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Who checks the facts?

OzSpen

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I AGREE! We're speaking to a non-Christian in the O.P.'s question. You start going into the history thing and you'll hear "oh yeah, so some guy got swallowed by a whale?" OR " some woman got turned into salt."
See? I know about the bible Oz. I'm speaking as to how to present it to a non-believer who has studied it in university as a literary book. I'd keep away from the history and stick to the spirituality.
If the discussion goes to Jonah and the whale, we have to deal with the historical evidence, how one demonstrates evidence to be historically reliable, and God's supernatural intervention. That means one has to deal with the nature of the God whom we serve. Same with the woman turned into salt. The Bible is an historical document that involves the Lord God Almighty. We can't avoid these issues - only if they are raised by the non-Christian.

Sticking to spirituality may be OK for you, but it runs into so much competition with Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age, occult, etc. How does the non-believer know which spirituality matches reality when there are so many alternatives? I would not go into spirituality as a starter in building common ground as there are no objective ways I know to discern the differences among spiritualities.

Have you ever taken a basic theology course? The first things you learn are:
1. Christianity is a religion based on reason.
2. It could be believed by using intelliectual reasoning.
3. Faith is passed down by the Apostles. Our trust in these men, Apostles, can assure us that what they passed down to us is true.
Do I come across as a theological nincompoop? If so, I apologise for that. I have a PhD in NT. I've done many theology courses - many. You may have learned that Christianity is a religion based on reason, but I didn't. It is a religion based on revelation that includes reason, history and God's intervention.

Faith comes from confessing with your mouth and believing (Rom 10:9-10 ESV). I do not accept that faith is passed down by the Apostles and is available to me. Scripture is God's demonstration of revelation, with oral tradition passed down by the Apostles and others until it was written in Scripture.

Another good book: Who Moved The Stone by Frank Morison
It's about the resurrection and proof that it's true.
The book you post re the authenticity of the gospels is probably very good - but will a non-believer accept what it says? 1 Corinthians 2:14
I read Frank Morison when I was an undergraduate. Today I prefer N T Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, as much more detailed research than that of Morison. I know Morison's content but there are better resources for me. I'm not asking a non-Christian to read the resources I suggested (Craig Blomberg). It is to prepare the person sharing his/her faith.

I have more than that in the 3,000 volumes in my personal library.

The above is so complicated I'm just not willing to get into it. As I said, it all depends on which theologian you're reading. THEY DON'T AGREE! And WHY are dates disturbingly fundamental data? HIS research leads to the dating you post for the 3 gospels, but he doesn't get to lay down the law. Have you ever read a book that gives different dates? Why do you think that WHEN a letter was written has significance for interpretation? Or a gospel, for that matter? Are you willing to discuss whether or not an actual census was taken by Herod? Who was the governor at the time, did it actually happen that all had to return to their town of birth? Do you know about the debate regarding this?
Dates are important for determining historicity. Different dates do not close down my research. I'm a researcher who investigates different dates and interpretations when I need to. When a letter was written is an indication of authenticity; just one of them. I have letters from my late father. Dating is important for them, but even more so for biblical documents. It's part of historical investigation.

You may like to start another thread about Herod's census. I've been over that a number of times through the years. Of course I know the debate concerning this. Your inference is treating me as a biblical illiterate. I'm not!

What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter unless you're studying to become a theologian. And, unless you are, it's best to stick to the simple and believe what is written and not worry too much about when it was written.
If it's very important to you, then I wish you the best in studying this. I gave it a good shot some years go and for me it just isn't important enough. And definitely not for witnessing since it brings up more problems than it solves.
As a researcher, writer and Bible teacher I have a different view to you on this topic. I hope that is OK.

Oz
 

Radagast

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3. Faith is passed down by the Apostles. Our trust in these men, Apostles, can assure us that what they passed down to us is true.
Hence the interest in exactly how it was passed down.

Why do you think that WHEN a letter was written has significance for interpretation? Or a gospel, for that matter?
Well, for example, was Jesus' prophecy about the destruction of the Temple written down before or after the destruction of the Temple actually took place?
 

turnorburn

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i don't know for sure but maybe wondering is referring to this?

I Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
 

wondering

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If the discussion goes to Jonah and the whale, we have to deal with the historical evidence, how one demonstrates evidence to be historically reliable, and God's supernatural intervention. That means one has to deal with the nature of the God whom we serve. Same with the woman turned into salt. The Bible is an historical document that involves the Lord God Almighty. We can't avoid these issues - only if they are raised by the non-Christian.

Sticking to spirituality may be OK for you, but it runs into so much competition with Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age, occult, etc. How does the non-believer know which spirituality matches reality when there are so many alternatives? I would not go into spirituality as a starter in building common ground as there are no objective ways I know to discern the differences among spiritualities.

Do I come across as a theological nincompoop? If so, I apologise for that. I have a PhD in NT. I've done many theology courses - many. You may have learned that Christianity is a religion based on reason, but I didn't. It is a religion based on revelation that includes reason, history and God's intervention.

Faith comes from confessing with your mouth and believing (Rom 10:9-10 ESV). I do not accept that faith is passed down by the Apostles and is available to me. Scripture is God's demonstration of revelation, with oral tradition passed down by the Apostles and others until it was written in Scripture.

I read Frank Morison when I was an undergraduate. Today I prefer N T Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, as much more detailed research than that of Morison. I know Morison's content but there are better resources for me. I'm not asking a non-Christian to read the resources I suggested (Craig Blomberg). It is to prepare the person sharing his/her faith.

I have more than that in the 3,000 volumes in my personal library.

Dates are important for determining historicity. Different dates do not close down my research. I'm a researcher who investigates different dates and interpretations when I need to. When a letter was written is an indication of authenticity; just one of them. I have letters from my late father. Dating is important for them, but even more so for biblical documents. It's part of historical investigation.

You may like to start another thread about Herod's census. I've been over that a number of times through the years. Of course I know the debate concerning this. Your inference is treating me as a biblical illiterate. I'm not!

As a researcher, writer and Bible teacher I have a different view to you on this topic. I hope that is OK.

Oz
Yes. Well, this isn't easy.
We don't know each other at all, do we?
You shouldn't feel insulted by me. I even said that this is not very important, IMO, unless one is studying to e a theologian. So, you are one, so? Why didn't you say so at the beginning? I asked you IF you ever took a course in basic theology. Was I supposed to know that you did? Because I ask, does that mean I think you're a nincompoop? I'm sorry if it came off that way. I really am. Writing back and forth is not the best way to communicate, but it's all we've got here.

I mentioned Peter's house in Capernaum and you wrote back that you were going to read up on it. I went to the internet and looked up an article. I don't do this often, not even for myself. Then you write up above that you have more information in the 3,000 volumes in your personal library. That hurt.

I stopped at Frank Morison because it was just an intellectual exercise. I didn't need anything more. I've taught adults in a church also and it was all I needed for the knowledge level of the persons. Most didn't even ask good questions. My "kids" used to ask more challenging theological questions.

I asked you if you know about Herod's census and the reply is that I'm treating you as an idiot. Again, how am I supposed to know you know about it - that's why one asks.

I've never answered a post in this personal way before.
Being misunderstood is more important to me than knowing if Mathew was written first or if Mark was written first.

I apologize if I've offended you.

W
 

wondering

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i don't know for sure but maybe wondering is referring to this?

I Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
Thank you turnorburn.

I wish I knew how to condense my thoughts as you know how to do.
Maybe saying too much is dangerous...

W
 

turnorburn

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There's more... we all grow in the Lord.. give yourself some time.. we're here for one reason and one reason alone.. to continue what Jesus started.. the message of salvation everything else is fluff

I Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
 

wondering

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There's more... we all grow in the Lord.. give yourself some time.. we're here for one reason and one reason alone.. to continue what Jesus started.. the message of salvation everything else is fluff

I Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Thanks again Turnorburn.
I even posted 1 Corinthians 2:14 because I answered the O.P. who was speaking about witnessing to a non-believer. Somehow the discussion turned to the bible...

Yes. The above is perfect.
I trust the bible because Jesus personally presented Himself to me BEFORE I had ever read any bible.
I trust it because I trust the men who wrote it; the Apostles and those that immediately followed.
I trust it because I believe the resurrection is true.
I think our faith is all spiritual. I know people who have never seen a bible and have more faith than I do.

Wondering
 

OzSpen

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Yes. Well, this isn't easy.
We don't know each other at all, do we?
You shouldn't feel insulted by me. I even said that this is not very important, IMO, unless one is studying to e a theologian. So, you are one, so? Why didn't you say so at the beginning? I asked you IF you ever took a course in basic theology. Was I supposed to know that you did? Because I ask, does that mean I think you're a nincompoop? I'm sorry if it came off that way. I really am. Writing back and forth is not the best way to communicate, but it's all we've got here.

I mentioned Peter's house in Capernaum and you wrote back that you were going to read up on it. I went to the internet and looked up an article. I don't do this often, not even for myself. Then you write up above that you have more information in the 3,000 volumes in your personal library. That hurt.

I stopped at Frank Morison because it was just an intellectual exercise. I didn't need anything more. I've taught adults in a church also and it was all I needed for the knowledge level of the persons. Most didn't even ask good questions. My "kids" used to ask more challenging theological questions.

I asked you if you know about Herod's census and the reply is that I'm treating you as an idiot. Again, how am I supposed to know you know about it - that's why one asks.

I've never answered a post in this personal way before.
Being misunderstood is more important to me than knowing if Mathew was written first or if Mark was written first.

I apologize if I've offended you.

W
Wondering,

I think we are shooting past each other in our comments at times, making too many assumptions. I would never tell you up front that I have a PhD in NT. That would be egotistical of me to do that when it does not relate to the topic.

No I didn't say that I was going to read up on Peter's house. I wrote, 'I think the issue of finding information about Peter at Capernaum could be a little speculative as Cephas was a fairly common name in the first century. However, I'd have to examine the archaeological evidence and I have not done that'.

I understand the lack of good questions from people in the church and your kids having better questions. That kind of situation influenced my writing, Why is apologetics in such low demand in the church?

I sincerely apologise that my comment about my personal library caused hurt. That was not my intent.

As for Herod's census, you are correct that you were unaware of my knowledge about the discussion and controversy in theological circles. However, that would be a good topic to raise in another thread because of its contentious nature amongst some Christians.

I was a little bit offended by some of your comments towards me, but I honestly accept your offer of apology. These things happen in conversations and especially so on the www where we remain anonymous.

Blessings from glorious sunny Qld in the autumn,
Oz
 

OzSpen

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No, you don't.

You come across as one of the few people in online discussions who actually knows what he's talking about. :)
Thank you for your encouragement. Sometimes I wonder whether I should be here, but I come here for some lighter relief as I'm in the midst of writing many academic articles - based on a 488pp dissertation - that I completed last year. I read so many articles in my 5 years of study that were a bore and I'd not recommend them. So I'm attempting to write for an academic community with the influence of my radio copywriting and journalistic emphases. I've a former commercial radio DJ and TV newsreader. That was before I got older.

Oz
 

JohnDB

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OK. I gotta eat crow again.

The Jewish year is 5776 and soon to turn to 5777.
Where I thought that year one for them was the Exodus...I was wrong. They added the years of man since the beginning of Adam.

3300+- a few hundred is the Torah's age.

Hillel II really took a shaking to the calendar and did it his way...but it did stabilize the formula for the thing. (Not as simple as you would think)
 

JohnDB

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Thank you for your encouragement. Sometimes I wonder whether I should be here, but I come here for some lighter relief as I'm in the midst of writing many academic articles - based on a 488pp dissertation - that I completed last year. I read so many articles in my 5 years of study that were a bore and I'd not recommend them. So I'm attempting to write for an academic community with the influence of my radio copywriting and journalistic emphases. I've a former commercial radio DJ and TV newsreader. That was before I got older.

Oz
And we find yet another individual who can accomplish almost anything when they are supposed to be doing something else.

My brother indeed!
:thumbsup:hug
 
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So here's my question. How can we check the facts after they are accepted as facts? If it's noted that "scholars agree that ________" but over all don't give any more detail for why they agree or how to back it up then how can we check those fact to ensure they are accurate?
The First and foremost proof that the epistles are genuine is receiving the Holy Ghost. For it was the word of God that drew me to Christ. The second thing is that Christ sanctions all that the disciples, after He was ascended, the things of Christ revealed by the Holy Spirit to the Church. (John Chapters 15 thru 17) Study them carefully. (John 16:12-15) (John 17:17-21).

It seems that Paul may not have written much at first because, for the first 3 years he was in Arabia being taught by Our Lord and Savior (not man). Then He went to Jerusalem to meet Peter and spent 15 days with him, and he also met James (the Lord's brother). Afterwords he goes to Syria and Cilicia. He was not known by face to the Churches of Judea during his travel, but by his regeneration as a persecutor of the faith. It was 14 years later before he returns to Jerusalem to meet with the Disciples to make sure that they were preaching the same Gospel. (Gal. 1:10 thru 2:2) That is at least 17 years before he becomes associated with regular fellowship with the Apostles. Most of the NT was written approximately Between 48 A.D. and 68 A.D. , except for John's later writings. From this information, one could do a chronological study to confirm or come close to actual dates, by checking event in the epistles with Acts and the many recorded Church history. (Josephus, and many other records and published history facts) Stay away from RCC, LDS, JW, and a few other published history annals, for they are denominational biased.

Note*
I believe Matthew to be the oldest writing of the Synoptic Gospels. The original Script was written in Hebrew for the Jew and has the promise of the fathers (The Kingdom of the Heavens) and the fulfillment of the David Covenant according to Genealogy..

 

Radagast

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I believe Matthew to be the oldest writing of the Synoptic Gospels. The original Script was written in Hebrew for the Jew
Well, our Matthew certainly seems to copy from Mark, so it can't be the oldest. And our Matthew was pretty clearly composed in Greek; it is not a translation. In any case, most Jews of that time read Greek rather than Hebrew; that is why the OT had been translated into Greek long before

There is evidence that there was an older Aramaic Sayings of Our Lord, and that Matthew and Luke incorporate a Greek translation of this, but that's not the same as saying Matthew was first.
 

OzSpen

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Well, our Matthew certainly seems to copy from Mark, so it can't be the oldest. And our Matthew was pretty clearly composed in Greek; it is not a translation. In any case, most Jews of that time read Greek rather than Hebrew; that is why the OT had been translated into Greek long before

There is evidence that there was an older Aramaic Sayings of Our Lord, and that Matthew and Luke incorporate a Greek translation of this, but that's not the same as saying Matthew was first.
Radagast,

That's not what early Christian history indicates.

Since the original documents of the NT (autographa) are not available to us, what evidence do we have that the Gospel of Matthew was written in Aramaic or Hebrew?

Papias (ca 70-163), bishop of Hierapolis, Asia Minor was said to be ‘a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp’ (Writings of Papias, Philip Schaff). In Papias’s writing, Expositions of the Oracles of the Lord, it is stated by early church historian, Eusebius, that he wrote: ‘So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able’ (in Eusebius, Church History, 3:39.16). It is estimated that Papias lived within 50 years of the death of Christ.

Eusebius of Caesarea and early church historian (ca 260-341) wrote himself: ‘For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue’ (Eusebius, Church History, 3:24.6).

Eusebius also wrote that Origen (ca 185-232) stated : ‘Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language’ (Church History 6:25.4).

About AD 180, Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons in Gaul, wrote:
Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia. (Against Heresies 3:1:1).
Oz
 
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Well, our Matthew certainly seems to copy from Mark, so it can't be the oldest. And our Matthew was pretty clearly composed in Greek; it is not a translation. In any case, most Jews of that time read Greek rather than Hebrew; that is why the OT had been translated into Greek long before

There is evidence that there was an older Aramaic Sayings of Our Lord, and that Matthew and Luke incorporate a Greek translation of this, but that's not the same as saying Matthew was first.
Mark was written by God as all Scripture is. Mark presents Christ as the "SERVANT". Matthew presents Christ as "The King of Israel" (son of David). The date of the writing of Matthew is thought to be around 50 A.D. and Mark around 68 A.D. None of this is important to our Salvation of what book was written first, and if you are a born again believer, you should know that. Men waste more time on defending their knowledge or what they know about God instead being known by God. We all spend too much time on talking instead of listening to God. The Lord is weeping.
 

OzSpen

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Mark was written by God as all Scripture is. Mark presents Christ as the "SERVANT". Matthew presents Christ as "The King of Israel" (son of David). The date of the writing of Matthew is thought to be around 50 A.D. and Mark around 68 A.D. None of this is important to our Salvation of what book was written first, and if you are a born again believer, you should know that. Men waste more time on defending their knowledge or what they know about God instead being known by God. We all spend too much time on talking instead of listening to God. The Lord is weeping.
Douglas,

I wish you would document the sources from where you obtain the information that Matthew was written around AD 50 and Mark around AD 68. To say that it 'is thought to be' hardly presents convincing evidence.

Everett Harrison, in his Introduction to the New Testament (1971) gives reasons for contradicting your view and then draws this conclusion: 'A date for Matthew sometime between 70 and 80 seems to fit the circumstances [which he has articulated] to best advantage. It may be of interest that Eusebius held that Matthew had been written after Mark and Luke' (Harrison 1971:176). The reference that Harrison gave was to Eusebius, Church History, 3:24.6-7. I checked this out and this is what Eusebius wrote:
6. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.

7. And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry (Eusebius, Church History, 3:24.6-7).
You want to brush aside the importance of the date of composition of Matthew with your language, 'None of this is important to our Salvation of what book was written first, and if you are a born again believer, you should know that '.

I beg to differ. Knowledge of salvation is obtained from the Scripture. Does the book of Matthew contain reliable information or knowledge about the Gospel? One element in determining the reliability of Matthew's Gospel includes external evidence. This evidence includes knowledge of authorship, date of writing, and the recipients of the letter.

It may not be important to you, but for me as a Bible teacher it is one piece of information that I seek to determine the authenticity and validity of the Gospel of Matthew.

Oz

Works consulted
Harrison, E F 1971. Introduction to the New Testament, rev ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 
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Douglas,

I wish you would document the sources from where you obtain the information that Matthew was written around AD 50 and Mark around AD 68. To say that it 'is thought to be' hardly presents convincing evidence.

Everett Harrison, in his Introduction to the New Testament (1971) gives reasons for contradicting your view and then draws this conclusion: 'A date for Matthew sometime between 70 and 80 seems to fit the circumstances [which he has articulated] to best advantage. It may be of interest that Eusebius held that Matthew had been written after Mark and Luke' (Harrison 1971:176). The reference that Harrison gave was to Eusebius, Church History, 3:24.6-7. I checked this out and this is what Eusebius wrote:


You want to brush aside the importance of the date of composition of Matthew with your language, 'None of this is important to our Salvation of what book was written first, and if you are a born again believer, you should know that '.

I beg to differ. Knowledge of salvation is obtained from the Scripture. Does the book of Matthew contain reliable information or knowledge about the Gospel? One element in determining the reliability of Matthew's Gospel includes external evidence. This evidence includes knowledge of authorship, date of writing, and the recipients of the letter.

It may not be important to you, but for me as a Bible teacher it is one piece of information that I seek to determine the authenticity and validity of the Gospel of Matthew.

Oz

Works consulted
Harrison, E F 1971. Introduction to the New Testament, rev ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Hi Oz, Those things may be important to you. That was my point. Anyone, if they want, can find Church History. Not everyone finds the Lord. Mainly because they are not really looking....just curious, or wanting to join something that other people join. My calling and election (by the Spirit) is pastor / teacher. Not something I chose my self. I still have the same battles that Paul and other called of Christ have. But what the born again believer has that self willed Christians do not have is assurance in the callings and not self gratification in knowledge so called. This is not a reflection on you, but this is what the body of Christ is up against, Pride of knowledge instead of joy of the Truth, I have studied Eusebius, along with many other church historians, They are not without suspect in their writings. The Fact is there is no proof by the historians for surety of published dates, nor does it matter, it is the content, For the word of God is God Spoken (even the exact words used) But this only applies to the original Script, but most translations are close enough to present the Truth. My Bible dates Matthew as 50 A.D. and Mark as 68 A.D. AKJV.
 

Deborah13

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I beg to differ. Knowledge of salvation is obtained from the Scripture. Does the book of Matthew contain reliable information or knowledge about the Gospel? One element in determining the reliability of Matthew's Gospel includes external evidence. This evidence includes knowledge of authorship, date of writing, and the recipients of the letter.

It may not be important to you, but for me as a Bible teacher it is one piece of information that I seek to determine the authenticity and validity of the Gospel of Matthew.
I think these facts are often important when it comes to convincing an unbelieving world.
Yes, they will not come to believe without the Holy Spirit's prompting, but as Christians called to defend the faith (apologetics), this knowledge can be very important.
 

OzSpen

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Hi Oz, Those things may be important to you. That was my point. Anyone, if they want, can find Church History. Not everyone finds the Lord. Mainly because they are not really looking....just curious, or wanting to join something that other people join. My calling and election (by the Spirit) is pastor / teacher. Not something I chose my self. I still have the same battles that Paul and other called of Christ have. But what the born again believer has that self willed Christians do not have is assurance in the callings and not self gratification in knowledge so called. This is not a reflection on you, but this is what the body of Christ is up against, Pride of knowledge instead of joy of the Truth, I have studied Eusebius, along with many other church historians, They are not without suspect in their writings. The Fact is there is no proof by the historians for surety of published dates, nor does it matter, it is the content, For the word of God is God Spoken (even the exact words used) But this only applies to the original Script, but most translations are close enough to present the Truth. My Bible dates Matthew as 50 A.D. and Mark as 68 A.D. AKJV.
This is a red herring of a reply.
 

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