Thursday, July 3, 2008

Current Reads

Have you heard the one where the three Synoptic Gospels are really just re-presentations of Q? Usually this theory involves dating the New Testament writings, especially the Gospels, at a fairly late date, with respect to the actual 'Jesus Event.' Current 'scholarship' dates the Gospel of Mark at 70 AD, Matthew and Luke around 80, and John around 100-110 AD. (John was apparently long lived.)

A friend and former co-worker passed along a differing approach: "Eyewitness to Jesus: Amazing New Manuscript Evidence About the Origin of the Gospels" The main thrust of the argument is that three small, very small, pieces of papyrus found in Egypt around 1900 are fragments of a codex (book form, not scroll) of the Gospel of Matthew and date from between 63-70 AD!

I'm still getting into the work, and just got through a significant point where the authors argue that there were Christian scroll fragments found in Qumran Cave #7 (a fragment of a scroll from St. Mark's Gospel.)

What this means is that the Christian Scriptures were indeed written by eyewitnesses to 'the Jesus Event,' and not just oral traditions that eventually make their way to paper.

It is an interesting theory, and certainly groundbreaking. However, the book dates from 1994, and it hasn't caught on. Plus, the Amazon customer reviews mention that the approach that the authors used in developing their theory had been debunked, but they do not provide the links are the reasons why and how this has been debunked.



michael said...

You might want to look here:

Julie Olson said...

Hmm....we actually discussed that issue in our NT class last semester. The problem is that the modern-ist "scholars" that date the gospels also are trying to debunk the fact that the Jesus of our faith is in fact the Jesus of history as well. For example, Raymond Fitzmyer claimed that John is not the author of the Gospel of John nor is he the author of Revelation, which is ludicrous! The modern "scholars" have made the mistake of first of all, being lead by liberal Protestant "scholars" such as Bultmann, and completely disregarding the testimony of the Church Fathers who gave us information in their writings as to the authorship of the Gospels. So the evidence that has been presented in the book you're reading, along with other books by other solid faithful Caholic scholars have been suppressed so that the evidence won't quash the made-up ideas of the people who are more interested in destroying the Kingdom than in building it up.