Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chapter 15 - Evidence of Proof Editing within the Gospels

Chapter 15 - Evidence of Proof Editing within the Gospels
The four Gospels located in the New Testament canon were influenced and composed after an important event. These four pivotal events created the four Gospels. The definition of these pivotal events are termed in Political Science as focusing events. What are focusing events? It is defined by the Political Scientist named John Kingdon as 'an event that can generate attention to public problems'. In the subject concerning the formation of the four Gospels, the issue may also be directed towards another Political Scientist. The name of the Political Scientist is Paul Sabatier who observed the advocacy coalition framework. The definition of 'advocacy coalition framework' is that groups coalesce on peripheral beliefs or agendas. Both theories could be proven valid by applying it to the composition of the four Gospels. After presenting these theories and applying it to the four Gospels, the evidence of editing would be shown.
Focusing Events for each Gospel:
(1) Matthew - The execution or crucifixion, and supposed resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospel of Matthew was titled: “The Testament of Jesus” (Matthew 26:28).
(2) Luke - The first defense document for Paul under the review of Theophilus because Paul was a Roman citizen (Luke 1:3) while the Book of Acts is the second document composed for Paul's defense (Acts 1:1) written because of further Jewish priests' antagonism (Acts 22:22, Acts 25:20-27, and Acts 26:1-3). During the composition of the Gospel of Luke the Gentile Christian membership within the Christian movement was growing and this may have threatened the Roman government. Paul's actions to spread the faith among Gentiles was seen as a threat to both the Roman government and the Jewish priests at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
(3) Mark - The response to the execution of Paul by the Roman emperor Nero in A.D. 67. The Gospel of Mark's main evidence is Mark 6:7-13 which is a refutation or correction to Matthew 10:5-15 and this refutation was in agreement with John in the Book of Revelation chapter eleven where the two witnesses are reintroduced. The correction is supported by Paul's own statement in 2nd Timothy 3:16-17. Paul's own opinion proves that the New Testament canon is a natural creation rather than a supernatural one. The supporting evidence within the Gospel of Mark is Mark 1:3 - " The voice of one crying in the wilderness,....". Also, Mark 1:27 - "...what new doctrine is this? for with authority command he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him." The previous is in agreement with Paul's act in Acts 19:1-20. This means that the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts was written first before the Gospel of Mark. The death or martyrdom of Paul was the focusing event which lead to the composition of the Gospel of Mark. Paul used "new doctrine" in Acts 17:19 through Luke's penship. The previous evidence, of Mark 1:27 and Acts 17:19, is considered The Causility Proof presenting a cause and effect through focusing events within the context of the four Gospels.
(4) John - The destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans under Vespasian in A.D. 70. The Gospel was written to refute the many claims that the messianic movement is false because of a failed prediction concerning the desecration of the Temple. Even if it was a destruction rather than a desecration, the return of Jesus did not materialize according to Paul's vision (1st Corinthians 7:26-31 and 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-7). The opposition within and without, grew based on the false prediction (Matthew chapter twenty-four with Paul's previous vision or prediction), which was addressed before through the earlier three Epistles of John by describing those individuals as "anti-Christ" because they stopped believing (1st John 2:15-23 and 1st John 4:1-6). The three Epistles of John was before the composition of the Gospel of John and after the Gospel of Mark and immediately after the Temple's destruction. The Book of Revelation was written after the arrest of John because of the contents within the Gospel of John. John honors Paul and the message within the Gospel of Mark by mentioning the two witnesses in Revelation chapter eleven. John takes on the prosecutor's role against the Roman Empire in contrast to the defense presented in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. The short time span between the Gospel of Mark and the destruction of the Temple would mean that many themes would eventually be adopted by John in his various later treatises with exception to his earlier dispensationalist document - The Book of Hebrews.
The Gospel of Matthew is a dispensationalist document for various reasons. One of the main reasons is that Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew when Paul and Peter was preaching in Rome. Its dedication to its fallen messiah has various flaws which defy historical events. There are several anomalies within the Gospel of Matthew which foretells many events which never occurred and unusual social viewpoints which may have countered one of Paul's position. One of the group verses in question is Matthew 10:5-15. The contents of the previous group of verses states that the early Christians were to evangelize only to Jews (Matthew 10:6). However, the path Paul takes is to evangelize to the Gentiles or non-Jews (Galatians 2:2). The position Paul takes may have been the reason for his controversial status among the early leadership. The evidence of Paul's will-power to disobey is located in his letters. Paul uses the phrase: "my Gospel" (Romans 2:16, 16:25; 2nd Timothy 2:8) and "my doctrine" (Romans 16:17; 2nd Timothy 3:10) and even "dispensation" and "mystery" (Colossians 1:25-29). The various anomalies within the first Gospel, the Gospel of Matthew, a natural manifestation and exposes all of the rest of the New Testament to be from a non-supernatural source. Paul's interjection and correction lead to the natural survival of the Christian movement years later. The anomaly of Matthew 10:6 is part of the error of Matthew 24:20 where "sabbath" is mentioned and also the error of Matthew 27:52-53. The previous are mentioned as "errors" because they seem out-of-place compared to the ongoing dogma produced by the modern churches however its out-of-placeness is proof that the New Testament is not factual or not based on reality. Therefore, Paul is and was a change agent within the Christian movement itself. Paul was exactly what the Christian movement needed to overcome and prevail over the Roman Empire through natural means. Paul actions created a reaction among the Jewish-Christians which created the other books within the New Testament canon. If Paul never joined the Christian movement then the outcome would have been highly probable that the New Testament canon would have contained less number of books.
Paul's own existence created a thesis (Romans 11:23-26) and the reaction was the enforcement of an anti-thesis (Matthew 10:6) therefore creating a necessary synthesis (James chapter four). James reaction to the new doctrine and personality, Paul, is noted in the Book of Acts. The compromise for the new doctrine and new gospel (Romans 11:23-26) was to make sure that Gentile Christians stay away from foods sacrificed to idols (Acts 21:18-25). The previous issue became a central focus of disagreement (1st Corinthians chapter eight) but the real issue was the acceptance of the Non-Jews into the fold (Galatians 2:7-17) because of the early group's observance of Matthew 10:6. The disagreement itself proves that the New Testament canon is a natural manifestation of group think or Paul Sabatier's advocacy coalition framework. The previous description is a valid description because all of the rest of the Books within the New Testament is based on natural events outside the group (The early Christian movement) and the disagreements within the group (The early Christian movement). The followers of the Gospel of Matthew and the Jewish-Christian position existed within the early Christian movement (2nd Timothy 2:16-19). Hymenaeus and Philetus were not the only ones within the early group which strictly followed the Gospel of Matthew. It is assumed that many "heresies" developed based on the various errors within the Gospel of Matthew (2nd Peter 2:1). The "Heresies" are a natural product if the message is already in error and contains false predictions (Matthew 24:20).
Saul of Tarsus, Paul, was an instrumental genius in making sure that the early Christian group succeded in its survival while introducing a Roman concept which would have expanded the tribal base or foundation of the Jewish-Christian tribe. Yes, Paul adopted a Roman concept which was promoted or promulgated by an earlier Roman emperor by the name of Caesar. The Roman emperor Caesar was observing the early history concerning the formation of the Roman empire which comprises the tribes of Latins, Sabines and the Etruscans. The other factor is the festival of the Septimontium which represents the communities of the seven hills: Oppius, Palatium, Velia, Fagutal, Cermalus, Caelius, and Cispius. The two previous examples were definitely used as antagonist agents within the storyline of the Book of Revelation. The previous antagonist agents were against the protoganist agents represented as the two witnesses (Mark 6:7-13 and Revelation chapter eleven). Moreover, the clash against the order located in Matthew 10:6 created the need for another Gospel. The Gospel of Mark was created and guided by Paul (2nd Timothy 4:11). In other words, after Paul's martyrdom through Nero, the Gospel of Mark was then written in dedication to Paul. While the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, earlier, were written as defense documents for Paul's trial. However, the main thesis was to introduce an inclusion policy to the earlier Matthew dictum (Matthew 10:5-15). Furthermore, it enforced the expansion principle of the universi concept. The concept was then promoted by Paul in his defense trial in Acts 10:37-39. The corresponding verses of Matthew 10:5-15 which are located in the Gospel of Mark are Mark 6:1-13. The previous example is evidence of proof editing. The story is altered greatly and it leaves out many details for a reason because it enforces Paul's universi concept. The corresponding verses located in the Gospel of Luke are Luke 9:1-6. The theory is that the term "Gospel" (Luke 9:6) was invented by Paul but was then later inserted into the other Gospels including Matthew's Gospel. Therefore, the order of Gospels based on the above focusing events are:

Matthew ---> Luke ---> Mark ---> John.
The main evidence the words of Irenaeus:
"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the church." - Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3.1.1
1.      The predictions in the Gospels before the Gospel of John are proven to be false predictions.
2.      The Gospels of Luke and Mark are both following the dictum of Matthew chapter twenty-four describing the desecration of the Temple.
3.      The only Gospel to detail the destruction of the Temple is the Gospel of John (John 2:19-24 = Revelation 21:22). It is the only Gospel to present the destruction of the Temple while omitting its failed desecration.
4.      The Gospel of John was written after the Temple’s destruction in defense of the previous false predictions located in the previous three Gospels.
The term "Gospel" would be the first indication of Proof editing within the "Gospels": Euangelion (Gospel) which means "good message" in Koine Greek is literally connected with the supernatural assumptions of angels. How was this term introduced into the New Testament canon? Paul, the early catalyst, created this term through his training as a Jewish priest and Greek academic. The scholar, Will Durant in Caesar and Christ, says about Paul:

" Nevertheless, he learned to speak the language with sufficient fluency to address an Athenian audience, and he occasionally referred to famous passages in Greek literature. We may believe that some Stoic theology and ethics passed from the university environment of Tarsus into the Christianity of Paul. So he used the Stoic term pneuma (breath) for what his English translators call spirit. Like most Greek cities, Tarsus had followers of the Orphic or other mystery religions, who believed that the god they worshiped had died for them, had risen from the grave, and would, if appealed to by lively faith and proper ritual, save them from Hades, and share with them his gift of eternal and blessed life. The mystery religions prepared the Greeks for Paul, and Paul for the Greeks." (pg. 579)

" Moved by his own somber spirit and remorse, and his transforming vision of Christ; influenced perhaps by Platonist and Stoic denunciations of matter and the body as evil; recalling, it may be, Jewish and pagan customs of sacrificing a "scapegoat" for the sins of the people, Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ: that every man born of woman inherits the guilt of Adam, and can be saved from eternal damnation only by the atoning death of the Son of God. Such a conception was more agreeable to the pagans than to the Jews. Egypt, Asia Minor, and Hellas had long since believed in gods - Osiris, Attis, Dionysus - who had died to redeem mankind; such titles as Soter (Savior) and Eleutherios (Deliverer) had been applied to these deities; and the word Kyrios (Lord), used by Paul of Christ, was the term given in Syrian-Greek cults to the dying and redeeming Dionysus. The gentiles of Antioch and other Greek cities, never having known Jesus in the flesh, could only accept him after the manner of their savior gods. "Behold," said Paul, "I show you a mystery."" (pgs. 588-589)

Paul, the most important catalyst and spark for the Christian movement, instituted the ideological and doctrinal reforms needed to make sure the movement survives. Through the introduction of these new doctrines and ideology the new terms of "Gospel" or "Euangelion" were used and employed by the first Gospel writer - Matthew. Then the term was keeped and used by the rest of the "Gospel" writers - Luke, Mark and John. (Luke 22:20, Mark 14:24, Hebrews 7:22, Hebrews 9:15-20, and Revelation 11:19)
The theory is that the original name of the Gospel of Matthew was "The Testament of Jesus" based on the statements of both Paul and John (1st Corinthians 11:25 and Hebrews 9:15-20). Through deduction if the terms - Gospel or Euangelion - were not used earlier in the Christian movement then another term was used in its place until the "Gospel" were formed later out of the four "Gospels". Therefore, it was actually "The Testament of Jesus" which was formerly expressed within the Gospel of Matthew, the first Gospel, Matthew 26:28.

The previous creates the following possibilities:

1. Jesus composed a book which later became unaccessible to all members of the community.

2. Jesus composed a book which was used as a source by a few members of the community.

3. Jesus composed a book which was used or keeped by one member of the community.

4. Jesus never composed a book but his later followers decided to compose one then several "gospels" because earlier all events were passed on by oral tradition (Acts 10:37-39). However, the Gospel of Matthew was composed first and then Paul added his new ideology to the story expressed in the previous Acts passage.

 The evidence for the existence of the title - The Testament of Jesus - could also be deducted through historical sources. The verse of Matthew 26:28 is within the context of the last supper of Christ (Matthew 26:13-35). If this is the case then the supposed 'Last supper of Christ' may have never occured based on the previous evidence from Will Durant and the following evidence from Rebecca Gray. The reason for this conclusion is because it is related to correct a previous mistake in Matthew 10:5-15. The theory is given that the writer, Matthew the tax collector, revised and edited his final copy of the Gospel but left some verses to the pressure of the Jewish-Christians within the community. The following evidence from Rebecca Gray gives another connection to the spiritual symbolism of the 'Last supper' rather than hinting of its literal occurence.

The author, Rebecca Gray in Prophetic Figures in Late Second Temple Jewish Palestine: The Evidence from Josephus says:

" The Essenes' concern for purity and holiness is especially apparent in Josephus' description of their common meal (War 2.129-33), which is paralleled at several points by references to the Pure Meal in the Community Rule. This meal was restricted to fully initiated members of the community in good standing. As we have seen, it was preceded by a purificatory bath and the donning of white robes. The diners then assembled in a room and processed to the refectory "as to some sacred shrine" (Koine Greek words, War 2.131; 1QS 6.4-5). According to Antiquities 18.22, the food that was served was prepared by priests as well. During the meal, silence was maintained (War 2.130, 133). After-ward, the priest said another prayer (War 2.131). Before returning to their work, those present removed their robes, laying them aside "as sacred vestments" (Koine Greek word, War 2.131).
  Josephus' description of this common meal suggests an anology with the priesthood, and several of the purity practices that he attributes to the Essenes are priestly in character. We shall see that some of these rites would have been observed only by priests officiating in the temple. Others were performed routinely by priests, but were also observed on special occasions by ordinary Jews"(pgs. 86-87).

The previous information tells the reader that most of the Gospels have been edited and revised until its final form or copy which was done through general consensus with careful political considerations by those individuals mentioned therein. Even through its final form we notice mistakes and hints of revisions or proof editing. Therefore, the term "gospel" or "Euangelion" was added years later into the so-called "gospels" while "The Testament of Jesus" was primarily used earlier through oral tradition.

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