Thursday, January 18, 2024

Why doesn't Justin Martyr name the gospel authors?

Critics of the traditional gospel authorship attributions make much of the fact that Justin doesn't name the authors of the gospels. And he fails to name the authors even though he cites the documents so often (or similar documents, depending on your view of what he was citing).

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Problems For The Anonymous Gospels Hypothesis

I've argued elsewhere that Papias was a disciple of John the son of Zebedee, that the elder he cites when discussing a document by Mark was John, and that the Markan document is our gospel of Mark. Notice, though, that even if we grant the skeptic's position on all three of those issues, the fragment of Papias in question (cited in Eusebius, Church History, 3:39:15) is still problematic for the idea that the gospels circulated anonymously until sometime in the second century. Even under the skeptic's scenario, we have two individuals (the elder and Papias) who lived at least part of their lives in the first century and were likely at least contemporaries of the apostles showing interest in the authorship of a document similar to our gospels. That's problematic for the notion that authorship attributions for our gospels didn't originate until the second century. Furthermore, just after the passage in Eusebius cited above, he goes on to quote some comments from Papias on something Matthew wrote. Again, even if we reject Papias' status as a disciple of John the son of Zebedee (or another disciple of Jesus named John) and assume that the Matthean document in question isn't our gospel of Matthew, we still have Papias showing interest in identifying the author of a gospel-like document.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Mishandling The Demonic Hypothesis

I recently watched an interview Ross Coulthart did with Garry Nolan about UFOs. Here's a segment in which both refer to "religious fundamentalists" in the government handling UFO issues poorly. I've written about this subject before. I won't repeat everything I said there. I agree with Nolan that not only has the demonic hypothesis not been justified, but even if it were correct, we shouldn't therefore conclude that we shouldn't do any further research on UFOs.

There's a larger problem here with Christians being immature and irresponsible about paranormal issues more broadly. It isn't just a problem in the UFO context.