stickmangrit wrote:koin, you've yet to answer how a society being "bad" justifies wiping out the innocents within it. were the children "bad" too?
Second, "when he heard this story" simply refers to Matthew. Obviously he wasn't there when the birth of Jesus happened. But he followed Jesus for several years, probably knew Mary and Jesus' family well, and probably heard this story about Jesus' birth from one of them. So, many years later, when Matthew sits down to right his account of Jesus' life, he pulls together all the stories he knows about Jesus that are accepted by those who were there, as well as his own accounts and writes them down in his gospel.
If you take all the data about who could have possibly written the Book of Matthew - historical data, church tradition, textual criticism, linguistics, thematic emphases, comparison with other synoptics, comparison with other non-canonical writings, etc. - the best candidate is the apostle Matthew.
But for the time being, the evidence leans in the direction of Matthew.
What is your academic background regarding New Testament scholarship? Several of your comments suggest you have none.
1. No reputable scholar I've read suggests a gentile as the author of Matthew. Perhaps you can cite one for me.
2. You cite no data for taking a late date for Matthew except that no manuscripts exist from when Matthew was supposedly written. But this is the case with EVERY ancient manuscript. If you use this argument, then you don't believe that ANY ancient manuscript was written when historians think they were because most of the earliest copies come from hundreds of years later.
3. If you had studied many ancient works of literature, you would know that it is commonly accepted for an author to speak in the third person about himself or herself. This is the norm. It would have been the exception for Matthew to speak in the first person.
4. Yes, it is a good idea to consider other works from that time as valid evidence when examining the question.
5.Even the most liberal scholars agree that the gospel of Phillip is a late third century collection that contains hardly anything historical. In fact, it only exists in Coptic, not Greek.
If you're going to ask questions, or raise concerns, go for it. But if you're going to make strong assertions based on poor arguments and virtually no scholarship, don't do it.
That only clouds the issues and gives atheists a bad name.
Norton wrote:You're still making very weak arguments. Of course you don't have to be an expert to read the Bible. But you do have to know what you're talking about if you're going to make the absurd claim that the writer of Matthew was a gentile.
There is lots of evidence that the writer was Jewish.
There's no need to waste my time giving it, you can read virtually any commentary on Matthew to get it.
Who is Paul Tobin? Don't use articles by random people online to get scholarly information.
I didn't say the Bible doesn't stand out from other books.
We're simply talking about whether or not Matthew is the author and thus we use accepted historical practices to determine this. By the criteria that you asserted, you would have to reject the authorship of every ancient document. That's not being consistent unless you're prepared to actually do that.
Could you give me a list of all the other books of the Bible that are historical narrative and provide their author's name explicitly?
Look, at the end of the day, the point is: don't make strong assertions about things you don't really understand and can't defend.
And citing guys on the internet like Paul Tobin (whoever that is) doesn't help.
When you understand Hebrew and Greek, biblical writing styles, internal coherence, the criterion of double dissimilarity, hapax legomena, typology, form criticism, redaction criticism, sitz im leben, etc., then you can make your argument.
But unless you can use valid points to back up your claim (that there is no evidence Matthew or a Jew wrote the Book of Matthew), then don't make the claim.
Look, I'm really not trying to put you down. I'm sure you're a smart person.
It's just that I don't feel your arguments are very strong and you misread many of my comments
(like that the writer was Jewish...not necessarily Matthew)
and that I asked for authorship of historical narrative, not personal letters like Paul's
and that I asked for any scholar, conservative or liberal, and I'm not talking about Christian apologists, but bonified scholars that have PhD's in New Testament that teach at undergraduate or graduate schools of any stripe.
I agree that the author of Matthew is unknown,
but when the evidence is weighed, the apostle Matthew is still the best candidate.
But even this assertion is not needed to read, understand, and accept the general message of the gospels.
Norton wrote: But he followed Jesus for several years, probably knew Mary and Jesus' family well, and probably heard this story about Jesus' birth from one of them
when he writes this story down for all to know, being a good Jew he is familiar with the Isaiah prophecies and it strikes him--this is a fulfillment of the prophecy
So, we'll just let our arguments stand and hopefully other skeptics of the Bible will do the research for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
In any case, I apologise for some of my behaviour...off course, we can agree to disagree
In regards to my earliest statement, I will correct it by saying: "...refers to Matthew, if indeed he was the author as evidence suggests. Better?"
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