Did Jesus Exit? – Part 21

I have reviewed Q, M, and L passages, looking for crucifixion-related events.

The Gospel of Mark includes several crucifixion-related events in Chapters 14 and 15:

1. The Plot to Kill Jesus
2. The Anointing at Bethany
3. Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
4. The Passover with the Disciples
5. The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
6. Peter’s Denial Foretold
7. Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
8. The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
9. Jesus Before the Council
10. Peter Denies Jesus
11. Jesus Before Pilate
12. Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified
13. The Soldiers Mock Jesus
14. The Crucifixion of Jesus
15.The Death of Jesus
16. The Burial of Jesus

Matthew chapters 26 and 27 cover the crucifixion-related events. There are no passages from M that are included in those chapters. Furthermore, there are no crucifixion-related events covered by M. None of the sixteen crucifixion-related events in Mark are found in M.

Luke chapters 22 and 23 cover the crucifixion of Jesus. There are no passages from L that are included in those chapters. Furthermore, there are no crucifixion-related events covered by L. None of the sixteen crucifixion-related events in Mark are found in L.

Luke Chapter 22 does include one passage from Q, but that passage is not directly related to the crucifixion:

Q 22:28, 30
You Will Judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel
28 .. You who have followed me 30 will sit .. on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Furthermore, there are no crucifixion-related events covered by Q. None of the sixteen crucifixion-related events in Mark are found in Q.

I conclude that SGA (Seven Gospels Argument) by Ehrman is very weak and inconclusive. It has at least two very serious flaws:

(1) Most of the points of agreement between the various gospel sources can be fairly well explained in terms of the common cultural idea (for first century Palestinian Jews) of a “Messiah”.

(2) Although crucifixion-related events probably cannot be accounted for in terms of the common Jewish idea of a “Messiah” and expectations surrounding a coming Messiah, only one out of four of the gospel sources (namely: the gospel of Mark) that we have examined include any of sixteen different crucifixion-related events found in Mark. There is no agreement or correspondence between the gospel sources on crucifixion-related events.

There may be a third serious issue as well: lack of agreement or corroboration on the chronology of Jesus’ ministry and crucifixion. Since crucifixion-related events are not found in Q, M, or L, it is hard to see how they could support the chronological aspects of the crucifixion found in Mark. But I need to do a bit more study before I draw conclusions about chronological agreement or lack of it.

  • TheBlackCat13

    I think there is something else worth considering: from the crucifixion story, how many of those elements can be traced back to earlier religious stories? I understand there are strong parallels between the Jesus story and those of earlier cults around the Mediterranean, particularly the Bacchus-Osiris mystery religious. If many of the elements in the story can be traced back to earlier, non-Jewish myths, with mostly the place and the participants changed but the events mostly the same, I think that would cast additional doubt on the argument.

    • Bradley Bowen

      Palestinian Jews of the first century had exposure to Hellenism and other cultures, so I think it is worthwhile to look at other religious traditions and movements outside of the Jewish faith.

      However, Jesus is portrayed as a devout follower of Judaism and as a descendant of the Hebrew people who lived in Palestine and who gathered followers from among Jewish Hebrews, so I think the first place to look for possible sources of the idea of a crucified savior/messiah should be within the Jewish faith tradition, which by the first century already included Persian and Greek influences (e.g. demons, souls, hell, the resurrection).

      Martyrdom was an idea found in the intertestamental Jewish literature, and the suffering servant of Isaiah certainly influenced early Christian thinking.

      • TheBlackCat13

        I was under the impression that all Bacchus-Osiris mystery religions worked that way. They used a set of common elements that were grafted onto the religious traditions of the area, using the closest matches possible found within the local religious traditions. So the beliefs of each one were contained fully within a single religion, but they nevertheless shared many common basic elements.

        Considering early Christian writings said that these religions were so similar to Christianity because Satan had anticipated Christianity beforehand and made duplicates of it all over the place before Jesus was even born into order to discredit Christianity, I think it is reasonable to look for parallels there.

  • L.Long

    I find most xtians and the buyBull so full of bigotry, contradictions, and hate that it is hard to get anything out of it.
    1-Plot…Ya? So What? By the buyBull it states he came he to suffer and die
    So any ‘plot’ is what is necessary for the ending.
    3- Judas is vilified because he did his job and got jesus to do the suffering ad dieing! But at the same time he is hated. Since their idiot gawd can’t seem to do anything with miracles but has to work thru natural events, then Judas is totally innocent of wrong doing.
    I could go one and others have. Most of this makes no sense to anyone who READS it, instead of just reading it.

  • GizmoJones

    I read this whole thing and couldn’t figure out what any of this had to do with Jesus exiting, until I realized that the question you’re asking is not whether Jesus EXITED but whether Jesus EXISTED. This is very confusing to a newcomer to your blog. I think you would get more traffic to this blog, especially through search engine results, if you corrected your URLs and page titles.


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