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A Question to Christians

bluesteel
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5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
TrueScotsman
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5/7/2014 4:57:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.


Judaism and Christianity hold to the position that God speaks through human representatives, and in the NT it was Jesus and his apostles whom he gave authority to.

I don't think the gospels are inerrant, but I do think there is reason to believe that the general events happened and that there was a man named Jesus who was thought to be the Messiah.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea.

Better check your history on this one. Absolutely false. The Council of Nicaea was to address the issue of Arianism, the divinity of Jesus. Whether he is functionally or ontologically subordinate to the Father.

The Synod of Hippo is where the Canon was primarily discussed which was after the major codices were formed which basically has our modern Canon. They discussed and there was some disagreement among the last books contained in our modern Bibles, but there was pretty clear consensus and agreement upon which books belong based upon their content and authorship.

There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded.

There were many Gnostic writings that were rejected. No surprise.

Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages.

You ignore the fact that there is a criterion for what constitutes as being part of the Canon, it's not like they randomly selected some and rejected others. Have you actually studied the history regarding the Canon?

So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

It doesn't seem clear you *know* much of anything regarding the composition of the Bible to be frank.
bluesteel
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5/7/2014 5:09:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:57:38 PM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:


So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

It doesn't seem clear you *know* much of anything regarding the composition of the Bible to be frank.

lol, it wouldn't be called a question if I already knew the answer. I appreciate the foregoing history. But you didn't answer the last question.

I'm curious -- who decided what writings went into Luke, for example?

Who specifically decided which writings to include in the Bible? Did any of them claim to have been divinely inspired or to have heard the word of God?

In what passages does Jesus authorize the apostles to make divinely inspired law? Is it a passage that actually comes from a first-hand account of a sermon by Jesus?

Do you believe that Timothy was actually a letter written by Paul? If so, How do you respond to the historical consensus against this?

Assuming that Paul could speak for Jesus because he was "authorized" to speak for him as the first pope, does that mean that everything subsequent popes say is the word of God? Why are modern acts by religious leaders not divinely inspired, but whoever compiled the Bible was? If modern religious leaders are all divinely inspired, what does that say about Catholic priests who rape boys? Is that divine inspiration?
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
neutral
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5/7/2014 5:10:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

Prophets?
bluesteel
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5/7/2014 5:13:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:57:38 PM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
The Synod of Hippo is where the Canon was primarily discussed which was after the major codices were formed which basically has our modern Canon. They discussed and there was some disagreement among the last books contained in our modern Bibles, but there was pretty clear consensus and agreement upon which books belong based upon their content and authorship.

also, which books almost didn't make the cut and why?
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Sswdwm
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5/7/2014 5:31:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

IIRC, the Gospel of John made it into the canon by just a single vote, simply because it disagreed so much with the others, as well as it's claims to the divinity of Jesus that the other 3 synoptic gospels did not attest to.

Were the names if the gospels also decided then? Since they were all anonymously written. Moreover there were around 40 of them!
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Idealist
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5/7/2014 5:36:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

I would agree with you up to the point of saying that not everything in the Bible is divinely inspired, but that doesn't mean that none of it is. There is a very strong appeal to authenticity in the Gospels, for example. As Einstein noted during a 1929 interview in the Saturday Evening Post, "No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Note that Einstein never said that every word was true, just that the words pulsated with Jesus' personality. An intelligent person would not accept the Bible as a set of absolute truths, but they wouldn't totally dismiss it, either. Even the Council of Nicea retained actual portions of the Bible, even if they selectively decided which they would keep.
Romanii
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5/7/2014 5:48:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 5:43:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:33:23 PM, Romanii wrote:
Sig change.

I was just wondering about that. lol

About the debate?
Idealist
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5/7/2014 5:51:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 5:48:54 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:43:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:33:23 PM, Romanii wrote:
Sig change.

I was just wondering about that. lol

About the debate?

About the sig change.
Romanii
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5/7/2014 5:53:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 5:51:22 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:48:54 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:43:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:33:23 PM, Romanii wrote:
Sig change.

I was just wondering about that. lol

About the debate?

About the sig change.

Oh lol. Yeah I just wanted to advertise my latest debate :P
I'm almost certainly going to lose it though -_-
Sswdwm
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5/7/2014 5:55:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 5:53:06 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:51:22 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:48:54 PM, Romanii wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:43:27 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:33:23 PM, Romanii wrote:
Sig change.

I was just wondering about that. lol

About the debate?

About the sig change.

Oh lol. Yeah I just wanted to advertise my latest debate :P
I'm almost certainly going to lose it though -_-

Try harder!

And if you lose.... I will use Chuck Norris against you in our subsequent one..

You have be warned... Win.
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philochristos
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5/7/2014 6:01:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ha! The title should say, "Some Questions to Christians."

At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

What's that?

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God?

If God inspired the words of the Bible, or if the Holy Spirit moved people to write, and if they wrote exact what God intended them to write, then those words can be considered the words of God if they are not direct quotes from Jesus' sermons.

Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'.

You mean "How do you know""? It's because I think Paul was a legitimate apostle commissioned by Jesus himself.

How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that?

I think Paul wrote it. But even if he didn't, the attitude expressed there is pretty consistent with the attitude in the rest of the Bible about scripture.

There's no proof it came from Jesus.

I think the fact that the early Christians had a high view of scripture is good reason to think Jesus did, too.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea.

It wasn't. Why do people keep repeating this falsehood? The Council of Nicea did not address the subject of the canon.

There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

You make it sound like the canon was arbitrarily decided on by a group of random people, which isn't the case at all.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
TN05
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5/7/2014 6:04:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

It's called transcribing and divine intervention.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

To be honest, I don't know. I have faith that the Bible is innerent, but even if it wasn't the message remains the same. You don't have to believe everything in the Bible to believe Jesus died for the world's sins.
philochristos
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5/7/2014 6:07:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
bluesteel, you should check out The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Michael Kruger et al. It addresses a lot of the questions you're asking, including how the canon developed.

http://www.amazon.com...

Michael Kruger has another book about the canon that goes into more detail.

http://www.amazon.com...
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Martley
Posts: 126
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5/7/2014 7:10:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

Well I'll give you a crash course of the NT as I understand it.

There are a whole bunch writings that were left out of the bible cannon, most of the these were newer writings or known forgeries or were outside proto-orthodoxy. As the bible cannon came together, there was somewhat of a criteria that was forming. The cannon was not just chosen at random one day by a group of people, it was pretty much set long before the The Council of Nicea. The criteria was that the books had to be ancient (in others words not newer writings) and second they had to be apostolic. The traditional gospel authorship attributions were confirmed by early church fathers as having a close and well defined connection with the apostles and other first generation Christians... so the story goes.

The letters of Paul had been collected by about 80 AD. These includes the Church epistles, the pastoral epistles, and a personal letter. The pastoral epistles (Timothy and Titus) were written last and most scholars believe there were not written by Paul himself, there are also other Church epistles that scholars have called into question.

The Heretic Marcion produced one of the earliest collections of writing we know of around 150 AD. It included Pauls letters (minus the pastoral epistles) and a gospel (believed to be Luke or something very much like it).

Shortly after Marcions list others began compiling works also. Irenaus (120-190AD), who was a disciple of Polycarp (the 2nd century bishop of Smyrna, and disciple of the apostle John) wrote:

"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia"

Irenaus produced a list of writings that included our gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John along with the Book of Acts, Pauls letters and Revelations. So our known books of the New Testament was pretty much set by the end of the 2nd Century.

The 3rd Century was basically a general consensus forming around this orthodox ideology

The 4th Century set our bible cannon in stone and its been that way ever since.
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Christian_Debater
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5/7/2014 8:04:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

This is very simple. First off all, you are simplifying the history of Christianity. I would do research on Protestanism and how many Protestants died preserving the scriptures of the Bible from being changed, or how people risked their lives to prove the Catholic doctrine was incorrect.

Besides that, there are a few Bible quotes for you.

Psalm 12:6-7 [God promises to preserve his word)
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 [Nobody should add or take away from his word]
Proverbs 30:5-6 [God cares about all of his words, and do not add onto them]
Mark 13:31 [Gods word will never pass away]
Revelation 22:18-19 [Anyone who adds to his word is in big trouble]
Galatians 1:6-9 [There is only 1 true gospel]

Need any more information. just ask.
bluesteel
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5/7/2014 9:03:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 8:04:22 PM, Christian_Debater wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

This is very simple. First off all, you are simplifying the history of Christianity. I would do research on Protestanism and how many Protestants died preserving the scriptures of the Bible from being changed, or how people risked their lives to prove the Catholic doctrine was incorrect.

Besides that, there are a few Bible quotes for you.

Psalm 12:6-7 [God promises to preserve his word)
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 [Nobody should add or take away from his word]
Proverbs 30:5-6 [God cares about all of his words, and do not add onto them]
Mark 13:31 [Gods word will never pass away]
Revelation 22:18-19 [Anyone who adds to his word is in big trouble]
Galatians 1:6-9 [There is only 1 true gospel]

Need any more information. just ask.

How can Galatians be correct that there is only *one* true gospel when at the time it was written, there were multiple books/gospels.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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5/7/2014 9:06:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 5:36:01 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

I would agree with you up to the point of saying that not everything in the Bible is divinely inspired, but that doesn't mean that none of it is. There is a very strong appeal to authenticity in the Gospels, for example. As Einstein noted during a 1929 interview in the Saturday Evening Post, "No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Note that Einstein never said that every word was true, just that the words pulsated with Jesus' personality. An intelligent person would not accept the Bible as a set of absolute truths, but they wouldn't totally dismiss it, either. Even the Council of Nicea retained actual portions of the Bible, even if they selectively decided which they would keep.

I agree. I probably should have clarified that I meant a question to literalists: how can you believe that every word is divinely inspired, when men could have left certain words out or added additional ones in when the "Bible" was created.

I think the position is more defensible that Jesus was divine, but that you can't necessarily trust anything written by anyone else as "the inerrant word of God."
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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5/7/2014 9:08:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 7:10:48 PM, Martley wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

Well I'll give you a crash course of the NT as I understand it.

There are a whole bunch writings that were left out of the bible cannon, most of the these were newer writings or known forgeries or were outside proto-orthodoxy. As the bible cannon came together, there was somewhat of a criteria that was forming. The cannon was not just chosen at random one day by a group of people, it was pretty much set long before the The Council of Nicea. The criteria was that the books had to be ancient (in others words not newer writings) and second they had to be apostolic. The traditional gospel authorship attributions were confirmed by early church fathers as having a close and well defined connection with the apostles and other first generation Christians... so the story goes.

The letters of Paul had been collected by about 80 AD. These includes the Church epistles, the pastoral epistles, and a personal letter. The pastoral epistles (Timothy and Titus) were written last and most scholars believe there were not written by Paul himself, there are also other Church epistles that scholars have called into question.

The Heretic Marcion produced one of the earliest collections of writing we know of around 150 AD. It included Pauls letters (minus the pastoral epistles) and a gospel (believed to be Luke or something very much like it).

Shortly after Marcions list others began compiling works also. Irenaus (120-190AD), who was a disciple of Polycarp (the 2nd century bishop of Smyrna, and disciple of the apostle John) wrote:

"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia"

Irenaus produced a list of writings that included our gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John along with the Book of Acts, Pauls letters and Revelations. So our known books of the New Testament was pretty much set by the end of the 2nd Century.

The 3rd Century was basically a general consensus forming around this orthodox ideology

The 4th Century set our bible cannon in stone and its been that way ever since.

Thanks for the detailed response; it was very helpful in better understanding the process. Do you think you could expand on how particular gospels were arranged? Who put a bunch of stories/writing together to be "the gospel of Luke." Is it thougth that Luke wrote everything in that gospel, or was it thought to be his followers and stories about his teachings? Same for the others -- Mathew, John, etc.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Christian_Debater
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5/7/2014 9:16:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 9:06:14 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:36:01 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

I would agree with you up to the point of saying that not everything in the Bible is divinely inspired, but that doesn't mean that none of it is. There is a very strong appeal to authenticity in the Gospels, for example. As Einstein noted during a 1929 interview in the Saturday Evening Post, "No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Note that Einstein never said that every word was true, just that the words pulsated with Jesus' personality. An intelligent person would not accept the Bible as a set of absolute truths, but they wouldn't totally dismiss it, either. Even the Council of Nicea retained actual portions of the Bible, even if they selectively decided which they would keep.

I agree. I probably should have clarified that I meant a question to literalists: how can you believe that every word is divinely inspired, when men could have left certain words out or added additional ones in when the "Bible" was created.

I think the position is more defensible that Jesus was divine, but that you can't necessarily trust anything written by anyone else as "the inerrant word of God."

That isn't what it means.

It means if someone teaches against what is taught in the gospel. The gospel is what Christ taught, and what he did.

So basically, claiming Jesus had a wife [which there was a news thing on it that recently proved itself to be wrong] would fall under what Galatians 1:6-9 is saying.

Did the other verses help you?
Idealist
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5/7/2014 9:42:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 9:06:14 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 5/7/2014 5:36:01 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

I would agree with you up to the point of saying that not everything in the Bible is divinely inspired, but that doesn't mean that none of it is. There is a very strong appeal to authenticity in the Gospels, for example. As Einstein noted during a 1929 interview in the Saturday Evening Post, "No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Note that Einstein never said that every word was true, just that the words pulsated with Jesus' personality. An intelligent person would not accept the Bible as a set of absolute truths, but they wouldn't totally dismiss it, either. Even the Council of Nicea retained actual portions of the Bible, even if they selectively decided which they would keep.

I agree. I probably should have clarified that I meant a question to literalists: how can you believe that every word is divinely inspired, when men could have left certain words out or added additional ones in when the "Bible" was created.

I think the position is more defensible that Jesus was divine, but that you can't necessarily trust anything written by anyone else as "the inerrant word of God."

Hmmm ... you seem to be one of the few people I've seen with the same view of this as I've developed over the years.
Martley
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5/7/2014 10:39:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 9:08:42 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 5/7/2014 7:10:48 PM, Martley wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

Well I'll give you a crash course of the NT as I understand it.

There are a whole bunch writings that were left out of the bible cannon, most of the these were newer writings or known forgeries or were outside proto-orthodoxy. As the bible cannon came together, there was somewhat of a criteria that was forming. The cannon was not just chosen at random one day by a group of people, it was pretty much set long before the The Council of Nicea. The criteria was that the books had to be ancient (in others words not newer writings) and second they had to be apostolic. The traditional gospel authorship attributions were confirmed by early church fathers as having a close and well defined connection with the apostles and other first generation Christians... so the story goes.

The letters of Paul had been collected by about 80 AD. These includes the Church epistles, the pastoral epistles, and a personal letter. The pastoral epistles (Timothy and Titus) were written last and most scholars believe there were not written by Paul himself, there are also other Church epistles that scholars have called into question.

The Heretic Marcion produced one of the earliest collections of writing we know of around 150 AD. It included Pauls letters (minus the pastoral epistles) and a gospel (believed to be Luke or something very much like it).

Shortly after Marcions list others began compiling works also. Irenaus (120-190AD), who was a disciple of Polycarp (the 2nd century bishop of Smyrna, and disciple of the apostle John) wrote:

"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia"

Irenaus produced a list of writings that included our gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John along with the Book of Acts, Pauls letters and Revelations. So our known books of the New Testament was pretty much set by the end of the 2nd Century.

The 3rd Century was basically a general consensus forming around this orthodox ideology

The 4th Century set our bible cannon in stone and its been that way ever since.

Thanks for the detailed response; it was very helpful in better understanding the process. Do you think you could expand on how particular gospels were arranged? Who put a bunch of stories/writing together to be "the gospel of Luke." Is it thougth that Luke wrote everything in that gospel, or was it thought to be his followers and stories about his teachings? Same for the others -- Mathew, John, etc.

Well I'm no scholar, but as I understand it... the book of Luke was attributed to "Luke" who was a follower of Paul. He is the author of both Luke and The Acts of Apostles, you can look at them as part 1 and part 2 of Luke"s story. Scholars attribute both of the books to the same author because they are written in the same style and seem to stress the same ideologies. In reality we don't really know exactly who "Luke" was. It is thought that Mark was the earliest Gospel written as Jesus divinity is a "secret", as later gospels were written Jesus becomes more and more overtly divine. In Luke, Jesus is reveled as the "Son of God" as an infant and he is overtly known to be divine from the beginning because unlike Mark, Luke has a birth story of Jesus. Of course Luke's birth story of Jesus is very different from Mathews birth story. Mark and John don"t have birth stores of Jesus, they start with Jesus as an adult. Luke stresses that Jesus's salvation comes to all people, not just jews.. in fact in Luke Jesus is rejected by the Jews.

Luke was written in Greek, about the same time as Mathew.

Since Mark pre-dated Luke, Luke has a copy of Mark as a source as did Mathew. For this reason Mathew, Mark and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels (meaning "seen together") Both Mathew and Luke used Mark as a source. Mathew and Luke also shared a, now lost, source known as "Q" which was a collection of the saying of Jesus. We know this because Both Mathew and Luke quote almost word for word saying of Jesus, meaning they were pulling from the same source. Both Mathew and Luke also quote Mark word for word, meaning they both had Mark as a source. But, there is no evidence that Mathew and Luke knew of each other.

So if you break down Luke's sources they look like this:

1. The Gospel of Mark, also used by Mathew
2. "Q", a list of the saying of Jesus that Mathew also had, and has been lost to history
3. "L" sources exclusive to Luke, in other words information that only Luke"s Gospel has.

Luke starts his Gospel:
"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught."

This is a sorta preface to to his Gospel, a basic summary of why he"s writing it. It is interesting for a few reasons. 1) This preface mimics the prefaces common among historians of the time writing works of history, so one can assume that Luke is interested in writing a more accurate history of Jesus. 2) Luke has in his possession a copy of Mark, so obviously Luke did not think Mark was an accurate account. 3) Luke tells us what his sources are, he attests that his sources were "eyewitnesses and ministers of the word", so he is saying he is using writings and oral accounts from eyewitnesses of Jesus.
Luke went on to write Acts of the Apostles, which is an account of the early church that take us up to Paul. Pauls Letters then make up the majority of the rest of the New Testament.
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philochristos
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5/7/2014 10:55:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 10:39:30 PM, Martley wrote:

Since Mark pre-dated Luke, Luke has a copy of Mark as a source as did Mathew. For this reason Mathew, Mark and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels (meaning "seen together") Both Mathew and Luke used Mark as a source. Mathew and Luke also shared a, now lost, source known as "Q" which was a collection of the saying of Jesus. We know this because Both Mathew and Luke quote almost word for word saying of Jesus, meaning they were pulling from the same source. Both Mathew and Luke also quote Mark word for word, meaning they both had Mark as a source. But, there is no evidence that Mathew and Luke knew of each other.

What Martley is explaining is the two-source hypothesis which is one among various solutions to the synoptic problem (the problem of figuring out how Matthew, Mark, and Luke are related in terms of literary dependence). The 2-source hypothesis is the most widely accepted hypothesis, but some people (including me) subscribe to the Farrer hypothesis. That's the view that Mark was written first, Matthew and Luke both used Mark as a source, and Luke also used Matthew as a source.

The reason I and other people (e.g. Mark Goodacre) subscribe to the Farrer hypothesis is because there actually is evidence that Luke knew Matthew. The evidence is in triple tradition (where the same material is found in all three gospels). In some of the triple tradition, there are major and minor agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark. That means Matthew and Luke both altered what Mark said, and they altered it in exactly the same way. There are one of three possible explanations:

1. Luke had a copy of Matthew and went with Matthew's wording instead of Mark's in some cases.

2. It's just a big coincidence that Matthew and Luke would both alter Mark in exactly the same way.

3. There is Mark/Q overlap, meaning that Mark and Q have much of the same material, and sometimes Matthew and Luke both choose Q's wording over Mark's.

#3 is unlikely because it would totally change the nature of Q, which is primarily a sayings source. It would mean that Q contains a passion narrative, for example. It would also make it impossible to reconstruct what Q said since any case of triple tradition could contain information from Q.

#2 is unlikely because there are just too many cases of major and minor agreements to brush off as coincidence. They're found in almost every example of triple tradition.

I think #1 is the best explanation. I don't think this argument can give us any certainty about the Farrer hypothesis, and there's still room for debate. I just wanted to mention that is some evidence that Luke used Matthew as a source and that some scholars do reject the 2-source hypothesis so you wouldn't get the impression from Martley's post that the 2-source hypothesis was the only game in town.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Martley
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5/7/2014 11:21:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 10:55:35 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 5/7/2014 10:39:30 PM, Martley wrote:

Since Mark pre-dated Luke, Luke has a copy of Mark as a source as did Mathew. For this reason Mathew, Mark and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels (meaning "seen together") Both Mathew and Luke used Mark as a source. Mathew and Luke also shared a, now lost, source known as "Q" which was a collection of the saying of Jesus. We know this because Both Mathew and Luke quote almost word for word saying of Jesus, meaning they were pulling from the same source. Both Mathew and Luke also quote Mark word for word, meaning they both had Mark as a source. But, there is no evidence that Mathew and Luke knew of each other.

What Martley is explaining is the two-source hypothesis which is one among various solutions to the synoptic problem (the problem of figuring out how Matthew, Mark, and Luke are related in terms of literary dependence). The 2-source hypothesis is the most widely accepted hypothesis, but some people (including me) subscribe to the Farrer hypothesis. That's the view that Mark was written first, Matthew and Luke both used Mark as a source, and Luke also used Matthew as a source.

The reason I and other people (e.g. Mark Goodacre) subscribe to the Farrer hypothesis is because there actually is evidence that Luke knew Matthew. The evidence is in triple tradition (where the same material is found in all three gospels). In some of the triple tradition, there are major and minor agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark. That means Matthew and Luke both altered what Mark said, and they altered it in exactly the same way. There are one of three possible explanations:

1. Luke had a copy of Matthew and went with Matthew's wording instead of Mark's in some cases.

2. It's just a big coincidence that Matthew and Luke would both alter Mark in exactly the same way.

3. There is Mark/Q overlap, meaning that Mark and Q have much of the same material, and sometimes Matthew and Luke both choose Q's wording over Mark's.

#3 is unlikely because it would totally change the nature of Q, which is primarily a sayings source. It would mean that Q contains a passion narrative, for example. It would also make it impossible to reconstruct what Q said since any case of triple tradition could contain information from Q.

#2 is unlikely because there are just too many cases of major and minor agreements to brush off as coincidence. They're found in almost every example of triple tradition.

I think #1 is the best explanation. I don't think this argument can give us any certainty about the Farrer hypothesis, and there's still room for debate. I just wanted to mention that is some evidence that Luke used Matthew as a source and that some scholars do reject the 2-source hypothesis so you wouldn't get the impression from Martley's post that the 2-source hypothesis was the only game in town.

I've always had a issue with Farrer Hypothesis, not that I'm super knowledgeable with it, but I feel it opens more questions than it solves. Can't the common redaction of Mark between Mathew and Luke be explained by Mathew and Luke using common oral traditions, not necessarily the same, but common. I would assume if Mathew and Luke agreed with Marks interpretation they would not have provided their own. Couldn't it be that both Mathew and Luke had common oral traditions that conflicted Mark and used them accordingly. These traditions falling under sources "L" and "M".
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Mhykiel
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5/7/2014 11:29:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 9:03:01 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 5/7/2014 8:04:22 PM, Christian_Debater wrote:
At 5/7/2014 4:41:54 PM, bluesteel wrote:
Please refute Jesusism.

If Jesus was God, then how can anything except direct quotes or sermons from Jesus be considered the word of God? Now do you know homosexuality is wrong, when that was from one of Paul's sermons, not Jesus'. How can you take the passage in Timothy seriously -- that the gospels are the inerrant word of God -- when you don't know how wrote that? There's no proof it came from Jesus.

How can anything in the Bible be taken seriously, when the composition of the Bible was decided in the 4th century by the First Council of Nicea. There were Christian writings that were included and many that were excluded. Therefore, the things that make up the Bible were decided upon by a random group of religious leaders, not by Jesus and not even by people associated with Jesus like Paul, and not even by the people who wrote those passages. So how can you say that anything in there is the word of God, when we *know* that the composition of the Bible was not divinely inspired.

This is very simple. First off all, you are simplifying the history of Christianity. I would do research on Protestanism and how many Protestants died preserving the scriptures of the Bible from being changed, or how people risked their lives to prove the Catholic doctrine was incorrect.

Besides that, there are a few Bible quotes for you.

Psalm 12:6-7 [God promises to preserve his word)
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 [Nobody should add or take away from his word]
Proverbs 30:5-6 [God cares about all of his words, and do not add onto them]
Mark 13:31 [Gods word will never pass away]
Revelation 22:18-19 [Anyone who adds to his word is in big trouble]
Galatians 1:6-9 [There is only 1 true gospel]

Need any more information. just ask.

How can Galatians be correct that there is only *one* true gospel when at the time it was written, there were multiple books/gospels.

Today the collection of writings is refereed to as the gospel. But Galatians 1:6 is using gospel in it's original meaning. The good news. It is a verse and ,subsequently the paragraph, that's says there is only "one good news" the news that Jesus died in the flesh for our sins and was raised in the flesh after his death.

This is not a verse referring to this collection of writing is true and the Ethiopian collection of writings is not. It was to warn believers to be wary of anything that preaches against the resurrected flesh. The church was consulting philosophers who implied that Jesus was resurrected in spirit, like a ghost.

When reading any older document you must always understand the language of the day it was written. This is true of shakespear as much as it is true of the bible. Just because it is written down the word "gospel" does not refer tot he more contemporary usage of gospel as the collection of writings bound and labeled the Bible.

Gospel is the "good news" the message of Jesus flesh resurrection. Not the letters or writings.
philochristos
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5/7/2014 11:37:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 11:21:34 PM, Martley wrote:

I've always had a issue with Farrer Hypothesis, not that I'm super knowledgeable with it, but I feel it opens more questions than it solves. Can't the common redaction of Mark between Mathew and Luke be explained by Mathew and Luke using common oral traditions, not necessarily the same, but common. I would assume if Mathew and Luke agreed with Marks interpretation they would not have provided their own. Couldn't it be that both Mathew and Luke had common oral traditions that conflicted Mark and used them accordingly. These traditions falling under sources "L" and "M".

Yes, that's possible. Like I said, I don't think we can have any certainty about these various hypotheses, so we have to make a judgment on what we think is the stronger case. I side with the Farrer hypothesis because it seems to me to have the best arguments in its favor, but I could be persuaded to reject it.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Martley
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5/7/2014 11:46:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 11:37:41 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 5/7/2014 11:21:34 PM, Martley wrote:

I've always had a issue with Farrer Hypothesis, not that I'm super knowledgeable with it, but I feel it opens more questions than it solves. Can't the common redaction of Mark between Mathew and Luke be explained by Mathew and Luke using common oral traditions, not necessarily the same, but common. I would assume if Mathew and Luke agreed with Marks interpretation they would not have provided their own. Couldn't it be that both Mathew and Luke had common oral traditions that conflicted Mark and used them accordingly. These traditions falling under sources "L" and "M".

Yes, that's possible. Like I said, I don't think we can have any certainty about these various hypotheses, so we have to make a judgment on what we think is the stronger case. I side with the Farrer hypothesis because it seems to me to have the best arguments in its favor, but I could be persuaded to reject it.

I am interested in learning more, could you point me to some sources you like?? I would greatly appreciate it!
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philochristos
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5/8/2014 12:23:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/7/2014 11:46:20 PM, Martley wrote:
At 5/7/2014 11:37:41 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 5/7/2014 11:21:34 PM, Martley wrote:

I've always had a issue with Farrer Hypothesis, not that I'm super knowledgeable with it, but I feel it opens more questions than it solves. Can't the common redaction of Mark between Mathew and Luke be explained by Mathew and Luke using common oral traditions, not necessarily the same, but common. I would assume if Mathew and Luke agreed with Marks interpretation they would not have provided their own. Couldn't it be that both Mathew and Luke had common oral traditions that conflicted Mark and used them accordingly. These traditions falling under sources "L" and "M".

Yes, that's possible. Like I said, I don't think we can have any certainty about these various hypotheses, so we have to make a judgment on what we think is the stronger case. I side with the Farrer hypothesis because it seems to me to have the best arguments in its favor, but I could be persuaded to reject it.

I am interested in learning more, could you point me to some sources you like?? I would greatly appreciate it!

Here's the book that convinced me of the Farrer hypothesis:

The Case Against Q by Mark Goodacre

http://www.amazon.com...

Here's another book that's a collection of essays critical of the 2SH, including one by E.P. Sanders, I think. I haven't read this one yet.

Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique

http://www.amazon.com...

Here's some more articles by Mark Goodacre.

http://markgoodacre.org...

I'd especially recommend "A Monopoly on Marcan Priority? Fallacies at the Heart of Q," and "Beyond the Q Impasse or Down a Blind Alley?" and "Fatigue in the Synoptics", although that last one is just an argument for Marcan priority, which you already agree with. The argument from fatigue struck me as being one of the strongest arguments for Marcan priority.

And just to be a little self-serving, here's a review I wrote of Burton Mack's book, The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins.

http://philochristos.blogspot.com...

Mack assumed the 2SH and attempted to reconstruct Christian origins based on John Kloppenborg's reconstruction of Q. I criticized his argument from a number of angles, including a criticism of the 2SH.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle