Talk:New Testament

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Throw the article away?[edit]

People, I happened to come by and saw this article, which is stuffed full of weaselling and amateur opinion.

For instance there's "most scholars say..." all over the place. Who says so? The editor, who is an amateur?! Or is this from some reliable source? If the latter, who, precisely, and can we have a reference containing his exact words?

Then there's "traditional". None of us received any "tradition". The views expressed are either in some book -- which? with reference -- or they are not, in which case they shouldn't be there. It also carries a value-loading of "wrong" in some people's eyes. "Modern" when used as a term of approval, rather than a calendar indicator opposed to some older scholarly opinion, is also POV.

The article is terribly unencyclopedic, and probably needs to be torn up and rewritten, with every sentence justified by a footnote quoting a reliable source or sources that say exactly what the text says.

I haven't troubled to read the article to see what opinions it espouses -- no doubt it does push some position. But as an example of Wikipedia it is dreadful. Wikipedia should express no opinion. It should merely describe, with references.

We could start by simply deleting all the sentences that have no reference for them, all the weasel-wording. Start with something like Metzger's Text of the NT, and write brief, non-loaded, descriptive text. Roger Pearse (talk) 21:27, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Or we could start by throwing away POV and explaining the POV of the editors. There has been a back-and-forth between conservative and liberal interpretations. There are no POV statements. It's fairly neutral now, but the statements do need citations. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:20, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, the article is riddled with with the problems you mention, Roger Pearse. I gave up trying to make it more accurate and based upon historically verifiable information yielded by critical scholarship months ago because of strong opposition to such accuracy and regular alterations of my edits. Part of the problem has to do with the nature of Wikipedia (where anyone can edit anything they like - whether they know anything about the topic or not), the other with the peculiar idea among some here that academic historians do not employ a form of the scientific method, but are driven by either "liberalism" or "conservatism" (whatever those are supposed to mean). As long as users try to equitably balance unverifiable pontifications (even if they appear in published books) with the cogent findings of historians, this article will remain unencyclopedic. It's sad really. The topic is important, and although this is a prime example of the unreliability of the source, a lot of people will nevertheless turn to Wikipedia to learn about the New Testament or early Christian literature or history. At present, perhaps all we can do is warn people to steer clear of these articles on Wikipedia. (talk) 14:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
What you call "accuracy" I call "liberal scholarship". The problem with such "scholarship" is that it takes the stance that God does not exist and so Jesus was not God and miracles attributed to him were simply added to make this man appear more important. Its bias is no better than the pure faith and miracle bias of conservative scholarship. That makes it inaccurate since it approaches the text with an agenda. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:03, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The problem "Walter" is that there is no such thing as "liberal scholarship" or "conservative scholarship". There is, however, such a thing as "good scholarship": namely, the efforts of individuals who believe that we can understand the world around us, and our history and ourselves by careful observation and critical assessment of the data using a tried and true method that is accessible to all people of any persuasion, anywhere and at all times. It is--by definition--not biased and its sole agenda is to gain an understanding of reality that is universally verifiable. There is also "bad scholarship": i.e., mere pronouncements by ideologues who aim to apologetically undergird belief in something irrespective of any basis it may have in reality. The first sort ("good scholarship") belongs in an encyclopedia, and that is presumably what Wikipedia aspires to be. I'm not sure that "bad scholarship" belongs anywhere, but it certainly doesn't belong here. All of this, of course, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whether there is a God or gods, etc. (talk) 15:56, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
You're mistaken. There is such a thing as liberal, conservative and other types of scholarship. When one approaches the text with preconceived notions of whether you're studying scripture or myth, whether there is or isn't a God (which affects questions about the plausibility of miracles, the deity of Christ, the existence of the Holy Spirit and a myriad of other issues in the text), and the accuracy of what the text describes, it makes a difference as the outcome of scholarship. Liberal scholarship is no better than conservative scholarship, and your attempts to undermine the latter as "bad" is a hollow effort from a straw man. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:16, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Whatever perspective it may be attempting to support or undermine, ideologically driven writing is not scholarship. Which is why, to the degree that anyone attempts to do "liberal" or "conservative" scholarship, they're simply doing bad scholarship. Again, this has no place here. (talk) 16:56, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Exactly, so your your liberal "scholarship", isn't. Q.E.D. Thanks for making my point. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:09, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
This attitude is exactly why the page is in the state it's in. The point that 'liberal' and 'conservative scholars' aren't true scholars is a fair assessment. Anyone who is writing with an agenda other than to present facts isn't a scholar, they're a propagandist.
I'm sure that at least some of the positions stated in this article are accepted by most serious scholars, but, the way this article is written, it's hard to tell which ones they are.-Jcvamp (talk) 08:29, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Those are merely labels: if one does buy the infallibility/inerrancy story, he/she is labelled as a conservative scholar; if one does not buy it, he/she is labelled as a liberal scholar. In fact, liberal Christians love critical-historical scholarship, even if the critical scholars themselves may be quite conservative, theologically seen. The post-Enlightenment historical method has banned the supernatural in the mythical realm, so all historians now work with methodological naturalism, WP:FRINGE/PS and apologists excepted. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:03, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Entire Bible
Jesus - Old Testament
Nazareth - Judas Jesus Thomas - New Testament
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:56, 25 November 2010 (UTC)


I redid the section on authorship to align it with Authors of the Bible which itself condenses the information in the individual biblical books. The section before was poorly cited and full of weasel words. The section is now well cited.RomanHistorian (talk) 16:18, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:03, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Epistle to the Laodiceans[edit]

I copied over a bit about the Epistle to the Laodiceans from the article for that work to the canon section. It appears to have been considered canonical in several Latin, German, and English bibles. I'm seeing this as a counterpart to the bit about Luther excluding 4 NT books from his canon. I've avoided combining the sections for now. I think it puts a little perspective on what Luther was doing, in as much as there had been books included in bibles in the region that were later deemed non-canonical. It makes him look a little less radical. Ekwos (talk) 19:53, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Authorship of Revelation[edit]

Here is a segment from my term paper on Revelation's authorship - which my professor said was highly insufficient - notice however that it contains more information than this wiki-article.

So it must be settled for this study, who wrote Revelation, the presbyter John or the Apostle John? Lioy lists: “Justin (the) Martyr (ca 150-ca 215), Irenaeus (ca 130-ca 200), Clement of Alexandria (ca 150-ca 215), Tertullian (ca 155-ca 220), Hippolytus of Rome (ca 170-ca 236), and Origen (ca 185-ca 254)” as early Church fathers who all attributed authorship to the Apostle John.4 It was only “Dionysius of Alexandria (ca 190-ca 265)” “who did not believe it was the work of an apostle” and “Eusebius of Caesaria (ca 260-ca 341)” who attributed Revelation to the presbyter John.5 Lioy concludes that “the consensus of the early church consistently favored the apostle John as the author of Revelation, and there seems to be insufficient evidence to overturn this view.”6

4. Daniel Lioy, The Book of Revelation in Christological Focus (Studies in Biblical Literature, V. 58) (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2003), 5. 5. Ibid., 5-6. 6. Ibid., 9.

I do not know how to edit this article but you now have a lead to some more thorough information on Revelation's authorship —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


I was about to make a quick change when it dawned on me that this is likely quite a contentious article, and therefore I'd better come here first. In several places in this article, the Book of Revelation, is referred to as the Apocalypse, or the Apocalypse of John. "Revelation", or "The Revelation of John" is more commonly used. Would there be serious objection to using "The Revelation of John, also known as the Apocalypse of John"? Joefromrandb (talk) 10:02, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

It should definitely be standarized throughout the article. I would prefer Book of Revelation or Revelation, with an initial mention of Apocalypse, but I don't care that strongly as long as it's made uniform. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 16:32, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
It is more commonly referred to as Apocalypse in Roman Catholic circles, but I would take the lead from the Book of Revelation article. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:37, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is more commonly referred to as the Apocalypse in Roman Catholic circles, so we should probably leave that in the article. The minority terminology can also be given parenthetically after the first occurrance.

Written in Greek?[edit]

I have searched and searched for proof that the New Testament was written in Greek and have found no evidence. Why do the dogmatic editors here not want this information out.

Please state the evidence in the article or change the statement to something like: "it is widely believed to have been written in Greek" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rziga (talkcontribs) 20:19, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

It is written because it's true. There's even a reference for it in the Languages section. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:48, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Where is the proof? How can anyone take this article serious? - "it is because I say it is", sorry, that does not make it fact. Where is the evidence? State the evidence! comment added by Rziga
The NT comprises 27 books. All the oldest manuscripts are in (Koine) Greek. There is a minority opinion that Matthew was first written in Hebrew. rossnixon 02:42, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
The proof is in the same place that the proof for any other article on Wikipedia is: in the references. The evidence is two textbooks on Biblical studies. I have a few more here that state the same thing. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:58, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
State the same thing? What? State what? You count on the fact that 99% of the readers of this article will just take your word that there is actual evidence in your "references". I searched those references, they do not provide evidence that the original documents were written in Greek. Only someone with an agenda would use flimsy arguments such as yours. WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE, STATE THE EVIDENCE HERE! DON'T POINT TOWARDS OBSCURE REFERENCES! comment added by Rziga —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I expect the readers of the article to actually read the references. The evidence is that the earliest manuscripts are in Koine Greek and the early church fathers, and they wrote stating before 100 AD, state that they were originally written in Koine Greek. You are not reading the article. You are not even being reasonable. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:05, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I am not being unreasonable. I want the evidence. I guess if one wants evidence one is unreasonable in your view. You keep alluding to references, why not just state the evidence? If the evidence exists, (which it does not), then why don't you place the evidence in this article, why would you refer to nebulous "church fathers"? Why so dogmatic without proof? What IS your agenda? And remember this, if you believe in the Creator, you will account for your actions and words, particularly for what you have done here. comment added by Rziga
You stated that you read the references "searched those references". The evidence is that as was presented. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:21, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Just so that you stop ranting, please Google "what language was the New testament written in?" and "was the New testament written in Hebrew?" follow the links. I particularly liked where it reads "One of the subtle attacks on the Christian Faith comes from the notion that the New Testament was not written in Greek". --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:37, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
However, if you would like to add some reliable sources to back the claims that the New Testament was written in Hebrew, the article would be the better for it. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:40, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

And people wonder why Wikipedia is a joke. (talk) 00:54, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

No kidding. What kind of moron doubts that the NT was written in Koine? That user should not be contributing to any article whatsoever. WholeWheatIgnatius (talk) 08:22, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikilink from this article REDIRECT to new article[edit]

For anyone with their settings "watching" this article, and therefore the Talk Page, they may wish to be aware of the discussion on Talk:canonical gospels. That wikilink, which is linked from this article, used to REDIRECT from this article to Gospel#Canonical gospels but now REDIRECTs to new article written over the REDIRECT by a single editor. The new article appears to have several issues including:

There is discussion at Talk:canonical gospels of how to proceed and whether to restore the REDIRECT as follows:

In ictu oculi (talk) 20:01, 18 April 2011 (UTC)


How can you quote Ehrman in this article. He has been recently rebuked by even his secular peers for the book Forged claiming that a document that does not claim authorship is somehow forged. (talk) 17:29, 21 April 2011 (UTC) Are you serious.

Please take it up with WP:RS. Remember to defend your claim on the books quoted in the article. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Can you please provide some documentation as to the identities of these rebuking "secular" peers? Secondly, I have personally read the entire book "Forged." Nowhere does Dr. Ehrman use such narrow minded thinking to claim that a document which has not claimed authorship must therefore be forged. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I will state again

" He has been recently rebuked by even his secular peers for the book Forged claiming that a document that does not claim authorship is somehow forged."

The book I claim is his own. You conviently removed the source document last time.... Would you like me to revert the document back yet again?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Thanks for stating that again. Where is this quote from? What reference was removed? Was it removed here or in the article? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:48, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
The validity of an argument has nothing to do with who makes it. The reason Ehrman is cited in this article is because Wikipedia aspires to be an encyclopedia, and Ehrman is one of the leading scholars of early Christian literature in the world. In an encyclopedia entry it's probably not appropriate to cite his popular works, but to the degree that any of his positions are based on the evidence and cogent (and virtually all of them are--though I don't know why he keeps calling the Gospel of Thomas "gnostic" and considers the Mar Saba "letter" a modern forgery), then his arguments can and should be cited. (talk) 00:50, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Language paragraph, Correcting POVfork in mainwikilink[edit]

I have made this edit as NPOV breakout of the text from "Language of the New Testament". The rationale is to put the mainstream view (as per text anyway) as the main wikilink, and relegate the Aramaic primacy (which is an article that probably needs renaming) to the foot of the paragraph clearly identifying it as a minority view. While instinctively "unfair" to present academic mainstream views first in this way it is what WP:POVFORK and WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE require. As we wouldn't expect to have in the article Hamlet under a paragraph Language the mainwikilink "main English primacy/Danish primacy" as two equal mainwikilink options, etc. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Actually this edit is mine. The new article needs to be improved before we direct people to it. And removing material from the existing articles is also not acceptable even if you're adding that material to your new article. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 13:46, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Hello Walter, yes, that edit is your reversion of mine. The point is the "new article" is the "old article"; it is not "my new article" the only thing that has changed is a rename/move leaving the unrelated material of Hellenism behind. And yes I note that I did leave behind a chunk tagged OR because I wasn't sure whether to move it to Talk. So back to the problem here, the current linking on this paragraph represents a WP:POVFORK. In ictu oculi (talk) 21:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
The new article is the old article? It is your new article as you are the one who created it without input from any of the existing editors. You removed material from existing articles without checking first to see what else links to those existing articles. I have no problems with making radical edits, but be prepared to back-up your actions with reasons. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:04, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Walter. I'm sorry but the move of relevant content from Greek primacy to language of the New Testament was not "without input from any of the existing editors"? Please if you will kindly look at Talk:Greek_primacy#Rename.3F you'll see I mooted this move (of the relevant material) to Language of the New Testament on 5 June, got 1 approval 6 June, then no response, and waited till 20 June for further input, got none so did it. If you were that interested in the Greek primacy page then perhaps you should have had it on your watchlist. But anyway, better late than never, do you object to the move? Do you want it moved back to Greek primacy (which is what you've done without discussing on Talk:Greek_primacy#Rename.3F). I'm sorry but the Greek primacy page did not have a note on the Talk page, "do not touch this without first discussing on Talk of New Testament since it is linked there."
It's somewhat unusual for a link to wag the dog (in this case a link here to override the Talk page of the other article) but I'm fine with that as New Testament is a more important article with a wider selection of editors. So what do you want? In restoring the equal weight wikilinks that recreates the equal-weight WP:POVFORK between Greek and Aramaic. Is that what editors here want? In ictu oculi (talk) 23:21, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I made the change before reading the talk page (my apologies), but it seems only natural that the Language section in this article should have more detail in an article called Language of the New Testament. Now maybe that secondary article could use some work, but it still seems the natural article title. (talk) 06:57, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I guess that possibly resolves the issue as regards this Talk page and this New Testament article. I haven't reverted Walter's edits to "Greek primacy" since he and any others are very welcome to participate in the discussion at Talk:Greek_primacy#Rename.3F. The Greek primacy -> Language of the New Testament move, while de-POVforking per Wikipedia policy, does present an odd situation - under normal circumstances I would have done a straight move, and deleted the (history of Hellenism) "Greek primacy" (the real thing, not the Wikipedia editor's invention) content, which I'm not sure is notable, other than as a footnote to articles like Megasthenes etc. That would have carried the page edit history. And I'm still of two minds, as to whether that wouldn't be better and develop "Greek primacy" out of the stub left by a move-redirect. But am more than happy for others to input/play around on that. The important thing is that the POVfork has gone, while (?) maybe leaving room for a properly sourced description of the Syrian church's view of the canonicity of the Peshitta (?) to develop from the "Aramaic primacy" POVfork - which appears to probably be in line with exceptions to Wikipedia POVfork policy. (?) In ictu oculi (talk) 07:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


These seem a bit excessive, so I removed them from the top of the page:

  • Coat rack|date=May 2010
  • Off-topic|biblical authority|date=May 2010
  • Off-topic|biblical inspiration|date=May 2010
  • Off-topic|biblical hermeneutics|date=May 2010
  • Merge to|biblical inspiration|date=May 2010
  • Ibid|date=October 2010

Tom Harrison Talk 23:19, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Epistle vs. letter to the Hebrews[edit]

As far as I can see, the usual term these days for Hebrews is "The Letter to the Hebrews". Certainly that is the term used un the New Living Translation 1996 and the Good News Translation 1966.

I am aware that historiclly the Englich word for an item of correspondence was "Epistle" and works dating from the medeival period, such as the KJV 1611 will use "Epistle", however I am not aware of any work penned in the last quarter century of so which describes Hebrews as an "Epistle". Philadelphia 2009 (talk) 11:18, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Actually, "letter" or some variant thereof has probably been the standard English word for an item of correspondence (nicely put phrase, by the way) since in or around the 14th century. Before that, there was apparently used an Anglo-Saxon word, "aerandgewrit" (an "errand writ", it seems). "Epistle" is merely an Anglicisation of the original Greek description for these New Testament works, "epistole". So, "epistle" is chosen when the editor wants to affect an English which is closer to the original language, and "letter" is chosen when the editor wants to use a more common English.--Atethnekos (talk) 10:43, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Lingua Franca[edit]

As English are today, so Greek and Latin used (once) to be the lingua franca of many regions, the former especially in Middle East and Asia Minor and Egypt, because of the greek colonies there and the greek speaking merchants e.t.c. e.t.c.. Most (not all) of the christian texts were written in greek because the authors intended to make them available and understood by the majority. Also greek was not like latin, the language of the overlords, so were more easily accepted and spoken as lingua franca from many nations. The authors ment also to use a common language that would not alieanate any nation of the mediterranean world wishing it would not "spark" ethnic disputes. Finally, (though Greece is now widely known for its buncrupcy and misery, being an -ex does not mean you were never important:) greek used to be for many centuries the language of the literate in that region. The article has sources and it is sad to see this "cleanup" signGreekolga (talk) 15:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Problem of dates for 1 Tim., 1 John, and Acts.[edit]

This is in response to Hashem Sfarim's request for discussion on recent edits. The following is in support of the assertion that describing texts to which Tertullian refers in Against Praxeas without qualification (including 1 Timothy, 1 John, and the Acts of the Apostles) as 'first-century' is problematic.

Re Acts:

"Thus I would place the date of the publication of Acts at about AD 110, though a release anytime within the first two decades of the second century (ca. AD 100-120) would have provided sufficient time for Polycarp's knowledge of the book." Parsons, Mikeal C. Acts. Baker Academic, 2008, p. 17.
"The burden of this lengthy and multi-faceted argument and the weight of evidence marshaled in its support is that Acts should be dated c. 115." Pervo, Richard I. Dating Acts. Polebridge Press, 2006, p. 346.

Re 1 Tim:

"All this evidence, indirect and inconclusive as it is when examined piece by piece, does seem to build up a fair case for dating the Pastorals at about A.D. 105." Hanson, Anthony T. The Pastoral Letters Commentary. Cambridge University Press, 1966, p. 10.
"If Paul is considered the more immediate author, the Pastorals are to be dated between the end of his first Roman imprisonment (Acts 28:16) and his execution under Nero (A.D. 63-67); if they are regarded as only more remotely Pauline, their date may be as late as the early second century. " "The First Letter to Timothy" in NABRE-Compact. Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 1373.

Re 1 John:

"All this suggests that 1 John was known in patristic circles in the first half of the second century. Earlier than this we cannot go with any confidence, since the alleged echoes in 1 Clement are too doubtful to be of any use. The patristic citations provide only an ante quem: the Johannines might have been newly written when cited, or much older." Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles. Continuum International, 1996, p. 54.
"How much later Polycarp is writing than the author of 1J himself is uncertain. The consensus of opinion is that this part of the Epistle dates from c. 135 AD. If GJ is to be dated, as most scholars now believe, at the turn of the century, the Johannine Epistles may come about mid-way between the two dates" Houlden, James L.The Johannine Epistles. Continuum International, 1994, p. 40.

To be clear, I wish to say, I don't mean to establish second-century authorship for any of these texts, but only to establish that verification in reliable sources for the claim of first-century authorship for them is problematic. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 21:18, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

We should really in all disputed issues present both views - it seems to be the cases with most religious texts that there will be at least 2 views, traditional and critical. In the case of the Bible Authorship and Dating probably needs to be the 1st subheading, and have 2 sets of sources traditional view and critical view (in the relevant article and in summary overview here). It shouldn't be an either/or, unless one view is definitely WP:fringe. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:42, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

The Walking Dead.what ithat?s — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Authored by apostles and disciples[edit]

The challenged claim is:

"Some writers are thought to be actual apostles, and others to be disciples who were either acquainted with the apostles, or with their teachings."

IP added a {{cn}} to the claim [1]. Agreeing with IP, and further believing that the claim is unverifiable without WP:SYNTHESIS, I removed the claim and added alternative information on authors which was cited to Aune, David (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), a collection of sources which actually undermines the challenged claim. Why should we include a challenged, uncited claim which is actually undermined by a cited, reliable source?

The works in Aune 2010 make no unproblematic ascription of authorship to "apostles", but only to one apostle (Paul), and they make no unproblematic ascription of authorship to any "disciples" at all. Ascriptions to other apostles or to "disciples" are treated as problematic. Wiley-Blackwell is a foremost academic press. The volume itself has multiple positive reviews in academic journals, e.g.: Stenschke, Christoph W. "The Blackwell companion to the New Testament." Biblical Interpretation 20, no. 1-2 (January 1, 2012): 199-200. Aune is a the Walter Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the University of Notre Dame. Contributors in the volume are similarly qualified. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 06:11, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Your first response - removing an uncited and problematic claim - was the right one, and there is no need to go back on this. I have removed it. What we have at the moment is not ideal - a wishy-washy suggestion that "some say one thing, others say the opposite", when modern NT scholarship overwhelmingly rejects the traditional ascription of authorship. But it's better than nothing. --Rbreen (talk) 11:17, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Discussion of sources: Clearly not a reliable source; no author and no publisher of any import. Clearly not a reliable source; no author and no publisher of any import. Clearly not a reliable source; not an academic publisher and no author of any import. If the goal is to cite Ehrman's article, then cite that ( But Ehrman does not cover anything of scholarly consensus which isn't in the Aune edition anyway. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:12, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Athnekos, what you don't understand is that they ARE in a contextual sense "reliable sources" to the point and context and statement of "some theologians and scholars believe" the New Testament books were written by apostles or disciples acquainted with them. It's arguably, at least in a sense, a valid source reference regarding the statement made. You can't dogmatically dismiss something as "unreliable source" simply because it's a source that says something you don't agree with, does not necessarily go with the (barf) "majority scholar view" (ad populum), and because they are not liberal "higher critics" who discount the Bible claims in general. There are some "conservative" scholars and historians too, in the world. These are scholars and authors here, and Biblical Theologians. Whether you like what they're saying or not, or like how their websites and writings look or not. These are scholars and people in the field. Not some guy down the street who runs a pizza place, who may have slapped a web page together on his free time. Let's not go overboard here. Some of it is just interpretation, of what WP guidelines (not "rules") are. Not everything is so black and white, but should be taken in context. So I don't agree (especially in context to the point in the paragraph of "some theologians" etc) that they are "unreliable sources" necessarily.
Also, to your wholesale removal and revising, you wrote that "none of the Gospel writers claimed to be eyewitnesses". How so? That's incorrect. John claims to be "eyewitness", (even if you don't believe John wrote John), also not all "scholars" doubt apostolic authorship, some do some don't...your wholesale change is very POV...and not even all that accurate. John and Matthew etc claim to be "eyewitnesses". Unless you mean that the Gospel accounts are technically anonymous? So therefore "no claim to being eyewitness"? The point is if you notice in MY edit (which you totally disrespected), I (in NPOV) fashion, put BOTH views, the Bible-rejecting higher critic "the authors were forgers" point of well as the Bible-accepting scholars and theologians...who accept that John wrote John, Matthew wrote Matthew, Paul wrote to the Romans, etc. So?
To your "overwhelmingly rejects traditional ascription of authorship". That's fine to put that in the paragraph, but it's NOT fine to totally leave out the FACT that "some theologians and scholars believe the books of the New Testament were written by the apostles or their acquaintances". To totally leave that out is not conveying all the facts, about this issue. And leaves things incomplete. With this vague "general view doubts ascribed or apostolic authorship". That's not clear enough, that there is a significant number (in the field, not just regular joe schmoes), who accept (with good reason) Apostolic authorship, historically, etc. It's called WP balance and objectivity. To put just one side of it, making this article appear that it endorses the view that "no apostles actually wrote any part of the New Testament", as the only valid or possible view, is slanted POV...and not objective, and not even accurate. Good day. Gabby Merger (talk) 01:34, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy is clear that "When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources." This is an issue on which there are lots of scholarly sources. We don't have to rely on apologetic web pages, and certainly not on the Daily Mail. I have quoted good scholarly sources, and I am going to put these points, fully cited, back in again. It's hardly controversial that the Gospels are, strictly speaking, anonymous, nor that none claims to be an eyewitness (Matthew does not claim to be an eyewitness, neither does John, though it claims to be based on eyewitness account). The full story is more complex than this, in that scholars would question whether the word "author" really means much in this context; these are documents which have been redacted and are drawn from different sources. It's likely that GJohn and the Q source are indeed based on contemporary sources, perhaps even from eyewitness accounts. Nobody knows, and casting this as a "Bible-accepting scholars" who go with the traditional authorship versus "Bible-rejecting higher critics" who say the authors were forgers is highly simplistic. Higher critics certainly accept the Bible, they just see it as a document with a complex process of authorship. I am going to restore your original claim for the moment, but you will need to back it up with some proper academic sources if you want it to stay there. --Rbreen (talk) 06:54, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
While I agree it would have been better to get a citation from a Bart Ehrman book itself, the Daily Mail thing was simply a source that quoted him. It's understood that some sources are better than other sources, but (again, not everything is always so cut-and-dried every second) that does not necessarily make something a totally 100% "unreliable" source, per se.
But even in your own WP policy quote it says that academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are "usually the most reliable sources." "Usually" means what? "Always"? No. So that's not a hard "rule". (WP has no real hard "rules" per se, try to remember that.)
But the main point was to simply (in balance and NPOV) to convey the conceded fact that some scholars (maybe even most, depending on which type of circle we're dealing with) discount apostolic authorship etc, like Bart Ehrman. While there are some theologians (and yes who are scholars and Bible historians etc) who accept and believe the position that the apostles and/or early disciples wrote the books of the New Testament, and accept traditional ascription. My only overall point is that both positions should be made clear in that little section, and not to make it as if "hey just about everyone knows that Matthew never actually wrote Matthew, and John never really wrote John, that's the overwhelming position of people who matter" as if that's the only valid or true or honest or accepted scholarly view. Just because it may be the "overwhelming majority view" in SOME circles or sectors. You mention "apologetics" page? Well the problem is that in reality it's ALL in some sense "apologetics". You think Ehrman's junk is not a polemic in a sense? Or an "apologetic"? Of course it is. And so is R.C. Sproul's nonsense (on the more conservative side). The point again is that to the context of the statement (in question) "some theologians and scholars believe the NT books were written by the apostles or their acquaintances" the ref citation I put proves that very statement. And these apologetics writers are people in the field who have studied the subject, not just average joes who happen to have a belief on the matter, to be hastily dismissed. But theologians and scholars. That prove the point. Better sources of course could be found, but at least it's something (for now). Gabby Merger (talk) 07:24, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I said precisely why I think they are unreliable sources above (lack of import), and I don't see anything in what you said to have undermined those earlier estimations. is self-published by Kevin McGill. Since it's self-published, the reliability can only be established on the basis of its author, or its reliable reviewers. As far as I can tell, there are no reliable reviewers, so that leaves only the author. McGill has what relevant degree? Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Bible, from Miami Christian College, and nothing else. I don't think anyone seriously claims that a North American Bachelor of Arts degree is itself sufficient training for establishing an author as a reliable source (at least not for a topic where Doctors are regular contributors to the scholarship), and I would agree. McGill has what publications in peer-reviewed journals and academic presses? None are claimed. McGill has what position in a relevant discipline at an accredited institution? None is claimed. doesn't even have an author listed. The publisher is Highland Presbyterian Church, which has no reputation as a publisher at all. As far as I can tell, there are no reliable reviewers. Well there's nothing there to establish reliability for this case. is by a staff writer; there's no way to establish reliability on the basis of that anonymous author. The Daily Mail has no reputation as a publisher in the field of New Testament studies. As far as I can tell, there are no reliable reviewers.
The Aune volume is exactly as I said before (and more): Multiple positive reviews in academic journals. Published by an established academic press. The editor in a tenured professor of a relevant discipline at an accredited and prestigious university, with multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals and academic presses, and multiple academic awards and honors. To say that the only reason I would favor sources like Aune and dismiss sources like those other three is because I "agree" with the former would be to ignore everything that I say about the sources and also then imagine an ulterior evil motivation on my part.
Of course things are incomplete: this is an introductory paragraph to the topic of authorship. The topic can't be complete here: That's what the main authorship sections and articles are for (e.g., Authorship of the Johannine works). No one is excluding details there. I referred to the issues which are all covered authoritatively in overview (with bibliographies) in the Aune edition. I wrote: "Authorship is an area of longstanding and current research and debate, with different works posing different problems for identification. While the various works have traditional ascriptions of authorship, these ascriptions are in some cases defended by scholars, and in other cases disputed or rejected. *For overviews of the scholarship on authorship of the various New Testament works, see the relevant entries in Aune...*" No point of view is dismissed or favoured with that statement. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 18:21, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
The point again is that to the context of the statement (in question) "some theologians and scholars believe the NT books were written by the apostles or their acquaintances" the ref citation I put proves that very statement. And these apologetics writers are people in the field who have studied the subject, not just average joes who happen to have a belief on the matter, to be hastily dismissed. But theologians and scholars. That prove the point. And you think that "Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Bible" is something so easy to get, or means very little? It proves that those "self-published" whatevers are people IN..THE..FIELD. And have STUDIED the subject (not just on their own, but FORMALLY)...whether it's in a college situation you like or fancy. That's not the issue. It's not just average joes who may have casual interests in theology or biblical studies, who put some website together in their basement on their free time. It's substantial (at least in a sense) ENOUGH...and to the point of the sentence "some theologians and scholars believe the NT books were written by apostles or their acquaintances". That statement IS true (and sourced). Sure, better (maybe) sources could be provided. But to totally 100% dismiss a ref because of "self-publish" or because it's not by more "secular" sources and people, seems to miss the point, and is a bit dogmatic.
Look at the actual WP policy that the other editor quoted, but seems to miss the word "usually".
Even in your own WP policy quote it says that academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are "usually the most reliable sources." "Usually" means what? "Always"? No. So that's not a hard "rule". (WP has no real hard "rules" per se, try to remember that.)
People with degrees also believe in apostolic authorship. Not all of course, and in some circles not the majority. But they're substantial and they're there. And there's nothing wrong in mentioning that point of fact in some way in that paragraph in that section. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 23:09, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
It's very clear what "usually" means here - you only have to look at articles to see how it's used. It means that, where scholarly sources are available, they should be used. You won't find peer-reviewed academic papers or monographs on lists of Pokemon characters or football players, but in the case of NT scholarship there is a well-established body of expertise, and we should not mix and match. Rbreen (talk) 00:28, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't believe you have responded to any of my criticisms of the sources, apart from suggesting that a North American Bachelor of Arts in a relevant field is actually sufficient for establishing authorial reliability on a topic. I feel Rbreen has made the case against that position, but to be explicit: NT scholarship is well-established, and there are dozens if not hundreds of publications on NT authorship by doctors in the field every year. If you're suggesting that the normal 3 or 4 years of training of the bachelors were enough to qualify them as equivalent to the doctors, then what you're suggesting is that normal 5-6 years of additional training that the doctors have completed is meaningless. There's no guarantee that there was any expectation that McGill read a single recent, peer-reviewed paper dealing with NT authorship in order that he be qualified to obtain his degree. What you are suggesting is the equivalent of seeking out the medical advice of some one who's medical training to limited to a pre-med degree, when there are well-respected resident physicians also offering advice.
I'll just note some things relevant to how you characterize me: I never said or implied that a reference should be dismissed simply because it is self-published (in fact I was very explicit that that was not sufficient for dismissing a source, because after noting the source is self-published I go on to consider how reliability can be established based on authorship or reviews). I certainly never said or implied that a reference should be dismissed because it is not secular enough. Finally, I never said or implied that Wikipedia has any real hard rules per se (so there's no need to give me an imperative to "remember that"). --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 07:02, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Under Authorship[edit]

It says " None of the Gospel authors is thought to be an eyewitness, and none claims to be."

It would appear that John 21 (very end) would disagree: "This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true."

I don't think what the article says about none claiming to be an eye witness is accurate.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:56, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Agree: And I don't know if that sentence is supposed to have the same source as the following sentence, but the next is also disputable. "There is a broad consensus that many of the books of the New Testament were not written by the people whose names are attached to them." The source is not verifiable (unless you have the book), and I don't know what the author is basing that on. The scholars that I've read say that the writers of the gospels were who they say they are. ...especially the Apostle John. --Musdan77 (talk) 02:11, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I do have the book (it is verifiable), and that is exactly what it says on page 102. The claim in the previous sentence is given on page 104 (the citation is given for 102–104, so it is accurate). I don't think these issues need to be covered in this introductory paragraph, because it just opens the whole can of worms of authorship rather than giving a completely non-controverted discussion and then leaving the bulk of the discussion including controverted aspects to the main sections and articles, but obviously there is disagreement (see previous section on the discussion page here). As for John 21, if you read that as saying that the author is an eyewitness, that's fine—I don't think you would be the first. But for the article we should only be concerned with citing the judgement of reliable sources, not representing our own interpretations which contradict the reliable sources. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 02:45, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"These issues" are already covered by including these sentences that are from one point of view, making this intro non-neutral. The introductory section at Authorship of the Bible#Gospels and Acts is much better worded. Such blanket statements as, "None of the Gospel authors is thought to be an eyewitness", "and none claims to be" (which is just wrong) and "There is a broad consensus..." should either have another citation added to back it up, or these sentences should be removed. By the way, if "that is exactly what it says," then that would be a copyright violation. --Musdan77 (talk) 18:21, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
By "these issues" I meant the issues these sentences have raised; I think we agree that the sentences are best not to be there.
I don't think sourcing the statements is a problem, whether they are blanket or not. Ehrman has made the statements, is qualified to make the statements, and these are not statements by him that are the source of any controversy; he's just plainly reflecting the scholarship.
Some of the words are verbatim, some are not. Even if it were totally verbatim, I don't think that would be a copyright violation, because they are short excerpts from the work being used to illustrate the topic at hand, and they do not undermine the ability of the copyright holder to market the work. If you think they are copyright violations, you should submit it to Wikipedia:Copyright_problems. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 18:56, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
How does John 21 constitute a claim to be an eye witness? By referring to the content as "his testimony" which "we know", the author is explicitly ascribing the content to another person.Bygmesterfinn (talk) 21:39, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Talk:Gospel of Matthew[edit]

How do we attract and retain mainstream editor attention to this page to prevent WP:FRINGE theories reappearing? In ictu oculi (talk) 22:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Why is it that every time a Conservative Bible Believing Christian adds something it is removed[edit]

There are many, MANY Bible scholars that still believe the Bible is the WORD OF GOD yet none of theses scholars are ever allowed to be added to any of the Wikipedia sites. Here is an example - Where you have this one sided liberal crapfest

" Four are thought by most modern scholars to be pseudepigraphic," I added the word liberal because your statement is a lie. Yet the word liberal was removed. It is not Most scholars but most LIBERAL scholars. All of the scholars at 1000's of Christian Universities still believe the Bible yet their views are forbidden on your Christian-hating bigoted site. Why is this. Why can't you be fair and balanced????? Why is it only the liberal views that are allowed just because you hate the Bible and it's God? Is it any wonder teachers will not allow Wikipedia as a legitimate source. OK now you can ban me and delete this post once again because I refuse to bend over and take your liberal Christaphobic bigot hate.-- (talk) 16:20, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

"Liberal" and "Conservative" have political connotations which have nothing to do with this article. And I would argue that "Bible-believing" and "scholar" is mutually contradictory. If they believe in this collection of texts, they are not impartial to begin with. We can't use biased pseudo-scholars to cite articles.
"Fair and balanced" does not mean that everyone's opinions are deemed equal. Fringe opinions like Biblical inerrancy can not dominate the article, though (if sourced) their arguments should also be addressed.
Last I checked, Misotheism is not the dominant view in either academia or Wikipedia, but don't expect what you deem "liberal views" to be seriously challenged. They are the current consensus in the field.
Banning users or visitors is usually reserved for vandals and seriously disruptive accounts. If this is not the case with you, there is no obvious reason for a ban. Dimadick (talk) 15:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
@Dimadick:, please provide a source in support of your statement, "'Bible-believing' and 'scholar' is mutually contradictory." I would not have believed appearing Talk claims of bias until I saw this inconceivable utterance. Please justify it. There is no gainsaying that historic scholarship associated with the texts and archaeology relevant to the Hebrew and Christian portions of the text commonly known as the bible have been performed by scholars at institutions of research higher and higher education that would, over the centuries, have been properly (if not self-) described as bible-believing. Please, justify this statement, or retract it as unhelpful bias. (talk) 15:38, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

The scholarly position requires an unbiased examination of evidence. Scholars are those who study the Bible in fields such as Biblical criticism, know that it has been written by human writers and who try to determine their identities, historical era and situation, and motives (religious and political) for writing and editing the texts. Uncritical views of the Bible, belief in the texts themselves as true or divinely inspired, Biblical literalism , and Biblical inerrancy are by their very nature biased positions not befitting of scholars.

In matters such as the Authorship of the Pauline epistles, it is a fact that some of the epistles differ considerably in style, vocabulary, and theology. Suggesting a different author than Paul of Tarsus. And this is far from a new position. The authorship of the Epistle to the Ephesians has been in doubt since the 18th century. The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians is widely believed to be a forgery or an imitation of Paul's style by a different author. The Pastoral epistles have been argued to be 2nd-century works since the early 19th century. They speak of an organized Christian Church that already has bishops, elders, and deacons. Which is thought improbable to be the case while the original Apostles still lived. Dimadick (talk) 08:37, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

Canons table[edit]

If I recall correctly Martin 2009 says that the 27 books are part of the New Testament canon for roughly all modern (read:extant) Christian churches except that the Apocalypse of John is not accepted by some Assyrian churches. These churches apparently are not included in the table given in this article, though, as said table claims the book is accepted by everyone. Can someone clarify? Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:21, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Citation needs to support the point being claimed[edit]

"Though we cannot be absolutely sure who the writer was, the letter does give a few hints that help us identify certain characteristics about him. It is likely that the writer was a well-educated Hellenistic Jew (a Greek-speaking Jew) who had become a Christian. He was probably a second-generation believer who had come to faith through the ministry of the apostles (2:3), and he was firmly grounded in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament).

Nevertheless, whether we can identify the writer or not, we can agree with Origen who wrote at the end of his investigation: “But who wrote the epistle, in truth God knows.” For in the letter itself, we observe particular themes about Jesus Christ found in the gospels and certain doctrinal affinities that the apostle Paul emphasized in his letters. The letter to the Hebrews is not contained within the New Testament canon by accident. No matter who wrote the letter to the Hebrews, we can rest assured of its divine authorship."

Apart from being a citation to a personal website, albeit a well respected writer, none of this supports the point it is being used for: that many theologians, including R. C. Sproul, believe Paul wrote Hebrews. A citation needs to clearly support the point. This one does not. --Rbreen (talk) 22:15, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Were all of the NT writers Jewish-Christians?[edit]

The present lead reads, in part:

The New Testament is an anthology, a collection of Christian works written in the common Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, who were early Jewish disciples of Jesus.

...implying that every one of the writers was necessarily Jewish. Is this scholarly consensus? Bacchiad (talk) 21:26, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on New Testament. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N An editor has determined that the edit contains an error somewhere. Please follow the instructions below and mark the |checked= to true

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 07:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Improved source needed[edit]

A single theologian's blog was used to support a claim that "a few theologians" believe Paul wrote Hebrews. The blog entry isn't about authorship of Hebrews, but instead only makes the statement in passing. Additionally, the previous wording redundantly stated twice that most scholars don't hold that view. I have removed the unreliable source (per Wikipedia's criteria in regard to blogs) and also removed the repeated statement about the broader view. The retained wording that it is the general view that Paul did not write Hebrews, which still allows for the fact that it is not the view of all theologians.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:06, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

it's meant as an EXAMPLE of the "few", so instead of removing whole statements, why not find other sources to bolster up (per WP recommendation) instead of total removal? To make it "few". (Sproul source is more than just a blog, but ref for sample...) So instead of the constant uncivil BAD FAITH accusations, with "weasel" this and that, why not follow WP rules on Civility and Assuming Good Faith? But again, the point here is to find other sources to support the "few" word, instead of removing everything because you don't like the statement, and feel the need to hide or obscure facts that you don't think are important? Yes, the first statement of "general view" gives the notion that it's not the total view, but elaboration is not necessarily to be removed, and a valid source that makes the point. Gabby Merger (talk) 01:10, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
No. Find a better source. Sproul's statement in passing in a blog entry that isn't about authorship of Hebrews is not a suitable source. And stop restoring the other redundant statement as well.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:13, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
While I don't deny that there theoretically could be A) a better more solid source in general for the point (perhaps), and would be better to have B) multiple sources, to make it even more solid and referenced, my point is why not do that also yourself, instead of wholesale removal? Because of "redundancy"? Yes, the first statement of "general view" gives the notion that it's not the total view, but elaboration is not necessarily to be removed, and a valid source that makes the point. Sproul is considered (not by me but by others) to be a very reputable Protestant scholar, philosopher, and theologian, and Biblicist. And the source is not just some rinky-dink "blog" per se. Though in general terms all of it is "web log" in a sense. But it's a source (albeit saying the point in "passing") that at least proves and makes the point. Yeah, it would be nice if we could find a source that has Sproul talking about the Book of Hebrews as the main topic. These things are not always easy to find though. As far as the "following", well watchlist, but it seemed a bit coincidental. Anyway, yes it's a minority view as is clearly stated in paragraph (as you note), but the issue was to show some ref (though not the best) to show that it's a "general consensus" and not an absolute one. I won't revert anymore unless (and until) I find better (and more) sources. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 01:18, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
The primary issue of redundancy ("Most scholars reject or doubt Pauline authorship for the epistle to the Hebrews. ... contemporary scholars generally reject Pauline authorship.") is a separate issue (although there is some redundancy in the fact that generally allows for other views).
Even if Sproul's blog should be treated with greater latitude, it should be still about the subject of Hebrews' authorship, with his reasons for that belief. A statement in passing in a blog entry about a subject that isn't directly related is not sufficient to support the statement.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:23, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
@Jeffro77:, @Gabby Merger: While I am sympathetic with Gabby Merger's position, I concur with Jeffro77 that an offending unsourced statement—and a blog-sourced comment is just that, an unsourced statement—can, per WP:VERIFY, be removed (and should be, to maintain the integrity of the article). When poor sourcing begins, it serves as an example to others, and should not remain. If GM has better sources, then the statement can quickly be returned with the authoritative—journal article, or scholarly book (not popular tome)—source accompanying. I also changed the section title, because it is nothing about genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae, or the Wikipedia equivalent, and is in any case inaccurate in the plural. Cheers. LeProf_7272 (talk) 15:28, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Edits of this date[edit]

I began a review of the sources here, and so added the following tags, which should remain in place until the issues are addressed:

  • Bare URLs in use as sources,
  • Books appearing with no page numbers, or far too broad page numbers, and
  • A dizzying array of different source format styles, indicating a lack of scholarly consensus on how to write this article.

I chose as a standard, the "cite book" presentation, and along with it, the most commonly appearing short citation style (which appeared to be "Authorfirstname Authorlastname (Year), pg. no." or similar), and I began at the top of the article to make the citation styles consistent. This arduous task of establishing a single, consistent citation format is about 20% complete. and so an in-markup note was added at the start of the article, indicating what was being done.

Besides the attention to the sources, I note two significant issues:

  • The significant Table Notes section is almost entirely a tome of stated editorial opinion without a single source. Its sentences are, as such, marked, so they can be supported with verifiable sources—one or more, one recurring source is fine—or, alternatively, removed.
  • There is a tendency to make single-sourced emphatic statements, that is, to say "it is so" or "most scholars concur," but then to cite a single source. This is wholly unacceptable encyclopedic scholarship. If there is consensus on a matter, a variety of sources can be stated, and need to be, especially in such a hot button area as NT theological scholarship (in which there will seemingly always be at least two camps). To make emphatic statements regarding settled opinion when more than a single opinion exists, however much we might agree with one, is not the place of Wikipedia editors. As such, when overly ambitions statements were made and attributed to a single source, I toned down language, and/or called for further citation. (Note, quoting an emphatic author is fine; we simply cannot take on his emphasis without widely citing the literature, and only then if the literature unequivocally supports the emphasis.)

Once again, the focus is on getting the sources in order, and this has revealed poor citation formats, loose citing of books, and a little bit of apparent POV-pushing through overstatement or selective citation, or both. On most of the matters being argued, I have no strong opinion, and so felt free to call attention to the overstatements.

Finally, and critically: While this is not my area, I am able to recognize the difference between scholarly books, and popular ones. This is an encyclopedia, and popular book citations in theological articles must be limited to statements like "And Bruce has taken this same scholarly case into popular publications.[citation]" That is, we cannot cite popular works as our principal sources for important article conclusions.

This is true, regardless of which side of the biblical spectrum one might lean in their predilections. As such, I propose that a number of sources will need replacing, including the popular works of F.F. Bruce (IVP books), Bart Ehrman (HarperCollins books), etc. (etc.)—just the popular ones, not the scholarly predecessors—and that all solely popular writers, such as Lee Strobel, likewise be removed. (The exception being when these are given as examples of scholarly arguments being brought to the general public, as noted above.)

If there is argument on this last point, I would like to hear it in Talk, here. As much as one might enjoy Mr Strobel's, Bruce's, Ehrman's, etc. writings for popular audiences, they are not the sources for main points on an article about the New Testament (except to support the migration of scholarly opinion into popular venues). This logic is the same as not using popular science books to make science points in Wikipedia science articles, but instead relying on monographs, reviews, and text books instead.

Cheers, Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 18:07, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I also failed to mention, that in doing the citation checking, I cam across a footnote, no. 51 as of this timestamp, that was essentially a list of partial sources. If some of these cited books appear elsewhere in the article, with all bibliographic details, the [full citation needed] inline tag can be removed for that source. But a source cannot simply be given, in such a shorthand as appears in that footnote, without the full details appearing somewhere in the article. Cheers. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (talk) 18:16, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on New Testament. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N An editor has determined that the edit contains an error somewhere. Please follow the instructions below and mark the |checked= to true

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 12:32, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on New Testament. Please take a moment to review my edit. You may add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it, if I keep adding bad data, but formatting bugs should be reported instead. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether, but should be used as a last resort. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

N An editor has determined that the edit contains an error somewhere. Please follow the instructions below and mark the |checked= to true

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 15:17, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Academic consensus[edit]

The majority view in the academia should not be watered down as the view of "many", since many could still be a minority. See WP:RS/AC. Tgeorgescu (talk) 13:59, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

I changed a portion of the sentence to say "most" and another to say "many (if not most)" because the sources given do not explicitly say that "most" believe that the authors were not eyewitnesses. They state that most believe that the authors do not explicitly claim to be eyewitnesses and that the authors were not Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but were probably unknown Greek-writing Christians in the later half of the first century. However, the author does not say to whom they were "unknown." Context indicates they were unknown to the majority of early Christians, but this does not automatically mean they were not eyewitnesses to some, if not all, of the events recorded in the gospels. Therefore, since the source does not explicitly make the claim that most scholars believe that the authors were not eyewitnesses, I changed it to "many (if not most)." If there are other sources which claim this, this edit may be reverted with the addition of the other sources. Orange2016 (talk) 03:41, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

I again revised the sentence and reasserted that many (if not most scholars) believe the statements because the idea that "most" believe these statements are not explicitly mentironed in the sources given. Orange2016 (talk) 04:06, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on New Testament. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 13:35, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Reverting original research[edit]

The phrase "although the writer of the Gospel of John claims to be an eyewitness in John 21:24." is original research since the Bible is a primary religious source and therefore not a reliable source. You may want to actually read what Ehrman wrote about John 21:24, he addressed this point and he was not persuaded by it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:19, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

For the circumstances which led to the formation of the tradition, and the reasons why the majority of modern scholars reject it, see Lindars, Edwards and Court, "The Johannine Literature" (2000), pages 41-42. For arguments in support of the tradition, see Craig Blomberg, "Jesus and the Gospels" (2009), pages 197-198.

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:22, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Another source: [2]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:27, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Most scholars today have abandoned these identifications,11 and recognize that the books were written by otherwise unknown but relatively well-educated Greek-speaking (and writing) Christians during the second half of the first century.

— From a source recently removed in order to WP:CENSOR the encyclopedia

I object to the removal of this source. It is an WP:UNDUE violation and I have started a WP:NPOVN topic about it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:57, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Hello, tgeorgescu. Perhaps you can help me. I believe it would be biased and academically dishonest to leave out what Bart Ehrman has called the "traditional view" of John 21:24. This is especially true since it is very plain from a reading of this passage that the author is referring to himself. You claim that the Bible is not a reliable source, and although that is obviously a very debate able topic, can we at least agree that it is at least reasonably reliable in regards to questions as to what the actual content of the passages say? John 21:24 clearly shows that the author is claiming to be an eyewitness. The statement was made that none of the authors of the gospels claim to be an eyewitness. This is directly contradicted by the actual text. What more reliable source can there be about the contents of a work than the ACTUAL CONTENTS OF THE WORK (capitalization added for emphasis)? In light of all this, can we come to a compromise in which we both believe that both points of view are represented? Thank you! Orange2016.
I have restored your addition and put it in its WP:DUE scholarly context.

Why does Matthew not write about himself in the story? The book of John does not speak of himself - why? At the end of John (21:24), he writes, "This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true." Note how the author differentiates between his source of information, "the disciple who testifies," and himself: "we know that his testimony is true." He/we: this author is not the disciple. He claims to have gotten some of his information from the disciple. We must conclude that none of the authors were disciples and only reported what they heard.

— Grant Steves, Jesus Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:22, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. I believe the edit you made is an acceptable compromise.

Orange2016 Orange2016 (talk) 02:30, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Minority and fringe views[edit]

Conservative evangelical scholars (read: fundamentalists) are a minority in the Bible scholarship taught at the main US universities. The idea that the critical text would be bad or heretical is WP:FRINGE. I have restored WP:RS/AC claims and reverted WP:UNDUE violations, for the reasons mentioned. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:51, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

The term "liberal", as was used in the article, is a misnomer for non-fundamentalist. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:34, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

I mean: whoever did not subscribe to biblical inerrancy got smeared as "liberal". Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:02, 22 August 2016 (UTC)