Saturday, February 25, 2012

ask God to prove himself to me.

the atheist concept of Revelation

On CARM (atheist message board) Vladimir posts:

Could I request something from any believers here, who have a good relationship with God and who regularly pray to God for guidance and direction and who hear God's voice (no matter how subtle)?

Next time that you pray, could you ask God to tell any of the non-believers here something profound?

A message from God himself for the non-believers here would be appreciated.

I'm being serious. Not joking.
I'm sure this sounds perfectly reasonable to many atheists. It's like a scientific test, what better way to prove that no one is "up there answering prayers?" There are some problems with approach. The irony is I remember an atheist on CARM who had as a signature some quote about "if God revealed himself to me I would not believe my senses." So he's saying een if God revealed himself I wouldn't believe is. So why ask? I know all atheists aren't saying that, but at least for that one guy it's a real pretense to ask questions like this.

The major problem is it's a means of circumventing the search in the heart that God has designed belief to be. The search is real imporant becuase it enables us to interlace the values of the good. If God did force his presence upon the world in such a way that no one could doubt many would resent it. the more lib service they felt forced to give the more deeply they would resent it. But those who seek for the truth and find in a leap of faith have a personal commitment of love. It's that existential aspect that people most fear, and this is most necessary to the search; the point whereon realizes the nature of ones own being is that of content upon God. That's the moment of truth, the only choices are get "real" with God in your heart (repent and change) or reject the whole thing and live in pretense telling yourself "i'm a smart tough cool skeptic."


the evidence is he communicated with us. your evidence that he doesn't is just that you haven't open enough to receive it. that is not a disproof. your narrow mindedness is not a disproof of God.

Originally Posted by A Hermit View Post
Then you have no reason to expect anyone else to believe, do you?
I never said I EXPECT anyone to believe me. I expect people to listen and think about my reasons but so atheist ever do.


Those are a rather different order of belief though; I have a mother and brothers and went to school too; on the other hand you're telling me that the almighty, all loving creator of the universe chooses to talk to you, but not to me; or on the other hand that I'm too stupid/ignorant/selfish/small minded/evil/not fully human enough to measure up to your standards when it comes to appreciating the depth and beauty of life because I don't choose to embrace you language for it.

"talk" here is metaphor right? I didn't say God wont communicate with you. You are decided to ignore and pretend it's unreal the communication that he did do and to close off the possibly of future communication. that's your deal.

Yes you do or you wouldn't work so hard at convincing me and others, or react so strongly to something as innocuous as my last comment...

I'm not out to destroy or damn anyone or anything; just to suggest an alternative point of view. Why does that make you so angry?

Originally Posted by Electric Skeptic View Post
God is (supposedly) omnipotent. If he tried to communicate to anyone, he would do so. Claims that he tries but fails mean that he is not omnipotent.
If you believe God to be not omnipotent, fine. If you do not, you are contradicting yourself.

No, you do not prove God at all.


I have discussed in the past the problem with the concept of omnipotence and how it's an anti quested concept. that's become your excuse. the one thing God requires you to do is the one thing you refuse to do.

becuase you refuse to do it your big excuse is "it's God's fault I rejected him because he didn't make it so overwhelming enough I couldn't deny it."

that's an excuse. that's not searching.

"you don't prove God at all!" can't you see what an excuse that is? I say over and over again. Its' not about proof, can't prove it because God is beyond understanding. the battle is in the heart. you have to search in your heart and when God reveals himself that's where he iwll do it."

your answer to all that is "but he didn't do it MY WAY so I'm absolved of all responsibility!"

as long as you refuse to repent and seek God in the heart! there ant gonna be no revelation.

why should the king existence surrender to your terms? YOU surrender! you take his terms!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Atheist Charge of "a smoking gun"


This is all predicated upon a post by person on CARM message board:


"Mark 16:8 is a smoking gun.

Mark 16:8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. [B]They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[/B]

Mark's gospel, written at least two decades after the supposed resurrection explains why none heard of the resurrection of Jesus. That's because the women told nothing to anyone.
The idea of a smoking gun, that you are going to find some passage that reveals a secret hint about the events and disproves the gospel is foolish. The versions we have are the not the first version of the Gospels ever written. Any "smoking gun" is probalby redacted in and not part of the original story. There's no way to prove it is or not. I have demonstrated many times that modern scholars, such as Helmutt Koester, John Dominick Cross, and others do no hold to the idea that the Gospels were written for the first time by Mark. For a long time, well back before the 20th century scholars assumed that the Gospels were circulated first as oral tradition. Now we know that the Gospels we have as canonical were not even the first versions in writing.

My essay on Gospel behind the Gospels demonstrates a wealth of material documenting scholarly evidence of this fact. My essay on historical validity of the Gospels shows at least eight different levels of trajectories of transmission through which the material reached the communities that produced the canonicals. The four canonical gospels and Peter all use that original work. Each one organizes it along with other materials. Each one leaves out and emphasizes different things.

We can't assume Mark writes the accurate first version and all the others degenerate form Mark. Matt may be more accurate than Mark because he may combine Mark with better primary sources. All of the gospel communities (communities that produced the gospels) drew upon their own eye witnesses so they are all accurate. likewise they are all mixed up.

There are smoking guns that prove the Gospel story but they don't turn on proving the literal nature of some event. For example the fact that Paul alludes to materials in the Gospels that weren't even written when he wrote any of his epistles is a dead give away that the material was circulating before Mark wrote his Gospels. That takes the resurrection accounts back to mid first century. That's withyin the life span of eye witnesses.

Paul's use of Jesus' teachings indicates that he probably worked from his own saying source which contained at least aspects of Q. That indicates wide connection with the Jerusalem chruch and the proto "Orthodox" faith.

Parable of Sower 1 Corinthians 3:6 Matt.
Stumbling Stone Romans 9: 33 Jer 8:14/Synoptics
Ruling against divorce 1 cor 7:10 Mark 10:11
Support for Apostles 1 Cor 9:14 Q /Luke 10:7
Institution of Lord's Supper 1 Cor 11:23-26 Mark 14
command concerning prophets 1Cor 14:37 Synoptic
Apocalyptic saying 1 Thes. 4:15 21
Blessing of the Persecuted Romans 12:14 Q/Luke 6:27
Not repaying evil with evil Romans 12:17 and I Thes 5:15 Mark 12:12-17
Paying Taxes to authorities Romans 13:7 Mark 9:42
No Stumbling Block Romans 14:13 Mark 9:42
Nothing is unclean Romans 14:14 Mark 7:15
Thief in the Night 1 Thes 5:2 Q/ Luke 12:39
Peace among yourselves 1 Thes Mark 9:50
Have peace with Everyone Romans 12:18 Mar 9:50
Do not judge Romans 13: 10 Q /Luke 6:37

The Jesus Narrative

Paul's allusions to the narrative relates to many points in the Gospels:

He was flesh and blood (Phil 2:6, 1 Tim 3:16)
Born from the lineage of David (Rom 1:3-4, 2 Tim 2:8)
Jesus' baptism is implied (Rom 10:9)
The last supper (1 Cor 11:23ff)
Confessed his Messiahship before Pilate (1 Tim 6:13)
Died for peoples' sins (Rom 4:25, 1 Tim 2:6)
He was killed (1 Cor 15:3, Phil 2:8)
Christ Crucified (1 Cor. 2:2)
Buried (1 Cor 15:4)
Empty tomb is implied (1 Cor 15:4)
Jesus was raised from the dead (2 Tim 2:8)
Resurrected Jesus appeared to people (1 Cor 15:4ff)
James, a former skeptics, witnessed this (1 Cor 15:7)
as did Paul (1 Cor 15:8-9)
This was reported at an early date (1 Cor 15:4-8)
He asceded to heaven, glorified and exalted (1 Tim 3:16, Phil 2:6f)
Disciples were transformed by this (1 Tim 3:16)
Disciples made the Gospel center of preaching (1 Cor 15:1-4)
Resurrection was chief validation of message (Rom 1:3-4, Rom 10:9-10)
Called Son of God (Rom 1:3-4)
Called Lord (Rom 1:4, Rom 10:9, Phil 2:11)
Called God (Phil 2:6)
Called Christ or Messiah (Rom 1:4, Phil 2:11

In terms of the particular smoking gun talked about above, the brevity of Mark's ending and the assertion that Mark's Gospel was written so long after and this accounts for why we don't hear of the resurrection before. That's based upon a lot of false assumptions. First of all there's a great deal of evidence that the story circularizing before Mark was written. Not only due to the allusions in Paul Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Thomas, and other material that illustrates this. See the links above. Other problems:

(1) We don't have must evidence for the first century for anything. There is not much servicing form that century. Its' not realizatic to expect to find something talking about a belief that probalby circulated among the lower illiterate levels of society.

(2) The ending of mark was lost. the bit we have that is being quoted is just where the lost ending starts. We don't know what Mark said the women did. In fact there are several different endings used at different times.

Mark 16:9-20 has been called a later addition to the Gospel of Mark by most New Testament scholars in the past century. The main reason for doubting the authenticity of the ending is that it does not appear in some of the oldest existing witnesses, and it is reported to be absent from many others in ancient times by early writers of the Church. Moreover, the ending has some stylistic features which also suggest that it came from another hand. The Gospel is obviously incomplete without these verses, and so most scholars believe that the final leaf of the original manuscript was lost, and that the ending which appears in English versions today (verses 9-20) was supplied during the second century. Below are some excerpts from various scholarly sources that conclude that the verses are a later addition.

Does God's Trnascendent Nature Prevent Us From Understanding Anything AT All About God?


On the blog article I wrote: "demand for evidence of God unfair and misplaced"
the blog piece itself.

StewPiD MoNkEy had some questions for the comment section:


Hello again. Had to have a name change due to copy right laws. But any way, there is a slight problem with your logic. You say, "God is beyond our understanding." In the third paragraph yet later you go on to say, "God wants the search". Which one is it? Since you are bringing up epistemology, this question is directly towards the subject. If your God is "beyond you understanding", then how can u state what he/it wants? The whole concept of being in gods mind directly states that he is non material (how you get to a mind that does not have a brain based in matter is another story). Since by your standards he is non material there is no seperating what he is from that he is. If one aspect of your God is unknowable, then all aspects are unknowable. So to claim to know anything about your God, i. e. He wants u to search, is to claim knowledge of the unknowable. This negates its unknowable status. If its known then your God should be quantifiable. How do you reconcile this glaring contradiction?

Let's break it down:

"God is beyond our understanding." In the third paragraph yet later you go on to say, "God wants the search". Which one is it?
Both. God does not ask us to understand him, he asks us to seek and find him. What we are finding is a personal relationship with the source of our being and our place in being. We can know experimentally things we don't understand intellectually. I don't know that much about how a tv works, how my computer works, even how the lights work, other than the average amount of surface knowledge that most people possess. Yet I use all of these things. In terms of relationship I know and like or love various people who do I don't understand psychologically. Of cousre there is a certain degree of understanding that comes from experiencing the reality of a person or of God. In terms of God experience that is called the "noetic quality" of religious experience. That's not really what is being talked about when we say God is beyond our understanding. noetic qualtiies are part of the sense of hte numinous which is basic aspect of religious experience. That's the sense people get that the experience of the divine imparts some of kind of knowledge. It's not scientific or intellectual knowledge. The sort of thing one gains from the noetic aspects of religoius experience is the intuitive sense that life has meaning and that God loves us.

StEwPiD_MoNkEy said...
Since you are bringing up epistemology, this question is directly towards the subject. If your God is "beyond you understanding", then how can u state what he/it wants?
He can tell us. The noetic qulaities also impart a degree of knowledge of this sort. We know form the sense of love that comes with the sense of the numinous that God wants to have a love relationship with us. In addition to this, in the Christian tradition, we believe that Jesus was modeling God's character for us and Jesus tells us this.

StEwPiD_MoNkEy said...

The whole concept of being in gods mind directly states that he is non material (how you get to a mind that does not have a brain based in matter is another story).

Not necessarily. I have things in my mind and I'm material. Yet I accept that God is not material. In fact I suggest that the divide bewteen material and spiritual is illusory. In my view, taking my ques form German philosophers, spirit is mind. In fact while most people focus on the definition of the Greek term for spirit, pnuma, as "wind" or "breath" most overlook the fact that "mind" is also part of the definition. In fact matter breaks down as well. Matter is energy, and mind is energy. There may be a point at which the two meet. We don't really know what energy is. If you look at the things science says about it, energy is made up of sub atomic particles. What are particles? They are not little balls like the models of atoms suggest, they are "charges." So atoms and subatomic particls are made up of little bitty atoms, so to speak. They are all charges and those charges are made up of more charges. If we ask "what is a charge" the answer really in literal is "more charges." Matter is just a different form of energy and it's not all that clear what energy is. If reductinoists are right and mind is just an organized matrix of electrical charge than it seems that mind and energy are really pretty much the same substance. That suggests that matter and spirit meet at a certain conjunction.

StEwPiD_MoNkEy said...

Since by your standards he is non material there is no seperating what he is from that he is.

That's a tautological statement and it's true of everything.

StEwPiD_MoNkEy said...

If one aspect of your God is unknowable, then all aspects are unknowable.
Conclusion not in evidence. It's also contradicted by any number of empirical instances. For example if I don't know what the submerge part of an ice berg holds that doesn't mean that I don't understand the part that's above water. If I don't know what caused the big bang that doesn't mean I don't undersatnd certain aspects of the expansion. If I don't know some details of a friend's past I can still have a basic understanding of that friend's psychological make up.

StEwPiD_MoNkEy said...

So to claim to know anything about your God, i. e. He wants u to search, is to claim knowledge of the unknowable. This negates its unknowable status. If its known then your God should be quantifiable. How do you reconcile this glaring contradiction?

At this point you are just making a pedantic error. Once its' been explained to you the different senses in which the terms are used (such as "to know" fore example) it should be clear two different senses are involved. The Eastern Orthodox chruch makes the distinction between the unknowable nature of God through conventional means, and the personal or spiritual recourse to experiential knowledge of God. This distinction is preserved in apaphatic theology, the practice of only say what God is not, and that of mystical union where one understands through experience but speaks metahoricallly about it.

Eastern Orthodox Church. Timothy Ware wrote a fine book, The Orthodox Church that does a good job of introducing Western Christians to the Eastern Church.[1]

Ware explains the great schism and how the gulf between east and west continued to grow. He wants to explain the ways in which the east contributed to the gulf. He says that nothing was so radical as the scholastic “revolution” but he lists as the eastern counterpart the Hesychast controversy (pg2). 14th century Byzantium. This involved God’s nature and the method of prayer. To explain the controversy he goes back to history of eastern mystical theology, back to Clement of Alexandria (early third century) and Origen (mid 3d). The Cappadocians, especially Gregory of Nyssa and also Evagrius, a monk in the Egyptian desert (d399) developed the ideas of Clement and Origen. This entire tradition depended upon an apophatic approach, especially as developed by Clement and Gregory. God is beyond our understanding. We cannot speak accurately about God because we can’t understand God and we don’t know if our experiences of God are so very encompassing or just fragmentary. Therefore, the mystics of the Eastern Church use negative language of God rather than positive. That is to say they concern themselves with what God is not, rather than what God is.[i2] (63)

“The true knowledge and vision of God consists in this—in seeing that he is invisible, because what we seek lies beyond all knowledge, being wholly separated by the darkness of incomprehensibility.” –Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses, 11, 163 (377A).

The Height of Negative theology is reached in the works of Dionysius the Areopagite. (unknown writer lived in Syria toward the end of the fifth century). Saint Maximus the Confessor (662) compassed a commentary on these writings and assured their place in the Eastern Church. [3]

He is also an influence on the west, as Ware points out, as Aquinas quotes him heavily in Summa Theologica. The concept of God as Being itself is ratified by Vatican II and is a major premise of modern Catholic doctrine.[4]

[1] Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, New York: Penguin books, 1963 (1993 edition).

[2] Ibid. 63

[3] Ibid. quotes John of Damascus from On the Orthodox Faith 1,4 (P.G. Xciv, 800b

[4] Jean-Luc Marion, God without Being. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, Thomas A. Carlson Trans. 1991 (original language publication 1982). xxii.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Answering Mark Sinclair From the Comment Section


Mark Sinclair responds to a recent article on Metacrock's Blog: "Why did God Create: Atheist Assumptions about Free Will Defense."

In that discussion I defended by version of the free will defense, Soteriolgoical Drama in which I argue that God must allow the world to run on in a neutral fashion with traces of the ultimate truth available but they must be dug out in an all out search for truth. The reason for this is that only such a search allows one to internalize the values of the good. What I mean by this is that unless we experience the search ourselves they wont be our values. The values we come to learn and hold as a result of seeking truth must be obtained personally, they can't be spoon fed because they would not be our values. When Jesus said "he who has been forgiven much, loves much" he's getting at the idea that unless you really experience the journey yourself its not as meaningful. God can't prescribe that we get into sinful paths in order to experience redemption, that's how Rasputin got started. The next thing over from that is search for the truth, which does not necessitate sin. Mark Sinclair requires further elucidation.

None of your explanations work. If God wanted us to truly internalize our beliefs or choices, since He is all powerful, could He simply not make it so? Does He not have the ability to do anything? If so why not, accomplish all His goals simply through His will? Why does He watch us suffer, when by definition, He could accomplish his goals, simply by willing it so.

I'm not mocking, I desperately want an answer, I want to believe, but it's so hard with all these logical inconsistencies and doubts.
In answer to this earnest plea I will go into greater detail than I did in the answer box of the comment section. Let's break it down:

If God wanted us to truly internalize our beliefs or choices, since He is all powerful, could He simply not make it so?
Obviously if God wanted us to hold certain values in a superficial way, just knowing the concepts, he could put the concepts in us. That would not be the same thing. You cant' have your cake and eat it too. you can't think for yourself and have others spoon feed your ideas to you. In order to learn the values of the good we must experience the search for the truth. Hidden behind Mark's talk of "all powerful God" is probably the assumptino that all powerful means being able to do nonsense like have your cake and eat it too. This is why modern theologians don't use the "omnis" they speak of "maximal greatness" rather than "allow powerful" becasue it communicates more. Why should "all powerful" be construed as the ability to do nonsense or the arability to violate deductive logic?

The notion that God should be able to violate logical necessity is not mandated by scripture and there's just no reason to accept it. A lot of atheists think it's cleaver to propose ideas like this.

Skeptic: Can god smell next Thursday?

Believer: days of the week don't have smells

Skeptic: so God can't smell next Thursday right?

Believer: I guess

Skeptic: Then there's soemthing God can't do so he's not God.

I don't find that cleaver I think it's silly. Nothing in the Bible says "God can violate logical necessity." Nothing in the Bible says "God is 'all powerful' in the sense of doing nonsense." It implies that God is able to do anything logically doable that doesn't mean God can do nonsense or violate logical necessity. No reason to think God can create square circles. That's not reasonable. That sort of thinknig that says "yes, God can smell next Thursday," is not Biblical but comes from Aristotle's unmoved mover. There's no reason to think that God can put personal experiences in us without us experiencing them and no reason for us to avoid the search. Jesus says "seek and ye shall find." Not only is the search mandated by Christ but it's also promised that if we are sincere we ill find the answer.

Sinclair again:

Does He not have the ability to do anything?
Not if by anything you mean logically contradictory stuff and nonsense.

If so why not, accomplish all His goals simply through His will?
Because smelling next Thrusday is not one of his goals. God as the wisdom to set goals he can accomplish, that means all of his goals make sense. "Redeem mankind, move humans along the road of progress until the make the world a decent place, crate an online privacy policy that doesn't' born one to tears in the reading, create a modern version of old sixties tv shows that done tear the heart out of the original concept. Although that latter one might be beyond the pale of logical necessity.

Why does He watch us suffer, when by definition, He could accomplish his goals, simply by willing it so.
Because he can't, because it's a nonsense goal. To have a moral universe there must be free will. To have free will one must actually be free. If your will is given you and it only has the appearance of freedom then it's not truly free. moralty is decision making, so it must done freely. That means God must risk the realty of people screwing themselves over with bad choices. That the risk comes to fruition is not a defeater for the plan. It doesn't negate the purpose. Free will is met and those who choose the good freely choose the good and the purpose of creation has been reached. The reality of a moral universe comes at the expense of human pain and suffering.

fortunately God is in the redemption business. All pain and suffering will be redeemed and we have a whole eternity to do it in. Now one might say, as the atheitws my previous blog spot said (see above)

(1) If God exists, then he would ensure that the best possible world exists.
(2) Because God is maximally great, the possible world containing God and nothing else is the best possible world.
(3) Therefore, if God exists, he would not create anything.
That's not a valid conclusion. That would only be the case if we could calculate all variables and weigh every reality and every possibly. Only God can do that. that's not a logcial contradiction so maximally great creator can do it. We must have the faith to assume that he did and that he knows the price of creation is worth it. We can know that too by placing our faith in Christ.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dating the Gospels, New Trend Toward Early Dates

John Rylands Fragment

In that debate with Doug Shaver on TWeb (I published here two different speeches of mine--the debate is now over if anyone wishes to imbibe the wisdom), Doug argued for dates of the Gospels way up in the second century. It always strikes me as hilarious when I debate Jesus mythers and they are so anti-academic and so opposed to the progress of modern scientific method of Bible study because they methods have produced some results that have not disappointed believers. It's ludicrous becuase the fundamentalist inerrency position is in shambles, at least for the Old Testament, but the out look for New Testament is not so bad. It's funny becuase the mythers have reached back into the nineteenth century while the new trend even among liberals is toward earlier dates not latter ones.

No disparagement intended against Doug, who I view as a friend, but it occurred to me that he really doesn't know how scholars arrive at their views on dating so he thinks they are just spouting dogma and he said as much (if one cares to look for it). When I say a trend to earlier dating I mean it's big. Here's an example of just the early dating on Matthew:
from a site called "Dating the New Testament"



Matthew Peter Ainsile, D.D. A.D. 48 to 69
48 69 58.5

Matthew The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary Post 70 AD
70 70 70.0

Matthew An Introduction to the New Testament, D.A. Carson Ph.D. & Douglas J. Moo, Ph.D. shortly prior 70 A.D.
69 69 69.0

Matthew Apologetics Study Bible, A.D. 60's is not unreasonable
60 69 64.5

Matthew Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, A.D. 60's1
60 69 64.5

Matthew Believer's Study Bible, W.A.Criswell, Ph.D., Editor, prior 70 A.D.
69 69 69.0

Matthew Biblical Illustrator, N.T. Archbishop Thomson A.D. 58 to 60
58 60 59.0

Matthew Craig L. Blomberg, Ph..D. A.D. 58to 65
58 65 61.5

Matthew Blue Letter Bible, AD 55 to 60
55 60 57.5

Matthew Raymond Brown, Ph.D. AD 80 to 90, give or take a decade
80 90 85.0

Matthew F.F. Bruce, Ph.D. shortly after 70 AD
71 71 71.0

Matthew D.A. Carson, R.T. France, and G.J. Wenham, eds. New Bible Commentary: 21 Century Edition, 80 CE
80 80 80.0

Matthew Larry Chouinard, Ph.D. Likely after AD 70
71 71 71.0

Matthew W.D. Davies, D.D. AD 80 to 100
80 100 90.0

Matthew M. G. Easton M. A., D. D. Probably between AD 60 or 65
60 65 62.5

Matthew James M. Efird, Ph.D. AD 70 to 80 ,Davies Professor of New Testament and Biblical Greek at Duke University
70 80 75.0

Matthew English Standard Version Bible AD 50s or 60s
50 60 55.0

Matthew David A. Fiensy, Ph.D. AD 50 to 55, yet 40 to 60 is possible.
40 60 50.0

Matthew Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Ph.D. AD 75 to 80 Professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America, Past President of the Society of Biblical Literature Chair of the Synoptic Studies Division of SBL. Author of the 2 Volume Commentary on Luke in the Anchor Bible Series. A well-known and leading Critical Scholar in New Testament Origins
75 80 77.5

Matthew Norman L. Geisler, Ph.D. AD 50 to 55 Author of over 60 books and hundreds of articles. Founder of Southern Evangelical Seminary. In 2009 he co-founded Veritas Evangelical Seminary. 50 55 52.5

Matthew Robert H. Gundry, Ph.D. A.D. 65 to 70
65 70 67.5

Matthew Donald Guthrie, Ph.D. New Testament Introduction prior to AD 63, yet 50 to 64 is reasonable. President, formerly Vice-Principal and Lecturer in New Testament, The London Bible College
50 64 57.0

Matthew Gary R. Habermas, Ph.D. A.D. 60
60 60 60.0

Matthew Donald A. Hagner, Ph.D. pre AD 70
69 69 69.0

Matthew William Hendriksen, Ph.D. AD 63-66
63 66 64.5

Matthew A.E. Hill, Ph.D. AD 70 to 85 Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, author Guide to Bible Data
70 85 77.5

Matthew Nelsen'sStudy Bible H.Wayne House, Th.D. J.D. Editor, A.D. 50 to 60
50 60 55.0

Matthew R. Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and D. Brown, eds. AD 37 to 60, Commentary Critical and Explanatory of the Whole Bible (JFB)
37 60 48.5

Matthew Howard Clark Kee, Ph.D. AD 75 to 85 Professor of New Testament at Drew University
75 85 80.0

Matthew Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. AD 70's , although this date is not certain.
70 80 75.0

Matthew Werner Georg Kummel, Ph.D. AD 80 to 100 Late Professor of New Testament at Marburg, Germany
80 100 90.0

Matthew John MacArthur, Ph.D .A.D. 50 to 70
50 70 60.0

Matthew G. Maier, Ph.D. pre AD 70
69 69 69.0

Matthew K.E. Malberg, AD 49 to 51 Bible Overview Chart
49 51 50.0

Matthew Bruce Metzger, Ph.D AD 75 to 85 Professor of New Testament at Princeton University, Chair of the Editorial Board for the UBS and Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament. Senior Editor for the New Testament of the NRSV Translation Team. (Considered THE Dean of Textual-Critical studies today [since Aland's death])
75 85 80.0

Matthew J.P.Moreland, Ph.D. A.D. mid 40's to mid 50's
45 55 50.0

Matthew Leon Morris, Ph.D. perhaps the late 50s or early 60s.
58 62 60.0

Matthew S.L. Peterson, AD 75 Timeline Charts of the Western Church
75 75 75.0

Matthew John Nolland, Ph.D. Matthew is to be dated before the beginnings of the buildup to the Jewish war. Buildup started AD 66
65 65 65.0

Matthew The Pulpit Commentary, A.D. 60 to 75
60 75 67.5

Matthew B. Reicke, Ph.D. pre A.D. 70
69 69 69.0

Matthew J.A.T. Robinson, Ph.D. AD 40 to 60
40 60 50.0

Matthew T. Robinson, AD 85 The Bible Timeline
85 85 85.0

Matthew Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Th.D., Ph.D., Ryrie Study Bible AD 50s or 60s
60 60 60.0

Matthew Edward P. Sanders, Ph.D. AD 70 to 80 Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Duke University (Neither Mark, Matthew, or Luke show ANY sign of knowing of ANY of the events following 90 AD, hence they were written before 90.)
70 80 75.0

Matthew William Smith, Ph.D. Smith's Bible Dictionary. A.D. 60 to 66
60 66 63.0

Matthew H.D.M. Spenes, D.D. A.D. 60 to 75
60 75 67.5

Matthew Carsten Peter Thiede, Ph.D. Prior to the mid 60s Director of the Institute for Basic Epistemological Research in Paderborn, Germany
60 63 61.5

Matthew Edward J. Tinsley, Ph.D. AD 70 to 80 Retired Professor of Greek and New Testament, Cambridge University
63 63 63.0

Matthew David L. Turner, Ph.D. prior to A.D. 70
69 69 69.0

Matthew Joseph B. Tyson, Ph.D. AD 80 Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Southern Methodist University (Dr. Tyson is one of THE leading scholars in Luke-Acts, and is Chair of the Luke-Acts Division of the Society of Biblical Literature)
80 80 80.0

Matthew Merrill F. Unger, Ph.D., Th.D., Aramaic A.D.40 to 45, Greek A.D. 50
40 45 42.5

Matthew Robert Utley, D.Min. Possibly A.D. 60 or at least before A.D. 70, Retired Professor of Hermeneutics
60 69 64.5

Matthew J. Wenham, Ph.D. AD 40
40 40 40.0

Matthew Edwin Yamauchi, Ph.D. shortly after A.D. 70
71 71 71.0

Matthew David Young, Ph.D. 70's
70 79 74.5

Matthew Franklin W. Young, Ph.D. AD 70 to 80 Professor of New Testament at The Episcopal Theological Seminary
70 80 75.0

Matthew J. Walvoord and R. Zuck AD 50 to c50 The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures
50 50 50.0

Matthew Rev. A. Lukyn Williams, M.A. A.D. 60 to 75
60 75 67.5

Date 8/30/2010

this is copyrighted material and it used by permission

All Four Gospels have a huge long line of Scholars pushing early dates. New Evidence has come out for Matthew in the form of Talmudic passage that seems to quote Matthew. The thing is scholar had previously judged when the dates were for the writing of that page and that Rabbi so that is not unknown to scholarship. Thus they can be fairly certain how far back it pushes Matthew. It pushes him back to about AD 72. Not much of cousre, the traditional view is 80. Of course there's all that pre Mark reduction that I've talked bout so we are only talking about redacting the final redaction, the versions we have now as we know the texts today. The pre Mark redacation pushes it back all the way to mid century.

For story on the Talmudic passage here is

An ancient Jewish parody that quotes the New Testament's Gospel of Matthew may refute a major argument by biblical scholars who challenge the credibility of the Bible.

For more than a century, liberal scholars have contended that the Christian gospels are unreliable, secondhand accounts of Jesus' ministry that weren't put on paper until 70 to 135 AD or later -- generations after those who witnessed the events of Jesus' ministry were dead.

Today's more liberal scholars say the Gospel of Matthew may have been aimed at Jews, but it was written in Greek, not Hebrew. They also believe that the Book of Mark, written in Greek, was the original gospel, despite the traditional order of the gospels in the Bible, putting Matthew first.

But a literary tale dated by some scholars at 72 AD or earlier, which comes from an ancient collection of Jewish writings known as the Talmud, quotes brief passages that appear only in the Gospel of Matthew. In his 1999 book, "Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times," Israel J. Yuval of Jerusalem's Hebrew University states that Rabban Gamaliel, a leader of rabbinical scholars in about 70 AD, is "considered to have authored a sophisticated parody of the Gospel according to Matthew." The Talmud, a text not often touched by New Testament scholars, also contains a number of obvious references to Jesus and his family.

Jesus is called a Nazarene as one of the names given him. Another dubs him Yeshua Ben Pandira, which means Jesus born-of-a-virgin in a combination of Hebrew and Greek. His father was a carpenter, his mother was a hairdresser and Jesus, the Talmud says, was a magician who "led astray Israel." And, it says, he was "hung" on the eve of Passover.

Gamaliel's tale, which happens to portray a Christian judge as corrupt, may be less valuable for its instruction than for casting doubt on the long-held theory that Matthew's gospel, though longer than Mark's, was written years later by someone after the apostle Matthew had died.

When Matthew's gospel to the Hebrews was written is important to biblical conservatives because an early Matthew would strengthen its credibility by making it possible, if not probable, that the tax collector whom Jesus recruited was the first to write and distribute his account of Jesus' birth, ministry and death. Most liberal scholars would say Matthew's gospel didn't come along until 90 AD or later and was in Greek, separating the apostle from the Jews as well as book that bears his name.
But if Gamaliel quoted the Gospel of Matthew, then Matthew "had to be before 70 AD," said Craig Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Theological Seminary.
In Rabbi Gamaliel's story, a daughter whose father had died offers a golden lamp as a bribe to a Christian judge known for his honesty, seeking a decision that would allow her to share her father's estate with her brother. When the judge suggests that dividing the estate would be proper on the basis of a new law that had superseded the ancient Law of Moses, Gamaliel argues that the judge is wrong and loosely quotes a statement attributed to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew.
"Look further in the book, and it is written in it, 'I have not come to take away from the Law of Moses nor add to the Law of Moses ... .' " Gamaliel replies, and wins the case on the basis of that argument or the bribe he gave the judge -- a "Libyan ass."
The Libyan ass itself is a reference to Jesus and the mount he rode into Jerusalem.
The late English scholar, R. Travers Herford, called Gamaliel's story a "brutal parody of Christian belief." In his book, "Christianity in Talmud and Midrash," he points to a second reference to Matthew, in the reaction of the woman who lost the case, despite the golden lamp she gave as a bribe. "Let your light shine as a lamp!" she says, throwing a sarcastic barb at the judge. At Matthew 5:16, just before Jesus said he came to fulfill the law, he tells his followers that the lamp of their belief should not be hidden but "let your light shine before men."

Neil Altman is a Philadelphia-based writer who specializes in the Dead Sea Scrolls and religion. He has done graduate work at Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Conwell School of Theology, and Temple University. He has a master's degree in Old Testament from Wheaton Graduate School in Wheaton, Ill., and was an American Studies Fellow at Eastern College. David Crowder is an investigative reporter for the El Paso Times in Texas.

This story appeared on Page A6 of The Standard-Times on April 19, 2003.

Dating the Gospels is a scientific project. It's not just old guy preacher men spouting their views. They use basic guides just like archaeologists use pot shards for dating. They use the paper, the ink, the material in the text, the phraseology, the sentence structure. The events are among the major giveaways. One of the major principles for dating Gospels is the proximity to the fall of the temple (determined by it's mention in the text). Here are some issues that have grounded Roman Historian Colin Hemer to push for an earlier date for Luke/Acts. This is from an rticle by super conservative Norman Geisler:

1. There is no mention in Acts of the crucial event of the fall of Jerusalem in 70.
2. There is no hint of the outbreak of the Jewish War in 66 or of serious deterioration of relations between Romans and Jews before that time.
3. There is no hint of the deterioration of Christian relations with Rome during the Neronian persecution of the late 60s.
4. There is no hint of the death of James at the hands of the Sanhedrin in ca. 62, which is recorded by Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews (
5. The significance of Gallio's judgement in Acts 18:14-17 may be seen as setting precedent to legitimize Christian teaching under the umbrella of the tolerance extended to Judaism.
6. The prominence and authority of the Sadducees in Acts reflects a pre-70 date, before the collapse of their political cooperation with Rome.
7. The relatively sympathetic attitude in Acts to Pharisees (unlike that found even in Luke's Gospel) does not fit well with in the period of Pharisaic revival that led up to the council at Jamnia. At that time a new phase of conflict began with Christianity.
8. Acts seems to antedate the arrival of Peter in Rome and implies that Peter and John were alive at the time of the writing.

He lists 15 points in his article. He points out that the discoveries at Qumran helped to demonstrate the first century nature of John. One expects a conservative to support an earlier date. On the other hand liberals are not holding back. John A.T. Robinson who was one of the leaders of the God is Dead movement in the 60s wrote a whole book dating the Gospels earlier.

Robinson wrote a revolutionary book titled Redating the New Testament, in which he posited revised dates for the New Testament books that place them earlier than the most conservative scholars ever held. Robinson places Matthew at 40 to after 60, Mark at about 45 to 60, Luke at before 57 to after 60, and John at from 40 to after 65. This would mean that one of who Gospels could have been written as early as seven years after the crucifixion. At the latest they were all composed within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses and contemporaries of the events. Assuming the basic integrity and reasonable accuracy of the writers, this would place the reliability of the New Testaments beyond reasonable doubt.(from the Geisler article)