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Author Topic:   Christianity and the End Times
PaulK
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Posts: 14419
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 316 of 1581 (836180)
07-11-2018 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by Phat
07-11-2018 4:46 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
Describing a lack of bias as bias makes it hard to trust your judgement.

But if you think the second answer has some good arguments please present them - I don’t intend to sign up, so I can’t read it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by Phat, posted 07-11-2018 4:46 PM Phat has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 15403
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 317 of 1581 (836181)
07-11-2018 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 315 by Phat
07-11-2018 4:50 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
Phat writes:

I would argue that you tend to be biased, much as I am the other way.


I would argue that I don't care one way or the other, so bias doesn't enter into it. Of course if you have little support for your opinion it's natural to want to believe that one position is as good as another.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 11305
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 318 of 1581 (836182)
07-11-2018 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 316 by PaulK
07-11-2018 4:55 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
You cant read it???? Odd...I never signed up...anyway this exchange encapsulates the debate so I will reprint it here:
quote:

From Quora

Question: How did the uneducated apostles of Jesus write Gospels in Greek?

1) (Petter Häggholm, minor encyclopedia poorly disguised as a human computer programmer.)
Most likely they didn’t.
Critical scholars are not confident that any of the traditional attributions of the New Testament writings are accurate, except for seven of the Pauline epistles. (Some scholars argue that one or two more Pauline epistles are authentic, some argue that some of the general epistles are; but only on the seven undisputed Pauline letters will you find a consensus of authenticity. Personally I find the minimalist view more persuasive: for example, while everyone agrees that 1 Peter and 2 Peter had different authors, some hold that 1 Peter is authentic. But the likelihood that a poor fisherman from a provincial backwater with a 3% literacy rate, who is even called illiterate by other biblical books, should later learn Greek literary composition, seems extremely low to me.)Keep in mind that a lot of the books don’t even claim to be written by their traditionally ascribed authors. The gospels and several epistles, and Hebrews, were anonymous. Revelation claims to be written by John, but not any particular John. If you find a modern book written by “John”, do you assume that you’ve found a new book by John McCain? It could be anyone with a common name. There’s no reason to think that Revelation was written by the disciple John (it doesn’t claim to be).
In particular, it’s a broad mainstream consensus among the experts that there’s no good reason to think that the gospels were written by their traditionally ascribed authors (only two of whom were disciples to begin with). They were written anonymously, circulated anonymously, became popular anonymously—and later, when it became ‘politically’ important to lend them weight as authoritative, authors were ‘found’ to support them.
2) (John Allister, BA Theology, University of Oxford )

Let’s take the traditional ascriptions at face value, and see if they make sense.

Matthew was a Jewish tax-collector from Galilee. We’re not told which bit of Galilee he was from - some bits were Greek-speaking and others were Aramaic-speaking. As a tax collector, he needed to work fairly closely with Roman officials, who mostly spoke Greek in Israel in that period. Likelihood of being able to write Greek - high.

Mark was also a Jew, probably from Jerusalem, but was only a teenager at the time of Jesus’ death. He later became an assistant to various major figures (Peter, Paul, Barnabas), before apparently becoming bishop of Greek-speaking Alexandria. There are two striking things about Mark’s gospel. One is that Mark is said to have been a ghost-writer / editor for Peter, while Peter was in Rome. That fits well; Peter said that he needed help from Silas to write his first letter (1 Peter 5:12). The second is that Mark is written in low-quality Greek, obviously by someone who spoke Hebrew / Aramaic as a first language. Was Mark the most bilingual person Peter could find while in prison in Rome? Plausibility - high.

Luke wasn’t an apostle. He was a Greek doctor, probably from Philippi, who was converted by Paul’s missionary activity and decided to write a history of Jesus and the early church. It is easily the most literary of the gospels in styling, clearly by a fluent Greek speaker and writer with a knowledge of medical terminology. Does a Greek doctor fit the bill? Certainly.

John is more complex. The language is quite simple, but profound. At the same time, the question of authorship is slightly tangled by 21:24, which says that John “is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down.” It then adds “We know that his testimony is true.” There’s clearly some kind of group who are involved in editing the final version of gospel. John is reputed to have spent much of his life leading the church in Greek-speaking Ephesus. Could John’s gospel be the result of a core of material by a Jew who had worked for decades in a Greek city, then tidied up and edited by native Greek speakers?
Yes, absolutely.
Conclusion - from the point of view of language used, the traditional ascriptions of the gospels make sense.

3) (Ian Sawyer, 50+ years as an atheist, and nothing has convinced me to believe otherwise.)

Let’s get something straight. The four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not written by any claimed apostles of Jesus.

They were all written towards the end of the 1st century and the start of the 2nd century by completely unknown authors, almost certainly educated scribes, and they weren’t given the names we know them by today until a later date, probably towards the end of the second century. This was most likely done to increase their perceived authenticity in the eyes of the people of the time.

To be more specific, ‘Mark’ was the first gospel to be written, in the early 70s, some 40 years after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus. To put time into context, this was at a time in history when the average male lifespan wasn’t much more than 35 -40 years. The second and third gospels ‘Matthew’ and ‘Luke’ were both written sometime during the 80s or early 90s, whilst ‘John’ wasn’t written until around the year 110, a whole 80 years after the supposed crucifixion.

I say ‘supposed crucifixion’ because there’s no contemporary historical evidence that Jesus even existed, let alone how he died. Until the Romano-Jewish historian Josephus mentioned him in the early 90s, the Bible is the only source of information on him, but given the New Testament is basically a promotion for Christianity, it’s hardly unbiased and it’s certainly not verified by any other source.

Having said that, the majority of biblical scholars believe that the biblical Jesus was actually based on a real person, but just an ordinary itinerant Jewish preacher called Yeshua. The thinking is that he was too outspoken against the then very strict Jewish orthodoxy and was arrested, tried and crucified for so doing. He might even have started to gather a following, but we simply don’t know.

The only reason Yeshua came to public attention is believed to be that after his conversion from a Pharisee to a Sadducee, Paul (Saul) also came to the same views about the strict orthodoxy, and he founded a new Jewish sect, which later became the Christian religion, based on his views. He would have sought a figurehead for this sect, and (presumably) was aware of Yeshua who had been crucified some 20 years previously for holding the same views. In accordance with an established Graeco-Roman tradition, he would have posthumously deified Yeshua as his figurehead leader.

The gospels were written later when Christianity as it was then beginning to be called, was facing both opposition from the Jewish and Roman authorities and competition from several other religions such as the Cult of Isis and Mithraism. The gospels aren’t meant to be factual; in fact they’re entirely allegorical tales based around a number of ‘miracles’ described in the Old Testament, which were contemporized and attributed to events in the life of the figurehead for Christianity. This was a literary technique called Midrash, common at the time, and it would have been done to promote the more loving, compassionate and tolerant ethos of early Christianity to the mainly Jewish masses, still under the yoke of strict orthodoxy, who would have understood the stories because of their knowledge of the Old Testament stories on which they were based.

So to reiterate the very short answer to your question, the gospels were not written by any uneducated apostles, but by unknown yet educated scribes between 40 and 80 years later.


We most definitely have strong arguments from both sides...one side being believers and the other side critical thinking skeptics. I do not believe that either side has a monopoly on any truth, though the point can be made that each critic is on that side for a reason.

Edited by Phat, : added jabberwocky


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 316 by PaulK, posted 07-11-2018 4:55 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 319 by PaulK, posted 07-11-2018 5:17 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14419
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 319 of 1581 (836184)
07-11-2018 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 318 by Phat
07-11-2018 5:07 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
I note that the second article has only points that argue for the possibility that the traditional Gospel authors might have been able to write Greek.

That’s a long way from arguing that they did write anything, let alone Faith’s idea that Jesus would have spoken Greek as a matter of course.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 29837
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 320 of 1581 (836185)
07-11-2018 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 313 by PaulK
07-11-2018 4:46 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
The New Testament was written for a predominantly Gentile Church, so Greek would be more appropriate.

The first believers were Jews and it was preached in the synagogues all over the Helenistic world. Matthew is considered to have been written to the Jews because of how it uses Old Testament scripture and yet it was written in Greek like all the rest of the NT.

if the disciples wrote any of it, then they had the opportunity to learn Greek or to get someone to help them.

Nobody writes Greek that well without being a native speaker. No, we know the disciples wrote the books ascribed to them. The revisionists have no evidence for their views, it's all speculative, and the believe that the apostles wrote the books under their names is the most ancient testimony. They needed no help. They knew Greek. And they knew Aramaic too.

The question of why they would speak differently makes no sense, since they would have been speaking Aramaic, too.

\The point is that they all grew up in the same basic circumstances, all in an area that spoke Aramaic natively and all in the lands under Greek influence to the point that their Bible had been translated into Greek years before.. The disciples knew Greek, therefore so did Jesus. And they all spoke Aramaic as well.


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Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6180
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 321 of 1581 (836186)
07-11-2018 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 318 by Phat
07-11-2018 5:07 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
Phat writes:

We most definitely have strong arguments from both sides...one side being believers and the other side critical thinking skeptics. I do not believe that either side has a monopoly on any truth, though the point can be made that each critic is on that side for a reason.

Why would you think a believer has a worthwhile opinion? You've heard Faith say over and over that when a fact contradicts her belief, the fact is wrong.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 29837
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 322 of 1581 (836187)
07-11-2018 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 318 by Phat
07-11-2018 5:07 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
That's a bunch of revisionist BS.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 318 by Phat, posted 07-11-2018 5:07 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 15403
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 323 of 1581 (836188)
07-11-2018 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 320 by Faith
07-11-2018 5:23 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
Faith writes:

Nobody writes Greek that well without being a native speaker.


Things that are "well written" are usually edited. The quality of the final result doesn't necessarily tell us much about the author.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 324 of 1581 (836189)
07-11-2018 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 306 by Faith
07-11-2018 2:33 PM


Re: The Olivet Discourse
I don't know what traditionalists believe about that. But if you think Aramaic then you have th assume that's what all the disciples spoke too, and if they wrote in Greek what sense would that make? Perhaps they were all fluently bilingual, but then Jesus would also have been fluently bilingual.

Your accusation about Paul not following tradition on this particular point would seem to be both baseless and ridiculous.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


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 Message 306 by Faith, posted 07-11-2018 2:33 PM Faith has responded

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Faith
Member
Posts: 29837
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 325 of 1581 (836190)
07-12-2018 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 324 by NoNukes
07-11-2018 6:17 PM


Re: The Olivet Discourse
Your accusation about Paul not following tradition on this particular point would seem to be both baseless and ridiculous.

Paul himself knows he's not following tradition, NN, he's following the modern "scholars" and he's proud of it. Tradition says the New testament was written by the people whose names are on the books. Tradition that goes back to the beginning.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14419
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 326 of 1581 (836191)
07-12-2018 12:21 AM
Reply to: Message 320 by Faith
07-11-2018 5:23 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
quote:

The first believers were Jews and it was preached in the synagogues all over the Helenistic world. Matthew is considered to have been written to the Jews because of how it uses Old Testament scripture and yet it was written in Greek like all the rest of the NT.

The Gospels were not written for the first believers. Diaspora Jews may well have spoken Greek - it’s those living in Judeans and Galilee that concern us.

quote:

Nobody writes Greek that well without being a native speaker. No, we know the disciples wrote the books ascribed to them.

One of the arguments for Mark is that the Greek isn’t that good. Aside from that we don’t know that the disciples wrote anything, and if good Greek is required they probably didn’t..

quote:

The revisionists have no evidence for their views, it's all speculative, and the believe that the apostles wrote the books under their names is the most ancient testimony.

Of course this is not true.
The copying between the synoptic Gospels is pretty good evidence that one of Matthew or Mark wasn’t written by the traditional author. Papias pretty much suggests that Mark wasn’t a disciple. And the work Papias attributes to Matthew likely isn’t the Gospel we have today (for one thing it was not written in Greek).

You don’t have any evidence of significance for the traditional authorship.

quote:

The point is that they all grew up in the same basic circumstances, all in an area that spoke Aramaic natively and all in the lands under Greek influence to the point that their Bible had been translated into Greek years before..

The Bible was translated into Greek in Egypt. That really doesn’t help you much.


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 Message 320 by Faith, posted 07-11-2018 5:23 PM Faith has responded

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Faith
Member
Posts: 29837
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 327 of 1581 (836192)
07-12-2018 12:41 AM
Reply to: Message 326 by PaulK
07-12-2018 12:21 AM


Re: Its Greek To Me
That's all speculation, no evidence. Tradition that goes back to the beginning is far more trustworthy.
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14419
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 328 of 1581 (836194)
07-12-2018 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 327 by Faith
07-12-2018 12:41 AM


Re: Its Greek To Me
quote:

That's all speculation, no evidence.

The evidence of copying is there in the text. Papias is evidence, too.

quote:

Tradition that goes back to the beginning is far more trustworthy.

Tradition is not trustworthy and it certainly does not go back to the beginning. That is why it is classed as tradition.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 4502
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 329 of 1581 (836195)
07-12-2018 2:30 AM
Reply to: Message 307 by PaulK
07-11-2018 2:47 PM


Re: The Olivet Discourse
PaulK writes:

Well aside from the fact that they probably didn’t write in Greek, if they did it would have been decades later and they would have had time to learn.
What sense does it make to assume that people who spoke Aramaic as their native language would use any other language in speaking among themselves ?

This argument about time and language maybe is missing a major point. The Gospels are really compilations of earlier material whether it be Q or not. Here is the first couple of verses of Luke, one of the synoptic Gospels.

quote:
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

So, obviously the writers of the Gospels were not using original material but were using what had been previously recorded and quite likely translating it into Greek. Luke even mentions that others have used the material that had been handed down to them which makes it very reasonable to assume that the other Gospels are, like Luke, compilations of material recorded by the eyewitnesses and the first Jesus followers.

Edited by GDR, : typos


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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Phat
Member
Posts: 11305
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 330 of 1581 (836198)
07-12-2018 4:28 AM
Reply to: Message 322 by Faith
07-11-2018 5:25 PM


Re: Its Greek To Me
Faith,commenting on my link from Quora writes:

That's a bunch of revisionist BS.

The Zondervan source is not known for revisionist thinking, though I included the Quora quotes to demonstrate that the argument is split down the middle between believers (mostly) and unbelievers. That being said, I don't agree with jars argument that most apologists have any sort of agenda---apart from trusting the Source as the originator of the truths and wisdom. Many well-known scholars were Biblical Apologists, one notable name being Henrietta Mears who had an undeniable influence in Bible study.

Biblical Revisionism is hardly a fact-based conclusion. There are many assertions and an equal number of rebuttals and challenges to these assertions.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

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