> You've got to remember, the book of Matthew wasn't written until AD 70
> or thereabouts -- fully 37 years after the event. Matthew (the name
> we have given to the anomous writer) himself wasn't there. Besides,
> Matthew's Gospel has a number of other confirmed instances of lying --
> not the least of which is his earthquake and darkness stories. In
> short, Matthew made a few "pious exaggerations" to help his cause
> along -- the very same type of lies that St. Augustine later wrote two
> entire books about in an attempt to make them stop. (Early Christians
> are not known for their honesty... heck, even current Christians are
> not known for their honesty... witness the Creation "Scientists")
The event you are refering to is, I guess, the supposed cruci-fiction. Which is just that. A fiction. Didn't happen. The Romans kept good records. Their executions were written about. We know about their execution of lots of petty criminals, seditious Jews and terrorists. Their "most significant execution" was not mentioned - by anybody... until generations had passed? And then the reports of it were so confused and mixed in with elements of the death of James and stories of earlier Resurection Gods that it is not even slightly believable. Then again, there is no way to reconcile the time line bounded by the censii recorded in the various scriptures and the stories relating to "John the Baptist" and the death of "James the brother of Jesus" with a crucifiction of "Jesus" in the time period you allude to and generally claimed to be the date he was executed i.e. 30CE to 39CE.
The book of Matthew as we have it today could not possibly have its origins in the current form prior to the mid second century C.E. The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say: "About the middle of the third century, the Gospel of Matthew was received by the whole Christian Church as a Divinely inspired document, and consequently as canonical." Bear in mind that NO existing version of the Gospel of Matthew I would suggest that most scholars today agree that it was originally written in Greek, sometime during the mid 2nd Century, by a writer familiar with the Greek Christian body of literature which he had access to, possibly some access to early Christian works written in Aramaic, but that the writer did not have access to the "Old Testament" during the writing of it. Prior attributions are totally spurious and are based on Eusebius (who was a self professed "liar for the lord" despite being referred to by the Catholic Church for practically all of the early history i.e. if they are not quoting Eusebius, they are quoting others based on Eusebius - or even others whom Eusebius purportedly copied, but whose works subsequently "dissapeared"), together with snippets of Aramaic which certainly match Matthew, and which were previously used by Christian apologists to support the idea that those earlier documents were quoting a now lost Hebrew "Testament of Matthew". Two quote two foremost scholars on the subject, Klaus Wachtel of the Institute for New Testament Exegesis at the University of Munster says, "The paleographic arguments for an early dating are demonstrably untenable." The British scholar Graham Stanton insists that "the case for a first-century date does not stand up to scrutiny." My recommendation to anyone interested in the early origins of the Christian disease is to get hold of "James the Brother of Jesus" by Robert Eisenman ISBN #: 0670869325, and study it carefully. After reading it, it is unlikely that anyone could look at the babble with anything but the derision it deserves.
TheHermit < Scriptures: the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based. ~Ambrose Bierce >
"In religion we believe only what we do not understand, except in the instance of an intelligible doctrine that contradicts an incomprehensible one. In that case we believe the former as part of the latter."