Is the New Testament made up?

Hi everyone. I’m a Christian and I’d like to talk with some intelligent atheists. I appreciate your hospitality here and I hope we have a good discussion. My question right now is whether the narratives of the life of Christ are made up stories or accounts of real events. I find them convincing in part because they are set in real history with names and places. For example, Luke 3:1-2 states: “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.” That is a lot of details that can be verified. That’s just to get the ball rolling. Let me know what you think.

Welcome to Atheist Republic dansmith.

The comic Spiderman has him in New York City with many real landmarks such as the Brooklyn bridge. By your logic, are those Spiderman stories as valid? Is Spiderman real? In a thousand years from now when archaeologists dig up Spiderman comics, how can they distinguish between biblical stories of jesus and the tales of Spiderman?

My point is that although a STORY incorporates real physical landmarks, that does not make the actual narrative of the story true.

Secondly, all of the New testament stories can not be collaborated by other contemporary stories. Other historical figures such as Caesar can be collaborate because so many different people wrote about them. Outside of the bible, no one mentioned this jesus.

The new Testament is a nice story, and no doubt is probably has elements of truth to them. In fact there may have actually been a jesus. But it is a huge step to prove that he did perform miracles and other supernatural stuff.

Based on what I know, right now all I can agree with is that it is just a story. Like Spiderman.

The bible is the claim, not the proof.


Well, where do we begin? Let’s start with the Synoptics. The authorship of the Synoptic Gospels is a matter of tradition, they are all, in fact anonymous hearsay accounts. Mark is the earliest, cannot have been written before 70 CE and most likely dated between 75 CE and 80 CE. Matthew and Luke are largely (more than 60%) copies of Mark, with Matthew correcting the most egregious errors of Jewish Lore and Law found in the greek Mark. Luke was writing for yet another audience, mainly hellenistic, and the structure and added stories reflect the origins of the copyist.

All the synoptics have been added to and redacted over the centuries. There are no originals to compare the modern versions with at the present time. The earlies fragment of Mark dates to 160CE.

We do know that in the earliest christian temple at Jerusalem their versions of Matthew and Luke did not contain the birth narrative, similarly those “gospels” used by the very popular Marcionite and other movements just before the turn of the 1st century did not contain those conflicting stories found in the “gospels”.

Moving on to John ( I can write another thousand words here on the Synoptics, but lets us keep this short and sour) John is the latest of the “gospels” probably first written about the turn of the 1st century CE. The earlies fragment of “John” (again an anonymous text) dates to about 125CE (if we are generous) that would put the author at least 90 years old…if the claimed provenance is to be believed, which it patently cannot. The style is unmistakably 1st century greek and contains many of the stories in Mark, but even more Hellenised and contradictory of the originals in some places. Again, aimed for a “civilised” city dwelling sophisticated audience the up to FOUR authors of “john” have produced a smooth, edited, retelling of the synoptics.

In short, no, the gospels cannot in any way be relied on as witness accounts. The details that can be verified within are the simple writers artifice that all writers use to add veracity to the tallest of tales. We haven’t changed much in the art of storytelling.

The facts are that the gospels are the claims, there is not one shred of contemporary evidence for the magical, divine jesus figure described in the texts. Not one iota of contemporary corroborating evidence.

My opinion is that the magical, divine jesus figure as described in the gospels is improbable, that all too human figure existed that gave rise and inspiration to the later stories is possible but Not Proven ( a verdict in Scots Law you would do well to look up)


Intelligent atheists?.. HERE??? :confused:… (addressing all members)… Okay, fess up! Which of you idiots took down the warning sign?.. (AGAIN!)

Anyway, sorry about that, Dan. It happens sometimes. Welcome, though. Good to have you with us. Well, between Dave and Old Man, there really isn’t much more for me to add in regards to historic documentation and fictional comparisons. (@David_Killens You beat me to that, Dave. Grrr… :smirk:) Therefore, about all I have to offer is my own personal views of the bible in general. So, here we go…

First, I do not like making assumptions, so I have a couple of standard questions I always ask.

  1. Do you believe the bible is the Perfect Word of God?
  2. Do you believe your god is Omnipotent (Can DO ANYTHING) and Omniscient (Knows EVERYTHING. Past, Present, and Future)?
  3. Do you believe your god has a Perfect Plan that cannot be changed by anything or anybody?
  4. Do you believe your god is PERFECT and NEVER makes mistakes?

If you answered “Yes” to all of those questions, then ask yourself these questions…

  1. If your god knows EVERYTHING and can do ANYTHING, why use a BOOK to spread his Perfect Words during a time when the vast majority of humanity was illiterate? Why not just simply implant his “Words” into the minds of his human pets?

  2. If the bible is the Perfect Word of God, then why did your god allow it to be interpretted, edited, and re-translated countless times over several centuries by countless kings and holy priests? Thus causing thousands of different Christian sects/denominations, many of which waged long and bloody wars against each other to prove who was right.

  3. When you read the bible, be honest: Does it REALLY sound like something that an ALL-KNOWING and ALL-POWERFUL being would write to deliver its VITAL MESSAGE to its human pets?

So, basically, if you are confused and having to ask questions to clarify the PERFECT words of a PERFECT god, is it really perfect? Just sayin’…


Ah, but Grasshopper, the question is not whether the god in question is perfect, but rather, is it really possible for an imperfect mind to understand a perfect god. The Bible is purposefully ambiguous and vague. It is but a test of faith, which proves the reason for having the faith in the first place. Make sense?

Edit for sarcasm


Welcome @dansmith.

A question that has always come up, for me, is …given the extremely unusual, nay, unique nature of the claims surrounding the Christ figure, would it not be expected that there would be readily available evidence of something so remarkable, from numerous sources and not just adjacent passages in one religious book? If something of such magnitude did happen, there would be, it seems to me…

1 Like

Yeah! Gonna take one for the home team are ya? Okay cool. Heads up! Everyone arond here will be really cool with you as long as you listen to what has been said and respond honestly. Okay… now lets go see what you have to sa…;

Well, let’s separate the magical shit from the manly shit. If someone named Jesus existed, the chances are "Probably.’ In fact, Probably more than one person. If you want to pile on magical healings, walking on water, magically feeding the multitude, etc, Well… get serious, “We have no evidence at all that magic occurs.” This Jesus most likely did not exist. Regardless of these two possible positions, there is NO first century evidence supporting the life of of the biblical Jesus. Nothing. So, until there is some evidence supporting his existence, there really is no reason to assume he was a real person. He may have simply been a figure like Plato, King Arthur, or Spiderman, who may or may not have existed that people just invented stories about.

Demonstrate one "Real Event’ involving Christ and how you know it is real.

Spiderman lived in New York City, a place with real names and places. That says absolutely nothing about the reality of Spiderman. Jason and the Argonouts; a story with real names of real places, and mythology. All the Greek Gods, stories of real names of real places and all Mythology. Your logic is faulty.

" When was Spider-Man born?

Image result for When did spider man live

August 10, 2001

“Early life. Peter Parker was born on August 10, 2001, in Forest Hills, Queens, and is primarily raised by his uncle Ben and Aunt May. While attending high school at the Midtown School of Science and Technology in 2015, Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him superhuman abilities.”

You have not said anything. Anyone can pull dates out of a hat and implant their magical superhero into history. What did Pontius Pilate write about Jesus? In Herod’s own hand, where are the documents concerning Jesus? You are taking a Spiderman Book, A Magical Biblical story, and emposing it upon reality with no other evidence than your claim.

The bible is the claim (CLAIM) it is not the evidence. Once the claim has been made, you need somethiing besides belief and faith to assert the TRUTH of the claim.


1 Like

LMAO :joy:. YES YES!!! All very factual indeed.

And then we get to the part about the wilderness and some lunatic named John, born of Zachary, who heard the “word of God”???

Uhh. Do you notice anything distinctly different about the first five and then the last?

Okay. Cross checked everything. Did a google scan on the World Wide Web. Everything checks out until I type in “wilderness and John”. Ha ha ha.

Very easy to make a load of shit sound real when your dropping names left and right.


1 Like

27 to 29 is not a date. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the date was exact and it could be demonstrated? It isn’t and it can’t.

What word? What wilderness. Where. All the specifics are completely lacking. No great insight here. Nothing to be verified and certainly not a good reason to believe anything the bible says.

I tend to come at it from a totally different perspective. The things that aren’t mentioned are what bugs me. Like bacteria. The whole point of Jesus turning water to wine was because the process of making wine killed the bacteria that made people sick and was therefore healthier, despite the fact it was a toxin. I think if the bible made mention of tiny organisms living in the water that made you sick I’d believe there was a god. Some bit of knowledge that we didn’t already have. Forget about facts that exist in the bible about places or people or events, what about all the things in the bible that have been shown to be false?

This is where the cherry-picking Christian comes in. You point out things that actually existed and say that it’s evidence but if I point out something that has been shown to be wrong then that’s just Satan playing with my head. I love this game, it’s always a load of laughs and heaps of fun!


@dansmith I suggest you inform yourself to the real history of the bible.

And the Council of Nicaea

As far as any stories about jesus, there are no contemporary accounts, any texts that actually referenced to him were written at least one entire generation after his death. Until then, it was all mouth to mouth oral stories. I suggest you reference “Chinese whispers” also known as the “telephone game”.

The most important texts in the new testament are the Synoptic Gospels, by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are not written by those four disciples, the true authors are anonymous. And even then, there are no originals. At best they were copies of copies of copies, translated from various languages by people with the deliberate motive of making the bible reflect their dogma.

To me the story of jesus is like the stories of King Arthur and his round table, or Robin Hood. Wonderful stories, with wonderful messages. But King Arthur and Robin Hood are fictional, history has never determined who they really were. Most likely they had a kernel of truth in their origins, but just like the telephone game, stories were added, there were exaggerations, and the final story is very far from the truth.

Wonderful stories with wonderful messages, but in the final count, just stories.


I apologize for the delay in my reply. It’s been a busy weekend.

The reason I said the New Testament is situated in real history was not to “prove” that it was a real account (I mean, we’re just getting started), but to establish that it at least takes itself seriously as a real account. In other words, it doesn’t seem to be telling a story that is completely divorced from reality. The historical nature of the New Testament is compelling, especially when you consider the book of Acts (Luke-Acts claim the same author), which uses history and geography seamlessly with the real world.

Your rebuttal with Spider man does nothing for us since real accounts obviously use real history as well (plus we know who wrote Spider man and can verify that it’s fiction, etc). This is just begging the question. It doesn’t show that the NT is fantasy.

Taking this a step further, the characters of the story jump out in the Epistles. In other words, we see the writers of the Epistles referring back to events that happened in the Gospels and Acts, without quoting the account exactly as if they were just ripping it off. The harmony between Acts 15 and Galatians 2 is an example. These seem to be real people.

I’ve heard the argument before that the Gospels are the claim, so they have to be independently verified, but I’m pretty sure this is a category error. If I told you something happened out of the blue with no documentation or anything to back it up, that would be a baseless claim. But the NT does function as documentation of the claim that Jesus existed. The nature of that documentation can then be examined. When you consider that there are four Gospel accounts, the book of Acts which tells us what happened in between the time of the Gospel events and their writings, along with writings from the Apostles, we essentially have independent verification that we can cross check.

Is Spiderman completely divorced from reality. Were the Greek and Roman myths completely divorced from reality? Is Harry Potter completely divorced from reality? WTF are you on about. The myth takes place in the real world of the time. You have extablished NOTHING.

And it does not matter at all. And the authors DO NOT KNOW EXACT DATES, Why? Because the Bible was written Decades after the events happened. No one remembered the exact dates. They were just stories passed along by ‘Chinese Whispers.’ (This is a fruitless path to travel. It has been debunked. Please move forward with something new.) Don’t just restate the same bullshit again.

Matthew 27:52-53 claims that when Jesus died graves were opened as zombies rose from them and this was seen by many people. If a city under Roman occupation was invaded by zombies don’t you think at least one contemporary historian would have written about it? Needless to say, there is not one historical documentation of an actual zombie uprising. (Where is your historical Accuracy?)

The world was thrown into darkness (Now that is obviously historical yet not a mention from anyone but the believers.)

There was never a global flood? (Where is your historical Accuracy?)

There was an exodus from Egypt? (Where is your historical Accuracy?) Jews never lived in Egypt, there was a Synagogue in Egypt, and any Jews living there were well integrated into the culture. The Jews were never held as slaves in Egypt, thus no Exodus.

Palm Sunday (Where is your historical Accuracy?)

No Evidence at all for any of the Patriarchs (Where is your historical accuracy)

No consistency on resurrection or birth accounts (No historical accuracy.)

This list goes on and on and on…

Then don’t you think it is time to start paying attention to it? You need independent attestation to each one of the miraculous acts of the bible and to the existence of this Jesus fellow and you have NONE. The Bible is the claim. It was written by religious zealots interested in perpetuating their religion and glorifying their own interests. If you are going to make any headway at all, you will need independent verification. The Bible cannot validate The Bible. There is absolutely nothing more you can say in this regard. You can NOT use the bible as evidence for the Bible.


Historical Errors In The Bible:

Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents: No documentation what so ever. It didn’t happen.
Flavius Josephus, who carefully chronicled Herod’s abuses, makes no mention of it.

The angels and the shepherds, in Luke, and of the wise men, in Matthew, are rewrites of Egyptian mythical themes from at least two thousand years earlier. They are portrayed in the art at Luxor.

An attempt to slaughter a holy child appears in all the ancient hero myths, from Moses to Horus to Sargon to Hercules. (Pure Mythology.)

Mark makes serious mistakes in his geographical references to Palestine. He knows the Galilean place names
and the general relative positions of the localities, but not specific details. Hence he “represents Jesus as travelling back
and forth in Galilee and adjacent territories in a puzzling fashion” (Kee, 117, pp 102 - 3). To go (as Jesus is said to in Mk. 7:31) from the territory of Tyre by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee “is like travelling from Cornwall to London via Manchester” (Anderson, 2, p 192). Again, Mark’s references to movements across the Sea of Galilee are impossible to trace sequentially. Mention of specific location near the sea are either unknown sites, such as Dalmanutha (8:10), or are patently inaccurate, as in the designation of the eastern shore of the lake as the country of the Gerasenes (5:1)" (Kee, loc cit). Gerasa is more than thirty miles southeast of the lake, too far away for the setting of the story which demands a city in its vicinity, with a precipitous slope down to the water. Probably all that concerned Mark, collecting and adapting pre-existing stories about Jesus, was that the lake and its surrounding territories, some Jewish and some mainly Gentile, was an ideal setting for journey’s of Jesus and his disciples, showing how both Jews and Gentiles responded to him with faith. That place names in Mark caused perplexity among early readers is shown by the wide range of variants in the textual tradition where names occur in the gospel. Perplexity is also evidenced by Matthew, who changed Mark’s Gerasenes to Gadarenes (Mt. 8:28), Gadara being a well-known spa only eight miles from the lake.

What about the darkness and earthquake?

“… We have here a good example of the credulity of Western man. For two thousand years he has been reading about this convulsion and “darkness over all the earth” without ever questioning it or demanding proof of it. Yet had it happened, would not some of those able historians have recorded it? Why did they not?” (Deceptions & Myths of the Bible, Lloyd Graham p. 349)

There was no Roman census!

When was Jesus born? According to Luke, it was during the reign of the Roman governor Quirinius, during a census ordered by Augustus throughout the whole world.(9) According to both Luke and Matthew it was also during the reign of king Herod “the Great.”(10) The problem is that Herod died in 4 B.C.E., and this was fully ten years before Quirinius’ census. Furthermore, during Herod’s reign, no Roman census could have been held in his territory, which included both Judaea and Galilee, the locations of both Bethlehem and Nazareth.(11) Herod would have collected his own taxes, and given tribute to the Romans. Lastly, the existence of a census throughout the whole empire is contrary to the practice of the Romans, who collected taxes province by province, often subcontracting the process to “publicans.”

Did the trial of Jesus take place?

The Jews said unto him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham’’ If Jesus was then but about thirty years of age, the Jews would evidently have said : “thou art not yet forty years old,” and would not have been likely to say: “thou art not yet fifty years old,” … ;’ therefore, if Jesus was crucified at that time he must have been about fifty years of age; but, as we re-marked elsewhere, there exists, outside of the New Testament**, no evidence whatever, in book, inscription, or monument, that Jesus of Nazareth was either scourged or crucified under Pontius Pilate.** Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny, Philo, nor any of their contemporaries, ever refer to the fact of this crucifixion, or express any belief thereon. (T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, p. 516)

Did the Jews violate the Passover?

Now is it not strange that the crucifixion should take place during the Passover? Among the Jews, this was a most sacred occasion. For them to crucify anyone at this time, they would have to break at least seven of their religious laws. Why then did they profane it with murder? (Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 345)

Was there a Roman custom of releasing a prisoner?

The story of Barabbas being freed in exchange for Jesus is pure fiction. Two Gospels describe a Roman custom of freeing a prisoner during Passover festival, but no such policy ever existed on the part of the Romans. A Roman procurator, especially someone as ruthless as Pilate, would likewise never consent to the pressure of a mob. Registrant WHOIS contact information verification |

The Story of Barabbas unhistorical

In all New Testament accounts, Pilate hesitates to condemn Jesus until the crowd insists. Some have suggested that this may have been an effort by early Christian polemicists to curry favor with Rome by placing the blame for Jesus’ execution on the Jews, and that it was part of the process by which Pauline Christians marginalized the still-observant Christian Jews of the Levant (Ebionites).

Look, This shit goes on and on and on and on… YOU NEED INDEPENDENT VARIFICATION TO TELL FACT FROM FICTION. You don’t have it. No one is interested in what the bible says. And no one is interested in post-hoc rationalizations. You either have independent verification of the claims or you do not. Keep your post-hoc rationalizations to yourself. Historical Errors in the Gospels.

1 Like

The historical setting of the Bible does establish much, as I just said, the authors are claiming to recount real events. It certainly does establish that. You didn’t interact at all with my point about the Epistles, namely Acts 15 and Galatians 2. These are real people. If these aren’t real people, we have coincidences to explain. For example, two accounts of the feeding of the five thousand are given in John 6 and Luke 9. From John 6 we learn that Jesus inexplicably asks Philip where to buy bread (why Philip?). Luke 9 claims this event happened near Bethsaida, which, we learn from John 1:44, is Philip’s home town. Again, these are real people.

BlockquoteThey were just stories passed along by ‘Chinese Whispers.’

Now that is a baseless claim.

As for the dates of the NT, they are extremely early. Many of Paul’s letters were written in the 50s. This is likely before the Gospels were written. Paul’s teachings when it comes to Christian conduct are basically a commentary on Jesus’ sermon on the mount (compare Romans 12 with Matthew 5-7). He even quotes Jesus. Acts was probably written before the 60s, since Luke makes no mention of the persecution of Nero. This means Luke was written even earlier than that. Again, while not establishing “proof”, this early dating carries a tremendous amount of weight, especially because the Epistles and Gospels-Acts are so consistent.

Atheists do this thing where they just deny the evidence by a completely arbitrary standard (“no that isn’t evidence. No that isn’t good enough. No you’ve established nothing”). You can’t just deny what’s there. You have to deal with it. You demonstrate a radical skepticism that no one applies in any other area of knowledge (I mean, compare what we have for the historicity of Alexander the Great to the NT). Either engage with what I said or admit you’re just dismissing it out of an exercise in atheist apologetics.

No, this is not arbitrary or a fail. If this “evidence” was presented in a court of law it would be absolutely destroyed and thrown out.

I do not invent my own standards of evidence, I attempt to use the same standards of a court of law.

@dansmith What are your standards of evidence? Are they as fair, balanced, and just as a court of law?

Your presentation assumes that texts from the authors were not edited before they were transcribed into the bible. The fact is that there are no original texts, and the final edit of the bible was put to paper hundreds of years after the events and with a clear and obvious effort to support the christian doctrine.

I predict that in 1912 a great ship will strike an iceberg and sink with massive loss of life. There, I just did what happened to the bible, I wrote about something long after it actually happened.


That is not a baseless claim: Your first Gospel is at the very least 30 to 40 years (ONE GENERATION) after the death of your supposed magical Jesus. And I am being generous. The word was spread by word of mouth for an entire generation.

None of the writers of the Gospels ever admits to meeting Jesus. No one in the New Testament offers a first-hand account. Everyone is telling a story. On top of that, you don’t even know who the writers of the Gospels were. -THE CLAIM IS FACTUAL -

NO THEY ARE NOT: You have no extrabiblical evidence for many of the events. As cited above, You have stories. You have no evidence for the homeland of Jesus, No evidence for the slaughter of the innocent, no evidence for the various birth narratives, no evidence for the various crucifixion narratives. You have a mythical story in a historical setting and nothing more without independent verification. You are getting nowhere by quoting the Bible. IT IS NOT ACCEPTED AS EVIDENCE. You do not get to cite the CLAIMS being made as EVIDENCE.

Demonstrate these are real people. What evidence do you have aside from your assertions? Are you familiar with the ‘Jesus Seminar?’ Can you demonstrate your Jesus character actually said anything? This is what the EXPERTS think. The Seminar was, a 200-member group of mainline biblical scholars from all over the country and it has stirred controversy since its first meetings in 1985

82% of the words of Jesus are not his:

“The Five Gospels,” is a 550 page book containing translations of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It was the result of a six year study by 24 Christian scholars from a number of Western universities. They decided to produce a translation of the Gospels which would be uncolored by the translator’s personal faith. It was decided that this translation was to give the reader an honest picture of what Jesus truly said. They scanned the text for the words of Jesus, and collect an index of over 1,500 such sayings. They then tested the validity of each of these sayings, one at a time, to see whether Jesus truly said each one. They then produced a fresh translation, color-coded to show authentic Jesuit sayings and those of an unreliable nature. Their conclusion (page 5) was:

“Eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him.”

Demonstrate Jesus said anything. Anything at all.

Seminar Rules Out 80% of Words Attributed to Jesus : Religion: Provocative meeting of biblical scholars ends six years of voting on authenticity in the Gospels.


Virtually all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John were voted down by scholars meeting in Sonoma, including a pulpit favorite, 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. . . .”






I assert that Mr. Dan is not interested in an actual discussion and, instead, is engaged in merely preaching from the Bible. Repititiously he has been told, “The Bible is the Claim and not the evidence.” Still he persists in the inane insistance that there is some value, worth, or truth to his repititious nonsense. I assert that he either needs to demonstrate a single assertion made by the Bible with an extrabiblical sourse or be considered a troll. I personally would like to see him demonstrate the extrabiblical sources for 'Slaughter of the Innocents, The Great Zombie Attack, The Palm Sunday Event, The Census of Herod, For w,hich birth story of Jesus is correct?, For which crucifixion story is correct?, or perhaps he could cite the name of one of the authors of the Gospels and tell us how that author came to know what he claims to be true? Any of that shit would be really cool. Elswise, this dweeb is simply trolling.


I guess I am chopped liver over here…still waiting for a response to my question concerning the dearth of evidence outside the Bible to support the ludicrous claims therein.
If I see one more reference to the Bible to support a claim from the Bible, I am going to have to slap somebody.

Edit for palm itch…

1 Like

We agree at last. Our Dan is trotting out High School bibe based apologetics while trying to avoid the main issues.

The fact is there is not one contemporary account of the jesus figure as described in the gospels. Not one eye witness account of any of the “miracles”, including the Rabbi Zombie invasion which surely would have made the news, after all the great philosopher and writer Philo was in Jerusalem about the time of these alleged magical events. He did not write about any “darkness at noon” either.

Paul…well that old dreamer? How can anyone rely on the words of an accused apostate, who only claims to have met the resurrected jesus figure in dreams/hallucinations? Lets examine ACTS…as recommended by our esteemed visitor…It seems that the travel accounts are so contradictory (to the epistles) that they could well be describing two different people.

We know that 6 of the epistles are by the same anonymous writer, we know that at least 2 are complete forgeries and the remainder have been cobbled together from scraps at much later dates.

The only thing that “the Paul scribblings” is evidence for is the existence of schismatic gentile and traditional Jewish Messaniac cults in the first half of the 1st century CE. Each with their own traditions and texts. All of them , except maybe the Ebionites, proto Gnostic.

We agree Cog, that this Dan person is ignoring the rebuttals and using that tired and vexing method of switching the claim and using that duplicitous technique of biblical hermeneutics to muddy the waters of debate.

Boring. Historical accuracy and textual analysis has already given the lie to his wishful; thinking.