Conspiracy theory. If you're paranoid enough you can see a conspiracy everywhere.
No it's not. Writing a book in someone else's name is one person's actions. A conspiracy is a group of people agreeing to commit a crime. Writing a book in someone else's name is NOT a conspiracy at all.
The central figure of his writing is a pristine example of honesty and integrity.
Really? Where is the evidence for that?
In fact Jesus in Matthew exemplifies and also teaches the highest human morality on earth. Yet you imagine that to persuade us of this Matthew injects a deceptive tactic.
It WASN'T Matthew! It was any anonymous writer, LATER named as Matthew.
Anyway - writing a book in someone else name was very common in those times : * the Pastorals were forged in Paul's name * the letters of Peter weren't written by him * the letters of John were not written by John * the letter of Jude was not written by him * numerous Gospels and Apocalypses were forged in that period * Christian history is full of forgeries such as the Donation of COnstantine, the Apostolic Constitutions, the Decretals, the Clementina, erc. etc.
My imagination is also able to surmise various alternative conspiratorial explanations. But I think the simple interpretation is the most likely
NOT ONE SINGLE person here has suggested a conspiracy theory.
I bet your first questioners of the authenticity of the book of Matthew could not be located until 15 or 16 centries after its writing.
There was NO tradition of authenticity AT ALL for the first century or more, but you never address that jaywill - why?
The Gospel of Matthew STARTED as NOT authentic - NO name, anonymous, unknown origin. No authenticity all. Then, over a CENTURY later, the FIRST claims of authorship by Matthew started. The 'authenticity' was made up long afterwards.
Matthew was INAUTHENTIC to START with - why won't you address that jaywill?
I don't see what the big deal is here, so what if Matthew didn't write what we call gMatt.
What if someone had written this down after hearing Matthew preach or attended a range of meetings with Matthew?
The ONLY honest, and academic position to take here is to have the decency to accept that we will never know for sure who wrote any of the Gospels.
I would like to add that I do find it a tiny bit annoying that some people find no problem in stating that this text and that text WAS written by 'X' or 'Y'. This only displays an ignorance of biblical studies and the discipline of history in general.
The VERY VERY best any one can say about any Gospel we have is that it MAY have been written by the Evangelist whose name has been given to it.
That looks like a good place to close things down. I'm sure there are still some side issues that people would like to discuss. By all means propose a new topic. As stated earlier, we like to close threads down when they reach 300 posts.
There are several reasons that might be given for this,
The old board software used to have a bug which caused problems when a thread got too large.
The bug is gone, but tradition remains.
Discussions often end up becoming repetitive. Asking people to propose a new topic to discuss side issues helps refocus things.
There are other advantages too, but that remains an exercise for the student.