WHEN & HOW the Gospels were written

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck
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    Fischer and Fisher in The Distortion: 2000 years of Misrepresenting the Relationship between Jesus the Messiah and the Jewish People cite various scholars (C. P. Thiede; J. Wenham; W. F. Albright) who have dated the Gospels as early as the 40s - 50s AD (pp. 2-4).

    Yet, other scholars like Geza Vermes and the Jesus Seminar date the Gospels several decades later, from 70-100 AD.


    RECONCILIATION:

    I offer that both of these camps represent good, solid scholarship. Both camps are correct — in part.

    I offer that the Gospels were not written all at once, in one single fell swoop. Rather, the earliest layers of the Gospels were written around 50 AD — precisely when Simon Peter began ministering in Rome, when Saul Paulus began his famous Missionary Journeys around the E. Mediterranean (not to mention the widespread ministries of the other Apostles), and when the First Jerusalem Council was convened (51 AD) to address the issue of the Gentile Mission.

    Furthermore, according to Church Tradition and to D. Bivin in his Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus book series, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) were originally written in Hebrew.

    Then, the various Gospels circulated within the early Christian communities — Matthew in Jerusalem, Mark in Rome, Luke in Greece — where they were gradually expanded and updated as those communities evolved for several decades in the face of various new issues facing them.

    Furthermore, the Synoptic Gospels were translated from Hebrew to Greek during this time — which in and of itself proves that there was an ongoing process of revision.


    CONCLUSION:

    The earliest layers of the Gospels were written by c. 50 AD.

    However, the original Gospels were gradually expanded, revised, and translated by the early Christian communities for several decades before being codified.

    Thus, the latest layers of the Gospels were written from c. 70 - 100 AD.


    Note: Please recall that at least the Apostle John lived to a ripe old age in Ephesus, until c. 100 AD. Furthermore, it is precisely John's Gospel that was revised the longest, until c. 100 AD. Thus, this process of Gospel revision occurred exclusively during the lifetimes of the Apostles and the original authors. After the first generation of Apostles passed away — may God rest their souls — this process of Gospel revision stopped, and the Gospels were codified in their present forms.

    In short, the Gospel revision occurred exclusively under the authority of the original Apostles and authors. After they passed away, their followers codified the Gospels in their present form. Thus, there is no reason to doubt the integrity or authority of the Gospels.
     
  2. rjprince

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    YEAH... I GOT SOME REAL PROBLEMS WITH SOME OF THIS...


    But I am going to go to bed for now.


    Sounds a LOT like SOURCE criticism to me, Graf-Wellhausen and all of that... Markan, Lukan, Quellan, etc. First encountered that in 1974 in NT intro class...


    Still do not think much of it...


    The JESUS SEMINAR? Sound scholarship?
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    Oh, we are on pretty safe ground brother to name the Jesus Seminar for what it is: A brood of vipars, heretics, false teachers, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever, denying the Lord Jesus Christ, spurning the Word of God and acting as lords over it, need I say more?

    Such ones, being named brother, I would not even eat with.
     
  4. rjprince

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    RefB

    Yep,

    I was going there, but not with my first post on this thread...

    BTW, I really like your signature! Makes it about Him, not us. Imagine that, the purpose of His creation being about Him, not us. What a thought, doxalogical, not anthropological. That will preach brother!
     
  5. Bismarck

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    You are selling modern scholarship (slightly) too short.

    Scholars cannot just come up with LIES and promulgate them.

    TV can...

    University Ph.D. Professors cannot, there is too much peer review.


    However, what the Jesus Seminar does do that I find fault with is that they report biased views.

    I have argued that the Gospels BEGAN to be written very early, by eyewitnesses, as Church Tradition claims.

    I have then argued that, during the lifetimes of the Apostles and Authors and under their guidance, the Gospels were gradually expanded and updated for several decades.

    Then, when the Apostles and authors passed away — may God rest their souls — all revision stopped immediately and the Gospels were codified in their present form.

    Thus, the Gospels show some signs of very early composition... and some signs of later composition...

    and the Jesus Seminar only looks at the later parts, and trumpets that — without mentioning the earlier roots, or the context of revision under the guidance of the Apostles and original authors. Thus, they are biased... but not (exactly) wrong.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    I am not one to quote Wikipedia as a source, but its getting late, and their references in this case apprear to be sound:

    Now, true or not, and I believe it is, it is sufficent to know they are heretics and sons of the devil.

    EDIT: I have found their publication "The Acts of Jesus: What did Jesus really do?" (sounds just like the devil) on Amazon and can read the inside flap:

    1. His (Jesus) mother's name was Mary, and he had a human father whose name may not have been Joseph.
    2. He did not walk on water, feed the multitude with loaves and fishes, change water into wine, or raise Lazarus from the dead.
    3. They do say Jesus was arrested and crucified.
    4. He was executed for being a public nusisance, not for claiming to be the Son of God.
    5. The empty tomb is a fiction--Jesus did not rise from the dead.

    They, indeed, are of the wicked one.


    Since you have cited them as a sound source, I have several questions. Particulary:

    1. Do you confess that Jesus is LORD, that is God come in the flesh?
    2. Do you confess that Christ was crucified, according to the Scriptures?
    3. Do you confess that Christ was risen from the dead, according to the Scriptures?
    4. Do you confess that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible, inerrant, Word of God? That they are God-breathed with no mixture or adulteration of human thought and wisdom?
     
    #6 ReformedBaptist, Sep 6, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2007
  7. Bismarck

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    We are nit-picking over the words "Jesus Seminar", and not over any part of the main thrust of my argument.

    There is a massive school of modern scholars who claim that the Gospels date from 70-100 AD.... Gesa Vermez, the Jesus Seminar...

    All I said was, the scholars who quote those later dates are not fully in error — parts of the Gospels were indeed written up until those later dates, even though the original "version 1.0" documents were written very early, and are therefore reliable.

    Moreover, I have shown that all the editting took place under the guidance of the original authors, during their lives and those of the Apostles... and that all editing stopped after they passed away (may God rest their souls).

    Thus, there is no reason to impugn the authority of the Gospels due to their "late date", as many modern scholars claim (due to only looking at half the story).

    This is getting way way way off topic.
     
  8. ReformedBaptist

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    Friend,

    Please do my one kindness. Because you have introduced the Jesus Seminar to this board as a credible source, and because many here maintain that they are heretics, I am left with several questions. So, if you would be so kind as to give an answer to the following questions, it would be greatly appreciated:

    1. Do you confess that Jesus is LORD, that is God come in the flesh?
    2. Do you confess that Christ was crucified, according to the Scriptures?
    3. Do you confess that Christ was risen from the dead, according to the Scriptures?
    4. Do you confess that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible, inerrant, Word of God? That they are God-breathed with no mixture or adulteration of human thought and wisdom?
     
    #8 ReformedBaptist, Sep 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2007
  9. David Lamb

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    Whether or not it is off topic, I am sure the moderator of this forum will decide. But how can it possibly be "nit-picking" to question your quoting a source which denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His miracles, His sacrificial death, and His resurrection? Why are you surprised that on a forum specifically for baptists, your postings provoke serious questioning in the minds of others here? Most of all, why are you (apparently) unwilling to answer the questions that ReformedBaptist put to you so politely? I ernestly pray that you may be able to answer them in the affirmative:

    1. Do you confess that Jesus is LORD, that is God come in the flesh?
    2. Do you confess that Christ was crucified, according to the Scriptures?
    3. Do you confess that Christ was risen from the dead, according to the Scriptures?
    4. Do you confess that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible, inerrant, Word of God? That they are God-breathed with no mixture or adulteration of human thought and wisdom?​


    Just take the first one. A person's answer to that question is vitally important. 1 John 4.1-3 says:

    1 ¶ Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
    3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

    But I imagine that if your answer to Question 4 is "No", my quoting the bible will mean nothing to you.
     
  10. Aaron

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    Oh,..........................my............................Lord!:eek:


    Modern scholarship cannot lie! All bow to [​IMG] MODERN SCHOLARSHIP!
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    The silence on these threads is getting deafening. Let us hope Bismark is just been away for a period of time.
     
  12. saturneptune

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    I hope that you are talking about the same Jesus Seminar that Bismark is (which I never heard of the organization) because it is against the rules of BB to question someone's salvation. Do you also have the gift of Divine insight?
     
    #12 saturneptune, Sep 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2007
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    I am not questioning his salvation, as in, calling it into question. I am asking what he believes. I assume he does believe these things, but since he brought in a source that is so grossly heretical, I would like to know how far he has gone with them in their scholarship.

    Mods, have I broke a rule in this?
     
  14. Bible-boy

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    You walked a very narrow line in the way you built up to you list of questions. I believe the questions are completely within the BB rules and are useful for understnading what your fellow poster believes. I have edited your posts (and a quoted post) to keep them well within the BB policies.

    Yours in Christ,

    Bible-boy,
    Forum Moderator
     
  15. Bismarck

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    I have argued that the Gospels were written, not all at once, but "grew" over a period of time, all by the original authors (or possibly their immediate followers) — and that therefore the authority of the Gospels is not threatened by the "Jesus Seminar school" of scholarship that claims they were all written from 70-100 AD.

    (As a sidenote, I said that the Jesus Seminar did not outright lie when they said the Gospels were written between 70-100 AD. Rather, there are some "layers" or pieces of the Gospels that were written down that late — but still easily within the lifetimes of the original authors themselves. Thus, I said that the Jesus Seminar folks are biased — they show that a sentence here or there was written late (true), and then they conclude that the whole Gospel was written late (not true, spin) and then impugn the authority of the Gospels (false conclusion, spun from half-truths).

    The Jesus Seminar does not spew forth 100.00% lies. The serpent's craftiness of Genesis 3 was not giving Eve and Adam a fully rotten, worm-eaten, smelly apple... but rather a muddled mixture of "Good mingled with Evil".

    For a further record, the Hebrew word for "unclean" in Leviticus — tama, H2931 — means "polluted" and "contaminated". Thus, a good translation for "clean" and "unclean" is "pure" and "muddled".

    That is, unclean things (prohibited, unholy) are not 100.000% dirt — but rather like good clean water that dirt is poured into, ruining the purity of the whole.

    That is like the conclusions the Jesus Seminar draws.)


    I have defended both the authority and authorship of the Gospels.
     
  16. ReformedBaptist

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    Bismark,

    I am not sure what is hard about this. I rejoice to make the good confession before anyone who asks me of the hope that is me. I believe those things to be true of you, but your endorsement of such a heretical and devilish group as the Jesus Seminar caused me to want to confirm my hope of you. Would you refresh your brothers heart in the Lord and answer? The reasoning for asking is that you have confirmed here that not everything the Jesus Seminar has produced are lies. But I don't know how far you have agreed with them. They deny that Jesus rose from the dead? Do you go that far with them in their scholarship? You have affirmed the authority of the Gospels, but do you affirm that they are God-breathed, infallible and inerrant?
     
    #16 ReformedBaptist, Sep 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2007
  17. Ed Edwards

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    Three 'yes' and one 'you betcha!'.

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. You betcha!

    In fact, I believe that all English Versions of the Bible
    individually and collectively
    are the infallible, inerrant, Written Word of God?
     
  18. saturneptune

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    All four of your questions can only be answered YES by a Christian. The focus here is that Bismark answers the questions to God, not you.
     
  19. David Lamb

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    Of course that is so, we must all answer to God. However, when someone posts a message that seems to endorse a group that denies the basic truths about the Messiah, are we not right at least to ask him if he knows the Saviour? I did try looking through some of Bismark's other posts to see if he made any reference in any of them to what he himself believes about the Lord Jesus Christ, but all I have found so far are subjects such as the precise dating of the Crucifixion, the Book of Balam, why the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, comparing Barrabas to the scapegoat, and David's concern for peace. I must stress that I am not criticising those posts, just saying that I found nothing in them that would help me to judge where the writer stands with regard to salvation.

    Is it not possible that someone could join this Board without really knowing the Saviour? And if someone (whether its Bismark, or David Lamb, or "A. N. Other") gives that impression by something they write, can the rest just leave the matter? I know that we are not permitted to question someone's salvation on this Board, and that is fair enough, but that is surely not what is happening here. Someone has written something which seems to go clean agains the very roots of the Christian gospel. Surely the rest of us are right to question what he has written.

    I would be really pleased in this case, if Bismark were to write something such as:

    "My accountability is to God, but I can assure you all that I do indeed know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. My quotes about the "Jesus Seminar school" do not mean that I agree with their denial of things like the resurrection and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ".​
     
  20. saturneptune

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    Mr. Lamb,
    Indeed, I do agree that if such an organization exists, that it should not be part of the Christian life. I am also aware there are troublemakers on the board, mostly lurking in the Calvin-free will rooms.

    I will admit that I am completely unaware of this organization or movement, whatever it is. I pretty much read the Bible, stick to my local church, and do not pay much attention to fads, or the latest trend.

    The only answer is to learn more about the "Jesus Seminar" before commenting further. The board is rampant with those who really believe they can discern 100% a person's salvation, and do it at times suttely, and from different angles.

    Again, thanks for your gracious and well thought out post.
     
    #20 saturneptune, Sep 8, 2007
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