(Bart Ehrman & RJ StephenOABC) The Gospel of Matthew Proves The Lord's Last Supper Took Place in AD 70, not in AD 30

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    Dec 07, 2014 3:40 AM GMT
    Bart Ehrman

    ...which actually clinch the case. The first is that the Gospel According to Matthew is written in high-level Greek. We don’t know of a single author who stayed in Palestine during the first century who wrote a book in Greek. (Josephus the historian did, but only after moving to Rome and learning how to write in Greek after spending most of his life communicating in Aramaic; and Josephus was from the very upper crusts of the literary elite of antiquity, not a rural person.)

    The second is even more compelling. Matthew, writing in Greek, used the Gospel of Mark, also written in Greek, as one of his sources for most of his stories.

    StephenOABC

    Matthew could not have read the Gospel of Mark written in Greek. Why would an eyewitness to the life of Jesus compose an account of his recollections of Jesus’ life by borrowing on a book he could not even read? The book was not in written form until 80-85 C.E., anyway.

    In Matthew we have "Take and eat; this is my body. ...Drink... this is my blood..." The key to understanding this metaphor is to consult Jewish scripture. Four keys open the door to understanding the metaphor: Leviticus 17: 10, Deuteronomy 28: 53-57, Jeremiah 19: 9, and Lamentations 4: 10.

    Leviticus 17: 10
    Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people.

    If Jesus made the metaphor, he was turning his disciples away from God’s face and separating them from God’s people.

    Jeremiah 19: 9
    I [the Lord Almighty] will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.

    Lamentations 4: 10
    With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children who became their food *when my people were destroyed.*

    Why would Jesus turn his disciples away from God when there was no siege, when the Jews were not being destroyed?

    The Jews were under siege *and* were being destroyed in AD 70. This is when the Lord's Last Supper historically took place; or, you can go with a supernatural explanation that Jesus prophesied the siege and the destruction. However, already, scholars have said, no, Jesus did not prophesy the destruction of the Temple: the gospels were written during or after the Revolt. Therefore, the Last Supper also was written in time when Jerusalem was sieged and destroyed by rebels and Romans, not in AD 30 but 40 years later.
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    Dec 07, 2014 7:31 PM GMT
    So, it is unlikely that a Matthew or a Levi from 30 C.E. recited for oral tradition or wrote the Last Supper segment of the Gospel of Matthew.
  • mwolverine

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    Dec 07, 2014 11:04 PM GMT
    If you move the Jesus timeline by ~35 years, that would make him a contemporary of Josephus and create a myriad of other problems. Not being born at the end of Herod the Great's reign (an association referenced by Matthew!), that James died before Jesus, that John the Baptist predates Jesus and places the Crucifixion long after Pontius Pilate.
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    Dec 08, 2014 12:00 AM GMT
    Dr. Ehrman, I do not believe your argument holds up to scrutiny: 1) Hellenists and 2) Matthew/Levi and his oral tradition.

    We know there were Hellenists who were followers of Jesus. What? Four of them had Greek first names? Why couldn't these four be the honor students of the 12 Disciples who hung out at Sepphoris? Who's to say Jesus and his adopted father Joseph didn't help on construction projects in Sephhoris before the gospel picks up Jesus' life in his late 20s? People from "the country" can befriend intelligent people who can mentor them and cherish them. There are plenty of people who collect people.

    Stephen which means king can be an indicator that the martyred Stephen was actually a Hellenist king. He would have had the means to preserve biographical information, sayings of Jesus, wonders of Jesus in writing. This king certainly would have been an acquaintance of other royals in Jerusalem or in nearby regions: Queen Helena, Prince Izates, his brothers, maybe his sisters; Queen Ourania of Auranitis and her family tree. Queen Ourania is related to Cleopatra's bloodline because it appears Cleopatra and Julius Caesar had a daughter in addition to the son who was assassinated.

    It is highly likely that while Jesus hung out with undesirables, he also hung out with the Hellenists who had begun to meet in their own groups and one was murdered for being a fan of Jesus. The New Testament gives an account of how a fan of Jesus "bothered" the disciples with questions until Jesus instructed a reply.

    True, the Jerusalem church did not step in to stop the stoning of Stephen but Stephen was speaking the business of Hellenists (we don't need the Temple) not the tenets of Jewish Christians.

    As Jesus was a purist, Queen Helena and her son Prince Izaates were purists. The former took at least a 14 year vow in Judaism. The lives of Jesus, Queen Helena, and Prince Izaates crossed. In fact (in my book, The Greatest Bible Study in Historical Accuracy, 1st Edition), Jesus references Queen Helena's husband, King Monobazus when he speaks of not storing earthly treasures where moths and thieves can get to them but store your treasures in heaven. Then how could Queen Helena turn her back on the mother of Jesus, in her sorrow, after Jesus' crucifixion? Queen Helena would have come forth with sympathies, doing whatever she could to preserve the legacy of Jesus.

    Second, according to Acts, the disciples surviving Jesus' ascension continued to meet at the Temple. There was an oral tradition of the gospel preserved there. Matthew's memories were given testimony by Matthew then.
  • LutheranGuy

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    Dec 08, 2014 12:04 AM GMT
    The Church goes by the synoptic gospels, not ONE gospel account. Either way, it is theologically irrelevant.
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    Dec 08, 2014 12:18 AM GMT
    mwolverine

    If you move the Jesus timeline by ~35 years, that would make him a contemporary of Josephus and create a myriad of other problems.


    stephenoabc

    We have to then deal with the complexity. (That's why I've been investigating and writing about the historical accuracy of the New Testament more than 10 years.)

    Think historical fiction, how an author can cut and pace from various years to create a cohesive historical fiction or character.


    mwolverine

    1) Not being born at the end of Herod the Great's reign (an association referenced by Matthew!)

    2) That James died before Jesus

    3) That John the Baptist predates Jesus

    4) Placing the Crucifixion long after Pontius Pilate.


    stephenoabc

    1) We have an historical figure, a Jesus figure, called the only begotten son born at the end of Herod the Great's reign. He was Prince, then King Izates.

    2) James dying before Jesus seems to mess up James being a successor of Jesus. Paul's life through his letters and Acts of the Apostles gets unreliable.

    - Josephus does not say James led the disciples after Jesus' death

    - There are more than one historical Jesus who was used in the creation of the biblical Jesus.

    3) Moving Jesus' Last Supper to AD 70 still puts John the Baptist before Jesus. The problem you get is that this Jesus may not have been baptized by John the Baptist or the Jesus of the Last Supper and the crucifixion was an older man who died quicker than a younger man; hence, the Romans didn't need to break his legs.

    4) Jesus does not have to be associated with Pointius Pilate. The history of the Pontius Pilate governorship has him slaying a Samaritan not Jesus. A Samaritan led people to Mt. Gerizim, Pilate over-reacted when putting down this event. He lost his governorship because of it.
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    Dec 08, 2014 12:22 AM GMT
    LutheranGuy saidThe Church goes by the synoptic gospels, not ONE gospel account. Either way, it is theologically irrelevant.


    Synoptic Gospels imply One/Unity against the unique Gospel of John.

    And, it is not in one gospel that we have Jesus making the theological suicide of a body and blood cannibalistic metaphor.

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    Dec 08, 2014 2:08 AM GMT
    The Gospel of Matthew Proves The Lord's Last Supper Took Place in AD 70, not in AD 30

    All this suggests is that the account of the Last Supper was likely WRITTEN c. AD 70, which has been a long-held assumption by New Testament scholars, not that the event occurred then. As for the issue of the writings being in Greek, those are the ones that have survived the longest. We do not know if earlier versions, now lost and more contemporaneous to Jesus, were written in Aramaic or Latin.

    By the time of the Greek Gospels the early Christians were proselytizing into the wider eastern Mediterranean world, in which Greek was the Lingua Français. The Greek versions could just as easily have been based on earlier Aramaic ones, which only Jews would have understood, necessitating their translation into Greek. And a trained scribe could have been engaged to make the translation into "high-level Greek" without relying upon a Jewish "rural person". So that I don't see any great mystery here.
  • mwolverine

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    Dec 08, 2014 2:37 AM GMT
    Not being born at the end of Herod the Great's reign (an association referenced by Matthew!)

    Soabc> born at the end of Herod the Great's reign

    Right. But if the crucifixion wasn't till 70 CE, then either Jesus was ~75 at the time of his death or he wasn't born till ~35 CE, long after Herod the Great's reign.

    You're splicing one element from Matthew which contradicts another thing from Matthew.


    That James died before Jesus

    Soabc> Josephus does not say James led the disciples after Jesus' death

    Josephus says little about Jesus in the first place, which would be very odd were they contemporaries.

    Soabc> There are more than one historical Jesus who was used in the creation of the biblical Jesus.

    So there wasn't one "real" Jesus who was the son of God?

    That John the Baptist predates Jesus

    Soabc> The problem you get is that this Jesus may not have been baptized by John the Baptist or the Jesus of the Last Supper and the crucifixion was an older man

    Yup.

    Placing the Crucifixion long after Pontius Pilate.

    Soabc> Jesus does not have to be associated with Pointius Pilate

    True, but there are many associations. So you are choosing between one supposition and many attestations.
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    Dec 08, 2014 3:51 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThe Gospel of Matthew Proves The Lord's Last Supper Took Place in AD 70, not in AD 30

    All this suggests is that the account of the Last Supper was likely WRITTEN c. AD 70. ... I don't see any great mystery here.


    It suggests more than that and there is a great mystery here.

    Explain why Jesus would use such an anti-Torah metaphor.
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    Dec 08, 2014 4:21 AM GMT

    Soabc> There are more than one historical Jesus who was used in the creation of the biblical Jesus.

    mwolverine>
    So there wasn't one "real" Jesus who was the son of God?

    Soabc>

    One way to approach that question is to see where Jesus is identified as the Son of God.

    The one place that comes to mind is at the baptism of Jesus, This is my Son in whom I'm well pleased.

    This could have been Prince Izates who wowed John the Baptist.

    The holiness of Queen Helena and Prince Izates cannot be underestimated. They may be the historical Mary and Jesus pair.


    Unfortunately, there wasn't one "real" Jesus who was the son of God.

    We need a teacher who focused on the father nature of God.
    Even Ak-hen-aten did that. You can look at his Hymn to the Aten. When Josephus speaks of the Egyptian Prophet at the Mount of Olives, that prophet could have been claiming he was the son of god.

    This Egyptian Prophet can be Jesus. The Babylonian Talmud says Jesus went to Egypt, got mystical tattoos and became a great healer, even to the power of his name. (The Babylonian Talmud also says some terrible things about Jesus.)

    Go to amazon.com. See the book, Jesus in the Talmud by Schafer. I think I gave it a 3-star review. You might want to read my review.

    Second, there is ample proof that the Flavian emperors took on Jesus' identity. With that being said, we have a posthumously deified Vespasian the Father and Titus the Son and we have a posthumously deified Vespasian the Father and Domitian the Son.

    Vespasian took on Jesus' identity by having the Star Prophecy (Star of Bethlehem sign) attributed to him.

    Jesus tells John the Baptist when John asks are you the one for whom we wait: John, the blind see and the lame walk.

    In a biography of Vespasian, Vespasian gives sight to the blind and makes a lame man walk.

    Titus is all over the post-Tribulation Son of Man prophecies. Of course Titus is as loving of his father, Vespasian as Jesus is of his Father. Titus sits with the Power of Rome as Jesus was to sit at the right side of the Power.

    Domitian is all over the Book of Revelation.


    = = =

    However, I will give this more thought.
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    Dec 08, 2014 4:09 PM GMT
    Art_Deco

    The account of the Last Supper was likely WRITTEN c. AD 70


    Stephen

    It's not that simple, Art_Deco. The body and blood metaphor appears in one of Paul's authentic letters. An authentic letter of Paul is dated by many before siege, cannibalism, and destruction (The Tribulation) associated with the Great Revolt.

    * * * * Dr. Ehrman, what is the earliest copy we have of 1st Corinthians 11: 24-25 where the body and blood metaphor appears? * * * *(This could have been added later. Given the problem raised, we need definitive proof that there is a pre-AD70 original of Paul's letter or a copy of it at this chapter and verse.)

    Second, no wonder Paul was being attacked and had to request Caesar to hear his case. If Paul used the body and blood metaphor , especially after James wrote to Antioch, "Do not consume blood," the orthodox crowds had another reason to kill him.

    For now, we have the Last Supper as metaphor for eating blood and cannibalism.

    Paul is a BIG problem. We have no proof corroborating Paul's existence (AND Paul's biography has too many similarities with Josephus' biography.


    The metaphor is highly unlikely to have been made before sacrifices ended at the Temple. After sacrifices ended and especially after the Temple destroyed, there could be an innovation that the sacrifice of an animal to the God of Israel be converted to the sacrifice of God (Jesus) to disciples.


    I hear: why should there be anymore sacrifices to God after the destruction of our people and Temple. With God and Temple gone, we sacrifice to ourselves. The blood that was once reserved for God is now ours (in a holy communion).


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    Dec 09, 2014 12:00 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThe Gospel of Matthew Proves The Lord's Last Supper Took Place in AD 70, not in AD 30

    All this suggests is that the account of the Last Supper was likely WRITTEN c. AD 70, which has been a long-held assumption by New Testament scholars, not that the event occurred then. As for the issue of the writings being in Greek, those are the ones that have survived the longest. We do not know if earlier versions, now lost and more contemporaneous to Jesus, were written in Aramaic or Latin.

    By the time of the Greek Gospels the early Christians were proselytizing into the wider eastern Mediterranean world, in which Greek was the Lingua Français. The Greek versions could just as easily have been based on earlier Aramaic ones, which only Jews would have understood, necessitating their translation into Greek. And a trained scribe could have been engaged to make the translation into "high-level Greek" without relying upon a Jewish "rural person". So that I don't see any great mystery here.



    I would have to agree...Personally, StephenOABC, I find your antidotes to be a bit far stretched, being based rather on hypothetical beliefs then actual scientific facts...
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    Dec 09, 2014 3:16 AM GMT
    Chase646 and Art_Deco:

    All this suggests is that the account of the Last Supper was likely WRITTEN c. AD 70, which has been a long-held assumption by New Testament scholars, not that the event occurred then.

    Stephenoabc:

    The only historical corroboration of the crucifixion of three men where one survives the cross occurs in AD 70.


    Chase 646 and Art_Deco:

    As for the issue of the writings being in Greek, those are the ones that have survived the longest. We do not know if earlier versions, now lost and more contemporaneous to Jesus, were written in Aramaic or Latin.


    stephenoabc:

    Conjecture and speculation. You will not find New Testament scholars saying any such thing. Mark, Mathew, Luke and John were originally written in Greek.


    Chase 646 and Art_Deco:

    By the time of the Greek Gospels, the early Christians were proselytizing into the wider eastern Mediterranean world, in which Greek was the Lingua Français. The Greek versions could just as easily have been based on earlier Aramaic ones, which only Jews would have understood, necessitating their translation into Greek. And a trained scribe could have been engaged to make the translation into "high-level Greek" without relying upon a Jewish "rural person". So that I don't see any great mystery here.

    stephenoabc:

    Again, although you falsely claim to have acquaintance with long held beliefs of scholars in my field, you are misrepresenting them with uninformed statements.

    The Greek versions were not and could not have easily been based on earlier Aramaic ones. First of all, who wrote them? Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John? Bart Ehrman's blog of which I'm a paid member has recently covered this topic. Those four gospels are not attributed to those four names until more than 100 years after AD 30.


    Chase 646:

    I would have to agree...


    stephenoabc:

    I do hope you start agreeing with knowledgeable people, subject matter experts.


    Chase 646:

    Personally, StephenOABC, I find your antidotes to be a bit far stretched, being based rather on hypothetical beliefs than actual scientific facts...


    stephenoabc:

    You have no idea of the profession of reporters and historians. You read a section of historical writing and say it needs scientific facts. History is more than archaeology.

    What is your explanation for Jesus using such an anti-Torah metaphor--the cannibalistic eating his body and drinking his blood. And while you're coming up with an explanation, set it in the context of Ancient Judaism and the laws and punishments about eating blood.
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    Dec 09, 2014 3:48 AM GMT
    If you want to quickly catch another subject matter expert addressing the question of when the gospels were written, visit

    http://www.hpumc.org/sermon-library/kerygma-sermons/

    Listen to the sermon of 12/7/2014, last Sunday's sermon beginning at the 17th minute.

    There he asks How many gospels were written by the first generation of Christians

    Answer: nada, zip

    The gospels were written by the second generation of Christians after the destruction of the Temple.

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    Dec 09, 2014 4:51 PM GMT
    I hear: why should there be anymore sacrifices to God after the destruction of our people and Temple. With God and Temple gone, we sacrifice to ourselves. The blood that was once reserved for God is now ours (in a holy communion).

    Some will say, but Paul’s authentic letter to the Corinthians mentions the body and blood metaphor and this was written before AD 70. I say, prove to us it wasn’t added after AD 70. Second, no wonder Paul was being attacked and had to request Caesar to hear his case. If Paul used the body and blood metaphor , especially after James wrote to Antioch, “Do not consume blood,” the orthodox crowds had another reason to kill him.

    * * * * Dr. Ehrman, what is the earliest copy we have of 1st Corinthians 11: 24-25 where the body and blood metaphor appears? * * * *

    I’m getting B46, year 200, for the earliest papyrus that would include the 11th chapter of 1st Corinthians. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_papyri

    Second, if the orthodox Jewish crowd got after Paul for not requiring men in Antioch to get circumcised, I’m sure if word got out that the disciples were using a body and blood human sacrifice metaphor meal in remembrance of Jesus, they would have been chased out of Jerusalem or chased into their graves.

    A body and blood human sacrifice metaphor for a new covenant makes sense after sacrifices stopped at the Temple and the destruction of the Temple that followed shortly after.

    I have reasonable doubt that First Corinthians 11: 24-25 was written before the destruction of the Temple.
  • mwolverine

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    Dec 09, 2014 5:10 PM GMT
    My understanding was that the first generation didn't see the need to record anything because they expected Jesus to return imminently. In their life-time. As weeks turned to months and months to years....

    From a Jewish perspective, "A body and blood human sacrifice" doesn't make sense under any circumstance given the prohibition established by the story of Abraham (not) sacrificing Isaac.
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    Dec 10, 2014 12:03 AM GMT
    mwolverine

    My understanding was that the first generation didn't see the need to record anything because they expected Jesus to return imminently. In their life-time. As weeks turned to months and months to years....


    stephenoabc
    They had no reason to believe that.

    Jesus told his disciples, "In a little while the world will see me no longer."

    Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as Comforter for their loss of him.

    Jesus said I will always be with you (spiritually), now until the end of the Age.

    There was no excuse not to write.

    Now if the false prophet Paul drummed up some end of the world sermons, we see Jesus still did not come to be victorious against the suffering of the Jewish Revolt.


    mwolverine

    From a Jewish perspective, "A body and blood human sacrifice" doesn't make sense under any circumstance given the prohibition established by the story of Abraham (not) sacrificing Isaac.

    stephenoabc

    It makes sense under the circumstance of the God of the Jews exiting the Holy of Holies when the Temple was destroyed and Temple Judaism had come to an end.

    (I just finished practicing the end of my YouTube video. I believe I explain it well, there.)

    P.S.: God did not exit the Holy of Holies when Jesus was crucified. God left during the Jewish Revolt.
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    Dec 14, 2014 1:29 AM GMT
    StephenOABC said
    Soabc> There are more than one historical Jesus who was used in the creation of the biblical Jesus.

    mwolverine>
    So there wasn't one "real" Jesus who was the son of God?

    = = =



    mwolverine,

    You may be putting faith in Matthew 16: 15-16

    But who do you say that I am

    the Messiah, Son of the living God.

    flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my heavenly Father.

    Jesus was wrong about his coming through the clouds and sitting on a throne. He probably was wrong about being [one "real" -- *only* begotten] son of the God of Israel.