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Why Most Scholars Agree on the Anonymity of the Four Gospels (1 Viewer)

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This thread is meant to pull people away from the other thread I started - https://www.debatepolitics.com/beli...-were-not-written-eyewitnesses-would-you.html
-- which some commenters have tried to drag away from the topic.

I'll start with words from a professor of New Testament who teaches at a small Baptist college in North Carolina.

Formal Anonymity of the Gospels

Let's examine for a moment the claim that all four canonical gospels are anonymous? What do scholars mean when they say this? Well, if they are being careful, what they mean specifically, is that the gospels are formally anonymous. That is, leaving off the issue of the titles for a moment, and not seeking to answer the question of whether the titles were there originally or not, in the stories the gospels present, the author does not step forward and identify himself.* Nowhere in the four canonical gospels does the author say something like, "I, Matthew, am the one who witnessed these events," or "I, John, was the disciple who leaned against Jesus' breast." The gospel authors, within the stories themselves, do not self identify. This is what scholars mean when they call the gospels anonymous.

Now, each of the four gospels are different and need to be examined individually. So, the formal anonymity of Matthew and Mark are 100% with no concrete clues as to authorship (the tax collector named "Matthew" in Matthew and the naked young man in Mark are certainly not "concrete" identifications of authorship).
(. . .)
The author of Luke identifies himself (Luke 1:1-4) in many ways, but not by name. A few things can be known about the author's identity from this passage.
1) The author knows of other attempts to write "gospels."
2) The author claims to depend on, but is not himself, an eyewitness.
3) The author has undertaken investigation.
4) The author wants to provide an orderly account.

All well and good, but none of these identifications get us closer to a name for the author.

Now look at John 21:24-25
24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."
(. . .) On first glance, it would seem that the beloved disciple is the author of the gospel, but that cannot be. In verse 24, the author(s) clearly self identify as "we."

The writings of Justin Martyr (c. 150-160 CE), actually all we have are quotes found in later writings and not any original manuscript, provide quotations of the Gospels, but only labels them “Memoirs of the Apostles,” with no mention of their traditional names. Irenaeus (c. 175-185 CE) provides the oldest reference to the traditional titles of the Gospels.
 
Didn't like the refutin' goin' on in the other one, huh...
 
There's this former homicide cop turned Christian guy on the internet trying to establish forensic proof that Jesus lived and the gospels are true and reliable.

He asks why would you accept a testimony of anyone who wasn't alive at the time of the events they describe - a fair point. Then goes on to try and prove the gospels were indeed alive at the time of the Crucifixion.


But shies away from answering whether, as a former homicide detective, he'd ever accept or present as evidence an unsigned testimony from an anonymous source.



In my view the gosp[els are all forgeries from the early Christian church.
 
There's this former homicide cop turned Christian guy on the internet trying to establish forensic proof that Jesus lived and the gospels are true and reliable.

He asks why would you accept a testimony of anyone who wasn't alive at the time of the events they describe - a fair point. Then goes on to try and prove the gospels were indeed alive at the time of the Crucifixion.


But shies away from answering whether, as a former homicide detective, he'd ever accept or present as evidence an unsigned testimony from an anonymous source.



In my view the gosp[els are all forgeries from the early Christian church.

He makes a lotta sense...you should listen to him...
 
The earliest non-biblical source used by those who claim they know the Gospels are not anonymous would be the church father, Papias, writing around 120-130 CE. He supposedly claimed that the disciple Matthew had written the sayings of Jesus in the Hebrew language, which others had translated. He also supposedly wrote that Mark had written of the preachings of Peter about Jesus.

I use "supposedly", because we don't have what Papias wrote, we only have supposed quotes from Papias, written by Eusebius in the 4th century -- 200 years later. The quotes of Papias provided by Eusebius do nothing more than tell us that Matthew and Mark had written something, as there are no quotes from the two Gospels. I find it interesting that Eusebius would rely upon this fellow Papias for verification of the history because he also describes Papias as a man who “seems to have been of very small intelligence, to judge from his writings.

The other problem with Papias description of Mattthew as having been written in Hebrew. A problem noted in An Introduction to the New Testament (pg 210)
The vast majority of scholars contend that the Gospel we know as Matt was composed originally in Greek and is not a translation of a Semitic original … Thus either Papias was wrong/confused in attributing a gospel (sayings) in Hebrew/Aramaic to Matthew, or he was right but the Hebrew/Aramaic composition he described was not the work we know in Greek as canonical.

Today there are 27 books in the canonical New Testament, by the time of the Council of Nicaea we know today that there were more than 100 books attributed to one of the 12 or their immediate followers. We have the text of some of these non-canonical books owing to the find in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt of multiple scrolls and codices which had been buried at a time when Athanasius, Bishop of Egypt in the late 4th century , ordered the destruction of non-canonical, "heretical" texts.
 
There's this former homicide cop turned Christian guy on the internet trying to establish forensic proof that Jesus lived and the gospels are true and reliable.

He asks why would you accept a testimony of anyone who wasn't alive at the time of the events they describe - a fair point. Then goes on to try and prove the gospels were indeed alive at the time of the Crucifixion.


But shies away from answering whether, as a former homicide detective, he'd ever accept or present as evidence an unsigned testimony from an anonymous source.



In my view the gosp[els are all forgeries from the early Christian church.

Books / Videos offering "proof" that those books were written by disciples named Mark, Matthew, John and Luke are not hard to find, but nothing I've seen from them would be considered proof by a jury that didn't have other reasons to believe. "Proof" just isn't there.
 
This thread is meant to pull people away from the other thread I started - https://www.debatepolitics.com/beli...-were-not-written-eyewitnesses-would-you.html
-- which some commenters have tried to drag away from the topic.

I'll start with words from a professor of New Testament who teaches at a small Baptist college in North Carolina.

The writings of Justin Martyr (c. 150-160 CE), actually all we have are quotes found in later writings and not any original manuscript, provide quotations of the Gospels, but only labels them “Memoirs of the Apostles,” with no mention of their traditional names. Irenaeus (c. 175-185 CE) provides the oldest reference to the traditional titles of the Gospels.

Your source is another liberal flake who pushes the highly discredited "Q" theory.

I suppose we will never see from you any conservative theologians who hold to the traditional Gospel authors.
 
Books / Videos offering "proof" that those books were written by disciples named Mark, Matthew, John and Luke are not hard to find, but nothing I've seen from them would be considered proof by a jury that didn't have other reasons to believe. "Proof" just isn't there.

So, the early Christians just MADE UP those names? That's nuts.

For instance, Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John, and was subsequently martyred. In his "Letter to the Philippians" he cites the same Christian beliefs as John does.

It was also noted of Polycarp that:

"Whatsoever things he had heard from them respecting the Lord, both with regard to His miracles and His teaching, Polycarp having thus received [information] from the eye-witnesses of the Word of life, would recount them all in harmony with the Scriptures." -
Irenaeus - St. Polycarp of Smyrna
 
Your source is another liberal flake who pushes the highly discredited "Q" theory.

I suppose we will never see from you any conservative theologians who hold to the traditional Gospel authors.

"another liberal flake", who just happens to teach at a university connected to the Baptist church
Chowan University

Mission
Chowan University, grounded in its Christian faith, transforms the lives of students of promise.

The University fosters its mission by:

  • ensuring its Christian character informs all its endeavors.
  • equipping undergraduate and graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical values necessary to flourish in a culturally diverse, global society.
  • promoting active participation in discovery and creative activities.
  • providing a supportive teaching and learning environment.
  • enrolling and retaining promising students of all backgrounds.
  • meeting the students’ social and spiritual needs by affording personal attention in a caring community.

That "liberal flake", Keith A. Reich, is Chair of the Dept of Religion.
 
Your source is another liberal flake who pushes the highly discredited "Q" theory.

I suppose we will never see from you any conservative theologians who hold to the traditional Gospel authors.

'Traditional' does not mean correct.
 
So, the early Christians just MADE UP those names? That's nuts.

For instance, Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John, and was subsequently martyred. In his "Letter to the Philippians" he cites the same Christian beliefs as John does.

It was also noted of Polycarp that:

"Whatsoever things he had heard from them respecting the Lord, both with regard to His miracles and His teaching, Polycarp having thus received [information] from the eye-witnesses of the Word of life, would recount them all in harmony with the Scriptures." -
Irenaeus - St. Polycarp of Smyrna

Well, that's what Ireneaus claimed... many many decades later... but we don't have anything from Polycarp making that claim.
 
"another liberal flake", who just happens to teach at a university connected to the Baptist church

That "liberal flake", Keith A. Reich, is Chair of the Dept of Religion.

There's no doubt many dept. heads around the world who would think he's on the wrong track, and he is on that subject.

Does he believe in the resurrected Jesus Christ?
 
Well, that's what Ireneaus claimed... many many decades later... but we don't have anything from Polycarp making that claim.

Go tell your anti-Christianity swill to somebody else.
 
'Traditional' does not mean correct.

It does more often than not.

You know, when you and Elvira the Jehovah's Witness can agree on Biblical issues, then there's surely something really screwed up going on.
 
There's this former homicide cop turned Christian guy on the internet trying to establish forensic proof that Jesus lived and the gospels are true and reliable.

He asks why would you accept a testimony of anyone who wasn't alive at the time of the events they describe - a fair point. Then goes on to try and prove the gospels were indeed alive at the time of the Crucifixion.


But shies away from answering whether, as a former homicide detective, he'd ever accept or present as evidence an unsigned testimony from an anonymous source.



In my view the gosp[els are all forgeries from the early Christian church.

I would say fiction.
 
Your source is another liberal flake who pushes the highly discredited "Q" theory.

I suppose we will never see from you any conservative theologians who hold to the traditional Gospel authors.

Do you define "conservative theologians" as only those who believe the Bible is the "inerrant word of God"

Statements of Faith from a couple of those "conservative" seminaries which have formed the beliefs of various theologians
Denver Theological Seminary
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.

Dallas Theological Seminary
Doctrinal Statement (for Seminary faculty and board)
Article I—The Scriptures
We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” by which we understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings—historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical—as appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error. We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2–3; 18:28; 26:22–23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).

When a person has to affirm a definite statement regarding the inerrancy of the Bible, how then could they question any part of the book without losing their position?
 
Your source is another liberal flake who pushes the highly discredited "Q" theory.

I suppose we will never see from you any conservative theologians who hold to the traditional Gospel authors.

They really go bent out of shape trying to make the Gospel authors "anonymous." :lol:

I can't help but wonder why? If they don't believe - then, don't believe.
But why this colossal effort to try discredit it?
Look at the time and effort spent at "researching" stuffs to make their case.
This is the second thread, too, along the same vein.

There's gotta be an underlying reason for that. Now, that's what I'm curious about.

The identities of the authors - would that really make any difference at all?
Like I've said in that first thread, the Bible had proven itself - that whoever wrote the Books
were indeed God-inspired.


it's not about the authors. It's about what's in it.
Certain - numerous - claims were given in the Bible that turned out to be confirmed by science!
 
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It does more often than not.

You know, when you and Elvira the Jehovah's Witness can agree on Biblical issues, then there's surely something really screwed up going on.

Understanding is not your strong suit on much of anything...I was calling him out on his contradictions...that is far from agreeing...lol...
 
It does more often than not.

You know, when you and Elvira the Jehovah's Witness can agree on Biblical issues, then there's surely something really screwed up going on.

That is your unfounded opinion. You have lists of 'traditional', what you don't have from them is there reasoning and arguments. Quite often, the 'traditionalists' rely on 'Mysterious and mystical claims' that can not be shown to be true.
 
So, the early Christians just MADE UP those names? That's nuts.
Mark, Matthew and Luke were all common names during that time.
 

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