Historicity Of The Christian Greek Scriptures
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31-10-2012, 09:55 PM
Historicity Of The Christian Greek Scriptures
I have challenged Mark Fulton to a debate on the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures, often incorrectly referred to as "The New Testament."

Suggested topics from my part would include brief explorations of History or Myth? When Written? Eyewitness Testimony, Textual Trustworthiness, Documentary Evidence and Archaeological Evidence, but since this is a new experimental forum, this is negotiable. We can work that out with the Moderator and Referee Stark Raving.

You have expressed possible limitations in leisure time in which to devote to the debate so this is flexible. Post as you are able. You have also expressed a concern for the unusual nature of my non-Christian theism, but I don't think that that will be a problem. I simply see things the way the early Christians did before Constantine and apostasy. If this creates a problem for either of us we can discuss it with Stark and come to a mutual agreement.

I would also like for stark to make the corresponding thread for the participation of other members outside of the debate.

If you and Stark agree with this I will begin the debate. Also, each of you feel free to amend this outline and upon my agreement will begin.

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31-10-2012, 10:54 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2012 11:21 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Historicity Of The Christian Greek Scriptures
Please begin the debate.

Just so you know, i am currently at work, between patients, it is 1500. I will post when I can, and am free later tonight. Regards, Mark

PS so I'm a "posting freak" am I? LOL Who thought of that?
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31-10-2012, 11:35 PM
Part I - The Archaeological Evidence
Part I - The Archaeological Evidence

Up until fairly recently there was only limited extra-biblical evidence of the Roman ruler Pontius Pilate. In 1961 an inscription was found in the ruins of a Roman theater at Caesarea with his name. [1]

Archaeological evidence plays an important part of a serious consideration of the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures. Another finding dispelled any doubt that Luke's Gospel regarding John the Baptizer having began his ministry when "Lysanias was district ruler of Abilene." (Luke 3:1) The doubt was due to Josephus having mentioned a Lysanias who ruled Abilene that died in 34 B.C.E., long before John was born. Then archaeologists discovered an inscription in Abilene which mentioned another Lysanias who was tetrach [district ruler] during the reign of Tiberius, who ruled as Caesar in Rome when John began his ministry. [2]

In the book of acts, Luke gives the account of Paul and Barnabas having been sent to Cyprus to do missionary work. They met up with a proconsul whose name was Sergius Paulus. (Acts 13:7) Excavations in Cyprus during the 19th century uncovered an inscription from 55 C.E. which is the only place outside of the Bible this man was mentioned. [3]

How would the atheist explain these archaeological findings and many others in questioning the historicity of the so called New Testament?

Footnotes

[1] Biblical Archaeological Review, May/June 1982, pp. 30, 31.

[2] The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, 1983, p. 294.

[3] Biblical Archaeology, by G. Ernest Wright, 1957, p. 249.

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01-11-2012, 01:30 AM
RE: Part I - The Archaeological Evidence
(31-10-2012 11:35 PM)The Theist Wrote:  Part I - The Archaeological Evidence

Up until fairly recently there was only limited extra-biblical evidence of the Roman ruler Pontius Pilate. In 1961 an inscription was found in the ruins of a Roman theater at Caesarea with his name. [1]

Archaeological evidence plays an important part of a serious consideration of the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures. Another finding dispelled any doubt that Luke's Gospel regarding John the Baptizer having began his ministry when "Lysanias was district ruler of Abilene." (Luke 3:1) The doubt was due to Josephus having mentioned a Lysanias who ruled Abilene that died in 34 B.C.E., long before John was born. Then archaeologists discovered an inscription in Abilene which mentioned another Lysanias who was tetrach [district ruler] during the reign of Tiberius, who ruled as Caesar in Rome when John began his ministry. [2]

In the book of acts, Luke gives the account of Paul and Barnabas having been sent to Cyprus to do missionary work. They met up with a proconsul whose name was Sergius Paulus. (Acts 13:7) Excavations in Cyprus during the 19th century uncovered an inscription from 55 C.E. which is the only place outside of the Bible this man was mentioned. [3]

How would the atheist explain these archaeological findings and many others in questioning the historicity of the so called New Testament?

Footnotes

[1] Biblical Archaeological Review, May/June 1982, pp. 30, 31.

[2] The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, 1983, p. 294.

[3] Biblical Archaeology, by G. Ernest Wright, 1957, p. 249.

All historians and atheists believe Pontius Pilate existed. No argument there.

Most think John the Baptist existed. He is mentioned in Josephus. Fine.

The Serius Paulus you mentioned may or may not be the guy in Acts. It's barely relevant.

Maybe you are unaware that the original authors of the gospels (real identities unknown) were not eyewitnesses to the events they described, nor did they interview eyewitnesses. If you choose to imagine they were, please provide some good evidence...it is quite an important point.

I assume you are aware most historians date the original authorship of the four gospels to between 70 and 100 CE? Acts was written well after 100 CE. It would be expected that they (the original authors) used the identities of some genuine characters to write their tales. You have mentioned only three out of hundreds of characters in the gospels and Acts, and you haven't mentioned one contemporary author who talks about the existence of the star of the show, Jesus.

The fact that these three characters may or may not have existed is, in fact, irrelevant. The question is not whether they existed, but whether the texts which reference them are true.

Please explain why you claim the existence of these characters confirms the historicity of the Greek scripture, because it is clear that it doesn't.
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01-11-2012, 09:46 AM
RE: Part I - The Archaeological Evidence
(01-11-2012 01:30 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Maybe you are unaware that the original authors of the gospels (real identities unknown) were not eyewitnesses to the events they described, nor did they interview eyewitnesses. If you choose to imagine they were, please provide some good evidence...it is quite an important point.

I assume you are aware most historians date the original authorship of the four gospels to between 70 and 100 CE? Acts was written well after 100 CE. It would be expected that they (the original authors) used the identities of some genuine characters to write their tales. You have mentioned only three out of hundreds of characters in the gospels and Acts, and you haven't mentioned one contemporary author who talks about the existence of the star of the show, Jesus.

The fact that these three characters may or may not have existed is, in fact, irrelevant. The question is not whether they existed, but whether the texts which reference them are true.

Matthew, also named as Levi, was the tax collector before becoming one of Jesus' apostles. He is credited for writing the first gospel account. Though he isn't listed as its writer in the account itself, the overwhelming testimony of the early church historians clearly indicate this fact. Papias of Hierapolois (early second century) is one of the earliest.

McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia: "Passages from Matthew are quoted by Justin Martyr, by the author of the letter to Diognetus (see in Otto's Justin Martyr, vol. ii), by Hegesippus, Irenæus, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. It is not merely from the matter, but the manner of the quotations, from the calm appeal as to a settled authority, from the absence of all hints of doubt, that we regard it as proved that the book we possess had not been the subject of any sudden change." [1]

In De viris inlustribus (Concerning Illustrious Men), chapter III, Jerome says: "Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed." [2]

Likewise, Origen, quoting Eusibus, says of the Gospel of Matthew that it was "first was written . . . according to Matthew, . . . who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language." [3]

It is interesting to note that some manuscripts, all from later than the 10th century C.E., have inscriptions at the end of the manuscript which date its writing as 41 C.E.

Mark, also known as John, is credited with the writing of the book of his name. When Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane the naked man who fled was Mark. He was from a well off family in Jerusalem, his mother's home often served for a meeting place for the Christian brothers. (Mark 14:51, 52 / Acts 12:12-13)

Mark wasn't an immediate companion of Jesus. The earliest tradition held that the source of the information Mark wrote came primarily from the apostle Peter. Papias, Origen and Tertullian, for example. Earliest tradition also also indicates it was written sometime between 60 - 65 C.E. All of the leading authorities of the second and third centuries confirm that Mark was the writer.

John, the apostle Jesus loved, who reclined in front of him at the Last Passover wrote the Gospel bearing his name. Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen all of the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries C.E. give John as the writer. Eusebius quotes Irenaeus as stating: "John, the disciple of the Lord, who had rested on his breast, himself also gave fourth the gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." [4]

An important discovery in the 20th century of a manuscript known as the Papyrus Rylands 457 (P52), which contained John 18:31-33, 37, 38 that was circulation in provincial Egypt, where it was found, during the period of 130 - 150 C.E.

(01-11-2012 01:30 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Please explain why you claim the existence of these characters confirms the historicity of the Greek scripture, because it is clear that it doesn't.

It confirms what we read in the Scriptures, and it also assists in dating certain events by comparing the scriptures to known secular events and astronomical charts.

Footnotes

[1] McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, 1981 Reprint, Vol. V, page 895.

[2] In De viris inlustribus, Translation from the Latin text edited by E. C. Richardson and published in the series "Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur," Leipzig, 1896, Vol. 14, pages 8, 9.

[3] The Ecclesiastical History, VI, XXV, 3-6.

[4] The Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius, V, VIII, 4.

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02-11-2012, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2012 05:47 PM by The Theist.)
RE: Part I - The Archaeological Evidence (Response In Part)
(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Theist, thanks for your reply.

I note you shifted the topic of the archaeological evidence for the Greek scriptures on to an examination of the scripture itself.

Actually I was responding to your request to supply "one contemporary author who talks about the star of the show, Jesus."

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Am I to understand that your archaeological evidence is limited to the fact that
-John the Baptist ,
-Pilate and a
-fellow who Paul knew existed?
If there is more, please fill me in. If there is no more, you must admit, surely, that this is woefully inadequate as evidence.

I think that you're overlooking crucial evidence based upon a need to come to a certain conclusion, namely; that there is no archaeological evidence of the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures. Each of the examples I gave were claims by critics of the Bible that it couldn't be historically accurate because those people it mentioned were not known to exist outside of the Bible itself, until the archaeological evidence was discovered thus effectively dismissing those criticisms.

Those examples were just a few of many. Perhaps I should give one of a lesser known discovery which, even to this day isn't well known among skeptics, and demonstrate how important they are to dismissing the critic's doubt of historicity. To this day skeptics of the Bible seem blissfully aware of these rather old discoveries.

The skeptic's accusation is that there was only one census taken while Publius Sulpicius was governor of Syria, at about 6 C.E. The one that sparked a rebellion by Judas the Galilean and the Zealots? (Acts 5:37) That was the second, actually. Inscriptions found at and near Antioch reveals that some years earlier Quirinius served as the emperor's legate in Syria. As the Dictionnaire du Nouveau Testament in Crampon's French Bible (1939 ed., p. 360) says: "The scholarly researches of Zumpt (Commentat. epigraph., II,
86-104; De Syria romana provincia, 97-98) and of Mommsen (Res gestae divi Augusti) place beyond doubt that Quirinius was twice governor of Syria."

In 1764 an inscription called the Lapis Tiburtinus was found which concurs.

What does this mean? The skeptic of the Bible, even to this day, unaware of this "new" information, will unknowingly deny the possibility that there was a registration in days of Joseph and Mary just prior to Jesus birth. Didn't happen, they say. Though the evidence for it has been well established for some time. They, the critics of the Bible, are somewhat selective in their appreciation for evidence, it seems. They have been wrong time and time again. But when the evidence, the archaeological evidence which they claim is so important dismisses their protestations. Then the evidence becomes irrelevant.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Before I specifically address each issue you raise, I need to establish two fundamental points.

1.Irenaeus of Lyons attempted to list the first known Catholic canon in 180-190 CE, although he never compiled a definitive list of books. His list was the first ever to mention the four canonical Gospels. This was the first record of anybody mentioning the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, over 150 years after the events they purported to record. (http://firstnewtestament.com/gospels_ear...yons.htm). This is undisputed historical fact. Please google it for yourself. Ask yourself what that means about "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." It means the names are fabrications that have nothing to do with the authorship. The gospels were probably originally written decades earlier by we don't know who, but the names have NOTHING to do with whoever wrote them. There were scores of gospels in the second century...Irenaeus picked four and invented the names of their authors.

The link you supplied was dead. Irenaeus was educated by Ploycarp, a living link to the apostles. Your unsubstantiated claims that he the originator of the spurious authorship of the Gospels is without merit.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  2. The early church fathers were notorious liars. I refer you to Bucky Ball's commentary on this. I have written a chapter on this in my book, which I could cut and paste, but I will spare. Google the topic. You will be very surprised.

I don't think it a very effective course of debate to make a nonsensical claim unsupported by fact or evidence with a vague reference to some commentary I am unaware of and likely unimpressed by compounded by the suggestion that I "Google the topic." I could Google Chupacabra with a more profound result.

(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  Matthew, also named as Levi, was the tax collector before becoming one of Jesus' apostles. He is credited for writing the first gospel account.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  WRONG. "He is credited" is a term commonly used by apologists. It is not the same as "the evidence for this is as follows..." Other similar terms are "there is a tradition..." "the earliest tradition..." "it is thought...." "it is commonly believed...." Literature from apologists is full of these phrases because they lack real evidence. Matthew was not the author of the gospel, a fact admitted by nearly all respected historians today (including the conservative Catholic encyclopaedia)

Oh. WRONG! If only we had some fireworks to support that bold assessment. Is this Bucky talking now? 'Cause I gotta tell 'ya Doc, it wreaks of the stench of the Ball. Nevertheless . . .

If I had to choose which were more accurate, you accumulation of "nearly all respected historians of today" verses the numerous historians of the day in which we refer to I would choose the the later, if for no other reason than even as far as this debate goes, a brief episode so as not to bore the biased reader, still offers more support. This is just nonsense.

(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  Though he isn't listed as its writer in the account itself,


(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Correct ....one only needs to leaf through any of the Gospels to realise they were not written by eyewitnesses, or by anyone who interrogated eyewitnesses. There are no interviews of Jesus, or his disciples, or of any of the characters in the action. Nowhere do we read a phrase such as “I, Matthew/Mark/Luke/John saw this or heard that” or “I was present when” this or that happened, or “I talked to …who told me… so I asked him...” Everything is written as pure narrative, because the authors had no close connection to the described accounts.

Are you joking? The entire collection of four accounts are exclusively devoted to the very thing you are claiming doesn't exist.

Look. If Bucky Ball is the best you can do I would have pissed off to you and challenged him before you. Let me just give you this advise. Look elsewhere. You only do yourself a disservice.

I'm going to call a time out and pause this debate for a discussion with the moderator. Stark. We need to establish if Mark is using Bucky as puppet master, whether that is acceptable. I can come to some agreement upon that in as much as I am aware of it. I wanted a debate with Mark and promised one to Bucky which he rejected. Now, I'm willing to accept a debate with both of them but it is . . . somehow dirty and unacceptable to continue without the acknowledgement of Mr. Ball's participation.

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02-11-2012, 05:16 PM
RE: Historicity Of The Christian Greek Scriptures
Ok....I can now communicate.

This is the third computer I have tried to get through on. Apologies again everyone. This is very frustrating. There is nothing otherwise wrong with my computers, but they won't allow me to reply. Also, I cannot see my last reply to the theist....however he obviously got it, as he has replied. I am not sure if everyone else can see my reply.

Theist, your imagination is running away with you. Bucky didn't write a single word of my reply. You are also responding to arguments that I haven't made, and are presuming somehow that everyone understands what you are on about.

I will attempt to write out my full reply to you on this computer. I won't , however, attempt to "quote" you, as I've had 5 people at this end trying to work out how to do that, and when we finally thought we'd figured it (after an hour), all sorts of things went wrong, and I can't use my own laptop anymore. Note to admin....surely someone could put some clear instructions somewhere so people like myself can quote previous posters without going through some sort of mental gymnastics. I've been posting for a year....but still can't work it out, and neither can my "tech department."
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02-11-2012, 07:47 PM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2012 11:11 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Part I - The Archaeological Evidence
(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  
(01-11-2012 01:30 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Maybe you are unaware that the original authors of the gospels (real identities unknown) were not eyewitnesses to the events they described, nor did they interview eyewitnesses. If you choose to imagine they were, please provide some good evidence...it is quite an important point.

I assume you are aware most historians date the original authorship of the four gospels to between 70 and 100 CE? Acts was written well after 100 CE. It would be expected that they (the original authors) used the identities of some genuine characters to write their tales. You have mentioned only three out of hundreds of characters in the gospels and Acts, and you haven't mentioned one contemporary author who talks about the existence of the star of the show, Jesus.

The fact that these three characters may or may not have existed is, in fact, irrelevant. The question is not whether they existed, but whether the texts which reference them are true.

Matthew, also named as Levi, was the tax collector before becoming one of Jesus' apostles. He is credited for writing the first gospel account. Though he isn't listed as its writer in the account itself, the overwhelming testimony of the early church historians clearly indicate this fact. Papias of Hierapolois (early second century) is one of the earliest.

McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia: "Passages from Matthew are quoted by Justin Martyr, by the author of the letter to Diognetus (see in Otto's Justin Martyr, vol. ii), by Hegesippus, Irenæus, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. It is not merely from the matter, but the manner of the quotations, from the calm appeal as to a settled authority, from the absence of all hints of doubt, that we regard it as proved that the book we possess had not been the subject of any sudden change." [1]

In De viris inlustribus (Concerning Illustrious Men), chapter III, Jerome says: "Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed." [2]

Likewise, Origen, quoting Eusibus, says of the Gospel of Matthew that it was "first was written . . . according to Matthew, . . . who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language." [3]

It is interesting to note that some manuscripts, all from later than the 10th century C.E., have inscriptions at the end of the manuscript which date its writing as 41 C.E.

Mark, also known as John, is credited with the writing of the book of his name. When Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane the naked man who fled was Mark. He was from a well off family in Jerusalem, his mother's home often served for a meeting place for the Christian brothers. (Mark 14:51, 52 / Acts 12:12-13)

Mark wasn't an immediate companion of Jesus. The earliest tradition held that the source of the information Mark wrote came primarily from the apostle Peter. Papias, Origen and Tertullian, for example. Earliest tradition also also indicates it was written sometime between 60 - 65 C.E. All of the leading authorities of the second and third centuries confirm that Mark was the writer.

John, the apostle Jesus loved, who reclined in front of him at the Last Passover wrote the Gospel bearing his name. Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen all of the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries C.E. give John as the writer. Eusebius quotes Irenaeus as stating: "John, the disciple of the Lord, who had rested on his breast, himself also gave fourth the gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." [4]

An important discovery in the 20th century of a manuscript known as the Papyrus Rylands 457 (P52), which contained John 18:31-33, 37, 38 that was circulation in provincial Egypt, where it was found, during the period of 130 - 150 C.E.

(01-11-2012 01:30 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Please explain why you claim the existence of these characters confirms the historicity of the Greek scripture, because it is clear that it doesn't.

It confirms what we read in the Scriptures, and it also assists in dating certain events by comparing the scriptures to known secular events and astronomical charts.

Footnotes

[1] McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, 1981 Reprint, Vol. V, page 895.

[2] In De viris inlustribus, Translation from the Latin text edited by E. C. Richardson and published in the series "Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur," Leipzig, 1896, Vol. 14, pages 8, 9.

[3] The Ecclesiastical History, VI, XXV, 3-6.

[4] The Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius, V, VIII, 4.

Hi Theist, this is the full version of my reply to you. Apologies I can only cut and paste your statements due to technical problems. Please disregard my previous reply, particularly as due to technical errors, I have no record of it.

Bucky Ball has not written a single word of the following, and he has not seen it prior to my posting it here. Any similarity you notice in our writings is because we both have a love of history.

Have we finished the (rather brief) section on "archaeological evidence?"

Before I specifically address each issue you raise, it is important everyone understands two fundamental points...

1. Irenaeus of Lyons attempted to list the first known Catholic canon in 180-190 CE, although he never compiled a definitive list of books. He knew that many people were attracted to Gnosticism and feared that his account of Christianity couldn’t compete. Formalizing doctrinal authority so that everyone had the same beliefs was his solution to what he saw as a problem. His list included the four canonical Gospels. This was the first record of anybody mentioning the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, over 150 years after the events they purported to record. (http://firstnewtestament.com/gospels_early_irenaeus_of_lyons.htm). (Please copy and paste this reference into google to get it)

Irenaeus gave no good explanation as to who wrote them, or how the authors were connected to Yeshua. He did write
"Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke, the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia."
("Against Heresies" 3.1.1). I find this explanation full of obvious lies and woefully inadequate because of the lack of detail. It sounds like a cheap commentary concocted so that the topic of the gospels’authorship can be glossed over. He then claimed that as there were only four directions from which the wind blew, there could only be four Gospels!

The gospels were probably written decades earlier by we don't know who, but the four names have NOTHING to do with whoever wrote them. Rather than just ignore this statement, why don't you go to

Bethune, George “The Grounds of Christianity Examined by Comparing The New Testament
with the Old” (
http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/15968/pg15968.html), or

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...canon.html to check out some facts. Or...just use google to find out for yourself ( Mark Fulton doesn't control google, neither does Bucky Ball)

2. The early church fathers were notorious liars. Yes...that is a subjective opinion. I assure you, I have mountains of evidence to back that statement up. The topic has been covered here on TTA forum. Consider the following opinions of contemporary commentators and respected historians...

"It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction: I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the
inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings, three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism."




“A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and
doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated.”



St. Gregory (mid fourth century, from
Jerome's
letter 52 to Nepotian, http://catholicism.org/gregory-great.html)

“It will not appear strange to those who have given any attention to the history of mankind, which will always suggest this sad reflection: That the greatest zealots in religion, or the leaders of sects and parties, whatever purity or principles they pretend to have seldom scrupled to make use of a commodious lie for the advancement of what they call the truth. And with regard to these very Fathers, there is not one of them…who made any scruple in those ages of using the hyperbolical style to advance the honor of God and the salvation of men.”


(Dr. Conyers Middleton, 1844)


“[Eusebius was] the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity.”



Jakob Burckhardt
http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/history/historian/Jacob_Burckhardt.html)


“Not until the mass of inventions labeled ‘Eusebius’ shall be exposed, can the pretended references to Christians in Pagan writers of the first three centuries be recognized for the forgeries they are.”

Edwin Johnson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Johnson_(historian)

You wrote

"Matthew, also named as Levi, was the tax collector before becoming one of Jesus' apostles. He is credited for writing the first
gospel account. Though he isn't listed as its writer in the account itself, the overwhelming testimony of the early church historians
clearly indicate this fact."

It is quite correct that he isn't listed as the author. In fact, it is obvious none of the four are the authors of the gospels. Consider what this fifth century dude wrote...


“It is certain that the New Testament was not written by Christ himself, nor by his apostles, but a long while after them, by some
unknown persons, who, lest they should not be credited when they wrote of affairs they were little acquainted with, affixed to their works the names of the apostles, or of such as were supposed to have been their companions, asserting that what they had written themselves was written according to these persons to whom they ascribed it.”




Most Christians have been told that direct witnesses of Jesus’ life wrote the four Gospels. This is undoubtedly not the case. I can save the reader who wants to know the truth a lot of time and frustration. The bottom line is: we don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels, but the authors weren’t the companions of Jesus, and had never met him or anyone who had known him.


Even the conservative Catholic Encyclopedia states,


“It thus appears that the present titles of the Gospels are not traceable to the Evangelists themselves.” They use the word “evangelist” to avoid “apostle” or “disciple.” They are effectively (and correctly) admitting that the titles of the Gospels “are not traceable” to Jesus’apostles; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Yet in nearly every church around the world it is implied these apostles were the authors.


If there was even the slightest bit of good evidence that any of the Gospel authors knew Jesus, or someone who knew Jesus, the Catholic Encyclopedia would make a big deal of it. They don’t because there isn’t.


One only needs to leaf through any of the Gospels to realise they were not written by eyewitnesses, or by anyone who interrogated eyewitnesses. There are no interviews of Jesus, or his disciples, or of any of the characters in the action. Nowhere do we read a phrase such as “I, Matthew/Mark/Luke/John saw this or heard that” or “I was present when” this or that happened, or “I talked
to …who told me… so I asked him...” Everything is written as pure narrative, because the authors had no close connection to the described accounts.


You quoted

"McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia: "Passages from Matthew are quoted by Justin Martyr, by the author of the letter to Diognetus (see in Otto's Justin Martyr, vol. ii), by Hegesippus, Irenæus, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. It is not merely from the matter, but the manner of the quotations, from the calm appeal as to a settled authority, from the absence of all hints of doubt, that we regard it as proved that the book we possess had not been the subject of any sudden change." [1]"


Justin, writing circa 150 CE, never mentioned the names Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. He did quote from numerous non canonical texts, and the Old Testament, but never from Matthew, because "Matthew" didn't exist in 150 CE. The other dudes, writing post Irenaeus, may have quoted from Matthew, yet we're talking about 150 plus years after Jeebus died. It's similar to me or you quoting Matthew...it doesn't prove anything...other than that they're quoting Matthew.


Please see http://www.thenazareneway.com/gospels_se...itings.htm .

Is a "cyclopedia" a one -eyed encyclopaedia?


You wrote

"In De viris inlustribus (Concerning Illustrious Men), chapter III, Jerome says: "Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed." [2]"

If you check your sources about this, you will realise Jerome's "Gospel of Christ" which he translated, is NOT the same thing as today's gospel of Matthew. Jerome, writing in the 4th century was referring to the "Gospel of the Hebrews" or the "Gospel of the Nazarenes" (its true name), which he translated, but which has now been "lost" ie destroyed by Christians.

You wrote

"Likewise, Origen, quoting Eusibus, says of the Gospel of Matthew that it was "first was written . . . according to Matthew, . . . who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language." [3]

INCORRECT! Origen died in 254 CE, Eusebius (which is how his name is correctly spelled) was born in 263 CE. It is impossible to quote someone before they are born! This too is referring to the Gospel of the Nazarenes (which was originally written in Hebrew, unlike the canonical Matthew, which was written in Greek)

You wrote

"Mark, also known as John, is credited with the writing of the book of his name. When Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane the naked man who fled was Mark. He was from a well off family in Jerusalem, his mother's home often served for a meeting place for the Christian brothers. (Mark 14:51, 52 / Acts 12:12-13)...Mark wasn't an immediate companion of Jesus."

HUH? So Mark was romping around naked in a garden at night with Jesus, but wasn't his companion? Please explain!

You wrote

"Earliest tradition also also indicates it was written sometime between 60 - 65 C.E."

Yet read almost ANY modern commentary, and the earliest date given for Mark is post 70 CE, when the temple was destroyed. Why? Because "Jesus" predicted the destruction of the temple.

You wrote

"John, the apostle Jesus loved, who reclined in front of him at the Last Passover wrote the Gospel bearing his name. Clement of
Alexandria, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen all of the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries C.E. give John as the writer. Eusebius quotes
Irenaeus as stating: "John, the disciple of the Lord, who had rested on his breast, himself also gave fourth the gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." [4]"

As mentioned, these men were liars; they fabricated stories. None of them provided any EVIDENCE of a link between the gospel stories and a historical Jesus. The fact they made statements like this, 200-300 years after Jesus, yet failed to produce evidence, only proves they were LYING. The following 4 paragraphs are my conclusions about the church fathers, admittedly subjective, after I'd spent a few months reading their ramblings.

"They were the more educated members of the early Christian churches. Yet they were narrow-minded, superstitious, and mendacious. They readily told absurd, fabricated stories to impress simple people. Some of them forged documents. They displayed very little critical faculty; no story was too silly, no falsehood too glaring, no argument too weak to prevent them teaching it with full confidence of its truth. They thought it was permissible, and even commendable, to assert falsehoods for the sake of selling faith. They were the tabloid journalists of their day. It is on their testimony and others of their ilk that today’s Christian assumes the Gospels are truthful. There was a corrupt culture in the early Christian church.

There are no excuses for this. Blatant fiction presented as truth, uncritical scholarship, and demands for blind faith are unacceptable in any age.

There were men of their era and before them, such as Plato, Aristotle, Celsus, Cicero, Philo, Seutonius, Tacitus and numerous others, who employed high standards of scholarship in their essays. Their compositions are believable, consistent and still read well today, whereas their writings don’t. None of these men were honest enough to publicly admit what their peers repeatedly
pointed out; their faith was based on a foundation of manufactured mythical nonsense.


It is apparent how the Jesus Christ account emerged: Paul, church fathers and other nameless men concocted the stories in the same way they created untruthful anecdotes about demons, angels, animals, monsters, and singing planets. How could anyone today be convinced of the divinity, the miracles, or the teachings of Jesus after considering what these characters had to contend? It is crystal clear to me why they concocted lies and denigrated honest commentators such as Celsus and the Gnostics. Promoting Christian dogma fortified their own power and status, and that of the institutions they represented."


You wrote

"An important discovery in the 20th century of a manuscript known as the Papyrus Rylands 457 (P52), which contained John 18:31-33, 37, 38 that was circulation in provincial Egypt, where it was found, during the period of 130 - 150 C.E."

All this means is that a tiny piece of a gospel existed 100 odd years after Jesus died. If this is part of your argument that the four gospels are true records of history, it demonstrates only that your case is very very weak.
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03-11-2012, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2012 05:58 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Part I - The Archaeological Evidence (Response In Part)
(02-11-2012 04:40 AM)The Theist Wrote:  
(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Theist, thanks for your reply.

I note you shifted the topic of the archaeological evidence for the Greek scriptures on to an examination of the scripture itself.

Actually I was responding to your request to supply "one contemporary author who talks about the star of the show, Jesus."

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Am I to understand that your archaeological evidence is limited to the fact that
-John the Baptist ,
-Pilate and a
-fellow who Paul knew existed?
If there is more, please fill me in. If there is no more, you must admit, surely, that this is woefully inadequate as evidence.

I think that you're overlooking crucial evidence based upon a need to come to a certain conclusion, namely; that there is no archaeological evidence of the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures. Each of the examples I gave were claims by critics of the Bible that it couldn't be historically accurate because those people it mentioned were not known to exist outside of the Bible itself, until the archaeological evidence was discovered thus effectively dismissing those criticisms.

Those examples were just a few of many. Perhaps I should give one of a lesser known discovery which, even to this day isn't well known among skeptics, and demonstrate how important they are to dismissing the critic's doubt of historicity. To this day skeptics of the Bible seem blissfully aware of these rather old discoveries.

The skeptic's accusation is that there was only one census taken while Publius Sulpicius was governor of Syria, at about 6 C.E. The one that sparked a rebellion by Judas the Galilean and the Zealots? (Acts 5:37) That was the second, actually. Inscriptions found at and near Antioch reveals that some years earlier Quirinius served as the emperor's legate in Syria. As the Dictionnaire du Nouveau Testament in Crampon's French Bible (1939 ed., p. 360) says: "The scholarly researches of Zumpt (Commentat. epigraph., II,
86-104; De Syria romana provincia, 97-98) and of Mommsen (Res gestae divi Augusti) place beyond doubt that Quirinius was twice governor of Syria."

In 1764 an inscription called the Lapis Tiburtinus was found which concurs.

What does this mean? The skeptic of the Bible, even to this day, unaware of this "new" information, will unknowingly deny the possibility that there was a registration in days of Joseph and Mary just prior to Jesus birth. Didn't happen, they say. Though the evidence for it has been well established for some time. They, the critics of the Bible, are somewhat selective in their appreciation for evidence, it seems. They have been wrong time and time again. But when the evidence, the archaeological evidence which they claim is so important dismisses their protestations. Then the evidence becomes irrelevant.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Before I specifically address each issue you raise, I need to establish two fundamental points.

1.Irenaeus of Lyons attempted to list the first known Catholic canon in 180-190 CE, although he never compiled a definitive list of books. His list was the first ever to mention the four canonical Gospels. This was the first record of anybody mentioning the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, over 150 years after the events they purported to record. (http://firstnewtestament.com/gospels_ear...yons.htm). This is undisputed historical fact. Please google it for yourself. Ask yourself what that means about "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." It means the names are fabrications that have nothing to do with the authorship. The gospels were probably originally written decades earlier by we don't know who, but the names have NOTHING to do with whoever wrote them. There were scores of gospels in the second century...Irenaeus picked four and invented the names of their authors.

The link you supplied was dead. Irenaeus was educated by Ploycarp, a living link to the apostles. Your unsubstantiated claims that he the originator of the spurious authorship of the Gospels is without merit.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  2. The early church fathers were notorious liars. I refer you to Bucky Ball's commentary on this. I have written a chapter on this in my book, which I could cut and paste, but I will spare. Google the topic. You will be very surprised.

I don't think it a very effective course of debate to make a nonsensical claim unsupported by fact or evidence with a vague reference to some commentary I am unaware of and likely unimpressed by compounded by the suggestion that I "Google the topic." I could Google Chupacabra with a more profound result.

(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  Matthew, also named as Levi, was the tax collector before becoming one of Jesus' apostles. He is credited for writing the first gospel account.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  WRONG. "He is credited" is a term commonly used by apologists. It is not the same as "the evidence for this is as follows..." Other similar terms are "there is a tradition..." "the earliest tradition..." "it is thought...." "it is commonly believed...." Literature from apologists is full of these phrases because they lack real evidence. Matthew was not the author of the gospel, a fact admitted by nearly all respected historians today (including the conservative Catholic encyclopaedia)

Oh. WRONG! If only we had some fireworks to support that bold assessment. Is this Bucky talking now? 'Cause I gotta tell 'ya Doc, it wreaks of the stench of the Ball. Nevertheless . . .

If I had to choose which were more accurate, you accumulation of "nearly all respected historians of today" verses the numerous historians of the day in which we refer to I would choose the the later, if for no other reason than even as far as this debate goes, a brief episode so as not to bore the biased reader, still offers more support. This is just nonsense.

(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  Though he isn't listed as its writer in the account itself,


(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Correct ....one only needs to leaf through any of the Gospels to realise they were not written by eyewitnesses, or by anyone who interrogated eyewitnesses. There are no interviews of Jesus, or his disciples, or of any of the characters in the action. Nowhere do we read a phrase such as “I, Matthew/Mark/Luke/John saw this or heard that” or “I was present when” this or that happened, or “I talked to …who told me… so I asked him...” Everything is written as pure narrative, because the authors had no close connection to the described accounts.

Are you joking? The entire collection of four accounts are exclusively devoted to the very thing you are claiming doesn't exist.

Look. If Bucky Ball is the best you can do I would have pissed off to you and challenged him before you. Let me just give you this advise. Look elsewhere. You only do yourself a disservice.

I'm going to call a time out and pause this debate for a discussion with the moderator. Stark. We need to establish if Mark is using Bucky as puppet master, whether that is acceptable. I can come to some agreement upon that in as much as I am aware of it. I wanted a debate with Mark and promised one to Bucky which he rejected. Now, I'm willing to accept a debate with both of them but it is . . . somehow dirty and unacceptable to continue without the acknowledgement of Mr. Ball's participation.

You wrote



"I think that you're overlooking crucial evidence based upon a need to come to a certain conclusion, namely; that there is no archaeological evidence of the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures. Each of the examples I gave were claims by critics of the Bible that it couldn't be historically accurate because those people it mentioned were not known to exist outside of the Bible itself, until the archaeological evidence was discovered thus effectively dismissing those criticisms."


I'm not overlooking any "evidence." I agree Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, and Paul's mate existed. That does not make the gospels true. Surely this is self evident? Consider a modern analogy. I could claim I was best mates with JF Kennedy, and have a video of him swimming naked with Marilyn Monroe. Just because he existed doesn't mean my claims are true.


Quirinius may have been a governor twice, but there was only one census. Doesn't mean little baby Jeebus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. The Bethlehem birth story is a myth.Matthew’s gospel states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a small town in southern Judea, just outside Jerusalem—yet each of the Gospels claim he grew up in Galilee, which was a three day walk from Bethlehem. Why the different locations? Matthew’s was the first gospel to give Jesus a birth
story, and he was trying to make it seem to fulfill an Old Testament prophecy.
Micah 5:2 reads:


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” “Bethlehem Ephrathah” clearly referred
to a clan of people. Matthew changed this reference to a clan into a tale about a town. He wrote:


“And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah, for out of you will come a leader who will shepherd my people Israel" (Matt. 2:6, NJB). This throws serious doubt on the Bethlehem birth scenario.


The year of Yeshua’s birth is uncertain. Matthew made out he was born in King Herod the Great’s time (died 4 BCE). Yet Luke alleged he was born at the time of a census:


"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be
taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David,
which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be
delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1–7, KJV).


The date of the only known contemporary census was ca. 6–7 CE, and to hold a census was hardly a common occurrence. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius). That makes the date of Jesus' birth about 10 years later than Herod’s the Great’s death. A ten-year discrepancy is a serious error. One or both of the authors were mistaken, or were fabricating history, as the two tales are irreconcilable.
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03-11-2012, 06:08 PM
RE: Part I - The Archaeological Evidence (Response In Part)
(02-11-2012 04:40 AM)The Theist Wrote:  
(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Theist, thanks for your reply.

I note you shifted the topic of the archaeological evidence for the Greek scriptures on to an examination of the scripture itself.

Actually I was responding to your request to supply "one contemporary author who talks about the star of the show, Jesus."

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Am I to understand that your archaeological evidence is limited to the fact that
-John the Baptist ,
-Pilate and a
-fellow who Paul knew existed?
If there is more, please fill me in. If there is no more, you must admit, surely, that this is woefully inadequate as evidence.

I think that you're overlooking crucial evidence based upon a need to come to a certain conclusion, namely; that there is no archaeological evidence of the historicity of the Christian Greek scriptures. Each of the examples I gave were claims by critics of the Bible that it couldn't be historically accurate because those people it mentioned were not known to exist outside of the Bible itself, until the archaeological evidence was discovered thus effectively dismissing those criticisms.

Those examples were just a few of many. Perhaps I should give one of a lesser known discovery which, even to this day isn't well known among skeptics, and demonstrate how important they are to dismissing the critic's doubt of historicity. To this day skeptics of the Bible seem blissfully aware of these rather old discoveries.

The skeptic's accusation is that there was only one census taken while Publius Sulpicius was governor of Syria, at about 6 C.E. The one that sparked a rebellion by Judas the Galilean and the Zealots? (Acts 5:37) That was the second, actually. Inscriptions found at and near Antioch reveals that some years earlier Quirinius served as the emperor's legate in Syria. As the Dictionnaire du Nouveau Testament in Crampon's French Bible (1939 ed., p. 360) says: "The scholarly researches of Zumpt (Commentat. epigraph., II,
86-104; De Syria romana provincia, 97-98) and of Mommsen (Res gestae divi Augusti) place beyond doubt that Quirinius was twice governor of Syria."

In 1764 an inscription called the Lapis Tiburtinus was found which concurs.

What does this mean? The skeptic of the Bible, even to this day, unaware of this "new" information, will unknowingly deny the possibility that there was a registration in days of Joseph and Mary just prior to Jesus birth. Didn't happen, they say. Though the evidence for it has been well established for some time. They, the critics of the Bible, are somewhat selective in their appreciation for evidence, it seems. They have been wrong time and time again. But when the evidence, the archaeological evidence which they claim is so important dismisses their protestations. Then the evidence becomes irrelevant.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Before I specifically address each issue you raise, I need to establish two fundamental points.

1.Irenaeus of Lyons attempted to list the first known Catholic canon in 180-190 CE, although he never compiled a definitive list of books. His list was the first ever to mention the four canonical Gospels. This was the first record of anybody mentioning the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, over 150 years after the events they purported to record. (http://firstnewtestament.com/gospels_ear...yons.htm). This is undisputed historical fact. Please google it for yourself. Ask yourself what that means about "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." It means the names are fabrications that have nothing to do with the authorship. The gospels were probably originally written decades earlier by we don't know who, but the names have NOTHING to do with whoever wrote them. There were scores of gospels in the second century...Irenaeus picked four and invented the names of their authors.

The link you supplied was dead. Irenaeus was educated by Ploycarp, a living link to the apostles. Your unsubstantiated claims that he the originator of the spurious authorship of the Gospels is without merit.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  2. The early church fathers were notorious liars. I refer you to Bucky Ball's commentary on this. I have written a chapter on this in my book, which I could cut and paste, but I will spare. Google the topic. You will be very surprised.

I don't think it a very effective course of debate to make a nonsensical claim unsupported by fact or evidence with a vague reference to some commentary I am unaware of and likely unimpressed by compounded by the suggestion that I "Google the topic." I could Google Chupacabra with a more profound result.

(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  Matthew, also named as Levi, was the tax collector before becoming one of Jesus' apostles. He is credited for writing the first gospel account.

(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  WRONG. "He is credited" is a term commonly used by apologists. It is not the same as "the evidence for this is as follows..." Other similar terms are "there is a tradition..." "the earliest tradition..." "it is thought...." "it is commonly believed...." Literature from apologists is full of these phrases because they lack real evidence. Matthew was not the author of the gospel, a fact admitted by nearly all respected historians today (including the conservative Catholic encyclopaedia)

Oh. WRONG! If only we had some fireworks to support that bold assessment. Is this Bucky talking now? 'Cause I gotta tell 'ya Doc, it wreaks of the stench of the Ball. Nevertheless . . .

If I had to choose which were more accurate, you accumulation of "nearly all respected historians of today" verses the numerous historians of the day in which we refer to I would choose the the later, if for no other reason than even as far as this debate goes, a brief episode so as not to bore the biased reader, still offers more support. This is just nonsense.

(01-11-2012 09:46 AM)The Theist Wrote:  Though he isn't listed as its writer in the account itself,


(02-11-2012 02:24 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Correct ....one only needs to leaf through any of the Gospels to realise they were not written by eyewitnesses, or by anyone who interrogated eyewitnesses. There are no interviews of Jesus, or his disciples, or of any of the characters in the action. Nowhere do we read a phrase such as “I, Matthew/Mark/Luke/John saw this or heard that” or “I was present when” this or that happened, or “I talked to …who told me… so I asked him...” Everything is written as pure narrative, because the authors had no close connection to the described accounts.

Are you joking? The entire collection of four accounts are exclusively devoted to the very thing you are claiming doesn't exist.

Look. If Bucky Ball is the best you can do I would have pissed off to you and challenged him before you. Let me just give you this advise. Look elsewhere. You only do yourself a disservice.

I'm going to call a time out and pause this debate for a discussion with the moderator. Stark. We need to establish if Mark is using Bucky as puppet master, whether that is acceptable. I can come to some agreement upon that in as much as I am aware of it. I wanted a debate with Mark and promised one to Bucky which he rejected. Now, I'm willing to accept a debate with both of them but it is . . . somehow dirty and unacceptable to continue without the acknowledgement of Mr. Ball's participation.

Copy and paste this link, http://firstnewtestament.com/gospels_ear..._lyons.htm , into google and you will get it.



You wrote


"Irenaeus was educated by Ploycarp, a living link to the apostles."


This is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY, for the following reasons. Polycarp (70–155 CE), the Greek bishop of Smyrna (modern Izmir, in Turkey), was the leading second century figure in Roman Asia by virtue of his intermediary position between the apostolic and patristic (referring to the church fathers) ages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp). Although he is considered one of the apostolic fathers, he lived in an age after the deaths of the apostles. He is among the earliest Christians whose writings survive.

He was a practical leader and gifted teacher. Acccording to St. Irenaeus of Lyon (125/30-202 CE), who remembered him, Polycarp was “a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus,
and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics.” Irenaeus claimed that Polycarp knew the apostle John and others (unidentified) who had seen Jesus, yet one has to question this. Any contemporary of Jesus would have been about eighty years old
(and would have had to have survived the first Jewish war) by the time Polycarp was a ten-year-old.
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