Are the gospels genuine?

by ackack 79 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Leolaia

    Actually Paul does ascribe various teachings or sayings to the "Lord" (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 7:25, 9:14, 11:23-26, 14:37, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), but he does this not on professed basis of a written gospel but as a direct revelation from the Lord himself. I do not believe this means that Paul was not dependent on gospel traditions that were then circulated in oral form; Paul's motivation was rather to secure legitimacy for his teaching as fully credentialed by the Lord himself and for his own status as apostle (cf. Romans 1:1, 15:16, 19), particularly since Paul arrived on the scene later than other "pillars" in the movement (cf. Galatians 1), and his gospel to the Gentiles proved to be quite different from the Law-observant perspective of James the Just and other Jewish Christians. Moreover, some of the Pauline material is quite reminiscent of sayings in the gospels; the ruling against divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 is similar to the saying in Mark 10:11-12, the saying in Luke 10:7 is similar to 1 Corinthians 9:14, the institution of the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 14:23-26 is especially close to the Lukan version in Luke 22:17-20, a pair of sayings in Luke 6:27-29 on the persecuted being blessed and not repaying evil with evil resembles Romans 12:14-17, Romans 14:13-14 also compares well to the two sayings in Mark 7:15 and 9:42, etc. Paul does not show acquaintance with the written gospels themselves but the sayings that later become incorporated into them, while the Last Supper tradition in 1 Corinthians may be an instance of Luke drawing on Paul as a source.

  • ackack

    Yes, Paul does indicate that he recieved from the Lord by direct revelation. Yes, there are many similarities to Paul's writings and various quotes from the gospels. Earl Doherty's argument is that a) when making these various arguments, why didn't he appeal directly to actually Jesus' sayings? b) sometimes he alludes, some times completely disagrees. Interesting that you picked Mark 10:11-12 in there. I always found it funny how Paul seems to "extend" this with 1 Cor 7:15. The example in the book was where Jesus says not one letter of the law would pass away with Paul's teaching in Galatians that the law was done.

    I suppose its arguable that the parallels between them could be easily explained as the gospel writers ripping off of Paul's works. One possiblity perhaps.

    I could sit here and listen to you read the ingredient list off of a can of soup and be totally fascinated.... sigh :)


  • serendipity

    Please note what 2 Peter 3:16 says:

    14 Hence, beloved ones, since YOU are awaiting these things, do YOUR utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote YOU , 16 speaking about these things as he does also in all [his] letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    The letters of Paul were considered to be Scriptures, like the Hebrew scriptures, and most likely the gospel accounts.

  • Narkissos

    2 Peter shows the embarrassment of the 2nd-century "Great Church" with the Pauline letters, which were used by so-called "heretic" groups such as Marcionites. They could not simply dismiss them as orthodoxy itself has built on the name of Paul (Ephesians, the Pastorals), but they had to deal with their potential danger. Back to the thread topic, interestingly some synoptic material is alluded to in the Transfiguration passage (1:16ff).

  • Leolaia

    serendipity....2 Peter is one of the latest books in the NT and was written at a time when Paul's letters were attaining the status of scripture (i.e. in the second century). ackack.... Paul attributes some of his "commands" directly to the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 9:14, 11:23-25), distinguishing these from his own opinions (cf. 7:25). While I think Paul is likely the direct source of Luke 22:17-20, I do not think the gospel writers in general were "ripping off" Paul, but rather drew on similar material that Paul did; the letter of James, for instance, has many of the same parallels and the same can be said of 1 Clement and the letters of Ignatius....these sources were all early enough to draw on oral material rather than the finished gospels themselves. It is when we get to Justin Martyr and 2 Clement (second century AD) that we find direct evidence of dependence on the gospels. For most of the gospel parallels, Paul does not attribute the saying or idea to Jesus per se, no more than is done in James or other writings. The material may of circulated in the name of Jesus, or simply as the collective sapiential sayings of the early Christian community. It is interesting that the paralels in Paul are limited only to "church order" material and ethical aphorisms, setting aside the Eucharist institution narrative. Nowhere does Paul use (attributed or not) the distinctive similitudes about the Kingdom of God in the synoptics, or the narrative object-lesson parables, or anything else from the narrative other than the fact that Christ was betrayed, he instituted the Last Supper, and he was crucified and rose.

  • Leolaia

    Narkissos....The transfiguration passage in 2 Peter is especially interesting because the wording of the divine blessing ("This is my Son, my Beloved, into whom I have set my favor") diverges significantly from the canonical gospels and bears an uncanny similarity with the phrasing in non-canonical sources. The first phrase (ho huios ho agapétos mou houtos estin), alone of all the parallels, makes agapétos possessed by mou and places the verb and the deitic houtos at the end of the sentence, a pattern that seems to depend on Exodus 4:22 LXX (ho huios mou ho protótokos mou Israel estin), in addition to Psalm 2:7 LXX and Isaiah 42:1 LXX (= agapétos in Matthew 12:18) which were used in the Baptism and Transfiguration narratives in the synoptics. The second phrase (eis hon egó eudokésa) is closest to the non-canonical passage in the Pseudo-Clementines (Hom 3.35), i.e. eis hon eudokésa toutou akouete. Mark and Luke lack the whole "in whom I have pleasure" part, while Matthew phrases it differently, i.e. en hó eudokésa akouete autou (17:5, compare 3:17). Only 2 Peter and the Pseudo-Clementines have eis + hon "into whom", which recalls the use of eis in the Baptism narrative in Mark and the Gospel of the Ebionites: "He saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove that descended and entered into him (eis auton)," and which is reminiscent of the docetic/adoptionist concept that the Christ entered into Jesus at his baptism. Another important similarity between 2 Peter and the Pseudo-Clementines is the claim that the voice is ex ouranou "from heaven" (cf. "from the cloud" in Mark 9:7, Matthew 17:5, Luke 9:35). Since the Pseudo-Clementines claim to preserve the traditions of Apostle Peter, the parallels are quite intriguing.

  • Leolaia
    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".

    Didn't Paul write anything? Or do you mean the group of twelve apostles known only from the gospel tradition, which can be verified only as literary characters?

  • peacefulpete

    As we've discussed before the sacremental aspects of Luke 22 were later additions to Luke, using 1Cor. As I said in my opening comment the Gospel narrative was in part framed upon Pauline references historized. (The author of the story that we call Mark knew Paul)

    I am not convinced by the logic used to arrive at the early date for the Greek fragments of G. Thomas. Nearly aways are they based upon the premise of 'sayings' preceding narratives and the alledged similarity with the imaginary Q. I feel the G.Thomas was composed late 2nd early 3rd century. As I see it, all the evidence otherwise falls when reexamined in light of the Jesus Myth/no Q paradigm. But even if we grant a 2nd century date it adds nothing to the historical Christ argument. There are those who have supposed Christian origins 2nd century BC.

    Radical? Probably, but you love me for it.

  • greendawn

    If the gospels are not genuine if they are fake then the whole christian religion of 2000 years is totally pointless and a deception, I don't feel it is that way as after all the admonitions and overall message of the gospel is very sound and beneficial for mankind as long as the whole of society embraced it.

    Many pagans embraced it because they were fed up with being slaves of their instinctive desires and passions and living without a superior goal in life.

  • Hellrider

    What does that mean, exactly, "Are the gospels genuine"? What difference does it make if they were written in 65 ad or 120 ad? Or if they were first were handed down as oral tradition? Or that they were dependent on other sources? I don`t see this as significant at all.

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