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Tovia Singer Fails to Discredit the Gospels

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Why Would God Inspire the New Testament Authors to Write their Bible in Greek? Why Does it Matter?
Tovia Singer | 13 Sept. 2017

3:29 The narrative does not collapse.

Nicodemus was actually not wrong about "born again", and Jesus gave an explanation, which only in Greek translation looks like a "correction" of a double entendre.

4:48 Christian tradition is not univocal in identifying John the Gospeller as the Son of Zebedee.

Sources situated in Asia Minor where he died don't tend to do that.

St. Irenaeus does, but he was ordained at 16 and then left Asia Minor, meaning, some youthful misunderstanding is possible. Due to his high prestige for other reasons, and his being the most accessible / least idiosyncratically Asia Minor of the sources on John, his view gets great influence.

Fr. Jean Colson did a review of all the Gospel passages and all the Tradition mentions, including an old Gallican Martyrology, and concluded: * John was not the Son of Zebedee, not one of the twelve; * he was on the contrary a Cohen, a house-owner in Jerusalem, the Host of the Last Supper (where the Eucharist happened when he was leaving his guests among them).

The Cohen part comes in when (in the context of Easter Date) an Asia Minor father replies to the Pope "we have known John who has worn the golden headband" ... he did not say "who was one of the twelve" ... also, the Twelve were all bishops, so had John been one of them, why wasn't he a bishop in Ephesus, why was he acting as a simple presbyter under bishops like Timothy?

Chapter 7 of his Apocalypse shows he know Babylonian numerals. 144 000 = four corners in cuneiform. 12 X 12000 looks like a fish shape. The numbers indicate, the "four corners" are four corners of continents, outside which you have fish swimming.

Chapters 2 and 3 along with all of his Gospel shows his audience was to a high degree Christians of Jewish ancestry, who first needed to be told Jesus recognises them as the real Jews, and then that here on earth, it's the enemy who is called "the Jews" in daily speech.

5:12 Most people who lived long lived long due to good basic health and healthy living.

St. Alessio Falconieri, born in 1200, died in 1310. Modern medicine did not exist. One of his companions, St. Peregrino Laziosi, was a miraculously cured cancer patient. He had some kind of tumour in the leg. St. Peregrino only lived to 85.

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (Bonfilius, Alexis, Manettus, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostene and Buonagiunta) were seven men of the town of Florence who became bound to each other in a spiritual friendship. They eventually felt called by Mary, mother of Jesus, towards whom they practised an intense devotion. They reported a vision, apparently shared by all separately at the same moment. None of them was aware that the others also had experienced it. The call was to "leave the world, the better to serve almighty God". ... Alexis was born Alexis Falconieri (Italian: Alessio Falconieri) (1200 – 17 February 1310)

Peregrine Laziosi (Pellegrino Latiosi; c. 1260 – 1 May 1345) is an Italian saint of the Servite Order (Friar Order Servants of Mary). He is the patron saint for persons suffering from cancer, AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses.

In the ancestry of both Lewis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the youngest dead persons who turn up some four or five generations earlier are Gonzagas of Mantua, the longest lived are at the Danish court, where the wife of James VI and I was from (his daughter Elisabeth Stuart was ancestral to both). Those ones reach 80--90, no problem, also no modern medicine, and the use of sugar and some other luxuries had made living less healthy than in Medieval or Antique times.

5:33 "thirty years"

Based on what statistics material?

6:16 He had written to seven provinces of Christ's kingdom on earth.

Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis and four others.

6:39 Both Matthew and John are rich in logia.

Now, Synoptics wrote before the Temple fell.

John after. Meaning there were some things he no longer needed to be discrete about when it came to provoking or not any Jewish persecution.

6:51 No, there is no adoptionist theology in Mark, that's eisegesis into the Baptism scene.

8:04 Ps. 32:6 has By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth:

Hebrew as such is not mentioned. Probably He used some kind of Hebrew when talking to Adam, and it was probably different from the one we have in the Bible. Perhaps like Proto-Norse differs from Old Norse, or like Old Norse differs from Swedish.

What was the role of Egyptians in the life of Abraham? Well, that way, he had some outreach for the true God among Egyptians. It was early on, before idolatry took the roots it had by the time of Exodus, so, early dynastic or pre-dynastic pharaos. He may have met Narmer before Narmer conquered Bhuto.

Now, from Alexander the Great on, God had done a similar thing for the Greek nation. Or group of nations, many of whom wholesale or partially adopted Greek (like Egyptians did partially).

Hence why the NT books were with one exception written in Greek. That one exception is the Gospel of Matthew, as we know from Papias. Matthew then translated it himself to Greek.

8:19 No, the epistles of John are by John the Gospeller, not anonymous.

The NT has 8 authors, like there were 8 on the Ark. The four Gospellers and the Apostles, in order of appearance of texts, Paul, James, Peter and Jude.

8:44 Yes, Catholic and Fundamentalist scholars are the ones who are on spot here.

Pretty much like you'd better avoid asking Spinoza and Mendelson about what the OT means.

9:19 Abraham was around when the worship of the true God narrowed down to the Hebrew people.

The Church was when it suddenly spread out to the nations. And they left their idols behind.

9:44 Philo doesn't agree that all of Greek philosophy was antithetical to God.

Antiochus Epiphanes, not sure if he had much philosophy. He was definitely antithetical to God. He was also from a lineage which Jesus lampooned when He mentioned ...

And he said to them: The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that have power over them, are called beneficent
[Luke 22:25]

Just count the number of kings in that dynasty who are nicknamed Euergetes.

But we would disagree on your blaming Plato for those guys. EDIT, well, technically you didn't, but the era you named 200 BC to 200 AD, while highly anti-Hebrew, was also highly persecuting of Christians.

10:02 Moral beliefs of Greco-Roman world would be some kind of uneasy mixture of Stoicism and Epicureanism, for the majority, plus some superstition in Pythagorean package.

But the majority was going to change, thanks to Christ.

In order to get them to change, the Church needed to speak Greek and Latin.

10:29 You forget that Sparta and Rome were allies against Antiochus Epiphanes and against his successor (or against his successor).

And it was heard at Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan was dead: and they were very sorry.
[1 Machabees 14:16]

10:38 The Austro-Fascists spoke German too.

And while Heinrich Schenker's widow was deported to Theresienstadt, he himself had died very peacefully in his home in 1935, under Austro-Fascism.

13:58 I counted Matthew. Before counting, I'd have guessed, the sayings were maybe 25 %.

No. They are 56 ~ 57 % of the Gospel.

The description of Papias is a pretty accurate one, if you allow for naming a whole after the principal part.

14:21 Justin is mostly known from apologetics.

The genre is not primarily instruction for Christians, the genre is trying to convince Pagans, and once either trying to convince a Jew or using him to convince others.

I think that genre allows for either keeping to basics, or answering where Christianity was actually attacked, which at the time was not on the Gospels.

15:02 Here is a fragment which might explain why St. Irenaeus thought St. Papias wrong:

As the elders who saw John the disciple of the Lord remembered that they had heard from him how the Lord taught in regard to those times, and said]: The days will come in which vines shall grow, having each ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in every one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five-and-twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, 'I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me.' In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man. [Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him. And he added, saying, Now these things are credible to believers. And Judas the traitor, says he, not believing, and asking, 'How shall such growths be accomplished by the Lord.' the Lord said, 'They shall see who shall come to them.' These, then, are the times mentioned by the prophet Isaiah: 'And the wolf shall lie, down with the lamb,' etc. Isaiah 11:6 ff..]

Do you sense Papias could have been sensitive to Jewish hyperbole, in a way Irenaeus wasn't?

15:41 I had not heard that St. Mark was thought to have written at first in Aramaic, but to answer the question, the Greek if so translation would at this point first leave the cry untranslated, and then added a translation, even if the original didn't. A very minor adjustment.

In the Apocalypse we find a demon described in Hebrew and in Greek, in the Greek original.

However, in the Vulgate, we find:
Et habebant super se regem angelum abyssi cui nomen hebraice Abaddon, graece autem Apollyon, latine habens nomen Exterminans.
Hence Douay Rheims:
A king, the angel of the bottomless pit; whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon; in Latin Exterminans
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 9:11]

16:19 You forget that for Greeks, who were not necessarily praying the psalms with the clergy, the leaving of a quote in Hebrew or Aramaic would serve to signal it is a quote from the OT.

16:36 The name that Simon is given ... Cephas sounds like the Aramaic version of Caiaphas.

17:23 You forget that Exodus doesn't claim to be written by Moses, and Gallic Wars doesn't claim to be written by Caesar.

Moses and Caesar also speak about themselves in the third person.

18:38 Matthew isn't "improving on" Mark, Mark is shortening Matthew.

Tiler Boston
scholars seem to have the consensus that mark was the first gospel that was written and then matthew and luke used it as sources of their narrative. John uses it but to a lesser extent (it’s the latest gospel to be written as the rabbi says)

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@tilerboston5973 "scholars seem to have the consensus"

That's Protestant and Atheist scholars, and the consensus starts out in the time of the Kulturkampf, in Prussian dominated Germany. While the learned promoter of the thesis was not obviously acting on orders of Otto von Bismarck, he was acting in tune with him. Modernist Protestants could pretend that Matthew (the main go to for Papal claims and other refutation of Protestant errors) was late and contained accretions.

So, the scholars you appeal to are far from unbiassed honest men following the evidence whereever it leads them, since back in Germany in the 1860's there has obviously developed a kind of bias of scholarly tradition.

@tilerboston5973 "John uses it"

John used the Synoptics mainly to check what had already been said and didn't need saying once more. On other topics, he uses his personal memories.

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