A couple of days ago, I was having a debate that I felt would be better addressed in a new thread.
I would like to discuss the historical text of the bible. When it was written, Who wrote each book, Who was the intended audience, what was the message being presented.
Also included would be background of the authors, christian church history, books not included in todays bible and things along those lines.
Although I know it is going to happen, I would request that all personal religious beliefs structures be left at the door and we stick with historical "facts". Or the facts as can be best determined from the historical evidence we have. This does not mean, however, that no personal opinion on interpretation of the what the authors might have meant by the text is not to be used, but it should be supported by some sort of reasonable evidence.
This is not meant to be an argument about the existance of God, Jesus or anything else along those lines, simply a discussion of the bible with regards to the historical text itself.
I hope to see some good thoughts and discussions.
To start. I brought my comment from another thread and extended it some.
Appr. Dates of the NT:
1&2 Thessalonians 50CE
1&2 Corinthians 54-55CE
Hebrews, 1Peter, Ephesians, James 85-95CE
1,2,3 John 95-100CE
1&2 Timothy, Titus 110-130 CE
Jude, 2 Peter 130-150CE
Oldest Fragment of the NT is 4 verses from John Chapter 18 found in egypt dated to about 125CE.
Canon the early church used:
The Septuagint including the Apocrypha from the end of the BCE era to the early 1st Century. Was used with Pauline letters by many of the early church well into the 2nd century as noted by Marcion (140ce) Follower of Paul's doctrine.
Muratorian Canon from the late 2nd to early 3rd century, containing the following books: The four Gospels, Acts, 13 letters of Paul minus Hebrews, Jude, 1&2 John, Wisdom of Solomon, Revelations and the apocalypse of Peter.
Codex Claromontabus (6th Century) which included most of the above listed as well as Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Acts of Paul.
Codex Sinaiticus (4th century) contain the 27 books of today and Episle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas.
Paul became a christian about 32 CE. As he meet with Peter and other Church leaders in about 49CE(Gal 2:1-10) to discussion the Gentiles following Mosaic laws (His second visit) His first visit was 14 years earlier and he spent 3 years in Arabia after his conversion before going to see peter for 15 days (Gal 1:17,18). In 2 Cor 11:32-33, the King Aretas is mentioned as why Paul was lowered down the city wall in a basket. And History shows the King Aretas ruled between 9-39CE. Paul says in Gal 1-2 that Jesus had revealed to him the one true gospel.
Paul speaks of a postresurrection Jesus in Gal 1:11-12, 15-17 (which is at least 10 years before the First Gospel was written)
Paul also speaks of the "last supper" and how it should be observed in his time (1 Corinthians 11:17-22) again prior to being written in the gospels.
Paul seemed to be familiar with 1 Enoch as well, as some of his thoughts were of a similar nature concerning oneness with the divine.
Paul also writes of a Parousia (1 Thess 4:15-17) about 15 years before the First Gospel. And he writes of the Eschaton as well (1Cor. 7:29-31) well before the Gospels. And he speaks on Jesus' death as payment for sin (Gal 3-5, Rom 3-7) before the Gospels.
Luke,Acts: Author shows no Knowledge of Pauls letters (leads many to believe that Luke was not the author)
Written after 70ce, describes roman military tactics used in the seige of Jerusalem (Luke 19:43-44),but before 90ce, as publication made Pauls leter available to christian readers. Another clue that this was written later than at least 64CE, can be found in the first verses of Luke and Acts, where the author states he is writing from "researched" information. As both Paul and Peter were killed during Nero's reign around the year of 64CE, this would imply that these two books were written after that timeframe. Used Mark (not as much as matthew), the "Q" text and his own thoughts to write his book
I figure starting with the NT and Paul's work being the first books written, as well as the author who talked about Paul as well would be a good place to start.
Hey. I never bothered to think about it. And, I guess this is off topic, but looking at your time line; a funny thought occurred.
Could the gospels have been originally written to attempt to rebut Paul and his preaching? Or, is that commonly accepted in religious studies and I simply never heard it?
Actually, it at the time the Gospels were written, the churches had the Greek version of the OT (Septuagint), copies of Paul's letters and some other texts that are not used today.
The Gospels weren't written to oppose what Paul wrote, but were the interpretations of the new Christian faith represented by the area or group from which the gospel writers were from. One will find in the gospels many thoughts that are stated in Paul's letters, but immensely expounded on. There were two separate types of "churches" in the very early first century, the Christian (Palestinian Jews) and the gentile churches that Paul started. These early churches were all of the "Christian" beliefs, but had various interpretations of Jesus, the message, and the faith itself. It wasn't until much later, around the 3rd and 4th centuries that we see more stable belief and faith practices for the christian churches.
Matthew was directed more towards the Jewish Christians, Mark was somewhere in the middle, maybe even the Zionist type (Mark was more about facts and timelines and didn’t ad-lib his gospel to the extent of the other two synoptic writers), Luke was more towards the gentile/Jewish mixed group and John was very Essene, even gnostic based. John is the only Gospel writer that specifically focused on the divinity of Jesus. His whole gospel is based in proving Jesus was in fact a part of God. From the very first verses on, he points to Jesus being a divine being, that always was (in spirit form) and came to human form as the beginnings of the reign of God (or the Kingdom of God).
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