The Instigator
xXKorvexiusXx
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
SNP1
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

The Gospel Accounts Are Anonymous

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
xXKorvexiusXx
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 650 times Debate No: 94292
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

xXKorvexiusXx

Con

This debate is on the anonymity of the Gospel Accounts, being the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Luke, and the Gospel of John, the four Graceo-Roman Biographies within the New Testament. I view that the traditional authorship of these four documents (that they were written by Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John) is historically factual. It is not about whether or not they are true in their theological claims, but simply whether or not these these four authors (the Apostles Matthew and John, disciple of Peter being Mark, and physician and historian being Luke, just as they are claimed to be in the Bible) were the true writers of these documents.

Round 1 -- Acceptance
Round 2 -- Opening Arguments
Round 3 -- Counter Arguments and Rebuttal
Round 4 -- Counter Arguments and Rebuttal

Whoever wants to accept, I hope we can have a meaningful and intellectual debate on the historicity of the Gospels' authorship.
SNP1

Pro

I accept.

As agreed upon in the comments:
The resolution is:
the traditional authorship (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) of the canonical Gospels (Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John) is accurate. In this case, accurate can be defined as the following;
"historically true, factual"

And as for the Burden of Proof:
xXKorvexiusXx has the full BoP as he said, in the comment section
"you are taking the position that the four figures mentioned above did not historically author/write the four canonical Gospels. The burden of proof is upon me to establish historical evidence that they have indeed written these documents. Of course, providing evidence against it will help your case, however you are not required to do any such thing as I am making the historical assertion."

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I wish you good luck, I look forward to reading your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
xXKorvexiusXx

Con

I thank SNP1 for accepting this debate. This is the first debate I will be in that I personally issued, and it seems that I have a powerful opponent ahead of me.

Anyways, let us get to the debate. To establish that the canonical Gospels are indeed written by their traditional authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I will defend three contentions that provide evidence that will lead us to the conclusion that the traditional authors did in fact write the Gospels.

Contention 1: The writers of these documents were not later invented

This contention would establish that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not later made up figures later after the canonical Gospels, and that they are in fact historical figures, and thus all I would need to do is connect their historicity to the actual authorship of the canonical Gospels to establish my point. Let me now prove it by providing historical references to them;

1 a) Matthew;
Matthew 9:9; "As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named *Matthew* sitting at the tax collector"s booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. [1]
Acts 1:13; "When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James." [2]

1 b) Mark;
Colossians 4:10; "Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark qthe cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instruction -- if he comes to you, welcome him)," [3]
Philemon 1:24; "as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers." [4]

1 c) Luke;
Colossians 4:14; "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas send you greetings" [5]

1 d) John;
Revelation 1:4; " John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne," [6]

I could give more references, but this shows that their names and characters are not later inventions by the early Church as their names appear right there in the New Testament, meaning that the idea that these names were later fabrications is completely incoherent.

Contention 2: We have great historical evidence and early documentation of the authorship of the canonical Gospels

Tertullian, an early Church Historian from 200 AD writes; "that the documents of the Gospels were written by the Apostles Matthew and John and the "Apostolic men of Matthew and Luke"
-Against Marcion 4.2.1-2 [7]

Irenaeus, in 180 AD, writes that Matthew wrote a Gospel among the Jews in their own style, that Mark, a disciple of Peter wrote a Gospel, and Luke who was with Paul also put forth a Gospel, and that John wrote a Gospel while residing in Ephesus
-Against Heresies 3.1.1-2 [8]

Clement of Alexandria, also in 180 AD, writes that the Gospel of Mark was done by the urging of Peter, and John wrote his Gospel last, thus validating these two in their authorship
-Adumbrationes in Epistolas Canonicas on 1 Peter 5:13 [9]

In an early Canon of 170 AD, we are told two things;
"The third book of the Gospel is that according to Luke. Luke, the well known physician."
"The third of the Gospels is that of John, of the disciples. To his fellow disciples and bishops, who had been urging him."
-The Muratorian Fragment [10]

Preserved in the Ecclesiastical History, Papias is quoted on saying from writing in 125 AD,
"This, too, the elder used to say: Mark, who had been Peter's interpreter, wrote down carefully, but not in order, all that he remembered of the Lord's sayings and doings. For he had not heard the Lord or been one of his followers, but later, as I said, one of Peter's. Peter used to adapt his teachings to the occasion without making a systematic arrangement of the Lord's sayings, so that Mark was quite justified in writing down some things just as he remembered them. For he had one purpose only--to leave out nothing that he had heard, and to make no misstatement about it." [11]

Contention 3: We have evidence against the idea that the traditional authorship of the Gospels was made up

3 a) Let us examine the Book of Hebrews, one of the books of the New Testament. Now, the Book of Hebrews was truly anonymous, and the early Church Fathers had to try to guess the person who wrote this document [12]. If the authorship of Biblical documents was being made up, including the canonical Gospels, we should also expect to see people making up the author of the Book of Hebrews

3 b) If the traditional authorship was truly a fabrication, we would not see people like Mark and Luke attributed to having written Gospels -- these two were not of the 12 Apostles, they did not witness Jesus, and they were not big figures in the foundation of the Christian movement. If anyone were to fabricate these names, we would expect to see more prominent names attributed to these two Gospels, such as Thomas and Philip, who were actual Apostles of Jesus and thus would lend the historical claims of these Apostles as more credible, rather than Mark and Luke.

In conclusion, the historical evidence is in great support of the traditional authorship of the four canonical Gospels, which leads to the affirmation that these four people, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, truly did write the Gospels that they are attributed to.

1: https://www.biblegateway.com...
2: https://www.biblegateway.com...
3: http://biblia.com...
4: http://biblehub.com...
5: http://biblehub.com...
6: https://www.biblegateway.com...
7: http://www.newadvent.org...
8: http://www.newadvent.org...
9: https://books.google.ca...
10: http://www.bible-researcher.com...
11: http://biblehub.com...
12: https://www.youtube.com...
SNP1

Pro


Arguments


The Gospels are too Late to be Written by the Traditional Authors


As pointed out be Dr. Detering, among others, both gMark and gMatt, in their version of the Synoptic Apocalypse, make reference to the Desolating Sacrilege in a way that calls back to Daniel’s reference. Daniel’s Desolating Sacrilege was when a statue of Zeus was erected. This best fits with a reference to the Bar Kochba Revolt of 130 CE. There are many other parts of the Synoptic Apocalypse of gMark and gMatt which best fits with a 2nd century dating, including the significance of Winter. This makes perfect sense during the Bar Kochba Revolt because the Romans temporarily retreated during this event in Winter, but doesn’t make much sense before this time.


Furthermore, what the False Christ is supposed to say according to gMatt is exactly what Bar Kochba said. The False Christ was also supposed to perform deceitful wonders, which Bar Kochba is attributed to have done.


Furthermore, Dr. Price has pointed out that in Mark the Transfiguration is offered as a reinterpretation of the promised coming of the kingdom of God, which only makes sense if the first generation of disciples have died.


Matthew also presupposes a competing form of Judaism in which the titles Abba and Rabbi are common and where scribes sit on the Seat of Moses in synagogues. There is no evidence of any sect like this existing before 100CE, it seems to have been something from the mid-second century.


We can also see the use of Marcion’s Gospel, as pointed out by Dr. Vinzent, and the collected Pauline canon that Marcion had Mark, as pointed out by Dr. Dykstra.


This puts Mark and Matthew both after 130CE.


As becoming increasingly aware by scholars, like those of the Act-Seminar, both Luke and Acts appear to have used Josephus as a source, putting them at least into the 2nd century. Furthermore, many more scholars, like Dr. Tyson, Vinznet, Klinghardt, and more are coming forward with the idea of Marcion priority over Luke, putting Luke even further into the 2nd century.


We also do not see any reference of Luke’s Gospel until 180CE, and the only times it appears as if it was used before this time can easily be said to be the use of either Marcion’s Gospel or the Gospel of James.


This makes it most likely that Luke-Acts was written between 160-180CE.


Furthermore, John shows knowledge of the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim, which requires for it to have been written after 140CE. John also seems to have used the Synoptics (at least Mark and Matthew), also putting it well into the 2nd century.


These are all too late to have been written by Mark, Matthew, Luke, or John, assuming that these are actual historical people to begin with.


The Gospels are Internally Anonymous


Writings at the time, especially biographies and histories, all included the author’s name in the main body in a way that indicated that said person is the author. This is completely lacking in the Gospels. Even the names of the Gospels, which are thought to be late 2nd century additions, do not claim that Mark, Matthew, Luke, or John actually wrote the Gospels but that they were the source of the knowledge of the Gospels.


Other Problems


Another issue to consider is that the literacy rate of the time would make it hard to imagine that these people could write the Gospels, and scribes were not as common as many apologists would lead you to believe.


The other major problem is the Synoptic Problem and how John relates to the Synoptics.


It is quite obvious that both Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source, but why would Matthew, a supposed eye-witness, use Mark as a source? And John also seems to use Mark and Matthew as a source, maybe even Luke yet John is supposed to be an eye-witness as well. Why would an eye-witness use the works of non-eye-witnesses as sources?


Rebuttals


The writers of these documents were not later invented”


All the arguments in here only indicate that the name of said people existed before this time and that there were stories about people with said name. This does not indicate that the actual people in question existed. Furthermore, pseudographical writings were very prominent, with at least 6 of the 13 Pauline Epistles being pseudographical writings.


This does nothing to indicate that the traditional authorship of these Gospels is accurate.


“We have great historical evidence and early documentation of the authorship of the canonical Gospels”


We are given no reasons to trust that they actually knew this information. Marcion was really close to the time of Paul compared to these people and even he mistook forged letters as being the real deal. If these Gospels were already being attributed to these figures by the time it reached these figures, then it is entirely possible that they could have mistaken the false information with legit information.


Furthermore, I find if funny that the supposed Papias quote was included. To begin with, we have no reason to believe that the quote is authentically from Papias. Furthermore, if it is authentically Papias then it is evidence against the Canonical Gospels having been written by Mark same with the Ireneaus quote and Matthew.


The quote claims that Mark wrote in no particular order, but this is not true of the Mark that we have. If Papias is write, than the authentic Mark is a different Mark than the canonical one.


Ireneaus claims that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, but all internal and external evidence of the Gospel of Matthew we have suggests that it was written in Greek with Greek style. If Ireneus is correct, than the authentic Matthew is different than the canonical one.


“We have evidence against the idea that the traditional authorship of the Gospels was made up”


Here it is claimed that if they would make up names that they would have chosen apostle’s names, but we can already see a Gospel of Thomas, Peter, etc. in existence. Furthermore, just because it seems intuitive to us to choose those names would not make it necessarily the case back then, afterall, there is a Gospel of Judas, and using Judas’ name when he didn’t write it goes against today’s intuition, but it happened.


Sources


The Pre-Nicene New Testament” Dr. Price


Acts and Christian Beginnings: The Acts Seminar Report


Marcion and Luke-acts” Dr. Tyson


Mark Canonizer of Paul” Dr. Dykstra


Forged” Dr. Ehrman


“Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity” Dr. Vinzent


http://tinyurl.com...


http://www.preteristarchive.com...


Debate Round No. 2
xXKorvexiusXx

Con

It seems incredibly clear that my opponent makes countless errors and utterly spurious connections. Allow me to demonstrate.

First, he claims that the Gospels were written too lately to have been written by the Apostles. Now, this dating is completely rejected by virtually all Scholars and Historians [1]. First, I will refute the arguments he tries to give to show these have a late dating, then I will show they are very early documents.

He first appeals to the Abomination of Desolation (desolating sacrilege) annotated in the Gospel of Mark and Matthew, from Daniel 12, which was written around 530 BC. So, how does Con somehow issue that this shows these Gospels are written sometime around 130 BC? He says this "best fits" with the Bar Kochba Revolt in 130 AD, when in fact I can see no connection between these at all. Indeed, he merely asserted the connection. He then says Bar Kochba was attributed with doing miracles. Again, we see no sources, and what's worse is that the Antichrist is supposed to literally claim to be God [2]and sit in the Holy Temple [2], create a one world government [3], etc, etc, etc. Bar Kochba utterly fails qualification for the Antichrist. My opponent claims that the Gospel of Matthew says the Antichrist will do deceitful wonders, but the only thing deceitful is this very claim, as the Gospel of Matthew does not say this, it is said in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 [4], which was written by Paul.

My opponent goes on to reference Robert Price -- one of the least respected academics in the historicity of early Christianity, and has no peer-review at all for these claims, however, I will ignore this for the sake of argument. According to my opponent, the Transfiguration only makes sense if the Apostles died. Now, what's the problem with this? He completely fabricated it, such a thing has no implication whatsoever. Let me explain. Biblically, the Transfiguration occurs after the Second Coming of Jesus, which occurs after the end of the world, in which the faithful in Christ will have their bodies transformed into eternal bodies. To say this only makes sense if the Apostles died is simply a Non-Sequitur Fallacy, especially considering the four Gospels don't even mention the Transfiguration.

Then, my opponent says this;

"Matthew also presupposes a competing form of Judaism in which the titles Abba and Rabbi are common and where scribes sit on the Seat of Moses in synagogues. There is no evidence of any sect like this existing before 100CE it seems to have been something from the mid-second century."

He gives us no reference to where Matthew makes it seem as if these titles are common, he gives us no evidence that it actually became common in the second century, and the idea that it can't be first century because we don't have surviving records on it is an Argument from Silence.

He then accuses Mark and Matthew of using material from Josephus, again, without any evidence. He simply asserts it, we have no reason whatsoever to believe this erroneous nonsense. There is not a single respected Historian in the world who believes this is true, so why should we just become someone tells us it without evidence?

The next ridiculous thing my opponent says is that John references the Samaritan Temple (again, he gives us no reference to the Gospel of John to prove this), and concludes John was written in the second century. Now, let's pretend for a second John references this. It is still irrelevant, as we know the Samaritan Temple existed since at least 500 BC [5], and thus anyone from the 1st century AD could easily reference it as it would have existed for many centuries.

Next, he points out that the Gospels are internally anonymous -- if the Apostles wrote them actually wrote them, this would be expected, as the Apostles wanted to focus on showing the message is of Jesus [6] rather than invoking themselves as the authors and thus drawing attention away from the message [7], as even Bart Ehrman acknowledges. Furthermore, the Gospels were of the genre of an Ancient Biography, and thus could not name themselves.

"the claim of an anonymous history was higher than that of a named work. In the ancient world an anonymous book, rather like an encylopedia article today, implicitly claimed complete knowledge and reliability. It would have reduced the impact of the Gospel of Matthew had the author written 'this is my version' instead of 'this is what Jesus said and did'"
-E.P. Sanders [8], world class Historian

My opponent then appeals to illiteracy to repudiate that the Apostles could have written these, however all Apostles but John could write. Matthew was said to be a tax collector [9], Mark an interpreter and translator for Peter [10], and Luke a physician [11], and thus all were educated and likely able to write, even if the majority couldn't. John, the only one who could not write, would have probably gotten a scribe to write for him, which is how most of the ancient world wrote back then anyways.

Now, in response to the massive documentation I gave for the authorship of the Gospels, my opponent says;

"We are given no reasons to trust that they actually knew this information. "

Obviously, this is ridiculous as a counter-argument. How do we know Josephus knew about Vespasian coming to subdue the Jews? We don't, no Historian uses such ridiculous methodology. To come to a historical conclusion, we must look at multiple attestation and early attestation, and as I have shown, there is tons of this for the Gospels, countless early Church writers record them, including Terullian, Iraenius, Papias, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and the Muratorian Fragment, and in my first post I gave reference to all of these excluding Origen.

He says Papias cannot be used as evidence, as he references Matthew wrote his Gospel in the original Hebrew, however internal evidence shows Matthew wrote in the original Greek. This is false, no such internal evidence exists, both Papias and Iraenius tell us Matthew wrote in Hebrew [12], and so his objection is refuted.

Thus, as we have seen, the claim of later imposters writing in the name of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John is unwarranted and without evidence, and contradicts all our early historical attestation.

Anyways, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of early dating for the Gospels. For example, the Gospel of Matthew is directed to a Jewish audience , but after the Roman Jewish War of 70 AD, the Jews were completely removed and scattered. Thus, Matthew could only have written it to his audience if he was writing before 70 AD. Secondly, Clement of Rome, around 95 AD, tells us Paul was martyred for his faith. However, the Book of Acts documents through Paul's life, and it ends with him living in Rome for 2 years, proclaiming Christ [15]. This means that Acts must be before 95 AD. Also, we also know Paul died 67 AD [16], and thus that would put Acts before 67 AD. Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all written before Acts, meaning all the Gospels are extremely early.

1. http://www.bc.edu...
2.http://biblehub.com...
3. http://www.gotquestions.org...
4. http://biblehub.com...
5. https://en.wikipedia.org...
6. https://www.biblegateway.com...
7. http://ehrmanblog.org...
8. The Historical Figure of Jesus pg. 66
9. https://www.biblegateway.com...
10. http://coldcasechristianity.com...
11. https://www.biblegateway.com...
12. http://www.answering-islam.org...
13. Redating Mark, Matthew, Luke, pg. 95
14. http://www.ccel.org...
15. https://www.biblegateway.com...
16. http://www.biblestudy.org...
SNP1

Pro

"He first appeals to the Abomination of Desolation (desolating sacrilege) annotated in the Gospel of Mark and Matthew, from Daniel 12, which was written around 530 BC."

The desolating sacrilege from Daniel was an event where a statue of Zeus was erected on a holy site.
Mark and Matthew both make reference to this when talking about their event, which they also call the desolating sacrilege.
It is, therefore, more likely that the event being talked about in Mark and Matthew is similar to the event in Daniel.
When we look for events between the terminus post quem and terminus ante quem of Mark and Matthew, we can find three events in which this could work.
Some say it is the threat to erect a statue in the holy of holies, the Caligula Crisis. This doesn't work however as the erection never happened, and many places in Mark and Matthew presuppose the first generation of Christians are dead.
It could be the destruction of the Jewish Temple, aka the Olivet Discourse. This, however, is only an event of tragedy to the Jews and does not parallel well with Daniel.
Which leaves the Bar Kochba Revolt, which was sparked when a Roman Temple and statues were erected on the site where the Temple once stood. This is a tragedy to the Jews and parallels with Daniel perfectly.

"He then says Bar Kochba was attributed with doing miracles. Again, we see no sources"

You might want to look at the section that says "Sources"...
Included in there is the academic paper by Dr. Detering that details this exact thing.

"and what's worse is that the Antichrist is supposed to literally claim to be God and sit in the Holy Temple, create a one world government"

This is appealing to other writings than what is specifically being talked about. It presupposes that there existed a unified Christianity to have these unified ideals. The authors of Mark and Matthew do not necessarily have to hold the same views as the authors of the other books.

"My opponent claims that the Gospel of Matthew says the Antichrist will do deceitful wonders, but the only thing deceitful is this very claim, as the Gospel of Matthew does not say this"

Matthew 24:24 specifically says that the Antichrist will perform deceitful wonders.
Matthew 24:23 also says that the antichrist will say that he is the Christ, and uses the exact same words that are attributed to Bar Kochba.

"According to my opponent, the Transfiguration only makes sense if the Apostles died. Now, what's the problem with this? He completely fabricated it, such a thing has no implication whatsoever."

Not even close. I said that the Transfiguration is offering a reinterpretation from earlier Christianity. There is evidence within early Christian sources, like Paul and even some remnants in Mark, that the coming of the kingdom of God was taught to be coming in the lifetime of those that heard of it from Jesus, the first generation. The only reason to reinterpret this is if the first generation has died out.

"He gives us no reference to where Matthew makes it seem as if these titles are common, he gives us no evidence that it actually became common in the second century, and the idea that it can't be first century because we don't have surviving records on it is an Argument from Silence."

Matthew uses these terms without ever explaining what these mean to the audience, which presupposes that they know what these terms are. This presupposes that these terms are common. There are also indications that sitting on the seat of Moses was common as well.
We also see from many documents that talk about first century Judaism that sitting on the seat of Moses was not common.
And arguments from silence in historical studies are not things that can just be dismissed out of hand.

"He then accuses Mark and Matthew of using material from Josephus, again, without any evidence."

I never said Mark or Matthew used Josephus, but Luke-Acts, and saying not a single historian thinks that is true is simply ridiculous as it is the views of the Acts-Seminar, a group of historians who specialize in the field.
http://advancementofsciencesociety.weebly.com...

"The next ridiculous thing my opponent says is that John references the Samaritan Temple (again, he gives us no reference to the Gospel of John to prove this), and concludes John was written in the second century. Now, let's pretend for a second John references this. It is still irrelevant, as we know the Samaritan Temple existed since at least 500 BC [5], and thus anyone from the 1st century AD could easily reference it as it would have existed for many centuries."

John 4:21 has Jesus talking to a Samaritan women and telling them:
that the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the father.

It is strongly implied that the mountain in question is Mount Gerizim.
The first Temple was destroyed in the 2nd century BCE, as pointed out in your own source.
The second temple finished reconstruction around 140CE.

"He says Papias cannot be used as evidence, as he references Matthew wrote his Gospel in the original Hebrew, however internal evidence shows Matthew wrote in the original Greek."

Simply wishing away reality does not make it go away.
There are many examples of phrases that work in Greek but lose their meaning in Hebrew (similar to how the Peter Piper alliteration loses meaning in Spanish). For one example, there is a petra/petros wordplay in Matthew16:18 that works in Greek but not in Hebrew.

"For example, the Gospel of Matthew is directed to a Jewish audience , but after the Roman Jewish War of 70 AD, the Jews were completely removed and scattered. Thus, Matthew could only have written it to his audience if he was writing before 70 AD."

Except that Matthew was intended for a Jewish audience in the sense that it taught that the Law was to be kept, contrary to other forms of Christianity. Jews also were not really all that scattered after 70CE.

"Secondly, Clement of Rome, around 95 AD, tells us Paul was martyred for his faith."

Except that 1 Clement is anonymous, there is no reason to suspect that it was actually written by Clement, and has a range of dates from the late 1st to mid 2nd century.

"However, the Book of Acts documents through Paul's life, and it ends with him living in Rome for 2 years, proclaiming Christ [15]. This means that Acts must be before 95 AD. Also, we also know Paul died 67 AD [16], and thus that would put Acts before 67 AD. Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all written before Acts, meaning all the Gospels are extremely early."

Non-sequitor. The author of Acts could have known about 1 Clement's existence but disagreed with it. There is no real reason to suspect that Paul was martyred.
We also have no reason to suspect that the death of Paul was all that relevant to the author of Acts and his intended purpose.
If we suspect that the tradition of Paul's death is true, then there would be reason to leave it out (Acts is intended for a Roman audience, Paul is traditionally thought to have been killed by the Romans).

Furthermore, just because it does not explicitly talk about the death of Paul doesn't mean it doesn't hint at it.
Acts 20:25"38 hints that Paul was dead.
Furthermore, this does not make the other points for late dating the Gospels to just go away.

"Thus, as we have seen, the claim of later imposters writing in the name of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John is unwarranted and without evidence, and contradicts all our early historical attestation."

Except that isn't the debate topic. It was already conceded by you that the authors are anonymous, so it isn't later imposters, it is false attribution. Furthermore, we know that church figures got things wrong (many said Hebrews was by Paul!). These documents are too late, anonymous, etc.

All sources used are same as previous round.
Debate Round No. 3
xXKorvexiusXx

Con

My opponent makes a number of errors that are in need of correction. Let us analyze his text.

First, my opponent says that the Abomination of Desolation (desolating sacrilege) is the erection of the Zeus statue in 160 AD. This is ridiculously errorful. The erection of the Zeus statue in 160 AD completely fails the Daniel prophecy quoted by Matthew and Mark, which is the fact that the world must end within 5 years of the Abomination of Desolation [1], and this did not happen within 5 years of the Zeus statue. There can be no connection. Furthermore, this connection is spuriously vague at best, as statues were always being built. So we can see it fails for two incontestable reasons.

Mark and Matthew do not presuppose the first generation of Christians are dead -- rather imply that they are alive by referencing them throughout scripture. All Gospels are a biography of 30-33 AD of Jesus ministry, and reference nothing more.

Now, it can be entirely refuted that the Gospels can possibly date after the first century, as Ignatius, who died around 103 AD and wrote in the last first century quotes both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke [2], Clement of Rome in the first century quotes Matthew and Mark [3]. We have a fragment of the Gospel of John dating towards 120 AD [4], confirmed through paleography and papyrology, with an absolutely maximized date of 135 AD, and thus is inconceivably close to the original from about 96 AD, and we even have a fragment of the Gospel of Mark from 90 AD [5], which was confirmed by over three dozen Scholars dating it (notably including the renowned Craig Evans) completely refuting any idea that these Gospels are late and out of the lifetime of the Apostles .

My opponent attempts to dispute that Clement of Rome was written in the first century by claiming that it has dates of ranging far into the second century, however people who hold this view are minuscule in the academic community, the consensus is in fact 95-96 AD, and the dating is undeniable as we have clear evidence for it being dated to this. This is because Clement of Rome references a Roman widespread persecution of Christians, that was after Nero. Scholars have concluded this was under the persecution under Domitian, who died 95-96 AD, and thus our verifiable evidence strongly issues that it was written from 95-96 AD [6].

While I'm on the topic of Clement -- my opponent says we have no reason to believe Paul was martyred, but that is ridiculous. To date, virtually all existing Scholars attest to Paul's martyrdom, as it has the highest evidence of any martyrdom out there. Virtually all early Church writers, including Clement from the first century [7] reference Paul's death.

Next, my opponent continues to reinstate that Bar Kochba was said to do miracles. There is one major problem however. My opponent seems to think that because Bar Kochba died in 130 AD, that the myth of miracles he did also dates to 130 AD, however this is highly in error. The only two ancient documents that attribute miracles to Bar Kochba are the Book of Ezra and Jerome, Against Rufinus [8]. This is extremely problematic, as Against Rufinus dates to the FIFTH century [9], and the Book of Ezra nearly the MID-FIFTH century [10]. These myths could not possibly date to the time of the Gospels, and thus doing something as ridiculous as trying the date of the Gospels with the life of Bar Kochba is erroneous. To validate these myths as early, they must be from the seocnd century, but as we have seen, this is simply not true. We have very early references to Bar Kochba such as from Justin Martyr and Eusebius, and yet they say nothing on Bar's miracles, showing this to be a likely fourth century invention. One could try to interpret the Babylonian Talmud in Ta'anit to claiming miracles with Bar, but it also dates from the 4th-6th century [11]. The dates of Matthew and Mark are incompatible in dating with Bar Kochba's mythologies.

My opponent says that because the audience of Matthew knows what rabbis are, and thus Matthew does not explain what they are, it therefore means that rabbis are shown as common in Matthew. However, this is false, Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience as I have shown in my previous arguments, and a Jewish audience would be easily familiar with what a rabbi is. Furthermore, to assume Matthew would explain what a rabbi is, is simply ridiculous. The Gospel of Matthew is a Graceo-Roman Biography, not a first century definition sheet.

My opponent claims that again, Luke-Acts uses Josephus material, but if you go to his source, there are a number of problems. One, it both admits that the author of this is not an expert, and that this hypothesis is not accepted in the Scholarly community. Secondly, it even quotes the following;

"Now, story parallels alone do not prove that Luke used Josephus, but that isn"t all that is
available to us."

Thus, without conclusive evidence, we can entirely reject it. Furthermore, we have no reason to believe it wasn't Josephus who used Luke-Acts rather than the other way around. Implying it must be Luke-Acts from Josephus is unwarranted and unjustified. Last, this is not peer-reviewed, and one of shis links sources is Richard Carrier, who is one of the most repudiated Scholars in the academic field for his bad work and has no professorship whatsoever in any academic institution.

He uses John 4:21 to prove John references a Samaritan Temple on Mount Gezirim, but this literally only references a talk with a Samaritan women about worshipping devilish things on a mountain. The appearance of a 'temple' is non-existent, it's a fabrication, and no one should take this seriously. Once again, a fragment of John dates to 120 AD, and my opponent even says that the temple he is talking about was constructed in 140 AD, and so by no stretch of the imagination is there a connection.

My opponent claims Papias from 120 AD cannot confirm Matthew's authorship because petros/petra does not work in hebrew in Matthew 16:18. First of all my opponent has no rebuttal for Papias confirming Mark's authorship as well. Secondly, both Petros and Petra have a Hebrew equivalent [12] and I have not seen any Scholarly papers showing this is impossible.

Conclusion: The overwhelming evidence suggests that the authorship of the traditional Gospels is accurate. We have seen from my original post that the entire early Church unanimously attributes these writings to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, with no variation in authorship, and it even is able to identify forgeries in the name of Apostles [13] such as the Laodicians and the Alexandrians text, thus showing they are very credible on this. My opponents rebuttal draws down to saying they cannot be the authors as the writings are too late, but as we have seen, this is based on 5th century mythology, a fabricated mention of a 'temple' in John 4:21, and a disregard of first century quotations of these Gospels and manuscripts from 90 AD of the Gospel of Mark and 120 AD for the Gospel of John. Vote Pro.

1. https://www.biblegateway.com...
2. http://www.ntcanon.org...
3. http://www.biblequery.org...
4. https://www.jw.org...
5. https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org...
6. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com...
7. http://www.ccel.org...
8. http://www.livius.org...
9. http://www.fourthcentury.com...
10. https://www.insight.org...
11. https://www.britannica.com...
12. http://www.jesusandtheprofessor.com...
13. http://www.ntcanon.org...
SNP1

Pro

"First, my opponent says that the Abomination of Desolation (desolating sacrilege) is the erection of the Zeus statue in 160 AD"

Never said this. Complete strawman.
Daniel refers to the erection of a Zeus Statue centuries before the Gospels.
The Synoptic Apocalypse refers to the construction of a Roman Temple and Statues around 130CE.

"Mark and Matthew do not presuppose the first generation of Christians are dead -- rather imply that they are alive by referencing them throughout scripture. All Gospels are a biography of 30-33 AD of Jesus ministry, and reference nothing more."

They write about the supposed life of someone from 30-33CE, but they also add much to the stories.
All that has happened to refute this point is saying "no it isn't!", meaning that no real argument has been given.

" Ignatius, who died around 103 AD and wrote in the last first century quotes both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke"

Ignatius' supposed quotations of Matthew are too poor to actually be able to determine if it is accurate.
Luke could easily have quoted Ignatius instead of the other way around.
Furthermore, it is entirely possible that these references, or all of the Ignatian Epistles, are interpolations[1].

"Clement of Rome in the first century quotes Matthew and Mark"

Which assumes that it was written by Clement and during the 1st century. This has not been substantiated yet.

"We have a fragment of the Gospel of John dating towards 120 AD [4], confirmed through paleography and papyrology, with an absolutely maximized date of 135 AD"

Which was later redated more accurately to being from between 125-175CE. Even then,
"The original editor proposed a date range of 100-150 CE; while a recent exercise by Pasquale Orsini and Willy Clarysse, aiming to generate consistent revised date estimates for all New Testament papyri written before the mid-fourth century, has proposed a date for P52 of 125-175 CE. But a few scholars say that considering the difficulty of fixing the date of a fragment based solely on paleographic evidence allows the possibility of dates outside these range estimates, such that "any serious consideration of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later second and early third centuries.""[2].

"and we even have a fragment of the Gospel of Mark from 90 AD, which was confirmed by over three dozen Scholars dating it (notably including the renowned Craig Evans) completely refuting any idea that these Gospels are late and out of the lifetime of the Apostles ."

Except that the supposed fragment from this time has only had these claims made, nothing through academia. No one knows what the fragment says, what it looks like, and there is no real confirmation of its date.

"Next, my opponent continues to reinstate that Bar Kochba was said to do miracles. There is one major problem however. My opponent seems to think that because Bar Kochba died in 130 AD, that the myth of miracles he did also dates to 130 AD, however this is highly in error."

Here it is assumed that when a document is written is when that information originated. There is strong evidence that the sources of Bar Kochba's miracles used early traditions.

Furthermore, this ignores other reasons to place this at the time of Bar Kochba.

"My opponent says that because the audience of Matthew knows what rabbis are, and thus Matthew does not explain what they are, it therefore means that rabbis are shown as common in Matthew. However, this is false, Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience as I have shown in my previous arguments, and a Jewish audience would be easily familiar with what a rabbi is. "

Only in the 2nd century. Rabbinical Judaism started at the end of the 1st century, after the destruction of the Jewish Temple. It was not widespread until the 2nd century, even among Jewish circles. So, for gMatt to assume his audience knows what a Rabbi is, and other Rabbinical Judaism traditions, means that it is written in the 2nd century.

"My opponent claims that again, Luke-Acts uses Josephus material, but if you go to his source, there are a number of problems. One, it both admits that the author of this is not an expert, and that this hypothesis is not accepted in the Scholarly community. "

Completely misrepresentation here. It is, actually, accepted by the scholarly community as both my initial source comes from a PhD historian and the 2nd, which has a table detailing some of the parallel areas, uses a source from a PhD historian.

"Furthermore, we have no reason to believe it wasn't Josephus who used Luke-Acts rather than the other way around."

This connection is not reversible at all.
Josephus tends to get information correct and Luke puts information in the order that Josephus used, but gets things wrong.
For one example (out of the many times things like this happened), Josephus is the first person to use the word "sicarii" to refer to Jewish revolutionaries.
He writes of three different events in the order of:
1) Describing the sicarii
2) Some deceivers persuaded the masses to follow them into the desert
3) The Egyptian led a multitude to the Mount of Olives
All of these are historically accurate events.
Luke then combines all of these into one account, by saying that the Egyptian lead a massive amount of sicarii into the desert.
If Josephus used Luke, it doesn't show here. If they each came up with this on their own, there are too many coincidences. If Luke-Acts used Josephus, then it makes perfect sense.

"He uses John 4:21 to prove John references a Samaritan Temple on Mount Gezirim, but this literally only references a talk with a Samaritan women about worshipping devilish things on a mountain."

Worship on a mountain when gJohn heavily implies this mountain is Mount Gerizim.
Where would one go to worship on said mountain?

"My opponent claims Papias from 120 AD cannot confirm Matthew's authorship because petros/petra does not work in hebrew in Matthew 16:18. First of all my opponent has no rebuttal for Papias confirming Mark's authorship as well. Secondly, both Petros and Petra have a Hebrew equivalent"

There is a Hebrew equivalent, but the verse loses its meaning. Just like the "Peter Piper" alliteration can be translated into Spanish word-for-word, but it loses its meaning.

________

He also dropped my argument about how both of the supposed eye-witnesses used the non-eye-witness as sources.
He has misrepresented my arguments numerous times in which I have had to correct him.
He even has tried insulting my sources, once by insulting Dr. Carrier (which was only a source of a source), but uses sources from Christian Apologetic sites, which have a bias for the conclusion he is arguing.
He doesn't even attempt to refute certain arguments, like the gMatt being Greek, except by saying that it CAN be translated into Hebrew so it was Hebrew, ignoring all the reasons it is said to originally be in Greek.

I have successfully refuted the arguments he has presented while many of mine still stand.
Vote for me.

___________________

Sources:
[1] http://vridar.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jerry947 6 months ago
Jerry947
I am half way done with my vote. This is honestly a hard one for me to write...
Posted by xXKorvexiusXx 6 months ago
xXKorvexiusXx
I read your link -- and it clearly showed that two people advocated a post-120 AD dating, and that ALL KNOWN dating and stylistic comparisons validate 120 AD, or earlier. YOUR LINK showed that P. Fayum 110 was the most parallel manuscript to P52, and its directly from 94 AD.

There are NO SOURCES a earlier than the 5th century confirmed to advocate Bar Kochba miracles.

There is NO INDICATION of the Gospels that the first generation Christians died, or that the mountain in John in ANY WAY was Mount Gezirim. I have read these, you are just fanatically quoting non-credible sources.

YOUR LINK, not mines, YOUR LINK on the connection between Josephus and Luke admitted that this is not at all well accelted by academics.

I HAVE SHOWN with hard evidence Clememt dates to 95-96 AD, and you not only did not address it, you acted as if it DIDNT EXISTS, and after that, you EVEN CLAIMED I did not post it when anyone can go back to my comments to see it, as I personally made sure that I did post it before accusing you.

The Ignatius quote was very clear, there is no indication of the abomination of desolation to the Zeus statue (world didnt end), etc, etc, etc. Why can you not recognize the CLEAR FALSEHOODS and RIDICULOUSLY UNSCHOLARLY position you are holding to?

Indeed -- I hope Envisage is aware of these many things, it's really funny how my "tactics" are usually your very sources.
Posted by SNP1 6 months ago
SNP1
@xXKorvexiusXx

Keep misrepresenting the facts. I fcking quoted my source about redating the p52 fragment, and you saying it is nowhere in there.

Honestly, this is just complete dishonest bvllsht.

@Envisage

As you can probably tell, this isn't my best debate. I kinda stopped putting much effort in it after I realized the tactics xXKorvexiusXx was using.
Posted by Envisage 6 months ago
Envisage
I have read most of this debate, expect a vote from me in the next 24h, currently in Turkish class.
Posted by xXKorvexiusXx 6 months ago
xXKorvexiusXx
Wow, I was disappointed to see a number of lies.

Again, no evidence in existence this is the Zeus statue, statues were always being built and I have debunked it could be the Zeus statue as the world did not end within 5 years of the Zsus statue.

You say I give no argument that the Gospels do not imply that the first generation is dead, but the burden of proof is obviously on you to show it has this implication.

Ignatius quotations are poor? LOL! They are extremely and conclusively clear. No one doubts this, this is pure deception. Luke/Mark cannot be quoting from Ignatius as their statements are within the complete juncture of their context, however Ignatius' statement in context of what he said is literally a quotation and an off the cuff remark within the contexts juncture, this is ridiculous.

You say I just assumed Clememt is first century which is of course a complete lie, and we both know this, as I conclusively proven that it must date to 95-96 AD because of its major correlation in time with Domitians Christian persecution, in which Domitian died 95-96 AD. There is no question here.

You say P52 was redated from 125-175 AD -- I checked your source, and this is another complete mistruth. No such thing happened, no such dating exists to put it after 120 AD, just the words of two guys who have applied no testing whatsoever. Their assertions are inconsequential, this is obviously early, as your own link proves by showing its closest parallel is P. Fayum 110, a 94 AD manuscript, MUCH more in parallel than the Illiad.

You say that Marks 90 AD fragment has not been published. This is ridiculous, it's a lie, we HAVE deduced mosg of its letters and exactly what it says, we know beyond a reasonable doubt it is Mark, and the dating of 90 AD, confirmed by three dozen scholars in academic dating tests is unquestioned by anyone -- in other words it is absolute.

A lot more nonsense. For example, I exposed that Bar Kochbas earliest miracles are from the 4
Posted by xXKorvexiusXx 6 months ago
xXKorvexiusXx
Now, I don't want to turn the comment section into a debate, but I will address this. Firstly, even if I completely accepted the datings of all Gospels from 70-96 AD, it would still madly contradict you, and it is still hypothetically within the lifetime off he Apostls, there is no case here. Also, my source was just that, a reference to the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gezirim, the page is even titled "Mount Gezirim", I don't think there is even a second Samaritan Temple in the first place.

You say that some verses in Matthew literally cannot be put in Hebrew -- this is absolutely nonsensical, the Hebrew language isn't some 10 worded dialect, the entire Old Testament and all its sayings (which are far more complex than Matthew) is in Hebrew, and all our early attestation says Hebrew, in fact, Matthew was even writing for a Jewish audience! This is very obvious.

It seems I was wrong about what Matthew says, however, I looked into Bar Kochba (http://www.livius.org......), and this is amazingly problematic. One, he thought himself as the Messiah rather than God, did not sit in the Holy Temple, and even lost and died in the revolt he waged. He was only attributed to doing a single miracle (breathing fire), but the worst problem is that these myths on Kochba comes from the FIFTH CENTURY, these obviously could not have possibly existed anytime near the Gospels, this is an insane argument. If you seriously wish to pursu Bat Kochba in your rebuttal, know that there is clearly no argument.

Mark and Matthew were not quoting any Zeus Statue but they were quoting from the Book of Daniel from 530 BC. In order for any event to qualify as the Abomination of Desolation the world must literally end within 5 years of that event. I believe the maximum is exactly 1,355 days from Daniel 12 (give or tak 10 days). The world is obviously still here.
Posted by xXKorvexiusXx 6 months ago
xXKorvexiusXx
As for the Terminus Ante Quem, again, no argument, the earliestbreference to a document means nothing. Thucydides is first attributed his work 200 years after he wrote it, and Tacitus work of Annals comes a staggering 300 years after. All Gospels have superior attestation yet no one questions the early datings of Thucydides and Tacitus.

The idea that any synoptic gospel was written after 90 AD is simple ludicrous even to 99% of secular Historians. Maurice Kasey, an Atheist dates Mark as early as 40 AD. To claim this is apologetic is absolutely ridiculous. Ask Bart Ehrman or any credible Historian with peer review, your datings are pure lunacy.
Posted by xXKorvexiusXx 6 months ago
xXKorvexiusXx
Now, I don't want to turn the comment section into a debate, but I will address this. Firstly, even if I completely accepted the datings of all Gospels from 70-96 AD, it would still madly contradict you, and it is still hypothetically within the lifetime off he Apostls, there is no case here. Also, my source was just that, a reference to the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gezirim, the page is even titled "Mount Gezirim", I don't think there is even a second Samaritan Temple in the first place.

You say that some verses in Matthew literally cannot be put in Hebrew -- this is absolutely nonsensical, the Hebrew language isn't some 10 worded dialect, the entire Old Testament and all its sayings (which are far more complex than Matthew) is in Hebrew, and all our early attestation says Hebrew, in fact, Matthew was even writing for a Jewish audience! This is very obvious.

It seems I was wrong about what Matthew says, however, I looked into Bar Kochba (http://www.livius.org...), and this is amazingly problematic. One, he thought himself as the Messiah rather than God, did not sit in the Holy Temple, and even lost and died in the revolt he waged. He was only attributed to doing a single miracle (breathing fire), but the worst problem is that these myths on Kochba comes from the FIFTH CENTURY, these obviously could not have possibly existed anytime near the Gospels, this is an insane argument. If you seriously wish to pursu Bat Kochba in your rebuttal, know that there is clearly no argument.

Mark and Matthew were not quoting any Zeus Statue but they were quoting from the Book of Daniel from 530 BC. In order for any event to qualify as the Abomination of Desolation the world must literally end within 5 years of that event. I believe the maximum is exactly 1,355 days from Daniel 12 (give or tak 10 days). The world is obviously still here.
Posted by SNP1 6 months ago
SNP1
"Lastly, even if you wanted to go after my dating of the Gospels, to the maximum credible dating whatsoever at 75-80 AD, it is still within the lifetime of the Apostles mentioned, simple as daylight."

Not even close to true. Many scholars are placing Luke-Acts in the 2nd century since the Acts Seminar's last publication (though, early 2nd for most).

Furthermore, the Terminus Ante Quem for Mark and Matthew is with Justin Martyr's reference, placing it around 150CE, for Luke it is Ireneaus' reference around 180CE.
This means that that is how late they can be dated.
The Terminus Post Quem is 65-70CE, meaning they come after then.
The "credible datings" are not with 75-80CE at latest, that is utter ridiculousness that I have only seen from apologetics.
Posted by SNP1 6 months ago
SNP1
"Scholars out the three Synoptic Gospels around 65-70 AD, "
No, scholars place Mark at 70, Matthew at 80, and Luke at 90, not "65-70" for all of them.

Also, do you know English or do you just read every few words? I never said your sources were from Ehrman's blogs or academicbiblical. Read it again. Even in your newest round you misrepresent what I said. You seem to read every other word.

"Many of your accusations are utterly ridiculous, as I've shown. There is no internal evidence Matthew is Greek, both Iraenius and Papias say it is Hebrew, Paul talks about the Antichrit doing deceitful wonders, not Matthew, the Samaritan Temple existed far before the 1st century, the idea that the Abominatiom of Desolation is the Jewisu revolt of 130 AD is nonsensical, as the world is literally supposed to end under 5 years after the Desolation (Daniel 12), etc, etc, etc."

There are many phrases in Matthew which do not work when in Hebrew, they are Greek in origin.
The Samartin Temple on Mount Gerizim, not just the "Samaritan Temple", was the one I mentioned and it was not constructed until 140CE.
Also, Matt24:24
"For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
So, ya, Matthew mentions it clearly.
And when a phrase about an event is made to parallel another event, it is almost always because the events are similar. This is basics in historical studies. The only time we see reference in scripture to the Desolating Sacrilege is when there was the construction of the statue of Zeus. The best parallels for this would be the Caligula Crisis in 40CE (which is required in order to date Mark before 65CE) or the erection of the Roman Temple and Statues that sparked the Bar Kochba Revolt (130CE).
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jerry947 6 months ago
Jerry947
xXKorvexiusXxSNP1Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: My RFD is here: http://www.debate.org/forums/religion/topic/91908/ Feel free to contact me if there are any questions.