Are the gospels genuine?

by ackack 79 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • ackack

    AlmostAtheist, but that begs the question (or is it begging the question, can't get those two straight) .. err.. actually, it simply presupposes that jesus was refering the a worldwide flood which is a later fundie belief (I thought)

    If you want to pick apart anything, go for Jonah. :)


  • Narkissos


    As you know this is a very difficult problem. The Farrer-Goodacre hypothesis has its flaws too (especially the verbal agreements between Mark and Luke for material absent from Matthew). I still tend to "believe" in "something like Q," even though I would readily admit that its specific contents (and even more what was not in it) are impossible to ascertain. Especially, I find the argument that "Q" was available to Matthew and possibly Luke too (e.g. Fleddermann) very convincing -- which of course reopens the question of the actual contents of Q.

    For everyone who might be interested in the subject, a good start:

  • ackack

    Interestingly, the author of the Jesus Puzzle argues that Mark had access to a more primitive, or verbal tradition of Q.


  • AlmostAtheist
    it simply presupposes that jesus was refering the a worldwide flood which is a later fundie belief (I thought)

    There are those that say the flood wasn't world-wide (Ray Franz among them, I believe), but they have to try to get around Genesis 7:19 "And the waters overwhelmed the earth so greatly that all the tall mountains that were under the whole heavens came to be covered."

    I admit that I presuppose Jesus was referring to that flood, which the Bible seems to make pretty clear was world-wide.

    For that matter, I presuppose that Jesus was talking about the same Noah! :-)

    But what do I know? Not much -- ask anybody!


  • Navigator

    It seems unlikely that the apostles of Jesus wrote anything at all except perhaps for Thomas, and his writing was surpressed by the Catholic Church and did not make the "canon". Even that got added on to before it was surpressed. Neither Mark nor Luke were apostles. The Gospel attributed to John is writen in high order Greek by someone who seems to be unfamiliar with Aramaic customs and culture. That could not have been the Apostle John. As Narkissos has pointed out in an earlier thread, the Gospel of John had several additions and changes to make the somewhat "gnostic flavor" acceptable to the established church. Of all the Gospel accounts, it is my favorite. I do believe that Jesus walked the earth, managed to resurrect himself, and departed in a "blaze of light". I believe that the did all of this to show us what the possibilites could be if we would only wake up to our true nature. He hasn't gone anywhere and has been here all along. He can't really go home until we are all ready to go with him. That may take awhile.

  • peacefulpete

    Narkisssos, I understand the subject is thorny but really why should Q have ever been postulated? Matt was just a recension of an earlier version of the narrative we call Mark. The author of Luke was apparently using some form of this recension as his template. He very possibly had more than just the one copy and so be aware of a couple readings that exist today only in Mark. Then again maybe his recension (Matt) had the words now found only in Mark. I believe the key is to not isolate the 3 as immutable separate texts. They were rather simply local versions of the same story yet each had such wide use that they in time individually became fixed as separate entities. So many theories struggle to incorporate Q into the mix, Mark knew Q1 but not Q2, Luke knew a Q not known to Matt, Q1Q2Q3Q4Q???A Sayings Gospel , written material unique to Matt and Luke........

    It's all rubbish. I am convinced that the last 100 years have been spent chasing a phantom. The Q that has been hypothesized does not appear to me to be any coherent text at all. Of course there is the danger of selecting words that appear coherent because we believe coherence should exist.

    I'll bet that 20 years from now Q will be a ghost.

  • peacefulpete

    G.Thomas is dated early precisely because it resembles the hypothetical Q and the theory that sayings preceded Gospels. In reality GThomas is 3rd century.

  • Leolaia

    I think there are two questions here to distinguish. The first is whether Luke depended on Matthew or whether both used a common source in addition to Mark. Goodacre may well be right on this, tho I have not yet come to a firm decision. The other question is whether Matthew itself is based on an earlier document in addition to Mark....this issue is rather similar to the question of the independent status of E or P in Pentateuchal origins, i.e. if the "P" and "E" material instead represent successive "interpolations" into a base text, rather than originating as autonomous documents in their own right. Or was the sayings material for these "interpolations" into Mark (freely adapted by the author) taken directly from oral tradition or from a written intermediate medium? I do not feel that Goodacre really tackles this question in a satisfactory way. A parenetic collection of sayings is the kind of thing that Thomas represents, and I do not agree at all that it is a third century composition....the extant text is third or fourth century, but the book itself is older (the Greek fragments go back to AD 200, several of its noncanonical sayings are attested in the mid-second century, and the theological outlook is much more proto-gnostic than the developed gnosticism of the Nag Hammadi community), my suspicion would be the first half of the second century. I also do not think that the sayings are based on the canonical gospels but are different enough in form (in fact, in a much more oral form) to be independent from them. The other major problem which Goodacre does not discuss to my satisfaction is the stability of the text of he uses canonical Mark as the basis of comparison with Matthew and Luke, yet agreements against Mark may plausibly represent attestations of an earlier version of Mark, just as Luke may be viewed as a revised version of Matthew.

  • Hellrider
    Why didn't Paul mention the gospels? I don't know. Perhaps he was more interested in preaching the teachings of Jesus to god-fearers rather than discussing the historical life of Jesus.

    Four of Pauls letters are believed to preceed the Gospels, and may have been written by Paul himself. The others are later. Maybe the author of the other letters didn`t want to confuse things by referring to the gospels, when Paul himself didn`t (pure speculation on my part). Or maybe the reason is that since both Pauls letters and the gospels were written long before any "canon", it would be weird for Paul to refer to any other of the NT-books (again, pure speculation, I have no clue ).

  • ackack

    Its curious that you could teach about Christ without ever once quoting him or referring to his object lessons. I guess Jesus' actual saying are of only limited value (in Paul's eyes according to that theory)


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