's overall point that poor text does not necessarily precede better text gets across.


That's one of the classical fallacies: argumentum ab auctoritate, or "Argument by authority." To just say "So and so is an authority, therefore the argument is true." Wikipedia has a good introductory article on why it's a fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

The Wikipedia article doesn't appear to be very good. Here, check out the peer reviewed academic resource, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#AppealtoAuthority

"Appeal to Authority
You appeal to authority if you back up your reasoning by saying that it is supported by what some authority says on the subject. Most reasoning of this kind is not fallacious, and much of our knowledge properly comes from listening to authorities. However, appealing to authority as a reason to believe something is fallacious whenever the authority appealed to is not really an authority in this particular subject, when the authority cannot be trusted to tell the truth, when authorities disagree on this subject (except for the occasional lone wolf), when the reasoner misquotes the authority, and so forth. Although spotting a fallacious appeal to authority often requires some background knowledge about the subject or the authority, in brief it can be said that it is fallacious to accept the words of a supposed authority when we should be suspicious of the authority’s words."

"Take the so-called ad verecundiam fallacy, the fallacious appeal to authority. Just when is it committed? Some appeals to authority are fallacious; most are not. A fallacious one meets the following condition: The expertise of the putative authority, or the relevance of that expertise to the point at issue, are in question." -Schwartz, Thomas, 1981. “Logic as a Liberal Art,” Teaching Philosophy


One huge area: he makes much of the disintegration of the JEPD hypothesis, and thus argues for a unity of authorship[ for the Tanakh, while deliberately omitting that the reason the JEDP hypothesis has fallen apart is because the Tanakh has _far more_ than four sources. All of the scholarly sources that he uses clearly state the reason for the rejection of the JEDP hypothesis is that it was overly simplistic, yet he selectively cherry-picks the quotes to argue a completely different conclusion.

Were a gun put to my head, and were I then asked to evaluate Miller's honesty as an apologist, I could not in good conscience say that I felt he was anything but blatantly dishonest. As it is, I cannot tell if he is deliberately distorting the information from the sources he cites, or if he simply cannot accept the information that they present, or if he does not understand the information and thus grabs the "shiny bits" that sound like "good arguments" to him.

I haven't read the article in question, but its not uncommon for even professionals to utilize other expert's arguments to come to different conclusions. For example, Mark Goodacre doesn't believe in Q, but it wouldn't be odd for him to use some of the arguments of those who do believe in Q to support certain aspects of his own theory.


Because you don't understand Greek grammar or semantics, and therefore cannot evaluate if the argument is valid, or hogwash.

Couldn't a little leeway be given for a discussion forum for laymen?

Outis
02-14-2014, 08:51 AM
You're nitpicking. QW's overall point that poor text does not necessarily precede better text is decent.

His point is along the lines of "a broken clock can be right, but only twice a day." Arguments _must_ be evaluated by looking at the foundational logic for the arguments. If the argument is correct, but the foundational logic is wrong, then the argument, though technically correct, is bogus. (More to the point, he's trying to use the foundational logic to apply to other issues.)


The Wikipedia article doesn't appear to be very good.

It gets the point across, which was sufficient.


I haven't read the article in question, but its not uncommon for even professionals to utilize other expert's arguments to come to different conclusions.

There's a radical (and rather obvious) difference between "coming to different conclusions" and cherry-picking.


Couldn't a little leeway be given for a discussion forum for laymen.

If the argument depends upon technical knowledge, you must possess that technical knowledge. I cannot critique arguments regarding quantum physics based on my gut feeling that it doesn't make sense. I have to address the arguments that are already there--and if I don't have the fundamental knowledge required to do so, I don't have the ability to address the argument.

Quantum Weirdness
02-14-2014, 04:38 PM
Weak compared with physical sciences or axiomatic logical systems. But, yes, it's true, also in the humanities, that some things are more easily known than other things so there is a continuum. In the more difficult cases, informed judgment and reasonable speculation cannot be verified by replicated experimental method nor is it pure deductive reasoning. It oftentimes works something like this. A scholar weighs ambiguous evidence, humbly (sometimes) makes a judgment call based on experience, intuition, and common sense, and presents an informed opinion to be considered as one option among many other proposals. Then along comes a would be expert who takes one element of the scholar's reasoning and says, well that's not necessarily or always true, so I'm going to reject his whole opinion because I have found a gaping hole in his logic. But the scholar was not doing a geometry proof and never would have claimed that one element in his approach was axiomatic.

Ok but it is somewhat subjective?


In and of itself, no. It is not an axiom upon which one can proceed with pure deductive reasoning. And, recall that I do not think Mark has 'bad Greek'. Some of the improvements that Matthew and Luke make are grammatical in nature or, in the case of Luke, more sophisticated vocabulary and syntax, but the more convincing improvements have to do with fixing something in the text that might seem problematic to them, eg, why would Jesus be baptized by John the Baptizer? Matthew creates a dialogue to deal with this issue. Luke and John even moreso minimize the focus of the narrative on the actual baptism. Or, Mark ends the narrative without a resurrection appearance, but all the subsequent gospels focus progressively more attention on actually narrating resurrection appearances. Mark has Jesus sit down in the Lake, meaning he sits down (in the boat which is) in the lake. Matthew makes it just a little bit clearer that Jesus sits down in the boat. In Mark, Jesus performs a healing with spittle in successive stages, others omit some such details or the whole story that some might find a little embarrassing or distracting. The disciples are incredibly dense at times in Mark, but rehabilitated somewhat in later accounts. Matthew makes a point of mentioning Jesus' healing ministry before people are brought to Jesus for him to heal them at the end of first Sabbath, spent at Peter's house in Capernaum, as in Mark. Contrast Mk 1,32.34 with Mt 4,23 8,14. There's so many little examples like these where the improvements always seems to make more sense in the direction of Matthew and/or Luke ameliorating Mark's presentation here or there. It's not just grammar, 'though sometimes it is, but more a matter of making things a little clearer or better that otherwise might be misunderstood or distracting.

So why did Mark write these things? I ask because I want to see if your explanation is compatible with my theory.


But I am trying to encourage you to focus your attention on a comprehensive approach of a single scholar to make sure that you really understand their position and its strengths and weaknesses and then move to other positions, likewise with their own strengths and weaknesses. Don't just jump into the fray thinking you can find a logical error here or there, take arguments out of context, and come up with a supposedly better theory without first understanding who has gone down those roads before.

Linnemann's argument is that there isn't a synoptic problem (see here http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/q_linnemann.pdf)

There is also this paper.
http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj8h.pdf

While Yarborough sides with Cervin on the issue of stats, there is some data that supports Lindemann.
Read from pg 31-33 Although there is a critique of her methodology as well as that of other scholars. (For some reason, I cant copy and paste it)



Good, so accept that there are indeed weaknesses in Matthean priority positions. There are also better ways to investigate the strengths of some types of primitive Matthean material. Howard's approach is much more convincing than yours. It also has a fundamental weakness, as well as merits, but he is clearly aware of the weaknesses and therefore makes a good contribution by respecting the weakness. Mark Goodacre's approach to 'Matthean Q' also has very persuasive strengths. Maurice Casey as well has a good approach to hypothetical primitive Aramaic source material in Mark. He has a disciplined methodology to try and minimize the weaknesses of his approach.

I accept that there are weaknesses in those proposed but I don't think mine has been. The closest to mine is the Augustinian hypothesis but it's weakness is that Mark would have used Matthew more directly than I argue (Mark may have read Matt in my view a couple of times being Peter's assistant and would have taken some things from it but mainly depended on Peter's preaching)


But one must account for agreement and disagreement in the way that Matthew and Luke deal with the double tradition.

Luke used different sources?


And it is even easier to do it well if you learn the languages of the literature you would like to study.

Yeah


A more plausible approach that takes into account the strengths of the two source consensus would go something like this. 'Matthew's community inherited logia material which it translated into Greek and added it to Mark's Greek text, which was revised in the process. At some point a Hebrew translation was made of this combination. Which came first, the Hebrew version of Matthew or the Greek version? Both, in some sense, but the Hebrew text continued to be modified within the first few centuries, which accounts for the clearly secondary character of patristic quotes from the Gospel Matthew in Hebrew, the Gospel of the Hebrews, of the Nazoreans, and of the Ebionites. Howard draws attention to some of the primitive elements of the Shem Tov's Medieval version, but there are also primitive elements that are not well accounted for by the continuing assimilation to the standard Greek and Latin texts of Matthew. I noted a couple of Greek loan words in Hebrew script that also could point toward the Hebrew being a translation from the Greek text. Howard may not draw attention to these, but I'm sure he saw them as well, which well explains his reserve.

Are they technical terminology?
I think that Matthew was written by Matthew, not a Matthean community.


It only implies he (and at least some in his community) were aware of the Hebrew text of Isaiah. It does not necessarily imply that Mt 2,23 was originally composed in Hebrew.


It makes more sense if it was written in Hebrew though ( I consider this argument to be much weaker now). On the (modified) hypothesis anyways, you wouldn't expect much evidence from Matthew himself that he wrote it in Hebrew (like Josephus with Aramaic). You could get some puns but beyond that, not much. Only external testimony (or testimony from the author himself) would be expected.



Many scholars do not agree with you. You should wonder why.

I do. I think because it hasn't been proposed in the way that I do propose it.

Quantum Weirdness
02-14-2014, 04:40 PM
Learn Greek and you will see the Greek alliteration that you missed.

It could have come from many sources. Learn the method that Casey employs for a disciplined approach to this.

Found it
7:2 en ô gar krimati krinete krithêsesthe kai en ô metrô metreite ab=metrêthêsetai ts=antimetrêthêsetai umin

yeah it sounds good

I would like to learn Casey's method. I would if I could.

robrecht
02-14-2014, 04:46 PM
Found it
7:2 en ô gar krimati krinete krithêsesthe kai en ô metrô metreite ab=metrêthêsetai ts=antimetrêthêsetai umin

yeah it sounds good

I would like to learn Casey's method. I would if I could.Learn Aramaic and read his books. It's that simple.

Quantum Weirdness
02-14-2014, 04:57 PM
His point is along the lines of "a broken clock can be right, but only twice a day." Arguments _must_ be evaluated by looking at the foundational logic for the arguments. If the argument is correct, but the foundational logic is wrong, then the argument, though technically correct, is bogus. (More to the point, he's trying to use the foundational logic to apply to other issues.)


I don't dispute Wallace's technical data. What I dispute is the conclusion of Markan priority. For example, I don't dispute that redundancies exist in Mark. What I dispute is the conclusion he gets from them.



It gets the point across, which was sufficient.


An argument from authority is where the authority is not relevant. Linnemann is.



There's a radical (and rather obvious) difference between "coming to different conclusions" and cherry-picking.

Miller doesn't exactly say that. He, after all, quotes their views better by showing more of what they say (although he doesn't bold them). He's just saying that the documentary hypothesis is more or less, dying out.



If the argument depends upon technical knowledge, you must possess that technical knowledge. I cannot critique arguments regarding quantum physics based on my gut feeling that it doesn't make sense. I have to address the arguments that are already there--and if I don't have the fundamental knowledge required to do so, I don't have the ability to address the argument.

It doesn't depend on technical knowledge.

robrecht
02-14-2014, 05:03 PM
Ok but it is somewhat subjective? Yes.


So why did Mark write these things? I ask because I want to see if your explanation is compatible with my theory. Mark was a very gifted writer, with wonderful material. He probably had a fair amount of literary training. His grammar was competent and his vocabulary vast, probably a native Greek speaker or Greek was at least an early second language. He thought about the plan of his narrative before he started writing and executed it according to his plan. Minor issues that Matthew and Luke address are typically the kinds of things that a writer himself would correct, if he noticed them, in a second or third draft. And copyists some of these changes probably as soon as the work began to be copied. No writer is perfect. Sometimes I look at something I've written and I think--who wrote that! Whenever I take the time to rethink and rearrange the most important ideas and build upon ideas, my second draft is always much, much better. A third draft would be better still if I had enough patience to do so, but I usually do not have the patience for even a second draft.


Linnemann's argument is that there isn't a synoptic problem Most every scholar would disagree! I'll take a look at your links when time permits, but right now my wife is preparing a special Valentine's Day Dinner.


Luke used different sources? Yes.

Quantum Weirdness
02-14-2014, 05:04 PM
Learn Aramaic and read his books. It's that simple.

And how am I supposed to get his books? I don't have a job or anything so I cant buy them and I doubt my parents would buy me them now. (if they are available)

Outis
02-15-2014, 12:25 AM
I don't dispute Wallace's technical data. What I dispute is the conclusion of Markan priority. For example, I don't dispute that redundancies exist in Mark. What I dispute is the conclusion he gets from them.

You dispute them--well and good. But to refute them, you must construct a hypothesis that has equal or better explanatory power for ALL the evidence--including the double and triple tradition. To do so without any knowledge of the Greek would be, in my estimation, about as difficult as refuting QM without the math.


An argument from authority is where the authority is not relevant. Linnemann is.

Not in this case. Linnemann rejects the synoptic problem without solving it by stating that it doesn't exist, a position that (as robrecht notes) is nearly universally rejected. Her rejection is not based in evidence, but in faith and a rejection of evidence-based scholarship, which she largely demonizes.


Miller doesn't exactly say that. He, after all, quotes their views better by showing more of what they say (although he doesn't bold them). He's just saying that the documentary hypothesis is more or less, dying out.

Miller makes clear in other articles (using this information as "evidence") that the documentary hypothesis is dying out because Moses wrote the Pentateuch (http://www.christianthinktank.com/qmoses1.html). That is ... well, it's not honest.


It doesn't depend on technical knowledge.

The synoptic problem does not depend upon technical knowledge? QW, That's not a rebuttal--that's nothing more than handwaving the problem away.

At this point, in all reality, the simplest thing for you to do is to put these questions from your mind completely. I do not mean that as an insult. Once you start digging into the evidence, you will be forced to deny or ignore the evidence that does not support your views (one form of intellectual dishonesty), or you will shatter your own faith once you finally understand what the evidence is, and what it actually indicates.

There's nothing wrong with refusing to delve into a situation that requires scholarly inquiry, especially when you lack the specialized knowledge that is quite necessary. If you do so, you will most likely live a long, happy life as a Christian. But I beg you, with all sincerity, to simply take your views as a statement of faith, and do not attempt to persuade people that your views are supported by the evidence.

As for me, I will not discuss this question with you any further. Again, I do not mean that as an insult, but I will not take part in you destroying your faith.

robrecht
02-15-2014, 09:00 AM
Linnemann's argument is that there isn't a synoptic problem (see here http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/q_linnemann.pdf)
As I said above, the overwhelming majority of scholars would disagree. In your link, Eta merely mentions her view that there is no synoptic problem and footnotes her earlier book. If you want to understand her argument, you should read that book. With respect to this article on Q, Eta is not quite right about Papias using the words τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα in parallel with τὰ λόγια. First Papias speaks globally about Mark and then contrasts Mark and Matthew’s approach to the logia.


There is also this paper.
http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj8h.pdf

While Yarborough sides with Cervin on the issue of stats, there is some data that supports Lindemann. Linnemann.


Read from pg 31-33 Although there is a critique of her methodology as well as that of other scholars. (For some reason, I cant copy and paste it) I’m not sure what you’re referring in calling out pp 31-33. The Linnemann article includes pp 3-18 and the Yarborough article 163-198.


I accept that there are weaknesses in those proposed but I don't think mine has been. The closest to mine is the Augustinian hypothesis but it's weakness is that Mark would have used Matthew more directly than I argue (Mark may have read Matt in my view a couple of times being Peter's assistant and would have taken some things from it but mainly depended on Peter's preaching) That would probably not account for the extent of verbal agreement between Mark and Matthew. Are you assuming that Peter also knew Greek well or do you think he could only read aloud what Matthew had written? Why do you suppose that Peter and then Mark left out so much material from Jesus' long discourses in Matthew? Was Peter less interested in what Jesus taught? For example, did he not care for the beatitudes or the Lord's prayer?


Are they technical terminology? Yes, eg, קריסטוס for Χριστός and מאוונגיילייו for εὐαγγέλιον.


I think that Matthew was written by Matthew, not a Matthean community. I don't think the gospel was written by a community, but nor do I think it was the Apostle Matthew. An early version of a Q sayings source in Aramaic or Hebrew could date back to Matthew, which is what Papias seems to say. Matthew might have founded or visited the community where the Q source was first written down or where it was eventually translated into Greek. This is all wildly hypothetical, and therefore not the subject of disciplined scholarship, but such would also account for the tradition quoted by Papias sometime in the early 2nd century. And note that Eusebius did not consider Papias to be that reliable but rather gullible for mythical material. There's just no way of knowing these things in this life, but I look forward to some very interesting conversations in the world to come. I will ask all the evangelists for their autographs.


It makes more sense if it was written in Hebrew though ( I consider this argument to be much weaker now). On the (modified) hypothesis anyways, you wouldn't expect much evidence from Matthew himself that he wrote it in Hebrew (like Josephus with Aramaic). You could get some puns but beyond that, not much. Only external testimony (or testimony from the author himself) would be expected. So it is an unsupported hypothesis. Likewise, it does not make more sense only if the author wrote in Hebrew. It makes just as much sense if the author merely knew the Hebrew of Isaiah and wrote in Greek. Regardless, I’m glad that you realize that your hypothesis is much weaker. Also, we cannot merely assume that ‘Matthew’ had at his disposal professional Greek translators as Josephus would have as a member of the imperial household in Rome. The gospels were not official documents of the Roman empire created and translated by imperial decree. The Christian communities at the time had much more limited resources than the household of the Emperor.


I do. I think because it hasn't been proposed in the way that I do propose it. There are very good reasons why it has not been proposed in the way you propose it. And you have not made a good case for why anyone should believe your theories. I do not mean any offense by this, but do you seriously believe that the worldwide body of New Testament scholars have been waiting for the past few centuries for you to come up with your theory?

robrecht
02-15-2014, 09:09 AM
And how am I supposed to get his books? I don't have a job or anything so I cant buy them and I doubt my parents would buy me them now. (if they are available)There are a variety of methods that I would recommend. 1) Get a job if you can. 2) Convince your parents of the importance of your studies. 3) Is there an academic or theology library nearby? 4) Is there a less academic library that participates in an interlibrary loan process? Finally, if all of the above fail, once you have learned Greek and Aramaic, I will lend you my copies.

Quantum Weirdness
02-15-2014, 03:13 PM
As I said above, the overwhelming majority of scholars would disagree. In your link, Eta merely mentions her view that there is no synoptic problem and footnotes her earlier book. If you want to understand her argument, you should read that book. With respect to this article on Q, Eta is not quite right about Papias using the words τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα in parallel with τὰ λόγια. First Papias speaks globally about Mark and then contrasts Mark and Matthew’s approach to the logia.

What is meant by Globally? I know that scholars disagree and in this case, I do too.


Linnemann.
Ok


I’m not sure what you’re referring in calling out pp 31-33. The Linnemann article includes pp 3-18 and the Yarborough article 163-198.


It was a critique of her use of statistics (as well as other scholars) and data which appeared to confirm her findings
31 pages down to 33 pages down


Are you assuming that Peter also knew Greek well or do you think he could only read aloud what Matthew had written?

Enough so that he could read what Matthew had said. I don't think he exactly read Matthew when preaching but would have used the Greek of Matthew in a conversational tone. As for Peter reading Greek, I'm not so sure he could but even if he couldn't, Mark would have read it to him for him to understand. (Mark did handle Peter's documents and could write Greek after all and this would also explain his familiarity with the gospel)


Why do you suppose that Peter and then Mark left out so much material from Jesus' long discourses in Matthew? Was Peter less interested in what Jesus taught? For example, did he not care for the beatitudes or the Lord's prayer?

The speeches of Peter in Acts shows what he talked about mainly
Acts 2

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:



17
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

18
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

19
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

20
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c][eschatology like in Mark 13]


22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. [Miracles]
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. [Arrest, condemnation, death and resurrection like Mark 14-16]
25 David said about him:


“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

26
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,

27
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.

28
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[e]

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,


“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand

35
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’[f] [fulfillment of prophecy]
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” [simple soteriology ]
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

There is also Acts 10:36-41 where, according to Wallace, Peter's speech corresponds to Mark's kerygma.
Quote:
"The outline of Mark’s gospel corresponds to the Petrine kerygma recorded in Acts 10:36-41.13 The salient features are: (1) John the Baptist heralds the coming of the Messiah; (2) Jesus is baptized by John; (3) Jesus performs miracles, showing that his authority was from God; (4) he went to Jerusalem; (5) he was crucified; (6) he was raised from the dead on the third day. This suggests not only that Mark may have gotten the individual stories about Jesus from Peter, but that he also got a framework for the life and ministry of Jesus from Peter.
https://bible.org/seriespage/mark-introduction-argument-and-outline

This would have been the stuff that Peter would have preached of mainly and what Mark would have likely at least remembered. (although it cannot be said for sure what Mark would have remembered). When Peter was preaching, he would have preached more of the above and emphasized less the teaching (he was something akin to a missionary after all). In any case, Mark would have learned from Peter as well as the Gospel of Matthew . The reason Mark wouldn't have rewritten Matthew is because he wrote down his gospel from all he remembered (which implies that he forgot some stuff). That would be my explanation as to why Mark didn't write things like the Sermon on the mount.

Quantum Weirdness
02-15-2014, 03:14 PM
As for the verbal parallels:

"Norman E. Reed has pointed out the problem of statistical studies of the gospels along with the reasonable nature of Linnemann's results seen within that milieu. He points out that B. H. Streeter finds a 51% agreement between Matthew and Mark in actual wording. Morganthaler finds 77% agreement in overall substance, 38% if agreement be defined as identical wording. Carson, Moo, and Morris say that 97% of Mark is paralleled in Matthew, citing Robert Stein's The Synoptic Problem, which says that "97.2% of the words in Mark have a parallel in Matthew." For support Stein cites Joseph Tyson's and Thomas Longstaff's Synoptic Abstracts. Clearly the divergence of figures here—51%, 77%, 38%, 97%—suggests that something is awry. Taking the highest of these, Reed shows that Stein's figure is far too high and is based on a dubious interpretation of Tyson and
Longstaff.

read from here onward (pg 31 I think)
see http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj8h.pdf

In other words, while they write about the same thing, they don't write about it the same way. If I were to look at the data above and estimate the percentage that Matt and Mark are similar verbally, I would suggest a value between 40%-60% and the criteria doesn't exactly sound too strict (eg two words consecutively is the strictest?) This sounds like Mark is recalling Matt from memory (and the memory would basically be the things that Peter preached about+other things he remembered).


Yes, eg, קריסטוס for Χριστός and מאוונגיילייו for εὐαγγέλιον.

I doubt these are technical terminology though (eg isn't Χριστός=Maschiah). They, honestly speaking, do suggest a translation.


I don't think the gospel was written by a community, but nor do I think it was the Apostle Matthew. An early version of a Q sayings source in Aramaic or Hebrew could date back to Matthew, which is what Papias seems to say. Matthew might have founded or visited the community where the Q source was first written down or where it was eventually translated into Greek. This is all wildly hypothetical, and therefore not the subject of disciplined scholarship, but such would also account for the tradition quoted by Papias sometime in the early 2nd century.

It's debatable whether or not Papias said that in reference to a sayings source (we should know!!!) but the church has never interpreted traditions like this otherwise. That makes me a bit suspicious.


And note that Eusebius did not consider Papias to be that reliable but rather gullible for mythical material.

That's related to eschatology from what I remember but why would Eusebius cite Papias if he didn't think he was competent enough to pass on the tradition?


There's just no way of knowing these things in this life, but I look forward to some very interesting conversations in the world to come. I will ask all the evangelists for their autographs.

I suppose you are right to an extent.


So it is an unsupported hypothesis. Likewise, it does not make more sense only if the author wrote in Hebrew. It makes just as much sense if the author merely knew the Hebrew of Isaiah and wrote in Greek. Regardless, I’m glad that you realize that your hypothesis is much weaker. Also, we cannot merely assume that ‘Matthew’ had at his disposal professional Greek translators as Josephus would have as a member of the imperial household in Rome. The gospels were not official documents of the Roman empire created and translated by imperial decree. The Christian communities at the time had much more limited resources than the household of the Emperor.

"Unsupported" from the internal evidence.
And why would Matthew need any of those professional translators? Its clear he understood Greek from his gospel and Hebrew from 2:23 and 2:15 (he doesn't follow the Septuagint here). If somebody was bilingual, then they would be able to switch between both languages well. But if Matthew was written for Jewish converts, then wouldn't it make sense for it to be written in Hebrew to be read in synagogues (where Hebrew was still used)? There is some Semitisms in Matthew though ( Wallace agrees with Greek Matthew being no translation though)
Quote
"b. Hints of Semitisms in his Language

There are relatively few Semitic traces in Matthew, though one might note the heavy use of τότε (89 times), as compared with Mark (6) and Luke (15), perhaps harking back to the Hebrew אז. Beyond this, there is the occasional asyndeton13 (a mark of Aramaic influence), use of the indefinite plural (1:23; 7:16), etc. Although Matthew’s Greek is less Semitic than Mark’s, it does betray traces of Semitisms at times—even where none exists in the Markan parallel. If Matthew did write this gospel, one might not expect many Semitisms since Matthew was a tax-collector and would therefore have to be conversant in Greek as well as Hebrew/Aramaic. But the fact of some Semitisms suggests either that the writer was a Jew or that his sources were Semitic. Yet, some of these are so much a part of the fabric of his gospel (e.g., τότε) that it is more reasonable to suppose that the author was himself a Jew."
https://bible.org/seriespage/matthew-introduction-argument-and-outline



There are very good reasons why it has not been proposed in the way you propose it. And you have not made a good case for why anyone should believe your theories. I do not mean any offense by this, but do you seriously believe that the worldwide body of New Testament scholars have been waiting for the past few centuries for you to come up with your theory?

Again, I haven't seen it and I do think it rolls better with the external evidence. The Augustinian Hypothesis was discarded because there wasn't much explanation as to why Mark would leave out certain stuff and why Mark would have additional information in periscopes that are common to both Matt and Mark. There is also the Argument from redaction (the 7th one by Wallace). I think mine avoids these problems though by simply positing that Mark forgot some of Matt's information and included other stuff based on Peter's preaching (and perhaps, Peter talking to him).

Quantum Weirdness
02-15-2014, 03:17 PM
There are a variety of methods that I would recommend. 1) Get a job if you can. 2) Convince your parents of the importance of your studies. 3) Is there an academic or theology library nearby? 4) Is there a less academic library that participates in an interlibrary loan process? Finally, if all of the above fail, once you have learned Greek and Aramaic, I will lend you my copies.

I cant do one since I'm in school still
My parents wouldn't be convinced since they aren't that religious and want me to focus on school work
3 and 4 wouldn't exactly be options because there is no academic library nearby (and it;s not likely to contain NT scholarship) and neither is the regular ones.
I can't learn Aramaic and Greek now because of constraints but it is nice of you to offer

shunyadragon
02-15-2014, 03:31 PM
I cant do one since I'm in school still
My parents wouldn't be convinced since they aren't that religious and want me to focus on school work
3 and 4 wouldn't exactly be options because there is no academic library nearby (and it;s not likely to contain NT scholarship) and neither is the regular ones.
I can't learn Aramaic and Greek now because of constraints but it is nice of you to offer

The internet is your best option following robrecht's lead. You're young, and if you're serious Biblical scholarship is just around the corner.

Quantum Weirdness
02-15-2014, 03:34 PM
You dispute them--well and good. But to refute them, you must construct a hypothesis that has equal or better explanatory power for ALL the evidence--including the double and triple tradition. To do so without any knowledge of the Greek would be, in my estimation, about as difficult as refuting QM without the math.

I think I did (although I do have more to learn TBF). And I think I do understand the argument. Wallace used an argument like this to argue for 2 Peter's priority over Jude for instance.
QM is far more objective than this field so I doubt it requires the same level.


Not in this case. Linnemann rejects the synoptic problem without solving it by stating that it doesn't exist, a position that (as robrecht notes) is nearly universally rejected. Her rejection is not based in evidence, but in faith and a rejection of evidence-based scholarship, which she largely demonizes.

While she is sermonizing TBF, she does have data corroborated elsewhere. And she is a scholar.



Miller makes clear in other articles (using this information as "evidence") that the documentary hypothesis is dying out because Moses wrote the Pentateuch (http://www.christianthinktank.com/qmoses1.html). That is ... well, it's not honest.

He never says anything relating the documentary Hypothesis to his conclusion though.



The synoptic problem does not depend upon technical knowledge? QW, That's not a rebuttal--that's nothing more than handwaving the problem away.

The technical data definitely requires knowledge of the Greek. I'm disputing the conclusions they get from the data.


At this point, in all reality, the simplest thing for you to do is to put these questions from your mind completely. I do not mean that as an insult. Once you start digging into the evidence, you will be forced to deny or ignore the evidence that does not support your views (one form of intellectual dishonesty), or you will shatter your own faith once you finally understand what the evidence is, and what it actually indicates.

I doubt. I have no problem with Markan priority. (Because I accepted it once and really didn't bother much. Wallace's arguments for the authorship of Matt still hold)


There's nothing wrong with refusing to delve into a situation that requires scholarly inquiry, especially when you lack the specialized knowledge that is quite necessary. If you do so, you will most likely live a long, happy life as a Christian. But I beg you, with all sincerity, to simply take your views as a statement of faith, and do not attempt to persuade people that your views are supported by the evidence.

Of course, there isn't. I just enjoy doing it.


As for me, I will not discuss this question with you any further. Again, I do not mean that as an insult, but I will not take part in you destroying your faith.

My faith has survived far worse (including internal debates about eschatology, Historicity of the bible etc.) Honestly, I feel pretty secure with it

robrecht
02-15-2014, 10:53 PM
What is meant by Globally? I know that scholars disagree and in this case, I do too. You're not sure what I mean, but you already know you disagree???

So what is your evidence that Mark was dependent on Matthew (directly and indirectly through Peter)?

robrecht
02-15-2014, 11:16 PM
I doubt these are technical terminology though (eg isn't Χριστός=Maschiah). They, honestly speaking, do suggest a translation. Sounds like you have a different understanding of what technical terminology is, namely ...?


It's debatable whether or not Papias said that in reference to a sayings source (we should know!!!) but the church has never interpreted traditions like this otherwise. That makes me a bit suspicious. So debate it then.



That's related to eschatology from what I remember but why would Eusebius cite Papias if he didn't think he was competent enough to pass on the tradition? No, it was a general comment, not specifically related to eschatology. He cited Papias because his work was the only source he had. That's what historians do; they cite sources. And Eusebius also was circumspect about the quality of this particular source.




I suppose you are right to an extent.And to what extent do you think I'm wrong, and why?


"Unsupported" from the internal evidence. You're theory also lacks external support.

Quantum Weirdness
02-16-2014, 04:58 AM
Sounds like you have a different understanding of what technical terminology is, namely ...?


To my understanding, technical terminology are words in a language that is used to refer to a concept that doesn't exist in other languages (eg piano in Italian)


So debate it then.

We are.



No, it was a general comment, not specifically related to eschatology. He cited Papias because his work was the only source he had. That's what historians do; they cite sources. And Eusebius also was circumspect about the quality of this particular source.

Can you cite it though? I really like to see the context


And to what extent do you think I'm wrong, and why?

you can know these things to an extent by checking what evidence there is.


You're theory also lacks external support.

*sigh* Debatable. And we have been debating this, haven't we?

robrecht
02-16-2014, 08:46 AM
To my understanding, technical terminology are words in a language that is used to refer to a concept that doesn't exist in other languages (eg piano in Italian)Technical terms are not limited to words from foreign languages.


We are.No, you merely said it is debatable. I've yet to see you make a case that my understanding of Papias is wrong.


Can you cite it though? I really like to see the context

3,39,11-13
The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings (ξένας παραβολὰς καὶ διδασκαλίας) of the Saviour, and some other more mythical things (ἄλλα μυθικώτερα). To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding (παρεκδεξάμενον) of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving (μὴ συνεορακότα) that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding (σφόδρα σμικρὸς τὸν νοῦν), as one can see from his words.

As you can see, eschatology is only one example of the 'more mythical' things Papias related as well as some strange parables and teachings. Likewise, there is no reason to assume that Eusebius' appraisal of his very limited intelligence was limited to his eschatological beliefs.


you can know these things to an extent by checking what evidence there is.

*sigh* Debatable. And we have been debating this, haven't we?I've yet to see you present any evidence for your view.

Quantum Weirdness
02-16-2014, 09:08 AM
Technical terms are not limited to words from foreign languages.


Ok


No, you merely said it is debatable. I've yet to see you make a case that my understanding of Papias is wrong.

-There is no alternative tradition that developed which would be expected if Papias meant logia in a sense that was not referring to Matthew's gospel
-The tradition itself is quite strong
- Eusebius at least considers him reliable here (though not so in other places. But that's likely due to his disagreement with Papias)


3,39,11-13
The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings (ξένας παραβολὰς καὶ διδασκαλίας) of the Saviour, and some other more mythical things (ἄλλα μυθικώτερα). To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding (παρεκδεξάμενον) of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving (μὴ συνεορακότα) that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding (σφόδρα σμικρὸς τὸν νοῦν), as one can see from his words.


As you can see, eschatology is only one example of the 'more mythical' things Papias related as well as some strange parables and teachings. Likewise, there is no reason to assume that Eusebius' appraisal of his very limited intelligence was limited to his eschatological beliefs.

Ok then.


I've yet to see you present any evidence for your view.

See above

robrecht
02-16-2014, 09:14 AM
Ok

-There is no alternative tradition that developed which would be expected if Papias meant logia in a sense that was not referring to Matthew's gospel
-The tradition itself is quite strong
- Eusebius at least considers him reliable here (though not so in other places. But that's likely due to his disagreement with Papias)

Ok then.

See above Alternative tradition? What do you mean exactly? We have no other evidence from this period but that of Papias.

Quantum Weirdness
02-16-2014, 09:18 AM
Alternative tradition? What do you mean exactly? We have no other evidence from this period but that of Papias.

Why didn't anybody understand the logia to refer to anything other than the Gospel of Matthew especially if that is what Papias was intending by use of the word logia?

robrecht
02-16-2014, 09:26 AM
Why didn't anybody understand the logia to refer to anything other than the Gospel of Matthew especially if that is what Papias was intending by use of the word logia?Who says they did not? No one quotes him until much later, at a time when there were four canonical gospels, one of which was attributed to Matthew.

Quantum Weirdness
02-16-2014, 09:53 AM
Who says they did not? No one quotes him until much later, at a time when there were four canonical gospels, one of which was attributed to Matthew.

You would think that it would at least be mentioned or survive until the fairly late second century (Papias did live until 155 C.E.). But those like Origen (who probably got his information from Clement of Alexandria) only show knowledge of the traditional interpretation.

There is also the fact that Eusebius would have actually known the context of Papias' statement. I don't think he would have confused it at all. The only evidence we have of anything being said to have been written by Matt in the early church is a Hebrew gospel.

Besides this, wouldn't it make more sense for Papias to give the origin of something that was actually used (was this sayings source used in the early second century as opposed to or with the Gospels?)

robrecht
02-16-2014, 10:28 AM
You would think that it would at least be mentioned or survive until the fairly late second century (Papias did live until 155 C.E.). But those like Origen (who probably got his information from Clement of Alexandria) only show knowledge of the traditional interpretation.

There is also the fact that Eusebius would have actually known the context of Papias' statement. I don't think he would have confused it at all. The only evidence we have of anything being said to have been written by Matt in the early church is a Hebrew gospel.

Besides this, wouldn't it make more sense for Papias to give the origin of something that was actually used (was this sayings source used in the early second century as opposed to or with the Gospels?) Not really. Papias does not say Matthew wrote a 'gospel', but an ordered account of the Lord's oracles. He also spoke of others translating these as they were able. Were any of these other translations written, were any in use at the time of Papias? An ordered account of the Lord's oracles sounds like it could refer to the five major discourses found in our current gospel of Matthew, and thus it could even refer to the gospel of Matthew as we know it now, but this is speculation. It is not evidence. It is important to distinguish evidence from assumptions and speculation.

Quantum Weirdness
02-16-2014, 02:37 PM
Not really. Papias does not say Matthew wrote a 'gospel', but an ordered account of the Lord's oracles. He also spoke of others translating these as they were able. Were any of these other translations written, were any in use at the time of Papias? An ordered account of the Lord's oracles sounds like it could refer to the five major discourses found in our current gospel of Matthew, and thus it could even refer to the gospel of Matthew as we know it now, but this is speculation. It is not evidence. It is important to distinguish evidence from assumptions and speculation.

Ok fair enough. But what about Eusebius who would have known the context? And why did no other Church father (that we are aware of) interpret it differently?

The question to me is this:
I know Markan priority explains the internal data well. But I think mine does as well. (The grammatical changes in Mark would be due to writing style, memory and Peter's influence). There is nothing wrong with Matt being proficient in Greek in my opinion. (If he was a tax-collector, wouldn't he have to be proficient in Greek?).
I think the Early Church fathers are unanimous in the order and language of the gospels and nothing Papias says necessarily implies anything different.

Here is a list of arguments as to why Markan Priority is pretty much universal in scholarship
(https://bible.org/article/synoptic-problem)

Which ones do you think (besides the bad Greek) that my hypothesis doesn't address adequately?

At this point, I feel that I am wasting your time so after you respond, I will respond once more and this thread would be over (if you want to respond to that one, go ahead).

Doug Shaver
02-17-2014, 04:27 AM
But what about Eusebius who would have known the context?
How do we know what Eusebius would have known about Papias?

robrecht
02-17-2014, 07:20 AM
Ok fair enough. But what about Eusebius who would have known the context? And why did no other Church father (that we are aware of) interpret it differently? The church fathers lived at a time prior to the development of the historico-critical method.


The question to me is this:
I know Markan priority explains the internal data well. But I think mine does as well. (The grammatical changes in Mark would be due to writing style, memory and Peter's influence). There is nothing wrong with Matt being proficient in Greek in my opinion. (If he was a tax-collector, wouldn't he have to be proficient in Greek?).
I think the Early Church fathers are unanimous in the order and language of the gospels and nothing Papias says necessarily implies anything different.

Here is a list of arguments as to why Markan Priority is pretty much universal in scholarship
(https://bible.org/article/synoptic-problem)

Which ones do you think (besides the bad Greek) that my hypothesis doesn't address adequately?

At this point, I feel that I am wasting your time so after you respond, I will respond once more and this thread would be over (if you want to respond to that one, go ahead). No time to read your link, sorry, but I can say that your explanation does not account for the generally secondary character of Matthew's text to that of Mark. A few examples of which I mentioned above. Early on, I also invited you to choose any pericope of the triple tradition and I will show you what is meant by this--not just by me, but almost all historico-critical scholars. You constantly just reduce this grammar and style, and that is part of it, but it is also a matter of improvement, not just of grammar, but of what Wallace refers to in your link as hard readings. That invitation still stands. You also do not have a convincing explanation for why Peter and Mark both left out some very beautiful and profound material, eg, merely saying that they forgot about the beatitudes or the Lord's prayer, etc. Another weakness in your theory is that you completely ignore the gospel of Luke. You seemed to be unaware above of the idea that Luke used any sources. Any good solution to the synoptic problem should be able to account for textual similarities and differences among all three synoptic gospels. How would you account for Luke not including any of the changes of order in Matthew and yet including all of the double tradition material?

Quantum Weirdness
02-18-2014, 06:02 PM
Last Post then for me


The church fathers lived at a time prior to the development of the historico-critical method.

Ok and? Even if they did, the Church has always understood the Order of the Gospels as being Matt, Mark, Luke and John (ever since Irenaeus at least up until much later) with Matt being written in Hebrew. If the internal evidence doesn't contradict this, then the traditions should not be assumed to be false.


No time to read your link, sorry, but I can say that your explanation does not account for the generally secondary character of Matthew's text to that of Mark. A few examples of which I mentioned above. Early on, I also invited you to choose any pericope of the triple tradition and I will show you what is meant by this--not just by me, but almost all historico-critical scholars. You constantly just reduce this grammar and style, and that is part of it, but it is also a matter of improvement, not just of grammar, but of what Wallace refers to in your link as hard readings.


The problem with the Hard readings argument is that, no matter what, Mark simply wrote what he understood from his sources or what he thought was right regardless of whatever source he got it from. If he didn't think it was right, he wouldn't have incorporated it into his gospel. In other words, the Hard sayings are interpretations of Mark's sources (or possibly, what Mark's sources said themselves like Peter.)


That invitation still stands.

Ok how about the Olivet discourse. That would certainly be interesting


You also do not have a convincing explanation for why Peter and Mark both left out some very beautiful and profound material, eg, merely saying that they forgot about the beatitudes or the Lord's prayer, etc.

First of all, that is very subjective in itself. You need to show that it must have been profound or beautiful to Mark. I find Quantum Mechanics beautiful and profound but that doesn't mean it is to you.

Secondly though, even if they were profound to Mark, he may have decided not to include them on the basis that Peter never really emphasized them in his speeches. We don't have any evidence that Peter spoke about things like the sermon on the Mount or the Lord's Prayer.

And Mark was apparently conceived of as being Peter's preaching:

"And thus when the divine word had made its home among them [the Christians in Rome], the power of Simon [the magician] was quenched and immediately destroyed, together with the man himself. And so greatly did the splendor of piety illumine the minds of PETER'S hearers that they were not satisfied with hearing once only, and were not content with the unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought MARK, a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been orally communicated to them. Nor did they cease until they had prevailed with the man, and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of MARK. And they say that Peter when he had learned, through a revelation of the Spirit, of that which had been done, was pleased with the zeal of the men, and that the work obtained the sanction of his authority for the purpose of being used in the churches. Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias. And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words: "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son" (1 Peter 5:13). And they say that this Mark was the first that was sent to Egypt, and that he proclaimed the Gospel which he had written, and first established churches in Alexandria. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.15.1-2, 2.16.1)



Another weakness in your theory is that you completely ignore the gospel of Luke. You seemed to be unaware above of the idea that Luke used any sources. Any good solution to the synoptic problem should be able to account for textual similarities and differences among all three synoptic gospels.

The reason I ignored Luke was because my position was somewhat in line with scholarship here. I believe that Luke used Mark as a source but not the only one. (Luke left out Mark 6:45-8:26 for
instance.). He would have likely consulted Matthew as well as other sources to make his gospel.


How would you account for Luke not including any of the changes of order in Matthew and yet including all of the double tradition material?

Simple. Luke arranged the order of the double tradition so as to suit his preferences (perhaps a chronological narrative)

Quantum Weirdness
02-18-2014, 06:14 PM
Well, I'll make a response to this one as well :)

How do we know what Eusebius would have known about Papias?

Here's Eusebius

There are extant five books of Papias, which bear the title Expositions of Oracles of the Lord. Irenæus makes mention of these as the only works written by him, in the following words: “These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him.” These are the words of Irenæus.

2. But Papias himself in the preface to his discourses by no means declares that he was himself a hearer and eye-witness of the holy apostles, but he shows by the words which he uses that he received the doctrines of the faith from those who were their friends.

3. He says: “But I shall not hesitate also to put down for you along with my interpretations whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth; not in those that relate strange commandments, but in those that deliver the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and springing from the truth itself.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.viii.xxxix.html

From the Above, it can be seen that Papias' works were existent in the time of Eusebius and that Eusebius read the preface of Papias'

robrecht
02-18-2014, 08:30 PM
Ok and? Even if they did, the Church has always understood the Order of the Gospels as being Matt, Mark, Luke and John (ever since Irenaeus at least up until much later) with Matt being written in Hebrew. If the internal evidence doesn't contradict this, then the traditions should not be assumed to be false. Before Irenaeus, it seems Papias may have considered Mark to have been written first. Clement of Alexandria considered Luke to have been written before Mark, whereas Augustine considered Mark to have been written after Luke. Some manuscripts place the gospel of John before or immediately after that of Matthew. None of the traditions we have of the order of authorship are first or even second hand so there is no strong argument from tradition. And there is very strong internal evidence that the gospel of Mark was indeed written first, which is why practically every critical scholar on the planet affirms Markan priority.


The problem with the Hard readings argument is that, no matter what, Mark simply wrote what he understood from his sources or what he thought was right regardless of whatever source he got it from. If he didn't think it was right, he wouldn't have incorporated it into his gospel. In other words, the Hard sayings are interpretations of Mark's sources (or possibly, what Mark's sources said themselves like Peter.) But comparing Matthew to Mark, and Luke to Mark, it makes so much more sense that they eliminated or ameliorated the hard readings. Recall that according to your theory, Mark’s sources were Peter’s preaching from Matthew’s gospel and Matthew’s gospel itself.


Ok how about the Olivet discourse. That would certainly be interesting
Mt 24,1 Jesus initiates the teaching, rather than it being a response to a remark from an unnamed disciple

Mt 24,3 Whereas in Mark, the disciples only ask about the destruction of the temple, in Matthew their question is broader, asking also about when the parousia will be and the end of the age. Why would Peter or Mark leave this out?

Mt 24,5 Matthew clarifies the ambiguous, "I am he," with a much clearer claim, "I am he, the Messiah." Matthew also adds an explanatory conjunction that is missing in Mark’s somewhat rougher Greek.

Mt 24,6 Matthew adds another explanatory conjunction and supplies Mark’s missing verb. The latter addition is rendering Matthew’s Greek less Semitic than Mark’s text.

Mt 24,9 Whereas Mark's Jesus only speaks of the disciples being beaten in synagogues, Matthew increases this to the disciples being tortured and put to death and being hated by all nations. Note Matthew has moved some of Mark’s material to 10,17-22.

Mt 24,14 ‘and then will come the end’ added to Mark’s text to make a better correspondence with 24,6, which was also improved by Matthew.

Mt 24,15 identifies Mark’s allusion as coming specifically from the book of Daniel. He also corrects the participle from masculine to neuter so that it corresponds to the neuter noun.

Mt 24,20 Matthew adds the subject that is missing from Mark’s verb.

Mt 24,27 Matthew adds a Q saying and again adds ‘the parousia’ to the Q saying, just as he did to Mark’s text in Mt 24,3

Mt 24,30 Matthew again adds the subject that is missing from Mark’s verb.

Mt 24,31 Matthew adds ‘the loud trumpet call’ to make this passage more explicitly eschatological, in line with his changes to 24,3 and 24,27.

Mt 24,36-51 Matthew adds additional and extensive Q material here (cf already 24,27). Luke does not add this Q material here. Matthew also adds extensive Q and Matthean material in Mt 25 to complete this final, climactic sermon of Jesus. Threre is no good reason why Peter and Mark would have supposedly deleted this material.


First of all, that is very subjective in itself. You need to show that it must have been profound or beautiful to Mark. I find Quantum Mechanics beautiful and profound but that doesn't mean it is to you.

Secondly though, even if they were profound to Mark, he may have decided not to include them on the basis that Peter never really emphasized them in his speeches. We don't have any evidence that Peter spoke about things like the sermon on the Mount or the Lord's Prayer. Your theory must suppose that Peter or Mark somehow disliked the beatitudes and the Lord’s prayer, as well as much other material in Matthew, or were extremely forgetful or some other complicated reason why they would discard so much material. This is not really all that plausible.

robrecht
02-18-2014, 08:45 PM
Well, I'll make a response to this one as well :)


Here's Eusebius

There are extant five books of Papias, ...The word "extant" does not appear in the Greek. One could argue that it may be implied in Eusebius' periphrastic construction, which is nothing more than a direct quote of Irenaeus (Adv Haer 5,33,4), but it is by no means explicit. That being said, I have no objection to the possibility of Eusebius knowing all of Papias' work. He was not much impressed with Papias, as we know from the comments I quoted above, and this would coincide with his inclusion of so little material if he did indeed know the whole work.

Doug Shaver
02-19-2014, 03:23 AM
How do we know what Eusebius would have known about Papias?

From the Above, it can be seen that Papias' works were existent in the time of Eusebius and that Eusebius read the preface of Papias'
OK. And how much can we learn about an author just by reading something he wrote? Doesn't that depend on whether his writing was mainly about himself or about some other subject?


“These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him.” These are the words of Irenæus.*
And why should I believe Irenaeus? Does he tell us where he got his information?


For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth;
Well, now, he would say that, wouldn't he? Everybody, but absolutely everybody, will assure you that the only thing they care about is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 08:01 AM
Before Irenaeus, it seems Papias may have considered Mark to have been written first.

Where does he say this? I can't seem to find it in the sayings attributed to him.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 08:17 AM
He was not much impressed with Papias, as we know from the comments I quoted above, and this would coincide with his inclusion of so little material if he did indeed know the whole work.

I thought scholars generally chalked that up to differences in their eschatological beliefs (as previously mentioned by QW) because of the following passage:

"12. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures.

13. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, as one can see from his discourses."

robrecht
02-19-2014, 08:18 AM
Where does he say this? I can't seem to find it in the sayings attributed to him.
He doesn't say it. He merely describes how he believes Mark wrote his gospel before he describes how Matthew wrote his.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 08:27 AM
He doesn't say it. He merely describes how he believes Mark wrote his gospel before he describes how Matthew wrote his.

So...from that you infer that Papias thought Mark was first?

“This also the presbyter said: Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord’s discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.” These things are related by Papias concerning Mark. But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: “So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.” And the same writer uses testimonies from the first Epistle of John and from that of Peter likewise. And he relates another story of a woman, who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews. These things we have thought it necessary to observe in addition to what has been already stated.
-Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 3.39.13-16

Maybe it reads different in the Greek, but from the English translation it just reads like Eusebius is describing Papias' thoughts on Matthew and Mark. It doesn't appear to be saying anything about chronological order, or even what order Papias described them first.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 08:30 AM
And why should I believe Irenaeus?

Why shouldn't you? Seems like an inconsequential thing to make up.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 08:37 AM
I thought scholars generally chalked that up to differences in their eschatological beliefs (as previously mentioned by QW) because of the following passage:

"12. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures.

13. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, as one can see from his discourses." Some certainly do, but I see no reason to presume that Eusebius was exaggerating his slight appreciation for Papias merely because he disagreed about eschatology. Note that the sentence you quote, as it is commonly divided in English mistranslation, actually cuts off the beginning of the sentence in the Greek, from which it becomes apparent, if we take Eusebius at his word, that eschatology was only one area in which he discredited Papias for his gullibility.

3,39,11-13
The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings (ξένας παραβολὰς καὶ διδασκαλίας) of the Saviour, and some other more mythical things (ἄλλα μυθικώτερα), among which his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding (παρεκδεξάμενον) of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving (μὴ συνεορακότα) that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding (σφόδρα σμικρὸς τὸν νοῦν), as one can see from his words ...

καὶ ἄλλα δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς ὡς ἐκ παραδόσεως ἀγράφου εἰς αὐτὸν ἥκοντα παρατέθειται ξένας τέ τινας παραβολὰς τοῦ σωτῆρος καὶ διδασκαλίας αὐτοῦ καί τινα ἄλλα μυθικώτερα· ἐν οἷς καὶ χιλιάδα τινά φησιν ἐτῶν ἔσεσθαι μετὰ τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀνάστασιν, σωματικῶς τῆς Χριστοῦ βασιλείας ἐπὶ ταυτησὶ τῆς γῆς ὑποστησομένης· ἃ καὶ ἡγοῦμαι τὰς ἀποστολικὰς παρεκδεξάμενον διηγήσεις ὑπολαβεῖν, τὰ ἐν ὑποδείγμασι πρὸς αὐτῶν μυστικῶς εἰρημένα μὴ συνεορακότα. σφόδρα γάρ τοι σμικρὸς ὢν τὸν νοῦν, ὡς ἂν ἐκ τῶν αὐτοῦ λόγων τεκμηράμενον εἰπεῖν, φαίνεται ...

If we believe Eusebius, Papias' eschatology was only one of the more mythical things that he related, among a multitude of strange parables and teachings of the Savior.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 08:39 AM
So...from that you infer that Papias thought Mark was first? ...No. My point was that Papias does not say that Matthew wrote his gospel first, as was previously asserted in this thread.

Outis
02-19-2014, 08:40 AM
Why shouldn't you? Seems like an inconsequential thing to make up.

Because Irenaeus not infrequently used superstition and mysticism to make his point, rather than history. If you have a chance, reference his argument about why there are four Gospels, instead of three or five.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 08:42 AM
Why shouldn't you? Seems like an inconsequential thing to make up.Eusebius also takes issue with Irenaeus' understanding of Papias' closeness to apostolic witnesses:

3,39,2-7:
2 But Papias himself in the preface to his discourses by no means declares that he was himself a hearer and eye-witness of the holy apostles, but he shows by the words which he uses that he received the doctrines of the faith from those who were their friends. 3 He says:


"But I shall not hesitate also to put down for you along with my interpretations whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth; not in those that relate strange commandments, but in those that deliver the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and springing from the truth itself. 4 If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders— what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice."

5 It is worth while observing here that the name John is twice enumerated by him. The first one he mentions in connection with Peter and James and Matthew and the rest of the apostles, clearly meaning the evangelist; but the other John he mentions after an interval, and places him among others outside of the number of the apostles, putting Aristion before him, and he distinctly calls him a presbyter. 6 This shows that the statement of those is true, who say that there were two persons in Asia that bore the same name, and that there were two tombs in Ephesus, each of which, even to the present day, is called John's. It is important to notice this. For it is probable that it was the second, if one is not willing to admit that it was the first that saw the Revelation, which is ascribed by name to John. 7 And Papias, of whom we are now speaking, confesses that he received the words of the apostles from those that followed them, but says that he was himself a hearer of Aristion and the presbyter John. At least he mentions them frequently by name, and gives their traditions in his writings. These things, we hope, have not been uselessly adduced by us.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 08:57 AM
Note that the sentence you quote, as it is commonly divided in English mistranslation, actually cuts off the beginning of the sentence in the Greek, from which it becomes apparent

The translation I cited included the previous sentence. I left it off since I only thought verse 12 and the first part of 13 were relevant to the point.


If we believe Eusebius, Papias' eschatology was only one of the more mythical things that he related, among a multitude of strange parables and teachings of the Savior.

Isn't it just as likely that this is a vague hand wave in order to dismiss Papias' chiliastic view? He doesn't specify the other mythical/strange parables and teachings. Sort of sounds like a modern conversation where you might hear someone say something like "yeah, he believes in some crazy stuff, like, global warming is a myth". The commenter may only have the global warming business in mind, but he throws out a vague claim in order to generally discredit the other guy.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 08:59 AM
Because Irenaeus not infrequently used superstition and mysticism to make his point, rather than history. If you have a chance, reference his argument about why there are four Gospels, instead of three or five.

“These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him.” Seems rather specific and inconsequential. What does superstition and mysticism have to do with how many books Papias wrote?

robrecht
02-19-2014, 09:00 AM
The translation I cited included the previous sentence. I left it off since I only thought verse 12 and the first part of 13 were relevant to the point. Of course. But it is important to understand that the English translation does not recognize the unity of a single sentence.


Isn't it just as likely that this is a vague hand wave in order to dismiss Papias' chiliastic view? He doesn't specify the other mythical/strange parables and teachings. Sort of sounds like a modern conversation where you might hear someone say something like "yeah, he believes in some crazy stuff, like, global warming is a myth". The commenter may only have the global warming business in mind, but he throws out a vague claim in order to generally discredit the other guy.Sure, it is possible that Eusebius is being a little dishonest here.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 09:03 AM
Eusebius also takes issue with Irenaeus' understanding of Papias' closeness to apostolic witnesses:

3,39,2-7:
2 But Papias himself in the preface to his discourses by no means declares that he was himself a hearer and eye-witness of the holy apostles, but he shows by the words which he uses that he received the doctrines of the faith from those who were their friends. 3 He says:


5 It is worth while observing here that the name John is twice enumerated by him. The first one he mentions in connection with Peter and James and Matthew and the rest of the apostles, clearly meaning the evangelist; but the other John he mentions after an interval, and places him among others outside of the number of the apostles, putting Aristion before him, and he distinctly calls him a presbyter. 6 This shows that the statement of those is true, who say that there were two persons in Asia that bore the same name, and that there were two tombs in Ephesus, each of which, even to the present day, is called John's. It is important to notice this. For it is probable that it was the second, if one is not willing to admit that it was the first that saw the Revelation, which is ascribed by name to John. 7 And Papias, of whom we are now speaking, confesses that he received the words of the apostles from those that followed them, but says that he was himself a hearer of Aristion and the presbyter John. At least he mentions them frequently by name, and gives their traditions in his writings. These things, we hope, have not been uselessly adduced by us.

So, from this you gather that Papias did not write 5 books?

robrecht
02-19-2014, 09:05 AM
So, from this you gather that Papias did not write 5 books?What? I have never doubted that Papias wrote 5 books. Where did you get that? I said "Eusebius also takes issue with Irenaeus' understanding of Papias' closeness to apostolic witnesses." I did not say anything about Papias not writing five books. Nor did οὔτις for that matter.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 09:15 AM
I'm just following the thread. You replied to me replying to Doug Shaver, who replied to QW, who replied to Doug.



But what about Eusebius who would have known the context?

How do we know what Eusebius would have known about Papias?

Here's Eusebius

There are extant five books of Papias, which bear the title Expositions of Oracles of the Lord. Irenæus makes mention of these as the only works written by him, in the following words: “These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him.” These are the words of Irenæus.


And why should I believe Irenaeus? Does he tell us where he got his information?

robrecht
02-19-2014, 09:19 AM
I'm just following the thread. You replied to me replying to Doug Shaver, who replied to QW, who replied to Doug. I don't speak for Doug or οὔτις, but I would not assume that was their meaning, and I certainly never said anything like that. One could be questioning what Irenaeus says about Papias being 'an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp'. That seems to be the much more important assertion than the number of chapters in his book, and that is the issue that Eusebius discusses.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 10:02 AM
I don't speak for Doug or οὔτις, but I would not assume that was their meaning, and I certainly never said anything like that. One could be questioning what Irenaeus says about Papias being 'an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp'. That seems to be the much more important assertion than the number of chapters in his book, and that is the issue that Eusebius discusses.

Oh, perhaps (though does Irenaeus identify which John he was referring to?). I took Doug as saying that he doubted Irenaeus' claim about the books of Papias since that's what QW was highlighting. If I recall, Doug is also the poster who believes that the NT was written in the genre of historical fiction, so it wouldn't surprise me if he believes that Irenaeus' claim is also fictional.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 11:00 AM
Oh, perhaps (though does Irenaeus identify which John he was referring to?). ... That's precisely the point Eusebius focuses on. He doubts that John the evangelist wrote the Apocalypse and so he wants to associate Papias with John the presbyter instead of John the Evangelist. But most had assumed they were one and the same.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 11:06 AM
That's precisely the point Eusebius focuses on. He doubts that John the evangelist wrote the Apocalypse and so he wants to associate Papias with John the presbyter instead of John the Evangelist. But most had assumed they were one and the same.

Right, but you said that, "Eusebius also takes issue with Irenaeus' understanding of Papias' closeness to apostolic witnesses." in reference to John. Does Irenaeus specify which John precisely he thought Papias was referring to?

robrecht
02-19-2014, 11:17 AM
Right, but you said that, "Eusebius also takes issue with Irenaeus' understanding of Papias' closeness to apostolic witnesses." in reference to John. Does Irenaeus specify which John precisely he thought Papias was referring to? Irenaeus does not distinguish between two Johns so he is understood to be referring to John the apostle. Eusebius is the one who distinguishes between John the Apostle and John the presbyter.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 11:42 AM
Irenaeus does not distinguish between two Johns so he is understood to be referring to John the apostle. Eusebius is the one who distinguishes between John the Apostle and John the presbyter.

So, okay, I'm a little confused. In Historia Ecclesiastica by Eusebius, Eusebius says that Irenaeus said that Papias "was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp". Irenaeus does not specify who this John is (whether it the Apostle or the Presbyter). Does Irenaeus confuse these two anywhere else? Because if not, this doesn't sound so much like Eusebius is taking issue with Irenaeus, as much as clarifying who the "John" that Papias (by way of Irenaeus) associated with.

Is there another passage by Eusebius that leads you to believe that Irenaeus mixed up Johns?

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 11:57 AM
No. My point was that Papias does not say that Matthew wrote his gospel first, as was previously asserted in this thread.

Oh, ok. I must have missed that. So, do you retract your assertion then that, "it seems Papias may have considered Mark to have been written first"?

Outis
02-19-2014, 12:05 PM
Oh, ok. I must have missed that. So, do you retract your assertion then that, "it seems Papias may have considered Mark to have been written first"?

Robrecht's point does not conflict with this assertion. Why should he retract it?

The evidence for Papias assuming Mark wrote first is weak (the only evidence for it is that Papias mentions Mark first), and may not be indicative, but it should be considered, if only briefly.

Outis
02-19-2014, 12:06 PM
“These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him.” Seems rather specific and inconsequential. What does superstition and mysticism have to do with how many books Papias wrote?

I am not commenting on Irenaeus' enumeration of Papias' books. I am commenting on the general trustworthiness of Irenaeus as a witness.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 12:08 PM
the only evidence for it is that Papias mentions Mark first

Well, not even that. Eusebius mentions Mark first. We don't know what order Papias talks about Mark and Matthew, do we?

robrecht
02-19-2014, 12:29 PM
So, okay, I'm a little confused. In Historia Ecclesiastica by Eusebius, Eusebius says that Irenaeus said that Papias "was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp". Irenaeus does not specify who this John is (whether it the Apostle or the Presbyter). Does Irenaeus confuse these two anywhere else? Because if not, this doesn't sound so much like Eusebius is taking issue with Irenaeus, as much as clarifying who the "John" that Papias (by way of Irenaeus) associated with.

Is there another passage by Eusebius that leads you to believe that Irenaeus mixed up Johns?If memory serves me correctly, Irenaeus did not know of two Johns but was presumably speaking of John the Apostle. Eusebius is the one who distinguishes between two Johns.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 12:31 PM
Oh, ok. I must have missed that. So, do you retract your assertion then that, "it seems Papias may have considered Mark to have been written first"?Of course not. Papias may have considered Mark to have written first. We simply do not know. But we cannot cite Papias as asserting Matthean priority. That is the point.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 12:53 PM
If memory serves me correctly, Irenaeus did not know of two Johns but was presumably speaking of John the Apostle. Eusebius is the one who distinguishes between two Johns.

Right, I understand that Eusebius is the one who distinguishes between two Johns. He does so in Historia Ecclesiastica book 3 chapter 39.5-7. That isn't in question.

I'm trying to figure out why you believe that Eusebius thinks Irenaeus thinks "John" is John the Apostle rather than John the Presbyter. What makes you think that when Irenaeus says (per Eusebius) "These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him" that Irenaeus is referring to the Apostle?

robrecht
02-19-2014, 12:56 PM
Right, I understand that Eusebius is the one who distinguishes between two Johns. He does so in Historia Ecclesiastica book 3 chapter 39.5-7. That isn't in question.

I'm trying to figure out why you believe that Eusebius thinks Irenaeus thinks "John" is John the Apostle rather than John the Presbyter. What makes you think that when Irenaeus says (per Eusebius) "These things are attested by Papias, an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book. For five books have been written by him" that Irenaeus is referring to the Apostle?Because, if memory serves me correctly, Irenaeus never speaks of John the presbyter. I believe he only speaks of John the Apostle. It is Eusebius who wants to make a distinction between John the Apostle and John the presbyter.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 02:09 PM
Because, if memory serves me correctly, Irenaeus never speaks of John the presbyter.

Do you mean in Against Heresies? Or ever?


It is Eusebius who wants to make a distinction between John the Apostle and John the presbyter.

Yes, I've read.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 02:18 PM
Do you mean in Against Heresies? Or ever?

Yes, I've read.Ever, as far as I know.

Quantum Weirdness
02-19-2014, 05:14 PM
I really shouldn't have said that I wouldn't respond. Please disregard that stuff :blush:


Before Irenaeus, it seems Papias may have considered Mark to have been written first. Clement of Alexandria considered Luke to have been written before Mark, whereas Augustine considered Mark to have been written after Luke.


Not exactly

Quote:
"Clement’s statement has puzzled commentators over the years because it has been uniformly interpreted in chronological terms, but its difficulties evaporate when progegravfqai is understood as a reference to the open publication of Matthew and Luke. In terms of its textual and historical contexts, therefore, the best interpretation of Clement’s statement is that the gospels with the genealogies were written before the public, as gospels for all Christians. This interpretation makes better sense of the aetiology of Mark that immediately follows and explains the patristic unanimity of the chronological order for the gospels outside of Clement. For the cause of synoptic source criticism, however, Clement’s testimony can no longer be relied upon as evidence for the relative order of the gospels.
http://www.academia.edu/968395/Clement_of_Alexandria_on_the_Order_of_the_Gospels

[MT NOTE: Regarding the last line, I think that Carlsen means this in the sense that it cannot be used to support the Griesbach Hypothesis. Otherwise, I don't think the conclusion makes sense i.e. he is arguing against the Griesbach Hypothesis]


Some manuscripts place the gospel of John before or immediately after that of Matthew. None of the traditions we have of the order of authorship are first or even second hand so there is no strong argument from tradition. And there is very strong internal evidence that the gospel of Mark was indeed written first, which is why practically every critical scholar on the planet affirms Markan priority.

Virtually all of them say the same thing. I find that quite suspicious. BTW, isn't it more likely that Irenaeus got his information from Polycarp than Papias (seeing that he actually studied under the former?)


But comparing Matthew to Mark, and Luke to Mark, it makes so much more sense that they eliminated or ameliorated the hard readings. Recall that according to your theory, Mark’s sources were Peter’s preaching from Matthew’s gospel and Matthew’s gospel itself.

Let me be more specific. Peter's understanding from Matt's gospel and his memory of the actual events.


Mt 24,1 Jesus initiates the teaching, rather than it being a response to a remark from an unnamed disciple

Mt 24,3 Whereas in Mark, the disciples only ask about the destruction of the temple, in Matthew their question is broader, asking also about when the parousia will be and the end of the age. Why would Peter or Mark leave this out?

Dunno about Peter but Mark may have well forgot about this. In any case, Mark doesn't show much concern for the end of the age (probably because the phrase was more of a Jewish thing)


Mt 24,5 Matthew clarifies the ambiguous, "I am he," with a much clearer claim, "I am he, the Messiah." Matthew also adds an explanatory conjunction that is missing in Mark’s somewhat rougher Greek.


Mt 24,6 Matthew adds another explanatory conjunction and supplies Mark’s missing verb. The latter addition is rendering Matthew’s Greek less Semitic than Mark’s text.

Mark recalling Matt from Memory and using his own literary style.



Mt 24,9 Whereas Mark's Jesus only speaks of the disciples being beaten in synagogues, Matthew increases this to the disciples being tortured and put to death and being hated by all nations. Note
Matthew has moved some of Mark’s material to 10,17-22.

Mark imperfectly recalling Matthew and perhaps recalling Peter speaking.


Mt 24,14 ‘and then will come the end’ added to Mark’s text to make a better correspondence with 24,6, which was also improved by Matthew.

Mark recalling Matt


Mt 24,15 identifies Mark’s allusion as coming specifically from the book of Daniel. He also corrects the participle from masculine to neuter so that it corresponds to the neuter noun.

Mark recalling Matt and literary style (perhaps influenced by Peter)


Mt 24,20 Matthew adds the subject that is missing from Mark’s verb.

Great see above


Mt 24,27 Matthew adds a Q saying and again adds ‘the parousia’ to the Q saying, just as he did to Mark’s text in Mt 24,3

Mark recalling Matt (but more Peter)


Mt 24,30 Matthew again adds the subject that is missing from Mark’s verb.

Ok


Mt 24,31 Matthew adds ‘the loud trumpet call’ to make this passage more explicitly eschatological, in line with his changes to 24,3 and 24,27.

Or Mark has an imperfect memory


Mt 24,36-51 Matthew adds additional and extensive Q material here (cf already 24,27). Luke does not add this Q material here. Matthew also adds extensive Q and Matthean material in Mt 25 to complete this final, climactic sermon of Jesus. There is no good reason why Peter and Mark would have supposedly deleted this material.

Deleted or just forgot? Did Mark have a superhuman memory to remember everything that he heard? Unfortunately, I don't know people like that.
And people forget things all the time. And as for Peter deleting material, what would be the point in including it in his speeches? They use an analogy to the flood and repeat the same thing through parables.


Your theory must suppose that Peter or Mark somehow disliked the beatitudes and the Lord’s prayer, as well as much other material in Matthew, or were extremely forgetful or some other complicated reason why they would discard so much material. This is not really all that plausible.

No not dislike. Just didn't bother too much with it. If Peter was a missionary (and talked with non-Christian Jews, he would have:

-Gave an introduction to Jesus of Nazareth and identify who he is.
-Emphasized his miracles
-Justify Jesus' actions and their own as well and attack the actions of his foes
-Prophecies of Jesus that came true
-Eschatology
-Explain how to be saved/How does someone go to Hell


Peter would have spent more time defending the faith (and its ideas including eschatology), presenting evidence for it, encouraging people to endure persecution the reward of eternal life. Things like the Lord's prayer and the beatitudes would have been secondary (and perhaps mentioned very little in speeches).

And even if Peter included them, things regarding beauty and profoundness are subjective (i.e. Just because it is profound or beautiful to me does not mean it is profound or beautiful to you).

Doug Shaver
02-19-2014, 05:27 PM
And why should I believe Irenaeus?

Why shouldn't you? Seems like an inconsequential thing to make up.
If it's really inconsequential, then it makes no difference whether I believe it, right? But some Christians seem to think I'll burn in hell if I don't believe everything Irenaeus said.

Anyway, I do not automatically suppose that when somebody says something I don't believe, they must be making it up. I realize that there are skeptics who think Christianity is all just a giant fraud perpetrated by whoever got it started, but I'm not one of them. Absent clear evidence to the contrary, I assume that Irenaeus believed every word he wrote. What I don't assume is that he must have had good reason to believe it.

Doug Shaver
02-19-2014, 05:40 PM
If I recall, Doug is also the poster who believes that the NT was written in the genre of historical fiction, so it wouldn't surprise me if he believes that Irenaeus' claim is also fictional.
No, I don't believe that the entire New Testament is fiction. I believe that the gospels and Acts are fiction. The epistles are all essays. I'm not sure about Revelation. I suppose we could file it under "allegory," but that seems to me like a subcategory of fiction.

Quantum Weirdness
02-19-2014, 05:40 PM
OK. And how much can we learn about an author just by reading something he wrote? Doesn't that depend on whether his writing was mainly about himself or about some other subject?


We learn that he would have read Papias' works and thus, know the context of Papias' statements.



And why should I believe Irenaeus? Does he tell us where he got his information?

No but:
-I wasn't arguing Irenaeus was reliable here
-He probably got it from Polycarp who was a companion of Papias.


Well, now, he would say that, wouldn't he? Everybody, but absolutely everybody, will assure you that the only thing they care about is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Great. Whether he is reliable or not should be deduced from the evidence.

Doug Shaver
02-19-2014, 05:51 PM
Great. Whether he is reliable or not should be deduced from the evidence.
The evidence might give us good reason to think he is either reliable or unreliable. Or the evidence might be inconclusive, in which case I think we ought to withhold judgment.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 07:39 PM
Deleted or just forgot?

I know you're talking about Mark here, but I'm reminded of Mark Goodacre's theory for why Luke doesn't include material that Matthew does. Professor Goodacre doesn't believe in the Q source, and thinks that Luke relies on both Mark and Matthew. He accounts for missing material found in Matthew, but not in Luke in that Luke is writing a different sort of Gospel, one with a different emphasis, and so, doesn't feel the need to include certain passages. Goodacre is in the minority of course, but its an interesting view nonetheless.

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 07:52 PM
If it's really inconsequential, then it makes no difference whether I believe it, right? But some Christians seem to think I'll burn in hell if I don't believe everything Irenaeus said.

It seems inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Irenaeus wasn't repeating some transcendent religious doctrine, he was just referring to some books he knew about by some guy named Papias who seemed to know Polycarp (his teacher) and was a hearer of a John (whether the Apostle or the Presbyter, we aren't certain). I've never heard of any Christians that teach that you will burn in hell for not believing everything Irenaeus said. I think I'll be staying away from their services.


Anyway, I do not automatically suppose that when somebody says something I don't believe, they must be making it up. I realize that there are skeptics who think Christianity is all just a giant fraud perpetrated by whoever got it started, but I'm not one of them. Absent clear evidence to the contrary, I assume that Irenaeus believed every word he wrote. What I don't assume is that he must have had good reason to believe it.

What would help move you towards assuming that Irenaeus had good reason for believing that Papias was a hearer of John, a companion of Polycarp, and the author of 5 books?

OingoBoingo
02-19-2014, 07:53 PM
No, I don't believe that the entire New Testament is fiction. I believe that the gospels and Acts are fiction. The epistles are all essays. I'm not sure about Revelation. I suppose we could file it under "allegory," but that seems to me like a subcategory of fiction.

Oh. I stand corrected.

robrecht
02-19-2014, 08:08 PM
I really shouldn't have said that I wouldn't respond. Please disregard that stuff :blush:

Not exactly

Quote:
"Clement’s statement has puzzled commentators over the years because it has been uniformly interpreted in chronological terms, but its difficulties evaporate when progegravfqai is understood as a reference to the open publication of Matthew and Luke. In terms of its textual and historical contexts, therefore, the best interpretation of Clement’s statement is that the gospels with the genealogies were written before the public, as gospels for all Christians. This interpretation makes better sense of the aetiology of Mark that immediately follows and explains the patristic unanimity of the chronological order for the gospels outside of Clement. For the cause of synoptic source criticism, however, Clement’s testimony can no longer be relied upon as evidence for the relative order of the gospels.
http://www.academia.edu/968395/Clement_of_Alexandria_on_the_Order_of_the_Gospels

[MT NOTE: Regarding the last line, I think that Carlsen means this in the sense that it cannot be used to support the Griesbach Hypothesis. Otherwise, I don't think the conclusion makes sense i.e. he is arguing against the Griesbach Hypothesis]Seems like a pretty forced interpretation to me, at first glance anyway, but he may be right. Interesting to see that there are some nine different orderings of the gospels in the manuscript tradition.


Virtually all of them say the same thing. I find that quite suspicious. Seems to me much more suspicious that someone without any of the necessary training thinks he can dismiss the nearly universal opinion of those who have spent their lives studying these issues.


BTW, isn't it more likely that Irenaeus got his information from Polycarp than Papias (seeing that he actually studied under the former?) Studied under him? Or just heard him as a child? I don't think we can say what is more likely in this case.


Let me be more specific. Peter's understanding from Matt's gospel and his memory of the actual events.Earlier you theorized that Mark also would have had access to Matthew's Greek gospel in Peter's possession. Now you're retracting that?


Dunno about Peter but Mark may have well forgot about this. In any case, Mark doesn't show much concern for the end of the age (probably because the phrase was more of a Jewish thing) You do know that Peter and Mark were both Jewish, right?


Mark recalling Matt from Memory and using his own literary style.I know you want to pretend that everywhere Peter and Mark made Matthew's style rougher, and less correct, but good luck convincing people who know the language of this.


Mark imperfectly recalling Matthew and perhaps recalling Peter speaking.

Mark recalling Matt

Mark recalling Matt and literary style (perhaps influenced by Peter)

Great see above

Mark recalling Matt (but more Peter)

Ok

Or Mark has an imperfect memory

Deleted or just forgot? Did Mark have a superhuman memory to remember everything that he heard? Unfortunately, I don't know people like that.
And people forget things all the time. Previously, with Eta Linnemann, you wanted to claim memory was so great in an oral society that there was no reason to think there had been any literary dependence to explain an incredible degree of verbal identity among the synoptics. But when inconvenient for your theory, you discard your previous claim that Mark had access to the written text of Matthew's gospel and now claim Mark had a poor memory.


And as for Peter deleting material, what would be the point in including it in his speeches? Why include anything that Jesus said? It's not like they believed he was the Son of God or that they should listen to the things he said, right?


They use an analogy to the flood and repeat the same thing through parables. I have no idea what you are trying to say here.


No not dislike. Just didn't bother too much with it. If Peter was a missionary (and talked with non-Christian Jews, he would have:

-Gave an introduction to Jesus of Nazareth and identify who he is.
-Emphasized his miracles
-Justify Jesus' actions and their own as well and attack the actions of his foes
-Prophecies of Jesus that came true
-Eschatology
-Explain how to be saved/How does someone go to Hell

Peter would have spent more time defending the faith (and its ideas including eschatology), presenting evidence for it, encouraging people to endure persecution the reward of eternal life. Things like the Lord's prayer and the beatitudes would have been secondary (and perhaps mentioned very little in speeches).

And even if Peter included them, things regarding beauty and profoundness are subjective (i.e. Just because it is profound or beautiful to me does not mean it is profound or beautiful to you).Like I say, you have to invent complicated theories for why things were changed or left out. Your theory has to evaluate changes in the opposite direction of what the very great majority of scholars think was the most likely direction. You don't want to claim that Peter and Mark left out things because they disliked them, but you still end up saying that subjectively they may not have found the Lord's prayer and the beatitudes or any of that other baggage as profound or worth keeping. You speculate that Mark was not interested in eschatology, but then you say it was one of the most important things in Peter's teaching. My advice to you is still the same. Learn the languages before you try develop new theories. You'll have a much better chance of being taken seriously and you may even learn something in the process. Good luck!

Doug Shaver
02-19-2014, 09:13 PM
What would help move you towards assuming that Irenaeus had good reason for believing that Papias was a hearer of John, a companion of Polycarp, and the author of 5 books?
Nothing, I hope. We should be assuming less, not more. But if I believe something because I have evidence for it, then it is no longer an assumption. It is an inference.

I would believe that Irenaeus had a good reason for believing what he wrote about Papias if (a) he himself stated what that reason was and (b) I could agree that it was a good reason.

I certainly will agree that for all we know, he could have had impeccable reasons and just decided that he didn't need to share them with his readers. However, possibility does not establish probability. It makes no difference why we don't have a certain piece of evidence. If we don't have it, then it is not evidence for anything, and we're not justified in believing what it would have proved if we did have it.

OingoBoingo
02-20-2014, 06:51 AM
Nothing, I hope. We should be assuming less, not more.

You're already in the negative. I don't think there's anything less you can assume in this case, is there?


But if I believe something because I have evidence for it, then it is no longer an assumption. It is an inference

The testimony of Irenaeus concerning Papias is evidence.


I would believe that Irenaeus had a good reason for believing what he wrote about Papias if (a) he himself stated what that reason was and (b) I could agree that it was a good reason.


So, in every historical writing you come across you'll hold off any positive belief about absolutely any claim, regardless how mundane, unless and until the writer declares exactly the reason each claim is made? So if an ancient writer talked about, I don't know, the non-controversial average cost of grain in a given season, the nice weather on the day of his writing, or a good friend with whom he had a pleasant chat with the week before, you've already decided not to give that writer the satisfaction of doubt unless they stop their narrative midstream to explain their motivation for each of these claims? Do I have this right?

If I have this right, this seems unreasonably skeptical. I'd be surprised if any professional historian lays this sort of burden on the writings they study. I'm certain they don't willy-nilly believe just anything written by their historical sources, but using this method we probably couldn't say anything about history at all, even very recent history.

At any rate, Irenaeus talks about Papias in his book Against Heresies Book V, Chapter 33. The book Against Heresies was written to refute views that Irenaeus thought heretical. In Book V, Chapter 33 he is talking about certain sayings of Jesus, and he says that these sayings are recorded in the writings of one Papias.

"And these things are borne witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled (συντεταγμένα) by him."

He then goes on to cite Papias' writings directly. We have good reason to believe he's citing some sort of writing because when referring to the book he's citing he writes things like, "And he says in addition...And he says that...And again he says, in recapitulation...I am quite aware that some persons endeavor to refer these words to the case of..."

Its not impossible that Irenaeus is making up the citation here, or that there is a man named Papias, or that Papias wrote X amount of books or was a companion of Polycarp and hearer of a man named John, but it does seem implausible. It'd be an elaborate and unnecessary deception. Elsewhere Irenaeus tells a heretic named Florinus that he was a hearer of Polycarp as a child, and if we believe him, the degree of separation between Papias, Polycarp, and Irenaeus is not so great. Historians generally believe that Polycarp lived between 69-155, Papias between 70-155 and Irenaeus between 130-202, so there is also chronological overlap that supports Irenaeus' claims.


I certainly will agree that for all we know, he could have had impeccable reasons and just decided that he didn't need to share them with his readers. However, possibility does not establish probability. It makes no difference why we don't have a certain piece of evidence. If we don't have it, then it is not evidence for anything, and we're not justified in believing what it would have proved if we did have it.

If I understand your method of accepting historical claims correctly, then I'm thankful no historian that I'm familiar with holds to that method. Because history is a soft science, historians cannot say that any claim made is absolutely certain, and a certain level of objectivity and skepticism is warranted, but some mundane claims reasonably require less skepticism regardless of whether or not the claimants state precisely why their claim was made. If we second-guess everything we know about every historical claim, I imagine we'd have little foundation for saying we know anything about history at all. Maybe you're okay with that. Me, not so much.

robrecht
02-20-2014, 08:22 AM
I know you're talking about Mark here, but I'm reminded of Mark Goodacre's theory for why Luke doesn't include material that Matthew does. Professor Goodacre doesn't believe in the Q source, and thinks that Luke relies on both Mark and Matthew. He accounts for missing material found in Matthew, but not in Luke in that Luke is writing a different sort of Gospel, one with a different emphasis, and so, doesn't feel the need to include certain passages. Goodacre is in the minority of course, but its an interesting view nonetheless.Relying on the authorial creativity of the evangelists is a good approach, Quantum Weirdness, but it should not be used to deny obvious literary relationships. Note that Goodacre is a very strong proponent of Markan priority.

Doug Shaver
02-20-2014, 06:15 PM
You're already in the negative. I don't think there's anything less you can assume in this case, is there?

I don't know what you mean by "in the negative." And I do not know whether I have minimized my assumptions.


The testimony of Irenaeus concerning Papias*is*evidence.
Yes, it is. I did not say otherwise. I'm just questioning its sufficiency.


I would believe that Irenaeus had a good reason for believing what he wrote about Papias if (a) he himself stated what that reason was and (b) I could agree that it was a good reason.

So, in every historical writing you come across you'll hold off any positive belief about absolutely any claim, regardless how mundane, unless and until the writer declares exactly the reason each claim is made?
I said "if," not "only if." Your question revealed a possible suspicion on your part that nothing would convince me. I offered an example of something that would convince me. I can think of a few others if I have to, but I think I've made my point.

I gave that example because the best source for learning how a writer thinks is the writer himself. But it's not the only source. Matthew does not say anything about his sources, but most NT scholars are convinced that he relied on Mark's gospel for quite a bit of his material.


So if an ancient writer talked about, I don't know, the non-controversial average cost of grain in a given season, the nice weather on the day of his writing, or a good friend with whom he had a pleasant chat with the week before, you've already decided not to give that writer the satisfaction of doubt unless they stop their narrative midstream to explain their motivation for each of these claims? Do I have this right?
No, because I have not said a word yet about motivations. The only question I have raised is how a writer acquired the information he claims to be presenting. I am prepared to assume that people who buy grain must know what it costs, that people can know what the weather is like just by looking outside their dwellings, and that they can usually trust their memories regarding whom they recently had conversations with.


Its not impossible that Irenaeus is making up the citation here . . . but it does seem implausible.
Where did I suggest that he was? I'm taking it for granted that Irenaeus had a copy of some book with Papias's name on it. Somebody had to write that book, and we might as well call him by the name he himself used. I am not question Irenaeus's claim to have read that book. I am questioning his apparent belief that everything in it was true.


It'd be an elaborate and unnecessary deception.
I am not claiming that anybody tried to deceive anybody. When people believe things that happen not to be true, the first explanation I go for is simple human error, and I have found it to be almost always sufficient. It is extremely rarely that I find it necessary to accuse anyone of lying.


Because history is a soft science, historians cannot say that any claim made is absolutely certain
Practitioners of the hard sciences don't claim absolute certainty, either, but your point is well taken that all of history is about nothing other than probabilities. In some cases, though, the probabilities get so high that we can say there is no room for reasonable doubt. I'd offer Caesar's assassination as an example of that. We have a ton of facts that, without the exercise of a prodigious imagination, are essentially inexplicable if Caesar did not actually die by assassination. Just as important, there are no known facts inconsistent with such a death. To my knowledge, there is no document from that period in which somebody claims that Caesar survived the assassination attempt, or in which Caesar is said to have died at some other time in some other manner and there is no reference to an assassination attempt.


but some mundane claims reasonably require less skepticism regardless of whether or not the claimants state precisely why their claim was made.
It depends on what you're calling mundane. I don't regard any judgment of a writer's reliability as mundane. If someone tells me I should believe what so-and-so has written, I'm going to want to know why, and until I get an answer I like, I will at least suspend judgment.


If we second-guess everything we know about every historical claim, I imagine we'd have little foundation for saying we know anything about history at all. Maybe you're okay with that. Me, not so much.
Your reference to "everything we know" begs the question. By definition, if we actually know something, it is actually true.

What you are suggesting is that if we adopt my methodology, we would have to conclude that we actually know less about history than we now think we know. You're probably right, and I don't see a problem with that. There cannot be any virtue in believing that something happened if it didn't really happen. But, as I indicated in the case of Caesar's death, a great deal of what we believe would withstand the sort of skepticism I would bring to any revisionist enterprise.

OingoBoingo
02-20-2014, 06:59 PM
I don't know what you mean by "in the negative." And I do not know whether I have minimized my assumptions.


Yes, it is. I did not say otherwise. I'm just questioning its sufficiency.


I said "if," not "only if." Your question revealed a possible suspicion on your part that nothing would convince me. I offered an example of something that would convince me. I can think of a few others if I have to, but I think I've made my point.

I gave that example because the best source for learning how a writer thinks is the writer himself. But it's not the only source. Matthew does not say anything about his sources, but most NT scholars are convinced that he relied on Mark's gospel for quite a bit of his material.


No, because I have not said a word yet about motivations. The only question I have raised is how a writer acquired the information he claims to be presenting. I am prepared to assume that people who buy grain must know what it costs, that people can know what the weather is like just by looking outside their dwellings, and that they can usually trust their memories regarding whom they recently had conversations with.


Where did I suggest that he was? I'm taking it for granted that Irenaeus had a copy of some book with Papias's name on it. Somebody had to write that book, and we might as well call him by the name he himself used. I am not question Irenaeus's claim to have read that book. I am questioning his apparent belief that everything in it was true.


I am not claiming that anybody tried to deceive anybody. When people believe things that happen not to be true, the first explanation I go for is simple human error, and I have found it to be almost always sufficient. It is extremely rarely that I find it necessary to accuse anyone of lying.


Practitioners of the hard sciences don't claim absolute certainty, either, but your point is well taken that all of history is about nothing other than probabilities. In some cases, though, the probabilities get so high that we can say there is no room for reasonable doubt. I'd offer Caesar's assassination as an example of that. We have a ton of facts that, without the exercise of a prodigious imagination, are essentially inexplicable if Caesar did not actually die by assassination. Just as important, there are no known facts inconsistent with such a death. To my knowledge, there is no document from that period in which somebody claims that Caesar survived the assassination attempt, or in which Caesar is said to have died at some other time in some other manner and there is no reference to an assassination attempt.


It depends on what you're calling mundane. I don't regard any judgment of a writer's reliability as mundane. If someone tells me I should believe what so-and-so has written, I'm going to want to know why, and until I get an answer I like, I will at least suspend judgment.


Your reference to "everything we know" begs the question. By definition, if we actually know something, it is actually true.

What you are suggesting is that if we adopt my methodology, we would have to conclude that we actually know less about history than we now think we know. You're probably right, and I don't see a problem with that. There cannot be any virtue in believing that something happened if it didn't really happen. But, as I indicated in the case of Caesar's death, a great deal of what we believe would withstand the sort of skepticism I would bring to any revisionist enterprise.

Well now I'm more confused about what you believe and what you don't than I was before. Let's start from the beginning. What about Irenaeus' claim about Papias do you not believe, and why or why not?

Doug Shaver
02-21-2014, 03:59 AM
Well now I'm more confused about what you believe and what you don't than I was before. Let's start from the beginning. What about Irenaeus' claim about Papias do you not believe, and why or why not?
Irenaeus says Papias was "a hearer of John," apparently referring to the apostle John, one of Jesus' 12 disciples. I doubt that, because the extant quotations from Papias's works clearly imply that he made no such claim himself. Rather, according to those quotations, Papias knew some people who seem to have told him that they had known some of the apostles. If Papias actually had known any man who had been personally acquainted with Jesus, his writings could not have failed to make that unambiguously clear.

OingoBoingo
02-21-2014, 06:11 AM
Irenaeus says Papias was "a hearer of John," apparently referring to the apostle John, one of Jesus' 12 disciples. I doubt that, because the extant quotations from Papias' works clearly imply that he made no such claim himself. Rather, according to those quotations, Papias knew some people who seem to have told him that they had known some of the apostles. If Papias actually had known any man who had been personally acquainted with Jesus, his writings could not have failed to make that unambiguously clear.

Irenaeus doesn't clarify which John he's talking about. Previously he mentions "John, the disciple of the Lord" that the elders saw, but he doesn't clarify who the "John" is that Papias was a hearer of. It could have been the Presbyter that Irenaeus had in mind, or that he made a mistake associating the Apostle with the John that Papias was a hearer of.

But I'm still confused what you're arguing exactly. Initially you replied to QW asking him why we should trust Eusebius concerning Papias, and this wasn't in reference to which "John" Papias knew, but the context of the post you replied to concerned what Papias knew about Matthew's writings. QW replied that Eusebius knows something about the subject because he's familiar with 5 extant writings of Papias, and that these writings were also known by Irenaeus before him. QW then cited Eusebius when he says that Papias was not a hearer or eye-witness of the Apostles, but that Papias received his doctrines from the elders, their friends. So which "John" Papias was a hearer of was never really in question.

You then wanted to know why we should trust Irenaeus. Following the discussion, I had assumed you were questioning Irenaeus' knowledge of Papias' writings, because QW only referenced him to back Eusebius. Did you change course here? Are you no longer interested in what Eusebius knows about Papias concerning Matthew, and why he's a trustworthy source on the subject?

Doug Shaver
02-21-2014, 12:39 PM
Irenaeus doesn't clarify which John he's talking about.
Unless the context indicates otherwise, I assume that any patristic reference to a notable Christian named John, living during the first century, is to the apostle, particularly when the context does make unambiguous reference to other apostles.


But I'm still confused what you're arguing exactly.
I am questioning the cogency of any argument that takes the following form: According to Irenaeus (or Eusebius), Papias said X; therefore, we have no reason to doubt that X is true.

Quantum Weirdness
02-21-2014, 01:16 PM
Seems like a pretty forced interpretation to me, at first glance anyway, but he may be right. Interesting to see that there are some nine different orderings of the gospels in the manuscript tradition.


Why is it forced? Is there some grammar issue with it?
Yeah Metzger notes that there are a couple other orders although I would like to see their prevalence among the church and their respective histories



Seems to me much more suspicious that someone without any of the necessary training thinks he can dismiss the nearly universal opinion of those who have spent their lives studying these issues. I dismissed them because I think I found a theory that matches up with the external data


Studied under him? Or just heard him as a child? I don't think we can say what is more likely in this case.Ok it appears that he was quite young. (I was confusing Polycarp and Papias here)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08130b.htm


Earlier you theorized that Mark also would have had access to Matthew's Greek gospel in Peter's possession. Now you're retracting that?

Not really. Mark would have mainly used Peter. He used Matthew less under my theory.


You do know that Peter and Mark were both Jewish, right?

Yeah but who was Mark writing to? Wasn't it the Christians in Rome? (This would explain why Mark explains Jewish customs and has some Latinisms wouldn't it?)


I know you want to pretend that everywhere Peter and Mark made Matthew's style rougher, and less correct, but good luck convincing people who know the language of this.

Earlier you said




Mark was a very gifted writer, with wonderful material. He probably had a fair amount of literary training. His grammar was competent and his vocabulary vast, probably a native Greek speaker or Greek was at least an early second language. He thought about the plan of his narrative before he started writing and executed it according to his plan. Minor issues that Matthew and Luke address are typically the kinds of things that a writer himself would correct, if he noticed them, in a second or third draft. And copyists some of these changes probably as soon as the work began to be copied. No writer is perfect. Sometimes I look at something I've written and I think--who wrote that! Whenever I take the time to rethink and rearrange the most important ideas and build upon ideas, my second draft is always much, much better. A third draft would be better still if I had enough patience to do so, but I usually do not have the patience for even a second draft.
.

If that is the case, then why wouldn't Mark write it in his own style influenced by Peter? (even if it is technically grammatically incorrect)?


Previously, with Eta Linnemann, you wanted to claim memory was so great in an oral society that there was no reason to think there had been any literary dependence to explain an incredible degree of verbal identity among the synoptics. But when inconvenient for your theory, you discard your previous claim that Mark had access to the written text of Matthew's gospel and now claim Mark had a poor memory.

Mark used Matthew far less than he used Peter. I think this might clear up the confusion.


Why include anything that Jesus said? It's not like they believed he was the Son of God or that they should listen to the things he said, right?

The reason why they wouldn't have included it is because it's kinda repetitive (the stuff in Matt repeats the Olivet discourse in the form of parables, doesn't it? So why would Peter have emphasized it?)


I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

Matt 24:37-Matt 25:46 is a repeat of the Olivet discourse


Like I say, you have to invent complicated theories for why things were changed or left out. Your theory has to evaluate changes in the opposite direction of what the very great majority of scholars think was the most likely direction. You don't want to claim that Peter and Mark left out things because they disliked them, but you still end up saying that subjectively they may not have found the Lord's prayer and the beatitudes or any of that other baggage as profound or worth keeping.

They didn't really bother that much with it under my view. And no matter what, people in general will like certain objects (e.g. Literature) more than others.


You speculate that Mark was not interested in eschatology, but then you say it was one of the most important things in Peter's teaching. My advice to you is still the same. Learn the languages before you try develop new theories. You'll have a much better chance of being taken seriously and you may even learn something in the process. Good luck!

Where did I speculate that Mark wasn't interested in Eschatology though?

I would like to learn the languages but I sadly can't because of restrictions right now. I might try for the vacation if there is some online stuff on it though.

robrecht
02-21-2014, 05:45 PM
Why is it forced? Is there some grammar issue with it?No grammar issue. But, at first glance, it's just not the most common and obvious meaning of the Greek. There's a reason why no one (that we know of) has come up with this interpretation in 1,800 years. And, while he has a good argument for how Clement's remarks about Mark fit this interpretation, it does not work so well with the gospel of John. But it is a clever argument, and I like it. It's just that it might be too clever by half.


Yeah Metzger notes that there are a couple other orders although I would like to see their prevalence among the church and their respective histories Not just a couple, but nine in total. That's a lot. None of the others are prevalent, but that does not matter.


I dismissed them because I think I found a theory that matches up with the external data I know you do, but is it wise and prudent to so easily dismiss the expert opinion of so many scholars who have spent their whole lives studying the languages and theories and literature? Some might consider that rather arrogant and foolish. I recommend that you study and understand the issues more before you dismiss the work of others.


Ok it appears that he was quite young. (I was confusing Polycarp and Papias here)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08130b.htm


Not really.Yes, really. Look it up you really did say it.


Mark would have mainly used Peter. He used Matthew less under my theory. The more complex your theory gets in trying to address objections, the less appeal it has over simpler theories that explain the data just as well (actually better). Occam's razor. A simpler theory will not attempt to explain everything, but we should not expect to be able to explain everything about documents written 2,000 years ago. Much remains opaque to us.


Yeah but who was Mark writing to? Wasn't it the Christians in Rome? (This would explain why Mark explains Jewish customs and has some Latinisms wouldn't it?) Maybe, but don't forget that the churches in Rome were made up of very many Jewish Christians as well. Some things needed to be explained to Gentiles, but that does not mean that Mark was not also writing for Jewish Christians as well.


Earlier you said

If that is the case, then why wouldn't Mark write it in his own style influenced by Peter? (even if it is technically grammatically incorrect)? You're trying to thread a needle with a sledgehammer. You do not really know Mark's style, because you do not read the language in which he wrote. You think that all you need to do is appeal to 'Mark's style' and that explains everything, but it is not so simple. People who know Mark's style very well indeed will not take your arguments seriously. I would only hope to spare you that embarrassment. There is a rationale for choosing a less academic, less refined style, but that is already Matthew's style.



Mark used Matthew far less than he used Peter. I think this might clear up the confusion. No, it does not. It's merely an assertion without any evidence or argument whatsoever. Why did Mark choose to use Matthew's Greek gospel less? If Peter were preaching second hand based on the Greek Matthew, why would Mark disregard the Greek Matthew? You have to make a compelling case for anyone to take this assertion seriously.


The reason why they wouldn't have included it is because it's kinda repetitive (the stuff in Matt repeats the Olivet discourse in the form of parables, doesn't it? So why would Peter have emphasized it?)

Matt 24:37-Matt 25:46 is a repeat of the Olivet discourse No, not really. Matthew's parables of the talents, of judgment, eg, feeding and clothing the least of my brothers, is not repetitive of the Olivet discourse.


They didn't really bother that much with it under my view. And no matter what, people in general will like certain objects (e.g. Literature) more than others.

Where did I speculate that Mark wasn't interested in Eschatology though? When you said this: "Dunno about Peter but Mark may have well forgot about this. In any case, Mark doesn't show much concern for the end of the age (probably because the phrase was more of a Jewish thing)"


I would like to learn the languages but I sadly can't because of restrictions right now. I might try for the vacation if there is some online stuff on it though. Take another look at what I said: "Learn the languages before you try develop new theories. You'll have a much better chance of being taken seriously and you may even learn something in the process. Good luck!" Would you take me seriously if I started proposing new theories and interpretations of quantum mechanics and general relativity, if I never studied mathematics at all?

OingoBoingo
02-21-2014, 07:36 PM
I am questioning the cogency of any argument that takes the following form: According to Irenaeus (or Eusebius), Papias said X; therefore, we have no reason to doubt that X is true.

You do see how you're all over the map here, don't you? First your trust issues were with Eusebius, then they were with Irenaeus when it was shown he backed Eusebius, now it comes out that you really have issues with Papias.

Its beginning to look more and more like you're not really certain who you have trust issues with or why.

Doug Shaver
02-21-2014, 07:51 PM
You do see how you're all over the map here, don't you?
If I'm told that I should believe something just because so-and-so says it, then I have a problem no matter who so-and-so is, if that's what you mean.


Its beginning to look more and more like you're not really certain who you have trust issues with or why.
When I'm told I have to trust someone, I want to know why. I don't care who it is.

Quantum Weirdness
03-05-2014, 02:32 PM
No grammar issue. But, at first glance, it's just not the most common and obvious meaning of the Greek. There's a reason why no one (that we know of) has come up with this interpretation in 1,800 years. And, while he has a good argument for how Clement's remarks about Mark fit this interpretation, it does not work so well with the gospel of John. But it is a clever argument, and I like it. It's just that it might be too clever by half.


Wait what was the earliest recorded interpretation of Eusebius/Clement then?


Not just a couple, but nine in total. That's a lot. None of the others are prevalent, but that does not matter.It means that that particular tradition held more weight in the church. Which is why I give it the benefit of the doubt.


I know you do, but is it wise and prudent to so easily dismiss the expert opinion of so many scholars who have spent their whole lives studying the languages and theories and literature? Some might consider that rather arrogant and foolish. I recommend that you study and understand the issues more before you dismiss the work of others.

The reason I am dismissing them is because I think my theory handles the external testimony better. Both do good on internal evidence. And have they heard of my theory? The answer is no I think



Yes, really. Look it up you really did say it.

The "not really" was an answer to the retraction question


The more complex your theory gets in trying to address objections, the less appeal it has over simpler theories that explain the data just as well (actually better). Occam's razor. A simpler theory will not attempt to explain everything, but we should not expect to be able to explain everything about documents written 2,000 years ago. Much remains opaque to us.

Correct but that's only true if you don't have good evidence of the complexity in question. We have some good evidence that Mark used Peter though (external testimony)


Maybe, but don't forget that the churches in Rome were made up of very many Jewish Christians as well. Some things needed to be explained to Gentiles, but that does not mean that Mark was not also writing for Jewish Christians as well.

According to Wallace, he was writing to the Gentiles. What evidence is there that Mark wrote for Jewish Christians though (internal and external)?


You're trying to thread a needle with a sledgehammer. You do not really know Mark's style, because you do not read the language in which he wrote. You think that all you need to do is appeal to 'Mark's style' and that explains everything, but it is not so simple. People who know Mark's style very well indeed will not take your arguments seriously. I would only hope to spare you that embarrassment. There is a rationale for choosing a less academic, less refined style, but that is already Matthew's style.

*sigh*. As far as I know, Mark was written more in a conversational tone (which would kinda imply Petrine influence). The fact that he didn't use Matt's style is somewhat irrelevant.


No, it does not. It's merely an assertion without any evidence or argument whatsoever. Why did Mark choose to use Matthew's Greek gospel less? If Peter were preaching second hand based on the Greek Matthew, why would Mark disregard the Greek Matthew? You have to make a compelling case for anyone to take this assertion seriously.

*sigh* According to testimony, Mark wrote down what he remembered from Peter's preaching. That would have been Mark's main source.

Well he didn't have Matt's Greek gospel when he was writing his own. He was remembering as much as possible.


No, not really. Matthew's parables of the talents, of judgment, eg, feeding and clothing the least of my brothers, is not repetitive of the Olivet discourse.

Ok though the parables kinda reference the same event as the olivet discourse.


When you said this: "Dunno about Peter but Mark may have well forgot about this. In any case, Mark doesn't show much concern for the end of the age (probably because the phrase was more of a Jewish thing)"

The phrase end of the age is what I meant (like I said in the brackets). It had more meaning for Jews (Mosaic covenant etc)


Take another look at what I said: "Learn the languages before you try develop new theories. You'll have a much better chance of being taken seriously and you may even learn something in the process. Good luck!" Would you take me seriously if I started proposing new theories and interpretations of quantum mechanics and general relativity, if I never studied mathematics at all?

Not really but things like QM are far more objective than this kind of stuff. I don't think I am denying the technical data that they bring up. I'm denying their interpretation of it.
Sorry I took long to respond to this.

robrecht
03-06-2014, 08:21 PM
Wait what was the earliest recorded interpretation of Eusebius/Clement then?

It means that that particular tradition held more weight in the church. Which is why I give it the benefit of the doubt.

The reason I am dismissing them is because I think my theory handles the external testimony better. Both do good on internal evidence. And have they heard of my theory? The answer is no I think Your theory does very poorly on the internal evidence. You would see that if you were to read the texts in Greek or take seriously the informed opinions of scholars. It is foolish to reject scholarship.


The "not really" was an answer to the retraction question

Correct but that's only true if you don't have good evidence of the complexity in question. We have some good evidence that Mark used Peter though (external testimony) But you have absolutely zero evidence that Peter and Mark used Greek Matthew.


According to Wallace, he was writing to the Gentiles. What evidence is there that Mark wrote for Jewish Christians though (internal and external)? Read a good commentary, eg, that of Joel Marcus.


*sigh*. As far as I know, Mark was written more in a conversational tone (which would kinda imply Petrine influence). The fact that he didn't use Matt's style is somewhat irrelevant. My point still stands. You do not know Mark's style, because you do not read the language in which he wrote. Nor do you know Matthew's style, for that matter.


*sigh* According to testimony, Mark wrote down what he remembered from Peter's preaching. That would have been Mark's main source.

Well he didn't have Matt's Greek gospel when he was writing his own. He was remembering as much as possible. What part of, "You have to make a compelling case for anyone to take this assertion seriously," do you not understand.


Ok though the parables kinda reference the same event as the olivet discourse. Seriously? kinda? OK, so where is Mark 13 kinda like Matthew's parable of the talents, and his parable of feeding and clothing the least of my brothers?


The phrase end of the age is what I meant (like I said in the brackets). It had more meaning for Jews (Mosaic covenant etc) You don't think that Matthew's 'end of the age' is about eschatology?


Not really but things like QM are far more objective than this kind of stuff. I don't think I am denying the technical data that they bring up. I'm denying their interpretation of it.
Sorry I took long to respond to this.You cannot deny the technical data because you ignore it because you do not understand it. Sorry, but you were completely right a while back, you are wasting my time. Please do not be offended, but I'm not sure why you want to discuss any of this with me.

HevenScent
04-13-2014, 10:34 AM
Two of the Gospels are traditionally by non-Apostles (Mark and Luke).

Mark was clearly written after the destruction of Jerusalem. The "Little Apocalypse" is itself a literary genre, not a genre of speech, from Greek literature. The phrase "Let the reader understand" (Mark 13:14) also gives a good indication that this was composed for reading, not the transcription of a speech.

The presence of (among other things) editorial fatigue, the naming of specific eyewitnesses, and the so-called "hard readings," gives strong indication that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source.

The above does not account for John, but John is widely counted--even among traditional sources--to be of late date.

Your statements about Mark are wrong. Mark was the secretary of Peter. Mark's Gospel is Peter's Gospel. Peter died around 64 AD in the Neronian persecution. The date of John is irrelevant, John is John. You left out Matthew. Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses. How do we know, because he's the only one who got Mary's side of things. That tells you he also had access to John. He was Paul's friend and so may have had access to Peter as well. Why is it that none of the Gospels nor Acts mentions the destruction of the Temple even though it was in direct competition with Christianity, read Hebrews if you don't believe me. Jesus predicted the sack of Jerusalem, why didn't the writer mention fulfillment of that the way they did with other things.

Doug Shaver
04-14-2014, 07:11 AM
Mark was the secretary of Peter.
So says some ancient tradition. Aside from that, we have no reason to believe it.


Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses.
He himself doesn't say so.


he's the only one who got Mary's side of things.
You're assuming that he wrote only what he knew as fact. You're arguing in a circle if you use that as evidence for who his sources might have been and then infer that we ought to believe what he wrote.


He was Paul's friend
More ancient tradition.


Why is it that none of the Gospels nor Acts mentions the destruction of the Temple
For the same reason that stories about the American Civil War usually don't mention Custer's Last Stand


even though it was in direct competition with Christianity
I don't believe the temple was in direct competition with Christianity, as Christianity existed prior to 70 CE.


Jesus predicted the sack of Jerusalem, why didn't the writer mention fulfillment of that the way they did with other things.
He didn't have to, if he was writing at a time when he could expect his readers to already know about the temple's destruction. If I'm writing a story about Jean Dixon, I will probably mention that she was alleged to have predicted the assassination of President Kennedy. Whether she actually made that prediction or not, I would probably have no reason to mention that Kennedy actually was assassinated, and the risk of insulting my readers' intelligence would be a good reason for not mentioning it.

HevenScent
04-16-2014, 06:36 PM
So says some ancient tradition. Aside from that, we have no reason to believe it.


All traditions from our perspective including the texts themselves are ancient so this objection is throughly incoherent. There are two Second Century witnesses that testify to Marks authorship and his relationship to Peter.

"Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also handed down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.1, c. 180 AD)

"...the Gospel according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances: Peter preached the word publicly at Rome. By the Spirit, he proclaimed the Gospel. Those who were present (who were numerous) urged Mark to write down what had been spoken. For he had attended Peter from an early period and remembered what had been said. On his composing the Gospel, Mark handedit to those who had urged him. When this came to Peter's knowledge, he neither hindered nor encouraged it." (Clement of Alexandria, c. 195 AD, quoted by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.14)



He himself doesn't say so.

Really? Well let's have a look a what he did say: The Gospel of Luke NIV

2. just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,



You're assuming that he wrote only what he knew as fact. You're arguing in a circle if you use that as evidence for who his sources might have been and then infer that we ought to believe what he wrote.


No, I'm not arguing in a circle I just happen to actually know what I'm talking about. The Gospel of Luke in chapter 1 records the following:

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke is the only author that records this. He is also the only author the records other important details about the nativity. These reflect the personal thoughts and feelings of Mary. John was asked to care for Mary at the cross by Jesus. So, Luke would have had access to John as well. You really shouldn't be criticizing things you haven't read or studied closely.



More ancient tradition.

Wrong again my man. The Letter of Paul to the Colossians 4:14

Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.



For the same reason that stories about the American Civil War usually don't mention Custer's Last Stand


I don't believe the temple was in direct competition with Christianity, as Christianity existed prior to 70 CE.

Frankly I'm having trouble making sense of these two statements. This is more evidence that you haven't actually read the New Testament or at least not very closely. The letter to the Hebrews is an entire epistle dedicated to arguing how Jesus is superior to the Temple system. The Apostle Paul regularly argued against the imposition of Jewish customs on Christians. (BTW, I reject your use of CE the same way a Jewish person rejects the term Holocaust revisionist. I take equal offense at it. You really need to work on your manners.)


He didn't have to, if he was writing at a time when he could expect his readers to already know about the temple's destruction. If I'm writing a story about Jean Dixon, I will probably mention that she was alleged to have predicted the assassination of President Kennedy. Whether she actually made that prediction or not, I would probably have no reason to mention that Kennedy actually was assassinated, and the risk of insulting my readers' intelligence would be a good reason for not mentioning it.

Where is your textual evidence that his readers held the destruction of the temple as common knowledge. You don't have any because the texts we are discussing were written well before that. I would think you would have the intelligence not to insult the readers of these posts who are Christians and the rest of the 2 1/2 billion of us on this planet with your blasphemous comments comparing Jesus of Nazareth the Christ to Jean Dixon. You're got some growing up to do.

Doug Shaver
04-17-2014, 09:19 PM
So says some ancient tradition. Aside from that, we have no reason to believe it.

All traditions from our perspective including the texts themselves are ancient so this objection is throughly incoherent.
I don't think you know what incoherent even means. My objection could be wrong for any of a number of reasons, but incoherence isn't one of them.


There are two Second Century witnesses that testify to Marks authorship and his relationship to Peter.
There are two people who so testify. We don't have any idea what they might have witnessed. You believe them because they support your dogma. You don't have any other reason.


Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses.

He himself doesn't say so.

Really? Well let's have a look a what he did say
Really. Your quotation says there were witnesses. It does not say that the author interviewed any of them.


I just happen to actually know what I'm talking about.
So you say. Pardon me if I'm not prepared to just take your word for it.


You really shouldn't be criticizing things you haven't read or studied closely.
You know nothing about me except what you've read in this forum. You assume that I "haven't read or studied closely" any literature relevant to what we're discussing. Aside from my disagreeing with your dogma, you have no grounds for that assumption.


The Letter of Paul to the Colossians 4:14
Paul says there that he had a friend named Luke. He does not say anything about his friend having been the author of any document at all, let alone the two specific ones that church tradition says he wrote.


[The temple] was in direct competition with Christianity

I don't believe the temple was in direct competition with Christianity, as Christianity existed prior to 70 CE.

The letter to the Hebrews is an entire epistle dedicated to arguing how Jesus is superior to the Temple system.
In the first place, since I am not committed to scriptural inerrantism, I am logically free to disagree with anything in the Bible that I find hard to believe.

In the second place, the opinion of some people that A is better than B is not necessarily evidence that A is in competition with B.


Jesus predicted the sack of Jerusalem, why didn't the writer mention fulfillment of that the way they did with other things.

He didn't have to, if he was writing at a time when he could expect his readers to already know about the temple's destruction.

Where is your textual evidence that his readers held the destruction of the temple as common knowledge.
The texts I'm using for my evidence were written by modern scholars. They say that the gospels probably did not exist in their present form until sometime in the second century.


I would think you would have the intelligence not to insult the readers of these posts who are Christians and the rest of the 2 1/2 billion of us on this planet with your blasphemous comments comparing Jesus of Nazareth the Christ to Jean Dixon. You're got some growing up to do.
That is not the comparison I was making. You've got some learning to do about reading comprehension.

HevenScent
04-24-2014, 06:01 PM
Fabulous! why don't tell me who these vaunted modern scholars are that say the Gospels weren't in their current form until the Second Century. Your responses to my responses are either hollow or pedantic. Try again.
Here is one example:
You objected that Luke didn't say he interviewed them but the text does indicate precisely that! You didn't read the text closely.

2. just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,

Doug Shaver
04-24-2014, 06:15 PM
why don't tell me who these vaunted modern scholars are
Because it wouldn't accomplish anything. You'll just claim that they are not real scholars.


You objected that Luke didn't say he interviewed them but the text does indicate precisely that! You didn't read the text closely.

2. just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word,
I used to be a newspaper reporter. I know what it means to interview someone. Apparently, you don't, if you think that statement constitutes a claim to have interviewed some eyewitnesses.

HevenScent
04-27-2014, 07:19 PM
Because it wouldn't accomplish anything. You'll just claim that they are not real scholars.


I used to be a newspaper reporter. I know what it means to interview someone. Apparently, you don't, if you think that statement constitutes a claim to have interviewed some eyewitnesses.

I guess I'll just take the entire above statement as a retraction of your claims.

NormATive
04-27-2014, 07:39 PM
FYI: "Handed down to us" is an indication that the information was gleaned from oral tradition. It's an old Jewish thing. The same comment appears all over the Talmud to refer to the time when the Midrash was oral (for about 70 years until it was written down).

HeavenScent may not be aware that the Gospels were originally an oral record from the time of Jesus until they were written down in the 2nd century CE - as much as 70 years after the events took place. So, when Luke says he is recounting things from "eye witnesses," he himself is not interviewing those witnesses. The oral tradition of words spoken by those alleged eyewitnesses are what is being handed down.

NORM

Doug Shaver
04-27-2014, 09:20 PM
I guess I'll just take the entire above statement as a retraction of your claims.

Take it as you wish. I'm satisfied that the lurkers will take it as they wish.

Palaeogrammatos
06-03-2014, 12:32 AM
No, I'm not arguing in a circle I just happen to actually know what I'm talking about. The Gospel of Luke in chapter 1 records the following:

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke is the only author that records this. He is also the only author the records other important details about the nativity. These reflect the personal thoughts and feelings of Mary. John was asked to care for Mary at the cross by Jesus. So, Luke would have had access to John as well. You really shouldn't be criticizing things you haven't read or studied closely.
...
Pardon me for barging in, but you are going to have to elaborate on this for me. I don't see how the Magnificat demonstrates anything of significance regarding the type or quality of Luke's sources for writing his gospel.

Cornelius
06-07-2014, 02:05 AM
Pardon me for barging in, but you are going to have to elaborate on this for me. I don't see how the Magnificat demonstrates anything of significance regarding the type or quality of Luke's sources for writing his gospel.

I don't know about the Magnificat, but if you're doubting Luke's credibility as if it's impossible for it to be any other way but false, you don't know much about biblical scholarship. If you actually compare Luke's historical accuracy with respect to hard facts that we do know (the titles of certain offices in cities of Asia Minor that ceased to exist over a generation before Luke wrote, for example, and much more), you would understand he was a diligent historian such as Polybius or Tacitus. Here's what Will Durant says of Polybius in his The Life of Greece:

“Polybius is “the historians’ historian” because he is as interested in his method as in his subject. He likes to talk about his plan of procedure, and philosophizes at every opportunity. Humanly he pictures his own qualifications as ideal. He insists that history should be written by those who have seen - or have directly consulted others who have seen - the events to be described. He denounces Timaeus for having relied on his ears rather than his eyes, and tells with pride of his own travels in search of data, documents, and geographical veracity; he reminds us how, in returning from Spain to Italy, he crossed the Alps by the same pass that Hannibal had used, and how he went down into the very toe of Italy to decipher an inscription left by Hannibal in Brutium. He proposes to make his history as accurate as “the magnitude of the work and its comprehensive treatment” will allow; and he succeeds, so far as we can say, better than any other Greek except Thucydides.” [Will Durant. The Life of Greece, p.614]

Now, from what we know about the world Luke (correctly) describes, we can be sure that Luke likewise researched and verified facts (or else he wouldn't have had a bunch of things in Luke and Acts). Luke 1:1-4 makes certain of this. So, how is it that a historian [Luke] can research such minutae and get them right, yet fail or neglect to find out the truth about what would have been the most obvious, widespread, and easiest to prove or disprove subject to his topic - the truth about Jesus and Paul? He certainly must have researched these subjects as well and found what he states in Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-4 to be trustworthy from eyewitnesses. As Durant notes on p.614, speaking with witnesses is acceptable to historiography and thus is irrelevant if one isn't an eyewitness himself. The 14th century chronicler Jean Froissart followed the same practice and is generally considered the best and main source for the first half of the Hundred Years War, writing, like Luke, over 50 years after the events he describes. And if Luke didn’t research these things, he must have been an eyewitness himself to explain this.

Palaeogrammatos
06-07-2014, 03:37 AM
I don't know about the Magnificat, but if you're doubting Luke's credibility as if it's impossible for it to be any other way but false, you don't know much about biblical scholarship.
That is not what I am saying. But furthermore, I know a little bit about biblical scholarship, and in my experience there is plenty of reasonable doubt about Luke's "credibility" from within the guild. That is not to say that he was a lousy historian, but that he was a typical historian who was writing an agenda-driven account. Of course it contained lots of accurate information, but was also supplemented by embellishments, analogies, and speculations that satisfied his own readers' expectations. In biography writing it was very important to construct an ideal figure, and Luke was no exception in this regard.


If you actually compare Luke's historical accuracy with respect to hard facts that we do know (the titles of certain offices in cities of Asia Minor that ceased to exist over a generation before Luke wrote, for example, and much more), you would understand he was a diligent historian such as Polybius or Tacitus.
I already agreed that Luke's account is based on real people and places, so am not at all surprised about many instances of historical accuracy—especially with regard to geography and politics. However, these items on their own are no guarantors of the accuracy of all his claims. There is also plenty of evidence to show that Luke was constructing his narrative based on pre-existing types and other figures in such a way as to make statements about Jesus's character. For example, the stories in Luke 7–11 are deliberately and clearly fashioned in such a way to draw an analogous connexion between Jesus and the Northern prophets, Elijah and Elisha.


Here's what Will Durant says of Polybius in his The Life of Greece:

“Polybius is “the historians’ historian” because he is as interested in his method as in his subject. He likes to talk about his plan of procedure, and philosophizes at every opportunity. Humanly he pictures his own qualifications as ideal. He insists that history should be written by those who have seen - or have directly consulted others who have seen - the events to be described. He denounces Timaeus for having relied on his ears rather than his eyes, and tells with pride of his own travels in search of data, documents, and geographical veracity; he reminds us how, in returning from Spain to Italy, he crossed the Alps by the same pass that Hannibal had used, and how he went down into the very toe of Italy to decipher an inscription left by Hannibal in Brutium. He proposes to make his history as accurate as “the magnitude of the work and its comprehensive treatment” will allow; and he succeeds, so far as we can say, better than any other Greek except Thucydides.” [Will Durant. The Life of Greece, p.614]
Honestly, so what? While I agree that Polybius, Heroditus, and Tacitus were excellent ancient historians, they were still ancient historians, who tended to ask different questions, and followed different conventions in writing their histories from what we expect in the modern world. Furthermore, they conducted their work in a dearth of documentation and wide-spread literacy. Of course it was important for them to consult eye-witnesses and to see places where such things occurred, because written records and reliable documented accounts were very scarce, by and large.

Anyways, their quality does not tell us anything about Luke's own distinction as an historian.


Now, from what we know about the world Luke (correctly) describes, we can be sure that Luke likewise researched and verified facts (or else he wouldn't have had a bunch of things in Luke and Acts). Luke 1:1-4 makes certain of this.
So, the argument is that based on his own assertion about his due diligence, we MUST accept Luke's account as factually accurate and reliable? That seems like a massive stretch. Should we extend such courtesy to every similar claim of credibility?


So, how is it that a historian [Luke] can research such minutae and get them right, yet fail or neglect to find out the truth about what would have been the most obvious, widespread, and easiest to prove or disprove subject to his topic - the truth about Jesus and Paul? He certainly must have researched these subjects as well and found what he states in Luke 1:1-4 and Acts 1:1-4 to be trustworthy from eyewitnesses.
Let's take a look at what Luke says, shall we?


Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.
In the first place, it is important to note that Luke indicates that the stories he is writing down have survived as part of a long standing set of oral traditions that "were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses." The word here is most commonly used to refer to the process of oral transmission. So, what Luke is doing is setting down on papyrus (as it were) things that have survived in Christian oral tradition. Second, what does he mean by an "orderly account"? This word is perhaps best simply translated as a "narrative", and his concern basically seems to be that past accounts have missed important parts of the story, and have not set things in the right order.

Of course this begs the question: What is the right order for Luke? Is he primarily concerned to get the facts right? I'm not convinced. More likely, he seems most concerned to produce a convincing presentation of "the events that have been fulfilled among us". So, this is not just a story about Jesus; this is a story about Jesus that is predicated on the fulfilment of a prior scriptural narrative, and within a thoroughly religious context. So, to that end, what is Luke investigating? No doubt, he is in conversation with the oral tradition, and perhaps even some of the "eyewitnesses" who might still be alive (this is not certain). But the important point must also be that he is demonstrating the truth of the fulfilment by way of how it comports to his reading of Old Testament scriptures. In other words, for Luke the quality of his account is not in how his description accords to what actually happened so much as it fulfils a pre-existing religious, scriptural narrative. It certainly does not follow that his account will be factual, so much as it will be "fulfilling".


As Durant notes on p.614, speaking with witnesses is acceptable to historiography and thus is irrelevant if one isn't an eyewitness himself. The 14th century chronicler Jean Froissart followed the same practice and is generally considered the best and main source for the first half of the Hundred Years War, writing, like Luke, over 50 years after the events he describes. And if Luke didn’t research these things, he must have been an eyewitness himself to explain this.
But like EVERY pre-modern historian—including Polybius and Jean Froissart—we ought not uncritically accept their accounts of things at face value. For that matter, we ought to be fairly critical of even modern historical accounts, since these are also prone to all sort of problems with quality of evidence, the skill of the reporter, and their tendency towards biases. This is simply because we recognise the limitations of their own sources and methods, and the nature of history telling in the times in which they wrote, which is effectively different than it is today. Furthermore, we have since the time that Durant wrote learned that the reliability of eye-witness testimony is extremely thin: if we can't trust all of our own perceptions today, what reason do we have to trust those of the ancients?

Finally, I am not at all convinced that Durant would share your own bullish attitude towards the historicity of Luke's account of Jesus:


"By the end of my sophomore year, I had discovered, through Darwin and other infidels, that the difference between man and the gorilla is largely a matter of trousers and words; that Christianity was only one of a hundred religions claiming special access to truth and salvation; and that myths of virgin births, mother goddesses, dying and resurrected deities, had appeared in many pre-Christian faiths, and had helped to transform a lovable Hebrew mystic into the Son of God" —A Dual Autobiography by Will and Ariel Durant, 1977

In the end, there is nothing in your response that addresses my question about the Magnificat, which I will repeat: How does the presence of this text somehow validate Luke's quality as a historian?

In actual fact, I would argue that the Magnificat does a very good job of confirming Luke's purpose in writing an "orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us." The Magnificat functions to show the fulfilment of scripture, and this is received as the measure of truth.

Cornelius
06-07-2014, 05:32 AM
That is not what I am saying. But furthermore, I know a little bit about biblical scholarship, and in my experience there is plenty of reasonable doubt about Luke's "credibility" from within the guild. That is not to say that he was a lousy historian, but that he was a typical historian who was writing an agenda-driven account. Of course it contained lots of accurate information, but was also supplemented by embellishments, analogies, and speculations that satisfied his own readers' expectations.

The point that I was making is that, "Would an historian who went over his history so carefully even have such an agenda that went contrary to his whole purpose of being careful?" Especially one where the embellishments would be so easily discernible as they would have occurred within recent memory. If you think that an historian who went to the trouble of finding out minute details would then turn around and "satisfy his own readers' expectations," you're looking at a glaring inconsistency that simply makes no sense - and one for which you've provided no evidence. I've read numerous attempts by the likes of Haenchen to try and pin so-called "creative writing" in Acts: all of it simply shows either a lack of common sense in story and history narration, or unconscious hubris.


In biography writing it was very important to construct an ideal figure, and Luke was no exception in this regard.

Not true at all. Plutarch's Lives are a very good example of a person's attempt at an unbiased portrait of his biographical subjects. There are many others such as Peter Abelard's autobiography and the poor and good choices he made throughout his life. I don't see any ideal figures there at all. The problem with Plutarch is that he did indeed have legends because many of his sources fell short, being about persons that lived hundreds of years before him - Luke (and Abelard) didn't have that problem.



I already agreed that Luke's account is based on real people and places, so am not at all surprised about many instances of historical accuracy—especially with regard to geography and politics. However, these items on their own are no guarantors of the accuracy of all his claims.

Luke's account being based on real places and people is not the point at all. The point is that an historian who had such good merit and access to sources would have certainly reported the truth reliably. And the fact that he was able to get such minute details is most certainly a guarantee of the fact that he'd get major events within recent memory correct! Just think of the numerous theories today of Hitler having survived Berlin in 1945 - they have no credibility amongst historians who have investigated the details of those days. It would be no different for Luke who had the same reliable facts at his disposal for the same time frame.


There is also plenty of evidence to show that Luke was constructing his narrative based on pre-existing types and other figures in such a way as to make statements about Jesus's character. For example, the stories in Luke 7–11 are deliberately and clearly fashioned in such a way to draw an analogous connexion between Jesus and the Northern prophets, Elijah and Elisha.

The main historical idea I had in mind with my comments was the Resurrection and how utterly absurd it would have been for a careful historian like Luke to either: a) be duped into believing it if it was false, b) report it despite knowing it was false. Besides, you would probably be familiar with the word parallelomania regarding the supposed similarities between the OT and the Gospels: there were poor and hungry people of every generation and I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't just Elijah and Jesus who miraculously fed them. Besides, if the NT was trying to draw a parallel to them, the Ascension Luke depicts would have certainly been at least as spectacular as Elijah's flying horses drawing a chariot of fire. Even the Greco-Roman ascensions have some sort of flavor, yet the one depicted in Acts is completely unlike them.



Honestly, so what? While I agree that Polybius, Heroditus, and Tacitus were excellent ancient historians, they were still ancient historians, who tended to ask different questions, and followed different conventions in writing their histories from what we expect in the modern world.

Anyways, their quality does not tell us anything about Luke's own distinction as an historian.

Their quality is a quality Luke shares so if Polybius, who set the standard for historiography, was in this state of mind, so would have Luke been. And it is not true at all that they would "ask different questions" and "followed different conventions." Polybius quite masterfully utilizes higher textual criticism in exposing an older anti-Roman account of the First Punic War by pointing out incongruities much the same way I've seen modern textual critics do so. I can give you the source if you'd like, but your claim is simply based on prejudice and lack of knowledge. Another example is Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria (3rd century), whose comments, recorded by Eusebius, on the authorship of Revelation vs John practically list every objection scholars for the past 200 years have had: he anticipates them all 1600 years earlier! For you to simply say that the historians back then were "different" in that they couldn't get some major fact or fiction as such is simply, as any first grader can tell you, wrong.


Furthermore, they conducted their work in a dearth of documentation and wide-spread literacy. Of course it was important for them to consult eye-witnesses and to see places where such things occurred, because written records and reliable documented accounts were very scarce, by and large.

Well, Polybius, as Durant notes, used firsthand evidence: eyewitnesses, inscriptions, and even going through the pass Hannibal went through himself. Written records are not necessary when you have those.



So, the argument is that based on his own assertion about his due diligence, we MUST accept Luke's account as factually accurate and reliable? That seems like a massive stretch. Should we extend such courtesy to every similar claim of credibility?

No, the argument is that since his work attests to what he claims, and his claims give us an idea as to his purpose and methodology, we have every reason to trust he would have known whether Jesus historically rose from the dead (and did many miracles) or not. We should most certainly extend this criteria to sources we have reason to believe are credible and Luke has supported his credibility at every turn.



Let's take a look at what Luke says, shall we?


In the first place, it is important to note that Luke indicates that the stories he is writing down have survived as part of a long standing set of oral traditions that "were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses." The word here is most commonly used to refer to the process of oral transmission. So, what Luke is doing is setting down on papyrus (as it were) things that have survived in Christian oral tradition. Second, what does he mean by an "orderly account"? This word is perhaps best simply translated as a "narrative", and his concern basically seems to be that past accounts have missed important parts of the story, and have not set things in the right order.

Of course this begs the question: What is the right order for Luke? Is he primarily concerned to get the facts right? I'm not convinced. More likely, he seems most concerned to produce a convincing presentation of "the events that have been fulfilled among us". So, this is not just a story about Jesus; this is a story about Jesus that is predicated on the fulfilment of a prior scriptural narrative, and within a thoroughly religious context.

Your assessment is not accurate at all nor have you provided evidence that Luke was simply concerned with proving what was "fulfilled amongst" them. Many authors wrote inaccurate histories of the Jewish War as soon as it was over, as Josephus informs us. Secondly, he specifically uses the phrase "an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us" as the history of events surrounding Jesus and possibly Paul as is evident from his very next sentence. Finally, you completely ignore his statement that, "I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you" out of...personal preference?


So, to that end, what is Luke investigating? No doubt, he is in conversation with the oral tradition, and perhaps even some of the "eyewitnesses" who might still be alive (this is not certain).

The oral tradition would have been based, without a doubt, on eyewitnesses, as the prologue itself notes, or those who spoke with such. This is abundantly clear from Papias who, a generation after Luke, spoke with those who spoke with witnesses. This means Luke would have certainly had access to eyewitnesses, writing around 90 AD. Most likely his sources would have been reliable presbyters who were either witnesses or spoke with such, seeing those were Papias' sources, contrary to Ehrman's "telephone corrupted oral tradition" objection.


But the important point must also be that he is demonstrating the truth of the fulfilment by way of how it comports to his reading of Old Testament scriptures. In other words, for Luke the quality of his account is not in how his description accords to what actually happened so much as it fulfils a pre-existing religious, scriptural narrative. It certainly does not follow that his account will be factual, so much as it will be "fulfilling".

This ideology, popularized in 1913 by Wenland and mainly continued by Ernst Haenchen contradicts:

1. The evidence thus far cited that exposes Luke as a careful historian.
2. The prologue's own intention and the fact that Luke attempts to present an accurate picture of the events

Not to mention you've given zero evidence for this beside your Elijah-Elisha connections (or connexions if you want early 20th century English). Present some evidence (words/style/structure - examples from history where this is clear) to support your claims, please.



But like EVERY pre-modern historian—including Polybius and Jean Froissart—we ought not uncritically accept their accounts of things at face value. For that matter, we ought to be fairly critical of even modern historical accounts, since these are also prone to all sort of problems with quality of evidence, the skill of the reporter, and their tendency towards biases.

Oh, Polybius and Froissart have their biases and errors, I admit this. But the level of discrediting you are attempting to pass onto Luke is not a consideration because of these parallel cases (Polybius, Tacitus, Froissart). Froissart used witness accounts (Jean Le Bel) and numerous interviews of witnesses in much the same way Luke tells us he did. There is simply no reason to doubt Luke simply because, well....you want to. The skill of the reporting is not under question - it's simply not that hard to ask a question and write down the answer as these gentlemen have done.


This is simply because we recognise the limitations of their own sources and methods, and the nature of history telling in the times in which they wrote, which is effectively different than it is today.

What limitations are there in the method and sources of reporting what eyewitnesses said? There is no reason to doubt these, and the places where Froissart messes up are in terms of distances (places he was never at) and his major errors are chronology (minor - the foundation of the Order by Edward III, etc), perhaps a few on motivation (the Jacquerie), but not on what actually happened.


Furthermore, we have since the time that Durant wrote learned that the reliability of eye-witness testimony is extremely thin: if we can't trust all of our own perceptions today, what reason do we have to trust those of the ancients?

I'm sorry but in your zeal to overturn Luke you're trying to overturn common sense! Eyewitness testimony is our best and only primary evidence, I hope you know that, since primary sources are written by, well, eyewitnesses! Memories fade only after decades but certainly not on issues such as: "Did Jesus son of Joseph, you know, the person you followed for two or three years rise from the dead?" --- "Yeah, maybe, I'm not sure!" Surely you can see you're missing something here.



Finally, I am not at all convinced that Durant would share your own bullish attitude towards the historicity of Luke's account of Jesus.

Oh but we can all be convinced he most certainly wouldn't share your biased and unhistorical attitude towards eyewitnesses since his quote completely contradicts you! ;)



In the end, there is nothing in your response that addresses my question about the Magnificat, which I will repeat: How does the presence of this text somehow validate Luke's quality as a historian?

In actual fact, I would argue that the Magnificat does a very good job of confirming Luke's purpose in writing an "orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us." The Magnificat functions to show the fulfilment of scripture, and this is received as the measure of truth.

I never said I thought the Magnificat proved anything nor did I say I was trying to say so. In fact I stated the exact opposite. What I do know is that Bultmann and I believe others have recognized specifically in Luke 1-2 ancient Semitic sources. But the overall assessment of Luke as an historian simply trumps your objections, and has nothing to do specifically with the Magnificat.