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TheAnswer99
Dec 27th 2008, 08:09 AM
Hey guys, I'm reading the Bible for the very first time, and I wanted clarification of a verse.

This is a "red text" verse, suggesting that they are the words of Jesus Christ

Matthew 22:7
"The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city."

Modern Biblical scholars have suggested that this verse is an allusion to the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. However, the problem is that Jesus was crucified several decades prior to this. Scholars also believe that the Gospel of Matthew was written from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D.

From an objective standpoint, it is hard for me to ignore that this writer probably drew on the events of the temple's destruction while writing this gospel. If this is the case, the writer may have passed off his own experiences as Jesus' word.

There are 3 possibilities that I can see:
1.) Jesus was making a prophecy
2.) The Biblical scholars are wrong about this allusion (possible but unlikely)
3.) The writer inserted his words as those of Jesus

Thank you for your help in understanding this matter

markedward
Dec 27th 2008, 08:52 AM
I consider it prophecy of the 70 AD events.

For an avid reader of the text, the context is quite clear, when compared between Christ's claims, the theology of the New Testament writings, and the historical events.

Now, whether you believe it was prophecy or after-the-fact attribution depends on whether you believe Christ really did prophesy or if He's just a hoax created by a bunch of guys. On the one hand, a person simply can't discount prophecy; that is, they can't say "Christ didn't prophesy because prophecy is impossible." That's just it, prophecy is possible, but only because God isn't confined to our impossibilities. But on the other hand, if He was just a hoax created by a bunch of guys... what kind of person would make up a savior just to trick people, and doing so, why would a number of these people who claimed to know Him firsthand be willing to die for their beliefs [in] a guy they made up (and it is a historically recognized fact that people who claimed to know Him firsthand were martyred for their faith in Him).

TheAnswer99
Dec 27th 2008, 09:10 AM
My problem is that objective scholars believe from their studies that the Gospel of Matthew was produced between 70 AD and 100 AD based on their examination of the texts. The 55-60 Date seems to come from more fundamentalist Christians...

I admit that I know far less about all of this than either the scholars or 99.9% of this message board. I intend to "get to the bottom of it", but this verse and the scholars' "facts" just really put a damper on my reading of the Bible.

Any recommendations for books concerning biblical criticism of the Bible and responses to this criticism?

I know that Bart Ehrman is one of the most prominent agnostic Biblical scholars, but do you guys have any recommendations for books by Christian Biblical scholars? I ordered 2 of his books, and I'd really like to "counter" those with some Christian Biblical scholars so I get the full picture!!!

Note: While I am open to the possibility of the Bible being "inerrant", I'm more in the "infallible" camp. I'm coming as a skeptic/agnostic, so I'd probably like non-fundamentalist or non-evangelist Christian scholars better than the ones who tend to think that the Bible is inerrant and flawless.

Thanks for your help and I hope to learn tons more from you guys! And hopefully my faith will strengthen along the way

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 27th 2008, 10:17 AM
My problem is that objective scholars believe from their studies that the Gospel of Matthew was produced between 70 AD and 100 AD based on their examination of the texts. The 55-60 Date seems to come from more fundamentalist Christians...

I admit that I know far less about all of this than either the scholars or 99.9% of this message board. I intend to "get to the bottom of it", but this verse and the scholars' "facts" just really put a damper on my reading of the Bible.

Any recommendations for books concerning biblical criticism of the Bible and responses to this criticism?

I know that Bart Ehrman is one of the most prominent agnostic Biblical scholars, but do you guys have any recommendations for books by Christian Biblical scholars? I ordered 2 of his books, and I'd really like to "counter" those with some Christian Biblical scholars so I get the full picture!!!

Note: While I am open to the possibility of the Bible being "inerrant", I'm more in the "infallible" camp. I'm coming as a skeptic/agnostic, so I'd probably like non-fundamentalist or non-evangelist Christian scholars better than the ones who tend to think that the Bible is inerrant and flawless.

Thanks for your help and I hope to learn tons more from you guys! And hopefully my faith will strengthen along the way

You seem to know a lot for just barely reading the Bible.

Brother Mark
Dec 27th 2008, 12:56 PM
Any recommendations for books concerning biblical criticism of the Bible and responses to this criticism?

Check out books by Josh McDowell. He was an atheist doing research on the bible that eventually converted. His friends in college challenged him to prove the bible wrong. The result of his research is the book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". It's in outline form and not the easiest read. But it led to his conversion to a Christian. He has written many other books since then that you may find interesting.

Grace and peace,

Mark

Mysteryman
Dec 27th 2008, 01:39 PM
My problem is that objective scholars believe from their studies that the Gospel of Matthew was produced between 70 AD and 100 AD based on their examination of the texts. The 55-60 Date seems to come from more fundamentalist Christians...

I admit that I know far less about all of this than either the scholars or 99.9% of this message board. I intend to "get to the bottom of it", but this verse and the scholars' "facts" just really put a damper on my reading of the Bible.

Any recommendations for books concerning biblical criticism of the Bible and responses to this criticism?

I know that Bart Ehrman is one of the most prominent agnostic Biblical scholars, but do you guys have any recommendations for books by Christian Biblical scholars? I ordered 2 of his books, and I'd really like to "counter" those with some Christian Biblical scholars so I get the full picture!!!

Note: While I am open to the possibility of the Bible being "inerrant", I'm more in the "infallible" camp. I'm coming as a skeptic/agnostic, so I'd probably like non-fundamentalist or non-evangelist Christian scholars better than the ones who tend to think that the Bible is inerrant and flawless.

Thanks for your help and I hope to learn tons more from you guys! And hopefully my faith will strengthen along the way

I have Bart's book, the corruption of scripture. Fantastic amount of information from a historical point of view. In my opinion, it is a must read, just from the historical point. However, even then you have to be careful as to what he says. Remember , these are men who do their best to bring you the information that they consider to be worthy of explanation. However, that does not make everything said authentic .

Matthew 22:7 is not a prophecy of earthly events, it is a parable, which is spiritual of spiritual events. It is talking about the final wedding in the book of Revelation, as well as the second death.

watchinginawe
Dec 27th 2008, 02:58 PM
From an objective standpoint, it is hard for me to ignore that this writer probably drew on the events of the temple's destruction while writing this gospel. If this is the case, the writer may have passed off his own experiences as Jesus' word.Hello TA99. Welcome to the Bibleforums!

:hmm: Consider this TA. Regardless of when the Gospels were written, we can all agree that they were written after Jesus' life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection. Using the "objective viewpoint" that you suggest above, we could simply discount all of the Gospels as embellished narratives written after the fact.

What would be wrong with just reading them through with the first assumption being that they are true? Think about this because that does not seem to be your current paradigm for study. This is likely because of your skepitcal approach and I can understand that. I am just trying to point out your approach and how important it is for the scripture to benefit the one reading.
Note: While I am open to the possibility of the Bible being "inerrant", I'm more in the "infallible" camp. I'm coming as a skeptic/agnostic, so I'd probably like non-fundamentalist or non-evangelist Christian scholars better than the ones who tend to think that the Bible is inerrant and flawless.

Thanks for your help and I hope to learn tons more from you guys! And hopefully my faith will strengthen along the way.Personally, I would leave off the scholars for now and see if there is the possibility of the scriptures speaking directly to you. I do commend you for your study though and realize that I likely won't dissuade you from your method.

Can I ask a question? What is driving your study of the scriptures at this time?

God Bless!

matthew94
Dec 27th 2008, 04:13 PM
Even if Matthew arrived in its final form after AD70, it would still have been based on oral accounts of Jesus' words and activities. Nevertheless, I think the liberal scholars are very wrong on their dating methods. As best as we can tell, the authors died before AD70 (except John, of course). To say that Matt, Mark & Luke were originally written after AD70 is to say the entire early church was wrong about their authorship. That, it seems to me, is a very arrogant position to take.

BroRog
Dec 27th 2008, 04:43 PM
Hey guys, I'm reading the Bible for the very first time, and I wanted clarification of a verse.

This is a "red text" verse, suggesting that they are the words of Jesus Christ

Matthew 22:7
"The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city."

Modern Biblical scholars have suggested that this verse is an allusion to the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. However, the problem is that Jesus was crucified several decades prior to this. Scholars also believe that the Gospel of Matthew was written from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D.

From an objective standpoint, it is hard for me to ignore that this writer probably drew on the events of the temple's destruction while writing this gospel. If this is the case, the writer may have passed off his own experiences as Jesus' word.

There are 3 possibilities that I can see:
1.) Jesus was making a prophecy
2.) The Biblical scholars are wrong about this allusion (possible but unlikely)
3.) The writer inserted his words as those of Jesus

Thank you for your help in understanding this matter

Simple answer. It's not a prophecy. It's a parable.

RevLogos
Dec 27th 2008, 06:17 PM
My problem is that objective scholars believe from their studies that the Gospel of Matthew was produced between 70 AD and 100 AD based on their examination of the texts. The 55-60 Date seems to come from more fundamentalist Christians...

I admit that I know far less about all of this than either the scholars or 99.9% of this message board. I intend to "get to the bottom of it", but this verse and the scholars' "facts" just really put a damper on my reading of the Bible.



Study several different sources. You seem to be sure that authoritative scholars put the writings later and that only fundamentalists put them earlier. I would not be so sure.

The three synoptic Gospels are believed by most to have been written in the 60's, as are all of the letters of Paul. John's writings were probably in the 80's or 90's.

I have only looked into this dating analysis a little but, so I can give a couple of examples. Luke wrote both Luke (of course) and Acts. Acts ends with Paul in Rome. We know Paul was executed some time around AD 67 during Nero's time but Luke mentions nothing after Paul gets to Rome. This suggests Luke and Acts would have been written in the 60's, and puts all of Paul's epistles in the 50's or 60's.

Strangely, Acts appears to be unfinished. Did Luke meet his demise while writing it?

Another example: Colossians believed to have been written by Paul in 60 or before. Colosse the city was heavily damaged by a large earthquake in 61 or 62. The city never really recovered; most inhabitants moved out, many going to Laodicea nearby. So the letter must have been written before 61 or 62.

There is other extra-Biblical evidence I have not looked into yet, or not saved to my hard drive. I have read Mark began his Gospel under the direction of Peter at the request of the church in Rome, which would put it in the 60's also.

In all three synoptics there is a section we call the "Olivet Discourse" where Jesus does predict the destruction of Jerusalem, but Jesus also talks about His Second Coming. It is evident from the writings that the authors did not know these were two separate events, as information on both gets convoluted. Had the destruction of Jerusalem already occurred, the writers probably would have used it as evidence of the truth of Jesus' prophesy. And they would have more clearly separated the two prophesies. But they didn't, strongly suggesting the writing occurred before the breakout of hostilities.

There is a lot to this. Look at multiple sources, have an open mind, and have fun.

markedward
Dec 27th 2008, 08:24 PM
My problem is that objective scholars believe from their studies that the Gospel of Matthew was produced between 70 AD and 100 AD based on their examination of the texts. The 55-60 Date seems to come from more fundamentalist Christians...But look at the reasoning: the "objective scholars" date it to after 70 AD because they think prophecy is impossible. They recognize that the text shows Christ prophesying the events of 70 AD, so they claim it was written after the fact on the sole basis that they don't want to admit that Christ was able to prophesy those events before they happened. So, again, it all comes down to whether a person believes in the possibility of prophecy or not, which, when you get down to it, is incredibly poor logic.

But, as is also pointed out, even if the gospel was written after 70 AD, that doesn't mean that the prophecies within them weren't spoken before 70 AD. Heck, most Biblical scholars (including the "objective" ones, such as Bart) think that the parables and prophecies of Christ can trace back to a "Q document", but because of how they date the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), this would require the "Q document" (if it actually existed) to have been around before 70 AD... so that would include the parables and prophecies that point to the 70 AD events. Either way, Christ's prophecies of the 70 AD events can be traced to before 70 AD itself.

"Prophecy is impossible because it's impossible" is the logic being used. It's circular and doesn't prove anything.

Prophet Daniel
Dec 27th 2008, 08:55 PM
There are 3 possibilities that I can see:
1.) Jesus was making a prophecy no
2.) The Biblical scholars are wrong about this allusion (possible but unlikely) It is a symbolic story/ a parable/ allegory
3.) The writer inserted his words as those of Jesus no


The parable talks about the invited guests the jews. The gentiles were invited in their place to become God's people. According to scripture God committed the Jews unto disobedience so He can have mercy on all nation and not just one. This is what the parable is about. The details about the city being burned is not literal.

Excuse my english,
I'm foreign

TheAnswer99
Dec 28th 2008, 03:30 AM
Check out books by Josh McDowell. He was an atheist doing research on the bible that eventually converted. His friends in college challenged him to prove the bible wrong. The result of his research is the book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". It's in outline form and not the easiest read. But it led to his conversion to a Christian. He has written many other books since then that you may find interesting.

Grace and peace,

Mark

Much thanks, Mark! This is exactly the kind of book(s) that I am looking for

TheAnswer99
Dec 28th 2008, 03:38 AM
Hello TA99. Welcome to the Bibleforums!

:hmm: Consider this TA. Regardless of when the Gospels were written, we can all agree that they were written after Jesus' life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection. Using the "objective viewpoint" that you suggest above, we could simply discount all of the Gospels as embellished narratives written after the fact.

What would be wrong with just reading them through with the first assumption being that they are true? Think about this because that does not seem to be your current paradigm for study. This is likely because of your skepitcal approach and I can understand that. I am just trying to point out your approach and how important it is for the scripture to benefit the one reading.Personally, I would leave off the scholars for now and see if there is the possibility of the scriptures speaking directly to you. I do commend you for your study though and realize that I likely won't dissuade you from your method.

Can I ask a question? What is driving your study of the scriptures at this time?

God Bless!

That's actually a really good suggestion, and I think that I may simply read the Bible without worrying about outside analysis.

I'm using an NIV Bible (I know this will irk some people), and it has a lot of notes on the bottom. Being a very curious person, I read these and then looked for even more information on the internet. I found some verses to be confusing, so naturally I looked for clarification of said verses. Additionally, I'm someone who is obsessed with history (history was one of my college majors), so I kind of want to know the historical and social context of the works.

What is driving my study of the scripture? I realized that I have not given Christianity a "fair shake". I went through 2 years of studying my church's catechism, and yet I feel like I gained nothing because I wasn't that focused or into it. I viewed my "Sunday-learnin'" as a chore. Before I risk everlasting hellfire, I should probably read the actual text and figure out if my agnosticism is worth missing out on something possibly better

I also had a really big life-changing experience in the past few months, and I found myself seeking the support of God and my family. It's kind of like the saying: there are no atheists in the foxholes/trenches. When things turn bad, many non-theists end up turning to God. It makes you wonder whether these non-theists truly believe that there is no God...

Brother Mark
Dec 28th 2008, 04:40 AM
Much thanks, Mark! This is exactly the kind of book(s) that I am looking for

Please let me know what you think about them.

RevLogos
Dec 28th 2008, 04:57 AM
That's actually a really good suggestion, and I think that I may simply read the Bible without worrying about outside analysis.

I'm using an NIV Bible (I know this will irk some people), and it has a lot of notes on the bottom. Being a very curious person, I read these and then looked for even more information on the internet. I found some verses to be confusing, so naturally I looked for clarification of said verses. Additionally, I'm someone who is obsessed with history (history was one of my college majors), so I kind of want to know the historical and social context of the works.

What is driving my study of the scripture? I realized that I have not given Christianity a "fair shake". I went through 2 years of studying my church's catechism, and yet I feel like I gained nothing because I wasn't that focused or into it. I viewed my "Sunday-learnin'" as a chore. Before I risk everlasting hellfire, I should probably read the actual text and figure out if my agnosticism is worth missing out on something possibly better

I also had a really big life-changing experience in the past few months, and I found myself seeking the support of God and my family. It's kind of like the saying: there are no atheists in the foxholes/trenches. When things turn bad, many non-theists end up turning to God. It makes you wonder whether these non-theists truly believe that there is no God...

I use NIV a lot too, because my church uses it, and I would wager it is used most commonly in these forums. My favorite study Bible is NET - New English Translation. It doesn't always have the best translation in each case but it does have copious translation notes and study notes. In Matthew 22 there are 58 footnotes. In the verse in question there are 3.

I use e-sword with NET, NIV and KJV (with Strongs). I have found e-sword is a great stool for study.

I'm probably a bit like you. I have a science and engineering background. So I tend to over-analyze things too much. Christianity is unique in that it is built around building a personal relationship with God. It has no "rules" just as any relationship really has no rules. Last year I had an experience which finally resulted in me turning to God and asking Help! And God responded. It was not through any intellectual study that turned me away from my former agnostic self. It was discovering that that relationship was real and tangeable.

That former agnostic self said there probably was a creator but it was too far above my microscopic mind for me to ever understand. I didn't account for the possibility that this God might just want to be understood.

I wish you well in your studies. Behind your specific question there is a bigger question: Is this all for real? While we can give you our opinions on specific questions, ultimately the answer to the big question will be coming from God.

watchinginawe
Dec 28th 2008, 06:15 AM
What is driving my study of the scripture? I realized that I have not given Christianity a "fair shake". I went through 2 years of studying my church's catechism, and yet I feel like I gained nothing because I wasn't that focused or into it. I viewed my "Sunday-learnin'" as a chore. Before I risk everlasting hellfire, I should probably read the actual text and figure out if my agnosticism is worth missing out on something possibly better

I also had a really big life-changing experience in the past few months, and I found myself seeking the support of God and my family. It's kind of like the saying: there are no atheists in the foxholes/trenches. When things turn bad, many non-theists end up turning to God. It makes you wonder whether these non-theists truly believe that there is no God...I am sorry to hear that you have had a "foxhole" event recently.

:hmm: I remember when I was agnositc. I had officially passed from atheism to agnosticism as part of my efforts to be truly "honest" regarding the possibility of God's existence. It was strange though how all of a sudden it seemed my ear began to "hear" things that went unheeded before. I found myself pausing when clicking through on TV or the radio dial if I came upon someone preaching the Gospel. What seemed so empty and absurd in previous encounters became resonant and a lure of sorts to me. I now understand how that God was working in me at the time. Anyway, I have likened my difference in hearing to the song "Something There" in Beauty and the Beast: "There may be something there that wasn't there before."

I hope that something is stirring in you too. I find your post very encouraging and I am glad you have come here as part of your seeking.

God Bless!

TheAnswer99
Dec 28th 2008, 07:56 AM
I use NIV a lot too, because my church uses it, and I would wager it is used most commonly in these forums. My favorite study Bible is NET - New English Translation. It doesn't always have the best translation in each case but it does have copious translation notes and study notes. In Matthew 22 there are 58 footnotes. In the verse in question there are 3.

I use e-sword with NET, NIV and KJV (with Strongs). I have found e-sword is a great stool for study.

I'm probably a bit like you. I have a science and engineering background. So I tend to over-analyze things too much. Christianity is unique in that it is built around building a personal relationship with God. It has no "rules" just as any relationship really has no rules. Last year I had an experience which finally resulted in me turning to God and asking Help! And God responded. It was not through any intellectual study that turned me away from my former agnostic self. It was discovering that that relationship was real and tangeable.

That former agnostic self said there probably was a creator but it was too far above my microscopic mind for me to ever understand. I didn't account for the possibility that this God might just want to be understood.

I wish you well in your studies. Behind your specific question there is a bigger question: Is this all for real? While we can give you our opinions on specific questions, ultimately the answer to the big question will be coming from God.

Much thanks! I am definitely in the same boat as you formerly were.

I have always been overly interested in FACTS (hence I pursued degrees in history and the biological sciences). As a result, I tend to overanalyze things and try to establish as much proof as possible. As a result, I tend to have difficulties with philosophical and religious ideas, so hopefully I can learn to change this :)

TheAnswer99
Dec 28th 2008, 07:58 AM
I am sorry to hear that you have had a "foxhole" event recently.

:hmm: I remember when I was agnositc. I had officially passed from atheism to agnosticism as part of my efforts to be truly "honest" regarding the possibility of God's existence. It was strange though how all of a sudden it seemed my ear began to "hear" things that went unheeded before. I found myself pausing when clicking through on TV or the radio dial if I came upon someone preaching the Gospel. What seemed so empty and absurd in previous encounters became resonant and a lure of sorts to me. I now understand how that God was working in me at the time. Anyway, I have likened my difference in hearing to the song "Something There" in Beauty and the Beast: "There may be something there that wasn't there before."

I hope that something is stirring in you too. I find your post very encouraging and I am glad you have come here as part of your seeking.

God Bless!

I know exactly what you mean. Once you open yourself up to other possibilities, you see things that you never saw before. We are all blinded by our private prejudices against particular people or ideas

RevLogos
Dec 28th 2008, 07:26 PM
Much thanks! I am definitely in the same boat as you formerly were.

I have always been overly interested in FACTS (hence I pursued degrees in history and the biological sciences). As a result, I tend to overanalyze things and try to establish as much proof as possible. As a result, I tend to have difficulties with philosophical and religious ideas, so hopefully I can learn to change this :)
There is a web site I went to early in my own journey, written by Randall Niles. He was quite skeptical like you and I, and he also had a particular interest in archaeology and history. So what he has written might be right up your alley.

Scroll down to the section "Is the Bible True?" and click on the Intro link. Each article then links to the next one. I recommend going in sequence the first time. Randall covers quite a lot of the historical evidence. The "Who is Jesus?" section covers more of the first century written and archaeological evidence from people like Tacitus, Josephus, and Pliny the Younger.

http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/

TheAnswer99
Dec 28th 2008, 10:32 PM
thanks for the link!

Brother Mark
Dec 28th 2008, 10:37 PM
thanks for the link!

Hi Answer. Just a quick note. I was raised in Christianity. But after college, I wanted out. I even hated the concept of God and hated who I thought God was. So I determined to prove to myself he didn't exist. I had already decided Jesus was just a man and never rose from the dead. Well, here I am 17 years later, thankful that when I hated God, God loved me. For whatever it's worth, there's a small slice of my original experience with God. I look forward to hearing about your discoveries as you study. Please keep us informed.