Why I Rejected Christianity Review: Pseudonymity

We now move on to another chapter and this time we’re discussing Pseudonymity. Were the books of the Bible really written by the men who were claimed to have written them? Loftus claims that it’s already been shown that Genesis 1-2 are two different creation accounts in a JEPD style. (I wasn’t impressed.) It’s also been shown that Genesis 6-9 drew through several folk sources. (Again, no memo received.)

Now let’s move to the rest of the Pentateuch and the reasons for doubting Mosaic authorship.

#1-The death of Moses in Deuteronomy.

As Loftus says, even conservatives say Moses didn’t write this. I agree. How this goes against general authorship though is something I’m missing.

#2-Dan in Genesis 14 when the city wasn’t established until Judges 18:27

A person may think the Jews were wrong on many things, but let us not think they were stupid and/or ignorant of their own history. They all knew their tribes. They would all ready Genesis 14 and know when the tribes of Israel came about. What’s going on here?

Probably, the scribes did change the name of the city in the text. Why? For the readers of the time. Josephus spoke of this passage and how the five kings laid waste to all Syria. Syria didn’t exist then, but Josephus is using terminology his readers would know about. This does not go against the doctrine of inerrancy in anyway or change that it was originally written by Moses.

#3)Genesis 36:31 speaks of a king ruling over Israel long before Saul.

This is the same type of thing. The text was handed down for years and it’s no fault to have some statements made to clarify things as if it was a gloss for the readers. This would be done rarely though as the Jews did treat these texts as sacred.

#4)Exodus 16:35. They ate manna until they reached the border though Moses was dead then.

Same deal.

#5) Og’s bed is much too late.

You know the drill by now.

As for the claim that the Pentateuch was written at the time of Josiah, this is based on an outdated JEPD theory. I urge the reader to go and read some more on modern ideas that counter the JEPD theory.

We also have the controversy over Isaiah. (Note though that there has always been just the one scroll of Isaiah as a unity.) Claims against it are based on the idea that prophecy of Babylon would not occur alongside that of Nineveh. However, counter-claims are quite strong as one does find language similarity throughout the book. (Even if dated later, Isaiah 53 is still a remarkably accurate prophecy.)

Does this still hold relevant to people who are not in exile? Why not? He is simply speaking of things that are to come and for one of the greatest prophets in Hebrew history, why should this be seen as a surprise?

We move on to Daniel and at root is the problem of predictive prophecy again. However, there is also the problem of Aramaic. More recent findings though do show that this kind of Aramaic was around at the time of Daniel and would have been used by those in royal office.

Now Loftus goes on to list several works written under pseudonyms. I think it’s be outlandish to deny that this happened. Many books in the DSS are like that and several gnostic gospels are as well. The question is in relation to the biblical texts as we’ll see as we move on to the NT. Let’s move on to there.

We start with the usual passages of Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53-John 8:11, 1 John 5:7-8, Acts 8:37, and John 5:3-4.

It makes me feel like I’m reading a book by someone endorsing King James Onlyism.

These are the kinds of things that give students who are unfamiliar with the history of the text nightmares. For the rest of us, we know there were glosses and such added on. It doesn’t concern us as we have a huge multiplicity of documents that can help tell us what was in the original. (The early church fathers knew about these also! This is nothing new! Note: 1 John 5:7-8 would be the exception as I think that comes more from the medieval period.)

What about Jude quoting 1 Enoch? Geez. Could it be that Jude was using a source that made a strong point that he agreed with just as Paul agreed with Menander and others? Do we have reason really to believe that Jude thought that Enoch wrote that book?

And what about Paul finding sin and death being the problem in Romans 5 and basing that on Genesis 2-3?

Well, yeah.

Somehow, this is supposed to be a problem?

Somehow, a NT writer with greater understanding based on the teachings of Christ can see the point now of an OT passage and that’s a problem?

As for Jannes and Jambres in 2 Tim. 3:8-9, Paul was using a well-known tradition of the time that said these were the magicians who opposed Moses.

We have a quote also that all scholars admit that Matthew is not the work of an eyewitness.

Apparently, Richard Bauckham didn’t get that memo.

Let’s see. Let’s suppose Matthew used Mark and the so-called Q. Any reason why an apostle would use another source?

Let’s see. Mark was the account of Peter and Peter was of the inner circle…

So that means Peter saw things that Matthew didn’t…

And why would he copy word for word his own calling from Mark?

Could it maybe be that’s what Jesus said to Matthew and Matthew and Mark both record it accurately?

As for 1 Cor. 15:3-11, Robert Price is quoted and said the burden of proof is on those who deny that it’s genuine as Price disagrees and sees it as not originally Pauline.

Nope. The burden of proof is on the one who is going against the general scholarship. There’s a reason this has been accepted by even non-Christian scholars.

And at last 2 Peter. We are told it is post-Pauline (First off, in what way? How early can it be and be considered post-Pauline?). Also, the writing is different. (Of course, it could just be one is written by an amanuensis and the other by another or any other combination of such.) It could also be that Peter dictated in Aramaic and it was translated into Greek.

Also, there is the issue of the Parousia being seen as being delayed. Not sure how this is a problem as it seems some were asking where it was in 1 Thess. which could be the earliest Pauline Epistle.

Finally, we have the difficulty of it getting into the canon. It’s worthy to note that this was seen as canonical early on and other works that are not genuine were not anywhere close such as the Gospel of Peter.

Friends. There really are a lot of references here, but the reasons given for doubt are often quite vague. I recommend getting a good commentary on a book and reading the author’s take and coming to your own conclusions as well. I will choose to trust that of the early church.

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