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Gospels Etc.

From: Don W.
Sent on: Thursday, August 1, 2013 3:45 AM
I have read Richard Carrier's book Proving History/Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. I have read claims that the Biblical account must be true in certain respects because a particular claim is embarrassing to believers. The argument is that this would never be done unless the claim were actually true. Carrier spends 44 pages reviewing such claims and persuasively debunking all of them. He makes the point that the writer of Mark had no intention of representing Jesus as a sinless deity until after the resurrection. Thus his cry from the cross would not be even slightly embarrassing until later Christians invented the theology defining Jesus as one with God the Father for all of time. Carrier intends to write a second book using the Bayesian calculations to evaluate whether Jesus was an historical figure or not.
 
Much of the New Testament is written by Paul and the fact that those writings are so silent on Jesus as a real person, it is presumed that Paul never has any direct communication with a person named Jesus. There are many estimates of the dates for the four Gospels starting with Mark and Mathew around 60 CE. However, there are also a good number of respected scholars who place these works in the second century and perhaps the late second century.
 
Dr. Robert M. Price has a large book on The Pre-Nicene New Testament. A review of this book can be found here:
It is claimed in this review that “it is universally accepted that Marcion was the first producer of a 'New Testament' canon.” Marcion (c. [masked] CE) was a gnostic who was later defined as a heretic. A quote from Price, “Indeed, it is not unlikely the subsequent choice of the ascription "Mark" reflects the name of Marcion, the early-to-mid second century champion of Paulinism. (p. 70)” While the similarity in name is a bit thin evidence for Marcion being the author, apparently there is no references to Mark prior to Marcion. The reviews on Amazon captures more of the stunning claims in this book.
 
Another interesting essay asserting second century authorship of th Gospels can be found here:
 
R. Joseph Hoffman claims with some sense of confidence that Jesus was a real historical person. He has a lengthy post here:
I have read what he has to say but for the life of me I can't see that he is sharing any meaningful evidence. If anyone can find any I would appreciate it. All I see is a lot of pomposity.
 
Don Wharton

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