Historical Reliability Of The Gospels

Historical Reliability of the Gospels

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The historical reliability of the Gospels refers to the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents. It is not known who wrote the Gospels, when they were written, or where they were written. This historical vacuum is filled by scholars’ hypotheses (see below).[1]

The gospels of the New Testament were written in Greek for Greek-speaking communities, [2] that were later translated into Syriac, Latin and Coptic. [3]

These gospels, the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John recount the life, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Historians often study the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles when studying the reliability of the gospels, as it was written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke and many believe[who?] that it could have been originally written along with the gospel as part of a two-volume series, known as Luke-Acts, although there are passages in Acts that contradict Luke. Historians subject the gospels to critical analysis, attempting to differentiate authentic, reliable information from possible inventions, exaggerations, and alterations.[4]

According to the majority viewpoint, the Synoptic Gospels are the primary sources of historical information about Jesus.[4][5][6] and of the religious movement he founded, but not everything contained in the gospels is considered to be historically reliable.[7][8][9][10][11][12] Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the Nativity of Jesus, as well as the resurrection and certain details about the crucifixion.[13][14][15][16][17][18] On one extreme, some Christian scholars maintain that the gospels are inerrant descriptions of the life of Jesus.[19] On the other extreme, some scholars have concluded that the gospels provide no historical information about Jesus’ life.[20]

The Gospel of Mark, believed to be the first written of the four gospels, narrates the Baptism of Jesus, his preaching, and the Crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew and Luke follow Mark’s narrative, with some changes, and add substantial amounts of Jesus’ ethical teaching, such as The Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount and Sermon on the Plain. The fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, differs greatly from the first three gospels. Acts of the Apostles narrates the events of the Apostolic Age, from the resurrection of Jesus around 33 AD to the arrival of Paul the Apostle in Rome around 62 AD. The canonical gospels, overall, are considered to have more historically authentic content than the various non-canonical gospels. The synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) are considered more historically reliable than John.

Since the gospel manuscripts include many variants, scholars use textual criticism to determine which variants were original. They also determine which details can be trusted within the context of the 1st century Greco-Roman world and which cannot. To answer this question, scholars have to ask who wrote the gospels, when they wrote them, what sources the authors used, how reliable these sources were, and how far removed in time the sources were from the events they describe. Scholars can also look into the internal evidence of the documents, to see if, for example, the document is making claims about geography that were correct, or if the author appears to be hiding embarrassing information. Finally, scholars turn to external sources, including the testimony of early church leaders, writers outside the church (mainly Jewish and Greco-Roman historians) who would have been more likely to have criticized the church, and to archeological evidence.

Historical reliability of the Gospels

When judging the historical reliability of the gospels, scholars ask if the accounts in the gospels are, when judged using normal standards that historians use on other ancient writings, reliable or not.[21] The main issues are whether the original gospel works were accurate eyewitness accounts, and whether those original versions have been transmitted accurately through the ages to us. In evaluating the historical reliability of the Gospels, scholars consider a number of factors. These include authorship and date of composition,[22] intention and genre,[23] gospel sources and oral tradition,[24][25] textual criticism,[26] and historical authenticity of specific sayings and narrative events.[22]

The genre of the gospels is essential in understanding the intentions of the authors regarding the historical value of the texts. New Testament scholar Graham Stanton states that “the gospels are now widely considered to be a sub-set of the broad ancient literary genre of biographies.”[27] Charles H. Talbert agrees that the gospels should be grouped with the Graeco-Roman biographies, but adds that such biographies included an element of mythology, and that the synoptic gospels also included elements of mythology.[9] E.P. Sanders states that “these Gospels were written with the intention of glorifying Jesus and are not strictly biographical in nature.”[10] Ingrid Maisch and Anton Vögtle writing for Karl Rahner in his encylopedia of theological terms indicate that that the gospels were written primarily as theological, not historical items.[28] Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis notes that “we must conclude, then, that the genre of the Gospel is not that of pure “history”; but neither is it that of myth, fairy tale, or legend. In fact, “gospel” constitutes a genre all its own, a surprising novelty in the literature of the ancient world.”[11]

Scholars tend to consider Luke’s works (Luke-Acts) to be closer in genre to “pure” history,[12][12][29] although they also note that “This is not to say that he [Luke] was always reliably informed, or that – any more than modern historians – he always presented a severely factual account of events.”[12] New Testament scholar, James D.G. Dunn believes that “the earliest tradents within the Christian churches [were] preservers more than innovators…seeking to transmit, retell, explain, interpret, elaborate, but not create de novo…Through the main body of the Synoptic tradition, I believe, we have in most cases direct access to the teaching and ministry of Jesus as it was remembered from the beginning of the transmission process (which often predates Easter) and so fairly direct access to the ministry and teaching of Jesus through the eyes and ears of those who went about with him.”[30] Nevertheless, David Jenkins, a former Anglican Bishop of Durham and university professor, has stated that “Certainly not! There is absolutely no certainty in the New Testament about anything of importance.”[31]

Critical scholars have developed a number of criteria to evaluate the probability, or historical authenticity, of an attested event or saying represented in the gospels. These criteria are applied to the gospels in order to help scholars in reconstructions of the Historical Jesus. The criterion of dissimilarity argues that if a saying or action is dissimilar to, or contrary to, the views of Judaism in the context of Jesus or the views of the early church, then it can more confidently be regarded as an authentic saying or action of Jesus.[32][33] One commonly cited example of this is Jesus’ controversial reinterpretation of the Mosaic law in his Sermon on the Mount, or Peter’s decision to allow uncircumcised gentiles into what was, at the time, a sect of Judaism. The criterion of embarrassment holds that the authors of the gospels had no reason to invent embarrassing incidents such as the denial of Jesus by Peter, or the fleeing of Jesus’ followers after his arrest, and therefore such details would likely not have been included unless they were true.[34] Bart Ehrman, using the criterion of dissimilarity to judge the historical reliability of the claim Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, notes that “it is hard to imagine a Christian inventing the story of Jesus’ baptism since this could be taken to mean that he was John’s subordinate.”[35] The criterion of multiple attestation says that when two or more independent sources present similar or consistent accounts, it is more likely that the accounts are accurate reports of events or that they are reporting a tradition which pre-dates the sources themselves.[36] This is often used to note that the four gospels attest to most of the same events, but that Paul’s epistles often attest to these events as well, as do the writings of the early church, and to a limited degree non-Christian ancient writings. The criterion of cultural and historical congruency says that a source is less credible if the account contradicts known historical facts, or if it conflicts with cultural practices common in the period in question.[37] It is, therefore, more credible if it agrees with those known facts. For example, this is often used when assessing the reliability of claims in Luke-Acts, such as the official title of Pontius Pilate. Through linguistic criteria a number of conclusions can be drawn. The criterion of “Aramaisms” as it is often referred[38] holds that if a saying of Jesus has Aramaic roots, reflecting Jesus’ Palestinian context, the saying is more likely to be authentic.[39]

Authorship and date

Most scholars hold to the two-source hypothesis which claims that the Gospel of Mark was written first. According to the hypothesis, the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke then used the Gospel of Mark and the hypothetical Q document, in addition to some other sources, to write their individual gospels.[40][41][42][43][44] These three gospels are called the Synoptic gospels since they are all very similar. Scholars agree that the Gospel of John was written last, by using a different tradition and body of testimony. In addition, most scholars agree that the author of Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles. Scholars hold that these books constituted two halves of a single work, Luke-Acts.

Strictly speaking, each gospel (and Acts) is anonymous.[45] The Gospel of John is somewhat of an exception, although the author simply refers to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved” and claims to be a member of Jesus’ inner circle.[46] During the 2nd century, each canonical gospel was attributed to an apostle or to the close associate of an apostle.

Mark

The Gospel of Mark may have been written by Mark the Evangelist, St. Peter‘s interpreter, as tradition holds.[47] Numerous early sources say that Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his gospel.[48][49][50][51][52] The gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, which vary in form and in theology, and which tell against the story that the gospel was based on Peter’s preaching.[53]

Most scholars believe that Mark was written around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in year 70.[54][55][56]

The theory that the Gospel of Mark was written first and is the earliest of the Gospels is not without its problems. For example, its author seemed to be ignorant of Palestinian geography. Mark 7:31 describes Jesus going from Tyre to the Sea of Galilee by way of Sidon (20 miles farther north and on the Mediterranean coast). [57] The author of Mark did not seem to know that you would not go through Sidon to go from Tyre to the Sea of Galilee, and there was no road from Sidon to the Sea of Galilee in the first century, only one from Tyre.[58][59] Catholic scholars have interpreted this passage as indicating “that Jesus traveled in a wide circle, first north, then east and south”.[60]

Matthew

According to the majority viewpoint, this gospel is unlikely to have been written by an eyewitness.[61] While Papias reported that Matthew had written the “Logia,” this can hardly be a reference to the Gospel of Matthew.[61] The author was probably a Jewish Christian writing for other Jewish Christians.[62]

Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100.[63][64][65][66]

Luke

Some scholars[67][68] uphold the traditional claim that Luke the Evangelist, an associate of St. Paul who was probably not an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Others point out that Acts contradicts Paul’s own letters and denies him the important title of apostle, suggesting that the author was no companion of Paul’s.[69]

Some scholars date the Gospel of Luke to c. 80-90,[70][71] although others argue for a date c. 60-65.[72]

The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were both written by the same author.[73] The most direct evidence comes from the prefaces of each book. Both prefaces were addressed to Theophilus, and Acts of the Apostles (1:1-2) says in reference to the Gospel of Luke, “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen.” (NIV) Furthermore, there are linguistic and theological similarities between the two works, suggesting that they have a common author.[74][75] Both books also contain common interests.[76] The book of Acts has been most commonly dated to the second half of the first century. Given that, therefore, Luke was written by the same person who wrote Acts, and that Acts must have been written in the early 60s AD (the book ends before the death of Paul, which most probably occurred during the Persecution of the Christians under Nero between AD 64 and AD 68), it would seem that Luke was written around AD 60. [77][78][79][80]

John

In the majority viewpoint, it is unlikely that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John.[81][82] Rather than a plain account of Jesus’ ministry, the gospel is a deeply meditated representation of Jesus’ character and teachings, making direct apostolic authorship unlikely.[83] Opinion, however, is widely divided on this issue and there is no widespread consensus.[84][85]

Most scholars date the Gospel of John to c. 80–95.[45][86]

Gospel

Traditional author and apostolic connection

Gospel of Matthew

Saint Matthew, a former tax-collector, one of the Twelve Apostles.

Gospel of Mark

Saint Mark, a disciple of Simon Peter, one of the Twelve

Gospel of Luke

Saint Luke, a companion of Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles

Gospel of John

Saint John, one of the Twelve, referred to in the text as the beloved disciple

Textual criticism and interpolations

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/97/Byzantinischer_Maler_um_1020_003.jpg/200px-Byzantinischer_Maler_um_1020_003.jpg

 

An 11th century Byzantine manuscript containing the opening of the Gospel of Luke.

Textual criticism deals with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts. Ancient scribes made errors or alterations (such as including non-authentic additions).[87] In attempting to determine the original text of the New Testament books, some modern textual critics have identified sections as additions of material, centuries after the gospel was written. These are called interpolations. In modern translations of the Bible, the results of textual criticism have led to certain verses, words and phrases being left out or marked as not original.

For example, there are a number of Bible verses in the New Testament that are present in the King James Version (KJV) but are absent from most modern Bible translations. Most modern textual scholars consider these verses interpolations (exceptions include advocates of the Byzantine or Majority text). The verse numbers have been reserved, but without any text, so as to preserve the traditional numbering of the remaining verses. The Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman notes that many current verses were not part of the original text of the New Testament. “These scribal additions are often found in late medieval manuscripts of the New Testament, but not in the manuscripts of the earlier centuries,” he adds. “And because the King James Bible is based on later manuscripts, such verses “became part of the Bible tradition in English-speaking lands.”[88] He notes, however, that modern English translations, such as the New International Version, were written by using a more appropriate textual method.[89]

Most modern Bibles have footnotes to indicate passages that have disputed source documents. Bible Commentaries also discuss these, sometimes in great detail. While many variations have been discovered between early copies of biblical texts, most of these are variations in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Also, many of these variants are so particular to the Greek language that they would not appear in translations into other languages.[90]

Two of the most important interpolations are the last verses of the Gospel of Mark[91][92][93] and the story of the adulterous woman in the Gospel of John.[94][95][96] Some critics also believe the explicit reference to the Trinity in 1 John to have been a later addition.[97][98]

The New Testament has been preserved in more than 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Ethiopic and Armenian. Even if the original Greek versions were lost, the entire New Testament could still be assembled from the translations.[90] In addition, there are so many quotes from the New Testament in early church documents and commentaries that the entire New Testament could also be assembled from these alone.[90] Not all biblical manuscripts come from orthodox Christian writers. For example, the Gnostic writings of Valentinus come from the 2nd century AD, and these Christians were regarded as heretics by the mainstream church.[99] The sheer number of witnesses presents unique difficulties, although it gives scholars a better idea of how close modern bibles are to the original versions.[99] Bruce Metzger says “The more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the more you can cross-check them to figure out what the original document was like. The only way they’d agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts.[90]

In “The Text Of The New Testament“, Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland compare the total number of variant-free verses, and the number of variants per page (excluding orthographic errors), among the seven major editions of the Greek NT (Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort, von Soden, Vogels, Merk, Bover and Nestle-Aland) concluding 62.9%, or 4999/7947, agreement.[100] They concluded, “Thus in nearly two-thirds of the New Testament text, the seven editions of the Greek New Testament which we have reviewed are in complete accord, with no differences other than in orthographical details (e.g., the spelling of names, etc.). Verses in which any one of the seven editions differs by a single word are not counted. … In the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation the agreement is less, while in the letters it is much greater”[100] Per Aland and Aland, the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of Matthew was 60% (642 verses out of 1071), the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of Mark was 45% (306 verses out of 678), the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of Luke was 57% (658 verses out of 1151), and the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of John was 52% (450 verses out of 869).[100] Almost all of these variants are minor, and most of them are spelling or grammatical errors. Almost all can be explained by some type of unintentional scribal mistake, such as poor eyesight. Very few variants are contested among scholars, and few or none of the contested variants carry any theological significance. Modern biblical translations reflect this scholarly consensus where the variants exist, while the disputed variants are typically noted as such in the translations.[101]

External sources

In addition to the internal and textual reliability of the gospels, external sources can also be used to assess historical reliability. There are passages relevant to Christianity in the works of four major non-Christian writers of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries – Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger. However, these are generally references to Early Christians rather than a historical Jesus. Of the four, Josephus’ writings, which document John the Baptist, James the Just, and Jesus, are of the most interest to scholars dealing with the historicity of Jesus (see below). Tacitus, in his Annals written c. 115, mentions Christus, without many historical details (see also: Tacitus on Jesus). There is an obscure reference to a Jewish leader called “Chrestus” in Suetonius. (According to Suetonius, chapter 25, there occurred in Rome, during the reign of emperor Claudius (c. AD 50), “persistent disturbances … at the instigation of Chrestus”.[citation needed] Mention in Acts of “After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.”

[edit] Preserved by the church

Paul of Tarsus, a 1st century Pharisaic Jew who experienced a conversion to faith in Jesus, dictated letters to various churches and individuals from c. 48–68.[102] Though there are debates on Paul’s authorship for some of these epistles, almost all scholars agree that Paul wrote the central corpus of these letters (such as the Epistle to the Romans and 1 Corinthians. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor believes that the historical Jesus is fundamental to the teachings of Paul, who rejected the separation of the Jesus of faith from the Jesus of history.[103] While not personally an eye-witness of Jesus’ ministry, Paul states that he was acquainted with people who had known Jesus: the apostle Peter (also known as Cephas), the apostle John, and James, described as the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19). Likewise, Paul alludes to Jesus’ humanity and divinity, the Last Supper, his crucifixion, and reports of his resurrection.[104]

The authors whose works are contained in the New Testament sometimes quote from creeds, or confessions of faith, that obviously predate their writings. Scholars believe that some of these creeds date to within a few years of Jesus’ death, and developed within the Christian community in Jerusalem.[105] Though embedded within the texts of the New Testament, these creeds are a distinct source for Early Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4[106] reads: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” This contains a Christian creed of pre-Pauline origin.[107] The antiquity of the creed has been located by many Biblical scholars to less than a decade after Jesus’ death, originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community.[108] Concerning this creed, Campenhausen wrote, “This account meets all the demands of historical reliability that could possibly be made of such a text,”[109] whilst A. M. Hunter said, “The passage therefore preserves uniquely early and verifiable testimony. It meets every reasonable demand of historical reliability.”[110] Other relevant creeds which predate the texts wherein they are found[111] that have been identified are 1 John 4:2:[112] “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God”,[113][114] “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, this is my Gospel”,[115] Romans|1:3-4:[116] “regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”,[117] and 1 Timothy 3:16:[118] “He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory,” an early creedal hymn.[119]

Thallus, of whom very little is known, wrote a history from the Trojan War to about his own day, though none of his works survive. Julius Africanus, writing c. 221, while writing about the crucifixion of Jesus, mentioned Thallus. He wrote, “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in his third book of History, calls (as appears to me without reason) an eclipse of the sun.”[120] Lucian, a 2nd century Roman satirist, wrote, “the Christians, you know, worship a man to this day — the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account… You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.”[121] Celsus wrote, about 180, a book against the Christians, which is now only known through Origen’s refutation of it. Celsus apparently accused Jesus of being a magician and a sorcerer[122] and is quoted as saying that Jesus was a “mere man”.[123] F. F. Bruce noted that Celsus, in seeking to discredit Jesus, sought to explain his miracles rather than claim they never occurred.[124]

The church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (264 – 340) cited a statement of the 2nd-century pagan chronicler Phlegon of Tralles that during the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (AD 32/33) “a great eclipse of the sun occurred at the sixth hour that excelled every other before it, turning the day into such darkness of night that the stars could be seen in heaven, and the earth moved in Bithynia, toppling many buildings in the city of Nicaea“.[125] In the same passage, Eusebius cited another unnamed Greek source also recording earthquakes in the same locations and an eclipse. Eusebius argued the two records had documented events that were simultaneous with the crucifixion of Jesus. Tertullian, in his Apologetics, tells the story of the darkness that had commenced at noon during the crucifixion; those who were unaware of the prediction, he says, “no doubt thought it an eclipse”.[126] Though he does not mention the claims of others, he suggests to the church’s critics that the evidence is still available: “You yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives.”[127] The early historian and theologian, Rufinus of Aquileia wrote of the apologetic defense given by Lucian of Antioch, around 300 AD.[128] Lucian, like Tertullian, was also convinced that an account of the darkness that accompanied the crucifixion could be found among Roman records. Ussher recorded Lucian’s word’s on the matter, presumably also to church critics, as “Search your writings and you shall find that, in Pilate’s time, when Christ suffered, the sun was suddenly withdrawn and a darkness followed.”[129]

Outside of the church

Flavius Josephus, a Jew and a Roman citizen who worked under a couple Roman emperors, wrote near the end of the 1st century. Once (the Testimonium Flavianum), Josephus says Jesus “was the Christ. When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned him to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease to follow him, for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvellous things concerning him.”[130] Concerns have been raised about the authenticity of the passage, and it is widely held by scholars that at least part of the passage has been altered by a later scribe. For example, where the version now says “he was the Christ”, its original form may have been “he was thought to be the Christ.” Judging from Alice Whealey‘s 2003 survey of the historiography, it seems that the majority of modern scholars consider that Josephus really did write something here about Jesus, but that the text that has reached us is corrupt.[131] There has been no consensus on which portions have been altered, or to what degree.[132] In the second, brief mention, Josephus calls James “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.”[133] The great majority of scholars consider this shorter reference to Jesus to be substantially authentic (although the parallel passage is missing from The Jewish War).[134] About a decade after Josephus’ writings, Pliny the Younger (c. 61 – c. 112), a Roman governor, wrote to Emperor Trajan concerning how to deal with Christians, who refused to worship the emperor, and instead worshiped Jesus. His letters show the Christians in his day to be very strongly devoted, and enough of a problem for him to request advice from the emperor.

Tacitus, writing c. 116, included in his Annals a mention of Christianity and “Christus”, viewed by most scholars as a reference to Jesus. In describing Nero’s persecution of this group following the Great Fire of Rome c. 64, he wrote, “Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome.”[135] There have been suggestions that this was a Christian interpolation but most scholars conclude that the passage was written by Tacitus.[136] R. E. Van Voorst noted the improbability that later Christians would have interpolated “such disparaging remarks about Christianity”.[137][138] Suetonius (c. 69140) wrote in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars about riots which broke out in the Jewish community in Rome under the emperor Claudius. He said, “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome”.[139] The event was noted in Acts 18:2. The term Chrestus also appears in some later texts applied to Jesus, and Robert Graves,[140] among others,[141] consider it a variant spelling of Christ, or at least a reasonable spelling error.

The Talmud, a series of religious documents created by Jewish scholars between 200 and 500 AD, refer to Jesus using the term “Yeshu.” These references probably date back to the 2nd century.[142] One important reference relates the trial and execution of Jesus and his disciples,[142] saying “On the eve of Passover they hung Yeshu and the crier went forth for forty days beforehand declaring that “[Yeshu] is going to be stoned for practicing witchcraft, for enticing and leading Israel astray….But no one had anything exonerating for him and they hung him on the eve of Passover”.[143] These early possible references to Jesus have little historical information independent from the gospels, but they do seem to reflect the historical Jesus as a man who had disciples and was crucified during Passover.[142] F. F. Bruce noted that, in attempting to discredit Jesus, the passage sought to explain his miracles rather than claim they never occurred.[124] Around the time these passages were being written, Mara (a Syrian Stoic)[142] was imprisoned by the Romans and wrote a letter to his son. In it he said, “For what benefit did…the Jews by the murder of their Wise King, seeing that from that very time their kingdom was driven away from them? For with justice did God grant a recompense…and the Jews, brought to desolation and expelled from their kingdom, are driven away into every land.” CCEL Some scholars believe this describes the fall of Jerusalem as the gods’ punishment for the Jews having killed Jesus.[142] The Dead Sea scrolls are 1st century or older writings that show the language and customs of some Jews of Jesus’ time.[144] According to Henry Chadwick, similar uses of languages and viewpoints recorded in the New Testament and the Dead Sea scrolls are valuable in showing that the New Testament portrays the 1st century period that it reports and is not a product of a later period.[145][146]

Archeology and geography

There is no archaeological evidence supporting the existence of a historical Jesus or any of the apostles,[147] although various other details mentioned in the gospels have since been verified by archaeological evidence, such as the actual existence of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion,[148] and the Pool of Bethesda.[149]

Luke’s reliability as a historian is questioned.[150] Thomas Howe examined Luke’s description of Paul’s sea journeys, including Luke’s references to thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine islands, and stated that he could not find any mistakes.[151] However Powell states that Luke’s knowledge of Palestinian geography seems so inadequate that one prominent scholar was lead to remark “Jesus route cannot be reconstructed on a map, and in any case Luke did not possess one”.[150] Powell states that “if Luke intended to write history he did so poorly, but he did not so intend. Luke was a theologian, not a historian.[150][152] A narrative which includes supernatural phenomena such as angels and demons is problematic as a historical source.”[150]

Gospels

Mark

Mark is the primary source for information about Jesus.[153] It was possibly composed at Rome.[154] New Testament scholars generally credit its account of Jesus as a Galilean holy man, including his baptism by John the Baptist, his reputation as an exorcist and healer, his preaching about the coming Kingdom of God, his band of close disciples, the disruption he caused at the Temple, his betrayal, and his crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.[4][6] In 1901, William Wrede challenged the historical reliability of the gospel, concluding especially that Mark portrays Jesus as secretive about his messianic identity because the historical Jesus had never claimed to be the Messiah.[155][156] Form criticism later revealed that the narrative comprises fragments put in order by Mark, or by someone before him.[47][157] While the majority of scholars consider Jesus to have been an apocalyptic prophet, as he appears in Mark, a minority of prominent contemporary scholars argue that his coming kingdom was to be a social revolution rather than a supernatural apocalypse.[158]

Matthew

Matthew was most likely written at Antioch, then part of Roman Syria.[159] Most scholars hold that Matthew drew heavily on Mark and added teaching from the Q document.[61] While Matthew arranged this material into compilations, such as the Sermon on the Mount, much of the material goes back to the historical Jesus.[160] The infancy narrative, however, is apparently an invention.[161] Matthew presents Jesus’ ministry as limited to the Jews, though the resurrected Jesus later commissions the disciples to preach to all the world. Geza Vermes judges that the ministry of Jesus was exclusively for Jews and that the order to proclaim the gospel to all nations was an early Christian development.[162]

Luke

Luke was written in a large city west of Palestine.[163] Like Matthew, Luke drew on Mark and added material from Q.[164] Luke also includes a large amount of unique material, such as the parable of the good Samaritan, and many of these parables seem to be authentic.[165] Luke emphasizes the universal nature of Jesus’ mission and message,[166] but Geza Vermes concludes that this theme is not authentic to the historical Jesus.[167] Like Matthew’s birth narrative, Luke’s seems to be an invention.[161]

John

John was composed at Ephesus.[168] many believe that Jesus’ teaching in this gospel cannot be reconciled with that found in the synoptics, and prefer the synoptics for a view of Jesus’ teaching.[169]

Noncanonical gospels

Attention paid to noncanonical sources is a feature of current historical Jesus research.[170] In particular, the Q source and the Gospel of Thomas have both taken on increased significance for scholars.[170] Some scholars, such as John Dominic Crossan, even argue that noncanonical sources are to be preferred over canonical sources.[170] The gospel of Thomas includes many parallels to authentic parables, aphorisms, and beatitudes found in the synoptics, and two of its unique parables bear the hallmarks of Jesus’ authentic style of teaching.[171]

Notes

1.       ^ The unknown historical provenance of the Gospels was a theme discussed in the three-part Channel 4 documentary series shown in April 1984 entitled Jesus: The Evidence made by London Weekend Television and directed by David W. Rolfe. Participants included Werner Kümmel, Dennis Nineham, Canon Anthony Harvey, Géza Vermès, Helmut Koester, Gilles Quispel, G. A. Wells, Ian Wilson and Howard Marshall. Cited in Géza Vermès, Searching For The Real Jesus: The Dead Sea Scrolls And Other Religious Themes, pages 63-72 (London: SCM Press, 2009). ISBN 978-0-334-04358-1

2.       ^ Mark Allan Powell (editor), The New Testament Today, page 50 (Westminster John Knox Press, 1999). ISBN 0-664-25824-7

3.       ^ Stanley E, Porter (editor), Handbook to Exegisis of the New Testament, page 68 (Leiden, 1997). ISBN 90-04-09921-2

4.       ^ a b c Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993.

5.       ^ “The Synoptic Gospels, then, are the primary sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus.” “Jesus Christ.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Nov. 2010 [1].

6.       ^ a b Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004.

7.       ^ The Myth about Jesus, Allvar Ellegard 1992,

8.       ^ Craig Evans, “Life-of-Jesus Research and the Eclipse of Mythology,” Theological Studies 54 (1993) p. 5,

9.       ^ a b Charles H. Talbert, What Is a Gospel? The Genre of Canonical Gospels pg 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977).

10.    ^ a b “The Historical Figure of Jesus,” Sanders, E.P., Penguin Books: London, 1995, p., 3.

11.    ^ a b Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word (Vol. II): Meditations on the Gospel According to St. Matthew – Dr Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Ignatius Press, Introduction

12.    ^ a b c d Grant, Robert M., “A Historical Introduction to the New Testament” (Harper and Row, 1963) http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1116&C=1230

13.    ^ Who is Jesus? Answers to your questions about the historical Jesus, by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts (Westminster John Knox Press 1999), page 108

14.    ^ James G. D. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, (Eerdmans, 2003) page 779-781.

15.    ^ Rev. John Edmunds, 1855 The seven sayings of Christ on the cross Thomas Hatchford Publishers, London, page 26

16.    ^ Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978 ISBN 0-664-24195-6

17.    ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. “Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension” p. 449-495.

18.    ^ Bruce M. Metzger‘s Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament: Luke 24:51 is missing in some important early witnesses, Acts 1 varies between the Alexandrian and Western versions.

19.    ^ Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994); pages 90-91

20.    ^ Howard M. Teeple (March 1970). “The Oral Tradition That Never Existed”. Journal of Biblical Literature 89 (1): 56–68. doi:10.2307/3263638.

21.    ^ “Historicity”, The Oxford English Dictionary.

22.    ^ a b Craig L. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey (2nd Edition).425.

23.    ^ Paul Rhodes Eddy & Gregory A. Boyd, The Jesus Legend:A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. (2008, Baker Academic).309-262.

24.    ^ Craig L. Blomberg, Historical Reliability of the Gospels (1986, Inter-Varsity Press).19-72.

25.    ^ Paul Rhodes Eddy & Gregory A. Boyd, The Jesus Legend:A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. (2008, Baker Academic).237-308.

26.    ^ Craig L. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey (2nd Edition).424.

27.    ^ Graham Stanton, Jesus and Gospel. p.192.

28.    ^ Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0860120066 pages 730-741

29.    ^ Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. 117.

30.    ^ James D.G. Dunn, “Messianic Ideas and Their Influence on the Jesus of History,” in The Messiah, ed. James H. Charlesworth. pp. 371-372. Cf. James D.G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered.

31.    ^ [2], retrieved 15nov2010

32.    ^ Norman Perrin, Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus 43.

33.    ^ Christopher Tuckett, “Sources and Method” in The Cambridge Companion to Jesus. ed. Markus Bockmuehl. 132.

34.    ^ Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Doubleday: 1991. vol 1: pp. 168–171.

35.    ^ Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament:A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.194-5.

36.    ^ The criteria for authenticity in historical-Jesus research: previous discussion and new proposals, by Stanley E. Porter, pg. 118

37.    ^ The criteria for authenticity in historical-Jesus research: previous discussion and new proposals, by Stanley E. Porter, pg. 119

38.    ^ Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament:A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.193.

39.    ^ Stanley E. Porter, The Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research: previous discussion and new proposals.127.

40.    ^ Peter, Kirby (2001-2007). “Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Mark”. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/mark.html. Retrieved 2008-01-15.

41.    ^ Achtemeier, Paul J. (1991-). “The Gospel of Mark”. The Anchor Bible Dictonary. 4. New York, New York: Doubleday. p. 545. ISBN 0385193629.

42.    ^ M.G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897), “Luke, Gospel According To”

43.    ^ Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew. 2. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. 955–6. ISBN 0385469934.

44.    ^ Helms, Randel (1997). Who Wrote the Gospels?. Altadena, California: Millennium Press. p. 8. ISBN 0965504727.

45.    ^ a b Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.

46.    ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. “John” p. 302-310

47.    ^ a b “Mark, Gospel of St.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

48.    ^ Bernd Kollmann, Joseph Barnabas (Liturgical Press, 2004), page 30.

49.    ^ Paul L. Maier, The Church History, Kregel Publications, 2007 p 114

50.    ^ F. L. Cross & E. A. Livingstone, The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press, 1989 pp. 874-875

51.    ^ Thomas Patrick Halton, On illustrious men, Volume 100 of Fathers of the Church, CUA Press, 1999 pp.17-19 [3] and the Early Church Fathers

52.    ^ Senior, Donald P. (1998). “Mark”. In Ferguson, Everett. Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (2nd ed.). New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc.. p. 719. ISBN 0-8153-3319-6

53.    ^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 24-27.

54.    ^ Funk, Robert W.; Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (1993). The five Gospels: the search for the authentic words of Jesus: new translation and commentary. New York, New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0025419498.

55.    ^ Crossan, John Dominic (1991). The historical Jesus: the life of a Mediterranean Jewish peasant. San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0060616296.

56.    ^ Eisenman, Robert H. (1998). James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Penguin Books. p. 56. ISBN 014025773X.

57.    ^ “Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.”

58.    ^ C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to St Mark, page 250 (Cambridge University Press, 1959).

59.    ^ Dennis Nineham, The Gospel of St Mark, pages 40, 203 (New York: Seabury, 1968).

60.    ^ Mary Healy, The Gospel of Mark (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture), page 146 (Baker Academic, 2008). ISBN 978-0-8010-3586-9

61.    ^ a b c “Matthew, Gospel acc. to St.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

62.    ^ “Numerous textual indications point to an author who was a Jewish Christian writing for Christians of similar background.” “Gospel According to Matthew.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Nov. 2010 [4].

63.    ^ Ehrman 2004, p. 110 and Harris 1985 both specify a range c. 80-85; Gundry 1982, Hagner 1993, and Blomberg 1992 argue for a date before 70.

64.    ^ The Gospel of Matthew p 1

65.    ^ http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/matthew.html

66.    ^ Brown 1997, p. 172

67.    ^ The tradition “has been widely accepted.” “Luke, Gospel of.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

68.    ^ The tradition is “occasionally put forward.” Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 32.

69.    ^ The author was “certainly not a companion of Paul.” Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 32.

70.    ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. p. 226. ISBN 0-385-24767-2.

71.    ^ Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Doubleday, 1991, v. 1, pp. 43

72.    ^ “Introduction to the New Testament”, chapter on Luke, by D. Carson and D. Moo, Zondervan Books (2005)

73.    ^ Horrell, DG, An Introduction to the study of Paul, T&T Clark, 2006, 2nd Ed.,p.7; cf. W. L. Knox, The Acts of the Apostles (1948), p. 2-15 for detailed arguments that still stand.

74.    ^ on linguistics, see A. Kenny, A stylometric Study of the New Testament (1986).

75.    ^ Udo Schnelle. The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p. 259.

76.    ^ F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles (1952), p2.

77.    ^ “The Dating of the New Testament”. bethinking.org. http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=233. Retrieved 2007-07-05.

78.    ^ Guthrie, Donald. “Nine”. New Testament Introduction (third ed.). Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 340–345. ISBN 0-87784-953-6.

79.    ^ The suggested traces can be found at [ Ignatius] and [ Polycarp]. The resemblance of Acts 13:22 and First Clement 18:1, in features not found in Psalms 89:20 quoted by each, can hardly be accidental; the date of Ignatius depends on later synchronisms with Trajan, which are disputable.

80.    ^ Guthrie, Donald. “Nine”. New Testament Introduction (third ed.). Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 347–348. ISBN 0-87784-953-6.

81.    ^ “To most modern scholars direct apostolic authorship has therefore seemed unlikely.” “John, Gospel of.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

82.    ^ Gospel According to John, Encyclopædia Britannica

83.    ^ “John, Gospel of.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

84.    ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. p. 164. ISBN 0-385-24767-2.

85.    ^ Kirby, Peter. “Gospel of Mark” earlychristianwritings.com Retrieved January 30, 2010.

86.    ^ Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? p.7

87.    ^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus (2005), p. 46

88.    ^ Ehrman, Bart D.. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperCollins, 2005, p. 265. ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4

89.    ^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus Ch 3, (2005)

90.    ^ a b c d Strobel, Lee. ”The Case for Christ”. 1998. Chapter three, when quoting biblical scholar Bruce Metzger

91.    ^ Guy D. Nave, The role and function of repentance in Luke-Acts,p. 194

92.    ^ John Shelby Spong, “The Continuing Christian Need for Judaism”, Christian Century September 26, 1979, p. 918. see http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1256

93.    ^ Feminist companion to the New Testament and early Christian writings, Volume 5, by Amy-Jill Levine, Marianne Blickenstaff, pg. 175

94.    ^ “NETBible: John 7”. Bible.org. http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Joh&chapter=7#n139. Retrieved 2009-10-17. See note 139 on that page.

95.    ^ Keith, Chris (2008). “Recent and Previous Research on the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)”. Currents in Biblical Research 6 (3): 377–404. doi:10.1177/1476993X07084793.

96.    ^ ‘Pericope adulterae’, in FL Cross (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

97.    ^ Ehrman 2006, p. 166

98.    ^ Bruce Metzger “A Textual Commentary on the New Testament”, Second Edition, 1994, German Bible Society

99.    ^ a b Bruce, F.F. (1981). P 14. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press

100.^ a b c K. Aland and B. Aland, “The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions & to the Theory & Practice of Modern Textual Criticism“, 1995, op. cit., p. 29-30.

101.^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, Ch 3, (2005)

102.^ Joseph Barber Lightfoot in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians writes: “At this point Gal 6:11 the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (2 Thess 2:2; 3:17) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries… In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his handwriting may reflect the energy and determination of his soul.”

103.^ Jerome Murphy-O’Connor (1 May 1998). Paul: a critical life. Oxford University Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 9780192853424. http://books.google.com/?id=yTddaMGsuWMC&pg=PA91. Retrieved 28 July 2010.

104.^ Bruce, F. F. (1977), Paul and Jesus, London: SPCK, pp.19-29; cf. Rom 1:1-4, 1 Cor 11:23-26, 1 Cor 2:8, and 1 Cor 15:3-8

105.^ Oscar Cullmann, The Earliest Christian Confessions, translated by J. K. S. Reid, (London: Lutterworth, 1949)

106.^ 1Corinthians 15:3-4

107.^ Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) p. 47

§  Reginald H. Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (New York: Macmillan, 1971) p. 10

§  Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90

§  Oscar Cullmann, The Earlychurch: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 64

§  Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, translated James W. Leitch (Philadelphia: Fortress 1969) p. 251

§  Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol. 1 pp. 45, 80–82, 293

§  R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81, 92

108.^ see Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968)p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 66–66; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986 pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus.

109.^ Hans von Campenhausen, “The Events of Easter and the Empty Tomb,” in Tradition and Life in the Church (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968) p. 44

110.^ Archibald Hunter, Works and Words of Jesus (1973) p. 100

111.^ James L. Bailey; Lyle D. Vander Broek (1992). Literary forms in the New Testament: a handbook. Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 83–. ISBN 9780664251543. http://books.google.com/?id=E6gg5YCDxucC&pg=PA83. Retrieved 31 July 2010.

112.^ 1John 4:2

113.^ Cullmann, Confessions p. 32

114.^ 2Timothy 2:8

115.^ Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol 1, pp. 49, 81; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus translated Norman Perrin (London: SCM Press, 1966) p. 102

116.^ Romans 1:3-4

117.^ Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) pp. 118, 283, 367; Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) pp. 7, 50; C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and its Developments (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980) p. 14

118.^ 1Timothy 3:16

119.^ Reginald Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scriner’s, 1965) pp. 214, 216, 227, 239; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus translated Norman Perrin (London: SCM Press, 1966) p. 102; Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) pp. 7, 9, 128

120.^ Julius Africanus, Extant Writings XVIII in Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973) vol. VI, p. 130

121.^ Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11–13 in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, translated by H. W. Fowler (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949) vol. 4

122.^ Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) pp. 78–79.

123.^ Celsus the First Nietzsche

124.^ a b Bruce, F.F. (1981). The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=mtyPMWgtKLMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+new+testament+documents&hl=en&ei=EACyTK3FCIT48AbNhdWdCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.

125.^ Chronicle, Olympiad 202, trans. Carrier (1999).

126.^ Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19 cited in Bouw, G. D. (1998, Spring). The darkness during the crucifixion. The Biblical Astronomer, 8(84). Retrieved November 30, 2006 from [5].

127.^ Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19

128.^ Rufinus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 9, Chapter 6

129.^ Ussher, J., & Pierce, L. (Trans.)(2007). Annals of the World [p. 822]. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Publishing Group. ISBN 0-89051-510-7

130.^ Josephus Antiquities 18.3.3

131.^ Alice Whealey, Josephus on Jesus (New York, 2003) p.194.

132.^ Vermes, Géza. (1987). The Jesus notice of Josephus re-examined. Journal of Jewish Studies

133.^ Josephus Antiquities 20:9.1

134.^ Louis H. Feldman, “Josephus” Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 3, pp. 990–91

135.^ Tacitus, Annals 15.44 (Latin, English and also at Fordham.edu)

136.^ Robert Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament, pp. 42–43 as quoted at earlychristianwritings.com

137.^ Robert E. Van Voorst (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans. p. 43. See also the criterion of embarrassment

138.^ Theissen and Merz p.83

139.^ Iudaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit; Uchicago.edu

140.^ see his translation of Suetonius, Claudius 25, in The Twelve Caesars (Baltimore: Penguin, 1957), and his introduction p. 7, cf. p. 197

141.^ Francois Amiot, Jesus A Historical Person p. 8; F. F. Bruce, Christian Origins p. 21

142.^ a b c d e Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition)

143.^ Sanhedrin 43a.

144.^ Douglas R. Edwards (2004). Religion and society in Roman Palestine: old questions, new approaches. Routledge. pp. 164–. ISBN 9780415305976. http://books.google.com/?id=Wq-zBEqzRx0C&pg=PA164. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

145.^ Henry Chadwick (2003). The Church in ancient society: from Galilee to Gregory the Great. Oxford University Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 9780199265770. http://books.google.com/?id=nLic1cabc8gC&pg=PA15. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

146.^ George J. Brooke (1 May 2005). The Dead Sea scrolls and the New Testament. Fortress Press. pp. 20–. ISBN 9780800637231. http://books.google.com/?id=hPx8vvYPuc8C&pg=PA20. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

147.^ Biblical archaeology, Short Introduction, Eric H. Cline, p. 103

148.^ R. Russell, Fallen Empires, BibleHistory, 2010. p 1-2

149.^ James H. Charlesworth, Jesus and archaeology, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006. p 566

150.^ a b c d Powell, Mark (1989). What are they saying about Luke?. Paulist Press. p. 6. ISBN 0809131110. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9jRu8_-GlKMC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=jesus’+route+cannot+be+reconstructed+on+any+map+and+in+any+case+luke+did+not+possess+one&source=bl&ots=yv5qIErQcq&sig=F00YDmWOvJ6Y7vDTWCGSeeTaHP0&hl=en&ei=mafFTLj_C4K3cN389NgL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=jesus’%20route%20cannot%20be%20reconstructed%20on%20any%20map%20and%20in%20any%20case%20luke%20did%20not%20possess%20one&f=false.

151.^ Howe, Thomas, “When Critics Ask” (Wheaton Ill: Victor, 1992), 385.

152.^ Powell, Mark (1989). What are they saying about Luke?. Paulist Press. p. 6. ISBN 0809131110. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9jRu8_-GlKMC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=jesus’+route+cannot+be+reconstructed+on+any+map+and+in+any+case+luke+did+not+possess+one&source=bl&ots=yv5qIErQcq&sig=F00YDmWOvJ6Y7vDTWCGSeeTaHP0&hl=en&ei=mafFTLj_C4K3cN389NgL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=jesus’%20route%20cannot%20be%20reconstructed%20on%20any%20map%20and%20in%20any%20case%20luke%20did%20not%20possess%20one&f=false.

153.^ ‘[A]s the earliest Gospel, [Mark] is the primary source of information about the ministry of Jesus.’ “The Gospel According to Mark.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Nov. 2010 [6].

154.^ …Overall, then, the internal evidence is not unfavorable to the tradition that Rome was the place of provenance for Mark….Antioch and Rome:New Testament cradles of Catholic Christianity By Raymond Edward Brown, John P. Meier,p197,

155.^ “Messianic secret.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

156.^ “Wrede, William.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

157.^ “form criticism.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

158.^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). Chapter 1. Quest of the historical Jesus. p. 1-16

159.^ …Modern scholarship has tended to place Matthew in Syria, especially in Antioch…..Matthew: a shorter commentary By Dale C. Allison,Introduction,pXIII

160.^ Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. “Matthew” p. 129-270

161.^ a b ‘The clearest cases of invention are in the birth narratives.’ Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993. p. 85

162.^ ‘[T]he order to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the nations must be struck out from the list of the authentic sayings of Jesus.’ Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004. Chapter 10: Towards the authentic gospel. p. 376–380.

163.^ “Luke will have been composed in a large city west of Palestine.” Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 32.

164.^ “biblical literature.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Nov. 2010 [7].

165.^ Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. “Luke” p. 271-400

166.^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. “Luke” p. 297-301

167.^ ‘[T]he order to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the nations must be struck out from the list of the authentic sayings of Jesus.’ Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004. Chapter 10: Towards the authentic gospel. p. 370-397.

168.^ Aune, David. The Westminster dictionary of New Testament and early Christian literature. p. 243. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=nhhdJ-fkywYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Westminster+dictionary+of+New+Testament+and+early+Christian+literature+…++By+David+Edward+Aune&hl=en&ei=LTvlTLfOOI30vQPfjLnLDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ephesus&f=false.

169.^ ‘John, however, is so different that it cannot be reconciled with the Synoptics except in very general ways (e.g., Jesus lived in Palestine, taught, healed, was crucified and raised). . . The greatest differences, though, appear in the methods and content of Jesus’ teaching. . . Scholars have unanimously chosen the Synoptic Gospels’ version of Jesus’ teaching.’ “Jesus Christ.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Nov. 2010 [8].

170.^ a b c Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 11

171.^ These are the parable of the empty jar and the parable of the assassin. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. “The Gospel of Thomas,” p 471-532.

 

Historical Reliability Of The Gospels By Wiki

Historical Reliability of the Gospels

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The historical reliability of the Gospels refers to the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents. It is not known who wrote the Gospels, when they were written, or where they were written. This historical vacuum is filled by scholars’ hypotheses (see below).[1]

The gospels of the New Testament were written in Greek for Greek-speaking communities, [2] that were later translated into Syriac, Latin and Coptic. [3]

These gospels, the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John recount the life, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Historians often study the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles when studying the reliability of the gospels, as it was written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke and many believe[who?] that it could have been originally written along with the gospel as part of a two-volume series, known as Luke-Acts, although there are passages in Acts that contradict Luke. Historians subject the gospels to critical analysis, attempting to differentiate authentic, reliable information from possible inventions, exaggerations, and alterations.[4]

According to the majority viewpoint, the Synoptic Gospels are the primary sources of historical information about Jesus.[4][5][6] and of the religious movement he founded, but not everything contained in the gospels is considered to be historically reliable.[7][8][9][10][11][12] Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the Nativity of Jesus, as well as the resurrection and certain details about the crucifixion.[13][14][15][16][17][18] On one extreme, some Christian scholars maintain that the gospels are inerrant descriptions of the life of Jesus.[19] On the other extreme, some scholars have concluded that the gospels provide no historical information about Jesus’ life.[20]

The Gospel of Mark, believed to be the first written of the four gospels, narrates the Baptism of Jesus, his preaching, and the Crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew and Luke follow Mark’s narrative, with some changes, and add substantial amounts of Jesus’ ethical teaching, such as The Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount and Sermon on the Plain. The fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, differs greatly from the first three gospels. Acts of the Apostles narrates the events of the Apostolic Age, from the resurrection of Jesus around 33 AD to the arrival of Paul the Apostle in Rome around 62 AD. The canonical gospels, overall, are considered to have more historically authentic content than the various non-canonical gospels. The synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) are considered more historically reliable than John.

Since the gospel manuscripts include many variants, scholars use textual criticism to determine which variants were original. They also determine which details can be trusted within the context of the 1st century Greco-Roman world and which cannot. To answer this question, scholars have to ask who wrote the gospels, when they wrote them, what sources the authors used, how reliable these sources were, and how far removed in time the sources were from the events they describe. Scholars can also look into the internal evidence of the documents, to see if, for example, the document is making claims about geography that were correct, or if the author appears to be hiding embarrassing information. Finally, scholars turn to external sources, including the testimony of early church leaders, writers outside the church (mainly Jewish and Greco-Roman historians) who would have been more likely to have criticized the church, and to archeological evidence.

Historical reliability of the Gospels

When judging the historical reliability of the gospels, scholars ask if the accounts in the gospels are, when judged using normal standards that historians use on other ancient writings, reliable or not.[21] The main issues are whether the original gospel works were accurate eyewitness accounts, and whether those original versions have been transmitted accurately through the ages to us. In evaluating the historical reliability of the Gospels, scholars consider a number of factors. These include authorship and date of composition,[22] intention and genre,[23] gospel sources and oral tradition,[24][25] textual criticism,[26] and historical authenticity of specific sayings and narrative events.[22]

The genre of the gospels is essential in understanding the intentions of the authors regarding the historical value of the texts. New Testament scholar Graham Stanton states that “the gospels are now widely considered to be a sub-set of the broad ancient literary genre of biographies.”[27] Charles H. Talbert agrees that the gospels should be grouped with the Graeco-Roman biographies, but adds that such biographies included an element of mythology, and that the synoptic gospels also included elements of mythology.[9] E.P. Sanders states that “these Gospels were written with the intention of glorifying Jesus and are not strictly biographical in nature.”[10] Ingrid Maisch and Anton Vögtle writing for Karl Rahner in his encylopedia of theological terms indicate that that the gospels were written primarily as theological, not historical items.[28] Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis notes that “we must conclude, then, that the genre of the Gospel is not that of pure “history”; but neither is it that of myth, fairy tale, or legend. In fact, “gospel” constitutes a genre all its own, a surprising novelty in the literature of the ancient world.”[11]

Scholars tend to consider Luke’s works (Luke-Acts) to be closer in genre to “pure” history,[12][12][29] although they also note that “This is not to say that he [Luke] was always reliably informed, or that – any more than modern historians – he always presented a severely factual account of events.”[12] New Testament scholar, James D.G. Dunn believes that “the earliest tradents within the Christian churches [were] preservers more than innovators…seeking to transmit, retell, explain, interpret, elaborate, but not create de novo…Through the main body of the Synoptic tradition, I believe, we have in most cases direct access to the teaching and ministry of Jesus as it was remembered from the beginning of the transmission process (which often predates Easter) and so fairly direct access to the ministry and teaching of Jesus through the eyes and ears of those who went about with him.”[30] Nevertheless, David Jenkins, a former Anglican Bishop of Durham and university professor, has stated that “Certainly not! There is absolutely no certainty in the New Testament about anything of importance.”[31]

Critical scholars have developed a number of criteria to evaluate the probability, or historical authenticity, of an attested event or saying represented in the gospels. These criteria are applied to the gospels in order to help scholars in reconstructions of the Historical Jesus. The criterion of dissimilarity argues that if a saying or action is dissimilar to, or contrary to, the views of Judaism in the context of Jesus or the views of the early church, then it can more confidently be regarded as an authentic saying or action of Jesus.[32][33] One commonly cited example of this is Jesus’ controversial reinterpretation of the Mosaic law in his Sermon on the Mount, or Peter’s decision to allow uncircumcised gentiles into what was, at the time, a sect of Judaism. The criterion of embarrassment holds that the authors of the gospels had no reason to invent embarrassing incidents such as the denial of Jesus by Peter, or the fleeing of Jesus’ followers after his arrest, and therefore such details would likely not have been included unless they were true.[34] Bart Ehrman, using the criterion of dissimilarity to judge the historical reliability of the claim Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, notes that “it is hard to imagine a Christian inventing the story of Jesus’ baptism since this could be taken to mean that he was John’s subordinate.”[35] The criterion of multiple attestation says that when two or more independent sources present similar or consistent accounts, it is more likely that the accounts are accurate reports of events or that they are reporting a tradition which pre-dates the sources themselves.[36] This is often used to note that the four gospels attest to most of the same events, but that Paul’s epistles often attest to these events as well, as do the writings of the early church, and to a limited degree non-Christian ancient writings. The criterion of cultural and historical congruency says that a source is less credible if the account contradicts known historical facts, or if it conflicts with cultural practices common in the period in question.[37] It is, therefore, more credible if it agrees with those known facts. For example, this is often used when assessing the reliability of claims in Luke-Acts, such as the official title of Pontius Pilate. Through linguistic criteria a number of conclusions can be drawn. The criterion of “Aramaisms” as it is often referred[38] holds that if a saying of Jesus has Aramaic roots, reflecting Jesus’ Palestinian context, the saying is more likely to be authentic.[39]

Authorship and date

Most scholars hold to the two-source hypothesis which claims that the Gospel of Mark was written first. According to the hypothesis, the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke then used the Gospel of Mark and the hypothetical Q document, in addition to some other sources, to write their individual gospels.[40][41][42][43][44] These three gospels are called the Synoptic gospels since they are all very similar. Scholars agree that the Gospel of John was written last, by using a different tradition and body of testimony. In addition, most scholars agree that the author of Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles. Scholars hold that these books constituted two halves of a single work, Luke-Acts.

Strictly speaking, each gospel (and Acts) is anonymous.[45] The Gospel of John is somewhat of an exception, although the author simply refers to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved” and claims to be a member of Jesus’ inner circle.[46] During the 2nd century, each canonical gospel was attributed to an apostle or to the close associate of an apostle.

Mark

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/ba/The_Evangelist_Matthew_Inspired_by_an_Angel.jpg/220px-The_Evangelist_Matthew_Inspired_by_an_Angel.jpgThe Gospel of Mark may have been written by Mark the Evangelist, St. Peter‘s interpreter, as tradition holds.[47] Numerous early sources say that Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his gospel.[48][49][50][51][52] The gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, which vary in form and in theology, and which tell against the story that the gospel was based on Peter’s preaching.[53]

Most scholars believe that Mark was written around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in year 70.[54][55][56]

The theory that the Gospel of Mark was written first and is the earliest of the Gospels is not without its problems. For example, its author seemed to be ignorant of Palestinian geography. Mark 7:31 describes Jesus going from Tyre to the Sea of Galilee by way of Sidon (20 miles farther north and on the Mediterranean coast). [57] The author of Mark did not seem to know that you would not go through Sidon to go from Tyre to the Sea of Galilee, and there was no road from Sidon to the Sea of Galilee in the first century, only one from Tyre.[58][59] Catholic scholars have interpreted this passage as indicating “that Jesus traveled in a wide circle, first north, then east and south”.[60]

Matthew

According to the majority viewpoint, this gospel is unlikely to have been written by an eyewitness.[61] While Papias reported that Matthew had written the “Logia,” this can hardly be a reference to the Gospel of Matthew.[61] The author was probably a Jewish Christian writing for other Jewish Christians.[62]

Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100.[63][64][65][66]

Luke

Some scholars[67][68] uphold the traditional claim that Luke the Evangelist, an associate of St. Paul who was probably not an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Others point out that Acts contradicts Paul’s own letters and denies him the important title of apostle, suggesting that the author was no companion of Paul’s.[69]

Some scholars date the Gospel of Luke to c. 80-90,[70][71] although others argue for a date c. 60-65.[72]

The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles were both written by the same author.[73] The most direct evidence comes from the prefaces of each book. Both prefaces were addressed to Theophilus, and Acts of the Apostles (1:1-2) says in reference to the Gospel of Luke, “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen.” (NIV) Furthermore, there are linguistic and theological similarities between the two works, suggesting that they have a common author.[74][75] Both books also contain common interests.[76] The book of Acts has been most commonly dated to the second half of the first century. Given that, therefore, Luke was written by the same person who wrote Acts, and that Acts must have been written in the early 60s AD (the book ends before the death of Paul, which most probably occurred during the Persecution of the Christians under Nero between AD 64 and AD 68), it would seem that Luke was written around AD 60. [77][78][79][80]

John

In the majority viewpoint, it is unlikely that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John.[81][82] Rather than a plain account of Jesus’ ministry, the gospel is a deeply meditated representation of Jesus’ character and teachings, making direct apostolic authorship unlikely.[83] Opinion, however, is widely divided on this issue and there is no widespread consensus.[84][85]

Most scholars date the Gospel of John to c. 80–95.[45][86]

Gospel

Traditional author and apostolic connection

Gospel of Matthew

Saint Matthew, a former tax-collector, one of the Twelve Apostles.

Gospel of Mark

Saint Mark, a disciple of Simon Peter, one of the Twelve

Gospel of Luke

Saint Luke, a companion of Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles

Gospel of John

Saint John, one of the Twelve, referred to in the text as the beloved disciple

Textual criticism and interpolations

Textual criticism deals with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts. Ancient scribes made errors or alterations (such as including non-authentic additions).[87] In attempting to determine the original text of the New Testament books, some modern textual critics have identified sections as additions of material, centuries after the gospel was written. These are called interpolations. In modern translations of the Bible, the results of textual criticism have led to certain verses, words and phrases being left out or marked as not original.

For example, there are a number of Bible verses in the New Testament that are present in the King James Version (KJV) but are absent from most modern Bible translations. Most modern textual scholars consider these verses interpolations (exceptions include advocates of the Byzantine or Majority text). The verse numbers have been reserved, but without any text, so as to preserve the traditional numbering of the remaining verses. The Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman notes that many current verses were not part of the original text of the New Testament. “These scribal additions are often found in late medieval manuscripts of the New Testament, but not in the manuscripts of the earlier centuries,” he adds. “And because the King James Bible is based on later manuscripts, such verses “became part of the Bible tradition in English-speaking lands.”[88] He notes, however, that modern English translations, such as the New International Version, were written by using a more appropriate textual method.[89]

Most modern Bibles have footnotes to indicate passages that have disputed source documents. Bible Commentaries also discuss these, sometimes in great detail. While many variations have been discovered between early copies of biblical texts, most of these are variations in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Also, many of these variants are so particular to the Greek language that they would not appear in translations into other languages.[90]

Two of the most important interpolations are the last verses of the Gospel of Mark[91][92][93] and the story of the adulterous woman in the Gospel of John.[94][95][96] Some critics also believe the explicit reference to the Trinity in 1 John to have been a later addition.[97][98]

The New Testament has been preserved in more than 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Ethiopic and Armenian. Even if the original Greek versions were lost, the entire New Testament could still be assembled from the translations.[90] In addition, there are so many quotes from the New Testament in early church documents and commentaries that the entire New Testament could also be assembled from these alone.[90] Not all biblical manuscripts come from orthodox Christian writers. For example, the Gnostic writings of Valentinus come from the 2nd century AD, and these Christians were regarded as heretics by the mainstream church.[99] The sheer number of witnesses presents unique difficulties, although it gives scholars a better idea of how close modern bibles are to the original versions.[99] Bruce Metzger says “The more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the more you can cross-check them to figure out what the original document was like. The only way they’d agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts.[90]

In “The Text Of The New Testament“, Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland compare the total number of variant-free verses, and the number of variants per page (excluding orthographic errors), among the seven major editions of the Greek NT (Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort, von Soden, Vogels, Merk, Bover and Nestle-Aland) concluding 62.9%, or 4999/7947, agreement.[100] They concluded, “Thus in nearly two-thirds of the New Testament text, the seven editions of the Greek New Testament which we have reviewed are in complete accord, with no differences other than in orthographical details (e.g., the spelling of names, etc.). Verses in which any one of the seven editions differs by a single word are not counted. … In the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation the agreement is less, while in the letters it is much greater”[100] Per Aland and Aland, the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of Matthew was 60% (642 verses out of 1071), the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of Mark was 45% (306 verses out of 678), the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of Luke was 57% (658 verses out of 1151), and the total consistency achieved in the Gospel of John was 52% (450 verses out of 869).[100] Almost all of these variants are minor, and most of them are spelling or grammatical errors. Almost all can be explained by some type of unintentional scribal mistake, such as poor eyesight. Very few variants are contested among scholars, and few or none of the contested variants carry any theological significance. Modern biblical translations reflect this scholarly consensus where the variants exist, while the disputed variants are typically noted as such in the translations.[101]

External sources

In addition to the internal and textual reliability of the gospels, external sources can also be used to assess historical reliability. There are passages relevant to Christianity in the works of four major non-Christian writers of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries – Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger. However, these are generally references to Early Christians rather than a historical Jesus. Of the four, Josephus’ writings, which document John the Baptist, James the Just, and Jesus, are of the most interest to scholars dealing with the historicity of Jesus (see below). Tacitus, in his Annals written c. 115, mentions Christus, without many historical details (see also: Tacitus on Jesus). There is an obscure reference to a Jewish leader called “Chrestus” in Suetonius. (According to Suetonius, chapter 25, there occurred in Rome, during the reign of emperor Claudius (c. AD 50), “persistent disturbances … at the instigation of Chrestus”. Mention in Acts of “After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.”

Preserved by the church

Paul of Tarsus, a 1st century Pharisaic Jew who experienced a conversion to faith in Jesus, dictated letters to various churches and individuals from c. 48–68.[102] Though there are debates on Paul’s authorship for some of these epistles, almost all scholars agree that Paul wrote the central corpus of these letters (such as the Epistle to the Romans and 1 Corinthians. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor believes that the historical Jesus is fundamental to the teachings of Paul, who rejected the separation of the Jesus of faith from the Jesus of history.[103] While not personally an eye-witness of Jesus’ ministry, Paul states that he was acquainted with people who had known Jesus: the apostle Peter (also known as Cephas), the apostle John, and James, described as the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19). Likewise, Paul alludes to Jesus’ humanity and divinity, the Last Supper, his crucifixion, and reports of his resurrection.[104]

The authors whose works are contained in the New Testament sometimes quote from creeds, or confessions of faith, that obviously predate their writings. Scholars believe that some of these creeds date to within a few years of Jesus’ death, and developed within the Christian community in Jerusalem.[105] Though embedded within the texts of the New Testament, these creeds are a distinct source for Early Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4[106] reads: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” This contains a Christian creed of pre-Pauline origin.[107] The antiquity of the creed has been located by many Biblical scholars to less than a decade after Jesus’ death, originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community.[108] Concerning this creed, Campenhausen wrote, “This account meets all the demands of historical reliability that could possibly be made of such a text,”[109] whilst A. M. Hunter said, “The passage therefore preserves uniquely early and verifiable testimony. It meets every reasonable demand of historical reliability.”[110] Other relevant creeds which predate the texts wherein they are found[111] that have been identified are 1 John 4:2:[112] “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God”,[113][114] “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, this is my Gospel”,[115] Romans|1:3-4:[116] “regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”,[117] and 1 Timothy 3:16:[118] “He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory,” an early creedal hymn.[119]

Thallus, of whom very little is known, wrote a history from the Trojan War to about his own day, though none of his works survive. Julius Africanus, writing c. 221, while writing about the crucifixion of Jesus, mentioned Thallus. He wrote, “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in his third book of History, calls (as appears to me without reason) an eclipse of the sun.”[120] Lucian, a 2nd century Roman satirist, wrote, “the Christians, you know, worship a man to this day — the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account… You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.”[121] Celsus wrote, about 180, a book against the Christians, which is now only known through Origen’s refutation of it. Celsus apparently accused Jesus of being a magician and a sorcerer[122] and is quoted as saying that Jesus was a “mere man”.[123] F. F. Bruce noted that Celsus, in seeking to discredit Jesus, sought to explain his miracles rather than claim they never occurred.[124]

The church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (264 – 340) cited a statement of the 2nd-century pagan chronicler Phlegon of Tralles that during the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (AD 32/33) “a great eclipse of the sun occurred at the sixth hour that excelled every other before it, turning the day into such darkness of night that the stars could be seen in heaven, and the earth moved in Bithynia, toppling many buildings in the city of Nicaea“.[125] In the same passage, Eusebius cited another unnamed Greek source also recording earthquakes in the same locations and an eclipse. Eusebius argued the two records had documented events that were simultaneous with the crucifixion of Jesus. Tertullian, in his Apologetics, tells the story of the darkness that had commenced at noon during the crucifixion; those who were unaware of the prediction, he says, “no doubt thought it an eclipse”.[126] Though he does not mention the claims of others, he suggests to the church’s critics that the evidence is still available: “You yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives.”[127] The early historian and theologian, Rufinus of Aquileia wrote of the apologetic defense given by Lucian of Antioch, around 300 AD.[128] Lucian, like Tertullian, was also convinced that an account of the darkness that accompanied the crucifixion could be found among Roman records. Ussher recorded Lucian’s word’s on the matter, presumably also to church critics, as “Search your writings and you shall find that, in Pilate’s time, when Christ suffered, the sun was suddenly withdrawn and a darkness followed.”[129]

Outside of the church

Flavius Josephus, a Jew and a Roman citizen who worked under a couple Roman emperors, wrote near the end of the 1st century. Once (the Testimonium Flavianum), Josephus says Jesus “was the Christ. When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned him to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease to follow him, for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvellous things concerning him.”[130] Concerns have been raised about the authenticity of the passage, and it is widely held by scholars that at least part of the passage has been altered by a later scribe. For example, where the version now says “he was the Christ”, its original form may have been “he was thought to be the Christ.” Judging from Alice Whealey‘s 2003 survey of the historiography, it seems that the majority of modern scholars consider that Josephus really did write something here about Jesus, but that the text that has reached us is corrupt.[131] There has been no consensus on which portions have been altered, or to what degree.[132] In the second, brief mention, Josephus calls James “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.”[133] The great majority of scholars consider this shorter reference to Jesus to be substantially authentic (although the parallel passage is missing from The Jewish War).[134] About a decade after Josephus’ writings, Pliny the Younger (c. 61 – c. 112), a Roman governor, wrote to Emperor Trajan concerning how to deal with Christians, who refused to worship the emperor, and instead worshiped Jesus. His letters show the Christians in his day to be very strongly devoted, and enough of a problem for him to request advice from the emperor.

Tacitus, writing c. 116, included in his Annals a mention of Christianity and “Christus”, viewed by most scholars as a reference to Jesus. In describing Nero’s persecution of this group following the Great Fire of Rome c. 64, he wrote, “Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome.”[135] There have been suggestions that this was a Christian interpolation but most scholars conclude that the passage was written by Tacitus.[136] R. E. Van Voorst noted the improbability that later Christians would have interpolated “such disparaging remarks about Christianity”.[137][138] Suetonius (c. 69140) wrote in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars about riots which broke out in the Jewish community in Rome under the emperor Claudius. He said, “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome”.[139] The event was noted in Acts 18:2. The term Chrestus also appears in some later texts applied to Jesus, and Robert Graves,[140] among others,[141] consider it a variant spelling of Christ, or at least a reasonable spelling error.

The Talmud, a series of religious documents created by Jewish scholars between 200 and 500 AD, refer to Jesus using the term “Yeshu.” These references probably date back to the 2nd century.[142] One important reference relates the trial and execution of Jesus and his disciples,[142] saying “On the eve of Passover they hung Yeshu and the crier went forth for forty days beforehand declaring that “[Yeshu] is going to be stoned for practicing witchcraft, for enticing and leading Israel astray….But no one had anything exonerating for him and they hung him on the eve of Passover”.[143] These early possible references to Jesus have little historical information independent from the gospels, but they do seem to reflect the historical Jesus as a man who had disciples and was crucified during Passover.[142] F. F. Bruce noted that, in attempting to discredit Jesus, the passage sought to explain his miracles rather than claim they never occurred.[124] Around the time these passages were being written, Mara (a Syrian Stoic)[142] was imprisoned by the Romans and wrote a letter to his son. In it he said, “For what benefit did…the Jews by the murder of their Wise King, seeing that from that very time their kingdom was driven away from them? For with justice did God grant a recompense…and the Jews, brought to desolation and expelled from their kingdom, are driven away into every land.” CCEL Some scholars believe this describes the fall of Jerusalem as the gods’ punishment for the Jews having killed Jesus.[142] The Dead Sea scrolls are 1st century or older writings that show the language and customs of some Jews of Jesus’ time.[144] According to Henry Chadwick, similar uses of languages and viewpoints recorded in the New Testament and the Dead Sea scrolls are valuable in showing that the New Testament portrays the 1st century period that it reports and is not a product of a later period.[145][146]

Archeology and geography

There is no archaeological evidence supporting the existence of a historical Jesus or any of the apostles,[147] although various other details mentioned in the gospels have since been verified by archaeological evidence, such as the actual existence of the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus’ crucifixion,[148] and the Pool of Bethesda.[149]

Luke’s reliability as a historian is questioned.[150] Thomas Howe examined Luke’s description of Paul’s sea journeys, including Luke’s references to thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine islands, and stated that he could not find any mistakes.[151] However Powell states that Luke’s knowledge of Palestinian geography seems so inadequate that one prominent scholar was lead to remark “Jesus route cannot be reconstructed on a map, and in any case Luke did not possess one”.[150] Powell states that “if Luke intended to write history he did so poorly, but he did not so intend. Luke was a theologian, not a historian.[150][152] A narrative which includes supernatural phenomena such as angels and demons is problematic as a historical source.”[150]

Gospels

Mark

Mark is the primary source for information about Jesus.[153] It was possibly composed at Rome.[154] New Testament scholars generally credit its account of Jesus as a Galilean holy man, including his baptism by John the Baptist, his reputation as an exorcist and healer, his preaching about the coming Kingdom of God, his band of close disciples, the disruption he caused at the Temple, his betrayal, and his crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.[4][6] In 1901, William Wrede challenged the historical reliability of the gospel, concluding especially that Mark portrays Jesus as secretive about his messianic identity because the historical Jesus had never claimed to be the Messiah.[155][156] Form criticism later revealed that the narrative comprises fragments put in order by Mark, or by someone before him.[47][157] While the majority of scholars consider Jesus to have been an apocalyptic prophet, as he appears in Mark, a minority of prominent contemporary scholars argue that his coming kingdom was to be a social revolution rather than a supernatural apocalypse.[158]

Matthew

Matthew was most likely written at Antioch, then part of Roman Syria.[159] Most scholars hold that Matthew drew heavily on Mark and added teaching from the Q document.[61] While Matthew arranged this material into compilations, such as the Sermon on the Mount, much of the material goes back to the historical Jesus.[160] The infancy narrative, however, is apparently an invention.[161] Matthew presents Jesus’ ministry as limited to the Jews, though the resurrected Jesus later commissions the disciples to preach to all the world. Geza Vermes judges that the ministry of Jesus was exclusively for Jews and that the order to proclaim the gospel to all nations was an early Christian development.[162]

Luke

Luke was written in a large city west of Palestine.[163] Like Matthew, Luke drew on Mark and added material from Q.[164] Luke also includes a large amount of unique material, such as the parable of the good Samaritan, and many of these parables seem to be authentic.[165] Luke emphasizes the universal nature of Jesus’ mission and message,[166] but Geza Vermes concludes that this theme is not authentic to the historical Jesus.[167] Like Matthew’s birth narrative, Luke’s seems to be an invention.[161]

John

John was composed at Ephesus.[168] many believe that Jesus’ teaching in this gospel cannot be reconciled with that found in the synoptics, and prefer the synoptics for a view of Jesus’ teaching.[169]

Noncanonical gospels

Attention paid to noncanonical sources is a feature of current historical Jesus research.[170] In particular, the Q source and the Gospel of Thomas have both taken on increased significance for scholars.[170] Some scholars, such as John Dominic Crossan, even argue that noncanonical sources are to be preferred over canonical sources.[170] The gospel of Thomas includes many parallels to authentic parables, aphorisms, and beatitudes found in the synoptics, and two of its unique parables bear the hallmarks of Jesus’ authentic style of teaching.[171]

Notes

1.       ^ The unknown historical provenance of the Gospels was a theme discussed in the three-part Channel 4 documentary series shown in April 1984 entitled Jesus: The Evidence made by London Weekend Television and directed by David W. Rolfe. Participants included Werner Kümmel, Dennis Nineham, Canon Anthony Harvey, Géza Vermès, Helmut Koester, Gilles Quispel, G. A. Wells, Ian Wilson and Howard Marshall. Cited in Géza Vermès, Searching For The Real Jesus: The Dead Sea Scrolls And Other Religious Themes, pages 63-72 (London: SCM Press, 2009). ISBN 978-0-334-04358-1

2.       ^ Mark Allan Powell (editor), The New Testament Today, page 50 (Westminster John Knox Press, 1999). ISBN 0-664-25824-7

3.       ^ Stanley E, Porter (editor), Handbook to Exegisis of the New Testament, page 68 (Leiden, 1997). ISBN 90-04-09921-2

4.       ^ a b c Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993.

5.       ^ “The Synoptic Gospels, then, are the primary sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus.” “Jesus Christ.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Nov. 2010 [1].

6.       ^ a b Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004.

7.       ^ The Myth about Jesus, Allvar Ellegard 1992,

8.       ^ Craig Evans, “Life-of-Jesus Research and the Eclipse of Mythology,” Theological Studies 54 (1993) p. 5,

9.       ^ a b Charles H. Talbert, What Is a Gospel? The Genre of Canonical Gospels pg 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977).

10.    ^ a b “The Historical Figure of Jesus,” Sanders, E.P., Penguin Books: London, 1995, p., 3.

11.    ^ a b Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word (Vol. II): Meditations on the Gospel According to St. Matthew – Dr Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Ignatius Press, Introduction

12.    ^ a b c d Grant, Robert M., “A Historical Introduction to the New Testament” (Harper and Row, 1963) http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1116&C=1230

13.    ^ Who is Jesus? Answers to your questions about the historical Jesus, by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts (Westminster John Knox Press 1999), page 108

14.    ^ James G. D. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, (Eerdmans, 2003) page 779-781.

15.    ^ Rev. John Edmunds, 1855 The seven sayings of Christ on the cross Thomas Hatchford Publishers, London, page 26

16.    ^ Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978 ISBN 0-664-24195-6

17.    ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. “Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension” p. 449-495.

18.    ^ Bruce M. Metzger‘s Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament: Luke 24:51 is missing in some important early witnesses, Acts 1 varies between the Alexandrian and Western versions.

19.    ^ Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994); pages 90-91

20.    ^ Howard M. Teeple (March 1970). “The Oral Tradition That Never Existed”. Journal of Biblical Literature 89 (1): 56–68. doi:10.2307/3263638.

21.    ^ “Historicity”, The Oxford English Dictionary.

22.    ^ a b Craig L. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey (2nd Edition).425.

23.    ^ Paul Rhodes Eddy & Gregory A. Boyd, The Jesus Legend:A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. (2008, Baker Academic).309-262.

24.    ^ Craig L. Blomberg, Historical Reliability of the Gospels (1986, Inter-Varsity Press).19-72.

25.    ^ Paul Rhodes Eddy & Gregory A. Boyd, The Jesus Legend:A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. (2008, Baker Academic).237-308.

26.    ^ Craig L. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey (2nd Edition).424.

27.    ^ Graham Stanton, Jesus and Gospel. p.192.

28.    ^ Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0860120066 pages 730-741

29.    ^ Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. 117.

30.    ^ James D.G. Dunn, “Messianic Ideas and Their Influence on the Jesus of History,” in The Messiah, ed. James H. Charlesworth. pp. 371-372. Cf. James D.G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered.

31.    ^ [2], retrieved 15nov2010

32.    ^ Norman Perrin, Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus 43.

33.    ^ Christopher Tuckett, “Sources and Method” in The Cambridge Companion to Jesus. ed. Markus Bockmuehl. 132.

34.    ^ Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Doubleday: 1991. vol 1: pp. 168–171.

35.    ^ Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament:A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.194-5.

36.    ^ The criteria for authenticity in historical-Jesus research: previous discussion and new proposals, by Stanley E. Porter, pg. 118

37.    ^ The criteria for authenticity in historical-Jesus research: previous discussion and new proposals, by Stanley E. Porter, pg. 119

38.    ^ Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament:A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.193.

39.    ^ Stanley E. Porter, The Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research: previous discussion and new proposals.127.

40.    ^ Peter, Kirby (2001-2007). “Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Mark”. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/mark.html. Retrieved 2008-01-15.

41.    ^ Achtemeier, Paul J. (1991-). “The Gospel of Mark”. The Anchor Bible Dictonary. 4. New York, New York: Doubleday. p. 545. ISBN 0385193629.

42.    ^ M.G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897), “Luke, Gospel According To”

43.    ^ Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew. 2. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. 955–6. ISBN 0385469934.

44.    ^ Helms, Randel (1997). Who Wrote the Gospels?. Altadena, California: Millennium Press. p. 8. ISBN 0965504727.

45.    ^ a b Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.

46.    ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. “John” p. 302-310

47.    ^ a b “Mark, Gospel of St.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

48.    ^ Bernd Kollmann, Joseph Barnabas (Liturgical Press, 2004), page 30.

49.    ^ Paul L. Maier, The Church History, Kregel Publications, 2007 p 114

50.    ^ F. L. Cross & E. A. Livingstone, The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press, 1989 pp. 874-875

51.    ^ Thomas Patrick Halton, On illustrious men, Volume 100 of Fathers of the Church, CUA Press, 1999 pp.17-19 [3] and the Early Church Fathers

52.    ^ Senior, Donald P. (1998). “Mark”. In Ferguson, Everett. Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (2nd ed.). New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc.. p. 719. ISBN 0-8153-3319-6

53.    ^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 24-27.

54.    ^ Funk, Robert W.; Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (1993). The five Gospels: the search for the authentic words of Jesus: new translation and commentary. New York, New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0025419498.

55.    ^ Crossan, John Dominic (1991). The historical Jesus: the life of a Mediterranean Jewish peasant. San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0060616296.

56.    ^ Eisenman, Robert H. (1998). James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Penguin Books. p. 56. ISBN 014025773X.

57.    ^ “Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.”

58.    ^ C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to St Mark, page 250 (Cambridge University Press, 1959).

59.    ^ Dennis Nineham, The Gospel of St Mark, pages 40, 203 (New York: Seabury, 1968).

60.    ^ Mary Healy, The Gospel of Mark (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture), page 146 (Baker Academic, 2008). ISBN 978-0-8010-3586-9

61.    ^ a b c “Matthew, Gospel acc. to St.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

62.    ^ “Numerous textual indications point to an author who was a Jewish Christian writing for Christians of similar background.” “Gospel According to Matthew.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Nov. 2010 [4].

63.    ^ Ehrman 2004, p. 110 and Harris 1985 both specify a range c. 80-85; Gundry 1982, Hagner 1993, and Blomberg 1992 argue for a date before 70.

64.    ^ The Gospel of Matthew p 1

65.    ^ http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/matthew.html

66.    ^ Brown 1997, p. 172

67.    ^ The tradition “has been widely accepted.” “Luke, Gospel of.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

68.    ^ The tradition is “occasionally put forward.” Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 32.

69.    ^ The author was “certainly not a companion of Paul.” Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 32.

70.    ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. p. 226. ISBN 0-385-24767-2.

71.    ^ Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Doubleday, 1991, v. 1, pp. 43

72.    ^ “Introduction to the New Testament”, chapter on Luke, by D. Carson and D. Moo, Zondervan Books (2005)

73.    ^ Horrell, DG, An Introduction to the study of Paul, T&T Clark, 2006, 2nd Ed.,p.7; cf. W. L. Knox, The Acts of the Apostles (1948), p. 2-15 for detailed arguments that still stand.

74.    ^ on linguistics, see A. Kenny, A stylometric Study of the New Testament (1986).

75.    ^ Udo Schnelle. The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p. 259.

76.    ^ F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles (1952), p2.

77.    ^ “The Dating of the New Testament”. bethinking.org. http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=233. Retrieved 2007-07-05.

78.    ^ Guthrie, Donald. “Nine”. New Testament Introduction (third ed.). Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 340–345. ISBN 0-87784-953-6.

79.    ^ The suggested traces can be found at [ Ignatius] and [ Polycarp]. The resemblance of Acts 13:22 and First Clement 18:1, in features not found in Psalms 89:20 quoted by each, can hardly be accidental; the date of Ignatius depends on later synchronisms with Trajan, which are disputable.

80.    ^ Guthrie, Donald. “Nine”. New Testament Introduction (third ed.). Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 347–348. ISBN 0-87784-953-6.

81.    ^ “To most modern scholars direct apostolic authorship has therefore seemed unlikely.” “John, Gospel of.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

82.    ^ Gospel According to John, Encyclopædia Britannica

83.    ^ “John, Gospel of.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

84.    ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. p. 164. ISBN 0-385-24767-2.

85.    ^ Kirby, Peter. “Gospel of Mark” earlychristianwritings.com Retrieved January 30, 2010.

86.    ^ Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? p.7

87.    ^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus (2005), p. 46

88.    ^ Ehrman, Bart D.. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperCollins, 2005, p. 265. ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4

89.    ^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus Ch 3, (2005)

90.    ^ a b c d Strobel, Lee. ”The Case for Christ”. 1998. Chapter three, when quoting biblical scholar Bruce Metzger

91.    ^ Guy D. Nave, The role and function of repentance in Luke-Acts,p. 194

92.    ^ John Shelby Spong, “The Continuing Christian Need for Judaism”, Christian Century September 26, 1979, p. 918. see http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1256

93.    ^ Feminist companion to the New Testament and early Christian writings, Volume 5, by Amy-Jill Levine, Marianne Blickenstaff, pg. 175

94.    ^ “NETBible: John 7”. Bible.org. http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Joh&chapter=7#n139. Retrieved 2009-10-17. See note 139 on that page.

95.    ^ Keith, Chris (2008). “Recent and Previous Research on the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)”. Currents in Biblical Research 6 (3): 377–404. doi:10.1177/1476993X07084793.

96.    ^ ‘Pericope adulterae’, in FL Cross (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

97.    ^ Ehrman 2006, p. 166

98.    ^ Bruce Metzger “A Textual Commentary on the New Testament”, Second Edition, 1994, German Bible Society

99.    ^ a b Bruce, F.F. (1981). P 14. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press

100.^ a b c K. Aland and B. Aland, “The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions & to the Theory & Practice of Modern Textual Criticism“, 1995, op. cit., p. 29-30.

101.^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus, Ch 3, (2005)

102.^ Joseph Barber Lightfoot in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians writes: “At this point Gal 6:11 the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (2 Thess 2:2; 3:17) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries… In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his handwriting may reflect the energy and determination of his soul.”

103.^ Jerome Murphy-O’Connor (1 May 1998). Paul: a critical life. Oxford University Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 9780192853424. http://books.google.com/?id=yTddaMGsuWMC&pg=PA91. Retrieved 28 July 2010.

104.^ Bruce, F. F. (1977), Paul and Jesus, London: SPCK, pp.19-29; cf. Rom 1:1-4, 1 Cor 11:23-26, 1 Cor 2:8, and 1 Cor 15:3-8

105.^ Oscar Cullmann, The Earliest Christian Confessions, translated by J. K. S. Reid, (London: Lutterworth, 1949)

106.^ 1Corinthians 15:3-4

107.^ Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) p. 47

§  Reginald H. Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (New York: Macmillan, 1971) p. 10

§  Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90

§  Oscar Cullmann, The Earlychurch: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 64

§  Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, translated James W. Leitch (Philadelphia: Fortress 1969) p. 251

§  Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol. 1 pp. 45, 80–82, 293

§  R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81, 92

108.^ see Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968)p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 66–66; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986 pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus.

109.^ Hans von Campenhausen, “The Events of Easter and the Empty Tomb,” in Tradition and Life in the Church (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968) p. 44

110.^ Archibald Hunter, Works and Words of Jesus (1973) p. 100

111.^ James L. Bailey; Lyle D. Vander Broek (1992). Literary forms in the New Testament: a handbook. Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 83–. ISBN 9780664251543. http://books.google.com/?id=E6gg5YCDxucC&pg=PA83. Retrieved 31 July 2010.

112.^ 1John 4:2

113.^ Cullmann, Confessions p. 32

114.^ 2Timothy 2:8

115.^ Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol 1, pp. 49, 81; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus translated Norman Perrin (London: SCM Press, 1966) p. 102

116.^ Romans 1:3-4

117.^ Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) pp. 118, 283, 367; Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) pp. 7, 50; C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and its Developments (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980) p. 14

118.^ 1Timothy 3:16

119.^ Reginald Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scriner’s, 1965) pp. 214, 216, 227, 239; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus translated Norman Perrin (London: SCM Press, 1966) p. 102; Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) pp. 7, 9, 128

120.^ Julius Africanus, Extant Writings XVIII in Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973) vol. VI, p. 130

121.^ Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11–13 in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, translated by H. W. Fowler (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949) vol. 4

122.^ Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician: Charlatan or Son of God? (1978) pp. 78–79.

123.^ Celsus the First Nietzsche

124.^ a b Bruce, F.F. (1981). The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=mtyPMWgtKLMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+new+testament+documents&hl=en&ei=EACyTK3FCIT48AbNhdWdCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.

125.^ Chronicle, Olympiad 202, trans. Carrier (1999).

126.^ Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19 cited in Bouw, G. D. (1998, Spring). The darkness during the crucifixion. The Biblical Astronomer, 8(84). Retrieved November 30, 2006 from [5].

127.^ Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter 21, 19

128.^ Rufinus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 9, Chapter 6

129.^ Ussher, J., & Pierce, L. (Trans.)(2007). Annals of the World [p. 822]. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Publishing Group. ISBN 0-89051-510-7

130.^ Josephus Antiquities 18.3.3

131.^ Alice Whealey, Josephus on Jesus (New York, 2003) p.194.

132.^ Vermes, Géza. (1987). The Jesus notice of Josephus re-examined. Journal of Jewish Studies

133.^ Josephus Antiquities 20:9.1

134.^ Louis H. Feldman, “Josephus” Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 3, pp. 990–91

135.^ Tacitus, Annals 15.44 (Latin, English and also at Fordham.edu)

136.^ Robert Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament, pp. 42–43 as quoted at earlychristianwritings.com

137.^ Robert E. Van Voorst (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans. p. 43. See also the criterion of embarrassment

138.^ Theissen and Merz p.83

139.^ Iudaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit; Uchicago.edu

140.^ see his translation of Suetonius, Claudius 25, in The Twelve Caesars (Baltimore: Penguin, 1957), and his introduction p. 7, cf. p. 197

141.^ Francois Amiot, Jesus A Historical Person p. 8; F. F. Bruce, Christian Origins p. 21

142.^ a b c d e Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition)

143.^ Sanhedrin 43a.

144.^ Douglas R. Edwards (2004). Religion and society in Roman Palestine: old questions, new approaches. Routledge. pp. 164–. ISBN 9780415305976. http://books.google.com/?id=Wq-zBEqzRx0C&pg=PA164. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

145.^ Henry Chadwick (2003). The Church in ancient society: from Galilee to Gregory the Great. Oxford University Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 9780199265770. http://books.google.com/?id=nLic1cabc8gC&pg=PA15. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

146.^ George J. Brooke (1 May 2005). The Dead Sea scrolls and the New Testament. Fortress Press. pp. 20–. ISBN 9780800637231. http://books.google.com/?id=hPx8vvYPuc8C&pg=PA20. Retrieved 4 August 2010.

147.^ Biblical archaeology, Short Introduction, Eric H. Cline, p. 103

148.^ R. Russell, Fallen Empires, BibleHistory, 2010. p 1-2

149.^ James H. Charlesworth, Jesus and archaeology, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006. p 566

150.^ a b c d Powell, Mark (1989). What are they saying about Luke?. Paulist Press. p. 6. ISBN 0809131110. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9jRu8_-GlKMC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=jesus’+route+cannot+be+reconstructed+on+any+map+and+in+any+case+luke+did+not+possess+one&source=bl&ots=yv5qIErQcq&sig=F00YDmWOvJ6Y7vDTWCGSeeTaHP0&hl=en&ei=mafFTLj_C4K3cN389NgL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=jesus’%20route%20cannot%20be%20reconstructed%20on%20any%20map%20and%20in%20any%20case%20luke%20did%20not%20possess%20one&f=false.

151.^ Howe, Thomas, “When Critics Ask” (Wheaton Ill: Victor, 1992), 385.

152.^ Powell, Mark (1989). What are they saying about Luke?. Paulist Press. p. 6. ISBN 0809131110. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9jRu8_-GlKMC&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=jesus’+route+cannot+be+reconstructed+on+any+map+and+in+any+case+luke+did+not+possess+one&source=bl&ots=yv5qIErQcq&sig=F00YDmWOvJ6Y7vDTWCGSeeTaHP0&hl=en&ei=mafFTLj_C4K3cN389NgL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=jesus’%20route%20cannot%20be%20reconstructed%20on%20any%20map%20and%20in%20any%20case%20luke%20did%20not%20possess%20one&f=false.

153.^ ‘[A]s the earliest Gospel, [Mark] is the primary source of information about the ministry of Jesus.’ “The Gospel According to Mark.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Nov. 2010 [6].

154.^ …Overall, then, the internal evidence is not unfavorable to the tradition that Rome was the place of provenance for Mark….Antioch and Rome:New Testament cradles of Catholic Christianity By Raymond Edward Brown, John P. Meier,p197,

155.^ “Messianic secret.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

156.^ “Wrede, William.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

157.^ “form criticism.” Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

158.^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). Chapter 1. Quest of the historical Jesus. p. 1-16

159.^ …Modern scholarship has tended to place Matthew in Syria, especially in Antioch…..Matthew: a shorter commentary By Dale C. Allison,Introduction,pXIII

160.^ Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. “Matthew” p. 129-270

161.^ a b ‘The clearest cases of invention are in the birth narratives.’ Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993. p. 85

162.^ ‘[T]he order to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the nations must be struck out from the list of the authentic sayings of Jesus.’ Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004. Chapter 10: Towards the authentic gospel. p. 376–380.

163.^ “Luke will have been composed in a large city west of Palestine.” Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 32.

164.^ “biblical literature.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Nov. 2010 [7].

165.^ Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. “Luke” p. 271-400

166.^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. “Luke” p. 297-301

167.^ ‘[T]he order to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the nations must be struck out from the list of the authentic sayings of Jesus.’ Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004. Chapter 10: Towards the authentic gospel. p. 370-397.

168.^ Aune, David. The Westminster dictionary of New Testament and early Christian literature. p. 243. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=nhhdJ-fkywYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Westminster+dictionary+of+New+Testament+and+early+Christian+literature+…++By+David+Edward+Aune&hl=en&ei=LTvlTLfOOI30vQPfjLnLDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ephesus&f=false.

169.^ ‘John, however, is so different that it cannot be reconciled with the Synoptics except in very general ways (e.g., Jesus lived in Palestine, taught, healed, was crucified and raised). . . The greatest differences, though, appear in the methods and content of Jesus’ teaching. . . Scholars have unanimously chosen the Synoptic Gospels’ version of Jesus’ teaching.’ “Jesus Christ.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Nov. 2010 [8].

170.^ a b c Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 11

171.^ These are the parable of the empty jar and the parable of the assassin. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. “The Gospel of Thomas,” p 471-532.

Historical Criticism By Wiki

Historical Criticism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Historical criticism, also known as the historical-critical method or higher criticism, is a branch of literary criticism that investigates the origins of ancient text in order to understand “the world behind the text”.[1]

The primary goal of historical criticism is to ascertain the text’s primitive or original meaning in its original historical context and its literal sense or sensus literalis historicus. The secondary goal seeks to establish a reconstruction of the historical situation of the author and recipients of the text. This may be accomplished by reconstructing the true nature of the events in which the text describes. An ancient text may also serve as a document, record or source for reconstructing the ancient past which may also serve as a chief interest to the historical critic. In regards to Semitic biblical interpretation, the historical critic would be able to interpret “The Literature of Israel” as well as “The History of Israel”.[2]

In 18th century Biblical criticism, the term higher criticism was commonly used in mainstream scholarship [3] in contrast with lower criticism. In the 21st century, historical criticism is the more commonly used term for higher criticism, while textual criticism is more common than the loose expression lower criticism.[4]

Historical criticism began in the 17th century and gained popular recognition in the 19th and 20th centuries. The perspective of the early historical critic was rooted in Protestant reformation ideology, in as much as their approach to biblical studies were free from the influence of traditional interpretation.[5] Where historical investigation was unavailable, historical criticism rested on philosophical and theological interpretation. With each passing century, historical criticism became refined into various methodologies used today: source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, tradition criticism, canonical criticism, and related methodologies.[2]

Historical critical methods

Historical-critical methods are the specific procedures [1] used to examine the text’s historical origins, such as: the time, the place in which the text was written, its sources, the events, dates, persons, places, things, and customs that are mentioned or implied in the text.[2]

The approach of Historical-critical methods typifies the following: (1) that reality is uniform and universal, (2) that reality is accessible to human reason and investigation (3) that all events historical and natural are interconnected and comparable to analogy, (4) that humanity’s contemporary experience of reality can provide objective criteria to what could or could not have happened in past events.[1]

Application

Application of the historical critical method, in biblical studies, investigates the books of the Hebrew Bible as well as the New Testament. Historical critics compare texts to other texts written around the same time. An example of this is when modern biblical scholarship has attempted to understand the Book of Revelation in its 1st century historical context, by identifying its literary genre with Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature.

In regards to the Gospels, higher criticism deals with the synoptic problem, the relations among Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In some cases, such as with several Pauline epistles, higher criticism can confirm the traditional understanding of authorship or contradict church tradition as it has with the Gospels and 2 Peter.

In Classical studies, the 19th century approach to higher criticism set aside “efforts to fill ancient religion with direct meaning and relevance and devoted itself instead to the critical collection and chronological ordering of the source material.”[6] Thus, higher criticism, whether biblical, classical, Byzantine or medieval, focuses on the source documents to determine who wrote it, when it was written, and where.

Historical/higher criticism has also been applied to other religious writings from Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, as well as the Qur’an.

Methodologies

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Modern_document_hypothesis.svg/240px-Modern_document_hypothesis.svg.png

 

Diagram of the Documentary Hypothesis.

 

*

includes most of Leviticus

includes most of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomic history“: Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1& 2 Kings

Historical criticism comprises several disciplines which include:[2]

Source criticismForm criticismRedaction criticismTradition criticismRadical criticism

Source criticism

Source criticism is the search for the original sources which lie behind a given biblical text. It can be traced back to the 17th century French priest Richard Simon, and its most influential product is undoubtably Julius Wellhausen’s Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (1878), whose “insight and clarity of expression have left their mark indelibly on modern biblical studies.”[7]

Form criticism

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Two_source_hypothesis.png

 

Source criticism: diagram of the two-source hypothesis, an explanation for the relationship of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Form criticism breaks the Bible down into sections (pericopes, stories) which are analyzed and categorized by genres (prose or verse, letters, laws, court archives, war hymns, poems of lament, etc.). The form critic then theorizes on the pericope’s Sitz im Leben (“setting in life”), the setting in which it was composed and, especially, used.[8] Tradition history is a specific aspect of form criticism which aims at tracing the way in which the pericopes entered the larger units of the biblical canon, and especially the way in which they made the transition from oral to written form. The belief in the priority, stability, and even detectability, of oral traditions is now recognised to be so deeply questionable as to render tradition history largely useless, but form criticism itself continues to develop as a viable methodology in biblical studies.[9]

Redaction criticism

Redaction criticism studies “the collection, arrangement, editing and modification of sources”, and is frequently used to reconstruct the community and purposes of the author/s of the text.[10]

[edit] Radical criticism

Main article: Radical Criticism

At the end of the 19th Century, there have been advocates of higher criticism, who strenuously tried to avoid any trace of dogma or theological bias when reconstructing a past reality. This has led to the branch of Radical Criticism, pursued by historical critics most skeptic of ecclesial tradition. Radical criticism has projected the concept that Jesus never existed,[1] nor his apostles. Radical critics have also attempted to show that none of the Pauline epistles are authentic; that Paul is nothing more than a controverted authorial token.

History of higher criticism

The Dutch scholars Desiderius Erasmus (1466? – 1536) and Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677) are usually credited as the first to study the Bible in this way.[11] When applied to the Bible, the historical-critical method is distinct from the traditional, devotional approach.[12] In particular, while devotional readers concern themselves with the overall message of the Bible, historians examine the distinct messages of each book in the Bible.[12] Guided by the devotional approach, for example, Christians often combine accounts from different gospels into single accounts, whereas historians attempt to discern what is unique about each gospel, including how they are different.[12]

The phrase “higher criticism” became popular in Europe from the mid-18th century to the early 20th century, to describe the work of such scholars as Jean Astruc (mid-18th century), Johann Salomo Semler (1725–91), Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1752–1827), Ferdinand Christian Baur (1792–1860), and Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918).[13] In academic circles today, this is the body of work properly considered “higher criticism”, though the phrase is sometimes applied to earlier or later work using similar methods.

Higher criticism originally referred to the work of German biblical scholars of the Tübingen School. After the path-breaking work on the New Testament by Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), the next generation – which included scholars such as David Friedrich Strauss (1808–74) and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72) – in the mid-19th century analyzed the historical records of the Middle East from Christian and Old Testament times in search of independent confirmation of events related in the Bible. These latter scholars built on the tradition of Enlightenment and Rationalist thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Gotthold Lessing, Gottlieb Fichte, G. W. F. Hegel and the French rationalists.

These ideas were imported to England by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and, in particular, by George Eliot‘s translations of Strauss’s The Life of Jesus (1846) and Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity (1854). In 1860 seven liberal Anglican theologians began the process of incorporating this historical criticism into Christian doctrine in Essays and Reviews, causing a five year storm of controversy which completely overshadowed the arguments over Darwin’s newly published On the Origin of Species. Two of the authors were indicted for heresy and lost their jobs by 1862, but in 1864 had the judgement overturned on appeal. La Vie de Jésus (1863), the seminal work by a Frenchman, Ernest Renan (1823–92), continued in the same tradition as Strauss and Feuerbach. In Catholicism, L’Evangile et l’Eglise (1902), the magnum opus by Alfred Loisy against the Essence of Christianity of Adolf von Harnack and La Vie de Jesus of Renan, gave birth to the modernist crisis (1902–61). Some scholars, such as Rudolf Bultmann and Robert M. Price , have used higher criticism of the Bible to “demythologize” it.

Historical critics

Recent authors who have offered higher criticism of the Bible include: Robert M. Price, ‘The case against the case for Christ, a New Testament scholar refutes the reverend Lee Strobel’; Robert M. Price, ‘The reason driven life’; Earl Doherty, ‘The Jesus puzzle: challenging the existence of an historical Jesus’; and Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy, ‘The Jesus mysteries.’

Other known historical critics are:

Alexander GeddesEdwin Johnson (historian) Ken Humphreys John W. Loftus Hector Avalos

Higher criticism interpretations

Scholars of higher criticism have sometimes upheld and sometimes challenged the traditional authorship of various books of the Bible.[14] Details of the arguments regarding this issue are addressed more specifically in the articles about each book.

[edit] Old Testament

Around the end of the 18th century Johann Gottfried Eichhorn, “the founder of modern Old Testament criticism”, produced works of “investigation of the inner nature of the Old Testament with the help of the Higher Criticism”. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher also influenced the development of Higher Criticism.

A group of German biblical scholars at Tübingen University formed the Tübingen school of theology under the leadership of Ferdinand Christian Baur, with important works being produced by Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach and David Strauss. In the early 19th century they sought independent confirmation of the events related in the Bible through Hegelian analysis of the historical records of the Middle East from Christian and Old Testament times.[15][16]

Their ideas were brought to England by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, then in 1846 Mary Ann Evans translated David Strauss’s sensational Leben Jesu as the Life of Jesus Critically Examined, a quest for the historical Jesus. In 1854 she followed this with a translation of Feuerbach’s even more radical Essence of Christianity which held that the idea of God was created by man to express the divine within himself, though Strauss attracted most of the controversy.[15] The loose grouping of Broad Churchmen in the Church of England was influenced by the German higher critics. In particular, Benjamin Jowett visited Germany and studied the work of Baur in the 1840s, then in 1866 published his book on The Epistles of St Paul, arousing theological opposition. He then collaborated with six other theologians to publish their Essays and Reviews in 1860. The central essay was Jowett’s On the Interpretation of Scripture which argued that the Bible should be studied to find the authors’ original meaning in their own context rather than expecting it to provide a modern scientific text.[17][18]

Table of interpretations: Old Testament

Book

Author according to
tradition

Author according to
higher critical scholarship

Torah (Pentateuch, Books of Moses, i.e., Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers)

Moses, c 1300 BC

Documentary hypothesis: Four independent documents (the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist and the Priestly source), composed between 900–550 BC, redacted c 450 BC, possibly by Ezra

Supplementary models (e.g. John Van Seters): Torah composed as a series of authorial expansions of an original source document, usually identified as J or P, largely during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, final form achieved c. 450 BC.

Fragmentary models (e.g. Rolf Rendtorff, Erhard Blum): Torah the product of the slow accretion of fragmentary traditions, (no documents), over period 850–550 BC, final form c. 450 BC.

Biblical minimalism: Torah composed in HellenisticHasmonean period, c. 300–140 BC.

Joshua

Joshua with a portion by Phinehas or Eleazar

Deuteronomist using material from the Jahwist and Elohist

Judges

Samuel

Deuteronomist

Ruth

Samuel

A later author, writing after the time of David

1 Samuel

Samuel, Gad, and Nathan

Deuteronomist as a combination of a Jerusalem source, republican source, the court history of David, the sanctuaries source, and the monarchial source

2 Samuel

1 Kings

Perhaps Ezra

Deuteronomist

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

Ezra

The Chronicler, writing between 450 and 435 BC, after the Babylonian captivity

2 Chronicles

Ezra

Ezra

The Chronicler, writing between 450 and 435 BC, after the Babylonian captivity

Nehemiah

Nehemiah using some material by Ezra

The Chronicler, writing between 450 and 435 BC, after the Babylonian captivity

Tobit

A writer in the 2nd century BC

Judith

Eliakim (Joakim), the high priest of the story

Esther

The Great Assembly using material from Mordecai

An unknown author writing between 460 and 331 BC

1 Maccabees

A devout Jew from the Holy Land.

An unknown Jewish author, writing around 100 BC

2 Maccabees

Based on the writing of Jason of Cyrene

An unknown author, writing in the second or 1st century BC

3 Maccabees

An Alexandrian Jew writing in Greek in the 1st century BC or 1st century AD

4 Maccabees

Josephus

An Alexandrian Jew writing in the 1st century BC or 1st century AD

Job

unknown[19]

anonymous, possibly by two different authors, one writing the prose section and the other the poetic section, 5th century BC.[20]

Psalms

Mainly David and also Asaph, sons of Korah, Moses, Heman the Ezrahite, Ethan the Ezrahite and Solomon

Various authors recording oral tradition. Portions from 1000BC to 200BC.[citation needed]

Proverbs

Solomon, Agur son of Jakeh, Lemuel and other wise men

An editor compiling from various sources well after the time of Solomon[citation needed]

Ecclesiastes

Solomon

A Hebrew poet of the 3rd or 2nd centuries BC using the life of Solomon as a vista for the Hebrews’ pursuit of Wisdom. An unknown author in Hellenistic period from two older oral sources (Eccl 1:1–6:9 which claims to be Solomon, Eccl 6:10–12:8 with the theme of non-knowing)[citation needed]

Song of Solomon

Solomon

Unknown, scholarly estimates vary between 950 BC to 200 BC[20]

Wisdom

Solomon

An Alexandrian Jew writing during the Jewish Hellenistic period

Sirach

Jesus the son of Sirach of Jerusalem

Isaiah

Isaiah

Three main authors and an extensive editing process:[20]
Isaiah 1–39 “Historical Isaiah” with multiple layers of editing, 8th century BC
Isaiah 40–55 Exilic(Deutero-Isaiah), 6th century BC
Isaiah 56–66 post-exilic(Trito-Isaiah), 6th–5th century BC

Jeremiah

Jeremiah

unknown, possibly Baruch ben Neriah.[21] This book has some affinities with the Deuteronomist author

Lamentations

Jeremiah

Disputed

Letter of Jeremiah

Jeremiah

A Hellenistic Jew living in Alexandria[citation needed]

Baruch

Baruch ben Neriah

An author writing during or shortly after the period of the Maccabees

Ezekiel

Ezekiel

Disputed, with varying degrees of attribution to Ezekiel

Daniel

Daniel, 6th century BC

An editor/author in the mid-2nd century BC[citation needed]

Hosea

Hosea, mid eight century BC

An unknown author, writing in the eight century BC or later[20]

Joel

Joel

unknown

Amos

Amos, 8th century BC

An unknown author, writing after the 6th century BC[20]

Obadiah

Obadiah

An unknown author, writing in the 6th century BC or later[20]

Jonah

Jonah

Possibly a post-exilic (after 530 BC) editor recording oral traditions passed down from the 8th century BC

Micah

Micah

The first three chapters by Micah and the remainder by a later writer

Nahum

Nahum

An unknown author, writing in the 6th century BC or later[20]

Habakkuk

Habakkuk

An unknown author, writing in the 6th century BC or later[20]

Zephaniah

Zephaniah

Disputed; possibly a writer after the time period indicated by the text

Haggai

Haggai, late 6th century BC

An unknown author, writing in the 5th century BC or later[20]

Zechariah

Zechariah

Zechariah (chapters 1–8); the later remaining designated Deutero-Zechariah, were possibly written by disciples of Zechariah

Malachi

Malachi or Ezra

Possibly the author of Deutero-Zechariah

New Testament

Table of interpretations: New Testament

Book

Author according to
tradition

Author according to
higher critical scholarship

Gospel of Mark

Mark, follower of Peter; mid 1st century

anonymous, perhaps Mark, follower of Peter; mid to late 1st century; the first written gospel

Gospel of Matthew

The Apostle Matthew

An unknown author who borrowed from both Mark and a source called Q, late 1st century

Gospel of Luke

Luke, companion of Paul

Luke or an unknown author who borrowed from both Mark and a source called Q, late 1st century

Gospel of John

Apostle John

An unknown author; John 21 finished after death of primary author by follower(s); the last written gospel[22][23][24]

Acts of the Apostles

Luke, companion of Paul

Luke or an unknown author who also wrote the Gospel of Luke

Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Epistle to Philemon

Paul the Apostle, see Pauline epistles

Paul

Ephesians

Paul the Apostle

Paul or edited dictations from Paul

Colossians

Paul the Apostle

Disputed; perhaps Paul coauthoring with Timothy

2 Thessalonians

Paul the Apostle

pseudepigraphal, perhaps an associate or disciple after his death, representing what they believed was his message[25]

1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, see Pastoral epistles

Paul the Apostle

pseudepigraphal, perhaps someone associated with Paul, writing at a later date
see Authorship of the Pauline epistles

Epistle to the Hebrews

Paul the Apostle(disputed)

An unknown author, but almost certainly not Paul,[26] c 95

James

James the Just

pseudepigraphal; a writer in the late 1st or early 2nd centuries, after the death of James the Just[27]

1 Peter

Apostle Peter, before 64 (Peter’s martyrdom)

pseudepigraphal or perhaps Silas, proficient with Greek writing, 70–90

2 Peter

Apostle Peter, before 64

pseudepigraphal, likely not Peter,[28] perhaps as late as c 150, the last-written book of the Bible

1 John

Apostle John

An unknown author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus, l ate 1st century, possibly the author of the Gospel of John

2 John, 3 John

Apostle John (sometimes disputed)

An unknown author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus, final Editor of John 21, c 100–110, possibly the author of the Gospel of John[citation needed]

Jude

Jude the Apostle or Jude, brother of Jesus

A pseudonymous work written between the end of the 1st century and the first quarter of the 2nd century[29]

Book of Revelation

Apostle John(sometimes disputed)

distinct author, perhaps John of Patmos (not the same author as the Gospel of John or 2 & 3 John)
see
Authorship of the Johannine works

Qur’an

Modern higher criticism is just beginning for the Qur’an. This scholarship questions some traditional claims about its composition and content, contending that the Qur’an incorporates material from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament; however, other scholars argue that it cites examples from previous texts, as the New Testament did to the Old Testament.

Attempts at higher criticism of the Qur’an have met with hostility and resistance among traditional Islamic scholars, who contend that using the methods of higher criticism either implies that the Qur’an was written by human beings—a position incompatible with the generally accepted tenet that the Qur’an is the literal word of God revealed to Muhammad—or that the Qur’an was created, a position held by the Mu’tazili school of early Islam but rejected by the Ash’ari school that forms the basis for mainstream Islamic thought today. Attempts to resolve the issue or sidestep it, such as Nasr Abu Zayd‘s attempt to treat the Qur’an as a divinely revealed naṣṣ (text) in the human Arabic language and thus subject to higher criticism and hermeneutics, have not been widely accepted.

Controversy of critical methods

Views on higher-criticism

Higher criticism was recognized to varying extents, by Orthodox Jews and many traditional Christians, yet they often found that higher critics gave unsatisfactory or even heretical interpretations. In particular, religious conservatives object to the rationalistic and naturalistic presuppositions of a large number of practitioners of higher criticism, which lead to conclusions that conservative scholars find unscientific.

Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) condemned secular biblical scholarship in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus.[30] However, in 1943 Pope Pius XII gave license to the new scholarship in his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu: “[T]extual criticism … [is] quite rightly employed in the case of the Sacred Books … Let the interpreter then, with all care and without neglecting any light derived from recent research, endeavor to determine the peculiar character and circumstances of the sacred writer, the age in which he lived, the sources written or oral to which he had recourse and the forms of expression he employed.” [31] The current Pope Benedict XVI has debated influential critical theorist Jürgen Habermas.

Today, many Evangelical Protestants oppose the methods of the higher criticism, and hold that the Bible is divinely inspired and incapable of error, at least in its original form.[12][32] Within academia, the new hermeneutics inspired by critical theory has eclipsed earlier critical approaches such as higher criticism.[33]

Views on historical-methods

The historical-critical method of Biblical scholarship is taught widely in Western nations, including in many seminaries.[12] According to Ehrman, most lay Christians are unaware of how different this particular academic view of the Bible is from their own.[12] Conservative evangelical and Catholic schools, however, often reject this approach, teaching instead that the Bible is completely inerrant in all matters (in contrast to the less conservative Protestant view that it is infallible only in matters relating to personal salvation, a doctrine called biblical infallibility) and that it reflects explicit divine inspiration.[12] However, the Catholic Church, while teaching inerrancy,[34] also allows for more nuance in interpretation than would conservative Evangelical schools, because of its historical understanding of the “four senses of Scripture”.[35]

In regards to Protestant historical-criticism, the movement of rationalism as promoted by Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), held that reason is the determiner of truth. Spinoza did not regard the Bible as divinely inspired, instead it was to be evaluated like any other book. Later rationalists also have rejected the authority of Scripture.[36] However the Bible remains a best seller worldwide.

Footnotes

1.      ^ a b c d Soulen, Richard N.; Soulen, R. Kendall (2001). Handbook of biblical criticism (3rd ed., rev. and expanded. ed.). Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-664-22314-1.

2.      ^ a b c d Soulen, Richard N. (2001). John Knox. p. 79.

3.      ^ Hahn, general editor, Scott (2009). Catholic Bible dictionary (1st ed. ed.). New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-51229-5.

4.      ^ Soulen, Richard N. (2001). John Knox. pp. 108, 190.

5.      ^ Gerhard Ebeling. Word and Faith. Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1963

6.      ^ Burkert, Greek Religion (1985), Introduction.

7.      ^ Antony F. Campbell, SJ, “Preparatory Issues in Approaching Biblical Texts”, in The Hebrew Bible in Modern Study, p.6. Campbell renames source criticism as “origin criticism”.

8.      ^ Bibledudes.com

9.      ^ Yair Hoffman, review of Marvin A. Sweeney and Ehud Ben Zvi (eds.), The Changing Face of Form-Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, 2003

10.  ^ Religious Studies Department, Santa Clara University.

11.  ^ Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, p. 125, Touchstone, 1961, ISBN 0-671-20159-X,

12.  ^ a b c d e f g Ehrman, Bart D.. Jesus, Interrupted, HarperCollins, 2009. ISBN 0-06-117393-2

13.  ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2007

14.  ^ Dates for the Sacred Texts of the Jewish and Christian Traditions: Athabasca University

15.  ^ a b Glenn Everett, Associate Professor of English, University of Tennessee at Martin (1988). “The Higher Critics”. The Victorian Web. http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/higher.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06.

16.  ^ “Tubingen School”. http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/western/bldef_tubingenschool.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-06.

17.  ^ Glenn Everett, Associate Professor of English, University of Tennessee at Martin (1988). “Essays and Reviews (1860)”. The Victorian Web. http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/essays.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06.

18.  ^ Josef L. Altholz, Professor of History, University of Minnesota (1976). “The Warfare of Conscience with Theology”. The Mind and Art of Victorian England. Victorian Web. http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/altholz/a2.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06.

19.  ^ New American Bible: Job

20.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Dates for the Sacred Texts of the Jewish and Christian Traditions

21.  ^ Miller, Stephen M., Huber, Robert V. (2004). The Bible: A History. Good Books. pp. 33. ISBN 1-56148-414-8.

22.  ^ New American Bible: John

23.  ^ see Signs Gospel for more on reconstruction of original John

24.  ^ Vindicating the Integrity of John’s Gospel

25.  ^ Ehrman, Bart D. (2004). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford, p.385; Beverly Roberts Gaventa, First and Second Thessalonians, Westminster John Knox Press, 1998, p.93; Vincent M. Smiles, First Thessalonians, Philippians, Second Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, Liturgical Press, 2005, p.53; Udo Schnelle, translated by M. Eugene Boring, The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998), pp. 315–325; M. Eugene Boring, Fred B. Craddock, The People’s New Testament Commentary, Westminster John Knox Press, 2004 p652; Joseph Francis Kelly, An Introduction to the New Testament for Catholics, Liturgical Press, 2006 p.32

26.  ^ http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=531&C=563 Richard Heard, Introduction To The New Testament

27.  ^ New American Bible: James

28.  ^ Carson, D.A., and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament, second edition. HarperCollins Canada; Zondervan: 2005. ISBN 0-310-23859-5, ISBN 978-0-310-23859-1. p.659.

29.  ^ New American Bible: Jude

30.  ^ Fogarty, page 40.

31.  ^ Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, 1943.

32.  ^ Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

33.  ^ IVP New Bible Commentary 21st Century edition. p11

34.  ^ [1], Chapter III, par. 11.

35.  ^ [2]

36.  ^ Klein, William W. William Wade; Craig Blomberg, Robert L Hubbard, Kermit Allen Ecklebarger (1993). Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Dallas, Tex.: Word Pub. ISBN 0-8499-0774-8. Page 43

Gospels Contradict Each Other

Gospels Contradict Each Other

One of the important points to indicate that the Gospels have little to Gospels Contradict Each Otherdo with the Original Bible revealed to Jesus is that they contradict one another in many ways. This point becomes more significant especially when we take into consideration that the verses of the Quran and even the remarks of the Companions about the Prophet of Islam are in complete conformity with one another.

Although there are plenty of contradictory statements in the Gospels, we deem it sufficient to mention only a few:

1. Matthew and Luke give contradictory information about the lineage of Jesus.
In Matthew, Heron was the father of Ram whilst in Luke the father of Arni, and in Luke, where fifty-five names are given between Jesus and Abraham, Ram is never mentioned, and likewise in Matthew, that gives forty-two names of ancestry for the same period, we cannot see Arni.
The genealogy between King David and Shealtiel is completely different, which must be originating from the contradiction that according to Matthew Jesus was descended from Solomon, the son of David, whilst according to Luke from Nathan, another son of David.

Matthew and Luke give contradictory information about the grandfather of Jesus. According to the former, Joseph, who was the fiancé of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the son of Jacob, but in Luke we read that he was the son of Heli.

2. Matthew writes that “an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Herod will be looking for the child in order to kill him. So get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave.” Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died.”(2:13-15) This episode has not been recorded in any other books; what is more, Luke writes about the same period that “They took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: “Every first-born male is to be dedicated to the Lord..” When Joseph and Mary had finished doing all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their home town of Nazareth in Galilee. The child grew and became strong; he was full of wisdom, and God’s blessings were upon him.”(2:22-23, 39-40)

3. Matthew tells that Joseph returned from Egypt together with Jesus and Mary after the death of Herod, the then Governor of Palestine, and made his home in a town named Nazareth. He also points out that Herod was succeeded by Archelus, but he contradicts himself by writing that it was Herod who killed John the Baptist after all his narration of Jesus’ communications with John during their missions in Galilee.

According to the other three Gospels, Herod was still alive when Jesus was arrested.

4. The Jews believed that someone named Elijah would come before the Messiah, and accordingly the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John the Baptist to ask him whether he was the expected Elijah. “John did not refuse to answer (their question), but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: “I am not the Messiah, nor Elijah. ” (John, 1:19-21) In contrary to this, Matthew writes that Jesus proclaimed: “John is Elijah, whose coming was predicted” (Matthew,11:14) and “Elijah is indeed coming first and he will get everything ready. But I tell you that Elijah has already come and people did not recognize him, but treated him just as they pleased. In the same way they will also mistreat the Son of Man.” And “the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.”(Matthew, 17:11-13)

About the contradictions of the Gospels does Horn, whose interpretation of the Gospels appeared in 1822, remark that there are so many contradictions in the Gospels that it is impossible to reconcile them.(p:276)

5. Matthew writes that Jesus healed two blind men while he was leaving Jericho together with his disciples,(20:29-34) but we read in Mark that he healed only one man(10:47-52). Luke mentions only one blind man, too but he tells that this happened while they were coming near Jericho, not leaving it.(18:35-43)
A careful reader of the Gospels will easily notice that such contradictions are common to all the episodes mentioned in the Gospels.

6. Matthew tells that “John fasted (all the time) and drank no wine”(11:18),but Mark contradicts him saying that “his food was locusts and wild honey”.(1:6)

7. John reports Jesus to have said: “If I testify on my own behalf, what I say is not to be accepted as real proof. But there is someone else who testifies on my behalf, and I know that what he says about me is true.”(5:31-33) This report is contradicted by John himself in his narration: “The Pharisees said to him: “Now you are testifying on your own behalf; what you say proves nothing.” “No”, Jesus answered; “even though I do testify on my behalf, what I say is true, because I know where I came from and where I am going.”(8:13-14)

8. Every reader can easily see the contradictions between Matthew and John in their narrations of how Jesus disclosed his disciple who would hand him over to his opponents and how he was arrested. (Matthew:26, John:13, 18)

9. The four Gospels contradict one another in eight points while narrating Petrus’ denial of Jesus. (Matthew,26:69-75; Mark, 14:64-72; Luke, 22:54-62; John, 18:15-18, 25-27).

l0.The four Canonical Gospels contradict one another in telling about the so-called resurrection of Jesus. According to Matthew, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away and sat on it. Then, he spoke to the women. “You must not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has been raised. Go quickly, now, and tell his disciples. “He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!”(28:1-3, 5-7)

Mark writes that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome(three women) went to the tomb. They looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. So they entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe.”(16:1-5)

We read in Luke that “the women went to the tomb, found the stone rolled away.. so they went in.. They stood there.. When suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them.. and said to the women: “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful men, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.” Then the women remembered his words, returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest.” Luke’s narration goes on with Jesus’ walk to Emmaus with two of his followers without making himself known. This addition is never mentioned in the other Gospels.

Jone’s narration of the resurrection is much more different from the others. According to him, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb..” Then Peter and the other disciple went to the Tomb. Mary stood crying outside the tomb.. She bent over and looked in the tomb and saw two angels there dressed in white.. Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing, who told her: “I have not yet gone back up to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to Him Who is my Father and their Father , my God and their God..”

The contradictions seen in this episode only are so many and clear that Christian ‘fathers’ have not any justification to make us believe that the Gospels are identical with the Original Gospel revealed to Jesus, which must contain nothing contradictory. This clearly shows that Christians have had false, polytheistic beliefs for centuries in the name of following a great Prophet of Allah.
11. Matthew reports Jesus to have said: “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them His children.”(5th Section) It is Matthew himself again who contradicts his own statements in the 10th Section by reporting Jesus to have said this time: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law…”

They have been Christians who have shed blood for centuries all over the world, and it was the Christian world that caused millions of people to die and cities to demolish in two world wars. This they did and continue to do in the name of a religion which they claim to preach mercy and compassion!

 

Gospel Of Valantine

Gospel Of Valantine

Gospel Of Valantine1. The Gospel of Truth is joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the gift of recognizing° him, thru the power of the meaning who comes forth from the fullness which is in the thought and mind of the Father. This is he who is called the Savior–that being the name of the task which he is to do for the atonement of those who had been unacquainted with the Name of the Father. (Mt 1:21, Jn 17, Ac 4:12)

2. Now the Gospel is the revelation of the hopeful, it is the finding of those who seek him. For since the totality were searching for him from whom they came forth–and the totality were within him, the incomprehensible inconceivable, he who exists beyond all thought¹–hence unacquaintance with the Father caused anxiety and fear. Then the anxiety condensed like a fog so that no one could see. (¹Ph 125)

3. Wherefore confusion grew strong, contriving its matter in emptiness and unacquaintance with the truth, preparing to substitute a potent and alluring fabrication for truthfulness. But this was no humiliation for him, the incomprehensible inconceivable. For the anxiety and the amnesia¹ and the deceitful fabrication were nothing–whereas the established truth is immutable, imperturbable and of unadornable beauty. Therefore despise confusion! It has no roots and was in a fog concerning the Father, preparing labors and amnesia and fear in order thereby to entice those of the transition and take them captive.(¹thus Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina: ‘… that universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insolvable: one must live in the needs of the day–that is, forget’)

4. The amnesia of confusion was not made as a revelation, it is not the handiwork of the Father. Forgetfulness does not occur under his directive, although it does happen because of him. But rather what exists within him is acquaintanceship–this being revealed so that forgetfulness might dissolve and the Father be recognized. Since amnesia occurred because the Father was not recognized, thereafter when the Father is recognized there will be no more forgetting.

5. This is the Gospel of him who is sought, which he has revealed to those perfected thru the mercies of the Father as the secret mystery: Yeshúa the Christ! He enlightened those who were in darkness because of forgetfulness. He illumined them. He gave them a path, and that path is the truth which he proclaimed.

6. Therefore confusion was enraged at him and pursued him in order to suppress and eliminate him. He was nailed to a tree¹; he became the fruit of recognizing the Father. Yet it did not cause those who consumed it to perish, but rather to those who consumed it he bestowed a rejoicing at such a discovery. For he found them in himself and they found him in themselves²–the incomprehensible inconceivable, the Father, this perfect-one who created the totality, within whom the totality exists and of whom the totality has need. For he had withheld within himself their perfection, which he had not yet conferred upon them all. (¹anti-Gnostic: Dt 21:22-23, Jn 19:18, Ac 10:39; ²Jn 14:20)

7. The Father is not jealous, for what envy could there be between him and his members?¹ For if the way of this aeon had prevailed they would not have been able to come unto the Father, who retains within himself their fulfillment and bestows it upon them as a return to himself with a recognition which is single in perfection. It is he who ordained the totality, and the totality is within him² and the totality had need of him. It is like a person with whom some have been unacquainted, yet who desires that they recognize and love him. For what did they all lack except acquaintance with the Father? (Jn 14:9; ¹cp. Mk 15:10; ²Ph 21)

8. Thus he became a reposeful and leisurely guide in the place of instruction. The Logos came to the midst° and spoke as their appointed teacher. There approached those who considered themselves wise, putting him to the test–yet he shamed them in their vanity. They hated him because they were not truly wise. Then after them all there also approached the little children, those who have the acquaintance of the Father. Having been confirmed, they learned of the face-forms° of the Father.¹ They recognized, they were recognized; they were glorified, they glorified. Revealed in their heart was the living book of life, this which is inscribed in the thought and mind of the Father and which has been within his incomprehensibility since before the foundation of the totality. No one can take this (book) away, because it was appointed for him who would take it and be slain². (Mt 18:10; ¹cp. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V.6: ‘The Son is said to be the Father’s face, being the revealer of the Father’s character to the five senses by clothing Himself with flesh’; ²anti-Gnostic)

9. No one of those who trusted in salvation could have become manifest unless this book had come to the midst. This is why the merciful and faithful-one–Yeshúa!–patiently endured the sufferings in order to take this book, since he knew that his death would become life for many. Just as the fortune of the deceased master of the estate remains secret until his bequest is opened, so also the totality remained hidden so long as the Father of the totality was invisible–this-one thru whom all dimensions originate. This is why Yeshúa appeared, clothed in that book. (Rev/Ap 5:1-5)

10. He was nailed to a tree¹ in order to publish the edict of the Father on the cross. Oh sublime teaching, such that he humbled himself unto death while clad in eternal life! He stripped off the rags of mortality in order to don this imperishability which none has the power to take from him. Entering into the empty spaces of the terrors, he brought forth those who had been divested by amnesia. Acting with recognition and perfection, he proclaimed what is in the heart [of the Father, in order to] make wise those who are to receive the teaching. Yet those who are instructed are the living, inscribed in this book of life, who are taught about themselves and who receive themselves from the Father in again returning to him. (¹anti-Gnostic: Tr 6 refs.)

11. Because the perfection of the totality is in the Father, it is requisite that they all ascend unto him. When someone recognizes, he receives the things that are his own and gathers them to himself. For he who is unacquainted has a lack–and what he lacks is great, since what he lacks is Him who will make him perfect. Because the perfection of the totality is in the Father, it is requisite that they all ascend unto him. Thus each and every one receives himself. (Mt 5:48)

12. He pre-inscribed them, having prepared this gift for those who emerged from him. Those whose names he foreknew are all called at the end. Thus someone who recognizes has his name spoken by the Father. For he whose name has not been spoken remains unacquainted. How indeed can anyone hearken whose name has not been called? For he who remains unacquainted until the end is a figment of forgetfulness and will vanish with it. Otherwise why indeed is there no name for those wretches, and why do they not heed the call?

13. Thus someone with acquaintance is from above. When he is called he hears and heeds and returns to him who called, ascending unto him. And he discovers who it is that calls him. In recognition he does the volition of him who called. He desires to please him, and granted repose he receives the Name of the One. He who recognizes thus discovers from whence he has come and whither he is going. He understands like someone who was intoxicated and who has shaken off his drunkenness and returned to himself, to set upright those things which are his own. (Th 28)

14. He has brought many back from confusion. He went before them into the spaces thru which their hearts had migrated in going astray due to the depth of him who encompasses all dimensions without himself being encompassed. It is a great wonder that they were within the Father without recognizing him, and that they were able to depart unto themselves because they could neither comprehend nor recognize him in whom they were. For thus his volition had not yet emerged from within himself. For he revealed himself so that all his emanations° would reunite with him in recognition.

15. This is acquaintance with the living book, whereby at the end he has manifested the eternal-ones° as the alphabet of his revelation. These are not vowels nor are they consonants, such that someone might read them and think of emptiness, but rather they are the true alphabet by which those who recognize it are themselves expressed. Each letter is a perfect thought, each letter is like a complete book written in the alphabet of unity by the Father, who inscribes the eternal-ones so that thru his alphabet they might recognize the Father.

16. His wisdom meditates on the Meaning, his teaching expresses it, his acquaintance revealed it, his dignity is crowned by it, his joy unites with it, his glory exalted it, his appearance manifested it, his repose received it, his love embodied it, his faith embraced it.

17. Thus the Logos of the Father comes into the totality as the fruit of his heart and the face-form of his volition. But he supports them all, he atones them and moreover he assumes the face-form of everyone, purifying them, bringing them back–within the Father, within the Mother, Yeshúa of infinite kindness. The Father uncovers his bosom¹, which is the Holy Spirit, revealing his secret. His secret is his Son! Thus thru the compassions of the Father the eternal-ones recognize him. And they cease their toil of seeking for the Father and repose in him, recognizing that this is the repose. (¹cp. Odes of St Solomon 8:17–‘My own breasts I prepared for them, that they might drink my holy milk and live thereby’; see also Ode 19)

18. Having replenished the deficiency, he dissolved the scheme°. For the scheme is this world in which he served as a slave, and deficiency is the place of jealousy and quarreling. Yet the place of the unity is perfect. Since deficiency occurred because the Father was not recognized, thereafter when the Father is recognized there shall be no deficiency. Just as with ignorance, when someone comes to know, the ignorance dissolves of itself–and also as darkness dissipates when the light shines–so also deficiency vanishes when perfection appears. Thus from that moment on there is no more scheme, but rather it disappears in the fusion of the unity. For now their involvements are made equal in the moment when the fusion perfects the spaces. (Th 61b)

19. Each one shall receive himself in the unification and shall be purified from multiplicity into unity in acquaintanceship–consuming matter in himself like a flame, darkness with light, and death with life. Since these things have thus happened to each one of us, it is appropriate that we think of the totality so that the household be holy and silent for the unity.

20. It is like some who move jars from their proper places to unsafe places, where they are broken. And yet the master of the house suffered no loss but rather rejoiced, for those unsound jars were replaced by these which are fully perfect. This is the judgment which has come from above, like a double-edged sword drawn to cut this way and that as each one is judged.

21. There came to the midst the Logos, which is in the heart of those who express it. This was not a mere sound, but rather it was incarnate.¹ A great disturbance occurred among the jars–for lo some were emptied, others were filled, some were supplied, others were overturned, some were cleansed, others were broken. All of the spaces quaked and were agitated, having neither order nor stability. Confusion was in anguish at not discerning what to do–distressed and lamenting and cropping-hair² from understanding nothing. (¹anti-Gnostic; ²Lev 19:27 & Num 6:5)

22. Then when recognition approached with all its emanations, this was the annihilation of confusion which was emptied into nothingness. The truth came to the midst, and all his emanations recognized and embraced the Father in truth and united with him in a perfect power. For everyone who loves the truth attaches himself to the mouth of the Father with his tongue by receiving the Holy Spirit. (Ac 2:1-4) The truth is the mouth of the Father, his language is the Holy Spirit joined to him in truth. This is the revelation of the Father and his self-manifestation to his eternal-ones. He has revealed his secret, explaining it all.

23. For who is the existent-one, except for the Father alone? All dimensions are his emanations, recognized in coming forth from his heart like sons from a mature person who knows them. Each one whom the Father begets had previously received neither form° nor name. Then they were formed thru his self-awareness. Although indeed they had been in his mind, they had not recognized him. The Father however is perfectly acquainted with all the dimensions, which are within him.

24. Whenever he wishes he manifests whomever he wishes, forming him and naming him. And in giving him a name, he causes him to come into being. Before they came into being, these assuredly were unacquainted with him who fashioned them. I do not say however that those who have not yet come into being are nothings–but rather they pre-exist within him who shall intend their becoming when he desires it, like a season yet to come. Before anyone is manifest (the Father) knows what he will bring forth. But the fruit that is not yet manifest neither recognizes nor accomplishes anything. Thus all dimensions themselves exist within the Father who exists, from whom they come forth, and who established them unto himself from that which is not. (Th 19)

25. Whoever lacks root also lacks fruit, but still he thinks to himself: ‘I have become, so I shall decease–for everything that (earlier) did not (yet) exist, (later) shall no (longer) exist.’¹ What therefore does the Father desire that such a person think about himself?: ‘I have been like the shadows and the phantoms of the night!’ When the dawn shines upon him, this person ascertains that the terror which had seized him was nothing. They were thus unacquainted with the Father because they did not behold him. Hence there occurred terror and turmoil and weakness and doubt and division, with many deceptions and empty fictions at work thru these. (¹thus Victor Hugo, Les Misérables: ‘Did I exist before my birth? No. Shall I, after my death? No.’)

26. It was as if they were sunk in sleep and found themselves in troubled dreams–either fleeing somewhere, or powerlessly pursuing others, or delivering blows in brawls, or themselves suffering blows, or falling from a high place, or sailing thru the air without wings. Sometimes it even seems as if they are being murdered although no one pursues them, or as if they themselves are murdering their neighbors since they are sullied by their blood.

27. Then the moment comes when those who have endured all this awaken, no longer to see all those troubles–for they are naught. (Th 2) Such is the way of those who have cast off ignorance like sleep and consider it to be nothing, neither considering its various events as real, but rather leaving it behind like a dream of the night. Recognizing the Father brings the dawn! This is what each one has done, sleeping in the time when he was unacquainted. And this is how, thus awakened, he comes to recognition. (Isa 29:7-8)

28. How good for the person who returns to himself and awakens, and blest is he whose blind eyes have been opened! And the Spirit ran after him, resurrecting him swiftly. Extending her hand to him who was prostrate on the ground, she lifted him up on his feet who had not yet arisen. Now the recognition which gives understanding is thru the Father and the revelation of his Son. Once they have seen him and heard him, he grants them to taste and to smell and to touch the beloved Son. (the five senses, anti-Gnostic; Th 19)

29. When he appeared, telling them about the incomprehensible Father, he breathed into them¹ what is in the thought of doing his volition. Many received the light and returned to him. But the materialists were alien and did not behold his likeness nor recognize him, although he came forth incarnate² in form. Nothing obstructs his course–for imperishability is indomitable. Moreover he proclaimed beforehand that which was new, expressing what is in the heart of the Father and bringing forth the flawless Logos. (¹see EMFUSAW in Jn 20:22, also Gen 2:7; cp. Odes of St Solomon 18:19–‘The Most High breathed into them’; ²anti-Gnostic, Jn 1:14)

30. Light spoke thru his mouth, and his voice gave birth to life. He gave to them the thought of wisdom, of mercy, of salvation, of the Spirit of power from the infinity and the kindness of the Father. He abolished punishment and torment, for these caused some who had need of mercy to go astray from his face in confusion and bondage. And with power he pardoned them,¹ and he humbled them in acquaintanceship. (¹e.g. Jn 8:2-11)

31. He became a path for those who had strayed, acquaintance for the unaware, discovery for those who seek, stability for the wavering, and immaculate purity for those who were defiled.

32. He is the shepherd who left behind the 99 sheep which were not lost, in order to go searching for this-one which had strayed. And he rejoiced when he found it. For 99 is a number that is counted° on the left hand, which tallies it. But when 1 is added, the entire sum passes to the right hand. So it is with him who lacks the One, which is the entire right hand–he takes from the left what is deficient in order to transfer it to the right, and thus the number becomes 100. Now, the signification within these words is the Father. (Mt 18:12-13, Th 107)

33. Even on the Sabbath he labored for the sheep which he found fallen into the pit. He restored the sheep to life, bringing it up from the pit, so that you Sons of heart-understanding may discern this Sabbath on which the work of salvation must never cease, and so that you may speak from this day which is above, which has no night, and from the perfect light which never sets. (Mt 12:11, Th 27 34, Ph 142)

34. Speak therefore from your hearts, for you are this perfect day and within you dwells this abiding light. Speak of the truth with those who seek it, and of acquaintanceship unto those who in confusion have transgressed. Support those who stumble, reach out your hand to the sick, feed those who are hungry, give repose to the weary, uplift those who yearn to arise, awaken those who sleep–for you are the wisdom that rescues! (Mt 25:31-46!)

35. Thus strength grows in action. Give heed to yourselves–be not concerned with those other things which you have already cast out of yourselves. Do not return to what you have regurgitated, be not moth-eaten, be not worm-eaten–for you have already cast that out. Do not become a place for the Devil, for you have already eliminated him. Do not reinforce those things that made you stumble and fall. Thus is uprightness!

36. For someone who violates the Torah harms himself more than the judgement harms him. For he does his deeds illicitly, whereas he who is righteous does his deeds for the sake of others. Do therefore the volition of the Father, because you are from him. For the Father is kind, and things are good thru his volition. He has taken cognizance of whatever is yours, so that you may repose yourselves concerning such things–for in their fruition it is recognized whose they are. (Jn 16:28, Lk 6:43-44)

37. The Sons of the Father are his fragrance, for they are from the grace of his face. Therefore the Father loves his fragrance and manifests it everywhere. And blending it with matter,¹ he bestows his fragrance upon the light, and in his repose he exalts it over every likeness and every sound. For it is not the ears that inhale the fragrance, but rather the breath (spirit) has the sense of smell and draws it to oneself–and thus is someone baptized in the fragrance of the Father. (¹anti-Gnostic!)

38. Thus he brings it to harbor, drawing his original fragrance which had grown cold unto the place from which it came. It was something which in psychic form had become like cold water permeating loose soil, such that those who see it think it to be dirt. Then afterwards, when a warm and fragrant breeze blows, it again evaporates. Thus coldness results from separation. (Th 11, Ph 86) This is why the faithful-one came–to abolish division and bring the warm fullness of love, so that the cold would not return but rather there should be the unification of perfect thought. This is the Logos of the Gospel of the finding of the fullness by those who await the salvation which comes from on high. Prolonged is the hope of those who await–those whose likeness is the light which contains no shadow–at that time when the fullness finally comes. (Ph 85 112)

39. The deficiency of matter did not originate thru the infinity of the Father, who came in the time of inadequacy–although no one could say that the indestructible would arrive in this manner. But the profundity of the Father abounded, and the thought of confusion was not with him. It is a topic for falling prostrate, it is a reposeful topic–to be set upright on one’s feet, in being found by this-one who came to bring him back. For the return is called: Metanoia°! (Mk 1:4&15, Tr 28)

40. This is why imperishability breathed forth–to seek after the transgressor so that he might have repose. For to forgive is to remain behind with the light, the Logos of the fullness, in the deficiency. Thus the physician hastens to the place where there is illness, for this is his heart’s desire. But he who has a lack cannot hide it from him who possesses what he needs. Thus the fullness, which has no deficiency, replenishes the lack.

41. (The Father) gave of himself to replenish whomever lacks, in order that thereby he may receive grace. In the time of his deficiency he had no grace. Thus wherever grace is absent, there is inferiority. At the time when he received this smallness which he lacked,¹ (then the Father) revealed to him a fullness, which is this finding of the light of truth that dawned upon him in unchangeability. This is why the Christ was invoked in their midst–so that they would receive their returning. He anoints with the Chrism those who have been troubled. The anointing is the compassion of the Father who will have mercy upon them. Yet those whom he has anointed are those who are perfected². (¹Mt 18:4, Th 21 22 46, Tr 8; ²Mt 5:48)

42. For jars which are full are those which are sealed°. Yet when its sealant is destroyed, a jar leaks. And the cause of its being emptied is the absence of its sealant, for then something in the dynamics of the air evaporates it. But that is not emptied from which no sealant has been removed, nor does anything leak away, but rather the perfect Father replenishes whatever is lacking.

43. He is good. He knows his seedlings, for it is he who planted them in his paradise. Now his paradise is his realm of repose. This is the perfection in the thought of the Father, and these are the logoi° of his meditation. Each one of his logoi is the product of his unitary volition in the revelation of his meaning. While they were still in the depths of his thought, the Logos was the first to come forth. Furthermore he revealed them from a mind that expresses the unique Logos in the silent grace called thought, since they existed therein prior to becoming manifest. So it occurred that (the Logos) was the first to come forth at the time when it pleased the volition of him who intended it. (Jn 1:1)

44. Now the volition of the Father is that which reposes in his heart and pleases him. Nothing exists without him, nor does anything occur without the volition of the Father. (Ps 139:16, Prov 20:24, Jn 5:19) But his volition is unfathomable. (Isa 40:13) His volition is his imprint, and no one can determine it nor anticipate it in order to control it. But whenever he wills, what he wills exists–even if the sight does not please them. They are nothing before the face of God and the volition of the Father. For he knows the beginning and the ending of them all–at their end he shall question them face-to-face. Yet the ending is to receive acquaintance with this-one who was hidden.¹ Now this is the Father–this-one from whom the beginning came forth, this-one to whom all these shall return who came forth from him. (Th 77) Yet they have been manifest for the glory and joy of his Name. (¹thus Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V.6: ‘Having become Son and Friend, [the Disciple] is now replenished with insatiable contemplation face to face’)

45. Now the Name of the Father is the Son. He first named him who came forth from himself, and who is himself. And he begot him as a Son. He bestowed his own Name upon him. It is the Father who from his heart possesses all things. He has the Name, he has the Son who can be seen. Yet his Name is transcendental–for it alone is the mystery of the invisible, which thru him comes to ears completely filled with it. (Mt 1:21, Lk 1:31, Jn 17:6-26!, Ph 11!)

46. For indeed the Name of the Father is not spoken, yet rather it is manifested as a Son. Accordingly, great is the Name! Who therefore could proclaim a Name for him, the supreme Name, except him alone whose Name this is, together with the Sons of the Name?–those in whose heart the Name of the Father reposes and who themselves likewise repose in his Name. Because the Father is unchangeable, it is he alone who begot him as his own Name before he fashioned the eternal-ones, so that the Name of the Father would be Lord over their heads–this-one who is truly the Name, secure in his command of perfect power. (Ex 3:14, Th 13)

47. The Name is not mere wordage, nor is it only terminology, but rather it is transcendental. He alone named him, he alone seeing him, he alone having the power to give him a name. Whoever does not exist has no name–for what names are given to nothingness? But this existing-one exists together with his Name. And the Father alone knows him, and he alone names him.

48. The Son is his Name. He did not keep him hidden as a secret–but rather the Son came to be, and (the Father) alone named him. Thus the Name belongs to the Father, such that the Name of the Father is the Son. How otherwise would compassion find a name, except from the Father? For after all, anyone will say to his companion: ‘Whoever could give a name to someone who existed before him?–as if children do not thus receive their names thru those who gave them birth!’

49. Firstly, therefore, it is appropriate that we think on this topic: what is the Name? Truly (the Son) is the Name–thus also he is the Name from the Father. He is the existent Name of the Lord. Thus he did not receive the Name on loan as do others, according to the pattern of each individual who is to be created in his heart. For he is the Lordly Name. There is no one else who bestowed it upon him, but he was unnamable and it was ineffable until the time when He who is Perfect gave expression to (the Son) alone. And it is (the Son) who has the power to express his Name and to see him. Thus it pleased (the Father) in his heart that his desired Name be his Son, and he gave the Name to him–this-one who came forth from the profundity.

50. (The Son) expressed his secret, knowing that the Father is benevolent. This is exactly why (the Father) brought this-one forth–so that he might speak of the dominion and his place of repose from which he came, and render glory to the fullness, the majesty of his Name, and the kindness of the Father. He shall speak of the realm from which each one came–and each one who issued from that place shall thus be hastened to return unto it again, to share in receiving his substance in the place where he stood¹, receiving the taste of that place, receiving nourishment and growth. And his own dominion of repose is his fullness. (¹Th 28)

51. Thus all the emanations of the Father are plenitudes, and the source of all his emanations is within the heart of Him from whom they all flourish. He bestowed their destinies upon them. (Ps 139:16, Prov 20:24, Jn 5:19) Thus is each one made manifest, such that thru their own meditation they [return to] the place to which they direct their thought. That place is their source, which lifts them thru all the heights of heaven unto the Father. They attain unto his head, which becomes their repose. And they are embraced as they approach him, so that they say that they have partaken of his face in kisses. (Ph 35 59) Yet they are not thus made manifest by exalting themselves. They neither lack the glory of the Father, nor do they think of him as being trite or bitter or wrathful. But rather he is benevolent, imperturbable and kind–knowing all the dimensionalities before they come into existence, and having no need of edification.

52. This is the form of those who themselves belong on high thru the grandeur of the immeasurable, as they await the single and perfect-one who makes himself there for them. And they do not descend unto the abode of the dead°. They have neither jealousy nor lamentation nor mortality there among them, but rather they repose within him who is reposeful. They are neither troubled nor devious concerning the truth, but rather they themselves are the truth. The Father is within them and they are within the Father, perfected and made indivisible in the truly good, not inadequate in anything but rather given repose and refreshed in the Spirit. And they shall obey their source in leisure, these within whom his root is found and who harm no soul. This is the place of the blest, this is their place! (Jn 17:21-23, Ph 102)

53. Wherefore let the remainder understand in their places that it is not appropriate for me, having been in the realm of repose, to say anything further. But it is within his heart that I shall be–forever devoted to the Father of the totality, together with those true Brothers upon whom pours the love of the Father and among whom there is no lack of him. These are they who are genuinely manifest, being in the true and eternal life and speaking the perfect light which is filled with the seed of the Father, and who are in his heart and in the fullness and in whom his Spirit rejoices, glorifying him in whom they exist. He is good, and his Sons are perfect and worthy of his Name. For it is children of this kind that he the Father desires.

 

Gospel Of Philip 101-143

Gospel Of Philip 101-143

101. The Chrism is lord over Baptism. For from the Chrism we are called Christics, and not because of the Baptism. And he is called the Christ because of the Chrism. For the Father anointed the Son, yet the Son anointed the Apostles, yet the Apostles anointed us. (Lk 4:18 ® Jn 20:21-22 ® Ac 6:5-6) He who is anointed has everything— he has the resurrection, the light, the cross¹, the Holy Spirit. The Father bestowed this upon him in the Bridal-Chamber, and he received. (¹anti-Gnostic; asyndeton)

102. The Father was in the Son, and the Son in the Father. This is the Sovereignty of the Heavens! (Jn 14:10, 17:20-23, Th 113!; thus Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo: ‘For me,… heaven is right here’)

103. Ideally did the Lord say: Some have entered the Sovereignty of the Heavens laughing, and they came forth [from the world rejoicing]. The Christic […] who went down into the water immediately came forth as lord over everything, because [he not only considered] (this world) a farce but also [disdained it for] the Sovereignty of the Heavens. […] If he disparages it and scorns it as a farce, he will come forth laughing. (Ph 96)

104. Furthermore, this is how it is with the bread and the chalice and with the ointment— there is nonetheless another (sacrament) more exalted than these. (Ph 73)

105. The system began in a transgression, for he who contrived it desired to make it imperishable and immortal. He fell away and did not attain his ambition. For there is no imperishability of the system, and there was no imperishability of him who contrived the system. For there is no imperishability of things but only of Sons, and no one can obtain imperishability except by becoming a Son. Yet he who is unable to receive, how much more will he be unable to give! (Ph 5, 49)

106. The chalice of communion° contains wine and water, for it is appointed as the symbol of the blood for which the Eucharist is celebrated. And it is filled with the Holy Spirit, and it belongs to the completely Perfected Person. Whenever we drink this, we receive the Perfect Person. (Jn 19:34, I-Jn 5:6-8)

107. The living water is a body. It is appropriate that we be clothed with the Living Person. Because of this, when he comes to go down into the water he undresses himself in order that he may be clothed with that. (Ph 26)

108. A horse begets a horse, a human begets a human,¹ a god begets a god. This is how it is with the Bridegroom within the Bride— [the Sons] come forth in the Bridal-Chamber. The Jews did not derive from the Greeks, and we Christics do not [derive] from the Jews. (Ph 50) […] And these are called the chosen generation of the [Holy Spirit]— the true person and the son of mankind and the seed of the son of mankind. This generation are called the true-ones in the world. This is the place where the Sons of the Bridal-Chamber are. (¹asyndeton)

109. Mating in this world is the man upon the woman, the place of strength over weakness. (Gen 3:16) In eternity the mating is something else in the likeness of this, yet it is called by these same names. Yet there is another (mating) which is exalted beyond all designated names, and which transcends force. For where there is force, there are also those who are more precious than force. (Ph 140)

110. The one is not, and the other is— but these are together the single unity.¹ This is He who shall not be able to come unto me thru a heart of flesh. (Ph 9; ¹thus Chuang Tzu, 4th century BC China: ‘That which is one is one, and that which is not one is also one; he who regards all things as One, is a companion of Heaven’)

111. Is it not appropriate for all those who possess the totality to understand themselves? Some indeed, who do not understand themselves, do not enjoy what they have. Yet those who do understand themselves shall enjoy it. (Ecc 6:1-2, Th 67)

112. Not only will they be unable to seize the perfected person, but they will not be able even to see him. For if they saw him they would seize him. In no other fashion will one be able to be begotten of this grace, unless he is clothed in the Perfect Light and himself becomes one of the Perfect Lights. […] Thus clad he enters into this perfection. (Mt 5:48, Ph 85)

113. [It is appropriate] that we become [perfected persons] before we come forth [from the world]. Whoever receives everything [without mastering] these places will [not be able to master] that place, but rather he shall [go] to the transition as imperfect. Only Yeshúa knows the destiny of that one. (Ph 10, 112; cp. Homer, Iliad VI: ‘Fate is something that no man born of woman, coward or hero, can escape’)

114. The Saint is entirely holy, including his body. For if he receives the bread he sanctifies it, or the chalice, or anything else he receives he purifies. And how will he not purify the body also? (anti-Gnostic!)

115. By perfecting the water of Baptism, Yeshúa poured death away. Because of this, we indeed go down into the water yet we do not go down unto death,¹ in order that we not be poured away into the spirit of the world. Whenever that breathes the winter comes, but when the Holy Spirit breathes the summer arrives. (Mt 14:25-32!, Ph 96, 103; ¹this appears to be an explicit rejection of Paul’s doctrine in Rom 6:3-4)

116. Whoever recognizes the truth is free. Yet he who is free does not transgress, for ‘he who transgresses is the slave of transgression.’ (I-Jn 3:9, Jn 8:32-36) The Mother is the truth, yet [the Father] is the recognition. These to whom it is given not to transgress in the world are called free. These to whom it is given not to transgress have their hearts exalted by recognizing the truth. This is what liberates them and exalts them over the universe. Yet (Paul claims that ‘knowledge is vain but) love edifies.’ (I-Cor 8:1) He however who is liberated thru recognition is enslaved by love for the sake of those who have not yet been able to be carried up to the freedom of recognition. Yet recognizing suffices to liberate them.

117. Love [does not take] anything, for how [can it take anything when everything belongs to it?] It does not say ‘This is [mine]’ or ‘[That] is mine’, [but rather it says] ‘It is thine.’

118. Spiritual love is wine with fragrance. All those who are anointed with it enjoy it. As long as the anointed remain, those also enjoy it who stand beside them. But if they who are anointed with the Chrism withdraw and depart, those who are not anointed but only stand alongside will still remain in their own miasma. The Samaritan gave nothing to the wounded man except wine and ointment— and it healed the wounds, for ‘love covers a multitude of transgressions.’ (Lk 10:30-37, =Prov 10:12 ® I-Pet 4:8)

119. Those whom the woman begets will resemble him whom she loves. If it is her husband they will resemble her husband,¹ if it is an adulterer they will resemble the adulterer. Often, if there is a woman who sleeps with her husband by compulsion yet her heart is toward the adulterer and she mates with him and begets, then the one to whom she gives birth resembles the adulterer. Yet you who are with the Sons of God— love not the world but rather love the Lord, so that those whom you beget will not be made to resemble the world but rather will be made to resemble the Lord. (¹asyndeton)

120. The human unites with the human, the horse unites with the horse, the donkey unites with the donkey. The species unite with their like-species. Thus in this manner the Spirit unites with the Spirit, the Logos mates with the Logos, and the Light mates [with the Light]. If thou become human then [mankind will] love thee, if thou become [spiritual] then the Spirit will mate with thee, if thou become meaningful then the Logos will unite with thee, if thou become enlightened then the Light will mate with thee, if thou transcend then the Transcendental will repose upon thee. But if thou become like a horse or a donkey or a calf or a dog or a sheep or any other animal outside and inferior, then neither mankind nor the Spirit nor the Logos nor the Light nor those above nor those within will be able to love thee. They will be unable to repose in thy heart and they will not be thy heritage. (multiple asyndeta; Ph 108; cp. Eccl [Ben Sirach] 13:19-20, ‘Every beast loves its like; so also every person him that is nearest to himself. All flesh shall consort with the like to itself, and every person shall associate himself to his like’)

121. He who is enslaved against his own volition, will be able to be freed. He who has been liberated by the gift of his master, and has sold himself back into slavery, will no longer be able to be freed. (Ex 21:5-6 [but also Lev 25:10], Ph 116)

122. Cultivation in the world is thru four modes°— (crops) are gathered into the barn thru earth and water and wind and light. And the cultivation by God is likewise thru four: trust and expectation° and love and recognition. Our earth is trust in which we take root, the water is expectation thru which we are nourished, the wind is love thru which we grow, yet the light is recognition thru which we ripen. […] (Ph 116; cp. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V.3: ‘An ignorant man has sought; and having sought, he finds the teacher; and finding, has believed; and believing, has hoped; and henceforward, having loved, is assimilated to what was loved— such is the method Socrates shows’)

123. Grace made […] the earth to be made […] in Heaven above. Blest be this […] soul!

124. This is Yeshúa the Christ— he beguiled the entire place and did not burden anyone. Therefore blest be a perfected person of this kind, for such is the Logos.

125. Ask us concerning him, inasmuch as it is difficult uprightly (to portray him). How shall we be able to succeed in this magnificent task?

126. How will he bestow repose on everyone? First and foremost, it is not appropriate to aggrieve anyone— whether great or small, unbeliever or believer. Then, to provide repose for those who rest in the good. There are some whose privilege it is to provide repose for those who are ideal. He who does good cannot of himself give repose to them, for he does not come of his own volition. Yet neither can he grieve them, for he does not oppress or distress them. But he who is ideal sometimes grieves them— not that he is thus (grievous), but rather it is their own wickedness which causes them grief. Whoever is natural° gives joy to him who is good— yet consequently some grieve terribly. (Th 90)

127. The master of an estate acquired everything— whether son or slave or dog or cattle or swine, whether wheat or barley or straw or hay or [bones] or meat [or] acorns. He was wise and knew the food of [each]. Before the sons he indeed set bread and [olive-oil with meat, before] the slaves he set castor-oil with grain, before the cattle he set [barley] with straw and hay, to the dogs he cast bones, yet before [the swine] he threw acorns and crusts of bread. So it is with the Disciple of God— if he is wise he is perceptive about the Discipleship. The bodily forms will not deceive him, but rather he will look to the disposition of the soul of each one in order to speak with him. In the world there are many animals made in human form— these he recognizes. To the swine indeed he will throw acorns, yet to the cattle he will cast barley with straw and hay, to the dogs he will cast bones, to the slaves he will give the Elementary¹, to the Sons he shall present the Perfect². (¹the Torah; ²the Gospel; Mk 5:9-12!, Mt 7:6!, Th 93, Ph 79!; five spiritual levels of persons are here stipulated)

128. There is the son of mankind and there is the grandson of mankind. The Lord is the son of mankind, and the grandson of mankind is he who is created thru the son of mankind. The son of mankind received from God (the ability) to create as well as to beget. (Th 106)

129. That which is created is a creature,¹ that which is begotten is a child. A creature cannot beget,¹ a child can create. Yet they say: The creature begets. But a child is a creature. Therefore (a person’s) children are not his sons but rather [God’s]. (¹asyndeta; Ecl 11:5, Isa 29:23, Jn 1:12-13 & 3:3, Ph 33; thus Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet; ‘Your children are not your children; they are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you; and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you’)

130. He who creates, works manifestly and he himself is manifest. He who begets, acts in secret and is himself [hidden from] the imagery (of others). He who creates [indeed] creates visibly, yet he who begets the Sons [begets them] in secret.

131. No [one will be able] to know on what day [the man] and the woman mate with each other, except themselves only. For marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife. If the marriage of impurity is hidden, how much more is the Immaculate Marriage a true sacrament! (Ph 64) It is not carnal but rather pure, it is not lustful but rather willing, it is not of the darkness or the night but rather of the day and the light. A marriage which is exhibited becomes prostitution°, and the bride has prostituted herself not only if she receives the semen of another man but even if she leaves the bedroom° and is seen. She may only display herself to her father and her mother and the comrade of the bridegroom (Jn 3:29) and the sons of the bridegroom. To these it is given to enter daily into the bridal-chamber and to see her. Yet as for the others, let them yearn even to hear her voice and to enjoy her fragrance, and let them feed like the dogs from the crumbs that fall from the table. Bridegrooms with Brides belong in the Bridal-Chamber. No one will be able to behold the Bridegroom with the Bride unless he becomes this. (=Mk 7:27-28)

132. When Abraham° [rejoiced] at seeing what he was to see, he circumcised the flesh of the foreskin— showing us that it is appropriate to sever the flesh […] of this world. (anti-Gnostic; Gen 17:9-14, Jn 8:56, Th 53)

133. As long as […] the entrails of the person are enclosed, the person continues to live. […] If his entrails are exposed and he is disemboweled, the person will die. So also the tree sprouts and thrives as long as its root is covered, but if its root is exposed the tree withers. Thus it is with everything in the world, not only with the manifest but also with the covert. For as long as the root of evil is hidden it remains strong; yet when it is recognized it decomposes and when it is exposed it perishes. This is why the Logos (John the Baptist!) says: Already the ax has reached the root of the trees! (=Mt 3:10) It will not merely chop off, for that which is chopped off sprouts again. But rather the ax delves down underground and uproots. Yeshúa pulled up the root of the entire place, yet the others had done so only in part. As for ourselves— let each one of us dig down to the root of the evil that is within him and pull up its root from out of his own heart. Yet it will be uprooted if we but recognize it. Yet if we are unaware of it, it takes root within us and produces its fruits in our hearts. It becomes master over us and we become its slaves. We are taken captive, and we are coerced into doing what we do [not] want and [not] doing what we do want. It is potent because we do not recognize it. While it is subliminal it indeed impels. (Job 14:7-9, Prov 20:9)

134. Ignorance is the mother of [all evils. …] (Lk 23:34, Ac 3:17) Those things which came forth from [ignorance] neither existed nor [exist] nor shall exist [in reality. Yet] they shall be perfected when the entire truth is revealed. For the truth is like ignorance— while it is hidden it reposes within itself, yet when it is revealed it is recognized. It is glorious in that it prevails over ignorance and confusion and in that it liberates. The Logos says: You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. (=Jn 8:32) Ignorance is slavery, recognition is freedom. By recognizing the truth we shall find the fruits of the truth within our hearts. By mating with it we shall receive our fulfillment.

135. At present we have the revelation of creation. They say that (visible beings) are strong and honorable yet the invisible are weak and contemptible. However the truth is that visible beings are weak and inferior yet the invisible are strong and honorable. (thus Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript: ‘An omnipresent being should be recognizable precisely by being invisible’; Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince: ‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye’; also the I Ching, hexagram 50, the Ritual Vessel: ‘All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible’)

136. The mysteries of the truth are revealed in symbolic imagery. (Ph 72) Yet the Bedroom is hidden— it is the holy (or the Saint) within the holiness. (Ph 82, 83)

137. The veil (of the Temple) indeed at first concealed how God governs the creation. Yet when the veil is torn and the things within are revealed, then this house will be forsaken and desolate and yet moreover it shall be destroyed. Yet the whole Divinity shall depart from these places, never to re-enter, for it shall not be able to unite therein with the light and with the fullness. But rather it shall enter into the holies (or the Saints) of the holinesses, under the wings of the cross¹ [and in] its arms. (¹anti-Gnostic; Ex 26:31-34, Mt 27:51, 23:38, 24:2, Ph 84; this entry must be dated prior to 70 AD)

138. This ark will become salvation [for us] when the cataclysm of water overwhelms them. (Lk 17:22-37)

139. If someone is in the tribe of the priesthood, he shall be allowed to enter within the veil (of the Temple) with the high priest. Therefore the veil was not torn at the top only, else it would have been opened only for those who are higher— nor was it torn at the bottom only, else it would have been revealed only to those who are lower. But rather it was torn from the top to the bottom. Those who are above have opened to us who are below in order that we might enter into the secret of the truth. (Num 18:7, Mk 15:38, Ph 84, 137; this entry must be dated after 70 AD)

140. This strengthening is truly excellent. Yet we shall enter therein by means of despised symbols and weaknesses. They are indeed humble by comparison with the perfect glory. There is a glory that surpasses glory,¹ there is a power which surpasses power. (Ph 109) Therefore the perfect have opened to us with the secrets of the truth. Moreover, the holies (or Saints) of the holinesses are revealed, and the Bedroom has invited us within. (¹asyndeton; Ph 83, 137)

141. As long as evil indeed remains covert it is potent, not yet truly purged from the midst of the seed of the Sacred Spirit. They are enslaved by the oppression. (Th 45) Yet when the Perfect Light is revealed, then it will pour forth upon everyone and all those within it shall receive the Chrism. Then the slaves shall be freed [and] the captives atoned.

142. ‘[Every] plant which my heavenly Father has not sown [shall be] rooted out.’ (=Mt 15:13) Those who are separated shall be mated [and the empty] shall be filled. (Th 40) Everyone who [enters] the Bedroom shall be born of the Light. For they are [not begotten] in the manner of the [unseen] marriages which are enacted by night, the fire of which [flares] in the dark (and then) is extinguished. Yet the Sacraments of this Marriage are consummated in the day and the light. That day with its light never sets.

143. If anyone becomes a Son of the Bridal-Chamber, he shall receive the Light. If he does not receive it in these places, he will not be able to obtain it in the other place. He who receives the Light shall not be seen nor shall he be seized, nor shall anyone disturb such a one even if he socializes in the world. And furthermore, when he leaves the world he has already received the truth in the imagery. The world has become eternity, because the fullness is for him the eternal. And it is thus revealed to him individually— not hidden in the darkness or the night but rather hidden in a Perfect Day and a Holy Light. (Ph 85)

 

Gospel Of Philip 001-101

Gospel Of Philip 001-101

1. A Hebrew° person makes a (convert) Hebrew, who moreover is called thus: a novice° (proselyte). Yet a novice does not make (another) novice. [Some persons] are as they are […] and also influence others [to become like themselves, while for the remainder] it suffices to them that they shall be. (Ex 12:48-49)

2. The slave seeks only to be set free, yet he does not seek after the estate of his master. Yet the son is not only a son, but also ascribes to himself the inheritance of the father. (Jn 8:35, Th 72)

3. Those who inherit the dead are themselves dead, and they inherit the dead. Those who inherit the living are alive, and they inherit both the living and the dead. The dead do not inherit anything. For how will the dead inherit? When the dead inherits the living, he shall not die but rather the dead shall instead live.

4. A nationalist° does not die, for he has never lived so that he could die. Whoever has trusted° the truth is alive— and this-one is in danger of dying (as a martyr), for he is alive since the day that the Christ° came. (Mt 24:9)

5. The system is contrived, the cities are constructed, the dead carried out. (asyndeta; Isa 40:17, Rev/Ap 18, Lk 9:60, Ph 105)

6. In the days when we were Hebrews we were orphans, having only our Mother (the Spirit°). Yet when we become Messianics°, the Father unites° with the Mother.

7. Those who sow in the winter reap in the summer. The winter is the world,¹ the summer is the other aeon°. Let us sow in the world so that we will harvest in the summer. Because of this, it is appropriate for us not to pray in the wintertime. What emerges from the winter is the summer. Yet if anyone reaps in the winter he will not harvest but rather uproot, as this method will not produce fruit. Not only does it not come forth [in the winter], but in the other Sabbath also his field is fruitless. (¹asyndeton; Mt 6:1-6, Th 14, 27)

8. The Christ came! Some indeed he ransomed, yet others he rescued, yet for others he atoned°. He ransomed the alienated,¹ he brought them to himself. And he rescued those who came to him. These he set as pledges in his will. Not only when he appeared did he voluntarily lay down his soul, but since the day of the world’s coming-to-be he placed his soul. Then at the time he desired he came earliest to reclaim her, since she was placed among the pledges. She had come to be under the bandits and they had taken her captive, yet he rescued her. He atoned for both the good and the evil in the world. (¹asyndeton; Mk 10:45, Jn 10:17-18)

9. The light with the darkness, life with death, the right with the left are brothers one to another. It is not possible for them to be separated from one another. Because of this, neither is the good a good, nor are the evils an evil, nor is the life a life, nor is the death a death. Therefore each individual shall be released unto his origin from the beginning. Yet those who have been exalted above the world are indissoluble and eternal°. (Isa 45:7, Lam 3:38; cp. the Chinese Tao)

10. The names which have been given by the worldly— therein is a great confusion°. For their hearts are turned away from the real unto the unreal. And he who hears the (word) ‘God’ does not think of the real, but rather he is made to think of the unreal. So also with (the words) ‘the Father’ and ‘the Son’ and ‘the Holy Spirit’ and ‘the Life’ and ‘the Light’ and ‘the Resurrection’ and ‘the Convocation°’ [and] all the other (words)— they do not think of the real, but rather they are made to think of the [un]real. Moreover they learn the [all-human] reality of death. They are in the system,¹ [they think of the unreal]. If they were in eternity, they would not designate anything as a worldly evil nor would they be placed within worldly events. There is a destiny for them in eternity. (¹asyndeton; note this extraordinary analysis of commonplace religious language as itself both perverted and perverting; see also Ph 13, and cp. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V.14: ‘We are not to think of God according to the opinion of the multitude’)

11. One single name they do not utter in the world— the name which the Father bestows upon himself in the Son. This he exalts above every other name. For the Son will not become the Father unless the name of the Father was bestowed upon him. This existing name they are indeed each made to think to himself, yet they speak it not. Yet those who do not have it do not even think it. But the truth begets these words in the world for our sake. It would not be possible to learn it without words. (! Jn 17)

12. She alone is the truth. She makes the many, and she teaches us this alone in love thru many. (Ph 6,18,40)

13. The authorities° desire to deceive humankind, because they perceived him being in a kinship to the truly good. So they took the word ‘good’, they applied it to the ungood so that thru words they might deceive and bind him within the ungood.¹ And subsequently whenever grace is enacted to them, they are to be withdrawn from the ungood and be appointed in the good— as these know. For they desired to take the free person and keep him as a slave to themselves forever. There is empowerment given to humans. They do not want him [to know], so that they will become [masters] over him. For where there is humankind, there is [slavery]. (Isa 5:20; ¹thus Henry David Thoreau, Walden: ‘The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad’; and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle: ‘A prisoner … who has risen to that stage of development where the bad begins to appear the good’)

14. Sacrifice began […], and they offered up animals to the powers. […] They indeed offered them up alive, but when they were offered up they died. But the human¹ was offered up dead to God, and he lived. (¹Christ/Christic)

15. Before Christ came there was no bread in the world as there had been in paradise°, the place where Adam was. There were many plants as nourishment for the animals, but it had no grain as food for humankind. So humans ate like the animals. But Christ came, the perfect° person. He brought forth bread in heaven so that humankind would be nourished with the food of humankind. (Ps 78:25, Jn 6:30-59)

16. The authorities think that by their own power and volition they are accomplishing what they do. Yet the Holy Spirit in secret was energizing everything thru them as she wished.

17. The truth is sown everywhere from the origin, and the multitude see it sown. Yet few who see it reap it. (Mt 22:14, Th 21)

18. Some say that Mariam was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. They are confused,¹ they know not what they say. Whenever was a female° impregnated by a female? Mariam is the virgin whom no power defiled°. She is the great consecration for the Hebrew Apostles° and for the Apostolics°. If the powers attempted to defile this virgin, they would only defile [themselves]. And the Lord did not say ‘my Father [in] heaven’, as if he had [another] father— but rather he said simply [‘my Father’]. (¹asyndeton; Lk 2:48-49!, Ph 6; cp. Odes of St. Solomon 19:6— ‘The Spirit opened the womb of the Virgin’)

19. The Lord said to the Disciples°: […] Indeed come into the house of the Father, but do not possess anything in the house of the Father nor take anything away. (Jn 14:2)

20a. Yeshúa is a secret name, Christ is a revealed name. Thus Yeshúa does not occur in any (other) languages, but rather his name is Yeshúa as he is called. Yet his name Christ in Aramaic° is Messiah°, but in Ionian° is: O CRISTOS . Altogether, it is in all the other languages according to each one(‘s word for anointed°).

20b. The revealed Nazarene° is the secret!

21. The Christ has everything within himself— whether human or angel° or mystery°, and also the Father. (Lk 17:21, Jn 17:21-23, Th 3)

22. They say that the Lord first died and then arose; they are confused. For first he arose and then he died. If anyone does not first acquire the resurrection he will die, for he is not really alive until God transforms him. (Th 29)

23. No one will hide a precious valuable in something expensive, but oftentimes has something worth countless myriads been placed in something worth a pittance. Thus is the case with the soul— a precious thing has come to be in a lowly body. (Job 10:11, Th 29)

24. Some are fearful lest they arise naked. Therefore they desire to arise in the flesh, and they do not know that those who wear the flesh are the denuded. Those […] who are divested (of the flesh) are those who are clad (in the images°). (cp. Odes of St. Solomon 25:8— ‘I was clothed with the covering of thy Spirit, and thou removed from me my garment of skin’)

25. (Paul° claims that) ‘flesh [and blood cannot] inherit the Sovereignty [of God].’ (I-Cor 15:50) What is this which shall not inherit? This which is upon us? Yet this is exactly what will inherit— that which belongs to Yeshúa with his flesh and blood. Therefore he said: Whoever does not eat my flesh and drink my blood has no life within himself. (Jn 6:53) What is his flesh?— it is the Logos. And his blood?— it is the Holy Spirit. Whoever has received these has food and drink and clothing. I disagree with those who say that flesh and blood shall not arise. Then (these) both are wrong: thou say that the flesh shall not arise, but tell me what will arise so that we may honor thee; thou say it is the spirit in the flesh and this light in the flesh, but this also is an incarnate saying. For whatever thou will say, thou do not speak apart from the flesh! It is necessary to arise in this flesh, as everything exists within it. (anti-Gnostic; Job 19:25, Isa 26:19, Lk 24:39; thus the I Ching, hexagram 50, the Ritual Vessel: ‘The truly divine does not manifest itself apart from humankind’)

26. In this world they who wear garments (of cloth) are more valuable than the garments. In the Sovereignty of the Heavens the garments (of imagery) are more valuable than those to whom they have been given by means of water and fire, which purify the entire place. (Ps 104:2!)

27. The revelations by means of revelation,¹ the secrets by means of secrecy. Some things are kept secret by means of the revelations. (¹asyndeton; Mt 13:10-15, Th prolog, 62,108)

28. There is liquid in water, there is fire in Chrism°. (asyndeton)

29. Yeshúa took them all by surprise. For he did not reveal himself as he [really] was, but rather he reveals himself as [they will] be able to perceive him. He revealed himself to [them all— he revealed himself] to the great as great, he revealed himself to the small as small, he [revealed himself] to the angels as an angel and to humans as a human. Thus his Logos concealed him from everyone. Some indeed saw him while they thought they were seeing themselves. But when he revealed himself to his Disciples in glory upon the mountain he was not made small. He became great, but he (also) made the Disciples great so that they would be capable of beholding him made great. (Mt 17:1-8)

30. He says today in the Eucharist°: Oh thou who have mated° the Perfect Light with the Holy Spirit, mate also our angels with our imagery!

31. Do not disdain the Lamb, for without him it is not possible to see the door. No one divested will be able to enter unto the King. (Jn 1:36)

32. The Sons of the Celestial Person are more numerous than those of the earthly person. If the sons of Adam are numerous although they surely die, how many more are the Sons of the Perfect Person— those who do not die but rather are continually born!

33. The Father creates a Son, but it is not possible for the Son himself to create a Son. For it is impossible for him who is begotten himself to beget. But rather the Son begets for himself Brothers instead of Sons. (Jn 20:17, Th 25)

34. All those who are begotten in the system are begotten physically, and the others are begotten [spiritually]. Those begotten in his heart [call forth] there to humankind in order [to nourish] them in the promise [of the goal] which is above. […] (Jn 1:12-13)

35. The Logos comes forth from the mouth. And he who is nourished from the mouth shall become perfect. The perfect are conceived thru a kiss and they are born. Therefore we also kiss one another— to receive conception in our mutual grace. (Th 108, Ph 59)

36. There were three Mariams who walked with the Lord at all times: his mother and [his] sister and the Magdalene°, she who is called his mate. Thus his (true) Mother, Sister and Mate is (also) called ‘Mariam’. (Mk 3:35, Th 101, Ph 59)

37. ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ are single names, ‘Holy Spirit’ is a double name. For the Father and the Son are everywhere— above and below, secretly and manifestly. The Holy Spirit is the secret above within the manifestation below.

38. The Saints are served by the oppressive powers, for the latter are blinded by the Holy Spirit so that they think they are assisting a human when in fact they are working for the Saints. Because of this, a Disciple one day made request of the Lord for something worldly,¹ he said to him: Request of thy Mother and she will give to thee from what belongs to another. (¹asyndeton)

39. The Apostles said to the Disciples: May our entire offering obtain salt! They called [grace] ‘salt’— without it no offering [becomes] acceptable. (Lev 2:13, Num 18:19, Mk 9:49-50)

40. Wisdom is barren [without] the Son— hence she is called [his Mother]. But in the place of salt […] the Holy Spirit has many Sons. (Prov 8, Isa 54:1, Lk 7:35, Th 101)

41. Everything that the Father possesses belongs to the Son. And also he the Son, as long as he is small, (the Father) does not entrust to him what is his. But when he matures, the Father bestows on him all that he (himself) has. (Th 61b)

42. Those who are lost are also begotten by the Holy Spirit, and they go astray thru her. Thus by the one breath°, the fire both blazes and is extinguished.

43. Wisdom is one thing, and death is another. Wisdom is simply being wise, yet the wisdom of death is itself dead. [¹] That which acknowledges death is called the minor wisdom. (¹manuscript dittography here omitted)

44. There are animals which are subject to mankind, such as the calf and the donkey and others of this kind. There are others which are not subject, and live apart in the wilderness. Man plows the field by means of the animals that are subject, and from this he feeds both himself and the animals whether tame or wild. So it is with the Perfect Person— thru the powers that are subject he plows, providing for everything which exists. For because of this the entire place stands— whether the good or the evil, both the right and the left. The Sacred Spirit shepherds everyone and commands all the powers, both those who are subject and also those who are not subject and are isolated. For truly she continues […] to control them [beyond] their own volition. […] (Prov 16:4, Ph 9, 42)

45. [Adam] was formed, and yet thou will [not] find his sons to be noble formations. (Ph 46) If he were not formed but rather begotten, thou would find his seed to be noble. Yet for now he has been formed and he has begotten. What nobility is this? (Gen 2:7, 4:1)

46. Adultery occurred first, then murder. And (Cain°) was begotten in adultery, for he was the son of the serpent.¹ Therefore he became a manslayer just like his father, and he killed his brother. Yet every mating which has occurred between those who are dissimilar is adultery. (¹i.e. born of the falsity called human, rather than divine, generation; Gen 4:1-16, Jn 8:31-59!, I-Jn 3:12!, Th 105; see ‘Theogenesis’, below)

47. God is a dyer. Just as the good pigments which are called true then label the things which have been permanently dyed in them, so it is also with those whom God colors. Because his hues are imperishable, (those who are tinted) become immortal thru his coloring. Yet God immerses whomever he baptizes° in an inundation of waters¹. (¹i.e. a flood of images; Ph 58)

48. It is not possible for anyone to see anything of those that are established unless he becomes like them. Not as with the person who is in the world— he sees the sun without becoming a sun, and he sees the sky and the earth and all other things without being them. But in the truth it is thus— thou thyself saw something of that place, and thou came to be there. Thou saw the Spirit,¹ thou became spiritual; thou saw the Christ,¹ thou became christlike; thou saw [the Father,¹ thou] shall become paternal. Thus [in the world …] thou see everything and […] thou do not see thy self, yet thou see thy self in that [place]. For what thou see, thou shall [become]. (¹asyndeta)

49. Faith receives,¹ love gives. [No one can receive] without faith,¹ no one can give without love. Therefore we believe in order that indeed we shall receive, yet we love in order that we may truly give. Otherwise, if someone gives without love, he derives no benefit from giving. (¹asyndeta)

50. Whoever has not received the Lord is still a Hebrew. (Ph 6, 108)

51. The Apostles who preceded us called him thus: Yeshúa the Nazirite° Messiah— that is Yeshúa the Nazirite Christ. The last name is the Christ, the first is Yeshúa, the middle is the [Nazirite]. Messiah has two significations: both anointed and also measurement°. Yeshúa in Aramaic is the Atonement. Nazara is the truth, therefore the Nazirite is the true. Christ is the measurement, the [Nazirite] and Yeshúa are the measured. (Num 6:1-8, Jud 13:5 ® Mt 2:23, Ph 20)

52. If the pearl is cast down into the mire it is not despised, nor if it is anointed with balsam oil is it more valued. But rather it has its great worth to its owner at all times. So it is with the Sons of God— whatever happens to them, they still have the great value to their Father. (Job 30:19, Jer 38:6)

53. If thou say ‘I’m a Jew’— no one will be moved. If thou say ‘I’m a Roman’— no one will be disturbed. If thou say ‘I’m a Greek, a barbarian, a slave, a freeman’— no one will be troubled. If thou [say] ‘I’m a Christic°’— [everyone] will tremble. May I [receive] in such a manner that [others] will not be able to withstand [hearing] this name!

54. A god is a cannibal. Because of this, they [sacrifice] mankind to it. Before they sacrificed mankind, they were sacrificing animals. For these to which they sacrificed were not divinities. (Ph 14)

55. Both vessels of glass and vessels of pottery come to be thru fire. But if glass vessels break they are recast, for they come to be by means of breath (spirit). Yet if pottery vessels break they are destroyed, for they come to be without breath. (ceramics can only be recast before firing: Jer 18:4-10, 19:11)

56. A donkey going in a circle at a millstone did a hundred miles walking. When it was released it found itself still in the same place. There are also people who take many journeys but make no progress anywhere. When evening comes upon them, they discern neither city nor village, neither creation nor nature, neither power nor angel. In vain did the wretches toil! (Ps 127:2, Ecl 2:11)

57. The Eucharist is Yeshúa. For in Aramaic they call him farisatha — this is, the outspread. For Yeshúa came to crucify the world. (cp. Odes of St. Solomon 27:1-2— ‘I stretched out my hands and sanctified my Lord; for the extension of my hands is his sign’)

58. The Lord went into the dyeworks of Levi°. He took 72 complexions,¹ he threw them into the vat. He brought them all up white, and he said: This is how the son of mankind comes— [as] a dyer. (¹asyndeton; Ph 47; Gen 10 [LXX] lists 72 nations in all the world; also, Lk 10:1 in MSS p75 B D[05] mentions 72 Disciples)

59. The wisdom which humans call barren is the Mother of the Angels. (Ph 40) And the Mate of the [Christ] is Mariam Magdalene. The [Lord loved] Mariam more than [all the other] Disciples, [and he] kissed her often on her [mouth. (Ph 35, 36) He embraced] the other women also, yet they said to him: Why do thou love [her] more than all of us? || The Savior° replied,¹ he said to them: Why do I not love you as I do her? (¹asyndeton; Th 61b, Ph 35)

60. While a blind person and one who sees are both in the dark, they do not differ from one another. But when the light comes, then he who sees shall behold the light yet he who is blind shall remain in the darkness. (Th 34)

61. The Lord said: Blest be he who was before he came into being. (=Th 19!) For he who is, both was and shall be.

62. The exaltation of mankind is not manifest but rather implicit. Because of this he dominates the animals which are stronger than him— who thus is great both manifestly and implicitly. And this gives to them their survival. Yet when mankind separates from them, they kill each other and gnash each other and devour each other, because they find no food. Yet when mankind cultivated the earth they found food.

63. If anyone goes down into the water and comes back up without having received, but says ‘I’m a Christic’, he has taken the name on loan. Yet if he receives the Holy Spirit, he has the gift of the name. He who has received a gift is not deprived of it, but he who takes a loan has it demanded from him. (Th 41)

64. This is how it is when someone exists in a mystery— the Sacrament° of Marriage is grand. For the world is complex: [the system] is based upon mankind, yet [mankind] is based upon matrimony¹. (Therefore) contemplate the Pure Mating, for it has [great] power. Its imagery is in a defiling° [of bodies]. (¹matrimony « patrimony°; Lev 15:18!!)

65. Among the unclean spirits there are male and female. The males indeed are those who mate with the souls inhabiting a female form, yet the females are those who unite with a male form— both thru disparity°. (Ph 46) And no one will be able to escape from these once they seize him unless he receives both male and female power— which is the Bridegroom with the Bride. One receives them in the mirrored Bridal-Chamber°. Whenever the foolish women see a male sitting alone, they leap upon him to carouse with him and defile him. So also the foolish men when they see a beautiful female sitting alone, they seduce her or coerce her in the desire to defile her. Yet if they see the man sitting together with his woman, the females cannot violate the man nor can the males violate the woman. So it is if the imagery and the angel are mated together, neither can anyone dare to violate the male or the female. (Ph 30) He who comes forth from the world cannot be detained any longer merely because he used to be in the world. It is evident that he transcends both the yearning and the fear of the [flesh]. He is master over [desire],¹ he is more precious than jealousy. And if [the many] come to seize him and strangle [him], how will he not be able to escape [by the salvation] of God? How can he fear them? (Ps 3:6; ¹asyndeton)

66. Many times there are some who come [and say]: We are faithful, hide us from [unclean spirits] and demons! But if they had the Holy Spirit, no unclean spirit would cling to them.

67. Do not fear the flesh, nor love it. If thou fear it, it will enslave thee. If thou love it, it will devour and strangle thee.

68. One exists either in this world or in the resurrection or in the transitional° regions. May it not occur that I be found in the latter! In this world there is good and evil. Its goods are not good and its evils are not evil. (Ph 9) Yet there is evil after this world, which is truly evil and which is called the transition; it is death. While we are in this world it is appropriate for us to be begotten in the resurrection, so that if we are divested of the flesh we shall find ourselves in the repose and not wander in the transition. For many go astray on the way. Thus it is good to come forth from the world before humankind transgressed. (Rev/Ap 20:5; thus Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals: ‘Only that life end not before I am born’)

69. Some indeed neither wish nor are able. Yet others if they wish gain no benefit, for they do not act correctly. For desire makes them transgressors. Yet not desiring righteousness conceals from them both the wish and the deed. (thus Hsün Tzu, 3rd century BC China: ‘An inferior man can become a superior man, but he does not want to’)

70. An Apostolic in a vision saw some […] who were in a house of fire, crying out in a fiery air, cast […] in the flames. [… Even] the water in [that place is aflame], and they declare to themselves: […] The waters cannot save us, whatever we may wish! They received [death as] chastisement. This is called the [outermost] darkness. The enemy [comes] forth in water with fire. (Ps 66:12, Rev/Ap 20:14-15, Mt 25:30)

71. The soul and the spirit of the Son of the Bridal-Chamber come forth [in] water and fire with light. The fire is the Chrism, the light is the fire. I do not mean this fire that has no form, but rather the other— whose form is white and which is made of beautiful light and which bestows splendor. (Ph 26, 28, 58)

72. The truth does not come unto the system naked, but rather it comes in symbolic° imagery. The world will not receive it in any other fashion. There is a rebirth° (or upbirth) together with a reborn (or upborn) imagery. It is truly appropriate to be reborn (or upborn) thru the imagery. (Jn 3) What is the resurrection with its imagery?— it is appropriate to arise thru the imagery. The Bridal-Chamber with its imagery?— it is appropriate to come into the truth. This is the restoration°. It is appropriate to be born not only of the words ‘the Father with the Son with the Holy Spirit’, but also to be born of them themselves. Whoever is not begotten of them will have the name also taken from him. (Ph 63) Yet one receives them in the Chrism which comes in the power of the cross¹, which the Apostles call: the right with the left. (Ph 9) For this-one is no longer a Christic but rather a Christ. (¹anti-Gnostic; Isa 30:21)

73. The Lord [did] everything by sacrament: Baptism and Chrism and Eucharist and Atonement and [Holy] Bridal-Chamber. (interlinear Coptic text of this logion [2 kb])

74. He said: I have come [to make the outer] as the inner and the [above as the below]. (=Th 22!) The other place [is represented] here in symbols. […] She is the one who is above. (Ph 12) He who is revealed […] from there is called: he who is below. And he has the hidden that is there above him. For it is good that they say: the inner and the outer together with what is outside of the outer. Because of this, the Lord called destruction: the outer darkness. There is nothing outside of that. He said: thy Father in secret. He said: Go into thy closet, shut thy door behind thee and pray to thy Father in secret. This is He who is within them all. Yet He who is within them all is the fullness— beyond him there is nothing further within. This is what is meant by: He who is above them. (Mt 8:12, 6:6, Th 77, Ph 70)

75. Before Christ some came forth. They are no longer able to enter into whence they came, and they are no longer able to exit from whither they went. Yet the Christ came. Those who had gone in he brought out, and those who had gone out he brought in.

76. In the days when Eve° was within Adam, there was no death. When she separated from him, death came to be. If [she] again enters and he receives [her], death will no longer be.

77. ‘My God, my God, why oh Lord [have] thou abandoned me?’— He said these (words) on the cross¹. For he rent asunder the [entire] place, having been begotten within the [Holy] Spirit by God. (¹ =Ps 22:1 ® Mk 15:34, anti-Gnostic)

78. The [Lord arose] from death. [He became again] as he had been, but [his body] was made [entirely] perfect. He wore the flesh, but this [flesh is indeed] the true flesh. (Jn 1:14) [Yet our flesh] is not true, but rather a mirror-image of the true [flesh]. (anti-Gnostic)

79. The Bridal-Bed° is not for the animals nor is it for the slaves nor for the impure women, but rather it is for the free men with the virgins. (Gen 24:16, Ac 21:8-9!, Th 61b!, Ph 127!; cp. Odes of St. Solomon 42:9-12— ‘Like the arm of the bridegroom over the bride, so is my yoke over those who know me; and as the bed that is spread in the house of the bridegroom and bride, so does my love cover those that believe in me’)

80. Thru the Holy Spirit we are indeed born, yet we are reborn (or upborn) thru the Christ. In both we are anointed thru the Spirit— and having been begotten, we mate. (Gen 2:7, Jn 3:7)

81. No one will be able to see himself either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor again will thou be able to see thyself in the light without water or a mirror. Therefore it is appropriate to baptize in both— in the light and the water. Yet the light is the Chrism. (Prov 27:19, Isa 43:2, Mt 3:11; cp. Odes of St. Solomon 13:1— ‘Behold! The Lord is our mirror; open your eyes and see them in him’)

82. There had been¹ three vestibules for places of offering in Jerusalem°— one open to the west called the holy, another open to the south called the holy of the holiness, the third open to the east called the holy of the holinesses where the high priest alone was to enter. Baptism is the holy vestibule, Atonement is the holy of the holiness, the holy of the holinesses is the Bridal-Chamber. Baptism has the resurrection [with] the Atonement entering the Bridal-Chamber. Yet the Bridal-Chamber is more exalted than those. […] Thou will find nothing that [compares with it]. (multiple asyndeta; Lev 16, Num 18:7; ¹‘There had been’: Coptic ne., pluperfect tense— hence this entry, like sayings 84 & 139, was written after the Roman conquest of 70 AD [see Plumley’s Grammar, Biblio.#4, §231]; saying 137, by contrast, refers to the veil of the Temple as still intact, and thus must be dated prior to 70 AD)

83. [Those who] pray [for] Jerusalem pray [in] Jerusalem and they see [Jerusalem]. These are called the holies (or Saints) of the holinesses.

84. [The sacred] veil was torn [in order to reveal] the Bridal-Bed, which is nothing but the imagery [which is] above. And the veil was torn from the top to the bottom, for it is appropriate for some from below to go above. (Th 84, Mk 15:38; this entry must be dated after 70 AD)

85. Those who are clothed in the Perfect Light— the powers can neither see them nor restrain them. Yet one shall be clothed with light in the sacrament of the Mating. (Ph 26; cp. Odes of St. Solomon 21:2— ‘I took off darkness and clothed myself with light’)

86. If the female had not separated from the male, she would not die with the male. [Her] separation was the inception of death. Therefore Christ came, so that he might overcome the separation that had obtained from the beginning and again mate the two. And to those who have died in the separation he shall give life by mating them. (Th 11!) Yet the woman mates with her husband in the bridal-bed. Those however who have mated in the Bridal-Bed will no longer be separated. Because of this, Eve separated from Adam— because she did not mate with him in the Bridal-Bed. (Gen 3:19, Th 22, Ph 76)

87. The soul of Adam came into being from a Spirit¹, and her Mate is the [Christ]. The Spirit bestowed upon (Adam) is his Mother, and is given to him in his soul. [Yet because] he was not mated […] in the Logos, the dominant powers bewitched him. But those who mate with the [Holy] Spirit in secret […] are invited individually to the Bridal-Bed, where they mate. (¹ = breath, Gen 2:7)

88. Yeshúa revealed [himself by the River] Jordan° as the fullness of the Sovereignty of the Heavens who precedes the totality. Moreover [¹] he was begotten as a Son, moreover he was anointed, moreover he was atoned, moreover he atoned. (asyndeta; ¹manuscript dittography here omitted)

89. If it is appropriate to tell a mystery, the Father of the totality mated with the Virgin who had come down— and a fire shone for him on that day. He revealed the great Bridal-Bed. Thus his body came into being on that day. He came forth in the Bridal-Bed as one issuing from the Bridegroom with the Bride. This is how Yeshúa established the essence of the totality. And it is appropriate for each one of the Disciples to enter into his repose. (cp. Odes of St. Solomon 33:5-8— ‘There stood a perfect Virgin who was proclaiming:… Return oh you sons of men, and come oh you daughters of men,… and I will enter into you’)

90. Adam came into being thru two virgins— thru the Spirit and thru the virgin earth. Therefore Christ was begotten thru a virgin, in order to rectify the fall which had occurred in the beginning. (Gen 2:7, Lk 1:26-35)

91. There were two trees in paradise— the one produces beasts,¹ the other produces humans. Adam ate from the tree that produces beasts, and becoming a beast he begot beasts. Because of this (the beasts) were then worshipped. Adam [ate] the fruit of that tree, […] and this bore many fruits […] which were also eaten; humans begot [humans] and worshipped humans. (¹asyndeton)

92. God creates mankind, yet mankind creates gods. This is how it is in the world— the humans create gods and they worship their creations. It would be more appropriate for the gods to worship the humans! (Isa 44:9-20, Hab 2:18-19)

93. Thus is the truth regarding the deeds of mankind— those that come forth thru his power are therefore called works, but his creations are his sons who come forth thru his repose. Because of this, his power governs in his [works], yet his repose is manifest in his sons. And thou will find that this also penetrates thru the imagery: this is the Mirrored Person— doing his [works] in his power, yet begetting his Sons in his repose. (Jn 5:19, Th 50!)

94. In this world the slaves work for the free. In the Sovereignty of the Heavens the free serve the slaves: the Sons of the Bridal-Chamber serve the sons of marriage. The Sons of the Bridal-Chamber have [a single] name, share in the repose, and have no needs. […] (Lk 20:34-6!, Ph 64)

95. Contemplation° [of the imagery] is the greatest […] of glories. (cp. Aristotle, Metaphysics XII.7, 1072b.23)

96. [Those who] go down into the water do not go down to death,¹ for he atoned for those who [are fulfilled] in his name. For he said: [Thus] we must fulfill all righteousness. (=Mt 3:15; ¹this appears to be an explicit rejection of Paul’s doctrine in Rom 6:3-4)

97. Those who say that they will first die and then arise are confused. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, they will receive nothing when they die. Thus it is said also of Baptism in stating that Baptism is great, for those who receive it shall live. (Ph 22)

98. Philip the Apostle° says: Joseph the Craftsman° planted a garden because he needed wood for his craft. He made the cross from the trees that he planted, and his heir° hung on that which he had planted. His heir is Yeshúa, yet the plant is the cross¹. But the tree of life is in the center of paradise, the olive tree from which the Chrism comes thru him who is the resurrection. (¹anti-Gnostic; Mt 13:55, Ex 30:22-33, Dt 21:22-23)

99. This world devours corpses— everything which is eaten in it thereby dies. The truthful consumes the living— therefore no one nourished in [the living shall] die. Yeshúa came forth from that place and he brought nourishment from there. And to those whom he wished he gave life so that they would not perish. (Jn 6:53, Th 11, 60, Ph 15)

100. God [planted] a garden-paradise. Mankind lives in the garden, but […] their hearts […] are not in God. […] This garden [is the place] where it will be said: My Son, [eat] this or do not eat that according to thy desire. In this place I shall consume all things, for the tree of knowledge is there. It slew Adam, yet the place of the tree of knowledge gave life to mankind. The Torah° is the tree. It has the capability to bestow the knowledge of good and evil. It neither stopped him from evil nor preserved him in the good, but rather it presupposed death for those who ingested it. For death originated in his saying: Eat this but do not eat that. (Th 113, Gen 2:16-17)

Part II: Sayings 101-143 & Ph Notes

 

Gospel Od Valantine

Gospel Od Valantine

Gospel Od Valantine1. The Gospel of Truth is joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the gift of recognizing° him, thru the power of the meaning who comes forth from the fullness which is in the thought and mind of the Father. This is he who is called the Savior–that being the name of the task which he is to do for the atonement of those who had been unacquainted with the Name of the Father. (Mt 1:21, Jn 17, Ac 4:12)

2. Now the Gospel is the revelation of the hopeful, it is the finding of those who seek him. For since the totality were searching for him from whom they came forth–and the totality were within him, the incomprehensible inconceivable, he who exists beyond all thought¹–hence unacquaintance with the Father caused anxiety and fear. Then the anxiety condensed like a fog so that no one could see. (¹Ph 125)

3. Wherefore confusion grew strong, contriving its matter in emptiness and unacquaintance with the truth, preparing to substitute a potent and alluring fabrication for truthfulness. But this was no humiliation for him, the incomprehensible inconceivable. For the anxiety and the amnesia¹ and the deceitful fabrication were nothing–whereas the established truth is immutable, imperturbable and of unadornable beauty. Therefore despise confusion! It has no roots and was in a fog concerning the Father, preparing labors and amnesia and fear in order thereby to entice those of the transition and take them captive.(¹thus Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina: ‘… that universal solution which life gives to all questions, even the most complex and insolvable: one must live in the needs of the day–that is, forget’)

4. The amnesia of confusion was not made as a revelation, it is not the handiwork of the Father. Forgetfulness does not occur under his directive, although it does happen because of him. But rather what exists within him is acquaintanceship–this being revealed so that forgetfulness might dissolve and the Father be recognized. Since amnesia occurred because the Father was not recognized, thereafter when the Father is recognized there will be no more forgetting.

5. This is the Gospel of him who is sought, which he has revealed to those perfected thru the mercies of the Father as the secret mystery: Yeshúa the Christ! He enlightened those who were in darkness because of forgetfulness. He illumined them. He gave them a path, and that path is the truth which he proclaimed.

6. Therefore confusion was enraged at him and pursued him in order to suppress and eliminate him. He was nailed to a tree¹; he became the fruit of recognizing the Father. Yet it did not cause those who consumed it to perish, but rather to those who consumed it he bestowed a rejoicing at such a discovery. For he found them in himself and they found him in themselves²–the incomprehensible inconceivable, the Father, this perfect-one who created the totality, within whom the totality exists and of whom the totality has need. For he had withheld within himself their perfection, which he had not yet conferred upon them all. (¹anti-Gnostic: Dt 21:22-23, Jn 19:18, Ac 10:39; ²Jn 14:20)

7. The Father is not jealous, for what envy could there be between him and his members?¹ For if the way of this aeon had prevailed they would not have been able to come unto the Father, who retains within himself their fulfillment and bestows it upon them as a return to himself with a recognition which is single in perfection. It is he who ordained the totality, and the totality is within him² and the totality had need of him. It is like a person with whom some have been unacquainted, yet who desires that they recognize and love him. For what did they all lack except acquaintance with the Father? (Jn 14:9; ¹cp. Mk 15:10; ²Ph 21)

8. Thus he became a reposeful and leisurely guide in the place of instruction. The Logos came to the midst° and spoke as their appointed teacher. There approached those who considered themselves wise, putting him to the test–yet he shamed them in their vanity. They hated him because they were not truly wise. Then after them all there also approached the little children, those who have the acquaintance of the Father. Having been confirmed, they learned of the face-forms° of the Father.¹ They recognized, they were recognized; they were glorified, they glorified. Revealed in their heart was the living book of life, this which is inscribed in the thought and mind of the Father and which has been within his incomprehensibility since before the foundation of the totality. No one can take this (book) away, because it was appointed for him who would take it and be slain². (Mt 18:10; ¹cp. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V.6: ‘The Son is said to be the Father’s face, being the revealer of the Father’s character to the five senses by clothing Himself with flesh’; ²anti-Gnostic)

9. No one of those who trusted in salvation could have become manifest unless this book had come to the midst. This is why the merciful and faithful-one–Yeshúa!–patiently endured the sufferings in order to take this book, since he knew that his death would become life for many. Just as the fortune of the deceased master of the estate remains secret until his bequest is opened, so also the totality remained hidden so long as the Father of the totality was invisible–this-one thru whom all dimensions originate. This is why Yeshúa appeared, clothed in that book. (Rev/Ap 5:1-5)

10. He was nailed to a tree¹ in order to publish the edict of the Father on the cross. Oh sublime teaching, such that he humbled himself unto death while clad in eternal life! He stripped off the rags of mortality in order to don this imperishability which none has the power to take from him. Entering into the empty spaces of the terrors, he brought forth those who had been divested by amnesia. Acting with recognition and perfection, he proclaimed what is in the heart [of the Father, in order to] make wise those who are to receive the teaching. Yet those who are instructed are the living, inscribed in this book of life, who are taught about themselves and who receive themselves from the Father in again returning to him. (¹anti-Gnostic: Tr 6 refs.)

11. Because the perfection of the totality is in the Father, it is requisite that they all ascend unto him. When someone recognizes, he receives the things that are his own and gathers them to himself. For he who is unacquainted has a lack–and what he lacks is great, since what he lacks is Him who will make him perfect. Because the perfection of the totality is in the Father, it is requisite that they all ascend unto him. Thus each and every one receives himself. (Mt 5:48)

12. He pre-inscribed them, having prepared this gift for those who emerged from him. Those whose names he foreknew are all called at the end. Thus someone who recognizes has his name spoken by the Father. For he whose name has not been spoken remains unacquainted. How indeed can anyone hearken whose name has not been called? For he who remains unacquainted until the end is a figment of forgetfulness and will vanish with it. Otherwise why indeed is there no name for those wretches, and why do they not heed the call?

13. Thus someone with acquaintance is from above. When he is called he hears and heeds and returns to him who called, ascending unto him. And he discovers who it is that calls him. In recognition he does the volition of him who called. He desires to please him, and granted repose he receives the Name of the One. He who recognizes thus discovers from whence he has come and whither he is going. He understands like someone who was intoxicated and who has shaken off his drunkenness and returned to himself, to set upright those things which are his own. (Th 28)

14. He has brought many back from confusion. He went before them into the spaces thru which their hearts had migrated in going astray due to the depth of him who encompasses all dimensions without himself being encompassed. It is a great wonder that they were within the Father without recognizing him, and that they were able to depart unto themselves because they could neither comprehend nor recognize him in whom they were. For thus his volition had not yet emerged from within himself. For he revealed himself so that all his emanations° would reunite with him in recognition.

15. This is acquaintance with the living book, whereby at the end he has manifested the eternal-ones° as the alphabet of his revelation. These are not vowels nor are they consonants, such that someone might read them and think of emptiness, but rather they are the true alphabet by which those who recognize it are themselves expressed. Each letter is a perfect thought, each letter is like a complete book written in the alphabet of unity by the Father, who inscribes the eternal-ones so that thru his alphabet they might recognize the Father.

16. His wisdom meditates on the Meaning, his teaching expresses it, his acquaintance revealed it, his dignity is crowned by it, his joy unites with it, his glory exalted it, his appearance manifested it, his repose received it, his love embodied it, his faith embraced it.

17. Thus the Logos of the Father comes into the totality as the fruit of his heart and the face-form of his volition. But he supports them all, he atones them and moreover he assumes the face-form of everyone, purifying them, bringing them back–within the Father, within the Mother, Yeshúa of infinite kindness. The Father uncovers his bosom¹, which is the Holy Spirit, revealing his secret. His secret is his Son! Thus thru the compassions of the Father the eternal-ones recognize him. And they cease their toil of seeking for the Father and repose in him, recognizing that this is the repose. (¹cp. Odes of St Solomon 8:17–‘My own breasts I prepared for them, that they might drink my holy milk and live thereby’; see also Ode 19)

18. Having replenished the deficiency, he dissolved the scheme°. For the scheme is this world in which he served as a slave, and deficiency is the place of jealousy and quarreling. Yet the place of the unity is perfect. Since deficiency occurred because the Father was not recognized, thereafter when the Father is recognized there shall be no deficiency. Just as with ignorance, when someone comes to know, the ignorance dissolves of itself–and also as darkness dissipates when the light shines–so also deficiency vanishes when perfection appears. Thus from that moment on there is no more scheme, but rather it disappears in the fusion of the unity. For now their involvements are made equal in the moment when the fusion perfects the spaces. (Th 61b)

19. Each one shall receive himself in the unification and shall be purified from multiplicity into unity in acquaintanceship–consuming matter in himself like a flame, darkness with light, and death with life. Since these things have thus happened to each one of us, it is appropriate that we think of the totality so that the household be holy and silent for the unity.

20. It is like some who move jars from their proper places to unsafe places, where they are broken. And yet the master of the house suffered no loss but rather rejoiced, for those unsound jars were replaced by these which are fully perfect. This is the judgment which has come from above, like a double-edged sword drawn to cut this way and that as each one is judged.

21. There came to the midst the Logos, which is in the heart of those who express it. This was not a mere sound, but rather it was incarnate.¹ A great disturbance occurred among the jars–for lo some were emptied, others were filled, some were supplied, others were overturned, some were cleansed, others were broken. All of the spaces quaked and were agitated, having neither order nor stability. Confusion was in anguish at not discerning what to do–distressed and lamenting and cropping-hair² from understanding nothing. (¹anti-Gnostic; ²Lev 19:27 & Num 6:5)

22. Then when recognition approached with all its emanations, this was the annihilation of confusion which was emptied into nothingness. The truth came to the midst, and all his emanations recognized and embraced the Father in truth and united with him in a perfect power. For everyone who loves the truth attaches himself to the mouth of the Father with his tongue by receiving the Holy Spirit. (Ac 2:1-4) The truth is the mouth of the Father, his language is the Holy Spirit joined to him in truth. This is the revelation of the Father and his self-manifestation to his eternal-ones. He has revealed his secret, explaining it all.

23. For who is the existent-one, except for the Father alone? All dimensions are his emanations, recognized in coming forth from his heart like sons from a mature person who knows them. Each one whom the Father begets had previously received neither form° nor name. Then they were formed thru his self-awareness. Although indeed they had been in his mind, they had not recognized him. The Father however is perfectly acquainted with all the dimensions, which are within him.

24. Whenever he wishes he manifests whomever he wishes, forming him and naming him. And in giving him a name, he causes him to come into being. Before they came into being, these assuredly were unacquainted with him who fashioned them. I do not say however that those who have not yet come into being are nothings–but rather they pre-exist within him who shall intend their becoming when he desires it, like a season yet to come. Before anyone is manifest (the Father) knows what he will bring forth. But the fruit that is not yet manifest neither recognizes nor accomplishes anything. Thus all dimensions themselves exist within the Father who exists, from whom they come forth, and who established them unto himself from that which is not. (Th 19)

25. Whoever lacks root also lacks fruit, but still he thinks to himself: ‘I have become, so I shall decease–for everything that (earlier) did not (yet) exist, (later) shall no (longer) exist.’¹ What therefore does the Father desire that such a person think about himself?: ‘I have been like the shadows and the phantoms of the night!’ When the dawn shines upon him, this person ascertains that the terror which had seized him was nothing. They were thus unacquainted with the Father because they did not behold him. Hence there occurred terror and turmoil and weakness and doubt and division, with many deceptions and empty fictions at work thru these. (¹thus Victor Hugo, Les Misérables: ‘Did I exist before my birth? No. Shall I, after my death? No.’)

26. It was as if they were sunk in sleep and found themselves in troubled dreams–either fleeing somewhere, or powerlessly pursuing others, or delivering blows in brawls, or themselves suffering blows, or falling from a high place, or sailing thru the air without wings. Sometimes it even seems as if they are being murdered although no one pursues them, or as if they themselves are murdering their neighbors since they are sullied by their blood.

27. Then the moment comes when those who have endured all this awaken, no longer to see all those troubles–for they are naught. (Th 2) Such is the way of those who have cast off ignorance like sleep and consider it to be nothing, neither considering its various events as real, but rather leaving it behind like a dream of the night. Recognizing the Father brings the dawn! This is what each one has done, sleeping in the time when he was unacquainted. And this is how, thus awakened, he comes to recognition. (Isa 29:7-8)

28. How good for the person who returns to himself and awakens, and blest is he whose blind eyes have been opened! And the Spirit ran after him, resurrecting him swiftly. Extending her hand to him who was prostrate on the ground, she lifted him up on his feet who had not yet arisen. Now the recognition which gives understanding is thru the Father and the revelation of his Son. Once they have seen him and heard him, he grants them to taste and to smell and to touch the beloved Son. (the five senses, anti-Gnostic; Th 19)

29. When he appeared, telling them about the incomprehensible Father, he breathed into them¹ what is in the thought of doing his volition. Many received the light and returned to him. But the materialists were alien and did not behold his likeness nor recognize him, although he came forth incarnate² in form. Nothing obstructs his course–for imperishability is indomitable. Moreover he proclaimed beforehand that which was new, expressing what is in the heart of the Father and bringing forth the flawless Logos. (¹see EMFUSAW in Jn 20:22, also Gen 2:7; cp. Odes of St Solomon 18:19–‘The Most High breathed into them’; ²anti-Gnostic, Jn 1:14)

30. Light spoke thru his mouth, and his voice gave birth to life. He gave to them the thought of wisdom, of mercy, of salvation, of the Spirit of power from the infinity and the kindness of the Father. He abolished punishment and torment, for these caused some who had need of mercy to go astray from his face in confusion and bondage. And with power he pardoned them,¹ and he humbled them in acquaintanceship. (¹e.g. Jn 8:2-11)

31. He became a path for those who had strayed, acquaintance for the unaware, discovery for those who seek, stability for the wavering, and immaculate purity for those who were defiled.

32. He is the shepherd who left behind the 99 sheep which were not lost, in order to go searching for this-one which had strayed. And he rejoiced when he found it. For 99 is a number that is counted° on the left hand, which tallies it. But when 1 is added, the entire sum passes to the right hand. So it is with him who lacks the One, which is the entire right hand–he takes from the left what is deficient in order to transfer it to the right, and thus the number becomes 100. Now, the signification within these words is the Father. (Mt 18:12-13, Th 107)

33. Even on the Sabbath he labored for the sheep which he found fallen into the pit. He restored the sheep to life, bringing it up from the pit, so that you Sons of heart-understanding may discern this Sabbath on which the work of salvation must never cease, and so that you may speak from this day which is above, which has no night, and from the perfect light which never sets. (Mt 12:11, Th 27 34, Ph 142)

34. Speak therefore from your hearts, for you are this perfect day and within you dwells this abiding light. Speak of the truth with those who seek it, and of acquaintanceship unto those who in confusion have transgressed. Support those who stumble, reach out your hand to the sick, feed those who are hungry, give repose to the weary, uplift those who yearn to arise, awaken those who sleep–for you are the wisdom that rescues! (Mt 25:31-46!)

35. Thus strength grows in action. Give heed to yourselves–be not concerned with those other things which you have already cast out of yourselves. Do not return to what you have regurgitated, be not moth-eaten, be not worm-eaten–for you have already cast that out. Do not become a place for the Devil, for you have already eliminated him. Do not reinforce those things that made you stumble and fall. Thus is uprightness!

36. For someone who violates the Torah harms himself more than the judgement harms him. For he does his deeds illicitly, whereas he who is righteous does his deeds for the sake of others. Do therefore the volition of the Father, because you are from him. For the Father is kind, and things are good thru his volition. He has taken cognizance of whatever is yours, so that you may repose yourselves concerning such things–for in their fruition it is recognized whose they are. (Jn 16:28, Lk 6:43-44)

37. The Sons of the Father are his fragrance, for they are from the grace of his face. Therefore the Father loves his fragrance and manifests it everywhere. And blending it with matter,¹ he bestows his fragrance upon the light, and in his repose he exalts it over every likeness and every sound. For it is not the ears that inhale the fragrance, but rather the breath (spirit) has the sense of smell and draws it to oneself–and thus is someone baptized in the fragrance of the Father. (¹anti-Gnostic!)

38. Thus he brings it to harbor, drawing his original fragrance which had grown cold unto the place from which it came. It was something which in psychic form had become like cold water permeating loose soil, such that those who see it think it to be dirt. Then afterwards, when a warm and fragrant breeze blows, it again evaporates. Thus coldness results from separation. (Th 11, Ph 86) This is why the faithful-one came–to abolish division and bring the warm fullness of love, so that the cold would not return but rather there should be the unification of perfect thought. This is the Logos of the Gospel of the finding of the fullness by those who await the salvation which comes from on high. Prolonged is the hope of those who await–those whose likeness is the light which contains no shadow–at that time when the fullness finally comes. (Ph 85 112)

39. The deficiency of matter did not originate thru the infinity of the Father, who came in the time of inadequacy–although no one could say that the indestructible would arrive in this manner. But the profundity of the Father abounded, and the thought of confusion was not with him. It is a topic for falling prostrate, it is a reposeful topic–to be set upright on one’s feet, in being found by this-one who came to bring him back. For the return is called: Metanoia°! (Mk 1:4&15, Tr 28)

40. This is why imperishability breathed forth–to seek after the transgressor so that he might have repose. For to forgive is to remain behind with the light, the Logos of the fullness, in the deficiency. Thus the physician hastens to the place where there is illness, for this is his heart’s desire. But he who has a lack cannot hide it from him who possesses what he needs. Thus the fullness, which has no deficiency, replenishes the lack.

41. (The Father) gave of himself to replenish whomever lacks, in order that thereby he may receive grace. In the time of his deficiency he had no grace. Thus wherever grace is absent, there is inferiority. At the time when he received this smallness which he lacked,¹ (then the Father) revealed to him a fullness, which is this finding of the light of truth that dawned upon him in unchangeability. This is why the Christ was invoked in their midst–so that they would receive their returning. He anoints with the Chrism those who have been troubled. The anointing is the compassion of the Father who will have mercy upon them. Yet those whom he has anointed are those who are perfected². (¹Mt 18:4, Th 21 22 46, Tr 8; ²Mt 5:48)

42. For jars which are full are those which are sealed°. Yet when its sealant is destroyed, a jar leaks. And the cause of its being emptied is the absence of its sealant, for then something in the dynamics of the air evaporates it. But that is not emptied from which no sealant has been removed, nor does anything leak away, but rather the perfect Father replenishes whatever is lacking.

43. He is good. He knows his seedlings, for it is he who planted them in his paradise. Now his paradise is his realm of repose. This is the perfection in the thought of the Father, and these are the logoi° of his meditation. Each one of his logoi is the product of his unitary volition in the revelation of his meaning. While they were still in the depths of his thought, the Logos was the first to come forth. Furthermore he revealed them from a mind that expresses the unique Logos in the silent grace called thought, since they existed therein prior to becoming manifest. So it occurred that (the Logos) was the first to come forth at the time when it pleased the volition of him who intended it. (Jn 1:1)

44. Now the volition of the Father is that which reposes in his heart and pleases him. Nothing exists without him, nor does anything occur without the volition of the Father. (Ps 139:16, Prov 20:24, Jn 5:19) But his volition is unfathomable. (Isa 40:13) His volition is his imprint, and no one can determine it nor anticipate it in order to control it. But whenever he wills, what he wills exists–even if the sight does not please them. They are nothing before the face of God and the volition of the Father. For he knows the beginning and the ending of them all–at their end he shall question them face-to-face. Yet the ending is to receive acquaintance with this-one who was hidden.¹ Now this is the Father–this-one from whom the beginning came forth, this-one to whom all these shall return who came forth from him. (Th 77) Yet they have been manifest for the glory and joy of his Name. (¹thus Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V.6: ‘Having become Son and Friend, [the Disciple] is now replenished with insatiable contemplation face to face’)

45. Now the Name of the Father is the Son. He first named him who came forth from himself, and who is himself. And he begot him as a Son. He bestowed his own Name upon him. It is the Father who from his heart possesses all things. He has the Name, he has the Son who can be seen. Yet his Name is transcendental–for it alone is the mystery of the invisible, which thru him comes to ears completely filled with it. (Mt 1:21, Lk 1:31, Jn 17:6-26!, Ph 11!)

46. For indeed the Name of the Father is not spoken, yet rather it is manifested as a Son. Accordingly, great is the Name! Who therefore could proclaim a Name for him, the supreme Name, except him alone whose Name this is, together with the Sons of the Name?–those in whose heart the Name of the Father reposes and who themselves likewise repose in his Name. Because the Father is unchangeable, it is he alone who begot him as his own Name before he fashioned the eternal-ones, so that the Name of the Father would be Lord over their heads–this-one who is truly the Name, secure in his command of perfect power. (Ex 3:14, Th 13)

47. The Name is not mere wordage, nor is it only terminology, but rather it is transcendental. He alone named him, he alone seeing him, he alone having the power to give him a name. Whoever does not exist has no name–for what names are given to nothingness? But this existing-one exists together with his Name. And the Father alone knows him, and he alone names him.

48. The Son is his Name. He did not keep him hidden as a secret–but rather the Son came to be, and (the Father) alone named him. Thus the Name belongs to the Father, such that the Name of the Father is the Son. How otherwise would compassion find a name, except from the Father? For after all, anyone will say to his companion: ‘Whoever could give a name to someone who existed before him?–as if children do not thus receive their names thru those who gave them birth!’

49. Firstly, therefore, it is appropriate that we think on this topic: what is the Name? Truly (the Son) is the Name–thus also he is the Name from the Father. He is the existent Name of the Lord. Thus he did not receive the Name on loan as do others, according to the pattern of each individual who is to be created in his heart. For he is the Lordly Name. There is no one else who bestowed it upon him, but he was unnamable and it was ineffable until the time when He who is Perfect gave expression to (the Son) alone. And it is (the Son) who has the power to express his Name and to see him. Thus it pleased (the Father) in his heart that his desired Name be his Son, and he gave the Name to him–this-one who came forth from the profundity.

50. (The Son) expressed his secret, knowing that the Father is benevolent. This is exactly why (the Father) brought this-one forth–so that he might speak of the dominion and his place of repose from which he came, and render glory to the fullness, the majesty of his Name, and the kindness of the Father. He shall speak of the realm from which each one came–and each one who issued from that place shall thus be hastened to return unto it again, to share in receiving his substance in the place where he stood¹, receiving the taste of that place, receiving nourishment and growth. And his own dominion of repose is his fullness. (¹Th 28)

51. Thus all the emanations of the Father are plenitudes, and the source of all his emanations is within the heart of Him from whom they all flourish. He bestowed their destinies upon them. (Ps 139:16, Prov 20:24, Jn 5:19) Thus is each one made manifest, such that thru their own meditation they [return to] the place to which they direct their thought. That place is their source, which lifts them thru all the heights of heaven unto the Father. They attain unto his head, which becomes their repose. And they are embraced as they approach him, so that they say that they have partaken of his face in kisses. (Ph 35 59) Yet they are not thus made manifest by exalting themselves. They neither lack the glory of the Father, nor do they think of him as being trite or bitter or wrathful. But rather he is benevolent, imperturbable and kind–knowing all the dimensionalities before they come into existence, and having no need of edification.

52. This is the form of those who themselves belong on high thru the grandeur of the immeasurable, as they await the single and perfect-one who makes himself there for them. And they do not descend unto the abode of the dead°. They have neither jealousy nor lamentation nor mortality there among them, but rather they repose within him who is reposeful. They are neither troubled nor devious concerning the truth, but rather they themselves are the truth. The Father is within them and they are within the Father, perfected and made indivisible in the truly good, not inadequate in anything but rather given repose and refreshed in the Spirit. And they shall obey their source in leisure, these within whom his root is found and who harm no soul. This is the place of the blest, this is their place! (Jn 17:21-23, Ph 102)

53. Wherefore let the remainder understand in their places that it is not appropriate for me, having been in the realm of repose, to say anything further. But it is within his heart that I shall be–forever devoted to the Father of the totality, together with those true Brothers upon whom pours the love of the Father and among whom there is no lack of him. These are they who are genuinely manifest, being in the true and eternal life and speaking the perfect light which is filled with the seed of the Father, and who are in his heart and in the fullness and in whom his Spirit rejoices, glorifying him in whom they exist. He is good, and his Sons are perfect and worthy of his Name. For it is children of this kind that he the Father desires.

 

Gospel Harmony By Wiki

Gospel Harmony

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Gospel harmony is an attempt to merge or harmonize the canonical gospels of the Four Evangelists into a single gospel account. The earliest known example is the Diatesseron by Tatian in the 2nd century.

A harmony may be undertaken by scholars to establish a chronology for the events of the life of Jesus depicted in the four canonical gospels to better understand how the accounts relate to each other, identify features of a shared source document, or to establish events in the life of a Historical Jesus. Harmonies may also be undertaken to create narratives for artistic purposes, as in the creation of text for an oratorio or a script for a film.

The scholarly process is complicated by issues of text (such as the endings of Mark), discrepancies in details given about certain events (as in the empty tomb narratives), the place if any to be assigned non-canonical gospels of great antiquity such as the Gospel of Thomas, and issues of literary character (the pronounced differences between the Gospel of John and the Synoptics). Unique material in each Gospel resists distillation into a single harmonized chronology, as the variety of readings that appear in multiple harmony efforts attests. However, exploration of the unique material in Gospel accounts plays an important role in settling questions of authorship date, and an understanding of parallels helps to set these unique features in relief. The historical reliability of the Gospels continues to be a subject of debate.

Approaches to harmony

The terms harmony and synopsis have been used to refer to approaches that aim to achieve Gospel harmony, although they are different approaches. Technically, a “harmony” weaves together sections of scripture into a narrative, merging the four Gospels. There are four main types of harmony: radical, synthetic, sequential and parallel. A “synopsis”, much like a parallel harmony focuses on key events and brings together similar texts or accounts in parallel format, usually in columns.[1]

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/BookOfDurrowBeginMarkGospel.jpg/111px-BookOfDurrowBeginMarkGospel.jpgTatian‘s Diatesseron harmony which dates to about 160AD was perhaps the very first harmony. In the 3rd century the Christian Ammonius of Alexandria developed the forerunner of modern synopsis as the Ammonian Sections in which he started with the text of Matthew and copied along parallel events. In the 5th century, Saint Augustine wrote extensively on the subject in his book Harmony of the Gospels.[2] No other major Gospel harmonies appeared thereafter until the 15th century.

The 16th century witnessed a major increase in the introduction of Gospel harmonies. In this period the parallel column structure was introduced, partly in response to the rise in Biblical criticism. This new format was used to emphasize the trustworthiness of the Gospels. It is not clear who produced the very first parallel harmony, but Charles Dumoulin in 1565 and Gerhard Mercator in 1569 had used similar approaches. In terms of content and quality, Johann Jacob Griesbach‘s 1776 synopsis was a notable example.

W. G. Rushbrooke’s 1880 Synopticon is at times considered a turning point in the history of the synopsis, for it was based on Markan priority, i.e. giving priority to the Gospel of Mark. Thirteen years later, John Broadus used historical accounts to assign priorities in his harmony, while previous approaches had used feasts as the major milestones for dividing the life of Christ.

Two separate books, both titled Synopsis of the Four Gospels, one by Kurt Aland[3] and the other by John Bernard Orchard,[4] are considered by some to be the standard texts in the field of Gospel harmony since the 20th century.[5]

A parallel harmony presentation

The following table, mainly events for which there is also a Wikipedia article, is an example of a parallel harmony, based on the list of key episodes in the Canonical Gospels. The order of events, especially during the ministry period, has been the subject of speculation and scholarly debate. While this harmony compares the work of several scholars, other harmonies may differ substantially on the placement of some events. The episode structure within the table is based on Edward Robinson’s A Harmony of the Gospels in Greek as well as Steven L. Cox and Kendell H Easley’s Harmony of the Gospels.

Number

Event

Type

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

1

Pre-existence of Christ

miscellaneous

John 01:01-18

2

Genealogy of Jesus

nativity

Matthew 01:01-17

Luke 03:23-38

3

Birth of John the Baptist

nativity

Luke 01:05-25

4

Annunciation

nativity

Luke 01:26-38

5

Visitation of Mary

nativity

Luke 01:39-56

6

Birth of Jesus

nativity

Matthew 01:18-25

Luke 02:01-07

7

Annunciation to the shepherds

nativity

Luke 02:08-15

8

Adoration of the shepherds

nativity

Luke 02:16-20

9

Circumcision of Jesus

nativity

Luke 02:21

10

Infant Jesus at the Temple

nativity

Luke 02:22-38

11

Star of Bethlehem

nativity

Matthew 02:01-02

12

Adoration of the Magi

nativity

Matthew 02:03-12

13

Flight into Egypt

nativity

Matthew 02:13-15

14

Massacre of the Innocents

nativity

Matthew 02:16-18

15

Herod the Great‘s death

miscellaneous

Matthew 02:19-20

16

Return of young Jesus to Nazareth

youth

Matthew 02:21-23

Luke 02:39-39

17

Finding Jesus in the Temple

youth

Luke 02:41-51

18

John the Baptist

miscellaneous

Mark 01:01-08

19

Ministry of John the Baptist

miscellaneous

Matthew 03:01-12

John 01:19-34

20

Baptism of Jesus

miscellaneous

Matthew 03:13-17

Mark 01:09-11

Luke 03:21-22

21

Temptation of Jesus

miscellaneous

Matthew 04:01-11

Mark 01:12-13

Luke 04:01-13

22

Marriage at Cana

miracle

John 02:01-11

23

First Temple Cleansing

ministry

John 02:13-25

24

Jesus & Nicodemus

ministry

John 03:01-21

25

Return of Jesus to Galilee

ministry

Matthew 04:12-12

Mark 01:14-14

John 04:01-03

26

Exorcism at the Synagogue in Capernaum

miracle

Mark 01:21-28

Luke 04:31-37

27

The Growing Seed

parable

Mark 04:26-29

28

Hometown rejection of Jesus

ministry

Matthew 04:13-16

Mark 06:01-06

Luke 04:16-30

29

First disciples of Jesus

ministry

Matthew 04:18-22

Mark 01:16-20

John 01:35-51

30

Miraculous draught of fishes

miracle

Luke 05:01-11

31

Beatitudes

sermon

Matthew 05:02-12

Luke 06:20-23

32

Young Man from Nain

miracle

Luke 07:11-17

33

The Two Debtors

parable

Luke 07:41-43

34

The Lamp under a Bushel

parable

Matthew 05:14-15

Mark 04:21-25

Luke 08:16-18

35

Expounding of the Law

sermon

Matthew 05:17-48

Luke 06:29-42

36

Seventy Disciples

ministry

Luke 10:01-24

37

Discourse on ostentation

sermon

Matthew 06:01-18

38

Parable of the Good Samaritan

parable

Luke 10:30-37

39

Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary

ministry

Luke 10:38-42

40

The Lord’s Prayer

ministry

Matthew 06:09-13

Luke 11:02-04

41

The Friend at Night

parable

Luke 11:05-08

42

The Rich Fool

parable

Luke 12:16-21

43

Samaritan Woman at the Well

ministry

John 04:04-26

44

The Birds of Heaven

ministry

Matthew 06:25-34

Luke 12:22-34

45

Discourse on judging

sermon

Matthew 07:01-05

Luke 06:41-42

46

Discourse on holiness

sermon

Matthew 07:13-27

47

The Test of a Good Person

sermon

Matthew 07:15-20

48

The Wise and the Foolish Builders

parable

Matthew 07:24-27

Luke 06:46-49

49

Cleansing a leper

miracle

Matthew 08:01-04

Mark 01:40-45

Luke 05:12-16

50

The Centurion’s Servant

miracle

Matthew 08:05-13

Luke 07:01-10

John 04:46-54

51

Healing the mother of Peter’s wife

miracle

Matthew 08:14-17

Mark 01:29-34

Luke 04:38-41

52

Exorcising at sunset

miracle

Matthew 08:16-17

Mark 01:32-34

Luke 04:40-41

53

Calming the storm

miracle

Matthew 08:23-27

Mark 04:35-41

Luke 08:22-25

54

Gerasenes demonic

miracle

Matthew 08:28-34

Mark 05:01-20

Luke 08:26-39

55

Paralytic at Capernaum

miracle

Matthew 09:01-08

Mark 02:01-12

Luke 05:17-26

56

Calling of Matthew

ministry

Matthew 09:09

Mark 02:13-14

Luke 05:27-28

57

New Wine into Old Wineskins

parable

Matthew 09:17-17

Mark 02:22-22

Luke 05:37-39

58

Daughter of Jairus

miracle

Matthew 09:18-26

Mark 05:21-43

Luke 08:40-56

59

The Bleeding Woman

miracle

Matthew 09:20-22

Mark 05:24-34

Luke 08:43-48

60

Two Blind Men at Galilee

miracle

Matthew 09:27-31

61

Exorcising a mute

miracle

Matthew 09:32-34

62

Commissioning the twelve Apostles

ministry

Matthew 10:02-04

Mark 03:13-19

Luke 06:12-16

63

But to bring a sword

ministry

Matthew 10:34-36

64

Messengers from John the Baptist

ministry

Matthew 11:02-06

Luke 07:18-23

65

Paralytic at Bethesda

miracle

John 05:01-18

66

Lord of the Sabbath

ministry

Matthew 12:01-08

67

Man with withered Hand

miracle

Matthew 12:09-13

Mark 03:01-06

Luke 06:06-11

68

The Lord’s Prayer

ministry

Luke 11:02-04

69

Exorcising the blind and mute man

miracle

Matthew 12:22-28

Mark 03:20-30

Luke 11:14-23

70

Parable of the strong man

parable

Matthew 12:29-29

Mark 03:27-27

Luke 11:21-22

71

Eternal sin

ministry

Matthew 12:30-32

Mark 03:28-29

Luke 12:08-10

72

Jesus’ True Relatives

ministry

Matthew 12:46-50

Mark 03:31-35

Luke 08:19-21

73

Parable of the Sower

parable

Matthew 13:03-09

Mark 04:03-09

Luke 08:05-08

74

The Birds of Heaven

ministry

Luke 12:22-34

75

The Tares

parable

Matthew 13:24-30

76

The Barren Fig Tree

parable

Luke 13:06-09

77

An Infirm Woman

miracle

Luke 13:10-17

78

Parable of the Mustard Seed

parable

Matthew 13:31-32

Mark 04:30-32

Luke 13:18-19

79

The Leaven

parable

Matthew 13:33-33

Luke 13:20-21

80

Parable of the Pearl

parable

Matthew 13:44-46

81

Drawing in the Net

parable

Matthew 13:47-50

82

The Hidden Treasure

parable

Matthew 13:52-52

83

Rejection of Jesus

ministry

Matthew 13:54-58

84

Beheading of St. John the Baptist

ministry

Matthew 14:06-12

Mark 06:21-29

85

Feeding the 5000

miracle

Matthew 14:13-21

Mark 06:31-34

Luke 09:10-17

John 06:05-15

86

Jesus’ walk on water

miracle

Matthew 14:22-33

Mark 06:45-52

John 06:16-21

87

Healing in Gennesaret

miracle

Matthew 14:34-36

Mark 06:53-56

88

Discourse on Defilement

sermon

Matthew 15:01-11

Mark 07:01-23

89

Canaanite woman’s daughter

miracle

Matthew 15:21-28

Mark 07:24-30

90

Deaf mute of Decapolis

miracle

Mark 07:31-37

91

Feeding the 4000

miracle

Matthew 15:32-39

Mark 08:01-09

92

Blind Man of Bethsaida

miracle

Mark 08:22-26

93

Confession of Peter

ministry

Matthew 16:13-20

Mark 08:27-30

Luke 09:18-21

94

Transfiguration of Jesus

miracle

Matthew 17:01-13

Mark 09:02-13

Luke 09:28-36

95

Boy possessed by a demon

miracle

Matthew 17:14-21

Mark 09:14-29

Luke 09:37-49

96

Coin in the fish’s mouth

miracle

Matthew 17:24-27

97

Bread of Life Discourse

sermon

John 06:22-59

98

The Little Children

ministry

Matthew 18:01-06

Mark 09:33-37

Luke 09:46-48

99

Man with dropsy

miracle

Luke 14:01-06

100

Counting the Cost

parable

Luke 14:25-33

101

The Lost Sheep

parable

Matthew 18:10-14

Luke 15:04-06

102

The Unforgiving Servant

parable

Matthew 18:23-35

103

The Little Children

ministry

Matthew 18:01-06

Mark 09:33-37

Luke 09:46-48

104

The Lost Coin

parable

Luke 15:08-09

105

Parable of the Prodigal Son

parable

Luke 15:11-32

106

The Unjust Steward

parable

Luke 16:01-13

107

Rich man and Lazarus

parable

Luke 16:19-31

108

The Master and Servant

parable

Luke 17:07-10

109

Cleansing ten lepers

miracle

Luke 17:11-19

110

The Unjust Judge

parable

Luke 18:01-09

111

Pharisees and the Publican

parable

Luke 18:10-14

112

Jesus and the rich young man

ministry

Matthew 19:16-30

Mark 10:17-31

Luke 18:18-30

113

Jesus and the woman taken in adultery

ministry

John 08:02-11

114

The Workers in the Vineyard

parable

Matthew 20:01-16

115

Jesus predicts his death

ministry

Matthew 20:17-19

Mark 10:32-34

Luke 18:31-34

116

The Blind at Birth

miracle

John 09:01-12

117

Son of man came to serve

ministry

Matthew 20:20-28

Mark 10:35-45

118

The Good Shepherd

ministry

John 10:01-21

119

Blind near Jericho

miracle

Matthew 20:29-34

Mark 10:46-52

Luke 18:35-43

120

Raising of Lazarus

miracle

John 11:01-44

121

Jesus and Zacchaeus

ministry

Luke 19:02-28

122

Palm Sunday

ministry

Matthew 21:01-11

Mark 11:01-11

Luke 19:29-44

John 12:12-19

123

Second Temple Cleansing

ministry

Matthew 21:12-13

Mark 11:15-18

Luke 19:45-48

124

Cursing the fig tree

miracle

Matthew 21:18-22

Mark 11:12-14

125

Authority of Jesus Questioned

ministry

Matthew 21:23-27

Mark 11:27-33

Luke 20:01-08

126

The Two Sons

parable

Matthew 21:28-32

127

The Wicked Husbandmen

parable

Matthew 21:33-41

Mark 12:01-09

Luke 20:09-16

128

The Great Banquet

parable

Matthew 22:01-14

Luke 14:16-24

129

Render unto Caesar…

ministry

Matthew 22:15-22

Mark 12:01-12

Luke 20:20-26

130

Woes of the Pharisees

ministry

Matthew 23:01-39

Mark 12:35-37

Luke 20:45-47

131

Widow’s mite

sermon

Mark 12:41-44

Luke 21:01-04

132

Second Coming Prophecy

ministry

Matthew 24:01-31

Mark 13:01-27

Luke 21:05-36

133

The Budding Fig Tree

parable

Matthew 24:32-35

Mark 13:28-31

Luke 21:29-33

134

The Faithful Servant

parable

Matthew 24:42-51

Mark 13:34-37

Luke 12:35-48

135

The Ten Virgins

parable

Matthew 25:01-13

136

The Talents or Minas

parable

Matthew 25:14-30

Luke 19:12-27

137

The Sheep and the Goats

parable

Matthew 25:31-46

138

Anointing of Jesus

ministry

Matthew 26:01-13

Mark 14:03-09

John 12:02-08

139

Bargain of Judas

miscellaneous

Matthew 26:14-16

Mark 14:10-11

Luke 22:01-06

140

The Grain of Wheat

ministry

John 12:24-26

141

Last Supper

ministry

Matthew 26:26-29

Mark 14:18-21

Luke 22:17-20

John 13:01-31

142

Promising a Paraclete

ministry

John 16:05-15

143

Gethsemane

miscellaneous

Matthew 26:36-46

Mark 14:32-42

Luke 22:39-46

144

The kiss of Judas

passion

Matthew 26:47-49

Mark 14:43-45

Luke 22:47-48

John 18:02-09

145

Healing the ear of a servant

miracle

Luke 22:49-51

146

Arrest of Jesus

passion

Matthew 26:50-56

Mark 14:46-49

Luke 22:52-54

John 18:10-12

147

Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus

passion

Matthew 26:57-68

Mark 14:53-65

Luke 22:63-71

John 18:12-24

148

Blood curse

passion

Matthew 27:24-25

149

Carrying the cross

passion

Matthew 27:27-33

Mark 15:20-22

Luke 23:26-32

John 19:16-17

150

Crucifixion of Jesus

passion

Matthew 27:34-61

Mark 15:23-47

Luke 23:33-54

John 19:18-38

151

Myrrhbearers

resurrection appearance

Matthew 28:01

Mark 16:01

Luke 24:01

152

Empty tomb

resurrection appearance

Matthew 28:02-08

Mark 16:02-08

Luke 24:02-12

John 20:01-13

153

Resurrection of Jesus

resurrection appearance

Matthew 28:09-10

Luke 24:01-08

John 20:14-16

154

Noli me tangere

resurrection appearance

John 20:17-17

155

Road to Emmaus appearance

resurrection appearance

Mark 16:12-13

Luke 24:13-32

156

Resurrected Jesus appears to Apostles

resurrection appearance

Luke 24:36-43

John 20:19-20

157

Great Commission

resurrection appearance

Matthew 28:16-20

Mark 16:14-18

Luke 24:44-49

John 20:21-23

158

Doubting Thomas

resurrection appearance

John 20:24-29

159

Catch of 153 fish

miracle

John 21:01-24

160

Ascension of Jesus

resurrection appearance

Mark 16:19-20

Luke 24:50-53

Notes

This article incorporates work from A Harmony of the Gospels in Greek by Edward Robinson, a publication now in the public domain.

1.      ^ Steven L. Cox, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels B&H Publishing ISBN 0-8054-9444-8 page 3

2.      ^ Augustine through the ages: an encyclopedia by John C. Cavadini 1999 ISBN 0-8028-3843-X page 132

3.      ^ Kurt Aland, 1982 Synopsis of the Four Gospels United Bible Societies ISBN 0-8267-0500-6

4.      ^ John Bernard Orchard, 1983 Synopsis of the Four Gospels T&T Clark Publishers ISBN 0-567-09331-X

5.      ^ Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels ISBN 0-8054-9444-8 pages 7-8

 

 

Four Gospels Included In The Bible

Four Gospels Included In The Bible

There are four Gospels included in the Bible-the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They were composed between forty and hundred years after the departure of Jesus on the basis of some earlier documents which are now lost. Biblical scholars have identified some of these earlier documents as (1) Q (German Quelle-Source), a lost document in Aramaic, which reached the writers of the Gospels in a Greek translation; (2) (‘Urmarcus’-Primitive Mark) an earlier draft of Mark’s Gospel written on the basis of Peter’s discourses about Jesus, and (3) ‘L’, a collection of reports about Jesus used only by Luke. A comparison of the Gospels will show that their authors used these lost documents in a somewhat free manner; they did not even hesitate to change some things in them to suit their own purpose.

The first Gospel to be written was that of Mark. It was written at Rome at least forty years after the so-called fructification of Jesus. The Gospel as we have it today is considered to be an expanded version of Urmarcus, about which Papias, an early Christian writer, has the following to say:

“The elder John used to say Mark, having become Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him, but subsequently, as I said, attached himself to Peter, who used to frame his teaching to meet the wants of his hearers, and not as making a connected narrative of the Lord’s discourses.” (Roberts and Donaldson, The Ante – Nicene Fathers, voI., pp. 154, 155)

It is not possible to say whether Urmarcus was expanded and revised to give us the Gospel of Mark as we have it by Mark himself or by some other person. Dr. C. J. Cadoux, who was Mackennal Professor of Church History at Oxford, thus sums up the conclusions of eminent Biblical scholars regarding the nature and composition of this Gospel:

“It was written after Peter’s martyrdom (65 A.D.), and as a time when Mark, who had not himself been a disciple of Jesus, apparently had some of the personal disciples of Jesus within reach by whose knowledge he could check his narrative. These circumstances of its composition account for the existence in it, side by side, of numerous signs of accuracy and a certain number of signs of ignorance and inaccuracy.” (The Life of Jesus, p: 13).

Four Gospels Included In The BibleThe Gospel of Matthew was written in Greek at Antioch about 90 C.E. The author made use of at least two lost documents “Q’ and ‘Urmarcus’. No independent scholar, regards this Gospel as the work of Matthew, the apostle of Jesus. If Matthew composed anything, it must have been only ‘Q’. Regarding the liberties taken by the unknown author of this Gospel with the original material, C. J. Cadoux writes:

“But a close examination of the treatment he gives to his borrowings from Mark shows that he allowed himself great freedom in editing and embroidering his material in the interest of what he regarded as the rightful honoring of the great Master. The same tendencies are often visible elsewhere when he is producing ‘Q’ or providing matter peculiar to himself. Anything, therefore, strictly peculiar to ‘Matthew’ can be accepted as historical only with great caution.” (Life of Jesus pp, 14, 15).

The third Gospel, the Gospel of Luke, was written somewhere in Greece about the year 80 C. E. for the benefit of “the most excellent” Theophilus, probably a high official of the Roman Empire. It is an apologetic addressed to non-Jews. The writer, who was the friend and travel-companion of St. Paul, made use of at least three lost documents, two of these were Matthew’s Gospel and the third was peculiar to himself. Luke, who wished to bring his Gospel in line with the Pauline point of view, took even greater liberties with his sources than the writer of Matthew’s Gospel had done.

The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke are called “the Synoptic Gospels” because they proceed on the basis of the same lost document and have much in common. The Gospel of John is very different from these. The divinity and Pre-existence of Jesus are hinted in this Gospel alone, though never as a claim put forward by Jesus himself. In the opening lines the writer of this Gospel makes the claim that the divine Logos, the Word or Reason of God, which created the world, had become incarnate in Jesus. The Gospel of John was written at or near Ephesus between the years 110 and 115 of the Christian era by some unknown writer who was anti-semitically inclined and presented the Jews as the enemies of Jesus Christ. The modern Biblical scholars doubt the genuineness not only of the writer’s own views expressed in this Gospel, but also of the words put by him in the mouth of Jesus Christ. C. J. Cadoux writes:

“The speeches in the Fourth Gospel are so different from those in the Synoptic, and so like the comments of the Fourth Evangelist himself, that both cannot be equally reliable as records of what Jesus said: Literary veracity in ancient times did not forbid, as it does now, the assignment of fictitious speeches to historical characters; the best ancient historians made a practice of composing and assigning such speeches in this way.” (pp. 16). (*.‘Islam and Christianity’ by U. A. Samed was frequently quoted in this section.)