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Old 07-17-2011, 03:55 PM
39,241 posts, read 10,913,531 times
Reputation: 5100


Thom R made the valid point that I made claims about the gospels that he couldn't see I'd substantiated. I undertook to show my work.

I had intended to post it today, but I'm still tinkering with it, so I'll post half. After all it's long old post.

The point, as I have often said, is not just to assemble a list of contradictions. True, the contradictions must be substantiated beyond reasonable doubt (unreasonable being where the apologists actually rewrites the Bible to make it work) but to draw the evidence together so as to draw some conclusions about the Gospels. Who actually wrote them, and when? Are they accurate or reliable? Do they tell us about Jesus and what he did? Was there really a person who did miracles and who rose from the dead?

I've tried to summarize and select the points to make a case without going into a long and exhaustive examination. The headings are not in sequence of appearance in the Bible story, but are selected to illustrate the points and techniques for critically assessing the content of the gospels.

The historical evidence
Historical evidence for Jesus? Apart from the New Testament there is no independent confirmation that the Jesus of the gospels ever existed.
Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius

Tacitus and Suetonius tell us about the Christians, sure. They don't exactly confirm Jesus. The evidence is that the mention in Josephus' "Jewish war" is a later addition. It is clumsily inserted between two unrelated
events, it reads like the work of a Christian believer, which Josephus wasn't, it is similar to the 'potted biography in Luke (24.19-20) and the church fathers never mention it before the 3rd century.

The other historians are of no help in establishing the historicity of Jesus. I've done the research and looked at all the claims for 'documentary evidence of Jesus' and the only ones that even look like it are Seutonius, Tacitus and Josephus. Philo, who was the 'other' Jewish historian, doesn't mention Jesus.

Regarding Thallius, (later 1st c) he did not appear to refer to Jesus. Apparently he mentions an eclipse of the sun which Julius Africanus (c221 AD) suggested that this might have been the darkness at the crucifixion. Julius Africanus, in fact quotes Thallius. Phlegon, only comments on Thallius' eclipse to say it could not have been on Passover. In fact he was refuting the claim. Obviously none of these have any bearing on the historicity of Jesus.

Mara Bar-Serapion, again only recounts what was apparently the Christian view - that the Jews lost the jewish war as God's punishment because they executed Jesus. It is still just recounting the Christian view and is not an independent historical reference. Also some claim that this letter might be anything up to 3rd century in date.

Lucian of Samosata, like Tacitus, only mentions the Christians and their beliefs. I can agree that at a relatively early time it was known that the Christians believed that their 'sage' who 'introduced their novel rites'
was crucified. That does not quite add up to a historical source for Jesus, though. It is perhaps significant - I'm accepting this - that details of the Jesus story were apparently circulating in the later 1st century, but then we did have Christian authorities at tha time, Origen for example. None of these knew Jesus any better than Paul did, which was not at all.

Calus Plinius Secundus. Pliny the younger, of course, only writes about how to deal with Christians. It says nothing about a historical Jesus.

Let's put this to bed once and for all. There is NO good, solid independent extra- Biblical evidence for a historical Jesus.

The gospel stories might be thought to give us all the information we need about Jesus and his life - all that matters at least, but the question continues to be asked: in view of all the hard - to swallow miraculous events, can the gospel stories be believed? The believers will say that of course they can. since they describe places, persons and even events known to history, so how can it be doubted? In addition, the story is attested by no less than four eyewitnesses who were followers of Jesus.

But the objectors can say that anyone can take a historical setting and invent a story with imaginary characters. There is an obvious reason why this might be the case:- if Christianity is true, then the stories of all the other gods must be myth. True, they are not as firmly placed in a historical context as the gospel - story, but then they did not have the example of Judean and greek history tradition to work with.

This debate goes nowhere. The fact is that, if Jesus had divine powers, then objecting to miracles as impossible is pointless. The fact is that Tacitus at least looks like a strong indication that, thirty years after the events of the gospels, he was recording the claim that Jesus had been executed by Pilate. There have been attempts to show this to be a faked passage, but I have my doubts. It is too much of a piece with the rest of the chapter, unlike the Josephus Flavian testament which is a rather clumsy interpolation.

There is also the principle of embarrassment. When I first mooted this as a method of telling true history from false I was told that it was not a valid historical tool. Let me put that to bed right away.

'for instance, it is highly likely that Jesus came from Galilee, since such origins had to be explained away by those, like the author of Luke's Gospel, who wished to link him to the Davidic city of Bethlehem...'

'Rome and Jerusalem' p 515
Allan lane/penguin press
Martin Goodman
Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford
Oxford centre for Hebrew and Jewish studies
editor Journal of Roman studies. Oxford
" Journal of Jewish studies. Oxford
Fellow of British Academy
ed.Oxford handbook of Jewish studies (national Jewish book award)

This is an example of conclusion derived from the principle of embarrassment, used by a very reputable historian.
If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.

I freely confess that I am not a qualified or professional historian. I am a very ordinary man in the street who has had to consider this matter and, after waiting in vain for a decade or so for someone with the appropriate qualifications to do this work, I feel that I have to do it myself. I do not expect anyone to take my arguments for granted. I only ask that they look at and consider the arguments on their own merits.

In addition to the 'embarrassment' about Jesus being Galilean, there is the embarrassment of his being executed by crucifixion, and moreover by Romans. Paul constantly returns to the 'stumbling block' of the Cross and the gospels work hard at exonerating the Romans of Jesus' execution as much as they can. It's hard to believe that these two embarrassing facts would have been invented by the Christians if they were just making it all up. The principle of embarrassment indicated that they were stuck with these rather unwelcome facts.Thus we seem to have some basic evidence about Jesus. He was a Galilean, not a Judean. he was crucified by the Romans at the orders of Pilate, There seems also no doubt that Paul of Tarsus had contact with Jesus' followers and not always amicable contact and thus James, the brother of Jesus and Simon Peter, called Cephus, were two of Jesus' followers. You do not get followers of someone who was not here to be followed.

Well, surely that is adequate evidence to validate the gospels? In fact, no. I am obliged to accept that Jesus the Galilean lived, had followers, was crucified by Romans under the governorship of Pilate and his followers accepted Paul into their community afterwards. But none of that is actually evidence that Jesus did miracles, castigated the Pharisees and rose from the dead in the way described in the gospels.

But, given that some historical basis appears to be sound, is there any reason to reject the miraculous side of it? I say that there is. I say that there are clear indications that much of the gospel story is invented and for a very obvious reason - to prove that Jesus was who and what the Christians claimed him to be - Messiah and Son of God, if not God in person, and, moreover, that the promises and predictions made for the future were reliable, just as the promises and prediction Jesus supposedly made during his mission came true. The story we have about the Galilean executed by Pilate would not do by itself. There were prophecies to be fulfilled, opponents to be silenced and teachings to be expounded. There were proofs to be given, such a healings, prophecies and miraculous after - death appearances. To this bare account of an executed Galilean was added the scripture - fulfilling story of a man filled with the Holy Spirit, a successor of Adam, but a suffering servant and Passover sacrifice, obedient as Adam was disobedient. By that shedding of sanctified, if not holy blood, the curse of original sin was redeemed in a new covenant between God and man. That's the theology and I say it was added after the events and the Gospels are basically polemic documents intended to prove that belief. But of course, I have to give some sort of evidence to support that contention. The way I suggest it can be done - because, rather than take my word for it, I reccommend that the enquirer look for themselves, is to use the method of redaction criticism - comparing the four gospels to see how they are similar and how they differ. They have obvious similarities and some pretty obvious differences.

How and where do I prove my case of Gospel fabrication using the method of redaction criticism? I begin by using the Nativity as a test and precedent. That is the most provable discrepancy and contradiction of history in the whole four gospels. I argue that, if it can be proved that the Nativity stories cannot be true, have to have been invented and further show how and why they were concocted, then that precedent can be used to examine the entire remainder of the four gospels.

The nativity, including the Genealogy

The basic discrepancy is that Luke says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem at the time of the Census of Quirinus (6AD) but Matthew says that it was in the time of Herod - who had died ten years before.

8 B C Augustan tax of Roman territory
before 4 BC Matthew's nativity
4 BC Herod dies. Archelaus becomes king of Judea.
6 AD Archelaus deposed. Quirinus appointed as governor to Syria
6 AD Judea becomes a Roman province. Judean tax - census
6 AD or after. Luke's nativity-.

The nativities of Matthew and Luke do not match. There have been strenuous efforts to reconcile them by arguing that Quirinus must have carried out an earlier census in connection with tribute more or less foisted on Herod by Augustus in order to show him his place. There is no record of any such tax or census and very good reason to argue that there could not have been. The taxing of the Roman 'world' in Herod's time by Augustus did not apply the Judea which was a cIient kingdom. If Herod paid tribute to Rome he collected his own taxes. Also the governor of Syria in Herod's time was Publius Quinctilius Varus (7/6 – 4 BC), not Quirinus who was busy in Galatia as a legate conducting a campaign againt the tribe of the Homonadenses. Varus was followed as Syrian governor (perhaps by Calpurnius Piso - certainly not by Qurinius, who had a job as rector to Gaius, Grandson of Augustus at the time.
Vipsanius was governor up to 1 AD and he was followed by Saturnius. In 6 AD Herod's son Archelaus was deposed and Judea was made a Roman province. Quirinus was then appointed governor of Syria and he then conducted the tax census of 6 AD.
That is the one Luke refers to. It is confirmed by Josephus who notes it as setting off the Zealot movement under Judas the Galilean. This is also referred to in Acts. "After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census; he induced some people to revolt under his leadership, but he too perished and his whole following was scattered." (NEB, Acts 5:36-8)"

Further, The Lucan census would not have applied to Galileans as Galilee was still a client state under Herod Antipas. Joseph would not have had to pay the tax. Even if he had, he might have been required to register in his own city, but that would surely not require him to trek down to his ancestral city in Judea. Even if he did, he would hardly drag along his pregnant wife. The whole story is simply using the census mechanism to find a way of having Jesus born in Bethlehem as scripture suggests he ought to have been.

In fact John says as much at 7. 42 where it is asked whether Jesus could really be the Christ since he should have come from Bethlehem, David's city. That John does not state (even in parenthesis) that Jesus
was actually born in Bethlehem implies strongly that John knew nothing of any Bethlehem nativity and Mark says nothing of it either.

Turning to Matthew, we find again that he has made up a story to fulfill the scripture because he has foreign wise men trekking to Judea after being led or tipped off by a star (which they interpret as announcing a Jewish Messianic birth) but on arrival at Herod's palace, they all have to consult scripture to find out where they should be looking, which is Bethlehem where Jesus' family apparently live. According to Matthew, they are Judeans, not Galileans, as Luke has it. The story is absurd and clearly built up around Matthew's thesis that scripture requires the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. The foolishness continues with a dreadful massacre which, amongst all the recorded misdeeds of Herod, is utterly unknown to any historian of the time, which scotches one of the list of fulfilled prophecies

The slaying of the children of Bethlehem Jer 31:15 Mt 2:16-18
Jeremiah 31. 15 This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
16 This is what the LORD says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD. “They will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So there is hope for your descendants,”

This is all about the exiles following Israel and Judea's defeat by the mesopotamian empires. It is nothing to do with Jesus. Matthew has just lifted the reference to another massacre as it seemed appropriate to his Bethlehem massacre story. That is not known to history and we know of Herod's misdeeds. That one would hardly have been overlooked.

And of course, the event is mentioned only by Matthew - another indication that it was invented by him to give a reason for Joseph to go to Egypt - and that was only because Matthew needed to find a reason to have Joseph move to Galilee. In fact this massacre of innocents tale is a test-case example of the debate - textual criticism,the weight of evidence and the question of knowledge.

His being called out of Egypt Ho 11:1
11:1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images."
This is a reference to the Exodus and the Jews then turning to the Caananite gods. It is nothing whatsoever to do with Joseph going to Egypt.

The return is also nonsense as Matthew has the family escape from Herod's son, Archelaus, who was still ruling Judea as a client king at that time, and rush off to Galilee which was also under Herodian rule. This serves no purose but to get Jesus into Galilee and Matthew can't resist passing it off as fulfilling a prophecy about the Messiah being called a Nazarene, even though no - one has ever found such a prophecy in the supposedly meticulously copied, memorized and recorded Scriptures.

Thus the Nativity establishes three things - that the Gospel - writers made up stories to prove Jesus' messiahship, they built them around the need to fulfil prophecy which they arranged retrospectively, and they cannot have been eyewitnesses if they have made such blunders.

That established surely to any reasonable persons' satisfaction, let us see our gospel - writers doing the same in the rest of the gospel.

This is probably a good place to deal with the Genealogy. Both Luke and Matthew agree on the known Davidic line. Matthew then reckons the line through Solomon. Luke reckons the descent through Nathan, both sons of David and Bathsheba. Matthew's genealogy has the advantage that Solomon was the heir, but it breaks down at the deportation to Babylon. Nathan is not the direct lineage. This is not the place to compare the rival merits of each line, nor have the debate about whether any jewish roayal line could reckon descent through the female line IF there were male descendents, but to observe that both genealogies are reckoned to end with Joseph (attempts to make one of them Mary's line simply rewrites what the Bible says in order to make it 'work') and thus Jesus as his son. They cannot both be correct and thus it is a discrepancy.

The Baptism including John's messengers,

All four gospel - writers have this baptism. In order to save space, I'm not going to compare the differences in the miraculous events,because I'm not compiling a list of contradictions, but looking at what they tell us about the way the gospels were written, but I'll mention Matthew's addition at 3. 5 ("Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.) to explain why Jesus appeared to go to John for baptizing and repentance, because there is a small but very telling contradiction at John 1 33
"I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

But, according to Matthew, John already knew that Jesus was the one before he had even baptized him. "But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
This could easily be explained away except that, repeatedly, the additions and elaborations of the evangelists to the original basic story (for there is one) are shown up because they are so often contradictory.
Matthew and Luke also get tripped up when they add the Q passage about John sending messengers to ask Jesus whether he was the one (Matth.11.3 and Luke 7.19) which is surely nonsense in view of the foregoing astounding recognition.

Since we have shown a couple of the supposed prophetic proofs of Jesus not actually adding up to much, let's look as a few others.

His entering on his public ministry Isa 61:1,2 Lu 4:16-21,43

Isa 61:1,2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the
opening of the prison to them that are bound; 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

This, on its own, is doubtfully related to Jesus. It could be or it might not. But it isn't on its own.61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

That sounds more like rebuilding a devastated land than anything to do with Jesus' ministry. Look at the preceding chapter: 60:16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and
thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
With the stuff about gifts from Sheba and Tarshish (which could very well be used to refer to the Nativity of Matthew) and foreigners used as farm labourers, it is clear that this is about a beaten Judea dreaming of when God will make it strong, rich and powerful with the other nations treating it with respect if not being subservient. It is nothing to do with Jesus.

His being a Priest after the order of Melchizedek Ps 110:4 Heb 5:5,6
His being a Priest after the order of Melchizedek Ps 110:4 "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."

In fact, Hebrews seems to show that Jesus was not High Priest and the gospels do not show him as any kind of priest, though if he wasn't or didn't claim to be, I don't know why he was apparently wearing a seamless temple ephod at the crucifixion.

Hebrews 5:5,6 "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec."

King David as a priest. If you look up Abiathar fleeing to David in connection with the Shewbread debate, and read on, it seems that King David pretty much abrogated the High Priestship to himself using God's approval and never mind his qualifications for the job.
Psalm 110 reads in full (NAB version):
(1)A psalm of David. The LORD says to you, my lord: "Take your throne at my right hand, while I make your enemies your footstool." (2) The scepter of your sovereign might the LORD will extend from Zion. The LORD says: "Rule over your enemies! (3) Yours is princely power from the day of your birth. In holy splendor before the daystar, like the dew I begot you." (4) The LORD has sworn and will not waver: "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever." (5) At your right hand is the Lord, who crushes kings on the day of wrath, (6) Who, robed in splendor, judges nations, crushes heads across the wide earth, (7) Who drinks from the brook by the wayside and thus holds high the head.

The idea of the Davidic Psalm, apparently praising a king, saying he is a priest. is intended to relate to the claim of Jesus as Son of David, King of the Jews and was a also a priest, approved by God, never mind what the sanhedrin had to say about it.. However, there is nothing but the claims FOR Jesus by Christianity to validate this prophecy as a true prophecy of Jesus. It is the circular argument again.

Ever - useful Wiki gives this

11Q13 (11QMelch) is a fragment (that can be dated end II century or start I century BCE) of a text about Melchizedek found in Cave 11 at Qumran in Israel and which comprises part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this eschatological text Melchizedek is seen as a divine being and Hebrew titles as Elohim are applied to him. According to this text Melchizedek will proclaim the "Day of Atonement" and he will atone for the people who are predestined to him. He also will judge the peoples.

I have to say that I am continually struck by the similarity between the Qumran scrolls and the ideas around Jesus, rather than relating to any Essene beliefs. This 'atonement' is exactly what i can see as being used in Paul's argument that Jesus death was atonement for adam's sin and not just a messianic bid gone wrong. I have also noted the similarity between the War scroll and revelations. I actually do wonder if the identification of the Qumran settlement with the Essenes was too hasty. It was an obvious supposition as it looks like a recluses' settlement and the Essenes seem very reclusive, but I do wonder whether the Nazorenes might have not had their own rather zealot community out in the wilderness. I also wonder whether Paul when in Arabia (Galatians 1.17) might have been reading sme of these scrolls out in the desert.

His being a Prophet like to Moses
De 18:15-18 Ac 3:20-22

De 18:15-18 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

18:16 This talks of raising up a prophet, but there is nothing whatsoever to show that this relates to Jesus rather than to any ther prophet. In fact, if you read on.."According to all that thou
desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
18:17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken."

So the gist is: 'Don't let me hear the words of God or see the fire (of God) otherwise I'll die, and God says: "well said". That doesn't quite fit a prophecy of Jesus that Luke argues in Acts
Acts 3:20-22 "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you."

I can sat that many supposed prophecies of jesus don't fit any better and those that do show clear signs of being taken out of their context in order to construct the events of Jesus' life in the gospels. We have already seen a test example in the nativity. Let's now find another kind of contradiction arising from tinkering about with the original text but not to fulfill prophecy or create a story but rather to disguise it. We find at John what is evidently the temple cleansing.

The temple cleansing including the misplacement of John's material

"John 2. 13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (Psalm 69.9 which also provides the crucifixion prophecy about gall and vinegar, but but at 5. "God..the wrongs I have done are not hidden from thee ' makes it clear that this Psalm is about David, not Jesus).

To go on with the Gospel text:

18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken."

This is clearly the same event as in Passion week, but John places it before John the Baptist has been arrested, before Jesus has even declared himself. The argument that is wa a different and earlier event is not going to stand up. It is the same event, surely, as in Mark 11.15 who gives, interestingly, the most information about this effective take -over of the temple and disruption of trade.

"15And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 17And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Matthew 21. 2 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." echoed, pithily but identically by Luke

Luke 19 45 Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, 46saying to them, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

That this is the same event is made clear because none of the synoptics have any similar event before the Messianic mission and John does not have the well known one where it ought to be, at John 12.12 -20.

It has clearly been ripped out of context of the donkey ride wit hosannas and placed at the time of the baptism. Could it just be text getting out of order? If so it knocks on the head the idea of John being an eyewitness as he would have known better, but no, this was moved deliberately and what is more, he inserted a passage to cover up what he did.

John 4. 43 "After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there." That can only be the temple fracas, and this is just a few days after Jesus returns to Galilee from the Jordan.

There are several examples of this business of shifting scripture passages around and it might not matter much where they go except where it throws real doubt on whether the evangelists can be believed, let alone taken as eyewitnesses.

Take Luke's version of the calling of the disciples. 5.1 3 "Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him." lines 10-11 show this is the same event as Mark 1.17

"17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people. 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.”
and Matthew 4.19 ""Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men. 20 .At once they left their nets and followed him."

I might also mention that John undermines the suggestion that Jesus had just now recruited them; since he had already 'recruited' them at the Jordan (John 1.40). I may also mention that I take my quotes where I find them. I don't care what translation is used so long as the passage is identifiable and not too mangled. Translation shopping is unneccessary. I do not make my case by dickering about niceties of meaning.

But they don't mention the miraculous haul of fish (the imagery appears at Matthew 13 47, but as a parable, not an event). John does however. at ch.21, after the resurrection. Like the Temple cleansing, it has to be the same event, but misplaced. Once we understand what is being done and what to look out for we can see that the gospels are full of this stuff. Take the quarrels with the Pharisees.

The wrangles with the Pharisees, including David and the shewbread
This is probably the best example of what I mean.

Mark 2 23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Matthew 12 is the same but it is worth noting that he add his own bit of commentary about how 'something here' supersedes the temple
"3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

This is important to note as it reveals part of Matthew's agenda - to put Paul's argument that Faith in Jesus supersedes the Jewish Mosaic law, and this whole cornfield quarrel and the Sabbath - healing which follows is there to prove that Sabbath observance is superseded. It may seem ironic in these days when Christians are making a fuss about keeping the 'sabbath' (albeit on a different day) Special, but at the time the important matter was to show the early Christians that the law was superseded or 'Fulfulled' as the evangelist puts it. This only works of course if the Gospels were written after Paul had expounded his teachings and that is exactly what I think happened. It may be argued that Paul was following Jesus and his teachngs and this is only what Jesus taught. I say that it isn't, because if it were, Paul need only refer to Jesus' directives instead of having to argue the case himself, but more, because these arguments cannot be seriously proposed as valid arguments against the Law.

Take the reference to David and the shewbread. It comes from Samuel 21. “The priest (Ahimelech, not Abiathar who is a son of Ahimelech) gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away” (v. 6).- 1 Samuel 21:1–9
(ps. Ahimelech is just a priest and Abiathar might be the High Priest, but it really doesn't look like it. After the shewbread event, he flees to David after Saul kills the Priests off and it certainly looks by II Samuel 6. that the house and High Priestship is Abinadab's.)

The priest is trembling, but even so, he makes some conditions before allowing David to take the bread. David had priesly permission to take the bread. Even if it was the Sabbath and the priest was doing wrong or was coerced by David, that does not mean that it's allright to do it for ever after. David was no saint. His deeds are surely no precedent for junking the principle tenets of Mosaic Law. And the Pharisees, learned in the law would see that well enough and they would mock Jesus' argument as nonsense. But what is their response? Silence.
Directly after this in all the synoptics (John has NONE of this material, but we'll consider that later) - Matthew says right away and Luke says on another Sabbath, another small indication that they amended their text - Jesus heals a man in a Synagogue. The argument is that it should be ok to 'do good' on the Sabbath. As I understand it, it would be lawful to save life but not if it was a matter that could be left until the next day. The example is not about doing good but about diluting the Jewish ritual Law. The Pharisees should have pointed that out but are shown as silent, fuming and plotting Jesus' destruction. Already Paul's disagreements with his own people over his Messianic supercedence of the Torah have been turned by his Christian followers into bitter dislike of Jews who haven't converted. These tales are not historic; they are polemic. Jesus never said them and Pharisees never behaved that way. It is untrue and invented. Let us give up this silly idea that the Gospels are true eyewitness testimony.

There are other kinds of discrepancy as well as chronological contradictions, fiddling with or elaborating the text. We can also get geographical difficulties. The confusion about the Lake of Galilee is useful because it sows quite conclusively that Mark and Luke at least, were quite confused about the geography, And Mark's confusion is something of a test - case too because it illustrates a particular point - not only that he fiddled about with an original text and the story became quite confused in the process, but that it shows that none of the synoptics was the 'original' text, but all of them worked from a similar or identical original gospel - story and each elaborated it to suit themselves, but they COULDN''T have seen the others' work otherwise Luke and Matthew wouldn't have contradicted each other over the nativity.

Let's look at the 4 gospels dealing with the crossing of lake Galilee feeding of the four or five thousand.

Well I need to have the four gospels in columns but I can't seem to do that. Hopefully I'll sort that format out. '

I have already pointed up that the Matthian episode of Sinking Simon is noted by none of the others and surely that has to be his own invention. I had also extensively debated the point that instead of a transfiguration, John has it that Jesus "Withdrew into the hills...'Perceiving that (the crowd of feasters) were about to come and take him by force to make him a king," which is quite staggering, frankly.

7. Jesus went about in Galilee. Not Judea because the 'Jews' sought to kill him. Jesus' brothers (not believing in him) tell him to go to Judea to let the disciples see the works you are doing

Whether one argues that the Matthew and Mark material is just not important to Luke and John or whether (as I argue) all of the synoptic material between the healing of the Centurians' son and the feasting at Bethsaida was invented, mainly in order to discredit the Pharisees and the Jewish Law and it never actually happened and that is why John never mentions it, the point here is that the Gospels make it clear that Jesus crossed the sea of Galilee (John 6.1, Luke 9.10, Matthew 14.13) by boat from the western coast (almost certainly departing from Capernaum) to a lonely place at or near Bethsaida, probably Bethsaida Julias (there was more than one place called Bethsaida) up on the North - east coast, east of the northern section of the river Jordan.

John 1 1 "Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him ..... 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples."
And Luke (KJ version - it's all the same to me) confirms this as Bethsaida. "10And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11And the people, when they knew it, followed him."

This is Mark's version of the sailing across West to N Eat to Bethsaida.
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus (in the locale of Capernaum) and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.

There's a feeding of 5,000 and that evening (john 6.16) Matthew and Mark split this episode into two (feeding the 5,000and 4,000 with a trip to Phonecia in between. Probably ficticious, but that's not the point. Nor is the transfiguration reported by Matthew, Mark and Luke (apparently on the way to Caesaria Phillipi which is too far north for them to be sent off the same evening as in John). That's not the point ether. It is that Mark has the disciples going to a private place (the lonely place/Bethsaida) Mark 6.32, the feeding of the 5,000 and then (6.45) sends the disciples ahead of him to Bethsaida which is impossible since they were already there.
Mark 45 "Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake."

Jesus sends the apostles back and returns walking on water. (except in Luke) The crowd was AT Bethsaida and Jesus sends his disciples off to Capernaum from Bethsaida. And Mark says as much

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret (Capernaum) and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55

John matches this "16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water;"

They land at Genessaret or Capernaum. on the W coast ofthe sea of Galilee. Luke gets on with the depature to Jerusalem and doesn't write about the return to Capernaum nor the walking on the water. It's clear that any follower of Jesus who knew what had happened and knew the area would not have got so confused and made that mistake. Whoever wrote Mark, it was no follower of Jesus during his life. Thus it is surely proved that Mark got his story confused and mixed up where Bethsaida was.

This is not the only geographical confusion since, in the Bay of Pigs episode, Matthew places it resonably at Gadara (though that was across the river Yamulk and not on the coast so as to enable pigs to rush into the sea) but Mark 5 places it at the country of the Gerasenes - Jerash, which is miles away south - east in the Decapolis. These are perhaps understandable slips. The point is not to rubbish the Gospels but to understand how they were written and the implications of that. It is sometimes said that Matthew was the earliest Gospel. Some say it is Mark. This shows that Matthew and Luke couldn't have based their work on Mark as they didn't get confused about Bethsaida - it is only by looking at the correct gospels that we can see where mark got confused.. Mark couldn't have based his gospel on Matthew either, since it leaves out so much Matthian material.

The conclusion is that they all three had a very similar original proto - synoptic gospel and each elaborated it to their own purposes. There is further evidence for this in the post resurrection accounts.

(ESV) Mark 16 The angel at the empty tomb says: 6 ... “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

(OWV) Matthew28.1 "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." (I can't resist posting that) "7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you."

and Luke (LDS website) - I don't mind 2a "And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6He is not here, but is arisen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,"

Now these accounts are questionable mainly because John contradicts the. 20.1 "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter ..." and doesn't see the 'angels' until the disciples had been to have a look, but the point is that they all use the same basic wording but tweak it bit. Mark's .
"that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you" becomes in Matthew:
"he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." presumably because Matthew wasn't sure that he actually HAD told them, but that's not important. The important tweak is Luke's.
"He is not here, but is arisen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee"

Quite apart for a pretty clear contradiction, it is also evidence of Luke fiddling the original text and we can easily see why. In Matthew, the disciples do go to Galilee to see Jesus, but in Luke they stay there in Jerusalem and don't go anywhere, so the passage plainly wouldn't do as it was, so Luke rewrote it to fit his version of the story.

This is not my own theory, it is plain to be seen if one troubles to look. True one can dismiss it as human error but the evidence is that the error is often deliberate and for identifiable reasons. The only thing I cannot understand is why it appears that no - one else has ever done this. It's not rocket science.

Since there's a limit on length, I'll post the next bit below
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:59 PM
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Default Next bit.

The Decapolis material including sinking Simon and the shekel - eating fish

Sinking Simon

I've already touched on this . Matthew who has the sinking Simon episode no-one else knows about - Matthew 14.
"23 And when he had sent the multitudes away , he went up into a mountain apart to pray : and when the evening was come , he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled , saying , It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying , Be of good cheer ; it is I; be not afraid . 28 And Peter answered him and said , Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said , Come . And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and beginning to sink , he cried , saying , Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased . 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying , Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 34 And when they were gone over , they came into the land of Gennesaret."

So how could Mark and John have failed to record this Sinking Simon event? If it was in the original text (I hope I have pointed up how the basic parallel synoptic text indicates a common original document) Mark, John and Luke would ALL have independently decided to omit that event. So that being very unlikely and collusion impossible of course, Matthew must have added on his own account this story of Simon sinking.

The Shekel - eating fish. (NAB)

20 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax 21 approached Peter and said, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" 25 "Yes," he said. 22 When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, "What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?" 26 23 When he said, "From foreigners," Jesus said to him, "Then the subjects are exempt. 27 But that we may not offend them, 24 go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you."

Quite apart from I love the absurdity of these episodes, they show the personality of Matthew, if we didn't already know it from his silly Natal star and his angel perching on the tomb door like a parrot. Apart from the silliness and the lack of any counterpart in the other gospels, we can see poor reasoning. Anyone knows that kings take taxes from everyone in the country. No - one is exempt But again we see Matthew at pains to show that Temple Authority is questionable. We already saw this in the David and Shewbread episode where Matthew adds a remark about 'something greater is here'.

Since we (we are all doing this together, folks) have found this example of constructing events by using OT script for a particular purpose. let's look at another example, from the end of Jesus' life this time.

Acts including the accounts of the death of Judas and the nasty business of Annas and Sapphira.

Matthew has Judas hanging himself and Luke (in Acts) falling headlong and bursting open. It is not hard to simply wangle to two together to form one single and unified, though rather unlikely suicide-gone-a-bit-wrong.

'Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself (on a tree. The branch broke) he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.'

Sorted. And the less said about when and why and with what Judas bought himself a field in between throwing the money into the temple in furious regret and hanging himself in repentance, the better.

But in a minor way we have the same question about the temple cleansing in John's gospel. Why mention the event at the outset of Jesus' ministry but omit the one during passion week, while the synoptics mention the one in passion week but overlook the one at the time of Jesus' baptism? The reasonable answer is that they were the same event but one is one misplaced. Here in the two accounts of Judas' death, the answer is that they describe two different event in an irreconcilably different way and, just as was the case with the nativity discrepancy, the death of Judas was built up using scripture - but to show the betrayer getting his deserts. Mind you, they could not resist finding some prophecy fulfillment in it.

Matthew 27:1-10
1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took
the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8 Wherefore that field
was called, The field of blood, unto this day. 9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the
children of Israel did value; 10 And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me".

The quotes indicate the supposed fulfillment of a prophecy so we have throwing the thirty silver into the temple, The purchase of a field with the money (by priests), The name 'Field of blood' and the prophecy (Jeremiah) of the thirty silver and the potter's field.

Acts (written by Luke)
And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said 16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric (Footnote bishopric: or, office, or, charge) let another take." 21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias

I might point out (while it occurs to me) that this belies a suggestion that 'the twelve' was like the name of a rock band. There were supposed to be twelve In Number. So, a field was bought (by Judas apparently with the 30 silver), Judas fallas headlong, bursts open and loses his tripes, It is called 'Field of blood' (Akeldama).

The prophecy is let his habitation be desolate, let another take his office.

So we have really only two - or maybe one - agreement. The purchase of a field called 'Field of blood'. But Luke says this is Akeldama which today, at least, is a rocky cliff at the south of the Mount of Olives and a
place where Jews from outside of Jerusalem were buried. So it sounds like priests may have bought it rather than Judas and it doesn't sound like a 'field' at all. But it may be called 'field of blood'.

It's evident that Judas couldn't have thrown the silver into the temple, then gone to buy a field (actually a rocky outcrop) and then hang himself. I think Luke's account has to be considered doubtful. The first of many
doubtful bits of Acts which make me doubt that it is to be entirely trusted. There are also doubts about throwing the silver into the temple (as demanded by the wording in Zechariah. "thirty pieces of silver, and cast them"). The priests say that it cannot go into the treasury as it was 'blood money' I doubt that was correct as the treasury (a number of offering - boxes standing in the Court of the women Just before the temple steps) has boxes for sin- offerings and such. I doubt that the Priests would be bothered. If they were, they could do what they did with other impure money - change it for Pure Temple silver (with a head of a Phoenecian god on) and use that.

Let's now look at the prophecy fulfillments.

Matthew Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
"And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me".

The first thing we see is that it's Zechariah 11, not Jeremiah. (one poster's suggestion that all of the OT that wasn't by Moses was considered 'Jeremiah' won't wash. The prophecy - seekers mention the chapters not a supposed overall author. It's a mistake and not the only slip they make.
13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

The whole chapter 11 is about someone who is paid for some 'shepherding' service.
"And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. 12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver."

It looks as though this person may actually be God, but it certainly seems to be one sinned against rather than sinning. I need hardly point out to any honest person that there is no resemblance to the Judas story.

His price being given for the potter's field Zec 11:13 Mt 27:7

It may be that Judas got paid for helping to trap Jesus and it may be that he repented after, but the amount and the image of throwing it into the temple certainly appears to have been quotemined by Matthew from
Zecharia without much regard for what the original context was,and the reference 'cast to the potter' suggested a link with a place Matthew knew of called 'the potter's field'.

I have to doubt that 'potters' field' was identical with the field of blood, Akeldama or indeed, the Jesus story at all. It was just Matthew trying to find prophetic links between the OT and his gospel.

Let's look at the Luke/Acts prophecy: "that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. "For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell
therein: and his plce/office let another take."

is from Psalm 69:1-36
22Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. 24
Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. 25 Let their habitation F211 be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and
they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. 27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the
righteous. 29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

It also contains the passage " 21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

which is a prophecy of Matthew 27.34, or the passage he based 27.34 on. I intend to show that the evangelists are more likely to be using OT quotes than finding prophecies. because (as i mentioned above) if you look at the whole of Psalm 69 it doesn't read as though it is about Jesus

"4They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. 5 O God, thou knowest
my foolishness; and my sins F208 are not hid from thee."

Well, that's hardly fitting for Jesus on the cross. And of course, you will have noticed that 'tents' have become symbolic for a place or office in the Aposles.

At best, one has to suppose that the Psalm doesn't set out a prophecy complete and unarguable; the evangelist has to extract a nugget of text, twist into a slightly different form and argue that it fits. At worst, he has
used it as a bit of screenplay to construct 'what must have happened'.

Given that Mark and John have no accounts of what happenned to Judas, I think that the evidence is that Matthew and Luke:-

a) searched the OT for clues about what became of Judas

b) constructed two stories using those quotes and came up with two incompatible stories. It follows that the attempts to argue that Matthew told about the hanging but forgot the bowel spilling and Luke talked
about the bowel - spilling but omitted the hanging is demonstrably an apologetics attempt to plaster over the cracks in the church wall.

What we do get, though, is this field of blood. I can find no OT source for that and both Matthew and like agree that Judas met his end there; about the only thing they do agree on about his death. That I may say, like Galilean birth, the death on the cross and the Temple take -over are some of the bits of Gospel story I do find reasons to suppose could be true. That's one of the things that makes me think there mat be a real story behind it, but not the ones the evangelists wanted to tell.

The Bethany material including Passover,

I had already argued that Luke's Galilean penitent foot -wiping episode was really a relocated and rewritten Bethany anointing. Both he and John have Mary, sister of Lazarus, anointing Jesus' feet. Matthew and Mark have the anointing of the head. There is also a discrepancy about whether this was done the morning after the arrival from Jericho as in John or after the temple kerfuffle as in Mark (two days before the Passover and Seder feast) Matthew (after the talk of end times on the mount of Olives, two days before the Passover and when Judas arranges the betrayal before the Last supper on the first day of Passover)

Passover took place on the 15th of Nisan, which falls between March 15-April 30. Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem five days before the lamb was killed in the temple as the Passover sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel. Originally, Passover began at twilight on the fourteenth day of Nissan (Leviticus 23:5), and then the next day, day 15, the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin and continue for seven days (Leviticus 23:6).

Friday was the day of the Passover celebration and the day that the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed.

The arrest at Gethsemane and indeed the Last Supper were all held on the beginning of 'Good Friday'. We'd have called it Thursday evening until midnight, but it would have been the Friday beginning at evening to all those at the time. Thus, we have to ask, could the last supper have been the passover meal?
We can suppose that, if there was a hearing after Jesus' arrest involving Jewish priests (since I really do not believe the account of a Sanhedrin trial for a moment) is was on the Friday morning and the hearing before Pilate was in the later morning. Since no real reliance can be placed on what was said or done there can be no knowing exactly when it was that the crucifixion began.Therefore, the timing is perhaps open to question.

On the Friday, the priest would blow the shophar or ram's horn at 3:00 p.m.at the moment the lamb was sacrificed. Thus, if Jesus is equated with the Passover sacrifice, there is an element of the gospels needing to fit the crucifixion to the passover ritual. The seder feast with the roasted sacrificed lamb would be after that, at the earliest, after dusk when the Passover day would begin.

The problem is that Mark 14:12-16 says "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?"
Well, if that's the Saturday 3 p.m killing of the lambs in the temple and Jesus isn't arrested until the small hours after the Last Supper and tried and crucified the next morning, there's no way it could be on the day of passover Seder feast. On a Saturday, perhaps, but not Passover. Some have argued that Jesus and his disciples followed a Passover timing which followed neither the Sadducee timing nor the timing forced on the sadducees by the Pharisees in Jesus' time when the Pharisees outvoted the Saducceed in the Sanhedrin. But even apart from Jesus being executed at a time which everyone else took to be the Passover, it still misses, since there is no way Jesus could be sacrificed at Passover unless he was killed directly after the last supper.

The only other answer is that the Last supper was not the Passover Seder meal. This is confirmed rather by John 18. 28 where the Priests would not enter Pilate's court because they could be defiled before eating the Passover and John underlines that with the supposition of the disciples that Judas was being out from the last supper sent to do some shopping, which is ok on the passover days before the festival, but not on the day of the sacrifices and Passover meal. Whatever the Last Supper is, it isn't the Passover meal.

I have read extensively about the loose usages of 'passover' and the possible different time reckonings of Judeans and Romans (I am persuaded they coincided at the time) but there seems no way of getting around it - Jesus could not eat Passover Seder and then be sacrified at Passover on the next day when the passover Seder followed the sacrifice - unless Jesus and his disciples had devised some totally un-scriptural passover sequence. But not even the most ingenious apologists has suggested that.

This is not in the end a contradiction so much as sorting out the dating quibbles. The Last Supper was on the start of the passover days and symbolic of the Passover sacrifice to come. But in no way could it be the passover day itself. That has to be the next day. But even then there are problems.

The problems in the Passover dating don't just end with accepting that the Last supper can't be the Passover feast. In the first month. Let's set out the Jewish Passover week. On the fourteenth day of the month between the two evenings is the lord's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the lord; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the lord seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. (Leviticus 23:5)

An unblemished lamb or goat is to be set apart on Nisan 10,[12] and slaughtered on Nisan 14 "between the two evenings",[13] a phrase which is, however, not defined. It is then to be eaten "that night", Nisan 15,[14] roasted, without the removal of its internal organs[15] with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[Seder feast] (wiki)

Passover is a 7 day festival in Nisan (March -April) 15th day
1st day 9 Nisan. (Sunday) A day of no work.
Monday 2nd day of Passover feast. 10 Nisan An unblemished lamb or goat is to be set apart on Nisan 10
Tuesday 3rd day of festival 11th Nisan.
Wednesday 4th day 12th Nisan
Thursday fifth day 13th Nisan
Friday Sixth day 14th Nisan the sacrificial lamb is slaughtered in the temple on Nisan 14.
That night (beginning at evening) the offering is roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[Seder feast].
Saturday sabbath seventh day.(15th Nisan) Holy day. No work. .
Sunday 16th Nisan, 1st day of the new week after the passover

If we try to link this with the Jesus story.

1st day 9 Nisan. (Sunday) A day of no work.
Monday Nisan 10 2nd day of Passover feast. 10 Nisan An unblemished lamb or goat is to be set apart on Nisan 10. Mark 14 12. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when (during which) it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" The last supper is held that evening (in Jewish reckoning the start of Monday, 2nd day of the passover) Mark 14.16 and they made ready the passover. 17And in the evening he cometh with the twelve."
Tuesday 3rd day of festival 11th Nisan.(morning) Jesus on trial before Pilate, crucifixion.
Wednesday 4th day 12th Nisan We can see a problem looming because we are nowhere near 'Good Friday'. when Jesus is arrested. Let us start from 'Good friday' the day of crucifixion and of the Passover lams being killed in the temple.

1st day 9 Nisan. (Sunday) A day of no work.
Monday 2nd day of Passover feast.10 Nisan An unblemished lamb or goat is to be set apart on Nisan 10
Tuesday,3rd day of festival 11th Nisan.
Wednesday 4th day 12th Nisan Wednesday 4th day 12th Nisan
Thursday fifth day 13th Nisan Thursday fifth day 13 the Nisan Judas arranges Jesus' betrayal with the Chief priests
Friday (beginning Thursday evening) the Last supper, arrest at Gethsemane, hearing and trial in the morning
Friday Sixth day 14th Nisan (morning) .Trial of Jesus in the morning. The sacrificial lamb is slaughtered in the temple on Nisan 14. Jesus is crucified during the time the lambs are killed in the temple (3 pm in the afternoon). But if that's the case, the Priests can't be spending too long jeering at Jesus. They have duties in the temple, quite apart from going and telling Pilate to get the crucifixion done quickly before Passover begins at evening. In fact it seems that. very soon, there is no - one there but Jesus, his immediate followers and the soldiers.
That night (beginning at evening) the offering is roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[Seder feast].
Saturday sabbath seventh day.(15th Nisan) Holy day. No work. . Saturday sabbath seventh day.(15th Nisan) Holy day. No work. That night (beginning at evening) the offering is roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[Seder feast]. The priests go to Pilate and obtain a guard. which is set over Jesus' tomb.
Sunday 16th Nisan, 1st day of the new week after the passover Sunday 16th Nisan, 1st day of the new week after the passover. the women go to the tomb. Angel appears, The guard is driven away. Jesus appears to Mary during the morning and also to Cleophas in Emmaeus around Noon.
Monday (beginning at evening) Cleophas returns and Jesus appears to all (but Thomas)

The problem is obvious. We have a 4 day gap between the last supper (with the crucifixion the next day) and the crucifixion the day before the passover feast. I think the problem is that they confuse the 'First day of passover' with the First day of the three at the end of which Jesus is supposed to have risen.

Luke's version tries to make sense of this. He drops the 'First day' confusion and places it square on the Passover feast day. 22.7 When the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread arrived, the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb, he sent out Peter and John, instructing them, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover." If so, this is the order of events.

1st day 9 Nisan. (Sunday) A day of no work.
Mark 14 12. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when (during which) it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" The last supper is held that evening (in Jewish reckoning the start of Monday, 2nd day of the passover) Mark 14.16 and they made ready the passover. 17And in the evening he cometh with the twelve." We can see a problem looming because we are nowhere near 'Good Friday'. when Jesus is arrested

Monday 2nd day of Passover feast. 10 Nisan An unblemished lamb or goat is to be set apart on Nisan
Tuesday 3rd day of festival 11th Nisan.
Wednesday 4th day 12th Nisan
Thursday fifth day 13 the Nisan (Jewish reckoning Friday, starting at evening) The Last supper, arrest at Gethsemane.
Friday Sixth day 14th Nisan 10 Friday (morning) Jesus on trial before Pilate The sacrificial lamb is slaughtered in the temple on Nisan 14. Jesus is crucified.
That night (beginning at evening) the sacrificial offering is roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.[Seder feast].
Saturday sabbath seventh day.(15th Nisan) Holy day. No work. The priests go to Pilate and obtain a guard. which is set over Jesus' tomb.
Sunday 16th Nisan, 1st day of the new week after the passover. the women go to the tomb. Angel appears, The guard is driven away. Jesus appears to Mary during the morning and also to Cleophas in Emmaeus around Noon.
Monday (beginning at evening) Cleophas returns and Jesus appears to all (but Thomas)

That has to be the order of events, but in any case it is clear that the Last supper cannot be held on the day of the temple sacrifices.

Let's try to factor in the order of events from the arrival in Jerusalem to the last Supper.

Arrival in Jerusalem. Immediate procession but Temple business the next day.
Anointing at Bethany (two days before the passover, Mark says) quarrel involving the disciples, but Judas 'then' went to the Chief priests to arrange to betray Jesus.
First day of passover (when they sacrificed the passover lamb, says Mark) preparations made for the last supper.
Arrival in Jerusalem. Immediate procession and Temple business
Two days before the Passover ( Matthew says) is the anointing at Bethany. Quarrel involving the disciples. but Judas 'then' went to the Chief priests to arrange to betray Jesus
First day of 'unleavened bread' preparations made for the last supper.

Arrival in Jerusalem. Immediate procession and Temple business
before Ch. 22 should be the anointing (transferred from 7.37 where the reworking is very extensive) and then Judas resolves to betray Jesus, the possible link
with the dispute about the anointing being dropped. Last supper.

Arrival in Jerusalem. Supper, anointment and quarrel involving Judas.
next morning procession and Temple business (moved from John 1.). Judas had already resolved to betray Jesus.
before the passover feast, the Last supper.

This and the Gethsemane arrest throws up a number of doubtfuls which really can't be dismissed as just a different viewpoint or leaving out something unimportant.

Matthew, Mark and indeed, Luke, imply that Judas resolved on his betrayal before the last supper, John states that satan prompted Judas actually at the supper when Jesus hands him the bit of bread. (13. Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.)
I don't want to get into Pet Theories, but I'll stick to pointing up where the evidence leads. The fact is that, not only does Judas look a nasty piece of work with his hand in the till at the anointing quarrel, but John, after having Jesus bear - hug his followers at 6.71 "Did I not choose you twelve?", remembers to say that one of them is a devil, and John adds as an aside that it was Judas he was referring to. I don't think that Luke saw John's gospel, but I do think he saw material giving some details about Jesus' mission which did not fit in with the divine plan theory. John simply overlooked it but Luke was smarter and saw the problems. Thus, I think that he dropped the anointing quarrel and moved the anointing as far away as he could and simply explained Judas' betrayal as down to Satan plus greed. And no mention of a sop and Jesus sending Judas off to do what he had to do, much less the disciples, after Jesus had plainly said that one would betray him and after all the 'Is it I?' stuff, and with Jesus pretty much fingering Judas, supposing that he's off to the shops.

Instead, Luke brings out the sort of dispute the disciples had already had back in Galilee 9.40 when Jesus had rebuked them. Now he says they will all be on the twelve thrones. Presumably Matthias rather than Judas getting the twelfth, not because he'd done anything special, but that was the way they voted (Acts 1.26)

I suppose this is just to point up that the gospels are full of this ludicrous, incoherent and contradictory stuff. The examples I have selected are precedent examples and some of the stronger ones. They are far from the only ones.

third bit tomorrow, I hope.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:42 PM
Location: Valencia, Spain
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Superb stuff professor but it would be better in the Christianity or R+P forum. You're just preaching to the converted here.

Last edited by Rafius; 07-17-2011 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:49 AM
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Good point Raffs. I am indeed preaching to the converted. Let me say that I see myself as as explaining Tectonic plate movement to those who already accept continental movement. Those who already have their minds open - perhaps even some Christians - may find a lot more rationale than they ever expected.

I thought of posting in religion and Philosophy, but decided that it isn't about either. It is about the reasons not to believe in the Christian Jesus.

Posting this in Christianity would be like St Anthony sermonizing the fishes.

I have to post apologies for any mistakes, repetitions, questionable ordering of material, those dammned bracket asides which irritate me, never mind anyone else. I found it quite hard to precis down a lot of material to something which could be posted. That's my excuse, anyway.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:15 AM
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...............................part 2

There isn't space here to chew over all the doubts about the preliminary investigation and Sanhedrin trial, and I'll only mention in passing Luke's singular (literally) account of Jesus being bundled over to Antipas to have a look at him, apparently for the sole purpose of having a Jew beat Jesus up instead of Pilate's men, and note that it is hard to believe that only Luke would have heard of that or that the other evangelists thought it not worth mentioning, (The Praetorium was almost certainly in the Antonia fortress, which was attached to the temple and which Pilate and his soldiers occupied during festival times, and not in Herod's palace, which Antipas occupied at festival times and which was right across the city on the west wall), and get on with another kind of contradiction - that of a historical character and what history knows of him.

Appointed as prefect of Judea in AD 26, when Tiberius was Emperor, Pilate immediately tried to ride roughshod over the Judeans by sneaking the Imperial insignia of the army into the city at night. When the Jews protested, Pilate threatened them with death. They called his bluff, Josephus records, and he had to back down.
A later similar event was his displaying of votive shields on Herod's palace - to annoy the Jews, writes Philo, rather than to honour the emperor. He reused to remove them until the Jews protested to the emperor, Tiberius. .
Pilate also appropriated Temple funds to build an aqueduct to bring water into the city. When the Jews protested, he addressed them, but only as a pretext to have his soldiers infiltrate and attack them. This time, Pilate had his way.

Josephus finally records Pilate's massacre of a Samaritan religious leader and his followers, which led to a protest to Rome by Jews and Samaritans alike to the Syrian governor, Vitellius.

Philo describes Pilate as having."vindictiveness and furious temper," and was "naturally inflexible, a blend of self-will and relentlessness." He opines that Pilate feared a protest to Rome since, "if they actually sent an embassy they would also expose the rest of his conduct as governor by stating in full the briberies, the insults, the robberies, the outrages and wanton injuries, the executions without trial constantly repeated, the ceaseless and supremely grievous cruelty."

While this does not sound like the snivelling appeaser of the Gospels and there are the elements to use in building up the events of the trial - Pilate addressing a crowd of protesting Jews and the threat of denouncing him to the emperor making him back down, how likely is it that the gospel story of the trial could be true?

The trip to Jerusalem
and the contradiction of John's Tabernacles/Dedication wrangle,

I already mentioned that the last supper could not really have been the passover feast and I pointed up the doubts about the Passover timing. In fact I consider that the whole passover idea was theological - the events had to be linked with Jesus' supposed Paschal sacrifice. It would be a remarkable, one might almost say miraculous, coincidence is the crucifixion did happen at passover. Did it?

I already showed that the gospels are a bit unworkable as regards their Passover chronology. Could it not be that it never took place on Passover at all? Is there any internal evidence that (whatever actual event the concocted gospels were based on) it occurred at some other date? In fact, yes, as has long been noted and never really considered. The Triumphal procession (these are the identifying labels I use and, since I regard that Christianity no longer has any valid claim to say what's what in the gospels,I do not wish to hear any theological quibbles about my naming of the events) looks like a Hosanah procession, sounds like a Hosanah procession so it probably is a Hosanah procession, and that takes place at Tabernacles, not at Passover.

It so obviously looks like a Hoshanah procession that apologists come up with some absurd explanation like the disciples getting carried away so they sang 'Away in a manger' instead of 'There is a green hill'. That is truly unlikely. and, moreover, the people all has the appropriate palm leaves with them, so if it wasn't Tabernacles, it was all well planned in advance. Finally, John actually says it was the feast of Tabernacles. Not in so many words, but we already saw how John broke off the temple cleansing from the triumphal procession. I suggest that he also broke off the events of the temple occupation and placed them at chapter 7. The reason I suggest this is mainly because John's sequence of events regarding the last trip to Jerusalem doesn't fit the synoptics. But it can, once it is remembered that John already broke up the temple - cleansing episode.

Let me take you through the argument:

Jesus goes beyond the Jordan (Peraea) John's old baptizing place. Then Jerusalem via Jericho, arriving at Bethany mid - morning for the Triumphal procession and NEXT day the Temple cleansing. Bethany Anointing.
Mathew 19
Jesus goes beyond the Jordan (Peraea Antipas' territory) To Jerusalem via Jericho, arriving at Bethany mid - morning for the Triumphal procession and the SAME day day the Temple cleansing. There is a lot of intervening teachings and parables but the next event is the Bethany Anointing (26.6)

Luke. The trip to Peraea is taken up between chapters 10 and 19 full of padding and parables, and the Jordan isn't mentioned so far as I can discover. Then via Jericho to Jerusalem and immediately the triumphal procession and (Same day) the Temple cleansing. We have no Bethany anointing but I shall leave it to you - all to compare 7.37 -38 with the anointings of John, Mark and Matthew and agree that, for some reason. it has been shifted from between chapter 21 and 22 and rewritten so as to disguise it.

John (7) has Jesus going to Jerusalem at Tabernacles (Sept- Oct), apparently before his trip there via the Jordan/Peraea. We have the wrangles in the temple at the feast of Tabernacles, A failed attempt to arrest him (7.42) and Jesus hiding himself and slipping out of the temple (8.59) After the Feast of Dedication (Hannukah - November December) Jesus goes to the Jordan (10 40) and then returns and heals Lazarus at Bethany. There is a supper at the house of Lazarus that evening and Mary (Lazarus' sister) anoints Jesus' feet, Luke - style. The NEXT day, there is the triumphal procession and the Temple cleansing restored from John 2, This is supposedly at Passover (March/April),

We can see that it broadly matches the synoptics, except that there is no mention of Jesus returning to Galilee before going to the Jordan and no mention in the synoptics of the Tabernacles business, nor the raising of Lazarus for that matter. Yes, of course, one can argue that Jesus returns to Galilee for all the Bethsaida stuff and then returns to Jerusalem next year.

But, if we say that Jesus leaving for the feast of Tabernacles in John is the same as leaving for Jerusalem in Mark, 10, Matthew 19 and Luke 10 and he arrives in Bethany as per the Synoptics, then (in the same way that John shows that Jesus' calling of the disciples in Galilee was not immediate) if we follow John, then we see that showing that the triumphal procession was not immediately after they arrived from Jericho but was arranged for the next morning, and then all four accounts fit together. Except that the anointing is after the supper that evening, before the temple cleansing rather than afterwards. And the only time that Jesus is holding forth in the Temple is after he has taken it over, and that is (as John Chapter 7 says), the Feast of Tabernacles.

Were it not that a Passover date really doesn't work and the Hoshanah procession is specific to Sukkhot, it would be far more arguable, but I'd say those two points, and the way that the four gospels now seem to be telling the same story, makes Sukkhot - Tabernacles, more likely than Passover. I suggest that Passover became terribly important to the disciples because, after the crucifixion, they told themselves that Jesus wasn't dead, but had gone to heaven in the spirit and he'd come back soon enough. And then argued that he hadn't failed but had succeeded in his self - sacrifice (hence all the lamb of God imagery) in creating a New Covenant forgiving sins with the Spirit (as the Baptist is made to proclaim). Thus Passover rather than Sukkhot is the correct time, so Passover it had to be, never mind that it wouldn't fit.

Trial, crucifixion and burial.

The Chief priests having condemned Jesus for blasphemy, according to the synoptics, and also in John. Pilate has already told them to Judge Jesus themselves rather like Gallio :Acts 18. 14 “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things." Later on (John 19.7) "The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.", but they say it is not lawful for them to put any man to death. They need Pilate to do it for them. In fact is was lawful for the Sanhedrin to issue capital sentences, by stoning, though Josephus (Antiquities XX9.1) indicates that Procurators took a dim view of it being done without their consent. It was certainly not an act of mob retribution as the Gospels represent it. The argument that the Sanhedrin had been abolished will not wash. Pompey had indeed abolished the Sanhedrin, but Julius Caesar restored it and, though the Romans, like the Herodians, sold the post High Priest to the Saddducees, who could afford the highest bid (though Pharisees outvoted them in the hewn - stone chamber) it had powers to judge and condemn in matters or religious law.

The blasphemy charge will not interest Pilate, so it must be made political. Mark and Matthew make the charge 'King of the Jews' , Luke pointing up that this is both blasphemous and seditious. John has no such decision and, when Pilate asks what is the charge, the Sadducees make the absurd reply that Jesus must be a bad man or they wouldn't have brought him before Pilate.

Pilate examines Jesus and decides that there is nothing with which to charge him. Under a clamour to condemn, he tries to have Jesus released. He offers to release Jesus under a Passover law (which is unknown outside of the gospels) but the Jews have Barrabas released rather than Jesus. Eventually, browbeaten by threats to report him to Rome, Pilate gives in and 'Handed him over to be crucified' (Mark 15.15) Matthew, adding to the original text which must have matched Mark's, has Pilate transfer responsibility for Jesus' death to the Jews, who accept the blood guilt on themselves and their children with enthusiasm. This is found only in Matthew. Luke and John both follow Mark's 'handing him over to be crucified'. I have said this before - Matthew's addition is the most disgusting thing in the gospels. However, the constructional point is that Pilate has effectively handed over the responsibility for the crucifixion to the Jews. One can argue that, since Pilate wrote the charge, they couldn't just remove it or change it and the orders for the soldiers to do the leg - breaking had to come from their boss Pilate, but it certainly looks as though Pilate was actually in charge of this execution and Mark 15.54 in a rare example of his adding to the text (since it does not appear in Luke nor Matthew) has Pilate sending to find out whether Jesus was already dead.

So at the end, given that the blasphemy charge looks anachronistic, the Passover exchange unhistorical, Luke's account of Jesus' appearance before Antipas being his own invention as much as are his own particular parables, what can we take of the gospel account of the trial as reliable? I'd say almost nothing. The tools of Christian apologetics - reliance on Bible writ, appeals to history or historians and attempts to rationalize and explain away discrepancy and contradiction will not suffice.

Rather curiously, it is the principle of embarrassment that gives us the best reason to suppose that Pilate did actually put Jesus on trial. In all the attempts to pin a charge on Jesus, the one charge that would have stuck and totally justified Pilate executing Jesus and without the Sadducees having to twist his arm - the violent occupation of the temple and disruption of the temple trade - is not even considered by either Sanhedrin or Pilate, though Pilate as governor must of course have known about it. It is impossible that it should not even have been considered as a charge rather than that nonsense about rebuilding the temple in three days.

Thus, reason and logic imply that, since all the gospels ignore the only likely charge that would justify crucifixion, the temple dust - up was most likely the real charge. But it would not do for the Evangelists as it makes Rome firmly responsible for the crucifixion, does not require the Jews to be guilty party in forcing a death sentence on Pilate and it would embarrass the Evangelists as the temple fracas also plainly did, since they all use various ploys (Mark having it the day after the Triumphal procession, Matthew having 'Hosanna' chorused by kiddies instead of bawled out by burly Galileans, Luke reducing it to a mere expelling of traders and John removing altogether) in order to conceal that this act was the pivotal point of the whole Jesus story and the reason why he was crucified.

As regards the crucifixion, I need only reinforce the continuance of discrepancy, contradiction and improbability that has been found all the way through the gospels.

The 'seven last words' are all different in each gospel. It will not do to say that each evangelist picked a comment from the cross and ignored all the others. That just isn't reasonable. It also isn't reasonable that Jesus, writhing on the nails, would quote the opening of Psalm 22. It reflects the view of the Synoptic gospel that we find in Mark 1.12 "Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness".- what I call the 'meat puppet idea (which we find even in John, although he sees the man Jesus as a sort of glass statue with God the father seen within) and modified by Mathhew into 'led' (anago 1) to lead up, to lead or bring into a higher place Strong's concordances) .rather than 'driven' (ekballo 1 to cast out, drive out, to send out (a) with notion of violence). Luke has a resigned givng up of the spirit and John's triumphant "It is finished!" (teleo). And I can do no better than to quote the comment in the Blue Letter online Bible. just in case my assertion that the gospel argument that Jesus' death was explained as buying forgiveness from (Adam's) sin with his death is dismissed as some kneejerk apologists have done, simply because I had said it, "In Jhn 19:30 the word means, "It is finished." Christ satisfied God's justice by dying for all to pay for the sins of the elect."

All these represent more of the evangelists adapting their material to suit their own apologetic purposes.

I don't want to get into a discussion about crucifixion methods, but crucifixion with nails through the feet is historically attested and I have no doubt the hands were nailed too, through the wrists, not the palms as religious art and stigmatics mistakenly thought. The spear thrust is only found in John and, while gospel apologists might argue, even now, that the synoptics thought it not worth a mention and point to John's particular affirmation that this was eyewitness testimony, Luke tacitly denies a wound in the side as surely as the Centurion witnessing of the rending of the temple veil ensures that the crucifixion site was on the mount of olives, looking down on the temple entrance and nowhere near either of the present 'sepulchres' in the city - Luke 24.39 "Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.40 And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet."

There is no hole in his side as in John 20 19."Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side."

Thus if the spear wound is not true, then the blood from a side - wound as shown on the Turin shroud (which has rightly been called the 'Fifth Gospel') is a fake, as indeed seems the case with all the bloodstains on that image, since they are considered to be pigment pink rather than ancient - blood brown.
On the other hand, if there really was a spear - thrust, then the synoptic original and the three synoptics are missing the mark in not knowing of it. As to the shroud, while I have my own doubts about it being a medieval artefact, it is certainly not the sort of image which results from being wrapped around or even laid over a body. Whatever it is, it isn't any kind of shroud as mentioned in the synoptics - let alone the Lazarus - style winding - bands as in John.

Let's wind up with an overview of the Resurrection since we have already looked at the chronology, establishing that the women went to the tomb on Sunday morning, first day of the week. I can assure you that some apologists have felt the need to even rewrite that part of the Bible. and let's look with a wry smile at Matthew's liftshaft - descending angel. I also noted that the tomb, conveniently near by the place of execution and therefore supporting the contention that neither tomb nor cross was where Constantine found them, in a old tomb already in a Jerusalem suburb (Bezetha) which Herod Agrippa, ten years, later would feel obliged to enclose in a new city wall. The indications are that crucifixion and cross were sited on the mount of olives, close to Bethany, near the empty tomb of Lazarus, of course, and conveniently overlooking the donkey -ride descent to the eastern temple entrance.

The resurrection including the contradiction of Emmaeus.

History suggests that neither the Holy Sepulchre nor the garden tomb could have been a 'new tomb' in which the crucified Jesus was placed. That area was already a suburb and the bones of the Hasmoneans had already been removed to the mount of Olives where the tomb - building of the time was going on.

Sunday first day of the week after passover.
John. 20. Mary Magadalene came to the tomb early, The stone was already removed. She ran to Peter and the 'other' disciple (surely after looking to see that the body was gone) to say 'They (for example the gardener, as we shall see) have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him." So there was at least one other (No doubt Mary, Jesus' mother) with her and she supposes some others had moved the body.
John. 20. Simon and the other have a look and see the cloths lying there. They then go 'back to their homes'. Mary stays by herself and has another look in the tomb and sees two 'angels'. She nevertheless isn't afraid of them or even surprised that they suddenly appeared on he scene and she talks to them and also to Jesus whom she first takes for the gardener and to whom she repeats "They have taken away my Lord and we do not know where they have laid him." This strains credulity. Why she thought that a jewish gardener would open a tomb and take away a body is beyond explaining.

Mary Magdelene goes and tells the disciples about her meeting with Jesus.
John 20.19. That evening, Jesus walks in through the shut door and shows his hands and side to the eleven disciples - sorry, ten, because Judas won't be here, of course, and because Thomas is away on some unexplained mission. The ten are glad to see Jesus.

When Thomas comes back he adopts the role of the doubter.
Eight days later, Jesus appears again and lets Thomas see the wounds. Well, how long does it take before Jesus ascends to the father and gets his New Incorruptible body without the holes in?
John 21. Peter, Andrew and James, together with Nathaniel and Tomas the twin return to Galilee and Peter suggests going fishing. He had resumed his old job it seems, as it the boat at net type of fishing rather than the hook and line pastime described in the Shekel eating fish of Matthew and attested by the Bible - proving fishhooks found in Capernaum excavations.

The contradictions in the resurrection are mainly chronological and it is needful to consider them in detail, as the claim that the dead Jesus reappeared, leaving the tomb empty is fundamental to Christian claim. As Paul said "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not" (I Corinthians 15:14-15) Though the logic of the argument that since they are all fools if it isn't true and they don't want to be fools, so of course it must be true, is rather questionable, he is on the money the importance of this event. I'd say that it shows up, better than any comment of mine the basis that the Bible is - not has, but IS, to Christianity. If the resurrection is not true or is even open to serious doubt, then the Christian Faith is based only on Faith, not on sound reason or evidence, which is all I have ever argued.

After the women go to the tomb first thing Sunday, they find Jesus gone and an angel saying that he has risen. After that the stories seriously diverge.

Matthew. The women return to tell the disciples and it seems that, on the way, they run into Jesus himself. He tells them to tell the 'bretheren' (that is the disciples) to go to Galilee, where they will see him. Well, that is what the angel already told them to say. There is the business about the guards and the story, current in Matthew's day, apparently, that the disciples stole the body out of the tomb. That said, the eleven go to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had directed them (he had said nothing about any mountain) and even when he was standing there tellng them to go out and convert all the other nations, some still doubted.

Luke,. The bevy of women return and tell the disciples about this event but are not believed. We then see Cleophas and a companion on the way to Emmaeus, a few miles west of Jerusalem. They meet Jesus on the way and return to Jerusalem to tell the disciples - who say that Jesus has already appeared to Simon. While Cleophas is telling how Jesus appeared to him, Jesus himself appears, shows his appendix scar and has a fish dinner with them. Jesus tells them to stay put and, after they ask Jesus about restoring the kingdom, parts from them at Bethany, ascending into the sky (Acts) whereupon an angel comes and asks them what they are gawping at. They then stay in Jerusalem praising God in the temple (Luke 24.53).

John differs from the synoptics in that Mary finds the tomb open and rushes back to report without seeing men, angels or Jesus and only sees them after Peter and the other have gone to have a look, Jesus shows up in the evening, when the disciples are all together.

Mark gospel ends here, with the women running away. Two endings, missng frm the earlier manuscripts, were added at a later date, the shorter reading ""But they reported briefly to those with Peter all that had been commanded them. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them from the East even to the West the sacred and incorruptible message of eternal salvation." and the longer, version cobbled together from the appearance at Emmaeus and the appearance to all of them together.
"9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."

The question has always been whether Mark's ending has got lost or he simply decided not to write it. But, in view of all we have seen so far, I think the question ought to be asked: is that how original gospel source or sources ended? Is is possible that Matthew, John and Luke each added their own suitable ending? And, if so, is why they are so discrepant?

Let us look at the Synoptic endings. The common text derived (I have argued all the way) from the synoptic original 'proto - Matthew' text.

Mark1. 1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4aAnd when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is arisen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

Matthew 28 1 1
1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, 2 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 3 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. 4 The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.
5 Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you." 8 Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce 5 this to his disciples.

Luke 24 1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly[b] perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. ”

We already know from John that there were ten, not eleven, and Thomas wasn't there, but this puts paid to the idea that 'the twelve' was the generic name for the disciples, like a boy band, no matter how many were actually present. Luke, we already saw, has to alter the text because the disciples do not go to Galilee to see Jesus and Matthew makes his man in white a definite and rather absurd angel in order to get the guards he'd concocted out of the way. That said, as you can see, the elements are all traceable back to a common Synoptic text. But, as we saw, Luke and Matthew contradict each other, as they do in the nativity and the narratives of Judas' death. Is it not likely, then that Matthew and Luke devised their own ending to an original text which actually had no appearance of the risen Jesus, just as in Mark?.

John, remarkably, also has something like the start of the synoptic gospel.

John 20:1 "The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved," Apart from the non - appearance of the angel, it is very similar, with Mary comng early on the first of the week to the tomb and finding the stone rolled away. She then runs to the disciples. But there is no angelic appearance. Therefore, I would suggest that the Synoptic 'proto Matthew' had added a young man in white explaining the empty tomb to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.

So the original empty tomb story was the ending with the synoptics adding in the angel, but that was all that Mark, Luke, John and Matthew had. Mark added nothing more to his version but the others, feeling that Jesus should put in an appearance to silence any doubts about the resurrection claim, put together some contradictory stories.

Let us combine them chronologically and see how poorly they fit together.

Early morning, Mary Magdalene (John) with another Mary Mary mother of James and Salome (Matthew) plus a number of other women (Luke) came to the tomb.
They find the stone moved away (Matthew has his earthquake and descending angel who frightens off the guard and then rolls away the stone.)
The women don't see anyone but find the tomb empty and run to tell Peter (John) but the synoptic version has a youth in a white robe (Mark) or and angel in white (Matthew) or two men in dazzling white (Luke)
and they then run in great joy to tell the disciples (Matthew and Luke) or in terror run off and tell no - one (Mark)
They then run into Jesus (Matthew) and presumably tell the disciples about meeting Jesus or (Luke) they report about meeting the two angels and are not believed, though the disciples all go and look and find the tomb empty (24.24) or (John) they simply say that the body of Jesus has been taken away and Peter and the other run to look.
After this, Cleophas and the other set out for Emmaeus, since the tell Jesus when they meet him on the way that the women came with a tale of an empty tomb and a vision of angels. The disciples had gone to look and found the tomb empty, but him (Jesus) they did not see. They must have come back to tell this to Cleophas before he set out or how could he know? But then if Matthew is right, the women must have said
that they met with Jesus on the way to report. It is inconceivable that Cleophas would then say that they did not see him or that the women had claimed to see Jesus but the men going to look at the tomb did not.
It will not do to say that Cleophas would regard the womens' tale of meeting Jesus as unworthy of report since their report of seeing angels is recounted. There is no escape. Luke's 'Him they did not see' roundly contradicts Matthew's tale of the women running into Jesus.
John complicates matters by reporting that, after Peter and the other had looked at the tomb and gone home, the two angels then appear for the first time to Mary Magdalene and then she sees Jesus. After that
He apparently appears to Simon since, when Cleophas returns to say he has met Jesus he is told that he has appeared to Simon. It is surprising that Luke (let alone any of the other evangelists) does not give an account of this. Surely if it was true, Simon Peter, one of the prominent apostles would have recounted the event to be recorded. In fact Matthew and John do not even mention it, and it must be considered highly dubious.

In the evening, after Cleophas has returned to Jerusalem, Jesus walks in through the solid door. Surprisingly, since Jesus has already appeared to Cleophas and to Simon, they were all alarmed and thought they were seeing a ghost. John also has Jesus appearing and there is the exhibiting of wounds. In John they are convinced and joyful but in Luke still confused and wondering until Jesus sits does for a bite to eat.

Matthew has the disciples leaving for Galilee to see Jesus - remember, in Matthew only the women have seen Jesus. Matthew thus contradicts the appearance to Simon and the other eight, (since Thomas is not there) and they must surely wait a week for him to return and be convinced by Jesus appearing yet again. And Luke of course states that they all stayed in Jerusalem praising God in the Temple and there is no mention of then going to Galilee.

It must surely be clear that the resurrection accounts are totally contradictory and cannot reasonably be believed.

Since that passing mention, found only in Luke, of Jesus appearing to Simon is very odd, I though about it a lot, and I suggest the it came about because Luke knew Paul's remarks about the appearances of Jesus.

1st Corinthians 15.."3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."

After stating that Paul learned - undoubtedly from those followers of Jesus - that Jesus' death was atonement for man's 'original' sin, we read that Jesus was raised and appeared to Cephas (Simon) then to the twelve.
Finally he appeared to Paul. But the appearance to Paul was in his own head. He no-where describes Jesus in a solid body appearing to him. Jesus speaks to him in the spirit. Thus I also see the appearances to Cephas and the others as in their heads. But Luke,writing his account of a solid Jesus with the marks of crucifixion, takes Paul's Jesus -appearances' as solid body appearances and, indeed, I imagine most believers do. Thus he has to fit Jesus appearing to Simon in somewhere before he appears to the 'twelve', Therefore he has no choice but to preface the appearance of Jesus to the disciples after Cleophas returns from Emmaeus with the mention that Jesus is risen and has appeared to Simon. Since, for all Luke knew, there was an account out there somewhere of the appearance to Simon which Paul just mentions, he dare not undermine it by writing a speculative account, so he leaves it at that.

The evening appearances to the disciples is a feature Luke has in common with John, as he does the mention of eating a piece of fish (as he does the miraculous haul of fish), though in a totally different context. Thus I have to conclude that Luke and John both heard this tale expressed without any detail, which is why they fitted them into different parts of the story (see footnote 1) (1)

John. 21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 21:8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 21:10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 21:13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise."

Luke 5.4Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him."
and 24. 40
"And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, [2] 43 and he took it and ate before them."

Matthew 13. 47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49

So we can see the basic elements of the haul of fish (perhaps that 'element - written or oral tradition elaborating Matthew's parable, turned into a miracle) but in totally different gospels contexts, and the two proofs of Jesus by his eating fish (and I can advise any apologist thinking o explain the Christian symbolism to me to save his breath) again in different gospel contexts - there may even be the source of Matthew's sinking Simon " Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.."

There was no question of Luke copying John or John copying Luke. Moreover, we can trace the miraculous haul of fish to a parabolic simile in Matthew, already mentioned. The appearance to the disciples is understandably placed on on the same day in both Luke and John, however,. I have to note that the appearance that evening in the house, does look similar and may imply an strong oral tradition that had this setting. Evidence has to be followed wherever it leads. On the other hand, Matthew has the contradictory account of Jesus' appearance to the Marys and no appearance at all to the disciples in Jerusalem.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:24 AM
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Again, I had to split this bit into two. It is rather a long post. Should it have gone in relgion? If Thom R or anyone else wants to look, they can come here, but the title is not as in your face as 'Christians! The Gospels are proved false.' I suppose that I am shrinking from any evangelical door - knocking, though it's certainly an unbeliever's tract, though rather a bulky one.

The Lucan declaration in the synagogue (including the doubtful existence of Nazareth)

Lu 4:16-21,43. Now, Luke is the only one to show Jesus in a synagogue in Nazareth reading from Isaiah and saying 'this refers to me'. This is one of those significant ommissions that call the veracity of Luke's account into question. So is the supposed assassination attempt by his Nazarene neighbours and the 'miracle' of the action freezing and Jesus just walking away. It is unbelievable.

Let's look at the whole story.

4:17"And there was delivered unto him the book (biblion, can be a scroll as well as a codex) of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 4:18 The Spirit of the
Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

You notice that he opened the book of Isaiah rather than unrolled the scroll. And the omission of "and the opening of the prison to them that are bound". Quite apart from the textual difficulty of turning hebrew "to
proclaim liberty to the captives" into greek "to preach deliverance to the captives" so that a promise of get out if jail is turned into preaching freedom (presumably from sin) Luke appears to have adapted the message of Isaiah to fit his own concept of Jesus. Let's go on.

4:20 And he closed (Ptusso. Closed or rolled up) the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him." No-one ever said Luke wasn't a good writer!

4:21"And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 4:22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this
Joseph's son? 4:23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 4:27And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian."

It's curious that the reading is received with wonder rather than anger. use does not trouble with persuading them but immediately dismisses them as unbelievers and hints (using scripture) that it's the Gentiles
rather than the Jews, who are deserving of him. This does not quite seem to ring true of a Jew who is trying to bring the other Jews on -line but the views of a Gentile who is writing a story (as I say, unknown to the
others, who should surely have mentioned this)to show that the message deserved to go to the gentiles rather than the Jews.

4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 4:29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they
might cast him down headlong."

This is Jesus' native people; his neighbours, who know his family, including the synagogue ruler, who had invited Jesus to address them, who suddenly want to do murder. Again, this does not ring true as an actual event, but the story of a Gentile Christian who sees the Jews as capable of any evil. I may also mention that there seems to be difficulty in finding a suitable precipice in Nazareth, so much so that one commentator argued that Jesus was taken some way to a suitable cliff.
4:30 "But he passing through the midst of them went his way."

Where, after going along docilely, the action freezes and Jesus just walks away. It is also neccessary to mention that no other Gospel writer even hints at this remarkable event. Just as none of them have the business about Mary and Elizabeth and the predictions in the Temple, the miraculous haul of fish and most of the parables. One might say that Luke researched a bit more, but it won't do. Such important events should surely have been known to the others and at least hinted at.

Quite apart from the prophecy only working if you believe that it related to Jesus (circular argument, again), there are many reasons to doubt that it is a record of an actual event.

4:16 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read."

Problem. According to the gospels, he'd moved to Capernaum and it was the Capernaum synagogue in which Jesus preached - if he did, as it was the custom I suppose, as it is now, for the 'Ruler' of the synagogue to invite someone to read.
There is an answer that as an infrequent visitor but Nazareth - born, Jesus might have been invited to read. There's also the problem that Nazareth might not have existed at that time or, at least, it was so small that it
wouldn't have its own synagogue, but believers will say there's no real proof of this. There is the lack of any written mention of Nazareth until long after Jesus' death, "The form Nazara is also found in the earliest non-scriptural reference to the town, a citation by Sextus Julius Africanus dated about 200 CE." Nazareth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Well worth reading, especially of the paucity of evidence for any 1st c. town.and the archaeological lack of evidence of a big enough Nazareth community in Jesus' time to merit a Synagogue community,

Archaeology indicates that there was almost nothing at Nazareth in Jesus' time. There were graves dug into a nearby hill, I recall (which doesn't indicate a town there) and there is a well indicating a farm or
two. The Christian apologists have made as much as they can of this but the fact is that the archeology indicates that the place was not even a community with only minor settlements at the time of Jesus and far too little for Nazareth to be anywhere to 'come from' in the 1st century. Certainly not enough to have its own synagogue. and circumstantial evidence suggests that it only existed as a town large enough to have a synagogue of the size suggested by Luke some time after the Jewish war 60 - 80 ACE. Certainly it gives the lie to Luke's Isaiah declaration in the Nazareth synagogue and the claim that Jesus' neighbours tried to do him in.. Even if one postulates a family group forming their own domestic synagogue, It isn't as big as Luke's and isn't big enough to come from. I'd guess that Capernaum (as Mathew 9.1 implies) was his home city.

The indication is that Jesus was known as 'The nazorene' because he was one - he had taken a vow. That there were 'Nazorenes' forming a movement after his death suggests that he began it or was part of it.
The Nazareth link seems to have been made to explain 'he shall be called a Nazorene' (matth 2.23) a supposed bit of scripture that doesn't actually exist.

Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Nazoraios 4:874,625
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
nad-zo-rah'-yos Noun Masculine

Nazarite = "one separated"
an inhabitant of Nazareth
a title given to Jesus in the NT
a name given to Christians by the Jews, Ac. 24:5

There is, of course, no mention of Nazoreth outside the gospels and Acts...very significantly I cannot find the term in Paul's writings. Matthew says Jesus was called 'a nazarene', just once at 2.23. That is another snippit of evidence that, before the jewish war, Nazareth did not exist and that, therefore, Jesus did not come from there. Thus 'The nazorene' is very likely derived from those of the nazorene persuasion.

The Parables including John's sermons
What is a Parable. It is a poetic or narrative tale analogy
Mark's Parables,
parabolic analogy of the wineskins (2.21) and he calls Satan divided (3.24) a parable, though it is hardly that. It is more a figurative analogy ised to prove a point.
The parable of the sower (4) and the parable of the mustard - seed.12 The parable of the wicked tenants. 13. 28, the example if the fig tree would probably be called a 'parable' but it is barely that.

Matthew's parables, There are quite a few parabolic analogy figures in the Sermon on the mount. but the False prophets (1.15) and the house - builder (7. 24) are probably the nearest to a parable.
13 the parable of the sower and the mustard seed. 13.44 and 47 run together parables of treasure and the drag - net 20 is the parable of the labourers The parable of the wicked tenants is 21.33 (Mark. 12) followed by the parable of the wedding garment. 22. The ten maidens (25) the talents (25.14) we do have the example of the fig tree (24.32/Mark13.28) but compared with the storytelling parables hardly looks like a parable.

Luke's parables
5.36 parable of the wineskin. There are a few paraboloc analogies in Luke's version of the semon on the mount, again the false prophets and house -builder are the most figurative. We find divided Satan at 11.18
8.4 the parable of the sower. We find the mustard - seed parable removed to 13.19, after some of the Mattian sermon on the mount material . A good example of Luke's method of spreading out and padding out the material 10.25 The Good samaritan. 14 parables of table ettiquette. 15 onwards, parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, the prodigal son, the dishonest steward and the tale of Lazarus. The unrighteous judge, 19.11 the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25.4 but not in Mark. and it's worth comparing them to see how Luke modified it. The wicked tenants (20.9). The parable of the Fig tree and..uhh..all the other trees, (21.29) says Luke who doesn't quite get the point.
John's parables.
The Good Shepherd (10) is pretty close to a parable. The true Vine (15) comes close, too. John calls this speaking in figures (16.29)

The parabolic analogies are common to all the synoptics, as is the fig tree, together with the talk of signs on the mount of Olives. This is all a common text from the Synoptic original (what I call 'proto - matthew)
but they are not found in John. The parable of the sower, mustard -seed and wicked tenants are also common to the synoptics, but not found in John. Thus I see them as proto - Matthew material as they follow the same broad order but are rewritten and amended as the fancy takes the evangelist. John does not have this material so there are doubts about it being genuine Jesus - story. Equally, There are no long theological sermons of the Johannine type in the synoptics and thus, that must be put down as John's original contribution.

The parable of the talents is common to Luke and Matthew but not Mark, so this is 'Q' material - (3) The Q source (also Q document or Q) is a hypothetical written source for the Gospel of Matthew and Gospel of Luke. Q (short for the German Quelle, or "source") is defined as the "common" material found in Matthew and Luke but not in the Gospel of Mark. This ancient text supposedly contained the logia or quotations from Jesus.[Wiki]matter from a source they both had but not Mark, which is pretty obvious. Now I don't mind and I don't care whether one sees the source as written or oral tradition or both. The point is that it is matter not known to mark just as a good deal of matter in the Synoptics is not known to John, with the same Q for question - if not, how can we suppose that it is genuine Jesus material? One might argue that te parable of the tenants slipped Mark's mind but how could the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan have failed to stick in anyone's mind other than Luke's. Given the evidence already adduced for tinkering amending and emending the original text, I'd argue strongly that it is all Luke's own work.

Comparison of Matthew and Luke's parable of the talents.

Parable of the talents.
Matt 25 (after the arrival at Jerusalem, and the next day after that and going to the Mount of Olives and predicting events and the parable of the wise virgins.)
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, F49 to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five
talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and
faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that
is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto
every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke's version at Luke 19 (between leaving Jericho and arriving at Jerusalem)
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, F45 and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, F46 that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath
gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared
thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have
required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over
them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

neither parable appears in Mark nor, of course, John. Luke's hated king does not appear in matthew so is Luke's invention. It has been suggested that it relates to Agrippa or some other ruler. I think it is pointless to speculate. I just think that 'slay them before me' cannot be attributed to jesus. Though Christians that take that way out have to consider that the parables itself (in either the matther or Luke form)
cannot be attributed to Jesus, either.What do the two agree on? Matthew - brackets Luke's amendment)

kingdom of heaven is like....A man went into a far country (kingdom misplaced by Luke).who called his own servants, (Luke makes it ten servants) and delivered unto them his goods (Luke- ten pounds) 15 And unto one he gave five talents, F49 to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid
his lord's money. 19 (Luke cuts this as the servants explain it all again) After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, (Luke - he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money), and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst
unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more (Luke-Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds) . His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. (Luke extends this into ruling over ten cities). He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. (Luke -Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds - gets five cities). Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not
sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. (Luke paraphrases - And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow).26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers (Luke says bank), and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto
every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. (Luke- paraphrases that closely) Matthew has "cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth". Luke has "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me".

Many skeptics might hold up these discrepancies/contradictions as enough to discredit the gospels, but, quite apart for knowing that theists are quite capable of shrugging off even quite hefty contradictions,
I don't argue that sort of point. The point is that, taken together with the other rather stronger points explained above which make it clear that there is much that really cannot be original Jesus material, they add to the increasing evidence about how the gospels were written and what was either written, amended or added to by the various writers. As I have said before, understanding what the gospels are is the same as understanding what they are not.

Let us in the name of reason, give up this silly pretence that the Gospels are a reliable record of Jesus' sayings, teachings and deeds, much less those of eyewitness.
The old excuses will not do - written from a different point of view, not a biography or history, witnesses don't always agree, the Big Picture. Those are all pretexts for avoiding the conclusions that the genuine Big picture view of the Gospels tells us - they were written bu Pauline Christians to put Pauline theology into Jesus mouth, prove he was the risen Messiah and to do down the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and for that matter, John's followers, any who have not accepted the new faith.

My theory. therefore is that Jesus was a Galilean, not born in Bethlehem. Doubtfully of the Davidic line, though Paul says so, there is so much effort in establishing his Davidic credentials by miraculous means and through the conflicting genealogies. Baptized and therefore recruited - together with his disciples - by John, who never recognized him as messiah, let alone divine at the time. Jesus already had his main followers and if they saw him as their leader, it was not John who suggested they follow him and Jesus never 'called' them at Capernaum, at least not after the baptism.

Though he took on the messianic mission after the arrest of John, he never announced himself in the Nazareth synagogue as the assassination idea is incredible and there probably wasn't any sizeable 'Nazareth' anyway and Jesus' 'own city' was Capernaum - as Matthew says (9.1). The debates with the Pharisees are no more credible than they are sound. There were no such debates or hostility and as a nazorene, Jesus and his followers were in the ambit of the Pharisee movement, the popular movement at the time. He never advocated Sabbath - breaking nor eating unclean food. If he offended anyone, it was the Romans and their Sanhedrin quisling administration, especially by his disruption of the temple trade and threat of civil disturbance. That was why Pilate executed Jesus. There was no need for the Sanhedrin to coerce him.

The resurrection claims are not credible. If Jesus was thought to have risen, it was in the spirit. His body lay where it had been placed. Paul and perhaps the apostles, too, came to explained the apparent failure of the messianic mission by seeing Jesus' death as atonement for Adam's disobedience. He indeed sat (in the spirit) at the right hand of God and would return in another suitable body to complete his work. That is what the apostles and the Ebionite community (the meek) were waiting to happen, while many of them were still alive. That much is found n Paul's own words and in the gospels.

Paul, as a Roman citizen, was originally opposed to the Nazorenes/Ebionites - not because they opposed Judaism, but because they opposed Rome. How could God redeem Israel when it was ruled by heathens?
He became converted or persuaded, at least, but had a 'revelation' that the 'promise of Abraham' extended to all who were faithful, Jew or gentile. This led inevitably to replacing Torah observance as Faith to belief in Jesus' redeeming blood as Faith, leading to friction with the rest of the Nazorenes - those who followed the Jewish law those 'of the circumcision'. The evidence for how he argued this and the antagonism that led to is to be found in his letter and in Acts (written by Luke) The conclusion will deal with that.

If I can weed out all the misctypings.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:08 PM
Location: Metromess
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"If I can weed out all the misctypings." [emphasis mine]

AREQUIPA: Nice work! Even if you are "preaching to the choir", I don't mind at all being told how accurate my perceptions are.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:52 AM
Location: Florida
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I hope the lack of a lot of responses doesn't give you the idea your effort is unnoticed or unappreciated.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
I hope the lack of a lot of responses doesn't give you the idea your effort is unnoticed or unappreciated.
Thanks O cold one and Baseless fret. This was to show my work and I'll keep it to refer to if I need to. I didn't expect to set the world alight, but I think anyone, believer or unbeliever alike could learn something from perusing it. The answer to the question of Mark's missing ending is pretty obvious when you think of it, and the evidence supports it, but mental block seems to stop even skeptics taking an out of box approach.

I suppose I'm telling even the Bible critics, 'For the love of Random Factors, stop assuming that it's substantially a reliable record of Jesus' doings and sayings, because if you trouble to look, it obviously isn't'. No -one can say now that nobody told them or failed to back it up. I suppose I'm also offering it for crit. I welcome testing and question.

The usual glib responses won't do

"Witnesses don't always agree." These are demonstrably not credible witnesses, agreement or not.

'There were many other things that Jesus did." You could produce an exhaustive list but that will not alter the substantiated demonstration that the basic story is a mostly concocted one.

"You must look at the big picture." This IS the big picture.

And 'This is not mainstream' (neither was plate tectonics and continental drift at one time) and 'this your Pet theory'. No it isn't. It's conclusions explained and based on the evidence. My Pet Theory I keep in reserve, but it should be pretty obvious to anyone reading through.

So, I'm pulling together the stuff on Paul. It is remarkably time - consuming in selecting a case from a bookload of stuff, but I hope to post it in a couple of days. Paul is actually quite interesting and is the key, of course, to understanding how the gospels came to be written..
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:35 AM
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
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I think the idea that you are equivalent to Wegener is more than a little pompous. (Or that analogies between geologists and historical research would even entirely make sense)

But putting that to one side what I've read of it seems quite sensible and logical as is to be expected. Do I think that means it's right? Obviously not. I think to buy it you have to buy some premises which I don't believe are very likely. (Text can't have multiple meanings, ancient historians are equivalent to modern ones, assumptions on how complete ancient records are, assumptions about how humans act or write, a confidence that reality is logical, etc) Still I think taken from the mind you actually have, rather than some other mind you perhaps couldn't have, it's pretty good. You even make a few valid points in that they can be acknowledged without requiring the reader to first accept your mindset.

You are one of the most impressive atheists I've encountered. I am admittedly grateful that my mind couldn't work like yours, and grateful that I think the minds of few humans really could, as from my perspective it's more than a little ghastly. Still taken on terms you believe in you're a pretty smart, impressive, and presumably well-intentioned person. Most likely you succeed at being who you want to be better than I do at being who I want to be.

(Unfortunately you give way too much for me to make any kind of list of where I think you're just way-off and where I think you have a point. I am on a great deal, but this is practically a thesis and I've still not completed my actual thesis for my Master's)
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