Tovia Singer asserts that the gospels were originally written and circulated anonymously and that nowhere in the text do they identify themselves. Moreover, Singer asserts that “These are church traditions — and in fact they are late church traditions, meaning these ascriptions are assigned about a century after the gospels are written” by Irenaeus of Lyons.
Though the alleged discrepancies offered by Rabbi Singer require some investigation to untangle, closer inspection — and more careful reading of the relevant texts — reveals the arguments to be unfounded. The solutions that I have offered to these challenges are not strained or forced harmonizations, but rather are suggested from within the texts themselves.
In this article I will consider incidental allusions in the gospels that are indirectly and undesignedly confirmed by extrabiblical secular sources.
What Are Students Learning At Yale? A Review of Dale Martin’s Introductory Lecture on the New Testament
Watching Dale Martin teach his introductory lecture raised a number of concerns for me — not primarily because I disagree profoundly with many of Dr. Martin’s conclusions but because a significant number of the ‘facts’ he delivers in his presentation are quite simply false on a factual level, or otherwise misleading.
It is one of the most iconic incidents in Jesus’ life. We are all familiar with the famous story of Jesus miraculously feeding the five thousand from five loaves and two fish, with no fewer than twelve basketfuls of leftovers. But just how historical is this story?
Richard Carrier is an ancient historian who has risen to prominence as the lead advocate of Jesus Mythicism, a school of thought that entertains the idea that Jesus of Nazareth may never have existed at all.
Any discussion of the evidence for the resurrection must first ascertain what the original apostolic witnesses claimed and whether those claims are best explained by the resurrection, or by some alternative hypothesis.
Jaros does not seem to appreciate the value of casualness. He fails to understand how an undesigned coincidence can occur in the same document, or how a writer might provide information that unintentionally corroborates (in a manner that can be detected) some fact that the said author is also aware of.
An unexplained allusion refers to when a source mentions superfluous details that are not relevant to the story. Typically, when inventing a story, one would want to minimize unnecessary details, especially if those unnecessary details are subject to investigation.
An important feature of undesigned coincidences, which I think is all-too-often overlooked by critics, including Jaros, is the failure to understand the evidential significance of an appearance of casualness. This is what drives many to assume that the evangelists had to have no knowledge of each other’s work before we can argue for an undesigned coincidence.