Now we know why the Gospels are “according to so-and-so”!

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Now we know why the Gospels are “according to so-and-so”!

 

Documenting why the Gospels are called “according to so-and-so”

 

 

 

Question Mark

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

Hardly any one disputes that the most fundamental doctrine in Christianity is the alleged crucifixion of Jesus (peace be upon him). And as such all the four Gospel writers were “divinely inspired” to narrate the events around the alleged crucifixion meticulously. One such alleged event was the anointing of Jesus (peace be upon him) for his pre-crucifixion burial preparation. As Jesus (peace be upon him) is attributed to have said in the Bible:

 

 

 

“She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial.” (Mark 14: 8)

 

 

 

In fact, to highlight the importance of the act, Jesus (peace be upon him) allegedly asserted that the act (of anointing) and the lady would be remembered until the gospel is preached:

 

 

“Now, I assure you that wherever the gospel is preached all over the world,what she has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14: 9)

 

 

 

Thus, the event, as it turns out to be, was very crucial and of paramount importance in Christianity. However, embarrassingly, this is exactly the place where it all went wrong for it. The gospel writers, even though writing under the tutelage of the so called god -“Holy Ghost”, could not preserve a monolithic, consistent and congruent account for the all important event of their “lord and savior”!

 

 

 

 

 

“God” breathed contradictions

 

 

 

For a substantial number of New Testament scholars, Gospel according to Mark happens to be the oldest of all gospel manuscripts. It is also claimed that even Matthew copied portions for hisgospel from Mark! In the light of foregoing, the Gospel according to Mark enjoys a high level of authenticity within Christian circles.

 

On the foregoing, the following is Mark’s account of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) anointing:

 

 

 

“Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from adreaded skin-disease. While Jesus was eating, a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ headSome of the people there became angry and said to one another, “What was the use of wasting the perfume? It could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor!” And they criticized her harshly.

 

But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me. You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them. But you will not always have me. She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial. Now, I assure you that wherever the gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14: 3-9)

 

 

 

That was Mark’s account. Since the event was very important, “Holy Ghost” even inspired John – the darling gospel writer of Trinitarians – to record the incident. Here is John’s narrative:

 

 

 

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death. They prepared a dinner for him there, which Martha helped to serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. Then Mary took half a litre of very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus’feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. One of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot – the one who was going to betray him – said, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money give to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it.

 

But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of my burial. You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me.” (John 12: 1-8)

 

 

 

The two accounts of the “inspired” writers seem quite congruent on perfunctory glance, however, when observed meticulously there are appalling differences. Below we have tabulated them:

 

Jesus’ (pbuh) Anointing

Gospel “according” to Matthew

Gospel “according” to John

1. House of Simon House of Lazarus
2. Heals a skin – disease Raises a dead
3. Multiple disciples criticized lady Only Judas chided the lady
4. Perfume poured on head Perfume poured on feet
5. Act was symbolic of burial preparation Act was not symbolic of burial preparation
6. Lady praised. No such “inspiration” of lady being praised.

 

 

In hardly six to eight verses, we have five critical differences.

 

What makes it even more interesting is that even though Jesus (peace be upon him) told that the lady’s act would be remembered and preached throughout the world ever since, however, “Holy Ghost” did not feel it important enough to “inspire” Luke  – the so called “historian” to record it in his gospel!

 

However, the “Holy Ghost” did discriminate to “inspire” Matthew. Here is Matthew’s version, note how it coincides with Mark’s:

 

 

 

“Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from adreaded skin-disease. While Jesus was eating, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar filled with an expensive perfume, which she poured on his head.The disciples saw this and became angry. “Why all this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold for a large amount and the money given to the poor!”

 

“Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? It is a fine and beautiful thing that she has done for me. You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me. What she did was to pour this perfume on my body to get me ready for burial. Now, I assure you that wherever this gospel is preached all over the world, whatshe has done will be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26: 6-13)

 

 

 

So if we were to reconstruct our table, we would have:

 

Jesus’ (pbuh) Anointing

 

Gospel “according” to Mark

Gospel “according” to John

Gospel “according” to Matthew

Gospel “according” to Luke

1. House of Simon House of Lazarus House of Simon No “inspiration” granted
2. Heals a skin – disease Raises a dead Heals a skin – disease No “inspiration” granted
3. Multiple disciples criticized lady Only Judas chided the lady Multiple disciples chastise lady No “inspiration” granted
4. Perfume poured on head Perfume poured on feet Perfume poured on head No “inspiration” granted
5. Act was part of burial preparation Act was not a part of burial Act was part of burial preparation. No “inspiration” granted
6. Lady praised. No such record of lady being praised. Lady praised. No “inspiration” granted

 

All of the above sheds more than significant doubt on the authenticity, internal coherence and “divinely inspired” capacity of the “New Testament”. Because how in the world could,

 

1.      Trinitarian god himself – the “Holy Ghost” – who was allegedly controlling the minds of the evangelists give different instructions to different authors.

 

 

 

2.      The “Holy Ghost” discriminate Luke to keep him away from recording such an important incident?

 

 

 

We are not merely concerned about the differences or should we say “mere differences” because we even have conceptual and ritualistic differences! Note the following:

 

3.      According to Mark’s and Matthew’s narrative, Jesus’ (peace be upon him) being perfumed was an act of his pre-preparation for his alleged burial. So by pouring the perfume Jesus (peace be upon him) was allegedly prepared for his burial. However, John has a totally different account. According to him, Jesus (peace be upon him) asked the lady to save the perfume for later stage when he would allegedly die and then his dead body be perfumed according to the contemporary traditional Jewish practice! Thus, in John’s narrative there is nothing like pre-death burial preparation; all was to be done,  in the traditional way, that is, post-death burial preparation.

 

 

 

4.      How could the third “divine” person – Holy Ghost – miss out to “inspire” John that Jesus (peace be upon him), his co – god, has immortalized the lady. Note that John has related the above incident, however, he went absolutely silent on Jesus’ (peace be upon him) praising the lady! What is even embarrassing that Luke wasn’t at all “inspired” to record the incident including his “lord and savior” immortalizing the lady! Once the so called “divine son of God” praised the lady the way he praised, it must have become incumbent on “Holy Ghost”, John and Luke to record it since she was to be remembered for all times to come in all the world through these documents. 

 

 

 

5.      Furthermore, according to Mark and Matthew by pouring perfume Jesus’ (peace be upon him) body was made ready before hand for the alleged burial, as he himself testified. Accordingly there was no further need for a ritual of this sort.

 

 

 

On the preceding, celebrated Christian commentator John Gill writes that the lady was “inspired” by “Holy Ghost” to anoint Jesus (peace be upon him) at Bethany before hand, since she would not get chance to do it when Jesus (peace be upon him) is biblically crucified:

 

 

 

Mark 14:8  She hath done what she could,…. What she had in her heart, and in the power of her hands to do; she hath done according to her ability, and her good will; and if she had not done it now, she could not have done it at all.

 

 

 

She is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying; or, “as if it was to bury me”, as the Syriac version renders it. Christ signifies by this, that he should shortly die, and that this woman came before hand to anoint him, and, as it were, to perform the funeral rites before he was dead; it being revealed to her by the Spirit, that Jesus would quickly dieand she should not be able to perform this good work when dead, and therefore came to do it before; or, at least, she was directed by the Spirit of God, because she would be prevented doing it afterwards;See Gill on Mat_26:12. (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Mark 14:8)

 

 

 

Yet defying the injunctions of Jesus (peace be upon him) and the inspirations of the “Holy Ghost”, the lady again tried to anoint the alleged dead body of Jesus (peace be upon him) after his alleged crucifixion:

 

 

 

“The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee went with Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was placed in it. Then they went back home and prepared the spices and perfumes for the body.” (Luke 23:55-56)

 

 

 

We can reconcile the above in two ways:

 

(i) Either Jesus’ (peace be upon him) anointing was incomplete at Bethany or

 

(ii) The lady decided to anoint the body twice.

 

However, both the above reconciliations have problems:

 

(i) If we accept that Jesus’ anointing at Bethany (pre-crucifixion) to be incomplete then it would beg questions that:

 

 

 

(a) Jesus (peace be upon him) couldn’t possibly had praised and immortalized the lady for an incomplete act.

 

 

 

(b) It contravenes the fact that it was divinely destined, as John Gill confirms, that Jesus’ (peace be upon him) alleged dead body would not be anointed. Thus, his anointing at Bethany must have been complete and final.

 

 

 

(ii) If we accept that the lady decided to anoint the body twice, then we need to see in which Jewish tradition were the dead bodies anointed twice. As of date, we couldn’t find any such proof.

 

 

 

So much for the claims of internal coherence of the Bible written over the period of thousands of years by scores of authors!

 

 

 

At this particular point we will take another set of problems with the subject passages, namely, the gradual evolution of the Bible and “Christology”. Consider the following:

 

 

 

A.    Healing a skin-disease cannot possibly stand near quickening a dead body; no wonder in Mark’s and Matthew’s version, which is older than John’s we find Jesus (peace be upon him) at Bethany healing the skin disease. However, as Bible evolved and people wanted to embellish the status of Jesus (peace be upon him), John claimed that he was raising the dead at Bethany. The low profile skin-disease was now replaced by miraculous quickening of the dead!

 

To further prove that John’s narrative (substitution) was a mere act of embellishment, he goes on to write the impact of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) raising the dead:

 

 

 

A large number of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death.” (John 12: 9)

 

 

 

Note the reason(s) why “large number of people” gathered! It is not too hard to realize that Jesus (peace be upon him) couldn’t have had a similar impact and consequent large gathering by merely healing the leprosy as compared to quickening the dead! Thus, John in order to embellish the status and accomplishments of Jesus (peace be upon him) exchanged the act with a more awesome one!

 

 

 

B.     Another very important biblical evolution or let us say damage control polemics written by John was with regards to the critics of the lady.

 

 

 

According to Jesus (peace be upon him), the act of lady was a commendable as such John felt it inappropriate that other disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) except Judas – the unfortunate one – would misconstrue and chide the lady for her act. Eventually, John aptly writes that it was only Judas who chided her, implying others were in perfect harmony with Jesus (peace be upon him) as his true disciples!

 

 

 

This theory further gets corroboration from the fact that where Mark and Matthew felt no need to explain why disciples (plural) scolded the lady other than that they wanted the money of perfume to be given to poor, John somehow got “inspired” and felt it necessary to “explain” that because Judas was wicked traitor and wanted to embezzle the money owned by selling perfume that he lambasted the lady. Re-read this:

 

 

“One of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot – the one who was going to betray him – said, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money give to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it.” (John 12:6)

 

 

 

In fact, ever since John’s extremely negative, exclusive and biased portrayal of Judas, Christian commentators left no stone unturned to chide him and pass all the bucks upon his shoulder alone:

 

 

 

Judas, who cared only for money, seized the position according to his own interest. He saw, not the preciousness of Christ, but the desires of the scribes. His sagacity was of the enemy, as that of Mary was of God.”  (John Darby’s Synopsis, Mark 14:1-72)

 

 

 

No fair person would claim that Judas was the only person “seizing position” especially when, not one, but two equally, if not more, “inspired” gospel writers have written that multiple disciples chided the lady.

 

 

 

C.    Also notice the glaring embellishment that the lady in Mark and Matthew is portrayed to “anoint” or prepare Jesus’ (peace be upon him) burial by anointing his head. However, in order to adorn the status of Jesus (peace be upon him), John aggrandized that the young lady massaged Jesus’ (peace be upon him) feet with her hair (1.).

 

 

 

D.    While all of this was happening, “Holy Ghost” had his own reasons not to “inspire” Luke. Or may be on the foregoing biblical chaos, Luke preferred to remain silent.

 

 

 

Possible Responses

 

 

 

The commonest “explanation” which a Christian (apologist) might give is that these are merely “scribal errors”. However, this would be utterly weak reconciliation because:

 

 

 

I.       How possible is it that while copying the scribe copied “Simon” as “Lazarus”! Such an “explanation” opens door for copying errors to the degree of copying Allah (SWT) as lord and savior in place of Jesus (peace be upon him).

 

 

 

II.    How possible it is that the copyist wrote leprosy in place of raising the dead so on and so forth.

 

 

 

Technically “scribal error” is the error in spelling but nothing of that sort is found above.

 

We might take a concordant to approach to assume that such “errors” are possible, however:

 

1.      So many of them in merely 6-8 verses even though “Holy Ghost” was monitoring!?

 

2.      What about the capacity of errors! Simon as Lazarus, Leprosy as death?

 

3.      Was John’s divinely “inspired” polemics that only Judas berated lady – also an error!?

 

 

 

We could also expect a “reconciliation” wherein it would be proposed that the differing accounts of Mark and John are separate incidents. Nevertheless, such an explanation would have severe negatives implications on Christ (peace be upon him) and Christianity. And so, any Christian (apologist) thinking of it, should immediately drop it.

 

The truth of the matter is Bible is more a literature of history which underwent all sorts of manipulations from emotional to political to Christological influences. As such leading New Testament scholar Kenneth Cragg notes:

 

 

 

There is a condensation and editingthere is choice production and witnessThe Gospels have come through the mind of the church behind the authors. They represent experience and history” (The Call of the Minaret, pp. 277, Kenneth Cragg. As quoted in Before Nicea, The Early Followers of Prophet Jesus, pp.33, Abdul Haq al-Ashanti and Abdur-Rahman Bowes)

 

 

 

Thus, the claims that the Bible has been divinely “inspired” to evangelists and is “purely God breathed”, sounds hollow. Subsequently, for a non – Christian believer it becomes extremely difficult to accept it as a divine unchanged word of God; to rely upon for fate and salvation.

 

We couldn’t have better ended this paper than quoting Christian Scholar Dr. Doddridge commenting candidly on the subject passages. He says:

 

 

 

“It appears to me more probable,” says Dr. Doddridge, “that Matthew and Mark should have introduced this story out of its place – that Lazarus, if he made this feast (which is not expressly said by John), should have made use of Simon’s house, as more convenient – and that Mary should have poured this ointment on Christ’s head and body, as well as on his feet – than that, within the compass of four days, Christ should have been twice anointed with so costly a perfume; and that the same fault should be found with the action, and the same value set upon the ointment, and the same words used in defence of the woman, and all this in the presence of many of the same persons; all which improbable particulars must be admitted, if the stories be considered as different.” The rebuke which Judas received from Christ at this unction determined him in his resolution to betray his Master; and therefore Christ’s rebuke, and Judas’s revenge, are united, as cause and effect, by Matthew and Mark. (Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, Mark 14:8)

 

 

 

Thus, as expected, we have differing accounts by different “inspired” authors and as such we find it quite prudent and logical that sincere Christian scholars have entitled the Gospels as “according to so-and-so”.  It makes sense.

 

Notes:

 

  • Unless otherwise mentioned, all biblical texts are taken from Holy Bible, Good News Edition, Today’s English Version.
  • Any emphasize not matching with the original is ours.

 

Foot notes:

 

(1.) Christians may portray Jesus (peace be upon him) the way they like, however, in Islam, we cannot even assume that the honored, historical Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Mary, could possibly would have allowed a young lady to touch his body, let alone, wipe his feet with her hair!

The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

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56 Responses »

  1.  The critics may try to fault your brief explanation due to the omission of a similr incident reported in Luke’s gospel:

    Luke 7:36-50 Revised Standard Version (RSV) A Sinful Woman Forgiven 36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “What is it, Teacher?” 41 “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.42 When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?”43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” 

  2. Shalom I have studied the KJV bible for 15 years. In my years of study I have spent many of them translating it back to Greek and Hebrew with reference books. Its a riddle the whole book is a book of riddles. As flawed as it may seem it is there is truth in it. It is presented as a lie. The lie is Jesus was the Christ. Jesus speekes in three places and tells that he is not the Christ and not to follow the people that claim he is. Yes you read correct he said himself he is not the Christ Unfortunately the people who worship him as the Christ are the blind. When the true Christ is revealed there will be no end to his kingdom as spoken by the prophet Isaiah.

    • Hi there Fred Watson,

      It was refreshing to hear from you. Talking to you would great as you have loads of Bible knowledge spanning across 15 years!

      Would you let know of your faith! Are you Jewish? And which particular passage are you referring where Jesus (peace be upon him) denied his Christ-hood.
      And which “true Christ” are you waiting for. What would be his attributes?

      Sincerely,
      Q.M.

  3. Hello no I am not Jewish I am not Christian or Islam either. I am a truth seeker I have studied many books over the years however the KJV bible has been the best source of knowledge. To truly understand it you have to learn to read it the right way the instructions on how to do so are encoded in the book itself. If someone wants to know the truth in the scripture they have to read it for themselves and do away with all things that you have been told by someone else. I don’t get the story that the traditional church gets even though we read the same book. It is time for the truth to be told. Humans are referred to as trees in some parts of the scripture. A tree brings forth fruit that fruit will be the words that person speaks and the deeds that person does. You will know a good tree from a bad one a good tree or human cant bring forth bad fruit and a bad tree cant bring forth good fruit. Truth is presented as a lie and the lie as the truth you have to see past the negative thing that one perceives it says and understand there is no ill word spoken in the scripture instructions spoken by Isaiah to stop hearing blood and seeing evil. Isaiah 33 vrs 14-16. The next thing is to realize that Jesus was not the Christ he couldn’t be he doesn’t fit the prophecy spoken in Isaiah 9 vrs 6-7. Jesus says himself that he came not to bring peace but a sword Luke 21 vrs 51. The prophecy states that messiah will bring peace and the increase of his peace and government will have no end. Jesus says things concerning me have an end Luke 22 vrs 37. Imagine the bible as a book written and thrown into the future preserved by the humans through the church to be delivered to only a few people to be understood. When I say few I don’t mean a few thousand or even a few hundred only a handful maybe only 7 people in the entire world the seven churches spoken in revelation are seven people not seven buildings. The seven are also referred to as vials which are things that hold something inside. The vials or humans contain the knowledge of truth that will be pored out into the world. The sting of the scorpion tail is the sting of truth that a human has to endure. The consuming fire is the desire to do good that will envelope the human and will burn forever. If a person is interested I can explain how it happens on a atomic level in the hydrogen atom which by the way is mostly what a human is made of and by the evolution of the human gene. love is the key a person has to first love the Father which has many names and then the Father will teach you how to love yourself. When you love yourself you can truly love your neighbor which is any human you come in contact with. True love is unconditional it is I love you no matter what that is the love the Father has for his children which are all humans.

    • Does not Jesus identify himself as the Messiah in several passages, not withstanding Matthew 26:63ff? Why does Jesus quote Daniel 7:13, a messianic prophecy, in a direct question as to whether he was the Messiah, if he was not,in fact, the Messiah?

      Jesus is also directly called the Messiah in Matthew 1:16 and 17, among countless other texts.. In fact, the whole point of Matthew’s gospel, with his numerous citations from the Tanakh, is to prove to his Jewish audience that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah, anointed one); the one they had been waiting for.

      Not only that, but Matthew quotes Isaiah 9:1-2 in Matthew 4, applying that text to Jesus. It would seem nonsensical in light of the foregoing to conclude that Jesus does not fulfill verse 7-9 of the same chapter.

      I’m not sure how one could read the gospel of Matthew and not walk away convinced that Matthew’s point was to prove Jesus was the Christ. Can you explain your logic or reasons a little more so that I can understand better?

    • Like Paulus, I was singularly unimpressed. I shall ignore all the waffle on the KJV, and the fact that you deny that the 7 churches are actually churches when the text of Revelation explicitly and over and over says that they are churches. You claim Jesus said in three places that he was not the Christ. Where are they? I can’t find one. He once told his disciples that they were not to TELL anyone he was Messiah or Christ for the time being (Matthew 16.20) which is not the same thing. John the Baptist, on the other hand did say three times over that he himself was not the Messiah (John 1.20, 1.25 and 3.28).

  4. You misread the text(s) on multiple occasions.
    Matthew’s account records that Jesus was at Bethany which accords with both Mark and John. However, John adds that the city of Bethany was the ‘home’ (i.e. hometown) of Lazarus. Matthew and Mark both note that the anointing happened inside the literal home of Simon, not Lazarus. Thus, the accounts are harmonious. You made an error in misunderstanding the English grammar in John 12.
    The note on Lazarus’ rising does not contradict the condition of Simon. The point is to reinforce where the anointing happened- in the hometown of Lazarus, the man who was raised. This is recorded one chapter prior.
    Many of your other points are logical fallacies- arguments from silence (e.g. Luke’s admission). That one account records something another doesn’t amount to error by any standards. We see the same in the Quranic accounts.
    It seems to me that you do not grasp the oral transmission background to the texts in question, nor do you seem to have fully grasped form criticism (e.g. Q source theory). Slight differences in narrative (several disciples vs Judas) from independent sources indicate a high level of authenticity. Scholars have known this for centuries. Nor do you seem to understand author intent and purpose and allow these to impact your interpretation.
    Neither of your resolutions are credible. Simon was a leper which is recorded in Matthew and Mark. Lazarus was raised from the dead. They are separate people. There is no need to appeal to scribal error, since there is no contradiction. It is the same event recorded by three independent sources for a particular purpose and audience. Peripheral differences in the narrative have long been known to enhance historical accuracy. The irony being, had the 3 accounts been identical in every way, many would lay the charge of collusion. These poor gospel writers simply cannot win in this hyper skeptical world; if the events are not identical it is a contradiction, if they are the same it is collusion!

  5. Quite frankly, I found this article profoundly dishonest. The two passages describe two completely events on different days, and are explicit on the timing – two days before Passover, an six days before Passover. The article studiously ignores and selectively omits this fact, to build up a false impression of contradictions, but then puts in a sneaky quote from but it is quite clear that the author is aware and deliberate in this tactic, because he tries to justify dismissing the fact by quoting one scholar who talks in terms of finding things ‘more probable’. As a scholar, let me respond to that quote. Firstly, why should it not be improbable that two women do a similar thing in the same village. First Mary, a close friend of Jesus, and sister to one Jesus had just raised from the dead expresses her gratitude by doing what another woman had much earlier done in penitence in Luke 7. The corrupt Judas complains about the waste, because he wants to steal the proceeds of selling it, and thus sets up the complaint about it being worth a years wages. Do you think he calculated the worth of the gift exactly? No, he knew roughly what the worth was. Jesus replies in John 12 that it was done in preparation for his burial, and to leave her alone. Jesus often had to tell the disciples to leave alone those who came to him. Now, the whole village would be focused on all Jesus did and said because he was a great teacher and miracle worker, and had just raised one of their own from the dead after 4 days in the tomb (see John 11). So word of what Mary had done to Jesus would have spread like wildfire, as well as his approval of what Mary had done. So a few days later, another woman comes and does something very similar, using precious ointment of about the same value. Jesus’ disciples raised the same objection (whether it was Judas wanting the money, or others with more conventional values about giving to the poor). This is hardly surprising, as Jesus often got exasperated with his disciples failing to understand or take on board his words, and often repeated himself. Jesus says the same thing as before, but expands it to emphasize how important this was. To quote one scholar while ignoring many others who would say otherwise is not really on, especially when the texts are absolutely crystal clear that these were separate events on separate days. So all your snide remarks about the Holy Spirit not causing the gospel writers to write ‘monolithical consistent, congruent’ accounts are completely beside the point.

  6. Question 1:
    I would like to ask you Mr Scholar which writer did the Holy Spirit Inspire for book hebrews of New Testement.

    Question 2:
    Acts 8:37

    Why did it take hundreds of years for the holy spirit to tell bible scholars thats Acts:8.37 not part of early ancient manuscripts so this verse has been taken out of N.I.V version of passage and put under footnotes.

    Question 3:
    Why did the holy spirit give 66 books to protestants and 73 books to catholics of New testement.
    Both protestants and catholics claim jesus is lord and jesus said who ever claims im lord has the spirit of truth.

    Question 4: When Jesus said me and father are one. In book john.

    Why was the holy spirit left out.

    Question 5:
    Why is todays modern bibles being corrected (errors done by scribal errors) in the passed. And why was not those scribal errors not corrected at the time of copying if indeed these scribes had the holy spirit.

    • Mustafa,

      Your comments demostrates profound ignorance of canonicity and textual criticism. It would be like me asking you to explain why the current Suadi ‘Fahd’ Quranic Mushaf has over 2200 textual variants from the Topkapi Mushaf, without understanding Rasm Uthman, Arabic transcription or the like.

      1. Known authoriship is not required for a book to be considered canonical. There were other criteria, i.e., orthodoxy, historical witness, etc.
      2. Acts 8:37 is a textual variant. We know now that this text was unlikely to be part of the original autograph, therefore it is removed from the text and footnoted. (Not disimilar to Ibn Mas’ud’s Quranic differences). This is hardly revolutionary!
      3. The canonical debate is more nuanced than I can give a short answer to. My personal view is that the Holy Spirit bears witness to what is canonical, not a Church (fallible) council.
      4. The Holy Spirit is else where designated with divinity. John 17 is to be read within its own context, not as a means to ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the three divine persons.
      5. Modern translations benefit from textual critical studies, which are bringing to light more information. But there is no biblical variant that has any effect on the cardinal truths of Christianity. Any meaningful and viable variatns pertain to less than 1% of all know variants. Similarly, this is true of the Quran also. The San’aa palimpsets have demonstrated a very early and different Quranic text to that now in print. The very ancient Topkapi and Sammenkard Mushafs are full of textual variants. This is normal for all ancient documents. I suggest you read as an introduction Professor Keith Small’s ‘Textual Criticism and Quranic Manuscripts’ as a primer to all this.

      • Furthermore: If going back to earliest source is proof of far more authenticity can we reject Johns Gospel because it came much latter then Marks Gospel.
        According to Christian logic we can. Which then begs the Question the verse on trinity in Johns gospel do we through it out because its not found in Mark or lukes Gospel?
        Christians have digged a deep hole for themselves by sticking to criteria of earlier at test of authenticity as more authentic.
        We can even go a step further and say can Christians show us where in the earliest fragments of bible do we see Prophet Moses believing that God was truine?
        If Christians can not…can we conclude that truine nature of God is least authentic? Im guessing we can if we stick to Christian logic. Of course Christians will cherry pick what they want remaining part of there bible due to there own christisn concept of methodology preference. That is why now we have so many denominations each claiming they have the devine spirit who guides them to diffrent canons of the bible…and whats more hillarious this spirit guides christians to who Jesus is? As some say Son. Some say only God. Some dont accept trinity. Some only believe his a Prophet. This is all within Christian denominations having a diffrence not only on genral issues rather fundermental issues.

      • Mustafa,

        I do not any Christian scholar who argues by the logic you claim? Can you provide one?

        While earlier is sometimes more reliable, that is not always the case, especially with textual issues. This is widely known and taught, so I’m not sure why you make another fallacious straw man argument? Do you know anything about the Alexandrian text? The Byzantine text? Do you know actually anything about NT textual criticism? What pper reviewed studies have you read? Please provide your sources.

        If it is problematic that no NT autograph has survived (given they were written on papyri don’t forget), are you troubled by that fact that no Quranic autograph exists (despite being 600 years earlier)? The San’aa palimpsests appear to be some of the ealiest Mushafs known, and yet their text is radically different to the current arabic mushaf in print. Does this trouble you? The Topkapi and Summarqand Mushafs are demonstratably post Uthmanic, and even they have thousands of textual variants within them (most not viable and meaningful though, same as the NT). I hope you begin to provide some consitency and honesty to this discussion.

  7. Response to Paul.
    Let me beggin by saying running to the Quran does not help your case. Textual crititism against the Quran has been soundly refuted at answering christianity.com also islam awaraness.com and frankly your answeres to my question are hardly convincing very weak.
    Re: 1 the authoreship of bible is not required? Thats interesting im guessing if you asked me who authored the Quran and I said, thats not important some dude whos name I dont know, from where his from unknown, just recited few verses in the desered and he claimed its inspired would this not bother you in regards to authenticity? Who wrote the bible? Not important, who authored and what was the name and how was he connected to jesus…well not important? Would this be acceptable to judge authenticity? If the authore is unknown and not nessasiry can one conclude it was satin? Well you cant rule possibility out if it was so. Furthermore historical evidence is not divine evidence meaning relying only on history can mislead as sometimes historical myths can be falsified.

    Re:2 thank you for admitting acts:8:37 as a false curruption that found its way into the bible. It remained in the bible for hundreds of years only to latter find out that it was a false addition. Question is how can the rest of the verses and chapters be trusted? How can the fundermental message be trusted for that matter? In fact 1 john 5:7 the major teaching has gone many changes just have read NIV blood and water substituted for son and spirit. In fact there are over 50, 000 varients in bible even Bart.Erman Christian Scholar of New Testement has left Christianity because he believed the bible can not be trusted. He admited that majority of ancient manuscripts are not word for word with thousands of discrepancies.

    Re:3
    What? The holy spirit bears witness to which canonical the 66 or 73?

    4: Why is the holy spirit else where is the major question.

    5: your missing the whole point. Why would there be need for years and years for textuaral studies in regards to authenticity where thousands of manuscipts are undergoing major investigation by all biblical scholars trying to edit or correct mistranslations I thought jesus scribes speak in tounges and understand language yet it took them hundreds of years to correct the mistranslation? For example in the bible abraham was believed for a long time to be rescued from fire yet recently we are told its wrong translation rather his rescued from err….the mount or particular land as David wood christian apologist puts it. So interestingly where was holy spirit? 100 years ago? Where was he 1000 years ago?

    It seems the holy spirit if Christianity fled long time ago onlu to have modern scholars trying hard to fix what remains of the bible. In fact the oldest codex sinicticus has chapters of the bible that the KJV admits out.

    Of course the Christian will say at least we are honest we can go back and back to older achelogical tectural evidence to correct the latter.

    I say your christianity has become a monoply we will only believe until we dig the earth and find contradictions. The question is how do we not know the earlier texts themselves were also not currupted? Since there is no orginal how do we trust the copy of the copy even though it may be a earlier copy?
    In fact a copy having thousands of copied doesnt prove anything as a mistake can be copied a thousand times.
    Christianity now relies on ancient manuscipts to prove ethenticity simply because they pretty much have not much idea where there bible comes from who wrote it and so forth. In fact the title mathew mark lukeand john these names of chapters according do not exist in early ancient manuscipts it came rather in second centuary. In other words we can not even attest to mark writing his gospel or john writing his. We can not even attest to the desciples of jesus being responsible for those books as those names do not come to account in earliest fragments.

    • Mustafa,

      I have no desire to argue every detail with you, especially given your rather obvious ignorance on many issues here. For example, there are actually somewhere between 300k-400k textual variants between the biblical MSS, not 50k. But as I stated, less than 1% of these have and viable and meaningful impact, and there is none that effects any cardinal truth. You twice now appeal to these types of variants and insist that this means we cannot trust the entire NT corpus. This is simply not true as any introductory study on the topic would show.You take the most extreme examples and paint them across the entire corpus. There is no scholar in the world that believes this is careful scholarship. All the while you ignore the same within the Quranic Mushafs. I can provide you with documented critical studies by Muslim scholars if you insist in your double standards here (in fact, some of it is admitted at ‘Islamic Awareness’ that you cite). Erhman’s radical sholarship has several times been shown as gross exaggeration and theorizing beyond the evidence, but I doubt you’ve taken the time to actually investigate these matters given your comments thus far.

      Further, you clearly do not understand how a NT book made its way into the fixed canon. Again, you exaggerate the point beyond anything recognisable as careful scholarship, all the while ignoring the actual discussion within in the patristic works for canonicity. I can only assume that you need to create and atack straw men arguments to make yourself feel secure about the Islamic tradition. But it only shows weakness, intellectual dishonesty and profound ignorance of careful scholarship on these topics.

      Christian inspiration only applies to the autographs. That you misunderstand this only demonstrates that you are here to argue out of ignorance. And if you think that Osama Abdullah provides strong refutations, then you are severely mislead.

      Please feel free to offer a substantive argument, but I get the impression you would benefit form further reading first. There is no righteousness in trying to win an argument, especially when you argue from ignorance. You should be looking for the truth as objectively as possible. I’m sure you know this within your heart. I pray that as you investigate these matters further that the God of all comfort draws himself to you by His Spirit and throught His Son.

      • I find it hillarious that you suggest that my arguements are incoherent or irrelevent or nonsensical yet you bothered to write almost 500 words attempting to address me. Now if im such a waste of time why write 500 word reply?
        It is you who is clearly intimidated by my presence that out of your 500 words you dont even adress 85% of my critisism against christianity. You then say you dont want to argue? Is that because you have been refuted? I see you have resorted to selective answering? Ontop I smell smelly fish called red herrings which seem to be part of 90% of your entire 500 words. Diverting the subject to Quran. Let me repeate going to Quran doesnt disprove the cobtradictions within Christianity. Your a typical christian that writes very long statements but hardly any convincing rebbutles but you have to write anyway even if it all is red herrings and jibbirish. Quite frankly I think it is you whom is insecure about your faith that you apeal to authority I bring you authority bart erman and geral dirks dont believe the bible to be divinely inspired, william lane craig who doesnt believe some of the stories in bible such as the dead being raised empty tombs zoobies apoclypse in bible…etc
        There are theological diffrences between denominations like uniterian scholars and catholics scholars major differences between jehovas witness and protestants. There are canonical book diffrences even between the 3 closesed theologies such as protesrants, orthadox, and catholics.
        All groups have diffrent ideas about jesus and books allthough some may agree.
        So the point still stands about the holy spirit abondening each group into confusion. I love it when we bring a scholar like bart erman you call him a exagerater or his arguements are flawed. So you ask for a scholar when we show it you call him exaggerator. There is no double standards here, go visit not only osama abdallah go visiti bassam zawadi he refutes all of kieth arguements.
        In fact there was a recent debate authenticity of Quran you can watch video: bassam zawadi vs nabeel qurashi the christian get axed on all the points christian critics raise. Going back to bible you said there is 1% diffrence this is absurd hardly even true. Lets just assume its 1% if there are over 30, 000 manuscipts that contain lets says 700, 000 words that is still 8 to 10, 000 word diffrences.

        We are talking about the holy spirit inspireing scribes and we are also having the holy spirit supposedly guiding the scribes copieres to write so there is no room for error. Not even half a percent for that matter.
        So its nonsenical to claim that on one hand christianity claims they are guided by the spirit yet there spirit was not with them to correct the 8 thousand words.

      • “Dont forget christians say cover to cover is Gods word”

        No, we say that the autographs were the only Holy Spirit inspired text. Modern translations are only God’s word in so far as they correctly communicate the truth of the Bible. Scribal copies are not infallible and have not been considered such by the Christian Church. How do you not know this if you are suggest an expert on Christianity?

        “You say none of the diffrences affect cardinal truth. We showed you it does affect truth.”

        This is not what I say, but what textual scholars say. How does Acts 8:37 effect any cardinal truth of Christianity? Do you know what the variant is? If you did, you wouldn’t demonstrate your ignorance with a statement like this. What doctrine or truth is stake? Please explain.

        “We are talking about the holy spirit inspireing scribes and we are also having the holy spirit supposedly guiding the scribes copieres to write so there is no room for error”

        No, we are not! Christian inspiration pertains to the autographs only. The fact that you do not know this demonstrates that you are ignorant of what Christians believe. This is why I said you have created straw man arguments and why you refute yourself. Please learn what you are attempting to refute before expressing yourself.

        “Going back to bible you said there is 1% diffrence this is absurd hardly even true. Lets just assume its 1% if there are over 30, 000 manuscipts that contain lets says 700, 000 words that is still 8 to 10, 000 word diffrences”

        This is not what I said at all. I said that of all known variants, only 1% are viable and meaningful. Do you know what ‘viable and meaningful’ means? Further, there are only 138,000 words in the NT. Please read here http://missiontheology.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/variants-in-the-quran-and-bible/

        “Let me repeate going to Quran doesnt disprove the cobtradictions within Christianity”

        I never said it did. Did you read my comments? The point was simple- you are applying double standards for the Bible and Quran. You exaggerate any textual variant to dismiss the entire NT corpus but seem unwilling to do the same with the Quran. Why does Dr. Tayyar Altıkulaç tell us“There are deviations from grammatical rules (Laḥn) and spelling mistakes in the Muṣḥafs attributed to Caliph ‘Uthmān” and conclude that there are“2,270 instances where there is a difference from the [consonantal skeleton] of the Fahd Muṣḥaf”

        You need to provide answers to this. Not only that, regarding the Sammarqand Mushaf he notes that there is “almost no discipline of spelling, different ways of writing the same word, scribal mistakes, copyists’ mistakes, written by a scribe who had no writing experience, and later added signs after verses”.

        Sine you claim that scribal errors are problematic for the Bible, how do you respond to this Muslim scholar, one of only a few to ever critically study the Quranic Mushafs? I assume you are unaware of what critical Muslim and Orientalist scholars say about the Quran and don’t realise that your argument would lead you to abandon Islam. Again, this demonstrates to me that you are unaware of the research on these topics.

        “There are theological diffrences between denominations”

        So what? Difference of opinion means falsehood? Again, consistency would then demand you abandon Islam due to the numerous theological spectrums therein. Your arguments are utterly irrational Mustafa. Almost all your points are logical fallacies.

        If you cannot comprehend why your arguments are refuted, childish and irrational, then I guess there is not much else I can say to you.

      • Before I reply:
        Dont run like the christian coward you are and deny the facts.

        Answer me: since there is no real varience in scripture.
        Why does the catholic canon has 6 more books then protestants.

        The catholic scholars claim its inspired by holy ghoast while pritestants scholars do not.
        Why a contradiction between holy spirits?

      • No variance in scripture? Who claimed that? All faith traditions have had internal debates over what is and what is not scripture. A good parallel between our tradition lies with the ahadith literature, which as a Muslim you must follow. Yet, what the sunnah actually is, and where is can be found, has been debated for 1400years and doesn’t appear to be slowing (not to mention the internal debates regarding ibn Masud’s quranic mushaf). Stop assuming that transmission and church discussions are infallible, since no one believes that. With each comment you fall deeper into the pit of demonstrable ignorance. Just stick to what you know. None of us knows everything. Misrepresenting Christians won’t help you in the long term.

        Protestants reject the intertestamental works because a) Jesus never referred to them as scripture and b) they do not have a strong patristic or Jewish witness as scripture.

        Of course, this is founded upon protestant theological principles such as sola scriptura and Holy Spirit led witness. Catholics put authority in church councils which is one reason why they differ

      • Let me ask the question again? Why does the protestants holy spirit not attest to the catholics books do they not consult the same holy spirit?

      • Let me ask the question again? Why does the protestants holy spirit not attest to the catholics books do they not consult the same holy spirit? The dame church fathers consult the same holy spirit do they not?

      • The protestants also consult there scholars and the historical accounts that the holy spirit attest to. Same thing could be said about the catholics they consult there scholars of the church guided by the holy spirit.

        And then you have the greek orthadox and also the ethopian church who also consult there spirit of truth and they end up with more books between 78-83 books?

        So this is more then simply verience within the text. Its whole books and chapters with entite passages that are now veriant from the protestant and roman catholic bibles.

        Well?

      • You say none of the diffrences affect cardinal truth. We showed you it does affect truth. It begs the question is cardinal truth really truth if it comes from s sournce infected with 1% contradictions?
        Dont forget christians say cover to cover is Gods word until they found out its been infected by curruption.
        Seriously I know in my heart that I hope God opens your heart you have convienyly ignored my major points I see how its troubled you and I hope that one day you stop ignoreing my questions and you see the light. And im not talking about the light paul saw since st.paul your founder said satan appears as the angel of light. Interestinly st. paul sees a light when jesus spoke to him in the sky.

  8. So you won’t reply then as you claimed, rather you continue to insist that internal debates on the canon somehow have bearing on the Holy Spirit, despite me telling you that no Christian believes that the Spirit infallibly oversees such things?

    So feel free to keep attacking a straw man, ignoring my actual points and rely upon unaccredited internet apologists for your proof, all the while seemingly ignorant that your arguments refute your own faith tradition if applied consistently.

    I have no desire to win a debate with you. I’ve provided you my opinion. Take it or leave it for what it is.

    • Of course it has bearing on the holy spirit if each group claims the holy spirit is the one guiding them to what the holy spirit has said what is there canon of the bible. The fact there is debate within the denominations on what is from tje holy spirit is just more proof that the holy spirit has done a terrible job in guiding christians. The fact that each group claims there holy spirit is right and the other christian denomination is wrong vice versa proves that christians dont have a spirit of truth and if so which one? See if I wanted to be a christian I would be getting 2 conflicting or multiple conflicting viewd of holy spirit in what makes the correct bible.

      I didnt ignore your points. I simply wanted to stick on one point as the debate was getting diverted by many questions. I proved without a doubt major discrependies…but I certinly understand its quite hard to swallow sometimes we let our arrogance get into the way which blinds us from truth.
      I hope for your guidence.

  9. Of course it has bearing on the holy spirit if each group claims the holy spirit is the one guiding them to what the holy spirit has said what is there canon of the bible. The fact there is debate within the denominations on what is from tje holy spirit is just more proof that the holy spirit has done a terrible job in guiding christians. The fact that each group claims there holy spirit is right and the other christian denomination is wrong vice versa proves that christians dont have a spirit of truth and if so which one? See if I wanted to be a christian I would be getting 2 conflicting or multiple conflicting viewd of holy spirit in what makes the correct bible.

    I didnt ignore your points. I simply wanted to stick on one point as the debate was getting diverted by many questions. I proved without a doubt major discrependies…but I certinly understand its quite hard to swallow sometimes we let our arrogance get into the way which blinds us from truth.
    I hope for your guidence.

  10. Discrepencies? Which ones? That there is a canonical debate? Wow, what a shockwave! You claim victory as if this has never been known or discussed. I don’t think you understand what makes for a good argument. For example….

    Are you Sunni or Shia? Or Sufi? Or Ahmadiyyah? Which hadith do you follow? Which school of law? Do you accept the hadith or reject them? Do you follow ibn Masud’s Quran or Uthman’s?

    To paraphrase your completely fallacious argument, “the fact that each group claims their Allah is right and the other Muslim sect is wrong and vice versa, proves that Muslims don’t have the guidance of Allah.”

    • Its not victory its absolute victory on our end. We showed the contradictions proved them without doubt. All you can do is run to discredit the Quran. Like I said appealing to the Quran doesnt help fix the mess in Christianity.

      Haha…we muslims regardless if we are Shia or sufi or Sunni have no disagreement on the Quran. We all have one book. There is also no disagreement between between the mushaf of uthman and the sana codex.
      There both from Allah. There is no disagreement between the companions who wrote and collected tbe mushsf material. In fact if this was the case muslims all over the world would have a diffrent version of the Quran this is not the case. In fact if you think there are 2 diffrent Qurans I challenge you to bring me the Qurans and the scholars who hold 2 diffrent Qurans then claim that is from Allah and the other quran is false.

    • Further to note: even if there are minor verients within codex we in islam also have a oral preservation of the Quran that can correct any scribal or copy error. As the quran was not only presrrved in writeing but also orally I.e memorization. This is the beauty of the quran it can be orally protected from any hand writen mistakes. Furthermore the sana manuscipts have vowels to help the reader understand the tone recictation high and low vowels this does not change the meaning of the verse. Uthmans Quran was canonised meaning all the verses were collected put in book form all agreed by ibn masud , zaid and uthman, and by all the companions. So if sana manuscipts show any slight vowel diffrences we can alwayse refer to oral correction and we can refer and cross refetence uthmans codex. Hence any minor veriant can be eliminated. Because we can refer to a original unlike the bible.

      • “There is also no disagreement between between the mushaf of uthman and the sana codex”

        Do you normally make large assertions utterly ignorant of what scholars are concluding? I suggest you begin here and watch all three parts where Dr Small looks into the San’aa palimpsests.

        And how can you say there is no disagreement between the Quranic Mushafs. I already provided you a Turkish Muslim’s conclusions regarding the Topkapi and Sammarqand mushafs and the 2200 variations, caused by not only issues of lahn, but scribal and copyist errors coupled with later redaction. Simply scroll up a little.

      • Anyone can post a one sided lecture.

        Instead I give you a debate.
        Adnan rashid vs Dr james white
        Topic is Quran preserved.

        I watch real debates not one sided lectures that can not be refuted since its one sided.
        2200 veriences is a bluff.

        But like I said which you conviently ignored even if there are varience in writing islam still has oral preservation which can correct any differing codex that appears any where else in the world.

        We also again have uthmans copy which is the earliest having agreed upon by all companions.

        And any diffrence can be crossed reference with uthmans mushaf.

        The sana manuscript does not have a single verse that has a diffrent complete word. I checked sana codex it just has one letter in the word missing or added…as abriviation.
        For example it may say in one verse

        And we said onto mankind

        And we ssid onto mankinds

        Its just a letter on the end doesnt change meaning.

        And even if it does it can be crossed referenced with other codex….and it can also be cross tefernced via oral preservation I.e memorization amoungst the muslim community.

  11. “We also again have uthmans copy…And any diffrence can be crossed reference with uthmans mushaf”

    No you don’t. It no longer exists. This is your Islamic dilemma that Islamic scholars know but fail to tell the masses. This is confirmed not only by ‘Islamic Awareness’ but by other Islamic scholars aswell. I offer you a few samples. Remember, these are YOUR scholars! They are not orientalists.

    “One of the most important questions of Qur’anic history is the whereabouts of the Mushafs attributed to Caliph ‘Uthman and whether any of them reached the present day. Unfortunately, we do not have a positive answer to this question” (“Al-Mushaf al-Sharif Attributed to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan”İhsanoğlu, 2007:35)

    “With the exception of an article which was written in the very recent past, there is no serious scholarly work dealing with the claims that [the Topkapi Muṣḥaf] was the private Muṣḥaf of Caliph ‘Uthmān, or one of his Muṣḥafs.” (Altıkulaç, ‘Al-Mushaf al-Sharif’ 2007:72)

    “Even though we would like to publish this sacred text as the Muṣḥaf of Caliph ‘Uthmān, our research indicated that it was neither the private Muṣḥaf of Caliph ‘Uthmān, nor one of the Muṣḥafs he sent to various centers……. Unfortunately there is no definite information about these Muṣḥafs which are thought to have been lost or disappeared as a result of wars, fires and similar disasters. In our view, this situation is one of the greatest weaknesses of the Islamic world throughout history.” (Altıkulaç,‘Al-Mushaf al-Sharif’ 2007:35)

    • “The sana manuscript does not have a single verse that has a diffrent complete word”

      You do realise that the San’aa mss have yet to be fully released to scholars? No scholar in the world has come to that conclusion. Indeed, no scholar could come to that conclusion yet since they haven’t all been catalogued and studied. You are unending in profound ignorance of the topics you argue against. Professor Small, had you watched the clip, even cited one samll example of what is know currently from San’aa palimpsest..

      He cited one page of the San’aa palimpsest that has 30 textual variants alone. Two of those variants agree with Ibn Mas’ud’s script and one with Ubayy ibn Kab. There are 27 other variants on this one page alone, that has no other corroboration with other known Quranic Mushafs. In other words, it is a different text to Uthman, Ibn Mas’ud and Ubayy ibn Kab. This is clearly and demonstrably true. You cannot avoid it.

      How you can continue in your blatant agenda is beyond me. I assume you are unware of such things so give you the benefit of the doubt, but please stop embarassing yourself.

      • “2200 veriences is a bluff.”

        Really? I can provide you a Muslim scholars conclusion regarding the Topkapi Mushaf. He says, and I quote,

        “2,270 instances where there is a difference from the [consonantal skeleton] of the Fahd Muṣḥaf” (Altıkulaç, ‘Al-Mushaf al-Sharif’ 2007:81)

        Mustafa, I can send you the academic article where this quote is taken from. I have it on my hard-drive. Email me via my blog if you are interested. I am not making this stuff up, it is there, documented and reported by Islamic scholars. It is just not mentioned to the ‘average’ Muslim for some reason.

    • Hahaha…what a joke.
      Im turkish my self you didnt post from a turkish islamic scholar site rather you gave the reference from a secular turkish communist site. The top kapi mussuem does in fact have uthmans manuscript and we also have the yemeni manuscript which dates to the first half of the first centuary. I will post all the links you can see picture evidence of the codex carbon dated to uthmans era.

      • Mustafa,

        Are you aware that the Islamic Awareness team cites these very scholars for their work? Earlier you pointed me toward Islamic Awareness, yet now you dismiss the very sources they use. Very odd?!?

      • Further, even the Islamic Awareness team admits that there is no Uthmanic Mushaf in existence, as does the Calling Christians team. Time to wake up my friend.

      • Youra decietful liar the uthmanic manuscript does exist in taskent uzbekistan stop lying…islam awrness does not say it doesnt exist.
        Read:
        http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/samarqand.html

      • Mustafa,

        Do you even read the things you cite. This quote is taken directly from the Islamic Awareness page you highlight.

        “So, the big question now is whether this is the Qur’an that belonged to the third caliph ʿUthmān? The answer is no. There are good number of other Qur’ans [such as the one at St. Petersburg, two in Istanbul (Topkapi Library and TIEM), and two in Cairo (al-Hussein mosque and Dār al-Kutub)] having at times turned up in different parts of the Islamic world, all purporting to show the traces of the blood of the third caliph ʿUthmān upon certain pages, and thus the genuine ʿUthmānic Qur’an, the imām, which he was reading at the time of his death. Moreover, the writing in the manuscript clearly shows the large, straight, beautiful and rigidly proportional Kufic script which was during and after the time of Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (compare the script in this manuscript with the inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock). Furthermore, this manuscript was also briefly discussed by Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn al-Munajjid who did not consider it to be from the time of caliph ʿUthmān.[15]”

      • There just hypothesis. In fact if we go back to the manuscript in Turkey the….word he thinks appears meaning one man doubts it being from the copied that were despatched all around the world. There were many copies made of uthmans Quran. In fact on the 400p.g and onwards it writes uthmans name on the actual manuscript did you ignore that?
        http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/tiem457.html

      • And this is final point: even for arguement sake the true copy of uthman can not be pointed out does not disprove at all…as khalifa uthman requested to make many copies to be sent out to the world…hence the copies found in turkey or uzbekistan or St . Petersburg still date back to uthman time frame and we can cross refernces and eliminate any verience. Also by oral menorisation.
        Finally the Quran is indeed one book. Not 2, or 3 or 4
        That disagree with one another rather we can bring all them together and cross refernce and eliminate any scribal faults.

        So the arguement will remain:
        if you can show 2 diffrent qurans that conflict with one another so much so that it csn not be fixed via cross referencing. .

        Hence leaving us with 2 qurans which scholars differ what is more authentic…if you can not provide evidence

        Your ignored hence case closed.

    • My mistake its kept in uzbekistan
      The mushaf of uthman ibn afan.

      • Everything can be crossed referenced amoungst all the surving codex…whether it be from uzbekistan, from turkey, or yemen.
        And anything that differs can be orally corrected.
        Let me give you a example if I burn all the copies of the quran every single one.
        Does it mean the Quran is extinct.
        No..because its orally preserved from the time of prophet Muhammed.pbuh.
        So manuscript decrepency doesnt falsified our faith…as christianity not only doesnt have a writen pteservation. Nor does it have oral pteservation nor does it have originial.

        I asked you to show me 2 diffrent Qurans scholars in islam disagree with about.

        Every single muslim scholar agrees that from sureh fahtiha to the last chapter nas…they all agree on these 114 chapters.
        Unlike christianity who can not agree upon chapters let alone verses.

        You have been defeated go lick your wounds.
        Finaly like I said trying to disprove Quran doesnt fix your bible debate canon.

        Your arguement goes like this. Yes its true we have diffrent bibles….so does islam.

        Ok lets now go become atheists…according to your logic..lol

  12. Brother Rashid beautifully shows the Sana manuscript consistent with todays Quran.

    • Mustafa,

      What you and Rashid fail to recognise is that the San’aa palimpsest has two texts. The ‘upper’ text is post Uthmanic so there is no argument from me or any other scholar on its close form to the Uthmanic script (hence I agree with Rashid on that). However, the ‘lower’ text (this is what a palimpsest is btw) is clearly a pre-Uthmanic text, possibly from one of the companions of Muhammad. It is this text that is problematic for Muslim claims of perfect preservation, since it is remarkably different from any other know Mushaf. This text was written and washed and replaced by the later Uthmanic redaction. Yet, the lower text can still be read due to the acidic nature of the ink used. It is this lower text that Dr Small and other experts are dealing with.

      The fact that Rashid is ignorant of this, or chooses not tell his audience, is problematic. You Muslims need to start dealing with the evidence provided by actual critical scholars. It will not suffice to appeal to apologists who clearly lack the specialisation needed in this discussion.

      As an aside, I agree with you that through cross checking you can be fairly certain of the Uthmaic text. But I must ask, why do you disallow the same for the Bible, when by all scholarly standards, the same conclusion is drawn? Yes there are variants, but we can actually know what the original autograph was. This has been my point all along.

      P.S I am glad you are beginning to recognise that a) there is no Uthamic Mushaf in existence, and b) the Quranic MSS are full of literally thousands of variants.

      • Point 1: the washed text has been addressed towards the end of the video if you bothered to watch till the end.

        Secondly: no mushaf of uthman exists…thats wrong as uthman didnt claim to write his own mushaf rather he organised copies writen from the collected materials. Hence the copies of tje mushaf authman organised exist.

        3rdly your comparing apples to oranges.

        Im not argueing the varient readings within the N.T as most can be cross referenced hence problems can be fixed. However what im argueing is that we are not trying to only cross reference simple spelling mistakes or words writen diffrently or pronunciation marks as for islam..we have complete whole words and chapters that need to be cross referenced with comparing the christians codex…what is even more unbelievable is that we also have to deal with whole seperate books such as the 6 extra books found in roman catholic that you dont find in Protestant canon.
        So how do you cross reference manuscripts of the 6 books when protestants dont accept those codex to beggin with.

        The only way left for christians is to cross refernce with holy spirit…but then you have a problem again because you dont know which holy spirit is confirming the right canon that is meant to contain that exact amount of books.

        As there is a conflict between the holy spirit of Protestsnts and the Roman catholic bible.

        Do u see the reality?

      • Replied. ..
        I dont know how much more cleare I can make it.

      • Mustafa,

        No, the palimpsest issue was not dealt with at all. It was brushed aside by reference to some quotes that I actually find agreement with (and was not part of Rashid’s talk). Yes, there are variations in words, in Surah orders, etc. But there is also much more. Your 10 second documented evidence only provided a small portion of the available evidence. I have provided you documented scholarly conclusions that show variations in the lower text from any current know Quran. And as further study is conducted, I have no doubt that our knowledge of the early Quranic history will evolve in both positive and negative ways.

        I say it again, there are no Mushafs attributed to Uthman that have survived. This hypothesis only exists in the minds of uneducated Muslims. Muslim scholars reject this notion as I have shown you several times now from a variety of sources- the very sources you cite yet were seemingly ignorant of what they taught.

        You are right in one regard. The textual variants in the Bible are rather larger on occasions. This is because the NT was produced as an illegal religion under Roman occupation and also because the transmission was not controlled (controlled meaning not overseen by a leader or committee).

        This is radically different to the Quranic history under which your caliphs controlled what was and wasn’t part of the Quran and systematically destroyed the rest. Your transmission happened under a political and military occupation. Christian scribes had to copy in secret and in fear of death and disloyalty to the state. This is the inherent weakness of Islam. You have no idea or way of checking to see if what Uthman did was correct. Your faith rests absolute in his decision. However, with the San’aa discovery, we now begin to see history that pre-dates Uthman and demonstrates the profound ways that the Quran came into being. It was not a perfect or easy route by any means. Uthman’s ‘version’ was not the only one.

        For the Bible, however, because the transmission was not controlled, we have the historical ability to reconstruct the exact text of the autograph. We don’t rely on one man’s decision to codify one version and destroy the rest. So while the NT variants seem greater, historically speaking, they provide a much stronger textual foundation and assurance. I really wish Muslims would begin to understand all this. A controlled text may be produce a more seemingly more consistent transmission process, but it limits the historical accuracy and assurance that Muslims can have in their text. Your whole faith is based on Uthman getting it right, and as it appears, he did not.

        Good bye Mustafa. I will ask the Lord to bring you into the light!

      • Right Paulos, I admire your Holy spirit that wants my salvation if he can only tell us whos gospels did he inspire 66 or 73 or 82.

        Yes Paulos
        You invite me to a confused holly spirit that tells more then 5 diffrent christian denomination diffrent amount of books to be part of there bible canon.

        And yeh….rashid adress is in his debate with Dr james white….that doesnt mean the video didnt answer it. Yes previoys writing only proves the codex paper can be re used as ink can diminish via water….and yes the Quran can be written in 7 diffrent ways dialects hence the written way can be diffrent because over time ink fades hence it gets writen again. One can simply conclude that those inks that rubbed out happend at the time outhman asked the new informatoon to be written ..its then possible that the copiest didnt have fresh paper but used second hand paper. There is a christian text that has the same issue in history of christian manuscripts where older writings are discovered under current ones. You said there are whole complete diffrent words added thats a lie…and there is no evidence of that. Unless you can provide a example and even if you do which u cant…it can still be cross referenced.

        You said the Quran was controlled. Yes and no…why? Because othman didnt force people to burn there copies and put them to sword. He simply requested them to do it to preserved 1 uniform book because many companions would add side notes to there existing personal mushafs where some may feel its part of Quran.
        Thats why if you notice none of the manuscript authman orded to be distrubuted contain side notes like foot notes or hadith. Furthermore you have zero understanding sometimes the talking donkey called ballam in the makes more sense then you…no one suggests that uthman wrote his own mushaf..he orded people to write a complete copie from all the fragments that was collected and also memorization. Then those books that were dated at his era such as the books we find in uzbekistan, turkey else where were from those copies that were despatched. Non muslim orientalist and scholars agree that these manuscripts are the exact same Quran verses copied from the mouth of the Prophet muhammed. The bible on the other hand has a form of control to, if a book disagrees in theology to the christian elders, it gets deemed as apocryphal like gospel of thomas that makes no mention of the cruicifiction and ressurection of jesus. Also the church or elders or bishops or priests or christian scholars deem apocryphal to the gospel of peter (apocryphal version) why? Because it says another person beside jesus was cruicified on the cross.
        Notice how its controlled if it goes against christianity its controlled and rejected. Then they make excuses like it dates to 150 a.d

        So why dont they just accept 70 a.d and reject gospel of john which sayes 90-125 a.d?
        That comes much later?
        Oh but wait we have 1 john 5:7 if we reject gospel of john there goes our fundermental theology. I bet if those apocrythal writing had a verse saying jesus is God they would have said its not apocrythal but only the bits in it that deny cruicifiction are…so you can clearly see control.
        Further control is not a bad thing if its controled by God unlike bible its word of God, word of men, mixed with words of non prophets, words of non disciples, words of uknown people (book of hebrews) see you people wished that your bible was compiled in front of someone like uthman and abu bekir, the companion of the prophet muhammed… u wished your bible was compiled infront of Jesus or one of his deciples like Peter whom jesus said peter is the Rock of my church is built upon which the gates of haydez shall not come upon.

        Finally…
        I love how you conviently….ignored this major point that debunks your whole position.

        What happend you couldnt make a phone call to the holy spirit?

      • hey paulus, please tell us why the giver and taker of life allowed death to take his life.

        explain this riddle in your religion.

      • THE LIES OF paulus

        “The textual variants in the Bible are rather larger on occasions. This is because the NT was produced as an illegal religion under Roman occupation and also because the transmission was not controlled (controlled meaning not overseen by a leader or committee).

        …because the transmission was not controlled, we have the historical ability to reconstruct the exact text of the autograph. We don’t rely on one man’s decision to codify one version and destroy the rest. So while the NT variants seem greater, historically speaking, they provide a much stronger textual foundation and assurance.” ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////REPLY:I don’t know who you’re quoting here, but it’s total BS from start to finish. Christianity was not an illegal religion in the 1st century, and the New Testament was not “produced,” it was selected for texts which supported a particular ideology. It was “uncontrolled” in that there was no hierarchy or orthodoxy, and there were many competing sects, but that just makes things more chaotic, not less.

        We definitely can’t reconstruct autographs because we have 200 years of transmission before we even get to extant copies.

        I don’t recognize this author, but he’s making it up as he goes along.

        more responses:

        Professional scribes were supposed to copy texts word-for-word; however, due to theological disputes in the Christian church, scribes would often author and insert new lines to change the original text. This was not an accepted practice in antiquity and it was seen as a dishonest corruption of the original. As for the quote you provided, only an apologist would argue that more variations between texts actually preserves accuracy. But what the passage you quoted seems to be dealing with is the effect that “controlled” transmission had on preserving an original text. If transmission was not controlled, then more variations would creep in between texts, but (allegedly) we can detect them because no one scribe could change all of the variant manuscripts. However, if there was a very early scribe (say in the 1st or early 2nd centuries) who made an interpolation, then a corruption could easily be reproduced early in the transmission process and not detected (even if there are larger and more detectable variations in later manuscripts). Carrier has a good article about this problem. Furthermore, in the case of Pauline epistles, many scholars think that they were compiled and edited at some point early in the 2nd century. Since the editor was not Paul, there likewise could have been other undetectable interpolations that were put in by an original editor.

        So, simply because the transmission of texts was ostensibly uncontrolled does not mean that there were no early and undetectable interpolations to the originals. Also, a text that was produced in a controlled environment by professional scribes would also be more likely to eliminate such early interpolations. Professional scribes, writing out of secretarial rather than theological obligations, would be less likely to insert new lines into a text (that was not accepted practice among professional scribes). Likewise, there were professional libraries in the Roman Empire to curb against such practices (which the earliest Christians did not have access to). For further discussion about the low professionalism of early Christian scribes, Barbara Aland in “The Significance of the Chester Beatty in Early Church History” (The Earliest Gospels, ed. Charles Horton) has many apt observations.

        internal problems

        http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8196377

        Matthew’s Use of Mark: Did Matthew Intend to Supplement or to Replace His Primary Source?*

        David C. Sima1

        a1 School of Theology/Centre for Early Christian Studies, Australian Catholic University, Locked Bag 4115, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia. email: david.sim@acu.edu.au
        Abstract

        Most scholars acknowledge Matthew’s debt to Mark in the composition of his own Gospel, and they are fully aware of his extensive redaction and expansion of this major source. Yet few scholars pose what is an obvious question that arises from these points: What was Matthew’s intention for Mark once he had composed and circulated his own revised and enlarged account of Jesus’ mission? Did he intend to supplement Mark, in which case he wished his readers to continue to consult Mark as well as his own narrative, or was it his intention to replace the earlier Gospel? It is argued in this study that the evidence suggests that Matthew viewed Mark as seriously flawed, and that he wrote his own Gospel to replace the inadequate Marcan account.

        Sim writes (p. 183),

        Why would he want his community to read of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida in Mark 8:22-26 when he himself thought it unworthy of inclusion? Why would he be content to have his readers learn that Jesus’ power was limited in Mark 6:5 when he had rewritten that Marcan text in Matt 13:58 so as not to convey that impression? Why would he want his intended readers to learn from Mark 3:19b-21 that the family of Jesus’ believed he was demon-possessed after he himself deemed it so offensive that he took considerable pains to ensure that it did not appear in his parallel account? Why would Matthew think it desirable for his community to be exposed to Mark’s statment in Mark 7:19b that Jesus declared all foods clean when he himself clearly opposed this view and omitted the offending words, and elsewhere depicted Jesus as a Law-observant Jew? Finally, why would the evangelist desire that his readers continue to read Mark when it offered them so little interms of their immediate and pressing needs, such as their conflict with Formative Judaism?

        [*for Sim Mk 8:22-26 was omitted due to the use of spittle as a healing agent, the conflict with formative Judaism is the intensification of polemic against scribes & Pharisees in Matt 23, and Mk 7:19b points to Mark as a Paulinist but Sim doesn’t deal with Crossley’s reinterpretation of all foods already permitted by Torah as clean i.e. unwashed hands can’t render eater unclean]

        and having gone out THEY FLED///// (escape, flee away. interesting to note that matthew doesn’t use THE word which means to seek SAFETY in flight, he has them do a “tachy”/”quickly, speedily” from the tomb , and why would he want to ? the mary’s in his account are filled WITH “GREAT joy” and i guess that feeling would have overPOWERED the feeling of fear***** AND THAT feeling caused them to open thier mouth’s.)///// from the tomb possessed indeed them TREMBLING /////( a trembling, quaking, fear. THE good news didn’t POSSESS them , something ELSE did) ////and AMAZEMENT/EKSTASIS//////(ecstacy of GOOD news? doesn’t seem like it. distraction,” DISTURBANCE OF THE MIND CAUSED by shock,” “TRANCE”)///// and to NONE NOTHING they SPOKE ///////( so jesus WASN’T waiting around the CORNER from the tomb . according to matthew , before the women MEET the deciples, kai idou , they CRASH into jesus and SPEAK to him, but if they ” TO NONE NOTHING THEY SPOKE,” then, according to mark, they didn’t have a greetings conversation with jc and neither did they take hold of jc)///// they were AFRAID/phobeó indeed////// ( afraid = to put to flight, to terrify, frighten.)

        ****why would matthew INCLUDE the word “fear” when his mary’s were “filled with joy” ?
        i think this has to do with EDITORIAL FATIGUE

        http://markgoodacre.org/Q/fatigue.htm

        “Editorial fatigue is a phenomenon that will inevitably occur when a writer is heavily dependent on another’s work. In telling the same story as his predecessor, a writer makes changes in the early stages which he is unable to sustain throughout.”

        notice also marks ekthambeó/////// (I am greatly astonished . quote :ekthambéō (from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2285 /thámbos, “astonished”) – properly, out of one’s senses with the outcome of being amazed to the level of wonder. “…crowd HAVING seeN her , were GREATLY AMAZED…” ) VS matthews phobeó ( φοβέω, φόβῳ: passive, present φοβοῦμαι; imperfect ἐφοβούμην; 1 aorist ἐφοβήθην; future φοβηθήσομαι; (φόβος); from Homer down; to terrify, frighten, Wis. 17:9; to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away). Passive:
        1. to be put to flight, to flee to fear
        From phobos; to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. Revere — be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.)

  13. You couldnt make a
    Phone call to your holy spirit to tell you whos canon is inspired? 66 or 73?

  14. 36and as they are speaking these things, jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith to them, ‘Peace — to you;’ 37and being amazed, and becoming affrighted, they were thinking themselves to see a spirit. 39see my hands and my feet, that I am he; handle me and see, because a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me having…. 41and while they are not believing from the joy, and wondering, he said to them, ‘Have ye anything here to eat?’ 42and they gave to him part of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, 43and having taken, he did eat before them,

    ‘SEE my hands and FEET’ what parts were NAILED ? hands and FEET, right? the nail PIERCED through, right? notice how luke has the DECIPLES focus on jesus’ body yet the PIERCED side is NOT Talked about. a writer has his jc say , “… see my hands and my feet..”‘ , “have you anything to eat”

    I QUOTE ” ‘Peace to you;’ 20and this having said, he shewed them his hands and side; the disciples, therefore, rejoiced…. 21jesus, therefore, said to them again…’ ”

    do you see the problem?

    luke :40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.

    NOTICE that the WRITER HAS REPEATED TWICE ‘see my HANDS and FEET’ AND ‘ he SHOWED them his HANDS and feet’ ?

    notice how simple thing as ‘touch’ has become “put INTO (poke) SIDE of me” in john

    ‘HANDLE me’ = psélaphaó
    to handle, touch, feel:

    now how does pselaphao mean ‘INTO’ ? it DOESN’T . ” bale” = into. i.e thom poked jc’ SIDE.

    thom “BALE” jesus’ SIDE. so what do you think ? and here is an interesting ARTICLE

    http://vridar.org/2013/07/26/blood-and-water-what-is-the-function-of-john-1934/

    THERE IS cleary an INCONSISTENCY in these accounts. if we go BY vision alone the inconsistency becomes clear

    u really telling me that a WRITER who REPEATED twice ‘hands and feet’ had no room for ‘he showed them his side’ ?

    LUKE : “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?

    then jc goes on to SHOW his hands and feet. think about it , what would TAKE priority if lukes jc had a PIERCED side? the feet or the pierced side? obviously the pierced side.

    that pierced side was standing out more than pierced hands and feet

    jesus CAME near “and SOME doubted” “they said NOTHING TO anyone for they were afraid ” pauls saw VISIONS . “the body that DIES isnot the BODY which ressurects” (paul) . then come luke and john who need to ANSWER what the DOUBTS were

    paul ,”flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” paul, was longing for ‘his current tent to be destroyed’ and for ‘being away from this body’ so he could finally ‘be with the Lord’
    in the original ending of the Gospel of Mark it sounds more like an allegory: “Why do you come visit a corpse? Jesus is not in the corpse anymore! His spirit/soul has been raised into a new, heavenly body!”
    with all this body EXCHANGE talk going on among the christian ; it is no suprise that they had TO LIE to answer the DOUBTS.

  15. “This is because the NT was produced as an illegal religion under Roman occupation and also because the transmission was not controlled (controlled meaning not overseen by a leader or committee).”

    neither were the stories about your god contROLLED , I QUOTE :

    HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MYTH TO GROW?

    The key point in Brunt’s response above, which is where Sherwin-White went wrong in his two-generation argument, is that Alexander the Great, like almost everyone else classical historians normally investigate, was a figure of significant public interest when he was alive. Because of this, widespread knowledge of facts about him across a range of hostile, friendly, and neutral people would have limited how much the historical core could be displaced by legend in the oral and written traditions after his death. However, in the case of Jesus, this constraint would have been much less, because Jesus was very probably a figure of very little public significance except to his followers when he was alive and to his worshippers after his death.

    Although a few of Jesus’ closest followers were probably eyewitnesses to a large part of his ministry (such as the Apostles), in an enthusiastic religious movement driven by belief in Jesus’ resurrection and imminent return (I think these were sincerely held beliefs that were not the result of legendary growth), these followers may by themselves have been unable to contain the growth of legend and displacement of the historical core among those in the growing church who did not know Jesus when he was alive or were not eyewitnesses of the specific events being distorted. The ability of a few of Jesus’ closest followers to contain the growth of legend would have been further hampered if the legends were growing in several different locales, for in this case they would have had the nearly impossible task of being present everywhere, stamping out all of the unhistorical legends. Eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry may also have viewed the correction of legends and policing of historical accuracy for events that occurred before Jesus’ death as a relatively trivial pursuit if their focus was mainly on Jesus’ future return. In this case, their priority would have been on convincing non-believers and galvanizing believers of the most important thing that they believed was true – that Jesus was the Messiah, had been raised from the dead, and would be back very soon. Any restraint a few firsthand eyewitnesses did provide would have been further diminished as they died off in the decades after Jesus’ death.

    and there also pauls SILENCE on anything jesus SAID and did

    http://vridar.org/2014/02/07/casey-taking-context-out-of-context/

    notice how they destroy the christian argument that ‘everyone already knew’ ?

  16. how to date a gospel?

    How Late Can A Gospel Be?
    Filed under: Luke-Acts — Neil Godfrey @ 8:29 pm
    Tags: Gospel of Luke, Infancy Gospel of James, Protevangelium of James

    Would it not be wonderful if our Gospels were all signed and dated so there could be no debates about who wrote them or when?

    The hermeneutic of charity would rule and only the hypersceptical and “minimalists” would entertain any doubts.

    Well, there is one gospel that is signed, addressed and dated. It was written by James the step-brother of Jesus in the very year in which Herod died and Jesus was born. At the end of this gospel it is written:

    And I James that wrote this history in Jerusalem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, withdrew myself to the wilderness until the commotion in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying the Lord God, who had given me the gift and the wisdom to write this history. And grace shall be with them that fear our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory to ages of ages. Amen.

    What more could any student of the Bible want? Except maybe to have that sort of information tagged on to the Gospels in the Bible. This is from what is known as the Infancy Gospel of James (or the Protevangelium of James).

    The problem appears to be that this identification is attached to a gospel that did not make it into the Bible. I am sure no biblical scholar and probably no serious Christian really believes what they read here. But there is more to it than simply not being in the Bible. This Gospel is about Mary and her own miraculous birth as well as her perpetual virginity. Jesus only appears at the very end as a little babe born in a cave. Probably most scholars would place this belief about Mary and her exaltation well into the second century. But Luke’s prologue itself points to much the same idea.

    So why not place this Infancy gospel around the same time as Luke in the first century?

    The basic ideas in what follows, and the title of this post itself, are all drawn from pages 340-1 of Dating Acts : Between the Evangelists and the Apologists by Richard I. Pervo. I have played a little with the way in which the ideas are presented but not much more. Just to be perverse, this post is not really about the Infancy Gospel of James at all despite the surface-discussion speaking of that Gospel most of the time, but about the dating of the Gospel of Luke.

    Let’s apply Bishop J. A. T. Robinson‘s method of dating the Gospels and see how they can help us in the dating of this Gospel. Some scholars seem to accept his methodology, and quite a few lay Christians seem to accept it also.

    One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period — the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple — is never once mentioned as a past fact. . . . [T]he silence is . . . as significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes as the dog that did not bark. . . .

    Explanations for this silence have of course been attempted. Yet the simplest explanation of all, that ‘perhaps . . . there is extremely little in the New Testament later than AD 70 and that its events are not mentioned because they had not yet occurred, seems to me to demand more attention than it has received in critical circles. (pp. 13-14 of Robinson’s Redating the New Testament)

    Well, according to Robinson’s case for the significance of Christian texts failing to mention such a significant event, we have a good reason for putting this Infancy Gospel of James before the year AD 70, too. And this, of course, is entirely consistent with the document’s own testimony that it was composed before AD 70.

    What about stylistic features? Is there anything in this Infancy Gospel that would give it a place alongside any of the other canonical Gospels? Pervo writes:

    In style and form it differs it differs little from the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke. Discussions of its literary character begin by noting its substantial borrowing from and imitation of the LXX [=Septuagint, the Greek language Old Testament], precisely as is the case with Luke. (p. 340)

    I do not have the time to list the specifically Greek textual borrowings of Luke from the LXX, but I have in the past listed up to a dozen instances of Luke’s borrowings from Genesis in order to flesh out his infancy and resurrection narratives — 10 of those instances for the infancy narrative.

    Nor is it hard to miss the flavour of the James gospel, as the following extract suggests with its many refrains from Genesis and 1-2 Samuel:

    And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shall bring forth; and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anna said: As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life. And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his flocks. (From The Infancy Gospel — Roberts-Donaldson translation.)

    Of course a translator has the power to decide how the tone will appear to his English-speaking readers, so I am not intending such an example to do anything more than to illustrate the point made by the scholarly works.

    So when was the Infancy Gospel dated?

    Several commentators explain that it cannot be earlier than the middle of the second century because it makes use of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. One must allow for enough time for these canonical gospels to have become into widespread circulation. It cannot be later than around 200 because it is known to Clement of Alexandria and Origen.

    But if that is the case, then why not ask how we know when Luke and Matthew were written?

    After all,

    Conversely, by the criteria of formal and stylistic comparison, the Gospel of Luke could be dated c. 150, slightly before the Infancy Gospel of James. Fewer prejudices have a firmer foundation in ignorance than does the view that because of its genre Luke could not be much later than 80-90. (p. 341)

    There is another criterion that, if used, can place the composition of Gospel of Luke into the second century.There is no clear external attestation to this gospel until Irenaeus in the latter part of the second century. Many believe Justin refers to it, but he is also dated to the mid second century.

    This post is not attempting to present a comprehensive argument for a late dating of the Gospel of Luke. I have argued that more fully — or rather I have cited other scholarly arguments for that more fully in other posts that relate to the Marcionite challenge and catholicizing agenda of Luke.

    I find it interesting that a scholar such as Pervo that there is little external or “hard” evidence for Luke being dated to the first century. By the time we do find external attestation we are well into the second century for the Gospel of Luke, and we find that at the same time it looks reasonably comfortable style-wise and even theologically (e.g. the exaltation of Mary) as other gospels that are more soberly placed well within the second century, too.

  17. THE LIES OF paulus

    “The textual variants in the Bible are rather larger on occasions. This is because the NT was produced as an illegal religion under Roman occupation and also because the transmission was not controlled (controlled meaning not overseen by a leader or committee).

    …because the transmission was not controlled, we have the historical ability to reconstruct the exact text of the autograph. We don’t rely on one man’s decision to codify one version and destroy the rest. So while the NT variants seem greater, historically speaking, they provide a much stronger textual foundation and assurance.” ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////REPLY:I don’t know who you’re quoting here, but it’s total BS from start to finish. Christianity was not an illegal religion in the 1st century, and the New Testament was not “produced,” it was selected for texts which supported a particular ideology. It was “uncontrolled” in that there was no hierarchy or orthodoxy, and there were many competing sects, but that just makes things more chaotic, not less.

    We definitely can’t reconstruct autographs because we have 200 years of transmission before we even get to extant copies.

    I don’t recognize this author, but he’s making it up as he goes along.

    more responses:

    Professional scribes were supposed to copy texts word-for-word; however, due to theological disputes in the Christian church, scribes would often author and insert new lines to change the original text. This was not an accepted practice in antiquity and it was seen as a dishonest corruption of the original. As for the quote you provided, only an apologist would argue that more variations between texts actually preserves accuracy. But what the passage you quoted seems to be dealing with is the effect that “controlled” transmission had on preserving an original text. If transmission was not controlled, then more variations would creep in between texts, but (allegedly) we can detect them because no one scribe could change all of the variant manuscripts. However, if there was a very early scribe (say in the 1st or early 2nd centuries) who made an interpolation, then a corruption could easily be reproduced early in the transmission process and not detected (even if there are larger and more detectable variations in later manuscripts). Carrier has a good article about this problem. Furthermore, in the case of Pauline epistles, many scholars think that they were compiled and edited at some point early in the 2nd century. Since the editor was not Paul, there likewise could have been other undetectable interpolations that were put in by an original editor.

    So, simply because the transmission of texts was ostensibly uncontrolled does not mean that there were no early and undetectable interpolations to the originals. Also, a text that was produced in a controlled environment by professional scribes would also be more likely to eliminate such early interpolations. Professional scribes, writing out of secretarial rather than theological obligations, would be less likely to insert new lines into a text (that was not accepted practice among professional scribes). Likewise, there were professional libraries in the Roman Empire to curb against such practices (which the earliest Christians did not have access to). For further discussion about the low professionalism of early Christian scribes, Barbara Aland in “The Significance of the Chester Beatty in Early Church History” (The Earliest Gospels, ed. Charles Horton) has many apt observations.

    internal problems

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8196377

    Matthew’s Use of Mark: Did Matthew Intend to Supplement or to Replace His Primary Source?*

    David C. Sima1

    a1 School of Theology/Centre for Early Christian Studies, Australian Catholic University, Locked Bag 4115, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia. email: david.sim@acu.edu.au
    Abstract

    Most scholars acknowledge Matthew’s debt to Mark in the composition of his own Gospel, and they are fully aware of his extensive redaction and expansion of this major source. Yet few scholars pose what is an obvious question that arises from these points: What was Matthew’s intention for Mark once he had composed and circulated his own revised and enlarged account of Jesus’ mission? Did he intend to supplement Mark, in which case he wished his readers to continue to consult Mark as well as his own narrative, or was it his intention to replace the earlier Gospel? It is argued in this study that the evidence suggests that Matthew viewed Mark as seriously flawed, and that he wrote his own Gospel to replace the inadequate Marcan account.

    Sim writes (p. 183),

    Why would he want his community to read of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida in Mark 8:22-26 when he himself thought it unworthy of inclusion? Why would he be content to have his readers learn that Jesus’ power was limited in Mark 6:5 when he had rewritten that Marcan text in Matt 13:58 so as not to convey that impression? Why would he want his intended readers to learn from Mark 3:19b-21 that the family of Jesus’ believed he was demon-possessed after he himself deemed it so offensive that he took considerable pains to ensure that it did not appear in his parallel account? Why would Matthew think it desirable for his community to be exposed to Mark’s statment in Mark 7:19b that Jesus declared all foods clean when he himself clearly opposed this view and omitted the offending words, and elsewhere depicted Jesus as a Law-observant Jew? Finally, why would the evangelist desire that his readers continue to read Mark when it offered them so little interms of their immediate and pressing needs, such as their conflict with Formative Judaism?

    [*for Sim Mk 8:22-26 was omitted due to the use of spittle as a healing agent, the conflict with formative Judaism is the intensification of polemic against scribes & Pharisees in Matt 23, and Mk 7:19b points to Mark as a Paulinist but Sim doesn’t deal with Crossley’s reinterpretation of all foods already permitted by Torah as clean i.e. unwashed hands can’t render eater unclean]

    and having gone out THEY FLED///// (escape, flee away. interesting to note that matthew doesn’t use THE word which means to seek SAFETY in flight, he has them do a “tachy”/”quickly, speedily” from the tomb , and why would he want to ? the mary’s in his account are filled WITH “GREAT joy” and i guess that feeling would have overPOWERED the feeling of fear***** AND THAT feeling caused them to open thier mouth’s.)///// from the tomb possessed indeed them TREMBLING /////( a trembling, quaking, fear. THE good news didn’t POSSESS them , something ELSE did) ////and AMAZEMENT/EKSTASIS//////(ecstacy of GOOD news? doesn’t seem like it. distraction,” DISTURBANCE OF THE MIND CAUSED by shock,” “TRANCE”)///// and to NONE NOTHING they SPOKE ///////( so jesus WASN’T waiting around the CORNER from the tomb . according to matthew , before the women MEET the deciples, kai idou , they CRASH into jesus and SPEAK to him, but if they ” TO NONE NOTHING THEY SPOKE,” then, according to mark, they didn’t have a greetings conversation with jc and neither did they take hold of jc)///// they were AFRAID/phobeó indeed////// ( afraid = to put to flight, to terrify, frighten.)

    ****why would matthew INCLUDE the word “fear” when his mary’s were “filled with joy” ?
    i think this has to do with EDITORIAL FATIGUE

    http://markgoodacre.org/Q/fatigue.htm

    “Editorial fatigue is a phenomenon that will inevitably occur when a writer is heavily dependent on another’s work. In telling the same story as his predecessor, a writer makes changes in the early stages which he is unable to sustain throughout.”

    notice also marks ekthambeó/////// (I am greatly astonished . quote :ekthambéō (from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2285 /thámbos, “astonished”) – properly, out of one’s senses with the outcome of being amazed to the level of wonder. “…crowd HAVING seeN her , were GREATLY AMAZED…” ) VS matthews phobeó ( φοβέω, φόβῳ: passive, present φοβοῦμαι; imperfect ἐφοβούμην; 1 aorist ἐφοβήθην; future φοβηθήσομαι; (φόβος); from Homer down; to terrify, frighten, Wis. 17:9; to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away). Passive:
    1. to be put to flight, to flee to fear
    From phobos; to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. Revere — be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.)

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