Is it Gospel?
The May 15 2000 Watchtower page 4 indicated that scholars at the Jesus Seminar had concluded that 82% of all the words attributed to Jesus in the gospels were not authentic but 'derived from later tradition'.
It is difficult to say for yourself but I do find it remarkable that Pauls letters do not contain any references to Jesus' life, history or more importantly his teachings. The sermon the mount, lords prayer or the golden rule etc. etc. do not get a mention in his words to fledgling congregations. Whether the gospels were in circulation at the time of his writing his letters is unlikely,although the WTS dates Matthews gospel at 41CE. But irrespective you would expect his words to have been talked about and recorded in some form or other. For Paul or the other writers not to mention any of Jesus' words is supportive of the contention that much now attributed to Jesus has to be unreliable.
*** Rbi8 Matthew 7:28 ***
28 Now when Jesus finished these sayings, the effect was that the crowds were astounded at his way of teaching;
(You would think those 'sayings' would be worth repeating to those far away congregations that Paul wrote to that may not have heard them.)
Paul’s writings were directed mostly to Gentiles who had never been exposed to the Law Covenant, not having been commanded to keep it. It would not have been of much value to these people to dwell on the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus was here explaining the essence of the Law Covenant. The information found in chapters 5 and 6 of Matthew was for the benefit of the Israelite listener as they were under this covenant and had not kept it because they probably did not truly understand it. Jesus was showing them what Jehovah expected of them. Jesus said of the Jewish leaders; “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was binding to do, yet not to disregard the other things.” (Matthew 23:23) Jesus then had to do what these men failed to do. So, yes, it was gospel! It was gospel to Israel provided they heeded his words.
Matthew 13:34, 35 states: “All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations. Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them; that there might be fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet who said: “I will open my mouth with illustrations, I will publish things hidden since the founding.”” If Paul did not write any explanation of these parables, it would be because this information was not applicable to first century Christians. These things would not be fulfilled upon these Christians. Even Paul recognized that there were things that he did not understand. Note his words at 1 Corinthians 13:9. “For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with.” Complete fulfillment of prophesy would not occur in the first century. It was reserved for a later period of time.
my 3 cents worth:
1. Paul was made up by the church. There were 7 other loyal disciples that could have witten and incredibly not one of those has a gospel.
2. The book of St. Thomas has been kept a secret for too many years.
3. Jesus himself should have, could have, and probably did write something. Perhaps his writings will appear one day. . .
I gave up on everything I read from the WTS regarding the gospels. I don't know where they get their information from or how old or current it is. From what I have read since, most scholars today would make Mark's gospel the oldest. However, Mark, Matthew and Luke all share a common source of the sayings of Jesus the so-called book of "Q". The rest of the details are embellishments to the common source. I guess no one knows when the first saying of Jesus would have been put down in writing. However, what we have today in the gospels were all written decades after Jesus died and after Paul penned his letters.
'To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing'
Although I picked on Paul a little, the same goes for all those who wrote letters. They are by and large SILENT on what Jesus reportedly said. As far as the historical life of Jesus/his teachings are concerned-this would have to be of immense interest to all especially new converts-just as much as it is today to new converts.
It is hard to believe that so much could have happened....so much could have been said by Jesus without it being expounded and dwelt on by the first century leaders!
I agree that something has to give!
When the gospels were written is only part of the problem because the apostles would NOT have to wait fot them to come into print to mention the facts of Jesus that you would expect to be known by all, especially his teachings, eschatology, moral code etc. These things would be of vital importance you would think. The silence is deafening!
I'm tired of being a NEWBIE, I want to be a Junior Member, how many times do I need to post to become a "Junior member"?
Remember, Paul was not trying to relate Jesus life, he was writing isntructions and further faith building lessons. Also, Paul didn't hear what Jesus had to say while Jesus had his earthly ministry. I firmly beleive that Paul did relate sayings of Jesus when there in person, just as all evangilizers did. When the Apostles were teaching I'm sure they did relate the sayings of Jesus. But Paul was not writing to convert, he was writing to those who already beleived, and giving them further understanding of doctrine.
Just my opinion.
Hey Jeru. You made Junior Member, congrats!
Its hard to imagine that your supposition could be correct. That Paul would elsewhere mention all sorts of facts about the historical Jesus but not in his letters.
The fact that Paul does not mention Jesus in an historical sense is not easily argued away. In his letters he is arguing great issues like the continuing applicability of the Jewish Law, the validity of the ancient Jewish dietary regulations, whether one should obey and pay tribute to the authorities, knowing God and how to gain that knowledge, the issue of who are legitimate apostles, the nature of love and loving one's neighbour, the importance of Christ's sufferings, etc., yet he cannot draw on a single saying of Jesus in any of these cases to make his point or bolster his argument.
The apostles were comanded to preach the "GOOD NEWS".
Which was what? That Jesus the Christ had risen. If not then
there would be no "good news". Paul said are faith would be
in vain if not for" that good news"
?- Who was the first to preach the "GOOD NEWS"